On October 5th, 2014, two organizations came together in Austin, Texas to celebrate what professional wrestling is all about. Competitors from both sides met in battle, giving it their all in an attempt to showcase what their organization represented. In the end, it’s safe to say that no one will soon forget the night that was NWA Inspire Pro Wrestling and Chikara Pro Wrestling presents BATTLE WARS. Let’s take a look at all that happened.
Photos Via Joel Loeschman Photography
BATTLE WARS started with an EXPLOSION with a triple threat contest between the newly single Steve’O Reno, Chikara Pro’s Dasher Hatfield and a mystery opponent that was revealed to be former Chikara Young Lions Cup Champion Tadasuke. All three competitors started things off fast and furious, putting forth some truly innovative offense. Steve’O and Tadasuke even brought their own sporty sides to counter act Dasher’s. However, Dasher would score the first elimination of the match on Tadasuke, leaving it down to him and Steve’O Reno. The back-and-forth between these two set the bar for the evening, and was a clear contender for match of the night. After multiple attempts to secure victory, it was Steve’s wishbone-like submission hold that forced Dasher to tap, giving Steve’O Reno one of the biggest wins of his career. Sadly, this exciting moment was interrupted by his former partner in The Hollywood Knives, Bradley Axel Dawson. Again, Dawson put in a beatdown, only this time Steve’O was able to get his hands on the load he was forced to carry for months. It was only for a moment though as Bradley bailed to the outside, allowing Steve’O Reno to issue a challenge for Fun Fun Fun Fest. Bradley would accept as Steve’O Reno made the promise that there could only one Hollywood Knife left in Inspire Pro.
NWA WRESTLING REVOLUTION ALL STARS (ERIK SHADOWS, MATT RIOT, KAT GREEN & TONY STRONG) DEF. THE NEW MOVEMENT (CHERRY RAMONES, KEITH LEE, DELILAH DOOM & “JIGGLE-O” JAMES JOHNSON) W/ CHRIS TREW.BIZ IN AN 8 PERSON ELIMINATION TAG TEAM MATCH
We would then see two groups of young athletes wage their own war against one another, as Chris Trew.biz’s assembly of wrestling prospects known as The New Movement faced an All-Star Team from NWA Wrestling Revolution in McAllen, Texas. It was clear from the onset that all eight competitors were not just trying to obtain victory, but make a huge impression in front of one of Inspire Pro’s largest audiences to date. Many agree the effort they all put forward did just that. But, the big question would be whether or not The New Movement could work as a collective unit. In the early goings, it was obvious the factor that Trew’s unit would rely on the most was Keith Lee – the largest and strongest of all eight competitors. Realizing how much of a dominant force Lee was, it was clear that the strategy for the stars of Wrestling Revolution was to utilize double team and triple team maneuvers, knowing that no one man would be able to topple this mastodon. Among the stars from McAllen that gave it their all was the debuting Tony Strong, who impressed early, delivering a pelé kick to the back of the head of Keith Lee that took him down to the mat. However, it wasn’t enough to score an elimination, as a vicious elbow from Cherry Ramones and an assisted splash from Delilah Doom eliminated Tony. Delilah, clearly pumped and ready after many hours of “Sweatin’ To The Oldies” with Richard Simmons, would then take it to Kat Green, only to be caught and nailed with what Kat calls “Nine Lives,” a butterfly hold transitioned into a vicious facebuster. Just like that, Delilah was sent packing and Green wasted no time knocking Cherry Ramones teeth into the second row with a running yakuza kick. However, Keith Lee would knock both Shadows and Riot off of the apron, leaving just him and Green standing across the ring from each other. James Johnson would make an attempt to talk his partner down, only to be launched halfway across the ring for his troubles. However, Kat would not cower, taking it directly to Keith Lee and even scoring with a top rope missile dropkick, enough to stagger Lee. Kat Green would go to the air once again, only to get caught by the much larger Keith Lee and sent crashing down to the mat with an earth shattering powerbomb, scoring another elimination for The New Movement. But, it was more than noticeable that the actions of Keith Lee deeply angered James Johnson, who let out that anger by hitting his own tag team partner with the O-Face from the top turnbuckle. A series of high risk maneuvers later from the team of Shadows and Riot, and Keith Lee’s shoulders were down just long enough to be ruled an elimination. Cherry would quickly make up for the loss of their heavy by eliminating Matt Riot with the assist of the ropes, only to be nailed with a shiranui by Erik Shadows, making this contest a one on one affair. Erik Shadows and James Johnson, the sole survivors for their respective teams, would then fight it out with all they had, with James scoring a two count after a diving elbow drop. However, the issues between Trew and Johnson would be The New Movement’s downfall, as James was caught off guard just long enough for Shadows to capitalize and pick up the definitive win for his team. With an impressive win over a group that came in to BATTLE WARS with tons of momentum, there is no telling how far the stars of NWA Wrestling Revolution will go in Inspire Pro.
Next was a battle between two monsters, Inspire Pro’s resident destructive force The Great Depression and the debuting Killer McKenzie. These two were at each other’s throats back in July at NO TURNING BACK, having to be restrained by staff members and their compatriots. Now, these two were let off of their leashes and who knew what kind of chaos would occur. However, McKenzie seemed to have come prepared as he brought “Mad Dog” Ken Johnson along with him, possibly to counteract the lurking presence of The Great Depression’s brother, The Red Scare. Much like in July, both McKenzie and Depression went straight for one another, brawling around the ringside area attempting to tear the other apart. When things got back inside the squared circle, it was clear that The Great Depression was meeting one of his toughest physical tests since he first walked through the doors. McKenzie was even able to muster the strength to scoop slam Depression, something nearly unheard of. McKenzie would look to finish off his adversary in a huge way, scaling to the top turnbuckle and unleashing a gigantic moonsault with no water in the proverbial pool. However, through the curtains came The Orphans entering the ring to square off with all four involved. Then, the three would set their sights on McKenzie and Johnson, but not before tossing a very similar red shirt to The Great Depression, who began to put it on. Just like that, the ring was cleared and Sky de Lacrimosa, Zac and DG Taylor were standing side by side with The Great Depression and The Red Scare.
Before things could get any more out of hand, The Orphans opponents for the evening, Ricky Starks, Franco D’Angelo and Matthew Palmer, made a b-line for the ring to kick start this trios contest. Both Taylor brothers and Sky de Lacrimosa may not have had the experience of Palmer, the strength of D’Angelo or the conditioning of Starks. But, they instead relied on their teamwork and pack like tendencies in order to gain an advantage against a team of Inspire Pro’s best. However, once their opening was given, Starks, Franco and Palmer would clean house, taking apart The Orphans one by one. The unparalleled strength of D’Angelo was to his advantage as he was able to one arm press slam both Taylor brothers, sending DG into the knees of Matthew Palmer and setting Zac for a massive diving famouser from Ricky Starks. Starks would even take things to the outside onto The Great Depression, who then fleed from the ringside area, dragging a reluctant Red Scare with him. A Franco D’Angelo assisted Centerfold Splash later and The Orphans were sent packing, leaving this Inspire Pro dream team to stand tall.
We kicked off the second half of our event with the Inspire Pro debut of NWA North American Heavyweight Champion “Big Daddy Yum-Yum” Byron Wilcott, competing in a match of his own construction, the first ever NWA Inspire Pro Hoss Bowl Challenge. But, it was clear from the onset that Wilcott was not the only one looking to make an impression, as all four bruisers went full force from the start. As Wilcott and Claxton exchanged inside the ring, the unpredictable and uncontrollable Dirden began throwing Moonshine through rows of chairs at ringside, making this one chaotic encounter. Mantell would eventually rebound though, taking the fight to the three larger competitors while showcasing his unexpected athleticism. But, not to be outmatched, Wilcott would get a bit athletic himself, diving outside the ring and wiping out his adversaries. Eventually, it was Byron Wilcott that picked up the win, making his debut in Inspire Pro a successful one. But, as Claxton and Dirden seemed to not be finished, Wilcott would talk them down and show his respect for all three athletes, particularly Mantell who was the smallest of the four. To celebrate what Wilcott called the resurgence of the heavyweights, he offered a round of drinks on him, which was enough for Mantell, Dirden and Claxton to put the fight behind them and reciprocate that same mutual respect.
It was then time for the second of our three inter-promotional matchups, this one pitting our brand new Inspire Pro Champion “Dirty” Andy Dalton against Chikara’s Grand Champion “The Winged Ring Warrior” Icarus. But, this much anticipated contest would be halted by the sound of “The American Psycho” Lance Hoyt’s music. For weeks, Hoyt had been threatening ring announcer Brandon Stroud through social media, vowing to make an uninvited appearance at BATTLE WARS. And Hoyt, true to his promise, would sneak in through the front door, grabbing a hold of Stroud and attempting to egg on a fight. Hoyt would even give Brandon the chance to get the first shot in, only to renege on his offer and throttle Stroud by the throat in a scary sight. Luckily before things could go from bad to worse, Icarus made his way through the curtain to take on Hoyt head on. This valiant save was met with a signature big boot by Lance Hoyt, planting Chikara Pro’s crown jewel.
It was then that Andy Dalton would emerge with JT Lamotta in tow, looking to capitalize in record time to top his title win at RELENTLESS. However, Dalton would underestimate the heart and determination of Icarus, who would not go down that easy. The match was on, as Dalton would attempt to use every tool in his book, including his good friend JT Lamotta, who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty as well. But, no matter what Dalton was able to bust out, Icarus would find the strength within him to kick out. Icarus would even mount a slight comeback, scoring his “Blu-Ray” Death Valley Driver variant in the corner, but not being able to put Dalton down for a three count. It was then that Icarus would lock in the Chikara Special, a submission maneuver that only few within Chikara know how to properly escape. Lamotta would attempt to insert himself once again, a move that was Dalton’s only hope. However, the “Mind Of Wrestling” was promptly stopped thanks to a superkick by former Inspire Pro Champion Matthew Palmer, leaving Dalton with no choice than to tap out. Palmer would help the victor up to his feet in a sign of respect, before delivering a stern warning to Dalton and Lamotta, promising to come for the championship that was swiftly taken from him back in August.
Originally scheduled for BATTLE WARS was to be the first time meeting between Scot Summers and the debuting Teddy Hart. However, Inspire Pro executive Justin Bissonnette would emerge from the curtain to make the announcement that while Hart was in the building ready to compete, Summers was unable to make it to The Marchesa Hall & Theatre due to travel issues. But, Biss would go on to promise the audience that they would still receive their moneys worth, as he revealed the contents of a bag he had brought to the ring. Within in this bag was something now known as the Inspire Pro Pure Prestige Championship, a fully recognized and sanctioned championship designed to uphold what Summers tried to fight for with his World Class Championship. While Summers could not be in attendance to contend for this championship, Biss was able to find two young, hungry competitors looking to make an impression and fill Summers spot. Those two were none other than “That Guy” Scotty Santiago and “Wildfire” Thomas Shire, who came to the ring prepared to do battle with one of the most innovative professional wrestlers of this decade in Teddy Hart. And what a battle it was. With a mix of technical wrestling and daredevil acrobatics, all three competitors gave it their all in an attempt to become the first ever Pure Prestige Champion. Scotty Santiago would take a brunt of the damage from both Shire and Hart, being able to muster the energy to kick out on numerous occasions. In the end, it was Thomas Shire who would go on to capitalize, pinning Scotty’s shoulders to the mat and achieving championship glory in Inspire Pro. Even a defeated Teddy Hart would raise the hand of Shire in a massive showing of respect, ushering in an era for prestige in Inspire Pro.
With the dust settled from that epic encounter, it was then time for the main event of the evening. What better way to close out an event featuring the stars of Chikara Pro Wrestling, then with Chikara’s most decorated tandem, The Colony? And who better for them to face then two of Inspire Pro’s best, JoJo Bravo and ACH? All signs pointed for this tag team attraction to be a truly memorable contest, and it surely did not disappoint. Early on, both Fire Ant and Silver Ant exhibited not just their own personal abilities, but their unmatched teamwork and synchronicity. And while it seemed The Colony would dictate the pace of this contest, Bravo and ACH dove into their old playbooks and history, utilizing the lucha libre style of wrestling that they first adopted and mastered during their time in professional wrestling. However, things would break down between the two teams, in a form of chaos you could only see from the stars of Chikara. Even referee Bryce Remsburg got involved in the action that kept the audience on their edge of their seats in laughter. Things would then pick up to high speeds once again, as each man went into their book of tricks to try to obtain victory, finding little success. But, after Silver Ant and ACH were wiped out on the floor, JoJo would bust out something never before seen in Inspire Pro, or quite possibly any professional wrestling event, something he refers to as the “Inspire Pro Special”. With Fire Ant trapped in the center of the ring, this new submission maneuver would spell victory for Texas and Inspire Pro Wrestling, as the crowd in attendance gave all four men a standing ovation. Fellow Chikara stars Icarus and Dasher Hatfield would join them, showing their respect to not just ACH and JoJo Bravo, but to everyone in attendance as well. The Grand Champion Icarus then made the promise that this would not be the last you see of Chikara Pro in the realm of Inspire Pro Wrestling, a promise that was fully welcomed by all that bore witness to BATTLE WARS.
The next time you will be able to see Inspire Pro Wrestling action will be during the 3 Night extravaganza that is FUN FUN FUN FEST down at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas. Inspire Pro will be delivering its brand of pro wrestling on all 3 nights along with musical performances from the likes of Judas Priest, Wiz Khalifa, Nas and so many more. So keep on the lookout for announcements on matches and talent signed in the coming future. To get your passes and see the action live, go to funfunfunfest.com!