Big Andy Mac’s Live Report from the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup

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Big Andy Mac’s Live Report from the Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup

Over the past few weeks and months I have been attending various independent wrestling shows around the Northeast. Most notably I have attended Chikara, IWA: Mid South, 2CW, and of course Ring of Honor. Yesterday I went to MCW’s much vaunted Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup. Ring of Honor fans will be familiar with the format of the tournament as it was the inspiration for Ring of Honor’s annual Survival of the Fittest show. In fact, the 2004 Survival of the Fittest was supposed to be that year’s iteration of the Shamrock Cup. This year’s tournament featured:

• Ruckus: Last year’s winner, with a bye to the finals
• “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels
• Josh Daniels
• The Human Tornado
• Azrieal
• Eddie Edwards
• Christian York
• Sonjay Dutt
• Delirious
• Derek Frazier
• “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal

The match-ups for the show were drawn at ringside. MCW even went as far as having one of their officials radio to the back before each match to announce the competitors. Before the show began ring announcers Larry Kennedy Phillips pointed out the building’s fire exits in case of an emergency, and this got one of the biggest reactions of anything all night. The MCW loyal love them some fire exits.

Shane Shamrock Opening Round Match
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels

I was surprised to see this as an opening round match as I figured both men would be near sure bets for the finals. Obviously, there could be only one winner. The match was pretty standard. Jay Lethal has the Macho Mannerisms down cold, as I stated before, and Daniels was his usual awesome self. The finish came after Daniels used some underhanded tactics and scored the victory with a roll-up.

Winner:”The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels

Shane Shamrock Opening Round Match
Josh Daniels vs. MCW Cruiserweight Champion Derek Frazier

Daniels was making his return to MCW and taking on Frazier in a non-title match. Derek Frazier is a name I have heard about, but had never had a chance to see in the ring. The two of them had a very solid match-up. Daniels is one of many Dynamite Kid influenced wrestlers on the independent scene today. He used an arsenal of vicious clotheslines, strikes and suplexes against the high flying Frazier. Daniels was able to score the win with a bridging German suplex.

Winner: Josh Daniels

Shane Shamrock Opening Round Match
Christian York w/ Nicky Benz vs. Delirious

Before this match could get underway Creative Control, the major heel stable in MCW, made their way to the ring. They informed Mr. York, a two time winner of the Shamrock Cup, would not be competing and that because Creative Control runs the show, he would be forced to compete under the name Fabulous Fabian. York responded by saying that the show was too important to use stupid names and he would be Christian York. Creative control, led by Dan McDevitt’s ex wife Kimberly, said there would be no such thing happening. She also hired a new ring announcer Joel Oresky, much to the chagrin of the MCW faithful.

Delirious was announced as his opponent and came to the ring with a huge reaction from the jam packed MCW arena. The match was pretty back and forth with no one getting a clear advantage. York was quite impressive. He is another athlete who I have heard a lot about but never seen in the ring. He was Joey Matthews tag team partner before the MNM days, and he even got a couple of shots in the old ECW before it closed down. Nicky Benz several times tried to interfere on behalf of York, but York wanted to win on his own steam. Benz attempts to interfere proved to be too much and he cost York the match giving Delirious a berth in the finals.

Winner: Delirious

After the match, York said that if he couldn’t be Christian York he would no longer compete in MCW. He then started running down Nicky Benz. Benz responded by attacking Christian and hitting him with a vicious pile driver. York needed help to the back.

Shane Shamrock Opening Round Match
Azrieal vs. the Human Tornado

This may have been one of the more entertaining matches of the first round. Human Tornado is high on charisma and gets the crowd behind him every time he enters the ring. Azrieal tried not to be suckered in to the antics of the Tornado. Tornado still was able to hit a lot of his signature offense including the dance step kicks to the face. Tornado got the win after a split legged low blow and a jackknife pin.

Winner: Human Tornado

Shane Shamrock Opening Round Match

Eddie Edwards vs. Sonjay Dutt

Dutt was a surprise replacement on the show for B-Boy who was unable to appear. This was a short but very entertaining match. Edwards absolutely lit up Dutt with chops. Dutt used his speed to his advantage and kept trying to lock in the dreaded camel clutch. He was eventually able to cinch it in and score the tap out victory.

Winner: Sonjay Dutt

MCW Heavyweight Title Match
Adam Flash © vs. Joey Matthews

Before the match could get underway MCW official Jeff Jones came to the ring and informed Adam Flash that he would not make it to one year as MCW champion and that he would be the special guest referee in a no disqualification, falls count anywhere match.
Joey Matthews was then announced but before he could get into the ring he was attacked by Tom Brandi, Jimmy Cicero, and the Bruiser and taken out of the match. MCW owner Dan McDevitt announced that there was a replacement. That replacement was Danny Doring.

The match was underway and it was mostly a brawl. Eventually Jones gets bumped and cannot see the interference of Creative Control. Doring’s tag team partner, Danny Jaxx, however came out to make the save, Jones was still out and unable to count the three, so Jaxx did. It was not an official decision of course. While Doring was celebrating Jaxx turned on his long time partner and seemingly joined up with Creative Control. Flash started celebrating, but no pinfall was made. Joey Matthews then returned to the ring, and after some brawling Matthews was able to score the win and get the championship after a double arm DDT.

This match may have been a bit over-booked, but the fans in attendance ate it up, and Matthews got a huge pop for winning the championship.

Winner and New MCW Champion: Joey Matthews

During intermission Delirious, Daizee Haze, Ruckus, Christopher Daniels, Sonjay Dutt, and of course Chris Jericho were available for autographs. There were also MCW gimmick tables and RF video was there with their impressive arsenal of shoot interviews.

Street Fight
The Bruiser (representing Creative Control) vs. “The Real Deal” Patrick Brink

This is apparently the culmination of a very long feud. Apparently these two guys really hate each other. For those not familiar with the MCW roster, Bruiser is a big ugly mug and Brink is a big guy in decent shape. Both men were in street clothes for this street fight.

They brawled throughout the MCW arena, and eventually settled in the ring. Bruiser locked in his submission but was unable to force Brink to tap out. Brink was able to come back and got the win after a Razor’s Edge through two chairs. This match was slow and plodding, but the fans were way into it. One thing that can certainly be said of MCW is that they know their audience and give them what they want.

Winner: “The Real Deal” Patrick Brink

Tag Team #1 Contender Battle Royal

This featured most of the tag teams in MCW. The two focal points were the Ghetto Mafia of 2 Dope and Creed and Creative Control of Tom Brandi and Jimmy Cicero. Most of the teams were eliminated in short order leaving the two aforementioned teams to battle it out. Brandi and 2 Dope were eliminated quickly leaving Cicero and Creed to decide the match. Brandi was able to pull down the rope and score the victory for his team.

Winners: Tom Brandi and Jimmy Cicero

Before the main event Dan McDevitt came out and led a tribute to Shane Shamrock. It seemed that Joel Oresky was going to take over announcing duties for the main event, but announcer Larry came back delivered a rock bottom and served as ring announcer for the main event.

Shane Shamrock Cup Finals
Ruckus vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Josh Daniels vs. Delirious vs. Human Tornado vs. Sonjay Dutt

This match was as good as anything being presented on the indies. It would not have seemed out of place on a Ring of Honor card or many of the other top indies, but considering the talent involved it is not too surprising. Early on the match went through all of the matchups that one could see through the course of the match. Josh and Chris elicited a “Let’s Go Daniels” dueling chant from the crowd. Eventually Sonjay Dutt was in the ring with Christopher Daniels and started hitting him with a series of hiplock takeovers. Josh Daniels then joined in on the fun, then Delirious, and then Ruckus, the Human Tornado and even the referee got in on the action. Before the match could settle down Josh Daniels destroyed Delirious with a lariat to score the first elimination.

The match continued with back and forth action from the five remaining combatants. Josh Daniels hit Chris Daniels with a suicide dive followed by a plancha from Tornado and a dive from Ruckus. Dutt then went to the top but he was stopped by the Fallen Angel and hit with Angel’s Wings to be eliminated.

Tornado was next to go. He tried his best to hold court against Ruckus but a flurry of kicks and high flying offense followed by a rolling fisherman’s suplex. Before Ruckus could get his head together he was rolled up by Christopher Daniels with a handful of tights for the penultimate elimination.

In an interesting display the locker room then emptied and showed their support for the final two competitors. Daniels and Daniels went at each other full force. Josh took the best that Chris could dish out and vice versa. It seemed that Christopher Daniels had the match won as he went for the Angel’s Wings Josh Daniels reversed it into a pinning combination for the three count and the honor of being crowned the winner of this year’s Shane Shamrock Cup.

Winner: Josh Daniels

Final Thoughts

Maryland Championship Wrestling does a lot of things right. They know how to draw a big crowd and give that crowd what they want. The Shamrock Cup matches were all very entertaining. The best match of the show was definitely the finale. Of the opening rounds I would say either Azrieal vs. Human Tornado or Chris Daniels vs. Jay Lethal was the top match. Sonjay Dutt vs. Eddie Edwards was in its way to being a great match but the ending seemed to come out of nowhere from where I sat.

The MCW regulars like Creative Control, Patrick Brink, and others did not get a huge response out of me, but this was my first MCW show and I didn’t have the back stories to care about matches like Brink vs. Bruiser. The crowd was into these matches and ultimately that is the goal of any wrestling company, keeping the crowd happy and coming back for more. It certainly seemed like the fans were in attendance as much for MCW’s show as they were for Chris Jericho. I was a bit disappointed that Jericho didn’t address the fans in the ring but it was still an fun time, and worth attending or checking out if you live close by and have never been before. For more information about Maryland Championship Wrestling go here.

I’ll see you next time