The past winners of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup are Tom ‘Reckless Youth’ Carter (2003), Justice (2004), Chris Sabin (2005), Milano Collection AT (2006), Chris Hero (2007), Erick Stevens (2008), Davey Richards (2009), and Sami Callihan (2010).
Sixteen men were given the chance to join that select list of wrestlers this year if they could win four matches in Brooksville and Crystal River, Florida. Those sixteen men were Jake Manning, AR Fox, Flip Kendrick, Johnny Vandal, Chris Jones, Papadon, Bobby Fish, Jonathan Gresham, Lince Dorado, Louis Lyndon, Johnny Gargano, John Silver, Jerrelle Clark, Aaron Epic, Mike Cruz, and Pinkie Sanchez.
In addition to the fifteen matches in the tournament, there was some non-tournament action over the weekend related to the two titles in Full Impact Pro Wrestling that currently have champions.
Here are some of the stories coming out of the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup:
The Future of Wrestling is Good because of the Present
Sixteen men were invited to participate in the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup this year and everyone who wrestled in the tournament showed that despite what you might see on television, there is a lot that is good in professional wrestling if you look for it. If you live in the Northeast, the Midwest, or the Southeast there is a lot of talent that is going to make your wrestling experience fun. If you see any of the sixteen men in this tournament listed on a show near you, do your best to attend that show because you will probably like what you are going to see.
At the end of the night, Johnny Gargano probably said it best. He mentioned his participation in the 2009 edition and how the wrestlers in the tournament were called the ‘Future of Wrestling’ but the people in the ring for this year’s tournament were the ‘Right Now of Wrestling’.
A Ninth Man Can Add his Name to the List of Winners
After two nights and four hard fought victories, AR Fox added his name to the trophy that is awarded to the winner of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup. On Friday night, Fox defeated FIP Florida Heritage Champion Jake Manning to enter the quarterfinals. In his quarterfinal match, Fox defeated Flip Kendrick. The semifinals saw Fox defeat Bobby Fish. In the finals, Fox defeated another of the pre tournament favorites Johnny Gargano in a match that put the cherry on top of a tournament that many in attendance felt was one of the best tournaments they ever attended.
This was Fox’s second appearance in the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup, making his debut last year. Fox did not make it out of the first round losing to Jon Moxley. The other finalist, Johnny Gargano, is also a veteran of the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup, appearing in the 2009 edition. Gargano made it to the semifinals in 2009 losing to Silas Young.
A Tournament that is more than the Finals
I am not going to include the qualifying match at the start of night two to replace Lince Dorado, who was unable to appear on the second night due to family issues, but the fourteen matches leading to the finals between Johnny Gargano and AR Fox were main event quality matches on their own.
If you are someone who has read my pay per view thoughts columns, I have used the ‘Chart of Expectations’ or its cousin the ‘Table of Expectations’ where I look at a match based on how it matches what I thought about the matches before the show. If I had incorporated any member of the Expectations family for this tournament, it would be the first time that every match would exceed expectations. This is not a time when I have no expectations about certain matches, but there were a few matches that would have had high expectations and they would even have been exceeded by a significant amount.
New Champions Part One
After making their way through an eleven team Tag Team Rumble on Night One in Brooksville, The Scene of Scott Reed and Caleb Konley earned their shot at the Dark City Fight Club of Jon Davis and Kory Chavis for the FIP Tag Team Titles. In a match that looked like Davis and Chavis were going to have another successful defense, a mysterious masked man came to the ring and attacked Davis and Chavis with a chair and helped The Scene get the victory and the titles. That mystery man revealed himself to be Pinkie Sanchez.
The Scene would be able to walk out of night two with the FIP Tag Titles, but that would be the only positive out of their first full day as champions. Konley and Reed would team with the man who helped them win the titles in a handicap match against Dark City Fight Club. Dark City would get a bit of revenge on Konley, Reed, and Sanchez by getting the victory. However, their greatest achievement on Saturday night might have been the damage they inflicted on the man who guides the fortunes of Caleb and Scott, Larry Dallas.
New Champions Part Two
In addition to being a participant in the tournament, Jake Manning is the FIP Florida Heritage Champion. After losing on Friday night, Manning felt that he had bigger things in store for the people in Crystal River instead of being afforded a chance to get back into the tournament.
After intermission, Manning came out and he made an open challenge to defend his Florida Heritage Title. Maybe Manning should have been more prepared because his challenge was answered by a man who would be making his debut in Full Impact Pro Wrestling. That man was Uhaa Nation who made short work in his debut as he became the new Florida Heritage Champion.
A Florida Veteran Says Goodbye
Jerrelle Clark capped a fourteen year career in professional wrestling at the end of the tournament with a heartfelt speech in the ring with his fellow participants in the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup. Clark talked about how honored he was to be in this tournament and he talked about the things that he had done during his professional wrestling career.
I have been fortunate enough to see Jerrelle wrestle during the second half of his career and he is the type of wrestler that this sport needs. He is someone who never seemed to care if he won or lost. His most important thing was that he gave the fans a match that they enjoyed and he succeeded a lot during those fourteen years. Good luck with whatever is next in your career but I hope you have instilled your knowledge on the present and future of wrestling.
Quick Results from the Tournament
First Round [Night One]
Lince Dorado defeated Louis Lyndon
Jerrelle Clark defeated Aaron Epic
Mike Cruz defeated Pinkie Sanchez
Bobby Fish defeated Jonathan Gresham
Flip Kendrick defeated Johnny Vandal
AR Fox defeated Jake Manning
Papadon defeated Chris Jones
Johnny Gargano defeated John Silver
Quarterfinals (Second Round) [Second Night]
Mike Cruz defeated Jerrelle Clark
AR Fox defeated Flip Kendrick
Bobby Fish defeated Papadon
Johnny Gargano defeated Jonathan Gresham [replacement for Lince Dorado]
Semifinals (Third Round) [Second Night]
AR Fox defeated Bobby Fish
Johnny Gargano defeated Mike Cruz
Finals (Fourth Round) [Second Night]
AR Fox defeated Johnny Gargano
Non Tournament Matches
The Scene won an Eleven Team Rumble to earn an FIP Tag Title Match against Dark City Fight Club for later in the show
The Scene (Caleb Konley and Scott Reed) defeated Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis and Kory Chavis) to become the new FIP Tag Team Champions
Jonatham Gresham won a Six Way Match to return to the tournament to replace Lince Dorado. Also participating were John Silver, Chris Jones, Louis Lyndon, Johnny Vandal, and Aaron Epic
Uhaa Nation defeated Jake Manning to become the new FIP Florida Heritage Champion
Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis and Kory Chavis) defeated The Scene (Caleb Konley, Scott Reed, and Pinkie Sanchez)
Here is a more detailed look back at the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup:
The show started with Milo Beasley coming to the ring to thank everyone for coming out to the ninth Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup. He says that it is bittersweet that this is the ninth year because it means that it has been nine years since his friend Jeff Peterson died but this tournament is being done for a good cause.
The sixteen wrestlers in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup were introduced and came to the ring.
Match Number One: The Scene (Caleb Konley and Scott Reed) win an Eleven Team Rumble to earn an FIP Tag Title Match against Dark City Fight Club later in the show.
The other participating teams were Bums R Us, Los Ben Dejos, Moco Loco and the South Bronx Sadist, Brooklyn Shores, The Highwaymen, The Virus, Ripley and Rayne, Ninjas with Attitude, The World’s Largest All Knighters, and Brad Maddox and CJ O’Doyle.
Match Number Two: Lince Dorado defeated Louis Lyndon in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
In the opening tournament match, both men tried to establish a standard for the other participants to achieve over the next two nights. Lyndon started to work on the arm but Dorado showed his acrobatic skills by having Lyndon in a wrist lock while walking the ropes and then hitting a twisting arm drag. Lyndon is able to send Dorado to the floor and he hits a plancha onto Dorado and then he starts to work on Lince’s neck. Dorado gets a near fall with a cross body but Lyndon responds with a series of near falls. Dorado recovers from a Dragon suplex and gets the three count after a Shooting Star Press.
With the win, Dorado advances to the second round to face the winner of the Johnny Gargano/John Silver match.
Match Number Three: Jerrelle Clark defeated Aaron Epic in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
The battle of Florida wrestlers starts off with Epic attacking Clark before the bell. Clark recovers and takes control of the match with a series of drop kicks and other moves leading into a near fall on a springboard cross body. Epic fights back and gets a near fall but Clark maintains control of the match and gets the win with Last Train to Clarksville.
With his victory, Clark advances to the second round to face the winner of the Mike Cruz/Pinkie Sanchez match.
Match Number Four: Mike Cruz defeated Pinkie Sanchez in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Sanchez uses the opening moments of the match to start working on Cruz’ leg with a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Whenever Cruz tries to take control of the match, Sanchez returns to the leg to maintain the advantage. Sanchez goes for a figure four leg lock but Cruz is able to get out of the hold. Sanchez tries for a pinfall victory but he is only able to get near falls after a moonsault. Sanchez applies a guillotine choke but Cruz is able to use the turnbuckles to get out of the hold. Cruz with a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall that he turns into a cross arm breaker but Sanchez gets to the ropes. Cruz hits a Swanton for the three count.
Cruz advances to the second round to face Jerrelle Clark.
Match Number Five: Bobby Fish defeated Jonathan Gresham in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
The opening moments of the match saw both men trying to gain an advantage but we got a series of reversals with neither man gaining control. Gresham works on Fish’s arm and then he chops Fish while Fish responds with a series of kicks to offset the chops. Gresham returns to the arm and he puts Fish’s arm in a hammer lock and then hits a belly-to-back suplex with the arm still in the hammer lock. Fish hits a Falcon Arrow and then he starts to work on Gresham with a series of kicks. Gresham plays possum and uses that opportunity to hit a Saito suplex. After a series of reversals on a suplex attempt by both men, they go for a series of near falls with rollups that goes all over the ring. Fish returns to the leg and he applies a heel hook but Gresham gets to the ropes. Gresham gets a near fall after a knee to the head. Fish avoids a crossface chicken wing and hits an exploder suplex followed by a round kick for the three count.
Fish advances to the second round of the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup and will face the winner of the Chris Jones/Papadon match.
It was time for intermission.
Match Number Six: Flip Kendrick defeated Johnny Vandal in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Early in the match, Kendrick tries to show his athleticism by skinning the cat when Vandal tried to throw him over the top rope to the floor but Vanda with a kick that sent Kendrick to the floor. Vandal appeared to be a step ahead of Kendrick whenever Flip tried to escape or counter Vandal. Vandal tries to work on Kendrick’s back but Kendrick is able to hit a flip dive to the floor. Vandal gets a few near falls on Kendrick but he is unable to put him away. Kendrick gets the win with a shooting star senton.
Kendrick advances to the second round to face the winner of AR Fox and Jake Manning.
Match Number Seven: AR Fox defeated Jake Manning in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Fox has control of the match at the start so Manning goes to his Man Scout Manual for some guidance. While he reads it, Fox gives Manning a monkey flip. Manning sends Fox to the floor, but it might have been a mistake because Fox sends Manning into the post and apron. They return to the ring and Manning is able to gain control and he gives Fox an airplane spin without using his arms. Fox recovers and gets a series of near falls on Manning. Manning recovers and hits a butterfly superplex but he misses the Best Moonsault Ever. Fox hits an enzuigiri followed by Lo Mein Pain for the three count.
Fox advances to the second round to face Flip Kendrick.
Match Number Eight: Papadon defeated Chris Jones in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Jones is able to overpower the man billed as the ‘Greek God’ and he is able to stay a step ahead of Papadon. Things changed when Jones tried for a dive to the floor but Papadon with a kick to stop Jones. Papadon uses his power advantage to wear down Jones. Jones recovers and hits a dive onto Papadon on the floor. Papadon is able to hit a European uppercut from the turnbuckles. Jones hits the Asai DDT but can only get a near fall. Papadon hits a spinebuster followed by a piledriver for the three count.
After the match, Papadon advises the ring announcer of the proper way to introduce him so he does not make the same mistake in subsequent rounds.
Papadon advances to the second round to face Bobby Fish.
Match Number Nine: The Scene (Caleb Konley and Scott Reed) defeated Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis and Kory Chavis) to become the new FIP Tag Team Champions
Chavis and Reed try to see who is the stronger at the start of the match but when Reed tries for a shoulder tackle, Chavis moves out of the way and Reed falls to the mat. Davis and Chavis are in control as they take care of Konley and Reed. Davis throws Konley all over the ring before getting a near fall. Konley thinks that he can slap Davis to stop him but that only makes Davis angrier. Davis power bombs Konley and appears to have the match won but someone in a mask climbs over the guardrail and hits Davis and Chavis with chairs. Konley is placed on top of Davis and the referee does not see the interference but makes the three count.
After the match, while Konley and Reed celebrate their victory, we see that the man in the mask was Pinkie Sanchez.
Match Number Ten: Johnny Gargano defeated John Silver in a First Round Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Silver starts the match by working on Gargano’s arm but things are relatively even at the beginning. Gargano is put on the top turnbuckle but Gargano pushes Silver off. Silver responds with a drop kick that sends Gargano to the floor. Silver sets for a dive to the floor but Gargano recovers and hits a spear from the apron into the ring. Gargano continues with the offense and he sends Silver to the floor and hits a suicide dive followed by a senton off the apron. Silver gets a few near falls and then he kicks Gargano but it only appears to anger him. Gargano sends Silver into the turnbuckles with a Lawn Dart and then he gets Silver to tap to the Gargano Escape.
The show starts off with an announcement that Lince Dorado, one of the quarterfinalists in the tournament, will not be able to appear at the show due to a family matter. As a result, the eight men who lost in the first round are brought out and told that they will compete in a match to determine who takes Dorado’s spot.
Jake Manning takes the mic and he mentions that he is the Florida Heritage Champion and he has bigger and better things than to get back into the tournament.
We are down to seven men but before they can get to the ring, Dark City Fight Club comes out and they chase Pinkie Sanchez to the back.
Before anyone gets a chance to say anything or be chased off by another wrestler, they announce a six man match with the winner getting the chance to face Johnny Gargano in the second round of the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup.
Match Number One: Jonathan Gresham defeated Louis Lyndon, Chris Jones, Johnny Vandal, Aaron Epic, and John Silver to earn a spot back in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup Tournament
This match allows for tags but it also utilizes Lucha rules where a wrestler can enter if someone goes to the floor. We see different pairings of the six men in the match but with the tags and entries into the match, no one can get an advantage. Gresham uses Epic to help him work on Silver’s leg. Lyndon and Jones hit cross body presses onto Epic and Vandal on the floor and that allows Gargano and Silver to battle in the ring. Lyndon hits a rana on Epic and turns it into a cross arm breaker. Vandal hits a TKO on Lyndon and then he blocks an Asai DDT attempt by Jones. Jones hits a super kick and then succeeds with the Asai DDT. Gresham with a knee and discus double sledge followed by a twisting brainbuster for the three count.
Gresham returns to the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup to face Johnny Gargano in a quarterfinal match.
Match Number Two: Mike Cruz defeated Jerrelle Clark in a Quarterfinal Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
The veteran Clark takes the early advantage and gets a few near falls while the upstart tries to show that he can hang in the ring with him. Cruz tries for a German suplex but Clark is able to land on his feet. Cruz shows some resilience and hits another one. Cruz hits a springboard round kick and gets a near fall on Clark. Clark fights back and hits a springboard moonsault but only gets a near fall. Cruz gets a near fall with a Northern Lights suplex. Clark tries to hit Last Train to Clarksville but Cruz counters with a rollup for the three count.
Cruz advances to the semifinals to face the winner of the Johnny Gargano/Jonathan Gresham match.
Match Number Three: AR Fox defeated Flip Kendrick in a Quarterfinal Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Both men try to get an idea of what their opponent is going to do and neither is able to gain the advantage. Kendrick gets the first advantage after hitting a plancha onto Fox. Fox responds with a flip off the ring post onto Kendrick. Back in the ring, Fox tries for a corkscrew split legged moonsault but misses. Fox is able to recover and hits a twisting slingshot suplex. They fight to the turnbuckles and Kendrick hits a reverse super rana but can only get a two count because he was unable to make the cover immediately after hitting the move. Fox hits Lo Mein Pain for the three count.
Fox advances to the semifinals to face the winner of the Bobby Fish/Papadon match.
Match Number Four: Bobby Fish defeated Papadon in a Quarterfinal Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
The early part of the match sees Papadon working on Fish’s midsection to alter his breathing patterns while Fish works on the legs. Fish hits a suplex and then holds on for a Falcon Arrow to get a near fall. Papadon recovers to hit a European uppercut off the turnbuckles followed by a gutbuster for a near fall. Fish gets a near fall after a moonsault but he cannot finish off Papadon because of the damage done to Fish’s ribs. Fish hits a belly-to-back suplex followed by two kicks to the head to get the victory.
Fish advances to the semifinals to face AR Fox.
Match Number Five: Johnny Gargano defeated Jonathan Gresham in a Quarterfinal Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
The match begins with a number of counters and reversals including a series of countered hip toss attempts that has both men against the ropes so they decide to try something else. Gresham works on Gargano’s arm during the early part of the match. Gargano with the Gargano Escape in the ropes followed by a spear through the ropes for a near fall. Gresham hits a series of moves culminating in a twisting brainbuster but he can only get a two count. Gresham hits another brainbuster but this time Gargano kicks out at one. Gresham continues to work on the head with three super kicks but he can only get a two count. Gresham goes up top but Gargano stops him and hits a German superplex and after a drop kick into the corner, Gargano gets the three count with Hurts Donut.
Gargano advances to the semifinals to face Mike Cruz.
It was time for intermission.
The second half of night two starts off with FIP Florida Heritage Champion making his way to the mobile studio and he makes an open challenge for the Florida Heritage Title to anyone in the locker room and then he goes to the ring.
Manning’s opponent makes his way through the curtain and it is Uhaa Nation.
Match Number Six: Uhaa Nation defeated Jack Manning to become the New FIP Florida Heritage Title
Uhaa made quite an impression on the fans as well as the Man Scout with a clothesline and drop kick followed by a German suplex. Manning tried to chop Uhaa but they had no effect. Uhaa gets the win after a power bomb and a standing shooting star press.
Match Number Seven: AR Fox defeated Bobby Fish in a Semifinal Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Fish sees Fox limping to the ring so Fish focuses on the leg early in the match. Fox works on a head lock and Fish tries to get out of the hold with a belly-to-back suplex but Fox holds on. Fox shows that his leg is not as bad as he portrayed it after hitting an Ace Crusher and then he kips up to hit another followed by a plancha. Fox hits a inward splash from the top turnbuckle for a near fall. Fish returns fire with a Falcon Arrow from the top turnbuckle. Fish goes up top for a moonsault but misses it and Fox gets the three count with a rollup.
Fox advances to the finals to face the winner of the Mike Cruz/Johnny Gargano match.
Match Number Eight: Johnny Gargano defeated Mike Cruz in a Semifinal Match in the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
Gargano and Cruz start off the match peppering each other with forearms but Cruz gets the early advantage after a double jump cross body onto Gargano on the floor. Cruz and Gargano try to find a weakness in each other to try to exploit any type of advantage. Gargano sends Cruz to the floor and hits a suicide dive followed by a senton. Back in the ring, Gargano maintains control with running sit out power bomb but can only get a near fall. Gargano tries to get Cruz to submit to the Gargano Escape but Cruz gets a near fall with a rollup to counter. Cruz fights back and hits a Michinoku Driver but he cannot capitalize and he misses a swanton. Gargano hits a Falcon Arrow and then he puts Cruz in the Gargano Escape and after trying to fight the pain from the hold, Cruz cannot get to the rope and has to tap out.
Gargano advances to the finals to face AR Fox.
Match Number Nine: Dark City Fight Club (Jon Davis and Kory Chavis) defeat The Scene (Caleb Konley, Scott Reed, and Pinkie Sanchez)
The match starts off with Dark City showing a little bit of animosity towards the team that took the FIP tag team titles from them twenty four hours earlier. Chavis focuses on Konley while Davis deals with Reed and Sanchez tries to avoid any action. When Sanchez finally gets involved in the match, he begs for mercy and then he escapes to make the tag to Conley. Conley and Reed use double team moves to work over Chavis. While four of the men in the match battle, Sanchez does his best to avoid contact and he is tagged in and then he runs out of the ring. Eventually Sanchez gets involved, but it is not very successful and after a Pounce and the neck breaker and spinebuster combination, Dark City get the victory.
After the match, Larry Dallas tries to get into the ring but he lacks the ninja powers so he is seen by Davis and Chavis. They pull him in and Davis gives Dallas a Pounce followed by a High/Low combination by Davis and Chavis.
Match Number Ten: AR Fox defeated Johnny Gargano in the Finals of the 2011 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup
The other participants in the tournament make their way to ringside, which has become a tradition for the finals.
They start off the match with a series of reversals until Fox sends Gargano to the floor. Fox tries for a leg drop from the turnbuckles onto the apron but Gargano moves out of the way. Fox recovers and hits a double jump springboard split legged moonsault for a near fall. Gargano and Fox exchange super kicks until Gargano can put Fox in the ropes where Gargano hits a series of three super kicks that has Fox standing only because he was put in the ropes. They fight to the apron where Gargano wants to hit a German suplex to the floor but Fox blocks it and hits a spinebuster on the apron. Fox hits a springboard 450 splash for a near fall. Gargano responds with the Gargano Escape and Fox makes it to the ropes to force Gargano to release the hold. Fox gets a near fall after a Death Valley Driver off the turnbuckles and an Air Raid Crash. Gargano hits a super kick when Fox tries for a 450 splash. Gargano gets a near fall with Hurts Donut. Gargano goes up top and Fox with an enzuigiri to stun him. Fox hits Lo Mein Pain for the three count.
After the match, the wrestlers come into the ring for the trophy presentation to AR Fox. Gargano takes the mic and he says that when he participated in the 2009 Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup, Davey Richards said that the people in the ring were the future of professional wrestling. Gargano says that the people in the ring tonight are the right now of professional wrestling.
Jerrelle Clark takes the mic and he says that it was a blessing to be in this year’s tournament and that he has been wrestling for fourteen years, but he is going to have to call it a career.
Check out the Elite Section for my thoughts on the two nights of wrestling from the Jeff Peterson Memorial Cup.