*** PWR DVD Reviews by Brad Dykens ***
-=-==-==== JEFF PETERSON MEMORIAL CUP 2008 ====-==-=-
September 26-27, 2008 – Port Richey & Brooksville, Florida
INTRODUCTION: Jeff Peterson (click here to see his profile) was a young wrestler out of Florida who tragically passed away in 2002 from cancer. Each year, friends and former co-workers (including Naphtali) put on a special event called the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup in his honor. Previous winners of the annual tournament include; Reckless Youth (2003), Justice (2004), Chris Sabin (2005), Milano Collection AT (2006), and Chris Hero (2007). Peterson was a devoted Christian and the nephew of ECWA promoter Jim Kettner. He was diagnosed with Leukemia in 2000 and battled the cancer for two and a half years before his death at the age of 21. The commentators for this DVD are the great Lenny Leonard and former WCW commentator, Scott Hudson. The “bonus” section of disc one has the opening ceremony which took place before the matches, so I recommend you watch the bonus material first. It includes the rundown of acknowledgments and sponsors, a speech from Naphtali, the traditional introduction of participants, and of course the class photo which appears on the cover of the DVD. Nicely done segment.
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney vs. “The British Lion” Tommy Taylor: Before the match, Shannon Rose interviewed a charismatic “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney outside under the Florida sun. Sweeney is by far, without a doubt, one of the greatest promo guys in professional wrestling today – and this interview was a classic! His opponent was one half of the British Lion’s tag team, Tommy Taylor, who possesses about 3% of Sweeney’s charisma, but has a great look for an indy wrestler. Taylor’s interview saw him look right past Sweeney towards a projected second round match with his tag team partner, Chris Gray. Big mistake. When you fail to take Mr. Sweet & Sour seriously, you will most likely fail miserably. Sweeney belongs in the 80’s, which as everybody knows, is the greatest decade EVER. Taylor is no push-over, as he has been trained in the WWE developmental system for the past two years. If this match is an example of what the rest of the tournament then we’re in for an intense weekend. Taylor held his own, but in the end it was Sweeney’s brains that helped him score a pinfall and advance to the next round of this very prestigeous tournament!
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH “Addicted to Love” Rhett Titus vs. Jaison Moore: Rhett Titus has developed into a decent independent wrestler, and stepped out of the shadow of being an “ROH student.” Titus has traveled out of his home territory to gain experience, and perfected a gimmick that has really gotten him noticed. I wouldn’t call him charismatic, but he is just goofy enough to be entertaining. There have been a few wrestlers who wore bowties to the ring (the Fabulous Ones for example), but Titus is the first one I can think of to have the audacity to wear one during the match! Jaison Moore is a good young guy, but is just too plain at this point in his career. One good thing about the young guys is that they’re eager to impress everybody. Scott Hudson said that Austin Aries & American Dragon wouldn’t like what their student, Rhett Titus, has turned into. I’m sure they’d be proud if he won the whole tournament! The finish saw Titus go for a cocky cover, but Moore reversed it and scored a shocking upset victory to advance to the quarter finals! I would have picked Titus to make it to the final four, at the very least. Expect the unexpected!
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH Jon Davis vs. C.J. O’Doyle: C.J. O’Doyle came out to some fun Irish music, and the flag of Ireland covering his shoulders. Jon Davis came out with no music at all, and he was heckled by the fans. Some wrestlers pick music so they can be unique, but I guess if you pick no music that would make you really unique. Jon Davis is not the guy who created the Garfield cartoon, but he is one half of a dominant tag team known as the Dark City Fight Club along side Kory Chavis. Davis often reminds me of a green and bitter version of Montel Vontavious Porter. Some people might remember O’Doyle from some promotions in the Northeast, such as; 3PW, CZW, PWU, CAPW (Cleveland), MCW (Maryland), and several others, but he is proud to call the Wild Samoan Afa’s WXW his home promotion. They were hinting that 911 Inc. (a faction which Davis is a member of) could get involved at any moment, but Davis did not need any help. He nailed O’Doyle with his finisher and pinned him to advance in the tournament looking very impressive. Davis proclaimed, “I’m not here to make friends. I’m here to bring home the Cup!”
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH Craig Classic vs. Gran Akuma: Gran Akuma was trained by Chris Hero, who just happens to be last year’s winner of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup. I don’t think I have ever seen Craig Classic, but he seemed to give the impression that he has a rivalry with Akuma back in the Northeast. At one point, Classic went to the top rope, but he couldn’t stand up straight without putting his head through the ceiling. I find that hilarious when I see that on independent wrestling shows. Classic doesn’t look like much, but he certainly impressed me with his toughness and skill. They beat the hell out of each other, until Akuma planted Classic with what I think is known as the Joker-driver (which is what they call it when Joker used it in CZW).
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH “The Campus Legend” Brad Attitude vs. Nooie Lee: Brad Attitude is another former WWE developmental wrestler who decided to stick around the Florida independent scene after he was cut by the WWE. Nooie Lee is a small Asian-American with a lot of frequent flyer miles, all accumulated in and around the pro-wrestling ring. Brad Attitude still calls himself the “Campus Legend,” which is the gimmick the guys at WWE-FCW gave him. The commentators noted that Nooie Lee had a breakout performance last year against Erick Stevens. This year Nooie played the underdog once again, with nobody giving him a chance in hell of making it to the second round. 2009 saw the same result, as Nooie fell to the bigger athlete, but certainly forced everybody to sit up and take notice at his desire to overcome the impossible. The Campus Legend moves one step closer to the Peterson Cup trophy.
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH “The British Lion” Chris Gray vs. “Sacred” Sal Rinauro: Sal Rinauro is the biggest geek heel I’ve ever seen, but it’s really awesome. He’s been around long enough that he has the confidence to do just about anything that a small wrestler is able to do. Chris Gray is the partner of Tommy Taylor; together they made up the tag team known as The British Lions. They are both former WWE developmental wrestlers from the UK, but decided to drain their work visa’s on the Florida wrestling circuit. Somewhere along the line, Rinauro picked up the nickname “Sacred Sal.” Despite not hitting a single piece of legal offense during the entire match, Sal Rinauro managed to squirm his way past the British Lion to advance to the next round.
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH Kenny King vs. Jigsaw: Kenny King claimed that he did not need the YRR’s help to defeat Jigsaw. One look at an unmasked Jigsaw, and you can tell why somebody decided to put him in a mask in the first place. Jigsaw considered himself “tournament tested,” having competed in the Best of the Best (CZW) and the Ted Petty Invitational (IWA). They both made pretty convincing arguments as to why they should win the tournament, but it was what they did inside the squared circle that mattered? Jigsaw fought hard, and came close to victory several times, but it was Kenny King and his “Coronation” finisher that put an end to Jigsaw’s dream and secured the King of Kings a spot in the quarter finals.
PETERSON CUP – 1st ROUND MATCH Erick Stevens vs. Chris Jones: Erick Stevens was the breakout star of 2007 and 2008, dominating the Florida circuit and getting his feet wet on the global stage with Ring of Honor. Chris Jones is being groomed as the next breakout star, but the jury is still out on that one. It’s no accident that this ended up as the last match of the opening round, and the main event of weekend’s first or two events. The intensity was off the scale, as Stevens chopped Jones’ chest until it looked like raw hamburger. It looked like David vs. Goliath, as Stevens appeared to be so much more physically built than Jones. This made Jones the sentimental favorite, but Stevens was just too intensely powerful for the rookie, and he forced him to tap out. This meant Erick Stevens would go on to compete in the second round of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup Tournament. Stevens grabbed the microphone after the match, and said respect is a hard thing to earn in this business. Stevens praised Chris Jones and said he earned his respect TONIGHT!
PETERSON CUP – 2nd ROUND MATCH “The Campus Legend” Brad Attitude vs. Jaison Moore: Brad Attitude defeated Nooie Lee and Jaison Moore defeated Rhett Titus in their first round matches. Moore was trying to solidify his reputation as the upset kid, but Attitude showed that he was superior with a convincing victory to advance to the next round.
PETERSON CUP – 2nd ROUND MATCH “Sacred” Sal Rinauro vs. “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney: Sal Rinauro defeated Chris Gray and Larry Sweeney defeated Tommy Taylor in their first round matches. They share the accomplishment of eliminating the British Lions from the competition. This was a rare heel-vs.-heel match, where the announcers predicted there would be a lot of stalling by both men – and they were right. They did a test of strength, a pose-down, and an arm-wrestling contest. Seeing two heels try to out cheat each other provided something unique for the fans. Rinauro pulled out a foreign object and took a swing at Sweeney, who ducked, and put Rinauro into the sleeper-hold! Sweeney cinched it in until the referee lifted and dropped Rinauro’s arm three times. Of course, Sweeney then had to wake Rinauro up with a slap to the back of the neck! You just don’t see that finish often enough.
PETERSON CUP – 2nd ROUND MATCH Jon Davis vs. Gran Akuma: Jon Davis defeated C.J. O’Doyle and Gran Akuma defeated Craig Classic in their first round matches. If you consider Akuma a heel, which many would, then this would be another heel-vs.-heel contest. One thing is for sure, there would be no hair-pulling. Fans witnessed a mild upset as Akuma scored a pin on Davis after some thrilling final moments of a very exciting match!
PETERSON CUP – 2nd ROUND MATCH Erick Stevens vs. Kenny King: Erick Stevens defeated Chris Jones and Kenny King defeated Jigsaw in their first round matches. Once again they booked it so that the final match of the round would be the most competitive. Definitely the best match of the tournament so far, and saw Stevens nail King with a Doctor-bomb and advance to the Semi-finals of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup!
PETERSON CUP – SEMI-FINAL MATCH Erick Stevens vs. “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney: They had some non-tournament matches at the live show, so it’s not like Erick Stevens had to wrestle two matches in a row. This is the most high profile match-up of the entire tournament, featuring the most globally known super stars. Larry Sweeney jumped Stevens during the introductions and worked over his injured knee to gain an advantage. Sweeney kept up the pressure and locked Stevens in the dreaded Figure-4 Leglock! Sweeney was total heel domination, until he lost focus for two seconds, and Stevens clocked him one time and scored the pin to secure his spot in the finals!
PETERSON CUP – SEMI-FINAL MATCH “The Campus Legend” Brad Attitude vs. Gran Akuma: This seemed like another straight forward match, where I wouldn’t have given Akuma a chance, but he has proven me wrong once already in the tournament. Akuma thought he would get an advantage if he made it a technical match, but Attitude surprised everyone by matching Akuma’s mat skills. The finish saw Attitude drop Akuma right on top of his head with a modified DDT off the top rope to win and secure a spot in the finals of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup!
PETERSON CUP – FINAL MATCH Erick Stevens vs. Gran Akuma: Erick Stevens limped to the ring, selling his knee injury which he suffered during the previous rounds and was made worse by an vicious assault from Larry Sweeney. This would likely give Stevens an excuse to do the job and still look strong in the eyes of the fans. The finals of the tournament was refereed by former wrestler “the legendary” Jet Jaguar. As is the tradition, the other fourteen participants of the tournament circled the ring wearing their Jeff Peterson Cup t-shirts to pay tribute to Jeff Peterson. Brad Attitude worked over his opponents injured leg, but Stevens absolutely refused to surrender. Stevens actually gutted it out and connected with his trademark Doctor-bomb and pinned Attitude to win the 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup! Erick Stevens continues to be the poster-boy for Florida independent wrestling! Attitude offered a handshake and a hug after the match, and everybody involved with the tournament entered the ring to congratulate the winner. The ring cleared and Erick Stevens delivered a speech about living his dream of being a professional wrestler. Stevens praised the fans, saying he loved them, the boys in the back, and professional wrestling!
To learn more about the late Jeff Peterson, and to find out how to order the 2007 and 2008 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup DVD’s, please check out http://www.jpc2008.com