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BANKIE'S HOT TAKE #40 - Tough Tim vs MSG: Deeper Than a Normal Match

On September 2, 2023, American X Wrestling, two weeks prior to Battleground X and the much publicized Legends of Hamburg Fan Fest at the Historic Hamburg Field House in Hamburg, PA, will be running a free wrestling event during the “Taste of Hamburg-er Festival” in between 2nd and State Streets throughout the entire day called SLAMBURGER! It’s free admission, and more information can be found at It’s such a unique event to be held. Please support the local festival, small business, and especially Hamburg.

Plus, BANK ON me trying to eat my weight in burgers, Wimpy style. I will gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.


Regardless, there is one match announced that immediately piqued my interest. Signed last week was a match-up between “Tough” Tim Hughes of Tough Guy Inc and “Moonshot” Max St. Giovanni.

To many, it’s a battle between a young upstart in MSG and a wily veteran of the mat, Tough Tim.

For me, it’s a personal battle between friends.

Tim Hughes and the St. Giovanni Brothers are long time friends. Residing in Edison, NJ during their childhood, Tim and Leon St. Giovanni went to school together, bonding over their love of independent wrestling. They frequently went to shows for Ring of Honor at the Inman Sports Club in Edison, and events at the Rahway Rec Center in beautiful Rahway.

Max would always tag along, as the little brother of LSG, and gained his passion and love of the industry through these moments with his sibling and close pal.

At 18 years old in August 2010, Tim made his wrestling debut at the ACE Arena against William Wyeth. This one moment jump started a career of hard work and dedication for Tim, leading to his cult figure status alongside “Brutal” Bob Evans in a great tag team.

Max was so proud of his friend.

Max decided to follow in his brother and friend’s footsteps, and at 18, tried to break into wrestling as well.

But, according to a rumor that was leaked to me a few days ago, one moment completely derailed those dreams.

The date: October 13, 2012.

In an eight-man tag team match for Beyond Wrestling in Deer Park, NY, Tim and Max were on opposite ends of an elimination match. Tim, Dan Barry, Ken Scampi, and Bill Carr faced off with JT Dunn, Mark Shurman, LSG, and MSG.

Photo Credit: Picture Dave, Beyond Wrestling "All Aboard" 10/13/12

When it came to a face-to-face moment between the friends, Tim absolutely took MSG to school. Hughes’ heavy hand caved in the chest of Max, and rocked his world. After Barry and Scampi leveled Max with a Doomsday Contra Code, Tim came off the top rope and splashed Max for a three count. MSG was the first man eliminated.

Max took time off from wrestling, not shortly thereafter, and began going to acting school, doing independent plays, and learning the skill of becoming an actor. As a fan, I always wondered why MSG didn’t continue on.

The rumor around independent wrestling circles was that being pinned by his friend “Tough” Tim hurt him deeply. Plus, the chop that caved in his chest might have broken his heart a little bit. MSG was saddened that, according to the rumor, Tim took a liberty with him in the ring with that heavy handed chop.

Again, it’s only a rumor.

Thankfully, “Moonshot” returned to wrestling several years later, and is now a part of the Ace of Space Academy alongside his brother. In fact, there is growing buzz over MSG’s talents and obvious charisma in the Metropolitan area.

So, at SLAMBURGER on September 2, I was intrigued to see Tim and MSG scheduled to go one-on-one with each other. Eleven years later, both men are in different places and more mature as athletes. This is a match to look out for.

Of course, these two are still friends and have watched each other’s back in various stages of life, both in-and-out of the ring. But with these two facing off, my mind will obviously wander to one place:

Was the rumor fact-or-fiction?

September 2, we find out.


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