IWA Mid-South - Charlestown Freakshow Review by Robert Trail

Charlestown, Indiana
Saturday, July 25th, 2015

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This was one of those shows where Ian had some big ideas, and they just didn't work out as planned. He wanted it to be a sort of carnival thing, with games and a dunking booth, but it didn't happen. He was hoping to have midgets on the show, but they didn't make it. However, the real reason I wanted to go to this show was to see a no-rope flaming barbed-wire match, which did happen!

The show started off with a local Louisville freakshow guy who called himself Shawna the Dead. He was entertaining, but the highlight of his performance was when my homie (yes, I'm old-school...or just old!) Tyler Becker was pulled from the crowd to be a volunteer (despite his cries of "I don't wanna be a volunteer!"...hahaha!!) He got into the ring and nailed a hammer into Shawna's nose.

Shawna had two other performers with him. One was a guy who rode around on a unicycle while playing an accordion....and fell off ("BOTCH-A-MANIA!!!"). The other was a chick who did a rather cool fire act. As I said, it was entertaining, but between my years of going to deathmatch shows, being part of The Brigade back in my days of going to Dresden Dolls concerts, and seeing the actual Coney Island Freakshow in Brooklyn, New York, there wasn't much that I hadn't experienced before. But still, I enjoyed it! Now on to the wrestling.....

Aiden Blackheart vs. Slade Sludge

I'd seen Blackheart before at CCW shows, but I had never seen Slade. Someone needs to take this dude to Denny's and feed him a few Grand Slam Specials. There's no way that guy weighed more than 100 pounds. Most of the match was somewhat comedy spots, but the memorable part was when Blackheart locked Slade into a Boston Crab. Slade was on the middle turnbuckle and Blackheart was on the top rope. However, Slade's counter to this maneuver was to stick his finger into Blackheart's ass! Yeah, this was a disgusting match. It got worse...the finish was when Blackheart trapped Slade's head between his legs (face down, mind you) and Slade passed out. Blackheart won, and I felt like throwing up in my mouth...NEXT!!!

Randi West vs. Bryant Woods vs. Kathy "The Butcher" Owens vs. Ian Rotten
(Barbed-Wire Boards and Light Tube Bundles Match)

For some reason, Thunderkitty was the guest ref, but the real surprise here was when "The Beautiful People" played, and out came Ian Rotten. The match was a decent brawl. Lots of tubes were used, but honestly, it was a little rough to see some of the spots because I had a board in my way....gee, I felt like I was at any Tournament of Death again.

At one point, Woods pulled out his bear trap gimmick and clamped it to Owen's tit while Ian held back her arms. The spot itself was nasty, but her screams of pain made it even worse. Later, Woods picked up Ian on his shoulders for a Death Valley Driver, but his leg gave out and he went down in obvious pain. Ian then grabbed West and suplexed her into a board quickly, and I overheard him say something like "Stay down!" as he pinned her for the win. Everyone rushed to check on Woods as he was obviously hurting pretty bad.

After the match, Ian put Woods over huge! He talked about how next month, Woods is going in the have hip replacement surgery, and Woods has said that he'll be back to wrestling in two months. I hope that happens, but having been around people who've been through that, all I can say is good luck! Ian then told Woods that once he gets back into the ring, his home needs to be IWA Mid-South, and gave him a big hug. Woods is one sick fuck and a super-cool guy, so it'll be good to see what he does once he gets his leg fixed up.

Ian talked about how the midgets cancelled, but then made a much bigger announcement. He now has a new building for IWA, starting in September!

JC Rotten (w/ CJ Hatler) vs. Zodiak (w/ Jason Saint)
(Coffin Match)

This was supposed to be a thumbtack coffin match, but instead, the coffin had light tubes in it. JC came out dressed as The Joker (from Batman...not Joker from CZW) for some reason.

This match wouldn't be described as a great technical contest. Both guys were pretty sloppy, but still, it was a darn good match. They used all kinds of crazy weapons on each other. The action was back and forth, with both guys doing a good job of teasing going into the coffin. JC even pulled out skewers (that he bought from Masada, I guess) and both guys ended up with some of them stuck in each others heads.

Jason Saint got involved, and at one point, CJ was about to give him a DDT into a pile of thumbtacks, but he got away. Later, Saint climbed up on the ring, and CJ pulled him down and chased him around, only to have Zodiak knock him out when he ran around a corner. CJ fell HARD onto the concrete and broken glass, and cut his arm open.

In the end, Zodiak knocked out JC, chokeslammed him into the coffin and closed the lid for the win. When they got JC out, he was cut up pretty bad, and bleeding a lot. All in all, it was a really solid match that was much better than I expected it to be.

Mitch Page vs. Reed Bentley
(Bed of Nails Match)

At this point, it started getting dark, and it got harder to see what was going on. Bentley and Page really laid into each other and were hitting some really stiff shots. Bentley used a spike on Mitch at one point.

They brawled into the crowd. Bentley pulled out a wooden board and threw it into the ring. Then, he strapped Page to a wooden cross that was covered in barbed wire and whipped him with a studded belt. Once they got back into the ring, Page got Bentley down, took a large nail and a hammer, and nailed Bentley's foot to the wooden board. It looked like he just drove the nail through the toe of his boot, but later, Bentley was hobbling around with his boot off and his obviously bleeding foot taped up...so I don't know if that was legit or not.

In the end, Page laid Bentley onto one of the bed of nails and did a Vader Bomb on top of him for the pin and win. Again, not a technical match, but it was entertaining and pretty darn violent.

John Wayne Murdoch (w/ Reed Bentley) vs. Corporal Robinson (w/ Mitch Page)
(Flaming Barbed-Wire Ropes Match)

For some reason, they set the towels on fire before Murdoch even came to the ring. Once the match got going, it was stiff and very brutal. Both guys beat the living shit out of each other. Each of them went into the wire, but luckily not into any of the parts where the flames were ablaze. Still, whenever one of them would hit the wire, it caused the fire to get bigger. Quite a scene to see! At one point, Corporal hit Murdoch with a flaming fist (like Rollin' Hard used to do) which led to Murdoch setting his own elbow pad on fire.

One of the craziest spots was when Bentley gave Murdoch a piece of flash paper and a staple gun. Murdoch then stapled the paper to Corporal's head and lit it on fire. It went up in a large, Jerry Lawler-esque fireball. Then, at another point, Murdoch poured lighter fluid on Corporal's boot and lit it ablaze. The end came when Murdoch set Corporal up for a flip piledriver near the barbed-wire on a side that wasn't on fire. However, Corporal reversed it and hit a "Boot Camp" onto Murdoch, dropping him through the wire and into a stack of chairs beside the ring. They crashed hard, and the ref counted three on both guys, calling the match a draw.

The crowd started chanting "FIVE MORE MINUTES!", and both guys wanted to keep going, but Ian calmed them down and got on the mic. He put the match over as one of the most brutal matches in IWA Mid-South history, which is saying something. Personally, I don't know if I'd go that far, but still, it was a brutal, brutal match and luckily, both guys seemed to come out of it without any lasting scars or injuries. Despite the ending being a bit lame, it does set up a future match between the two.

So, that was it...just 5 matches, but for what they were, the show was pretty solid. Most of all, it was a fun afternoon!