Friday, January 20, 2023

The Night ATX Wrestling Scene Changed

Jerry Lynn, Rachel Summerlyn, and Scot Summers together for one final time
The Austin independent wrestling scene still vibing with soon to be four feds running along the wrestling school in the area. It remains one of hot beds in indy wrestling scene as talent from in and outside the state coming in to work one of the shows. How did they get there? Let's go back to 10 years ago on January 20, 2013 when the scene took its major shift.

Anarchy Championship Wrestling held their flagship ship Guilty by Association 7. A sold out crowd crammed The Mohawk to watch one of final matches of retiring Jerry Lynn who is in his final leg of his retirement tour. He took on "Showtime" Scot Summers in a rematch from Guilty by Association 2 as well previous shows before GBA2. The show highlighted with, in my opinion, the greatest ACW match in history between ACW hardcore champion Matthew Palmer and ACH which I've dubbed the hardcore mat classic. J.T. LaMotta announced after his match against Jason Silver this will be his final year wrestling full time and set his sights against Jimmy Jacobs as his final opponent (note: it didn't end well). ACW TV title match between the late Shawn Vexx and Davey Vega fighting for current ROH women champion Athena affection only for Athena to cash in her no.1 contenders title shot and beat both of them at same to show both of them she's not property and is her own person while becoming TV champion. The schedule match between ACW heavyweight champion Rachel Summerlyn and Darin Childs never happened as former champion Jaykus Plisken jumped Childs before the match and insert himself in the match. Summerlyn would dispatch Plisken. Then the main event between Lynn and Summers as they gave the crowd a finale with Lynn winning. Just when fans think they're getting a happy ending, Evan Gelistico and Gary Jay of Submission Squad ambushed Lynn and Summers with Lynn getting handcuffed to the rope leaving the crowd shocked. Gelistico called out Rachel Summerlyn to put the ACW heavyweight title up immediately or he will kill Lynn. Summerlyn did and within minutes Gelistico pinned Summerlyn to become ACW heavyweight champion in front of a shocked and angry crowd. Gelistco and Jay had fight their way through the crowd on the way to back as fans would sneak in punches to their body. When all is cleared this shot I took turned out be iconic. It's the final time The Godfathers and Godmother of Anarchy appeared together in the ring as they gave their speeches.

Behind scenes was reportedly chaotic before and during show with so many variations tossed around. At the end Rachel Summerlyn left ACW. She would wrestle few more matches before leaving wrestling altogether. Another person to leave ACW after the show is Justin Bissonette citing burn out. I remember watching the DVD of this show after Gelistico won the belt, J.T. LaMotta doing commentary for the match mention the lines of changing landscape in wrestling. He predicted it.

What changed? ACW went another route. The all-out wild brawls still there but they had a different emphasis as certain talent got pushed up as well newer wrestlers popping up. Then came the ACH and Jeff Gant match few months later. The crowd hated it despite being a good match. Many of the local fans pointed to this match on why Inspire Pro (now renamed Inspire AD) formed involving Max Meehan and Justin Bissonette who reluctantly return to wrestling but gave it another go. Inspire ran their first show in July of that year building upon the fed using top talent around the state as well occasional fly-ins. It renew Bissonette interest in wrestling as he always have an eye on talent and been there since. In 2017 Wrestling Circus started up booking big indy wrestling names. Despite the success of their shows it was also their undoing as well having trouble finding a building to run a show. They would shut down then restart before shutting down permanently in 2019. As of this day, Inspire AD and ACW (under new management) still running having to survive the 2020 pandemic year. Also running around Austin is the upstart Infamous Wrestling (run by former ACW referee Donnie Davis) which debut last year. Soon to be starting Borracho Pro (run by a crew of five) with their debut show coming up on February 4.

Change is good and it helped out Austin indy wrestling scene in the long run. During those 10 years in between there are four wrestlers that end up making a mark in the area. Look for it next month.

No comments:

Post a Comment