AS I SEE IT 5/17: The best match this weekend wasn't on PPV...
by: Bob Magee Funny how the best wrestling match I saw this past weekend wasn't seen on PPV Sunday night...won't be seen on TV in its home market of Philadelphia (it will be available on VHS/DVD) ...and is far better than anything recently seen on the TV or PPV of the promotion that views the two performers in the match as "their" talent.
In an incredible match that blew away by far anything seen on Sunday's Judgment Day PPV from Los Angeles, Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles went to a 30 minute draw, then a further 5 minutes, of incredible WRESTLING at the 3PW show this past Saturday night at the ECW Arena.
A number of ringside fans started a "TNA sucks" chant at the beginning of the match, directed at parties that need not be names down in Nashville... but clearly weren't directing them AT Styles or Daniels. Styles and Daniels got a great reception throughout the match.
The fans know very well who's to blame for being deprived of these two on Ring of Honor shows, and what will likely be an increasing number of independent promotions including New York's USA Pro Wrestling, as long as TNA insists on adding a 15% booking fee to use "their" talent, as well as the 50% upfront payoff for TNA talent used.
As a side note, it would be interesting to see if TNA staff responsible for "handling the bookings" of wrestlers are registered as sports agents, or if they are paying the Tennessee professional privilege tax (or TNA on their behalf) that agents are required to pay in the State as found here in the Tennessee State Code.
Back to the wrestling...AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels put on a clinic at the ECW Arena, showing an incredible mixture of matwork, aerial spots, and psychology that had the crowd wanting more at the end, even after a 35 minute draw.
Even for a venue that has seen talent over its 11 year history like Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Rey Misterio, Jr., Juventud Guerrera, La Parka, and Psicosis, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Steve Williams, Terry Gordy, Great Sasuke, Gran Hamada, and TAKA Michinoku... to wrestling legends like Stan Hansen, Abdullah The Butcher, Jerry Lawler, Terry and Dory Funk...this match stood out because it reminded longtime fans in the ECW Arena why they became fans to begin with, because they saw match that featured talent allowed to show its talent without having to deal with backstage BS or worrying about wounding someone's precious ego.
3PW returns June 19th with a 60 minute AJ Styles-Christopher Daniels match. All of you who have made your feelings known about the TNA situation...or who are going to write me complaining about the Judgment Day PPV should take the time to support workers like Styles and Daniels at your local independent whenever and wherever you can. Coming to Philadelphia to see this June 19th match would be a nice idea as well.
To close, a reminder of another special independent wrestling weekend...
NWA Florida will present the second annual Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup, a two night Cruiserweight tournament on June 4th and 5th at Brandon All Stars in Brandon, FL on June 4 and the St. Petersburg National Guard Armory on June 5 (two shows...an afternoon and an evening show).
The brackets of those participating in this year’s Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup is as follows:
These independent talents have also been signed by NWA Florida for non-tournament matches on the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup shows:
Additionally, the acrobatic Jack Evans has challenged NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Champion Jerelle Clark to a battle of the 630's.
NWA Florida Vice President Ron Niemi said, "I am not sure it will be possible to live up to expectations after the amazing tournament last year but we are going to do our best to honor the name of a young man who meant a hell of a lot to all of us. Jeff Peterson was a true class act and like a little brother to anybody that met him in this business and we are proud to be able to present a tournament in his name once again this year and hope the fans will come out and pay tribute to a friend that we all miss dearly."
NWA Florida owner/President Joe Price said "This will truly be the independent event of the year, and suiting of the memory of a great individual like Jeff Peterson, over the next few weeks we will continue to announce additional names for the non-tournament matches that will have fans from all over the country coming to this charitable event!"
Portions of the proceeds from both nights will be donated in Jeff Peterson's name to the Tarpon Springs Cops and Kids program. Tarpon Springs, FL Police Chief Mark LeCouris and NWA Florida have worked together for 2 years to benefit the Cops and Kids program.
Tickets for the Jeff Peterson weekend can be purchased and donations made online at Petersoncup.com.
Ticket prices are:
If you're in Florida or can travel there, come honor a hero of the heart this June with the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup.
Those traveling to the event that need a hotel room can click on this link for reservations at the official hotel of the Peterson Cup, Red Roof Inn. Make sure to mention code CP526991 for a discounted rate of only $35.99 per night. You can also call (813) 623-5245 for reservations.
Until next time...
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