It was hyperactive night of incredible wrestling action as IWA East Coast put on yet another spectacle last week in South Charleston. Shoots And Ladders featured a rematch from last year, and a tremendous visitor from the East, as the South Charleston Community Center hosted nearly 300 fans of blood, guts, and mayhem. Here’s the recap, with photos by Nick Gatens.
The evening opened with IWA’s darling, Mickie Knuckles, venturing outside of the women’s division to take on Ashland’s Juggulator. Despite a valiant effort, Mickie was not able to overcome the outside interference by Jugg’s sidekicks, Crowza and Woody Numbers. After the match, Ian Rotten rescued Mickie from a 3-on-1 beatdown, and challenged Juggulator to a “Loser leaves IWA EC” match at the next show, on June 7.
The second match of the night saw the team of Trik Nasty and JD Escalade take on the unstoppable monster, Warpig. Warpig won, after his handler, Dr. Max Graves, paid Escalade to abandon his partner. The score between Nasty and Escalade will be settled at the next show.
Next up, we had the terrifying Bull Pain facing hardcore legend, Ian Rotten. Bull Pain was intense, and had half the crowd shaking in their boots. Rotten was unfazed, and more than held his own against his frightening oppenent. After a brutal match that saw the Community Center’s walls baptized in blood, Ian emerged victorious. After the match, Bull Pain managed to terrorize several ringside workers and ring announcer Christian Harper.
In the first of three marquee matches, former ECW World Heavyweight Champion, The Sandman, returned to face the inebriated luchadore, El Drunko, one year to the day after their legendary match at IWA East Coast’s “Happy Hour Hatred.” Sandman was in the best shape he’s been in years, and both guys knocked themselves out putting on a great show for the fans. Sandman evened the score with a win, hopefully setting up a rubber match somewhere down the road.
The “Hell Match” was next on the card. “Mr. Insanity” Toby Klein, defeated Mad Man Pondo after smashing him over the head with a steel chair that had illuminated light bulbs attached. This match went all over the arena, and really gave the fans their money’s worth. After the match, Pondo was attacked in the ring by two mystery men wearing prison jumpsuits. 2 Tuff Tony, Pondo’s tag team partner in Japan, made the save, and the next show will see how well these guys can fair in a two-on-two tag team match.
The evening wound up with an acrobatic tour-de-force between IWA East Coast champ, Chris Hero, and Dick Togo, a legend in Japan who has wrestled in the WWE as part of Kai En Tai. Togo is a phenomenal, high-flying technical wrestler, and Hero was able to match him move for move. These guys really put on an exhibition for the crowd. Hero retained his championship, but after the match the crowd cheered both men, and chanted “Please Come Back” at Togo, who rarely works in the United States these days. It was a rare treat to see him live, and I hope that he decides to come back someday.
As usual, it was an amazing, entertaining night of blood, guts, beer, and wrestling, courtesy of IWA East Coast.