Last night Ducks Fly Together aired on IWTV, and the show was truly incredible. First of all, it was a benefit show put on by the Ugly Ducklings to raise money to help one of their own: Lance Lude. On the night of the show alone $4,400 was raised for Lude, and the proceeds from the stream will be going to him as well, so be like the ducks on get on that stream! Second off, every wrestler knew why they were, and as such, they gave it everything they had and put on amazing match after amazing match. This show was literally everything I love about indie wrestling, and is a must see. We're going to get into spoiler territory, but before that I will say you should watch the whole show, but if you want particular matches then Nolan Edward vs Timmy Lou Retton, the fatal four way, and Wrestling Prodigies vs Ugly Ducklings were probably the best matches of the night, but top to bottom the show was fantastic. So let's get into it.
Viva Las Amish VS The King's Gate
Winners: The King's Gate. This six man tag opened the show and was just good fun to get the crowd going. I've never heard so many people boo a chicken, but here we are. It had some wonderful comedy spots sprinkled throughout, and some of the best high flying of the night. King's Gate all really impressed me, and I never tire of the Amish boys. Just a good fun time!
Winner:Coach Mikey by last eliminating Arik Royal. Ya that's right, Arik Royal. When he entered the match the entire narrative of the fight changed, but let's start with the match itself. Joey Janela gave his blessing for this match to carry on the legacy of a very similarly named match that often occurs at Spring Break shows. Sometimes we had one person entering at a time, othertimes it was four people, and the match was pure insanity. It started as just a great Battle Royal, but then they called to wrap it up. That's not me interpreting ref signals, they made it a match story that the match was going too long so the last five entrants all ran out at once and were chucked in the ring by Colby Corino. Eventually it all came down to Coach Mikey of the Ugly Ducklings and Arik Royal, and Mikey said he needed to win. Royal wasn't going down without a fight though, and the two of them put on a fantastic mini match. When Mikey finally won Corino and Kiljoy rushed into the ring to hug their fellow duck in a major feelgood moment.
Nolan Edward vs Timmy Lou Retton
Winner: Timmy Lou Retton. I would like to officially announce my campaign for this match as IWTV match of the year. I've been struggling with what to write about this match to do it justice, because I truly feel like I witnessed history with this match. The best matches blend story and reality, and I have no idea what was planned in this match versus what was called on the spot. The first few minutes of the match are just oneupsmanship, as Nolan and Timmy give each other fake golf claps, copy each other's mannerisms, and play "anything you can do I can do better." If the match had stayed like this the whole time it still would have been great. Nolan is on his A-game in 2021, and Retton is fighting better than he ever has before. Just watching those two in a good, snarky, but ultimately friendly rivalry would have great, but then Nolan confirmed with the ref that there were no rules. Chairs, both plastic and metal began getting involved, and the intensity of the match ramped up. The ref was clearly sympathetic to Timmy, concerned about the local boy she had seen grow as a wrestler, while Nolan? Well you know my thoughts on Nolan: there's a reason they call him No Flinch. Nolan hits Retton with a knee during a splash in the corner, and it hit bad. Retton is down for what feels like eternity while Edward is trying to check on him and the ref keeps him back. This is where I lose all sense of what was planned and you know what? I didn't care. My mouth hung open the rest of the match as eventually Retton sat up, and his nose and mouth were covered in blood. The ref never put on gloves, meaning they were not expecting this. The match became a battle between Nolan wanting to beat Timmy, but only at his best, with Timmy wanting to prove he's just as worthy of that No Flinch moniker. From this point on the match goes into another gear, and I was hanging on every second, every hit, every near fall. Finally, mercifully, Retton won, and after the match gave a bow to Edward, and both men then prepared to head their separate ways; as Nolan had GCW and Mance Warner the next night, while Retton had the ECWA Super8. As you can see, I really liked this match. I truly think it's one of my favorite matches of all time, and in a few years when both men are rightfully huge names, people will point to this as one of the best matches that proved their stardom.
Ducks Scrambled Match
Winner:Savannah Evans. Yes, let's have a nice cool down with a FREAKING SCRAMBLE WHY NOT! This is what I mean about this show being amazing, as it was just truly a mile a minute. Evans, being from Charlotte, was of course the local hero, and the crowd was cheering for her from the beginning. That's not to say the other wrestler didn't matter, as everyone got in some great spots and looked wonderful here. The match kept a brisk pace, and there were very few dull moments. Newman, Ali, Day, Myles, everyone here had some great sections of the match, and it truly kept the show going strong.
The Dawsons vs Monster Squad
Winners: The Dawsons. Oh boy I love the Dawsons! I think this was my third time seeing them in person? They remind me a lot of FTR, especially in this match as they insist on using the tag ropes. The match was well structured, and I hadn't seen Monster Squad before, but I love the gimmick. Basically we have the crazy one Vegas, and Billy Brash trying to keep him together. Brash recently cut his hair and long beard, and as such, Vegas didn't think it was him. It reminded me a spot I once saw with Allie, Rosemary, Holidead, and Thunder Rosa where Allie got people's facepaint mixed up. The Dawsons dedicate the match to Lance, wanting the match to be great because everyone is there to help him. They hit a great, catapult, exploder, cannonball type move to get the win. It was a very fun match, and a great welcome back from intermission.
JD Drake vs Hoodfoot Mo Atlas vs Graham Bell vs Jon Davis
Hoss fight. That's all I have to say about this match. Hoss fight. In all seriousness though, these four went to war, absolutely beating the crap out of each other for what felt like an eternity. Not the match was boring, but you wanted it to end quick because you didn't think they could take much more! Graham Bell is no cruiserweight, but in this match he looked absolutely minuscule, and played the role of small dog with a big bark as everyone took turns slamming him as hard as they could. He still got in some good spots though, but the other three truly dominated, with some of the biggest chops I have ever heard in my life. Hoodfoot is just as scary in person as he is on TV to watch, and he and Davis have a great little staredown that felt like two generations meeting. I really, REALLY, want a singles match between them now. Drake of course got the biggest pop going into this match, and he did seem the obvious winner. He did end up winning, but this is one of those matches where the journey is more important than the destination. Three different "This is Awesome" chants, as these four men just would not go down. Easily in my top three matches of the night. One of my favorite Hoss fights ever, and just a mighty fine match.
White Mike vs Darius Carter
winner: White Mike. This match was very short. Good, but short. The match isn't what matters here, as the prematch promos were longer, and wow can these two work a crowd. Mike is the local hero, and if you've never seen him, he's quite the character. This was my first time seeing him in singles competition, and while I think Retton is certainly getting more national attention, Mike can hold his own just fine. After this match though, I am here to declare Darius Carter as the best heel promo in wrestling right now. He was already way up there for me after Cassandro Cup, but this was just a master at work. Absolutely stunning work as the crowd was eating out of his hand. Some people have said the indie scene doesn't have any good talkers anymore, and this promo proved that is just bullcrap. These two had a crowd three hours in screaming, and that's no easy feat. The match is good as well, but the promo truly shines as one of the best parts of the show.
Wrestling Prodigies vs The Ugly Ducklings
winners: The Ugly Ducklings. You know, at the start of this match, I had a chair. Before the match began it was announced it would take place under "Duck Rules, which means there's no rules!" Coach Mikey came out and took away the tag ropes in a truly fun moment, before the no DQ, no count out, no holds barred fight began. I'd just like to point out the Wrestling Prodigies are each only 17. Keep that in mind as you watch just how good they are. I expected maybe a chair shot or two like the Nolan/Retton match, maybe some crowd brawling, but then a door showed up. By the end of this match we had two broken doors and the front row was just gone. At some point someone got suplexed on a chair and it hit me in the ankle. Seeing a hardcore match in such a tight venue is a truly special experience. This match had some incredible spots, like a piledriver onto a chair, and like I said, two different doors got broken. Not to sell the others short, but there were a few moments I genuinely was worried for Colby Corino's well being. This match was just truly special, and none of us knew beforehand it would be a hardcore match. The crowd was absolutely electric, and this match was easily one of the best of the night. Do not miss this match! After the match Lance Lude came out to join the other Ugly Ducklings and the four of them sat down and just talked. We were hanging on every word, as you could just feel the emotion in the room. This was a bunch of people together to support someone they care about, and I definitely teared up. This was a beautiful way to close the show, and just remind everyone what it's all about. An absolutely powerful close to an amazing show.
So that's Ducks Fly Together. It was a great wrestling show for a great cause, and I highly encourage you to go watch it right now on IWTV. All the proceeds from the stream also go to Lance Lude, so do what you can to help! After the show I was able to catch up with Colby Corino and get a few words. So enjoy this interview as a bonus treat.
Justin: So how long have you been wanting to do this?
Colby Corino: As soon as I found about Lance's condition, I've been trying to figure out what we could do, and this was the first thing that popped into my head, like I'm a wrestler.
J: It's kinda what wrestlers do.
C: Ya, haha
J: What were other wrestlers' responses like, when you started reaching out to people?
C: People were so down to do it, like right at first, then when we put out the poster, people starting reaching out more like Jon Davis. Like I reached out to him a couple weeks ago and he was like "man, I'd love to be there" and I was like, hey we'd love to use you. Just so many situations like that, and promotions, they would donate talent, like Hoodfoot(from Paradigm) they were sponsored to come down here, so they didn't accept any money from us or anything, they were taken care of. And we were able to raise the maximum amount of money for Lance.
J: Were you expecting that, not just from the Mid-Atlantic region but the outpour of support all over.
C: I knew we did a lot of traveling, but I didn't know that many people knew us and cared about us. It's crazy, it really is.
J: Last question, what made you decide to go all out with the main event with the "Duck Rules?" When was the decision made to go hardcore with it?
C: I think we were at Spring Break in Tampa, and me and Rob were watching, I think it was Nicky and RSP, and Jack was like "man I've never done doors." and I was like, if you buy them we'll put you through them, and we did.