During the pandemic wrestling promotions seemed to be creating cinematic style matches and even entire shows out of necessity. Some of my favorite wrestling shows have been cinematic style (Killianvision comes to mind) and I do believe that if done properly it is a style which can help overall elevate the art of professional wrestling. One of the promotions which did this and I can see some of it in IWW is Lucha Underground- that idea of making wrestling feel like a television show or movie rather than just a random string of matches.
I must also note that during the matches on "The Complex" there was no commentary but rather music in its place. I've always felt this strong connection between music and wrestling. You could arrange a card with matches in a similar style to how a musician would plan their album and song order. But the tempo, the rhythm and even just the genre of music can help set the tone and pace for the match, as IWW demonstrated here with both classical and video game-like soundscapes.
Not having commentary on these matches also created two unique aspects to this show. For seeming like a movie, not hearing commentary made this more like a live wrestling experience because if you're a good wrestling promotion you don't put your commentary over the speakers live. The lack of commentary also forced you to pay more attention to the matches themselves because you didn't have anyone telling you what you were seeing: you simply had to see it for yourself.
When I first saw this show being advertised as debuting on IWTV I don't remember who I saw post about it first on Twitter but there is just no one on this show that I'm unfamiliar with and it's full of so many of my favorites. It's that pick and choosing of did I see it posted first by Jordan Blade, Masha Slamovich, MV Young, Trish Adora, Kennedi Copeland or Logan Black because I seem to always see their tweets the most. (If I had to guess though I'd guess MV Young)
What I liked about this show was that there was this running theme to it where Alec Price kind of went around causing trouble and it wasn't until almost the end of the show when he met the consequences for it by getting beaten up by Karen Bam Bam. If you don't think that Alec Price or Karen Bam Bam are the future of professional wrestling then I can no longer take your opinion seriously. I think their work speaks for itself.
"The Complex" opened up with Masha Slamovich training, TJ Crawford discussing her being back from Japan and then that leading to a match between them. This is another one of those examples of what makes IWW different but also so much better because without commentary you're forced to have Masha Slamovich and TJ Crawford talk about each other. But if there was someone on commentary just blurting out "Masha Slamovich spent a year wrestling in Japan!" as a viewer you might not take it as seriously, hear it correctly and overall it just doesn't have the same impact.
TJ Crawford has been tearing up wrestling rings to the point now where he's that guy you go to when you want to guarantee that you'll see a great match. Masha Slamovich only seems to be more violent since returning from Japan but also has those technical skills. This was- like many of these matches- something I didn't know I needed to see until I saw it and it's a hell of a way to start a show.
There were segments and music throughout the show which helped with the scenes and didn't make it feel awkward when going from one match to the next. The second match saw The Kings Of The District take on The Mane Event and if you've never seen either of these teams before then you're simply missing out because I feel like both KOD and The Mane Event have been all over, especially post-pandemic, and so to see them wrestle against each other was definitely welcome.
In terms of matches I didn't think about but then realized were perfect Pinkie Sanchez, who often times portrays Jesus, took on Brother Greatness who is a preacher-like character that I've seen in TOS before. These two just seem like they were made to wrestle each other- both in terms of character and their in ring work- and this was definitely a match that someone out there had planned to main event their show because it was that damn good.
The five way match might be the only time I saw a wrestler I hadn't seen before. Robert Martyr is out there collecting limbs while Boom Harden pops up in my Instagram feed quite regularly. Delightful Dan The God Damn Candy Man is someone I saw wrestle for the first time because of the PolyAm Parties and I (and Quentin) have a strong desire to see him live. Vinny Pacifico has been in promotions such as Pro Wrestling Magic and I feel like Jay Vera might be the one guy in this match I didn't know.
It was interesting to see MV Young trying to get wrestlers to unionize and that leading to a match against Trish Adora. I can't really explain it other than to say that for all of the times that I've seen MV Young wrestle and all of the times that I've seen Trish Adora wrestle I don't believe they've ever been on the same show. So this was a match that I never really thought about happening because it felt like they were just running in different circles so you don't try and pair them up.
But the thing is, both Trish Adora and MV Young can out-wrestle almost anyone else. They are both considered to be the best at what they do. They both hit hard and are tough as hell. This is a match that I feel like will be revisited one day but on a much larger scale (in front of many, many fans) and now we won't have to wonder why no one thought of putting them in the ring together before.
The main event felt like a true classic because you had Logan Black, as the old school hardcore vet, going up against Kennedi Copeland who is a newer hardcore style wrestler. Logan Black made reference to this during their match and as a lifelong ECW fan it just felt like when one of the newer wrestlers would come in (like Steve Corino) and have to go through one of the roster members who had been around longer (like Tommy Dreamer) These two beat the hell out of each other and it was a true lesson in how not to use a chair to sit properly.
If you asked me what I like about wrestling in terms of style I tend to like it all. This show had that way about it where it felt like there was something for everyone but if you are a fan of just pro wrestling in general than this whole show is for you. From tag teams to a straight up fight to the technical superstars to the entertainment value to the hardcore match it ended with, all styles were really on display, in their best form and delivering a show which is not to be missed.