Southern Underground Pro returned to Basement East for the first time in over a year – and we’ve got AJ Gray’s first defence of the Bonestorm championship on a loaded show.
Kevin Ku & Dominic Garrini pinned Eric Taylor & Mikey Montgomery to retain the SUP Tag Team Championships in 7:40 (***¾)
Adam Priest pinned Damyan Tangra in 8:21 (***¼)
Alex Kane pinned Cole Radrick in 8:24 (***¼)
Derek Neal pinned Effy in 12:12 (***)
Brett Ison pinned BSTRD Cassidy in 6:13 (***½)
Jaden Newman defeats Arthur McArthur via referee stoppage in 7:19 (***)
Allie Kat pinned Cabana Man Dan in 9:22 (***)
Hoodfoot & Chase Holliday pinned Hardway Heeter & Nolan Edward in 6:49 (**½)
AJ Gray pinned AC Mack & 1 Called Manders to retain the SUP Bonestorm Championship in 14:38 (***½)
March 2020 was a very rocky time for SUP – having lost their venue after Basement Each was heavily damaged in a tornado at the start of the month, before the promotion (like a lot of others) had to go on ice as a result of the pandemic. SUP did run once during the pandemic, with a well-received show as part of October’s Collective weekend, but then… nothing.
Until earlier this month, when they were able to return to a restored Basement East in Nashville, for a closed-set show. It’s under two hours long too, so this should be a blast…
SUP Tag Team Championship: Violence Is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku) (c) vs. Bitcoin Boiz (Mikey Montgomery & Eric Taylor)
We’ve a jump start from the Bitcoin Boiz as they attack the champions at the bell.
That’s quickly shrugged off with a pop-up forearm to Taylor as the challengers were quickly on the back foot. Garrini’s chop to Taylor’s back, then a kick holds them down as Taylor gets kicked in the thigh by Ku ahead of a half crab. There’s a rope break, so Ku just punts Taylor in the ribs. Another kick blasts Taylor in the back for a two-count, before Garrini came in to try and keep it going.
Garrini gets caught with an enziguiri by Taylor after faking out a kick, before Montgomery tagged in and dropkicked Ku off the apron. Another series of dropkicks dumps Garrini ahead of Sole Food for a near-fall, before a flurry of strikes ended with Montgomery hitting a tiltawhirl into an Octopus… only for Ku to powerbomb Taylor into the pile to break it up.
Ku tags back in and gets caught by Montgomery ahead of a Slingblade-assisted Gory Bomb that nearly wins it. The Bitcoin Boyz try for an elevated something or other to Ku, but he just blasts it with a running knee to Taylor that saw him dropped in an accidental German suplex, while Montgomery took a powerbomb into an uppercut for a near-fall.
Ku gets lifted to the outside, but Garrini stays in to lift Montgomery up top… Taylor makes a save, as Montgomery’s superkick in the corner led to a one-count. Taylor’s back for a dropkick-assisted death valley driver that nearly wins it, as Ku comes back with chops. A superkick stops him before a back body drop-assisted stunner was blocked.
Instead, Ku just tosses the challengers into each other before an Alphamare Waterslide clears house on Montgomery. Taylor tries to return, but gets stomped by Ku and kneed by Garrini, before Chasing the Dragon gets the win. Hearing “didn’t get all of that” repeatedly on commentary may be a bad thing, but this was a wild, all-action sprint that got this show off to a hell of a start. Well worth your seven minutes and change! ***¾
Adam Priest vs. Damyan Tangra
Priest is making a name for himself on the southern indies at the moment, recently winning New South’s HOSS tournament.
Tangra takes it to the mat from the off, nearly winning with an inside cradle to start with before a cross armbreaker instantly ended in the ropes. Priest finds a way back in with a hammerlock and a headlock takedown, but Tangra escapes and rolls up Priest… but they get tangled as the ropes save Priest.
Some bodyscissors from Tangra have Priest back down, but he gets to the ropes as Damyan went for the legs… a neckbreaker followed, then a European uppercut for a two-count, before Priest caught Tangra up top and threatened to bring him down with a back superplex… instead opting to drop him across the buckles instead.
An elbow drop from Priest keeps Tangra down ahead of some chops in the corner. A snap suplex is next, before a right hand left Tangra down. Commentary notes that Priest’s ribs are taped up from that HOSS tournament, and he looked to do some damage to himself with a Randy Orton-ish backbreaker to Tangra on the mat.
Priest goes up for a frog splash… but Tangra pops up to hit a GODDAMN ELBOW to Priest… a spin-out gutbuster’s next, then a suplex into the corner as Tangra looked for the upset, and gets a near-fall. An enziguiri from Priest, then a German suplex gets him back in it, before a snap death valley driver from Tangra swung it back in his direction… only for Priest to roll Tangra into a Sharpshooter.
Tangra slips out and rolls into a STF, but his back’s stopping him from properly hooking it in… so he turns it into almost a straitjacket STF before Priest broke in the ropes. A switcheroo sees Priest dropkick Tangra in the ropes before a sheer drop brainbuster and a frog splash to the back of Tangra gets the win. Another lovely sprint of a match – with Tangra perhaps not going for Priest’s taped-up ribs as much as you’d expect, but this was another packed match that left little downtime. ***¼
Backstage, J-Rose interviews Priest – who challenged AJ Gray for the title in the future.
Cole Radrick vs. Alex Kane
Watch the suplex…
Radrick tries to neutralise Kane early on by going for a waistlock, but Kane switches out and rolled Radrick to the mat for an early pin attempt. Cole returns the favour, only for Kane to come back with a toe hold that’s spun out of, as Kane came back with a waistlock takedown.
Kane’s charged into the corner as Radrick sneaks in a shot on the break before Kane tried a German suplex… then a slam. Radrick’s able to avoid them as he takes Kane back to the corner for a clothesline… a gamengiri on the apron followed, before a springboard in’s caught. An ankle lock from Radrick is pushed away, with Kane coming back with a release back suplex that Kane didn’t even leave his feet for.
A side headlock on the mat from Kane keeps Cole down, but Radrick elbows free then dove for the leg. Kane just boots back, then ragdolled Radrick into a gutwrench backbreaker for a near-fall. Kane clubs away on Radrick, knocking him to the mat as they suggested a KO… but Kane just elbows Radrick into the corner for a running knee.
That gets Kane a two-count, before he sidestepped Radrick’s double leg attempt. A waistlock’s blocked by Radrick, who then kicks out Kane’s leg and dives in with a forearm as both men were left laying. Kane goes for the no-bump back suplex again, but Radrick slips out… he misses some diving forearms as Kane again teases a German suplex, only for Radrick to slip out for a springboard stunner.
Radrick can only get a two-count out of that, so he goes back to the ankle lock, but Kane rolls free and takes Radrick to the corner. From there, German suplexes start to roll together before a cravat suplex was escaped as Radrick went back to the ankle lock. Kane tries to stand up out of it, and manages to deadlift Radrick out of the hold before the cravat-assisted German suplex lands for the win. Much like Kane’s other recent matches, this was a battle by his opponent to avoid getting suplexed – but when that battle was lost, the war didn’t end too long afterwards. ***¼
Derek Neal vs. Effy
Neal’s brought a strap with him – but it’s not the small-country-sized New South title belt that he holds…
We open with a lock-up that goes into the ropes, with Neal taking Effy into the corner for a break. Effy tries an armbar, but that ends in the ropes as Neal comes back with one of his own before a side headlock takedown from Effy countered it. Neal comes back with one of his own, but he’s shoved into the ropes ahead of a shoulder tackle, before Effy’s dropdown stopped him in his tracks.
It leads to Effy headbutting Neal low, before an armdrag off the ropes has Effy back on top. Another armdrag keeps Neal down, before Neal’s attempt to hit one of his own was blocked… with Effy then rolling through Neal’s next attempt. Neal tries to swing with a right hand, but Effy lets go of the hold and grabs the other arm in a wristlock before a springboard armdrag saw Effy get a little ahead of himself as Neal just throws him down to the mat.
A left hand from Neal nearly knocks Effy to the outside, before a knee drop drew Neal a two-count. Effy shoves back… and gets chopped by Neal ahead of a Northern Lights suplex that nearly wins it. A dropkick in the corner gets Neal another two-count, before Effy found a way through with a leg lariat for a near-fall.
Neal responds by throwing Effy to the corner, following with a suplex for a two-count… a second suplex is escaped as Effy mounts Neal with a sleeper… but Neal just falls back to squash him and break the hold. An Irish whip takes Effy to the corner, but Effy escapes and hits a Blockbuster for a near-fall, only for Neal to retaliate with stomps and chops in the corner.
A butterfly suplex gets Neal a two-count, before Effy snapped back in with a back suplex and a back senton for a near-fall of his own. Effy goes back to the mounted sleeper, but Neal nearly kills him by cannonballing into the corner to break it… only for Neal to miss a corner dropkick as Effy shrugged it off. A dropkick and a leg-assisted DDT out of the corner gets a two-count as Neal gets a foot on the rope… before Neal bounced back with a sheer-drop brainbuster for the win. Some nice exchanges in this one as Effy tried to frustrate Neal with wrestling, but in the end Neal was able to eke out the win with some hard shots. ***
BSTRD Cassidy vs. Brett Ison
Oh hello there, nü-hoss fight! Cassidy is pretty new to this, and has had some eye-opening performances in his rookie year.
From the opening lock-up, the pair roll around the ropes as they break up… before we go to shoulder tackles that neither man budged for. Chops from BSTRD lead to elbows from Ison as they swung for the fences, before a slam and a sliding lariat from BSTRD gets him a one-count.
Cassidy followed up with some crossface punches and a neck crank on Ison, who returns with a rising headbutt as the pair continued to slug it out. Elbows from Cassidy and a gutwrench suplex tosses Ison across the ring, before a chop to the upper chest woke up Ison. We’re back to the elbows before Ison’s palm strikes and spin kick rocked BSTRD, taking him to the corner for a face-washing boot… only for Cassidy to return with a lariat that spun Ison to the mat for a near-fall.
Ison stays down as Cassidy just waits for him… and it backfires as Ison lands a Saito suplex. BSTRD’s back with a German suplex, before he took another Saito… we wash, rinse and repeat before a double clothesline left both men down. Ison’s back to his feet first, but the pair just picked up where they left off with a spot of slapfighting, just without the table.
Cassidy picks up with elbows before he kneed Ison in the head… a pop-up powerbomb folds Brett for a two-count, before a lariat misses. A pair of backfists from Ison drops Cassidy… and that’s enough for the win! Look, I’m a sucker for big lads knocking seven shades of you-know-what out of each other, and this absolutely delivered. Keep an eye on that BSTRD – the amount of inspiration from Dave Mastiff may be a little bit like how Jimmy Hart did theme music for WCW, but there’s a fair amount of potential there. ***½
Arthur McArthur vs. Jaden Newman
Quite apt that this match was sponsored by Retro Gimmick, given how old timey Arthur McArthur’s look is.
At the bell, McArthur gives us some poses… Newman has some of his own, and gets slapped by McArthur. He comes back with a crucifix for a two-count, before McArthur blocked a hiptoss, only to get caught with a backslide for a two-count. Newman’s dropkicks take him outside, but Jaden fakes out a dive, rebounding against the top rope… only to get decked with a clothesline by McArthur back inside.
Newman kicked out at one from that, before McArthur clubbed him into the ropes. The referee counts as Newman’s choked in the ropes. A chop just annoys Newman, who strikes back as things broke down in that corner. McArthur pulls ahead on that exchange, and followed up with a wheelbarrow German suplex that flung Newman across the ring.
McArthur stays on Newman, throwing some uppercuts before a pump kick caught out Arthur… cue a flurry from Newman, then a snap powerslam off the ropes for a near-fall, before a cravat neckbreaker dropped McArthur to the mat. Newman heads up top, but it comes to nought as McArthur’s back with a pop-up uppercut, then a backpack stunner for a near-fall. From there, Newman escapes a DDT, then picked the leg as he rolled McArthur to the mat for a cravat STF… which forces the referee stoppage in short order. A pretty good outing, with Newman getting the W against the old-timey McArthur. ***
Cabana Man Dan vs. Allie Kat
We start with a handshake as both Dan and Allie looked to work over the other’s wrist.
Allie Kat takes Dan to the mat for a submission attempt, but Dan grabs the wrist and rolls her up for a quick pin attempt. Kicking out, Allie comes back with a headlock takedown, but Dan counters with headscissors… only for Allie to slip free as the pair resume with a knuckle lock.
The Test of Strength sees Dan sweep out Allie’s leg for some pinning attempts, before she monkey flipped free. Dan fakes out an armdrag and hits one of his own, before a backslide out of the corner was quickly kicked out of. Kat’s bat with armdrags as she tried to bamboozle Dan, eventually landing a shoulder tackle before a dropkick caught her in the middle of the ring.
Uppercuts to the arm keep Dan ahead, as did a hammerlocked bear hug, before Dan yanked the arm as he stopped Allie Kat mid-Irish whip. A jab from Allie Kat staggers Dan, who eventually comes back with a STO for a two-count, then rolled Allie into a seatbelt pin for another near-fall. From the kickout, he transitioned to a Fujiwara armbar with some elbows to the head… but Allie Kat escapes and hits a jawbreaker, before a sit-down splash out of the corner helped her back in.
Hip attacks await Dan in the corner, as did a cannonball, but Dan comes back with a jackknife pin attempt as the pair traded two-counts. Allie takes Dan onto the apron and teases a see-saw piledriver… only for Dan to come back with a slingshot Code Red for a near-fall. Elbows and kicks from Allie Kat lead to Dan rebounding with an uppercut out of the corner for a two-count, before an inside cradle’s reversed with Allie Kat snatching the win. That looked like a weird finish, but it was a three count as Allie Kat looked to catch out Dan with her ground work – leading to the flash pin in the end. ***
Kill or Be Killed (Nolan Edward & Hardway Heeter) vs. Lost Boys (Mo Atlas & Chase Holliday)
We’ve some shoving before the bell and this one starts out as a big ol’ brawl, with Atlas and Holliday ending up on the defensive with chops in the corner.
Heeter and Edward trade places, but they’re quickly clubbed down as Atlas swung with haymakers. Edward fights back against the double-team, but gets booted down ahead of a seated lariat from Atlas, taking him outside as Holliday looked to go for a dive… Heeter swipes him away, but Atlas’ dive connects.
On the outside, Atlas and Edward trade shots, before Heeter just rolled Atlas back inside as the big lad take sa reverse chokeslam, then a spinning facebuster before Edward got suplexed onto Atlas. A lariat from Atlas drops Heeter as Holliday returned to make a cover, but he gets a two-count as the match spilled to the outside, where things break down some more. A back suplex drops Edward on the side of the ring, so Heeter’s having to fight back on his own. He lands a headbutt but ends up being thrown into a support beam before Edward hits back with a tope con giro. Back inside, Holliday gets caught with a Gory Bomb/DDT combo for a two-count from Heeter, before Heeter tried to hoist up Atlas for a piledriver.
In the end, Edward helps with a powerbomb on Atlas, before Holliday kicks Edward away. Heeter’s sandwiched with clotheslines then fed to Atlas for a powerbomb… and that’s your lot. That again looked like a “too soon” finish as Heeter pushed out, but his shoulders didn’t leave the mat as the Hoodfoot took the win. A wild brawl, but perhaps a touch on the short side for it to really threaten getting into a higher gear. **½
SUP Bonestorm Championship: 1 Called Manders vs. AC Mack vs. AJ Gray (c)
Last time out, during the Collective weekend, AC Mack managed to defend his Bonestorm title over Manders… but ended up losing it in less than a minute straight after when AJ Gray came out to demand a shot.
Manders and Mack pick up where they left off in October, with Manders lariating Mack as Gray just watched on from the corner. A scoop slam drops Mack for a two-count, with Gray breaking it up as those two begin to sting each other with chops. Manders catches Gray with a body attack in the ropes, then blocked an O’Connor roll as a shoulder tackle took down the champion.
Mack’s back to his feet and gets shoved down too, as Manders instead opts for a stalling suplex to Gray for another two-count. After reversing an Irish whip, Gray chop blocks Manders’ knee, taking him into the corners for some chops before Gray dumps Manders with a back body drop. Mack tries to get back at Gray with some headscissors that ended in an ey erake, before he threw Gray through the ring post to the floor.
Staying in the ring, Mack trips Manders into the corner, then hits a running double knees and a low dropkick for a two-count. Finally taking off his hoodie, Mack follows in with a clothesline for a two-count as Gray watches from the apron, but Mack works over the arm as Gray returned again… and that distraction looked to open it up for Manders.
A jawbreaker stops manders as all three men stayed in the ring. Mack’s hooking lariat gets a two-count on Manders, as Gray then came back… and had his arm worked on again. Gray recovers with a spinning heel kick after he ducked a leg lariat, Gray keeps going with chops to Mack in the ropes, but AC returns with a snap STO for a near-fall.
Manders is back to try his luck with an inside cradle on Mack… then a hook kick before a Doctor Bomb almost led to a new champion being crowned. Charging Mack into the corner sees Manders set up for more chops, but a trip up top’s stopped by Gray, who sets up for something… eventually hitting an Electric Chair drop to bring Manders down. Mack breaks up the cover with a stomp of the top, which looked to do some harm to Gray’s right arm. All three men get up and trade shots, but it’s Manders and Gray who are left throwing shots until Mack’s superkick and spinning DDT dropped Gray. Mack follows up with a hesitation dropkick, but a murderous lariat from Manders clears house as he then dragged Gray away so he could hit a moonsault for a near-fall.
Mack comes back with knees and an enziguiri to Manders… a second one misses, so Manders returns with Kawada-style kicks, then a Saito suplex, before he hauled up Mack for an Oklahoma Stampede… except Derek Neal runs out to clock Manders with his own cowbell and threw him to the outside. They brawl to the back… so we’re left with Mack and Gray. The former and the current champion, trading shots, but it’s a back kick from Gray that looked to put him ahead, before Mack’s low blow stopped the champion.
It’s legal because it’s still technically a three-way as Mack looks to put Gray down with Mack 10, but a back body drop counters it before Mack ducked a lariat and hit another enziguiri. A second Mack 10’s countered as Gray charges into the corner, then hit a rear spin kick, before a lariat gets the win… even if Gray did seem to break the pin just before three. A nice, hard-hitting match – but with Gray beating the former champion and Manders being moved to another story… who’s next for AJ Gray? ***½
There’s some absolute crackers on this one – with the opener in particular jumping off the page. Several promotions have learned – the hard way – that the way forward in these empty arena/closed set shows is to keep your matches short and to keep them full of action. While not everything landed on this show, they kept things short enough to not lose interest – as the promotion looks to bounce back from a troubled year.