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.
NOVA Pro Such Great Heights (December 28, 8PM Eastern)
- Brandon Green vs. Santa Claus
- Alexander James vs. Fred Yehi
- Jimmy Jacobs vs. Tim Donst
- AJ Gray vs. Gunner Miller (c) (Anarchy Triple Crown Championship)
- Allie Kat vs. Angelus Layne vs. Brittany Blake vs. Jordynne Grace
- Beau Crockett vs. Sugar Dunkerton
- Arik Royal & Chet Sterling vs. Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy)
- Dominic Garrini vs. John Kermon (No Rope Match)
- Faye Jackson vs. Veda Scott (Street Fight)
- Logan Easton LaRoux (c) vs. Sage Philips (PWI Ultra J Championship)
- Jonathan Gresham (c) vs. Sonjay Dutt (Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship)
NOVA Pro are back in Annandale, Virginia with an absolutely stacked show tonight. If you haven't, check out the primer Duke and I (mostly Duke!) wrote right here for all the details.
AIW Rulers of the World (December 29, 7:30PM Eastern)
- No Consequences (AJ Gray, Garrison King, Joshua Bishop, & Tre LaMar) vs. The Production (Colby Redd, Derek Director, Frankie Flynn, & Magnum CK)
- Louis Lyndon vs. Tom Lawlor
- Dominic Garrini vs. "All Ego" Ethan Page
- Candice LeRae vs. Gringo Loko vs. Laredo Kid vs. Matt Cross
- Eddie Kingston vs. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams
- To Infinity and Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney) (c) vs. ??? (AIW Tag Team Championship Open Challenge)
- Jimmy Jacobs vs. Joey Janela (c) (AIW Intense Championship)
- Nick Gage (c) vs. Tim Donst (AIW Absolute Championship)
AIW are back in Cleveland, Ohio to close their year out and they've got half the brains you do! Er... What I mean to say is the title isn't just an affectation, Sycho Sid is in the house! Tim Donst gets his rematch for the Absolute title, Janela puts the Intense title on the line against Jimmy Jacobs, and perhaps most compelling of all, To Infinity and Beyond have an open challenge out for the tag titles.
CMLL Super Viernes (December 29, 9:30PM Eastern)
- Arkangel & Metalico vs. Magia Blanca & Robin
- Blue Panther, Jr., Star, Jr., & the Panther vs. Puma, Sagrado, & Tiger
- Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, & Titan vs. Cuatrero, Forastero, & Sanson
- Johnny Idol, Okumura, & Sam Adonis vs. La Peste Negra (Barbaro Cavernario, Mr. Niebla, & Negro Casas)
- El Valiente, Marco Corleone, & Mistico vs. Los Guerreros Laguneros (Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero) & Shocker
- Caristico vs. Volador, Jr. (c) (NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship)
CMLL are back in Arena Mexico for your last weekly Friday night dose of lucha libre action for 2017 and they're going out pretty strong, following up Caristico and Volador's singles match from last week with a rematch, title on the line! Plus a couple trios matches that should deliver in varying flavors and it's not a bad way to spend your evening, folks.
AAW Windy City Classic XIII (December 30, 7:30PM Central)
- Connor Braxton & Jake Something vs. PACO & Sean Waltman
- Keith Lee & Shane Strickland vs. Scarlet and Graves (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz)
- ACH vs. Matt Riddle (AAW Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender's Match)
- Killer Kult (Dave Crist, Jake Crist, & Sami Callihan) vs. Myron Reed, Stephen Wolf, & Trey Miguel
- David Starr vs. Eddie Kingston (Bourbon Street Fight)
- AR Fox vs. Joey Janela vs. Penta el Zero M vs. Teddy Hart
- Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) (c) vs. Brubaker & Curt Stallion (AAW Tag Team Championship)
- Jeff Cobb vs. Rey Fenix (c) (AAW Heavyweight Championship)
AAW are back in Merrionette Park, Illinois to close their year out and, I mean, holy crap just look at that four-way. Fox? Madman. Janela? Utterly crazy. Penta? No fear. Hart? Thinks he can teach cats to wrestle. The rest of the card is swell and all, Kingston looking for violent retribution on Starr, that OI4K six-man, ACH/Riddle, all of it, but the four-way is where the money's at.
CWF Mid-Atlantic Battlecade X8 (December 30, 7PM Eastern)
- John Skyler vs. Joshua Cutshall vs. Michael McAllister vs. Snooty Foxx vs. ??? vs. ??? (Golden Ticket Scramble)
- Cain Justice vs. Nick Richards
- Brad Attitude vs. Chet Sterling
- Dirty Daddy (c) vs. Mike Mars (RGL Championship)
- Andrew Everett vs. Logan Easton LaRoux (c) (PWI Ultra J Championship)
- CW Anderson (c) vs. Ric Converse (PWI Heavyweight Championship "I Quit" Title vs. Career Match)
- Dawsons (Dave & Zane Dawson) (c) vs. Sandwich Squad (Aaron Biggs & Mecha Mercenary) (CWF Tag Team Championship Last Men Standing Match)
- Arik Royal vs. Jesse Adler (c) (CWF Worldwide Television Championship)
- Roy Wilkins vs. Trevor Lee (c) (CWF Heavyweight Championship First Blood Match)
CWF Mid-Atlantic are back in the Mid-Atlantic Sportatorium in Gibsonville, North Carolina and they have a blockbuster card lined up to end their year. Everett and LaRoux do battle for the Ultra J title (and if Sage Philips wins at NOVA Pro tonight, he'll be added and the match will become a three-way!), Ric Converse puts it all on the line against CW Anderson, the tag titles are defended in an utterly unique Last MEN Standing match that requires both teammates to be put down for the ten count, and most exciting, that main event, two technical wizards who have gone to war time and again face off one more time, and as soon as the claret flows, it'll be over.
Progress Chapter 60: Unboxing Live! 2 - Unbox Harder (December 30, 1PM GMT)
Progress are closing their year out in London, England with what has fast become tradition, a secret show! No talent announced, certainly no matches announced, it's a black box and given how wacky pro wrestling has gotten there's no telling what might actually happen on Saturday!
Xcite Fight Club (December 30, 7PM Eastern)
- Axel Lennox vs. Nick Ando vs. Rob Cook vs. Simon Queen
- Anthony Gangone & TJ Marconi vs. Boots and Lariats (Pat Sawyer & Ray Ross) vs. Killer Instinct (Jacoby Riddick & Mike Skyros) vs. Resistance to Transcendence (Cloudy & Isys Ephex)
- Brandon Silva vs. Leon St. Giovanni vs. Slyck Wagner Brown
- Alexander James vs. Brute VanSlyke
- "All Ego" Ethan Page vs. Greg Excellent
- "Supercop" Dick Justice vs. Joey Ryan (XXX-Mas Match)
- Jimmy Jacobs vs. "Chainsaw" Joe Gacy
- Austin Aries vs. Sean Carr (c) (Xcite Heavyweight Championship)
Xcite Wrestling are in Binghamton, New York and as you can see at a glance they've got a star-studded show on tap with plenty of opportunity for their local guys to shine, so, like I always like rail on here, this should be a great show to watch and get a new favorite or two out of the deal! Also: I don't know what exactly comprises an XXX-Mas Match, but I know I like it!
Beyond Heavy Lies the Crown (December 31)
—Powerbomb Pre-Game (6PM Eastern)—
- Damien Smith vs. Kyle the Beast
- Brian Milonas vs. Mikey Webb
- "Supercop" Dick Justice vs. Orange Cassidy
- American Strong (Jay Freddie & Rory Gulak) vs. Chuck O'Neil & Tom Lawlor
- Jonathan Gresham vs. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams
- Brandon Watts vs. Zenshi (Santiago Street Fight)
—Heavy Lies the Crown (9PM Eastern)—
- Amityville Project (Dan Barry, Mike Verna, Rex Lawless, & Ryan Galeone) vs. Pull It Club (Dorian Graves, Joey Ryan, Johnny Cockstrong, & VSK)
- John Silver vs. Jordynne Grace
- Josh Briggs vs. Keith Lee
- AR Fox vs. Rickey Shane Page
- Jimmy Jacobs vs. Matt Riddle
- Ace Romero vs. Wheeler YUTA (Tournament For Tomorrow Finals)
- Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) vs. EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) (Tables, Ladders, & Chairs Match)
- David Starr vs. Joey Janela (Fans Bring the Weapons Match)
Beyond are in Worcester, Massachusetts to ring in the new year and boy are they doing it in style! The Powerbomb Pre-Game alone would stand up to a lot of wrestling cards, especially with the rematch of the year between Justice and Cassidy-- let's hope we don't lose any more cameramen, eh? But the main card runs the gamut, from HOSS warfare between Briggs and Lee, an absolute dream match between Jacobs and Riddle, Romero and YUTA doing battle in the TFT finals, the final explosion of Team Pazuzu in TLC action and, well... that main event.
Ringing in the new year at the crack of midnight, David Starr and Joey Janela are going to go to town on each other in a Fans Bring the Weapons match. It's gonna be crazy and I wouldn't miss it for the world...
...which is convenient, because it's going to be airing LIVE on Powerbomb.tv despite not being at their usual live streaming venue! Get your tickets here or get ready to tune in, folks, but you're not gonna want to miss it.
CMLL Sin Piedad (January 1, 6PM Eastern)
- Electrico & Ultimo Dragoncito vs. Mercurio & Pequeno Olimpico
- Cancerbero, Hijo del Signo, & Raziel vs. Oro, Jr., Star, Jr., & Starman
- Blue Panther, Jr., Pegasso, & the Panther vs. Misterioso, Jr., Sagrado, & Virus
- El Valiente, Esfinge, & Titan vs. Mr. Niebla, Shocker, & Vangellys
- Angel de Oro, Caristico, & Niebla Roja vs. Cuatrero, Forastero, & Sanson
- Negro Casas vs. Sam Adonis (Hair vs. Hair)
And CMLL are back again much as they were last week for a holiday show with a big apuesta match on top! Old Man Casas is going to put young American upstart Sam Adonis in his place or he's gonna end up shaved bald.
Now, much like the Christmas day show, the streaming status of this one is up in the air, but keep an eye on their YouTube and be ready, if you like.
NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 12 (January 4, 12AM Pacific, 3AM Eastern)
- PRE-SHOW (11PM/2AM): New Japan Rumble
- Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (c) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Chaos (Beretta, Tomohiro Ishii, & Toru Yano) vs. Michael Elgin & War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, & Zack Sabre, Jr.) vs. Taguchi Japan (Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Togi Makabe) (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship Gauntlet Match)
- Cody Rhodes vs. Kota Ibushi
- Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer) (c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
- Hirooki Goto vs. Minoru Suzuki (c) (NEVER Openweight Championship Hair vs. Hair Match)
- Hiromu Takahashi vs. KUSHIDA vs. Marty Scurll (c) vs. Will Ospreay (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. “Switchblade” Jay White (IWGP Intercontinental Championship)
- Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega (c) (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match)
- Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)
Thursday morning Wrestle Kingdom puts Sermon in a tough spot but we'll make due! I'm not going to go into a huge amount of depth here because, well, if you're reading this you're probably as excited as I am, but I'd be remiss if I didn't include it at all, wouldn't I? Jericho and Omega are ready to have a brawl all over the Tokyo Dome, the Rainmaker crosses the record for most days as IWGP Heavyweight Champion in the morning and walks right into the Stardust Genius in the main event, it's the culmination of New Japan's year and the beginning of everyone's 2018 Match of the Year lists all rolled into one.
Check it out on NJPW World, folks.
Free matches here!
Josh Barnett vs. Timothy Thatcher
From a show hosted by Every Time I Die (hey guys, do Tim a solid and record a new guitar version of Dvorak he can use, eh?), we have top-shelf technical wrestling action fresh off the presses. Two students of Billy Robinson do battle, it's Thatcher vs. Barnett, don't miss it!
Darby Allin & Matt Cross vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly)
From the fine folks over at Defy, we have one of reDRagon's last indie matches here. Originally scheduled to face the Lucha Brothers, travel issues raised their heads and instead we got the high flying superteam of Allin and Cross. Check it out!
Corey Hollis vs. John Skyler (Unsanctioned Match)
From the good people over at PWX, we have one of their hottest matches of 2017 on call for you right here. For months Hollis goaded Skyler, blaming him for their failure to sign a contract and move on from the indies, but John refused to strike a man he once called brother... until Corey crossed the line and DDT'd him on the concrete, and all bets were off. It's the culmination to one of the best stories in all of pro wrestling in 2017, violent as all hell, and you're not gonna want to miss it!
Anarchy Christmas Chaos (December 23)
- Logan Creed over Rico De La Vega
- Marcus Kross over Graham Garrison
- Aja Perera over Harlow O'Hara by disqualification to qualify for the Making Towns Classic
- Brooklyn Creed over Harlow O'Hara (c) to win the Anarchy Women's Championship
- Slim J over AR Fox
- AC Mack over Austin Theory (c) and Ike Cross to win the NCW Heavyweight Championship
- Brad Cash over Jacob Ashworth by disqualification
- "Wild" Billy Buck over Kyle Matthews (c) to win the Anarchy Landmark Heritage Championship
- Gunner Miller over Matt Riddle
Quite an eventful night for Anarchy, eh? Couple title changes, Brad Cash earned his job back, and what's that in the main event there? Miller and Riddle are 1-1 now, so the obvious question begs itself... what of the rubber match? Well, it's already set for February, and it goes down inside of a steel cage!
Check it out on Powerbomb.tv when it goes up, folks. (And also note that Night 1, hosted by NCW, will ALSO be going up on Powerbomb!)
wXw 17th Anniversary (December 23)
- Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) over Jay-FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet)
- David Starr over Jurn Simmons
- Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER) (c) over Young Lions (Lucky Kid & Tarkan Aslan) to retain the wXw World Tag Team Championship
- Killer Kelly over Melanie Gray to win the inaugural wXw Women's Championship (wXw Women's Championship Tournament Finals)
- Bobby Gunns over Ivan Kiev (c) to win the wXw Shotgun Championship
- John "Bad Bones" Klinger (c) over Ilja Dragunov to retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (No Holds Barred)
Alas, friends, RISE had a bad night at the office but they held on where it counted, and Dragunov is unbesiegbar no more. Just going by pictures on Twitter it was a brutal, bloody war, and in the end, Ilja went down... and from the way wXw spoke about it, it might not just be the end of the unbeaten streak, but the end of Dragunov in wXw entirely. Time will have to tell, I suppose.
The show also saw some substitutions, with both Zack Sabre, Jr. (unable to wrestle due to contagious bronchitis) and Session Moth Martina unable to make the show. WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne graciously filled in against Marius Al-Ani in a match that will unfortunately not make the VOD release, and despite Melanie Gray's claim that she should be crowned by forfeit, wXw officials saw to it that the tournament had a proper finish, even if maybe it wasn't the one anyone was expecting in the morning.
Check it out on wXwNOW!, folks.
Remember folks, no matter what type of wrestling you like, no matter how down you feel about the state of WWE, Impact, 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.