Thanks to Larry Goodman for sending in the following:
Deep South Wrestling taped the pilot episode of their television show at the Deep South Arena in McDonough, Ga Thursday night. The sum total of the pilot was a battle royal won by Mike Knox. In the process, they set up a tournament to crown the first DSW Heavyweight Champion.
Solid action and a hot sellout (there’s a modest $3 admission charge now) crowd of 300 made this the best DSW show I’ve attended.
The first three matches were not taped for television purposes.
(1) Eric Perez beat Damien Steele with the Boriqua Bomb. Perez looked like a different guy than the guy that got off the plane for his debut two weeks ago. He cleans up well. The near gear is much more flattering and he looked to be in better shape. There’s no place in DSW for filthy, nasty heels that look like they have BO.
(2) Mac “Daddy” Johnson pinned Antonio Banks. Banks used a reverse roll up and Johnson rolled through with a fistful of tights. Decent match. Crowd seemed to take to Banks pretty well.
(3) Regulators (Mike & Todd Shane) beat Ryan Reeves & Nick Mitchell in 7:55. Mitchell kept the quirky dance movements to a minimum. Reeves love abounds at DSW. He’s right up there with Tony Santorelli, Mike Taylor and The Miz for babyface pop. Regulators attacked before the bell. Reeves and Mitchell made the ring-clearing comeback. Mitchell missed with a flying bodypress and Regulators went to work with double teams, no-tag switches and the usual arsenal of heel chicanery. Mitchell reversed a vertical suplex to set up a hot tag that was truly HOT. Reeves was having his way with Regulators until one of the Shanes nailed him from behind as he was trying to finish the other one. Regulators then pinned Reeves with a straight jacket drop.
Ring announcer Dan Masters displayed the newly-minted DSW Heavyweight Title belt. Masters explained that the opening round matches in the DSW title tournament would be set up via the order of elimination in a 21-man battle royal. Eliminations one through six would be shut out of the tournament. Elimination number seven would face number eight and so on with the winner earning a first round bye.
The taping commenced with Nigel Sherrod and Bill DeMott handling the announcing duties. Sherrod, who is all of 18 years old, came out of nowhere to get the announcing spot.
(4) Mike Knox won a 21-man battle royal to earn a bye in the first round of the DSW Heavyweight Title tournament (31:18).. I usually dread battle royals. But for entertainment value and story telling, this was the best DSW match I’ve seen. Whoever laid it out deserves a lot of credit, and the boys executed the game plan to near perfection. Some of the elimination and near elimination spots were extremely well done. Unlike most battle royals, Guys were fighting like mad to stave off elimination. Match had the kind of crazed heat that’s ideal for television.
Eliminations 1 and 2 were the Regulators, both via group effort. Made me wonder if they’re headed to OVW or the main roster. Everyone wanteda piece of Palmer Cannon, who used Freakin’ Deacon as a human shield. That set up a great monster sequence where Deacon tossed Slaughter Brothers (3 and 4), Ray Gordy (5) and Lash LeRoux (6) out like they were sacks of garbage. Gordy was the only contract guy in the bunch. Deacon mounted the turnbuckles and did a dive onto the entire roster. It took about 10 guys to get Deacon over the top rope for elimination number 7. Deacon exited through the front door in a huff. Meanwhile, Cannon was trying to keep a low profile by crawling around on his hands and knees at ringside. Funny stuff. Knox knocked Tony Santorelli (8) off the apron with a forearm shot to set up Deville/Santorelli in the first round. The mob trapped Cannon in the corner. Cannon (9) jumped over the top rope to eliminate himself. Johnson eliminated Banks (10). Johnson (11) and Mitchell (12) went out together. Miz eliminated Perez (13). Lots of stiff chops and kicks (by Kid Kash) here. Kash was awesome as the slyest of the heels. Fans chanted “Silverback” at Reeves. Kash eliminated Damien Steele (14), the only non-contract guy to make it into the tournament. Kash dropkicked Reeves into a collision that sent Ryan O’Reilly (15) to the floor. Knox and Kash gave Reeves (16) the heave ho. Fans reacted negatively to seeing Reeves eliminated. It was down to three heels (Kash, Knox and his partner in Team Elite, Derrick Neikirk) vs. two faces (Mike Taylor and Miz). Taylor and Miz put up a game fight but the numbers were too much. Taylor was getting the stuffing beat out of him. Fans chanted “Mike, Mike, Mike.” Then Miz caught fire. Then it was all five men down. Miz and Taylor went back to back to ward off the attackers. Taylor tossed Kash over the top. It looked like a surefire elimination but Kash avoided it by mere inches. Great spot. Kash used a basebal slide to eliminate Taylor (17). That left Miz as the lone baby. He outsmarted Kash (18). Kash tried to pull Miz out but Taylor came to the rescue. Kash and Taylor traded blows. Team Elite tossed Miz but he managed to hang onto the top rope. Miz brought Neikirk over the top with a headscissors (19). That got a great pop. But Knox brought the fans and Miz (20) down to earth with a devastating high kick.
Knox did a postmatch interview in the ring. Neikirk made it abundantly clear that he was not happy with his partner. But they made their peace before heading to the back.
NOTES: Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer were both backstage…First round matches in the DSW title tournament will take place at next week’s show…Former ECW and NWA Wildside commentator Steven Prazak sent out word that he has left Deep South…Former IPW and NWA Florida promoter Ron Niemi was at the show…DSW has their first open tryouts from 11/11 through 11/13. It’s open to wrestlers age 18 to 32. The cost is $250…The Thanksgiving week show will be on Wednesday 11/23…DeMott celebrated his 39th birthday at the show.