Lio Rush vs Brian Fury
Top Prospect Tournament 2016 Finals
Taped 02/06/2016, aired 03/05/2016
Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee, United States
(reviewed 01/08/2017) Funny that one of these top prospects is a rookie and the other is a 15+ year vet. Quite a disparity in size, style, and experience here, which should make for an enjoyable bout. They start off with some chaining, which sees Rush use some interesting misdirection and leverage to keep things even until Fury backs him into a corner and beats him down. Still, Rush will not be kept down, sending his opponent to the floor with a superkick and enzuigiri before hitting a big tope con giro. On the floor, he lays in a few chops before Fury uses the rookie’s momentum to send him barreling into the guard rail as we cut to commercial. Back from the break, Fury shuts down a few hope spots in exciting fashion, eating a flurry of strikes in the process. With both men on their feet, they trade a few shots, Rush utilizing forearms while Fury hits a few rights, being sure to sell his hand in the process. A headbutt gives Fury the advantage, but a pop-up powerbomb is reversed into a nice hurricanrana, eating a tornado DDT for a two count. He survives a few kicks and reverses a clothesline from his young opponent into a Black Tornado Slam for a two count of his own, sitting Rush up on the top rope afterward. Rush is able to shove him off, though, connecting with a hell of a frog splash for another nearfall. Fury is able to reverse his attempts at an Irish whip and sunset flip powerbomb, grabbing onto the rope as he sits down on Rush for a pin attempt, but referee Todd Sinclair sees him do it, kicking Fury’s hand to give Rush the leverage he needs to complete the sunset flip for a two count. Fury is then able to reverse a hurricanrana attempt into a great pop-up powerbomb and an even greater nearfall that gets the Nashville crowd going. Staying on his man, Fury goes for a suplex, but Rush floats over him and pushes Fury into the ropes for an O’Connor roll. The veteran avoids it, coming off the ropes for a clothesline, and Rush reverses it into a solo Spanish fly for the win. Great stuff here, real simple and reserved but still exciting and compelling. The crowd really buys into it, and the commentary from Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling 3 (shhhhh not Steve Corino shhhhh) adds some interesting context for once. It probably won’t knock your socks off, but this is a very well put together match that accomplishes everything it set out to do and sort of knocks it out of the park in doing so, and I can certainly appreciate that.