I came across IWA Midsouth's 2004 Ted Petty Invitational and started watching the final between Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles. The more than 20 minute match wrapped up more than a five hour show. The match was as good as I expected all three, a lot younger, showed why they would go on to be world stars. The highlight of the match was Styles hitting the Styles Clash on Samoa Joe to end the match.
The 2004 Ted Petty is highly regarded as one of the best independent wrestling events ever. It featured a mix of every type of wrestling: mat work, strong style, aerial abilities, Lucha libre, women's, and a little hardcore. It also was more than ten hours in length when both nights are combined.
The tournament featured a list of who is who in the wrestling world: Roderick Strong, Nigel McGuinness, Cesaro, Chris Saban, Styles, Matt Sydal, Petey Williams, BJ Whitmer, Chris Hero, CM Punk (complete with blonde hair), Austin Aires, Alex Shelley, and Bryan.
Take one look at that list and you will see why people hold this version of the TPI in such high regards. People talk about the impact that Ring of Honor has had on the modern pro wrestling and I love ROH but people should start showing some respect for IWA Midsouth and what they have contributed to business. I know IWA Midsouth is known for its hardcore style and blood lust but the pure wrestlers that have come through the promotion is very impressive.