Tossing Salt Presents:
C.A.G.E. Wrestling Unleashed:
Carolina Bash: Live Report & Recap
(Part 2 of 2)
May 21, 2023
Last night, in Laurinburg, NC, I had the honor of attending a great live event copromoted by Coastal Athletic Grappling Entertainment (C.A.G.E.) and Atlantic Coast Wrestling (ACW). It was the Carolina Bash and it was an action-packed night full of great wrestling, surprise returns, and a bittersweet moment at the end of the night. And did I mention yet that NWA Legend Baby Doll was in the house? Well, she was and let me assure you that Tully was right. She’s still a Perfect 10. Let’s run down the night and give you a recap of all the action. This is Part Two of Two.
ACW Tag Team Championship Match
The New Breed (Trey Walker & Tripp Cautious) w/ Tommy Price versus The Mid-Atlantic Outlaws (Louis Moore & Matt Houston)
I knew this would be an interesting clash of styles as The New Breed are young, fast, use the speed, and are strong with the hit & run game, while The Outlaws look like two guys from a seedy old bar who are just badass mean and looking for a fight. Well, if they wanted a fight, the New Breed was certainly ready to oblige. Tripp started against Moore and just went after him strong and heavy. Moore had the size advantage and fought back, trapping Tripp in the corner and working him over. Houston got involved with some double-teaming and Trey came in and it was on like milk bones. A lot of back-and-forth and really good wrestling action. Tommy Price tried to get involved and slip his team the tag team belts but was caught by the referee and chastised. He was playing the heel manager while his team was baby-facing it up and that all makes sense later. In the end, Trey hit what looked like a “Shades ofManny Fernandez” Flying Burrito on Moore and scored the pin.
Winners and STILL ACW Tag Team Champions: The New Breed
And then it gets crazy. The New Breed got on the mics and thanked all the fans. They’re fighting champions and want to do things the right way, an obvious shot at their manager, Tommy Price. Price got on the mic and I couldn’t make out everything he was saying, but the gist of the matter is he claims that they need him and he’s responsible for their success. The New Breed says that they’re willing to fight anyone, anywhere, and then the lights go out. And for those about to rock, Price introduces The Atlantic Coast Destruction Team, Ethan Storm & Tazz Jackson. Action is about to pick up.
ACW Tag Team Championship Match
The New Breed (Trey Walker & Tripp Cautious) versus The Atlantic Coast Destruction Crew (Ethan Storm & Tazz Jackson) w/ Tommy Price
Since The New Breed offered to defend the titles against anyone and anywhere, this is a title match. It was just a slaughter. Tripp & Trey looked great as the underdogs, refusing to quit, and let me tell you, Ricky Morton would be proud. The size and power of AC/DC were just too much for the champions, who had just wrestled a grueling match, and it was brutal to watch. But Tripp & Trey kept fighting and wouldn’t give up. Finally, while the ref was distracted, Ethan Storm nailed Trey with a piece of steel chain. Jackson then moved in and used his version of a Tombstone to lay Trey out. One three-count later, it was over and we had new champions.
Winners and NEW ACW Tag Team Champions: The Atlantic Coast Destruction Crew (Ethan Storm & Tazz Jackson) w/ new manager Tommy Price.
After the match, the chaos continued as Price got some chairs from ringside and handed them to Storm & Jackson, who proceeded to go after the already fallen New Breed and pound away at them. The ring filled with referees to get Storm & Jackson to the back. It was wild to be sure. And then to the semi-main event.
ACW Championship Match
Sammy Love (c) versus Nathan Cross
The stipulation for this match was that Cross had to forfeit his ACW Junior Heavyweight Championship to get this title opportunity so the match started with Cross giving that belt up and handing it over to the referee. And then it was on. I honestly spent more time just watching and enjoying the match instead of taking notes, but these two guys are incredible. Their chemistry in that ring is top notch and if scouts from Impact, AEW, or WWE aren’t watching these two, someone needs to let them know. Yes, they are that good and getting better every time they step into that ring.
It was punches and chops back and forth to start and those chops by Cross echoed across the Armory. And for every chop, Sammy had a punch or chop to give in response. Cross managed to catch Sammy with a leg-whip and for a man his size, Sammy moved and sold it so well. Cross continued to work on the leg, taking out Sammy’s size advantage. It was just back-and-forth action and the audience was into it from start to finish. In the end, Cross channeled his inner John Cena and hit a big F-U on Sammy to get the pin. New champion in the house.
Winner and NEW ACW Champion: Nathan Cross
Sammy got a big ovation from the fans as he was helped from the ring after the match and it was well deserved. These two men make magic together. A great match.
And then it’s on to the main event.
CAGE Championship Match: If Gibson loses, he retires.
Eric Gibson (c) versus HangTyme
We start with a lot of stalling as HangTyme refuses to lock up but instead checks some papers he has laying in his corner. HangTyme charges Gibson and goes down fast from a big shoulder. Back to the papers and he rips one up. Repeat and the same thing happens. HangTyme rips up page number two. And then HangTyme wants a test of strength against Gibson. Eric is a big guy, all muscle, and has a body that would make Hulk Hogan in his prime take notice. And HangTyme wants to match up. Yeah, that didn’t go so well.
Eric with a couple of strong hip tosses and HT went to the floor. Eric follows and after smashing HT a few times, goes and gets a trash can. In a great spot, Eric picked up HT and put him, head first, into the trash can. HT fought his way out and posted Eric into the ring post. They went back into the ring and HangTyme went over to the concession stand and got some bottles of water. Eric recovered and poured the water over HT, including down his trunks. More comedy spots with the water mixed in with punches and chops. HT made another trip to the concession stand and got a bag of chips. He made a show of eating chips in the ring and even giving some to the referee as the match continued. Eric and HT traded superplexes and my back still hurts from the impact. The two men just continued to fight back and forth, trading moves and blows and then finally, HangTyme, after eating a clothesline from Eric, got the roll-up with a handful of tights for extra measure. The ref counts three and there you are.
Winner and NEW CAGE Champion: HangTyme
And now for the bittersweet moment of the night. After getting his hand raised and being presented with the title, HangTyme went into a very moving speech about how much he loves wrestling, how tough it’s been, and how much he loves Eric Gibson. It was so emotional and from the heart. And then Eric responded about how much he loved wrestling and Laurinburg. I’ll admit my allergies were starting to act up as I listened. Several wrestlers from the back including Angel Angels, Sammy Love, Derk Douglas, etc, all came to the ring and joined HangTyme and Gibson. Eric acknowledged several people and the entire locker room had gathered at the opening to the locker room area. It was just a very touching and moving moment.
I confirmed later with a friend in the company that no one knew it was coming. Eric was retiring and this was a total shoot. Wow again. All I can say to that is, Eric Gibson, I don’t know you well, but I’ve been impressed every time I’ve seen you wrestle. You’re a talented guy and a credit to this business we all know and love so well. Best of luck with your future endeavors and it’s not goodbye. It’s see you later. Thank you, Sir.
And there you go, with my recap of C.A.G.E. Wrestling Unleashed: The Carolina Bash. It was a great show from start to finish. It had a good flow and never got boring. Everyone worked their asses off and both C.A.G.E. and ACW should be proud of a job very well done. I can’t wait for the next show. Thank you for reading. Comments, thoughts, and any questions are welcome and appreciated. Always support your local Indy Wrestling promotions. And with that, I’m out of here. Take care and be well and I’ll see you at the matches.
Glad you had a great show and good luck to Eric on the next chapter of life
It was a great show. ACW/CAGE has been on a roll and the shows just seem to be getting better and better. As for Eric, he’s an awesome dude and will do well, regardless of what path he decides to take. And in wrestling, it’s never goodbye, but instead, see you later. He’ll be missed for sure.