On July 8th, Martinsburg, West Virginia native Robbie Paige endured everything you could throw at a professional wrestler in one night. He endured a 20+ year veteran from Ring of Honor in Bob Evans. He survived the unpredictable Michael's Amaydo in a Technical FIGHTers Showcase. In the end, he fell to the opportunistic Tanner Reynolds who not only exploited an existing leg injury, but came with an insurance policy in the form of an unknown masked man who played a part in all 3 of his matches. While Robbie Paige did prove that he could compete at a high level, his attempt to comeback as FIGHT Pro Champion was stolen from him.
"I think the first two rounds spoke to what kind of athlete I am and what I stand for," a frustrated Robbie Paige stated in an interview this week with fightprowrestling.com. "For the finals of a tournament to end that way is an absolute shame. I'll go one better and say its bulls**t. Tanner Reynolds may hold that belt for now, but know ill be coming back for it," he later added.
Obviously, losing in the finals did not sit well with "The Wildman," especially in the manner that it happened. F.I.G.H.T has always preached sportsmanship and integrity as principles that our athletes should uphold. For an ending of a tournament to conclude in such a way did not sit well with anyone in the locker room. One of the most vocal about it was The MiniBoss Diaz, who fell victim to Reynold's masked assailant before his second round match.
"Tanner Reynolds obviously doesn't care about respect or professionalism or he wouldn't have resorted to outside interference in literally every one of his matches in the tournament," said Diaz earlier this week. " I'm honestly pissed about the whole thing. This guy took a chance from me to win my first Heavyweight Championship. Those opportunities do not come around everyday. Don't think he's not going to hear from me about it when I see him again. When we cross paths again, whether its in the ring, in the back, or in the parking lot, I'm throwing hands, its that simple," the MiniBoss later added.
Another tournament competitor, Pat Anthony agreed with Diaz sentiments. He sent in a statement after the event in regards to the conclusion of the tournament.
"I have been involved with FIGHT on virtually every event. Never have I seen a match with outside interference or unprofessional tactics before that tournament on July 8th. We all know my feelings regarding Diaz, but he's right here. That sh*t may fly in other promotions, but it doesn't fly here. Its just a damn shame that the night ended like that. I hope he enjoys being champion for now. Now that everyone is gunning to take that championship off of him, its going to be hard to hold on to.
As you can tell, people are obviously upset about how things went down on July 8th, unless your name is Tanner Reynolds. We've been told that the FIGHT Pro Championship is his first Heavyweight Championship in his 7 years in Professional Wrestling. Having spent the last 3 years training with the likes of Rip Rogers, Eugene Dinsmore, Sylvester Turkay, and Eric Angle, Reynolds was looking to make a statement quickly in his Maryland debut. Make no mistake, Reynolds was more than capable of winning the tournament by himself, but winning isnt guaranteed in the world of wrestling. He decided to improve his odds.
"I have been telling every single last one of you for MONTHS how it was going to be. I did not drive 3 and a half hours down a cesspool like Western Maryland to come home empty handed. Make no mistake, if called upon I could have knocked EVERYONE on their ass in that tournament. I just wanted to make 100% sure that at the end of the night, my hand was raised," said an angry Tanner Reynolds as he heard the comments from other FIGHT competitors. "I've said it since day one, the ends ALWAYS justify the means. Keep talking, because the next time I take that 3 and a half hour drive I'm coming with gold and ready to knock the next victim on his ass."
The newly crowned FIGHT Pro Champion certainly will have a lot of people coming for that championship during upcoming events in the area. Who will be the first to challenge for the Championship? The only way to find out is to be there LIVE, as F.I.G.H.T makes its debut in Chambersburg, PA. Ticket are on sale now at www.fightprowrestling.com