Back on February 2, 2013 James Anthony and Bobby Yela squared off in a Ladder Match for the AIWF Mid Atlantic Cruiserweight Championship. In what was truly a phenomenal matchup between these two young up and comers, the match ended with a lot of speculation. As James Anthony grabbed the championship title from above the ring standing on top of the ladder, his worst fears happened. The title literally slipped out of his hands, and landed on an unconscious Bobby Yela. “James Anthony never had possession of the title belt, and landing on Bobby Yela I had no choice but to award the match to Yela,” says AIWF Mid Atlantic Senior Official Darren Ceran. As Anthony and Ceran argued, Anthony backed Ceran into the corner. Out of nowhere came Phil Stamper, grabbing Tim Dolan by the shirt collar and dragging him to the ring. Stamper cashed in the Money in the Piggy Bank Pinata and pinned the still unconscious Yela, taking off with the title. Anthony turned around just in time to see Stamper leaving the ring with the title, his title as he proclaimed.
Up until this point these two men were strangers to one another. Having been around each other in the locker room, that was the extent of their knowledge of each other. If you ask Stamper, he knew who Anthony was, and that he was trained down at WWE Developemental location FCW. If you asked Anthony, he knew that Stamper had been around the US and was truly a submission expert in the ring. But what these two men did not know, if how low both of them would go to win. Stamper pinned an unconscious Yela, and Anthony, well, through a tantrum.
Anthony continues to this day to blame AIWF Senior Executive Vice President Tim Dolan for his loss and for his bad luck in the AIWF Mid Atlantic. Leaving 2012 Anthony was undefeated in the middle of the Mid Atlantic ring, while Stamper took a hiatus at the end of the year. Anthony could not understand why he wasn’t selected in the 2013 Krazy 8, when the Mid Atlantic seed was given to Phil Stamper. On February 23, 2013, these two men would face off again, this time with Bobby Yela in a Triple Threat Match for that cruiserweight championship. Phil, narrowly getting the victory, out smarted his opponents. “You can’t play chess with Phil Stamper,” says Johnny Reb, former AIWF Heavyweight Champion and now the man that sits beside Scott Eiland calling the action. “Phil knows he is smarter, and knows he can out think his opponents, so James is going to have to get and stay a step ahead of Phil to pin him.”
At the 2013 Krazy 8, James lost his first round match up with a little help from the distraction of Phil Stamper. What Stamper did not realize though was that it would be James Anthony that would cause him to lose his match as well. So on April 20th, Stamper came to the ring, knowing Anthony wasn’t showing up, and decided to tell the fans that he did not care about this title, it was all just a move in the bigger game he was playing. What game is Stamper playing? Does it involve James Anthony, or does it involve the entire crowd in Mt. Airy?
Now to May 11, 2013. James Anthony is back, but this time no Phil Stamper. Stamper had the night off, while Anthony had time to think things through and brought back up. Anthony brought some old friends, former manager The Voice Justin Michaels, and fellow New Standard member Deakon Star to the ring, and Court Montgomery did not see it coming. Anthony was victorious, but at what cost? Now he has his title match, but with a condition. Who will walk out of Mt. Airy with the AIWF Mid Atlantic Cruiserweight Championship on June 22nd at AIWF Extreme Content, or better question, will James Anthony have any hair left after that night?