Sanchez Climbs The Stairway To Hell, Forces Stone To Leave SWCW
Sometimes the only way to resolve an issue is reduce oneself to animalistic behaviour. In professional wrestling's storied past, that animalistic behaviour has manifested itself in many ways: steel cage matches, Russian Chain matches, Penalty Box Matches.
But one of the matches that has rarely been seen since its inception in ECW is the Stairway To Hell Match, where a bundle of barbed wire hangs above the ring and the competitors have to climb the match to gain control of that.
It appeared that THIS was the only way to resolve the issues surrounding Kevin James Sanchez and SWCW All-American Champion John E. Stone as well as their associates L. J. McDaniels & SWCW Commissioner Chris Kuhn. and on June 16, both men sat down in the ring to sign the contract for this match. At that point, it was just agreed that both men's careers would be on the line. To noone's surprise, both men had plenty to say about each other at this confrontation. Stone said that he was happy to bury Sanchez because he was the "trash at the bottom of the barrel". Kevin remained focused on the point that the All-American Title was the only title in SWCW that he had never held. As far as he was concerned, Stone was nothing and he wanted a Stairway to Hell Match to prove that. After a consultation with the rest of the Franchise Players, Stone agreed. And then Sanchez upped the stipulations. If he won, Kuhn would get 5 minutes alone with McDaniels. McDaniels appeared to balk at that idea, but Kuhn stepped up and offered something to sweetan the pot saying that Sanchez was not allowed to touch McDaniels until that match occurred. And if he did, McDaniels would get complete control of the company. McDaniels immediately took that bait, taunting Sanchez to hit him. And McDaniels got what many felt he deserved, only it didn't come from Sanchez. Instead, Kuhn knocked the weasely manager down to the mat with one punch. But Sanchez was absolutely heated from the confrontation, taking the microphone and promising to sign complete control of SWCW over to McDaniels if he lost. If he won, though, he would fire Stone on the spot and make McDaniels' life a living hell.
Sanchez & Stone faced off in an impromptu tag team match that night, with Stone and his partner Striker taking down Sanchez and Demarco Tate. And that served to irritate Sanchez even more, so he piled one more stipulation on the match: the ropes would be wrapped in barbed wire. It was lining up to be potentially the most violent match in the history of Oklahoma wrestling, which was fitting for an event called "Scars and Stripes".
It seemed like all the surprises had been brought out, but with a month's worth of time between the two events, there were plenty of things that could be lined up. McDaniels struck first by bringing back Kevin's estranged brother Shaun Sanchez. Shaun sat at ringside for the event, but it certainly made the challenger uneasy to see his brother return to SWCW. And despite Kevin's wishes, the ring ropes could not be wrapped in barbed wire as the Oklahoma Athletic Commission said that would be too barbaric. It didn't prevent both men from suffering lacerations early in their match as a barbed wire baseball bat and a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire were used frequently and repeatedly. Kareem Sadat and Chris Kuhn also brought out a barbed wire table, which sat at ringside menacingly. But even that wasn't enough. As both men beat each other into oblivion, Rick Russo came out to try and pile on more damage with some brass knucks. Russo attempted to use those knucks on Sanchez, but Sanchez ducked and Russo ended up hitting Stone. Russo was then dispatched by his former tag team partner, MSWA Oklahoma Champion Les Mayne, but not before Russo was able to connect his knucks to Sanchez's skull. After both men had recovered, Austin Tacious made a surprise return to SWCW. He had quite a couple of months ago after repeated losses which he blamed on shoddy officiating by Sanchez. After Tacious got in the ring with a steel chair, he looked at both men, then swung and hit Sanchez in the head. As the boos poured down on Tacious, he turned his aggression towards Stone as well, before leaving the ring, pursued by SWCW Tag Team Champion Shawn Sanders. Again, both competitors fought back up and Sanchez knew this was the moment he had to take advantage of. He climbed up the ladder, but had difficulty removing the bundle of barbed wire from the hook it was on. That gave Stone a chance to climb the other side and the two fought perilously on the ladder before Sanchez was able to shove him off. Sanchez then unhooked the barbed wire and descended the ladder, taking the tangled mass of steel and spikes and hitting Stone in the head with it. He then threw the bundle to Stone, who caught it and subsequently caught a Ring Rat Kick to the barbed wire, which thrust it into his face and knocked him down. 3 seconds later, the jobs of everyone in SWCW were preserved as Kevin James Sanchez became the SWCW All-American Champion, completing the last jewel in his crown of SWCW titles.
While the audience was thrilled at that point, there was just a little more for them to enjoy as Chris Kuhn then got his 5 minutes with L. J. McDaniels. Kuhn made McDaniels get up close to the barbed wire baseball bat, then boned up on his bowling skills by running a bowling ball into McDaniels' crotch as he was slumped in the corner (no word on whether it was a 7-10 split or not). and finally got run into the barbed wire table, which had been propped up in the corner.
It was a great finish to the "Scars and Stripes" event. But when someone wins a title, their challenges only begin. And Saturday may reveal Kevin James Sanchez's first challenge for his newly won championship.