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May 1, 2013

Top 10 Moments in Sole Survivor History

May 18th at both 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., OTW Pro Wrestling Club will be holding its sixth annual Sole Survivor Tournament. This is without question THE biggest show of the year for the entire Sole Survivor roster because it is the end of a long journey before OTW takes its summer break. The wrestlers always look forward to this final tournament as almost a way to prove who is the most dominant wrestler of that year. Every winner has gone on to win the OTW Heavyweight Championship, whether directly that night or sometime that next season.

This day has brought some of the best memories in OTW history, but we have narrowed them down to the top ten. Over the next 10 days, we will unveil another moment and count down from 10 to 1 until we find out what was truly the best moment in OTW Sole Survivor history.

10) "Mr. OTW" … The referee?

At the 2012 Sole Survivor tournament, Brian Johnson was forced by then CEO Rene Farely to referee the entire 2 p.m. portion of the tournament. He also had to call every match directly down the middle of he would forfeit his OTW Heavyweight Title match for that evening's 7 p.m. show against Chris Bohren. Obviously, the fans in attendance really gave Johnson a hard time throughout, but true to his word, he called it right down the middle. The best moment of this day was during the main event of Mik Drake against Brian's then best friend and tag partner, Craig Nash. the winner of this match would qualify for the semi-finals later in the evening. To the delight of the crowd and the disdain of Brian, he actually counted 1-2-3 in favor of Mik Drake over his longtime friend.

9) The Inaugural Year

The tournament was not originally designed to be a platform to OTW stardom. It was a concept
put together as a special show for that afternoon's crowd. The roster back then was very different than
it is today and was filled with a large crop of wrestlers from various promotions in the nation. Instead of a tournament to narrow down a winner, it consisted of a round of singles matches followed up with the winners in an elimination tag match. Who would have thought 5 years ago that a show made as a one-time event would become the mega show it is now.

8) The Tournament Extends

Originally, the tournament was just a one-time idea done at a 2 p.m. show for all the fans. It then grew to the 2 p.m. show that would set up that evening's 7 p.m. show. In 2012, the tournament outgrew it's 2 p.m. confines and was added to the 7 p.m. night show. The 2 p.m. show consisted of the preliminary matches that concluded in the 7 p.m. semifinals and finals. This meant that to become the Sole Survivor of OTW for 2012, you needed to not only win 3 matches at the 2 p.m. show but also win an additional 2 matches at the 7 p.m. show. As athletes everywhere will tell you, it is one thing to get warmed up for a game or competition but to have to warm up for 5 separate matches in one day and not know who your next opponent will be is a truly a sign of how hard it is to become OTW’s Sole Survivor.

7) "Pretty Boy" Becomes the Man

Before he was #1 or even "Mr. OTW", Brian Johnson was known as the "Pretty Boy". He entered the 2nd Sole Survivor tournament looking to regain his OTW Heavyweight Championship which was at the time vacated and set to be rewarded to the winner. After four grueling matches, Brian won back the OTW Heavyweight title. This moment would normally rank higher due to the title being on the line, but OTW's roster was still growing at the time and the competition wasn't nearly as fierce as it currently is. This in no way diminishes Brian's feat, but if he had had the likes of B.J. Hard Candy, Craig Nash, Chris Bohren, or the other great talents currently on the roster in the tournament at the time, Brian's career could have easily taken a different path entirely that night.

6) Third Time's the Charm

At the third annual Sole Survivor event, the yet to be pinned Craig Nash entered as an odds on favorite. He went in not only with the intent of running through the tournament with ease but also
winning back the OTW Heavyweight Title in that evening's 7 p.m. main event. Craig did just that and advanced to finals, which saw the first ever triple threat match in OTW history. Craig faced off against I.M. Smarter (Mik Drake) and "Pretty Boy" Brian Johnson. He and Smarter tried to initially double team Johnson but a mistimed elbow eliminated Smarter leaving it down to Craig and Johnson. Craig had much more gas left in the tank due to his shorter matches leading up to the tournament and laid waste to Johnson's attempt at winning another Sole Survivor tournament.

5) 10 Man Tag

As mentioned earlier, the initial OTW Sole Survivor originally didn't extend to two shows and the winner didn't win the OTW Heavyweight Title. It was just a tournament based off pride. All the winners in the first round were then placed into a giant 10 man elimination tag team match. With a crop of wrestlers coming from various promotions around the country, one OTW wrestler was up for the task of winning their company's first ever Sole Survivor tournament. Greg Hoguya, who is well known by longtime OTW fans, took on all comers that afternoon. Not only did Greg win the first ever Sole Survivor tournament but he made it clear OTW produces some of the best pro wrestlers in the nation.

4) Monstrous Debut

Last year's Sole Survivor has been proclaimed to be possibly the best ever. There are numerous factors that go into this line of thinking and the debut of two then-unknown peacekeepers is one of them. Mike Orlando and Will Brock debuted at last year's Sole Survivor with a bang. Originally hired by OTW management to keep any and all outside interference from happening, these two showed why they really signed up for the job. Their plan was to take out "The Demolition Man" Billy Demo. They apparently shared a storied past which was never fully explained but they laid waste to Billy and his tag team partner Nick Comoroto in historic fashion. Since then, Will has not been seen around OTW but Orlando has been running through competition like the Smasher he is. Recently, Orlando, Comoroto and Demo all teamed up as an alliance to get tag team gold. If the new formation of Doomsday can keep their act together and their heads on straight, all of OTW better be on the lookout.

3) Final Four

Earlier we explained how the first ever OTW triple threat match was seen at Sole Survivor. One year later, the first ever Fatal Four-Way match was seen. It featured Chris Bohren, Brian Johnson, I.M Smarter, and Andd Bivians all competing with hopes of winning the 2011 Sole Survivor Tournament. Bohren was really up against it as Johnson, Smarter, and Bivians teamed up on him to try and gain an early advantage. But as expected, that alliance didn't last long as Johnson and Smarter turned on the Thriller and disposed of him. The remaining part of the match is a true testament to Chris Bohren. The team of Smarter and Johnson double teamed him nonstop, but Chris refused to quit. In the end, Chris pulled out the unthinkable and defeated both Johnson and Smarter with a double frog splash.

2) THE Main Event

Heading into last year's Sole Survivor, there was one match that everyone was looking forward to and it wasn't a part of the tournament: Chris Bohren defending the OTW Heavyweight Title against
"Mr. OTW" Brian Johnson. This match was set up by OTW management prior to the tournament so neither man competed in the day show. They focused their entire day and night on how to defeat the other. These two put on an absolutely CLASSIC battle for the sold out OTW Fan Nation. In the end Chris retained his title and may forever be known as the best OTW Champion in history.

1) Upset

Chris Bohren wins the number one moment because of his meteoric rise to the top in OTW. It was a long shot that a man of his size would not only be able to last the entire 2011 tournament and win it (see #3) but then to go on and fight the most dominant wrestler ever to lace a pair of boots in OTW, Craig Nash with any hopes of winning. Chris had to with stand a grueling tournament, a fatal four way turned handicap match, and then ultimately take down OTW's resident monster. Craig had never been pinned nor submitted in ANY match for 3 years straight. Most of Craig victories were quick runs through his opponents. Now, Chris had to stand up to this bully and try to win the OTW Heavyweight Title for not only himself but the entire OTW Fan Nation. On this night the stars must have been aligned perfectly for Chris Bohren because he did just that. Chris Bohren won the Sole Survivor tournament, went onto fight the monster and defeat him! Chris Bohren was the new OTW Heavyweight Champion and went on to hold the title for almost an entire calendar year.

Who knows what great moments are going to happen this year at Sole Survivor? Go ahead and order your tickets now or you can purchase them before the show at the OTW arena itself. You don't want to miss it!