IWCCW

Always enjoy reading Maffew’s UWF reviews, as knee deep in s--- as he often is with it. 1991 was the year I became a wrestling fan too, so I entered into picking up Inside Wrestling and The Wrestler and PWI as well as the official magazines. Finding out about the UWF and GWF and USWA and the like was strange to me without the TV access to them, but definitely fascinating.

At the same time, I also became aware of IWCCW, which previously had been ICW, run by the Savoldis. A few WWF guys like Tony Atlas and Tito Santana were getting extra bookings there with their stars fading. They weren’t the only ones, so when I saw something particularly corny I thought I’d put together a companion review to come out alongside the Fury Hour.

A semi-introduction…

ICW promoter Mario Savoldi and WCCW heir apparent Kevin Von Erich, all bridges burnt, announce the formation of IWCCW, where anybody can come (but very few do). Kevin mumbles and stumbles his way through the announcement, probably looking off camera for a man with a white bag.

Something courtesy of Bill Apter…

Interview with the Boston Bad Boy Tony Rumble, a stalwart of the promotion, who started as a wrestler, then became a manager, then back to a wrestler because he was too big to be a manager. Big Gary Hart influence in his speaking style. Bill, not unexpectedly, is a bad interviewer, trying to do some Mean Gene questioning stuff, but not knowing when to make his interruptions properly. Rumble talks up Tony Atlas while Apter tries to cut him off. Hulk Hogan is even name-dropped as someone that he and Atlas want to challenge, not that they’re even in the same promotion. Apter walks out for a flat ending. Yeah, I’m not a fan of “Wonderful Willie”.

Next, another person I’m not a fan of…

It’s Taz, who’s a babyface, with bare feet and a singlet, only half his face painted, in his debut. Big Rick Steiner influence with the goofy behaviour. Sonny Blaze, New York jobber, is his opponent. Nice snap suplex after some running around. Big clothesline. The sound quality is terrible on this clip, with the announcers sounding like they’re underwater. Samoan drop sets up a splash off the top for the pinfall. Quick squash, no issues with it, although Taz was as green as his paint.

Something I’ve looked at before now…

IWCCW was a stopping off point for some stars who weren’t with the big companies and were up for a booking. Tony Rumble speaks to photographer and journalist George Napolitanos about who has the best neckbreaker and who is the greatest WWF intercontinental champion out of the Honky Tonk Man and Ravishing Rick Rude. George is going to go with Rude, because he was also the World Class heavyweight champion, trying to make a spurious link to the promotion that this group has taken some of its name and idents from. Honky comes out to protest this while Rumble tries to get calling the kids at ringside “rugrats!” over in the pantheon of insults. Rick Rude, babyface by default, comes out with some Street Fighter II-level dialogue: “Honky Tonk, you are great… a great, big FOOL! Let’s get in the ring and get it on right now!”. Honky takes a powder while Rude waits for him with his robe off. Nothing happens, and the match never happened either.

Time to reproduce TNT…

Brian Webster joins Captain Lou Albano in the kitchen for a birthday meal, starting off with preparation of “unborn virgin lamb”, mushrooms, egg, basil, garlic, parsley and tomato sauce. Lou is a slob, with his chef attire covered in stains and throwing everything in with his bare hands. Fade out and fade back in, Brian is enjoying the cooked meal.

More interviews…

Bill Apter speaks to Surfer Ray Odyssey, who it seems like his name was often out there but never really made it. He does his Spicoli impression with a cockney twang and kisses Apter’s ass. He just rambles and fixates on Bill’s jacket. I always got the impression that this guy had to be a light heavyweight because of his small yet dumpy size, but had no high flying moves to back it up.

Total cheek…

Superstar Billy Graham tells us not to drink and drive, because you might knock someone over, possibly even him! Billy would just brush into one and then launch a lawsuit to pay for another hip replacement. He was probably on something doing this.

Here’s what dragged me down the rabbit hole, pure narm…

Dated as 1985, but has to be later in the decade given the dilapidated inclusion of one person. Mario Savoldi, in a lame sweatshirt, claims a satellite hookup to Bob Backlund’s home, with Backlund talking like he’s on speed, asking about seventeen questions before Mario can answer one. Mario says they have a clip they need him to see, which is an Iron Sheik interview. Guessing this has to be between 1988 and 1991. He claims he paid off Arnold Skaaland with money and oil to throw the towel in. Before Bob has even heard all of it he kicks a table out of the way and falls to the floor in dejection, severing the satellite link. Mario offers a monotone “Let’s return to action” response after they pick back up. Who asked babyface Bob to do any acting? Jeez!

Finally, the best of IWCCW from 1991, which runs 25 minutes and probably is twenty minutes long…

Mondo Kleen vs. Al Phillips

Kleen was somebody known to me before he went to the WWF as epic failure and JOBBER Damien Demento, but I’ve never seen him wrestle in this incarnation. He tries a leapfrog, but Phillips doesn’t get all the way under and clips his head on the knee. Flying shoulderblock, then a bunch of stuff where Phillips runs off the rope into stuff like a big boot and clothesline. Neckbreaker and jumping kneedrop with the exposed knee for the win, his WWF finish. Don’t really know what Phil Theis was thinking as far as his psychology, which was out of 1970.

Tazmaniac vs. Ted Streeter

Streeter is just some plain jobber, but Taz is much more into the caveman looks with the frills and singlet and black and white makeup. Overhead Tazplex and a powerbomb off the ropes. Steinerline-like clothesline and Samoan drop off the ropes, then a lift into the electric chair drop, the original Tazplex. Pretty dominant win, just harder to take the old man seriously at his diminutive height, even though HOOK could be shorter and still be awesome.

Advert for arranging fundraisers with IWCCW, with stars such as Ivan Putski, Bob Orton, Ken Patera, Rick Rude, Honky Tonk… I think you have better chances of seeing the also-announced Curly Moe and Mondo Kleen or even Gary Glitter, who they played Rock & Roll Part 2 of underneath.

Ray Odyssey vs. ?

Ox Baker is on commentary, ranting and rambling. Odyssey gets a nice dropkick and plays to the crowd, while the babyface commentator buries him. Slam and missile dropkick finishes off whoever off, seeing as he wasn’t named.

Tony Atlas vs. Vic Steamboat

Yes, this is a legitimate brother of Ricky. Joined in progress twenty minutes in. Was Atlas going for a MC Hammer deal with the baggy workout pants look he used in the early nineties. Steamboat gets two off a sunset flip, then a small package for the same. He tries a flying chop off the second rope, and he’s to Ricky as David is to Ric Flair as far as body language. Flying cross body block, to further rip off big brother, but Atlas rolls through it to win the title. Made Ricky’s quick loss to Honky on TV look like Steamboat/Savage at WrestleMania III by comparison.

Melting it down: As in the opening video with Savoldi and Von Erich, the premise was that if they built it then they would come. Well, they didn’t build it well, so nobody came. I guess it gave some people work, but it was s---.