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Larry SweeneyA Call to Arms 4: A Weekend-Long Celebration of 100 IWC Shows

It was the most action-packed star-studded unpredictable weekend in IWC history complete with red hot overflow crowds and an atmosphere and energy second to none. It was a weekend of spirit. It was a weekend of chaos. It was a celebration of all that is, was, and will be IWC – past, present, and future. From the internationally renowned stars that have passed through over the years, many of whom were fixtures in IWC years before their television debuts, to the homegrown full-time roster who make up the heart and soul of the company, to the unforgettable and breathtaking moments we’ve seen throughout the promotion’s history, A Call to Arms 4 was both the culmination and celebration of the International Wrestling Cartel’s very being, yet also but a small sampling of the memories, moments, and accomplishments that are yet to come.

Night 1 – A Tribute to Spirit

Three and a half years ago, three of independent wrestling’s most talked about stars gathered together for a first-time ever meeting. Twenty-eight months later, those same three men return to the scene of many of their greatest independent wrestling accomplishments, as international stars. “The Notorious 187” Homicide of LAX, “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels of Triple X, and one-half of the current TNA World Tag Team Champions “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles returned to IWC to re-new and re-live their classic battle. Tonight, it was Homcide realizing a long-time goal by scoring his very first ever IWC victory, pinning Styles with the Gringo Killer.

The 2006 Feud of the Year, and rivalry 2 and a half years in the making, culminated in what may very well have been the final meeting between Low-ki and “Fabulous” John McChesney. Both men put their 1-1-2 record against one another on the line to finally decide the better man in a series that began at Super Indy 4. It took Low-ki two consecutive versions of The Warrior’s Way from the top rope to put away the Fabulous One and score the victory in this non-title bout. Low-ki was the victor, but McChesney, in this series, no doubt accomplished the goal he set his mind to way back at Super Indy 4, to prove himself as being on Low-ki’s level.

What may have been the safe bet for show-stealer of the weekend did not fail to deliver when Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin, The Motor City Machine Guns, collided with perhaps the most underrated tag team in wrestling, M-Dogg 20 & Josh Prohibition, The Burning River Brigade. Both teams have a rich history with one another as both rivals and partners, with Shelley & Sabin quickly becoming arguably the most cohesive duo in wrestling despite only having teamed together regularly for the past six months. The MCMGs made their individual return and collective debut in IWC count, using one of their rapid kick combos to down the former 2-time IWC tag champs.

On the subject of tag team insanity, fans were treated to another in a critically-acclaimed serious of fast-paced, high-octane, adrenaline-fueled multi-team tag team matches, this time being the first ever in IWC five-way tag team match. Eric Xtasy & Justin Idol of Sexual Harassment outlasted Johnny Gargano & Michael Façade, Babyface Fire, The Gambino Brothers, and lastly the Cleveland Mafia to win the match and solidify the fact that Sexual Harassment has ironed out their differences and are perhaps a better team now than ever before. After the match, J-Rocc offered his apologies to Ray Rowe for the miscue between the two that cost them the match, and told Rowe that, out of fear of screwing up once again, he would not be ringside for Rowe’s championship cage match the next night.

Perhaps the most violent rivalry in IWC history was revisited when longest reigning IWC champion in history and former Unholy Alliance leader Shirley Doe met former Unholy Alliance member and current Dennis Gregory associate Sebastian Dark. Both men brutalized one another all over the building onto bleachers, walls, and any object around them. Doe needed not only the Sillyhead 2 but a move he refers to as Order 66 to pin the double-tough Bastard Son of 1000 Corpses.

The most emotional rivalry, and 2006 IWC Match of the Year was revisited as well, when Super Hentai met Troy Lords. Much like their Last Man Standing Match some 13 months ago, tensions and tempers continued to escalate throughout the match until both men were practically killing each other and themselves in order to come out on top. Super Hentai was able to best his former student on this night, but the real question is this: Have Hentai and Lords finally gotten their anger and bad blood for one another out of their system, or will there continue to be tension and confrontation whenever Lords and Hentai find themselves on the supposed same side of the battle against The War Machine or anyone else?

Two top title contenders, “Havana Pitbull” Ricky Reyes and Davey Richards met in a classic battle of hard strikes and submission wrestling. Richards was able to accomplish something so few men before have, making the ultra-tough Reyes tap out to Richards’ Kimura Lock.

“Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney was able to gain momentum leading into his cage match, defeating former champion Delirious in a unique match to say the least which saw everything from traditional wrestling to a proposed strut-off.

And in a tribute to the men who helped pave the way for today’s IWC stars and help establish the company and its championship as a prestigious entity, yours truly had the privilege of introducing and recognizing some of IWC’s greatest champions from the past, including Powerhouse Hughes, Jimmy Vega$, and Dean Radford. Current champion Dennis Gregory immediately turned the segment into a one-man show upon his introduction, bragging about being the only four-time champion ever and proclaiming himself as better than all others in the ring.

Night 2 – Controlled Chaos

Dennis Gregory was considerably less overconfident at he entered the steel cage to defend his IWC Title against “The Baddest Man in IWC” Ray Rowe. This was Gregory’s environment, it was warfare, it was a battlefield, it was the environment that he shined so brightly in at No Excuses 2, however there would be no way for anyone to help Gregory with 15 feet of steel surrounding him. Ray Rowe brought a reluctant J-Rocc with him to ringside, as Rowe insisted J-Rocc be there for his moment of glory. J-Rocc opted to take a seat at the commentary position and watch on. Gregory was resourceful enough to use the cage as a weapon, but when Rowe had the opportunity to unleash his vicious array of suplexes, the tide turned. As Rowe seemed prepared to escape the cage and win, Brent Albright, Sebastian Dark, and CJ Sensation of the War Machine emerged and caught Rowe, ramming his head into the cage and depositing him back inside. As J-Rocc chased the War Machine away, as well as John McChesney who also became involved, Gregory’s dominance in the ring was only temporary. Once Rowe again made a superhuman like recovery, he was ready to escape the cage. Just then, a betrayal. J-Rocc, Rowe’s partner, trainer, and best friend for nearly the past two years, slammed the cage door on Ray Rowe’s head, an impact that was so hard the solid steel cage door literally broke off from one of its hinges. Rowe was out, allowing Gregory to pin the fallen challenger to once again barely sneak away. As J-Rocc gloated over a fallen Rowe, Rowe began showing signs of life, which led to the Big Daddy of Destruction making a quick exit. Once both members of the former Cleveland Mafia left, Gregory began to gloat. But he opened his mouth too soon.

Promoter Norm Connors had told Gregory that Gregory would leave the cage with the IWC Title “over my dead body”. Connors made the revelation that Gregory, as a result of an open contract Gregory had made some weeks ago. Connors revealed the opponent as the chords of “Enter Sandman” filled the arena. The 5 time former ECW World Champion made his trademark entrance and Gregory’s second title defense inside a cage was underway. While Gregory fought for his life, the damage had been done, and with the White Russian Legsweep, The Sandman became the NEW IWC Heavyweight Champion! Just then, the lights went out again, and when they came back on we saw… Daivari?? The former WWE competitor unleashed a verbal tirade on The Sandman in a foreign tongue, then assisted Gregory in an attempted beat down of the champion until Too Cold Scorpio saved his one-time tag partner Sandman.

NEW Tag Team Champions were also crowned as Jason Gory & Shiima Xion finally avenged months of pain and torture inflicted at the hands of The Gambino Family and their cronies. The match had everything from blood to breathtaking risks to the violent effects of hundreds of thumbtacks. It was an effort and an emotion that defies description and justice in words. Two of the brightest young stars in wrestling today overcame the powerful and dangerous Gambinos to reclaim their place at the top of the mountain as IWC Tag Team Champions. Despite tazers, nightsticks, champagne bottles, and home invasions, the hit put out on the careers of Babyface Fire was officially unsuccessful.

The Super Indy championship cage match saw John McChesney attempt to use the same strategy he used to originally capture the Super Indy Title from Sweeney this past July, as much like their previous encounter Sweeney’s head was deeply and severely lacerated, this time from the steel cage. Back in July, McChesney was able to prolong the match and withstand Sweeney’s assaults until Sweeney lost so much blood he became too weakened to fight. McChesney’s similar attempts were not as successful on this night. Sweeney battled through the blood loss, forcing McChesney to resort to tying Sweeney to the bottom rope with a leather belt, and attempting to escape over the top of the cage. Sweeney was able to free himself and made his way through the door, but the leather belt plus the blood loss led to McChesney being a hair quicker, and escaping with his title. Sweeney’s 5 months journey back to the title had come down to just 5 seconds, as McChesney barely escapes ahead of Sweet & Sour.

“The Samoan Submission Machine” Samoa Joe added another story to his headline-making week with the defeat of Too Cold Scorpio with his trademark musclebuster. However, Joe didn’t realize until the match had concluded that Scorpio had been tripped up from the top rope by none other than then-IWC Champion Dennis Gregory. Scorpio had interrupted one of Gregory’s diatribes earlier in the evening, and announced he was setting his sights on the IWC Title as well, which Gregory certainly did not take kindly too. Gregory may have marred this match and made an enemy out of Scorpio, but Too Cold and Samoa Joe still had a respectful embrace after the match.

The show stealer of this evening was without a doubt IWC’s Past, Present, and Future ten-man tag, which featured anything and everything in over 20 minutes of one of the most unpredictable battles in recent memory. Shirley Doe, Super Hentai, Troy Lords, Dean Radford, and Michael “The Bomber” Façade defeated “DeeeLicious” Jimmy DeMarco, CJ Sensation (making his in-ring return), Sebastian Dark, Jimmy Vega$ and the debuting Teddy Fine. Team Doe had piled the bodies of their opposition in the center of the ring and jumped on top, making what was perhaps professional wrestling’s first ever ten-man pinfall attempt. However, Jimmy Vega$ reminded us all of why he was IWC’s first ever 2-time heavyweight champion, muscling nine bodies off of his before succumbing to a surprise rollup.

Ricky Reyes met Davey Richards in a rematch from the previous night, and showcased why he is a former IWC Champion. Reyes was able to not only trap, but defeat Richards with Richards’ Kimura Lock, the very same hold Richards had tapped Reyes out with the night before. Reyes vs. Richards may very well be the most even series we’ve ever seen in IWC and is no doubt far far from over.

IWC’s match of personalities also provided some unique moments, as the jittery and paranoid “Showtime” Eric Young battled the man from the Edge of Sanity Delirious with former multiple time IWC Tag Team Champion Glenn Spectre serving as special referee. It was perhaps the most psychological and most bizarre match in quite some time, with even referee Spectre getting involved in the action. Delirious was able to score the victory, which led to an equally bizarre group hug after the match.

When “The Franchise” Shane Douglas stepped into an IWC ring for the first time in well over a year, he was prepared to call out the man who’s spent 3 and a half years taking credit for running Douglas OUT of IWC… Bubba the Bulldog. However, Douglas never expected what would happen once he and Bubba were face-to-face. For all that Shane had done in this business, for all the positives he contributed to it, and for all that he had done for a young Bubba the Bulldog a decade ago, Bubba simply had to say “Thank you.” The locker room emptied to honor Shane with the respect that he has earned time and time again over his storied 20+ year career. A clearly emotional Franchise addressed the locker room and fans and showed his appreciation and support for the IWC roster and what they do each and every month. The Franchise was also the same old Franchise when it came to having a live microphone, and covered many other controversial topics that will not be printed here. However, a deserving touching moment for a legendary figure in this business.

Sexual Harassment continued their winning ways into this night, besting 2-time former tag team champions, the timeless duo of “Wild Eyed Southern Boy” Tracy Smothers and “Hi-Flying” Chris Hamrick, Southern Comfort. The match even included a classic Tracy Smothers/Eric Xtasy dance-off, however no amount of dancing could save Smothers from Eric Xtasy’s chokeslam and the ensuing pinfall.

“The Shooter” Brent Albright, the hired gun of the War Machine, defeated “Double C” Claudio Castagnoli in Claudio’s attempt at one more crack at the War Machine after having been narrowly defeated by the crafty Dennis Gregory two months ago. Albright proved how dangerous he can be in all areas of the ring, by repeatedly striking Claudio in the head with his exposed knee until Double C could continue no more.