10/11 NWA SAW Report with Gallows, Crimson and Compton
by Larry Goodman
NWA Southern All Star Wrestling ran their weekly Friday television taping at the SAW Mill featuring matches from the Elite 8 Tournament to crown a new SAW Heavyweight Champion.
SAW has put together an interesting and varied crew. Talent from East Tennessee, Louisville (OVW), Georgia, and Virginia rotate through the “territory” anchored by some of Nashville’s finest.
Based on the strength of the talent lineup for this show, the end result was a mild disappointment — interesting booking, entertaining talk, but not much in the way of good matches. The best stuff came during the latter half of the show.
Attendance was 100. I’ve experienced hotter SAW crowds, but an average SAW crowd is still better than most.
The show opened with NWA SAW Heavyweight Champion Crimson hobbling to ringside on crutches accompanied by NWA reps Tony Falk and Mike Sircy. Crimson announced that he was relinquishing the title due to his recent knee surgery. Crimson said after working on a torn ACL for two years, Cliff Compton’s Louisville slugger attack last week was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Falk announced the Elite 8 Tournament to crown a new heavyweight champion. The tournament will feature four former champions taking on four young lions in the first round.
Compton came out telling Crimson he should change his name to Johnny Cash because all he did was cry, cry, cry. Compton claimed the title should be his and he wasn’t leaving without it. Falk told Cliff he would have to earn it. Leading to…
(1) Cliff Compton defeated Stephon Smith in 2:30 with a Michinoku Driver. Smith dominated but never got a chance to put his gigantic ass to good use. Compton can be quite agile when he’s so moved.
Michael Hayes, one half of the OVW Tag Team Champions and an Iraq war veteran that had his left leg amputated due to a horrific combat incident, was the guest on the Nitro Noise segment. Hayes said he was there to a make a name for himself in SAW. Luke Gallows interrupted, calling Nick Nitros a Jamie Dundee wannabe. An apparent heartfelt thank you from Gallows turned into stone cold verbal abuse and a vicious attack on Hayes’ prosthetic leg. They brought a backboard out for Hayes but he managed to leave under his own power.
(2) Kevin Weatherby & Charles Alexander defeated “Nature Boy” Paul Lee & Hot Rod Biggs at 3:30. This was not taped for TV. Lee had his Ric Flair imitation going full effect. He was the best worker in the match. Alexander is a promising rookie out of Wolfie D’s school. There wasn’t time for him show much here. Finish was a Weatherby missile dropkick followed by a standing SSP by Alexander.
(3) Elite 8 opening round match: Luke Gallows defeated Michael Hayes in 6:15. This was bell to bell decimation. Hayes got a knockdown clothesline at the start and that was it. Hayes leaned in a the wrong time and took an sick kick to the head. Gallows pulled the fake leg off and threatened to use it like a baseball bat. With Hayes already in a helpless state, Gallows kicked him in the nuts and chokeslammed him for the pin. Good stuff. Unlike most of pro wrestling, this was a realistic portrayal of what one would expect if a guy with only one good leg tried to fight a 6-8 monster.
(4) SAW TV Champion Chris Michaels and Shawn Shultz went to 10 minute draw (actual time 11:17). Shultz cut a prematch promo stating he was in SAW to give Michaels some much needed competition. This was to bring the live crowd up to speed with the vignette that will appear on TV. The match itself was slow as molasses. They did almost nothing until the 2 minutes to go call. The traded big moves and a slugfest was in progress when the bell rang.
Postmatch, the infamous Peekaboo challenged Shultz to a dance off or some such.
Intermission with Crimson and Gallows out to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
(5) Jeremiah Plunkett defeated Hot Rod Biggs with a roll up at 7:15. Also a dark match. Plunkett pulled the straps down to make his comeback. Afterward, Biggs whacked Plunkett in the head with his stop sign. It was OK. Not sure what the point was though.
Jeff Daniels did a quickie interview with Jared Blake, who was a final four contestant on “The Voice” season one. Blake said he was their to support his buddy Crimson.
(6) Elite 8 Semifinal: Jocephus Brody (with Abriella of Amazonia) defeated Chase Stevens in 10:15. This was taped out sequence due to talent availability issues. This was easily the best match of the night. Brody is showing major improvement with his ringwork. They worked a brisk pace and the action was stiff. Brody busted out some explosive clotheslines. Brody’s jungle woman, Abriella choked Stevens with one of her sticks. Stevens grabbed Abriella by the hair but Brody saved her. As usual the SAW crowd got behind Stevens more than any of the other babyfaces. Stevens popped the crowd with a sweet standing dropkick. Brody crashed and burned on a missile dropkick. Stevens flattened Brody with the scissors kick, but Abriella jumped up to distract him and Brody connected with a dropkick off the middle rope for the pin. Hell of move from a huge guy like Brody.
(7) SAW TV Champion and Shawn Shultz went to a 15 minute draw (actual time 13:07). Tons better than their earlier match. Shultz was aggressive from the opening bell. Twice Shultz tried for a Boston crab. Michaels was able to get to the rope before Shultz got the hold applied. Michaels used wear down tactics against Shultz. Shultz got a close near fall with a reverse DDT. Michael answered with the double shot for a two count. With just under 2 minutes go, Shultz got the crab hold locked in midring. The bell rang a minute later. The same two minutes that took three minutes in their first match, lasted only minute here. Too bad. They had the makings of a dramatic finish with Michaels hanging on for dear life in excruciating agony.
Postmatch, Michaels laid Shultz out with a belt shot, showing no ill effects from the crab hold.
(8) Elite 8 Semifinal: Cliff Compton defeated Luke Gallows in 4:25.Daniels got up from the newly installed announce desk and asked Gallows to kick Compton’s ass. The crowd was behind Luke 110% after hating his guts an hour earlier. Compton’s prematch mic work was hilarious. He picked on fat people in the crowd. Nothing new there, but Compton had some funny lines, like asking are there not any salad bars in Tennessee? Once the bell rang, they did nothing but clown around, and the crowd turned on them bigtime. Compton shoved Gallows with one finger. Gallows took a Nestea plunge and was pinned. In terms of manipulating crowd’s emotions, this match was a total success.
Crimson (with a crutch) and Hayes (with a chair) made their way to the ring causiing Compton and Gallows to take a powder. Crimson was pissed that they were making a mockery of the company. Compton said Crimson and Hayes were real tough with weapons in their hands. Crimson and Hayes dropped the weapons. Gallows and Comptons attacked. With only two good legs between them, Crimson and Hayes drove them off. Crimson and Gallows sat on the ramp like two kids in time out. This segment should make for some good visuals for the TV. Daniels shoved Gallows and there was big row at the desk to close the show.
NOTES: The time slot for the SAW TV show has moved from 10pm to 11pm Sunday nights on CW58 in Nashville…Crimson is ahead of schedule with his rehabilitation from reconstructive knee surgery for a torn ACL and a torn miniscus. He is supposed to be out for six months but he’s hoping to make it back in three…Sircy was back at the SAW Mill for the first time in several months. He’s on the mend from heart and kidney problems…The announce team for television was Daniels and Jack Johnson. They now have an actual desk to sit at next to the ramp…The other first round matches to be taped on October 18 will have Biggs taking on Stevens and most likely Wolfie D facing Jocephus. Shane Williams was slated for the tournament but has a schedule conflict…Mayhem (Hammer Jack & Gator McAllister) also return on October 18…It was reunion night at the SAW Mill for some of Nashville’s most notable wrestling fans. Trent Van Drisse, Chicken Hat Charles, Jimmie Daniel, Dr. Jekyl, Peekaboo, and Tamela Jones were all in attendance.