VWE Tag Team Classic Tournament Teams Preview
By Brian Dusel
Everyone remembers their “first”. First love, first kiss, first chance finding their true passion in life. And when it comes to pro wrestling, there are more firsts. First match, first win, first title. And now, the VWE is hosting an event crossing over with WPWF and DIE in the Tag Team Classic. It is a mixed-tag team tournament pitting teams of one male wrestler teaming with one female wrestler. The tournament will cover the course of two days on June 3 and June 4, 2017, both days the show starting at 4 pm SLT and hosted at the Infinity Coliseum.
The Tag Team Classic is revolutionary in that for the first-time ever, the VWE has minted new championships for this mixed gender tag team tournament. And for two days, packed full of action, the 16 teams will compete in a single-elimination style tournament. The last team standing will win the VWE Intergender Tag Team Championship titles. On the first night of the tournament, Saturday, all the preliminary first round matches will be completed and then the second night will see the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and in the end, the final match to determine the very first VWE Intergender Tag Team Champions.
The matches in this tournament will follow mixed tag team matches rules where if the men are legal and one tags to his female partner, the other woman is automatically the legal person for the match. This will create some interesting strategies depending on if you feel your partner is stronger or perhaps more exhausted in the match, you might want to tag to relieve their issues. That rule adds an air of excitement into the situation that fans will feed off of. But, now that we’ve got all the technical stuff out of the way, let’s take a look at the teams in the tournament.
Braden Karsin & Lyra Phoenix – Braden is the reigning VWE World Heavyweight Champion, the self-proclaimed “King of VWE” and a former US Champion, European Champion and VWE Tag Team Champion. A team that experience with a woman the size of Lyra Phoenix, who has four years experience under her belt and was the first ever WPWF Siren Rising Champion, and you are looking at a dominant team who will push the boundaries and the bodies of their opponents.
The Crisis & Hilary Lanfier – Hilary Lanfier just became the VWE Radiance Champion after securing the briefcase to become the 2017 Queen of the Arena, in addition to her being a former VWE Women’s International Champion. 2017 is not even half over and it is all Hilary. The Crisis is a DIE superstar with experience and an amazing ability to overcome pain, feeding off of it and then delivering that pain back upon his opponents. This could be the perfect partner for Hilary, someone she can use and manipulate into getting her to her goal.
Hamaso Franizi & Chloe Valentine – The reigning VWE Pulse Champion teaming with the “Selfie Queen” and former VWE Women’s World Champion, Chloe Valentine? Color me sold. This is a team that will have most the fans behind them. Both feed off the energy of the crowd and can turn that energy into action. With the people cheering and chanting their names, there is nothing this team can’t do.
Austin Knight & Marionetta the Trickster – Austin Knight is not known for his in-ring action, normally preferring to be the power behind some of the biggest names in wrestling history. But teaming with someone as unorthodox as the 2-time VWE Women’s International Champion, Marionetta the Trickster, could just be Austin’s moment to turn everyone’s perceptions around. The Trickster is not a performer you can plan for because just when you think she’s going to come in all crazy and jumping off the ropes, she’ll start to mat wrestle. She is a complete wild card and with Austin’s experience of handling all types of superstars, this could be the team with more questions than answers from the people making the betting odds.
Vince Easterwood & Kasumi – Vince Easterwood was the final VWE International Champion, the final VWE Men’s Tag Team Champion, 2016 Elimination Royale winner, and a former VWE World Heavyweight Champion and is widely-known as one of the best technical wrestlers to ever step foot between the ropes of the squared circle. Kasumi is a world-renowned performer and currently contracted through WPWF. With her mix of agility and strikes, she has shown herself to be quite formidable. If she can listen and follow the experience of Easterwood, they could come up with the best strategy to get themselves to the finals.
Jeffery Fireguard & Maxine Endrizzi – From the moment he stepped onto the scene, Fireguard has had a rocket attached to him and soared up the ladder, quickly becoming a 2-time VWE Grid Champion, the 2015 King of the Arena and then even becoming the VWE World Heavyweight Champion. Maxine is one of the biggest names in pro wrestling today. A veteran of almost a decade with accolades everywhere she goes, including becoming the VWE Women’s International Champion. She has worked with and against some of the best to ever lace up boots and with her experience and Jeff’s willingness to throw his body into harm if it means securing the victory, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the tournament.
Matt Asadar & Brooke Owens – At WrestleSeries 8, Brooke Owens became the first-ever VWE Radiance Champion and even though she lost the title to the Queen of the Arena, Hilary Lanfier, she is looking to add another first to her list of accomplishments. As soon as the tournament was announced, Brooke was looking high and low to find the perfect partner and she may have found that exact person with “The Gunslinger” Matt Asadar. Asadar might be new to some of the VWE crowd, but he has traveled the world and even spent years in Mexico honing his craft. While people might not know his name now, by the end of this tournament, they may be chanting it if he and Brooke can secure their spot in the finals.
Loody Graves & Cheryl White – On the surface, it might seem odd that the 4-time VWE World Champion and former 2-time VWE Tag Team Champion, Loody Graves, is teaming with the pro-American Cheryl White. But, the two find similar passions, both believing that knowing who you are, having a love for your home country and pushing to be the best nationalist, German or American, is the way to live your life. They might not be making any friends backstage or with the audience, but you have to admit they are honest with themselves at all times and seem to truly believe what they say. Perhaps not a fan-favorite team, but if they made it to the finals, would anyone be surprised?
Damien Hex & Natalie Sonnen – Another team that people would’ve been surprised to see put together is Damien Hex and Natalie. Both individuals have their quirks, but Damien, during his tenure in professional wrestling, has almost always found himself in teams with strong-willed people like Natalie. During his time traveling the globe, he was in a group founded by his father, Evan Briggs, called The Brigade. But most people know him for teaming with his brother Scott to form the team of Death Inc. Natalie loves to get into fights. Not wrestling contests, she loves to feel the crack of bone on bone. Expect her to come out of the corner looking to land some heavy strikes and looking to pinpoint a specific appendage.
Drake Edwards & Ellie Christensen Embers – The second-generation wrestler and daughter of Allie Christensen, Ellie Christensen Embers, is teaming with the face of DIE and former DIE Heavyweight Champion, Drake Edwards. This is a team of absolute heart. They are two people who will not give up and always make sure that if someone can get a win over them, that they were in a war of a match. Together, we will see them pushing harder than most and trying to prove something. For Drake, he wants to prove that he is worthy of being the face of DIE. For Ellie, she is trying to escape the shadow of her mother, a legend in the pro wrestling business. They don’t just want to win, they need to win and that kind of drive can take a team far in this tournament.
Derrick Cult & Misaki Yumako – “The Human Concussion Machine” and 3-time VWE World Heavyweight Champion, Derrick Cult, is also the only 2-time VWE Elimination Royale Winner, is a former VWE US Champion, former VWE International Champion and even a former VWE Tag Team Champion. When the song hits “All I Do Is Win” by DJ Khaled, most people assume he was singing about Derrick Cult. He has seen it all, he has done it all and with his mixed martial arts background, he knows how to prey on the weaknesses of his opponents. And as his partner is one of the women who has been a fixture in wrestling for the past decade and someone who can claim they trained Derrick himself, Misaki. Like Cult, Yumako relies on her hands and feet to do the talking and since coming to VWE has become the first-ever VWE Women’s Pulse Champion. Will she and Derrick be adding another “first” onto her hall of fame career?
Wolfy Kessel & Kitty – Wolfy has had a long and storied history, capturing the VWE Tag Team Championship with Acheron Nightfire, was the final VWE Men’s Extreme Champion and 2-time VWE US Champion. Kitty, as his partner is an interesting choice because she is the reigning DIE Women’s Champion and just had a phenomenal showing in the Queen of the Arena tournament. Both Kitty and Wolfy are the kind of competitors that wait for their moment. They stalk their opponent, waiting for them to make a mistake and then they pounce to capture victories. If that happens in this Tag Team Classic Tournament, it would not be surprising to find Wolfy and Kitty in the finals.
Cody Houley & Christina Krovac – While being a 3-time VWE World Champion, Cody finds himself at odds with the fans, trying to prove that he is one of the greatest of all time, even forming the group G.O.A.T.s with Night and Christina Krovac, his partner for the Tag Team Classic. One thing no one will ever disagree with is that Cody lights up in big match moments, becoming a former VWE US Champion, the 2016 King of the Arena, and a former VWE European Champion. And for his partner, he has chosen very wisely with the only 4-time VWE Women’s World Champion in Krovac, who was also the very first VWE Queen of the Arena back in 2012. This team might be all ego, but there is skill and a passion for earning accolades. Adding first VWE Intergender Tag Team Champions is exactly something Cody and Christina would be looking forward to and coveting.
Night & Chiyoko – Chiyoko is one of the biggest names in WPWF and she is making time for the Tag Team Classic to team with a member of G.O.A.T., Night, the former VWE Pulse Champion and reigning VWE United States Champion. Night joined G.O.A.T. as a sort-of mentee to Cody Houley, who sees Night as the future of VWE, and Cody may be right. Night has shown that he has all the tools to become a driving force in the VWE for years to come, showing that grit at VWE King of the Arena, defeating Curt Bombastic to retain the VWE US Championship. When looking for excitement and future prospect, this will be a team to watch very carefully in this tournament.
Kieran Darkwatch & Rani Patel – “The Devil” a former VWE United States Champion, teaming with “Ms. Bollywood” the final VWE Women’s International Champion is an interesting mix. For the past few months, Kieran has been digging into people’s inhibitions, coaxing them to sin and entertain him. His partner, Rani, comes to the VWE via India and has made her stance known bringing karma to her opponents. Rani is spectacle, Kieran is flash and whether you like them or hate them, you can’t take your eyes off them.
Morgan Jones & Lily Martinez – In perhaps the luckiest break, the skater Morgan Jones needed a partner and brought Lily, a 2-time VWE Women’s World Champion and the 2015 VWE Elimination Royale Winner, out of retirement. Morgan might be new to the wrestling world, but he is a talented individual and with Lily backing him up, this could be the team that surprises the most people. Lily has the experience, Morgan has the enthusiasm and the fans will see something special guaranteed.