REVIEW: Central States Wrestling – When the Levee Breaks (2023)

A Live Wrestling Event by CSW

All promotional images courtesy of the CSW Facebook page

When we last left Central States Wrestling, they had just had their biggest and most important show of their short history with Deal With The Steel IV. Moreso than something akin to this company’s “WrestleMania”, DWTSIV was the 2022 “season finale” wrapping up all of the feuds and storylines that had been building all year. Fans bore witness to such great moments like Luke Langley finally clenching a win after so many false-starts, Luigi Primo showing that he is not just some one-trick comedy guy, the formation of The Miracle Violence Reborn, a team destined to run roughshod over the tag team division, and the most anticipated match of the year, The bloody cage match that finally ended the long-standing feud between The Tribe and The Premier. With this all in the past, it’s time to move forward, and as you will see Central States Wrestling – When the Levee Breaks did just that. All I can say is that 2023 is already shaping up to be a crazy year for fans of Kansas City professional wrestling.

This show was notable for the absence of a lot of the company’s typical mainstays. Performers such as Dak Draper, Arjun Singh, Luigi Primo, and The Grindhouse were all unavailable due to life’s typical assortment of scheduling issues, injuries, and more. Because of this, fans were treated to a myriad of new faces, many of whom came across the state from St. Louis, Missouri to see what Kansas City Wrestling is all about (and the inevitable push-back). In keeping with the above allusion, this was the “season premiere” of the next chapter of CSW history.

All promotional images courtesy of the CSW Facebook page

I already wrote a bit about the uphill battle CSW had leading to this event in my preview article for this show:

“The last few months have been characterized by the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for what I would consider one of the best professional wrestling companies in the greater Kansas City area – Central States Wrestling. Hot off this heels of their massive December show, Deal with the Steel IV, It seemed like nothing could stop the fledgling promotion as it moved towards its next big event. Unfortunately, Midwestern weather turned heel and the new home venue for this company, The National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kansas, fell victim to an unfortunate flash freeze causing a pipe rupture break that utterly decimated the flooring of the historic venue.”

Please head over there and read more about it, as it sort of works in tandem with this review. I will say that one of the owners of the company, Kansas City Wrestling mainstay Michael Strider, came out and thanked the fans for their help in recovering from such a hardship, and announced that the show was a certified sell-out with only standing room left towards the end! Great news, and yet another sign that professional wrestling is thriving in this area.

All promotional images courtesy of the CSW Facebook page

Hailing from The National Guard Armory in Lenexa, Kansas (or Shawnee? my GPS said both?) 500+ fans absolutely packed the venue to the gills once again. Hopefully the KCK Armory gets fixed soon, as CSW definitely needs the extra space! The emotion and excitement was off the charts, and one couldn’t help but smile being around so many fans hungry for amazing wrestling. Without further delay, let’s continue on to my review of Central States Wrestling – When the Levee Breaks, and see what it had to offer.

For more of my reviews of past events, check below:

Central States Wrestling (as DWF) – All Out War

(I will work on reviewing older shows soon – stay tuned)

Central States Wrestling – Rise of an Outlaw

Central States Wrestling – Horsemen Country

Central States Wrestling – Vendetta

Central States Wrestling – Deal With The Steel IV

Preview of When the Levee Breaks

All Match graphics and other news can be found on CSW’s Facebook page, as seen HERE

Once CSW is able to edit and publish the episode on YouTube, I will post the video here as well, stay tuned.

If you want other wrestling shows, 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 some of these, but FITE has a solid interface and has been worth it so far.

The Card:

  • Dark Match: “The Infinite” Ryan Gingell Defeated
  • The Tribe (Hoodie and Anaya Howlett w/ Coach Frass) Defeated The Hustle and The Muscle (Xavier Walker and Karam)
  • Wrex Amadeus Defeated “The Hair Metal Heartthrob” Dallas Cayde
  • Promo – Michael Strider thanks the fans, talks about what happened in January, etc.
  • Luke Langley Defeated Dan The Dad
  • Mike Outlaw Defeated “The Cornbelt Cowboy” 1 Called Manders (with Greg Jovi)
  • The Premier (SK Bishop and Campbell Myers w/ Roscoe Leech) Defeated Mason St. Goods and Chris Hendrix
  • “The Giant Killer” Scott Tyler Defeated “The Big Strong Boy” Ethan Price
  • DWF Championship Match – “The Monarch” Jeremy Wyatt defeated Jake Something

Match graphics below:


I’ve come up with this little disclaimer since I have some new readers:


I usually go through a show and pull a half dozen or so things that I thought were significant, or that I liked, and concentrate on them, usually ignoring stuff I did not. You might think some of my choices are dumb, and that’s OK! We can all like different things, that’s what makes something like wrestling so great.

(My apologies for crappy pictures I took during the show, my phone does not do well with low-light, or in the case of this particular show, an almost sun-like spotlight right across from me – whoops!)

My Thoughts:

Wipe Your Feet When You Come Into Our House:

It appears that Xavier Walker and Karam (better known as The Hustle and The Muscle) had one thing in mind at this show, and that was putting the Kansas City wrestling fans on notice to demand respect. The problem is, Kansas City is Tribe Country and in Tribe Country one EARNS respect. Hoodie Howlett especially took exception to the attitude of these St. Louis mainstays, reminding them of two simple rules they ignored – “Wipe your feet at the door when you step in our house. And keep the world’s most dangerous tag team’s name out your mouth.” The match got heated, with The Howletts taking a hell of a beating early on, but when it was said and done they got the last word in. The Tribe was as hot as pure hellfire going into this match after headlining perhaps the best cage match Kansas City has hosted in many years, however one had to wonder how much of a physical toll that match took on them. Fans could tell that neither member of The Howlett clan was fully 100%, but through their determination, they were able to pull through. I’m not sure we’ve seen the last of The Hustle and The Muscle, and would love to see this feud continue on in some way. Both Walker and Karam are dominate beats of men, and they work very well together, in the end not having the support of a manager and relying on arrogance was their downfall.

Honestly, this seems to be hinting at some kind of KS vs STL inter-state feud, which I am all for in just about every way. This concept was something a defunct Missouri company called NWL tried to do a number of years ago, but Central States Wrestling appears to be keeping it much simpler. They could be growing a potential storyline that has so much built-up heat behind it, largely due to sports rivalries, that you really can’t miss. Wrestling companies are always looking for that BIG storyline for the year, and this just could be it for CSW. I also could be completely off-base here, so who knows – this is just an observation I had.

Rock Me Amadeus:

Wrex Amadeus has wrestled a few times for CSW and has improved substantially every time I’ve seen him. Granted, he has been used more as an enhancement talent in the past, but one can tell the difference no matter what. He has bulked up considerably and has improved his entire presentation to a point that he is one of my “wrestlers to watch” in 2023. “The Hair Metal Heartthrob” Dallas Cayde put up a solid effort, even immobilizing Amadeus with a grizzly chest hair pull at one point (the crowd absolutely loved this), but it was not enough to put Amadeus down. Both Cayde and Amadeus filled the niche of one of the comedic matches for the event without outright going for that sort of match. Both guys were hilarious, and Amadeus especially fed off the crowd quite a bit; you could tell everyone loved him despite his underhanded tactics. The last time we saw Cayde (unless it was for a dark match I was not in attendance for) was a tag-team match alongside “The Infinite” Ryan Gingell, in a losing effort. Like Amadeus, Cayde has come a long way, and I can only see upside coming. Honestly this match wasn’t one I expected to be so good, but it really impressed me.

Thank You!

I mentioned earlier that Michael Strider came out and informed the crowd about what had happened in January for those that were unaware, and it did a great job of energizing the crowd with something of a rallying cry. Not only did Strider announce that the show was easily a sell-out, he announced a date for the next show and thanked for fans for their understanding regarding the whole situation.

Don’t Make Me Take My Belt Off!

For the longest time, Luke Langley couldn’t catch a break in CSW. He has been featured prominently on most of the shows that I have been to, but never seems to be able to clinch the win. That was, until Deal With The Steel IV when he finally pulled off what some would consider an upset win against Jamison Holley, thus proving that he did, in fact, have the ability to make a play for one of the titles in the future. Riding high from his win, there was one nagging thing in Langley’s mind that seems to have been eating away at him. A few months ago, he suffered a devastating loss against crowd favorite Dan the Dad, a wrestler that some believe to be a mere “comedy wrestler.” Langley issued some scathing words on Facebook addressing the situation with Dan the Dad and the match was set. It seems as if Langley may be going on a “revenge tour” of sorts.

I think one thing that surprised people a lot in this match was exactly how competitive it was. Neither Langley or Dan let up in any way whatsoever, resulting in perhaps one of the most hard fought matches of the entire event. The ferocity of both men’s chops was enough to make many people in the front row cringe as their opponents’ flesh rippled from the abuse. At the end, Langley proved that his win in December was not any sort of fluke, and that he has staying power. This match got one of the loudest reactions from the crowd, and for good reason. Towards the end there was a spot where, upon having no luck keeping an upper hand against Langley, Dan the Dad was forced to remove his belt in sheer anger to punish Langley’s misdeeds (the ultimate dad finishing move). The crowd utterly erupted as if John Cena had just ran in from backstage to attack someone, for something so simple as someone getting ready to whip another man with his own belt, it was insanely popular. I’m not going to lie, in terms of crowd reception and overall presentation, I am leaning heavily towards considering Luke Langley versus Dan the Dad my match of the night. I know for a fact, my son enjoyed it the best considering how much he talked about the belt whipping spot on the way home.

The Cornbelt Cowboy:

I think one of the matches I was most looking forward to at this event was Mike Outlaw versus The 1 Called Manders. I’m familiar with Manders from his occasional stints in Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) throughout last year, as well as Major League Wrestling (MLW) fairly recently. I have, by no means, watched every single match of his from those companies, but he is almost always a highlight of whatever show he is on. He’s your typical huge “hoss” of a man with a cowboy sensibility that fits right in with the growing stable that Greg Jovi seems to be putting together. May The Gods help us if Greg Jovi ever introduces a situation to where Manders, Derek Neal, and Moonshine Mantell ever end up wrestling together as a trios team, because I’m not sure there’s any configuration of three guys in CSW that could take down such an onslaught.

Jovi brought in Manders in order to finish some unsettled business with Mike Outlaw, a “problem” that he has been experiencing these past few shows. Team Ambition has been a thorn in his side for quite a while, to such a degree that he was only able to defeat them through, well… let’s just say, “underhanded methods.” Perhaps torn between playing to the crowd and “getting the job done”, The 1 Called Manders lost his first outing in CSW, but he and Jovi got the last word and then some with a brutal beatdown to Mike Outlaw. I have a feeling that this feud is far from over.

His Heart’s Just Not In It Anymore:

I think the biggest story of the entire show was perhaps what was going on between The Premier and Roscoe Leech. As longtime CSW fans will know, Roscoe Leech is perhaps one of the most ruthless managers in the company’s short history. He led The Premier in near yearlong reign of terror within the company’s tag team division that nearly left The Howletts without meaningful work in the Kansas City area. Unfortunately for Roscoe, it seems that he was somewhat “taken along for the ride” with The Premier as they donned their Icarus wings and flew far too close to the proverbial sun during the feud. They lost their Ultimate Jeopardy cage match at Deal with the Steel IV and Roscoe suffered the consequences – being left in a cage with an accomplished mixed martial arts trainer in Coach frass Azab. This match was going to be a good indicator of where The Premiers‘ heads were at moving into 2023, but I don’t think anyone truly foresaw what happened.

Normally, Roscoe Leech is a very hands-on manager. He’s good at what he does, and if that means bending the rules ever so slightly then by God that’s what he’s going to do. He’s always been somewhat of an “ends justify the means” sort of guy. and in this match against St. Louis’ own Mason St. Goods and Chris Hendrix, we had an entirely new version of Roscoe – one that seemed to not care at all about what was going on in the ring. He was noticeably frustrated with the choices that his team were making at numerous times, seemed disgusted with their showboating and arrogance, and more or less just “wasn’t there” for lack of a better thing to say. And if the crowd didn’t pick up on any of that while the match was going on, Roscoe’s noticeable displeasure with the prospect of helping The Premier in the subsequent “end match beatdown” sent ripples through the crowd. A 2022 Roscoe Leech would have been in there beating the crap out of whoever they came across at the drop of a hat, but this was a completely different situation.

Then we had the next match…


Well, I’ll be damned…

Directly after there was a match between “The Giant Killer” Scott Tyler and “The Big Strong Boy” Ethan Price. Scott Tyler has been an absolute tear so far, resulting in a three win “winning streak” and counting. He has earned the moniker of being a so-called “giant killer” due to his small stature and his ability to take down opponents much larger than himself. We saw this when he unceremoniously embarrassed Dred Roberts, a competitor that obviously went into the match assuming he’d have an easy win on his hands, only to suffer defeat. Ethan Price is definitely no pushover, however he has not had the most productive win loss record of anyone in the company. That said, he’s one of those guys that you don’t want to leave to his own devices because he will run with any sort of flaw he sees, and if you give him an inch he’ll take a mile.

When it seemed like Ethan Price had Scott Tyler on the ropes, both figuratively and literally, it was none other than Roscoe Leech that came out for a little bit of scouting, and surprisingly coaching. Everyone assumed that Leech was there to see Ethan Price, something that Ethan Price even assumed himself. Then “the shot heard across the world” happened when Roscoe walked up to Scott looked him right in the eyes and yelled something like “stand up, everyone here believes in you!” It’s going to be a tough sell for some to accept that Roscoe Leech has changed his ways or if this is just yet another one of his nefarious ploys. Personally, I’m not going to have any problems cheering for the guy considering he is easily one of the best managers I have seen in professional wrestling in a long time. If he’s going to actually start bringing in more talent that he can nurture in a more positive manner it will be very interesting. That just leaves an eventual reckoning on what his intentions are with his current clients, The Premier…

Side Note: Scott Tyler’s springboard cutter is amazing!

What’s My Name?

Jake Something is one of those guys that has flown somewhat under the radar, however is absolutely great in everything he does in professional wrestling. He is most notable in recent history as a former member of Impact Wrestling’s ruthless stable Violent By Design, a group previously spearheaded by veteran wrestler Eric Young. Now shifted back towards being a “fan favorite” versus a villain, Jake seemed like the perfect outside agent to take on Jeremy Wyatt’s long standing dominance over the DWF championship scene. The question was, could Jake tap into his past tendencies and brutalize Jeremy Wyatt in such a way that he couldn’t use his typical tricks to win?

This was an absolutely hard fought match that could have gone either way at multiple times, but it seemed like Jeremy Wyatt’s perfect ring awareness ultimately led to his eventual win. Using not one, but two, referees as ways to “accidentally” deflect certain doom upon himself, he was able to frustrate Jake Something to a point where he let up his guard just enough that Wyatt was able to capitalize. 1-2-3 and that was all she wrote yet again. This match, and its aftermath, has the possibility of going multiple directions in future bookings, and I would be down for quite a few of them. Personally, I would love to have a rematch between Jake Something and Jeremy Wyatt considering the match did not exactly end on the most clean of terms. However, with that said, Wyatt has been running his mouth about Dak Draper for a number of weeks – especially jabbing at the fact that Draper was not at CSW When the Levee Breaks due to taking a last minute booking in one of a the bigger television companies in some capacity. I have a feeling that, at some point, fans are going to have a situation where these two modern-day gladiators are going to collide once again in what is going to perhaps be a unification match of sorts. When a company has two champions that are seen as being equal in some capacity, it definitely causes issues and one can tell that Jeremy Wyatt is not a fan of his divided status in the company. Whichever way it goes, it will be interesting to see who Wyatt faces at the next CSW show coming up in April, Violence Begets Violence, because many seem to think that 2023 is going to bring about the end of his reign as “The King of Kansas City.”

To many of those naysayer, I will say – “Hail to the King!”


This show was an important one for Central States Wrestling. It would have been easy to just basically book a bunch of rematches and ride the waves from the December show into the new year, but you can only build so much from something like that. That’s why a lot of the TV brands have issues, as they take a popular feud and run it into the absolute ground until people are tired of it. Perhaps forced by circumstance, Central States Wrestling – When The Levee Breaks went in an entirely different direction and built a sturdy foundation that this entire year of shows will be constructed from. There are already new storylines brewing and drastic character changes the fans are already speculating about. If one could say anything about CSW, they are never predictable or boring. There wasn’t a single “dud” on the card, with even the opening match (or was it a dark match? I am not certain!) being pretty solid. Luke Langley versus Dan the Dad was my top pick for “match of the night”, and the evolution of Roscoe Leech was perhaps the storyline I am buzzing about the most moving forward. My son and I loved venturing over to the “gimmick tables” and snagged tons of photos and other merch from as many guys that we could afford. He loves meeting the wrestlers, and CSW is particularly great in that they believe in fan interactions as part of the independent wrestling experience. If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive form of what I would consider family-friendly fun in the KC area, Central States Wrestling has been a huge hit for my family.

For more CSW Content, Click HERE


Since I have far too much free time, I tabulated some W/L records for everyone as well:

  • Note: Dak Draper vs Arjun Singh at Aftermath was not a sanctioned match
  • Dak’s Win at Vendetta 2022 is not counted as this was a four-way match
  • Price’s Win at Strapped is not included due to it being a three way match

Transparency Time: I originally posted these records on the previous review with a few typos that I have corrected – I had flipped two records and left one off from the tag team chart.


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