Sunday, November 20, 2016

Southern Fried Championshp Wrestling from Monroe on November 19

Photos courtesy of Lottie Pace
From Larry Goodman:

It was a night of surprises at Nowell Rec Center in Monroe.

The newly formed team of Adrian Hawkins and Bobby Moore came out nowhere to win a one night, eight-team tournament and become the new SFCW Tag Team Champions.

Jimmy Rave Approved is officially a force to be reckoned with in SFCW.

A long-time heel turned babyface and vice versa.

Not so surprising was the fact that Rave and Slim J put on a two out of three falls barn burner,  one the best matches of the year.

In two shows as head booker, Todd Sexton has wasted no time putting clear storyline directions in place and being anything but predictable. Sexton did a good job of booking a variety of matches within the constraints of the tournament format.

The show was originally advertised as a Marquee Wrestling event. SFCW owner Charles Anschutz decided to put the Marquee concept on hold for now and run all shows under the Southern Fried banner.

Attendance was 150. They were hot for some of the matches, not so much for others.

(1) Adrian Hawkins & Bobby Moore defeated SFCW Cruiserweight Cup Champion Brian Kane & former Cruiserweight Cup Champion Damien Bennett in 7:13. The crowd was up for this match which was solid all the way through. Hawkins has a stronger ring presence than he did earlier in his career. He’s getting impressive heel heat with the crowd chanting “Adriana” at him. Kane appeared to have the situation well in hand when Bennett made an unsolicited tag and tried for a frogsplash. Moore moved so Bennett rolled through. Moore caused Bennett and Kane to collide. Hawkins then pinned Bennett with a codebreaker.

Kane and Bennett argued after the match.

Jonathan Feltner did postmatch interviews with the wrestlers as they headed toward the back. It’s good idea that needs some tweaking. The interview area was behind the ringside seats next to the wall which made for poor sight lines. Hawkins said he and Moore had no worries if that was the best SFCW had to offer. Bennett blamed Kane for the loss, said he stole the Cruiserweight Title from him and demanded a rematch.

(2) Spring Street Suicide Squad (Ken Lee & Chris Crunk) defeated Beautiful Bald Besties (Michael Stevens & Zac Edwards) in 6:21. They went right to the heat with Besties using stellar teamwork to isolate Crunk. Nice spot with Edwards hitting a flapjack to cut off a frantic tag attempt. Lee was a whirling dervish once he got the hot tag. He hit double knees off the top on both Besties for a near fall on Stevens. Spring Street wanted to double team Stevens but referee Nathaniel Spivey was all about the rules. Besties seized on the opening to switch without tagging. Edwards surprised Lee with a roll up but Lee kicked out. Besties collided and Lee locked Edwards in the Koji Clutch for the win. The false finish was a well-executed swerve. Interesting to see the former champions eliminated in the opening round.

Stevens gave Edwards a back rub after the match.

(3) Drew Adler & Sal Rinauro defeated Dogs of War (O’Shay & Hawk with Ace Hefner & Twisted) in 9:38. Adler and Rinauro were an odd couple indeed. Sal was at his lovable, glad-handing best, while Adler has been a chronically crabby complainer with a massive ego. Dogs of War jumped the bell. They were killing Rinauro with power moves. Sal’s selling was making them look like a million bucks. Dogs wore Sal down with bearhugs, an excellent choice given the size differential. Adler cleaned house by stomping the living hell out of the Dogs. It was different in a good way. Hawk’s unintended splash on O’Shay got a big pop as partner screw ups were becoming the theme of the night. Rinauro superkick O’Shay and Adler pinned him with Blue Thunder Bomb. The finish looked great. This match way exceeded expectations. Dogs of War were given the proper handling to compensate for their lack of experience.

Postmatch, sourpuss Adler shunned Rinauro’s attempt to raise his hand. Rinauro’s interview was gold. It was clever and he got the point across. He admitted he and Adler weren’t on the same page but he liked their odds of winning the tournament, so they were going to the back to tweet each other best friend things.

(4) JB Enterprises (SFCW Heavyweight Champion Tetchi Makugi & Drew Blood with Joseph Brock III) defeated AIWF Americas Champion Jagged Edge & APW Heavyweight Champion Stryknyn in 4:25. Blood and Makuji are an odd couple in their own right. Blood is a great talker and a total buffoon. Mekugi is a serious monster heel. Blood came out wearing a belt made out of a paper plate and said the ones Jagged and Stryk had were worth about as much as his. Them’s fightin’ words and the fight was on, all over the building. In the midst of the chaos, Blood tapped out to Stryk’s armbar but Brock correctly pointed out that referee Harold “Radar” Martin forgot to call for the bell before he counted the pin. Jagged was setting up for a Pedigree on Blood when he got Makugi nailed him from behind right in front of the ref. Blood pinned Jagged with a DDT. Back in the day, when rules mattered and fans paid attention to such things, the crowd would have been furious with the ref for this kind of crap. Match had good heat and the intense brawling made it different from the rest of the show.

Blood said let’s a give hand for complete referee incompetence. He said he just pinned Jagged for the 30th time in a row. It was the month of underdogs, first the tag titles, then the presidency, then king of the world.

(5) Hawkins & Moore defeated Spring Street Suicide Squad to advance to the tournament final in 9:17. They didn’t wait for the bell. Spring Street hit topes in stereo. Moore started beating on Lee and running his mouth all the while. Hawkins used a Gori Special, which was a refreshing change of pace. Tags were made. Crunk was going way too fast on offense and a lot of his stuff was not connecting. Crunk accidentally kicked Lee in the face. Hawkins hit the codebreaker on Crunk and Moore submitted him with a rear naked choke. Good match that got ragged down the stretch.

Hawkins said there was no competition for them and ordered the crowd to stop call him Adriana.

(6) Rinauro & Adler defeated JB Enterprises to advance to the tournament final in 7:47. Makugi and Adler locked up in the early going. This was compelling stuff. Makugi is much better in the ring than I gave him credit for being. Adler is one of the best in the state. It felt like legit athletic contest that made me want to see them in singles match. Blood vs. Rinauro was the polar opposite. Blood slapped Rinauro. The payback was hell for Blood. They did the deal where they ran the ropes until Rinauro told Blood to stop and look up. Blood obeyed and Rinauro cracked him across the face. Blood tried to pull the same trick but got so blown up he could barely talk. Rinauro slapped Blood again and pinned him. It was a ridiculous finish that got over like gangbusters thanks to how well Rinauro and Blood pulled it off.

JB Enterprises attacked Rinauro after the match. Blood applied a leglock while Makugi put the Tongan death grip on him. Makugi had taken Adler out so he wasn’t a factor. Styrk and Jagged hit the ring to rescue Rinauro. The crowd applauded Rinauro as he was helped to the back.

Jagged addressed SFCW owner Charles Anschutz at ringside stating he wanted Blood one-on-one on January 7. The crowd gave their approval with a hearty “YES!” chant.

(7) Jimmy Rave defeated Slim J two out of three falls in 21:20. Ring announcer Rick Richards said each fall would have a 15 minute time limit with a one minute rest period between falls. Rave busted out the full on Zbyszko stall. Slim was controlling Rave with snug side headlock takeovers and the crowd was popping for them! At the 8 minute mark, Rave turned Slim inside out with a clothesline. Rave punched Slim in the face and grounded him. Slim made a comeback but Rave lured him to the apron for the dreaded STO on the ring frame and was counted out at 10:51. Slim would have beaten the count had Rave not hit him with a baseball slide as he tried to gain his bearings. Rave pressed his advantage throughout the supposed rest period. The second fall saw Slim attempting to fight up from the bottom. Slim got untracked with a tornado kick off the ropes and blitzed Rave with an extraordinary display of offense. Slim’s titanic struggle to apply the Texas Cloverleaf fired up the crowd. Rave made it to the ropes. Rave caught Slim in a single leg crab and Slim made the ropes. Slim hit the flying reverse DDT to win the second fall at 16:36. 

Slim opened the third fall with an insane corkscrew plancha. Slim got the worst of it. His body hit the floor with a sick thud but he kept on going. Slim hit Code Red and Rave immediately answered with the Shining Wizard. Both were down for a count of nine. They traded blows until Rave got the Dusk Until Dawn crossface. Slim made it to the ropes after a dramatic struggle. Rave brought a chair into the ring. Referee Triston Michaels grabbed the chair and was accidentally knocked down by a charging Slim. 

Rave gave Slim a low blow. Second referee Martin hit the ring to make the count and Slim kicked out. As Martin went to check on Michaels, Rave smacked the chair on the mat, tossed it to Slim and went down like he had been shot. Martin saw Slim with the chair and called for the DQ.

Slim and Rave have had a ton of great matches against all kinds of opponents this year. This was even better than their first match in Monroe and one of my favorites from both of them. It was not an easy crowd. Rave and Slim drew them into the match and kept them in it all the way. It was a royal screw job. Rave won two falls without pinning or submitting Slim.

Rave asked Slim if he wanted him one more time and said too bad.

Feltner made the mistake of reminding Slim that he said the outcome would determine who was the best in Georgia. Slim pinned Feltner against the wall and started choking him.

(8) Hawkins & Moore defeated Adler & Rinauro to win the tournament final and become the new SFCW Tag Team Champions in 9:47. Adler came out alone. Hawkins said why don’t you forfeit? Adler said he didn’t need a partner to beat them. By this point, the crowd had no problem accepting Adler as a babyface. The bell rang with all three in the ring like it was a handicap match. Hawkins and Moore worked Adler over and taunted him about not having anyone in his corner. Adler absorbed quite a beating but eventually put both heels on the canvas. Rinauro limped to ringside to take the hot tag. 

After cleaning house on one leg, Rinauro went for a rolling reverse cradle on Hawkins, who rolled through and grabbed Rinauro’s tights. Rinuaro kicked out and the momentum sent Hawkins into a kick from Adler. Rinauro got a close near fall on Hawkins with a Tiger Driver. Moore clipped Rinauro’s knee. Hawkins hit the Unprettier but Rinauro kicked out. Adler came to Sal’s rescue. A train of big moves ensued. Rave ran out and hit Rinauro with a chair while referee Martin had his back turned. Hawkins and Moore then used the codebreaker/naked choke combo to put Rinauro away.

Rave proclaimed this was a new era in SFCW and said the champions were Jimmy Rave Approved. Hawkins and Moore put on Jimmy Rave Approved t-shirts. Rave said he beat Slim not once, but twice and never cheated a day in his life. He was the real SFCW Champion. The match was just a formality. Meanwhile, Hawkins and Moore took Adler out with their codebreaker/choke combo.

The match was fine but the story was the story. Adler’s turn took. Rave Approved has come to SFCW.

Anschutz had some surprises in store for Rave Approved. The crowd popped huge for the announcement that Logan Creed would be Rave’s opponent on December 11 in Covington AND if he beat Creed, he would have to face Mikael Judas on January 7. The winner of that match would get a shot at the title. Hawkins and Moore had a date with Lynch Mob on January 7.

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