Full results from 7/22 Impact Pro Wrestling show in Waterloo, Iowa

My homeboy-turned-traitor Matty Star about to lock up with Hacksaw Jim Duggan, tough guy!

Dan and I will have a thorough audio recap of this weekend’s George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame events at the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, but to make sure we get a written version of this down, here are the results and some point-of-view analysis of Friday night’s Impact Pro Wrestling show at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo.

(EDIT: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the great job of long-time Iowa-area referee Bill Jensen, aka Referee Billy J. Always timely, always keeping the action moving, never in the way. Good stuff out of you.)

(1) James Jeffries won a No. 1 contender battle royal. The card kicked off with former Ring of Honor world champion Austin Aries making an unadvertised appearance in support of recently-turned-heel IPW champion Nicky Free. Those two wrestled at last year’s hall of fame weekend show, and Aries called it the greatest match in Iowa wrestling history. (It was good, I must say.) Aries then placed himself in the battle royal and said if he won, he and Free would simply take the night off and Waterloo wouldn’t get a title match. Aries then called one of the less-polished wrestlers into the ring and easily tossed him over the rope. As Aries gloated, the 6’6″, 280-pound Harley Jackson snuck up behind him, scaring him Aries through the ropes to ringside. The rest of the battle royal was what it was, and it came down to the 5’7″, 150-pound Jeffries (who was great last year as a slimy heel but has turned face since then) against a Confederate flag-wearing tag team (Mason Buck & Cousin Buddy, I believe); of course, the smaller Jeffries overcame the odds. Aries snuck back in the ring with a cartoonish “SHUSH!” of the crowd but was, again of course, eliminated. Time: 20:00. The crowd loved the finish, and Aries is as excellent at playing a “faces and heels” crowd like Waterloo as he is a “this is awesome” ROH crowd. Good way to set the table for the rest of the show.

(2) Colt Cabana def. “Torturous” Tony Sly. The thing with a crowd like the one in Waterloo, with a handful of children in the audience and with people who likely aren’t following anything outside WWE, is that they prefer to “boo the bad guy” more than to “cheer the good guy,” so Colt didn’t get much of a reaction. He did a good job working with Sly, who improves every year. Good match, just wish the crowd was more excitable. Time: 10:00.

(3) Marshall Scott def. Sparrow. Good match, nice moves from both guys. Sparrow plays a good babyface, and Scott continues to improve as a cocky heel. Sparrow’s valet, whose name I didn’t catch, also continues to improve from last year, but as a critique from someone who has no place giving one, more well-timed opportunities to rile up the crowd for her babyface wrestler would have helped the match even more. Time: 10:00.

Before intermission, Team Canada, made up of Matty Star (who may or may not have lived in my hometown for three years), Ryan Slade (who may or may not work at the gym where I work out) and AJ Smooth (who may or may not have been one of Cody Rhodes’ bag boys on Smackdown from Des Moines a few weeks back) angered the crowd with their maple-leafed tactics, roughing up the ring announcer when he wouldn’t sing the Canadian national anthem. Their opponents for the main event – Justin Decent, Ugly and Hacksaw Jim Duggan – hit the ring and cleared house, with Duggan telling the Canadians they wouldn’t be so tough when it’s 3-on-3. Man, Hacksaw can get an audience on its feet just by stomping to ringside. His charisma is phenomenal. And the guys from Team Canada make excellent, confident heels, and they got an awesome reaction from the Waterloo crowd.

(4) Montoya X def. The Big Picture. I wish I would have seen more of this match, but Dan and I chose to meet the wrestling legends at their respective tables before they left for the night. Montoya X is great, though, and I did see his top rope splash for the finish, which is a sight to behold. Imagine if Samoa Joe could do that and you have the idea.

(5) Nicky Free def. James Jeffries. Another good match, with Free playing a good cocky heel (he’d been a white-meat babyface for so long that this was a good change of pace for him) and Jeffries again as a good underdog. Rumors circulate that Free, who sat next to R-Truth at one of those ridiculous “press conferences” to promote WWE Capitol Punishment, is getting a look from WWE these days. No reason why not; he’s got good size, can work heel or face, and seems to be “moldable” in that WWE developmental sort of way. Time: 15:00.

(6) Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Justin Decent & Ugly def. Matty Star & Ryan Slade & AJ Smooth. Once again, Hacksaw lights up the crowd with a wink, a smile, a thumbs-up and a “HOOOOOO!” The Canada-vs-U.S. gimmick worked well, too. Team Canada used the usual slippery heel gimmicks – hugging each other for support, triple-teaming the babyface – to a great reaction. Decent and Ugly are hilarious characters on this roster and fit perfectly on a six-man team with Duggan, who won the match with his three-point stance clothesline. Time: 10:00.

Overall: This was a fun independent wrestling show. Not a knock on any of the wrestlers, but it’s not like there were any five-star matches on the card. But there wasn’t one bad match – in fact, all were good – and that’s saying something for independent wrestling. Of the 30 or so indy shows I’ve seen in the last 14 years, this will be the most memorable. Big ups to Troy Peterson for his promotion and booking (and for starting the show on time, which also needs to happen more often in indy wrestling), and big ups to Travis Shillington for helping these wrestlers continue on their paths.

One Response

  1. Thanks for the belated kind words! Much appreciated. Keep up the good work! -Billy J.

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