Johnny Gargano made his entrance to kick the show off, and the crowd went crazy. Gargano, an indy sensation for many years now, having recently signed with WWE’s NXT, was excited to be at Legacy, and couldn’t wait to take on Eddie Smooth. Hollywood’s Finest interrupted Gargano, which lead to a confrontation between Gargano and Smooth. As is often the case when two huge egos collide in wrestling, both men wanted to “do it right now,” but in this instance a referee actually came to the ring, and started the match. Gargano, still in street clothes, and Smooth in an expensive suit (until Gargano tore it from his body) had a wild brawl that saw Gargano pin Smooth to become the new Legacy Champion! General Manager, and leader of Hollywood’s Finest, Kevin Murphy promised that Eddie Smooth would get his rematch tonight for the title, however Phil Stamper announced from the commentary booth that the Board Of Directors had called, and added a stipulation, that being that every member of Hollywood’s Finest would be handcuffed to the ring posts, in order to prevent them from interfering in such an important match. While Murphy is the GM, and often runs roughshod over Legacy, as of late the mysterious board of directors have been trying to bring some stability to the cards. This was a total shocker, and makes me think that Smooth needs to get his hot headedness under control, it cost him his title tonight!
Facade was set to face a “mystery opponent, and to his credit he agreed. Making his debut, as that mystery opponent, was a man that has Faced Façade across the Country in major brawls. Jason Gory, made his Legacy debut as the mystery opponent. Gory, a scary man that seeks not just to win his matches, but maim his opponents pulled out all the stops, but Facade finally put the monster down with a huge fall away slam from the top rope! Façade is a he fan favorite in central Pennsylvania and uses that to feed his energy in the ring. Gory was well received though, and I could see these two having a serious feud all over the region.
The man in the burgundy hoodie, that attacked Lio Rush at Empire Pro Wrestling, Joe Keys, came out and issued an open challenge to anyone willing to face him since it was obvious that Lio Rush wasn’t there. To the pleasure of the Legacy fans, that challenge was answered by Tony Deppen! Deppen, an angry young man was just looking for a fight, and he got one from Keys. This match was excellent, as we saw two young up and coming stars pull out all they had to prove themselves to the Legacy crowd. Deppen reached down just a little bit more, and Keys may have been too preoccupied with Rush, as Tony Deppen got a major win. These two made me smile. Both have tons of intensity and skills to match. Deppen and Keys are the future, and it’s bright one!
Travis "Flip" Gordon made his Legacy Wrestling debut facing off against Dezmond Xavier. Xavier came in expecting to face Shynron, and had to adjust his game plan, and he did exactly that. This match was the match of the night to many in attendance, as these two high flyers worked a solid game plan. Each man tried to control the other as they set them up for an aerial assault, both are known for. The most amazing thing about this match up was that strategy, as you could actually see each man thinking, you understood their plotting. Too many high flying matches can be fairly dubbed “spot fests,” but not here, not at all. This was a thinking man’s match with high flying tactics sprinkled in. My thoughts on this match up…one of the best I’ve ever seen in Legacy, and that’s a huge, huge, statement for me to make. Wow.
The Beast from Budapest, your Hungarian hero, Laszlo Arpad hit the ring all fired up and angry after seeing his friend, and partner, Eddie Smooth lose the Legacy title to Johnny Gargano earlier, and he took that anger and disgust out on hometown boy, the Total Alpha, TJ Mathis. Mathis however has improved dramatically over this past year and took everything Laszlo could dish out, and gave it right back. Arpad desperately took to the top rope, something he never does, and nailed his dreaded “Sword of Attila” clothesline finisher to win the match up. Arpad, and the rest of Hollywood’s Finest (Vineberg, Smooth, and Murphy) proceeded to beat Mathis down, and choke him out with a leather strap. Arpad told the crowd in Hungarian, and in English that he’s ready for CZW owner DJ Hyde on the next Legacy show, Summer Stampede, July 23rd, where they will face off in a match where fans can purchase tickets for $3 each to be lumberjacks armed with leather straps! What I loved about this match is the vast improvement seen in both Arpad and Mathis. Arpad’s intensity has increased greatly, and Mathis’s total dedication to his craft shines through in his remarkable improvement. I love this feud.
Phil Stamper then left me alone at the commentary table so he could oversee the coronation of the Legacy Tag Team Champions, The Bloodbound Warriors. After awarding the titles to Red Scorpion and Greywolfe, they were interrupted by JT Davidson and Dave Crist! Davidson wanted someone, anyone, to team with Crist to face The Bloodbound Warrior’s in an exhibition match. After some pleading, and searching, Davidson finds a fan named Chris Silver. Silver was the man from Legacy’s last show that got in the face of Eddie Smooth, and stood his ground when fists started to fly, until Hollywood’s Finest took him out. Silver told Davidson he wrestled in high school and wanted a shot. Amazingly Crist agreed, and the match was on. As expected, Silver struggled in just about every way. He foolishly tried to kick, punch, and chop Greywolf and Scorpion, both whom simply laughed. Crist tagged in and went toe to toe with the two big men, and held his ground very well, until Silver tagged himself back in, and got destroyed. The BBW nailed their finisher “Blood Eagle” and pinned Silver for the win. Crist then turned on Silver, beat him down, and announced that he is tag team wrestling and came to Legacy to prove that.I’m assuming that might mean Dave will bring in his brother Jake? But possibly, maybe, Dave brings in former OI4K partner…Sami Callihan? No matter what the BBW’s have a serious challenge coming to Legacy wrestling, and the tag scene desperately needs it.
As the Bloodbound Warriors made their way to the back, Hollywood’s Finest jumped them, and as Red Scorpion and Greywolfe were attempting to fight back, Kevin Murphy took out a pair of brass knuckles and knocked both men out cold! Murphy then took the house mic and promised everyone that Hollywood’s Finest is “Just getting started!” While most know that I am a fan and supporter of Hollywood’s Finest, I think they need to balance their aggression with tactical planning. Just how many men can they anger before they face too many people? Something to consider going forward.
David Starr, a man that has been tearing it up all over the world, including in Legacy wrestling, faced TNA’s newest signee, and Evolve star, Caleb Konley. Both men wrestled like their life depended on it, and had the fans mesmerized. As big as Starr is at Legacy, Konley got half the crowd on his side instantly. Near fall after near fall had the fans excited. Would Starr stand a chance at getting a title shot with a win? Would it hurt Konley to go into TNA with a loss to Starr? These issues helped tell the story of this match, and it was Starr that once again got a major victory at Legacy, in what was also his 300th career match! Starr is a Legacy guy and keeps winning on his way to the top, and Konely will now be a legit TV star, as I am convinced he will do wonders in TNA.
In a women's match up, Candice LeRae came in to face Penelope Ford. Ford has been gaining a solid reputation training at and working for CZW. She’s stepped into the ring with men much larger than her, and held her ground. LeRae, known as one of, if not the greatest woman’s wrestler in the world, came to Legacy to see what Ford had to offer. The match was top notch, with Ford gaining several near falls, but LeRae then realizing that she had a fight on her hands, and turned it up a notch, pinning Ford. There was some confusion between the referee, and the time keeper, confusing fans as to if a pinfall had been counted, but referee Bruce Delany insisted he had counted to three, and held LeRae’s hand aloft. I’ll admit that the referee/time keeper confusion messed with the match, but it didn’t ruin it by any means. Candace is the best, but Penelope is on her way!
It was then time for the main event, the rematch for the Legacy title! Champion, Eddie Smooth hit the ring with Hollywood’s Finest. Laszlo refused to be handcuffed to a ring post until numerous security guards came to assist. Kevin Murphy relented quickly, and referee Bryce Remsberg had to threaten to throw out the match before Andy Vineberg agreed to be handcuffed. Legacy champion, Johnny Gargano hit the ring to thunderous applause, and held his title belt aloft. Smooth was irate, and wanted the belt, but Gargano simply teased him. This match was the five star classic I was expecting it to be. Smooth and Gargano transitioned as good as any two wrestlers I’ve ever seen, and went back and forth to the point that the crowd seemed split between the crazy popular Gargano, and the hated Smooth. After about 25 minutes, Bryce Remsberg got in the way of a superkick and was knocked out cold. At that point Andy Vineberg was able to get the keys to the handcuffs, and set himself free. Once in the ring, Kevin Murphy tossed Vineberg a pair of brass knuckles, which Vineberg used to knock out Gargano, and placed Smooth's arm over Gargano, scampered out of the ring, handcuffed himself, slipped the keys back into remsbergs pocket, and revived him. Amazingly though, Johnny Wrestling was still able to kick out! Kevin Murphy then managed to distract referee Remsberg, and Smooth took advantage, and delivered a low blow to Gargano, laying him prone on the match, in perfect position for Smooth to scale the ropes and hit his “photo finish” to pick up the pin fall victory, and become the two time Legacy Champion! Can anyone stop the reign of Hollywood’s Finest? Who will be the next guy to even try? Summer Stampede on July 23rd will answer that question, and I can’t wait for more “Wrestling Done Right” from Legacy wrestling!