Wrestler of the Day – February 24: Crimson/Brodus Clay

It’s another double shot today as neither choice is strong enough to warrant a full entry. Today we’ve got Crimson and Brodus Clay.

Crimson debuted in TNA as Amazing Red’s brother in December 2010. He quickly established an undefeated streak and had his first major match against someone familiar with undefeated streaks in Samoa Joe. From Slammiversary 2011.

Samoa Joe vs. Crimson

Crimson hits the ring and they slug it out immediately.  The fans think Joe’s Gonna Kill Crimson.  Suicide dive is blocked by a forearm from the floor and there’s a big boot back in the ring by Crimson.  Neckbreaker gets two.  Cravate goes on so Joe gets a bad dragon screw leg whip to take the red dude down.  Crimson hammers away on Joe but walks into a kind of atomic drop sort of a move to the knee.  That was different.

He takes Crimson down with relative ease and there’s a leg bar for a few seconds.  Spinning toe hold by Joe as we go back to the mid 1870s.  Crimson counters into a triangle choke and then an arm bar which gets him nowhere.  T-Bone suplex by Crimson takes Joe down as the fans are trying to get into this.  Double arm DDT gets two.  The fans chant Mercer, which is Crimson’s real name I believe.

Suplex and a clothesline by Joe get two.  Joe goes up to the middle rope for a Rough Ryder for two.  Joe is all frustrated.  “Dang man end this match already before the buffet is empty.”  Powerbomb gets two and it’s off to a half crab.  We get a Gumby reference of all things as the hold stays on.  They slap it out and Crimson gets a spear to take Joe down.  They slug it out again with Crimson knocking him back into the corner.  Now Joe knocks him back into the corner but can’t get the Musclebuster.  Clutch can’t go on either so there’s the Red Sky to end this.

Rating: C+. Pretty good big slugout here and it’s good to see Crimson actually face big time competition for a change.  Pretty good match here with the ending being pretty clear, but a nice test for Crimson nonetheless.  I don’t think Crimson is as great as he’s made out to be, but this worked pretty well for what it was.

Crimson would hook up with Matt Morgan and win the Tag Team Titles in 2012. Here’s a title defense from Genesis 2012.

Tag Titles: Matt Morgan/Crimson vs. Samoa Joe/Magnus

Joe starts with Morgan and the tall one is taken down quickly. Off to Crimson who is the least interesting undefeated person this side of Tatanka. Magnus comes in and gets double teamed by the champs. Morgan hits his corner elbows and Crimson hits an overhead suplex for two. Back to Joe who runs Morgan over. Crimson comes in and has the same result as Morgan had.

Magnus comes back in and we go split screen as Ray is beating up Abyss. And now we’re back full screen as Joe has a chinlock on Crimson. We get a dueling “We Want Morgan/No We Don’t” chants. Crimson spears Joe down and we’re told that Bully Ray is trending worldwide on Twitter. Off to Morgan who hits the Hellevator (not called that) to Magnus but Joe breaks up the pin.

In a HORRIBLE looking sequence, Joe hits a bunch of strikes in the corner, followed by the middle rope elbow from Magnus. It only gets two though, due to Crimson breaking it up. The horrible part: Magnus flew off of Morgan about a second and a half before Crimson even touched him. Magnus reverses a chokeslam but a double version is enough to pin Magnus at 9:38.

Rating: D+. This just didn’t click for me at all. The messed up save really took me out of the match. Joe just isn’t going to get pushed no matter how much he gets cheered and how much his opponents get booed or get no reaction, because it’s just been decided that he’s not going to get pushed. Listen to the fans TNA. It just might work.

They would lose the titles and as is Matt Morgan’s custom, the former champions would enter into a feud as a result. This one culminated at Lockdown 2012.

Crimson vs. Matt Morgan

Crimson is now billed as “The Undefeated” on his graphic. Crimson goes for the door very quickly but Morgan keeps pulling him back in. Morgan walks into a clothesline for two as momentum shifts. Crimson rams him into the cage as the crowd is a little more awake now. He chokes Morgan on the ropes and a spinebuster gets two.

Crimson sets for what looked like the spear but walks into the discus lariat. Big boot puts Crimson down and it’s followed by a nice belly to back suplex. Morgan loads up the Carbon Footprint in the corner but gets tangled in the ropes. Crimson tries a quick escape but they wind up fighting on the top rope. Morgan gets crotched and tied up in the rope, allowing Crimson to climb out for the win at 7:26.

Rating: D. You know, if the time is such a problem tonight, maybe you could have this go a few more minutes and have the TV Title go longer than three minutes. It might keep the issues down a bit more. Anyway, this match was really boring as the feud has been put on hold for the last two weeks. This show is bordering on disaster at this point but there are some big matches to come.

James Storm would return from an injury as a surprise at Slammiversary 2012 and give Crimson his first loss with relative ease. With the winning streak broken, there was no reason for Crimson to be around for awhile. He went down to OVW for further training and quickly won the Nightmare Rumble to earn an OVW Title shot against champion Johnny Spade in September of 2012.

OVW Title: Johnny Spade vs. Crimson

Spade is an OVW mainstay and one of the biggest stars in the company’s history. Johnny grabs a headlock to start but is quickly knocked to the floor with a shoulder block. The announcers talk about Crimson stealing the Nightmare Rumble from Rob Terry after Terry lasted over an hour, setting up a future program. Crimson sends Spade into the barricade but the champion comes back with some kicks to the ribs.

We take a break and come back with Crimson holding a chinlock before running Spade over with an elbow to the jaw. A hard slam gets two for Crimson and the challenger is very cocky. Spade misses a dropkick and gets caught in a quick cravate. Crimson puts him on the top rope but Spade comes out with a tornado DDT to put both guys down. Spade sends him into the corner for a double knee to the back but Crimson blocks a Swanton with knees to the back of his own.

A spinebuster and high collar suplex get two each for Crimson but Spade grabs a loose triangle choke of all things. Crimson powers out of it but runs into a kick to the face (not Spade’s superkick finisher) to stop him cold. Raul Lamotta comes out for a distraction but Shiloh Jonze (Spade’s former best friend) runs out and drills Spade with brass knuckles, giving Crimson the title.

Rating: C+. Nice match here, as was often the case in OVW. Spade was kind of like a Shawn Michaels, as he was a smaller guy fighting a monster but he was just good enough that you believed he could shock the world. Crimson looked good and is far more interesting as a heel who had been playing mind games to get the title shot.

Crimson would hold the title for a few months before dropping it to Rob Terry. This led him to starting a paramilitary stable called the Coalition Forces with another hot prospect named Jason Wayne as the co-leader. Now called General Crimson, he would face another OVW mainstay named Jamin Olivencia (he’s been a jobber on WWE TV a few times under various names) in a #1 contenders match in March of 2013.

Jamin Olivencia vs. Crimson

Crimson looks FAR more intimidating with the rebel flag, camo vest and sunglasses. There are five other members of the Coalition Forces with Crimson here, including one guy covered in grass as a disguise. Crimson and OVW Champion Doug Williams might be in cahoots as well, which ties in to Olivencia as he beat Williams but had the decision overturned for reasons that aren’t quite clear. Crimson actually sends the Coalition to the back because he wants to do this on his own.

Jamin is taken into the corner but comes out with a right hand to the face, sending Crimson out to the floor for a breather. Back in and Crimson hammers away as the announcers argue about whether or not Jamin lost to Doug Williams. Crimson is knocked to the floor again and walks back in to a headlock from Olivencia, only to counter into a chinlock. Jamin goes up top but gets pulled down to the mat for two and we hit the chinlock again. Olivencia fights up again and dropkicks Crimson to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Crimson getting two off something we couldn’t see and putting on the chinlock for a third time. Off to a camel clutch as the announcers bicker even more about secret meetings. Jamin fights out but gets taken down by a hard running clothesline for two. We hit the chinlock for a bit before Jamin fights up and hammers away in the corner. Crimson takes it outside and throws Olivencia onto the announce table but can’t hook a piledriver.

Back in and Olivencia scores with a spinwheel kick for two but Crimson counters Jamin’s DDT into a spinebuster for two. Crimson crotches Jamin on the top and hooks a superplex for two. Jamin comes back with his DDT but Doug Williams pulls out the referee and sends him into the steps. The Coalition runs out and destroys Jamin, giving Crimson the pin.

Rating: B-. This was far better than I was expecting with both guys looking solid. The Coalition is another heel stable but I like having it headed up by one person instead of several. Crimson was in charge here and could do a decent enough power style in the ring to make it work. If nothing else it makes me want to watch more OVW.

Crimson was a guy that had a great look but the undefeated gimmick really hurt him. At the end of the day the streak went on WAY too long and people just didn’t care when it was over. Couple that with the fact that he never won anything and it’s easy to see why people weren’t interested. The paramilitary gimmick was WAY more entertaining and interesting looking, making me think there’s a lot of potential left in Crimson. He’s only 29 after all so there’s a lot of time left.

Off to Brodus Clay, who is a rather scary looking man. He started as G-Rilla in developmental before going by his more famous name in the fourth season of NXT. One of his first major matches on that show was a fatal fourway elimination match on January 25, 2011.

Brodus Clay vs. Byron Saxton vs. Johnny Curtis vs. Derrick Bateman

 

This is the second week in a row where I couldn’t remember Curtis’ name.  That’s not good when I’ve watched every episode of this show.  This is elimination rules, no tagging, winner has the option of changing their pro.  Everyone goes after Bateman for some reason instead of Brodus.  He is thrown into a suplex from Brodus and is pinned in less than a minute.

Now they both go after Brodus as I scratch my head trying to figure that out.  They manage to get a suplex on him but Curtis tries to steal a rollup on Saxton which gets two.  Brodus is collecting himself on the floor so the others are in the ring.  Curtis takes out Brodus with a dive, leaving Saxton in the ring as we take a break.

Don’t try this at home.  These are good PSAs for lack of a better term to run.

Back with Brodus nailing Saxton with a clothesline.  Curtis is down on the floor and lets Saxton get beaten down like an intelligent person would.  Saxton gets something close to a Stunner to take Brodus down for two.  Curtis tries to come in off the top but gets caught.  He knocks Saxton down and gets a double guillotine legdrop to put out Saxton at 4:30.  We’re down to Clay and Curtis.

Clay is reeling and Curtis adds a European Uppercut to send him back on his heels.  Brodus is like wait I’m huge and splashes Curtis in the corner.  Off to the nerve hold which is my least favorite rest hold of all time.  Curtis fights out of it and rams some shoulders into the corner.  Josh has picked Rey to win the Rumble apparently.  Johnny goes up but jumps into the Tongan Death Grip Slam to end it at 7:20.

Rating: C+. This was quick and I think that was the right idea.  These guys aren’t very good in the ring so they kept this short.  Putting Bateman out that fast was kind of awkward but maybe that was due to an injury or something.  This was ok and probably about as good as it was going to get.

 

After hooking up with and being abandoned by Alberto Del Rio, Brodus would stay on Superstars for awhile before disappearing for three months. He would return as the Funkasaurus in what I thought was the surprise of the year in 2012. One of his first big matches was against The Miz at Extreme Rules 2012.

Brodus Clay vs. Dolph Ziggler

The “smart” fans chant for Ziggler and they go to the floor quickly. Swagger runs over Brodus to put him down and get him in trouble for the first time. Back in Ziggler pounds on him but Brodus comes back with a headbutt. A knee lift misses and the Fameasser gets two. Another dropkick gets one and it’s time for a modified sleeper. Brodus stands up and easily throws Ziggler over. Dolph tries a suplex and is easily thrown off. Brodus gets all fired up and shakes, including a shot to Swagger. Headbutt to the ribs sets up the splash for the clean pin at 4:19.

Rating: C. This is EXACTLY what Brodus needed. He’s squashed jobbers for months now so a real win where he had to fight off some people is a great upgrade for him. Ziggler hammered away on him and certainly didn’t get squashed, which is how you make someone like Clay look great. Good stuff.

Brodus would lose his first match to Big Show, sending his career down a good bit. He would however captain a Survivor Series team at Survivor Series 2012.

Team Clay vs. Team Tensai

Brodus Clay, Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel

Tensai, Prime Time Players, Primo, Epico

My goodness they’re USING THE BIG FREAKING ROSTER THEY HAVE. This is a smart move that they never use for some reason. I miss the King’s stupid lines. Apparently the fans got to pick Rosa’s dress tonight. Uh….sure. Kidd and Epico start things off with Kidd taking it down to the mat quickly. Off to an armbar by Kidd before Epico bridges into a backslide. This is some awesome stuff actually. Kidd sends him to the floor but Epico slams him face first into the apron to take over.

Off to Gabriel for some kicks and a legsweep before it’s right back to Kidd. Scratch that as it’s Young vs. Mysterio now as this is hitting a bit of a dull spot. Cara and Mysterio hit a combination wheelbarrow slam/X-Factor for two for Cara. Primo comes in and takes the Tajiri Elbow and a rana to send him into the corner. Primo slams him down and it’s off to the Big Bald. JBL rattles off some NJPW stats for Tensai and it’s off to O’Neal.

That also goes nowhere so it’s off to Epico again for a camel clutch. Cara finally escapes and hits an enziguri before making the tag to Brodus. Everything breaks down and the four tag team guys on the heel team are sent to the floor. Kidd and Gabriel hit stereo suicide dives to take out the Puerto Ricans and the masked guys hit stereo Asai Moonsaults to take out the Players. Awesome sequence there.

This leaves the two monsters left in the ring alone in a match we’ve seen a lot of times before. Clay tries his overhead suplex attempt but it basically turns into a Downward Spiral, which makes me wonder if there’s more to Ryback not being able to Shell Shock Tensai. Brodus misses a splash in the corner and gets shoulder blocked down. The backsplash from Tensai takes out Clay and we’re down to 5-4.

Kidd tries to fire off some kicks but gets run over as well. Off to Titus again with an abdominal stretch to slow things down. A backbreaker from Titus puts Gabriel down and the backsplash from Tensai gets two. A second attempt misses and Justin rolls him up for the pin. Back to O’Neal as we’re down to what this match likely should have been in the first place.

Epico comes in to chop away and hit a butterfly suplex for two on Gabriel. Off to some chinlockery but Epico misses an elbow drop and there’s the hot tag to Kidd. Scratch the hot part as he’s immediately sent to the floor and stomped on by Primo. Back to Titus for more pounding but a big boot misses and O’Neal crotches himself on the top rope, allowing Kidd to hook his spinning sunset flip for the elimination.

Young immediately comes in to stomp away as it’s Cara/Mysterio/Kidd/Gabriel vs. Epico/Primo/Young. Epico comes in and rolls some belly to back suplexes but Kidd sweeps the legs and it’s a Sharpshooter for the elimination. It is Survivor Series after all. Primo comes in now and suplexes Kidd down, only to dive off the top onto some knees.

There’s the hot tag to Rey who speeds things up and kicks Primo in the head for two. The seated senton by Rey gets two and La Magistral leaves Young on his own. There’s the 619, a Swanton from Cara, a top rope Lionsault from Justin, a top rope elbow from Kidd and a top rope splash from Rey to END Young for the win at 18:27.

Rating: B-. Very solid choice for an opener here with everyone looking good to great out there. This is what they should do with the three hour Raw’s: let the small guys go out there and tear the house down for ten minutes or so to fire up the crowd. This worked really well for an opening match and the high flying sequences were all really fun. Good, fun match here which is what the roster is capable of when it doesn’t have stupid writing weighing it down.

Brodus and Tensai would soon form a tag team called Tons of Funk and proceed to do….not much. They did however team up on September 17, 2013 on Smackdown.

Tons of Funk vs. Prime Time Players

Brodus pounds on Young to start before it’s quickly off to Tensai and an elbow/side slam combo. Young bails to the floor and Titus dives on Tensai as he goes after Darren. O’Neil comes in and runs over Tensai, only to miss a charge into the corner. Hot tag brings in Brodus to splash Young in the corner. A powerslam gets two as Titus makes the save (despite being late and the referee having to pause his count early), only to be thrown to the floor. The double splash ends Young at 2:44.

When you look back, Brodus really hasn’t done much. At the end of the day, he’s not much other than a good look but he’s had some decent performances at times. Most of that has been due to his character, but at least it’s better than nothing. Not much to him, but he’s better than some choices.

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2 comments

  1. Rocko says:

    Why does that no space thing keep happening?

    klunderbunker Reply:

    I wish I could answer that. It doesn’t when I copy and paste it but does when I post it.