Match #1We open the night with the match between the #1 and #2 after three rounds, both unbeaten with three wins each, both hardly having been challenged in their victories and neither has been in any real danger of losing a match. They're already as good as guaranteed to reach the Final Four so it'll be interesting to see if they take it easy tonight or if they try to make a statement. Somebody's ''0'' must go and it will go tonight.
The Bob pinned Kenta Sawada with the The Horse Stomp in 0:12:00.
Rating: *** 3/4
Kenta Sawada opened the match like a house on fire but it didn't take long for The Bob to smartly counter a clothesline attempt by gorilla-pressing the man from Japan above his head and then dropping him to the mat with an F-5 which came within milliseconds of ending Sawada's night early. Bob went back to the same well right away but this time Sawada made the ropes. After a back-and-forth affair, Sawada missing a bullet tope suicida was the beginning of the end. He clearly had his bell rung. Back in the ring, The Bob caught a thrust kick by Sawada and did the only thing a seasoned rulebreaker does: He punched Sawada in the balls and followed it up with his Horse Stomp for the three count and the upset victory. With this win, The Bob reaches the Final Four - and there is still a chance that Sawada will, too.
Match #2Our colleague Michael Dropps is standing by backstage with the man they call ''The Spider'', Vyacheslav Ivanov.
Well hello, girl from Northern Ireland. I don't know what you want to achieve in the tournament, but I promise you a good thrashing tonight. You show quite long and interesting matches, but I assure you that today's match will be your complete failure. I'm the leader of TNM Christmas Brawl!We understand Ivanov's opponent, ''Lunacore'' Luna Rose, has victory plans of her own.
Tonight, I will formally seal my place in the Final Four and send Vyacheslav Ivanov edging closer to elimination from the Christmas Brawl. It's appropriate that he is Russian, because he shall be Russian right out of the tournament when I'm finished with him!Luna Rose and Vyacheslav Ivanov battled to a draw in 0:20:00.
I hope the others pay close attention to my match tonight, because things are going to get very, very Lunacore. I will prove why I am the very best in this tournament and why I will be the one walking out of the Brawl as the ultimate victor, in case my record so far didn't make that clear enough. Sure, there will be at least two more obstacles in my path after this. However, when all is said and done, I will stand tall as their hopes wither away, courtesy of a Famous Last Aphorism.
Rating: *** 3/4
When Vyacheslav Ivanov countered a backbreaker attempt by Luna Rose with his patented Fall with Love elbowsmash in the first minute, Rose brought the crowd to its feet by kicking out at the very last moment. If she hadn't been paying attention, this was her wake-up call. The next 18 minutes were a back-and-forth slobberknocker with neither competitor coming close to scoring the winning pin or submission. In the final minute, Ivanov was hit with a clothesline by Luna Rose that was so hard it knocked him into referee Rudy Charles, taking out the official in the process. Luna, sensing time was running out, quickly brought her Russian opponent down with a rolling kick and applied a cross kneelock for the certain submission win. With no referee there to end the match, she let go and yelled towards the backstage area which brought out referee Brian Hebner. Rose transitioned to an achilles tendon hold on her opponent's leg but despite Hebner reaching the ring in time and Rudy Charles rising from the dead, Vyacheslav Ivanov heard the countdown, gritted his teeth and held on despite being in agonizing pain. In the event of a draw, both opponents are awarded one point. This important seventh point guarantees Luna Rose a spot in the Final Four. Vyacheslav Ivanov, however, has been eliminated from the competition because he needed to defeat Luna to get the six points necessary to stay in contention.
Match #3The Masked Marvel pinned Mo Kingweed with the SuperKick in 0:16:29.
Rating: **** 1/4
If you're looking for a term to sum up this match, it would have to be ''psychological warfare''. It was also two people pretending to be good guys breaking every rule in the book - to the point referee Danny Davis (DANNY DAVIS!) threated to disqualify both at different points of the match for using the ropes for leverage and pulling tights during a pinfall attempt. It seemed apparent that Kingweed's psychological tricks were starting to get to the Masked Marvel during the second half of the match. At one point, Marvel hit a low blow, a stunner, a flying clothesline, a Rocker Dropper and a piledriver in succession. And then Kingweed just sat up as if nothing had happened. Marvel kept pouring it on but nothing seemed to faze the man from Amsterdam - who was probably high as a kite and not feeling pain at this point. Springboard clothesline? Sit up. Avalanche and brain buster? Sit up. There was only one more thing the Masked Marvel could possibly try: his SuperKick. The referee counted one... two... hesitated slightly - and then his hand hit the mat for a third time. This was an absolute war and had some of the best storytelling of the tournament so far. With the win, The Masked Marvel now has six points and stays in the running to reach the Final Four. What might hurt him, however, is that others tied with him have had tougher competition - and in the event of a tie, this decides who advances. ''Olives'' Mo Kingweed exits the competition today with his head held high.
Match #4Christopher Tiberius pinned Hampton Doubleday with the Imperial DDT in 0:02:00.
After his humiliating loss in the last round at the hands of Luna Rose, ''The Last Superstar'' Christopher Tiberius had something to prove against Hampton Doubleday. Tiberius had a chip on his shoulder and wasn't going to be anybody's stepping stone. Doubleday must have sensed something being in the air because he sought to take control right away. Tiberius, however, wasn't having any of it. As Doubleday went for his patented facerake which had been the bane of his opponents so far, Tiberius stopped him dead in his tracks, hit two forearms in retaliation, kicked Doubleday in the gut and - to add insult to injury - eliminated his English opponent with the Imperial DDT. This squash win doesn't just give Tiberius the two extra points to get to the magical number of six points - but since he had tougher competition in the tournament, it makes him slide past The Masked Marvel in the standings. This makes it mathematically impossible for The Masked Marvel to advance and eliminates him from the tournament.
Match #5Jonny B. Gawdz is standing by backstage with Jordynne Lazard.
''Gaijin'' Dan Mastriani from the mean streets of Harford, CT. So you got a 4* match? You think you’re an elite athlete? A super star? A hall-of-famer? Enjoy it! Come Round 4, you won’t be in a 4*match, you’ll be in a Pier 6 brawl at Pier One Imports. Danny-boy, you’re standing between me and the Final Four and I’m the man who’ll take the Shine right out of your Wizard. The Fu Manchu is coming for you and cashing his ticket to the finals!And Michael Dropps has tracked down the ''Gaijin'', Dan Mastriani. Mike?
I don't know what to say, Bill. Dan Mastriani just walked in here, power bombed the audio technician onto a chair, yelled at me to ''WATCH'' and left. I'm afraid I don't have a soundbite for you but actions speak louder than words. Back to you.Dan Mastriani pinned Jonny B. Gawdz with the Shining Wizard in 0:09:35.
If you looked up the word ''backfire'' in the dictionary, chances are you'll see a picture of Jonny B. Gawdz next to it, flanked by a link to the promo above. At least that's what you'd think reading the result above - but you couldn't be more wrong. Yes, Dan Mastriani wasted no time and tried to take it to his opponent right away, with the action even spilling to the floor early. But Gawdz managed to turn the tables once they were back in the ring. It seemed like this match was going to go like many others before: kick to the midsection, Fu Manchu Stunner, good night Irene. Gawdz tried it once and was blocked. He went right back to it and was blocked again. While the match went back and forth after this point, having failed to land his finisher twice must have done a number on Jonny B. Gawdz' confidence, with control going to Mastriani more and more. Jonny B. Gawdz turned the tide one more time late in the match when he managed to punch Mastriani in the face and then tombstone him for a 2.9 count. This gave Jonny the confidence to go back to the well, hit the kick to the midsection and go for the Fu Manchu Stunner one more time - only it was not to be. Mastriani, whom the tombstone must have woken up, countered with a dragon screw, a dropkick to the knee and ended Jonny B. Gawdz' night and tournament with the Shining Wizard. The win doesn't just give Mastriani six points but his tougher level of competition in getting there takes him right past Kenta Sawada and Christopher Tiberius, eliminating Tiberius from the tournament and putting Sawada in the 4th spot with Mastriani in 3rd and The Bob and Luna Rose completing the Final Four.
Unfortunately it also means that the next match between Nick Demola and Bobby Goodwin will no longer have any bearing on the Final Four. Nick Demola's level of competition would put him dead last in the group with six points if he wins, making it mathematically impossible for him to advance win, lose or draw.
Match #6Nick Demola defeated Bobby Goodwin when Bobby Goodwin passed out in the Vice Lock in 0:17:48.
Rating: *** 1/2
If anybody was expecting that Nick Demola and Bobby Goodwin were going to be taking it easy because neither had a chance to reach the Final Four, well... they were proven wrong. Demola and Goodwin tore the house down for almost 18 minutes. Final Four or not - Nick Demola was not going to be denied tonight. At the 17-minute mark, he dropped Bobby Goodwin straight onto his head and neck with a fisherman buster and applied his patented Vice Lock, squeezing and squeezing. Bobby fought it valiantly, trying everything in his power to break the hold. Referee James Beard gave him multiple opportunities to verbally submit but Bobby's toughness wouldn't allow it - not even once. Bobby Goodwin eventually went out cold - but he never tapped. Ladies and gentlemen... this is what wrestling is all about.
Match #7Our colleagues have been trying to track down Tarot all night but he seems to have disappeared so unfortunately we couldn't ask him about his upcoming match against John Lamb. Lamb, however, is standing by backstage. Take it away, Mike!
You know, it's no secret that the Christmas Brawl hasn't gone the way I would have liked it to. It would take an act of God for me to advance to the elimination rounds...but that doesn't mean I'm not going to go out there and give it everything I've got. Tarot, I've watched your matches and I'm impressed by what I've seen. You've got a lot of talent and I'm in for a heck of a fight but at the end of the day you beating me just isn't in the cards.John Lamb pinned Tarot with the Facial in 0:07:09.
Rating: **** 1/4
Tarot's personality wasn't the only mysterious thing about this match. The man from Le Carnaval did really well for himself until catching a Facial from John Lamb which seemed to take him completely by surprise. While Tarot managed to kick out right before the three count, he never really got back into the match afterwards beyond a few hope spots. A second Facial around the 7-minute mark spelt the end of the match and - unfortunately - also both John Lamb's and Tarot's exit from the tournament. If you're going to go out, this is the way to do it.
Match #8JL Stinger pinned Lee Campbell after a superkick in 0:03:30.
Rating: ** 1/2
Just when it seemed like JL Stinger was going to have another bad night, his overall ring generalship and perseverence ended up being too much for Lee Campbell to overcome. While the Scotsman controlled most of the match, Stinger managed to counter a bodyslam turnbuckle smash by sliding down Campbell's back, shoving him into the turnbuckle and hitting a superkick as Campbell turned around for the one - two - three in only 3 1/2 minutes. While JL Stinger, one of the true veterans of TNM tournaments, can't be happy with his overall 2-2 finish, this was the type of performance you want to go out on.
Match #9As The Black Shuck arrived earlier tonight, our colleague Jordynne Lazard caught up with the imposing Brit. This is what he had to say.
Basher, I’m about to teach you that The Black Shuck isn’t just folklore......... it’s your Friday night nightmare! Hooowwwwlllllllllll!Going backstage again now where Michael Dropps is being joined by the man from the Bayou, Basher Loadstone. And we understand he has more than one axe to grind tonight.
Hey, Masked Marvel! Round 3 of the TNM Christmas Brawl you used every shortcut you could think of to get the job done. All the fans know, you're nothing but a mangy, dirty dog beneath that mask! Where I come from if a dog is that dirty, we take the hose to 'em. Keep an eye out, Marvel. This ain't over yet.The Black Shuck pinned Basher Loadstone with the Folklore in 0:09:04.
I've got my next match against The Black Shuck. Shuck, I don't know if you shuck and jive or shuck oysters but I'm staying in this thing so get ready!
Rating: *** 1/4
This wasn't Basher Loadstone's night. Perhaps he was preoccupied with getting even with The Masked Marvel and never quite left the gate in this match. Nine minutes in, two axe kicks, a spear and the Folklore gave The Black Shuck the victory and caused Loadstone and Shuck to switch places in the overall standings. Unfortunately this wasn't enough for either to advance further. As for this tournament, we wish both The Black Shuck and Basher Loadstone well in their future endeavors but hope to see them return for the TNM New Year's Bash.
Match #10Ravenous pinned Gorgeous Greg with the Terror Trap in 0:12:11.
Rating: *** 3/4
The legendary Jim Ross might have called this match ''bowling shoe ugly'' - but in a good way. Ravenous and Gorgeous Greg battered each other from pillar to post for twelve minutes, only occasionally pulling out something that could be called a technical move. This one was a matter of honor. Ravenous absolutely did not want to go winless in the tournament - and Gorgeous Greg was going to do whatever he could to make sure Ravenous did. In the end, Ravenous did get his one win by first throwing Gorgeous Greg into the turnbuckles with an Exploder suplex, catching him on the rebound and hitting his Terror Trap finisher, a bridging Exploder, for the win.
Match #11Nico Voight pinned Clint Tomasson with the Superkick in 0:09:47.
Rating: **** 1/4
The sad reality of every tournament is that there are going to be winners and there are going to be losers. Often winning and losing are only separated by an inch but at the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether you ''almost'' won. The record will reflect a loss, and there will not be an asterisk next to it. Does it make you a bad wrestler? Not at all. It just means that you came up short. This late in the tournament, you know you have no shot of turning it around. So you find something that motivates you anyway. This match was one wrestler's chance to not go winless - and it led to the best match of this round in the ring, coming in just barely under **** 1/2 but well ahead of the two other matches which received **** 1/4 stars in this round. The last minute of the match was absolutely wild. Nico Voight almost got the win off of a small package counter while holding on to the ropes for leverage. Clint Tomasson followed that up with a counter of his own, a Halo Bomb, which also scored a 2.9 count. Tomasson figured ''what worked once will get me the win the second time around'', went for another Halo Bomb but Voight countered it with a rana, even grabbed a handful of tights - and STILL only got a 2.9 count. Voight rose to his feet, waited for Tomasson to get up and hit his Superkick finisher for the clean pin. Voight and Tomasson raised each others' arms after the match and left the arena to a standing ovation, having given their all when they had every reason not to.
Announcing The Final FourThe Bob is in first place with 8 points and a secondary score of +18.
Luna Rose comes in second with 7 points and a secondary score of +19.
Dan Mastriani is in third place with 6 points and a secondary score of +18.
And Kenta Sawada remains in fourth place with 6 points and a secondary score of +18.
Mastriani and Sawada were tied in points, secondary score, how they fared against everybody else with 6 points and how they fared against everyone who didn't have 6 points. Mastriani got the nod because his wins totalled up taking only 25:35 minutes while Sawada's wins took a total of 33:42 minutes.
The secondary score is the sum of points all of a wrestler's opponents had. In the case of a tie, this rewards the person who faced the more successful opponents and who had the harder path to winning.
It didn't really matter for qualifying but it does matter for whom they get first in the semi-finals. The #4 finisher faces the #1 finisher in the semi-finals, while the #3 finisher faces the #2 finisher.
Christopher Tiberius, The Masked Marvel and Nick Demola were also tied at 6 points but their secondary scores were lower (+15, +13, +12 vs. +18) so they were also eliminated from the tournament.
Semi-FinalsThe TNM Christmas Brawl returns on Sunday with our two semifinals.
The Bob vs. Kenta Sawada (Part Deux)
Luna Rose vs. Dan Mastriani
Both matches will be contested under two-out-of-three falls rules and with a time limit of 45 minutes.