By Kari Williams
With Mickey Garagiola, Larry Matsyik and Harley Race in attendance, MMWA-SICW celebrated the 50th anniversary of Wrestling at the Chase in style at the East Carondelet Community Center. Surprises came up throughout the night, from the opening bout to the main event, and one can assume that every fan left the show with something to talk about.
The Connection’s Manager Travis Cook and Shaft waged war with “Night Train” Gary Jackson and the SICW Security Guard Jim Brown. Jackson was suspiciously absent as the match started, leaving Brown to fend off Cook and Shaft by himself. The tenacious team pummeled Brown until Jackson ran from the locker room to aid his ailing partner. Upon Jackson’s arrival, Brown and Jackson slowly gained the upper hand. Despite Brown’s lack of wrestling training, he held his own against Shaft and Cook. After illegal tactics and double teams from The Connection, Brown astounded the fans when he pinned Cook’s shoulder’s to the mat. Cook had gone for a double axe handle from the top rope while Shaft held Brown, but Brown ducked and rolled up Cook for the pin.
Former allies turned to bitter enemies when Jeremy Lightfoot took on ‘Wild Child” Billy Diamond. Before the match began, Diamond and Lightfoot’s arguing prompted the referee to make the match ‘anything goes.’ Neither man gained a clear advantage, but rather, they seemed more focused on punishing one another. Victory aside, Diamond and Lightfoot wanted to brutalize one another, which they did, using the ring and the kendo stick Diamond carried to the ring as weapons. At one point, Diamond rammed Lightfoot into the ring post, causing Lightfoot to bleed profusely. In the end, Lightfoot connected with the Lightfoot Driver and both men were unable to answer the 10-count, causing a double count out. Afterwards, Diamond said, “I was wrong,” to Lightfoot and they appeared to reconcile.
The Connection’s Dave Vaughn put his Junior Heavyweight Title on the line against Jaysin Static in the preceding bout. Vaughn had to fight to keep his belt on this exchange because Static’s willpower was at an all-time high. The contest began as a back and forth technical battle, but the moment that Static began to overpower Vaughn, Travis Cook tried to call for a time out. However, Vaughn pushed through, and when Static leapt over the top rope onto Vaughn, that seemed to awaken Vaughn to the fact that his title could slip away. Once the two men made their way back to the ring, Vaughn would not relent in his attack, and he walked away as a champion after delivering the spear.
After intermission, Destiny Diamond and Waco teamed up to take on Junior Heavyweight Champion A.J. Williams and Women’s Champion Alexis Lightfoot. Destiny and Waco started the match off with a bang, as they attacked their opponents from behind to try to gain the early advantage. However, after a miscommunication between the evil duo, Williams and Alexis took over. Destiny was clearly the more dominant of the females on this night, which she proved in her attacks—especially the resounding chops—on Williams. In the end, Williams’ skill and Alexis’ determination lead them to victory. After Waco and Destiny had words in the ring, Waco appeared to threaten Race, who had been sitting ringside. This act of disrespect prompted Race to knock Waco to the ground, much to the delight of the crowd.
Lumberjack Andy took on Natas, with Lumberjack Allen at ringside. Andy started the match off on the right foot, which allowed him to dominate Natas for the entire bout. Just over the five-minute mark, Natas showed signs of life, but Andy quickly stopped his potential comeback with a big boot to the gut, soundly defeating Natas.
Matysik and Race spoke fondly of the glory days of Wrestling at the Chase, which Race wholeheartedly attributed to Sam Muchnick. Inbetween Matysik interviewing Race, Simmons received phone calls from Gene Kiniski and Baron von Raschke, who were put on speaker for the fans to hear.
Preceding the St. Louis legend’s words, Bobby D had his hands full with The Battle Royal Champion Big Texan. The SICW faithful escorted D to the ring with chants of “Rainbow Warrior!” which may have set the stage for the bout’s outcome. Texan viciously dominated D from the opening bell, but D would not go down without a fight. His determination and will became apparent when he surprised Texan with a dropkick to the back in hopes of changing the momentum. However, Texan emerged victorious, looking more dominant than ever.
Matysik introduced Garagiola to the fans inbetween the opening and second match. Garagiola reminisced in his unique fashion and proceeded to tell everyone in attendance, “I hope that someday we’ll cross paths again with Wrestling at the Chase.”
Moondog Rover took on Lumberjack Allen (with Lumberjack Andy) in a match littered with Rover’s dog-like tactics. Almost every time Allen tried to control the bout or use an offensive maneuver, Rover bit him. Being such, Andy did what he could in the form of distracting the ref to give Allen an advantage. Near the closing moments, Allen slowly began to will himself forward, Andy interfered, but with little success. Rover quickly attacked Allen’s knee, but Andy’s support must have helped Allen more than the fans realized. Just over the 10-minute mark, Allen pinned Rover for the win.
At the beginning of the show, SICW Promoter Herb Simmons spoke of Wrestling at the Chase’s history and said that the evening’s show was history in the making. He then introduced Matysik, who had kind words for the audience prior to the first match.