Welcome back to Sports Obsessive’s weekly coverage of Championship Wrestling from Memphis, as I return to the Tennessee wrestling beat to give you all the happenings from the ‘fastest hour in wrestling’!
After months on the shelf, thanks to having his arm shattered by K. Toomer, Austin Lane is back to prove why he is the ‘Best of the Best’ and to get revenge on the man who has hurt him, his friends, and his family, for no other reason than he could and he wanted to. Will Lane get vengeance or will Toomer do as his name suggest and put the ‘Best of the Best’ in a tomb?
Meanwhile, the 2022 King Cobra cup is set to launch with an opening match as well as an appearance from the King himself with the coveted cup; and what will Dustin Starr do when The Posse, currently suspended, try to get themselves back in the WrestleCenter?
Let’s take our seats in the front row and find out!
The Big Match: Austin Lane Rights The Wrongs of K. Toomer
I was looking forward to this one. K. Toomer is one big, hard-hitting dude, and Austin Lane can go in that ring. Add in the fact that this was an unsanctioned match and that Lane was out for blood, and you had all the ingredients for a great match.
When people talk about violence in wrestling in terms of geographic areas and territories, Philadelphia quite rightly gets a lot of attention. But Memphis very much deserves its place at the mayhem and bloodshed table. While perhaps not quite as extreme as Philly, Memphis has seen its fair share of bloody, arena, and studio-wide brawls in its time, with the likes of Jerry Lawler, Terry Funk, the Moondogs, and Bill Dundee engaging in heated carnage that had fans going crazy. Case in point: you CAN NOT talk about the history of hardcore wrestling without talking about the Tupelo Concession Stand Brawl.
One thing I like about Championship Wrestling from Memphis is that it doesn’t shy away from that aspect of Memphis wrestling, having provided several great street fights between Mike Anthony and Memphis Heritage Champion Brett Michaels, a strap match between The Crowleys and Walker Hayes & Ivan Warsaw where fans at ringside were lumberjacks and whipped the wrestlers with the straps, and now an unsanctioned match to settle a blood feud. These matches have all been a lot of fun, wild without being gory or over the top—just right for Memphis TV.
Austin Lane was chomping at the bit to get his hands on Toomer—he dashed at him as soon as the bell rang, throwing a series of kicks to chop the big man down. Toomer responded by throwing blows and knocking Lane to the floor. Bad idea. Toomer tried to leap through the ropes, only to be cracked in the head with a baking tray. I don’t usually get impressed by baking tray shots—they’re so flimsy—but the way it stopped Toomer looked impressive.
Lane had a stumble on the ring steps, allowing Toomer to chop Lane down onto the wooden steps. Lane moved quickly though and a follow-up kick saw Toomer drive his foot into the steps—ouch! A sledgehammer shot to the gut followed, as did a couple of hard shots with a cane, Sandman-style, and a chair shot. At which point Lane pulled out a door with ‘forbidden’ written down it, which was a touch I popped for. Very nice, Memphis, very nice.
Before Lane could use the door, however, Toomer got him back in the ring and dropped him with a cutter. Interestingly, Toomer chose to focus on power moves over weapons, as if his size and strength were enough of a weapon itself. He squashed Lane in the corner and crumpled him with a hard kick to the spine. He took too long to scale the ropes for a second rope back senton, though, Lane moving and the big man dropping lack a sack of spuds to the mat. Toomer managed to miss another sledgehammer shot, sliding to the outside and trying to put Austin through the ‘forbidden’ door. Lane managed to evade going through the wood by sending the big man into the ring post, and one spear later Toomer was lying in a mess of splinters, wishing that pain was forbidden too!
Lane wasn’t done there. As Toomer managed to get back in the ring, a further sledgehammer shot and a mat-assisted Concerto set up the match-winning STF. Important note: Toomer passed out in the move; he didn’t submit. Will Toomer use that distinction to try and push for a rematch? I don’t know but for now, Austin Lane is on top of the world and has his eyes firmly on Memphis Heritage Champion Brett Michaels and their title match on February 13th.
Segments & Promos
- ‘Dangerous’ Diana Taylor questioned if she was good enough to win the Memphis Women’s title after her recent loss to champion Heather Monroe, concluding that she wasn’t—yet—and that it was time to put in the work. I’d be pretty happy if it’s Diana who eventually takes the Women’s title off of Heather, but I hope there’s a long, slow build to it. ‘The Killer Bae’ is killing it as champ.
- ‘Big Swole’ Justin Cole said his eyes are on the Memphis Heritage Championship and is getting fed up with being constantly asked about The Posse (after their confrontation at the Grind City Rumble). He’s no longer friends with The Posse and does not agree with anything they’re currently doing.
- King Cobra, looking dapper in a suit, paraded the Cobra Cup around ringside whilst Dustin Starr revealed that this year’s cup winner will be able to cash it in to challenge for a Memphis title of their choice, anytime, anywhere. My money’s on Mike Anthony winning…
- Norman Meklakov came out and abused Dustin Starr at the desk (“what you have, hair product in your ears?” was a great insult) before challenging anyone to the building to a ‘Meklalock’ (full nelson) challenge. Steve, one of the trainee wrestlers at the WrestleCenter, stepped up and was soon swung around and thrown to the ground like a rag doll by Meklakov. It made Meklakov look mighty!
- Dustin Starr refused The Posse entry to the WrestleCenter. He didn’t look happy about it, having been friends with Chris and Simon, but the newly-heel Posse boys showed some decency, confirming that they will bring the Memphis tag belts, which they stole from champions The Yung Goats, back to the WrestleCenter next week. Dustin was uneasy but seemed relieved that some sort of truce had been reached. A shame for him, then, that the Posse revealed afterward that the belts were not all they’d be bringing next week. The heel version of The Posse has been a revelation, and their story is one of the best currently in Memphis. Great work.
- Action Jackson pinned Carlos Alexander Rios with Sliced Bread in a 1sr Round match for the Cobra Cup. Jackson is recently returned to Memphis and is still as over as ever with the Memphis faithful. Decent match.
- Derrick the King and Danny B. Good defeated ‘The Elements of Wrestling’ (Van Vicouss & Colton Cage w/ Ryan Pyles) after a combination of a Blockbuster and a superkick gave the veterans the win. King and Danny looked good together. I’m still anticipating King turning on him shortly though…
- Austin Lane beat K. Toomer in a very fun unsanctioned match after Toomer passed out in the STF.
In some respects, this was a holding show, designed to conclude the feud between Austin Lane and K. Toomer, but not every show needs to be full of happenings and this week’s Championship Wrestling was satisfying. Austin Lane and K. Toomer had a very fun unsanctioned match which paid off their feud nicely; The Posse’s descent into heelism progressed nicely (will The Posse turn on Dustin Starr next week? Will Justin Cole get involved); Derrick King and Danny B. Good looked good as a team this week, and the Cobra Cup 2022 was launched. All things considered, this week’s show was never less than entertaining, with a great main event and some hints at big drama to come next week.
I’ll see you again at ringside, folks, for more exciting action from Championship Wrestling from Memphis!