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Monday, June 07, 2021

2021 Ongoing MOTY List: Tank vs. Damien Wayne

11. Tank vs. Damien Wayne TPW 5/1

PAS: This was a first time match up between two of the legends of Southern indy wrestling. Both of these guys have 20+ years in, and just know how to work this kind of fists and chairs street fight. Wayne really looks like he hasn't lost a step, still throwing great strikes, still bumping big, still getting big air underneath his elbow drop, just an ageless guy. He had some fun stooging shots too, wandering around with a chair wrapped around his neck Terry Funk style. Tank was really over and was throwing hard thudding shots and leaking blood into his rad looking beard. Really dug friend of the blog Rev. Dan Wilson at ringside doing a nice of of hyping up Tank. I'm glad to see the Rev back, and be on the lookout for some great podcasts I did with him in the next couple of months!

ER: If you drove to Knoxville to see a Damien Wayne/Tank battle, this is them having the kind of match that would make it worth the trip. You get back from the dead Reverend Dan yelling at Tank the whole match like an evil Burgess Meredith ("Nobody has a harder head than Tank!" "This isn't the first fork Tank's ever felt."), and these two punch and kick the hell out of each other and bleed while doing it. Tank and Wayne (and Dragon Dan) have such classic wrestling looks, two intimidating motherfuckers, guys that hit hard and sell punches well. It's unfathomable that they didn't cross paths earlier, but I honestly couldn't have seen this match being any better had it happened 15 years ago. Tank gets busted open when Wayne starts stabbing him with a fork, and seeing Tank bleed and punch his way back is the kind of pro wrestling I love. Wayne is a super expressive salesman, staggers around the match selling ball shots and punches with Rick Rude duck walks, a guy who makes Tank's already first class right hands look even better. Tank throws a corner chop/jab combo that is I think the best version of that spot I've seen, made me think about what would have changed if Samoa Joe had watched Wildside tapes instead of All Japan tapes. Wayne stooges around the crowd with a chair around his neck, getting punched into spins, chopping the ringpost, but whenever he fired back at Tank he made it look like it would really move him. The finish was awesome, some classic Damien Wayne hang time, landing a gorgeous top rope elbowdrop while Tank was buried in chairs. This felt like a Knoxville backyard version of Solar/Negro Navarro, obviously in the best way possible. When Wayne was leaving the ring after dropping that big elbow, a fan exclaimed to his friend "That was badass. That was badass!" Sure was. 


2021 MOTY MASTER LIST


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