What can be written about the Super 8 tournament that was held yesterday in Newark, Delaware that hasn’t already been written? In a few words, the entire night was an amazing experience. I was allowed early access and met a few of the guys I admire. All I’m willing to say about my time behind the curtain is that wrestling, and especially ECWA, is a brotherhood, and a family.
I was also surprised by the amount of people who had heard of me either through the ECWA facebook site, this blog, or other forms of media. It was really awe inspiring to be a guy who loves this industry and to be known for something he does whether how small my part is in things.
I did want to get some quotes from some of the wrestlers before the show, but there are so many things going on (meetings, last minute discussions) that it was nearly impossible to do. I understand all of that and was more than happy to be an observer of the planning that goes into a show such as this.
As far as the card, it was an amazing night that was capped by “Greek God” Papadon ascending Mt. Olympus and taking his spot alongside the legends of this prestigious tournament. There was so much action, and so many surprises, that I will attempt my best to bring you the action.
Super 8 Quarterfinal Match: Bandido Jr. vs. Azrieal
For the record, I called this match up as to me it makes a lot of sense. They are the CZW Tag Champions, and they know each other inside and out. The match was one of those back and forth affairs, and it appeared for a while that Azrieal was going to allow his frustrations get the better of him as he couldn’t put away his partner. Better heads prevailed in the end and Bandido was victorious in 10:20.
Super 8 Quarterfinal Match: Gregory Iron vs. Kyle Matthews
Both guys were making their ECWA debuts. Iron is the “Handicapped Hero” and was truly a source of inspiration. Making it to this level in pro wrestling has had to have had its challenges, and Iron has overcame them in his attempt to become known on a national scale. Kyle Matthews was the dark horse of the tournament. All anyone has ever seen of him were various YouTube videos of his efforts against Davey Richards and Daniel Bryan. That’s not a knock, it’s just that Matthews isn’t too well known outside of Georgia. After a hotly contested affair, Iron would secure the win, and a trip to the semi-finals in 9:53.
Super 8 Quarterfinal Match: Bobby Fish vs. Kekoa “The Flyin’ Hawaiian”
In the biggest surprise of the tournament, Bobby Fish submitted Mid-Atlantic Champion Kekoa with a vicious heel hook/knee bar at 12:16. Fish was a master technician as he zeroed in on Kekoa’s knee early in the contest. He methodically worked the limb for nearly the entire contest. Although Kekoa showed tremendous heart, he would tap out just inches from the ropes that would have broken the hold.
Super 8 Quarterfinal Match: “Greek God” Papadon vs. Tony Nese
These two have had history in the NYWC and traded the Heavyweight title a few times in the past. Nese is currently a TNA star who is underutilized. Papadon is the reigning ECWA Champion and is undefeated in his ECWA career. In what many people have called the best match on the card, Nese and Papadon battled like gladiators in front of the ECWA fans. Each man pulled out all the stops with Nese hitting his 450 splash, and with Papadon hitting nearly all his signature moves. But, it was the Alpha-Omega that finally put Nese away at 11:13 to thrust Papadon into the semis where Bobby Fish was already waiting.
Triple Threat Tag Team Title Match: The Midnight Sensations (C) vs. The Flatliners vs. FUSION DS
This war between Fusion DS and the Midnight Sensations has reached a boil. It was announced just hours ago, that as a result of the bad blood between the two teams, a Loser Leaves ECWA match has been signed for the upcoming May 5th show. The Sensations won the hot match in 15:59. I would be remiss if I did not mention the supreme effort each guy showed last night in this match. The six way suplex out of the corner and the series of planchas and flips to the outside were amazing. Also, of note was the run in of the savages from Nigeria, the Nigerian Nightmares. Where will all this lead? Get to Newark on May 5th to find out.
ECWA Super 8 Semi-Final: Bandido Jr. vs. Gregory Iron
Who do you root for in the battle of the underdogs? In my case, it was an easy answer. Bandido is simply a guy that I admire in his fighting spirit and the way he conducts himself. As much as I admire Bandido, I never thought he would make it to the semis. When I saw the potential match ups on paper, I wasn’t sure if he could overcome the odds, so it was awesome seeing him get so far.
Iron has amazing skill and determination. Despite his disability, he puts on an amazing display in the ring. In the end, it was Bandido’s veteran wiles that allowed him to win after 7:13 of non stop action. With the win, second generation superstar advanced to the finals.
ECWA Super 8 Semi-Final: Papadon vs. Bobby Fish
As Papadon said exclusively on a Tony Layne Show interview, this Fish was going to drown if their paths were to cross in the Super 8. His words of prophecy rang true as he dispatched the “Round Eyed Samurai” in 15:27.
ECWA Open Invitational Battle Royal under RUMBLE rules
The 1st two competitors into the ring were the Nigerian Nightmares. The two with very little traditional wrestling acumen only understand the very basics of battle. As the bell rang signalling the beginning of the match, the two charged each other and unleashed blow after savage blow upon each other. The third man in was the wily Hall of Famer, Mr. Ohh La La. After surveying his surroundings, he fainted at the sight of the two behemoths in the ring. Taking this opportunity, the Nightmares were about to dispatch Ohh La La once and for all with the vicious “Dumbo Drop”. Luckily, he was saved by the Flatliners. The Nightmares were eliminated from the Rumble, and their chance for a title shot at anytime evaporated rather quickly.
For much of the match, Ohh La La wisely stayed away from much of the action and attacked when opportunity allowed. A very wise strategy he employed was attacking the fingers of his foes. How can you launch another man from the ring when you have a potentially broken finger? Also, of note was Mr. Ohh La La’s use of Clause 47.b from the Geneva Convention. It allows for foreign nationals to be allowed a time out in a battle royal. Unfortunately, Senior Official, John Finegan did not know about this clause allowed and continually attempted to force Ohh La La into the ring.
As the match dwindled down to two wrestlers left, ECWA owner Mike Tar…er…Bruno came to the ring and offered 1000 dollars cash to his fellow Blackheart charge, Mustafa Aziz, to eliminate himself. As Bruno celebrated in the ring, having forgotten about the Frenchman, Ohh La La again showed why he is one of the most crafty veterans in ECWA. He easily eliminated the evil owner for the win, and a title shot of his choosing!
ECWA Super 8 Final: Bandido Jr. vs. Papadon
What a fine match from two great athletes! Both were trained by Homicide, and they were certainly no strangers to each other. With Bandido’s father, Bandido, Sr. at ringside, Bandido showed the heart of a champion in willing himself to take punishment few could withstand.
Likewise, Papadon was still reeling from his very physical battle with Bobby Fish just minutes earlier in the night. In a true David vs. Goliath match, Papadon would secure victory after not one, but two “In God I Trust” jumping piledrivers. It’s been reported that Bandido was injured during the course of the match, and I sincerely hope all is well with the fiery competitor.
Following his win, a humbled Papadon addressed the crowd. Although he was not shocked by his win, he was honored to have won the tournament and make a name for himself in the history books. It was a tremendous overall performance by Papadon.
It was truly an unforgettable night. On a personal level, helping Jean-Jean LeBon (the mime) purchase his food at intermission was as surreal moment as one can get. Meeting a lot of the guys before the show was likewise a treat. One quick story was as I was looking at the newest ECWA Home Video offerings, I was commenting that the Kekoa/Ricky Martinez match from the Jan 7th show was a great match. Little did I know that Ricky Martinez was standing directly to my right and thanked me for the compliment.
I look forward to seeing what ECWA has to offer in the coming days. Rumors are swirling as to who is getting a shot at Papadon at the May 5th show. Who can possibly slow down Papadon’s dominant role in ECWA? FUSION DS or The Midnight Sensations will be leaving ECWA after the May 5th show as their feud has reached a breaking point. And, just who will Mr. Ohh La La decide to unleash the power of France upon as he gets his long overdue title shot? What will the fallout be between the Flatliners and the Nigerian Nightmares? And, ECWA has also announced that Adam Cole will return on June 2nd! Things are heating up just in time for the summer!
- Three Reasons Why Independent Wrestling Matters (bleacherreport.com)