FIST Combat “SoCal Strong Style Tournament” 9/9/17 – review

On Saturday I headed over to the Kensington Club in San Diego, which is currently the second oldest venue in Southern California that regular holds wrestling events (the Mayan opened in 1927), for FIST Combat’s SoCal Strong Style Tournament. The setup of the tournament was eight wrestlers taking part in four singles matches and the four winners meeting in a four-way finals. The lineup for the tournament was pretty solid, with Brody King, Tyler Bateman, and St. Louis’ Kevin Lee Davidson making their FIST debuts, Reno Scum making their Southern California FIST debuts, FIST regulars True Grit and Ruby Raze.

The show opened with True Grit being awarded their FIST Combat tag-team titles after winning a tournament. This brought out Reno Scum for an altercation.

Vegan Superman Jacob Diez over Dirty Ron McDonald to win the Get FISTed title, Diez successfully defends the FCW XRT title [7’50]

The first match was a title versus title match with Jacob Diez defending the FCW XRT title and Dirty Ron McDonald defending the Get FISTed title. Jacob Diez was accompanied to the ring by his crew, L.O.V.E. Dirty Ron bladed about a minute thirty into the match. There was tons of interference but as there are no DQs in FIST the ref let it slide. Diez’ valet has a good look but needs work giving and taking offense as she came off really clumsy in it. Dirty Ron bent her over and did coke off her back at one point. When they were wrestling both Diez and Dirty Ron were solid in this, but there was too much going on in the match and it never really found its flow. Diez won after hitting Dirty Ron with both titles.

SoCal Strong Style Tournament – 1st Round
Tyler Bateman over Jesse James [10’36]

These guys took the strong style in the tournament name to heart and worked a pretty good New Japan styled match. There were lots of stiff kicks and strikes with Bateman working in a lot of submission based offense. There was a woman in the audience who was apparently a True Grit super fan that was yelling quite loudly at Bateman. During the match Bateman had a rare outburst yelling “shut up bitch” at her. She did not shut up however. Jesse James looked really good in this and held his own with Bateman. Reno Scum’s Adam Thornstowe came out and distracted James which allowed Bateman to win. This was pretty good.

SoCal Strong Style Tournament – 1st Round
Ruby Raze over Adam Thornstowe [11’25]

FIST has done a great job of showcasing Ruby Raze in some really good intergender matches, first B-Boy, then Ray Rosas, and now Adam Thornstowe. Thornstowe actually dominated most of the match, and Raze did a really good job of selling the punishment. Part of the story of the match was Thornstowe not wanting to actually punch Raze in the face, so he’d poke her. Late in the match when she was starting to make a come back he gave in and punched her, dropping her to the ground. True Grit interefered, Raze was able to hit the Souleater and got the win in a solid match.

SoCal Strong Style Tournament – 1st Round
Brody King over Kevin Lee Davidson [9’09]

This was two big guys beating the hell out of each other. They were both doing a lot of stiff looking strikes, and when they’d toss each other into the corner the ring would actually move across the floor. By the end of the match the ring had moved about a foot from its original position. I was sure they were going to break the ring, but it held up. This was my first time seeing Kevin Lee Davidson live and you could tell he was trained by Michael Elgin as there were a few similarities stylistically. Brody King has gotten really good in such a short amount of time. I hate to compare people to other wrestlers, but it reminds me of how good Samoa Joe was in 2001. This was really good and worth checking out when it gets posted online.

SoCal Strong Style Tournament – 1st Round
Luster the Legend vs. Hoss Hogg goes to a no-contest [5’14]

A member of Reno Scum versus a member of True Grit, so of course we know what is going to happen here. Five minutes into the match Thornstowe and Jesse James run in and both teams start brawling. The ref calls for a no-contest pretty quickly, though it isn’t explained why interference is allowed in the other matches.

SoCal Strong Style Tournament – Finals
Tyler Bateman over Brody King and Ruby Raze [14’23]

With the last match being a non-contest, this was made into a three-way. I figured we were going to get a preview of the September 22nd Santino Bros. show, but B-Boy came out and attacked Ruby Raze after the match started and beat her down. He actually took the wall to one of the seating booths and beat her with that as well. After Ruby was taken out Brody King threw the booth wall into the ring and slammed Bateman on the padded side. Bateman popped right up and then King realized it was padded. After that they had really good match. Once again they tried to work an actual strong style based match with lots of strikes and submission based offense. Bateman got King to tap out to finish the match. This was really good.

Overall this ended up being a pretty fun tournament with every match but the no contest being good. The main event and Brody king versus Kevin Lee Davidson are both worth going out of your way to check out when they get posted online.

FIST Combat is scheduled to be back at the Kensington Club on September 22nd with a show that features Jacob Diez versus Bestia 666.

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