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.
MLW Never Say Never / Zero Hour (Dec. 13-14)
—Never Say Never (Dec. 13, 7PM Eastern)—
- Andrew Everett vs. Dezmond Xavier
- DJ Z vs. Hijo de LA Park
- Dragon Lee vs. Rich Swann
- Rush vs. Shane Strickland
- Simon Gotch vs. Tom Lawlor (No Holds Barred Match)
- LA Park vs. Sami Callihan (Falls Count Anywhere in Miami Match)
- Pentagon, Jr. vs. Teddy Hart
—Zero Hour (Dec. 14, 7PM Eastern)—
- Ace Romero vs. Barrington Hughes
- DJ Z vs. Dragon Lee
- Rich Swann vs. Rush
- Andrew Everett vs. Dezmond Xavier vs. Hijo de LA Park vs. Kotto Brazil (MLW World Middleweight Championship Ladder Match)
- Brian Pillman, Jr. vs. Tommy Dreamer (Singapore Cane Match)
- Konnan vs. Low-Ki (c) (MLW World Heavyweight Championship No Disqualification Match)
MLW are doing a double-header in Miami, Florida and I barely even know where to begin picking apart all the cool stuff that’s going on here. Let’s start with what is probably the most exciting, which is to say 2018 King of Indies winner Dragon Lee finally making his way north to join his big brother Rush a month after the Ingobernable one’s own debut. But we’ve also got a four-way for the vacant middleweight title, Lawlor and Gotch going no holds barred, Park and Callihan fighting all over town, and Konnan returning from retirement to challenge Low-Ki for the world title!
CMLL Super Viernes (Dec. 14, 9:30PM Eastern)
- Espanto, Jr. & Grako vs. Halcon Suriano, Jr. & Robin
- Astral, Electrico, & Fuego vs. Cancerbero, Disturbio, & Raziel
- Esfinge, Titan, & Triton vs. Misterioso, Jr., Templario, & Vangellys
- Forastero vs. Soberano, Jr. (Lightning Match)
- Angel de Oro, Flyer, & Niebla Roja vs. El Terrible, Rey Bucanero, & Shocker
- Caristico, El Valiente, & Volador, Jr. vs. Nuevo Generacion Dinamitas (Cuatrero & Sanson) & Ultimo Guerrero
CMLL are back in the legendary Arena Mexico for your weekly Friday night dose of lucha libre action and while there isn’t TOO much about this week’s show that’s a real obvious standout, it should be a fun watch all the same. The main highlight is up-and-comers Forastero and Soberano in sprinty lightning match action, and that main event should be pretty good as well.
Check it out, as always, free for nothin’ on Marca Claro, folks, and the VOD will go up on CMLL’s YouTube channel (where they also stream shows every Monday and Tuesday free of charge) after the fact for those of you who can’t watch live.
Freelance Too Legit to Quit (Dec. 14, 9PM Central)
- Alex Ohlson vs. Chris Castro vs. Eye Candy Elliott vs. Laynie Luck vs. Robert Anthony vs. Space Monkey (Scramble Match)
- Bucky Collins & Darin Corbin vs. N-Words (Acid Jaz & Bryce Benjamin)
- Mik Drake vs. Rickey Shane Page
- Arik Cannon vs. “All Ego” Ethan Page
- Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) vs. WorkHorsemen (Anthony Henry & James Drake) (c) (Freelance Tag Team Championship)
- Kobe Durst vs. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams (c) (Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship)
- Craig Mitchell vs. Isaias Velazquez (c) (Freelance World Championship)
- GPA vs. Kylie Rae (“I Quit” Match)
Freelance is back in Chicago, Illinois to close their year out right and they’ve got a hell of a double main event to do it. GPA and Kylie Rae have been feuding for ages, and this is it, the final chapter... and one of them will have to verbally quit! Our co-main of Mitchell/Velazquez is also one with a long history, two Freelance originals who have battled each other twice before and been teammates in the interim! Plus a stacked undercard including a SUPER hype tag match between my dudes the WorkHorseman and my, uh... ducks the Ugly Ducklings and this is gonna be a good show for sure.
NOVA Hoppy Hour (Dec. 15, 7PM Eastern)
- Gemma Cross vs. Sahara 7
- Ariela Nyx vs. Rebel
- Bobby Shields vs. John Kermon
- Sage Philips vs. Tim Donst
- Hornswoggle vs. Josh Fuller
- Isaiah Frazier vs. Tito Santana
- Allie Kat vs. Logan Easton LaRoux
NOVA Pro are coming to Ashburn, Virginia for the first time ever and yes, you’re reading that right, Coach Gator has set none other than former WWE Intercontinental Champion Tito Santana against his former protege Isaiah Frazier! 2018 pro wrestling never lets up! Plus a match so NOVA Pro that I can’t believe it hasn’t happened before as Allie Kat takes on Logan Easton LaRoux in a main event of cat vs. 1%. Truly, one of nature’s finest wars, seeing as how cats always prefer whole milk.
Tickets are sold out, so y’all will just have to wait for this baby to go up on Powerbomb.tv, folks.
Shine 55 (Dec. 15, 3PM Eastern)
- Allie Recks vs. Shotzi Blackheart
- Aerial Monroe vs. Kiera Hogan
- Brandi Lauren & Jenna vs. Solo Darling & Willow Nightingale
- Gabby Gilbert & Luscious Latasha vs. Priscilla Kelly (Handicap Match)
- Kimber Lee vs. Mercedes Martinez
- Aja Perera (c) vs. Dementia D’Rose (Shine Nova Championship)
- Allysin Kay (c) vs. Su Yung (Shine Championship)
Shine are back in New York City for a double-header with Evolve (more on that in my preview on Saturday morning as always) and first off we can breathe a sigh of relief that Impact Wrestling talent like Hogan and Yung are still working Shine shows even if Evolve isn’t booking contracted talent anymore. And second, well... Kay vs. Yung is gonna tear La Boom down, so I hope Evolve is okay wrestling in ruins!
Beyond Extreme Warfare Revenge (Dec. 16, 5PM Eastern)
- Cheeseburger vs. “Supercop” Dick Justice
- Jay Freddie vs. Travis Huckabee
- Proletariat Boar of Moldova vs. Ryan Galeone
- Stokely Hathaway vs. Icarus
- Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Creatures of the Deep (Cajun Crawdad & Hermit Crab)
- BLANK vs. Orange Cassidy
- Penelope Ford vs. Solo Darling
- Ophidian vs. Wheeler YUTA
- Boomer Hatfield vs. Chris Dickinson
- Fire Ant vs. Nick Gage
- Hallowicked vs. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams (c) (Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship)
First there was Clan Wars. Then came the cibernetico. And now, the battle between Chikara and Beyond hits a fever pitch with Extreme Warfare Revenge in East Greenwich, Rhode Island! This time, no fancy rules, no special format, just ten Beyond vs. Chikara matches all culminating in Gen 1 original Hallowicked getting a shot at Hot Sauce’s title! Plus, a special bonus match sponsored by Feast Sandwich Co. sees Cheeseburger take Dick Justice on as a tuneup ahead of his annual Tokyo Dome appearance!
Free matches here!
Faces of Fear (Barbarian & Meng) vs. Jimmy Lloyd & Nick Gage
From our friends over at Black Label Pro we’ve got a scorcher here, folks. One of the absolute gems of their first year as a promotion, maybe nothing exemplifies the Black Label ethos as strongly as the Faces of Fear squaring off against Gage & Lloyd in a violent and visceral clash of the generations. Don’t miss it!
AR Fox vs. LuFisto
Some intergender action for you from the fine folks over at Beyond Wrestling here, as a real intergender pioneer takes on a real fox. Check it out!
Dan Severn vs. Tom Lawlor
From the good people over at AIW, we’ve got some JLIT action for you-- Filthy Tom tries to take down the Beast while... cosplaying as the Beast, because that’s the kinda guy Tom Lawlor is. Enjoy!
AAW Last Call (Dec. 8)
- Kylie Rae (c) over Savanna Stone to retain the AAW Women’s Championship
- PACO & Ryan Boz over Connor Braxton & Stephen Wolf
- Sami Callihan over Mance Warner
- Jessicka Havok won the King of LaSalle Battle Royale
- Darby Allin over Jimmy Jacobs
- Curt Stallion, David Starr, & Jake Something over ACH & Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett)
- DJ Z over Trevor Lee to win the AAW Heritage Championship
- Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier, Trey Miguel, & Zachary Wentz) over Ace Romero & FiyahFox (AR Fox & Myron Reed)
- Brody King (c) over Eddie Kingston to retain the AAW Heavyweight Championship
And so, friends, the circle returns to the beginning, as Trevor Lee lost the AAW Heritage Championship at 294 days as champion to the man he won it from, DJ Z. For some proper hype, y’all can check out the trailer right here!
Chikara Let’s Get Invisible (Dec. 8)
- Juan Francisco de Coronado over Green Ant II
- Cornelius Crummels & Sonny Defarge over Blanche Babish & Jeremy Leary, Los Ice Creams (El Hijo del Ice Cream & Ice Cream, Jr.), and Team FIST (Icarus & Tony Deppen) (Elimination Match)
- BLANK over Penelope Ford
- Axel Ford, Lucas Calhoun, & Missile Assault Man over Proteus Wheel (Callux the Castigator, Frantik, Professor Nicodemus, & Volgar) (Handicap Philadelphia Street Fight)
- Hallowicked over Boomer Hatfield
- Creatures of the Deep (Cajun Crawdad, Hermit Crab, Merlok, & Oceanea) over The Colony (Fire & Thief Ants) & Xyberhawx2000 (Danjerhawk & Razerhawk)
- Solo Darling over Travis Huckabee
- Princess KimberLee & the Whisper over the Closers (Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice) (c) to win the Chikara Campeonatos de Parejas
- Dasher Hatfield (c) over Ophidian to retain the Chikara Interim Grand Championship
Chikara’s season finale had a lot of things going for it, from a valiant effort from Boomer that nearly put Hallowicked away, to that excellent atomicos, to an intense grudge match between former tag partners Darling and Huckabee, to the randomly-assigned team of Kimber and Whisper upsetting the tag champs, but nothing was more shocking than what happened after the main event.
After a hard-fought victory over Ophidian, a celebratory Dasher was joined by the actual Grand Champion, “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti, who announced that as of Monday he’s cleared to compete and, thus, taking possession of the title back from his friend and tag team partner... but the Old-Timey King of Swing decided he’s not done defending the title just yet and shocked the world by turning rudo and laying the champion out!
Progress Chapter 80 / 81 (Dec. 8-9)
—Chapter 80: Gods and Monsters (Dec. 8)—
- Paul Robinson over Chris Ridgeway
- Drew Parker over El Ligero
- Pete Dunne over Mark Andrews
- Trent Seven (c) over Dan Moloney to retain the Progress Atlas Division Championship
- Eddie Dennis & Mark Haskins over Do Not Resuscitate (Chuck Mambo & William Eaver) by disqualification
- Ilja Dragunov over Tyler Bate
- LAX (Angel Ortiz & Mike “Santana” Draztik) over CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) to become #1 contenders to the Progress World Tag Team Championship
—Chapter 81: Pour Some Progress on Me (Dec. 9)—
- Travis Banks over Ilja Dragunov
- Mark Haskins over Mark Andrews
- Chris Ridgeway over Paul Robinson (Chain Match)
- British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, & Tyler Bate) over CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) & Timothy Thatcher
- Jordynne Grace over Toni Storm
- WALTER (c) over Shigehiro Irie to retain the Progress World Championship
- Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) (c) over LAX (Angel Ortiz & Mike “Santana” Draztik) to retain the Progress World Tag Team Championship
The foursome known as Do Not Resuscitate have quickly made their mark on Progress. Indeed, Parker, Mambo, Eaver, and Spike Trivet were all over these shows, handing out beatdowns left and right even if they didn’t leave with an overall winning record. And what’s more, they may have inadvertently healed the rift between former FSU tag partners Dennis and Andrews, as each man made the save for the other over the course of the weekend.
Check ‘em out when they hit Demand Progress, folks.
CZW Cage of Death XX (Dec. 9)
- Jordan Oliver (c) over KC Navarro to retain the CZW Wired Championship
- The REP (Dave McCall & Nate Carter) over BLKOUT (BLK Jeez & Ruckus) (c) to win the CZW World Tag Team Championship (Tables Match)
- Anthony Greene over David Starr
- Leyla Hirsch over Mercedes Martinez
- Joe Gacy over Alex Reynolds
- John Silver over Rich Swann and Shane Strickland
- The Office (Brandon Kirk, Conor Claxton, Kasey Catal, & Kit Osbourne) over Dan O’Hare, Jimmy Lloyd, Maria Manic, & Mitch Vallen (Hardcore Match)
- Atsushi Onita & Matt Tremont over DJ Hyde & Masada
- Mance Warner over Rickey Shane Page to win the vacant CZW World Heavyweight Championship (Cage of Death Match)
Grab a light beer and get excited, because Mancer did it, baby! One of the most compelling indie wrestlers on the way up and he fought his way through Cage of Death to become the new CZW World Heavyweight Champion!
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.