By David J. McCutcheon
The gloves are off. St. Louis Anarchy has decided to take the wrecking ball and break down the barriers that define the local wrestling scene. By incorporating top indy stars that have become St. Louis transplants for years, such as Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly, Anarchy has become a premiere promotion in the Midwest territory. Show runner Pierre Abernathy and Co. have taken their dedication to putting St. Louis on the National map one step further in 2014, bringing in the likes of Roderick Strong and one half of the Young Bucks, Nick Jackson, to their two-night Gateway to Anarchy 2014 celebration.
The card is subject to change, and boy, did it ever. Injuries and commitments to TNA took away the likes of the aforementioned Richards, Matt Jackson, and Eddie Edwards in what would have been his St. Louis Anarchy debut. The bookers at Anarchy did not allow such travesties to have a lasting effect on their product, bringing in Strong and Dragon Gate USA Open the Freedom Gate Champion Johnny Gargano to fill their shoes. The opening show was one of Anarchy’s strongest yet, even without mainstays such as ACH and Richards on the card. This is a testament to the depth of Anarchy’s roster, one of the finest in all of the country.
JoJo Bravo d. Evan Gelistico via pinfall
After suffering a devastating loss to the strongman Michael Elgin his last go ‘round, JoJo Bravo came out swinging against the former St. Louis Anarchy champion, Evan Gelistico. It was all fun and games in the squared circle until Gelistico grounded the sumo sensation with a series of submission holds. Once Bravo broke free, he slammed a Samurai Driver out of a series of reversals for a decisive upset victory.
Brandon Espinosa d. Bolt Brady via pinfall
Everything gets misinterpreted once Brandon Espinosa gets in a St. Louis Anarchy ring. The St. Louis standout has made passes at the competition since his debut, and uses this tactic to get the upper hand in most contests. These lewd, flashy tactics—including a post-match celebratory butt-pinch—managed to unsettle the faster-than-lightning Bolt Brady, taking him out of his game for a pinfall victory with the frog splash.
The Hooligans d. Dan Walsh and Jeremy Wyatt (with Greg Jovi) via pinfall
Darren Dean, the original partner of Jeremy Wyatt, could not make it. Wyatt’s urging of a mystery partner to come out from the back opened up the perfect ambush for Dan Walsh from the other direction, marking his return to Anarchy after cutting a scathing interview on the company months ago. The Hooligans cleaned house before Walsh and Wyatt took control of Mason Cutter, isolating him from
his brother. Things boiled over once the tag was made, and it was the Hooligans who removed Walsh from the equation before taking down Wyatt with a sunset flip.
Darin Corbin d. Angelus Layne via pinfall
Once former St. Louis Anarchy champion Darin Corbin injured Angelus Layne at a previous Anarchy event while aiming for her partner, Brandon Espinosa, Layne has been salivating at the opportunity to knock the morality crusader Corbin down a peg. Many cheap shots and low blows were given throughout the bout, the final one coming at the foot of Corbin, leading to a devastating cutter to end the match. While she came up short, Layne was one of the night’s standouts in her breakout performance, earning the respect of the fans with her profane silver tongue and never-say-die attitude.
Arik Cannon d. Ricky Starks via pinfall
The charismatic Ricky Starks tried to open the contest by belittling the veteran Arik Cannon’s penchant for beer. He’d soon have a face full of it after a brawl to the outside, with Cannon using his alcoholic mist to blind the eyes of the pretty boy Starks. After a bout filled with submission holds, it was the brainbuster that inevitably ended the night for Starks, a final measure to cease his yapping.
Roderick Strong d. St. Louis Anarchy Champion Gary Jay (with Dorian Victor) via pinfall (Non-Title)
Gary Jay’s lackadaisical approach to the ring in his non-title match against one of the biggest names in independent professional wrestling, Roderick Strong, most certainly hurt him in the long run of this high-profile match. With no title on the line, Jay was arrogant and slow to get back into the ring, telling the crowd he would “take [his] time” to dictate the pace. A master of the squared circle, Strong didn’t hesitate to give Jay a rude awakening from a daydream into a nightmare with a series of welt-wailing chops that fans all the way under the Arch could hear. Jay’s fighting spirit picked up but a moment too late, as the Strongbuster and a harsh boot ended the Champion’s night. Licking his wounds, Jay retreated with title in tow, while Strong looked as his name indicates.
Jordan Lacey (with Greg Jovi) d. Alex the Big Owl (with Jacob Dangle) and Alex Castle via pinfall
Tempers ran hot in the three-way dance that featured a recently-betrayed Alex the Big Owl. At the previous Anarchy event, Jordan Lacey turned on his tag team partner to align himself with Gary Jay’s BOSS faction. The Big Owl was hot and ready to tar and feather Lacey. Alex Castle was inadvertently double-teamed by the duo before being pinned by Lacey. Right as the Big Owl set his sights on Lacey, his own manager, the Australian Jacob Dangle, hit him with a low blow to clip Alex’s wings in the fight… an
elevated DDT later and it was all over. The Big Owl has seemingly lost all of his friends after these events.
Danny Cannon d. Zakk Sawyers via pinfall
Danny Cannon came out with the energy of a pack of track runners rolling off of energy drinks, kicking the turnbuckles and running around the ring. This was certainly an indication of how this match would begin and most definitely end, as the two young guns took Anarchy by storm with an inspiration offensive assault that included a pair of suicide dives and other aerial shenanigans. Cannon ended the fight with an utterly brutal double stomp from the turnbuckle to the head of Sawyers. The duo certainly surprised many in attendance, as several fans gave a standing ovation once the dust had settled.
Kyle O’Reilly d. Christian Rose via submission
The two popular competitors came out on the eve of Kyle O’Reilly’s 2-out-of-3 falls title match against Gary Jay. All was going well for O’Reilly, as this physical contest was bearing no severe damage to his extremities, despite the hard-hitting Rose being his competition. A back-and-forth contest ended with the Arm-ageddon, O’Reilly’s patented cross-armbreaker, and all seemed well… until Gary Jay and his BOSS minions surrounded the ring, ready to pounce O’Reilly and Rose. Just as they were about to enter, Rose betrayed the man who made him tap, as Jay’s cronies unloaded on O’Reilly for several minutes. Leaving the challenger in a heap, BOSS fled as Jay laughed, knowing the damage was done to O’Reilly the day before the fight of his life.
More Shebang for Your Buck (Nick Jackson & Johnny Gargano) d. The Sex Bob-ombs (Mat Fitchett & Davey Vega) via pinfall
Johnny Gargano is no rookie when it comes to St. Louis Anarchy, so Nick Jackson recruited his help in place of his ailing brother. The competition was tough in Anarchy hero Davey Vega and fan-favorite Mat Fitchett. Coordination between Gargano and Jackson was not as smooth as the two would have liked in the early goings, with Jackson directing Gargano around the ring to where his brother would instinctually be. These few precious seconds cost the new duo, as the Sex Bob-ombs took advantage of every opportunity of miscommunication. A series of chain-superkicks left everyone unconscious on the mat near the end, but Gargano and “Indy Taker” Jackson carved up Fitchett with springboard spiked Tombstone.
The night was a huge success for Anarchy, breaking the attendance records with 300 people while marking the debut of a handful of new talent.