Saturday night, May 1, New England Championship Wrestling presented the 7th annual IRON 8 Championship at Teamworks Indoor Sports in Somerset, MA.
The night began with the announcement of some changes to the tournament line up.
Due to injuries, Ryan Bisbal and Scott Osbourne were not able to compete in the IRON 8. Taking Ryan Bisbal’s spot was his stablemate in Rican Havoc, “Punisher” Don Vega. Taking the place of “The Natural” Scott Osbourne was “The Payne Train” Alex Payne.
Both substitutions occurred only hours before the event, giving both men a decided disadvantage in their preparation for the tournament. Due to the last minute changes, some opening round match-ups were adjusted for seeding.
The show opened with a 20 minute live music set by Tester, the band who wrote and performs “King of the World”, the official theme song of the 7th annual IRON 8 Championship.
In the opening contest, “The Payne Train” Alex Payne defeated NY standout Dickie Rodz with a spear to advance to the IRON 8 finals.
“Sensational” Scott Levesque won his opening round IRON 8 match by making “Daddy Cat” DC Dillinger submit to a modified Indian Death Lock.
Handsome Johnny defeated “Punisher” Don Vega in a great match with a spin kick to advance to the finals.
In the final first round IRON 8 match, former ECW World Tag Team Champions The FBI, Little Guido and Tony Mamaluke were scheduled to face one another. Mamaluke first came out and declared that he owed much of the success in his career to Little Guido, but with no disrespect meant, he needed to forge ahead with his unique identity, the name he started wrestling under, CG Afi. The newly monikered CG Afi indeed forged ahead as he made his former tag team partner Little Guido submit to a half Boston crab for the win and advancement to the finals.
Intermission saw another 20 minute set by Tester.
In the special Champions Challenge, NECW Triple Crown Champion “The Real Deal” Brandon Locke defeated NECW Television Champion “The Heat” Kris Pyro. This match was fantastic, with Locke securing the win after delivering “The Locke-down” off the top rope. After the match, “The Hi-Lite” Davd Cssh stormed the ring and added insult to injury, leveling Pyro with a vicious chairshot to the head.
In the main event of the IRON 8 Championship, a 45-minute Iron Man match, Handsome Johnny defeated “Sensational” Scott Levesque, “The Payne Train” Alex Payne, and CG Afi; 2 Falls to 1 Fall for each of the competitors. CG Afi got the first fall of the match by submission. Alex Payne later pinned Levesque with a cradle suplex. Handsome Johnny won his first fall with a moonsault onto Payne. Levesque pinned Handsome Johnny by holding the tights. That particular fall led to Handsome and his protégé arguing about how it was supposed to be a clean match and how Levesque cheated. Payne and Afi brawled out a side door of the building and were seen/heard fighting throughout the area before returning to ringside with minutes left in the match. Handsome Johnny got the final fall of the match when Sammi Lane, who was at ringside for commentary, tried to intervene in the argument of her two charges. Levesque attempted to use her allegedly loaded Teddy Bear to knock out Handsome Johnny. NECW Senior Official Rich Bass saw this and grabbed the bear from Levesque, who then turned around right into a Handsome Johnny Spin Kick for the go-ahead fall.
The show ended with Handsome Johnny celebrating his win as Tester played “King of the World” and Handsome joined the band and sang along that he was now “King of the World”.
NOTE: Handsome Johnny and Alex Payne mark the two largest men to ever compete in an IRON 8 Finals to date. Both are roughly 40 pounds more than any other competitors in tournament history. Being touted as the ultimate test of skill, stamina, and strategy is taken to another level with men this size surviving the 45-minute regulation period.