|Above: The 2013 Grand Prix Tournament prizes await the winners.|
On April 20, 2013, the Elite Pro Wrestling Alliance presented “Night of the Elite 15” at the Keyser Fire Hall Station #2 in Keyser, WV. At this event, the company held their annual “Grand Prix Tournament,” in which wrestlers compete in several rounds of matches. After each round, the unsuccessful wrestlers are eliminated, while the victorious ones move on to the later rounds. The winner of the final round is awarded with a trophy and any additional prize that the company chooses to include. This year, the Elite Pro Wrestling Alliance decided that the tournament would feature tag-team style matches and the winners would be crowned as the first Elite Pro Wrestling Alliance Tag-Team Champions; tag-team matches consist of two person teams facing each other in the ring.
“It’s about time that they add the tag-team championship,” said Ryan Davis, 23, of Cresaptown, MD. “It’s my favorite kind of match, but no one seems to appreciate it anymore. Even World Wrestling Entertainment, the biggest company in the world, has been doing a terrible job at using the tag-team championship for years.”
As soon as the ring announcer called for the event to begin, the tournament immediately got the crowd on their feet. The first round began with Diablo and Sinister Cross facing off against Sean Hudson and Bodie Williams. While most of the match saw Hudson being overpowered by both Diablo and Sinister Cross, Hudson and Williams emerged victorious after Williams landed a flying body splash on Diablo. The next match of the night featured crowd favorites Sonjay Dutt and Robbie Paige winning a brief match against Eddie Page and Jason Radatz. The first round of the tournament then continued with Vince Vega and Jaysin Justice defeating Pittsburgh’s Project 13, which was possibly the shortest match of the night. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night was the final first round match, which featured Sal Sincere and Chris Cline being defeated by Jake Davis and Griffen. This match ran for nearly thirty minutes, while barely ten minutes of the match consisted of true wrestling; the other twenty minutes were filled with trash talk and bad jokes, which did little to amuse the Keyser crowd.
“I just wanted the match to end,” said Brandan Baasland, 21, of LaVale, MD. “I think I even dosed off once or twice. None of the jokes were funny and the only amusement I got out of the match was watching Griffen, who is always awesome, beat the daylights out of those other two clowns.”
Following a brief intermission, the ring announcer rang the bell for the second round of the tournament to begin. The round immediately got off to an exciting start when Sonjay Dutt and Robbie Paige faced Sean Hudson and Bodie Williams. The match consisted of an almost endless amount of high-flying action; Sonjay Dutt repeatedly jumped off of the top turnbuckle of the ring, much to the enjoyment of the crowd. The match finally came to close when Robbie Paige was able to pin Sean Hudson after a daring body splash from the top rope of the ring. The final match of round two featured Jake Davis and Griffen facing Vince Vega and Jaysin Justice. Throughout most of the match, fans screamed insults and vulgarities at Vince Vega for his mischievous actions; Vince Vega is well-known throughout local wrestling for never missing an opportunity to cheat. After several illegal moves from Vince Vega failed to gain notice from the referee, Vega was able to pin Griffen and secure his team’s place in the final round. Following the end of the round, a brief women’s wrestling match was held, which gave the two victorious teams a chance to prepare for the final round. Once Kacee Carlisle gained the victory over Brittany Force, however, the fans could barely handle their anticipation for the final battle of the night.
“That women’s match could have been a little shorter,” said Jim Richardson, 51, of Paw Paw, WV. “My boy and I came to see the tournament and it was killing us waiting for the last match to start. I didn’t think he’d stay in his seat for another two minutes.”
Once Vince Vega’s theme song filled the fire hall, fans knew the exciting conclusion was only moments away. Vince Vega and Jaysin Justice took their time reaching the ring, obviously winded and wounded from the previous matches in the night.
“This is it folks,” yelled Vince Vega into the crowd. “Get ready!”
Unlike Vince Vega and Jaysin Justice, Robbie Paige and Sonjay Dutt sprinted to the ring, ready to do battle with their opponents. Once the match began though, it seemed as if the four men wasted their time getting in the ring at all, as they immediately left the ring and began fighting amongst the crowd. Vega violently tossed Dutt into a row of chairs, causing fans to move away from the action. On the opposite side of the fire hall, Justice repeatedly slammed Paige’s head into anything that he could find. Eventually, the action returned to the ring, as Justice and Vega continued to dominate the match. This dominance changed in a split second, however, as Paige managed to hit Justice with a flying kick. Paige and Dutt spent several minutes in control of the match, but were eventually overpowered by Justice and Vega. Fans looked on, visibly uncomfortable, as Vega relentlessly assaulted Dutt; however, Dutt’s resilience eventually allowed him to break away from the beating. Following an exchange of blows, Dutt grabbed Vega with one arm and Justice with the other, slammed their heads into the ring mat. Following a diving body splash from Paige, he and Dutt gained the victory over Vega and Justice. Following this, Dutt and Paige were crowned as the winners of the 2013 "Grand Prix Tournament" and the first Elite Pro Wrestling Alliance Tag-Team Champions.
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