Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Scenic City Invitational Tournament (August 4 and 5, 2017)

As anyone who cares to read this should know, I took my wife to the Scenic City Invitational in the Chattanooga, TN area this weekend.

To say it was a good time is an understatement, I've never had a pro-wrestling experience quite like this and have already decided to go back for Scenic City Trios in November. This time the kids will come along.

If you want to just get down to the results I recommend taking a look at Larry Goodman's excellent reports on Georgia Wrestling HistorySCI Night One is here, and here is the link for Night Two

If it is photos you seek then check out Corey Tatum's excellent work at Wrestling Snapshots on Facebook.

Night One was a little stressful for us because due to our job situations we could not really leave ATL (just south of it really) in enough time to get there when the doors' opened. It turns out we couldn't actually get there in enough time to catch the first half of the show.

We arrived during the intermission, and unfortunately missed a very highly-regarded Joey Janela v Darby Allin match which included a crazy Coffin Drop apparently.  That said I was happy to be there, we took our floor seats and enjoyed the rest of the show.

Night One Highlights 

  • Tank's Retirement--It really was an honor to be able to see Tank's final match. We saw him back in the day at NWA WildSide, and I was also fortunate enough to see him and Iceberg win the Georgia Wrestling Crown tag titles earlier this year at AWE Homegrown 2017.

    The Strong Style Psycho is a Georgia/Tennessee indie wrestling legend so far as I'm concerned and watching him wrap up his 21 year career was a nice moment.  Bonus points for teasing the Goldberg v Brock Lesnar finish at the beginning of the match with a flurry of offense against Riddle.

  • Seeing Matt Riddle, Gunner Miller, And Curt Stallion--I name these three guys simply because they were all people I had heard a ton about and seen very little of so far.

    It was nice to be able to watch guys up close like that who were being hyped on social media. Even better? All three delivered.

  • Gary Jay--This guy is legit. Norko and I saw him at AWE Homegrown 2016 for the first time and knew nothing about him. By the end of that match we were SOLD. Gary is a tremendous talent and I'm glad he's currently half of the Georgia Wrestling Crown tag champions as part of the Submission Squad.  Looking forward to seeing him again. 

    Also of note, his cheering section was right in front of us. They came from St. Louis to support Their Guy, and The Gary Jay Movement flag was a really nice touch.  Things like that really added to the vibe in the East Hamilton gym.
Night Two Highlights 

  • Matt Riddle v Gunner Miller--This match was special. It really was. Not to sound corny, but when this match got going I looked around the gym, glanced at my wife and said, "This is special."  The vibe in that gym was incredible. I watched some members of "the office" and I tend to believe they realized that was a home run.

  • The Hierarchy v The Carnies In A Street Fight--This was actually the match I was looking forward to the most. Controversially, I decided before I headed to Chattanooga that this was turf war and it was my job as an ATL guy to support...The Hierarchy.

    There were some concerns that the family friendly nature of this show would hamper this effort. The talent in this match would not be denied however, and they all delivered in a BIG WAY.  I ALMOST missed the insane dive by Nick Iggy, but luckily my wife turned my attention to it just in time. 

    We had fireballs, an Earthquake Splash through a Steel Chair Coffin.  Most importantly we got a Hierarchy win. I was very happy to see those guys pull it out. This is especially true for Murder One who we have known for a long time.

  • Tank's Ceremony--Classy send off for someone who has always come off like a great guy to me. It was a real pleasure hearing the stories. Be on the lookout for the Tank Shoot that was recorded at the hotel, it was hilarious.

  • The Tournament Final And Champion Matt Riddle--The final match was great, Riddle was way over and completely deserved to win the tournament. Regulators really is a great theme song. It was a great way to end two nights of fantastic wrestling.

As you can tell I thought the in-ring action was great (it was), and I thought the whole show was organized well (it was). The other great thing about the SCI was the sense of community between fans and wrestlers.

If you weren't at the Best Western or City Cafe, I'm can't really adequately explain to you how cool the vibe was.  Even I got out of my shell a little bit and introduced myself to as many people as I could that I recognized from Wrestling Twitter.  Was it awkward? Sure.  Did I possibly turn some folks off with being so forward? Maybe, they hid it well if I did.  The point was there was a real sense of community in that place at that time.

I have already done this on Twitter, but I want to also give a special thanks to the wrestlers. So far as I know there were no fans that got out of line or disrespected their time.  For me, I did speak briefly to many guys and they were so gracious to extend a hand.  With the WildSide crowd, I had the icebreaker of being "Norko's friend" as well.  We got invited to events that were intended for "the boys" and that was beyond cool.  Had that invitation not been extended I would COMPLETELY understand, but the fact it was really made the weekend special.

You may have noticed that I have not really mentioned anyone specifically in that regard. There's two reasons for this.  The first is I have floated a lot of these thanks on Twitter already.  The second is that I absolutely do not want to inadvertently leave anyone off because everyone was beyond great.

Bottom line? If you have heard about the Scenic City events and thought about attending, I'd highly recommend doing so.  It was a special weekend for this fan, and I am willing to bet that if you can make it out you'll have a great time as well.

Below are the pics that I uploaded to South Atlanta Wrestling's FB page by status.  Check them out...