Champion's Challenge Tag Match
Kin Hiroshi and Cameron Cruise
JJ DeVille and Bobby Karma
In a follow-up from GOLD RUSH, Commissioner Thomas offered JJ DeVille and Bobby Karma a chance to prove themselves deserving of a title shot by putting them in the ring with the current United States and Presidential Champions. The mission was an easy one for both teams: for the champs, simply win the match and mark these two off your list; for the contenders, win the match and get another shot at gold.
Two-time Presidential Champion Cameron Cruise started off, set to prove that his second run with the title that Thomas built wouldn’t be a short one. “What Goes Around Comes Around” Bobby Karma, aka the Man With The Longest Nickname Ever, started off for his team, determined to prove that his independent experience makes him more than just a fluke. Cruise used a huge reach advantage over the 5’9” Karma to maintain control early, getting several early near-falls after running a clinic on the younger man, forcing Karma to escape a drop-toe hold and tag in former Greensboro Champion JJ DeVille.
As the two tied up, it looked like Cruise would continue his dominance, catching JJ with an early clothesline followed by a springboard suplex. But as Cameron went for a neckbreaker, JJ was able to leverage Cruise over his shoulders and all the way outside the ring, causing the Presidential Champ to hit his back hard on the apron. Referee Ben Worthington started a count, but couldn’t stop US Champion Kin Hiroshi from rushing into the ring and catching JJ from behind with a side Russian leg sweep.
Apparently concerned with Cruise’s well-being, the referee either missed or ignored the following DDT before Kin slipped back into his corner, then rolled outside to help Cruise back in. Conveniently re-entering the ring near his corner, Cruise simply tagged Hiroshi, who jumped up to the top rope, nailing the prone DeVille with an Asai moonsault. Rolling him over for the pin, it appeared over, except for the quick intervention of Karma, who caught Hiroshi with a boot to the head.
That brought Cruise in the ring, charging across and diving into Karma with a crossbody that took both of them through the ropes to the floor. Hiroshi pulled DeVille to his feet, setting him up for a Fisherman buster, only to have DeVille once again leverage over the top, catching the US Champion’s head and dropping him on it with an inverted reverse DDT and the one-two-three.
WINNERS: JJ DeVille and Bobby Karma earn their title shots