Dunn defends against Shaw in blindfold match

For the first time in IPW history, the New Zealand Heavyweight Championship will be contested in a blindfold match this Saturday at Right to Reclaim.

Since IPW’s return to the New Zealand wrestling scene months ago, IPW Champion Vinny Dunn has used every underhanded tactic in the book to keep the championship around his waist.

Meanwhile, James Shaw’s efforts to win the title have been thwarted time and again. However, after winning a tag team bout at IPW’s Sacrifice or Surrender last month, the challenge was laid down by the Armageddon Cup Champion and an enraged Dunn accepted.

For anyone who knows Dunn and his historic attempts to weasel out of matches, his acceptance of this match seemed overly enthusiastic.

It turns out there was a reason for this. Dunn explained in a video that he was born blind and couldn’t see at all in his early years. Supposedly, this made him “a little like Daredevil” with “extraordinary senses”.

However, James Shaw didn’t seem to be too fazed. The challenger has released videos of his own on his Facebook page where he performed some sporting feats while blindfolded.

While plenty of speculation as to the outcome of the match can be made, especially considering IPW’s resident Head of Live Events, Steve Wrigley, will be in Dunn’s corner, this is a type of match where outcomes can never be certain.

In other major news, after spending months honing his skills in America, Travis Banks is finally returning to New Zealand shores.

When IPW seemingly closed its doors for good at A Decade of Impact, Travis Banks was the final New Zealand Heavyweight Champion. However, when IPW reopened its doors, Banks was stripped of his championship.

Banks was already disappointed at being forced to vacate his championship, but when Vinny Dunn won the title, he was disgusted.

“I don’t think I can make it clear enough that Vinny is an undeserving champion,” Banks said.

While Banks is set to return, it is not yet clear on just what will happen if and when he meets the current champ.

Further intrigue is added to Right to Reclaim in the form of a tag team bout featuring IPW tag team titleholders Aaron Henry and Jakob Cross.

Cross and Henry proved they were the best of the best with a win over TnT to claim the vacant tag team titles at Sacrifice or Surrender last month. This month, however, the two will not know their opponents.

All that is known about the men who will stand across from the tag team champions is that they are a new team, making their IPW debut at Right to Reclaim.

Will this lack of knowledge for Cross and Henry spell disaster for their first bout as IPW Tag Team Champions?

Plus, in women’s action, Britenay takes on Evie for the right to an IPW Women’s Championship match.

Both women were frustrated and furious to see the IPW Women’s Championship handed to Emmy Driver by Steve Wrigley, and both women proved their worth as title contenders with wins in singles matches at Sacrifice or Surrender last month.

Now, the old rivals meet once more with the number one contendership to the belt on the line.

Whoever takes home the win in this bout is bound to provide stiff competition for Emmy when the champ finally makes her first title defence.

IPW Right to Reclaim takes place this Saturday, October 19, at the Lynfield Recreation Centre. Doors open at 6.30pm with the first match at 7pm. Tickets are available at the door ($15 for adults, $8 for children). The card, subject to change is listed below.

IPW Right to Reclaim Card:

  • IPW Championship, Blindfold Match:
    Vinny Dunn (c) w/ Steve Wrigley vs. James Shaw
  • #1 Contender’s Match to the IPW Women’s Championship:
    Britenay vs. Evie
  • Kingi vs. Tykade
  • Aaron Henry & Jakob Cross vs. ???