IWTV Family Reunion 2021 Part 1
Date: April 8, 2021
Location: 81Bay Brewing, Tampa, Florida
We’ll start the marathon wrestling weekend with this, part of the Showcase of the Independents. I watched the Family Reunion show two years ago and had a good enough time with it to try another version. IWTV is a wrestling streaming service with all kinds of indy promotions available and this is kind of a sampler of some of their bigger names and promotions. Let’s get to it.
I do not follow any of these promotions so I am coming into this completely blind on all angles and stories.
As you might have expected, the show doesn’t start on time, kicking off about ten minutes late.
The show is dedicated to Shannon Place, a member of the TV crew, who passed away yesterday.
A Very Good Professional Wrestling Team vs. Boomer Hatfield/Boar/Erica Leigh
This is from Camp Leapfrog (which is apparently some offshoot of Chikara) under lucha rules and the trio is Matt Makowski/Travis Huckabee/A Very Good Professional Wrestler. In a clever/annoying idea, the former team comes out to Foo Fighter’s Best Of You but it stays on THE BEST, which repeats on a loop. Hatfield and Very Good start things off and apparently are father and son, meaning Very Good would seem to be the unmasked Dasher Hatfield of Chikara fame.
Feeling out process to start with the expected technical exchange. Hatfield gets in an armdrag into an armbar, which doesn’t sit well with Very Good. The brawling begins so it’s off to Erica vs. Huckabee with Erica booting him out to the floor. Makowski and the rather large Boar come in with Makowski reversing a fireman’s carry into a cross armbreaker. Erica comes back in and gets knocked away from trying to whip Makowski in, allowing Huckabee to come back in and work on the arm.
A not great looking running knee in the corner hits Erica’s arm again and Makowski adds a slam for two. Makowski’s butterfly suplex can’t set up an armbar so Boomer goes up top, gets the tag from there, and comes in with a high crossbody. House is cleaned until Very Good is left to German suplex Hatfield. Another running knee in the corner gets two but Hatfield grabs a rather spinning armdrag to put Very Good down. Hatfield has to get out of a reverse chinlock and hits some running elbows in the corner.
Very Good catches one such charge and Gory Bombs him into the buckle for two. They both flip to their feet and Hatfield hits a Saito suplex, allowing the hot tag off to Boar. Everything breaks down and Boar tosses Huckabee onto the other two. Boar hits a rather impressive no hands dive over the top, leaving Erica to roll Very Good up for two.
Hatfield is back in with a tornado DDT on Very Good but Huckabee plants Hatfield with a swinging cutter. Total Elimination drops Boar for two but Hatfield is back in with a top rope Meteora on Huckabee. Very Good plants Hatfield but Boar tosses a few people at them for the save. Boar hits something like a Bitter End to finish Huckabee at 17:12.
Rating: C. This went a bit longer than it should have but what we got was good enough, with everyone flying around and doing their thing as well as they could have. The idea here is a Showcase and that is exactly what we got, with six people who have done this for a bit getting to do their thing. Of course it was a bit messy, but what else are you expecting from a Boar fighting in a brewery?
Daniel Makabe vs. Jaden Newman
From Scenic City Invitational and Makabe won their most recent big tournament. They go technical to start (makes sense for Makabe, who is billed as the Wrestling Genius) with Newman grabbing a cravate to little effect. A sunset flip doesn’t work for Newman as he has to bail to the ropes to escape an STF. Makabe can’t get Cattle Mutilation so he settles for two off a German suplex instead.
Newman is right back with a powerslam into a chinlock, followed by a heck of a left hand to the ear. A northern lights suplex gives Newman two as Makabe is bleeding from the….somewhere. Newman hits a cravate driver for two and the cravate goes on again. Makabe is back up to lay him over the middle rope for some choking. That earns him a ram into the buckle though and Newman cravates him over the rope for a change.
That’s broken up and Makabe hits a running kick to the face, setting up a superplex for the double knockdown. It’s Makabe up first with a tiger driver for two but Newman pulls him into a hangman’s clutch (STF with a cravate) but Makabe slips out. Instead Newman elbows him in the head, only to get pulled into a rear naked choke. That’s broken up as well so Makabe snaps off a dragon screw legwhip. The Fujiwara armbar makes Newman tap at 9:53.
Rating: C+. This was a little bit more my speed as Makabe picked him apart with Newman focusing on the cravate a bit too much. Sometimes you need a good technical exchange and that’s what you got here. Both guys looked fairly good here and I could go for more of both of them, so well done throughout.
Will Wrestle vs. Judge Hugo Lexington Black
From Olde Wrestling, which is designed to be out of the 1800s or whatever other era you picture as being rather old. I’ve heard about this promotion before and it did sound a bit fun. Before the match, (Rickey Shane Page as a corrupt judge) says he doesn’t want to wrestle and hates all of the fans. He would rather sit on the beach and drink some sweet tea because….well that’s what a southern man does. Will is a panhandler who would do a headlock for a handout.
We get started with Will, who only has one shoe, being rather pleased with being given a dollar. Then Black takes it away so Will wrestles him around and gets it again. The bill is tucked away so Black grabs a spinning release slam to take over. A stomp to the socked foot has Will in trouble but he manages to get his dollar back.
Black suplexes him down and stomps on the foot again, which certainly does make sense. After a bite of the foot, we hit the spinning toehold but Will steals Page’s shoe to put it on the other foot. Will pops up with a tornado DDT and goes up but Black throws more money for a distraction. A sunset flip doesn’t work for Will, but he reaches into Black’s pocket to pull out a five dollar bill. The shock is enough to pin Black at 6:21.
Rating: C. I thought it was fun and I’ve been wanting to see a full show from this promotion for awhile now. That’s the point of a show like this so I’ll check one of their full things out later. Good little match here with a funny story throughout. They didn’t overstay their welcome and were entertaining as well, which is as good as you can get.
Wheeler Yuta vs. Adam Priest
The winner gets an Independent Wrestling TV Title shot. Yuta bails to the floor to start but comes back in to take Priest down with a waistlock. Priest slips out but Yuta gets two off a sunset flip. A right hand rocks Priest but seems to wake him up, meaning it’s a gutwrench suplex for two. They trade some loud chops with Priest getting the better of it and tying the leg up into the strange cousin of a Tequila Sunrise.
Priest can’t switch it into a Sharpshooter as Yuta grabs the ear for a break. A trip sends Yuta outside for a loud chop off until Yuta sends his shoulder into the post. Back in and Yuta hits a slam into a top rope splash for two, with Priest going into the corner to favor his shoulder. Yuta is smart enough to go after the arm, including the rather nasty stomp. The armbar goes on (makes sense) for a bit, followed by a German suplex for two on Priest.
Another German suplex gets two on Yuta and another German suplex gets another two on Yuta. Priest grabs a brainbuster for two more but he still can’t get a Sharpshooter. Yuta is back up with a backfist into a nasty looking middle rope DDT to the arm. The Fujiwara armbar has Priest in trouble but Yuta lets go and kicks the arm. Zack Sabre Jr.’s European Clutch pins Priest at 10:04.
Rating: C+. Another nice match with Yuta being the more polished of the two. Working on the arm is something that is always going to work and it went fine here. Priest looked like someone who could go somewhere in the future with some more seasoning and having matches with slightly bigger stars like Yuta is a good idea. Good stuff here and Yuta continues to grow.
Robert Martyr vs. Dominic Garrini
From Paradigm Pro Wrestling and under UWFI rules, with Garrini being billed as the UWFIcon. This match has a points system with both wrestlers starting with fifteen points. If you run out of points, it’s an automatic loss, though you can also lose by submission or knockout. Garrini goes for the arm to start and Martyr goes to the rope to lose a point. The attempted triangle choke sends him to the ropes again so it’s already 15-13 (assuming commentary knows what they’re talking about, as we aren’t getting any announcements). Garrini snaps off a German suplex, which seems to be another point off for Martyr.
Garrini’s Kimura attempt is blocked and Martyr fires off elbows to the head. Martyr has to slip out of a guillotine choke so Garrini grabs a cross armbreaker, meaning it’s another Martyr rope break. Back up and Garrini blasts him in the head but Martyr is back up with a crossface chickenwing, sending Garrini to the ropes for a change. A slap off goes to Garrini but Martyr suplexes him down, which apparently is points off too (we need a scoreboard or something). Garrini pulls him into a Crossface for the tap at 4:44.
Rating: C-. This is just not my style and the points system was more confusing than anything else. Garrini is someone I’ve seen a few times in MLW and he is fine enough for what he does, but I don’t usually care for this kind of stuff. Martyr was decent in a short match here, but this was all about Garrini and it showed.
Funny Bone/Nurse Ratchet/Super Beast vs. D-Rogue/James C/Willow Nightingale
This is from Hoodslam, meaning the wrestlers are going to be about as gimmicky as you can get. Beast brings Ratchet to the ring in a body bag for some extra flavor. Nightingale seems rather happy to be here, which seems to be the case with a lot of wrestlers these days. Beast offers Nightingale a spot in said body bag but she’ll pass for now. Ratchet, who staggers around like a zombie, starts with Nightingale, who is a bit terrified.
A test of strength is teased but Ratchet grabs her by the throat. Nightingale headbutts her way out but seems scared to follow up. There’s a slam to put Ratchet down but she does an Undertaker sit up. Another slam lets her do the Bray Wyatt spider walk, meaning it’s off to the much bigger C. Eat Defeat knocks Ratchet….almost off her feet but not quite. Ratchet goes up for Old School and walks around the corner before coming down on the arm.
Bone (in a skull mask) comes in to work on the arm, setting up an exchange of middle fingers. A cross between a neckbreaker/Backstabber puts Bone down and it’s off to Rogue. Bone blasts him with some jumping knees and Rogue goes into a rather slow motion fall. The rather muscular Beast comes in to send Rogue flying, setting up some running strikes in the corner.
Rogue manages to send him outside so Ratchet comes back in with a high crossbody. That’s pulled out of the air and countered into a slam, allowing Rogue to dive onto Beast and Bone. Back in and Nightingale Rock Bottoms Ratchet but misses a moonsault. James slips in with a pumphandle piledriver on Ratchet but Beast plants him with a powerslam. Bone adds a top rope elbow for the pin at 8:08.
Rating: C. Oh yeah this was heavy on the gimmicks, which worked out well enough. Hoodslam is not exactly my taste (though I do want to see Drugs Bunny) but you could get the idea of the weird trio here. They didn’t hide who was going to win here and that is ok for something like this. Again, it’s meant to be a showcase and I got a bit of an idea of what I would get out of these people, which is how it is supposed to go.
IWA-Mid South Title: Jake Crist vs. John Wayne Murdoch
Crist is defending and there are no rules (you knew they would get something like this in). The bell rings and Crist throws a door at Murdoch’s face. A high crossbody connects and Crist fires off the kicks to the head for two. They head outside with Crist being sent face first into the bar to put him in some trouble. It’s time to sit in some chairs and hit each other in the face, which is always a bit of an odd visual.
Back in and Murdoch chairs him between the shoulders, setting up a neckbreaker for two. We hit the chinlock early on but Crist is back up, only to get kneed in the ribs. Crist is back up with some chops into a Death Valley Driver for two of his own. A powerslam into a chair in the corner gets two on Murdoch so Crist bridges a door between two chairs.
They go up top and Crist hits a super cutter through the door, setting up a backslide for two. Murdoch is back with a Canadian Destroyer but Crist backslides him again for two more. A brainbuster gives Murdoch his own two and it’s time to bridge another door over the chairs. Murdoch hits a super Canadian Destroyer through the door for the pin and the title at 7:35.
Rating: D+. They flew through this and it felt like it was clipped a bit on time. Much like the UWFI stuff, this is totally not my style but at least they didn’t go into the full hardcore nonsense. I mean, yeah they were breaking doors and such but there is a big difference between that and the blood and such, which is just annoying instead of something with some value.
Independent Wrestling TV Title: Edith Surreal vs. Lee Moriarty
Moriarty is defending and Surreal is better known as Still Life With Apricots And Pears, meaning we have a bunch of paintings set up around the ring (if you’re not familiar, don’t bother trying to figure it out because this is one of the weirdest gimmicks you’ll see). They go technical to start with Moriarty working on the arm. A quick trip to the mat doesn’t go anywhere so it’s time for another exchange of arm control. Surreal switches over to the leg but Moriarty slips out in a hurry.
Back up and Surreal cranks on the arm, setting up a crucifix for two, with Moriarty bouncing out, which seems to hurt Surreal’s ribs. They run the ropes until Surreal snaps off a hurricanrana into an elbow to the face for two more. Moriarty gets in a shot to the ribs and puts on a bodyscissors, complete with an arm crank for a bonus. That’s broken up so Moriarty shouts at her a lot as frustration is setting in.
Some shoulders to the ribs in the corner and an arm snap have Surreal in more trouble, followed by an abdominal stretch. That’s broken up and Surreal ties up the limbs into a rollup for two. They trade some rollups for two each until Surreal knocks him down again. A guillotine legdrop gets two on Moriarty and it’s time to go back to the rollups, with Moriarty trapping the legs and kicking the ribs to retain at 10:37.
Rating: C+. This was another rather entertaining, back and forth exchange with both of them getting to shine. Surreal is someone who is about as unique as you can get today and that is always worth a look. Then you have Moriarty, who is a lot more traditional of a star but is rather good at the technical stuff. You can never see enough of that and Moriarty got to stand out rather well here.
Post match they shake hands but a masked man comes in to chair them both down. It’s Wheeler Yuta of course and we’re off the air in a hurry.
Overall Rating: C+. You have to consider what they were going for here and that was a nice success. This was about looking at a little bit of all kinds of wrestling from different places while also setting up something for tomorrow. It was a completely watchable show and ran about two hours flat, which is hardly wasting time. If you haven’t seen that much indy stuff, you might want to check this out and see what they have to pick from, because there were a lot of choices here.
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