Galway Card Sees Hometown Favourite Steal IWW Show

Last night the Irish Whip Wrestlers rocked St. Nicholas parish hall in Galway City as only they know how. It was a cold night, and I won’t lie, to begin with the crowd wasn’t much hotter. But Eamonn D’Arcy managed to shuffle and shout his way into the crowd’s hearts and they began (slowly) to warm up. 

The first match on the card was a Zero Gravity title defence with Cambo Cray challenging Skaterboy Jeebus (c). Cray got the jump on Jeebus and tested him with a series of drop kicks and back breakers, but Jeebus, spurred on by the warming up crowd, turned the tides with a viscous suicide dive over the top turn-buckle driving Cray into the corridor outside the hall. Jeebus was quick to capitalise dragging Cray back to the ring, breaking the ten-count, but was only able to score a 2 count. Cray mustered a defence rocking Jeebus with an enzuigiri kick and a high running knee, but Jeebus was able to get the drop on Cray and secure his title reign with a three-count with a huge christ air splash.

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D’arcy returned to the ring to interview local hero “The Galway Grappler” Noah Jones. Rather than mince words Jones called out his opponent for the evening Soultaker Salem. Jones was there to fight, not to talk, (although he did land a zinger calling Salem “Kung Fu Panda’s ugly brother”). The unusually silent Salem slowly took his death mask off and rather than offer a rebuttal, he spewed a blue streak of bile into Jones’ eyes, temporarily blinding him, and forcing him from the ring. The crowd were not shy in showing the Soultaker their disgust.

The second match of the night was a three-way dance between The Great Walter Alexander, from Dalkey, Dublin, TJ Meehan hailing from Clara, Co. Offaly, and Maximus who wrestles out of the Roman quarter of Tulsk, Co. Roscommon. Now I must be honest. While I may live in Galway I’m a Dubliner, nay a Northsider, through and through. As such I baulked at the sight of the pompous southsider, Walter Alexander strutting his way to the ring. I must admit I lost sight of my journalistic integrity and booed him right to his stupid Dalkey face. This as you can imagine did not go down well, particularly since he was holding aloft a Galway GAA jersey. While I feared the slings and arrows of my Galway compatriots I was vindicated when Alexander stood in the centre of the ring and wiped his bottom with the mighty maroon jersey. What I have learned from this is to trust my gut and never trust any denizen of Dalkey. The PowerHouse TJ Meehan rolled into the ring next. This grappler is a card carrying monster and someone had clearly twisted his biscuit as he was in a foul humour. Maximus followed, wowing the kids with his Spartan ring gear and having a similar reaction with the ladies when he took that gear off. The match was, to be honest, an afront to sportsmanship and good conduct. Alexander and Meehan joined forces immediately and proceeded to batter and beat down the outnumbered Maximus. Taking their time and taking their turns, they kicked, choked and slammed Maximus until he was a breathless mess on the mat. While one worked Maximus over, the other taunted and jeered the crowd who were stunned into silence by the brutality on display. All hope for a fair wrestling match seemed lost, until the unholy alliance of the southside snake and the human wrecking ball broke down, giving Maximus a chance to land some vicious blows, but the damage had been done and after a whirling F5 Meehan stole the victory. (I don’t wish to question the referee’s judgement but I definitely saw Meehan grab tights!)

After the ring was cleared of the debris and destruction from the three-way dance Soultaker Salem’s music hit and the monstrous figure made his way through the booing and jeering crowd. Undeterred by their taunts, Salem, the perpetual self-publicist, ensured us all that he would soon be IWW Champion (CHAMP-I-OHHH-NAYYYY) to which the crowd responded with a deafening “NO!” This back and forth was broken by the arrival of local legend and gifted grappler Noah Jones. Jones was still visibly shaken by Salem’s earlier assault but managed to secure an early lead with swift kicks to the knee and a crowd-pleasing plate of ice-cold chops. Salem, however, regained control of the match and showed why the Soultaker has survived a 400 day undefeated streak. He threw Jones around the ring like a rag doll, if not for Jones’ agility and vast knowledge of reversals the match would have been a brief affair. Salem tied Jones up in a tight submission hold and used his larger frame to keep him weighed down. The crowd spurred Jones to break free and buoyed by their chants he managed to slip free. Jones leaped to the second rope and delivered a crashing high knee to Salem’s cranium. This gave Jones the opening for a pin but on the second count of what surely would have been a match winning three, TJ Meehan appeared out of nowhere and dropped an elbow to Jones’ exposed spine. Like vultures on a carcass Meehan and Salem picked away at the prone Jones until help arrived in the form of Skaterboy Jeebus. Jeebus cleared the ring and helped Jones to his feet. Never one to run from a fight, Jones and Jeebus challenged the terrible twosome to a tag match. Salem and Meehan of course refused, as even numbers are not their style. But the chants of “Chicken” from some of the more vocal ladies in the audience cause TJ’s temper to get the better of him and in a rage he agreed to the match. Darcy quickly commissioned the match and after a short intermission, the tag began as the night’s main event.

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Soultaker Salem and The Powerhouse TJ Meehan returned to the ring refreshed from their rest and did their best to ignore the chants of “chicken” that rained down from the, now hot, crowd. Jones and Jeebus did not waste a second, they raced to the ring ready to rumble, but of course, Salem and Meehan scarpered; going so far as to leave the hall in the vain attempt to escape competition. D’arcy however, called them back and the match got underway.

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Almost immediately Meehan tried to intimidate the ref into making life harder for Jeebus, but the skill and quickness of the Zero-G champion would not be so easily undone. A running bulldog and a flurry of fists pushed Meehan to the limit who quickly tagged in Salem. Their strategy of quick tagging and keeping Jeebus trapped in their corner (through the barely legal use of the 5 count) meant that Jones was frustrated on the apron and Jeebus could do nothing but absorb all the damage. The intimidation tactics, directed at the audience, ref and wrestlers, allowed Meehan and Salem to introduce foreign objects and choke out the spry Jeebus whose aerial effectiveness is utterly dependent on big deep breaths. But with the support of Jones and the rallying chants from the crowd Jeebus was eventually able to break their bear hugs and leap to Jones tagging in the explosive grappler. Meehan quickly tagged out forcing a reluctant Salem to face the charged up Galway Grappler who chopped, kicked and slammed Salem into a dizzied state. Fearing the worst, Meehan tried to leave the apron and intervene but Jeebus. the suicidal skaterboy, threw caution to the wind and dove over the top rope crashing into Meehan and cracking his jaw with a devastating flying elbow. Free from interference, Noah Jones tied Soultaker Salem up and held him down for a solid, slow 1, 2, 3, and brought the match to a close with rapturous applause from the Galway City crowd.

Jones and Jeebus, clearly injured from the night’s mayhem did their best to celebrate with the crowd and, thanks to my vantage point; I was able to see Salem literally drag Meehan by the ankles out of the hall and away from the cheering crowd.

Darcy closed the night off with his usual good grace but was called back to the ring to perform his trademark shuffle, one more time. The roof lifted off the hall when Jones rolled back into the ring and shuffled along with the voice of IWW.

All in all, a fine night of fighting and one that I would whole heartedly recommend to fans of the squared circle. I hope to see IWW return to Galway city in the near future, this reporter just hopes that the snot nosed southsider and his cohort of cheats and troublemakers get lost along the way!

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