Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW) is a popular independent wrestling company that primarily runs its shows in the Upstate New York area. The company made its debut on April 8th, 2006 and has provided many memorable moments throughout the years. Many are not aware of the dream matches and hidden gems that have occurred in areas like Syracuse, Watertown, Rome, Binghamton, Rochester, Elmira and Oswego. Lets take a look at the rise of 2CW through the years, starting at the beginning.
Spike Dudley vs. Zaquary Springate III & Isys Ephex
Many times independent companies rely on a veteran wrestler in the early stages of its existence to help put over the local talents. For 2CW, that guy was Spike Dudley. On July 5th, 2005, Spike was released from his WWE contract and ventured off onto the independents. Spike would be part of the first show to take place on April 8th, and his exposure would continue when he returned to television with Total Non-Stop Action on April 13th. Spike’s impact on 2CW was immediate.
His first feud was with local wrestler Zaquary Springate III. Springate was a snob from England and put down the New York area any time he could. In what had to be a surprise, Springate was victorious over Spike in the main event of the first show, Living on the Edge. Springate is a graduate of trainer Killer Kowalski and often holds his own in the ring, as evident by his victory over Spike.
Their feud would continue to the second show on May 8th, which saw Spike gain a victory in a Syracuse street fight. Afterward, Isys Ephex came out and brutally attacked Spike Dudley to set up a second feud for the former ECW/WWE star. It would take Ephex roughly four times to put Spike through a table because the table wouldn’t break. Tables not breaking for the company would become a common theme.
The third show was the promotions biggest show to date as it happened at the OnCenter. Ephex and Dudley were the main event and the bout was contested with the stipulation of a tables match. Spike prevailed by managing to put Ephex through the table with a double stomp. The feud between these two would not be over.
They would meet again at the fifth show, fittingly named Unfinished Business on September 16th in Syracuse. The trend of violence between Isys and Spike continued as they competed in a dog collar match. Ephex would earn the biggest win of his 2CW career, by pinning Spike after a Burning Hammer on a chair. Afterward, Spike wanted a death match at the next show while Isys wanted a pure wrestling match.
They wouldn’t meet at the next show in Utica due to Spike obligations with TNA, who had Bound For Glory the same weekend that year. Spike would return for the last show of the year which was again in Syracuse. This time, Isys and Spike would compete in a thirty minute ironman match. Spike would lose the match seventeen falls to two. Not because Isys was that much of a dominate force, but rather because Spike refused to follow the rules and got himself disqualified fifteen times. Regardless, Isys had two victories over Spike and his stock in the promotion was on the rise.
Killer Steves vs. All Money Is Legal
Steve Mckenzie and Steve Kruz compromised the team of the Killer Steves while K-Murda and K-Pusha were known as All Money Is Legal. Murda and Pusha had actually garnered some success prior to arriving in 2CW having appeared for Combat Zone Wrestling, Jersey All Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Unplugged and NWA Cyberspace, which had a loose association with TNA. Anyway, these four guys would be continually fighting for quite sometime and in 2006 they were involved in matches with each other on six of the seven shows. When it came to straight tag team matches, they had four matches with each team getting two victories. At the time, 2CW didn’t have much depth in the tag division, but more times than not, AMIL and the Steves put together entertaining bouts. They were the pioneers to what the tag division would eventually consist of. There is much more between these two teams in future Yearly Review installments.
Too Cold Scorpio vs. Slyck Wagner Brown, Slyck rises to the top of the heap.
Slyck Wagner Brown had been a well traveled independent wrestler by the time 2006 rolled around. Slyck had worked for ROH in 2003/2004 and held the JAPW Heavyweight Championship during the same time. His most accomplishing feat was defeating Christopher Daniels at the ECW Arena to claim the 3PW Heavyweight Championship. That was around the time I had became a fan of Slyck and his ability in the ring.
Scorpio, as many know, was quite popular in the 1990s having spectacular matches with Sabu, Eddie Guerrero, and Dean Malenko. He was one of the first American wrestlers to highlight his high risk moves and the 450 splash that had never really been used previously. Both men made their debut at the third show for the company, which was the OnCenter debut. Scorpio would get the win after 15+ minute match, but it made it clear that not only could Scorpio still go in the ring, but Slyck was something special and the veteran the company needed on every show.
They’d meet the following month at Unfinished Business and Scorpio won yet again in a no time limit match. Sure, Slyck lost both matches but he got an immediate boost in creditability from a crowd that hadn’t been exposed to the Underground King in person. Some may have thought that Slyck would only be capable of great matches with established names but that was proven to be false.
Instead, Slyck had a competitive match with Dizzie, the leader of AMIL and perhaps the match of the year for 2CW when he defeated Isys Ephex in a great match that showcased both men very well. While Spike Dudley was the biggest name for the company in terms of the drawing power, people were leaving the arenas remembering Slyck Wagner Brown. After just a handful of shows, Slyck was one of the top baby faces for the startup company.
Zaquary Springate/Gordy Wallace Feud
Shortly after his feud with Spike, Springate turned to his attention to the blue collar country boy, Gordy Wallace. Their issues started at the Unfinished Business show on September 16th. Wallace teamed with WWE Legend Tony Atlas, whom Springate had defeated at the OnCenter show in July. Springate viciously attacked Wallace with a steel chair and a barbed wire bat. Their violent feud would see Springate win a no holds barred match in October and Wallace win a “front row brings straps match” in November. Their feud would continue in 2007.
Johnny Law Tries To Prevent Steve King From Entering 2CW
If the name Steve King sounds familiar, that would be because King was a former enhancement talent that was often on WWF television in the early 1990s putting over several of the top guys in the business. King would be involved in a feud with Johnny Law, the resident cop for 2CW. Law didn’t want King in the company, but King would fight his way through security and eventually be involved with 2CW. They had a few matches, which saw King defeat Law rather easily. Law did manage to get one win out of a handful when he hit King with a box full of donuts that also had a brick in it. Both men wouldn’t see much more 2CW action from here on out.
Loca Vida vs. JD Love - It’s Only The Beginning
Towards the end of the year, a feud that would become one of the longest feuds in 2CW history began. Loca Vida is a masked luchadore from Mexico… New York. JD Love was an overweight, flamboyant wrestler who’s wrestling gear would often not cover his chest and other areas. Despite the odd pairing, the two had some kind of chemistry and their matches, while not great, were entertaining and the fans remained interested. Vida won two matches they had at the tail end of 2006, but the feud would take part for most of 2007.
Jason Axe Has An Attitude Change
On the early shows for 2CW, Axe was a just a young kid working his way up the card. The very first show he just wanted to play his guitar for the fans and was beaten up by Johnny Law for doing so. Axe teamed with WWE Legend King Kong Bundy in a losing effort against Zaquary Springate III and JD Love on August 18th.
The following month at Unfinished Business, Axe stated that he was the main event wrestler for the company. With the attitude change Axe traded wins with Ajax 820. Axe refused to work the opening match at the November show. He would compete in a match where he took on two other tag teams. Axe actually won the match involving the teams of Dizzie & Ajax 820 and the Killer Steves.
2006 wasn't much of a year for Jason Axe, but 2007 would be a breakout year for the “Main Event” Jason Axe.
Anytime a professional wrestling company starts up, the first year is always a rough time. Squared Circle Wrestling had its rough times but the pieces for the company and its future was put into place very early. As you can see, 2CW brought in a few popular names such as Spike Dudley, King Kong Bundy, and 2 Cold Scorpio. They also brought in the New Age Outlaws for a one-time deal for the OnCenter show, which saw them defeat JD Love and Gordy Wallace. Very few guys would be with the company after the first year, but it was evident that Slyck Wagner Brown was the top guy for the company in terms of ability. Moving forward, 2CW would continually bring in top names, champions from other companies and dream matches never happening in any other promotion would take place in Upstate New York’s top independent company.
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Slyck Wagner Brown - 2CW OnCenter
2 Cold Scorpio vs. Slyck Wagner Brown - 2CW Field Of Dreams
Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Dizzie - 2CW Unfinished Business
Slyck Wagner Brown vs. Isys Ephex - 2CW Field Of Dreams
Notable Names Brought In: Spike Dudley, Too Cold Scorpio, Tony Atlas, King Kong Bundy, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg
To learn more about 2CW, head over to their website www.2cwwrestling.com
For more wrestling columns and reviews, head over to WRESTLING RECAPS.