Sunday, March 5, 2017

Scenic City Rumble Report from Soddy Daisy on March 4

Photos Courtesy of Ken Wallace
From Larry Goodman:

In a grand piece of storytelling, Tank emerged as the winner of the inaugural Scenic City Rumble, thus earning a spot in the 3rd annual Scenic City Invitational tournament this summer.

The Rumble win also gave Tank the right to select his first round opponent. Tank, who had previously announced he would retire at the SCI, said he wanted Matt Riddle in the first round.

The reveal of a return appearance by Riddle, the most popular wrestler at the 2016 SCI, sent ardent SCI fans into a state of ecstasy. 

It’s a perfect storm -- the charismatic rising star vs. the 20 veteran and local fan favorite in his last hurrah.

As an offshoot of the SCI, the Rumble show turned out to be a huge success for promoters Ace Rockwell and Scott Hensley.

What looked like a killer lineup on paper was everything it was cracked up to be, featuring a show stealer of a match between Anthony Henry and Torque.
The paid attendance at Soddy Daisy High School gym was 527. The event raised $4700 for the school’s athletic department.

The crowd was a mix of hardcore fans with a willingness to travel and local fans drawn by the school’s promotional effort. This was not your usual indy wrestling show and held an appeal for both groups.

(1) The Carnies (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy) defeated Tank & Iceberg and Lynch Mob (Joey & Matt Lynch) via referee stoppage at 11:30. Crowd was fairly evenly split three ways. Match opened with Awful getting nowhere fast on offense and selling huge for Tank and Berg. Then Lynch Mob took Iggy to double team city. Carnies isolated Matt. Joey had to save his brother after Awful hit a powerbomb/piledriver combo. Pop of the match was for either A) stereo cannonballs by Tank and Berg or B) Tank’s rolling something or other off the apron to cap of an insane dive sequence. 

Carnies used the same lethal finisher as at last Sunday’s AWE show -- Iggy beat Tank into unconsciousness while Awful had him locked in a Boston crab. This was a tremendously entertaining opener. All three teams were on fire. Great way to start the show.

Afterward, Lynch Mob saved Tank and Berg from further abuse at the hands of the Carnies.

(2) Kyle Matthews defeated Shane Marx in 11:01. Both men wrestled a clean style with the crowd clearly pulling for Matthews. Marx took over until a Matthews dropkick spilled him out of the ring and Matthews followed with a suicide plancha. They traded big near falls, Matthews with a backcracker and Marx with a belly to belly suplex. Marx rolled through Matthews’ tornado DDT to hit a vertical suplex and both were down. Back and forth strikes. Matthews superkicked Marx to set up the Slurpee Kick (corner dropkick) for the win.

Matthews and Marx shook hands after the match as the crowd applauded their efforts.

(3) Freelance Wrestling Showcase: Stevie Fierce defeated Matt Knicks and Rob Matter in 6:17. This was a drop off in quality from the prior matches and the crowd reacted accordingly. Fierce and his obnoxious ego stood out. 

Fiece faked a dive and admired his pretty face in a mirror. Knicks would be better off sticking to the ground game. He almost died on an off target Asai moonsault. Matter’s aerial moves are flashy but he’s just too small to be taken seriously. To their credit, they saved the best for last -- Fierce dropped Knick on his head with a spider suplex, Matter with an stellar version of Jimmy Rave’s Dusk Until Dawn on Fierce and Fierce pinned Matter with the Christian Cage Killswitch.

(4) Anthony Henry defeated Torque to retain the PWX Championship in 11:09. Henry was murdering Torque with stiff strike to where it looked like he wasn’t in the same league with the champion. There was no quit in Torque, and the crowd got behind his display of true grit. Torque fought off a superplex to hit a missile dropkick. Both down and dueling chants. Torque reeled off a terrific sequence of balls-to-wall aerial moves for more dueling chants. Torque almost lost Henry on a Michinoku Driver. Henry evaded a 450 and went for the killshot. Torque ducked and hit Sliced Bread but Henry kicked out. Torque crashed and burned on a second 450 attempt. Henry then pinned Torque with a Death Valley Driver. It was the match of the night and got a standing ovation. It was a war. Henry got a busted lip. Credit goes to Henry for his work in getting Torque over but it ain’t happening unless Torque holds up his end and boy, did he ever. The guy wasn't voted Georgia's most improved wrestler for nothing.

Postmatch, Henry gave Torque the respect he was due.

(5) Sal Rinauro defeated Austin Theory in 8:18. It’s no wonder EVOLVE signed Theory. At 19, he has the look and natural ring instincts of a future star. Rinauro was the wily veteran doing what it took to win. He spit water in Theory’s face and heeled. Theory’s comeback offense, included a standing moonsault and a rolling thunder dropkick, was totally solid. Theory had to pump the brakes to avoid a collision with referee Triston Michaels. When Theory missed a standing SSP, Rinauro went right into a pinning combination. The finish caught the crowd by surprise and they made it known they did not like seeing Theory lose.

(6) The Hierarchy (Murder One & Chip Day & Adrian Armour) defeated Gunner Miler & Corey Hollis & Kevin Blue in 12:15. Hollis was not on the same page as his partners and was terrific in this role, showing more personality than ever before. The stuff between Holllis and former partner Day was great fun. Hollis took a delayed face first bump that was comedy gold. Miller popped the crowd with a trio of overhead suplexes and his Air Miller suicide dive got a “that was awesome” chant. 

Hierarchy got heat on Blue. Miller cleaned house but wound up on the wrong end of a devastating Hierarchy combo. Hollis made the save. Hierarchy confronted Hollis, who promptly walked out on his partners. A potpourri of finishing moves built to Blue trying for the Air Raid Crash but Day countered with a roll up using the tights. This was a really good match with everyone involved capitalizing on their chances to shine.

(7) Tank won the 30 man Scenic City Rumble in 39:55. Participants in order of entrance were Rinauro, Jaden Newman, Ryan Vega, Blue, Ray Ray, Day, Trevor Aeon, Chip Hazard, Talon Williams, Mecha Mercenary, Ike Cross, Hollis, AC Mack, Cyrus (with Logan Chase), Torque, Bane Lynch (with Muji Bear), Matthews, Brad Cash, Chase Jordan, Adrian Armour, Tommy Maserati, Chris Crunk, Tank, Theory, Billy Buck, Shane Noles, Alan Angels, Marx, Matt Lynch and Murder One.

The interval between entrances was cut from the planned 90 seconds to 60 and was that ever a sound decision. As it was, the momentum stalled out at several points, but the crowd was all in at the end when it counted. The opening minutes featured a lot of close calls for Rinauro, who later suffered an injury that forced out him out of the match without being eliminated. Day entering and destroying everyone in his path was an early highlight. Aeon now hails from the 13th floor, not sure if that’s a reference to the psychiatric unit at Grady Hospital or what. Hollis entered with a series of pedigrees that got over like gangbusters. Cyrus eliminated seven guys in a row. Cash squared off with Cyrus and they went out together. Jordan then got tossed over the top but wasn’t eliminated because he landed on Cash and Cyrus. Maserati was a disaster. The guy couldn’t do anything right. The crowd popped in relief when Day kicked his ass. 

Hollis hid under the ring and took the sour grapes route after being eliminated -- “I’m going to Full Sail anyway.” 

At one point, the remaining combatants broke out a daisy chain of submissions. It came down to Tank and the three Hierarchy members. Tank faked a Hierarchy salute and starting blasting away, much to the crowd’s delight. Tank and Armour traded spinning backfists. Murder hurt his arm giving Tank a Blazing Lariat. Tank fought off an elimination attempt by Hierarchy and dumped Armour out. Day rushed in and got backdropped over the top. Murder and Tank chopped and headbutted each other silly. Tank then clotheslined Murder over the top rope for a monster pop.

Tank confirmed that the SCI would be his last show. Tank said he wanted to go out with a bang and the selection of Riddle as his first round opponent got a seal of approval pop from the hardcore section.

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