Vito was crowned as the new Deep South Heavyweight Champion Thursday night at their weekly television taping. Over 300 people were crammed into the DSW Arena in McDonough, Georgia for the first show since the naming of Tom Prichard as the new head trainer at Deep South.
Conspicuous by their absence were former head trainer Bill DeMott, the Gymini, High Impact, David Heath and Suede, all released during the WWE talent purge last week. None were mentioned in any way, shape or form except by the numerous High Impact-related chants throughout the evening. Many fans were sporting leis as a silent protest.
On a night otherwise dominated by tag team action, the title win by Vito was something of a major surprise, as he defeated both the reigning champion Bradley Jay and the number one contender, Ryan O’Reilly in a round robin match.
It was a very strong show and had the hottest crowd I’ve experienced at DSW in a quite a while. The crowd shot up to a full house the week before Christmas, but then held at that level throughout the month of January.
Ring announcer Ted Guinness informed the crowd that Majors Brothers were the new DSW tag team champions as a result of their victory at the show in Jackson, Georgia on 1/19. (With the release of the reigning champions, the Gymini, Majors defeated Samoan Fight Club and David Taylor & William Regal in a three way.)
Nigel Sherrod was joined by Eric Perez on commentary for the dark matches. Perez is recovering from a dislocated elbow.
(A) Samoan Fight Club (Siaki & Afa) defeated Robert Anthony & Heath Miller in 11:10. Very good heat. The first two matches had more heat than the TV matches. Miller and Anthony appear to have some chemistry as a team. They hit some solid double teams including a double Japanese armdrag. Siaki nailed Anthony with a rabbit lariat and Afa took over. Afa looked a lot better here than in his first match some seven weeks ago. Very nice leg lariat by Afa. Siaki did the deal where he let Anthony get within inches of a tag before decking Miller. Afa hit a middle rope diving headbutt for a near fall. Afa tried going to the top, but Anthony cut him off with a huracanrana. Miller ran wild. Miller hit Miller’s Crossing (duck under neckbreaker) on Siaki but Afa made the save. Afa sent Anthony flying over the top. SFC then pinned Miller with a spinebuster/neckbreaker combo.
(B) Kofi Nahaje Kingston & Shantelle beat Brian Cage & Angel Williams in 8:48. This was the hottest match of the night. In Kingston and Shantelle, you had a teaming of the two purest and most popular babyface performers in the company. Shantelle has awesome fire and the athletic ability to back it up. Kingston knows how to connect with this crowd, and his facial expressions are off the charts. In turn, the crowd support has done nothing but help Kingston’s confidence in the ring. His work is 100% better than when he started here. More than anyone else on the roster, Williams is the personality the fans love to hate. Shantelle and Williams got into a catfight right at the opening bell, such that the men had to pry them apart. Kingston dominated Cage. Williams refused to tag in. Cage got the advantage. Williams tagged in and was ready to cheap shot Kingston. Kingston was playing possum. Williams tried to run. Kingston tripped her up and tagged. Shantelle speared Williams out her boots. An awesome spot and the pop damn near tore the roof off the building. Shantelle whipped up on Williams. “Queen DivaÃ¢â‚¬Â took over. Fans rallied behind Shantelle, who scored two counts with a sunset flip and a backslide. Double down on a flying hair pull to set up the tags. The beginning of the end was a standing dropkick that was right on the money. Kingston finished with the Cool Runnings (360 crescent kick).
(C) Major Brothers (Brian & Brett) beat Johnny Curtis & Samson in 10:40. The pop for Majors isn’t what is was a while back. Brett’s knee went out. Curtis hesitated to go after it, but Samson (the former Keith Walker) was all over it. Brett sold the knee like crazy. Samson has one hell of a lariat. Samson used a kneebreaker. Brett countered a second kneebreaker with a DDT. Both men tagging. Dropkick attack by Brian. He gave Samson an atomic drop, causing Samson to collide with Curtis. The Majors finished Curtis with the Long Island Express. Samson yelled at Curtis about screwing up two weeks in a row. Curtis shoved Samson. Samson knocked Curtis on his ass.
The merchandise drawing was handling by Rebecca DiPietro with the able-bodied assistance of Brooke Adams, Luscious and Bobbi.
The television taping commenced. Sherrod was joined by a nattily dressed Nick Patrick in the color commentary seat formerly occupied by DeMott.
On the big screen, we saw a locker room discussion involving Derrick Neikirk and Mike Knox, the former members of Team Elite. The crowd noise made it was difficult to hear the dialogue in any of the taped segments. Niekirk said Knox had turned his back on him and the Knox he knew as history. Neikirk reminded Knox that as Team Elite, they dominated.
Henry Godwin and Ray Gordy entered the ring for an interview by Rebecca DiPietro. Godwin said they were happier than two pigs in slop, except he almost said something else. Gordy said all they knew about was getting it done.
Nice touch of drama here. Neikirk came down the ramp alone. He waited at the bottom and Knox then burst through the curtain. Knox is an automatic great pop. I’m not sure how much Team Elite love there is, given how much the fans base has changed over the past year.
(1) Team Elite (Mike Knox & Derrick Neikirk) beat Henry Godwin & Ray Gordy in 7:57. Elite worked together in harmony, just like the early days of DSW. Knox kicked Gordy in the head when ref John Cone wasn’t looking. But Gordy managed to tag, and Godwin cleaned house to set up that insipid dosey-do spot. Knox posted Godwin’s arm to start the heat, and again, it was behind the ref’s back. Godwin’s hot tag was weak. Gordy cleaned house, building to a spike DDT on Knox. Godwin and Gordy tried to whip the members of Team Elite into each other, but Knox went low and Neikirk took Godwin out with a flying forearm. Elite used a double team Alabama Slam to pin Gordy.
Krissy Vaine approached the Bag Lady while she in midst of some intense dumpster diving. Vaine wanted to see what was under those rags. The Bag Lady revealed a very impressive flexed bicep. Vaine was cooking something up in that scheming, manipulative little ol’ mind.
Backstage promo by G-Rilla and Freakin Deacon. G-Rilla has grown a personality. Deacon had the tarantula.
(2) Freakin Deacon & G-Rilla beat Frankie Coverdale & Bob Hoskins in 4:13. The new babyface monster team got a big pop. Coverdale was formerly known as Francisco Ciatso, who was formerly known as Frankie Capone. He’s over as a comedy heel. Coverdale got the hell out of there and let Hoskins have at it. G-Rilla destroyed Hoskins. Coverdale wanted no part of it. Finish was a Deacon Bomb followed by a G-Rilla splash. Deacon took the tarantula out of the box for some fresh air, causing a couple of girls in the first row to jump out of their seats.
Majors Brothers were backstage with Brooke Adams. Their message was totally drowned out by a “High ImpactÃ¢â‚¬Â chant.
The main event was billed as a round robin with Bradley Jay defending against Vito and a mystery opponent.
Vito did a backstage promo with Luscious.
“Rough HouseÃ¢â‚¬Â Ryan O’Reilly was in street clothes during a backstage interview by DiPietro.
Vito came out first. O’Reilly, the amazing quick-change artist, came out ready for action as the surprise. Big pops for both.
DiPietro stopped Jay on his way to the ring. Jay said the match was a travesty and an injustice, but he would win anyway.
Two fans got kicked out for holding up a High Impact sign. The chants and the leis were one thing, but fans had been warned that no signs would be allowed.
(3) Vito beat Bradley Jay and Ryan O’Reilly in a round robin match to win the DSW Heavyweight Title in 15:14. The round robbing was a three man tag match. Whatever your opinion of the gimmick, Vito is in great shape and works his sweet ass off. Jay stalled. Vito and Jay did some matwork. Jay stalled again. O’Reilly brought him the hardway and hit a leg DDT. They traded big chops. Vito and O’Reilly went at it, with Jay quick to break up any pin attempts. Tags all the way around with lots of stiff striking and the third guy making the saves. Vito hit a one man flapjack on Jay for a double down spot. Vito made the hot comeback. Jay bailed out and pulled O’Reilly off the apron. Back inside the ring, Vito hit a fireman’s carry drop and running headbutt on a seated Jay for the pinfall. The crowd popped huge for the title change. Vito celebrated by climbing to the top of the bleachers and hoisting the belt over his head.
The show closed with Sherrod doing a quickie in-ring interview with Vito.
Prichard did not appear in front of the live crowd…The Jackson show was DSW’s first non-Six Flags house event. It was said to be a very good show, one that provided talent with the opportunity to do longer matches. Beside the tag title change, results from Jackson were as follows: Miller beat Anthony, Kingston beat Samson, Shantelle beat Williams, Samoan Fight Club beat High Impact to earn a spot in the tag title match, Jay beat O’Reilly to retain the heavyweight title David Taylor was backstage Thursday night High Impact has their first independent booking scheduled for 2/9 in Ellijay, Georgia with Georgia Wrestling Promotions.