Wednesday, May 18, 2022

ICW: No Holds Barred 25 Live Report

After years of wanting to, I finally went to my first all Deathmatch Wrestling show and it was everything I imagined it would be.  

ICW: Impact Championship Wrestling was born in New Jersey in 2001 with owner promoter Jac Sabboth promoting shows until 2016.  In 2018 veteran wrestler Danny Demanto took over the promotion renaming in ICW: New York.  On January 4, 2020 the promotion was rebranded again as ICW: No Holds Barred replacing the ring ropes with chains with fights ending only by pin fall, knock out, or referee stoppage.  The debut show opened with Tessa Blanchard getting a pin fall victory over Nick Gage.  Later in that year ICW: NHB introduced the Pitfighter X events where fights occur inside a square cage.

On Sunday May 15, 2022 ICW: No Holds Barred 25 was presented at SONIA in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Mikey and I bought general admission tickets for this Sold Out event and headed south a little after 1pm hitting some heavy traffic outside Boston.  When parking we ran into Maine indie wrestlers JP O'Reilly, Lee Miller and Raf who were also pumped to attend this unique event.  The parking garage was only a couple blocks away and was only $10!

Doors were slated to open at 5pm but were pushed back to 5:30, however as the event was bring broadcast live on IWTV it started on time at 6pm.  The only change to the card as it was advertised was that Isaiah Broner was not appearing, he was replaced on the card by Danny Demanto. 

When tickets went on sale you could purchase a VIP ticket that was in a chair on a stage while General Admission was standing room around the ring.  The five of us took up space on the side of the ring with the hard camera behind us.  For those not familiar with ICW: NHB they use "deathmatch fuckery" in every match so at times there is weapons and debris, like glass from light tubes, flying into the crowd.

Can this be dangerous, sure but for anyone attending these shows, this is not a surprise they warn and advise you to shield and protect yourself.  More importantly you are not required to stand close up to the ring as we chose to do.  So the fact that Nic got a cut on his leg and I pulled a piece of glass out of my ear that night, and my arm on Monday, is a risk as adults that we chose to take. 

Aside from The Kirks and Demanto this was my first time seeing everyone else on the card wrestle live and in person.  Also, go watch the show on IWTV, I'm going to give you my thoughts but not the play by play of the matches. 

Let's get to the matches!

Tommy Vendetta pinned Akira

Great opening match, was shocked to see Akira take the Awesome Bomb from the ring onto the stage.  However later on he hit a sunset flip powerbomb on Vendetta from the ring apron to the floor putting Tommy through a door with half cut beers cans on it.  Again, really great opening match to get the crowd pumped up.

Hoodfoot pinned Satu Jinn

Satu Jinn came out with a handsaw that I think is used for bamboo, but on this night it was used to carve open foreheads.  Very solid back and forth match, with each guy giving as much as they took.  Satu Jinn came over and very politely asked me to had him two chairs, which I obliged. 

 Justin Kyle pinned Danny Demanto

Kyle came out first, Demanto was the surprise replacement.  They used poppers attached to weapons in this match.  It was my first exposure to them in person.  They are loud so they sound and probably are painful, and they expel smoke or dust when they are popped which is an awesome visual.  The best part was after this match they were all over the ring and floor area and would randomly be stepped on and pop startling people.

Demanto took a beating, including having half a door smashed over his head several times, and was hit with a plastic bat with thumbtacks on it that impaled the top of his head with the tacks...bonkers. 

KRULE pinned Casanova Valentine

Casanova Valentine came out wearing a boxing glove with knives affix to it ala Freddy Kreuger.  KRULE ran out to the ring, jumping over the top rope with a shoulder block taking Valentine off his feet.  He removed the glove, however Valentine got it back later and used it.  They also had a barbed wire covered door, that lead to Valentines downfall.  

KRULE is a big dude that can move and took a gusset plate to the chest and didn't seem to flinch.  I know he's wearing a mask, but his body didn't react at all when Valentine was planting it in his chest.   

Kasey Kirk pinned Brandon Kirk

On a night when the crowd seemed to love everyone, the majority booed the hell out of Brandon Kirk!
Brandon demanded that Kasey lay down for him, she did and then tried a crucifix pin.  The gusset plated each other, broke some light tubes.  Brandon gave Kasey back drop driver suplex onto some light tubes that cut up her mouth real bad, uneasy moment for those watching.  She powered through and put on a hell of a match.  This was the first match with a pane of glass used which Kasey put Brandon through.  Huge pop when Casey go the win.

Match was awesome, Kasey's story with her growth in the promotion and her string of wins, it's magnificent.  We got post match comments from both, Brandon putting over Kasey and she thanking the locker room and fans for their support.  

SHLAK pinned John Wayne Murdoch

Hell of a match!!  These two have fought each other many times before, this is third time at No Holds Barred and they have an even record of 1 - 1 - 1.  The beat the hell out of each other inside and outside the ring.  They broke a tremendous number of light tubes on each other this match featured the second pane of glass as well as an actual table broken to go along with the doors.  

SHLAK tired to bag JWM but it was reversed on him.  In the end even with the plastic bag over his head SHLAK put JWM through the pane of glass with a choke bomb for the win. 

Taipei Death Match: American Deathmatch Champion: Eric Ryan defeated Bobby Beverly by referee stoppage

Two members of 44.OH collided in a very hard hitting match.  Both guys were busted open early, with The Bev spilling buckets of blood for our entertainment on this night.  It was legit pouring out of his head near the end of the match. The Bev was delivering some ground and pound on Ryan who reversed it and stating raining down strikes on The Bev with one catching him square for a flash knock out that lead SPO to call for the bell.  

Fans weren't happy about the referee stoppage, I was fine with it.  I was a tough contest with an unexpected finish. 

After the show the majority of the wrestlers came out for autographs and photos and to sell some merchandise.  I got a few cards signed and grabbed a photo with the Kirks.  

Every match was officiated that night by SPO and he did an outstanding job.  I imagine it's hard enough to officiate seven matches in one night, not lets make them all death matches with debris all over the canvas that you have to lay in to count the fall.  An unsung hero of the night.

Also mad props (pun intended) to the ring crew who brought out all the plunder before the matches, and cleaned up the ring and debris between the matches.  I like that not everything that was brought out was used, it made it more interesting.  You weren't waiting around for an item to be used before the match ended.  

It awesome night of wrestling, and a truly unique experience.  Everyone who stepped between the chains this night worked their asses off.  We would go again, no doubt.

On the drive home we watched a lot of lightning!  It was very cool!  As we neared the New Hampshire state line the rain was coming down in sheets and the chain lightning was making it look like daylight while the thunder shook the van.  I loved it!

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, check out my other posts, and if you want like my blogs Facebook page.  You can also head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my new book Limitless Wrestling: The First Five Years, or any of my other books as well.  

Until next time!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

New Grail Card

As I wrote the other day I have changed my focus on my signed card collection and this post is all about the first card on the list. 

As you may know my favorite set to gets cards signed from is the 1988 NWA Wonderama card set.  I have many cards in this set with multiple signatures and my favorite is a card featuring a version of the Paul Jones Army consisting of Paul Jones, Ivan Koloff, The Warlord, & The Barbarian. 

I mailed this card to all four wrestlers over a few year period starting with Ivan, then Mr. Number 1, the Barbarian and finally The Warlord. I was so excited to complete this card and I'm sure that there is no one else out there with this card signed by all four.

Inspired by someone else on twitter I have decided my new grail card is number 339 The Four Horsemen.  This is not my favorite version of the Horsemen, that's the Barry Windham one, however there is no card of that version.  This is the 2nd incarnation with Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, Tully Blanchard and JJ Dillion, this card also features David Crockett.  

I was able to locate this card on Ebay for $40, the most I've ever paid for a single raw card.  My buddy just saw Tully Blanchard a month ago and he got me and AEW card signed, it would have been cool to have the plan then, but I'm sure I'll see Mr. Blanchard again someday.

The first signature I plan on getting on this card is the "Enforcer" Arn Anderson.  He will be appearing on a Big Time Wrestling card June 10th in Webster, MA featuring FTR with Bret Hart vs. Brock Anderson & Brian Pillman Jr. with Arn Anderson.  

The second signature will be that of the "Total Package" Lex Luger on July 23rd at the Natick Mall also in Massachusetts.  Mikey, Jay and I are going to the Sting signing to finally get our pictures with Sting and Lex is also going to be there.  I wasn't going to get anything signed by him as I already have multiple cards from Wrestlecon in 2019 however this card changes that.

In November David Crockett is slated to appear at WrestleCade and my buddy Brandon is going so he is going to get Mr. Crockett to sign my card.  That leaves Blanchard, Flair, and JJ Dillon.  

I'm very much looking forward to the adventure of completing this card.

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, check out my other posts, and if you want like my blogs Facebook page.  You can also head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my new book Limitless Wrestling: The First Five Years, or any of my other books as well.  

Until next time!!

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Change in my Hobby

 I've been collecting signed wrestling cards in earnest for almost 20 years and I have amassed over 1,000 cards.  I have only purchased one off of ebay, Dynamite Kid leaf after he died, I have gotten all of my cards either in person or through the mail but always direct from the wrestlers.

For years I refused to sell my cards, I got them for me and they all had a story behind them.  However in the last couple years I have sold 6 of them.  Most recently my signed MJF Limitless Wrestling trading card for a more than I could ever had imagine the night I got it signed back in 2018.  

I enjoyed the notoriety of having the MJF card, because so many other coveted it, however, MJF is not someone that I am passionate about.  I respect him as the best heel in wrestling for the last few years, but he's not and all time favorite.

So I sold that MJF and with the money it paid for 4 nights at a Horse Ranch Resort in Hopewell Valley, New Brunswick, Canada this summer for my family.  Besides, I still have my signed All In MJF card so I still have one.  

I have a new direction when it comes to collecting my signed cards I'm going to focus on cards and wrestlers that I am passionate about.  Don't get me wrong I'm going to continue to get cards signed when I go to wrestling shows, but if someone offers me the right price, it'll go to them. 

I've always loved getting the NWA Wonderama cards signed as well as the 1985 Topps & O Pee Chee WWF cards and I'm going to look at what I have signed and see what I can get signed to add to me collection. 

I'll post regular updates here.

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, check out my other posts, and if you want like my blogs Facebook page.  You can also head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my new book Limitless Wrestling: The First Five Years, or any of my other books as well.  

Until next time!!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

My Wrestling Statistics

Here are some only interesting to me wrestling statistics about my time attending shows.

Total Shows: 281 as of 4/29/2022

The most recent show was Saturday April 23, 2022, the NAWA: North Atlantic Wrestling Association at the Fairfield Community Center in Fairfield, Maine.  This is the 59th show that I have attended at this venue, making it the building I have sat in the most watching professional wrestling.  First time at the Fairfield Community Center was on October 23, 2004 when NWH: New Wrestling Horizons presented a night of pro wrestling.

Two Countries, 11 States, & 1 Province

New Hampshire
Rhode Island
New York
New Jersey
North Carolina

Ottawa, Ontario

47 Different Promotions

National / International Companies
AEW: All Elite Wrestling 
WWE: World Wrestling Entertainment
TNA/Impact Wrestling
WCW: World Championship Wrestling
ROH: Ring of Honor
NJPW: New Japan Pro Wrestling

Maine Based
EWA: Eastern Wrestling Alliance
Tony Atlas's USA All Star Wrestling
UPW: Ultimate Professional Wrestling
MEW: Maine Event Wrestling (2001 - 2003) 
ACW: Atlas Championship Wrestling
ASAW: All Star American Wrestling
NWH: New Wrestling Horizons
AWA North Atlantic
NWA New England
PWA: Pro Wrestling America
NWA On Fire
IWE: Independent Wrestling Entertainment
VPW: Vacationland Pro Wrestling (2010)
NAWA: North Atlantic Wrestling Association
LPW: Live Pro Wrestling
Intergalactic Wrestling
AOM: All Out Mayhem
PWE: Pro Wrestling Experience
MEW: MainEvent Wrestling (2014-2015)
Limitless Wrestling
Let's Wrestle!
PWS: Pro Wrestling Society
Limitless Dojo Student Showcase
VPW: Vacationland Pro Wrestling (2021 - )
PSPW: Pine State Pro Wrestling

Outside Maine
BTW: Big Time Wrestling (Massachusetts) 
XboKu Pro Wrestling (Danbury, Connecticut)
Carson's Pro Wrestling World (Allentown, Pennsylvania)
FRW: Front Row Wrestling (Rochester, New Hampshire)
UXW Pro Wrestling (Orlando, Florida)
NWA Legends FanFest (Charlotte, North Carolina)
CHIKARA (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
PWS: Pro Wrestling Syndicate (Garfield, New Jersey)
Legends of the Ring (New Jersey)
PWF Northeast (Providence, Rhode Island)
WIA: Wrestling Is Awesome (New York)
TRP: Top Rope Promotions (New Bedford, Massachusetts)
NEW: Northeast Wrestling
Beyond Wrestling

C*4 Wrestling: Capital City Championship Combat (Ottawa, Ontario)

I've attended Shows in 7 of Maine's 16 Counties
Kennebec, Androscoggin, Sagadahoc, Cumberland, Somerset, York, & Penobscot

Wrestlers who I have seen wrestle live the most..

Larry Huntley: 93 Times
First Time: July 24, 1999 EWA at the Lewiston Armory, Larry Huntley defeated Inferno - Larry's Pro Wrestling Debut
Most Recent: April 23, 2021 NAWA at the Fairfield Community Center, NAWA Heavyweight Champion: Cousin Larry pinned "Lights Out" Lee Miller

Larry started as the EWA's hardcore match referee making his debut under the moniker of "The Dirty Bird Bouncer" and later "The Enforcer" before becoming the "Scufflin Hillbilly" Cousin Larry.  I also saw him wrestle under a mask as the dreaded Parts Unknown.

Mark Moment: 58 times
First Time: October 23, 2004 NWH at the Fairfield Community Center,  “Enforcer” Larry Huntley pinned Mark Moment w/ Quentin Michaels

Most Recent: November 20, 2021 VPW Indoor Flea Market Brewer, Maine, The Competition: Champ Mathews & Mark Moment with Vernon Envy & Conner Murphy defeated The Mortons: Ricky & Kerry when Moment pinned Ricky with his feet on the ropes

He has mostly wrestled under the name Mark Moment but had a short stint as The Canadian Moondog.  

Eric Johnson: 55 times
First Time: September 22, 2006 NWH Fairfield Community Center, The Big Islanders: Makua and Kahoku defeated “Boston Bad Boy” Jason Rumble & “Too Fit” Eric Atlas

Most Recent: April 15, 2022 ¡Let’s Wrestle! at the Morgan Hill Event Center, Herman Eric Johnson with Brandino Davis pinned “Belfast Bulldog” Dave Dyer

I've seen him wrestle under the names "Too Fit" Eric Atlas and with the monikers "Jivin" and "Sweet Tooth" Jimmy Capone and the current Eric Johnson.  

MSP: Aiden Aggro & DangerKid: 47 Times
DangerKid aka Skully of The Fog and Levi Lexington
First Time: September 18, 2015 IWE Fairfield Community Center Sara D’Errico pinned Levi Lexington w/ Beavis with diamond dust

Aiden Aggro aka Humerus of The Fog and Auman Jordan
First Time: March 19, 2016 Limitless Wrestling American Legion, Orono Alexander Lee & Aiden Aggro defeated DangerKid & Wrecking Ball Legursky when Lee pinned DangerKid

Most Recent: April 15, 2022 ¡Let’s Wrestle! at the Morgan Hill Event Center, Herman MSP:Aiden Aggro & DangerKid defeated The Brick City Boyz: JCruz & Victor Chase when Aggro pinned Chase

As singles or as a tag team it's just a coincidence that I have seen them wrestle 47 times each.

Anthony Greene: 45 Times
First Time: August 31, 2012 IWE at the Fairfield Community Center Ryan London pinned Josiah Matthews
Most Recent: March 26, 2022 Limitless Wrestling AMVets in Yarmouth #1 Contendership Match: “Iron” Rip Byson defeated “Alternative” Anthony Greene and JD Drake when Byson pinned AG

No surprise they are all independent wrestlers that I have seen at shows mostly in Maine. 

Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, check out my other posts, and if you want like my blogs Facebook page.  You can also head over to Amazon and pick up a copy of my new book Limitless Wrestling: The First Five Years, or any of my other books as well.  

Until next time!!