In Waterloo, Iowa at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center, as part of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame weekend, Chuck Taylor defeated Shane Strickland (a/k/a Killshot from Lucha Underground) in the finals of a one-day eight-man tournament to become the first Hall of Fame Classic winner. He was presented a plaque after the match.
Taylor defeated A.J. Smooth in the first round during an afternoon event. He defeated Curt Stallion in the semi-finals in the opening match of the evening show.
Stallion beat Myron Reed in the first round during the afternoon event to make it to the semi-finals. Other first round matches: ACH beat Pena El Om (a/k/a Pentagon Jr. from Lucha Underground) and Strickland beat Shelton Benjamin via DQ.
-Former “Killer Bee” B. Brian Blair teamed with Wes Brisco, son of Gerald Brisco, in a six-man tag team match. They teamed with tournament first-round loser Myron Reed against three local wrestlers.
-During intermission, autograph and merchandise tables were set up for all attendees on the permitter of the venue. Wrestlers signing autographs and taking pictures with fans included Jason Jordan, Chad Gable, Sabu, Stan Hansen, J.J. Dillon, Shelton Benjamin, Jim Brunzell, Jim Ross, Gerald Brisco, Bruce Hart, Paul Orndorff, Baron Von Raschke, Larry “The Axe” Hennig, along with a number of the notable national indy stars who participated in the wrestling event (ACH, Stallion, Taylor).
-Sabu was the last to arrive and scrambled to set up his autograph table, but had a long line of fans waiting to get his autograph and take pictures with him.
-Jordan and Gable, other than a brief conversation in the public hallway chatting with all-time Olympic wrestling great and coach Dan Gable, were kept apart. Dan Gable came to the indy event and spoke in the ring, which apparently he had never done before. Chad Gable was in the ring with him and said he was an inspiration to him. Dan Gable told a funny story about Chris Taylor breaking his ribs during a tournament.
-Longtime local indy wrestler Tony Sly lost his retirement match to James Jeffreys, then gave a speech afterward about his time wrestling and his goal to move on to a new hobby, such as a vending machine business.
-Attendance was about 500-650.
-PWTorch senior columnist Bruce Mitchell and I hosted a live “Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast” taping in front of a studio audience between the afternoon wrestling event (first round) and evening wrestling event (semi-finals and finals) for nearly two hours with guests Stan Hansen and J.J. Dillon. The first part of this tremendously entertaining interview will drop next Friday (July 28). Subscribe in iTunes HERE, visit the show page at PodcastOne.com HERE or search “Wade Keller” in any podcast app to subscribe.