The inaugural Victory Wrestling Challenge was held at Ralston Arena in Ralston (Omaha), Nebraska. A small crowd of about 1300 wrestling fans settled in for a night of high profile wrestling action. Victory is known for their productions of MMA fights and they brought their expertise to wrestling for this event.
Wrestlers competing were purposely selected from local favorites to maximize fan interest, including national champions and all americans from the University of Iowa, Iowa State, Missouri and Nebraska, the former University of Nebraska at Omaha program, University of Nebraska – Kearney, most homegrown from nearby Iowa and Nebraska towns.
Great, high-action matches by Deron Winn of Liberty, MO and Nick Marable of Mizzou against Trent Paulson.provided a lot of excitement.
Disappointing were the light fan turnout and the several matches scratched. Only eight of the original 12 matches were contested. Scratched were Travis Paulson vs. Max Askren, Les Sigman vs.Jarod Trice, and Tyler Bell vs. Laramie Shaffer.
Media coverage was very light. Besides the venerable Jason Bryant from Amateur Wrestling News, only two photographers not affiliated with Victory were present Scot Casber provided his familiar voice to announce the matches. It was quite different to see beer being sold during a wrestling competition! But, the production was top-notch, except for a lighting glitch which had the finale competitors wrestling in near darkness for the 45 seconds of their match. Wrestlers enjoyed the high energy introductions with fog and loud music.
Winners on the night were Josh Ihnen by decision in OT, Deron win by tech, Ridge Kiley by decision, Montell Marion by decision, Justin “Harry” Lester by tech, Rob Saunders by decision, George Ivanov by decision and Trent Paulson by decision.