REVIEW: Central States Wrestling – Rise of an Outlaw (2022)

A Wrestling show by Central States Wrestling

Just prior to the Covid Pandemic I was starting to get time together to start attending some local professional wrestling companies, then sadly it all slipped away for more than a year. Granted, independent wrestling is always in flux around here, and there’s almost always some kind of upstart company popping up that lasts only a few shows. I’ve had an itch to attend some of this and perhaps find a company I could consider my “home” federation. Previously that was WLW, World League Wrestling, but they moved to St. Louis a LOOOONG time ago and rarely come around here.

Despite the pandemic and companies shuttering, I am happy to report that professional wrestling in the Greater Kansas City area is stronger than ever now. With Covid considered “over” by most people there have been a solid amount of shows I wanted to highlight and bring awareness to; so just like with my pay-per-view wrestling reviews, I think I will start doing some entries about local shows! I have fallen in love with taking my son to these shows and seeing him have an absolute blast, as well as seeing some up-and-coming future stars. Whenever I can look back on a dude that I saw just starting out end up working for “The Big Leagues”, it always makes me smile.

There are tons of local-ish feds I have likely never seen, nor am I aware of, but these are a handful that I follow to a degree.

Today, we will be looking at my first ever show by a company called Central States Wrestling, a name that should be familiar with old-school wrestling fans as the former home territory of the likes of names like Harley Race. That name has been resurrected a few times in the past, with this new iteration being a re-branding of a company called Dynamic Wrestling Federation operated by a new version of Heart Of America Sports Attractions, LLC. I never watched DWF, so this was all new to me, and the first impression I got was awesome!

While you can watch this show for free, most other wrestling shows are not. If you want to see some pay-per-views, I would recommend Fite.TV. you can get some FITE credits (10 dollars I believe) with the following code: “6m6lyyn”. I’m sure there are other ways to watch these shows, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

This show is actually aired on YouTube, so check this out:

The Card:

“Rise Of An Outlaw” took place on Saturday, June 18th, 2022 at the Camelot Ballroom in Overland Park, Kansas.

  • D There was a dark match featuring AEW’s Dean Alexander, sadly I cannot recall his opponent’s name
  • 1 “The Monarch” Jeremy Wyatt defeated Mike Outlaw Main Event – No Time Limit For The DWF Championship.
  • 2 “The Worlds Most Dangerous Tag Team” The Premier – SK Bishop & Campbell Myers w/ Roscoe Leech Defeated Brixton Nash & James McGregor
  • 3 “The Mile High Magnum” Dak Draper defeated “The Ice Pick” Vic Capri
  • 4 Nino Hatchet defeated “The Big Strong Boy” Ethan Price
  • 5 Moonshine Mantell w/ Greg Jovi defeated Anaya Howlett w/ Fras Azab
  • 6 Beer City Bruiser defeated “The Connoisseur” Niles Plonk
  • 7 “The Monarch” Jeremy Wyatt defeated Ace Steel – Special Unadvertised Main Event

My Thoughts:

As I’ve stated before, my methodology for this is to avoid giving arbitrary star ratings or anything resembling the typical ratings people give in wrestling reviews. I usually go through the show and pull a half-dozen or so things that I thought were significant or that I liked. You might think some of my choices are dumb and that’s okay – we all like different things!

Dean Alexander is the Man:

While this was not the first wrestling show that my son ever went to, as we attended AEW Dynamite the previous Wednesday, this show was far more interactive and likely made a bigger impression on him than the televised show. It all started in the very first match, a non-recorded dark match between AEW wrestler Dean Alexander and a rookie that I sadly have forgotten the name of. At one point Dean came over to my son, who was passively booing him, looked him straight in the eyes, and knocked his Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups onto the floor. He points at him and says, “Don’t eat that crap, it’s bad for you!” As I was secretly trying not to laugh, I knew one of two things was about to happen. Either my son was about to cry, and this would be the end of the show, or he’d fight back against the “evil heel” and get excited if he lost. Thankfully it was the latter. Dean basically made my son a huge wrestling fan single-handedly by knocking his candy on the floor – the rest of the night he was on fire yelling at all the heels, and even asked me if we should tell the police about the candy incident.

We also ended up sitting in such a good spot in the crowd that my son was able to snag a piece of wrestling memorabilia – a bandana from Mike Outlaw – these are memories I hope stick with him for a LOOONG time.

“Mr. Clean, Shut Up!”

One of the biggest things I like about CSW versus some other wrestling shows that I have attended, is that they embrace the fact that small children want to be part of the show and don’t exactly realize that wrestling is what it is. It is for that very reason that the kids at this show are relentless, usually resulting in some pretty hilarious moments. for example, at one of the moments when the champion, Jeremy Wyatt, was cutting a promo, a kid in the audience yelled “Mr Clean, shut up!” Which got a big laugh and stuck with him the rest of the show. The kids were not nearly as relentless as an infamous WLW show that I saw at a Kansas City area boys and Girls Club where kids started pelting the heels with candy, but it came pretty close due to the heckling. I have no idea how some of the wrestlers keep a straight face when kids are doing this, as I nearly lost it when my own son asked one of the wrestlers “where the rest of his shirt is” due to him wearing a crop top.

Ace is the Place FOR PAIN:

It was a big surprise for me to see Chicago’s own Ace Steel show up for the show to confront Jeremy Wyatt. Ace works backstage at All Elite Wrestling and you can tell AEW has a bit of a presence with the company in general. Now that I’ve attended this, I recognize a number of the people from the show who previously appeared on AEW Dark during “the COVID era”. Ace Steel is basically a Missouri- based wrestler at this point, And I absolutely love seeing him show up at local shows. Honestly, one of the best wrestling matches I think I’ve seen at a local show was between Ace and William Regal a Number of years ago, so seeing him again here is great.

Production Values:

For a small local wrestling company, Central States Wrestling easily has the best production values of any wrestling show in the area that I have seen. Rather than utilizing a single static camera miles away from the action, the production company that puts this on uses two roaming cameras and a static camera in a similar setup to just about every television wrestling company out there. Commentary is added in post-production, as there’s really no reason to do a live recording unless you are on live television. Considering how well put together the YouTube show is, I lowkey think it even rivals some of the ones that have local television shows as well. I know this is something that people don’t usually mention and reviews like this, but when you see the entire staff of something taking it as seriously as this it’s quite refreshing.

Some of these guys are going to be huge:

I was literally just about to write a paragraph about how I was surprised that wrestlers such as Vic Capri, The Howletts, or Dak Draper have not been snatched up by a bigger company as of yet, and I glanced over at the newest episode of NWA Powerrr and there Dak was. Some of these guys are longtime veterans that have more wrestling ability and charisma than a lot of the people you see on TV, and CSW fans should count ourselves lucky to have guys like that available for our entertainment purposes. here’s hoping that this seemingly solid partnership with AEW, NWA and other national companies continues, because I love seeing local guys show up on TV! my son has become a HUGE fan of Dak Draper in the two shows (I’ve gone to one since this one) we’ve gone to, and routinely tells people “SHAME….ON….YOU!” so he must be doing something right.

Great Comedy Matches:

In a new spin on your typical “working class American versus pretentious elitist snob” matchup, this show had the former ROH tag team specialist, Beer City Bruiser coming toe to toe with none other than the “The Connoisseur” Niles Plonk, a wine aficionado. The match was full of cheap pops and ridiculous “BEER BEER BEER” chants, but it was a blast it really got the fans going for the main event. Side note: for some reason it was only at this show when it dawned on me that Beer City Bruiser used to wrestle all around Missouri under a different name, “Dinn T. Moore”, with face paint and somewhat of a Road Warrior gimmick, I know I have an autograph of him in the past as well as current which is cool. Sometimes I think about some of those old wrestlers I saw back in around 2007-10, and wonder what happened to them, so I’m glad to see one of the people I used to really like still going strong.  

Conclusion:

Overall, this was probably the best first impression I have ever had from a professional wrestling show. I’ve gone to multiple independent wrestling shows around here and while I’ve always had a fun time there are usually issues. Most of them start insanely late, pack way too many matches into a show, rely on matches with bizarre rules that have not been seen since the 70s, or employ only six wrestlers that do triple duty throughout the entire production. CSW: Rise of an Outlaw comes across as something very special – it’s like being on the inside track of an upstart that you know is going to get huge in the future. The entire production is flawless, and rivals many of the bigger TV companies. I don’t want to overhype it or anything but I feel like given the right amount of revenue coming in, this could turn out to be something big. CSW has a great venue, passionate crowd, And an overall solid product. Even if I can’t make it to all of their shows, they have made a new pair of fans that plan to attend as many as they can, and that’s just from this one show. it’s been a decade or so but I think I finally found my “home” wrestling company.

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