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GFW house show report 9-5 Clinton, IA

By Joel Kolsrud
Saturday, September 5, 2015Ashford University FieldClinton, Iowa Clinton, Iowa has no real wrestling heritage or history. It's a town of 26,000 people in eastern Iowa, about forty miles northeast of the Quad Cities, which has had a wrestling heritage and history. It's no different than any other town of this size, despite the recent downturns in employment with several industries having closed down in the past fifteen years. In fact, they no longer feature "Riverboat Days", once Iowa's largest 4th of July festival. It's just the area Clinton is and everyone is used to it. One thing people aren't used to, however, is live pro wrestling in Clinton. The AWA came here four times between 1968-1971, usually the night before heading down to Burlington, Iowa, a town with almost the same exact population, a two-hour plus drive. They came back in 1983, the night prior to a Fond du Lac​, WI show as well. Around that same time, Ringside Wrestling Promotions, owned and operated by Randy "Rocky" Brewer of Clinton ran a few shows in the area. Brewer wrestled all over during the mid-to-late 1970s and into the early 1980s before starting up RWP. He was mainly a television enhancement talent, though once held the NWA Mid American Tag Team Titles with Pat Rose in 1980 for the Nick and George Gulas. The fall of 1985 saw the the birth of Midwest Championship Wrestling by Dale "Crybaby" Edwards (the late George Hill). They ran monthly cards in Clinton (and surrounding areas), including using Ox Baker a time or two. In a big surprise, they also got television on the (at the time) brand new Fox affiliate, KLJB-TV in Davenport. The promotion made a go of it, including once having the actual contract to become a legit member of the National Wrestling Alliance, though which never came to fruition. They mainly used area talent but also had some of Eddie Sharkey's guys like Teijo Kahn and Ricky Rice. The promotion eventually folded in the summer of 1986. The AWA made a return on September 2, 1989 to what was then known as Riverview Stadium, the current Ashford University Field. It was a sold show with about 400 in attendance featuring name guys like Larry Zbyszko, Baron Von Raschke, Colonel DeBeers and Mike George. The non-name talent at the time were the likes of Paul Diamond, Derrick Dukes and The Destruction Crew, Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos. Between 2001-2003, Riverboat Days brought in an indie pro wrestling show. Because it was part of getting into the fair itself, the grandstands at the ballpark were full. Still, the lineups announced never even came close to the card presented. This included one show with the ridiculous billing of the Rock and Roll Express (yes, that Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) by promoter Manny Fernandez (yes, that Raging Bull) claiming their failure to appear was due to having been in an auto accident. Another year had Harley Race become a no-show due to being injured, even though Race had been retired from wrestling by then. So, in 2015, we were fortunate enough to get Jeff Jarrett's Global Force Wrestling, the first pro wrestling event in Clinton in 12 years, and only the fifth in the past 30. About 300 fans turned out for a nice evening of old school wrestling, complete with an appearance by both Jarrett himself and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Duggan was out front at his souvenir table prior to the show and was just like I remembered him back in the 1980s and 1990s for the WWF in both Peoria and the Quad Cities (Moline and Davenport) when signing autographs for fans. He seemed real glad to be there and when a few fans mentioned coming out specifically to see him, he quickly added that Jarret was there as well. This crew started in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, drove the hour to Waterloo on Friday and then 2½ hours from there to Clinton. Not quite as bad as the old days. 1. Sonjay Dutt pinned DJZ (the former Xena Ion) at 7:20 after a tornado DDT.The ring was at homeplate of the ballpark and all fans were seated in the grandstands. Like the six matches featured this night, they all worked real hard playing to the crowd and encouraging their participation in the respective matches, but with the whole show itself. Fun match, especially the comedy with Dutt getting ahold of DJZ' headphones and trying to mess up his hair. 2. Matt Bentley won a Triple Threat Match over Tommaso Ciampa and Kevin Matthews at 9:05, pinning Ciampa after hitting him with The Showstopper.Matt Bentley's hometown is Clinton, Iowa and this was an unadvertised surprise. Bentley is the former Michael Shane, and is a first cousin with "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels, whose real last name is Hickenbottom, and who has family still living in the Clinton area. Bentley has short hair now and looked pretty good considering he rarely, if ever, wrestles anymore. It was mostly Ciampa and Matthews double-teaming the hometown guy, but they ended up turning on each other and Bentley scored the fall using his famous cousin's finisher. Special Appearance:  Hacksaw Jim DugganDuggan came out and thanked everyone, Global Force Wrestling, etc. and then in an about-face, started talking about world's troubles with terrorists. This brought out Ariya Daivari, who then stole Duggan's 2x4 (the very one he has always brought to the ring with him all these years, or so said Brandon Baxter) and ran off. It was almost more comical that all of the wrestlers were coming out of the same dugout, as opposed to the old days when the heels were in the visiting team side and the faces were on the home team side. 3. ODB pinned Mickie James at 9:56, rolling her up and holding her tights.This got little reaction and the action inside the ring was a little rough, as in, painful to watch. On that note, it was somewhat interesting to see a spot where the referee was breaking them up, and holding them apart from one another. In this attempt at comedy, however, he had one hand on the breast of both women while doing this. After a few minutes more, ODB then gave James a "titty rub", all in front of the young kids, making up about 20-25% of the crowd. ODB kept drinking from a flask as well, so it was what it was, and what it was, wasn't real good. Or entertaining. 4. Nick "Magnus" Aldis pinned Chris "the former Chris 'Masterlock' Masters" Mordetzky at 11:59 after a flying elbow drop from the top rope.This was pretty solid, much like the opener, and was mainly Mordetzky trying to put Aldis into the Masterlock. He did manage to get him into it twice, but Aldis escaped both times, which led to him winning the match. 5. The New Heavenly Bodies (Desirable Dustin and Gigolo Justin) defeated Zero Gravity (CJ Esparza and Brett Gayika) at 11:30 when Justin pinned Brett.This was a fun match as well, and pretty much all action the entire time. Zero Gravity are really small, but had some of the coolest double tag team moves. All four guys were in the ring at the same time pretty much the entire time, and while not a Texas Tornado Match, made it tons better than it might have been otherwise. Special Appearance:  "Double J" Jeff JarrettJarrett came out and gave a real cool speech about presenting old time wrestling, how they're just starting and then mentioned possibly returning in 2016. We'll see, but I'd definitely go. He spoke about the upcoming main event with Colt Cabana, mentioning it would be entertaining and fun and that Cabana would make us laugh and cry and want to slap the person next to each of us lol. MAIN EVENT:6. Colt Cabana pinned Ariya Daivari at 15:37, with revenge interference from Hacksaw Jim DugganI'd never seen Colt Cabana before tonight. In fact, on the way through the parking lot heading towards the ticket window, my brother says, "Is that Colt Cabana?" and I'm like...I have no idea. I've only ever heard of him, but have never seen him. Of course, it was. And for anyone who's never seen him, this was the most entertaining pro wrestling match I've seen in decades. Daivari wanted to pray on his rug, so Cabana put his sweat towel right next to him and did the same thing. It was hilarious and Cabana later on put Daivari's turban-like headwear over Daivari's face and then tied it with the necklace they played the blind angle for several minutes. Another deal was Cabana grabbing Daivari's prayer rug and jumping off of the top rope with it and landing onto Daivari. So I'm guessing this was The Magic Carpet Ride? They got down to wrestling with Daivari gaining the upper hand. The finish came down to a ref bump and Daivari grabbing the 2x4 he'd also brought out to the ring with him. Duggan, sitting in the dugout watching the match, came running out (well, running isn't accurate, but ol' Hacksaw is 61 years old these days and did the best he could), slid into the ring, grabbed the 2x4, gave a big "Hoooooooooooo!!", whacked Daivari with the board, slid back out of the ring and the ref revived just in time to see Cabana covering Daivari and counted the fall. LAST NOTES:They allowed anyone who paid $20 to climb into the ring and get a photo taken with both Jarrett and Duggan. There must've been at least 50 people lined up (though some of them had photos taken as a group). Still, it was very impressive and everyone seemed to have a great time. Including yours truly, who has finally gone a wrestling show that was enjoyable for a change. Oh, and my brother never did follow through with slapping me, as Jarrett had alluded to earlier would happen watching a Colt Cabana match. Instead, he thanked me. Because we had fun. Joel KolsrudCamanche,