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Sermon on the Mat (Sept. 8, 2016): PWX Scouts Honor recap, AAW Cero Miedo results, NJPW vs. NOAH feud continues, King of Trios and more!

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Welcome back to the Sermon on the Mat, your weekly one-stop shop for news from the wider world of wrestling beyond the big cable TV monoliths that get all the coverage.

In the news

AAW Cero Miedo (September 1)

Dave Crist over DJ Z
Colt Cabana over Shigehiro Irie
Michael Elgin over Cedric Alexander
Zack Sabre, Jr. over Silas Young
Fénix over Sami Callihan by DQ
Chris Hero over Drew Galloway
Pentagón, Jr. (c) over Tommaso Ciampa (AAW Heavyweight Championship)

Tommaso Ciampa said goodbye to AAW last Thursday night with a losing effort against Lucha Underground star and current AAW Heavyweight Champion Pentagón, Jr. And indeed, the rest of the show was packed with name value talent from fellow Lucha Underground star Fénix (who now claims AAW as his home promotion and won when Sami Callihan snatched his mask from his face) to IWGP Intercontinental Champion Michael Elgin, to TNA superstars Drew Galloway and DJ Z, to Ciampa’s fellow soon-departing Raw cruiserweight Cedric Alexander.

If any of this piques your interest, you can pick the show up on DVD or VOD when it goes up shortly through Smart Mark Video.

NJPW Lion’s Gate Project3 (September 1)

Quiet Storm over Henare
Hajime Ohara over Hirai Kawato
Kenou over Teruaki Kanemitsu
Tomoaki Honma over Shiro Tomoyose
David Finlay over GO Asakawa
Juice Robinson over Ayato Yoshida
Ryusuke Taguchi over Hitoshi Kumano
Team NJPW (Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Katsuyori Shibata, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima, & Yuji Nagata) over Team NOAH (Go Shiozaki, Kaito Kiyomiya, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya, & Maybach Taniguchi)

New Japan’s roughly quarterly co-promotional young lion showcase came around again on Thursday, and if you watch any one New Japan match this week, make it the NJPW vs. NOAH tag on this show. 20 minutes of pure crazy violence including the post-match brawl, highlighted by Shiozaki and Shibata fighting all over the arena. At one point they engage in a chop battle that sounds like somebody in the crowd set off a string of firecrackers. It’s great, this feud is great, and I can’t wait to see how it continues at the Destruction shows later in the month.

Chikara King of Trios (September 2-4)

Chikara held their annual and excellent trios tournament over the weekend, and while I’m not going to provide full-service results due to space constraints, we’ll hit the highlights all the same. Emerging victorious in the King of Trios tournament proper was Team Sendai Girls (Cassandra Miyagi, DASH Chisako, & Meiko Satomura), while your 2016 Rey de Voladores winner is AAA and Lucha Underground’s Aero Star. The traditional Night 3 Tag Team Gauntlet was won by the D-Generation X combination of Billy Gunn and X-Pac, for maximum “...2016?” value.

And Chikara have been kind enough to provide the Night 1 tournament matchup between Major League Moustache (Dasher Hatfield, Trent Seven, & Tyler Bate) and the Batiri (Kobald, Kodama, & Obariyon) free for nothing on their YouTube channel! Have at it, folks.

Jeff Cobb vs. Keith Lee

Our second free match of the week comes to us courtesy of Limitless Wrestling up in Maine, a promotion I have to admit hasn’t been much on my radar but seem to peddle in their fair share of dream matches, including this ALL OUT HOSS WAR between Jeff “Matanza” Cobb and Keith Lee. Check it out!

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 69

But wait, there’s more! I couldn’t not share this week’s episode of CWF Mid-Atlantic TV, featuring a main event of John Skyler vs. Trevor Lee, the Ugly Ducklings in action as well as the debut of a man I keep talking up in Anthony Henry. Check it out and remember that there’s a brand new episode of TV every Wednesday night, free on YouTube!

PWX Scouts Honor: Over 4 Life (August 21)

Tracer X over Darius Lockhart, James Drake, & Mason Maddox by pinfall with a 450 splash on Lockhart.

Fun four-way opener here, with commentary spending a lot of time putting it over as a sort of do or die situation for James Drake, who at points puts the do into do or die, catching a dive from Tracer X into a pop-up European uppercut and coming up empty on a big man moonsault off the top. Everybody gets a nice moment to shine, whether it’s Mason Maddox Darius Lockhart with an excellent flipping back suplex facebuster, or Tracer X with the tornado reverse STO.

Gunner (c) over David Starr by pinfall with a low blow and a release powerbomb to retain the PWX Innovative Television Championship.

A little bit David and Goliath, a little bit Tom and Jerry, this one. David Starr nearly puts Gunner’s eye out with his genitals, so that’s cool. Gunner’s strength on display here, countering a headscissors into a powerbomb into the ringpost. But Starr is resilient, so Gunner starts busting out the underhanded tactics, stomping the hand, raking the eyes, and so on.

Good match, nice bookend to Another Level’s David Starr match against Corey Hollis, where he was similarly fighting from behind but it was technical acumen rather than brute strength he had to work against.

Jason Cade over Ethan Case by DQ when Elijah Evans IV runs in and gently shoves Jason Cade.

Fast paced from the start here, Jason Cade with a tope con giro over the ringpost (landing on a fan!) and following it with a corkscrew dive off the stage! Another pair of topes (suicida and con giro) and Case starts beating him up in the crowd before eventually powerbombing him over a barricade and onto what appears to be a booth-style couch!

Another powerbomb in the ring but it’s not long before Cade turns the tide again and they just keep trading bombs, culminating when Ethan counters a top rope frankensteiner into a sitout powerbomb, it is crazy. Really fun spotfest type match, Cade is always a joy to watch fly around and Case brought the power moves in return.

Post-match Ethan Case dives on Evans’ security and they brawl before Evans gets a sledgehammer (...all hail?) and works him over in the ring.

Backstage Case is being attended to and can’t move his left side but he vows revenge. Good stuff.

Sami Callihan over Corey Hollis by submission with Saka Otoshi.

Corey Hollis starts off doing the “I get $1000” interview from his Raw match and thanking Callihan for quitting NXT and letting him have his spot, because this is 2016 pro wrestling.

Anyway, he says his good friend Paul always said that Sami was a pussy and this sets the Death Machine off, starting with a bang by taking Hollis pillar to post, including a wicked cannonball in the crowd. Corey tries some under-the-ring subterfuge and turns the tide.

Strong back-and-forth brawling eventually leads to a submission exchange— Hollis busting out a Calf Killer (taught to him personally by AJ Styles), Callihan with the Saka Otoshi (no clue whether Minoru Suzuki taught him that, however)— and then a Pepsi Plunge from Hollis! Huge highlight stretch right there.

Good mix of hard-hitting action and 2016 shenanigans on display here.

The Revolt! (Caleb Konley & Zane Riley) over Nuclear Kaasarole (“Cauliflower” Chase Brown & Peter Kaasa) by pinfall with a Caleb Konley double jump moonsault onto Brown.

First big highlight of the match comes as Zane Riley sticks a thumb up Chase Brown’s ass only to get Cauliflower’s mighty sphincter wrenching down on him and eventually tossing him to the mat. Which, of course, leads directly to Chase riding the man and then ripping his ass. No ceremonial drinking of the Rip-It, sadly. Riley with a bum-thumb suplex on Brown and Kaasa simultaneously!

Cool double team sequence where the Revolt! stack Kaasa on Brown like he’s doing a camel clutch and hammer them from different angles in quick succession. Chase has the cauliflower and Zane tries to interfere only to get the vegetable spit on him and slammed into his dome. Kaasa follows this up with a nutty no-hands backflip dive to the outside!

Solid match, the comedy hit big but I don’t think it found a gear to shift to after that really worked.

Konley gets on the mic and puts Nuclear Kaasarole over before saying that we’re here tonight to celebrate the PWX Heavyweight Champion, Jake Manning. He comes out and they share a toast before a video plays showing Konley and Riley backstage. Konley asks himself to do a twirl and show off his butt and they show a video entitled Jake Manning: This Is Your Life.

It’s very touching, but this is pro wrestling, so of course Konley and Riley turn on him afterward. Nice touch that the video continues and turns with them, though. Cedric Alexander eventually shows up and runs them off.

A quick angle follows where referee D.A. Brewer confirms that Manning has a mild concussion, but PWX owner Brian Kanabroski comes out and says that concussion or no, if Manning doesn’t wrestle, he forfeits the title.

Anthony Henry over Moose by pinfall with a third low-angle Busaiku Knee Kick.

Henry working hard to chop the big man down from the jump. Multiple suicide dives take the fighting outside, he counters a powerbomb into the crowd with a headscissors takeover, running boot, just taking it to him hard. All good things must come to an end, though, and Moose lands a huge pop-up powerbomb to cut the run off. The damage is done to Henry’s back as it gives out when he tries for a fireman’s carry maneuver.

A second try a while later lands the Air Raid Crash but Moose dumps him on the back of his neck with a suplex into the corner. And so it goes, Moose landing power moves but Henry finding opening after opening and refusing to die. He even kicks out of Moose’s spear! Series of knees capped off with a low-angle Busaiku Knee Kick and Moose kicks out at one!

Really good match. Henry’s always excellent and Moose is great in his own right and the version of David and Goliath where David is also a badass asskicker in his own right is executed well here.

The Ugly Ducklings (Colby Corino, Lance Lude, & Rob Killjoy) over the GOUGE All-Stars (Chet Sterling, Mickey Gambino, & Timmy Lou Retton) by pinfall with a 450 Earthquake Splash from Corino on Sterling.

So GOUGE is Gimmicks Only Underground Grappling Entertainment, and they are a cast of characters. Timmy Lou Retton stands out in particular, “wrestling’s only male gymnast” and with the cartwheels and headstands (goozle choke optional) to show for it. Of course the Ducklings are quite flavorful themselves, so it’s a natural matchup.

At one point Colby tags Retton in on his own team-mates and he goes hog wild on Sterling and Gambino, only realizing his mistake before nailing the ol’ double noggin knocker. Another wonderfully mistimed double-team sees Gambino put Lude on Retton’s shoulders, ostensibly for a Doomsday Device or something similar only for Lude to nail Retton immediately with the poison frankensteiner!

A manager thumb war breaks out after Corino and Sterling get locked in a small package ball and they jockey to keep their guy on top. Colby with a big impressive comeback run ending in a suicide dive into the third row and Gambino powerbombs Lude into the pile! Huge tornillo from Retton!

Really fun six-man, balanced the comedy with the gearshift action a bit better than the tag earlier.

Kennadi Brink over Samantha Starr by pinfall with a package piledriver.

Excellent moment where Kennadi Brink fakes out a dive only to declare that she does not, in fact, dive. Has a real good mean streak in general, in fact. Full nelson bulldog from Starr, never seen that one before.

Not a lot to that one but it’s always nice to see a women’s match on these indie cards.

Jake Manning (c) over Cedric Alexander by pinfall with the deadlift piledriver to retain the PWX Heavyweight Championship.

Manning unsteady to start and Cedric comes at him hard, kicking him to the outside and diving on him repeatedly! Back suplex on the apron and Cedric working Manning’s head to try and re-open the cuts the Revolt! opened earlier. Just taking Manning’s head apart with chokes and stomps, a penalty kick off the apron, you name it.

The champion fighting back on the outside as the struggle intensifies. Back in the ring and he turns it around for a bit but Cedric chains a superplex into a Michinoku Driver but Manning won’t die! He spits defiantly in Cedric’s face and they slug it out for a big, Cedric getting four shots to the champ’s one until a desperate flurry provokes Cedric to land a headbutt.

Manning out on his feet worse than ever as Cedric lays stomp after stomp into the corner but he’s got enough wits about him to get a kick to the gut and a big DDT in. Diving lariat off the top into a backbreaker/STO combo as the Manscout gets a head of steam going. Looking for the deadlift piledriver but Cedric back body drops out of it and follows with a through-the-ropes springboard reverse STO and a knockout kick that gets a nearfall.

Reverses Lumbar Check into a cradle for two, forearm for forearm, move for move until Manning gets the piledriver clutch again only to have Cedric push him into the ref! The Revolt! are out, continuing their attack on Manning! Riley hits a DVD and wakes the ref up but as Konley gets Cedric up he eats a Lumbar Check, Cedric ain’t winning that way! Top the top for a frog splash but Manning gets the knees up! LUMBAR CHECK! NOT ENOUGH!

Jake’s out of it again but manages a big slap and a spinebuster! Cedric into the ropes... DEADLIFT PILEDRIVER! OUT AT ONE! A SECOND! IT’S OVER!

Awesome match. The concussion story had me a little wary but in actual execution, Cedric’s desperate willingness to do anything but accept the Revolt!’s help and Manning’s will to fight for the title came together to make for a good time.

Post-match, well... go see for yourself if you missed it.

Really good show from PWX, definitely recommend you go buy the VOD or check it out on the Highspots Wrestling Network. Not quite as knockout excellent as Another Level was, but just two shows into following them PWX are already one of my favorite promotions.

As always...

Remember folks, no matter what type of wrestling you like, no matter how down you feel about the state of WWE, TNA, ROH, or any other "big-time" pro wrestling, there's something out there for you. There's a pro wrestling product that can hit you in the right spot and make you love wrestling like you thought you'd never be able to love it again. It's there, I promise. You just gotta reach out and find it, and that, my friends, is what the Sermon on the Mat is all about.

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