Acid Cup 2021 Part 2
Date: April 9, 2021
Location: Cuban Club, Tampa, Florida
Commentators: Kevin Gill, Emil J.
We’re back with the second half of the single elimination tournament and the first round could have been a lot worse. Granted we have a bunch of matches yesterday with no brackets for the second round, but then again there is a chance that those don’t exist just yet. Let’s get to it.
No opening video or anything, but the ring announcer does welcome us to the show.
Second Round: Calvin Tankman vs. Dragon Bane
Tankman is a monster and Bane comes out to Clint Eastwood by the Gorillaz. Commentary: “He’s happy!” First words of Clint Eastwood: “I ain’t happy!” I’m going to assume that was a misquote and move on, though now with a catchy song in my head (as opposed to in my knee). Tankman shoves him around to start so Bane is back up with a running hurricanrana. Another one is countered into a heck of a powerbomb for two as commentary compares Bane to a grilled sandwich.
Tankman grabs a reverse chinlock with a knee in the back, followed by a belly to back suplex for two. Trash talk ensues as we see what looks to be some wrestlers arriving in their car on the road opposite the cameras. Bane’s chops just earn him an angry slam and it’s time to chop it out.
Bane is back with a hurricanrana into a spinning headscissors to put Tankman on the floor, setting up the big flip dive. Back in and Bane grabs a hurricanrana for two, followed by a Canadian Destroyer. The shooting star press gets two on Tankman but he’s right back with a spinebuster. The elbow to the back of the head sets up the Tankman Driver for the pin at 6:41.
Rating: C. Bane is a pretty nice high flier but Tankman has been one of the biggest stars of the weekend so far. Giving him a nice run in the tournament makes a lot of sense and going out in the second round isn’t much of a push. This was a nice enough opener, though the lack of noise and energy is rather jarring.
Second Round: AJ Gray vs. Lee Moriarty
These have been two of the most prominent names of the weekend so this feels big. Gray grabs a front facelock to start as commentary clarifies that he is having Coke Classic, not the other kind of coke (you have to stay away from that Zero stuff). Moriarty reverses into a kneebar but gets reversed into a quickly broken leglock. Gray takes him down and goes after Moriarty’s taped ribs because Gray seems to be rather smart.
That’s broken up and they chop it out with Gray getting smart (again) by going to the ribs. The seated abdominal stretch stays on the ribs but Moriarty slips out and hits a running double stomp to a seated Gray. A bridging German suplex gives Moriarty two but Gray kicks him in the ribs. Gray’s hard clothesline gets two but a Gory Bomb is countered into a sunset flip to send Moriarty on at 5:43.
Rating: C+. Moriarty is someone I’ve seen multiple times here and he isn’t getting boring or repetitive at all. Commentary was calling him a wrestling scientist here and that is a pretty appropriate name. You can see him picking people apart and figuring out the right path to beat almost anyone. This was a fun match with two talented guys. Not much time, but it told a story and that’s hard to do in just a few minutes.
Second Round: Arez vs. Cole Radrick
After a slight delay in the bell ringing process, Radrick takes him down by the legs to start and then does it again for a bonus. Arez slips out and goes for the arm as the mat grappling continues, this time with Radrick spinning into a headlock takeover to keep Arez down. Arez kicks him down and they trade insults in differing languages. An enziguri sends Radrick outside for a moonsault from the apron, followed by more kicks back inside.
Radrick hits a heck of a clothesline for two and it’s time to take the straps down (nothing could go wrong here). They slap it out from their knees until Arez is back up with a Lumbar Check for two, complete with pushups on Radrick’s chest for the near fall. Arez wraps him up in something like a Black Widow crossed with an abdominal stretch for a freaky combination.
Then he ties up all of Radrick’s limbs at once but since that can’t last very long due to intense pain, Radrick is back with a kick of his own to stagger Arez. An Air Raid Crash is bridged back into a suplex for two on Arez but he’s back up with a bottom rope dropkick to get creative. There’s a middle rope double stomp to a standing Radrick’s back for two more and they’re both a bit winded. Radrick is back up with a butterfly suplex rolled into kind of a Blue Thunder Bomb for the pin at 8:45.
Rating: C. It’s hard to get annoyed at an indy match that is designed to have two people get their cool stuff in. That’s all they did here and Radrick continues his Cinderella run while Arez builds his stock up at the same time. Good enough match here, though Arez tore the house down yesterday and that’s what’s going to get the attention.
Second Round: Jordan Oliver vs. Laredo Kid
Well in theory at least, but Kid isn’t here and for some reason, Oliver gets to pick his opponent.
Second Round: Jordan Oliver vs. Brayden Lee
Kid beat Lee to get to the second round so this is what makes the most sense. Well as much sense as an indy tournament is going to make. We do get a handshake before the match starts and we are ready to go. They fight over a test of strength and go into some monkey flips to little avail, as Oliver is taken up against the ropes. The pinfall reversal sequence gets some near falls each and the fans applaud politely.
Lee grabs a headlock takeover so Oliver hiptosses him into the ropes, only to have Lee hold on and armdrag him down. A dropkick puts Oliver down again and there’s a suicide dive to send him into the chairs (and allowing Lee to take a picture with a fan). Oliver superkicks his way to freedom but Lee gets in his own shot to the face, as commentary says Oliver is a future Hall of Famer. Exactly which Hall of Fame are we talking about here?
Neither can hit a suplex on the floor so Lee drops him onto the apron instead. Lee’s suicide dive is countered with a ram into the apron and Oliver comes back with a slingshot twisting Stunner. Oliver hits a nice dropkick and, after a pose, grabs a headscissors choke. That’s broken up with an electric chair but Oliver hits an enziguri. They go up top with Lee reversing a belly to back superplex into a crossbody to put them both down again. Back up and Lee chops away until Oliver cuts off a kick to the chest.
Lee scores with a springboard clothesline for two so he goes up again, earning himself an enziguri. Oliver pulls him back down with a super Blue Thunder Bomb for two but Lee catches him on top this time. A super poisonrana (with Oliver slipping out and nearly landing on his head) sets up a sitout powerbomb for two on Lee. Commentary can’t believe it, summing it up with “Well f*** me I suck but the match continues.” Lee has to bail out of a shooting star press and Oliver kicks him in the face at 13:50.
Rating: C. This took some time to get going and there were some sloppy sections in there, but some of the spots looked good. Oliver winning isn’t surprising (again: he’s wearing pants inspired by the tournament namesake) and he continues to show some potential after a few adjustments. Lee has a good look but it was only a bunch of spots here, meaning you can’t get very much out of this one.
El Hijo de Canis Lupus vs. Gabriel Sky
Non-tournament match. I’ve heard of Sky before and he comes out to the theme from Charmed so he can only be so bad. They start fast and trade some headscissors in some early luchaing. The covers don’t get any counts and it’s a standoff to some applause. Sky hits a dropkick to put Lupus down and a bouncing springboard hurricanrana sends Lupus to the floor. There’s the big flip dive before they head back inside, with Lupus blasting him with a clothesline for two.
Lupus unloads with the chops in the corner and the chinlock goes on. A boot choke in the corner has Sky in more trouble as this has settled down a lot more than I would have expected. Back up and Sky kicks him in the head, setting up a half and half suplex. Lupus hits a pop up knee to the ribs into a German suplex for two. Sky grabs a front facelock and flips him forward into a DDT, setting up a Falcon Arrow (meaning the “he did the deal” lines make their return) for two.
Back up and Lupus sends him hard into the corner for two but Sky is right back with a poisonrana out of the corner. There’s a top rope double stomp for two on Lupus so Sky goes back up, only to get caught in a super Spanish Fly. Lupus is right back up with a GTS into a powerbomb into a knee to the head (Commentator: “F***! F***! F***!”) for the pin at 7:21 (those were all one after the other to really end Sky).
Rating: C. I wasn’t feeling this one as they were kind of sloppy and just trading spots, which wasn’t the most interesting stuff. It was far from bad, but it was the kind of match that feels like you could see from any two indy wrestlers. The ending wasn’t exactly great either, as the moves didn’t look great or crisp. I’ve seen far worse, but this wasn’t the most thrilling.
Semifinals: Calvin Tankman vs. Lee Moriarty
Moriarty misses a running kick to start and gets plowed over by the much bigger Tankman. Some hard shots in the corner have Moriarty in more trouble and Tankman slams him down without much trouble. We hit the bodyscissors to stay on the ribs as you can already see a pretty basic formula here. That’s switched into a chinlock so Moriarty fights up, only to be sent outside in a heap.
Back in and Tankman knees away at the ribs as the pace stays very slow so far. Some jawbreakers give Moriarty a breather and a kick to the head out of the corner staggers Tankman again. Moriarty gets caught with a shot to the face on top (Tankman: “YOU F***** UP!) and Tankman drops him ribs first onto the top. That puts Moriarty on the floor but he dives back in to beat the count at nine.
Moriarty tries to fire up, earning himself a forearm to the face. That actually seems to fire Moriarty up so he strikes away, setting up a double stomp to keep Tankman down. It’s Moriarty back up first and kicking away at Tankman’s rather large chest. Tankman headbutts him in the ribs though and a gutbuster puts Moriarty down for two more. The Tankman Driver is countered into a choke, which manages to survive a ram into the corner. Tankman falls forward and Moriarty elbows him in the head over and over until it’s a stoppage at 9:26.
Rating: C+. This is the kind of match that is going to make Moriarty look like a star, as he hung in there against a monster and then held on until he could steal the win. I was surprised that they went with a stoppage instead of a submission. Good stuff here, and Tankman looked like a heck of a monster throughout the tournament. Moriarty is a more interesting pick though, as he has been great at what he has been doing for days now.
Semifinals: Jordan Oliver vs. Cole Radrick
Radrick is favoring his ribs on the way in. They go straight at it with an exchange of kicks to the head and a double clothesline gives us a double knockdown less than thirty seconds in. It’s already time to forearm it out from their knees and pull themselves up to strike away even more. Radrick counters a running big boot with a kick to the face and a splash to the back gets two.
Some hard kicks keep Oliver in trouble but he Rock Bottoms Radrick out of the corner, setting up a spinning middle rope Swanton. Oliver kicks him down and it’s time for another double breather. A German suplex drops Radrick but he blocks a second, only to get caught by an enziguri. They go up top with Radrick headbutting his way out of a belly to back superplex attempt.
Radrick counters a tiger driver into a hurricanrana for two and Radrick is frustrated. Oliver counters an armbar into a tiger bomb for two but Radrick is back with a Shining Wizard for the same. Back up and Radrick takes the straps down to slug it out, only to run into the big boot for the pin at 8:59.
Rating: B. These guys beat each other up rather well, as Radrick’s Cinderella runs ends. Oliver is someone who has grown on me a lot, though I’m still trying to get my head around the Big Breakfast nickname. This felt like two guys who were beaten up and tired and gave everything that they had to make it to the finals. Good match here, and both of them are coming out of this tournament looking a lot better than they did coming in.
Respect is shown post match.
Ken Broadway vs. Marcus Mathers vs. Lucas Riley vs. Damien Drake vs. Matt Vandergriff vs. Facade
Scramble match (erg) with one fall to a finish. Broadway throws money around on the way to the ring, which doesn’t seem too bright. Vandergriff and Drake are the Future Stars of Wrestling Tag Team Champions and regular partner as the Unguided. Facade comes out to the Ninja Rap from Teenage Mutant Ninja II: Secret Of The Ooze (there better be a Super Shredder joke in this match), making him the most awesome part of this show.
It’s a brawl to start with Broadway chilling on the apron, which is probably about as long as I’m going to be able to keep track of this. Vandergriff hits a very springboard armdrag to Riley and we’re actually going to have tags here, which is one of the best things to see in this kind of a match. Riley spins around into a rollup for two and they both wind up in a corner, with Vandergriff snapping off a top rope hurricanrana. A springboard spinning cutter drops Vandergriff so it’s off to Drake for a dropkick.
Broadway stands back instead of tagging in, allowing the two of them to kick each other down. Mathers comes in and kicks away at Drake, setting up a Code Red for two. Now Broadway will come in and shrug off a Mathers chop and hit jumping back elbow to the face. A one footed Lionsault gets two on Mathers, who is then springboard enziguried out to the floor. Facade comes in to some cheering for the showdown with Broadway, who is pulled to the floor by Vandergriff and Drake.
Facade and Vandergriff hammer on each other until Facade kicks his way out of the corner. Drake comes back in and gets kicked down as well, followed by a kick to Mathers’ face. Facade hits a middle rope springboard cutter to Drake as commentary gets in some Don Jardine references. Drake and Vandergriff catch Facade on top but Drake’s superplex is broken up as well. The Tower of Doom is no sold (because indies) and a double suplex gives Drake two on Facade.
Broadway comes back in to beat up the Unguided with Mathers having to dive (a long way) in for a save. Mathers rolls Broadway up for two and a reverse DDT flipped forward into a cutter drops him again. Vandergriff kicks Mathers down and hits a 619 into a slow motion poisonrana. Riley is back in this time and hits a step up knee in the corner to rock Drake. A Rock Bottom drives Drake into Vandergriff for one with Mathers making the save. Broadway and Facade fight outside, leaving Mathers and Riley to fight on the apron.
Mathers hits a very slow Tombstone on the apron (to no response because there is no one here, making that a pretty needlessly dangerous spot). Drake moonsaults onto Broadway and it’s time for the parade of dives. Facade’s is broken up and Drake gets in his way but Broadway puts Drake onto his shoulders. That lets Facade hit a double springboard Blockbuster onto the pile to put everyone down. Broadway throws Facade through some chairs and hits a bridging German suplex to finish Drake at 13:18.
Rating: C. I cannot stand this kind of a match as there is no way for anyone to stand out other than one big spot here or there. Broadway doesn’t so much win as much as he gets the pin when everyone else is down, making this little more than a big showcase with no flow or story in the slightest. It makes sense to put it on a showcase show, but when you’ve seen a bunch of them in a few days, any of the charm falls away. Throw in that this was kind of sloppy and they took WAY too long between spots in places and it felt like something there because you need this kind of a match on this kind of a show.
And they didn’t even make a Shredder joke!
Acid Cup 3 Finals: Jordan Oliver vs. Lee Moriarty
Moriarty’s ribs are a bit banged up coming in while Oliver just looks tired. We get the Big Match Intros, complete with a list of everyone they defeated to get here. We get a handshake to start and they go to a test of strength. The bigger Oliver takes him down but can’t break the bridge. That’s fine with Oliver, who wisely hits him in the bad ribs but Moriarty easily slips out of a headlock.
Oliver can’t roll out of a hammerlock but he can elbow his way to freedom only to get sent outside in a hurry. They hit the stall button for a bit as commentary recaps how much these two have probably done this weekend. Oliver even gets smart by having a drink of water on the floor and pours it over his head, which seems to be a good idea. Back in and Moriarty runs him over but the ribs stay banged up.
Oliver is right back with a hiptoss, plus an elbow to the ribs on the cover as the member of the Young, DUMB and Broke stable is looking rather smart. A hard whip into the corner bangs up the ribs even more and Oliver is starting to look a bit cocky. Oliver’s snap suplex gets two and Moriarty is looking frustrated by the pain in his ribs. The rather smart waistlock goes on and Oliver adds a dragon sleeper with elbows to the ribs.
Somehow Moriarty survives that and grabs the arms, which are put into a full nelson (with bodyscissors). Moriarty cranks on the leg to escape in a smart move and they’re both back up. The slingshot cutter (Cleopatra) is countered and Moriarty sends him shoulder first into the post. Moriarty follows him outside and puts Jordan in a chair to crank on the arm. That’s broken up with Moriarty being sent face first into the post to put him down as well. Back in and Moriarty goes back to cranking on the arm, including snapping it over the shoulder.
They lock hands and slap it out before a double clothesline puts both of them down again. Back up and they strike it out again until Moriarty’s double arm trap German suplex gets two. Oliver nails his running big boot (which they finally call the Verdi (Acid’s real last name) Kick) for a close two, meaning it’s time for both of them to go outside. That goes nowhere so Moriarty puts him up top for a super Russian legsweep floated over into a Crossface. Oliver punches him in the ribs for the break and grabs the Boston crab to make Moriarty tap at 14:21.
Rating: B. This was one of the better matches of the tournament and above all else it felt like a match for a prize. They structured things well with the ribs vs. everything else on Oliver, who got to look great by making the technical wizard tap out. It was a very solid main event, though again the wasn’t much drama when Oliver was wearing Acid’s pants throughout the tournament. There is power in those pants.
Post match Oliver….leaves, as there is no trophy (as in, like, a cup). Commentary gives a tributes to Acid to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This was another completely watchable two hours and eighteen minutes of wrestling and that’s all you can ask for from a show like this one. Outside of the scramble match, there was nothing in the way of gimmick matches or nonsense like that which makes things go by quickly. The two days of this thing were straight wrestling matches for a prize and that’s very nice to see, as the structure isn’t quite there with a lot of these shows. Good stuff here, and Oliver felt like a star.
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