Thanksgiving Turmoil was Peachstate’s final show of the year, and they save the best for last on multiple levels.
A packed house was treated to Peachstate’s best show of the year. Every match worked. Every segment was entertaining. Any major Peachstate event worth its salt has at least one captivating swerve. PWA outdid themselves at Turmoil.
The final two matches of the night were two of the best matches in PWA history. hBoth matches had incredibly great finishes. Kevin Blue regained the PWA Heritage Championship in a four-way that was as good a blend of story and athleticism as has ever taken place in a PWA ring. AJ Steele and Logan Creed pulled all the stops clean out in the main event. They concluded their feud with a classic streetfight, the epitome of blood, violence, and creative use of gimmickry.
Pandora went out in style in the final match of her 12 year career. With family (including her father seeing her wrestle for the first time) and long-time fans in attendance. She defeated Brooklyn Creed to win title PWA women's title and retire as champion.
The success of Turmoil did not come without pain, blues and agony. PWA had to find a another venue because the VFW Fairgrounds was double booked. Changes were made to two of the undercard matches due to short notice cancellations by talent.
Attendance had been off for the shows leading into Turmoil. The last thing PWA needed was a late change in venue. It mattered not as paid attendance was 282, standing room only. Other than a slightly low ceiling, the Civic Center was fine. The smaller, tightly-packed room added to the intensity.
PWA No Limits Champion AC Mack called out scheduled opponent Jimmy Rave and got David Ali. As soon as Ali introduced himself, the fans started chanting his name. Mind blowing considering Ali’s only previous PWA appearance was a forgettable undercard match. Mack said he would count to five. If Ali was still there, Mack would show him why he was the champ. Mack never got past two. Ali hit Mack with a powerdrive back suplex and pinned him. Ali was announced as the new champion with the crowd in a frenzy. Mack said it wasn’t official because the bell never rang (true). Ali welcomed a redo.
(1) David Ali defeated AC Mack to retain the PWA No Limits Championship in 7:30. Ali handed Mack his ass early on. He hit a missile dropkick and nipped to make the cover. Being the sly dog that he is, Mack found a way to take command. This was good stuff. Ali sells big. Mack has some unique wrinkles in his moveset. Ali ducked Mack’s enzuigiri and used a Polish hammer to start his comeback. Ali got a near fall with a butterfly suplex. Mack back at him with a flying back elbow to set up the Mack 10. Ali fended it off and nailed Mack with a top rope elbow for the win. The crowd popped huge again. An unexpected and wildly successful way out of a difficult situation.
Ashton Starr informed Beautiful Bald Besties Lynch Mob were elsewhere, so he and his bestie would gladly challenge them for the titles. Zac Edwards said being that Besties were six time champions, Lynch Mob figured there was no reason to show up.
(2) Beautiful Bald Besties (Michael Stevens & Zac Edwards) defeated Ashton Starr & Will Kaution to retain the PWA Tag Team Championship in 9:21. Good match. Besties showed why they are two-time Georgia Tag Team of the Year. Starr has gotten his heel act over at Peachstate. Kaution has some size. He’s taller than I realized from seeing him on the NCW tapes. He needs to work on his physique. The heels isolated Stevens. Edwards cleaned house on Starr until Kaution interfered. Kaution hit his exploder powerslam on Edwards but no cigar. Kaution was in for double team hell ending with the Bestie’s Eat Defeat/Zig Zag combo. At the crucial moment, Starr wasn’t too keen on getting involved.
(3) Hair vs. Commissionership: Matt Gilbert (with Triston Michaels) defeated Shane Noles (with Terry Hudgins) in 8:06. Triston is the new PWA Commissioner. Hudgins brought the razor. Shane brought the shaving cream. This match had heat. Gilbert sold huge for Shane’s early offense before bailing out. Gilbert got heat on Shane with the crowd chanting for the comeback. Gilbert’s intensity and attitude were perfect here. Shane got a taste of Gilbert’s lethal feet. Spinebuster by Noles and both were down. Triston and Hudgins both got on the apron. While referee Mason Pike was dealing with Triston, Noles blasted Hudgins with brass knucks and laid down for Gilbert.
Disillusionment reigned. Noles and Triston hugged. Hudgis was out cold. Triston kicked Gilbert in the nuts and Noles laid Gilbert out with a piledriver. Triston delighted in the moment and baited the crowd with his sickening smirk. Noles danced like an asshole. Shane gave Triston a ride on his shoulders. It was totally, wonderfully disgusting and excessive. Most fans hated on Triston and Shane as they departed but a few were loving it.
Peachstate has steered clear of the heel authority figure schtick dating back to Dave Wills’ run in 2013. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out with Triston in the role.
(4) Pandora defeated Brooklyn Creed to win the PWA Women’s Championship in 7:58. Pandora retires as the champion. Brooklyn came out to Pandora’ music wearing a Pandora style mask. What a bitch. Pandora got up in her grill and hit a Thesz press as soon as the bell rang. Pandora gave Brooklyn stiff chops against four ringposts. Brooklyn gave Pandora the mother of all eye gouges and delivered a stiff chop of her own. Pandora did her signature moves for the last time- the bulldog, the headscissors where she drives her opponents head into the mat like a nail and the DDT, but Brooklyn got a foot on the ropes. They traded near falls with the reverse Russian legsweep. Pandora won it with a DDT off the ropes. The pop was tremendous.
Postmatch - Brooklyn shoved the title into Pandora’s hands and pouted her way to the back. Not breaking character was the right choice. Crowd was on their feet applauding as Pandora circled the ring saying her final, poignant goodbyes.
Postmatch - Sal was an emotional wreck. Blue lorded the belt over him.
(6) AJ Steele defeated Logan Creed (with Bill Behrens) in a streefight with former PWA Heritage Champion Tommy Too Much as the special referee (21:17). Always one to make interesting choices, Tommy strolled to the ring eating grapes.
Huge chant for AJ as he gave Logan a pillar to post beating. Behrens faked getting in the ring with his mini-baseball bat to distract T2M. Steele got a visual fall on Creed with the Steele City Bomb. By the time T2M turned around to make the count, Logan was able to kick out. Steele shoved T2M, who shoved him into a high boot from Creed. Steele kicked out of Logan’s chokebreaker. Logan called for a chair. Steele grabbed one as well. Logan got the bad end of a clash of chairs and was busted open. Logan took an unprotected chair shot to the head. The payback for the sick chairshots Creed inflicted on Steele at the last show was just getting started. Steele gave Logan seven chairshots to the back and another one to the head. Behrens hit Steele with the bat. It was more like a love tap. Steele jabbed the bat into Behrens’ gut and butt. Behrens crawled to the back and returned with a trash can of plunder. Steele pulled out a vegetable grater but Logan cut him off. Logan used a shovel, a cookie sheet and a trash can lid, then grated Steele’s forehead. Steele was bleeding. Logan set up a steel coffin of chairs in the ring. Steele took a chokeslam and suplex into the steel coffin.
The crowd was chanting like mad when Steele kicked out. Meanwhile, Behrens had dragged a hollow core door to ringside. Steele backdropped Logan through the door.
The spot looked and sounded spectacular. Logan kicked out at 2 and 7/8. Steele lashed Logan with his belt. Logan kicked the trash can into Steele’s head and gave him a DDT on the can. Behrens gave Logan a bag of something to dump on the mat. Much to their dismay, the bag was filled with Steele’s beloved gummy bears. Steele had the bag with the thumbtacks.
Steele gave Logan a belly to belly suplex into the tacks. Logan was in agony with tacks sticking out of his back. Steele then gave Logan the Steele City Bomb into the gummy bears for the 1-2-3 and the pop of the night.
Match was about as violent as they come. The beauty was the way the action got progressively more psychotic building to a peak at the end. The gummy bear finish was a brilliant touch. Despite the foreshadowing of shenanigans, T2M called it right down the middle.
Postmatch – Tommy called Steele back into the ring to shake and raise his hand. Steele pulled Logan up out of the gummy bears and extended his hand. Behrens screamed at Logan not to do it. Logan accepted the handshake. Behrens berated Logan and smacked him. Logan gave Behrens his full nelson face plant finisher into the gummy bears. It looked great. Behrens took the move better than the majority of Logan’s opponents have.
There was a feeling of finality in the final scene. Clearly, the feud was over but it was more than that. I don’t know where PWA can go from here with any of these key players.