At some point during the week I had told Quentin about the ICW No Holds Barred shows and told him about what the Battle Of The Tough Guys was all about. I also told him that Nick Gage- who he loves- would be challenging for the title on the GCW show running opposite of this. Before I could finish asking him which one he would rather see, he said "Battle Of The Tough Guys". With Part 2 being at midnight though we had to catch that one on the flip side.
The biggest talking points from Part 1 are perhaps how everyone's brackets got fucked. It was fun to see Dominic Garrini vs. Kevin Ku and I'd really like to see more of Kevin Ku in ICWNHB. I'd also like to see ICWNHB book tag team matches. Could you imagine Violence Is Forever vs. The Rejects in the pit? I expected Brett Ison to defeat Daniel Garcia (dude can't win in ICWNHB) and I wanted to see Justin Kyle yeet Gary Jay, which he only slightly did, but I did not expect Jon Davis to defeat Calvin Tankman. I expected Calvin Tankman to advance.
In some ways, I also think everyone wanted to see Bruce Santee advance to give us another round of Justin Kyle vs. Bruce Santee but Dan Maff would say otherwise. Nolan Edward defeating JD Drake in the first round was a bit of a shock for me as was Ruben Steel defeating SHLAK. But perhaps the biggest first round upset- the one which just fucked everyone's brackets- was Reed Bentley defeating John Wayne Murdoch. That was a surprise because I was looking for a Justin Kyle-JWM finals and now I do want to see that match still though, along with others I'd hope would shape out but did not.
For Part 2, we started with Nolan Edward somehow never saying die and advancing over Brett Ison with only one arm. Dominic Garrini knocked Jon Davis out of the tournament while Dan Maff defeated Justin Kyle to advance as well. I think Maff advancing was a bit of a surprise as well, if only because many had thought Justin Kyle was winning this whole thing. Reed Bentley took the last spot in the final four, defeatin Ruben Steel, and at this point it really felt like anything could happen and my brackets were thrown out the window.
Dan Maff bested Dominic Garrini in a hard fought contest that I thought maybe Dom would win and then go on and win in the finals as well. Reed Bentley defeated Nolan Edward because Nolan Edward fought most of this night half beaten up already. This set us up for a Dan Maff vs. Reed Bentley finals and I think given that Reed Bentley eliminated JWM, people could see him winning, but I could also have seen Dan Maff winning because he eliminated Justin Kyle, who was my pick to win it all.
John Wayne Murdoch did have a match where he defeated Brandon Kirk before the main event and then in the finals Dan Maff defeated Reed Bentley to become the Number One Tough Guy. On one hand, my prediction was for JWM to meet Justin Kyle in the finals. JWM was eliminated by Reed Bentley, who made it to the finals and Justin Kyle- my pick to win- was eliminated by the winner Dan Maff. So I was kind of close maybe? I don't know, but as someone who has seen Dan Maff fight in person, had him literally throwing punches within arms reach of me, I wouldn't be the one to tell him he is not the toughest of them all.