|It's not like Hero to miss a Ted Petty Invitational now, is it?|
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
The first name of note is Chris Hero, who has competed in every single TPI that has ever been conducted. He made the finals in 2003, and has been a multiple time semifinalist as well. Hero's renaissance in the indies has been well-documented, couched mostly in his indoctrination into the #grapplefuck gang. He may end up encountering Timothy Thatcher at some point during the tournament, which would make a few people happy.
The second name is 2 Cold Scorpio, who has participated in two TPI tournaments in the past. In fact, he ran up against Hero in the first round in 2007. Scorpio is one of the unsung legends from the '90s who has made several spot appearances around promotions since Extreme Championship Wrestling went under. He most recently was a participant in Chikara's Rey de Voladores tournament during King of Trios weekend. He absolutely "still has it," and he should get at least one strong match in this tournament, even if he's just putting someone over in the first round.
Finally, Masada has been announced for the fray. He may be more at home in IWA Mid-South's OTHER landmark tournament, King of the Deathmatch, but it's good to have a violent brawler in the proceedings. Masada vs., say, Kongo Kong might end up being one of the most violent and destructive matches (in a good way) of the year. It might also be a good place for people to get to know him without fear of him putting skewers in his opponent's head. Or not, I have no idea.
Seven of the 12 competitors have been announced, and this field is looking as strong as any that has been run this year so far. I can't wait to see the final five names and see how this tournament bears out. It should be a dandy.