As the US indies dial up again, there’s a few faces starting to break through – and we’re going to drop in and take a look at some names you may not have seen before…
First up, we’re going to take a look at a first round match from Paradigm Pro’s Heavy Hitters 2 tournament. It’s a first round match, featuring a guy who has form in this environment, and someone you may not have known about unless you’re a big time IWA:MS fan…
This one’s from the American Legion Post in Sellersburg, Indiana… with brooms and Swiffer mops helping as part of the between-matches cleaning.
Tom Lawlor submitted Calvin Tankman in 8:30
First Round: Tom Lawlor vs. Calvin Tankman
There’s no other word for it. Calvin’s surname is self-descriptive. He be a HOSS. Yes, his match with Chris Dickinson later from this weekend is also on “the list”…
Lawlor’s got his as-made-famous-in-New-Japan jeans trunks, and we start with Tom flipping off the crowd for not backing the “real fighter.” An early kick stings Tankman, who’s going for body blows early, and any thoughts of Lawlor being able to outfox Tankman from the off are put on ice as Calvin backed him into the corner. After getting out, Lawlor tries for more kicks, before he jabbed his way into the match, forcing an opening that Tankman neutralised as a leg takedown is blocked, with Tankman instead rolling Lawlor onto his back. Lawlor manages to extricate himself and get Calvin’s back, but Tankman stands up and wanders into the ropes for the break.
More kicks from Lawlor prompt Tankman into a flurry of shots, one of which knocked Lawlor down as he claimed it was a closed fist – rather than a legal palm strike. The ref doesn’t call it, but we resume with Tankman hurling Lawlor with a German suplex which led to a standing ten count that Lawlor beat. Lawlor’s back with jabs of his own that took Tankman into the ropes… he doesn’t break as a barrage of knees forces the referee to get in there. A cheeky kick has Tankman down as Lawlor begins working on the quads, again forcing Tankman into the ropes for respite. He gets back to his feet, and manages to chuck Lawlor across the ring with a belly-to-belly, but Lawlor’s back with palm strikes as he continued to wear down the big man.
Another shot from Tankman finds its way through as Lawlor’s down briefly, but he’s back with kicks and knees before cravat knees trapped Tankman ahead of a standing front facelock. Nevermind, Tankman muscles out and slams Lawlor to the mat. Jesus! From the latest restart, Lawlor tries for a leg takedown, but Tankman shifts it into a powerbomb, which seems to have Tom on those proverbial jelly legs.
Or does it? He suckers Tankman in as he kicks away the legs, taking him down to his knees, before Lawlor went back to the quad with kicks, and those finally chop the big man down to size. Lawlor shoots in for a double leg, stopping to kick the leg out of his leg, before a rear naked choke in the ropes was easily shoved off. So Tom’s back to the kicks, following up with an Exploder out of nowhere… that starts a standing ten count, but Lawlor dives in with a knee trembler before a half crab with a torque to the ankle forces the submission. Lovely stuff from the shoot-style match – the size different could have made this even more awkward, since Tankman isn’t considered a submissions guy, but this worked well. Can’t wait to see him in a more natural environment… ***¼