The King of Cable Tournament: A Look Back

By Patrick Brandmeyer

Now, as promised, a special comment about this weekend’s Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance event at the South Broadway Athletic Club in St. Louis, Missouri featuring the fourth annual King of Cable Tournament.

I’m a fan of one-night tournaments in general, dating back to the WWF’s King of the Ring tournament in 1993 when Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect, and Bam Bam Bigelow in one night to capture the crown. With all the gimmick pay-per-views on WWE’s calendar, I’ve been disappointed that KOTR hasn’t figured into that equation on a regular basis.

The tournament was started in 2011 with the winner earning a title shot of his choosing. The title shot took on Money-In-The-Bank privileges and could be “cashed in” at any time, though that possibility only came into play with last year’s tourney winner. While the cash-ins didn’t always result in a title change, all three Kings of Cable would capture the Heavyweight Title within a few months of their tournament victories.

The first tournament took place on October 29th, 2011 in Lemay, Missouri. The tourney was unique in that Heavyweight Champion Gary Jackson was a participant…it was noted that Gary would be able to hand-pick his next challenger if he won the tournament. It also featured Junior Heavyweight Champion Johnny Courageous, TV Champion Brandon Espinosa, and Battle Royal Champion Dave Vaughn. The quick-and-dirty bracket rundown:

Quarterfinals: Espinosa d. Dave Osborne, Phil E. Blunt d. Courageous, Vaughn d. Max Archer, Jackson d. Ace Hawkins.
Semifinals: Espinosa d. Blunt by count out (Blunt wanted to “make amends” for interfering in Espy’s previous title shot at Jackson and essentially forfeited the match right away); Jackson d. Vaughn.
Finals: Espinosa d. Jackson.

Jackson retained his title against Espinosa via DQ win in December, but Espinosa would capture the title from Gary in January.

The second tournament also took place in Lemay and happened on September 22nd, 2012. It featured Junior Heavyweight Champion Archer and Battle Royal Champion Osborne among other competitors.

Quarterfinals: Brian James d. Archer, Osborne d. Lumberjack Abe, Ricky Cruz d. Ken Kasa, Lumberjack Gabe d. Jimmy D.
Semifinals: Osborne d. James, Cruz d. Gabe.
Finals: Osborne d. Cruz by count out after Kasa interfered.

Osborne didn’t cash in his title shot until January and his match with Jackson ended in a no-contest due to Brandon Espinosa’s interference. However, Osborne would go on to defeat Jackson for the title in February.

The third tournament was held at the South Broadway Athletic Club on November 9th, 2013. Participants included Jr. Heavyweight Champion Andrew Wilder, TV Champion A.J. Williams, and Battle Royal Champion Lynn Mephisto.

Quarterfinals: Mephisto d. A.J. Williams, Ace Hawkins d. Wilder, Osborne d. Da’Marius Jones, Brian James d. Jimmy D.
Semifinals: Mephisto d. Hawkins, James d. Osborne.
Finals: James d. Mephisto.

James’ tournament win had the quickest turnaround of the three. In December, Brandon Espinosa retained his title against Osborne with a DQ win after an unidentified man (now known as Barackus) interfered. James cashed in his title shot right after that bout concluded and capitalized on the worn-down champion to win the championship.

This year’s tournament participants have been finalized. Six men qualified at the August event: Tag Team Champions A.J. Williams & Da’Marius Jones (defeating LaMarcus Clinton & Chase King), TV Champion Moondog Rover (defeating Lynn Mephisto), Gary Jackson (defeating Tony Kozina), and Barackus & J-Mal Swagg (defeating Brian James & Johnathon Zulu). Co-Commissioner Sean Orleans did a “random draw” to determine the final two competitors and “coincidentally” drew the names of Elitism allies Evan Gelistico and Tony Kozina (despite Kozina losing his qualifying match last month!). The brackets have not been finalized so I guess we’ll have to wait until the event itself to find out how things will shake out.

The card will also feature a unique “two-fall match” with both the Heavyweight and Survivor Titles at stake. Notably, the match will feature the previous three Kings of Cable as Heavyweight Champion Espinosa and Survivor Champion Osborne will be in the ring with Brian James. It will be conducted under triple threat rules, but the first fall will be for Osborne’s title and the second fall will be for Espinosa’s championship. Topping off the announced lineup, new Jr. Heavyweight Champion Everett Connors will defend against Sean Orleans.

The nice thing about my obsessive-compulsiveness with regards to wrestling viewing is that the whiny blog(s) are a great reference source for this sort of thing…my LiveJournal page just reached its ten-year anniversary! One of these days I’ll need to go back and tag the posts so they’re easier to search…

Anywho, see ya Saturday…

Good night, good luck, and #yaywrestling.

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