We’re back in Tyrone for the latest from ACTION, featuring the opening stages of the ACTION tag title tournament.
ACTION Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round: Liam Gray & Adrian Alanis pinned Takuri & King Garuda in 10:12 (**¾)
Kevin Ku pinned Erron Wade in 8:28 (***)
Adam Priest pinned Landon Hale in 6:39 (**¾)
ACTION Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round: Bobby Flaco & Brogan Finlay pinned Malik Bosede & Eli Knight in 7:54 (**¾)
Ashton Starr pinned Robert Martyr in 11:21 (***¼)
ACTION Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round: Damyan Tangra & Alex Kane submitted Kevin Ryan & Suge D in 15:44 (***¼)
AC Mack pinned Cabana Man Dan in 11:49 (***½)
Logan Creed & Matt Sells pinned Arik Royal & Jaden Newman in 16:26 (***)
We’re back at the Roger Spencer Community Center in Tyrone, Georgia for this one that’s live-on-tape… Dylan Hales & John Mosely are on commentary.
ACTION Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round: The Skulk (Adrian Alanis & Liam Gray) vs. No Mas (King Garuda & Takuri)
The three tournament matches here feed into a three-way tournament final next month…
The Skulk take their time to come out… and spend forever going around the crowd to milk their reaction. Alanis and Takuri start, with the latter hitting a dropkick early on before Alanis backed off from a second. Takuri tags in Garuda, whose crossbody off the top is caught, before some headscissors take Alanis outside.
Gray’s quickly lifted to the outside too for dualling topes, before a second set were tripped up in the ropes as the Skulk went in… and came back out with topes of their own. Back inside, Garuda cradles Alanis for a two-count, then threw some chops, only to get caught with a suplex/crossbody that forces Takuri in to make the save.
Gray’s in with a leaping knee and a neckbreaker to Garuda that nearly wraps it up, while an overhead kick to the arm from Alanis keeps Garuda down. Garuda rebounds off the ropes to go for a sunset flip, before tags bring us to Gray and Takuri – with the latter running wild with clotheslines and superkicks. Flying headscissors and armdrags have the Skulk down again, while a double-team wheelbarrow cutter nearly does it…
Alanis powerbombs Takuri… then got ‘rana’d by Garuda, before a roll-up from Gray nearly nicked it. A backslide followed, before some Angel Wings leave Gray laying… but Takuri’s trip up top was stopped by Alanis as all hell breaks loose. Garuda’s ‘rana off the apron’s countered into a powerbomb into the ring post, before Takuri’s put down with a uranage backbreaker and a follow-up neckbreaker. A goddamn flying Doomsday DDT follows, and as I scream that’s the finish to an opener that was a little rough, but build off of their prior meeting well. **¾
Erron Wade vs. Kevin Ku
This was the start of the “trials of Baby Dragon,” but with Kevin Ku they may just be skipping right to an execution.
Ku instantly pulled him into a Dragon sleeper at the bell, but Wade gets free… and got shoved down. Ku worked over a deathlock, almost rolling him in for a Muta lock before Wade got to the ropes. Wade tries his luck with chops and kicks, but Ku caught out and spun him down with a Dragon screw.
Wade finds an opening with a bulldog choke, but Ku pulled free and threw a chop to the back, before a brainbuster landed for a nonchalant two-count. Wade’s kicked into the ropes then took a kick to the inner thigh as Ku then measured up for a PK… Wade countered with a roll-up for a two-count, before more kicks and a forearm took Wade into the corner.
A running lariat splats Wade in the corner, but he’s back with a shotgun dropkick and a Falcon arrow, before a cross armbar was rolled out of by Ku. Wade sneaks in a crane kick for a near-fall, but Ku’s able to rebound with a Fisherman driver that gets another two-count as we keep going back-and-forth. Wade’s Michinoku driver is good for a near-fall, but Ku ends it with a gutwrench piledriver for the eventual pin. This was a little on the brief side, but Wade was more than just a tackling dummy here – only to get overwhelmed in short order. ***
Adam Priest vs. Landon Hale
Priest’s now being called the “Loaded Arm”, and I’m all here for the Lex Luger ‘93 retread!
Hale tries to sting Priest with chops early on, but Priest throws back in kind, taking Hale down to his knees before some quick shoulder blocks led to Hale having to take evasive action before landing a dropkick. A handspring cutter lands, but Priest rolls outside, then caught Hale with some chops on the floor.
Hale fights free with a back body drop on the outside as he was being readied for a piledriver. They head back inside, with a tiltawhirl backbreaker nearly getting Hale the W as his attempts to stay on top ended with a knee breaker and a chop. Priest’s Figure Four follows, but Hale gets to the ropes for a break. A slam drops Hale on his knees, exacerbating a possible injury, but he’s back up to chop Priest on the top rope, before Priest headbutts him down then got some BIG AIR for an Alabama Jam.
Somehow, Hale kicks out at two from that, then came back with Slingblades and knee strikes, before a handspring was swatted away with the loaded arm, and that’s the win. Short, but this did everything it needed to as Priest left with a win and annoyed folks with the loaded arm… **¾
ACTION Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round: Culture Inc (Eli Knight & Malik Bosede) vs. Bobby Flaco & Brogan Finlay
Finlay was in as a mystery partner for Flaco…
Flaco evades Knight early on, trying his luck with a crucifix before running to the crowd. Knight caught a distracted Flaco with a dropkick through the ropes, before Bosede and Knight put the boots to Flaco for a two-count. Bosede’s back in, but Knight’s low bridged to the outside as Flaco tries to nick it with a sunset flip.
Finlay tags in, and lands a back senton for a two-count, before Bosede was taken to the corner for chops. Flaco’s suplex is blocked, as Knight tagged in and ran wild on Finlay with a step-up axe kick, before a springboard moonsault almost led to the quick win. A Knight backbreaker lands, but Brogan tries to stop himself from taking a knee strike from Bosede… but to no avail.
Finlay uppercuts Knight and Bosede before making the tag out to Flaco, whose missile dropkick cleared house, but Culture Inc. are back in control as they look for a Doomsday… only for Flaco to Victory roll free for a near-fall. A cutter stops Bosede, as Finlay splashes Bosede in the ropes… Flaco jumps onto Knight on the floor, before a crossbody back to Bosede in the ring gets the win. A good little tag match, but there was a lot of missed stuff from the cameras towards the end. **¾
Robert Martyr vs. Ashton Starr
Martyr’s back, having won the SCI Futures tournament a week earlier – and had a bit of an altercation with Starr in a scramble match later in the day.
Martyr works the arm of Starr early, before the pair swapped headlocks… but it’s Martyr who clings on, only to get pushed off for a shoulder block. Starr kips up, then had to go to the nose to try and break a side headlock as Martyr was like a dog with a bone using that hold.
Starr’s back with a dropkick, taking Martyr outside, as the newcomer’s own aggression ended up being used against him, with Starr tripping and rolling up the Futures winner for a two-count. Martyr forearms Starr as he came off the top, but Starr bridges up – while the ref misses a choking attempt at a pin.
An over-the-shoulder backbreaker gets Martyr a two-count, while a DDT leaves Starr in a heap. Martyr snaps back over a double armbar, before Starr tries to slam out of a Key lock… only for Martyr to hang on, as he then went for an O’Connor roll, only to lose Starr, who’s back a German suplex. From the kick-out. Martyr deftly grabs the arm and rolled Starr into a cover, before it’s back to the arm of Starr, torquing on the arm as well.
A bridging armbar from Martyr’s next, but Starr goes to the ear to break the hold, before taking Martyr into the ropes for… nothing, because Martyr’s out of a tiltawhirl and into a sleeper. Starr powered up to throw his way free, with a superkick next and a split-legged moonsault complete with a nasty landing on Martyr for a near-fall.
Dropkicks keep Martyr on the back foot, but he’s right back with a sheer-drop brainbuster that nearly puts Starr away, before Starr sat down on a sunset flip for a near-fall. Wash, rinse, repeat, but this time Starr rolls through and jack-knifes too as he snatches the win. A keenly-fought contest this, with lots of little touches as Martyr ended up coming unstuck despite having the lion’s share of proceedings. ***¼
We’ve only three matches left, but an hour and a half on the VOD… hmmm…
ACTION Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round: The Good Hand (Kevin Ryan & Suge D) vs. Suplex Science (Alex Kane & Damyan Tangra)
The Good Hand again come in through the crowd, as Suge had as bone to pick with the fact that yet again, they weren’t part of the SCI.
We’ve a jump start, but Tangra and Kane land clotheslines, splashes and uppercuts early as it looks like the ref wasn’t in any rush to call for the bell. Regardless, Kane and Tangra look to double-team Suge D, but Kevin Ryan pulled him outside for respite.
When we do get going, Tangra goes to ground as he tries to bait Suge into his game. When that didn’t quite go to plan, Tangra tags out to Kane, who tries for a German suplex, and eventually gets it when Suge tried to get Kane into the corner for a floatover. Tangra’s in to hit a suplex too, as he and Kane just threw Suge around for fun.
An eye rake and an uppercut has Tangra down, but he’s right back to splat Suge with an uppercut in the corner… before Kevin Ryan dragged Damyan out to post him. Back inside, Suge wipes out Tangra with a clothesline. Ryan’s in with some ground and pound, before a camel clutch/Boston crab from the Good Hand drew in Kane to quickly break it up.
Tangra remains cornered as Ryan and Suge wear him down with quick tags and suchlike, while a neckbreaker drew a two-count over Tangra. An attempted run-in from Ryan’s quelled as Tangra just throws him right out, but Tangra can’t make the tag… because Ryan’s there to superkick Kane to prevent the tag.
A death valley driver from Tangra manages to buy him enough time to tag out, as Kane and Ryan manage to get tags in… and it’s all Kane here. Suge punches Kane to prevent a suplex, but Tangra’s front kick drops Suge as Ryan gets caught with some rolling Germans and a ripcord Angle slam. That’s good for a two-count, as Tangra’s taken outside… a superkick and rolling elbow sandwiches Kane ahead of a Samoan drop/neckbreaker for a near-fall.
Kane manages to make the tag out to Tangra, who flies in with a spinning heel kick off the top rope… but he’s quickly swarmed as an inverted Magic Killer led to him rolling outside before a cover was made. Kane’s in, but takes a pop-up knee from Suge, only for Kane to return with an X-Plex.
Tangra’s stirring as Ryan looks to end things, nailing a rolling elbow in the ropes, then a superkick, before a standing Spanish Fly nearly got Ryan the win. Straight from the kick-out though, Tangra traps Ryan in a Koji clutch, which is broken as Ryan rolls it into a pinning attempt, before Tangra rolls Ryan into a STF.
Suge’s in to try and punch it apart, but Tangra holds on… only to get caught in a Muta lock by Suge. Kane’s in to pull Suge away for a belly-to-belly, while Ryan tried to roll out of the STF. Tangra goes with him, leaving Ryan with no choice but to tap – despite his feet being suspiciously close to the ropes… ending a good scrap of a match that had the Good Hand feeling rightfully hard done by. ***¼
Post-match, Suge got the mic and complained about the screwy finish – with a picture-in-picture showing Ryan’s feet hanging off the apron as he was tapping. Suge gets in Matt Griffin’s face, before Angelus Layne came out to attack him – reigniting an old feud. They head into the ring as Matt’s beaten on until Kane and Tangra ran out for the save, as Griffin booked Layne for a match on October 1 against a mystery opponent.
AC Mack vs. Cabana Man Dan
Mack’s out for the first time with his SCI trophy…
Things go to ground early, but it’s Mack who’s the early aggressor with a toe hold that Dan forces out of. They trade wristlocks, looking for another advantage, before a lock-up sees the pair head into the corners. Eventually, a Fireman’s carry put Dan ahead, but he’s barely able to get a one-count as the aggression began to build.
A front kick knocks Dan to the outside, but Mack brings it back in and lifts Dan into the air for a suplex that only drew a one-count as Mack began to target Dan’s arm. Yet still, Mack couldn’t get much more than a one-count for now, as Dan retaliates with a spinning heel kick off the rope, then a back senton for a two-count.
The pace quickens, then stopped in a hurry as both men clattered into each other with clotheslines. Dan’s up first and goes for a two-count as we started getting dualling chants, then back-and-forth strikes as Dan ends up on the apron, returning to hit a slingshot Code Red for a near-fall. Mack looks for Mack 10, but Dan countered by sparking some back-and-forth pins, leading to Dan switching out of a backslide before Mack sat down on a Magistral cradle for the out-of-nowhere win. A keenly-contested match that left you wanting more – but it was the SCI winner who scraped away from Tyrone with the win. ***½
Post-match, Mack put over Dan on the mic, before he again called out Wheeler Yuta to head to Georgia to defend his IWTV title. Adam Priest interrupts and baits Mack, who asked for another match with Priest… this time without his cast. The locker room empties as tensions started to rise, and we’ve got a match for September.
Arik Royal & Jaden Newman vs. Logan Creed & Matt Sells
This was set up on last month’s show, thanks to the interference… and if you want ridiculous, let’s just say Jaden Newman doesn’t suit muumuus. Meanwhile, Logan Creed in a spiky leather jacket also looks… odd as he and Sells took inspiration from the real old-school Road Warriors.
When we finally get going, Royal and Sells get into it, only for Sells to hit a knee and a neckbreaker early on. Sells goes for a chokeslam, but Creed helps him do it to Royal, who rolled outside as Jaden Newman came in… and had his crossbody redirected to Royal on the floor.
Sells hits the ropes for a tope to the pair on the floor, before a plancha from Creed almost overshot them as he went into the front row. Back in the ring, Sells and Creed drive Newman and Royal’s heads into the mat with headscissors for a two-count, before Newman clung onto Sells to allow Royal back in with a spinning heel kick in the corner, aiming right for Sells’ recently-recovered knee.
Newman’s in to drop an elbow on Sells’ arm, as the baddies isolate him in their corner and wore down the “Boozerweight” with snapmares. Sells eventually hits a snapmare of his own, but Newman kicks out of a cover and returned with a Saito suplex… then went back to Sells with a chokehold as the ref kinda/sorta enforced the break. An Arabian clutch keeps Sells down, as Newman returned with a back senton and a rope-assisted Gedo clutch as he tried to steal one.
The gloriously-cheating abdominal stretch from Royal – with help from Newman – looks to force a stoppage, before he dragged Sells down for Newman to take over on. A cravat from Newman keeps Sells in trouble, despite his attempts to bite free, before Royal charged Sells into the corner.
Eventually Sells got the hot tag in to Creed, who swatted Newman before pushing him into the ropes… but Royal pulls Newman to the floor before his attempt at a Kobe was turned into almost a chokebreaker. Newman’s back with a twisting neckbreaker of the middle rope, while Royal caught Creed with a Kobe for a near-fall.
Sells is back in to hit a springboard cutter to Royal out of the corner, but Newman’s the legal man… and caught Sells with a German suplex out of the corner. A Cactus clothesline takes them two to the outside, and apparently it’s not Newman and Sells who are legal. It’s Creed and Royal, with the former landing the Scorched Earth for the win. That win over the ACTION champion likely keeps him at the top of the pile for a title show, as the Newman/Sells feud continues to rumble on. ***
Post-match, Creed grabs the ACTION title… then went to save Matt Sells, as Newman was choking him on the floor. The show ends with them making Creed vs. Royal II for the title, along with Sells vs. Newman – with a stipulation of Sells’ choosing… a falls count anywhere match, with Sells wanting to dunk Newman in a nearby lake.
As a complete show, this was an enjoyable two and a half hours of wrestling that packed a lot in – all three first round matches out of the tag tournament, an entertaining first trials series match for Erron Wade, and some keenly-fought matches that leave doors open for rematches down the line. It may not be the fashionable promotion to watch, but ACTION is keeping it consistent and interesting down on the indies.