Tossing Salt Presents:
Atlantic Coast Wrestling/C.A.G.E.
St. Andrews Knights Honor
Live Report & Recap
March 5, 2023
Just a few hours ago, I attended an event at St. Andrews University, here in Laurinburg, NC. Atlantic Coast Wrestling and Coastal Atlantic Grappling Entertainment (C.A.G.E.) got together to do two things. Raise money for the St. Andrews University Football Program and present a great night of professional wrestling, live and in person, for the Laurinburg community. It made for a great way to spend a Saturday night and didn’t disappoint in the slightest.
I had forgotten how big the gym at St. Andrews is since this was the first time I’ve been here in several years. That place is huge and every available inch was packed with screaming fans and excited kids. This town loves to see good wrestling and was hot the entire evening. This card had the feel of a big-time event and the noise was deafening on my weary old ears. I loved it.
We started with everyone rising for a ten-bell salute for wrestler Mark Hazard, a stalwart of the Carolinas Indy Wrestling scene, who passed away a few weeks ago. Mark was a very talented wrestler who touched the hearts of every person who had the chance to know him, work with him, or see him perform in that squared circle. RIP Mark Dearing Jr., aka Mark Hazard. You are very missed.
And then, it was time for the action and the first match.
“The Mob Boss” Phil DeCarlo & a mystery partner versus Chief Red Thunder & The Renegade Warrior, Joe Locklear.
DeCarlo came to the ring alone at the start but quickly revealed his mystery partner to be a man named Geo. Red Thunder & The Warrior had the crowd screaming “Chop! Chop! Chop!”, behind them from the very beginning and it was on like ham bones & rice. Just some great action and brawling from the very start as Thunder and DeCarlo faced off like the two wily veterans they are, trading armlocks and shots in the corner. Warrior tagged in and the chops began. Geo managed to tag in and we saw some “Shades of Arn & Tully” double-teaming on Warrior before Red Thunder got back in the ring and dare I say it, OINGO BOINGO time. Great action back and forth. These four men are going to be so sore in the morning. Finally, Warrior managed to hit a backflip off the top rope to lay DeCarlo out and get the pin. The fans were happy and all four men had some great moments, giving their all, kicking butts, and taking names.
Winners: Chief Red Thunder & The Renegade Outlaw, Joe Locklear.
And then on to the second match. It was a local favorite, Angel Angels versus a man I wasn’t familiar with, but was looking forward to seeing work, Garrett Sinclair.
Angel Angels versus Garrett Sinclair
Sinclair came out first and cut a promo on the fans, making them angry and getting the crowd riled up. A huge “You Suck” chant filled the whole gym. That changed quickly when Angel Angels came to the ring. The roof nearly came off the place. Sinclair jawed a bit more and then it was on. Just a fun match with two very talented men. Sinclair spent as much time arguing with the crowd as he did wrestling and they were enjoying every minute. I mentioned back in December how impressed I was to see Angels work and that hasn’t changed in the slightest. This guy is so smooth and he’s going to be a big name one day. Finally, after a lot of back-and-forth turmoil, Angel managed to score with a “Shades of Kevin Owens” pop-up power bomb to get a big win. The fans were so happy and gave Angels a big ovation as he headed to the back. Sinclair got another big “You suck!” chant as he exited the ring. A great showing by both men and I would love to see more. Sinclair is a great heel and just comes across as someone who needs to be punched in the face. Well done, gentlemen.
Winner: Angel Angels
Cruze Bittle versus Cham Pain
We’re at the third match of the night and the crowd is still going hard as former ACW Champion Cruze Bittle took on Omega Original Cham Pain. These two have great chemistry and work so well together. It was a solid back-and-forth match with both men getting in some good shots and trading moves. Unfortunately, the ending came too soon as we had a scary moment. Cham Pain went for what appeared to be a flying head scissors/Hurracarana move and when Bittle went down, he wasn’t moving. Cham Pain quickly covered to get the pin and then the X-sign was flashed to the back where referees and officials quickly filled the ring. Just a reminder of how talented these men are and that even with the best, and these two men are among the best out there, accidents can happen and they’re putting their health and bodies on the line for us every time they get into that ring. I spoke to the promoter later during the night and it was just a scary freak accident. Bittle was okay, but not happy. He has nothing to be upset about. It was a great, classic match with two very talented performers, and well, shit happens sometimes. Hopefully, at the next ACW/C.A.G.E. event, we’ll get a rematch and these two guys can pick it right back up where they left off. I know I want to see it.
Winner: Cham Pain
After a brief intermission to give everyone a chance to catch their breath, it was back to the action.
Hangtyme versus The Monster, Rage
This was supposed to be Hangtyme facing C.A.G.E. Champion Eric Gibson, but Gibson wasn’t able to be there so the old “card subject to change” line was invoked and we got this guy, Rage. He looks like a crazy booger from the deep swamp when he came out, carrying a large chain around his neck, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, but he made me a believer. Hangtyme started before the match with a promo and this guy can talk. He managed to insult St. Andrews, Laurinburg, Scotland County, several people in the audience, and probably four out of five dentists, all within thirty seconds of getting the mic. Then Rage came to the ring and it began.
Rage went after Hangtyme and Hangtyme bailed to the floor and started stalling. He would get back into the ring to break the referee’s count and then back out to stall some more. Somewhere in Florida, the “Living Legend” Larry Zbyszko was saying, “Damn, this guy is stalling a lot!” Then finally, the action started after nearly 7 minutes of Hangtyme’s antics and as the crowd chanted and screamed, the battle had begun. Or did it? After a few moves were exchanged, Hangtyme asked for a time-out and called for the mic. One of the guys at ringside brought it to him and Hangtyme told the man to tell the crowd that if they didn’t shut up, he was leaving. A fun moment. And then we started again.
We had a fun spot where, after an airplane spin by Rage, a dazed Hangtyme rolled up the referee in an inside cradle and Rage counted three, so Hangtyme pinned the ref. Funny! The action continued until finally, we saw Rage distracted by the referee. Hangtyme removed the padding from the corner of the ring turnbuckle and exposed the metal. He tried to send Rage into the corner, but Rage reversed and Hangtyme went face-first into the hard steel. The ref noticed the exposed metal and called for the bell.
Winner by DQ: Hangtyme
After the match ended, we saw Hangtyme grab the chain that Rage had brought to the ring and hit Rage hard in the back. Rage no-sold the hit and chased Hangtyme out of the ring and around the gym to the back. A fun ending to a fun match. And then, after another brief intermission, it was time to get to the semi-main event.
ACW Tag Team Championship Match
The Quick City Asailants (Aaron Matthews & James Turner) (c) versus The New Breed (Trey Walker & Tripp Caution) w/ Tommy Price
I can’t do any play-by-play for this match because these four men were going at full blast from the opening bell determined to steal the show. And they did. Lots of flying around. Lots of chops on both sides. Great action that had the fans roaring once again in approval. The New Breed was at their sneaky best as Tommy Price made his presence felt at ringside with plenty of distractions and taunting of the referee. There were plenty of near-falls for both teams and when I say that this could easily be one of the matches for any AEW or WWE event, I’m not exaggerating in the slightest. Finally, the end came after the referee was distracted for the slightest of seconds, and Price, grabbing hold of one of the ACW Tag Team Belts, nailed one of the QCA’s, Matthews I believe, hard into the face. Walker made the cover and we have new champions.
Winners and NEW ACW Tag Team Champions: The New Breed (Trey Walker & Tripp Caution) w/ Tommy Price
After the match, we had a brief Pier-Six brawl on the outside and then the New Breed, belts in hand, fled to the back. One of the QCA guys followed in pursuit, with his partner following shortly afterward, selling an apparent leg injury.
And then, as Mark Henry would say, it’s time for the Main Event.
ACW Championship Match – Lumberjack Match
Sammy Love (c) versus Nathan Cross.
Sammy Love is a student at St. Andrews, as well as a member of the St. Andrews University football team, and had several of his teammates out to serve as Lumberjacks for his match. As you might expect, when Love came to the ring, the roof nearly blew off the place. Cross came out to a great reception as well, but the boos and jeers were pretty prominent and easy to hear. And then, it began.
These two men are both very talented and top guys with ACW/C.A.G.E., and they showed everyone why they earned those positions. Cross went after the arm and used speed and science to get the early advantage, but Sammy fought back with some great elbows and used his size advantage to send Cross reeling. It was just back-and-forth action and the crowd was enjoying every moment. I gave up on taking notes and just sat back to enjoy the match at this point.
After a lot of great action, including seeing Cross avoid a superplex off the top rope by scoring with a sunset flip for two, we finally saw Cross slam Sammy into the referee, causing the ref to go down in the corner.
Cross scored with what I believe, but couldn’t tell for sure, a low blow and waves to the back for a new referee. A new referee comes to the ring and makes the count for three. We have a new champion Nathan Cross getting the pin. Or do we? The original referee is back up and says, “No way, Jose!”. It gets wild for a few moments as other officials come into the ring, along with Angel Angels. Angel gets into a brief skirmish with Cross and the ring clears. Sammy hits the big suplex on Cross and pins him to get back/retain his ACW Championship.
Winner and STILL ACW Champion: Sammy Love
And there you go. Sammy got the mic and thanked the crowd for coming out as the gym started to empty. A very good show where everyone worked hard, put in 100% and kept the action moving all night. We had a scare with Cruze, but he’s okay and no doubt will be kicking butt and taking names again very soon. Both Garrett Sinclair & Hangtyme were awesome on the mic and were great heels. Sammy & Angel Angels were the two top babyfaces and had that hometown crowd in their hands. And the tag match with the New Breed and the QSA was off the charts. A great showing by both teams. There was not a bad match at this card and all that was missing was women and little people to make it perfect. Maybe next time, right? ACW/C.A.G.E. have found their groove right now and the shows are consistently strong and entertaining. It’s a mixture of old-school with the high-flying of today and it blends so well. These men are the future of pro wrestling in my opinion. Remember these names because, in 3-5 years, you’ll be seeing quite a few of these guys on WWE, AEW, or Impact. As Roman Reigns would say, “Believe that!”
And with that being said, let’s wrap this up. Thanks to everyone for the great night of pro wrestling action. A big shout out to the gentleman doing the ring announcing duties, “The Fallen Artist” Derk Douglas for being an awesome cat and helping me out with some of the names. ACW/C.A.G.E. had a great event and I’m looking forward to the next one. And if you see this promotion in your hometown or any of these wrestlers at a show near you, I can only offer one piece of advice. Be there!
Thanks for reading. Comments, thoughts, and any questions are welcome and appreciated. Check out the other stuff here at my site, DougMaynard.com, and be sure to like & subscribe. Until the next time, take care and watch out for foreign objects. I’ll see you at the matches.