Rotten Rewatch #3

Dan Rice
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This week’s event is a much larger jump in the IWA Mid South timeline. We’re going four months and fourteen events from Happy Helladays, but at least we’re skipping to an important show. IWA Mid South is crowning their first heavyweight champion. What’s the best way to decide a champion? A good ole fashioned tournament. 

I do unfortunately feel a little dirty covering this show though. Like I’m cheating on a lover. The reason I’m writing for Violent People and the reason most of you probably know me is for the illustrious, award winning podcast, Talking Tourneys. My co-host and co-founder of this site, Sam, and I review a different tournament every episode. In peak Violent People fashion we return from hiatus to immediately go on a break, but I promise more episodes are coming…probably! In the meantime enjoy my solo IWA: Mid-South tournament review.


IWA Mid-South Crowing Of A Champion

04/03/97

Louisville, Kentucky

Ok, right off the bat, this show is bigger deal than I thought! We have multiple real cameras! It’s also the debut of the pre-show Ian speech, a staple of my IWA memories. He’s pissed because weapons and crowd brawling have been banned by the athletic commission. I’ll miss the weapons, but between the production upgrades and no crowd brawling I’m going to see a lot more wrestling on this show than previous events. 

Tower of Doom vs. War Machine #1

I have no idea who War Machine is, honestly. He’s a large man behind a mask that has a big “WM” across the back. Tower of Doom is Mike Imburglia. He’s better known as Macho Warrior Ric Hogan. Yes that’s a Macho Man/Ultimate Warrior/Ric Flair/Hulk Hogan gimmick. It would probably be a funny gimmick to look back at if the guy didn’t years later get busted for child pornography. As is the American way, in recent years, Doom has unsuccessfully tried to rebrand himself as a YouTuber. I’m able to watch human garbage like this guy and Benoit or the countless other terrible people in wrestling and compartmentalize it and just focus on the wrestling. If you can not or if you judge me for being able to do so, I do not blame you at all.

As for the wrestling, it’s two bigger guys having a slow, loosely work match with no discernible story. War Machine is the heel, but never really shows it outside of one choke spot. War Machine twice tries to suplex Tower of Doom and mostly fails. Doom has terrible strikes and War Machine barely gets up for the Baldo Bomb finish. 

So far IWA mid South’s attempt to prove they can do it without the weapons is a big failure SKIP

Kip Morris vs. Mike Simpleton

I am honestly unfamiliar with Kip Morris and Movie Star Mike Simpleton. Mike is a generic dude under a terrible mask. Kip is accompanied by, the ever present, Bill the P.

Kip is actually pretty solid. I hate to keep harping on this but Mike looks like absolute dog shit. Kip and Billy the P are doing all sorts of dastardly heel tactics, but I can not bring myself to root for Simpleton. That’s a good thing because after taking the entirety of the second half of the match Kip Morris wins, fairly clean.

Simpleton is so terrible this has to be a SKIP

War Machine # 2 vs. Chris Kidd

You’re not going to believe this but War Machine #2 has a striking resemblance to War Machine #1. Chris Kidd is a generic, chubby white dude with good punches. This is actually pretty fun. They both beat the crap out of each other. War Machine #2 is substantially better than #1. He absolutely KILLS Chris with a gonzo bomb. They’re doing the tournament cliche of these first round matches being so short it’s hard to really judge them. Not that a match needs to be long, but this was just getting started then BAM gonzo bomb, distraction interference, Chris Kidd wins.

I’d say WATCH for the cool punches and sick gonzo bomb. 

Ox Harley vs. Mad Man Pondo

Despite the improved video cameras the house mic is still terrible so the opening mic work we get here is basically meaningless. Though I can definitely make out Pondo using the words: slut and whore, a great deal, so you know it’s great!

Ox Harley and his valet threaten to leave if they’re not shown proper respect. After numerous walk outs, this finally gets started. Pondo is a house on fire with arm drags and body slams! It never fails to shock me seeing young, long haired Pondo move so well. Ox Harley eventually takes over and he kind of rules on offense. He wins with a DDT on the floor that busts Pondo wide open and a moonsault.

If you SKIP the opening mic work this is a WATCH

Ian Rotten vs. Tarek the Great

Ok I’m pretty excited for this one. Tarek is obviously the much smaller competitor and uses his speed to keep away and kick Ian, at Ian’s legs and body. Rotten catches a kick and hit a brutal dragon screw. They start working each over on the mat and it’s just great stuff. 

Ian is using his larger frame to keep a hold of Tarek and beat him down. Every time Tarek escapes and makes the mistake of keeping it on the ground, Ian takes right back over with headlocks and bear hugs and other big brother shit. 

Once they get back to their feet it’s still almost all Ian. Even when Tarek gets a desperate drop kick in, Ian immediately gets up and suplexes him. 

Tarek does finally mount some offense when he catches Ian going to the top rope and repeatedly kicks him in the nuts. Tarek follows up with some high flying offense. 

Eventually Rotten catches him coming off the ropes with a double arm ddt and gets the victory.

If you’re an Ian Rotten fan, and why are you reading this if you aren’t, it’s an easy WATCH

Justin St. John vs. Bull Pain

Before I can look up if I recognize St John from anywhere else. Bull Pain has already won. It’s 3 minutes long and St John is HORRIBLE and Bull Pain doesn’t hide his disgust. He no sells literally every strike Justin throws. There has to be a backstage story explaining, this weird match.

WATCH for the annoyance on Bull’s’s face throughout. 

Kip Morris vs. Tower of Doom

At first, I thought this was going to be an even quicker squash than the last match. Doom comes in and immediately gets 3 quick near falls. However, Kip takes over with a low blow. He proceeds to pull out a bunch of dirty tricks like throwing Doom into the post or slamming his head into the ground. Kip knows how to cheat to keep his advantage. This goes on for far too long though and they don’t really have any story to the match other than that. That listless length, plus Doom’s terrible strikes makes this a SKIP

Chris Kidd vs. Ox Harley

I had already forgotten Chris Kidd existed and his first round match was not that long ago. This is a pretty short basic match. 90% of it is chops and kicks. What elevates it, is the vitriol the crowd has for Ox Harley. They wanted Pondo to move on and they let him know they entire match. Pondo chants non-stop during the match.

I’d say a WATCH just for the crowd heat 

Ian Rotten vs. Bull Pain

LETS FUCKING GO. Bull jumps Ian at the bell and it’s on. This is a very different energy than Bull’s last match. 60 seconds into the match Bull hits a plancha. He then busts Ian open with a gross pedigree to the concrete floor. 

Then a lot of this is loss due to camera issues and crowd brawling, but when they get back in the ring it’s head butts and near falls and it’s beautiful.

Sadly the finish is a little abrupt. Bull hits a crusher out of nowhere and gets the 3 count.

After that match Bull let’s Ian know what he thinks of him on the microphone. Ian SHOOTS on Bill Dundee stealing Bull’s wife. 

Despite the loss of visuals and the abrupt finish, this was always destined to be a WATCH.

Ox Harley vs. Bull Pain vs. Tower of Doom

This is not exactly the final three I was imagining. Bull is obviously a heel and fighting with the beloved owner of IWA. Ox is a heel and the crowd hates him for eliminating Pondo. Doom is face I guess, but he’s also a fat piece of shit sooooo I don’t know 

This has all the inherent problems of a 3 way plus the crowd doesn’t seem to want anyone to win. Bull Pain is of course awesome throwing dudes around.

Doom eliminates Harley fairly early.

The crowd does get behind Doom when it becomes a singles match. Doom is killing Bull with power bombs but Bill refuses to die. Ian comes out and helps Doom get the win.

There’s a pull apart brawl between Ian and Bill after. 

Despite Bull trying his best this is a SKIP

What a terrible way to crown your first champion. Doom literally immediately rolls out of the ring and heads to the back to give Ian and Bull the spotlight. Overall this show is a slight WATCH, but if you took out the Ian matches it would be a dud of a show.

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dan-r


Host of Violent Volumes, co-host of Talking Tourneys, and all around violent person.