|Photo Courtesy of Rob Brodhecker|
Nothing is easier and more pathetic than being a critic, because they’re people that can’t get the job done.
--President Donald J. Trump
Peachstate came into July in somewhat of holding pattern after the huge Survivor Games show in which all of their title changed hands in one fell swoop. The company is off their usual schedule and without their regular venue for the rest of the summer.
There was more emphasis on the wrestling last night and less accent on talking and story than is typically the case at Peachstate. It worked out fine thanks to an outstanding match between the returning Gladiator Jeremiah and Sal Rinauro and rip roaring main event six man. Plus, the show had enough story elements to keep things interesting going forward. It was also an opportunity to freshen things up by getting some different people into the mix.
Attendance at the VFW Fairgrounds ballroom was 200. The July and August PWA events are being held at the ballroom due to renovations at the main Fairgrounds building. I don’t care for the ballroom as a wrestling venue. The flat fluorescent lighting is a downer. The acoustic ceiling tiles suck up the sound. The one redeeming quality is the air conditioning.
New PWA Commissioner Terry Hudgins came to the ring to inform Triston Michaels that he would not be refereeing tonight. Hudgins was assigning him to ring crew duties instead. Hudgins ordered Triston to turn over his ref shirt and check all the turnbuckles or else. Triston threw a hissy fit but did as he was told and stormed to the back. It was a perversely entertaining way to start the show for an audience that wants to see Triston get his just deserts.
(1) Ace Haven (with Miss Amy Haven) defeated “The French Sensation” Romeo in 9:01. After a couple of clean breaks, Romeo offered a handshake with his left hand, then punched Ace in the eye with his right. Ace looked like a dummy falling for the handshake ruse. Moments later, Ace caught Romeo with a Three Stooges trip causing Romeo to do a boo boo face. Match story was supposed to be Romeo countering Ace’s signature springboard roundhouse kick before falling victim to it in the end. Not sure what happened but the finish got messed up and Ace had to settle for a superkick. The back and forth action was solid and I think Ace was more bothered by the botched finish than the fans.
(2) Jeremy Foster defeated “The Ivy League MVP” Griff Garrison in 7:32. Garrison is out of Fire Star Pro in Greensboro and made a weekend of it doing Pro South on Friday night. Garrison looks the part and has the snotty Ivy League attitude down pat. He’s tall and has the frame carry more muscle mass. Foster used a ground based attack working for a kneebar submission. When Garrison took a TO, Foster tried to surprise him from behind, but it was Foster that was in for surprise as Garrison ran him into the post – an unexpected twist on the usual stuff. Garrison proceeded to pummel Foster. Rally time led to a nice bridging Northern lights suplex by Foster. Garrison hit a high boot for a close near fall and went for a spear, getting nothing but thin air. Foster then connected with the flying knee for the 1-2-3. Good showings by both competitors.
(3) Ashton Starr defeated Fry Daddy in 9:31. Starr came to the ring carrying a photo of Simon Sermon. Starr’s music, Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), is the perfect fit his weird fascination with Sermon. They should milk his entrance for greater dramatic effect. Absence make the heart grow fonder as Fry’s entrance got the most potent babyface pop of the night thus far. Fry knows how to work the PWA crowd. Fry’s offense looked really crisp. The way he established a knuckle lock before doing the lucha arm drag made it more believable. Starr invoked Sermon’s name as he dished out punishment. Fry blocked Starr’s superplex and hit a missile dropkick to spark a great comeback. However, Starr was able fend off Fry’s Cutline and pin him with the axe kick. Crowd was not happy about Fry getting beat.
Starr said on August 19, Sermon would be all his. Very creepy.
Before the intermission, Hudgins made Triston wipe off the ropes (with slide whistle sound effects). Somebody has a hokey sense of humor.
(4) CB Suave defeated Gil Quest in 6 minutes. Quest attacked Suave from behind to set the tone. Match was hectic action through and through, which made for a cool contrast to what was coming up next. Highlights: Suave’s press slam and Quests slingshot huracanrana to the outside and super Samoan drop. Crowd reacted more to the awesome jumping knee strike Suave used to set up his finisher than the finish itself (a standing tornado DDT). Decent crowd reaction given it was Suave’s first time back since last fall and Quest’s first PWA match.
(5) Gladiator Jeremiah and Sal Rinauro went to a 20 minute draw. Crowd was 100% for Sal at the start. The first half of the match was grappling, way more grappling than Peachstate fans are used to seeing. This was quality stuff and the crowd was into it. Rinauro blocked Jeremiah’s cross armbreaker and reversed to a Boston crab. Jeremiah caught Sal with a northern lights as he sprung off the ropes. The crowd popped for Jeremiah’s headscissors. The bump Rinauro took really helped. Jeremiah started working for a choke submission. Rinauro rammed Jeremiah’s back into the buckles to break the hold. Both men were down and hurting. Jeremiah’s moves started missing the mark. A Rinauro dropkick sparked the comeback. Jeremiah blocked Rinauro’s Tiger Driver and went on a tear. Back and forth blocks of signature moves built to a pumphandle backcracker by Jeremiah. Jeremiah went for the inverted STF but Rinauro reversed into a crossface chickenwing. Jeremiah broke the hold and hit Screwdriver on the Rocks for a close near fall. Nobody home for Jeremiahs’ moonsault. Rinauro hit the Tiger Driver for a great false finish. Rinauro almost had Jeremiah again with a superkick. They were trading pin attempts when the bell rang. Kudos to both men. Not only did the match get over, it left the crowd no reason to dislike Jeremiah.
They were about to shake hands when Bill Behrens came to the ring with explaining to do. Absence had not made PWA hearts grow fonder where BB was concerned. Behrens blamed Triston for the decision to take the No Limits Championship away from Jeremiah. He claimed Triston made an executive decision in his absence and had received a stern tongue lashing as a result. Behrens said the band was getting back together again on August 19. The Kingsmen would be there and he wanted Jeremiah to be part of it. Jeremiah told Behrens he had betrayed him and that was the only chance he would get. Jeremiah advised Behrens to run. Seeing the fire in Jeremiah’s eyes, Behrens high tailed it to the back.
(6) Backbone (Drew Adler & Michael Stevens & Zac Edwards) defeated Reckoning (PWA Heritage Champion Kevin Blue & PWA Tag Team Champions Billy Buck & Schaff) when Adler pinned Blue at 14:55. Blue said their belts were missing and accused Backbone of taking them. Backbone came out empty handed with the crowd chanting for them. Backbone handed Buck and Blue their asses early on. Blue nailed Edwards with a cheap shot from behind to start the heat. Backbone had Buck pinned with a triple team combo but Blue made the save and Stevens ended up in the wrong half of the ring. Reckoning isolated Stevens until his moonsault block led to the hot tag. Adler cleaned house on Reckoning. Backbone pulled off triple criss cross topes. It was fast and furious. Far be it from me to say they did too many spots. Blue had Stevens in deep trouble when Adler came out nowhere with a flying knee to score the pin. Good match and the finish got a monster pop.
With a “you got beat” chant threatening to drown out his words, Blue said if they didn’t get their belts back on August 19, it would be Backbone’s reckoning. Stevens said Backbone wouldn’t be there on the 19th but they wanted title shots when they came back.
Hudgins said he would see to it that Reckoning got their belts back and assured them they would be defending their titles on August 19. However, Hudgins wasn’t telling them who their opponents were until then.