IWA:MS Ted Petty Invitational 2007
The TPI is without a doubt one of the biggest dates around the Indy calendar, and definitely the biggest tournament. The tournament is dedicated to the deceased Ted Petty (Rocco Roc in ECW), and itâ€™s where IWA invites 24 of the best wrestlers on the Independents to come and compete in memory of Ted Petty. IWA had a freakinâ€™ sweet line up of talent originally, but lots of talent was pulled for various reasons (the main one being TNA), so in the weeks leading up to the TPI no one was feeling it as much as they usually are for the TPI. IWA still fought the odds and ran 2 successful shows, which I got as a Xmas present and will review here.
For more Indy goodness, check Aaronâ€™s and Johnâ€™s columns, and for Puro goodness check Jakeâ€™s and Ditchâ€™s columns.
Tournament Competitors (24 in total):
“Spyder” Nate Webb
Too Cold Scorpio
For Night 1, weâ€™re getting all the above guys in Round 1 tourny matches and nothing else.
*We start with the opening ceremony for the tourny. The ring announcer, named â€˜Steve Steveâ€™, introduces all the wrestlers (saying how many times theyâ€™ve took part in the TPI and such). They all pose together in the ring for some photos.
As theyâ€™re leaving, BJ Whitmer, Jimmy Jacobs and Chuck Taylor have a brawl. Whitmer gets his ass kicked and leaves, and Chuck Taylor hits Jimmy Jacobs with an Omega Driver.
Onto the matches!
1. Josh Abercrombie vs. Ricochet: Good way to kick things off. We see Ricochet run wild with all his flippy stuff while Abercrombie tries his best to counter it at every turn and wear down Ricochetâ€™s neck in the process. After some nearfalls we see Abercrombie destroy Ricochet with a super lungblower then put on this crossface hold for the tap out.
Nice little fast paced match to start the night.
Winner: Josh Abercrombie. **3/4.
2. Joker vs. CJ Otis: This was awful. We get a ton of moves and shit then Joker wins with a Last Ride. At one point, Joker dies off a German suplex, gets back up and then does a CHAIN WRESTLING sequence before getting a backslide. Thatâ€™s not how you do fighting spirit at all. Honestly, I have no clue why CJ Otis was let into this tournament.
Winner: Joker. 1/2*.
3. Eddie Kingston vs. Human Tornado: Yeah. This was awesome. We see a story of Tornadoâ€™s speed vs Kingstonâ€™s strikes, while overall both are pretty even. Tornado gets some fast stuff in early until Eddie cuts him off and works him over. Well not just works him over, more so beats the fuck out of him. Tornado sells the beating really well. King gets distracted by Chris Hero (over at the commentary booth) and Tornado makes a comeback, hitting this awesome double stomp to the head off the ropes. After some nearfalls, Dat N**** Dead gives Tornado the win.
Really fun match with the fans really into it.
Winner: Human Tornado. ***1/4.
*Hero gets on the mic and berates Kingston about losing. Itâ€™s awesome. Kingston gets pissed and says he wants a match with Hero tomorrow night after 2 Cold beats him.
4. Davey Richards vs. B.J. Whitmer: From 2 guys that are very hit and miss, we get a pretty â€˜missâ€™ match, with lots of stuff being no sold and ridiculous overkill. We get mostly a power vs speed match with Davey using his speed to set up his strikes. Itâ€™s all formula up until the finishing sequence, where both men bust out everything they have and no sell most of it. After LOADS of nearfalls Davey makes BJ tap with his Keylock submission.
Technically sound but the overkill and no selling really brought it down.
Winner: Davey Richards. **.
5. Devon Moore vs. Dysfunction: Iâ€™ve never heard of these guys before, woo. This follows a similar formula to the opener. Dysfunction works Devonâ€™s back until he comes back and we get a ton of nearfalls. A top rope SSP from Devon finishes.
Another overkill match (and that was made worse by it only being 5 minutes long) and there wasnâ€™t much to make me care.
Winner: Devon Moore. *1/2.
6. Mike Quackenbush vs. Billy Roc: This rocked. Quackâ€™s IWA-MS Light Heavyweight title was on the line here. Quack was better than Roc in every way there is, thus dominated the whole way through, with Roc being too worn down to ever make a prolonged comeback. Yeah, it was incredibly one sided but still fun. I swear Quack used like, half of all the 1,000 holds he knows. The Lightning Lock Beta (a wacky stretch hold) makes a nearly dead Roc tap.
Loads of fun.
Winner, and still IWA-MS Light Heavyweight champion: Mike Quackenbush. ***.
7. Brent Albright vs. Tank: Not bad for what it was. Tank attacks pre bell and attacks Albright around ringside. Back in Albright uses his speed advantage over Tank to come back. He keeps using his speed (he can hardly brawl with Tank) which backfires at times giving Tank openings. Albright catches Tank in a cross armbreaker out of nowhere for the tap out victory.
Short, entertaining match to put Brent over.
Winner: Brent Albright. **.
8. Brandon Thomaselli vs. Joey Ryan: This was mediocre. It was technically sound, but very slow and there wasnâ€™t much to make me really care. They work a formula match with Joey being face and Brandon being heel. Superkick picks up the win for Joey.
Not bad, but nothing to write home about.
Winner: Joey Ryan. **.
9. Drake Younger vs. “Spyder” Nate Webb: This follows the same formula of the previous match, while we have a universal power vs speed story. Younger dominates most of the match with Webb using his speed to keep in the game. After some nearfalls Webb hits a Super Half Nelson facebuster for the win.
Winner: Nate Webb. **1/4.
10. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Nigel McGuiness: Oh yeah. Quality match right here. They do an awesome story of both men being equal to start, Nigel having a strike advantage but Claudio having a big speed advantage. Claudioâ€™s speed proves to be really effective as wears Nigel down alot and reverses all his bigger moves, leaving Nigel open for the Ricola Bomb for the 3. The British style stuff at the beginning was a breath of fresh air and the rest of the match was really solid.
Really good match, easily the best these 2 have had together.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli. ***1/2.
11. Chris Hero vs. Too Cold Scorpio: Match of the Night. 2CS worked his fucking ass off here; itâ€™s amazing to see him go like this at his age. Hero shows off and flips around the ring (trying to look better than Scorpio, the legend) a ton in the early stages. He gets an advantage, but showboats some more instead of staying on Scorpio. It costs him as he has no answer when a still pretty fresh Scorpio comes back. He tries changing his strategy to knocking out Scorpio with strikes, but itâ€™s all done too late as Scorpio pins him with the 450.
Perfect storytelling combined with awesome crowd heat and STIFF INTENSENESS~! made this really, really awesome.
Winner: Too Cold Scorpio. ****.
12. Chuck Taylor vs. Jimmy Jacobs: This was disappointing. Chuckâ€™s IWA-MS title is on the line here. The story was all about Chuck overcoming Jacobs. Jacobs controlled early but after the brawling didnâ€™t have much left, so Chuck dominated. Jacobs misses a tope and takes more of a beating, but Cluck canâ€™t keep him down. Chuck has nothing else to go for except Jimmyâ€™s injured leg, which works and sets up Jimmy for the Omega Driver which gets him the 3. What bothered me was Chuck didnâ€™t act desperate enough (he needed to prove himself against an IWA icon), and the structure of the match (the heel being in peril) left the fans pretty silent.
Overall a good match, but not great.
Winner, and still IWA-MS champion: Chuck Taylor. ***.
Overall Night 1 Thoughts: This show was just above average. Thereâ€™s some good stuff (Hero/2CS, Nigel/Claudio), but thereâ€™s also some really bad stuff (Iâ€™m looking at you CJ/Joker). The show structure was â€˜2 not so good matches, good match, 2 not so good matches, good matchâ€™ before the final 3, which was good because there was always something good to keep you into the show, not too many bad matches in a row. Again, considering IWAâ€™s big talent loss this show still turned out pretty good.
Overall Score for Night 1: 6/10.
For Night 2, weâ€™re getting the second round, semis and final to the tournament, plus Hero/Kingston in a Last Man Standing match and the Iron Saints defending the tag titles against Nigel McGuiness and BJ Whitmer.
We go straight to the second round matches!
1.Second Round Match: Josh Abercrombie vs. Devon Moore: Basically a mix between both menâ€™s matches the previous night. We get more using his fast flippy stuff while Abercrombie tries to counter it all. After some nearfalls Abercrombie takes it with the Taliban Backpack lungblower and that crossface submission he uses.
Could have been a bit longer, but fun way to start the night.
Winner: Josh Abercrombie. **1/2.
2. Second Round Match: Joker vs. Brent Albright : Good match which exceeded my expectations. The match is based around Joker stepping it up to the same level as Albright, but Albrightâ€™s power is too much for him and he canâ€™t hang with Albright any longer. We get some really sharp heavyweight action, as both men go to town on each other with suplexes and strikes. Albright really gets Joker on the edge with the arm submission combo he beat Tank with last night, but Joker makes it to the ropes. A Dragon Suplex and a Half Nelson moments later put Joker down.
Really good stuff and further establishes Albright as a force to be reckoned with.
Winner: Brent Albright. ***1/4.
3. Second Round Match: Human Tornado vs. Nate Webb :Eh. This could have been better. Both men use their speed but neither gains a long-lasting advantage, thereâ€™s lots of back and forth action but nothing really means much. They botch some stuff. Tornado hits Dat N**** Dead and gets the 3.
Pretty poor match.
Winner: Human Tornado. *1/2.
4. Second Round Match: Joey Ryan vs. Mike Quackenbush: This was good but the botch brought it down (nobodyâ€™s fault though). Quackâ€™s IWA-MS light heavyweight title is on the line. It starts how youâ€™d expect, Quack runs wild with some armdrags, goes for a tope but gets his foot caught on the ropes and lands HEAD FIRST on the concrete floor. The fans fall silent and itâ€™s a pretty scary moment. Joey takes control and works over Quack. Quack comes back and lacks the energy he usually has, but because the fall was so nasty the fans are really appreciative of everything he does. We get some nearfalls, with Quack making a big kickout of a Superkick. Quack outs on the Lightning Lock Beta (an AWESOME leg hold) and Joey taps! Quack advances.
Quackâ€™s fall really slowed things down, but Joey capitalised well and we still got a pretty good match.
Winner, and still IWA-MS Light Heavyweight Champion: Mike Quackenbush. **1/2.
5. Second Round Match: Davey Richards vs. Claudio Castagnoli : This was pretty good. The match is pretty back and forth, Davey frequently switches between his offence (one minute doing Lucha and one minute striking), and that proves to be his downfall as he can never get a big advantage over Claudio. Both men get a few nearfalls and Davey goes for his Shooting Star Press. Claudio isnâ€™t weak enough and gets his knees up, then kills Davey with a German Suplex â€“ Running Uppercut â€“ Ricola Bomb combo for the 3.
Nothing special, but solid nonetheless.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli. **3/4.
6. Second Round Match: Chuck Taylor vs. Too Cold Scorpio: Like the previous match but a little bit better. Chuckâ€™s IWA-MS title is on the line here by the way. The story revolves around both menâ€™s strengths and strategies, with Chuck being ahead of Scorpio at most turns due to being more well rounded. Scorpio takes control early on the mat, but his momentum is soon stopped when Chuck dodges a dive of his. Chuck controls but Scorpio soon comes back with a twisting cross body. Scorpio keeps using his flying moves, but Chuck reverses them. Both men get a few nearfalls, until Chuck catches Scorpio up top with the â€˜Awful Waffleâ€™ Omega Driver for 3.
Nothing amazing, but very solid and some strong heel/face work.
Winner, ad still IWA-MS Champion: Chuck Taylor. ***.
*Before we move onto the semis, Ian Rotten announces Quack suffered a serious injury off the dive and canâ€™t compete. Josh Abercrombie gets a bye into the finals.
7. Semi Final Match: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Brent Albright : Really good match. Up until now, Albrightâ€™s been built incredibly well, the arm stuff was established in the Tank match and his power was shown in the Joker match. Here we see Albright tire Claudio out (using a LONG headlock (roughly 5 minutes)) and use his stuff thatâ€™s worked in his previous matches, but Claudio is just too good for him and the Ricola Bomb ends it. My gripe here was considering Claudio was winning Albright got too much offence in (Albright dominated Claudio for most of the match), but at least it helps further establish Claudio and the Ricola Bomb.
Very good match.
Winner: Claudio Castagnoli. ***1/2.
8. Semi Final Match: Human Tornado vs. Chuck Taylor: This show is on a role now, getting better and better match by match. This was classic heel vs face, Tornado was the face in peril using his speed and such offence to try and win while Chuck was the classic heel getting lucky and taking shortcuts. Tornado gets some close nearfalls, including one of Dat N**** Dead, but Chuck somehow escapes every time (notably putting his foot on the ropes after the DND). Chuck his the Omega Driver for the pin.
Both men playing their heel/face roles to perfection made this really good, and Iâ€™d love to see a rematch some time.
Winner: Chuck Taylor. ***1/2.
9. Semi Final Match: Josh Abercrombie vs. Mike Quackenbush : This was awesome. Abercrombie comes out to the ring and the announcer says â€œyour winner, by forfeit, Josh Aber…â€, but Quackâ€™s music hit and the place goes nuts. Quack gets in the ring and says â€œI didnâ€™t come this far to give upâ€. Josh controls on the mat, then starts working over Quackâ€™s head. Quack makes a comeback and hits a ton of awesome stuff. Both men get some nearfalls. Abercrombie hits the Taliban Backpack, but it only gets 2! He outs on the crossface he won his previous matches with, but Quack fights out of it! Quack outs on this awesome leg lock thing, and Josh taps!
Terrific underdog match.
Winner: Mike Quackenbush. ***1/2.
10. No DQ, No Countout, Last Man Standing Match: Chris Hero vs Eddie Kingston : This was an excellent fight. Basically what youâ€™d expect from these 2, but thatâ€™s not a bad thing. They start with some stiff brawling around the building (mostly in the crowd). Itâ€™s fairly even until they get in the ring when Hero starts to dominate. He goes wild on Kingston with strikes and throws some chairs into the ring and onto Kingston. He puts a Boston crab on with a chair in a sick but cool spot. Hero starts working on Kingâ€™s hand, which makes some of his strikes impossible to execute. King does come back, and hits a Yakuza Kick and an Uranage suplex.
They start taking it to a whole new level of stiffness as they trade STIFF headbutts. This is wonderful STIFF INTENSENESS~! right here. Both me start busting out their big movers and this is awesome. King hits a Dragon Suplex and a HUGE lariat, but Hero gets up at the 9 count! Hero puts Kingstonâ€™s head in a chair and hits his spinning cravat buster off the ropes. King gets up but is still really hurt, so Hero goes to get a guardrail. He places Kingston under it and hits a top rope double stomp, but King gets up! King hits his spinning backfist, then 2 backdrop drivers! A third backdrop driver, on the GUARDRAIL makes Hero stay down for the 10 count!
I hope you enjoyed me recap there because this match really speaks for itself.
Winner: Eddie Kingston. ****.
IWA-MS Tag Team Championship Match: Iron Saints vs. Nigel McGuiness & BJ Whitmer: This sucked. Nigel and BJ dominate 90% of the match, and itâ€™s really slow. The Saints are faces, which I donâ€™t like (theyâ€™re better heels). Sal (the face in peril) makes a comeback and tag Vito, but his momentum is cut off and Nigel and BJ dominate again. They fall out when Whitmer boots Nigel in the face and start fighting. Nigel hits BJ with a massive lariat, but Brent Albright comes out and attacks Nigel. I donâ€™t know why. No contest, anyhow.
Winners: No Contest, but the Saints retain. *1/2.
IWA-MS TPI 2007 Finals: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Mike Quackenbush vs. Chuck Taylor : Fuck yeah. Match of the tourny for sure. This wasnâ€™t focused so much on the wrestling (the wrestling was still top notch though), more on Quack and the surrounding stuff with his concussion. The fans were SUPER behind him, and that made for a great atmosphere throughout. Quackâ€™s IWA-MS Light Heavyweight and Chuckâ€™s IWA-MS Title were on the line here, as well as TPI 07 championship.
Chuck is hesitant early so Quack and CC lock it up. When Chuck gets in heâ€™s outwrestled. Fun stuff. Quack and Claudio do their usual Lucha spots, and Chuck hits a somersault tope to Double C. Quack goes up top, and hits a spinning dive onto both of them! Back in Chuck works over Quackâ€™s head, until CC comes in and sends Quack to the floor. Chuck and CC go at it but neither man can put each other down. Quack comes in and sends Chuck to the outside. He hits a beautiful snap rana to Claudio but only gets a 2. He goes up top for a Dragonrana, but Claudio catches him. RICOLA BOMB! 1…2…NO! Quack keeps fighting and eliminates Claudio with a QD3 followed by the QD2!
Taylor comes in and attacks Quack from behind. He misses a top rope moonsault as the fans are going nuts for Quack. Quack hits the QD3! It only gets 2! This is awesome. Chuck grabs Quack…OMEGA DRIVER! Holy shit!!! 1…2…NO! The roof comes off the building as Quack kicks out! What a moment. Chuck takes Quack up top for a Super Omega Driver…Quack fights out…Liger Bomb! It gets 2, so Quack locks in the CHIKARA Special! Chuck taps! Quack wins! The roof comes off the building, again.
That was fucking awesome. For 17 minutes, all 3 guys went all out and produced one HELL of a tourny final. The match itself was great (everything made sense, not too long, never too slow etc.), but what really put it over the top was the emotion. The pop when Quack kicked out of the Omega Driver has to be the moment of the Indy wrestling year, and itâ€™s moments like that which really make the TPI what it is. One of my favourite matches ever.
Winner of the 2007 Ted Petty Invitational (and new IWA-MS Champion): â€œLightningâ€ Mike Quackenbush. ****1/2.
*Post match Ian Rotten gets on the mic and puts over Quack. Yeah, he does at every year at the TPI but Quack sure deserves it. Ian reminds us what the tournament is about (Ted Petty), and says how much Quack is like Teddy. Quack gets on the mic and talks about how amazing 2007 has been for him (all his achievements et al), and thanks the fans for being there not just for him, not just for IWA and not just for the guys in the back, but for being there for Ted Petty.
Overall Night 2 Thoughts: This was a really good show. It had a similar structure to Night 1, but the average match quality was alot higher. What made this show really great was it got better and better as it progressed (with the exception of the tag title match) and climaxed in the best and most fitting way possible. A great way to conclude the tourny.
Overall Score for Night 2: 8/10.
The Inside Pulse
Overall TPI Thoughts: This was really incredible. There are definitely better tournaments/shows out there for wrestling quality and such, but I donâ€™t think youâ€™ll find a tournament/set of shows that flows so well and builds to a better climax than this did. The story of the 3 finalists (Quack, Claudio and Taylor) roads to the final and (for Quack) tourney win is especially awesome to see unfold. Great booking on IWAâ€™s part.
And of course, the wrestling here is good. Yeah, there were some bad matches, but the good outweighs the bad and thereâ€™s something of every style (Hero/King for brawling, Nigel/Claudio for World of Sport etc) on offer. Big, big recommendation for the 2007 TPI.