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.
NJPW New Year Dash!! (January 5, 4:30AM Eastern)
With Wrestle Kingdom 12 in the books, what's next? Well, what's next is New Japan's annual post-Wrestle Kingdom celebration, New Year Dash!! in Korakuen Hall! Everybody (or almost everybody) that was on the WK card will be on this one, but the actual matches won't be announced until after this hits the presses. That said the closest comparison I can give is to the Raw after WrestleMania-- it's a hell of an atmosphere and it's a good time all around.
Check it out on NJPW World, folks.
CMLL Lo Mejor del 2017 (January 6, 6PM Eastern)
- Audaz, Flyer, & Magia Blanca vs. Coyote, Templario, & Yago
- Pegasso & Titan vs. Raziel & Virus
- Rey Cometa vs. Soberano, Jr.
- Cuatrero, Forastero, & Sanson vs. Drone, Esfinge, & Guerrero Maya
- Gran Guerrero vs. Niebla Roja
- Barbaro Cavernario & Volador, Jr. vs. El Valiente & Ultimo Guerrero
CMLL are back with your usual dose of... Saturday night lucha libre action? The usual show is delayed a day due to the holidays but as you can see it’s a jam-packed Best of 2017 card! Cometa/Soberano and the main should be very good, so why not spend your Saturday night with CMLL?
PWR Petaluma (January 6, 6PM Pacific)
- Kid Dragon vs. Ojo Blanco
- Diablo Azteca, El Chicano, & Fuerza Azteca vs. Grappler III, Malandro, & Zuca
- Colt Stevens vs. Prostipiropgolfo
- Jungle Boy & Ultimo Panda vs. Papo Esco & VAPOR
- Mariachi Loco vs. Misterioso
- Negro Casas vs. Skayde vs. Solar vs. Vaquero Fantasma
Pro Wrestling Revolution are back in Petaluma, California with a show for which I could not find a proper name for but one look at that battle of the old men in the main event lets you know it'll be a hoot. Those maestros are gonna tear the house down, I bet.
RPW Live at the Cockpit 24 / 25 (January 6-7)
—Live at the Cockpit 24 (January 6, 5PM GMT)—
- Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson vs. Kurtis Chapman & Ryan Smile
- El Phantasmo vs. Pete Dunne
- Zan Phoenix vs. Zoe Lucas (RPW British Women’s Championship Tournament Block A First Round Match)
- Britt Baker vs. Deonna Purrazzo (RPW British Women’s Championship Tournament Block A First Round Match)
- Charli Evans vs. Millie McKenzie (RPW British Women’s Championship Tournament Block B First Round Match)
- Jinny vs. Nina Samuels (RPW British Women’s Championship Tournament Block B First Round Match)
- CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) (c) (RPW British Tag Team Championship)
—Live at the Cockpit 25 (January 7, 5PM GMT)—
- Josh Bodom vs. Will Ospreay
- Chris Brookes vs. Pete Dunne
- RPW British Women’s Championship Tournament Semifinals and Finals
- Martin Stone vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (c) (RPW British Heavyweight Championship)
RevPro are back in the Cockpit in London, England, and they’re crowning their first ever women’s champion! Jinny is the woman to beat with her year-long undefeated streak and all, but streaks, as they say, were meant to be broken. Exciting! Plus a pair of dynamite men’s title defenses as CCK get their rematch for the tag titles and Stone and Sabre are sure to put on a clinic for the heavyweight title!
Free matches here!
Las Tortugas Ninja vs. Los Capos & Ovett
From the fine folks over at +Lucha TV, we’ve got wrestling Ninja Turtles-- ‘Nuff said!
Calvin Tankman, Freddie Hudson, & Miles Morales vs. IND3 (Cole Radrick, Johnathan Wolf, & Shawn Kemp)
It’s up-and-comer time here in the free matches, and out of little Indiana indie WCWO we’ve got three of the midwest’s finest in trios action. Give it a gander and find yourself a new favorite to look out for!
CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Ep. #138
Kicking off three weeks of Battlecade X8 action, you can check out full results below, but first off we have a unique tag title match. It’s Last Men Standing, and it requires BOTH men on a team to be down for the ten count for victory. Check it out!
NOVA Pro Such Great Heights (December 28)
- Lucas Calhoun over Breaux Keller (Karate Kumite Invitational Gauntlet Match)
- Lucas Calhoun over Isaiah Frazier (Karate Kumite Invitational Gauntlet Match)
- "Supercop" Dick Justice vs. Lucas Calhoun goes to a no-contest (Karate Kumite Invitational Gauntlet Match)
- Sandwich Squad (Aaron Biggs & Mecha Mercenary) over Fuller House (Josh Fuller & Mike Mars)
- Gunner Miller (c) over AJ Gray to retain the Anarchy Triple Crown Championship
- Beau Crockett over Sugar Dunkerton
- Tim Donst over Jimmy Jacobs
- Alexander James over Fred Yehi
- Brittany Blake over Allie Kat, Angelus Layne, and Jordynne Grace (Elimination Match)
- Dominic Garrini over John Kermon (No Rope Match)
- Logan Easton LaRoux (c) over Sage Philips to retain the PWI Ultra J Championship
- Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) over Arik Royal & David Starr
- Faye Jackson over Veda Scott (Street Fight)
- Jonathan Gresham (c) over Sonjay Dutt to retain the Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship
So in honor of NOVA Pro's first-ever live streamed show I took over the recap duties from our stalwart man on the scene Duke (go follow him on Twitter!), and so I'll just link that here. Suffice it to say, however, they had a live streaming debut that any wrestling promotion could be proud of, and in particular I want to shout out the way you can see exactly when I dropped all pretense of following the story of Ducks vs. AceStarr and just commenced marking out. That's the good wrestling, folks.
AIW Rulers of the World (December 29)
- Tom Lawlor over Louis Lyndon
- Mance Warner & Shawn Shultz over Young Studs (Bobby Beverly & Eric Ryan)
- ”Supercop” Dick Justice, Ethan “Justice” Carter III, & Matthew Justice over Dedication Personified (Brian Carson & Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham) & Gregory “Vicious” Iron
- Dominic Garrini over “All Ego” Ethan Page
- Hornswoggle & PB Smooth over To Infinity and Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney) (c) to win the AIW Tag Team Championship
- The Production (Colby Redd, Derek Director, Frankie Flynn, & Magnum CK) over No Consequences (AJ Gray, Garrison King, Joshua Bishop, & Tre Lamar)
- Joey Janela (c) over Jimmy Jacobs to retain the AIW Intense Championship
- ”Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams over Eddie Kingston
- Candice LeRae over Gringo Loco, Laredo Kid, and Matt Cross
- Nick Gage (c) over Tim Donst to retain the AIW Absolute Championship
No Sid? No problem! AIW upped the ante with TWO stand-in Sids in that trios match right there, with EC3 and Greg Iron locking up in the jeans and leather vests. Plus, the unlikely team of the seven foot tall PB Smooth and noted cruiserweight Hornswoggle not only answered To Infinity and Beyond’s open challenge, but they won the tag titles! Sounds like a hell of a show, although it wasn’t all good news, as Jimmy Jacobs was injured and would end up having to pull out of Beyond after trying to gut through it at Xcite the next night..
Check it out when it hits Smart Mark Video, folks.
AAW Windy City Classic (December 30)
- Keith Lee & Shane Strickland over Scarlet and Graves (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz)
- ACH vs. Matt Riddle went to a time limit draw (AAW Heavyweight Championship #1 Contender’s Match)
- Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) (c) over Brubaker & Curt Stallion to retain the AAW Tag Team Championship
- David Starr over Eddie Kingston (Bourbon Street Fight)
- AR Fox over Joey Janela, Penta el Zero M, and Teddy Hart
- Killer Kult (Dave Crist, Jake Crist, & Sami Callihan) over Myron Reed, Stephen Wolf, & Trey Miguel
- Connor Braxton & Jake Something over PACO & Sean Waltman
- Rey Fenix (c) over Jeff Cobb to retain the AAW Heavyweight Championship
The big news coming out of this one is that time limit draw, folks. Who’s #1 contender? Well it turns out both guys are getting title shots, but Bro’s will be coming first, as he’s set to wrestle Rey Fenix on January 20!
CWF Battlecade X8 (December 30)
- Mike Mars over Dirty Daddy to win the RGL Championship (Rising Generation League Tournament Finals)
- Matty de Nero & Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) over Ethan Sharpe & GymNasty Boys (Timmy Lou Retton & White Mike)
- Aric Andrews over Cam Carter, John Skyler, Mace Li, Michael McAllister, Ray Kandrack, Snooty Foxx, and Tracer X (Golden Ticket Scramble Match)
- The Dawsons (Dave & Zane Dawson) (c) over Sandwich Squad (Aaron Biggs & Mecha Mercenary) to retain the CWF Tag Team Championship (Last Men Standing Match)
- Andrew Everett over Logan Easton LaRoux (c) to win the PWI Ultra J Championship
- Brad Attitude over Chet Sterling
- Cain Justice over Nick Richards
- Ric Converse over CW Anderson (c) to win the PWI Heavyweight Championship and save his career (“I Quit” Match)
- Arik Royal over Jesse Adler (c) to win the CWF Worldwide Television Championship
- Trevor Lee (c) over Roy Wilkins to retain the CWF Heavyweight Championship (First Blood Match)
Battlecade X8 ended in controversy as Wilkins was bloodied by an accidental shot to the face by his own manager, Coach Gemini, and the referee was forced to call the match, leaving Trevor Lee’s record-breaking world title reign to carry into 2018, albeit without the physical possession of the brand new title belt, which Wilkins took to the back with him.
Check it out as it gets uploaded as episodes of CWF Worldwide, the first of which you can check out above!
Progress Chapter 60: Unboxing Live! 2: Unbox Harder (December 30)
- Chris Brookes, James Drake, Mark Davis, & Tyler Bate over Kid Lykos, Kyle Fletcher, Trent Seven, & Zack Gibson (Elimination Match)
- Jack Sexsmith over Joe Coffey
- Millie McKenzie over Candyfloss, Chakara, Charli Evans, Charlie Morgan, and Sierra Loxton
- Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins over Clint Margera & Drew Parker (12 Days of Christmas Match)
- Rampage Brown over "Flash" Morgan Webster
- Travis Banks (c) over Will Ospreay to retain the Progress World Championship
- Pete Dunne (c) over Jack Gallagher to retain the WWE United Kingdom Championship
As always since I recap Progress I'll keep it short and sweet here but who would have expected at the beginning of the year that Progress would main event their last show of 2017 with a WWE-sanctioned title match? Also, exciting stuff on the horizon as after Banks defeated a returning Ospreay, he said he's taking on all comers in the new year... and that brought TK Cooper out! He's not cleared quite yet, but when the South Pacific Power Trip explodes it's gonna be a hell of a match.
Check it out when it hits Demand Progress, folks..
Xcite Fight Club (December 30)
- Slyk Wagner Brown over Leon St. Giovanni
- Resistance to Transcendence (Cloudy & Isys Ephex) over Boots and Lariats (Pat Sawyer & Ray Ross) and Killer Instinct (Jacoby Riddick & Mike Skyros)
- Axel Lennox over Nick Ando, Rob Cook, and Simon Queen (Battle of the Tough Guys First Round Match)
- Alexander James (c) over Brute VanSlyke to retain the Xcite International Championship
- Joey Ryan over "Supercop" Dick Justice (XXX-Mas Match)
- Greg Excellent over "All Ego" Ethan Page
- "Chainsaw" Joe Gacy over Jimmy Jacobs
- Sean Carr (c) over Braxton Sutter to retain the Xcite Heavyweight Championship
Here's what you need to know, folks-- Dick could not be dick-flipped at first, but eventually, over the course of their mighty battle, Joey Ryan wore the Supercop down and Dick was indeed flipped! Plus after the match, Justice shared a blowpop with a lucky woman from the crowd... whose boyfriend then proposed to her, which is a hell of a way to commit to get married!
Check it out on their Twitch channel, folks.
Beyond Heavy Lies the Crown (December 31)
- Chuck O'Neil & Tom Lawlor over American Strong (Jay Freddie & Rory Gulak)
- Kyle the Beast over Damien Smith
- Orange Cassidy over "Supercop" Dick Justice
- Mikey Webb over Brian Milonas
- Anthony Greene over Rayo
- Brandon Watts over Zenshi (Santiago Street Fight Mask Match)
- Jonathan Gresham (c) over "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams to retain the Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship
—Heavy Lies the Crown—
- John Silver over Jordynne Grace
- Amityville Project (Dan Barry, Mike Verna, Rex Lawless, & Ryan Galeone) over Pull It Club (Dorian Graves, Joey Ryan, Johnny Cockstrong, & VSK)
- Wheeler YUTA over Flip Gordon
- Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) over EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) (Tables, Ladders, & Chairs Match)
- Matt Tremont over Matt Riddle
- Keith Lee over Josh Briggs
- AR Fox over Rickey Shane Page
- Joey Janela over David Starr (Fans Bring the Weapons Match)
For more in-depth results you can check out our results post here, but Beyond rung the new year in right with an absolutely crazy main event that featured everything from a tack-studded dildo to a menorah wrapped in barbed wire!
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.