UNION — Trans-South Wrestling’s third anniversary event “Showdown at the Fairgrounds IV” included lots of surprises for wrestling fans on Saturday, including the crowning of a new champion and the announcement of a Salute to Gamecock Football to be held next month.
Former WCW wrestler The Stro “The Maestro of Wrestling” (Rob Kellum) was crowned the new TSW Heavyweight Champion after a 15-man battle royale. Senior referee Tracy Rash announced last week the battle royal would decide the new title-holder in light of former champion Peter Kaasa’s imminent surgery. The Stro accepted the title in classic wrestling villain fashion as he was interviewed for The Union Connection Cable Channel 192.
“Don’t worry, children, papa’s home,” The Stro laughed. “And papa’s gonna take real good care of you!”
Cole McAbee — the master of ceremonies at Saturday’s event — commented that The Stro was the most bizarre wrestler he had ever seen at Union County Fairgrounds since the beginning of TSW.
“When the TSW board decided to bring in The Stro, we knew about his impressive resume’ and accomplishments, but what we didn’t know was what his demeanor would be,” McAbee said, adding that The Stro’s new position could lead to matches and stipulations that would possibly be unpopular with fans. “The Stro is beyond bizarre and scary.”
The Stro became the winner of the battle royale by eliminating Danny Dollar and Deon Johnson, who was reinstated after Saturday’s semi-main event between the masked “Oogie T. Brown from Out of Town” and “Hardcore” Hunter Thompson.
Other highlights from Saturday’s event included Ernest “Dirty” Robinson and The Stro defeating the team of Jaxson James and Michael Frehley as part of TSW’s ongoing tournament to crown new tag team champions. The Stro dropped out of his tag team during the match, which will leave “Dirty” to find a new tag team partner in order to advance in the tournament.
Other highlights included Alex Avgerinos defeating Kameron Kade, who was accompanied to the ring by Tessa Blanchard (daughter of Tully Blanchard, an original member of wrestling’s Four Horsemen), via pinfall in 12:03. Chase “Cauliflower” Brown submitted Eric Adamz in 11:26 via the double wrist-lock. TK Stark defeated Erik Thompson in the opening contest in 6:18.
A Salute to Gamecock Football
Following Saturday’s event, senior referee Tracy Rash announced that next month’s event — scheduled for Saturday, May 3 — will include a salute to South Carolina Gamecock Football, past and present.
“Our guest of honor ties together Gamecock football and pro wrestling,” Rash said.
TSW’s special guest for the event will be Del Wilkes, one of only four Gamecock consensus All-Americans. The only others are George Rogers (1980), Melvin Ingram (2011) and Jadeveon Clowney (2012). Wilkes was a part of the South Carolina Gamecocks’ 1984 “Black Magic” team.
After his football career, Wilkes went on to achieve pro wrestling fame in WWE, WCW and in Japan as “The Patriot,” a fan favorite who donned a red, white and blue mask with matching tights. Wilkes will meet and greet fans of both pro wrestling and Gamecock football and will sign autographs for those in attendance.
Rash said a number of Gamecock football alumni have been invited to the celebration, and he listed several former Gamecocks who are planning to attend, including Steve Taneyhill, Monty Means, Darrell Austin, Tommy Simmons, Todd Davis, and Don Bobo.
“It’s going to be a great night,” Rash said. “I love the Gamecocks and pro wrestling, so what more could you ask for? But we will have to work on a follow-up Clemson event to be fair.”