The 2017 Johnny Weaver Memorial Cup Tournament kicks off in style with a match between The Rapscallion Mick Moretti and Lucas Calhoun. More than anything else, this was a comedy match that turned out surprisingly funny. Best of all, when the two weren’t wrapped up in comedy spots for laughs, the two managed to pull out some good wrestling exchanges in between. Especially Moretti, who really pulled out some cool moves in this one. Although, cool moves couldn’t help him get a cool win. In the end, Calhoun hits his Samoan Drop finisher for the win in 6:24. No offense to Calhoun, but I was really hoping Moretti would pull out a win here. This match seemed to work as a showcase of his abilities and he got most of the offense. Still, that isn’t to take anything away from Calhoun who advances in the tournament.
Next, Alex Daniels cuts a promo backstage admits that despite putting on some banger matches in his first two matches in CWF, he lost them both. Daniels points out he lost to two CWF mainstays so now he has to win his Weaver Cup match against a debuting Stevie Fierce. If he doesn’t win, he will never come back to CWF.
In another tournament match, Aaron Epic (accompanied by Aspyn Rose) takes on Matt Knicks. Since I wasn’t familiar with either one of these guys (apart from their promos from last week), I was worried I would struggle to get invested into the match. Thankfully, I was proven wrong when both men partook into some fast paced sequences with each other. They also hit each other surprisingly stiff whenever the opportunity presented itself. It was like watching an American take on Strong Style. It helped add to the match, especially when it came to emphasizing the stakes of the tournament. The match ends when Knicks sets up a moonsault, but gets distracted by Aspyn Rose. Knicks is distracted long enough for Epic to dodge the moonsault and hit a Piledriver for the win. Match didn’t blow me away, but I dug it and it had a nice heel finish.
We enter a bit of an interlude as Coach Gemini hosts a segment of The Coach’s Corner. The All Star’s special guest for the night is Darius Lockhart. Gemini hopes that they could let bygones be bygones over the whole Roy Wilkins situation last time. Now, they want Lockhart to tag team with Arik Royal. Lockhart politely declines and Royal threatens that he wants to wrestle Lockhart later on before he leaves the ring.
In another Weaver Cup match, the new PWI Ultra-J Champion, Logan Easton Laroux, takes on Utamaro. This was definitely the best match of the tournament so far and perhaps even match of the night. From start to finish, you get some really fun action from two insanely charismatic individuals. I’ve never seen Utamaro wrestle before so I was really surprised just how much charm he had. With as much character as he has, I can see the guy going places in the future. Alongside Laroux, Utamaro displayed some gripping in-ring action as well as some personality that shined throughout. The finish saw Utamaro run at Laroux before Laroux kicked him in the arm and hit an Ace Crusher for the win in 9:12.
In another tournament match, Stevie Fierce wrestles Alex Daniels. Daniels plays an excellent heel (and avid Ben Affleck fan). Fierce played a babyface that really wins you over due to his high octane and, well, fierce offense. Together, the two trade some incredible moves and produce some eye popping action. The two nearly steal the show away from the last match. In fact, I’m tempted to say this is the match that took the MOTN spot. The match bookends with an exciting ending where Fierce goes for The Unprettier, but Daniels reverses into a poisoned hurricanrana. Then, caps this one off with a Brainbuster into the turnbuckle for the win in 7:39.
For our main event, we get a flurry of tag teams in the ring one after the other for a #1 Contender’s Tag Team Championship Gauntlet Match. Those teams are as follows: Ethan Alexander Sharpe & Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham, “The Freshest Prince” Percy Davis & “The Price of Broadway” Frankie Flynn, AC Hawkes & Zicky Dice, Colby Redd & PB Smooth, Donnie Dollars & Mike Mars, and The All Stars. After endlessly searching for a partner, Arik Royal settles on Cool J, a jobber who’s always on the bench. Royal disposes of Donnie Dollars and Mike Mars easily by himself and thinks he’s won the match. There’s one more team and that team happens to be Darius Lockhart and his own surprise partner, the winner of the first CWF Rumble…ROH Superstar Caprice Coleman!
The match really started to pick up here as not only did these two team put on a slugger worthy of a main event, Cool J really tried to earned his stripes and he put on a clinic in the ring. Guy flew through the air and threw out some insane moves. Hopefully, CWF decide to use him more after that performance. Still, J is a jobber for the time being and he did the job tonight. Cool Jwent for a clothesline on Coleman, who caught him in a sort-of-headlock position. While gripping his head, Lockhart hit a trembling knee to J’s head before Coleman spiked his head into the mat for the win to end the show.
Tonight was a fun night of CWF action and a splendid first night of Weaver Cup action. The first two matches of the tournament weren’t quite my cup of tea, but the next two were loads of fun. As for the main event, the match really slowed the night down and the gauntlet itself didn’t have enough heat for me. It felt like it was filled with last minute thrown together teams that I didn’t care for. However, when it came down to those last two teams, I was really invested. As much as I was entertained by the in-ring action from then on out, I was even more intrigued at the thought of ROH’s own Caprice Coleman tagging with one of my favorite CWF guys, Darius Lockhart. Now I’m even more excited and interested to see the two wrestle The Dawsons in the near future.