ARIK ROYAL REPRESENTS CWF IN THIS YEAR’S SCENIC CITY INVITATIONAL
On August 4 and 5, the indie wrestling world will converge on Ooltewah, Tennessee for the third annual Scenic City Invitational, and after weeks of a steady slow drip of entrants, the entire tournament field has been revealed to us. Featuring the SCI’s trademark mix of southern standouts and national stars, it’s as stacked as ever, so let’s get right into breaking it down, shall we?
Arik Royal: Appearing in his first SCI, the Ace of the Mid-Atlantic earned his spot in this year’s tournament by winning CWF Mid-Atlantic’s Battlebowl. As well, Royal was a finalist in both NOVA Pro’s Commonwealth Cup as well as CWF Mid-Atlantic’s 2016 Johnny Weaver Cup, and held the CWF Mid-Atlantic Heavyweight Championship for 560 days.
Gunner Miller: The winner of last year’s SCI and a finalist in the first, as well as being the current Platinum Championship Wrestling Champion and a former Anarchy Triple Crown Champion, Miller has the potential to be the first repeat winner in SCI history.
Tank: A veritable southern indie legend, Tank competed in the first SCI and was eliminated in the first round by Kongo Kong. With twenty years in the business and retirement on the horizon, Tank is looking to go out strong, and by right of victory in the Scenic City Rumble he was able to choose his first round opponent. He chose Matt Riddle; an uphill battle for anyone, to be sure, but the 2005 IWA Deep South King of the Deathmatch winner is up to the challenge.
Matt Riddle: A semifinalist in last year’s SCI, Riddle’s credentials need no overview but I’ll do it anyway. He’s the current WWN Champion, Progress Atlas Division Champion, the only man to be fired from UFC on a four-fight winning streak, and no stranger to tournament success, having won Evolve’s Style Battle in 2016 and wXw Ambition 8 earlier this year.
Curt Stallion: Appearing in his first SCI, and a rising star who’s begun to break out in a major way over the last year, Stallion has participated in the 2017 Ring of Honor Top Prospect Tournament (making it to the semifinals) and is a former ACW Unified Champion in Anarchy Championship Wrestling out of Texas.
Torque: Appearing in his first SCI and a former Georgia Premier Wrestling Southern States Champion, Torque is admittedly a wrestler I’m not incredibly familiar with, but part of the joy of watching a tournament like this is sitting down in front of a match featuring somebody you don’t know and falling in love with their work.
Gary Jay: Appearing in his first SCI, the Submission Squad’s resident Barn Owl, midwest indie mainstay Gary Jay has already won one tournament this year, the St. Louis Invitational. Among his other credentials, he’s the reigning PWF Champion, and he holds the record SLA Championship reign at a staggering 862 days.
Anthony Henry: A finalist in last year’s SCI and a man who had the match of the tournament against Jimmy Rave in the first round of the first, Henry is on a hot streak, having won the 2016 PWX X16 tournament and successfully claiming the PWX and XWA Championships this year. And, with him seemingly on a collision course with Style Battle glory, SCI might just complete the hat trick.
Joey Janela: Appearing in his first SCI, the Bad Boy is a three-time CZW Wired Champion as well as winner of GCW’s 2014 J-Cup and 2016 Trent Acid Cup and a finalist in AIW’s 2017 JT Lightning Invitational Tournament. And furthermore, he beat Marty Jannetty on a show that he booked in a match that was made possible by Scott Hall’s genie magic.
Jason Cade: Appearing in his first SCI, the Flying Gambino has been making big waves this year, pinning Will Ospreay and winning the AR Fox Invitational Ladder Match at WrestleCon. Buoyed by that increasing success, he’ll be coming into the SCI this year off a debut for PWG in June.
Joey Lynch: Appearing in his third SCI, Lynch made it to the second round last year after being eliminated by Corey Hollis in the first in 2015, so by the sheer property of additive momentum, this may be the year he makes it to the finals.
Matt Lynch: Appearing in his first SCI, Joey’s brother and one half of Anarchy Tag Team Champions the Lynch Mob with him, Matt is another guy I’m not really familiar with. But if his brother’s anything to go by, he’s gonna fit right in.
Shane Marx: Appearing in his first SCI and the last man on the list that I’m not familiar with, Shane Marx is a former PCW Heavyweight Champion who beat 2016 SCI semifinalist Chip Day to win that title, as well as having beaten the likes of Jimmy Rave and Corey Hollis.
Jason Kincaid: Appearing in his first SCI, the Gift’s incredibly unorthodox high flying style has brought him tournament success this year, winning Style Battle Season 1 Episode 4 as well as Glory Pro’s tournament to crown their inaugural Crown of Glory Champion.
Dominic Garrini: Appearing in his first SCI, the “Bone Collector” from Cleveland’s Absolute Intense Wrestling hopes to use his jiu jitsu background to snap arms and turn heads after being an alternate named to replace Martin Stone.
Darby Allin: Appearing in his first SCI and still a relative enigma to the wrestling world, Darby has made a big splash out of nowhere with his high risk high flying style in Evolve and elsewhere. But he’ll be coming to the SCI off a three-month hiatus due to injury after “All Ego” Ethan Page shattered his elbow with a shovel at Evolve 82, and you have to wonder if that will change his approach at all.
As far as the tournament format goes, these sixteen men will feed into eight first round singles matches on day one, the winners will go on to semi-finals matches on day two, and the four winners of those matches will go on to the four-way elimination finals.