Tossing Salt Presents:
C.A.G.E. Wrestling Unleashed:
Carolina Bash: Live Report & Recap
(Part 1 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.
After the National Anthem, we went straight to the action. The Fallen Artist, Mr. Derk Douglas, was handling the ring announcing duties for the night and the crowd was hot and ready for some action. It was a packed house and they were making some noise. And the matches began.
Grizz versus Ace Storm
Ace Storm, who I’ve never seen before, started with a few insults to the crowd to get them riled up. Grizz came to the ring the energy pouring off this man was amazing. Storm started strong, going after the leg and giving Grizz a good beatdown in the corner, but the fans responded and Grizz exploded into a flurry of action in retaliation. Storm nailed a kick and an enzaguri for a two-count, but Grizz had enough and hit a beautiful belly-to-belly suplex to get the pin.
A good match to start the show and the crowd was loving it. Storm shows a lot of potential and fire. Grizz was hyped up and the man’s energy was contagious and amazing. And the show moves on.
C.A.G.E. Television Championship Match
The Mob Boss Phil DeCarlo versus Cruze Bittle
Bittle got a big pop as he entered the ring. DeCarlo was almost literally booed from the building and threatened to leave before finally getting into the ring. And then they locked up and the fun began. Bittle dominated the early part of the match, using his power advantage to work over DeCarlo in the corner before leveling him with a series of chops. They went to the floor and the brawl continued. A lot of good back-and-forth action until a double clothesline took both men down. Finally, showing why you should never underestimate a sneaky veteran, DeCarlo pulled out a pair of brass knucks and leveled Bittle with them to retain his title. A great, fun match with a lot of fire, but in the end, DeCarlo proved the old motto true. Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat. And hell, it worked.
Winner and STILL CAGE TV Champion: The Mob Boss, Phil DeCarlo
Chief Red Thunder & The Renegade Outlaw, Joe Locklear versus Chief Jay Eagle & “Mystery Partner” Walking Thunder Bison.
I loved the look of this mystery guy, Thunder Bison, as he came to the ring. With the towel draped over his head, he had the intimidation factor down pat. Eagle still works so well, and Thunder and Outlaw, who got a tremendous pop, were ready to fight. And the match was everything you’d expect. A little wrestling, a lot of stalling by the heels, and chop-city craziness. It went on for a while and in the end, if I heard it correctly, the referee called for a DQ as it got out of control. Eagle & Bison were disqualified as Eagle had a pair of knucks and wasn’t even trying to hide it. After the bell, the beatdown on Thunder by Eagle & Bison continued until Outlaw went to the floor and got a chair, causing the heels to flee to the back. It was a solid, fun, old-school brawl and now, I want more.
Winners by Disqualification: Chief Red Thunder & The Renegade Outlaw.
Here comes HangTyme to the ring, He cuts a promo on the crowd and takes particular delight in insulting Scotland County and Laurinburg, the place where this show is taking place. CAGE Champion Eric Gibson comes out and he and HangTyme banter back and forth a little bit. HangTyme issues a challenge for later in the night to wrestle for Gibson’s CAGE Championship. Gibson agrees and states that he’s putting his career on the line. If HangTyme takes that title, Gibson is gone. Wow! Gibson leaves and HangTyme rips on the crowd a bit more before heading to the back.
“The Blk Cat” Deion Johnson w/ Derrick Vanderguard versus Angel Angels
A big pop for Angels as he came to the ring and he acknowledged his father sitting in the crowd, The Blk Cat came out and was talking trash from the moment he entered the room, much to the disdain and anger of the fans and then it was on. A lot of brawling and back and forth with Johnson. Cat’s manager, Vanderguard, got involved a few times and made his presence felt as well. Most of the match was Cat dominating and playing to the crowd as he laid the beatdown on Angels. But Angels would fight back and never quit. Finally, after what looked like a stiff running clothesline, Cat was out and Angels covered for the pin. And then to add insult to injury, Angels brought his father into the ring and his father pinned Cat as well with Angels making the 3-count. After Angels and his dad left, Cat came around and realized what happened as Vanderguard tried to console him. It was hilarious. Kudos to all three men for a fun match that pumped up an already jacked crowd. Angels is going to be a big name one day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. This guy is good. And Deion was a great heel and opponent for him. Just a good, fun match.
Winner: Angel Angels
Then there was a brief intermission where I had the chance to go speak with Baby Doll. She was so pleasant and cool to talk to. There’s an old saying about how you should never meet your heroes. Well, I’ve been a fan of Baby Doll since she first showed up as Tully’s Perfect Ten, way back in 1985 and she was everything a person can hope for. Polite, respectful, insightful, and still a Perfect Ten. And then back to the action.
And I’m stopping here because this is running a bit long so this is end of Part 1. The rest of the show is in Part 2. Thanks for reading. Questions, thoughts, and comments are welcome and appreciated. Now go read Part 2 for the rest of the action and the main event. I’ll see you there.