IWA Mid-South

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IWA Mid-South
AcronymIWA MS[1]
StyleProfessional wrestling
Hardcore wrestling
Strong style
Death Match
HeadquartersLouisville, Kentucky
Founder(s)Ian Rotten
Owner(s)Ian Rotten
SisterIWA Deep South
IWA East Coast
IWA Texas

Independent Wrestling Association (IWA) Mid-South (also known as IWA Mid-South, IWA-MS, and IWA Mid South Wrestling) is an American independent professional wrestling promotion based in Jeffersonville, Indiana. It was formed by Ian Rotten in 1996.


Hardcore wrestling[edit]

Independent Wrestling Association: Mid-South (IWA-MS) formed in 1996 in Louisville, Kentucky. The owner, Ian Rotten,[2] is one of the first to bring hardcore style of wrestling to the United States with his feud with former tag team partner Axl Rotten. He formed the promotion shortly after leaving Extreme Championship Wrestling in the mid-1990s.[3] IWA Mid-South first came on the scene on October 10, 1996 with the first, of what would become weekly shows in Louisville, Kentucky. On April 3, 1997 IWA Mid-South crowned its first Heavyweight Champion, Tower of Doom, when he won a three way dance in the finals of a tournament.[4]

Move to Indiana[edit]

In early 2000, IWA Mid-South moved its operations to Charlestown, Indiana. In late 2000, IWA Mid-South started to make a slow shift to more technical based wrestlers and matches. During that year Dave Prazak became a featured manager, ring announcer, and commentator. He played a prominent role in bringing in Colt Cabana and CM Punk to join Chris Hero and other technical wrestlers. With this change brought the birth of the Ted Petty Invitational Tournament (TPI), then known as Sweet Science 16. The first TPI was held in 2000 and won by Chris Hero. During this time, a match featuring Punk and Hero lasted 92 minutes and has since been referred to by ESPN's SportsCenter as one of the longest sporting events.[5]

In 2002 IWA Mid-South moved its base to Clarksville, Indiana. From 2003 to 2007, IWA Mid-South ran shows in a wide variety of venues, mostly Indiana and Illinois. During this span, they had a 51-month streak of running at least one show in every calendar month.[6] IWA Mid-South then went on a planned hiatus, restarting operations with their 500th show on March 1, 2008.

On August 26, 2009, IWA Mid-South announced that it would cease its operations after the Kings of the Crimson Mask show on August 28. However, on November 3, IWA Mid-South announced that it would return with smaller budget shows, starting with Chapter 2: In The Beginning on November 20, 2009. On March 28, 2011, IWA Mid-South announced it would end operations immediately.[7]

In July 2011, IWA Mid-South re-opened under new ownership. On September 16–17, 2011 the company returned with its annual King of the Death Match tournament. During that autumn, IWA Mid-South promoted a number of small shows in the Bellevue, Illinois area. IWA Mid-South then closed down once again.

In July 2013, Ian Rotten announced he was once again promoting shows under the IWA-MS banner, this time returning to the old Clarksville Arena. They ran multiple shows there before the building went under new ownership. They then relocated to Jammerz Rollerdrome also In Clarksville. They also ran at The Arena based in Jeffersonville Indiana before moving to the New IWA Arena at the Memphis Trading Post in Memphis, Indiana where they are currently running two shows a week, Thursday nights and Saturday nights.

Mike Levy incident[edit]

On June 21, 2008, during IWA's 2008 Queen of the Deathmatch tournament in Sellersburg, Indiana, Mike Levy, an inexperienced wrestler from North Carolina, was booked to face Mickie Knuckles in the a semi-finals tournament match. Through the course of the match, Levy delivered several stiff punches and weapon shots to Knuckles, leaving her with a lump on her head. Levy also no-sold much of Knuckles' offense. In retaliation, Ian Rotten and wrestlers Tank and Devon Moore rushed the ring and legitimately brutalized the young wrestler with various weapons, resulting in heavy bleeding.[8] The incident garnered heavy backlash and was investigated by Indiana police, but no charges were filed.[9] According to Rotten, the attack was staged and Levy was "told upfront he was going to take an ass whooping."[10] Levy is still active in the North Carolina independent circuit.[11]

Current championships[edit]

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes
IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship Kevin Giza 1
IWA Mid-South Tag Team Championship Player's Club
IWA Mid-South Junior Heavyweight Championship Kevin Giza 2 .
IWA Mid-South Women's Championship Alice Crowley 1
Jeffersonville, Indiana

Defunct championships[edit]

Championship Final champion(s) Date won Location Notes
IWA Mid-South Light Heavyweight Championship Devon Moore September 1, 2012 Bellevue, Illinois Defeated Bucky Collins at an IWA Midwest live event
Championship retired in 2012.
IWA Mid-South Strong Style Championship Nick Gage August 17, 2008 Joliet, Illinois Defeated Michael Elgin at We Are Family 2.
Championship retired on December 6, 2008 at the Revolution Strong Style Tournament 2008.
IWA Mid-South Hardcore Championship 2 Tuff Tony March 4, 2000 Charlestown, Indiana Defeated Delilah Starr and Mad Man Pondo in a Fans Bring the Weapons three-way match to unify title with the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship.
IWA Mid-South Television Championship Shark Boy April 2, 1998 Louisville, Kentucky Defeated Chip Fairway at a live event and retired the championship.
IWA Mid-South Deathmatch Championship Devon Moore June 21, 2008 Sellersburg, Indiana Defeated Danny Havoc in a tournament final at day two of King of the Death Matches 2008 for the vacated title.
Championship retired on December 6, 2008.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cagematch : IWA Mid-South (in German)
  2. ^ Bell, Jason. "Ian Rotten's Bio". Official Home of Ian Rotten. Retrieved 2007-04-18.
  3. ^ Williams, Scott E. Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW. Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing L.L.C., 2006. (pg. 68) ISBN 1-59670-021-1
  4. ^ "I.W.A. Mid-South Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Retrieved 2007-04-18.
  5. ^ "UFC News: C.M. Punk appears on ESPN SportsCenter, has a new answer regarding the difference between Dana White and WWE's Vince McMahon". prowrestling.net. December 17, 2014. Retrieved February 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "I.W.A. Mid-South Results History". WrestlingData.com. 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  7. ^ Gerweck, Steve (2011-03-30). "Indy group closes down in midst of real life drama". WrestleView. Retrieved 2011-03-30.
  9. ^ Thacker, Matt (August 5, 2008). "No charges from Sellersburg wrestling video". The Evening News and The Tribune. Indiana. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  11. ^ Mike Levy << Wrestlers Database << CAGEMATCH << The Internet Wrestling Database

External links[edit]