In Defense Of IWA Mid-South Wrestling

The Most Underrated Indy of the Early 2000s


If you were to read an old website or message board devoted to wrestling, you would never know all the good that IWA Mid-South once did for the wrestling world.  Because of the action of a few, the entire organization was cast in a bad light and ridiculed at every turn.  I consider it one of the greatest crimes committed against a wrestling company in this century.

Where did CM Punk get to wrestle sometimes 4 times a week against the likes of Eddy Guerrero, Rey Mysterio Jr, Ace Steel, Colt Cabana, Chris Hero, Suicide Kid, Too Cold Scorpio and more?

Where did fans of hardcore wrestling get to see Necro Butcher, Mad Man Pondo, Corporal Robinson, Mean Mitch Page, Rollin Hard, Ian Rotten, Axl Rotten, Drake Younger, JC Bailey, Balls Mahoney, Bull Pain, Toby Klein, Brain Damage, Deranged and more?

Where did fans of aerial wrestling get to see Ricochet, Suicide Kid, Josh Abercrombie, Chuck Taylor, MDogg 20, Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne) and more?

Where could fans see legends like Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes, Tommy Rich, Tracy Smothers, Chris Candido, Harley Race, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Too Cold Scorpio, Abdullah the Butcher and more?

IWA Mid-South gave consistent work to CM Punk, Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), Claudio Castagnoli (Antonio Cesaro), Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne), Delirious, Colt Cabana, Brad Bradley (Jay Bradley), Ace Steel, Shark Boy, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Jimmy Jacobs, Chris Candido, and many others that went on to appear on TNA, ROH and even WWE.

Matches like AJ Styles vs. Matt Sydal, Jimmy Jacobs vs. Alex Shelley, CM Punk vs. Chris Hero, Samoa Joe vs. Chris Hero, Samoa Joe vs. Necro Butcher, Necro Butcher vs. Toby Klein, Corporal Robinson vs. Mean Mitch Page, the 8 man tag comedy match from 2004 Revolution and so many others will always be remembered by those that saw them.

The majority of independent companies only run 1 show a month and stay in the same venue.  IWA Mid-South brought our action to Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio and even Philadelphia and San Antonio.  We ran over 500 shows in over a decade of action.  That means we lasted longer, traveled farther and put on more shows than just about any other independent company in the United States during that time.  Who did more?  Who was more widespread?

IWA Mid-South wasn’t perfect.  Far from it.  We didn’t have the best ring.  We didn’t have fancy setup in the building.  We didn’t have the best crowds because we didn’t have the money to advertise properly.  I’m reminded of the phrase, don’t judge a book by its cover.  Just because we didn’t have a state of the art ring, pyro and a Titan Tron, doesn’t mean that we didn’t have some fantastic matches in the ring.  Just because 20,000 people weren’t in the building to see it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t great.

It means we weren’t the best.  It means that weren’t the major leagues of professional wrestling.  It means that we were underrated because some people focused on the wrong things instead of appreciating the talent that was in the ring.

I really wish people that have a problem with certain individuals wouldn’t hold that against the name of IWA Mid-South.  I was no angel.  I made a lot of enemies in a decade.  I was blindly loyal to a product that I believed in and I defended it with venom and fire.  It turned a lot of people off and made a lot of people hate the product.  It is a shame that people didn’t give the wrestlers in the ring the due they were deserved because they hated me.  That is like hating a movie because you hate 1 character that isn’t even a central character in the movie.  I’m not even going to get into all the heat that Ian generated over the years.  That has nothing to do with what happened in the ring.  How was CM Punk vs. Chris Hero horrible because of something Ian Rotten did years after the fact?  Speak poorly of me.  Speak poorly of Ian.  Don’t let that tarnish the memory of what was IWA Mid-South.  The talent in the ring doesn’t deserve that.  They don’t deserve having their hard work and excellence belittled because of something that I said on a message board.

In closing, I would like to thank everyone that put their blood, sweat and tears into making IWA Mid-South a product in the ring that provided a lot of people with good memories.  Hopefully, one day, people will be able to separate the individuals they disliked from the product as a whole.








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