2015 Scenic City Invitational Review- Better Late Than Never
1) Corey Hollis vs Joey Lynch
Fun opener. Hollis is obviously more developed in-ring than Lynch but Lynch has solid work and played well as a babyface. He has good intensity here as well. Hollis works a good pace and controls the ring well and has good facials. There was good headlock work which was emphasized effectively on commentary.
2) Ace Rockwell vs Mark Vandy
Vandy seems to have Erick Rowan’s head placed on young Kendall Windham’s body, wearing tye-dye shorts of course. He has really good technical skills and good strikes, to the point that I was hoping he would advance. Rockwell worked underneath most of the match and did it well and used a nice ace crusher for the pin.
3) KT Hamill vs Moose
Hamill looks older than I expected and seems like the lost member of PG-13. He bounces around for Moose early on and then attacks Moose’s leg. Moose sells briefly as he is limping and switches from his usual offense to headbutts. Then Moose is running around hitting power moves and it is not the best I’ve seen him look negating the selling. He gives Hamill a big powerbomb on the apron and later hits a spear inside for the win.
4) Kongo Kong vs Tank
Really fun heavyweight battle that was exactly what it should be. Tank clotheslined Kong over the top rope and he landed on his feet. They slugged it out throughout the match and Tank is someone whose career deserves more examination. Tank superplexes Kong in a great spot. Kong manages to do a top rope splash for the win. Kong Kong is so much fun.
5) Caprice Coleman vs Jason Collins
Collins is put over on commentary for his experience in the Pure Wrestling Classic and he goes on to have the best technical match of the tourney so far with Coleman. They start out with mat-wrestling and then spill to the floor for some brawling. They return to the ring for quicker offense flurries including suplexes by Collins and Coleman’s sweet no-hands top-rope rana. Coleman also does rolling northern lights suplexes. Collins wins when he catches Coleman in a leg-capture suplex with his feet on the ropes. Collins was great in this match.
6) Chip Day vs Gunner Miller
This is a match between an indie veteran in Day and a young up-and-coming blue chip athlete in Miller. Day attacks right away and hits a German suplex. Miller moves well and has some great power moves. He also works well underneath against some cool offense from Day including lots of kicks. Miller gets the pin after spinning Day who was coming off the top rope. Miller seems to have a great future.
7) Anthony Henry vs Jimmy Rave
Rave is well-positioned as the super indie veteran here. It is my first time seeing Henry and he is really impressive as he comes off like an MMA fighter doing pro wrestling stuff like a Muta-lock, a bow and arrow and a slick powerslam. Rave is of course great in this match using well-placed clotheslines, his Doppler effect running knee-strike, and an STO on the apron. Rave hit a big superplex and showed great facials putting over the kick-out. Rave went for another STO on the apron but Henry blocked it and hit a reverse DDT on the apron. Henry hit a top-rope rana and a big frog splash. Henry hit a big spin-kick that Rave rolls out of the ring to sell. He rolls up Henry when returning to the ring and then applies a crossface causing Henry to tap out and end what is the match of the night to this point.
8) Gunner vs Chrisjen Heyme
Due to my TNA aversion, this is actually the first time I’ve seen Gunner. He looks impressive physically and is good in the ring. They put over Heyme’s endurance training on commentary. They also discuss that he previously was a high flyer until a life-threatening injury and that he has since changed his style. He shows lots of heel tactics in the match and actually uses a chair in a tournament designed around in-ring wrestling. Gunner powered Heyme around the ring while Heyme did some good bumping. Heyme took control and Gunner worked well underneath. Gunner hit a uranage but Heyme fought back and hit a double stomp to Gunner’s back. Heyme came off the top rope but Gunner caught him and hit a spinebuster. Heyme avoids a charge by Gunner who hits a chair wedged into the turnbuckles. Heyme missed a 450 splash and Gunner hit a PTSD Powerbomb to win the match.
9) Anthony Henry vs Joey Lynch
This is a non-tournament match. They do a lot of reversals early and trade strikes. Henry went to the top where Lynch hit him with an enzuiguri and then hit a corkscrew plancha to the floor. Henry did a nice springboard into a sunset flip powerbomb. Henry also hit an air raid crash. Both men do a great job in the match of grappling for position. Lynch did a standing shiranui. They trade several roll-ups in the finishing stretch until Lynch uses one to get the pin. This was a great showcase for both guys.
10) Jason Collins vs Corey Hollis
This is the first match of the second round. Collins had the crowd, including the Hales family, solidly behind him while Hollis played up his heel persona. Hollis took control of the match and continued with headlock work. Collins fought back with punches but Hollis cut him off with a flying forearm. Collins came back and hit a springboard dropkick. Collins hit a half-nelson suplex and went for the inverted fisherman suplex he used to defeat Coleman but Hollis cut him off and hit a superkick to get the pinfall.
11) Gunner vs Ace Rockwell
It’s noted that these two are former rivals who have become good friends. They did a big slap exchange early and started brawling. That strike exchange led into back-and-forth action. Gunner was in control but they got into a chop battle and started throwing forearms. Gunner took control again and cut off a Rockwell bulldog and hit a suplex. Gunner hit a running knee-strike. Rockwell hit a cross-body off the top but Gunner rolled through. Rockwell got a roll-up but Gunner hit the PTSD powerbomb for a near-fall. Gunner went up top for the diving headbutt but Rockwell caught him in an Aces High (ace cutter) which was awesome. Rockwell hit Gunner with a clothesline and they both spilled to the floor. They returned to the ring and Gunner hit the PTSD Powerbomb for the win.
12) Kongo Kong vs Moose
This is my first time getting to see Moose in a heavyweight battle. They traded some of the nastier slaps I’ve seen. Kongo hit a nasty STO-style backbreaker over his knees. Kong moves really well and demonstrated that with a somersault senton. Kong also showed great strength with a powerslam on Moose. Kong missed a top rope splash and Moose started throwing headbutts. Moose hit a running kick and then goes for a fireman’s carry but collapsed under Kong’s weight. Kong then hit a version of a Samoan Drop. They traded strikes and then Moose gets Kong up for a Death Valley Driver. Moose hit an avalanche and then a cannonball in the corner. Moose managed to powerbomb Kong off the ropes. Moose went to do so again but Kong reversed into a rana. Kong then hit a top rope splash and got the pinfall win. This was an incredibly fun match.
13) Gunner Miller vs Jimmy Rave
Miller overpowered Rave with some shoulder-tackles early sending him to the floor more than once. Rave fought back and hit a clothesline and then charged Miller into the corner. Miller started hitting clotheslines and downed Rave with a shoulder-tackle. Rave got out of an overhead press but Miller still caught him with a spinebuster. Miller caught Rave in an electric chair German suplex. Miller charged Rave in the corner and he appeared to get knocked out. It had been noted on commentary that Rave seemed to have been knocked out the day before and that he was then in a car accident. Officials attend to Rave who suddenly attacks Miller and rolls him up to get the pin. Some great heel work from Jimmy Rave.
14) Tank, Mr. Sports Entertainment, Corey Coxx and Mark Vandy vs Chip Day, Ryan Vega, Matt Fortune and Alexander Kirk
Vandy got worked over by the heels early. Coxx got the tag and took over briefly but missed an elbow off the top and became the face-in-peril. Day worked over Coxx’s arm. Coxx fought back and hit a rolling forearm. Mr. SE came in and hit a hip attack and a chokeslam. Vandy threw a big axe-kick. Tank came in and threw Kirk outside into a pile of wrestlers. Tank then teases a tope but stops to throw Mr. SE outside. They miss it but Mr. SE hits a pescado. Day and Vega hit Tank with superkicks. Tank and Mr. SE both hit cannonballs in the corner. Tank then hit a choke-breaker on Day to get the pin. This was a fun showcase for Tank and I enjoyed Day’s work.
15) Gunner vs Corey Hollis vs Kongo Kong vs Jimmy Rave
Gunner and Hollis started the match and Gunner took him down with a shoulder-tackle. Hollis tagged in Kong and they rammed each other’s heads into the turnbuckles. Kong gave Gunner a beel throw and hit a back elbow. Rave gets tagged in and he quickly hits Gunner and tags in Hollis. Gunner press slammed Hollis and then tagged in Kong. Hollis threw some strikes at Kong who responded with a headbutt. Rave was tagged in and he got beat up by Kong in the corners including with a headbutt. Kong did another beel throw but Rave hit Kong with an enzuiguri. Kong clotheslined Rave in the corner. Rave rolled outside and Hollis came in and put Kong in a sleeper. Kong threw Hollis in a bodyslam and tagged in Gunner who exchanged holds with Hollis. Gunner threw Hollis and Rave came in and traded holds with Gunner. Rave worked a toe-hold and then rolled outside allowing Kong to come in. Kong hit Gunner with a knee-lift, choked him on the ropes and applied a nerve-hold. Kong threw Gunner to the floor and Rave came in and threw punches. Kong backdropped Rave and did the same to Hollis who dropkicked Kong out of the ring. Gunner came in and overpowers Hollis and applies a fisherman suplex. Rave came in and worked over Gunner’s leg. Hollis tagged in and continued to work Gunner’s leg. Rave came back in and applied a figure four leglock. Gunner reversed it and Hollis made the save and continued the leg work. Hollis applied a single leg crab. Rave came in, worked Gunner’s leg and then double-teamed him with Hollis. Gunner rolled to the floor and Kong entered to double-clothesline Rave and Hollis and then splash them in the corner. Kong hit a cannonball in the corner and attempted a pin on Rave. Kong gave Hollis a sit-out bodyslam. Gunner came back in and traded strikes with Kong who hit a clothesline. Rave came in, chopped Kong and threw him out of the ring. Rave and Hollis squared off with Hollis getting thrown to the floor. Rave took Gunner to the top rope and hit a superplex. Kong hit a top rope splash on Rave. Hollis attacked Kong and Knog responded with a chokeslam. Kong did a moonsault but Hollis rolls out of the way. Gunner hit Kong with a knee-strike and pinned him for the first elimination.
Hollis then faced Gunner and hit upperctus and a dropkick. Rave came in and Gunner leapfrogged him but took Rave’s head to the leg. Rave gave him a dragon-screw legwhip and applied a single leg crab. Hollis tagged in and worked Gunner’s leg. Hollis continued with strikes. Rave tagged in and chopped away at Gunner. Rave charged him but Gunner ducks and Rave falls to the floor. Gunner took over on Hollis and hit a slingshot suplex. Gunner tried a powerbomb but Hollis fights him off. Gunner hit a uranage for a pin attempt. Hollis came off the top rope and Gunner hit him with a double sledge. Gunner put Rave in a Boston Crab that was broken up by Hollis who eyepokes Gunner. Hollis then superkicks Gunner and pins him for the second elimination.
It came down to Rave and Hollis who had a stare-off across the ring. They traded slaps and chops. Hollis got Rave down and hit some punches. Hollis hit Rave with a forearm and clotheslined him to the floor. Rave returned to the ring where Hollis hit him with chops and a headbutt. Rave hit Hollis with a vertical suplex followed by a clothesline and a doppler effect. Rave placed Hollis on the top rope and went for a superplex but Hollis headbutted him to the mat. Hollis did a diving headbutt from the top rope for a near-fall. Rave caught Hollis in a crossface. Hollis’ partner Ryan Vega attempted to interfere but was run off by Rave. Hollis and Rave went to the apron where Rave hit Hollis with a clothesline. Hollis beat the referee’s count and got Rave in a small package. Rave kicked out and applied a crossface. Chip Day then tried to interfere but Rave clotheslined him to the floor. Hollis hit Rave with a tope suicida and took him back inside. Hollis missed a diving headbutt when Rave rolled out of the way. Rave then got the From Dusk Till Dawn tornilla into the crossface and Hollis tapped to give Rave the tournament victory. Hollis put over Rave on the mic after the match, thanking him for making him a better wrestler.
This was a fantastic tournament with a lot of stand-out performances and a great main event. Anyone who hasn’t checked it out yet should do so and also order the 2016 SCI. It is a great template for a regional tournament and other areas should definitely try to do something similar.
Overall Match Rankings:
1) Jimmy Rave vs Kongo Kong vs Gunner vs Corey Hollis
2) Anthony Henry vs Jimmy Rave
3) Kongo Kong vs Moose
4) Caprice Coleman vs Jason Collins
5) Anthony Henry vs Joey Lynch
6) Gunner Miller vs Jimmy Rave
7) Tank vs. Kongo Kong
8) Jason Collins vs Corey Hollis
9) Gunner vs Ace Rockwell
10) Chip Day vs Gunner Miller
11) Ace Rockwell vs Mark Vandy
12) Gunner vs Chrisjen Heyme
13) Corey Hollis vs Joey Lynch
14) KT Hamill vs Moose
15) Tank, Mr. Sports Entertainment, Corey Coxx and Mark Vandy vs Chip Day, Ryan Vega, Matt Fortune and Alexander Kirk