We all remember the furor and panic over the Louisiana State Boxing & Wrestling Commission rules that happened about a week before WrestleMania weekend, right?
First, a quick reminder of what maneuvers those rules banned, exactly--
All variations of the Pile Driver;
All variations of the Power Bomb;
The “Moonsault”, “Shooting Star”, or “450 Splash” or any variation thereof which involves one wrestler, leaping or flipping off the ropes or turnbuckles to contact the head or neck of the opponent with any part of his body;
The “Stungun” of any variation thereof which results in the one fighter’s head or neck being dragged, draped or “closelined” [sic] across the ropes;
The striking of a wrestler’s head with any object, chair, trashcan [sic] lid, etc., and
No wrestler shall throw, push, shove or force another out of the ring or over the top rope.
While there’s at least one rule in there that I agree with, personally (the ban on weapon shots to the head), that’s a BIG chunk of indie wrestling off the table right there. Folks were worried this would lead to low-excitement kick-punch-bodyslam matches, but despite reassurance from local promoter Luke Hawx, the question hung in the air-- just how serious was the commission about these rules?
Well, there’s one way to find out! I recapped six shows over the course of the weekend (Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport, Evolve 102, Evolve 103, Mercury Rising 2018, Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2, and the Style Battle Season 1 Finale), and while I don’t call EVERY move in these recaps, I like to think I do a pretty good job of covering the highspots and, thus, the moves that are on that list. Seems like an adequate sample size to do some science on, so without further ado, everything “illegal” that happened on those six shows.
Eddie Kingston vs. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams (Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport)
- Deadlift powerbomb from Kingston on Williams to reverse a cross armbar.
Tom Lawlor vs. WALTER (Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport)
- Another deadlift powerbomb counter to a cross armbar, this time WALTER on Lawlor.
Nick Gage vs. Timothy Thatcher (Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport)
- Thatcher rolled a double wristlock to the floor, which seems like it’d violate the ring-out rule up there.
Austin Theory vs. DJ Z (Evolve 102)
- Theory hit an absolutely wild release Doctor Bomb.
AR Fox vs. Will Ospreay (Evolve 102)
- Fox ran afoul of the Stun Gun rule, snapping Will’s neck over the middle rope.
- Ospreay hit his sweet float-over powerbomb.
- AR with Lo Mein Pain AND the 450 splash in quick succession, neither of which directly target the head or shoulders but that rule is weirdly specific, so I’m counting them.
Catch Point (Dominic Garrini & “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams) vs. Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. the End (Odinson & Parrow) vs. WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & James Drake) (Evolve 102)
- The End hit a Super Collider on Doom Patrol.
- Parrow military pressed Hot Sauce clean out of the ring.
- James Drake hit his beautiful big man moonsault.
Darby Allin vs. Keith Lee (Evolve 102)
- Of course Keith Lee hit the Spirit Bomb.
Matt Riddle vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (Evolve 102)
- Riddle hit a powerbomb as part of the knee strike combination he’s been favoring a lot lately.
- Our first piledriver is a Gotch Tombstone from Bro!
Austin Theory vs. Keith Lee (Evolve 103)
- Theory with a super-impressive spin-out Argentine powerbomb on the superheavyweight.
- And Lee returns directly with a Spirit Bomb.
AR Fox vs. Chris Brookes vs. DJ Z vs. Jason Kincaid (Evolve 103)
- DJ with a one-two punch, both powerbombing Kincaid and dropkicking him out of the ring.
- Another Lo Mein Pain here to set up the finish.
Jaka vs. Munenori Sawa (Evolve 103)
- Early in the match, Sawa dumped Jaka to the floor.
Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Matt Riddle (Evolve 103)
- Sekimoto countered a headscissors double wristlock over the ropes with a series of knee strikes that sent Riddle to the floor.
AR Fox, DJ Z, & Trey Miguel vs. Austin Theory, Travis Banks, & Zachary Wentz (Mercury Rising 2018)
- DJ with a moonsault.
- Theory hit the Argentine powerbomb again.
- And Zema immediately followed that with a powerbomb of his own.
- Another Lo Mein Pain from Fox.
- And the finishing 450 splash from DJ.
Catch Point (Dominic Garrini & “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams) vs. the End (Odinson & Parrow) vs. WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & James Drake) (Mercury Rising 2018)
- Hot Sauce powerbombed Parrow into a table at ringside.
- Another Super Collider from the End.
- Parrow returned the powerbomb to Williams back in the ring.
- Big lads moonsault from James Drake.
Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Keith Lee (Mercury Rising 2018)
- Another Spirit Bomb from the Limitless One.
Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER) (Mercury Rising 2018)
- WALTER hit a folding powerbomb on Dickinson.
Matt Riddle vs. Will Ospreay (Mercury Rising 2018)
- Riddle once again hit the powerbomb / knee combo.
- Then there’s the moonsault Bromission counter, which was scary.
- Another Tombstone piledriver from our Bro.
- The float-over powerbomb makes a return for Ospreay.
DJ Z vs. Eli Everfly vs. Gringo Loco vs. Kyle the Beast vs. Teddy Hart vs. Tony Deppen (Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2)
- Hart hit both a Teddy Bomb and the Stu Hart Special.
- Eli Everfly hit an avalanche double underhook flip piledriver to finish the match.
James Ellsworth vs. Matt Riddle (Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2)
- Ellsworth dumped Riddle out of the ring by way of a low bridge.
Pierre Carl Ouellet vs. WALTER
- A shoulder block from PCO sends WALTER to the floor early.
- A choke over the middle rope leads WALTER to run afoul of the Stun Gun rule.
- And a back body drop to the floor soon thereafter from the Ring General.
- A moonsault to the floor from Pierre definitely broke the rule because his knees went crashing into both WALTER’s and the referee’s heads.
- WALTER gave it back to him with a powerbomb through the table, though.
- And a followup powerbomb in the ring thereafter.
- Another moonsault from the former WWE World Tag Team Champion.
Nick Gage vs. Penta el Zero M (Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2)
- Thought we’d get away without any chairshots to the head? Nope! Penta brought several of them early here.
- Gage returned the favor with part of a door.
- ...and so did Penta.
- Nick with a powerbomb through a door.
David Starr vs. “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush (Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2)
- A springboard lariat sent Quack to the floor.
- Starr reversed a Frankensteiner into a powerbomb.
The Second Annual Clusterf#&% (Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2)
- Jimmy Lloyd eliminated the Invisible Man with a jumping piledriver. Note that I mention this only for completeness, because a “commission representative” came out and eliminated Jimmy for violating the rules.
Great Sasuke vs. Joey Janela (Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2)
- Sasuke clocked Janela in the head with a cookie sheet early.
- He later powerbombed Joey onto the backs of some chairs.
- And then followed that with a door-shot to the head.
AR Fox vs. Tracer X (Style Battle Season 1 Finale)
- Fox hit both Lo Mein Pain and the 450 splash to finish the match.
Anthony Henry vs. Jason Kincaid (Style Battle Season 1 Finale)
- Kincaid hit kind of a modified Kudo Driver.
- Henry hit a pop-up folding powerbomb to lead into his finishing sequence.
Matt Riddle vs. Snoop Strikes (Style Battle Season 1 Finale)
- Riddle hit the powerbomb / knee combo to finish.
Keith Lee vs. Nick Gage (Style Battle Season 1 Finale)
- Lee picked up the win with the Spirit Bomb.
- Also Pillmanization is NOT against the rules posted up there, but for completeness, I’ll note that Style Battle ran an angle where the commission came down and threatened to strip Gage of his license for doing it after the match.
AC Mack vs. Adrian Alanis vs. Alan Angels vs. James Bandy vs. Kavron Kanyon vs. Shawn Dean (Style Battle Season 1 Finale)
- Angels hit a Spanish Fly.
- Kanyon hit a buckle bomb.
Anthony Henry vs. AR Fox (Style Battle Season 1 Finale)
- Henry reverses a normal piledriver on the apron into an Air Raid Crash on the apron.
- Again Henry hit the pop-up powerbomb to start into his finishing sequence.
Anthony Henry vs. Matt Riddle (Style Battle Season 1 Finale)
- Riddle again hit the powerbomb / knee combo here.
- As did Henry the powerbomb into the half-crab.
Clearly, the commission’s rules didn’t have that much of an effect on these shows. But then, they were never going to, as local promoter Luke Hawx’s comments reiterated time and again.
But don’t let that fool you into thinking they did literally nothing, as some answers from a Twitter Q&A that Beyond Wrestling held shed some light into how much influence the commission actually had.
NOLA decided they saw "enough" paperwork & didn't check everyone on our show but stayed the whole time & wouldn't allow for Havoc/Havok to use a steel chair.— Beyond Wrestling (@beyondwrestling) April 9, 2018
Nothing compares to NYSAC telling us we could start late & then enforcing curfew so we had to cut intermission with HOG. https://t.co/JhD7oZXYUS
It's also worth noting one of the representatives from the commission was laughing his ass off when @orangecassidy hit the Canadian Destroyer on @JANELABABY at #LitUp. https://t.co/JhD7oZXYUS— Beyond Wrestling (@beyondwrestling) April 9, 2018
There you have it, folks
The Louisiana State Boxing & Wrestling Commission’s rules certainly made some impact over the past weekend, but they were hardly a showstopper.