On Saturday, June 29th, I was at yet another NYC indie- as I’ve spent so many of my weekends the past several decades. Summoned backstage for a brief chat with Co-Owner/Executive Producer at Imperial World Wrestling, Imanii Labels debuts, I cited my concerns. With wrestling exploding in 2019, there were a ton of live shows in the very same area that night plus AEW and Evolve were streaming major shows for free. Throw a torrential downpour into the mix and I was sincerely worried for my friends Imanii and Tom “Special T” Frazier here who had put their heart, soul and bankroll into the affair.
But as I sat there a miracle happened. The room gradually filled and a few moments after start time the hard-working crew were pulling out even more chairs to accommodate the enthusiastic overflow crowd at Martin Luther King High School in Maspeth, Queens.
Highlights included a live hip hop act, Monsters On The Horizon warming up the crowd with the show’s theme, The Wolves. Brother Greatness and Dashing D Thousand did a tremendous church preacher “gimmick,” with the crowd in the palm of their hands. Fans were also treated to an indy match of the year candidate in Danny Limelight vs. Jordan Oliver (who reminds me of a young Jack Evans) as well as several other quality matches. In short, a good time was had by all in what was a remarkably successful first effort.
If the Rock and Wrestling Connection exploded in the WWF Mid-80s, IWW’s urban-themed antics with a Suge Knight-like Billionaire manager, the aforementioned Preacher characters, Imanii Labels and his havoc-wreaking “Executive Cabinet” entourage including “The Social Icon” Nicholi White, and wrestlers of every race, creed and color appealing to an equally diverse crowd, this felt like something just a bit different.
Imperial World Wrestling Debuts -The Hip Hop & Wrestling Connection
IWW is also strong on video promos and programming and refers to each card as an “episode”. I particularly liked the live music aspect of it with the masked act performing in the ring, giving it more a theatrical feel as opposed to “just another wrestling show.” I would have enjoyed hearing even more music and less wrestling promos (a dozen or so is overkill, guys), but wrestling wise they’re real solid with a mix of topnotch vets and hungry youngsters. Some tech glitches aside, this was a tremendous premier card and with some minor tweaking, they have unlimited potential.
Look for IWW, the “Hip Hop, and Wrestling Connection” to shortly return with Episode 2 and more fun antics and great live music and wrestling; it’s an unbeatable combination.
IWW Related videos:
Imperial World Wrestling Draft Red Carpet
Imanii Labels Arrives with Executive Cabinet
The Executive Cabinet Responds to Screw Job Accusations
Evan Ginzburg will be part of the following upcoming area indie cards as part of Team Splendid:
Astoria Queens August 24th, 2019 tickets will be on Sale soon. Come support independent wrestling as Alpha Championship Wrestling makes its Debut in Queens NYC
New Evolution Wrestling’s Mass Destruction September 28 7PM-11PM Queensboro Elks Lodge 8220 Queens Blvd. NYC 11373
Evan Ginzburg was Associate Producer of the movie The Wrestler and 350 Days starring Bret Hart and Superstar Billy Graham. He is also the host of The Evan Ginzburg Show seen/heard on Village Connection Network on Sundays from 11 AM ET. He can be reached on Twitter @evan_ginzburg or by e-mail at [email protected]. Visit his Evan Ginzburg’s Old School Wrestling Memories Page on Facebook.