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.
AAA Guerra de Titanes (January 26, 10PM Eastern)
- Australian Suicide vs. Lanzelot (c) (AAA Cruiserweight Championship)
- Faby Apache vs. Lady Shani (c) (AAA Reina de Reinas Championship)
- Aerostar, Drago, & Raptor vs. Argenis, Bengala, & Mascara de Bronce vs. OGT (Averno, Chessman, & Super Fly) (c) vs. Poder del Norte (Carta Brava, Jr., Mocho Cota, Jr., & Tito Santana) (AAA Trios Championship Elimination Match)
- Psycho Clown vs. Rey Escorpion (Bull Terrier Match)
- Cuervo, La Parka, & Scoria vs. Psycho Circus (Dave the Clown, Monsther Clown, & Murder Clown)
- El Hijo del Fantasma (c) vs. Texano, Jr. (AAA Latin American Championship)
- Dr. Wagner, Jr. vs. Johnny Mundo (c) (AAA Mega Championship)
AAA are back in Mexico City for their first big show of the year, folks. There was some drama coming in as to whether or not Johnny Mundo would even show up, but he’s not finished with AAA just yet! Plus an elimination trios match, a bull terrier dog collar match, clowns, and oh, one more thing-- that main event? The guest referee is Vampiro. It might not be good, by god, but stuff is gonna happen!
Odds are AAA won’t be streaming this on Twitch because they seem to have lost any enthusiasm they had for Twitch, but in any case it’ll end up on their YouTube sooner rather than later if you’d like to check it out, folks.
CMLL Super Viernes (January 26, 9:30PM Eastern)
- Akuma & Espanto, Jr. vs. Flyer & Robin
- Astral, Electrico, & Star, Jr. vs. Cancerbero, Nitro, & Raziel
- Audaz, Drone, & Starman vs. Disturbio, Misterioso, & Virus
- Angel de Oro, Niebla Roja, & Stuka, Jr. vs. Nueva Generacion Dinamitas (Cuatrero, Forastero, & Sanson)
- Diamante Azul vs. El Terrible (c) (CMLL World Heavyweight Championship)
- Atlantis, Dragon Lee, & Volador, Jr. vs. Los Guerreros Laguneros (Euforia, Gran Guerrero, & Ultimo Guerrero)
CMLL are back in Arena Mexico for your usual weekly dose of lucha libre action and the folks who went to New Japan for Fantastica Mania have returned in triumph and dominate the card this week! That main event should be incredible, and the NGD trios shouldn’t be far behind, so if you like what you saw on NJPW World, this is a very good show to jump in on!
House of Hardcore 27 (January 26, 8PM Eastern)
- House of Hardcore Television Championship Tournament First Round Matches
- Billy Gunn & Tommy Dreamer vs. Joey Mercury & Nick “Magnus” Aldis (Hardcore War)
House of Hardcore are back in the legendary ECW Arena in Philadelphia and while I’ve only got one match confirmed at press time, let’s take a look at their “scheduled to appear” block, shall we?
Austin Aries, The Squad, Super Crazy, Brian Cage, Willie Mack, Matt Riddle, Killer Kross, Swoggle, Lisa Marie Varon, Crazzy Steve, Eddie Kingston, Luchasaurus, Matt Cross, Alex Reynolds, Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Bull James, Guido Maritato, Ace Romero, Dan Maff, and more
That’s a hell of a lineup!
Shine 48 (January 26, 9PM Eastern)
- Stormie Lee vs. Tesha Price
- Jordynne Grace vs. Natalia Markova
- Brandi Lauren vs. Leva Bates
- Dynamite DiDi vs. Holidead
- Renee Michelle vs. Santana Garrett
- Aerial Monroe, Priscilla Kelly, & Vanessa Kraven vs. Cutie Pie Club (Candy Cartwright, Dementia D’Rose, & Kiera Hogan)
- Isla Dawn & Lady Chardonnay Darcy vs. Las Sicarias (Ivelisse & Mercedes Martinez) (c) (Shine Tag Team Championship)
- LuFisto (c) vs. Rain (Shine Championship)
Shine are back in Ybor City, Florida and we have a real historic milestone here, folks. LuFisto has just entered the second year of her title reign, and who should challenge her but the very first Shine Champion, Rain! Plus a UK-based tandem challenge Las Sicarias for the tag titles and the new and... improved? Cutie Pie Club find their backs against the wall in trios action.
Beyond Spirit of ‘76 (January 27, 2PM Eastern)
- Jonathan Gresham (c) vs. ??? (Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship)
Beyond are making their way to Philadelphia for the first time and... the whole card’s a secret! Isn’t that exciting?! We do know, for the record, that Jonathan Gresham will be defending the Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship, but beyond that, it’s a mystery.
NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo (January 27-28)
—Night One (January 27, 4AM Eastern)—
- Katsuya Kitamura vs. Michael Elgin (Kitamura Challenge Series Match 2)
- Jushin Liger, KUSHIDA, TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima), & Tiger Mask IV vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
- Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano)
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Roa) (c) vs. Taguchi Japan (Henare, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Togi Makabe) (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship)
- Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, & Marty Scurll) vs. David Finlay, Juice Robinson, & Kota Ibushi
- Chaos (Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito)
- Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, & Kazuchika Okada) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA)
- Chaos (“Switchblade” Jay White, SHO, & YOH) vs. the Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki (IWGP Intercontinental Championship)
—Night Two (January 28, 4AM Eastern)—
- Juice Robinson vs. Katsuya Kitamura (Kitamura Challenge Series Match 3)
- Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino, & Tiger Mask IV vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
- Bullet Club (Leo Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano)
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Roa) vs. Henare, TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima), & Togi Makabe
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka)
- Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, & Marty Scurll) vs. David Finlay, Kota Ibushi, & KUSHIDA
- Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito)
- Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)
- ”Switchblade” Jay White vs. Kenny Omega (c) (IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship)
It’s already time for New Beginning?! Yep, New Japan are changing it up, and in more ways than one. Not only is New Beginning starting in January, it’s starting with a back-to-back double shot in Sapporo. As always with these multi-show stretches, they’ve spread the big matches out thoroughly, but we’ve got a rematch of one of the best matches from Wrestle Kingdom for the junior tags, a rematch of one of the best matches of all time in Suzuki/Tanahashi, and a match that’s only happened once on a Road to Invasion Attack show as Switchblade chalenges Kenny Omega for the United States Heavyweight Championship.
Do note that I’ve left the lineups as originally posted here, but Satoshi Kojima is sadly out with a ruptured ACL and so there’ll be some shuffling of the undercards here.
Check it out on NJPW World, folks.
Beyond Powerbomb Pre-Game / WWR Five Year Plan (January 28)
—Beyond Powerbomb Pre-Game (2PM Eastern)—
- Brandon Watts vs. Flip Gordon
- Brian Cage vs. Josh Briggs
- AR Fox vs. Matt Riddle
- Jonathan Gresham vs. Martin Stone
—WWR Five Year Plan (3:30PM Eastern)—
- Kennedi Copeland vs. Terra Calaway
- Delmi Exo vs. Holidead
- Solo Darling vs. Willow Nightingale
- LuFisto vs. Skylar
- Jordynne Grace vs. Sonya Strong
- Black and Blue (Davienne, Sammi Lane, & Vionette) vs. Team Adams (Deonna Purrazzo, Karen Q, & Tasha Steelz)
- David Starr & Tessa Blanchard vs. Janelope (Joey Janela & Penelope Ford)
- Revolutionary Rumble
But Beyond’s weekend doesn’t end with the secret show in Philly, because it’s the last Sunday of the month and that means it’s time to head to Electric Haze in Worcester, Massachusetts for a double-headliner with sister promotion Women’s Wrestling Revolution. It’s as strong a pair of cards as ever-- Fox/Riddle and Stone/Gresham alone would be enough to get me to tune in, but you add Blanchard & Starr vs. Janelope and a rumble? But not just any rumble, because the winner of this one gets to wrestle Tenille “Emma” Dashwood in her WWR debut on March 25!
Chikara Beware the Snowman (January 28, 2PM Eastern)
- Cornelius Crummels vs. Proletariat Boar of Moldova
- Dez Peloton (Donald Kluger & Jasper Tippins) vs. Legion of Rot (Frightmare & Hallowicked) vs. the Closers (Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice) vs. Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti)
- Kobald vs. Oleg the Usurper
- Cajun Crawdad & Hermit Crab vs. Merlok & Oceanea
- ”17” vs. “Ophidian”
- Hype Rockwell vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado (c) (Chikara Grand Championship)
Chikara are back in the Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to kick off Season 19. Hype Rockwell takes his shot at the Grand Championship, two stars who aren’t all they say they are clash in 17 and Ophidian, Kobald and Oleg the Usurper finish their explosion with a match, plus a four-way tag?
Progress Chapter 62: Fear No More, Come to Dust (January 28, 2PM GMT)
- Chris Ridgeway vs. Omari (Natural Progression Series V First Round Match)
- Pastor William Eaver vs. Roy Johnson
- Doug Williams vs. “Flash” Morgan Webster
- Danny Jones & Mark Andrews vs. Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins
- Chris Brookes vs. Trent Seven vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.
- Millie McKenzie vs. Toni Storm (c) (Progress Women’s Championship)
- Timothy Thatcher vs. WALTER (c) (Progress Atlas Division Championship)
- TK Cooper vs. Travis Banks (c) (Progress World Championship)
Progress are back in the Electric Ballroom in London, England and, despite Jinny’s unfortunate absence due to injury, they’ve got a potential barn burner on the docket here. Thatcher/WALTER and Banks/Cooper alone promise top shelf action, but our replacement women’s match and that three-way should be quite good as well, and the return of Eaver and Johnson are both welcome, but I’d like to shine a spotlight on Williams/Webster.
Both men are on losing records. Both men feel they might not belong in Progress. Webster even declared his intent to walk out and had to be cajoled into accepting the match by Progress management. It is, in a very real sense, a make or break match for both men, and that’s where the magic happens, folks.
Tickets, as with all main-series Progress chapter shows, are long since sold out, but you can have a crack at the official ticket resale site or just wait for it to go up on Demand Progress with the rest of us schlubs.
Free matches here!
Donovan Dijak vs. Naomichi Marufuji
The folks over at Glory Pro have been continuing to go through their 2017 and post excellent matches and here we have one perhaps more anticipated than any other of their year. It’s Tall Don vs. one of the hardest choppers in the world, don’t miss it!
Hype Rockwell vs. Race Jaxon
From the fine folks over at Chikara we’ve got one of the more unique matches from their season 18 finale. Former tag team partners explode with a unique stipulation-- the loser of this match will have to BEGIN wearing a mask. Check it out!
Wrestling Has a Tomorrow Debut Show
Hot off the presses from the good people at New England’s newest indie promotion, Wrestling Has a Tomorrow, we have their debut show from January 14 in full. Tommy Dreamer! JT Dunn! Matt Tremont! Dan Maff! AR Fox! Ace Romero! “All Ego” Ethan Page! Simon Grimm! Teddy Hart! Little Guido! Private Party! The talent list is full of names you know and names you’ll want to know, so turn this bad boy on and enjoy!
AIW Death Rowe (January 19)
- Matthew Justice over Shane Mercer
- The Production (Frankie Flynn & Magnum CK) over No Consequences (Chase Oliver & Tre LaMar)
- Parker Pierce & “Big” Twan Tucker over Weird World (Alex “Worldwide” Kellar & Evan “Weird Body” Adams)
- Malcolm Monroe III over Johnathan Wolf
- No Consequences (AJ Grey, Garrison King, & Joshua Bishop) over the Production (Colby Redd, Derek Director, & Eddy Only)
- Dominic Garrini over Juice Robinson
- Dedication Personified (Brian Carson & Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham) over Philly-Marino Experience (Marino Tenaglia & Philly Collins), To Infinity and Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney), and Young Studs (Bobby Beverly & Eric Ryan)
- Keith Lee over Ray Rowe
Yes, folks, Dr. Dan and Brian Carson are on the case and headed directly for Hornswoggle and PB Smooth! Plus Dominic Garrini got a big win over New Japan’s Juice Robinson, and Keith Lee sent Ray Rowe packing right to the performance center.
Check it out on Smart Mark Video.
PCW Ultra Anniversary 2K18 (January 19)
- ACH over Rey Fenix
- Kikutaro over Mariachi Loco
- Shane Strickland over Brody King and Flip Gordon
- Alexander Hammerstone over Brian Cage
- Douglas James (c) over Ganseki Tanaka to retain the PCW Ultra Light Heavyweight Championship
- Warbeast (Fatu & Josef) (c) over Jimmy Jacobs & Joey Janela to retain the PCW Ultra Tag Team Championship)
- Great Muta & Penta el Zero M over John Ultra & Sami Callihan
PCW Ultra hit the ground running for their next show (Tuff Luck on March 16) before even finishing this one, as Rob Van Dam made his return to challenge Penta el Zero M for his PCW Ultra Heavyweight Championship! Also announced for that one is the US debut of Jordan Devlin, so they’re wasting zero time trying to make the next one as special as this one appears to have been.
Check out the replay on FITE.tv, folks.
CMLL / NJPW Fantastica Mania 2018 (January 19, 21, 22)
—Night Six (January 19)—
- Okumura over Fuego
- Los Ingobernables (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, & Tetsuya Naito) over Dragon Lee, Hirai Kawato, Satoshi Kojima, & Star, Jr.
- Atlantis, Drone, Mistico, & Volador, Jr. over Barbaro Cavernario, Disturbio, Puma, & Ultimo Guerrero
- Cuatrero over Angel de Oro (c) to win the CMLL World Middleweight Championship
- Soberano, Jr. (c) over Sanson to retain the Mexican National Welterweight Championship
- Niebla Roja (c) over Gran Guerrero to retain the CMLL World Light Heavyweight Championship
—Night Seven (January 21)—
- Disturbio & Puma over Drone & Star, Jr.
- Fuego, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Soberano, Jr. over Okumura & Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH)
- Los Ingobernables (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Rush, & Tetsuya Naito) over Atlantis, Hirai Kawato, KUSHIDA, & Satoshi Kojima
- Los Guerreros Laguneros (Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero) over Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja (CMLL Brother Tag Team Tournament First Round Match)
- Dragon Lee & Mistico over Cuatrero & Sanson (CMLL Brother Tag Team Tournament First Round Match)
- Volador, Jr. (c) over Barbaro Cavernario to retain the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship
—Night Eight (January 22)—
- Fuego & Ryusuke Taguchi over Disturbio & Puma
- Chaos (Rocky Romero, SHO, & YOH) & Okumura over Jushin Liger, KUSHIDA, Star, Jr. & Tiger Mask IV
- Cuatrero & Sanson over Angel de Oro & Niebla Roja (CMLL Brother Tag Team Tournament Loser’s Bracket Match)
- Barbaro Cavernario & Gedo over Atlantis & Hirai Kawato (Hirai Kawato Sendoff Match)
- Los Ingobernables (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, & Tetsuya Naito) over Drone, Soberano, Jr., & Volador, Jr.
- Rush over Satoshi Kojima
- Los Guerreros Laguneros (Gran Guerrero & Ultimo Guerrero) over Dragon Lee & Mistico (CMLL Brother Tag Team Tournament Finals)
Check out my match recommendations post here for in-depth thought, but I want to just take this space to once again remind any of you folks who subscribe to NJPW World and maybe want to dip a toe into lucha libre but find the prospect of following a whole new promotion intimidating, this is your jumping on point. Check out these shows and you’ll get to know nearly twenty of CMLL’s top stars and that’s the perfect place to start watching the Friday night shows I cover here every week, or even the Monday or Tuesday YouTube shows that I don’t cover here.
Check it out on NJPW World, folks.
AAW The Art of War (January 20)
- Curt Stallion & Jake Something over Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza)
- Eddie Kingston over Kevin Lee Davidson
- Maxwell Jacob Friedman over Juice Robinson
- ACH over PACO
- WRSTLING (David Starr, Jeff Cobb, & Trevor Lee) over Killer Kult (Dave Crist, Jake Crist, & Sami Callihan)
- Jessicka Havok (c) over Kylie Rae and Scarlett Bordeaux to retain the AAW Women’s Championship
- Teddy Hart over Myron Reed
- Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) (c) over Keith Lee & Shane Strickland to retain the AAW Tag Team Championship
- Rey Fenix (c) over Matt Riddle to retain the AAW Heavyweight Championship
This makes it official-- on February 3 at Chaos Theory, Rey Fenix will defend his AAW Championship against ACH! Plus, Hart/Reed delivered in spades, and you can check it out right here on Facebook, if you’d like.
RPW High Stakes 2018 (January 20)
- Kurtis Chapman (c) over Rob Lias to retain the RPW British Cruiserweight Championship
- CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) over Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson
- Adam Brooks over Ryan Smile
- Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) over Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
- Jinny (c) over Bea Priestley and Millie McKenzie to retain the RPW British Women’s Championship
- Will Ospreay over Mark Andrews
- Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre, Jr.) over Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) (c) to win the RPW British Tag Team Championship
Do not adjust your set, folks, Zacky is Three Belts once more, adding the RPW British Tag Team Championship to his collection! Alongside mentor Minoru Suzuki, no less! (And, as an aside, WALTER found this quite interesting on Twitter... Suzuki-gun/Ringkampf when?) Plus Eddie Dennis continued his feud with Rob Lias by interfering in his title match, Jinny, despite suffering a broken hand and a concussion, retained her title, Adam Brooks looks to be starting something with both Andrews and Ospreay, and CCK showed up after the main event to challenge the new champs. Exciting!
Check it on RPW On Demand, folks.
wXw Back to the Roots XVII (January 20)
- Jay-FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet) over Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura)
- Session Moth Martina over Melanie Gray (Hardcore Match)
- Jurn Simmons over Dirty Dragan
- Da Mack over Chris Colen
- Absolute Andy over Bobby Gunns
- Toni Storm over Killer Kelly (c) to win the wXw Women’s Championship
- Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero) & Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER) over RISE (Ivan Kiev, John “Bad Bones” Klinger, Lucky Kid, & Tarkan Aslan) (Die Käfigschlacht)
Die Käfigschlacht has come and gone and, well, score one for the good guys after a hell of a war! Plus WALTER’s concerns over Killer Kelly’s aptitude as champion proved well-founded when Toni Storm defeated her in her first defense.
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.