Looking back at the past six months of action from clearly one of the hottest indies on the scene right now, how can one properly put into perspective everything that has happened in a clear and concise way? ECWA have consistently executed a solid show throughout the first half of the year. There have been some shocking developments, and some glorious moments for wrestling fans to behold. Join me as I look back.
Card of the Mid Year: “Raising the Bar” 6/2/2012
This show was the climax of the half year. The show was headlined by ECWA Champion, “Greek God” Papadon defending his title against Ring of Honor star, Adam Cole. Needless to say, the two did not disappoint as they delivered a near half hour match. Cole came close several times to ending Papadon’s 15 month reign on the title. Yet, when all was said and done, Papadon was the one with his arm raised after a Superplex/Piledriver 1-2 combo that is hard to explain, but sheer awe to witness.
Also, on the card was a “Falls Count Anywhere Match” between TWA Champion, “Heartkiller” Chris Wylde and former champion, Breaker Morant. Both guys pulled out all the stops in a match rarely seen in ECWA. The end came when Wylde drove Morant through a table off of the JumboTron perch. Great effort from both guys. It’s hard to create drama in a match such as this, and keep the fans involved in the match, but these guys accomplished that.
Grandslam Champion, Aden Chambers returned to battle Kekoa in a dream match. Mike Kehner battled Corey Blaze in a grudge match that has been brewing for months. Mr. Ohh La La won his third Mid Atlantic title by defeating Mike Tartaglia (who bought the belt the previous month), and FUSION DS battled Bandido Jr. and Azrieal in a match featuring two of the hottest teams on the indie circuit.
Runner Up: ECWA 16th Annual Super 8 (April 7th, 2012)
This year’s installment of the Super 8 featured what I described as many “dark horse” candidates. Papadon fought his way through tough matches with Tony Nese, Bobby Fish, and Bandido Jr., to be crowned the Super 8 champion for 2012. It was the cherry on the top of a series of accomplishments for the long reigning champion.
Bandido Jr. rose his stock in the eyes of many observers with a gutsy performance in the finals with Papadon. Though he lost the match, he gained many fans with his heart and determination. And, had he not suffered an injury, would he have had enough to put away the “Greek God” and handed Papadon his 1st defeat in ECWA?
Match of the Mid Year: Papadon vs. Adam Cole (6/2/2012)
Some are calling this the “greatest match in ECWA history”. It is a claim that very well could be true. What Papadon and Cole did in the ring that night was a clinic. Without hyperbole, this match should be required viewing to anyone who one days aspires to be a pro wrestler. The story they clearly told that night will likely be very difficult to ever repeat or best.
Runner Up: Kekoa vs. #1 Johnny Silver (3/10/2012, Carney’s Point, NJ)
One thing about Kekoa that can not be debated is he will always deliver a quality match in the ring. While the latter part of the half year was a story of redemption for Kekoa, the early part of 2012 was about a young champion (Mid-Atlantic) defending his title against all-comers.
In Carney’s Point, he defended the title against Johnny Silver. The match ended in a time limit draw; yet, they both painted a masterpiece as far as what they did in the ring. For 15 glorious minutes, fans were treated to a match where wrestling mattered. There were no storylines or gimmicks. For 15 minutes, it was champion vs. challenger in a real treat for the fans.
Wrestler of the Mid Year: “Greek God” Papadon
What can you say about Papadon’s year? He has defeated a roll call of some of the best on the East Coast indie circuit. He has defeated Alex Reynolds, Johnny Silver, Aden Chambers, Kekoa, and Adam Cole in successful title defenses. Add that to his Super 8 night of beating Tony Nese, Bobby Fish, and Bandido Jr. and you have a guy who has remained undefeated throughout his time in ECWA. He is 8-0 just this year, and looks like he will likely keep his stranglehold on the title he lovingly calls “Big Red”.
Runner Up: Bandido Jr.
He reached the finals of the Super 8 with wins over Azrieal and Gregory Iron. He also has seen success in both the tag team and singles division that gives him the edge over other competitors. All in all, he has compiled a 4-2 record and is gunning for some gold in ECWA.
Tag Team of the Mid Year: FUSION DS
What can be said about Matt Saigon and Damian Dragon? They have had a very successful year and have started branching out to other promotions recently in an attempt to get to the next level. In ECWA, they have gone 4-2 so far this year and won the Unified Tag Team Championship twice. Not only that, they defeated The Midnight Sensations in a “Loser Leaves Town” match, and sent those two packing…hopefully NEVER to return to ECWA. That alone would win them this honor.
Runners Up: The Midnight Sensations
While Bandido & Azrieal simply haven’t done enough in ECWA to earn this spot, TMS gets the nod by default. If there was also an award for most botches in one match, they would have grabbed those honors as well. Or, if there was a “Most Awkward Promo” award…you get the point. Did I mention I’m happy they’re gone?
Biggest Moment: Mr. Ohh La La tosses the Boss (Super 8 Battle Royal)
Comeback of the Mid Year: Aden Chambers
Feel free to discuss the selections here in the comments section, or call in to “Hell in a Cell Talk Radio” LIVE on Weds. nights @ 9:30PM at (718)664-9133.
- Three Reasons Why Independent Wrestling Matters (bleacherreport.com)