Championship Week continues in the Twin Cities on Saturdayw night, when the most treasured hardware in Steel Domain Wrestling will be distributed. I’m guessing Cheryl Reeve will not be in attendance at American Legion Post 435 in Richfield.
That’s a good thing, since as upset as the Lynx coach was with WNBA officiating on Thursday night, it’s hard to imagine the level of angst she would experience observing the lack of attention to detail from Steel Domain senior official Jay Soltis and his protégés.
Steel Domain has been in business since 1998 as a regional independent and has watched several of its alumni make it to the big-time, including C.M. Punk and Ken Anderson.
There are monthly cards — usually in Post 435’s auditorium — and also appearances at summer festivals.
The word had spread like a tsunami through local sports circles this summer that Steel Domain owner/promoter Ed Hellier was about to restore a tag team champion for the first time since 2007.
“Our last tag team champions were Rick Renslow and Bull Belinsky Jr.,” Hellier said. “Rick was a legend in local wrestling circles. He got sick, and it turned out to be stomach cancer. It was a terrible blow to all of us.”
Renslow was 53 when he died in 2008. Hellier announced this summer that the Rick Renslow Memorial Tournament would be held to re-establish a tag team title.
The semifinals took place last month at the Crystal Community Center, and I wouldn’t have missed them for the world (or, certainly not for a Twins game).
This was such an action-packed card the tag team semifinals were the build-up to the heavyweight title match featuring Danny Duggan, a noble fellow from Winnipeg, and Ace Steel, a representative of evil from Chicago and elsewhere.
Hellier’s group decided to take its name from Steel’s wrestling school — Steel Domain — and yet he’s a nasty man. That’s as confusing as the night I was at the St. Paul Civic Center and saw Sgt. Goulet of the French Foreign Legion taking on Baron von Raschke, a goose-stepping German, and the crowd reviled the Frenchman.
The Steel Domain cards can be found on the internet, including on Fite TV, so there are interviews required. There was a pre-card interview with Duggan and Steel to set up the main event. The insults started and Steel finally threw this bombshell:
“Go back to Winnipeg and be a dumb crybaby with your dumb shorts.”
Steel was insulting both Duggan’s Canadian heritage and his fondness for Zubaz. How much can a man take?
Soon, they were exchanging punches, and their cohorts came flying toward the ring, and we had a melee between Duggan’s good-hearted men and Steel’s reprobates.
Soltis and the evening’s other referee, Jesse Johnson, came racing toward the ring, but a lot of good they were going to do.
Once things settled, the first match featured Tommy Lee Curtis against a fellow in cutoff coveralls named Cooter. As they arrived, Tommy Lee told a 6-year-old kid to “shut up,” and Cooter was carrying a rubber chicken that he referred to as “Duck.”
Immediately, my suspicion was Curtis was a hard guy to like and Cooter was affable but not too bright. Turned out that way, as Tommy Lee bent the rules to get Cooter on the mat, and then beat him silly.
Curtis then stopped for a postmatch Q&A and immediately said to interviewer Pete Waggoner: “How is it you seem to be get fatter every time I see you?”
Add fat-ism to the -isms of which wrestling heels have been guilty through the decades.
The tag team semifinals went like this:
• Ricky Love and Ryan Slade, aka Happy Hour, defeated A.J. Smooth and Aaron Corbin. They managed this even with some attempts at interference by the Golden Idol, manager of the Temple of Terror alliance (Smooth and Corbin included) that has attempted Steel Domain takeovers.
• Three-Under-Par, featuring golfing great Chadwick Wentworth III and his caddie, Brick McCarthy, defeated Travis Cole (aka Top Prospect) and Larry Legend. The golfers did a lot of cheating that was noticed by everyone — except Soltis.
Ah, well, it will be Happy Hour vs. Three-Under-Par for the restored and sparkling belt as tag team champions on Saturday in Richfield. Also, Duggan took care of Steel last month and he will be wrestling Corbin for the heavyweight title.
BULLETIN: Hellier called on Friday morning to announce Duggan and Corbin moments earlier had agreed to a chain match, to wear collars connected by a 12-foot chain.
Connected by a chain … with the Golden Idol at ringside? I fear attempts at interference.
“So do I, but I’m sure our senior official, Jay Soltis, will prevent it,” Hellier said.
Cheryl Reeve and I doubt that, Ed. We don’t trust refs anymore.