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 (June 2, 9:30PM Eastern)
- Mercurio & Pequeno Violencia vs. Shockercito & Stukita
- Disturbio, Misterioso, Jr., & Virus vs. Drone, Fuego, & Guerrero Maya, Jr.
- Hechicero & Los Ingobernables (Pierroth & Rush) vs. Negro Casas, Rey Bucanero, & Vangellys
- Atlantis & Esfinge vs. Blue Panther & Pegasso vs. Cuatrero & Mascara Ano 2000 vs. Espanto, Jr. & Kraneo vs. Forastero & Shocker vs. Mistico & Star, Jr. vs. Sanson & Ultimo Guerrero vs. Stigma & Titan (Torneo de Gran Alternativa 2017 Block A)
CMLL are back with the usual Friday night action, and lo, a tournament lurks! This time it's Gran Alternativa, the annual tag tournament where veterans and up-and-comers team for glory. Eight teams compete this week and eight next week, and then we'll have finals two weeks from now.
As always, as long as they remembered to take the region block off, you can catch it free for nothin' on ClaroSports.
Freelance vs. the World 3 (June 2, 10PM Eastern)
- Arik Cannon vs. Brubaker vs. Elliot Paul vs. Kobe Durst vs. Leon St. Giovanni vs. Robert Anthony
- Isaias Velazquez vs. Utamaro
- Chris Castro & Rob Matter vs. Team BETA (Craig Mitchell & Kenny Sutra)
- Darin Corbin vs. Matt Cage
- "All Ego" Ethan Page vs. Grado
- Alex Ohlson vs. Matt Knicks (Street Fight)
- N-Words (Acid Jaz & Bryce Benjamin) vs. Superiority Complex (Roy Gordon & Tony Nas) (c) (Freelance Tag Team Championship)
- GPA (c) vs. Stevie Fierce (Freelance Championship)
Freelance Wrestling are back in Chicago with their third annual installment of Freelance vs. the World, and the world is a little underrepresented this time, but that's fine, because Freelance's local boys more than pack enough punch to make up for it! Alex Ohlson's issue with Matt Knicks finally comes to a head in a street fight, Matt Cage wrestles his final match for Freelance, the N-Words look to regain their tag titles, and two of Chicago's finest go head to head in a main event as good as you'll ever find on the indies. Plus those two international dream matches and Freelance's trademark scramble and it's gonna be a hoot.
Get your tickets here, or head on over to the website for the triumphant return of the $5 stream!
GCW Zandig’s Tournament of Survival II (June 3, 5PM Eastern)
- Danny Havoc vs. ??? (Tournament of Survival First Round Deathmatch)
- Markus Crane vs. Masashi Takeda (Tournament of Survival First Round F***ery Boards Deathmatch)
- Jimmy Lloyd vs. Nick Gage (Tournament of Survival First Round Destruction Derby Deathmatch)
- Matt Tremont vs. Zandig (Tournament of Survival First Round Deathmatch)
- Joey Janela vs. Joker
That's right, GCW is back in Howell, New Jersey, and they're bringing the King with them! Nick Gage makes his return to wrestling once again and Jimmy Lloyd is gonna have a hell of a time with him. Plus Tremont vs. Zandig?! And I'm not sure I even wanna know what the deal with the boards is...
Get your tickets here or wait for the show to go up on Smart Mark Video, folks.
NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 24 Finals (June 3, 4AM Eastern)
- Will Ospreay vs. Winner of Block B (Best of the Super Jr. Tournament Finals)
Well, as I write this on Wednesday afternoon we don't know who's winning Block B, and it's also just about impossible to predict, seeing as everyone in the block is tied, 3-3, and requires a win and three losses in the three other matches that will have happened this morning to advance. So that's fun!
Check out my first match recommendation post here, my second will be going up later today, and then check the finals out on NJPW World, folks.
RPW Live at the Cockpit 17 (June 4, 5:30PM GMT)
- Jinny vs. Nina Samuels
- Josh Wall & Kurtis Chapman vs. London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch)
- Angelico vs. Zack Gibson
- #CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) vs. Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Zack Sabre, Jr.)
- Ashley Dunn vs. Josh Bodom (c) (RPW British Cruiserweight Championship)
RevPro are back in the Cockpit in London, England, and as usual, it's a quality mix of local folk and dream matches, with Angelico taking on Liverpool's Number One and, most excitingly that tag match. It's non-title, but it looks to be excellent.
Get your tickets here or check it out on RPW On Demand.
Free matches here!
Candice LeRae vs. Kay Lee Ray vs. Mia Yim vs. Nixon Newell vs. Session Moth Martina
From the good folks at SWE we have some women's scramble action featuring five of the top women on the indies, some of whom are quite likely to be making their way onto the WWE Network for the Mae Young Classic soon enough! Plus, I'm not going to embed it here, but they've also uploaded a Johnny Gargano vs. Tommaso Ciampa match that should be relevant to everyone's interests. Enjoy!
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Wheeler Yuta
From the fine folks at Beyond Wrestling, a match featuring a man whose work I've come to enjoy very much in CZW and elsewhere, MJF! Check it out as he battles another up-and-comer, Wheeler Yuta, at Good Karma from earlier this year.
APW Weekly Episode 2
Yep, it's the second episode of APW Weekly, featuring more matches from the historic Cow Palace, because why not? Plus, APW streamed their most recent Gym Wars event on YouTube last Friday, and I felt I'd be remiss if I didn't toss it in here. Check it out!
AAW Thursday Night Special (May 25)
- Paco over Connor Braxton
- Jake Crist over Joey Janela, Laredo Kid, and Myron Reed
- Trevor Lee over Colt Cabana
- Alex Daniels & Davey Vega over Stephen Wolf & Trey Miguel and Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry)
- Keith Lee over Donovan Dijak
- Michael Elgin over Jack Swagger
- AR Fox & Rey Fenix (c) over Lio Rush & Shane Strickland to retain the AAW Tag Team Championship
- Sami Callihan (c) over Juventud Guerrera to retain the AAW Heavyweight Championship
Let's pass this one to our pal CJ (give him a follow, @GAtsaves on Twitter), since he was in attendance and passed on copious notes for our reading pleasure!
AAW returned to their original home last night – the "world famous" Berwyn Eagles Club in Berwyn, IL. It is a dilapidated, crowded, intimate setting that is perfect for indie wrestling. Everything – the wrestlers working the table, the fans congregating the aisles, the seats, the ring – are all on top of each other. Better make friends with the guys next to you! It is a perfect setting.
The first half of the card, while fun and entertaining, was largely forgettable. There was a fun four-way match between Joey Janela, Laredo Kid, Myron Reed and Jake Crist that featured (you guessed it) lots of …dives – and the obligatory "F*** you Randy" chants that’ll be part of indie spotfest matches from now til the heat death of the universe.
Let’s talk about Keith Lee. First of all, he may be the nicest, friendliest person in the world. Not only would he shake everyone’s hand and take pictures on request, but towards the end of the merch time before the show he packed up his own stuff and walked around talking to other wrestlers and even mingling in the crowd, shaking hands and taking pictures like he was running for office. He’s a genuinely good dude and I hope nothing but good things happen to him.
The last four matches were all great in their own ways. First up was Lee-Donovan Dijak, the new in-demand indie match after their tremendous showcase Mania weekend. These two work so well together and tonight was no exception. Lee just oozes charisma and can work as well.If you are reading this, you’ve already been #blessed enough to bask in his glory. Either way, check this match out – Dijak is no slouch either! The two men did some fun spots and lots of physical brawling as well. The crowd was white-hot, always helps make a match better.
After that was the debut of FKA Jake Swagger vs Big Mike Elgin. Well, Little Mike Elgin, as Swagger is huge. I’m a shoot 6’4" and Swagger is only an inch or two shorter than I am. He’s also jacked, has a little bit of that Brock Lesnar look – big arms, chest,core, legs, etc. Not as "Incredible Hulk" as on-the-cycle Brock, but that same general physique. Once Swagger got his sea legs back under him (he was kinda clunky early) the match got pretty good. Big Mike is a great hand and the two hosses just beat the hell outta each other. Swagger played his greatest hits from his WWE days – the Vader Bomb, the belly-to-belly suplexes, the ankle lock, you know the drill.
Next was a spotfest – Lio Rush and Shane Strickland vs AR Fox and Rey Fenix. Tons of…dives…and other gymnastic stuff. Good fun palette cleanser after two hard-hitting matches. I dunno if they were intentionally going for the "Fuck You Randy" theme, but this was dive after dive after big move after big move after kickout after kickout. It ended with, you guessed it, all four guys hugging and putting each other over. I’m not the world’s biggest spotfest guy but Shane Strickland is starting to grow on me, not gonna lie. He’s been at AAW a few times and each time he’s left a good impression on me. Lio Rush is a damned acrobat – he does stuff with his body that you can’t believe even as you are seeing it.
Main event was Sami Callihan (and his screamy manager, who himself…dove…earlier tonight off the top rope) vs Juventud Guerrera. These two just beat the holy hell out of each other. The match wasn’t a technical masterpiece but that’s ok – these two were more than eager to just slap, punch, kick and brawl all over the place. I’ve written about him before but Callihan is a great heel – you actually hate the guy and want to see him lose because he’s a scoundrel and a bastard. After the match he beat up Juvy and when Rey Fenix made the save he beat him up too – but here comes BIG MIKE, who challenged Callihan for the AAW Heavyweight Championship in what should be a doozy at the next show.
Thanks for reading everyone and support you local indie! The guys and ladies work hard to bring you good matches at a reasonable cost and it is always a good time at AAW!
Sounds good (and I personally am really stoked to hear that Swagger's hit the ground running), but if you need more convincing, you can check out the official trailer before hitting Smart Mark Video or Highspots to purchase this bad boy.
Lucha Forever Catch Me Outside (May 25)
- Viper over Bea Priestley
- Cara Noir over El Ligero, El Ligero, El Ligero, El Ligero, and Kip Sabian
- Toni Storm over Jinny
- Mark Haskins over Bubblegum, Chris Ridgeway, and Dan Moloney to become #1 contender to the Lucha Forever Championship
- Omari over David Starr
- Kay Lee Ray over Alex Windsor
- Travis Banks (c) over Matt Riddle to retain the Lucha Forever Championship
- #CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) over Scarlet and Graves (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) (c) to win the CZW World Tag Team Championship
Yes, folks, that all happened at Lucha Forever one week ago. A match with four El Ligeros? Really happened. CZW World Tag Team Championship changing hands in the UK? Absolutely happened. Plus two absolute barnburners in Riddle/Banks and Storm/Jinny as well as a really fun Ray/Windsor that had a cool segment where they literally shadowboxed in front of a projector, and it adds up to a show that's worth checking out.
You can do so on FloSlam, if you'd like.
FIP Accelerate 2017 (May 26)
- Anthony Henry over Teddy Stigma
- J. Spade over Matt Lancie
- Drennen, Odinson, & Parrow over Bu Ku Dao, Danny Flamingo, & Socorro
- Aria Blake & Dynamite DiDi over Lindsey Snow & Priscilla Kelly
- AR Fox over Jason Kincaid
- Jon Davis (c) over Caleb Konley to retain the FIP Florida Heritage Championship
- Fred Yehi (c) over Ethan Case to retain the FIP World Heavyweight Championship
- Jason Cade over Austin Theory, James Drake, & Jon Cruz
FIP brought it with a really strong show-- for a closer look at what went down I'll point you at the live results thread, but suffice it to say that Fox and Kincaid tore the house down, I was really impressed by the guests from WildKat Sports, especially J. Spade, and the closing four-way was the height of new-model FIP chaos.
Check the VOD out on FloSlam, folks.
Glory Pro United Glory (May 26)
- Sauciest Men Alive (Kevin Giza & Lukas Jacobs) over Adam Slade & Jacob Creed
- Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) over Fraternity (Channing Decker & Trent Gibson) (United Glory Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Alpha Class (Danny Adams & Paco Gonzales) over Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza) (United Glory Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Shotzi Blackheart (c) over Alexia Nicole to retain the Phoenix of Rise Championship
- Kyle O'Reilly over Curt Stallion
- Everett Connors over Aaron Dzinic, Aaron Anders, Brandon Espinosa, Gary Jay, Jake Parnell, Jason Roberts, Logan James, Matt Kenway, Mickey Muscles, Sean Orleans, and Tyler Matrix (Gauntlet Match)
- Barackus over Ace Hawkins
- Keith Lee over Michael Elgin
- Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) over Alpha Class (Danny Adams & Paco Gonzales) to win the United Glory Tag Team Championship (United Glory Tag Team Championship Tournament Finals)
- Myron Reed (c) over Rey Fenix to retain the Crown of Glory Championship
Michael Elgin's Glory Pro continues on, crowning their first tag team champions! Myron Reed retained the Crown of Glory Championship over Rey Fenix, putting him on a collision course with AR Fox, but Curt Stallion lost all hope of gaining a shot at the title in his losing effort to Kyle O'Reilly.
As always, Big Mike has an excellent fallout video breaking down his thoughts on the show that I recommend you check out, you can take a look at Besties/Fraternity free for nothin', and then you can pick up the show once it's on sale over at Smart Mark Video.
AIW JT Lightning Invitational Tournament 2017 (May 26-27)
—Night One (May 26)—
- Shawn Shultz over "All Ego" Ethan Page (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Dominic Garrini over Little Guido (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Colt Cabana over Space Monkey (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Joey Janela over Laredo Kid (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Tom Lawlor over Dan Severn (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Super Crazy over Matt Cross (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Gringo Loco over Colin Delaney (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Mike Tolar over Britt Baker (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Matthew Justice over Facade (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams over Eddie Kingston (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Mordecai over Hornswoggle (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
- Alex Daniels over Steve Pain (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament First Round Match)
—Night Two (May 27)—
- Shawn Shultz over Colt Cabana, Matthew Justice, and Mordecai (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament Semifinal Match)
- "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams over Dominic Garrini, Mike Tolar, and Tom Lawlor (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament Semifinal Match)
- Joey Janela over Alex Daniels, Gringo Loco, and Laredo Kid (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament Semifinal Match)
- To Infinity and Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney) (c) over Young Studs (Bobby Beverly & Eric Ryan) to retain the AIW Tag Team Championship
- Louis Lyndon over T-Money
- AJ Gray over Ryan Kaplan
- Frankie Flynn over Britt Baker, Chase Oliver, Garrison King, Russ Myers, and Steve Pain (Scramble Match)
- Tim Donst over Eddie Kingston
- Matt Cross over Adam Cole
- "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams over Joey Janela and Shawn Shultz (JT Lightning Invitational Tournament Finals Elimination Match)
JLIT's come and gone once again and hey, Catch Point reigns supreme wherever you go, eh? Matt Cross went over Adam Cole to his grandmother's delight, Dan Severn replaced Jimmy Rave against Tom Lawlor while Lawlor was dressed as Severn, and in less delightful news, Super Crazy suffered a neck injury when a rope broke during his Back to the Future Cup match against Steve Pain and Little Guido. He was able to finish the match and is up and walking, but that's why Laredo Kid shows up in the second round despite having been eliminated.
Check it out on Smart Mark Video, where they're running a deal where $24.99 gets you all three AIW shows of the weekend.
Chikara Aniversario: School Reunion (May 27)
- Xyberhawx 2000 (Razerhawk & Sylverhawk) over Cajun Crawdad & Hermit Crab, Team Sea Stars (Ashley Vox & Delmi Exo), and the Force (Officers Bruno Meloni & Warren Barksdale) (Elimination Tag Team Match)
- Merlok over Crossbones
- Fire Ant & Mark Angelosetti over Arik Cannon & Jigsaw
- Missile Assault Man over Oleg the Usurper
- Cornelius Crummels & Sonny Defarge (c) over Dez Peloton (Donald Kluger & Jasper Tippins) to retain the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas
- Dasher Hatfield, Icarus, Mister ZERO, Ophidian, & UltraMantis Black over El Hijo del Ice Cream, Frightmare, Gran Akuma, Hallowicked, & Juan Francisco de Coronado
- Travis Huckabee over Proletariat Boar of Moldova
Chikara celebrated their fifteenth anniversary with all appropriate spectacle. Crummels & Defarge held onto their titles by crook, Missile Assault Man earned his third point, so he'll be challenging Coronado for the Grand Championship soon, and once again, UltraMantis Black has retired, leaving his bracers in the ring after the ten man tag team match.
Check it out on Chikaratopia, folks.
Style Battle S1E4 (May 27)
- Alan Angels, Jaxxon Vile, & Ryan Rembrandt over Damien Parker, Kavron Kanyon, & Rudy Wristlock
- Jason Cade over Socorro (Style Battle S1E4 Bracket A First Round Match)
- Fred Yehi over Odinson (Style Battle S1E4 Bracket A First Round Match)
- Jason Kincaid over Sean Maluta (Style Battle S1E4 Bracket B First Round Match)
- James Drake over Ethan Case (Style Battle S1E4 Bracket B First Round Match)
- Fred Yehi over Jason Cade (Style Battle S1E4 Bracket A Semifinal Match)
- Jason Kincaid over James Drake (Style Battle S1E4 Bracket B Semifinal Match)
- Anthony Henry over AR Fox, Austin Theory, Bu Ku Dao, Danny Flamingo, David Ali, J. Spade, Matt Lancie, and Schaff (Staggered Entry Elimination FRAY!)
- Jason Kincaid over Fred Yehi (Style Battle S1E4 Finals)
As always, since I can point you to my recap I'll do so, but Style Battle had another fine show, with especially those last two delivering huge. And with half the field for the Style Battle finals set, that looks to be a real corker as Jason Kincaid will join Dave Crist, Tracer X, and Jon Davis for that one at the end of the year.
Check it out on FloSlam.
WrestleCircus Lucha Carnival (May 27)
- Zenshi over Jordan Len-X
- Jervis Cottonbelly over Super Thunderfrog
- Andy Dalton over Garza, Jr.
- Taya Valkyrie & Tessa Blanchard over Allie Kat & Christi Jaynes and Leva Bates & Thunder Rosa
- Joey Ryan (c) over the Boys (Brandon & Brent) to retain the WC Sideshow Championship
- Scorpio Sky over Michael Elgin
- Rachael Ellering (c) over Deonna Purrazzo to retain the WC Lady of the Ring Championship
- Roppongi Vice (Beretta & Rocky Romero) over Extra Talent-ed (Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks) to become #1 contenders to the WC Big Top Tag Team Championship
- John Morrison over Keith Lee
- Juventud Guerrera, Penta el Zero M, & Rey Fenix over Mr. 450, Sammy Guevara, & Shane Strickland
The circus came to town again and despite a bit of a technical error over at IRW Network, they ended up streaming the whole show for free! Better yet, they're going to be doing it again if they can get 5000 retweets on this bad boy, so if you'd like a free indie show to watch on June 24, have at it.
You can check out this one on VOD over at their website in the meantime.
Progress Super Strong Style 16 2017 (May 27-29)
—Day One (May 27)—
- Jeff Cobb over Nathan Cruz (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
- Mark Haskins over "Flash" Morgan Webster (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
- Travis Banks over Jimmy Havoc (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
- Zack Sabre, Jr. over David Starr (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
- Jack Sexsmith over Zack Gibson (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
- Tyler Bate over Pastor William Eaver (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
- Flamita over Mark Andrews (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
- Matt Riddle over Trent Seven (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament First Round Match)
—Day Two (May 28)—
- Mark Andrews & "Flash" Morgan Webster over London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch)
- Tyler Bate over Mark Haskins (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
- Zack Sabre, Jr. over Jack Sexsmith (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
- Matt Riddle over Jeff Cobb (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
- Travis Banks over Flamita (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Quarterfinal Match)
- British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven) over David Starr & Pastor William Eaver
- Toni Storm over Jinny and Laura Di Matteo to win the Progress Women's Championship (Natural Progression Series IV Finals)
—Day Three (May 29)—
- Flamita over David Starr, Jack Sexsmith, Mark Andrews, "Flash" Morgan Webster, Roy Johnson, and Pastor William Eaver
- Travis Banks over Zack Sabre, Jr. (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Semifinal Match)
- Tyler Bate over Matt Riddle (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Semifinal Match)
- Kay Lee Ray over Katey Harvey to become #1 contender to the Progress Women's Championship
- Trent Seven over Mark Haskins (Submission Match)
- Pete Dunne (c) over Jeff Cobb to retain the Progress World Championship
- Travis Banks over Tyler Bate (Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Finals)
As always with stuff I'm going to recap, short and sweet, but... TRAVIS BANKS DID IT! And also, Matt Riddle beat Trent Seven in six seconds. It's kind of become a thing, because sometimes the wrestling is very good to us. Plus check out Ray/Storm II coming, this time as the first defense of the Progress Women's Championship!
Check it out on Demand Progress, hopefully sometime in the next week or so.
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.