From Larry Goodman:
Joey Lynch is your 2018 Scenic City Invitational tournament winner. The Rossville, GA native has been on a tear of late. Since returning from a knee injury in April, Lynch made his WWE debut on 205 Live and secured the Modern Vintage Championship. “The King of the Moonsault” was just that at the SCI, winning all three tournament matches with the move.
Night two was a rip roaring great show. Lynch vs. PCO was the most amazing match of the weekend. PCO may not be human after all. Gary Jay and Jake Parnell killed it in their semifinal match. The generally lackluster nature of night one faded into a distant memory.
Attendance at the Soddy Daisy High Gym was close to 400. This crowd was on fire all night long.
(1) 2 Cold Scorpio defeated Darius Lockhart in 7:40. This pairing clicked. Scorpio looked tons sharper than he did the night before. Scorpio kicked out of a hammerlock cradle suplex and Lockhart’s finisher. Scorpio then connected with a koppo kick before finishing Lockhart with a moonsault leg drop. Night two was off to an uplifting start.
Scorpio received a standing ovation after the match.
(2) Corey Hollis defeated Nick Gage in 5:12. The people were on their feet for Gage’s intro with a rowdy “MDK” chant. Hollis’ slacker BS got under Gage’s skin in a hurry. He no sold Corey’s blows and slapped him senseless, then dragged Hollis all the way to the top row of the bleachers where he beat on Hollis with GPW promoter Big Wood's cane. Another huge “MDK” chant rang out in approval. Back inside, Hollis hid behind referee David Dobbs to set up his signature field goal kick to the nuts. Gage was ready for it and gave Hollis a chokebreaker. Gage brought a hammer into the ring with evil intentions. As the ref was taking doing away with the hammer, Hollis kicked Gage in the nuts from pinned and covered him. The crowd was PISSED. Crowd was into Gage’s intensity. Hollis was the only pure heel in the 16 man field and he played his role to the hilt.
Gage grabbed referee Dobbs like he was going to hit him…though better of it…and decked him but good for a big pop. Gage thanked the Tennessee fans and appeared genuinely moved by the rousing response he received both nights.
(3) Gary Jay defeated Jake Parnell in 10:40. They started beating the bejeezus out of each other. It was the stiffest striking of the tournament. Jay went for the topes in triplicate. Parnell caught Jay on the third one and suplexed him on the floor. Dueling chants. Slapfest. Parnell missed a double stomp off the apron and Jay nailed him with a discus forearm. Parnell circled the ring to build momentum but Jay suplexed him into the ringside chairs for a huge pop. They continued to beat on each other back inside the ring. Both men were down after a Parnell superplex. Dueling chants but stronger for Jay. They went back and forth with near falls. Parnell hit a half and half suplex and connected with the double stomp off the apron. Not satisfied, Parnell went to the top rope to deliver an insane double stomp to Jay on the floor. Jay barely beat the 10 count. Parnell went up top again. Jay caught him in midair with a KO forearm and it was over. Hell of a match. These guys have sick chemistry. I came away with new found regard for Parnell’s toughness and resiliency, as I did for Jay and Stallion via their past SCI exploits.
The crowd chanted “warhorse” for Parnell, who looked positively delirious as he stumbled to the back.
(4) Fred Yehi defeated AJ Gray via referee stoppage in 10:22. Yehi chant before the bell. Yehi had the upper hand in the grappling. Gray got untracked with leapfrogs coming and blindside followed by a spinwheel kick and rough rider leg lariat for a near fall. Yehi did damage with the hand the ringpost deal again. Yehi shotgunned Gray off the apron and pounded him on the outside. Gray rallied and decided to rip his jersey off to show he meant business but the jersey didn’t want to cooperate. Gray deadlifted Yehi from the apron for a superplex. Yehi cut off Gray’s first attempt at the Phoenix Splash. They jockeyed for position on the ropes. Yehi hit a spider german suplex. Gray came right back with a coast to coast dropkick as Yehi was still in the tree of woe. Gray went for broke with the Phoenix splash. It missed. Yehi double stomped him and locked in the Koji Clutch. Gray refused to submit so Yehi hammered him into unconsciousness. Good match. The finish was effective in getting Yehi’s vicious streak across.
(5) Joey Lynch defeated PCO in 9:00. Joey charged with a kick to PCO’s face right after the bell. PCO shoved Joey down. Joey did it again and again got shoved down. PCO went to the outside. Joey decked PCO with a suicide tope. PCO up quickly throwing chops. .PCO missed and ran into the post. Joey circled the ring and kicked a seated PCO in the face. Joey was trying to cave PCO”s sternum in with kicks. PCO goozled Joey and chokeslammed him on a chair. PCO ascended to the top rope. Joey stunned PCO and suplexed him onto the ring frame. It was a dangerous bump to take at any age. Only a crazy person would take it at 52. Joey did an Asai moonsault that didn’t get all of PCO. Back inside, Joey missed with a double jump moonsault. PCO chokeslammed Joey, gave him a tombstone piledriver and hit a moonsault of his own. Crowd went nuts when Joey kicked out, exploding with a “Joey” chant. They battled on the ropes. PCO took a long distance back bump off the ropes. Joey hit a moonsault. PCO sat up like Frankenstein. .Joey superkicked him and hit another moonsault. PCO sat up again. Joey hit a third moonsault and again PCO sat up. Joey dragged PCO to top rope and hit an avalanche Canadian Destroyer followed by four more moonsaults in quick succession. It was an unreal match and one of the damnedest finishes I’ve ever seen.
Postmatch – A “that was awesome” chant, a standing ovation and a “PCO” chant.
Kyle Matthews made his retirement speech. Matthews was joined in the ring by his wife, Shannon, his parents and best friend Paul. Matthews said this wasn’t the way he wanted it to end, alluding to the torn ACL that forced him drop out of the tournament. Matthews mentioned his match with Chris Hero at night one of the 2016 SCI and how awesome it was to hear the crowd chanting his name for five minutes on night two. Matthews specifically thanked Andrew Alexander, his long-time partner in Hollywood Blondes, his mentor Ted Allen and Jimmy Rave. Matthews thanked his parents for allowing him to wrestle grown men when he was 15 years old. He hoped he had made them proud. Matthews thanked Shannon, his high school sweetheart, for being there through all the craziness. Matthews said he hoped he left wrestling in better place than when he found it. The crowd was on their feet chanting”Kyle”.
I can assure readers that Matthews did leave wrestling in a better place, partly because of his wrestling, but mostly due to his qualities as a human being. The world would be a better place with more like him.
(6) AC Mack defeated Marko Stunt and Cyrus the Destroyer and Shaggy and Matt Lynch and Ike Cross to earn the right to choose his slot in the 2019 SCI Rumble (9:42). “Everyone got a chance to shine” is a line I overuse to describe matches like this. To a man, everyone did shine in this one. It was ensemble performance at its best. Shaggy and Marko did comedy. Cross hit a spectacular flip dive. Cyrus was tremendous as the monster and made a great base for the all the flying. His giant vs. dwarf spots with Stunt had a truly circus quality. Cross speared Cyrus twice to drive him out of the ring. Stunt hit the satellite codebreaker he used to win the Futures tournament on Matt and Mack swooped to roll Matt up. Crowd loved the match right up until the moment Mack won.
Mack stayed in the ring telling the crowd “I told you so” and putting himself over like the next coming. Promoter Scott Hensley tried to step in. Mack ripped Hensley for failing to invite him into in the tournament. As the booing grew louder, Tank advanced to the ring. Mack said he was glad to see Tank because he was a former Rumble winner. “I would like some tips old man.” Tank’s answer was a spinning backfist and a heave over the top rope. The crowd ate it up. The SCI fans love Tank. Any excuse to see him kick somebody’s ass is good enough, and Mack provided a great one.
(7) Special Attraction Tag Match: The Carnies (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy) defeated Mance Warner & Cain Justice in 8:43. Carnies were the clear fan favorites. The inventive sequence of stereo moves by Carnies to open the match was great fun. Warner and Justice got heat on Awful. Warner thought about using a chair but decided against it. Iggy started cleaning house so Warner threw the chair at him. One thing lead to another until all four were down due to chair impacts. The finish saw Carnies drive Warner through a ringside table with a spike piledriver off the apron.
I don’t want to harp on it because it was minor in the overall scheme of things, but I hated what happened after the match. Warner was back up in the ring hugging Carnies within 60 seconds, showing no ill effects from a spike piledriver through a table -- this before a main event in which a moonsault is to be taken as a devastating finisher.
(8) Joey Lynch defeated Corey Hollis and Fred Yehi and Gary Jay to win the SCI in 11:19. Crowd hates Hollis, cheers for Jay and Lynch’s intros about even. Hollis bailed per usual. Yehi chased Hollis down and trapped him in the ring. The other three handed Hollis his ass and he fell back out of the ring. Yehi against Joey and Jay briefly. Hollis pulled Yehi out. Jay followed with a tope. Joey slipped on a springboard corkscrew dive and splatted on the floor. It looked ugly and scary but he was OK. Hollis caused a big time crash and burn and tried for pins. No such luck. Hollis took a full rotation face bump on Yehi’s german suplex. Lynch gave Jay a Death Valley Driver on the floor. Yikes. Yehi had Hollis in the Koji Clutch when Joey hit Yehi with a moonsault and pinned him at 8:03. Jay turned Joey inside out with a clothesline and almost had the three count. Joey and Jay traded blows. Joey hit the Canadian Destroyer followed by the moonsault on Jay. Jay reversed Joey’s pin attempt and Joey reversed the reversal to eliminate Jay at 10:06. Hollis kicked Joey in the groin and covered but Joey kicked out. An enraged Hollis took a swing at the ref. Joey rolled Hollis up but couldn’t get the three. Joey hit the Canadian Destroyer/moonsault combo on Hollis and that was all she wrote. The crowd counted out loud on the 1-2-3 and popped huge for Joey winning the tournament. Not a great finale but a highly suspenseful one with the feeling Jay and Joey both had shots at winning, less so Yehi, and Hollis not really because it would have been such a sour way to end the weekend. The story played out to perfection.
Postmatch – With his father and brothers at ringside, Joey held up the trophy for winning the tournament with his son on his shoulders. It was a beautiful ending to a great show.
|Photo Courtesy of Rob Brodhecker|
Hollis laid in the ring for a full 15 minute. He never moved a muscle while the clean up crew gingerly removed the streamers from around his body. Producer Clint Stephens finally carried Hollis to the back.