The Arch in St. Louis is known as the “Gateway to the West”, in honor of St. Louis’s part in the westward expansion of the United States. A few miles north of St. Louis, Spaulding Hall in Alton, Illinois serves as the Gateway To Anarchy. The wrestling event of the same name on January 10 marks Saint Louis Anarchy’s first show of the new decade and year. The once near-monthly Anarchy is becoming a monthly fixture in 2020, and the events of Friday’s Gateway to Anarchy show will likely set the table for the year in Anarchy to come.
Gateway Heritage Championship Match: (c) “The Monarch” Jeremy Wyatt vs. Nick Gage
The Gateway Heritage Champion for 458 days as of this writing, “The Monarch” Jeremy Wyatt has ruled Saint Louis Anarchy and every promotion in which he has defended his Gateway Heritage Championship in. In twenty-five defenses of the GHC belt, Wyatt has gone an improbable 24-0-1, the one blemish coming recently, in an arduous 60-minute time limit draw with Gary Jay in December at Journey Pro Wrestling in Kansas City.
Wyatt, a mat-based wrestler who’s in his true element when he can slow things down in the ring and keep less technically sound wrestlers guessing, usually defends the Gateway Heritage Championship under the stipulation of “pure wrestling rules”. Those rules state that each combatant has three rope breaks to escape submissions or pin attempts, and that using a rope break or breaking a rule (such as using a closed fist or weapon) costs you a rope break.
This stipulation has come into play in several title matches and is partially a reason Wyatt is still the champion. However, for this encounter with Nick Gage, Wyatt waived the rules, claiming the Gage is “too stupid” for the rules, and would just disqualify himself.
Calling Gage stupid is a bold move, to say the least. Nick Gage is, in this humble writer’s opinion, the fiercest and most dangerous competitor wrestling today. He piledrove Warhorse through a flaming skull! He bashed Gary Jay across the face with a fluorescent light tube! He’s done much more to many other wrestlers and essentially left a pile of beaten and bloody wrestlers in his wake since his return to pro wrestling.
Whenever Nick Gage enters a room to fight, the energy changes, it’s something you can feel as soon as his Metallica entrance music hits. Gage recently lost his GCW crown, per se, losing the GCW World title to AJ Gray (who then lost it to Rickey Shane Page) last month. Gage will be hungry to snatch the Gateway Heritage Championship and put some gold back around his waist.
Warhorse vs. Fred Yehi
Once just a viking named Jake, in 2019 Warhorse evolved to a full-fledged Ruler of Ass, headbanging his way across independent wrestling and claiming the Independent Wrestling TV Title in the process. He’ll kick and stomp a hole through anyone and headbang in the ring afterwards. One of the Four Pillars of St. Louis Wrestling, Warhorse is a beloved figure in Anarchy and frankly anywhere he pops up for a match. Which, as of last weekend, includes a record store without a wrestling ring in North Dakota.
When I saw the Saint Louis Anarchy Twitter account tweet that Fred Yehi was going to be a big part of the Anarchy roster in 2020, I was immediately giddy with excitement. I first heard of Yehi a handful of years ago when a friend showed me this backyard wrestling match Fred Yehi had ages ago in front of dozens of kids in lawnchairs. A young Yehi was doing moves I’d only seldom seen in any wrestling ring, let alone someone’s backyard.
Fred Yehi is a unique talent, not many in the world of wrestling possess his combination of technical skill and physical prowess. Yehi matches up well with anyone of any size, with a number of matches in EVOLVE against current and former WWE or Impact Wrestling stars, including WALTER, TJ Perkins, Jordynne Grace, and Brian Cage. He unsuccessfully challenged Jeremy Wyatt for the Gateway Heritage Championship in Journey Pro in August 2019, but will be gunning for that title in 2020.
The Besties In The World vs. Larry D & “Big Beef” Gnarls Garvin
To dust off an old chestnut here, Anarchy wouldn’t be Anarchy without the Besties. They are the half of the Four Pillars of St. Louis Wrestling and truly the heart of wrestling in the St. Louis area and beyond. The Besties are beloved worldwide, and by the nature of the wrestling business, has put a target on their back wherever they go. They’re champions in multiple time zones, and many believe they’re the best tag team in independent wrestling.
Aiming at the target on the back of the Besties will be Larry D and “Big Beef” Gnarls Garvin. Garvin will be eager to make an impression with the Anarchy faithful and those watching at home on Independent Wrestling TV, tweeting that he was excited to have this match against what he called the best tag team in America today. Larry D has made his impression already, primarily with his fists, which the Besties will want to avoid if they want to leave Spaulding Hall victorious.
Gary Jay vs. Curt Stallion
As of now, the man who has come closest to dethroning “The Monarch” Jeremy Wyatt is the “Stiff Robo Ginger” Gary Jay. As noted earlier in this preview, Jay and Wyatt’s match at Journey Pro Wrestling’s “Die Hard Is A Christmas Movie” event ended as a 60-minute time limit draw, with Wyatt retaining the belt.
Gary Jay has made his wrestling home Spaulding Hall, the official headquarters of the Gary Jay Movement. The crowd erupts for the man when he arrives, when he leaves, and mostly, when he wins. One of the Four Pillars of St. Louis wrestling, Jay is an embodiment of the great wrestling in the area, but that title has put him directly in the crosshairs of Curt Stallion.
When “Lonestar” Curt Stallion returned to Anarchy he told the Spaulding Hall crowd that he was what made St. Louis Wrestling great, not Jay, Warhorse, or either Bestie. After losing to Warhorse and failing to capture the Independent Wrestling TV title, he faces one of the few men who fights with a calculated recklessness like he does in Gary Jay. This match has “show stealer” written all over it.
Chip Day vs. Anthony “Sharkbait” Gutierrez
Two of the meanest kicks in the business square off at Gateway to Anarchy in Chip Day and Sharkbait. An incredibly successful MMA fighter with a 29-6 record across professional and amateur mixed martial arts, Gutierrez soaks in Finding Nemo-esque “Sharkbait ooh ah ah” chants at Spaulding Hall as he delivers clubbing, harsh kicks to anyone in his path.
In what feels like a perfect matchup, the only man in Anarchy who can go kick-for-kick with Sharkbait is Chip Day. Day is coming off a great match with ACH at an Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment show less than two weeks ago, a nearly thirty minute brawl which saw him lose his GWC belt to the man who vacated it when he originally signed a WWE contract. With a win, Day could prove that he deserves to be in the conversation for the Gateway Heritage Title.
Aaron Williams vs. Thomas Shire
Aaron Williams just had a fierce bout with Impact Wrestling’s Sami Callihan at Rockstar Pro Wrestling. Two days after that squared off with Gary Jay at an IWA-Mid South show that left both combatants bruised and battle torn, and Thomas Shire knows exactly what that feels like, having lost a tough tussle with Jay at the last Anarchy show, No Church In The Wild.
Thomas Shire’s mixture of technical talent and very non-technical toughness makes him an interesting package in the ring and a tough match for anyone. “The King Of Hoss Island”, Shire trained in Japan, an All-Japan, Funking, and Funaki dojo student, and that expertise comes out in his matches. He even does a Baba special takedown. What’s not to like?
The Kenway vs. Cole Radrick
Two young competitors attempting to climb the Anarchy ladder from different sides, The Kenway and Cole Radrick are as similar as they are different. The Kenway, a brash, over-confident yet talented wrestler who added a “The” to his name, versus Radrick, who has won the hearts and minds of the Anarchy fans through hard work in the ring. Both men look for a win to start 2020 on the right track.
Seishin & Kenny Alfonso vs. Ace Perry & Deacon Cash
Deacon Cash, who I apologize for believing was named “Ethan Cash” and writing as such on the previous show, looks to make a name for himself alongside Ace Perry, who snagged a win with the Reigel Twins at No Church In The Wild. Their opponents, Seishin and Kenny Alfonso, are rising stars, both with big futures in wrestling based on what they’ve done already. Seishin is a black belt who’s become a staple of the STL wrestling scene, and Alfonso is looking to make more waves in Anarchy after facing the Besties In The World at Journey Pro in December.
Christian Rose, Angelus Layne, & Jake Dirden vs. Evan Gelistico, Everett Connors, & Billie Starkz
Greg Jovi’s treachery has infiltrated Anarchy, much to the chagrin of the Anarchy Faithful. Luckily for those faithful, their “Space Jesus”, Billie Starkz, is teaming up again with Everett Connors and Evan Gelistico to go toe-to-toe with the villainous stable. Everett Connors originally enlisted Billie Starkz to teach Raul The Bear how to be a good bear, which, so far, has worked.
The Gateway to Anarchy opens Friday, January 10. For those outside of the St. Louis metro area, the show will be streaming live on Independent Wrestling TV.
For those in the area, Spaulding Hall opens its doors at 6:15 pm for the pre-event party, with regular doors opening at 7. The event proper starts at 7:30.