One of the biggest shows on the independent wrestling seen is the ECWA (East Coast Championship Wrestling) Super 8 Tournament. It is a show that has made stars of people like Low Ki, the Hardyz, Spanky, Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries, Davey Richards, Paul London and others. The Super 8 is one of those musts for pretty much any fan of independent wrestling. This year may not have had the flashy big names that past tournaments have presented, but I can say that this yearâ€™s tournament was a ton of fun. Just how fun was it? Read on to find outâ€¦
I should note that before the show all of the Super 8 wrestlers were available for autographs along with the rest of the ECWA stars. This is a great way to build a community atmosphere, and since the show took place in a Boys and Girls club it was only fitting. There was also a Halloween Costume contest for the kids, which is just another way that the folks at ECWA give back to their fans.
The show started off by announcing all 8 competitors. They were in no particular order: Shannon Moore, Alex Koslov, Aden Chambers, Chase Del Monte, Maverick, Frankie Arion, Scott Reed, and last but not least Loca Vida. I will talk a little bit about each athlete later. The rest of the ECWA locker room surrounded the ring and the fans were treated to a video hyping all of the athletes. This was a great bit of pomp and circumstance to hype the tourney. So without further ado, on to the tournament.
Super 8 First Round Match: Scott Reed vs. Chase Del Monte
Scott Reed is a short muscular kid from New England with fast paced offense and smooth moves. Chase Del Monte is an ECWA regular from the Jersey Shore. His offense is impressive, and he has a great look and knows how to work the crowd. The match itself was fast and furious. In the early going they went on an exchange of nearly 30 different rollups and pinning combinations. This really brought the crowd into the match. After exchanging some big time moves Chase was able to score the win with a spiraling Unprettier. Reed had a good showing, but the unquestioned star of this match was Del Monte. This was a good choice to start the show as Del Monte seems very over with the Delaware faithful.
Winner: Chase Del Monte via pinfall; ***
Super 8 First Round Match: Maverick vs. Loca Vida
Maverick comes from Mikey Whipwreckâ€™s NYWC. He is a big guy with a good look. His opponent is Loca Vida who wrestles most of his shows for Syracuseâ€™s 2CW. He is a luchador who wrestles under a red, white, and green mask. Like Del Monte in the opener, Senor Vida was the unquestioned star of this match. His moves were crisp and everything hit. It seemed like poor Maverick was all look. He had a deliberate style that did not mesh well with the excitement brought by Loca Vida. The fans were solidly behind Loca in this match, but a 450 splash from Maverick was enough to put an end to the crazy life for Loca Vida. I would have really liked to see Loca advance to see what he could do against someone with a similar style, but he still put on one of the best performances in the first round.
Winner: Maverick via pinfall; **1/2
Super 8 First Round Match: Aden Chambers vs. Frankie Arion
Chambers is a former ECWA heavyweight champion and seems like kind of mix between Austin Aries and Matt Sydal/Evan Bourne. I know that sounds like pretty high praise, but it is warranted. Frankie Arion is small in stature but big on heart and ability. He played the heel in this match. I would have loved to see either one of these guys face off with Loca Vida as their fast paced action in this contest would have meshed perfectly with the luchador. Both guys here, though, were completely on and their styles dovetailed perfectly. The most impressive spot in the match was Frankie Arion teasing a leapfrog but turning it into a lightning quick Yoshi Tonic. Frankieâ€™s flash was not enough, though and Chambers was able to score the win with the Surfâ€™s Down (a Jay Driller). This was the best match of the first round.
Winner: Aden Chambers via pinfall; ***1/2
Super 8 First Round Match: Shannon Moore vs. Alex Koslov
This was surprising as a first round match as Koslov and Moore were by far the two biggest names in the tournament. Koslov has wrestled in PWG, Mexico and for TNA. If you are unfamiliar he does a Russian gimmick as a source of cheap heat. His antics got over huge. Shannon Moore has wrestled for WCW as part of Three Count and in the WWE as an MFer. This was very much like a TV match which should come as no surprise for the talent involved. It was pretty slow paced but it had some decent spots. Koslov won after distracting the ref and delivering a Greco-Roman ball shot to Moore.
Winner: Alex Koslov via pinfall; **
Before intermission they did a tribute to â€œThe Indy Iconâ€ Ace Darling. It was a nice heartfelt tribute to the first Super 8 winnner and one of the mainstays in ECWA. It was short, sweet, and to the point and didnâ€™t in any way alienate fans, like myself, that do not regularly follow ECWA.
We then got a brief intermission.
Super 8 Semi-Final Match: Maverick vs. Aden Chambers
These guys clicked less than Loca and Maverick did. After watching this one I was definitely wishing it was Loca who got the first round win against Maverick. Maverick may have been overwhelmed by being one match away from the Super 8 finals, but he did not bring his best stuff here. Aden looked very good, and his big moves are as impressive as anyone. He won with a Death Valley Driver. This was my least favorite match of the tournament to this point.
Winner: Aden Chambers via pinfall; *1/2
Super 8 Semi-Final Match: Alex Koslov vs. Chase Del Monte
After the way Chase Del Monte was put over by Ace Darling, I thought for sure he was going over in this match. But Koslovâ€™s underhanded trickery was just too much. This match was short like the other semi0final contest, but these two both worked the crowd well, and the fans were into the match. Koslov used his dreaded low blow of doom to â€œearnâ€ his berth in the Super 8 finals. I really hoped Del Monte was going to win in this one, as seeing two ECWA regulars fight for the trophy usually won by an outsider would have been a pretty neat thing, but Koslov was impressive and sets up a great face vs. heel final.
Winner: Alex Koslov via pinfall; **1/2
Annual Tag Team Summit
The next match was the annual Tag Team Summit. This is basically a rapid fire tag team Royal Rumble style match. Men are eliminated individually, so if one half of a team is thrown out, the other guy can fight on. There was just too much going on for me to recap everything. This was your standard battle royal, and I mean that in a good way. The story here, though, was Freak Nastty trying to figure out who jumped him. He had the suspects narrowed down to 8 men and not surprisingly they were the last 8 left in the match. Nastty went through and eliminated pretty much all of them until Magnumn, the manager of ECWA heavyweight champion Frederick of Hollywood, snuck up and eliminated Freak Nastty to win the Tag Summit. After the match Freak Nastty got back in the ring and offered his part ownership in the company in exchange for finding out who attacked him. Magnum stepped up and revealed himself as the attacker, but maybe he was just trying to get a piece of the ECWA pie. Still, he fell for Freak Nasttyâ€™s trick and unknowingly signed a contract for a cage match with Mr. Nastty at the November show. This did go on a bit long, but it was a nice palette cleanser before the finals and a way to showcase the local boys for the first time fans coming in.
ECWA Super 8 Finals: Aden Chambers vs. Alex Koslov
This was set up as the local hero, Aden Chambers, vs. the foreign villain, Koslov. The Super 8 has always been a tournament about respect, honor, and wrestling. Koslov has been using his underhand (literally) tactics to get his two wins, while Chambers has been fighting hard to gain his. The match itself was extremely fast paced. Both men had fought hard to get to this point and neither was holding anything back in their attempt to gain indy immortality. This was by far Koslovâ€™s best performance as it seemed that he was going to try and win the match straight up. But, as soon as the ref was distracted for a moment he caught Chambers coming off the rope with yet another low blow. The Delaware fans gasped as they thought Koslov had stolen the entire Super 8 tournament, but Chambers was able to roll through and score a surprise roll up victory and become one of the few ECWA regulars to climb the mountain and be awarded the ECWA Super 8 trophy.
Winner: Aden Chambers via pinfall; ***
After the match Chambers was greeted by the other seven competitors and awarded the giant trophy. He got on the mic and said that this moment was the greatest in his life. This was a great way to end an extremely entertaining show.
Big Andy Macâ€™s Big Andy Final Thoughts: As I said in my introduction, the Super 8 is an event that pretty much any indy wrestling fan should try to attend at some point in their lives. It lacks the pomp and circumstance of mainstream wrestling, but it is three hours of great wrestling and the chance to maybe see one of the stars of tomorrow. Aden Chambers as the winner has to be one of the most likely to break through, but Chase Del Monte and Loca Vida are two others that I really think are about to break out big on the independent scene. If you canâ€™t make it to the Super 8 at least try to attend one of your local indy shows. They are out there, just find them.
For more information on East Coast Championship Wrestling go to ECWAproWrestling.com
Iâ€™ll see you next timeâ€¦