1. Heartland Cup Quarterfinals: Remi Wilkins vs. Jake Crist - 3
2. Heartland Cup Quarterfinals: B.J. Whitmer vs. Alex Colon - 3
And so the quarterfinals begin. Wilkins didn’t look near as good as he did the previous night against Billy Roc. Both guys seemed to be cruising through this. As I type this, it’s been just over 24 hours since the show ended and the only good spot I can remember from this was Crist doing this two-part move that consisted of a slam and then a moonsault. Crist kept referencing this group O.I.4.K. and all of us are sitting there trying to figure out what the hell he was referencing. Enjoyable match to start the show with though. Whitmer and Colon started out pretty rough but the last bit was fairly good. I think I may have to check out some more Alex Colon stuff as this kid is pretty good. I’m sure he’ll be on the show when CZW comes to town in June. Whitmer smashed a couple good knees right to Colon’s face and ended up getting the win with the same submission that he got Michael Elgin to tap out to the previous night. If the rest of the tournament matches are kept to about seven minutes each like these, this will go down just as nice as a cold glass of Coke (or Pepsi, whichever you prefer).
3. Heartland Cup Quarterfinals: Drake Younger vs. Gerome Phillips - 7
4. Heartland Cup Quarterfinals: Steve Corino vs. D.J. Hyde - 5
This was the quarterfinal match I was looking forward to the most. This marks the third time I’ve seen these two wrestle for this particular fed and it was, by far, the best of the three. From the opening bell, they were just throwing bombs. Phillips is just a fucking beast and killed Drake with some pretty stiff shit. Drake, not to be outdone though, fought back. The theme here was a face vs. face match and let’s see who the better man is. Drake hit a nice moonsault and Phillips threw better lariats than Bradshaw, with the last one being especially sick. Really, really good stuff here. Maybe the best match of the whole weekend. Quite the contrary to the previous match as this match was the one I was least looking forward to. However, I must say that having low expectations made it turn out better than I thought. Hyde was all over the mic, running down the crowd for cheering Corino, insulting the fat dude at ringside who looked like the long lost brother of local radio personality Wildman Walker. It was really strange seeing Hyde do all of this and then during intermission, hustling people at the merch table to buy CZW DVD’s. Inconsistencies aside, Hyde spent most of the match no selling clotheslines and working over Corino’s hand, which he had smacked on the ringspot during a brawl on the floor. Wouldn’t mind seeing these two do battle again at some point.
5. Jesse Emerson vs. Dustin Rayz - 4
6. Four Corners Tag Team Match: The Heavyweight Heroes vs. DNA vs. The Trend Killers vs. Gavin Thorson & Jonathan Crane - 1
This was built up the previous night after Emerson’s match against Drake. Emerson and Guffman came out to interrupt Tim Tatum’s unispired promo and then they did the old lights out trick with Coheed and Cambria’s awesome song “Welcome Home” blaring over the speakers. Then some dude comes out on the ramp, to which the crowd pops huge, while we all look at each other and try to figure out who the hell this guy is. Finally, we figured out it was Dustin Rayz, making a surprise return after breaking his leg last December. We got some blood from Emerson in this, not a lot though, but just enough to make everything he did look a bit better. Rayz seemed a bit rusty and was favoring his leg a bit as it was really heavily taped up. This turned into a surprisingly solid bout, although not really anything stood out enough to propel it up to the next level but as a whole. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would and it’s probably the best Dustin Rayz match I’ve seen in a while. Back from intermission and we return with another four way tag, exactly as we did last night. I thought for a minute that the ring announcer may have messed up and read his note cards from last night. Murray again failed to be anywhere near the realm of acceptable as it looked like he rolled out of bed right before the match. Half the guys in this match I didn’t know and until Geo pointed out that the one guy was Zac Vincent, I had no clue who he was. In a weird moment, Chris “The Madness” Hall jumped the rail mid-match and just cleaned house with some absolutely sick shit and he nearly killed everyone except for the sloppy Heavyweight Heroes. Nothing to see here and I would’ve been completely fine if this had just been dropped from the show all together.
7. Heartland Cup Semi-Finals: Jake Crist vs. B.J. Whitmer – 3
8. Heartland Cup Semi-Finals: Gerome Phillips vs. Steve Corino – 5
It’s the semi-finals and a match that just seemed to drag on and on forever. Why they decided to work a 20-minute, mat based match in front of a crowd that had shot their wad already is beyond me. Whitmer’s ground game looked decent but I’m thinking that he wanted an easy match before he went off to the finals. Crowd quickly lost interest in this and the only cheers were those made by Crist’s kids, who just happened to be sitting right in front of us. At one point I looked around the building and realized that I’d seen livelier crowds at a funeral. Rather long and dull match. On to the other semi-final and a match I rather enjoyed. Corino worked the heel and added another dimension to the match than what it would have been if it had just been face vs. face. Crowd was still really dead in the beginning of this but once Corino started doing a heel schtick, it was easy for them to get behind Phillips. Lot’s of the same stuff from Phillips as he had shown earlier in the Drake match, including some hard-ass lariats. Sadly, this was better than the finals, and probably second best match of the night.
9. 10-Man Tag Team Match: Chad Collyer, Ron Mathis, Jeremy Madrox, Reed Bentley, & Chrisjen Hayme vs. Dave Crist, Lord Matthew Taylor, Dre Jacobs, & The American Wrestling Warriors - 3
10. Heartland Cup Finals: Gerome Phillips vs. B.J. Whitmer - 4
A random ten-man tag team match? Sure, why not. I figured this would just be about 8-10 minutes of filler and one of those “town prostitute” matches, where everyone gets a turn. Taylor needs new ensemble really bad as his current getup looks really haggard, like he found old gear in the basement of a condemned opera house (I’m looking at your Sorg Opera House) and said “yeah, this’ll work”. Madrox is a great character with his old-timey mustache and doing the early 1900’s fighter thing. I’m guessing both guys in the finals needed some time to rest as this ended up going about 15 I’d say, leaving the finals to hit the ring just before 11:30. The finals weren’t that bad and were kept under ten minutes, which was good because everyone in the building was pretty much exhausted, from the wrestlers and fans to the concession workers and the people at the merch table, who were packing up before the match was even over. Match itself was pretty by the numbers and I was happy to see Phillips go over. Afterwards, we got D.J. Hyde running, well more like jogging, down to the ring and smashing the trophy over Phillips’ back and announcing that CZW would be coming to town on Saturday June 9. Will I be there? Hell yes! On the show as a whole, not as good as the first night and due to it running long, me and the guys missed on some primo arcade time at Dave and Buster’s and ended going to IHOP for some much needed pancakes and omelettes.