Jimmy Rave vs. Mike Cruz from AWE 2014
From Dylan Hales:
On August 7th and 8th the first ever (and hopefully first annual) Scenic City Invitational tournament will be held at the Empire Arena in Rossville, Georgia.
In an effort to get people excited for this tournament and Southern independent wrestling in general, in the weeks leading up to the event, this blog will be looking at matches from each individual participant in the tourney. We hope you follow along, enjoy the matches, and find some new favorites along the way.
For more information on the Scenic City Invitational check out their Facebook page.
Post by TJ Hawke:
I wanted to look at this match, as it features two indie wrestlers that I really enjoy and who have just not gotten enough opportunities to shine in recent years. Both guys should be on ROH or Evolve at least on the semi-regular basis, because they just deliver solid quality almost every time out. It also helps that they do not necessarily look and work like most of the guys in those two promotions, and I am always in favor of more variety on wrestling shows.
This match shows off their skills despite not being the best that they are capable of delivering. Rave spends the first quarter or third of the match stalling quite a bit. While that did establish his heel role clearly, it did not generate a ton of heat which made it mostly feel like a waste of time. There are certainly more entertaining ways to establish yourself as a heel. Things thankfully picked up after that.
The final four or five minutes of this are top-notch for sure. The advantage of doing a “slow burn” match is that the bigger and more explosive stuff at the end can have much more impact. That was absolutely the case here. It would just mean so much more if it built on something more than a generic face/heel dynamic established earlier in the match. The finish was very nifty, as Cruz looked to have Rave on the verge of defeat with a barrage of strikes…only for Rave to catch him with a heel hook (or ankle lock) for the submission victory. (***)
Note: The video quality is inconsistent to say the least. The hardcam looks great, but there are a handful of apparent video errors that caused us to miss a few moments (possibly longer) of the match. They also occasionally cut to a second cam on the floor that is in much lower quality. These issues do not ruin the viewing experience. They also do not help.