There are many promotions today who strive to be old school. They look for and book wrestlers who can work Memphis style. They strive to present wrestling the way it was. There’s even a delightfully fun group in Ohio that presents wrestling in the late 19th century format.
Pro Wrestling Revolver is not that type of show. There’s a lot of variety to be sure, but it’s an evening of modern wrestling at its most modern, filled with hard hits, high spots, steel chairs, comedy wrestling, and yes, a good helping of the flippy “stuff.” It’s a promotion that gives you dream match ups and odd pairings you never would have imagine that work better than you’d ever expect. It’s a promotion where a camping tent can become a title holder. It is, as advertised, a show “for our generation, by our generation,” as founder “The Draw” Sami Callihan made clear before the show even started.
“I know you all have phones,” he said. “Take ‘em out. Go on Twitter and follow @pwrevolver. We want you to take pictures. We want you to take video. If you want to stream the whole show, that’s fine. Tag it with #5000candlesinthering. That’s the only way this thing grows!”
That’s not the normal speech you hear at a show. Not even the smaller promotions who have deals with High Spots (as Revolver does) want you to film anything. Sami’s love for his promotion, his wrestling family, and his fans comes through in everything he does at Revolver. It was clear the fans at the Jeffersonville Arena last night took to Sami’s way of doing wrestling during their Indiana debut Tuesday night, and Revolver proved to be a welcome new addition to the Southern Indiana scene.
Later in the show, Sami commented on one of the criticisms he heard when he started Revolver. “They said, ‘He’s only doing this so he can book his friends!’ Well, I happen to think my friends are the best damn wrestlers in the world!”
It’s a bold boast, but how can you argue when your opening match is an Impact X-Division Championship bout between Rich Swann and Trey Miguel? Neither man is a stranger to the Arena, and they put on the fast, frenetic match fans expected from this dream combination. They were quickly followed by another one on one outing between Jake Crist and Project Monix. Crist, like Callihan, is part of Impact’s heel faction oVe, but here in the area where he cut his teeth with brother Dave as Irish Airborne and then OI4K, Jake can do no wrong. Despite the heat, fans were all in for this match and 100% behind Crist.
Two of RISE Wrestling’s top stars clashed in a match between Nevaeh and Kimber Lee. It’s hard to understand why WWE signed and then dropped Kimber Lee because she’s so good at everything she does. Despite the rising temps in the building, Kimber and Nevaeh put on a very strong match that proved Revolver’s women’s contingent does not take a back seat to the men.
One thing Revolver created that is truly unique is the Open Scramble Championship, a title defended in a match that can have any number of competitors at one time. Tuesday night, the Open Scramble title was defended by a camping tent. Yes, this is where the old time fans would have left if they hadn’t already, which is a shame because “Tent” and the eight men in the ring with Tent put on a great show. Arena favorites like Tyler Matrix and ZDP mixed it up with people like the 1 Called Manders and Jake Manning in a fast, frenetic bout that ended with Tent pinning Manning. Manders in particular impressed me in this bout. It’s been a year and a half since I first saw the former Iowa Hawkeye, and he’s turning into a very powerful wrestler.
A Fatal Four Way to determine a new Number One Contender for the Revolver Championship closed the first half of the show, featuring Caleb Konley, Impact’s Ace Austin, AEW Casino Battle Royale competitor Acey Romero, and the always impressive Jessica Havok. Arena fans have watched Austin bloom into a star over the last 18 months at PPW, and he proved to be a fan favorite, but all four competitors impressed in this one. Romero got the pin on the fearless Havok to become the Number One Contender.
After intermission, fans were treated to an IWA Mid-South Jr. Heavyweight Championship bout between Louisville’s Logan James and Cincinnati’s Aaron Williams. Williams has been a long-time fixture in the area with IWA Mid-South and previously D1W. He’s also no stranger to Sami and the rest of the Dayton crew thanks to his long-time association with Rockstar Pro. How this guy is not signed to one of the top promotions, I’ll never understand. James looked equally impressive even in defeat as Williams defended his title successfully.
The evening’s long tag team match as a three team affair that spilled out into the crowd, much to the delight of the fans. I have to admit, I was disappointed that Dave Crist was paired with Madman Fulton in this match instead of his brother, but Dave and Fulton proved to be an entertaining comedy duo. Impact fans have yet to see just how truly talented Dave is. He had the fans roaring as he berated the big man for using him as a weapon, spinning him overhead to knock down opponents and tossing him over the ropes into four other men. Crist played to the crowd at every opportunity. “Does my safety mean anything to you people? Huh?” From his facial reactions when he takes a boot to the face to his own death-defying aerial maneuvers, Crist can do no wrong.
The Iron Manager J.T. Davidson accompanied Sami Callihan to the ring for his Revolver Championship match with Larry D. The crowd was split on this affair, but as with every other match, most fans could go either way in the end. It was a hard-hitting contest that brought the fans to their feet in the end as the long-time veteran Larry D kept the title from “The Draw.”
Callihan called for the cameras to be shut off while the ring was set for the main event, and Callihan thanked the fans once more for their energy and attendance. He also promised Revolver would be returning in a few months in the hopes that Jeffersonville would become a regular part of their circuit. Two prize packages were then given away to fans – one by raffle, and the other given to the fan who posted the best tweet using the evening’s hashtag #5000candlesinthering. Both fans walked away with Revolver prize packages including T-shirts, stickers, and a copy of every DVD on the sales table.
A Bunkhouse Brawl between MLW’s Mance Warner, Impact’s Zachary Wentz, and the enigmatic Jimmy Jacobs closed the show. As strange as that combination sounds, it was a fantastic way to close out the show with all three men brawling into the crowd and using everything from haystacks to particle board as props. Warner has mega-star written all over him and sounds like a modern version of Steve Austin playing to the crowd, but it was the under-rated Zachary Wentz who took the win.
Manders returned to the ring with a couple of beers to celebrate with Wentz, and Wentz rewarded him with a Stone Cold Stunner. At that point, DJ Eric Montgomery hit Stone Cold’s theme music, and Wentz proceeded to stun everyone from Dave Crist to Madman Fulton to a few fans invited to join the fun.
“Cut the cameras!” Callihan bellowed over the microphone. “This is not part of the video! Vince will sue the hell out of us!”
For what it’s worth, I asked a friend who was backstage what the atmosphere was like in the locker room. I was told it was one of the most energetic locker rooms my friend had ever seen. Everyone working for Revolver loves what they are doing and who they are doing it with. It’s more family than business, and the wrestlers were having as much fun as the fans.
Revolver’s home base is Des Moines, Iowa, where my in-laws live. For close to a year, I’d been dropping hints to my wife that I’d like to plan a trip West to visit family that would coincide with Revolver’s schedule. I still want to make that trip, but I was quite delighted Revolver decided to open shop ten minutes from home. This is one of the most energetic and exciting indy federations, and for fans who like the high spots and fluffy “stuff,” this is must-see wrestling. Sami Callihan has a good thing going, providing a showcase and a launching pad for some of the best talent in pro wrestling. It’s a Dayton, Ohio centric roster, and I’ve long believed Dayton is where some of the biggest stars of tomorrow are being made. I can’t wait to see where Revolver and this talented roster of rising stars go next.
You can find more information about The Wrestling Revolver on their website. Be sure to follow their social media links as well.