Larry Goodman sent this report in:
Purks International Championship Wrestling brought TNA World Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles to Cedartown, Georgia Saturday night. The result was the largest crowd in Purks history with approximately 1100 fans in the building.
It was another very good show from Purks ICW. The stuff on top (Styles/Paris) got over great and could not have worked much better. I personally didn?t like this event quite as much as my two previous trips to the Purks (December featuring Steiner Brothers and February with Ron Simmons? retirement/Awesome Kong). Some of the matches were too long and/or lacked full effectiveness. The show started 30 minutes late and ran over 3 hours. It’s not like those things were an issue for the star struck fans in Cedartown. These people will seemingly let nothing stand in the way of having a good time. Each time I come away amazed at the crowd response. SAW is drawing similar numbers at the Nashville Fairgrounds. At peak moments, the Nashville crowd is as hot, but no way do they stay hot all night long like they do in Cedartown.
(1) Simon Sermon (with Tommy Too Much & Jackie Rosedale) beat John Arden in 11:27. Coming off a babyface turn last month, Arden was heavily cheered during his intro. Match opened with Sermon running scared. I hate it when the ref allows the heels to meander around ringside forever, and that was not the case here, as Emerson was aggressive with the 10 counts. Arden squished Sermon with a 400 pound freight train corner splash and followed with a two back splashes, then a third per the crowd’s request. Arden, however, soon got caught up in interference by Too Much and Sermon clipped his knee. It became a 2 against 1 situation with Exotic Ones pulling all kind of shenanigans behind Spanky’s back. Sermon popped the crowd taking the Ric Flair slam off the top rope. Arden channeled Dusty Rhodes with a bionic elbow. Finish saw Arden spear Sermon out of the ring. While Rosedale was distracting Emerson, Too Much switched in and rolled Arden up. The fans were highly pissed at Emerson. Ring announcer Josh Hayes further incited them by announcing that Emerson refused to reverse the decision despite what they all saw. This match worked really well.
Arden offered to face either of the Exotic Ones for the return date of April 10.
Paris called Styles out to the ring. Fans were on their feet with a monster pop for Styles, who lives within 100 miles of Cedartown. He also got a ?TNA? chant. Styles said it had been a long time since they had been in the ring together. He put Paris over huge as he talked about their history together, including their run in WCW. Styles said he went on to become a world champion – ?but what happened to you?? Styles said Paris had a great little thing (with the accent on little) in podunk Cedarville, while he was on TV in front of millions. Paris said he thought ?Alan? was his friend, but he was coming off like a jackass. That got a major pop. Styles ran down the way Paris was dressed (like your typical Cedartown fan). Paris said at least he could look himself in the mirror and not see an ass like Styles. Crowd popped for that line, too. Styles said Paris was a nothing happening nobody that was going nowhere. Styles started to leave. Paris grabbed onto the title belt. Styles wasn?t about to let go of it. As they held it between them, Paris said it should be no big deal for Styles to do a title match in Cedartown. The crowd wanted it bad. Styles said that wasn?t happening and Paris was lucky to get a match with champion. That being the case, Paris vowed to kick Styles? tail all over the building. Mission accomplished ? they got the crowd to do a complete 180 on Styles.
(2) David Young (with Purks Champion Bobby Hayes) beat Shaun Banks in 18:03. Young turned on Paris and Ron Simmons last time in favor of the NWO like faction headed by Hayes. One of these days, Hayes is actually going to defend the title. They did a funny comedy spot early – Bank delivered a pair of hiptosses and Emerson gave Young a third. Banks and Emerson then did the Steiner Brothers pose. Emerson as the dog-faced gremlin was surreal. Young was bumping big for Banks. The game changer was a field goal kick to the nuts when Banks tried for an up and over. A long heat segment ensued. Crowd lost some steam here. Hayes got involved, and the two against one stuff was too similar to the opener. Banks ate, and I mean ATE a boot charging in. That momentarily woke the crowd up. When Young missed a moonsault, the crowd was back full force. Banks got a near fall with a X factor. Young tried to boost Bank into the top turnbuckle. Banks put on the brakes and Young got him with a backslide and his feet on the ropes. Alls well that ends well. The finish was super smooth.
(3) Tracy Taylor beat Velvet Sky in 10:40. Family show or not, Sky’s ring entrance was hugely over. Guys at ringside had their hopes up, as Sky chose which side to come through the ropes. A goodly number of workers were out to ogle, um, watch this match as well. Who could blame them? And they had a pretty good match to boot. Sky came across as more athletic than she does on TV. Sky was primping and posing in the early going. She smacked Taylor across the face. Sky knocked Taylor down with a shoulder block, then struck a Beautiful People pose and popped the crowd with a great face bump on the trip up spot. Taylor surfed on Sky’s back. Taylor dished out payback for the slap. Sky took a powder and snapped Taylor’s neck off the top rope to take over. Sky used a spinal tap/ basement dropkick combo for a near fall. Both women down on a collision of flying lariats. They traded blows and Taylor was walloping Sky with forearms. Nice comeback by Taylor ? a trio of dropkicks and a slingshot sunset flip. Sky dumped Taylor out and went for the spray bottle, but Emerson took it away leaving Sky wide open for Taylor’s roll up.
Postmatch, Sky wiped her butt with Taylor’s lei, and got chased around the ring a couple of times.
(4) Nigel Sherrod defeated Too Tall Shortts in a Loser Leaves Town Match (6:08). This was OK. Not as entertaining as the previous matches Purks matches I?ve seen involving Sherrod. It didn?t help matters any that Shortts lost his hearing aid during the match. Sherrod applied Boston crab on the little guy that was just cruel. Shortts ducked a high boot and bit Sherrod in the ass. Sherrod came back with a variation on the Oklahoma Stampede for a near fall. Shortts used a diving headbutt for a near fall. Shortts applied a Crippler Crossface. Sherrod busted out the Bronco Buster. It must be Sean Waltman night. Finish saw Shortts bonk his head on the turnbuckles, and Sherrod pinned him with a full moon roll up.
(5) Alexander the Great & Terry Lawler & Bobby Hayes beat Thunder & Lightning (Chris Ganzer & Chris Lightning) to win the Purks Tag Team Championship in 18:27. The undersized dynamos got off to their usual hot start. Out of the blue, it was announced that Emerson was going to allow the challengers to invoke the Freebird rule. Huh?? The bad guys beat up on Lightning and switched in without tagging. The highlights of the heat were a fallaway slam by Hayes and a double jump quebrada by Alexander. An astute observer noted that Alexander was like the late John Kronus, in that he can do agility moves you wouldn?t expect from a guy with his build. Lightning made a comeback. It was one those deals where the babyface is trying to get too much stuff instead doing the logical thing by going for the tag. Ganzer cleaned house one against three. The finish was messed up. Alexander and Hayes nailed the champions with stereo kicks and Lawler pinned Ganzer. Emerson was supposed to do a reluctant three count. I don?t know why he would mind, since he allowed the Freedbird rule. Be that as it may, he stopped at two, and I think restarted. It was clear as mud.
Josh Hayes announced a five minutes intermission to look into what just happened. Naturally, nothing more was said about it.
(6) A non-title match between TNA Heavyweight Champion A.J. Styles and Air Paris was ruled a no contest due to outside interference at 22:24. I had no illusions that this would be the type of groundbreaking match they were doing back in 2000 at NWA Wildside, neither would that have been wise or necessary to satisfy the fans at the Purks. Paris hasn?t wrestled full time in years. He wrestled smart and stayed within his limitations. It was going to be up Styles to carry the action, and carry it he did. Dan ?The Dragon? Wilson was the guest ring announcer. He’s still got it. All the cheers were for Paris this time out. Styles said he didn?t want a Cedartown ref and called out Mike Posey. Paris said he was taking the belt with him if he won. The champion’s arrogant conduct got a bigtime ?Styles sucks? chant. Styles was having with way with Paris early on. Paris made a spirited comeback and Styles took a powder. Styles took over with a catapult into to the bottom rope. Styles did his signature dropkick. Styles softened Paris up with a pescado and a backdrop driver, and started working on the knee to set up the figure four. Paris hit a DDT out of left field. Paris broke out the Burning Hammer for a big near fall. Styles answered with the springboard forearm. Paris fought off the Clash. Styles hit a vintage move of his own ? the quebrada into a reverse DDT. Styles went up top. Paris shook the ropes to crotch him and hit a superplex for a near fall. Paris missed a high knee, and Style moved in for the kill with the figure four. After a long struggle, Paris was able to reverse, and Styles immediately grabbed the ropes. Posey got bumped. Tons of ref involvement tonight. Styles hit the Pele and went to use the title belt. Paris cut him off with superkick. Styles? selling of it was nothing short of awesome. Paris nailed Styles with the belt and covered. Emerson ran out to make the count and got pulled out by Posey. Hayes and Young attacked Paris, and Posey waved off the match.
Styles was about to give Paris the Clash, when out came none other than Ron Simmons. I think he got the pop of the night. Simmons said he watched Styles get to the top, and knew how hard he worked to get there. Simmons said Styles was way short and gratitude, and should be a role model whether he liked it not. Styles said he didn?t need the people and was a winner at any cost, and pointed out that Simmons was a FORMER champion. Styles said he was going to retire Hogan on Monday night ?and I?ll do the same to you, boy.? Crowd knew he should not have gone there, and they knew what was coming next – ?DAMN!? and great looking punch to the kisser of the champion. Styles bailed.
Simmons said he had been hired as commissioner and his first act was to bring in ?Big Sexy? Kevin Nash to team with Paris vs. Young & Hayes on April 10. The crowd went completely nuts for the announcement of Nash. Based on the response, expect another big turnout next month.
NOTES: Notable personalities backstage included Bill Behrens, Micah Taylor and Frenchy Riviera. I didn?t recognize Riviera, who is literally half his former size. Styles? wife and three children were in attendance, as were the children of Tracy and Micah?The event was taped by David Pierce?Wilson will make his NWA Main Event debut at their next television taping.