Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Inspire Pro Wrestling's Battle Wars Review

Just look at these handsome dudes
Photo Credit: Samantha Dupin
It’s been a week from the time Battle Wars took place and me sitting down to write this review and I’m still buzzing from it. I’ve been in such a great mood all week, just because of this silly little wrestling show. It’s almost pathetic how happy Inspire Pro makes me. I tweeted after the event that, excluding my wife, nothing brings me as much joy as Inspire Pro does. I look forward to it every month, which is why I hate it when they take those occasional months off.

It’s also why I’m dropping the $195 per ticket to attend Fun Fun Fun Fest in November, as they will be holding shows all three days of the outdoor festival (yes, another outdoor festival in Austin). We actually went last year and had a blast and we had initially planned to attend on Sunday only, as it has all the comedy we wanted to see. Once it was announced Inspire Pro was going to be there? Yeah, that’s something I’ll lay down some serious cash for (of course, there’s awesome music, comedy, and other such things to see as well).

Ordinarily, with a show this good, I would have written about it on the way home while driving, just to get all my thoughts out there. Instead, I just let the happy memories marinate in my brain all week, helping me get through any trying patches at work and the like. And so I sat down on this night and find myself unable to truly put into words my thoughts and feelings on Battle Wars.

Inspire Pro Wrestling is a live experience. You need to be in attendance for these shows to truly appreciate it, I think. That’s not to say you won’t enjoy the hell out of watching this show (or any of the past ones) on DVD or YouTube, because you will. The shows are phenomenal. It would be impossible to hate them. I’ve just never seen any through that means, so I can’t say how everything comes across through a filter.

You need to see, hear, and feel Inspire Pro in person.

My hope with this show, after people see it, is that folks will be willing to plunk down some cash for plane tickets or pile into a car and drive for ten hours just to see one of these shows. Funny, considering they sent talent to participate, but I want Inspire Pro to be the Chikara of the southwest. People travel from all over to attend Chikara events (especially King of Trios) and I feel Inspire Pro is every bit as amazing an experience to warrant that same type of fandom.

Typically, I would be breaking down the show match-by-match, giving my thoughts on the outcomes and the potential implications going forward, but this was a different show. There were a few storylines that progressed, but for the most part, this was just a great wrestling show, featuring some amazing talent from elsewhere. The show would have been great even without Dasher Hatfield, Icarus, Silver Ant, Fire Ant, and Teddy Hart (and let's not forget referee extraordinaire Bryce Remburg). It just would have, because all the shows over the year plus have been. But they just added something a little extra to the proceedings. You could feel it in the air as soon as you walked into the Marchesa Theatre. This was a big event, a big deal.

So, you don't need me to break it down for you. You just need to get your hands on a copy of the show. After you do that, make plans to start attending the shows. It'll be worth it. Shit like this happens: Killer McKenzie moonsault.

  • “Just” Stevo Reno defeated Dasher Hatfield and Tadasuke in Triple Threat Elimination Match
  • NWA Wrestling Revolution All Stars (Erik Shadows, Kat Green, Matt Riot, and Tony Strong) defeated The New Movement (Keith Lee, Cherry Ramone, Delilah Doom, and“Jiggle-O” James Johnson) in an Eight-Person Elimination Match
  • Killer McKenzie defeated The Great Depression by disqualification
  • “Centerfold” Matthew Palmer, Franco D’Angelo, and “Absolute” Ricky Starks defeated The Orphans (Zac Taylor, DG Taylor, and Sky de Lamicrosa)
  • ”Big Daddy Yum Yum” Byron Wilcott defeated Moonshine Mantell, Jake Dirden, and “Cowboy” James Claxton in The Hoss Bowl Challenge
  • Chikara Grand Champion Icarus defeated Inspire Pro Champion “Dirty” Andy Dalton
  • "Wildfire” Thomas Shire defeated “That Guy” Scotty Santiago and Teddy Hart to become the first Inspire Pro Pure Prestige Champion
  • ACH and Jojo Bravo defeated The Colony (Silver Ant and Fire Ant)
There was one problem, albeit a minor one, with the show. See, I’m all about the fans being able to say or do whatever they want (as long as it’s not the things Inspire Pro always mentions about being a homophobe, misogynist, racist, etc.), but when they are just trying to BE the show, it’s a problem. Unfortunately, I had the good fortune of getting to sit beside a couple of them.

A couple of them I’ve seen at all the Inspire shows and the ACW ones when we would go, and they weren’t so bad. Maybe drink a little more than they should, but that’s not for me to say or judge. No, it was a couple of other guys beside them who spent large portions of AN AMAZING 8-PERSON TAG to shout “Fuck Chris Trew!” over and over and over and over again. Trew LITERALLY did nothing in the whole match. He was there in support of his team, the people he hand selected to represent (plus Jiggle-O) and, from what I can remember, did not interfere but maybe once (and immediately got his commeuppance). Why focus all the attention onto the manager when a baller match is going on? It was very distracting.

That continued when they spent a lot of their time telling JT LaMotta that his suit was cheap (other fans did similar). He’s not in the match. You know, the match that HAS THE INSPIRE PRO AND CHIKARA GRAND CHAMPIONS IN IT!?!?!??!?!?! Yeah, LaMotta should not have been their focus. There were a couple of other instances as well, namely involving our esteemed ring announcer Brandon Stroud, but the point is, yeah, cheer, boo, chant whatever you want, but don’t try and be the show. No one cares about you. If you want the attention, get in the ring. Or just don’t come back.

I know that makes it sound like I want Inspire Pro to be exclusionary, but I don’t. I want everyone to enjoy this company, but when you make it about you, the fan, no one has fun. It’s the same at a WWE event where you sit right in front of the dude that has to comment on everything (usually the same thing over and over and over) and laughs at his own “clever” chants. Just… there’s no solution for this, ‘cause these people will always be around, in wrestling and other sports, it’s just annoying and I don’t want it ruining my wrestling shows.

And if you want to see some amazing photos from the event, please, PLEASE follow @JoelLoeschman on Twitter. Honestly, I kind of want to become a wrestler just so he can take action photos of me fumbling around like a dumbass.