Platinum Championship Wrestling presented their big show of the year, Sacred Ground IV at the Main Event Arena in Porterdale, GA.
There was no way PCW could duplicate the magical drama of Sacred Ground III, which climaxed a story built for two years and was the final show of Stephen Platinum's run as PCW booker.
Wisely, they chose a different direction.
Instead, Sacred Ground IV had arguably the strongest lineup of matches of any of the Sacred Ground series, and in almost every case, the matches were better in actuality than they looked on paper. The Tag Team Season matches were terrific, as was the ladder match main event and the loser leave town. A couple of things sucked. There was so much action that I cannot capture the full scope it in this report.
It was a four hour, 10 match, gimmick-filled extravaganza -- the kind of show that works best when reserved for special occasions.
And special it was.
Platinum was there in all his glory. He's still the driving force behind PCW. However, he now resides in Florida. Shane Mackey books the Porterdale shows under Platinum's guidance. Over the last year, Platinum has limited his live appearances to two pivotal shows.
With the Platinum presence in full effect, it was a lock that effort, heart and passion from the PCW crew would be at peak level for Sacred Ground IV. The results speak for themselves. Respect to all those that risked life and limb to deliver a great show.
In an intriguing booking decision, the heels went over in all the key matches, a clear divergence from the previous booking in Porterdale, which has served as the company's sole base of operation over the last year. That's about to change (see news & notes post to follow).
Unlike last year, the building wasn't packed to capacity. About 100 total in the building counting freebies. It's a loud building by it's nature, and the crowd was psyched for the show, so the heat level was dialed up all night long.
The lack of a sellout is a curious development, although maybe nothing more than a sign of the times. Sacred Ground III was voted Georgia wrestling's Show of the Year for 2013. A year later, the crowd is down and drew only a handful of people beyond the Porterdale regulars.
(1) Casey Kincaid won a 9 person Platinum Royal in 12:30 to earn a shot at the PCW Championship. Other participants were PCW regulars "Go Time" Erik Jones, Eric Walker with green, trainee types (Sugar Shane, Josh Coulter, Grundy, Adrian Armour, Aja Perrera). Coulter could barely run the ropes. The highlight was the surprise return of former PCW top heel. Dwight Power. Power cut a prematch promo designed to infuriate the crowd, accomplished his mission and was immediately eliminated for a big pop. Things went downhill from there. It seemed more like 20 minutes than 12 and 1/2. Maybe my time was off. The trainees were brutally bad except for Armour, who shows some promise. Jones eliminated Kincaid to win the battle royal portion. Kincaid scored the most eliminations, so under Platinum ruels they went one-on-one to decide match. Time stood still when Kincaid's leg got locked tight between two twisted ropes. Jones lacked the experience to know hw how to keep the match flowing. Kincaid finally managed to extricate himself, but the residual effects hampered for the remainder of the bout. After numerous close calls, Kincaid won it with a DDT.
(2) Bobby Moore (with Miss Rachael) defeated Joey Kidman (with Aria) in 12:40. Kidman punished Moore with power moves until Rachael ran distraction. Moore capitalized with a relentless attack on Kidman's leg. Kidman made a big comeback selling the leg like he had a mosquito bite on his thigh. They traded near falls, Kidman with a nice full nelson slam and Moore with the sick kick. Kidman tried for a trifecta of germans, but Moore countered #3 with an STO and applied an ankle lock. Referee Frank Earl got bumped. Aria chased Rachael into the ring. CATFIGHT! And a passionate one at that. Aria was slamming the back of Rachael's head into the mat. When Earl tried to cool Aria's jets, Moore nailed Kidman with the loaded elbow pad for the 1-2-3. Good match. The catfight was the key spot and it worked. Kidman's offense is getting crisper and at least he gave lip service to the knee.
(3) The Big F'n Deal (Brian Blaze & Geter) defeated "The Golden One" De La Vega & Adam Pearce (with Quasi Mandisco) in 17:04 to advance to the finals of the Tag Team Season. DLV gets massive heat with his "Grown Ass Man" character. The introduction of Pearce as DLV's mystery partner multiplied the fun. DLV tried for spear. Blaze broke his back and hit a fall away slam ala Titus O'Neil. Pearce squared off with Geter and called for the test of strength. Geter brought him to knees and ended it with a classic finger stomp. That was enough for Pearce. DLV's turn. Pearce interfered to give DLV an opening. They got heat on Blaze, who answered with a Gargano Lock on DLV. Pearce distracted the ref so Quasi could interfere. Pearce with a picture perfect spinebuster. Blaze back with a clothesline from hell on DLV. Geter in with a Saito suplex that liked to have killed DLV dead. Pearce and Geter traded. Pearce with an eye poke. Geter with a massive belly to belly suplex. DLV tried for an aerial surprise attack and Geter coldcocked him. Geter went for a musclebuster. DLV escaped annhilation and Pearce clotheslined Geter. Pearce was ready to finish Blaze when he received an uninvited tag from DLV. DLV hit a rocker dropper on Blaze and then got his head handed to him by Geter. DLV wanted to tag. Pearce said no dice, and DLV was pinned after a sidewalk slam/elbow drop combo. Just a fantastic match. Awesome heat. The building tension between DLV and Pearce played out beautifully. Great stuff between Blaze and DLV. Pearce made Geter look like a million bucks not that he needed any help.
Postmatch, Pearce clocked DLV and turned his attention to Mandisco. It looked like Pearce was going to give Quasi a pass, then killed him dead with a piledriver. A fan shoved Pearce on his way out and had to be restrained by security. As Quasi was being carted out, Platinum said he looked like Miley Cyrus at 3am.
(4) Washington Bullets (Jon & Trey Williams) defeated Los Ben Dejos (Jay Rios & Jay Cruz) in 11:15. All Bullets until Rios crotched Jon on the post. Rios threw some weak chops that would have gotten him eaten alive at Anarchy. but Los Ben Dejos more than made up for that with ultra cool combo moves. Trey cleaned house and was at the top of his game. He hit the Captain Morgan kick on Cruz and Bullets hit a double team, but Rios saved and dumped Trey. Cruz took Jon's face off with a soccer kick. Los Ben Dejos hit a double stomp/double knees deal and Trey saved. A festival of superkicks ensued. Both Bullets were down at the end. The next Los Ben Dejos double team did not end well though, and Bullets won it with the Marion Barry, Jon pinning Cruz. Outstanding.
(5) Dementia D'Rose defeated Mia Yim and Leva Bates in a Trinity Rules match at 11:10. Under Trinity rules, the loser of a fall has to sit out for 2 minutes, and if a fall occurs during the 2 minute penalty period, the match is over. Yim and Bates iced D'Rose. Once in, D'Rose got holy hell kicked out of her by Yim. D'Rose hit a mega butt butt on Bates. Yim and D'Rose got stiff with each other. Yim kicks like a mule and her blows were landing with sickening thuds, but D'Rose was hanging right with her. D'Rose hit a stack Samoan drop ala Beth Phoenix, Yim kicked out of a spinning sideslam by D'Rose. A superkick/german suplex by the Florida women put D'Rose in the penalty box. Yim and Bates went at it. Bates works hard but isn't close to being in Yim's league. As soon as D'Rose reentered, Yim smoked Bates with a package cut short due to the show running so long. Yim was super impressive. Bates not so much. piledriver for the pin. Just before the two minutes was up, D'Rose pinned Yim with a powerslam. Nice match and a big win for D'Rose. Yim was super impressive. Bates not so much.
Pearce was recognized as the 2013 Platinum Standard Honoree. A video chronicling Pearce's career played on the big screen with Platinum providing narration. Platinum then presented Pearce with a plaque. Pearce gave a humble acceptance speech, noting the group of wrestlers upstairs that love the business and thanking the fans for their support of PCW and pro wrestling. Platinum also made a special announcement (see news & notes post to follow).
(6) In the Platinum Standard match, Fred Yehi defeated Steven Walters via submission in 15:42. Pearce joined in commentary for the match. As expected, this was a impressive display of skill by two of the best hardnosed, technical wrestlers in the Southeast. Walters tried to exploit his power advantage. An astonishing exchange of pinning combinations culminated with Yehi locking in the Koji Clutch, but Walter made the ropes. They opened up on offense, going back and forth with big moves. Walters hit a backbreaker/suplex combo for a close near fall. Yehi went for a buckle bomb that landed short of the buckle. Walters took a really hard landing and was shaken up. Yehi locked in the Koji Clutch and Walters tapped right away. They may have gone to the finish early. It didn't have the smoothness and chemistry of Yehi vs. Corey Hollis at the Masquerade (one of my favorite matches of 2012) First meetings that special are a rare commodity.
Johnny Danger time - Danger came out with king-sized clock covering his chest. The kids in Porterdale are into this character. Danger said Sylar Cross ended his career, but he was still able to put smiles on the people's faces. Danger admitted he once had fear, but said he wasn't afraid anymore, and Marko Polo was going to stretcher Cross out tonight. Cross (with Jeff G. Bailey) entered to a pathetic puff of mist from a smoke machine. Danger said he was going to conquer his very last fear. Cross tried to corner Danger in the ring. Danger scampered to ringside and teamed with Platinum to sing the lyrics for Polo's "Magic Mangina" entrance music. Hoky as all get out and the crowd loved it.
(7) Sylar Cross (with Jeff G. Bailey) defeated Marko Polo in a stretcher match at 13:05. This match was a dismal failure - ill conceived and badly executed. They didn't have a stretcher with wheel, just one of those canvas jobs, so the object was to drag you opponent across a finish line taped to the floor. I'll spare the details. Suffice to say it wasn't good. The stretcher was brought into the ring. Polo got Cross on the stretcher. Not sure what good that did because there was no way to the stretcher to the floor. Chip Day ran down and kicked Polo in the head. Polo was able to body slam the mammoth Cross. Cross dumped Polo out of the ring and brained him with the stretcher. Cross put the unconscious Polo onto the stretcher and dragged him toward the finish line. Polo was sliding off the stretcher. The finish looked totally half-assed but most of the crowd couldn't even see it.
(8) Shane Marx (with Miss Rachael) defeated "The Demigod" Mason in a Loser Leaves Town match at 13:54. This was the final battle in a war that has waged for years. Mason was beating Marx like he owed him money. Taking a page from Pearce's book, Marx went to the eyes and took over. Mason tried for his vaunted neckbreaker, but Marx blocked it and whacked him across the back with a chair. Mason was up at the count of 4. Marx put Mason's head on a chair and tried to smash his skull with a second chair. Mason escaped death, but Marx planted him with a spinebuster. Mason was up at 7. Mason connected with a floatover DDT onto the chair. Marx came up bleeding profusely from the forehead. Mason ran wild. He hit the neckbreaker and went for the Occam's Razor submission but Marx blocked it and hit a Codebreaker. Mason was again up at the count of 7. Marx went for his DVD finisher, but Mason had it scouted and got the Occam's Razor. Mason had Marx up of the Scales of Justice (TKO) when Rachael jumped in the ring. Mason put Rachael in Occam's Razor strangle for a huge pop. Marx saved her by spearing Mason. They both went for chairs ad scored a double knockdown with simultaneous chairshots. Marx barely beat the 10 count to win the match. There was no way it could touch the spellbinding drama of their Sacred Ground 3 main event, but this was a fine match in its own right.
Mason said he started wrestling 10 years ago and it was 9 years ago that he met Marx's sorry ass. Mason said he had wrestled all over the Southeast but PCW always felt like home. Mason said the 14 stitches in his head he received at Sacred Ground 3 only lived in the minds of the people in Porterdale. Mason asked the fans to let him hear one last "PCW" chant and received a proper send off.
(9) Big F'n Deal defeated Washington Bullets to win the Tag Team Season in 12:54. Trey hit a suicide dive on Blaze. Geter faked a dive that had everyone running for the hills. The Bullets went to work on Blaze's arm, but Geter spread ropes and Trey took a dangerous high speed bump. BFD grounded and isolated Trey. Geter used a Vader-like clothesline. Blaze missed ugly on a middle rope elbow drop and the hot tag was made. Back and forth they went with killer moves. Trey somehow kicked out of a middle rope splash form Geter. Geter dropped Jon on his head with a german suplex. Trey hit the sky high legdrop on Geter for a near fall. Bullets tried for the Marion Barry but couldn't budge Geter. Trey accidentally nailed Jon. Geter clotheslined Trey, and BFD used the elbow drop/side slam to score the pinfall. They pulled out all the stops on their way to another amazing tag match.
Shane Mackey announced that the Tag Team Season winner for 2014 would be determined by a Bullets vs. BFD match at Sacred Ground 5. The team that got the most wins over the next year got to pick the stipulation and it would be the last match ever between the two teams.
(10) Chip Day (with Jeff G. Bailey) defeated Supernatural to become the PCW/EMPIRE Unified Champion in 18:55. The PCW and EMPIRE belts were both hung above the ring, and the winner had to come down with both of them. Three ladders - a 6 an 8 and a 12 were at ringside. They advertised a 15 foot but ceiling height made that impossible. Right off the bat, Super hit Day with Sliced Bread and really took it to him. Super rammed Day's back into the ring frame with the 8 and smushed his face with a running cannonball up the ladder. Back inside, Super "seated" Day on the ladder with an atomic drop and blasted him with run-up shining wizard. Day blocked a headscissors and planted Super on a ladder bridged across the middle rope. A dose of Strong Style Day had Super seeing stars. Day climbed, but Super tipped the ladder, guillotining Day on the top rope. Super climbed, only to get hung in the tree of woe and have the ever-living shit kicked out of him by Day. In a moment of pure ladder match logic, Day set the 6 and the 8 side-by-side and climbed up the 6, which was off-center and made it impossible to reach the belts. Super climbed the 8 and brought Day off the ladder with a spectacular Ace crusher. They ended up at the top of the ladder struggling over the belts and fell off with neither man relinquishing their grip.
After a conference with referee Knife Evans, Platinum unveiled the new PCW title that he planned to present after the match (ha, ha ha), and called for restart with the new belt hung over the ring.
Day started beating the crap out of Super. Super hulked up and gave it back right back. The crowd went nuts for Super's fire. Rightfully so, Super missed a top rope splash. Day, then nailed Super with a vicious spinning back kick and a Northern Lights Bomb. Day set up 12 foot ladder up outside the ring, There was a method to this ladder match logic. In a moment of pure insanity, Super launched a double knee from near the top of the ladder and connected with Day who was helplessly laid out on a ladder bridged across the middle ropes. With victory in Super's grasp, Bailey shoved the ladder over, impaling Super on the small ladder. Platinum hit the ring. Bailey met Platinum spot on with a face full of powder and stomped the stuffing out of him. Super was still dead meat on the ladder. Day crushed him with a running double knee and climbed for the prize. A psychotic match if there ever was one.
Bailey put new belt around Day's belt. Day put the EMPIRE belt around Bailey's waist. Bailey lorded it over Platinum about how great it was great to a champion, something you will never ever be. Platinum said he was better looking than Bailey, but acknowledged that Day ruled the PCW roost. Platinum thanked Supernatural for coming out of nowhere to lead the babyface side in their time of need. Platinum said Day and DLV betrayed him but not the people of Porterdale.
One more thing...Platinum revealed that Kincaid was cashing in his title shot on October 19. Kincaid appeared with steel spikes, sending Bailey, Cross and Day running out the front door. Platinum announced that the October 19 show would have only two matches, Kincaid vs. Day for the title AND a 60 minute Ironman, Yehi vs. Marx (with Miss Rachael).
NOTES: Stephen Platinum announced that PCW would be running a minimum of two shows at Actors Express in Atlanta (The King Plow Arts Center on West Marietta Street). Dates to be announced. PCW is also seeking a weekly venue in a suburban location...PCW is running a special Thursday show at the Main Event in Porterdale on Halloween night...Among the notables in attendance at Sacred Ground IV were Anarchy owner Franklin Dove and former "Georgia Wrestling Now" cohost Matt Hankins...Fortunately, there were no serious injuries at Sacred Ground IV. Steven Walters and Casey Kincaid were both OK after the show. Chip Day and Supernatural looked to be in amazingly fine shape after the ladder match...Jacob Ashworth suffered a serious neck injury at Sacred Ground III and has only recently returned to the ring...The 3rd annual PCW Roast took place at Burnie's Barbecue after the show. It was a laugh riot. Like the previous roasts, inside jokes abounded,, nobody was spared and nothing was sacred. Platinum acted as masters of ceremonies with sets by Washington Bullets, Chuck Porterfield, Miss Rachael and Johnny Danger...Adam Pearce attended the roast and appeared to be thoroughly enjoying himself...Previous Platinum Standard honorees were Gary Juster in 2010, Thunderbolt Patterson in 2011 and Fred Avery in 2012.