By Larry Goodman
Â IWA Mid-South ran night one of the annual Ted Petty Invitational 24 man tournament at Preson Recreation Center in Midlothian, Illinois.
Â Changes in the originally announced field have taken some of the luster off this yearâ€™s tournament. The promised Samoa Joe/Low Ki opening round match was dropped because IWA Mid-South owner Ian Rotten couldnâ€™t come up with the money he owed TNA. That problem also cost them the services of Alex Shelley. Matt Sydal signed with WWE. B-Boy and El Generico cancelled out due to injuries. Jimmy Rave was added and subsequently dropped from the lineup.
Some fans compared this yearâ€™s TPI to 2005 in that more of the load would have to be carried by the regular IWA Mid-South crew.Â
Still, the first night was anything but a disappointment. The crowd of 250 was psyched. There were several outstanding opening round matches, and the angles got over strong.
The show opened with the introduction of all 24 competitors. Chris Hero got a very loud and very mixed response. Jimmy Jacobs got significant hate. The biggest pops were for Mike Quackenbush, Scorpio, Eddie Kingston, Human Tornado and Chuck Taylor. B. J. Whitmer attacked Jacobs after the intros. Chuck Taylor went after Whitmer and joined forces with Jacobs. But not for long. Taylor laid Jacobs out with the Omega Driver. Jacobs said he was known for beating the odds. He said Taylor was a 2005 version of himself and he knew it.
<B>(1) Josh Abercrombie beat Ricochet via submission in 8:27.</B> A nice way to ease into the tournament. Ricochet replaced Jimmy Rave. A fan had constructed a giant fake mustache in Abercrombieâ€™s honor. This thing was like 6 feet wide. Abercrombie worked on the neck. Ricochet made an aerial comeback highlighted by a wild flip dive and shoulder-mounted double kneedrop for a big near fall. Abercrombie hit the Taliban Backpack and got the tap out with a variation on the crossface chickenwing. Crowd liked the finish.
<B>(2) Joker beat C. J. Otis (with Joey Eastman) in 5:05.</B> Joker ended up in the tournament after losing a qualifying match. Eastman said this would be his last appearance in IWA Mid-South. No tears were shed. More intense than the first match. In a pure Japanese style spot, Otis bounced right up after taking a German suplex and nailed Joker with a lariat. Joker didnâ€™t sell a german by Otis either, and pinned him with a Whiplash Powerbomb. Eastman wasnâ€™t happy with Otis for shaking hands.
<B>(3) Human Tornado beat Eddie Kingston in 9:14.</B> A meeting of two very entertaining characters. Tornado outquicked Kingston. He gave Eddie the House Party (corner kicks to a seated Kingston finishing with a splits low blow). Kingston went to work on Tornadoâ€™s back. Tornado did springboard missile dropkick. Tornado flying stuff was looking good. Kingston got big near falls with a uranage and decapitation lariat. But Kingston missed with a spinning backfist and Tornado pinned him with Dat Nigga Dead. A lot of fans were was pulling for Kingston to advance. Major show of respect in the postmatch. Crowd really liked this match. So did I.
Chris Hero came out and called Kingston a loser. Kingston hopped the rail but couldnâ€™t get to Hero. Kingston said he had enough of the politics in Chikara and CZW. He said he wanted the bitch on night two after he lost to Scorpio. Rotten told Kingston if he interfered in the match, he would be gone from IWA Mid-South for a full year.
<B>(4) Davey Richards beat B. J. Whitmer via submission at 14:14 with the Keylock Clutch.</b> Excellent match.This felt like serious business. They matched up dead even in agility and power. Richards strikes were wicked stiff. Whitmer did some nice work on Richardsâ€™ back. A dangerous spot saw both men spill over the top on a vertical suplex. Richards sent Whitmer through the ropes with a missile dropkick to the back and followed up with flip tope. Richards went for the keylock, but Whitmer got a ropes break. Whitmer stormed back with a brainbuster and a frogsplash. Richards did a sunset powerbomb and caved Whitmerâ€™s chest in with a kick. Whitmer kicked out. Whitmer got a near fall with a jackknife powerbomb. Richard hit a Saito suplex and locked in the submission. To this point, each match was better than the one before.Â Â Â
<B>(5) Devin Moore pinned Dysfunction in 5:05 with a Shooting Star Press.</B> They worked a fast pace but were nowhere close to as crisp as the previous match. Moore kicked out of everything Dys could throw at him and got the pin with a Shooting Star Press.
After intermission, Jason Duke got in the ring and said since he beat Billy Kidman in NWA Midwest, Ian Rotten should give him a bye into the second round. Rotten said the only â€œbiâ€ Duke would be getting was from Ed Chuman. Rotten had Duke arrested by security. Rotten then wiped his ass with the Dukeâ€™s NWA Midwest X Division belt and told him he could have it back when he bailed out. Rotten said he could get 2500 for it from Chuman because he was a belt mark.
<B>(6) Mike Quackenbush beat Billy Roc via submission at 11:54 to retain the NWA World Lightweight Title.</B> No doubt Quack is a sentimental favorite in the tournament. Roc was holding his own against the champâ€™s technical skills early. Quackenbush began to dominate with lucha style and tortured Roc with submissions. Roc got a comeback series of near falls including a flip piledriver out of nowhere. Quack cut him off with a palm strike and hit a brainbuster. Roc got a near fall with a Shiranui. Quackenbush then submitted Roc with the Lightning Lock.Â
<B>(7) Brent Albright beat Tank via submission in 5:05.</B> Tank attacked Albright in the aisle but messed his ankle up in the process. They just blasted the hell out of each other in this match. Albright gave Tank a german suplex with no help from Tank. Albright blocked the chokebreaker and go for the Crowbar. Tank escaped and Albright switched to a cross armbreaker to get the win. Nice finish.
<B>(8) Joey Ryan beat Brandon Thomaselli in 9:55.</B> Ryan refused to shake hands. Ryan came out on top on a furious exchange of armdrags that got a big pop. Thomaselli worked on Ryanâ€™s back. A big spot saw Ryan spear Thomaselli of the apron. Unfortunately, Ryanâ€™s superkick wasnâ€™t much compared to the near falls that preceded it, which resulted in the only flat finish of the night.
<B>(9) â€œSpyderâ€ Nate Webb beat Drake Younger in 8:55.</B> The IWA fans love both of these guys. During his â€œTeenage Dirtbagâ€œ intro, Webb grabbed a Hershey bar from the concession stand, threw it into the crowd and told Rotten, â€œthatâ€™s my payday.â€ Younger has Tommy Dreamerâ€™s heart and is well on the way to the scarred up body of Sabu. They opened up with straight wrestling. Younger took control. At one point, he did a flapjack into a Mutalock. Both down after a flying reverse DDT by Webb. Webb busted out the Muay Thai knees. Younger hit a Liger Bomb for a near fall. Webb murdered Younger with a lariat, but he kicked out. Webb got the pinfall with a devastating top rope half nelson/hammerlock facebuster. Standing ovation.
Rotten announced that the Cubs won the division.
<B>(10) Claudio Castagnoli beat Nigel McGuinness in 11:22.</B> Everyone on their feet for the intros. They traded about 30 European uppercuts. McGuinness went to one knee. After 5 more, Double C went to his knee. Castagnoli launched a barrage of blows, but McGuinness smoked him with Rope Swing Lariat. Awesome sequence. Castagnoli used a 10 count giant swing. McGuinness hit the Tower of London for a near fall. McGuinness kicked out of the Alpamare Waterslide. McGuinness escaped a Ricola Bomb and leveled Castagnoli with a short-arm lariat. But Castagnoli ducked yet another Rope Swing Lariat and hit the Ricola Bomb. Best match yet. Great pop as they did a show of respect.Â
<B>(11) Scorpio beat Chris Hero in 19:32.</B> Huge babyface response for Scorpio. Hero made the ring announcer intro him as the best athlete in the tournament â€œwhite or black.â€ Every time Hero got the advantage, he would mock Scorpio with silly, flippy routines. Scorpio taunted Hero with a cravate and they countered back and forth. After a sequence of obnoxious flips by Hero, Scorpio nailed him with a superkick. Scorpio popped the crowd with a guillotine legdrop on the apron. Hero got his knees up on Scorpioâ€™s standing moonsault to reverse the momentum. Scorpio made an explosive comeback, hitting a middle rope somersault senton and a top rope splash for near falls. Hero took his head off with a lariat. Scorpio escaped from the Cravate Plex, but Hero coldcocked him with a head shot and did a release vertical suplex for a great near fall. Scorpio kicked out of the cravate buster. Scorpio connected with a Pele kick and got pin with the 450 splash. Big pop. Great match. Scorpio worked his ass off. The crowd broke out a bigtime â€œloserâ€ chant for Hero.Â Â
After the match, Hero said he might not show up for night two and was attacked by Kingston. They brawled until IWA officials ran out to separate them. Rotten made a no DQ-no count out Last Man Standing match for night two. The crowd loved this.Â Â
<B>(12) Chuck Taylor beat Jimmy Jacobs to retain the IWA World Heavyweight Title in 21:30.</B> A grueling match. Jacobs attacked Taylor outside the ring and gave him a backdrop into the first row. Tthey brawled through the seats. They did a spot where Jacobs jumped off a gimmick table to spear Taylor, who was hanging from the basketball stanchion. Inside the ring, it was still all Jacobs. Taylor started to fight back after a series of slaps, but Jacobs beat him down.Â Â Â
When Jacobs went for the Contracode, Taylor dumped him and did a psychotic dive. Taylorâ€™s back appeared to land on the rail but he got right up. Moments later, Jacobs went head first into the rail on a crash and burn tope. Jacobs was down and bleeding from the forehead. He barely beat the 20 count. Taylor opened up the cut. Taylor went after Jacobsâ€™ bad knee and ripped the brace off of it. Taylor put Jacobs in the figure four. They trade slaps and headbutts. Taylor calls Jacobs â€œZach Gowen.â€ Jacobs did a Nestea plunge diving headbutt. Crazy stuff. Finish saw Jacobs go for the Contra Code. Taylor distracted Bryce Remsburg, kicked Jacobs low, and hit the Awful Waffle. Great way to finish night one.
NOTES: Besides Kingston/Hero, night two has Thomaselli Brothers defending the IWA tag titles and the remainder of the TPI with second rounds matches as follows: Moore vs. Abercrombie, Tornado vs. Webb, Taylor vs. Scorpio, Albright vs. Joker, Richards vs. Castagnoli and Quackenbush vs. Ryan. The Elite Pro show will be at 1pm Saturday with a 2 hour Q & A to follow.