Tonight, CWF is set to finally crown this year’s winner of the Johnny Weaver Cup Tournament. First, the semi-finals. Our first semi-final match of the night is between Smith Garrett and PWI Ultra-J Champion Logan Easton Laroux. Before the match, Laroux points out that all of Garrett’s Weaver Cup wins have been less than 10 seconds because according to a doctor’s x-rays, Garrett has a herniated disc injury in his neck. Meaning that Garrett cannot be cleared to compete and therefore, Laroux advances with a by. Maybe it’s the tears pouring down his face as William L. Cross and McAllister escort him out of the ring. Maybe it’s how Laroux was rubbing it like the sniveling, privileged heel he is. Maybe it’s Garrett’s spine-tingling promise to “take everything from [Laroux]” upon his return. Whatever it was, I loved this segment. It was perfect.
That angle gets followed up by the second semi-final match of the tournament, Chet Sterling vs Ethan Alexander Sharpe. The match had kind of a rough start, but not at the fault of the performers. The crowd wasn’t into this at first because they were still deflated after the Garrett revelation. Even the commentary wouldn’t stop talking about it. But when Sterling and Sharpe started to get going, they had a really good match that the crowd could get into. Sharpe especially surprised me. The more he’s shedding his comedy character for the tournament, the more I’m able to take him seriously as a performer. He managed to hold his own against an excellent wrestler like Sterling and if Sharpe keeps this up, I can seriously see him be a main event talent. At the end, Sharpe dodged Sterling’s Blockbuster finisher, but Sterling followed that up with a roll-up for the win in 12:46. After the match, a furious Sharpe attacked Sterling.
Thought the post-match angle there was brilliant. Really adds intrigue and suspense to the finals of this tournament. Laroux is going into the match 100% fresh while Sterling wrestled a nearly 15-minute match and got attacked afterwards. It’s smart booking that allows the Leader of the 1% live up to his privileged heel moniker, while Sterling is guaranteed to fight for his life with the odds stacked against him. Good stuff.
As a break from the tournament, Aric Andrews (with Lee Valiant in his corner) gets to defend his CWF Television Championship on the historic 433 day of his reign. After a random name is drawn from a jar, as always, Andrews’s opponent for tonight is the ever flamboyant “Innocent” Isaiah Santero. This was just a comedy match where Santero was up to basic *gay panic* moves against Andrews. Classic wrestling. Santero actually got a lot more offense than you might expect. When it looks like he’s about to win, Valiant hits the apron to distract Santero. Santero tries to kiss Valiant, but Andrews hits his Asphalt Spike from behind for the win in 7:55. This was another match where Andrews did, like, three moves and took all of the offense until Valiant interfered and allowed Andrews to hit his finisher. I complained a lot about this last week, but I’m so used to seeing this same match/finish from Andrews at this point that I’m too numb to it to complain about it anymore. Plus, some of the spots were funny at least so there’s that. Still wish they gave Andrews better matches than this. Have him put out consistent performances to prove why he’s so deserving of that +433 day reign.
After the match, Valiant and Andrews attack Santero until The Boogie Woogie Man, Rob McBride, comes down to make the save. This leads to McBride vs Valiant on the spot. McBride gets some early offense, but thanks to interference from Andrews, Valiant takes over for a few minutes. When McBride gets back into the match, he goes to the top rope. Andrews tries to stop him until Santero stops Andrews. This allows McBride to hit a big Boogie Woogie Elbow Drop for the win in 5:13. Short match, but not a bad one. It was alright. Crowd was hot for it, so they must’ve done something right. Plus, I’m a sucker for the monstrous babyface vs cheeky heel dynamic and these two played up to that dynamic pretty well.
We finish off the show with our main event and final match in the Johnny Weaver Cup Tournament. It’s between mortal rivals Chet Sterling and Logan Easton Laroux. From the very start, Laroux takes advantage of a weakened Sterling. Sterling comes back with some classic babyface fire, but then something weird happens in the midst of his babyface comeback. After the ref warned Sterling about his closed fists one too many times, Sterling is disqualified and the winner of the match/tournament is Logan Easton Laroux. Rightfully, Sterling is devastated. The crowd is outraged, and with good reason. I mean, closed fists are illegal, but when was the last time you saw someone DQ’d because of it? Something’s fishy. Even William L. Cross thinks so, but Laroux grabs the trophy before anyone gets to the bottom of it. When Cross and Brad Stutts discover that neither one of them hired this ref, they realize that he’s one of Laroux’s hired goons in disguise. While McAllister beats the unholy hell out of the ref and disposes of him, a new ref is brought in and the match is restarted.
However, when the match is restarted, Laroux is nowhere in sight. He made a B-Line to the back when McAllister beat up the imposter ref. Sterling chases after him and drags him back. Almost immediately, Sterling eats a Cutter for a shocking 1-count. That babyface fire comes in full steam for Sterling who is as furious over almost getting screwed as he is fired up. Eventually, Sterling hits a Half Nelson Overhead Suplex, then a High Fly Flow Frog Splash for the win in 9:29 to become the Johnny Weaver Cup 2017 Tournament Winner. It’s also important to note that CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Champion, Trevor Lee, congratulated Sterling after the match. Hopefully this foreshadows a title match between the two. Sterling’s one of the few guys I can actually see unseating Lee of his over 1 1/2 year long title reign. Plus, I think they can pull off a great match.
Speaking of great matches, I thought this was a great match. I wish they went a little longer to make this a truly great match, but it is still a very good one for what it was. Not a lot of people are going to like the whole ref angle, but I loved it. I thought it was a clever, different way to go about things and emphasize Laroux’s privileged heel character. I certainly haven’t seen anything like it before. For those worried about the predictable, this was a clever twist and I loved it. In fact, I loved this whole thing between Laroux and Sterling. The two have been feuding for several months. Laroux beat Sterling for his title 1-2 months ago. Laroux is the whole reason why Sterling inserted himself into the tournament and he wound up winning the tournament. Is it predictable? Yes, you could see the writing on the wall ever since Sterling announced he was tipping his hat in for the tournament, but this proves that predictable isn’t always bad. A good episode of CWF TV ended with one of the most satisfying, rewarding payoff moments in the history of the company.