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July 21, 2003 / Reed

Arik Cannon vs. Kody O’Neil from IWA Mid-South’s We Are Family 2003

Review by Reed Benson:

Dave Prazak does the ring introductions. He’s super skinny and dressed like a grunge-loving slacker from the nineties. Chris Hero and Jim Fannin provide commentary.

Cannon and O’Neil are both debuting for IWA Mid-South here, and they make a pretty good first impression all things considered. There’s nothing deep here; just a mean Arik Cannon trying to keep a feisty Kody O’Neil down. There are suplexes, chops, a double-jump moonsault, a couple miscues, and a lot of jaw-jacking by Cannon. O’Neil gets the sudden victory after reversing a spinning slam into a crucifix pin. The video just barely picks up a “Please Come Back!” chant before it ends. (According to the DVD’s match listing at Smart Mark Video, they got their wish, because both guys wrestled again later that day.)

The real appeal of the match for me is two-fold. First, It’s fun to hear Chris Hero doing commentary with Jim Fannin back in the day. I always thought IWA Mid-South had a good thing going with the random wrestlers on commentary gimmick. They usually know what moves and matches to get over, and they’re often good at injecting humor while still playing the the seriousness of certain stories.

Second, I like “Before They Were Stars” matches, and while Cannon isn’t a national name like many of his former opponents in the Midwest, he’s been around. If you’re used to seeing him with a mohawk and a lot of pudge, you might be surprised to witness him rather slim here. Also, the crowd starts a “Honky Tonk” chant to make fun of his sideburns. So if you like Arik Cannon, this is a worthwhile time.

If nothing else, you oughta watch the wacky bump he takes off a corner clothesline at about 3:25.

– Reed Benson

My match review site is here.

My (weird) wrestling commentary site is here.

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