ICW No Holds Barred Volume 11: Then And Now
Date: April 8, 2021
Location: 81Bay Brewing Company, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: The Struggles, Ron Niemi
This is another promotion where I don’t know anything about it coming in but this seems to be a more violent promotion, which is not likely to be in my wheelhouse. I’m not sure what to expect coming in and I’m not sure about who all is on the card. Hopefully it is going to be a bit better than what I’m picturing so let’s get to it.
Opening sequence, which advertises No DQ, No Submissions and No Rules. Oh geez please don’t be a deathmatch promotion. Why am I doing this to myself again?
The ring announcer welcomes us to the show….and the ropes are chains.
Tony Deppen vs. Daniel Garcia
They circle each other for a bit to start until Deppen goes for the leg. That means a trip to the mat with both of them trying to tie up the legs. Deppen gets the legs crossed and cranks on Garcia’s arms at the same time. With that broken up, Garcia sends him to the floor for a breather. Back in and they go to the mat for more grappling with Garcia getting in some elbows to the back of the head.
Deppen slips out of that and bites Garcia’s bare toes, which has Garcia bailing underneath the ropes in a smart move. It’s Deppen getting on top for a slap off on the mat until some heavy forearms rock Garcia. You don’t do that to him though as he grabs a German suplex and starts stomping away rather fiercely. Something like a Crossface goes on, followed by a bodyscissors over the chain to make it worse.
Back up and they slap it out until Deppen is thrown into the chains for two. What looks like a Gotch style piledriver is broken up though and Deppen stomps on the bare feet. Garcia doesn’t mind and stomps on Deppen’s head but Deppen kicks him low. A running knee to the head finishes Garcia at 8:33.
Rating: C. Not much to see here and it did feel a bit more like a fight instead of a match. Deppen has come a long way in the last year or so and that is a very good thing. At the same time, Garcia has popped up a few times over this weekend and I haven’t seen much about him to get my excited. Not awful here, but it was a fine way to start off the show.
Here’s a guy named Scoot Andrews, who is billed as the Black Nature Boy. Andrews lists off all of his credentials on the independent circuit and…..I think he is here to introduce Lee Moriarty. Or maybe to find someone to beat him. The audio isn’t exactly the best around here.
Lee Moriarty vs. Steve Madison
Moriarty’s IWTV Title isn’t on the line. Madison, the hometown boy, comes out to Hearts On Fire from Rocky IV so we have a favorite. They go to the grappling to start with Moriarty working on the arm but getting taken down into a headlock. That goes into an early standoff and it’s Madison taking him down by the arm again. Moriarty flips out again and they stop to stare at each other again. More mat grappling goes to Madison but Moriarty is back up with an armdrag into an armbar.
Madison gets smart by snapping Moriarty’s throat across the chain and the chinlock goes on. That’s broken up and Moriarty slides over to hit a double stomp to the throat. Madison is right back up with a shot of his own and the Sharpshooter goes on. Moriarty turns that back around and grabs Madison’s fingers for a little snap. A Russian legsweep gives Moriarty two but Madison is right back with a backdrop driver. Moriarty enziguris him and hits a suplex into a Downward Spiral (that’s a new one but it worked) for the pin at 7:46.
Rating: C+. Moriarty continues to impress over the weekend and that has been very nice to see. This was another good wrestling match between two guys who were completely able technicians. Madison isn’t someone I’ve seen before (and commentary said he doesn’t wrestle often) but he seemed like a steady hand. Good match here, and that is becoming the norm for Moriarty.
Post match Andrews comes in to show respect….and then pulls Moriarty into a Fire Thunder Driver. Andrews drops the IWTV Title onto Moriarty’s chest, which commentary thinks means a seed has been planted.
So far so good at thirty minutes in.
We look at the history between Justin Kyle and Bruce Santee. They had some Super Fights, which seem to be them punching each other quite a bit. The first two fights were split so I think you know where this is going.
Justin Kyle vs. Bruce Santee
Good luck on telling them apart as they’re both big bald biker looking guys. Kyle starts swinging to drive him into the corner early but Bruce shoves him away, only to come up favoring his wrist. More rights and lefts have Bruce down on his knee but a Superman Punch is countered into something like a World’s Strongest Slam (not that this is a wrestling match in any way).
They fight on the mat for a bit before getting back up, where a right hand sends Santee outside. Santee beats up the chairs so Kyle hits a BIG dive to take him down. Chair shots to the back rock Santee again and Kyle is rather fired up. Back in and Santee hammers away but Kyle kicks him back, meaning it’s time for the big slugout in the middle. Kyle rocks him with a right hand so Santee says bring it so Kyle kicks him in the head for the knockout at 4:40.
Rating: B. I have no idea what to call this as a wrestling match but that isn’t what they were going for here. This was about two big bruisers beating each other down and that’s what we got here. I’ve never heard of either guy but it makes sense to have them do something like this. Good, fun brawl here and exactly as advertised.
Post match Santee grabs the mic and seems to show respect. Then he a drink.
The ring announcer tells the fans to stay away from the ring. I think.
Jon Davis vs. Dominic Garrini
Garrini has Kevin Ku with him. They go straight to the slugging it out in the middle with Garrini needing a second off some chops tot he bare chest. After about two minutes of chopping, Garrini kicks him in the chest instead so Davis does some of his own. Garrini finally starts a series of strikes to take over but Davis snaps off a suplex to send him flying
Some shots to the face and a few slams give Davis two but Garrini snaps off some strikes to the chest. A German suplex sends Davis flying and a running knee gets two. Back up and they trade elbows to the face until Davis STOs him down. The Shining Wizard gives Davis two and a powerbomb gives Garrini the same. Davis is right back with a heck of a lariat into a piledriver for the pin at 8:35.
Rating: C. This took some time to get going and they spent a lot of time hitting each other rather hard, which is about as interesting as something like this is going to be. Both of these guys have been around quite a bit over the weekend and they have gotten a bit of an upgrade. I’ve only seen Garrini from MLW and mainly in a tag team, while Davis has not been around for a bit but is making a nice showing for himself as the grumpy power guy.
Brandon Kirk vs. Danny Demanto
There are a bunch of weapons around the ring so here we go. Brandon has Kasey Kirk with him and they do not seem to be popular. Demanto seems to be more of a hit with the fans, though he might be a bit loopy. He also has a rather energetic guy named Mittens in his corner, because of course he does.
Kasey handles Brandon’s (her husband) introduction and the fans REALLY do not like her. Granted I can barely understand her but that seems to be the right conclusion. Demanto on the other hand is the “Tom Brady Of Banging Your Lady”, which is about as clever of a nickname as I’ve heard in the last four minutes. Kirk jumps him before the bell for two but Demanto reverses a whip to send Kirk outside. A bunch of chair shots have Kirk staggering around the ring and Demanto puts him on a table.
That means a top rope elbow to drive him through and they’re both down at ringside. Demanto hits him in the ribs and back with a baseball bat (after not being able to break it over his knee) and there’s a hard whip through a bunch of chairs. Now it’s time to get extra violent as Demanto takes some kind of spiked plate and elbows it into Kirk’s head, where it gets stuck.
That opens up the head so let’s pour some hot sauce in there for a bonus. Back in and it’s time to pour in some salt and lemons to go with the hot sauce. Demanto picks up a kendo stick but has to stop and swing at Kasey, allowing Brandon to get in a thumb tack wiffle bat shot. Another spike plate goes into Demanto’s head for a change and Kirk puts a keg between his legs.
With Demanto stuck, Kirk crushes said keg with a baseball bat for two. Both of them escape fireman’s carries until Kirk sends him over the top and through a table with what looks to be a bunch of cut open cans stuck to the top. We now pause because THAT WAS REALLY STUPID and Demanto can’t get up. Kirk helps him as well so Demanto hits him in the face, with commentary praising Demanto for being a piece of garbage. Kirk is laid on a door and a powerbomb/piledriver sends Kasey through Kirk through the door.
Instead of covering, Demanto flips off the camera as Kirk pulls himself back in. Demanto picks up a baseball bad with an empty water cooler container on the end and here’s Mittens to hold Kirk. The big shot hits Mittens by mistake though and Kirk’s lariat gets two. They fight over a suplex until Kirk grabs a small package for two. It’s time to slap it out from their knees but Kasey hits Demanto with….something to give Kirk the pin at 14:24.
Rating: D. This started off fun with Demanto having a bunch of charisma but then went rather weird with Demanto almost having a heel turn in the middle. The Kirks seem like a pretty despicable team and the fans really didn’t like them, but it was still not much to see with all of the hardcore and violence. More hardcore nonsense, but you had to know something like that was coming around here.
Post match Demanto grabs the mic and says he lost everything two years ago. He knows that he can always press the restart button and burn this place to the ground. So he wants everyone here who has ever been told no or who has lost someone to put up a middle finger. We get the ICDUB chant and he seems happy about something. Upon further investigation, Demanto is the owner of the company. That makes….a bit more sense I guess.
The ring announcer says they don’t have any hot food here so if you’re hungry, you’ll have to Door Dash it. Ok then.
Calvin Tankman vs. Dan Maff
These guys are rather large. They go nose to nose to start with Tankman talking trash. The chop off fires both of them up even more until Tankman knocks him outside. Tankman follows him out and gets sent through some chairs for the big crash. That’s fine with Tankman, who is right back to send Maff through some chairs as well. A chair to the back, as opposed to a back to the chair, keeps Maff in trouble, but another one just wakes him up.
Maff kicks him away and it’s time to set up a door. They hammer away at each other’s heads until they stagger around to opposite sides of the ring. Back in (for once) and they forearm it out with Tankman getting the better of things. A lariat is countered into a half and half suplex to drop Tankman though and a backsplash connects. Maff hits a lariat into a backbreaker but Tankman is back with a lariat of his own for a close two. It’s time to bring in a door and a couple of chairs to bridge it over, which can never go well.
A spinebuster puts Maff through the door for two more so Tankman needs some more chairs. Some fans throw one in, earning a warning from the ring announcer (“Please hand the chairs to the competitors.” That isn’t something you hear in your usual matches and that might be a good thing.). A bunch of chairs are stacked up and a powerslam onto said pile gets two on Maff.
With Maff out on the floor, Tankman hits a heck of a suicide dive to send him through another door for another two. Maff is back up and catches Tankman on top, only to get knocked back down. Tankman’s frog splash onto Maff onto the chairs…..gets two, as this has gone from beyond ridiculous to completely stupid. Maff slips out of a superplex attempt and hits something resembling a Cheeky Nandos kick. The Burning Hammer in the vicinity of the chairs finishes Tankman at 20:13.
Rating: D. Nope. This was a match that started off well as a good battle of the big men but then went WAY too far, to the point where it was so ridiculous. They had a bunch of big spots and the kickouts stopped being interesting and started being a joke about how the thing was never going to end. I was getting annoyed at this one and that should not be the case with a match that started off fun. They went about twice as long as they should have and it was a big miss as a result.
Post match they stare at each other and trade more chops as a show of respect. That might make up for a bit of the match. Tankman leaves and here’s Bruce Santee, in a “F*CK JOE BIDEN” shirt, to yell at Maff before their match in an upcoming one night tournament.
Weapons are loaded into the ring for the next match. Oh boy here we go.
The ring announcer requests that fans keep their masks up.
Jake Crist vs. Nolan Edward
This is Crist’s debut with the company and he kicks Nolan outside at the bell, setting up a suicide dive in the first seven seconds. They move some chairs around with Edward managing to kick him in the face and throw some chairs inside. Back in and Crist scores with a high crossbody and some kicks to the face get two. Edward is back with something like a McGillicutter into a Gory Stretch.
Crist is sent face first into one of the chains but kicks him in the ribs to break up a Bionic Elbow. A swinging belly to back fisherman’s suplex sends Crist through a door for two but he’s right back with a Death Valley Driver through another door for another two. Crist gets two off a spinning brainbuster so Nolan is back with a snapmare into some fast knee drops. A Stunner drops Nolan again and this time Crist pelts a chair at his face. Then he does it two more times for a bonus and Nolan is down again.
Crist puts him on top for a superplex onto a chair so it’s time to put a barbed wire board over a pair of chairs. Nolan gets caught on top and there’s a super cutter through the barbed wire board for two (and a very limited reaction). Another barbed wire board is loaded up over the chairs and, after pelting a chair at Nolan’s head, Crist….gets butterfly suplexed through the board instead, giving Nolan the pin at 12:03.
Rating: C-. This is one of the more frustrating shows in a long time as it’s the kind of thing that should make me mad but they’re keeping the violence at just a low enough level to keep the anger levels down with it. I’ve seen Nolan twice this weekend and haven’t been interested, though Crist is someone who can do some good things. He’s better with his brother, but his brother is kind of horrible outside of the ring and should have been dropped.
A lot of respect is shown post match.
After an ad break, Edward is still in the ring and has a seat while holding the microphone. Edward has been told that there is no such thing as a draw in wrestling anymore. That means a challenge to…..Sami Callihan. This would have been a bit better if the fans hadn’t chanted Edward’s nickname: No Flinch.
More weapons are loaded in for the main event, with the ring announcer again telling fans to get their masks up.
Neil Diamond Cutter/The Rejects vs. Carnage Crew/???
The Rejects (John Wayne Murdoch/Reed Bentley) and the Crew (DeVito/Loc) are….not important enough to individually name to start, meaning the video’s graphic has to help me out. The brawl is on at ringside without the Crew’s partner being out here yet. I also don’t think there was a bell but I can’t imagine it matters. Cutter hits Loc in the head and Murdoch bites him as commentary mentions the Crew’s partner (who I’ll save for a bit of a surprise). Cutter gets sent through a board in the corner and Loc hits a basement clothesline for two.
The brawling continues around ringside, including Loc stapling a dollar to Cutter’s tongue. Bentley puts DeVito through a door and we get a parade of weapons shows with no particular rhyme or reason. Loc takes Murdoch inside for a belly to back suplex and Bentley’s swinging Russian legsweep gets two on Cutter. Something like a Magic Killer gets two on Loc…..and we’ve got NEW JACK as the partner. The trashcan full of weapons goes into the ring, including the guitar over Cutter’s head to give DeVito the pin at 6:35.
Rating: D. As you might have guessed, this wasn’t about the wrestling or anything outside of the brawling as we waited on New Jack as the big special moment. Granted it might have been better had he been a mystery partner, but knowing who it is going to be and having then showing up in the end works as well. This was more of the hardcore match I was expecting but they kept it short so it’s hard to get overly annoyed. Totally not my thing, but you had to have a match like this from a promotion called NO HOLDS BARRED.
Celebrating ensues post match, with New Jack being about six inches taller than DeVito and Loc. The Rejects grab the mic and says this was about the violence as the Rejects faced the Carnage Crew for the first time ever. Bentley challenges them to a two on two match in the future but New Jack answers, saying he came here from North Carolina. I think he says he has been drinking all day, so you censored censored censoreds and various other censoring. The Crew accepts the challenge and New Jack throws a trashcan at the Rejects. New Jack’s theme music ends the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This show started off well enough and was even a nice surprise to get things going, but then it descended down into a lot more of what I was expecting. What surprised me here was that it never got all the way down into where some of these shows tend to go. There was even some good wrestling earlier in the show and that is always going to help things. The show certainly isn’t great and there isn’t much on it worth seeing, but I was expecting a deathmatch nightmare and got a fairly average show with some hardcore thrown in near the end. If that’s as bad as it gets, I can live with this.
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