Mid American Wrestling
Date: September 1, 2002
Location: KP Classics, Big Bend, Wisconsin
This appears to be a rather small promotion but the thumbnail is CM Punk talking so there should be at least something decent here. I know a few names on the card, but there are some that probably didn’t make it much higher than this. You never know what you are getting from something like this though so let’s get to it.
Keep in mind that I have never seen any of this promotion before so I apologize for missing any storyline or character points. The lack of commentary isn’t going to help either.
Scott Marciano vs. CM Punk
Marciano has some guy and a tall blonde in a short dress with him, while Punk has Dave Prazak to even things out a bit. Before the bell, Punk says a bunch of stuff that I can’t pick up (keep in mind that this is an outdoor show so the audio isn’t great) before saying this will be like old times. Prazak gets the mic and joins Marciano’s Shoot World Order, which causes Punk to end their friendship. Punk says the blonde doesn’t know what this is about, meaning it’s time to explain the idea of straightedge meaning Punk is BETTER THAN YOU.
We get the bell as Punk takes him down into a chinlock, which is reversed into a headlock. Punk switches back into a headlock, followed by an STF. Marciano’s comeback doesn’t last long as Punk slams him down and grabs something like another STF. That’s broken up so they fight over a suplex, with Punk hitting the delayed variety for two.
Prazak is smart enough to low bridge Punk to the floor, where the other guy who came to the ring with Marciano gets in some cheap shots. Back in and they trade rollups before Punk suplexes his way to freedom for a double knockdown. Marciano starts kicking at the legs but Punk sweeps Marciano down. A running knee looks to set up the Pepsi Plunge but the other guy at ringside breaks it up. Instead Punk grabs a Texas Cloverleaf for the tap at 8:47.
Rating: C. Not much of a match here, but you can see the charisma dripping off of Punk, even if it is at a smaller show like this one. Having the angle tacked on at the beginning like this was a little weird, but Punk won pretty convincingly anyway. Marciano was fine enough here, though I didn’t see much in the way of shooting for someone who is part of the SHOOT World Order.
Colt Cabana vs. Ace Steel
For some reason the match order is wrong on the video’s listing but there didn’t seem to be a cut. Cabana would be 22 years old here (and he looks even younger) and is facing one of his trainers (not an uncommon practice). They take their time to start with Steel backing him into the ropes for a clean break. Steel sends him into the corner so Cabana has a breather on the apron.
Back in and Cabana grabs a full nelson of all things, only to get sent to the floor this time. With the holds not working, Cabana misses a running elbow and gets chopped into the corner…as a plane seems to drown out the limited sound for a bit. A knuckle lock doesn’t go well for Steel but he reverses into a headlock as the technical off continues. It’s off to an exchange of armbars but Cabana is back up with a springboard….something to drop Steel.
Cabana starts going after the knee, including a series of stomping and what looks like a kneebar. We’ll make that a spinning toehold but Steel is up again. This time Steel tries a jump over him out of the corner but gets caught in a half Billy Goat’s Curse (that’s a new one). Steel gets to the rope and grabs the arm to pull Cabana down into I guess you would say a reverse Koji Clutch. With that not working, Steel rolls him over for the cradle pin at 13:04.
Rating: C+. This was a much more technical match and you can tell that Cabana doesn’t exactly have the most experience at this point. You also didn’t get to see much of what would make Cabana famous, which is rather strange to see. That being said, what we had here was a nice match with two guys who were able to have a good technical exchange. Yeah Steel was probably walking him through it, but what else is a trainer for?
Post match Steel needs a chair to get out. Cabana says he has no shame in getting pinned by Steel and offers to buy the beers tonight. Not for him because he doesn’t drink, but sure for Steel.
The ring announcer brings out the Furies, who won the Tag Team Titles last night. The Furies (Mitch Blake and Rick Walsh) bring out a guy in an OLD SCHOOL shirt to yell at him, but here are two guys from behind to jump the champs and beat them down. Some shouting suggests that these two are the former champions, better know as the Old School Express (Jason Dukes/Skull Crusher). They wreck one of the champs’ knees and shout a lot before walking off.
Chuck E. Smooth vs. Jarrod The Jackal
Jackal, who cackles a lot, takes Smooth down without much effort and slams him for a bonus. Back up and Smooth elbows him down, setting up a nasty kick to the back of the head for two. Jackal sends him into the corner though and takes over, only to miss the top rope splash. That’s enough for Smooth to grab a quick rollup for the pin at 4:26.
Rating: D+. This wasn’t very good and didn’t have time to get better, though the only thing that stood out was Jackal’s cackling. It felt like there were out there to fill in time and that they kind of did, albeit not much as they weren’t given a ton of time to make it work. Granted neither exactly stood out here as they were both fairly small but didn’t wrestle much of a cruiserweight style.
ODB, with Dave Prazak, comes out for a match with a woman but says she wants to fight a man instead.
ODB vs. Ken Anderson
This is pre-WWE Anderson but you would know that hair anywhere. Anderson says he isn’t doing this but gets kicked in the gut (or maybe lower) and the bell rings. Back up and Anderson is able to kick her out to the floor, meaning frustration is setting in. ODB takes him down without much trouble but gets rolled up for two, which just annoys her more.
A gorilla press attempt is countered into a rollup to give ODB two but she is right back with a testicular claw. ODB’s falling top rope splash misses though and they’re both down for a bit. Anderson tries a powerbomb (with ODB’s trunks being pulled in various ways) but gets rolled up instead. The annoyed Anderson hammers away in the corner, though he has to alternate between Prazak and ODB). The Swanton Bomb is enough to finish ODB at 5:05.
Rating: C-. This was treated as a regular match without a ton of gimmicks so it could have been a lot worse. It’s bizarre to see Anderson as such a young guy without the confidence and character that would make him as famous as he was. ODB was far smaller here than she would become and while the other stood out more, this was a better fit for her as she looked more like Beth Phoenix than anyone else.
Adrian Serrano vs. Brad Bradley
Serrano is the other guy who was with Marciano (who is here, with the blonde and Dave Prazak) earlier. Bradley is better known as Jay Bradley, who has bounced around for a LONG time. Serrano gets thrown around a few times to start and wants a breather in the corner. The much bigger Bradley wants a test of strength and even drops to his knees to make it easier.
Serrano accepts and then Bradley accepts to take him down. A suplex gets Serrano out of trouble but Bradley boots him out to the floor. Serrano gets smart by going after the knee though and kicks Bradley down a few times. That doesn’t work for long on a big guy though, as he catches the kick and cranks on the leg a bit. That doesn’t work for long on a submission guy though, as he switches over to an ankle lock.
Something like an STF goes on but Bradley is up again. Prazak gets on the apron for a distraction, allowing Marciano to get in a shot from behind. Serrano grabs a choke in the corner, with Prazak on the apron so long that the fans are chanting BORING. With Bradley finally passing out, the referee turns around and calls it at 9:24.
Rating: C-. Bradley is a big monster and I can see why he has been around for so long. That being said, the ending was such a mess and the fans weren’t happy with what was going on, as they shouldn’t have been. It went so far beyond the point of being realistic that it was just stupid, which doesn’t make for a good ending. The SWO seems to be a big thing around here, but unless Punk is one of the top names, it doesn’t make a ton of sense to have what seems to be one of their top guys lose in the opener. Either way, not a terrible match here, but I wasn’t getting much from it.
Post match the SWO spray paint Bradley’s chest just to hammer the point home that much more.
Tag Team Titles: Old School Express vs. The Furies
The Furies are defending but one of them has a bad leg. Apparently the injury to (I think) Rick Walsh is so bad that Mitch Blake is going to go this alone. Blake is ORDERED to hand over the titles but he hits Jason Dukes in the head instead and starts fast. An armdrag into an armbar has Dukes down and we settle in a bit. Dukes gets out and heads up, only to get slammed back down.
Skull Crusher shoves down a slam attempt though and it’s Blake in trouble for the first time. The double teaming is on, with the bigger Skull Crusher slamming him down and grabbing a Boston crab. Dukes even shoves Crusher back onto him and they switch places to keep the crab fresh. Crusher drops a knee to make it even worse before grabbing a t-bone suplex. A backbreaker gives Dukes two but here is the limping Walsh to stand on the apron.
Dukes takes his own shirt off and starts slapping his chest, drawing one of the best reactions of the night. Blake fights up and slugs away but refuses to make the tag to the injured Walsh. That just earns Blake another beating but he fights back again, which this time is enough to warrant the tag.
Walsh manages to send them into each other but a shot to the knee brings him back down. The knee is wrapped around the post and the screaming is on, made worse by a spinning toehold from Dukes. Make that a Figure Four from Crusher, followed by another (and worse one) from Dukes to keep things moving. That’s finally enough for Blake, who submits for Walsh at 12:39.
Rating: C. The action wasn’t great, but they had some good storytelling here as Walsh fought through the knee injury as well as he could but his body ultimately gave out on him. That’s a classic story and it worked well here, even if it ends their title reign after one day. Crusher and Dukes are a weird team as it’s like Moose and the Blue Meanie teaming together, minus Meanie’s charisma. Still though, not too bad here.
Here is the Commissioner, whose name I can’t hear, but he is happy that the main event is anything goes and cannot be stopped due to blood. He is also happy that there are some nice people in IWA, including their champion, who is willing to come wrestle around here. This brings out IWA World Champion Chris Hero, who seems to be a good guy this time.
Chris Hero/Dysfunctional vs. Corporal Robinson/Ian Rotten
Anything goes and Dysfunctional’s (smoking) manager is happy that they are going to get to hurt Rotten. Hold on though as Rotten isn’t sure if he and Robinson are on the same page. Robinson swears a lot, which seems to be an affirmative. After Rotten says he’s looking forward to hero trying to get more bookings from him in the future, they go to a test of strength and headbutt each other, with Hero switching to a waistlock.
Rotten gets in a few shots but is knocked into the corner, allowing Hero to take him down into a seated abdominal stretch. That stays on for a bit until Hero starts working on the leg. With that broken up, Robinson comes in as this isn’t exactly insanity so far. Hero knocks Robinson down as well and there’s a kick to the back. It’s already back to Rotten, who pulls up Hero’s shirt and starts headbutting away as things pick up a bit.
A Stunner drops Hero and it’s back to Robinson, who gets taken down by the leg. Dysfunctional comes in for the first time and starts kicking at the leg but Robinson hands it back to Rotten for a (very delayed) Razor’s Edge toss. Some chops, to the chest and the back, followed by some shoulders to the ribs in the corner. Robinson distracts the referee, allowing Rotten to do….absolutely nothing illegal. A chair to the head rocks Dysfunctional and another one busts him open.
Rotten bites at the cut as this is painfully slow so far. We go back to the wrestling with an abdominal stretch, followed by a Banzai Drop for no cover. Robinson’s brainbuster gets two and it’s back to Rotten for right hands to the head. Note that there are minutes going on between anything big, as this is a ridiculously slow match as they’re just walking around between a lot of the moves. Then Robinson turns on Rotten as Hero is gone for some reason.
Robinson and Dysfunctional start double teaming Rotten….and now Hero beats up Dysfunctional. Everything breaks down and the partners are fighting each other on the floor. Back in the ring, Hero backsplashes Dysfunctional as Rotten clotheslines Robinson on the floor. Rotten starts chairing Robinson down before going inside to dropkick Dysfunctional. With Hero and Robinson on the floor, Rotten hits an elevated double underhook DDT for the pin on Dysfunctional at 21:50.
Rating: F. This is a failure in two parts, which is pretty hard to pull off. First of all, you have just how bad things were before we got to the wacky parts. The match was moving as slowly as anything I can remember for a VERY long time and that didn’t make me want to keep watching. Instead of doing anything good here, we got got two guys who don’t seem to have the most intricate arsenals doing bad looking stuff in slow motion for well over ten minutes.
Then the partners started beating each other up because of course they did. I’m going to assume that this is something that would be better explained if you were around more often, but that didn’t exactly help when I’m watching for the first time. Absolutely terrible match with people who didn’t know how to work a match this long, capped off by insanity that DESPERATELY needed some kind of explanation.
Post match the beatdown continues, with Dysfunctional and Robinson taking out Hero. Then they take Rotten over near some big platform and put him on a table, with Robinson diving off to put him through said table on the gravel. Robinson’s (I think?) manager pops up to say that Bull Pain is going to destroy Rotten at the next show. Then we spend a few minutes watching Rotten getting up as Robinson is helped off after doing something so stupid. Then Hero shows up with a chair to check on Rotten to end the show.
Overall Rating: D. Even taking into account the low level atmosphere, this show was a chore to sit through, especially after the awful main event. You get the feeling that they would take just about anyone and put them on the show, though that is kind of the point of a smaller company like this. The usual suspects stood out and you could see charisma in certain places, but there was a lot of fine tuning to go and it showed badly in places. Not a good show and I can see why this place wasn’t that well known.
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