Tournaments are a staple in independent pro wrestling -- King of Trios, the Super 8, BOLA. AIW has thrown their hat into the ring, and have met great success along the way.
This year, AIW is honoring Chandler Biggins in the Chandler Biggins Memorial Tag Team Tournament. When Fightful spoke to AIW's John Thorne, he opened up to us about his thought process in booking a 2-on-2 playoff when there aren't as many big name tag teams on the indie circuit.
"We utilize quite a bit of tag teams. Maybe they're not as widely known at this time, but our division is well established in our universe of things -- a smaller universe. For our fanbase, we utilize several teams. Tag team wrestling is very much lacking as far as teams that are available. Outside of Lucha Brothers and LAX, it drops off as far as who the vast majority of people know. That's kind of what that tag team tournament is about. It's about showcasing more unknown teams," said Thorne.
Thorne and AIW take a much different approach for their singles tournament, JLIT. So much so, that Thorne even gave Fightful an exclusive on their first entrant -- Savio Vega!!
"The JT Lightning tournament is all over the map. We try to find unique talents. The first entrant this year is going to be Savio Vegas. We try to find legends, too. Last year we had Marty Jannetty and Gangrel. We kind of go all over the map. I think the workrate tournament is a little overdone. We like to make ours more fun. You're going to get your work rate matches, but last year we did Joey Janela vs. Marty Jannetty II. It was pure insanity. Marty Jannetty almost died four times. It's not as much balls to the wall, PWG style so to speak. It's a fun weekend, it works for us. I understand that mindset doesn't appeal to everyone, but it's worked for us, especially in the Cleveland area," said Thorne.
You can see the JT Lightning Memorial Invitational Torunament June 14, and the Chandler Biggins Memorial Tag Team Tournament June 15 at The Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio. Tickets are available at AIW's website.
Photo credit: WWE