In a series that was much closer than the final statistic indicated, Ohio Valley Champion Michael Clyde successfully defeated former champion and #1 contender Mike Kendjorsky in a best-of-seven series last night, 4-0, after Kendjorsky invoked his automatic rematch clause. The contest, which was held under traditional OVBP/YTR rules, was the second so far since the Ohio Valley Championship has been defended under the new format.
Lacking the controversy from last month’s inaugural battle between the two, Kendjorsky kept at least 3 of the four games very tight down to the end, sources say. Clyde’s unshakeable composure allowed him to clinch all three of these games, as well as one by a wider margin, to complete the series sweep.
While Commissioner John Wyatt Edgar had to cancel an in-person appearance for the match, he relayed pertinent information about the matchup thanks to insiders who were present. Kendjorsky was flanked by his wife and #2 contender to the World Championship, Brittany Kendjorsky. Other guests included former DubPoints Tournament semi-finalist Jeff Edzkowski and who is now the new #1 contender to the Ohio Valley Championship, Jared Bloom.
It was just last month when Clyde controversially stepped in for a leading Bloom against Kendjorsky mid-match, after Bloom was declared unfit to compete. After batting clean up, Clyde walked away with the Ohio Valley Championship in shocking fashion, his fourth reign with the title counting the championship’s shared lineage with the early OVBP tournaments. As a result, both Bloom and Kendjorsky were awarded rematch clauses.
The on-paper dominating performance by Clyde in the rematch shows that he may be back or close to his 2010 form, as Kendjorsky’s match with Bloom was seemingly much more competitive, though under different circumstances. However, Bloom has historically had Clyde’s number, and is 1-0 against him in outright title matches. Kendjorsky drops to 0-3 against Clyde in O.V. title matches, though it’s really 0-2 as last month’s has an asterisk.
This sets up a mega-showdown and perhaps an indicator of future direction for the championship. Clyde will next be slated to defend against Bloom, both of whom are four time champions. They have until July 14 to schedule and compete in the match. Early indications are that Clyde will push for home-field advantage in the greater Columbus area. The Commissioner is aiming to be present.
There is a very real possibility that the two could spend months at the top of the title picture, with the recently ousted Kendjorsky not far behind in the pecking order. However, rumors continue to swirl that Edgar will sanction a small tournament or other multi-person title defense in August, meaning whomever wins this battle of four-time champs will have an uphill climb to face shortly after.
For Kendjorsky, who has went from a dual-champion to losing both of his titles in the past month or so, hope is not lost. He is still due a rematch for the Internet Championship against Donnie Yeager on June 16-17, and as of press time was tied for 5th in Season XVII of Gang Wars, a position that should allow him some kind of future title shot at one of the various belts, if not the World belt, within the next few months. He has spent the better part of the last year positioning himself as one of the top stars of the company, and is a persistent threat to be in the running for all titles going forward.