This blog was created on a whim.
I needed a niche topic to blog about for a University of Iowa class, and seeing as how I never had time for anything else, my mind gravitated to either blogging about homework-efficiency tips or professional wrestling.
With connections already in place in the Iowa indy wrestling scene, it thankfully did not take me long to get Iowa’s Indies on its feet.
It was a one-man operation, though, and only survived because I was required to spend time working on it to receive a good grade. Even then, it was an adventure due to the indy wrestling promotions in Iowa being spread out and only being able to dedicate so much time and gas money to this project.
I do love pro wrestling, and I enjoyed what I was able to do for Iowa’s Indies. More time probably would have taken me farther than more money, but the ability to cover an event (the Iowa event fee saga) from its inception to its deliberation and its conclusion was immensely satisfying.
As it stands now, even going back to my previous blogging schedule, without even going to cover any events, is 4-6 hours a week that I simply do not have, and cutting down the quality of the blog posts for the sake of time is never an option and cheats the people who read it.
While I’m at it, some thanks are in order:
Thanks to all the wrestlers, promoters and various workers that I’ve spoken to or worked with in that four-month span last year. You were an immense help and the site definitely could not have gotten where it was without all of your input.
Thanks to the various corners of the independent/professional wrestling blogging network that dropped the Iowa’s Indies name to help get it some recognition. My apologies to Indy Power Rankings, an organization that went out of its way to welcome me in and a relationship that I wish I had paid more attention to during those months.
Of course, thanks to all the readers and fans who have been keeping an eye on the site even to this day. The #FF tweets, posted long after I stopped posting any material, brought a bittersweet smile to my face, and I wish that I could reasonably continue to devote time to making my readership happy.
Maybe this site will be back in business after my graduation from Iowa in August 2014. I don’t know that right now. This is goodbye for now, but if it’s also goodbye for good, thank you to everyone for all the support.
This video profiles 3XW’s co-owner Todd Countryman as the Athletic Commission weighs the decision to install a per-event fee on professional wrestling events. We also talk a little bit about 3XW’s birth and sustainability.
The above video was taken before the Athletic Commission lowered the event fee, so it’s already a little out-of-date, but that blurry camerawork never goes out of style (seriously, how did I not notice that when I was doing the interview?!?)
Technical and temporal issues aside, it was exciting to catch some 3XW action on film while also getting footage of the people behind-the-scenes, which as I covered in a recent post, was a breath of fresh air from what I’ve been used to in the state.
I also whipped up a sub-2 minute recap about the lowered event fee that highlights some reactions from Midwest Cage Championship promoter John Halverson and Impact Pro Wrestling senior referee and staunch anti-event fee advocate Billy J.
The image below will take you to an interactive map that compares Iowa’s new regulations to its border states — perhaps a handy tool if you’re an aspiring professional wrestling promoter!
Thanks to everyone at 3XW, especially Todd Countryman and Midnight Guthrie for their extensive help, as well as Pro Wrestling Battleground in Minnesota and Northern Outlaw Wrestling in North Dakota for help with the interactive map.
The Iowa Athletic Commission has heard the response of its citizens after November’s public hearing and there have been some modifications to the Commission’s initial Notice of Intended Action.
For all shows on or after May 1, 2014, a $100 event fee (reduced from $125) will be required for all professional wrestling events. For MMA/boxing/other combat sports, there will be a fee of $450/show (was $500 for MMA events and $750 for other covered events).
From the Athletic Commission’s updated document:
Some of the commenters believed that professional wrestling should not be covered by Iowa Code chapter 90A. … Most of the comments related to the event license fees. Commenters stated that athletic competitions are beneficial for young people and for small towns and that the event license fees would reduce the number of events. Some commenters questioned whether the athletic commissioner really needs additional funds to run the program, and others suggested alternative funding sources for the athletic program. … The event license fees have been reduced and the effective date for the event license fees has been delayed to allow the industry to adjust.
Other changes in the document not applicable to pro wrestling:
169.5(17) Obtain from a company authorized to do business in the state of Iowa $10,000 of health insurance coverage on each contestant to provide for medical, surgical and hospital care for injuries sustained and illnesses contracted during the event. If there is a deductible, it shall not exceed
Provide all equipment, personal protective equipment and gloves.Provide appropriate gloves.
With the exception of the event fee statute, all other items in the document will be enforced starting Jan. 15, 2014.
The indy feds in Iowa are starting to wrap up their 2013 schedule and a couple (Adrenaline Pro, 3XW) have already gone into hibernation until the new year. The weather outside makes me want to hibernate, too, so here’s a roundup of a little bit of everything. A grapplin’ potpourri, if you will.
- SCW Commissioner Sean Morrow will not be at SCW’s Season Beatings, but look who gets to take over the wheel.
- A bit late to the party, but matches like this four-way from AAW’s War is Coming featuring Knight Wagner and Matt Cage make me consider calling the site “Iowa’s Indies (but real talk Illinois is killing it)”. Also, I’m a sucker for spots like this:
- Quick addendum to my MAGNUM mega-post yesterday: Mikey Danger is at it again, getting a Devin Thomas promo cut on him in between songs of his bar performance. I’ve got to admit, I don’t see that too often. Props to Danger for not only giving Thomas the boot but plugging his album on iTunes in the YouTube description.
- It’s been 15 hours and counting since Levi McDaniel announced he was taking a steep chicken nugget challenge. Should…should we call somebody?
- If you haven’t listened to it yet, Shane Hollister was on the Weekly Wrestling Podcast.
In the lead-up to MAGNUM’s bi-state double shot, we saw a promo, counter-promo and parody promo for the MAGNUM title tussle between Mikey Danger and Hype Gotti last Saturday in Council Bluffs.
As it turns out, Danger got a crack at Gotti sooner than expected after winning the 10-man battle royal at the start of MAGNUM’s Oakland, Neb. show last Friday to earn a title shot at Gotti later that night. Maybe Hype needed the extra 24 hours of preparation as Danger prevailed with his Danger Driver to take the strap from Gotti.
The former champ was fired up the next night in Council Bluffs, challenging Danger to a rematch–after Gotti and Devin Thomas launched a a 2-on-1 beating on Danger, natch–and Gotti regained the title in the middle of the ring with Danger’s submission to the Gott-Cha.
After making MAGNUM Pro history, Gotti was humble in his victory–nah, just kidding:
Also, Hype posted a blog about his experiences this past weekend and it’s a hell of a read.
The next MAGNUM show in Council Bluffs on Dec. 28 will feature a six-man tag main event: Gotti teams with Jayden Draigo and Devin Thomas vs. Mikey Danger, Jaysin Strife and Tony Cortez. Another six-man tag on the card features Bo Gott, Duke Cornell and a mystery partner against Joey Anderson, Shawn Nautilus and another mystery partner.
Here’s an article from Curt Hineline of the Oakland Independent talking about the hardcore match between Donnie “Huska” Dodge and SM King–as well as a Wikipedia-esque explanation of pro wrestling for the Oakland crowd.
The free video from MAGNUM this week is a Battle Royal Cup match between Zack Sabre Jr. and Brian Gott.
Later this week: A look at what’s going on in the other indy feds in Iowa.
Post-Thanksgiving Recap of Iowa’s Indies’ Pre-Thanksgiving Shows and Previewing MAGNUM, IPW This Weekend
(That should be a good headline for SEO, no?)
It’s been a war with technology this week, as I’ve been trying to update this site with two rickety computers and some camera issues that I am still sorting out from the pictures I took at 3XWrestling last weekend.
That being said, last weekend was an adventure. Friday’s journey to Forte for 3XWrestling’s November Knockout 5 was a pleasant look into the Des Moines-area wrestling scene, which seems strong. 3XW’s show was bolstered by a raucous group of kids from a YMCA group that were wild all night from the opening match to the main event, where they berated the losing Killer City Kings team with a “Cheaters never win!” chant. I didn’t get a chance to see much wrestling after the second half of the show since I was filming a one-on-one convo with 3XW co-owner Todd Countryman for the aforementioned future project, but it was good to not only see some different wrestlers than I’m used to seeing on the eastern side of the state, but also interact with some fans.
Then it was on to Scott County Wrestling’s Vader Time on Saturday. Thankfully, the doors of the Walcott Coliseum opened on time, otherwise there would have been a line going well outside the vestibule into the cold November air. The attendance was around 250 by the time the opening bell sounded, and the crowd remained properly hyped right up to the big six-man tag with The Mastodon himself. The smart mark cynic in me questioned whether Vader would be the same man — the dude is 58, after all — but that was quickly dismissed with a red-hot start and finish to the match with Vader Bomb bookends and the Fallen Idol Army and Marek Brave/Shane Hollister doing their thing in-between. Perhaps my only regret was not capturing Christian Rose’s taunting of Vader on film, which was a bit closer to a crab walk than an insult to Big Van.
All in all, it was a blast to meet fans and/or readers of the blog, as well as all the wrestlers and staff that I conversed with over the weekend. Now if I could only start taking better pictures…
THIS WEEKEND: MAGNUMx2, IPW
MAGNUM runs a dual-state doubleshot this weekend with a show tonight (Friday) in Oakland, Neb. and one on Saturday in Council Bluffs.
Partial card for tonight’s Burt County Brawl in Oakland:
— Battle royal to determine Hype Gotti’s opponent for the MAGNUM championship later in the show
— Hardcore match: “Omaha Chainsaw” SM King vs. Donnie “Huska” Dodge
— “Strongman” Nate Anderson vs. Yellow Dog
And for Saturday in Council Bluffs — Men in Tights:
Finally, Impact Pro Wrestling will be putting on a Saturday matinee show at the IPW Vault in Algona, Iowa. At last weekend’s Vault show in Algona, Aaron Von Baron won the Vault title from AJ Smooth, but Ricky Love retained his IPW title against The Big Picture so admission to this matinee show is free, paid by Jerry Drako, head of the Coalition that includes Von Baron and Big Picture. The show starts at 3:30 p.m.
See you all in December!
I’m not dead!
Other life priorities have been getting in the way of me maintaining the Iowa’s Indies blog, and fortunately I haven’t missed too much, but with a lot of shows scheduled between now and the end of the month, it’s time to take a look ahead.
Friday: 3XW November Knockout 5 in Des Moines
3XW is holding their last event of the year, and it’s a stacked card. Tony Sly challenges Gage Octane for the 3XW Heavyweight Title, Team America and the Killer City Kings battle in a 10-man tag elimination match, Jimmy Rockwell defends the 3XW Pure Title against Rebelucha, among other matches. Also, they’ll be accepting donations for Toys for Tots and/or Feed The Hunger, giving a chance for fans to help those in need. And I’ll be schlepping my way up there from Iowa City tonight to put in some work on an upcoming Iowa’s Indies feature (more on that in the weeks to come). Baratta’s doors open at 7:00 p.m., first bell at 7:30 and for complete details, check out 3XW’s Facebook event page.
Saturday, Part 1: SCW Vader Time in Walcott
It is finally time. Vader comes to the Walcott Coliseum on Saturday for a six-man tag match as the Mastodon teams with Marek Brave and Shane Hollister to take on the Fallen Idol Army (Christian Rose, Markus Crane and Tyler Priegal). Matt Cage defends his SCW championship in a rematch with Nevin Knoxville, Gunner Franks and Jeff O’Shea tag up against Trik Davis and Jeff O’Shea to determine the #1 contenders for Crane and Priegal’s tag straps. If you absolutely cannot wait until Saturday to see Big Van, he’ll be at a free meet and greet at Blueport Junction (6605 W River Drive) in Davenport from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight (Friday). NOTE: The admission is $8, not $7 as was displayed in Iowa’s Indies’ upcoming events sidebar.
Oh, and I’ll be at this show, too. Come say hi!
Saturday, Part Deux: High Stakes at IPW’s Show in The Vault
IPW’s show in Algona Saturday comes with an interesting twist. The Big Picture and Aaron Von Baron, members of Jerry Drako’s Coalition, are already IPW Tag Team Champions. Saturday, Ricky Love defends his IPW Heavyweight belt against The Big Picture, and AJ Smooth is putting up The Vault Title against Von Baron. Drako has offered to buy every last ticket for IPW’s November 30th show if the Coalition does not hold all three belts by the end of the night. Contenders for Big Picture and Von Baron’s titles will also be decided Thursday in a #1 contenders match pitting The Playboy and Morbid Angel against Trueno Latino and Marshall Scott.
As mentioned above, I’m working on something big for a few weeks from now, tying in to the recent proposed Athletic Commission changes and all that fun stuff. Keep your eyes peeled, and I’ll try to provide a few more updates so we don’t have another dry spell like last time! Until then, I hope to see some of you out there #OnTheRoadAgain!
The folks at Indy Power Rankings, friends of Iowa’s Indies, have released their latest top ten. There aren’t any Iowa’s Indies regulars in the rankings this week, although names like Matt Cage and Shane Hollister have graced the rankings in the past.
I’ve mentioned the IPR in the past, but for those that aren’t aware, many voters and wrestling journalists scattered about the blogosphere contribute their top ten most impressive wrestlers of the week. In a sense, this helps to promote the wrestlers that are putting in high-quality work, week after week, as they roll around the country and the world.
In the interest of promoting this great weekly piece, and seeing as how Iowa’s Indies has a vote in the proceedings as well, Iowa’s Indies is proud to present the Rankings in their entirety, which can be seen in the press release below.
After this week’s public meeting in Des Moines, things are starting to become a bit more clear about the State of Iowa’s Athletic Commission and what it plans to do regarding the controversial proposed “event fee”.
APW’s Jeremy Hall (Jacobs) was there and fired off a few tweets (@apw_jam) after the meeting:
A day prior to the meeting, 3XW’s Midnight Guthrie, along with others, spoke with representatives from the Commission.
Some of the items Guthrie picked up from the meeting included that it would be 2-4 more weeks before a decision is reached on the proposal and its related changes, if any are made. Mauro has the authority to change the items from their initial proposal Mauro’s rep ensured that the response from the public would be taken into account. The Iowa House has a rules committee that will determine the fairness of the interpretation of any rules before anything is put into place.
“Looking at the taxes,” Guthrie said via direct message on Twitter, “it’s easy to see that much of wrestling is regulated by the Commission for the substantial tax benefits from ticket sales and sales tax that the state receives from WWE visiting 2-3 times a year.”
This is still a story very much in development, and I will try to bring all the information to the table as soon as possible. Regrettably, I was not at the public meeting to see things for myself, but if you were there and want to provide your take, send a direct message to @iowasindies on Twitter or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, here’s some wrestling links from around the state to get you through the weekend:
- Arik Cannon vs. Derek Cornell, the main event of MAGNUM Pro’s first show is now available for free on YouTube.
- Here’s your weekly dose of Hype Gotti, one of the busiest men on the interwebs in the Midwest, with a couple of promos about fruit: A 3XW promo about the highs and lows of eating bananas and a promo for MAGNUM where Gotti can’t stop talking about his plums. Bonus points to the MAGNUM video for looking like a fruit-induced fever dream with the image stabilization.
- Marek Brave and Tyler Black are collaborating for a throwback T-shirt commemorating The Black and The Brave.
- The flyer, complete with appropriate name, for MAGNUM’s next show in Council Bluffs.
- The second episode of SCW Champion Matt Cage’s webseries, Uncaged.
CORRECTION: The meeting Guthrie attended was with a representative for the Athletic Commission, not Commissioner Michael Mauro himself.
As promised, here’s an annotated version of the proposed changes to Iowa and its associated event fees and taxes that promoters have noted could result in indy wrestling shows ceasing to exist in Iowa. Reaction was swift to last week’s column about the matter, and some of those comments have been integrated into the comments on the proposal.
As a reminder, the public meeting regarding the proposal is scheduled for Wednesday (tomorrow), Nov. 6 at 1:30 p.m. at the Capital View Room, 1000 East Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa.