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It's been 'bout a minute, but the tournament resumes:


The Honky Tonk Man VS Tazz

Yeah, that's right.  Didn't know I was Intercontinental Champion, did you?  (To those that are curious, that is a...close to real if not real belt, and it's surprisingly light.)  Anyone wondering what I've been doing since the last installment?  Just pretend it was that.

Anyway, Wayne Ferris, aka The Honky Tonk Man, is the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion in history, holding the strap for a whopping 454 days straight, only to be dethroned in about 30 seconds by The Ultimate Warrior.  You see Honky Tonk was a great heel, a master of subterfuge, and as his theme music says: "Cool, Cocky and Bad".  But when put up against reality...hard, cold reality...the pompadour usually wound up being pour cushioning for when his opponent caved his head in.  Tazz (yes, the guy who nowadays wears orange ties and keeps talking about the yam bag region) was one of the most rough and tumble "I.  Will.  Fuck.  You.  Up." guys in the business, and since he'd rather throw ya than know ya (there's a reason he's nicknamed "The Human Suplex Machine"), Tazz wouldn't fall for any tomfoolery nor HonkyTonkery.  This one'd be ugly, is what I'm sayin'.


Sim Snuka (aka the one that was related to Superfly) VS "Beautiful" Bobby Eaton

Despite being forced into a British gimmick with William Regal despite making a career off of being from Alabama (and having a finisher called the Alabama Jam), the "Beautiful" one was pretty damn good.  (And so was that tag team; too bad it was in WCW.)  Sim Snuka never really reached his potential, so I gotta go Eaton.


Tommy Dreamer VS Justin Gabriel

I can picture Dreamer swatting Gabriel out of the air with a fucking kendo stick personally, but since this is a normal straight up and down match...nah, still gotta give it to Dreamer.  Guy was better than a lot of people give him credit for.

The Rock VS Funaki (SmackDown! Numba One Announca)

This match would be short, but the promo rant leading up to it would be epic.  The Great One raises an eyebrow and his hand be raised in victory as the sun sets on Sho Funaki.


"Pistol" Pez Whatley VS Bruno Sammartino

Let's see.  One of WCW's "Jobbers To The Stars" versus the man who has spent more time as World Heavyweight Champion than any other human being to have walked this earth?  Yeah, seems legit.

Jay Briscoe VS Hugh Morrus

The Laughing Man better reach for the sky.  Briscoe in five.


Scorpio Sky VS Dick Murdoch

I dig Scorpio Sky (I will never forget the time him and Human Tornado broke out into the "Beat It" knife fight during a simple lock up at an indy show), but Dick Murdock bruised people in this game from the 60's to the 90's when he up and died of a heart attack. And Murdoch's toughness would be serious as a heart attack all over the flyweight frame of Scorpio Sky.

JBL VS Evan Bourne

Look, we all know this is going to end with Evan Bourne somehow getting Clothesline-From-Hell'd out of the Air Bourne.  We know this is going to happen.  It'll still be fucking awesome, but we already know that's the outcome here.  So let's just get to it already.


Taz defeats Honky Tonk Man
Bobby Eaton defeats Sim Snuka
Tommy Dreamer defeats Justin Gabriel
The Rock defeats Funaki
Bruno Sammartino defeats "Pistol" Pez
Jay Briscoe defeats Hugh Morrus
Dick Murdoch defeats Scorpio Sky
JBL defeats Evan Borne

Come on back for Brackets XXXIII!


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The Grunge Match is suspended indefinitely.

I don't know when it will resume.  This hits way too close to home for way too many reasons.

As far as writing goes, I just did Match 112 Tuesday night.  I have no interest in going back through and making this a love letter to the departed, nor bashing him for tearing our hearts out.  I have no idea when I'll be able to even listen to Soundgarden again, and when I do, it won't be the fucking same so there's no way I can give any kind of objective rating.  Chris Cornell was the soul of that band, the thing that took sludge with a few acrobatic musical flourishes and made it into the hellfire slinging, metal rending monster that it needed to be.

So yeah.  This one hurts.  The man is dead.  The music remains, but is changed forever.  His friends, family and fans are suffering incalculable grief.  There's not much more to say, so silence seems like the best option.