What was once unique was now one of many, many similar products, so Jim Kettner changed gears and moved away from promoting that style and promoting directly to hardcore online fans, a smart move as less and less from that audience showed up for the tournaments. Instead, Kettner refocused on his own local audiences, working to insure that the fans that are his monthly bread and butter are catered to with characters and storylines. While it might not result in hundreds of Internet postings about his product and promotion, it's still a formula that works and gives the audience one hell of a bang for their $17 admission. Onto the report:
The promotion held a "Fan Interaction Night" before the show itself began, with wrestlers signing and taking part in games like trivia, Pictionary and the like. The kids in the crowd were loving the hell out of it.
ECWA champion Mega came to the ring and welcomed everyone to the Super 8, then introduced former competitors in the tournament who were present at the show. Last year's winner, Nick Logan, brought the tournament trophy to the ring. They then introduced this year's field of competition. The promotion then did a ten bell salute in honor of Trent Acid before the show as well. Acid was a former ECWA Tag Team champion and competed in the 2000 Super 8 tournament. They played the national anthem, then aired a video feature to catch everyone up on storylines. At the onset, they aired a "In memory of" graphic for Acid, Jeff Peterson and Steve Bradley.
2010 SUPER 8 ROUND ONE
Scott Wright vs. "Eugene" Nick Dinsmore
Wright is a longtime regular here as a heel and cut a promo saying he was a serious wrestler and that's why he was in the Super 8. He said you wouldn't be seeing any super heroes or wrestlers with facepaint in chains tonight in the tournament, then demanded his opponent be revealed. So, of course, it was Eugene. He was billed under the spelling U-Gene, but I'm using the WWE spelling. Wright's response was hilarious. They locked up and Wright caught Eugene in a side headlock, then shoulder tackled him down. They then went into some comedy spots where Eugene tricked Wright into punching the mat, then rode him like a horse. Eugene played to the crowd, only to be caught with a clothesline. Wright worked over Eugene with punches, then a back elbow for a two count. Wright controlled Eugene and scored several near falls. Eugene made a comeback with a Lou Thesz Press and the People's Elbow. Eugene went for a piledriver but Wright escaped and turned it into a swinging neckbreaker. Eugene came back with a back suplex and set up for Sweet Chin Music, then nailed it, complete with the stomps, for the pin. Mostly comedy for the kids but a nice opener for the audience ECWA is promoting to.
Your winner, Eugene!
"Yours Truly" Alex Reynolds vs. Chris Wylde
Reynolds is a Long Island native who was trained by former ECW champion Mikey Whipwreck. He came out to Italian music with a suede jacket and a white scarf wrapped around his neck, doing a snobby gimmick. Think early Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Wylde is a regular on the Northeast independent scene who's also wrestled for XCW in Germany. Wylde controlled the match early with some hiptosses and armdrags. Wylde used a armdrag takedown and Reynolds rolled out of the ring, where he was hit with a baseball sliding kick to the floor. Back in the ring, Reynolds caught Wylde with a nasty guillotine legdrop, then a dropkick. He cinched in a side headlock but Wylde fought his way out of it, then backdropped Reynolds. Reynolds made a comeback and scored several near falls. He worked over Wylde with an armbar as Wylde fought back. Wylde was finally able to kick Reynolds as he charged and nailed a high cross bodyblock for a two count. He barely nailed a leg lariat for another near fall. Reynolds went for a discus punch but was blocked and hit with an enziguiri for a two count. Wylde charged Reynolds but was caught and powerbombed into the corner. Reynolds covered him for a two count. Wylde ended up on the apron and avoided another guillotine legdrop, then hit a sunset flip bomb from the outside into the ring for the pin. Some missed spots but not a bad athletic match.
Your winner, Chris Wylde!
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Chase Del Monte
Both are regulars here. Ciampa is from the New England area, was originally trained at Killer Kowalski's school and has worked in Ohio Valley Wrestling as Thomas Penmanship. Ciampa went to the finals in last year's tournament, losing to Nick Logan. Del Monte does the high power ring entrance, dancing and playing to the crowd while Poison blares. Ciampa tried to bully Del Monte early, but Monte wasn't having it. Del Monte went for a superkick but missed. They went back and forth until Del Monte caught Ciampa with a rana. He went to the floor, where Del Monte nailed a dive over the ropes. They battled on the floor, where Ciampa nailed a suplex. Back in the ring, Ciampa stomped the hell out of Del Monte. Del Monte came back with a leaping hurancanrana off the top rope, then went back to the ropes. Ciampa grabbed his legs and snapped him off the ropes. He locked in a variation of the Walls of Jericho but Del Monte finally made it to the ropes. He dragged Del Monte back to the center and turned it into a Sharpshooter, then worked him over with a series of elbow strikes. Del Monte came back to drive Ciampa off the ropes face first into his knees but Ciampa kicked out. Del Monte set up for the superkick but missed. He set up Ciampa for a Killswitch, then swung him into a neckbreaker. Ciampa kicked out at the last minute. Chase went to the top but Ciampa grabbed him and nailed his finisher, Project Ciampa, a powerbomb where he drops the opponent down over both of Ciampa's knees for the pin. Good match.
Your winner, Tommaso Ciampa!
Kingpin Brian Milonas vs. Austin Creed
Creed is the former TNA star Consequences Creed. Milonas is from the New England area, having trained initially at Killer Kowalski's school and has worked for NECW and other area promotions. He had a Jim Neidhart-esque beard and a burly body. The story here was Creed's finesse vs. Milonas' sheer power. Milonas shoved down Creed and attacked him before the bell, talking a lot of trash while doing so. He picked up Creed for a powerbomb but it was turned into a Frankenstein. Creed peppered him with punches and Milonas powdered to the floor. When he returned, Creed caught him with a drop toehold. Milonas fought back and quickly began to control the match, working over Creed and holding him off-balance with his power. He locked Creed in a bear hug to wear him down. Creed fought his way out but soon was trapped again. They worked the submission hold for quite a while. Creed finally escaped but was caught with a swinging sideslam for a two count. Milonas charged Creed in the corner but Creed caught him with a kick. He came back with a big dropkick and then a big flying forearm. Creed made the big comeback with a series of hot moves, then went to the ropes with a big missile dropkick. He charged Milonas but was caught with a kick to the gut. Milonas worked over Creed, getting several near falls. He went to the middle turnbuckle for a splash but missed. Creed made his way to the ropes and came off with a DDT, scoring the pin. Despite their obvious style differences, I thought they worked a hell of a heel vs. babyface match. Milonas is one hell of a worker.
NO DQ: ECW Mid-Atlantic and Tag Team champions Aden Chambers & Ryan Rush & Julian Starr vs. Matt & Bryan & Nick Logan
The storyline here is that Chambers, Rush and Starr are representing the fictional West Coast Wrestling Alliance, who are heels against the ECWA and have captured the championships. The Logans won a rematch by DQ last time but the belts still returned to the "West Coast", so now there are no disqualifications. The Logans hit the ring with chairs and run the WCWA out of the ring. They did a triple dive out of the ring and then brawled all around ringside. It was a fun brawl. When they finally returned to the ring, the referee rang the bell. The Logans cleaned house early until Chambers laid out Nick Logan, who is an amateur as opposed to a "professional" wrestler. He was set up on the turnbuckles but escaped and powerbombed Chambers through several chairs in the ring. He came off the top rope with a senton but immediately grabbed his neck, went down and didn't get back up. Matt and Bryan worked over Team WCWA and got the pin. They began celebrating but realized something was wrong. The promotion immediately cut the music and they called for EMTS. The promotion called for an intermission as Nick was stretchered out and to an ambulance that was outside the venue. Fans chanted "Logan" as he was taken out. The entire moment was treated like it was deadly serious, but it was entirely a planned angle to continue the storyline. The match was a fun brawl, a little out of character for ECWA but very good. The angle was very well done as well.
ECWA SUPER 8 SEMI-FINALS
Chris Wylde vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Ciampa attacked Wylde at the bell and hit a Facewash in the corner. Wylde came back with a series of chops. Ciampa drilled him with a clothesline and Wylde took a 360 bump. Ciampa began to work over Wylde with several submission variations. Wylde came back with a series of suplexes. Ciampa snapped his neck over the ropes and Wylde went to the outside. He slammed Wylde's back over the apron while they were on the outside, then rolled him in for several near falls. Wylde came back with a leg lariat and a sitdown powerbomb for a two count. Wylde went to the top rope and scored with a diving head butt. He sold the brunt of the impact, then covered Ciampa for a two count. Ciampa came back with a Torture Rack into a powerbomb. Ciampa went for his finisher but Wylde escaped and hit Sliced Bread #2 for a two count. Ciampa nailed Project Ciampa and scored the pin. Good, fun athletic match!
Your winner, Tommaso Ciampa!
Eugene vs. Austin Creed
Eugene came out with his hair slicked back. They shook hands at the bell. They locked up and Eugene complained about the break. When they locked up again, Eugene complained about a thumb to the eye. Heel turn? Eugene caught Creed with a top wristlock and pulled Creed's hair to yank him down. He began playing heel screaming that he didn't pull the hair. He then raked Creed's back with his fingernails. Creed came back with a backslide for a one count. They went back and forth with forearm strikes. Creed finally took over, catching Eugene in a hammerlock and forcing him to the mat. He dropped down while holding the move and used his legs for additional leverage. Eugene powered out and pulled him up into a powerbomb position and slammed him. Eugene nailed a superkick and scored a two count. He went for a moonsault but missed. Creed came back with a twisting DDT off the ropes for the pin. Good back and forth match. Eugene worked really, really hard.
Your winner, Austin Creed!
The promotion's annual Royal Rumble, insuring that everyone on the roster gets a chance to perform on their top show of the year. Unlike many indy tournaments, this is intricately booked so there are no "dead spots" or moments where stars are standing around with their thumbs up their rear wondering where to go and what to do. Like always, Kettner told a story. Magnum, who was managing the WCWA team earlier, came out and cut a promo saying he doesn't have a contract here but promised he was going to earn his way back in. The second out was Cha Cha Chance, who got a big pop coming out as he was a surprise and has been off serving in the military in recent months. Magnum lowblowed him but Chance came back with the ButtButt in the corner. He tossed Magnum. The third out was Mr. Ooh La La, who had his usual problems getting into the ring. He finally did and attacked Chance. The fourth in was Bazooka Joe. La La was out almost immediately. Fifth was Travis Blake. Sixth was J.J. The Ring Crew Guy. Seventh was Glen Osbourne. Ninth was Simple Simon who does a fun comedy gimmick. Tenth was Courageous Cruz, the ECWA's superhero character. Twelfth was Gus Grand . Lucky #13 was Sean Royal. #14 was Andrew Ryker. #15 was Corey Blaze. #16 was Tim Richards. #17 was Jason Lee. #18 was "Coach" Jim Shorts. #19 was the masked El Mariachi. The final competitor was Jason XXL, a seven footer. At this point, all the eliminations were coming really fast. No one was able to move Jason XXL. The Coach eliminated himself in order to get around dealing with the giant. It came down to Jason, Chance and Mariachi. Chance was dumped over by the Giant. Mariachi ordered Jason to leave the ring and he eliminated himself. It was your typical Summit with all the characters getting a cameo/
Your winner, El Mariachi!
Mariachi began dancing to "Rico Suave" and then thanked everyone in broken English. He then unmasked everyone for giving him a really good chance, unmasking himself as Magnum. He laughed at the fans saying he was back now and introduced Jason XXL as his new protégé. He then challenged ECWA champion Mega to face Jason XXL when they return. Mega, who had been watching the show from a table at ringside all night, made his way to the ring with the title belt. He and Jason had a faceoff, but the entire locker room came out to separate them. Mega asked the crowd who wanted to see him "kick his butt" and they popped.
ECWA SUPER 8 2010 TOURNAMENT FINAL
Austin Creed vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Ciampa attacked Creed as he came out of the entranceway but Creed fought him off. The referee rang the bell. They battled back and forth on the outside. Ciampa got the better of Creed. He went to the top rope and moonsaulted off, nailing Creed as he made his way back to his feet. Creed was tossed back in the ring but Ciampa wasn't able to score the pin. He began working over Creed's back with knee strikes. Creed came back with a series of boxing combinations in the corner, punching the body and head as Ciampa went down. Creed picked up Ciampa and drilled him backwards into the corner. He whipped Ciampa into the opposite corner and nailed a dropkick. Creed came back with a series of kicks to the body, then nailed Creed with a Facewash. He drilled Creed with a second.
Creed made a comeback, chopping away at Ciampa, who fired back in kind. They went face to face challenging the other and measuring for harder chops. Ciampa finally got the better of the exchange but was caught with a back elbow. Creed hit a series of armdrags and hiptosses. Ciampa came back with a leg lariat. Ciampa went for the submissions, working over and cranking on Creed's neck. Creed reversed it and began working on Ciampa's neck and arms. Ciampa came back with a modified Texas Cloverleaf.
Ciampa began measuring Creed with stomps and kicks. He began chopping Creed, who began firing himself up and finally nailed a stiff leg lariat. Creed covered Ciampa for a near fall. Creed dropkicked Ciampa into the corner and kipped up. He and Ciampa battled back and forth. They battled in the corner and Ciampa slammed Creed down with a Emerald Frosion type of move for a two count. The crowd popped for the near fall.
They battled again in the corner. Creed punched Ciampa off to the mat and nailed a flying elbowsmash. Ciampa kicked up. He nailed Creed with his knees and went for the Ciampa Project, but Creed escaped. He captured Creed again and nailed another but Creed kept kicking out. Creed made a comeback and pressed and slammed Ciampa into TKO. Creed scored the pinfall.
Your 2010 Super 8 winner, Austin Creed!
ECWA champion Mega came to the ring to present Creed with the trophy. The other competitors and the rest of the ECWA roster surrounded the ring to congratulate and applaud Creed. They picked Creed up on their shoulders. They handed Creed the mic and thanked the fans who came out to this "glorious night" and all of the other competitors. He thanked everyone for allowing him to come into their homes and to let him compete tonight. He told Ciampa that he was taken to the limit by him and would love to do it again down the road. Creed wished everyone a good night and thanked them for coming. A classy way to end the evening.
Notes: ECWA will return to Newark, DE at the Boys and Girls Club on Saturday 8/14...The promotion sold Super 8 T-shirts and DVDs of last year's tournament...In a nice "family friendly moment", they announced the names of fans in attendance who were celebrating birthdays....For more on the promotion, visit www.ecwaprowrestling.com.