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.
CMLL Super Viernes (February 10, 9:30PM Eastern)
- Astral & Principe Diamante vs. Cancerbero & Raziel
- Amapola, Dalys, & Zeuxis vs. Estrellita, Princesa Sugehit, & Silueta
- Atlantis, El Valiente, & Stuka, Jr. vs. Los Ingobernables (La Máscara & Rush) & Ripper
- Ángel de Oro & Rey Bucanero vs. Bárbaro Cavernario & Volador, Jr. vs. Blue Panther & Tiger vs. Carístico & Mephisto vs. Diamante Azul & Pierroth vs. Kraneo & Marco Corleone vs. Mascara Año 2000 & Máximo Sexy vs. Puma & Rey Cometa (Torneo Increible de Parejas Seeding Battle Royal)
- Torneo Increible de Parejas Matches
Yes, folks, it's tournament time this week. Always a bit of a bummer because CMLL like their tournaments in and out and that doesn't leave a lot of time for the matches to develop, but it is, as they say, what it is. This time, our theme is Parejas Increible, which is to say, tecnicos and rudos teaming together.
Check it out, as always, free on ClaroSports.
Style Battle S1E2 (February 10, 9PM Eastern)
- AR Fox vs. Drew Galloway (Style Battle Bracket A First Round Match)
- Anthony Henry vs. Caleb Konley (Style Battle Bracket A First Round Match)
- Fred Yehi vs. Tracer X (Style Battle Bracket B First Round Match)
- Dan Barry vs. Sami Callihan (Style Battle Bracket B First Round Match)
- Alex Taylor vs. Austin Theory vs. Connor Braxton vs. Eddie Machete vs. Jackson Kelly vs. Xander Killen vs. ??? (Style Battle FRAY! Match)
- Style Battle Bracket A Semifinal Match
- Style Battle Bracket B Semifinal Match
- Style Battle Final Match
The second of our eight preliminary Style Battle tournaments is going down Friday in Ybor City, and once again, the field is stacked. Fred Yehi and Anthony Henry both return on account of their time limit draw, and finalist AR Fox earned himself a second crack at the apple with his second place finish.
They're joined by PWX standout Tracer X, former FIP World Heavyweight Champion Caleb Konley, the always awesome Dan Barry, as well as two huge names in Drew Galloway and Sami Callihan. Plus, there's the now-trademark Style Battle FRAY!, a Royal Rumble-style match featuring Austin Theory, a bunch of students from Seth Rollins' Black & Brave academy, and a few surprises besides.
Get tickets here or check it out live or VOD on FloSlam, folks.
WSU Tenth Anniversary (February 11, 4PM Eastern)
- Annie Social & Sinister Sweethearts (Brittany Blake & Samantha Heights) vs. BaleSpin (KC Spinelli & Xandra Bale) & Missy Sampson
- Renee Michelle vs. Thea Trinidad
- Leva Bates vs. ???
- Britt Baker vs. Jordynne Grace
- Jade vs. LuFisto
- Fella Twins (Eddy McQueen & Rick Cataldo) (c) vs. ??? (WSU Tag Team Championship Open Challenge)
- Kiera Hogan vs. Su Yung (c) vs. Veda Scott (WSU Spirit Championship)
- Allie (c) vs. Mercedes Martinez (WSU Championship)
WSU are celebrating their tenth anniversary on Saturday afternoon with a thoroughly exciting card coming from Voorhees, New Jersey as a doubleheader with CZW's own anniversary show. The festivities are stacked, with Mercedes Martinez finally getting her title shot at the erstwhile Cherry Bomb, Su Yung fending off two challengers at once in what will surely be one of her trademark awesome brawls, and the erstwhile Mia Yim going head-to-head with Shine Champion LuFisto.
Plus two mystery matchups as the Fella Twins issue an open challenge for the tag titles and Leva Bates squares off with an undisclosed opponent hand-picked by Chrissy Rivera.
Get tickets here or wait for it to go up on CZW Studios.
CZW Eighteen (February 11, 7:30PM Eastern)
- Tim Donst vs. Tony Deppen
- Chrissy Rivera & Greg Excellent vs. Homicide & Mercedes Martinez
- "The Artist" Jake Crist vs. Shane Strickland
- Dave Crist vs. Rickey Shane Page
- Conor Claxton & Danny Havoc vs. Notorious, Inc. (Drew Blood & Devon Moore) (Fans Bring the Weapons Match)
- David Starr (c) vs. Matt Riddle (c) (wXw Shotgun Championship / Progress Atlas Division Championship Title vs. Title Match)
- Joey Janela (c) vs. Stockade (CZW Wired Championship)
- EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) vs. Scarlet & Graves (Dezmond Xaiver & Zachary Wentz) (c) (CZW World Tag Team Championship)
- Joe Gacy (c) vs. Shigehiro Irie (CZW World Heavyweight Championship)
CZW are celebrating their astounding eighteenth year right from their home base of Voorhees, New Jersey, and it is a doozy of a card. Just look at that title vs. title, bro! But also, an international title defense as Joe Gacy clashes with Shigehiro Irie, EYFBO get a shot at the titles that Scarlet & Graves stole from them at Cage of Death, plus the Crist brothers in singles matches, and Maxwell Jacob Feinstein will finally make his in-ring debut.
But the hottest matches on the card, storywise, have got to be Joey Janela's Wired Championship defense against Stockade, his first shot in his war against Father Matthew Tremont since Tremont powerbombed his girlfriend Penelope Ford through a coffin last month, and the Nation of Intoxication's continuing implosion reaches a climax in tag team action. The lines have been drawn, alliances made, but on Saturday, the fans bring the weapons!
Get tickets here or just wait for the show to go up on CZW Studios.
FIP Ascension 2017 (February 11, 7PM Eastern)
- Aria Blake vs. Dynamite DiDi
- Caleb Konley vs. Jason Cade
- Jon Davis vs. Martin Stone (c) (FIP Florida Heritage Championship)
- Brian Cage vs. Fred Yehi (c) (FIP World Heavyweight Championship)
FIP are back home in Ybor City, Florida this Saturday. After a bit of a rough start last time out, Gabe Sapolsky has promised us a show that's more like the excellent last hour of Everything Burns than the rocky beginning. In keeping with the new-look FIP's wild west nature, not much of the show has been officially announced, but what we have is pretty good looking.
Fred Yehi defends his title against Lucha Underground's Brian Cage, Martin Stone puts the Florida Heritage title on the line once more against Jon Davis, in a match that will hopefully be pure wrestling and none of that judo nonsense this time, plus two special attraction matches round out our announced card. Plus, Dontay Brown has a reward out for anyone that can collect the debt he claims the Lethal Lovers, Amber Young and Anthony Henry, owe him!
Get your tickets here, or watch live or VOD on FloSlam.
Freelance Hammer of Dawn (February 11, 9PM Central)
- Arik Cannon vs. Chris Castro vs. JJ Garrett vs. Kenny Sutra vs. Kevin Park vs. Rob Matter (Scramble Match)
- Brubaker vs. Stephen Wolf
- Darin Corbin vs. Space Monkey
- Alex Ohlson vs. Matt Knicks
- Suge D vs. Matt Cage (Freelance Championship #1 Contender's Match)
- Carnies (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy) vs. N-Words (Acid Jaz & Bryce Benjamin) (c) (Freelance Tag Team Championship)
- GPA (c) vs. Isaias Velazquez (Freelance Championship)
Freelance Wrestling are back in the Bottom Lounge in Chicago for Hammer of Dawn on Saturday night. My boys the Carnies are gunning for the N-Words' tag titles in what should be an absolute barn-burner of a match, Isaias Velazquez gets his title shot on a show named for his finish, Suge D and Matt Cage battle to be #1 contender, plus three standout singles matches and the obligatory but awesome scramble match to round the card off.
Get your tickets here, or head over to the website to purchase access to the $5 live stream. It's hard camera only, but the quality is good and you get commentary! Best $5 value in wrestling today.
NJPW New Beginning in Osaka (February 11, 3AM Eastern)
- Henare & Tomoyuki Oka vs. Hirai Kawato & YOSHITATSU
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan & KUSHIDA vs. Suzuki-gun (TAKA Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka)
- Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Jado, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Juice Robinson, Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV, & Yuji Nagata
- Chaos (Beretta, Kazuchika Okada, & Rocky Romero) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi, & Ryusuke Taguchi (c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA) (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship)
- Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs. Will Ospreay (RPW British Heavyweight Championship)
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) (c) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
- Dragon Lee vs. Hiromu Takahashi (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship)
- Michael Elgin vs. Tetsuya Naito (c) (IWGP Intercontinental Championship)
The second of our two New Beginning shows is here early Saturday morning, folks. It's a hell of a card, with a rematch of one of the hottest, most pyrotechnic feuds around for the junior title, a top-shelf Intercontinental Championship matchup on top, and the Wrestler defending his RevPro British Heavyweight Championship against the RevPro British Cruiserweight Champion, Will Ospreay, in what, as all Shibata title defenses, should be an awesome match.
Check it out live at butt o'clock or on VOD at a more reasonable time, only on NJPW World.
Free matches here!
Joe Coffey vs. Kurt Angle
The fine folks over at Scotland's Insane Championship Wrestling have not one, but two big bouts featuring the Iron Man himself (even though the riff in his entrance music is actually from Tony Martin-era Black Sabbath song Get a Grip!), Joe Coffey. Being the bigger name, I've chosen to embed the Kurt Angle match from Fear and Loathing IX, but also be sure to check out his match against Evolve World Champion Timothy Thatcher, folks!
AIW Halftime Heat
I hear tell there was some kind of immense sporting event this past Sunday, and the fine folks at AIW endeavored to ensure that you had a goodly chunk of pro wrestling to fill the gap. It's thirty-five minutes of quality graps featuring a lucha trios match, Colin Delaney vs. Dan Severn (!), and Heidi Lovelace vs. Shayna Baszler. Don't miss it!
Deonna Purrazzo vs. Veda Scott
And we'll round our group of free matches out with another from Women's Wrestling Revolution, who are committed to releasing their shows free, match by match. From the second round of their Tournament For Today bracket, it's Deonna Purrazzo vs. Veda Scott. Check it out!
AAW The End of Innocence (February 4)
- Arik Cannon over David Starr, Marion Fontaine, and Stephen Wolf
- Mike Hartenbower over Zicky Dice
- Candice LeRae & Samantha Heights over Allysin Kay & Jessicka Havok
- Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) over Ace Perry & Paco
- DJZ over KRUGAR
- Scarlet & Graves (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) over OI4K (Dave & Jake Crist)
- ACH (c) over Trevor Lee to retain the AAW Heritage Championship
- Brubaker & Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza) over Buck Nasty, Connor Braxton, & Kody Rice
- Penta el Zero M over AR Fox
- Sami Callihan (c) over Kongo Kong to retain the AAW Heavyweight Championship
AAW were back in LaSalle for their second show continuing the legacy of Dreamwave Wrestling, and it sure looks like it was a hoot. Adam Rose made his debut for the promotion under his brand new riff on his Leo Kruger gimmick, called KRUGAR in a losing effort to TNA star DJZ, Pentagon, Jr. made his first appearance under his new independent name in a win over AR Fox, and plenty more besides.
Check out the trailer here and then buy the show when it goes up on Smart Mark and Highspots.
Chikara National Pro Wrestling Day (February 4)
- Space Monkey over Ashley Vox, Delmi Exo, and Merlock (Young Lions Cup XIII First Round Eliminator)
- Cornelius Crummels over Cajun Crawdad, Everett Connors, and Razerhawk (Young Lions Cup XIII First Round Eliminator)
- Travis Huckabee over Fly Warrior, Sonny Defarge, and Travis "Flip" Gordon (Young Lions Cup XIII First Round Eliminator)
- The Whisper over Hermit Crab, Steven Mainz, and Sylverhawk (Young Lions Cup XIII First Round Eliminator)
- Race Jaxon over Missile Assault Man
- Legion of Rot (Obariyon, Kobald, & Kodama) over the Colony (Fire, Silver, & Worker Ants)
- Space Monkey over Cornelius Crummels (Young Lions Cup XIII Semifinals)
- The Whisper over Travis Huckabee (Young Lions Cup XIII Semifinals)
- The Force (Officers Bruno Meloni & Warren Barksdale) over the Closers (Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice)
- Juan Francisco de Coronado over Dasher Hatfield
- Space Monkey over The Whisper (Young Lions Cup XIII Finals)
Chikara once again pushed the envelope of professional wrestling content when they kicked off Season 18 on Saturday... wait, 18? Weren't they on 16? They were! And then they went and taped a whole secret Season 17 that will be released in chunks on Chikaratopia. We're living in the future!
National Pro Wrestling Day was a hoot, folks. Admittedly, I was only able to pay full attention to the four Young Lions Cup eliminators, but they were full of hungry young talent putting their absolute best foot forward. In particular, I'd like to shout out Razerhawk's absolutely crazy backslide driver. Really blew my hair back. Plus, UltraMantis Black made his return, with the Grand Championship around his waist!
Best of all, you don't have to take my word for it, get yourself straight to Chikara's YouTube and check it out!
NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo (February 5)
- Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) over Hirai Kawato & KUSHIDA
- TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Yuji Nagata over Henare, Tomoyuki Oka, & YOSHITATSU
- Chaos (Gedo, Jado, & Will Ospreay) over Jushin Liger, Katsuyori Shibata, & Tiger Mask IV
- YOSHI-HASHI over Takashi Iizuka
- Dragon Lee, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi, Michael Elgin, & Ryusuke Taguchi over Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito)
- Roppongi Vice (Beretta & Rocky Romero) (c) over Suzuki-gun (Taichi & TAKA Michinoku) to retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
- Hirooki Goto (c) over Juice Robinson to retain the NEVER Openweight Championship
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) (c) over Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) and Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer) to retain the IWGP Tag Team Championship
- Kazuchika Okada (c) over Minoru Suzuki to retain the IWGP Heavyweight Championship
As always, when I have a recap in the works, I'm gonna keep it tight, folks, but a quick scan of the results here will show you that Suzuki-gun prettymuch hit a brick wall in their return to New Japan. Aside from a win in the opener, they came up empty, which is quite telling.
But as you see above, they have one more shot at glory this weekend, albeit with nothing but pride on the line aside from their second chance shot at the heavyweight tag belts. Never count a man as devious as Minoru Suzuki out, I say.
Check it out on NJPW World.
RPW Live at the Cockpit 13 (February 5)
- Zack Gibson over Dan Magee
- Timothy Thatcher over Gideon Grey
- London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) over Josh Wall & Kurtis Chapman
- Marty Scurll over Luke Phoenix
- Ryan Smile over Travis Banks
- Dave Mastiff over Eddie Dennis
- Josh Bodom (c) over Oliver Carter to retain the RPW Interim British Cruiserweight Championship
- Zack Sabre, Jr. over "Speedball" Mike Bailey
RevPro had another one of their absurdly talent-packed shows over the weekend, full of veteran hands and up-and-comers alike. It was a bad day for local guys, as the more established man took almost every match, but Ryan Smile managed to pull out ahead of Travis Banks.
But I mean, really, Speedball vs. ZSJ should be all the hook you need to head over to RPW On Demand and check it out.
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.