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.
IWA Mid-South (February 1, 7:35PM Eastern)
- Ludark Shaitan vs. Marko Stunt
- JC Rotten vs. Maria James (Taipei Deathmatch)
- Eddie Kingston vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
- Calvin Tankman vs. ???
- Cole Radrick vs. Myron Reed vs. Reed “By God” Bentley vs. Sage Cainan vs. Sage Philips (IWA-MS World Championship #1 Contender’s Match)
- Jimmy’s Angels (Ace Perry & Dale Patricks) vs. the Unfortunate Pairing of Pat Monix and Elliott Paul (c) (IWA-MS Tag Team Championship)
- Aaron Williams (c) vs. Jake Crist vs. Mance Warner (IWA-MS World Championship Elimination Match)
Venerable indie IWA Mid-South are making their Powerbomb.tv live streaming debut tonight and they’re putting their best foot forward. You’ve got a Taipei Deathmatch, a six-way contender’s match (always a hoot on the indies), a grappler/striker match between MJF and Eddie Kingston that I personally am quite looking forward to, and the main event three-way pitting three-time champion Williams against the two men who last held the title, neither of whom could manage a single defense before losing it.
RSVP here or check it out live on Powerbomb.tv, folks.
CMLL Super Viernes (February 2, 9:30PM Eastern)
- Astral & Electrico vs. El Coyote & Templario
- Audaz, Pegasso, & Rey Cometa vs. Kawato San, Misterioso, Jr., & Virus
- Barbaro Cavernario & Titan vs. Blue Panther & Sam Adonis vs. Diamante Azul & Pierroth vs. El Valiente & Rey Bucanero vs. Gran Guerrero & Niebla Roja vs. Hechicero & Soberano, Jr. vs. Mephisto & Mistico vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Volador, Jr. (Torneo Increible de Parejas 2018 Phase One)
- Atlantis, Caristico, & Marco Corleone vs. El Terrible, Euforia, & Shocker
CMLL are back with your usual Friday night dose of lucha libre action and no need for the mass hysteria, dogs and cats aren’t living together, it’s just time for the parejas increible tournament! Every year heels and faces pair up and we generally get some worthwhile action out of it, so this should be a solid show, especially with the debut of NJPW young lion Hirai Kawato, here billed as Kawato San, to kick off his excursion.
Check it out, as always, free for nothin' on ClaroSports or CMLL's Facebook page, folks.
FIP Everything Burns 2018 (February 2, 9PM Eastern)
- Alexander Rudolph vs. Rhett Giddens
- Blanco Loco vs. Darius Lockhart vs. Saieve al Sabah vs. Snoop Strikes
- ACR vs. Priscilla Kelly (c) (Shine Nova Championship)
- Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter) (c) vs. the End (Odinson & Parrow) (FIP Tag Team Championship)
- Darby Allin vs. Jon Davis (c) (FIP Florida Heritage Championship)
- Austin Theory (c) vs. Martin Stone (FIP World Heavyweight Championship)
FIP are back in their home base of Ybor City, Florida after a long layoff and while we don’t have complete card info, what we’ve got looks pretty good. Hooligans and the End in a tag team HOSS WAR that will probably fight all over the bar, Jon Davis throwing Darby Allin all over the place, and Martin Stone putting the new champion through his paces? Sounds like a deal to me!
Get your tickets here, buy the iPPV at WWNLive.com, or check it out in two weeks with your Club WWN subscription.
AAW The Chaos Theory (February 3, 7PM Central)
- Ace Romero vs. Dante Leon vs. Donovan Danhausen vs. Gringo Loco vs. Sage Cainan vs. Space Monkey (Earn Your Spot Mayhem Match)
- Brubaker & Connor Braxton vs. Kody Rice & Mike Hartenbower
- Myron Reed vs. Trey Miguel
- OI4K (Dave & Jake Crist) vs. Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza)
- Shane Strickland vs. Trevor Lee
- AR Fox vs. Jeff Cobb
- Matt Riddle vs. Sami Callihan
- Eddie Kingston vs. Penta el Zero M
- Jessicka Havok (c) vs. Rosemary (AAW Women’s Championship)
- ACH vs. Rey Fenix (c) (AAW Heavyweight Championship)
AAW are back in LaSalle, Illinois and they’ve got quite a show lined up. From the scramble match where the winner will presumably earn a regular roster spot (my CageCoins are on Ace Romero, for what it’s worth) through to Jeff Cobb hossing AR Fox all over the place, Eddie Kingston and Penta pasting each other in the face as hard as possible, to our two very different and very awesome title matches, it should be a good one.
Get your tickets here or check it out when it goes up on Smart Mark Video and Highspots, folks.
OTT Homecoming (February 3-4)
—Night One (February 3, 7:30PM GMT)—
- Adam Brooks vs. Mark Haskins
- Ryan Smile vs. Trent Seven
- Keith Lee vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey
- Travis Banks vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.
- Angel Cruz vs. B. Cool vs. Chuck Taylor vs. Session Moth Martina (c) (OTT Gender Neutral Championship)
- Kings of the North (Bonesaw, Damien Corvin, & Dunkan Disorderly) (c) vs. the Rapture (Charlie Sterling, Sha Samuels, & Zack Gibson) (OTT Tag Team Championship Steel Cage Match)
- Jordan Devlin (c) vs. Timothy Thatcher (OTT No Limits Championship)
—Night Two (February 4, 6PM GMT)—
- Curtis Murray vs. Tucker
- Chuck Taylor vs. Mark Haskins
- Keith Lee vs. Timothy Thatcher
OTT are in Dublin, Ireland as usual and I mean, that night one card. Devlin/Thatcher alone has my interest but you add in Lee/Speedball, Sabre/Banks (always delivers!), and a likely wacky four-way for the Gender Neutral Championship and you’ve got a fully balanced breakfast right there! Only a few key matches have been announced for night two, but Lee and Thatcher had a match at Evolve 90 that felt like it was waiting for a rematch to unlock their full potential against one another and, well, here we are!
Tickets are sold out, but you’ll be able to catch it at OTT’s Pivotshare site soon enough.
RPW Live at the Cockpit 26 (February 4, 5:30PM GMT)
- Adam Brooks vs. El Phantasmo
- Nina Samuels vs. Sammii Jayne
- Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Legion of Lords (Gideon Grey & ???)
- Eddie Dennis vs. Josh Bodom
- David Starr vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey
- Travis Banks vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.
- Kurtis Chapman (c) vs. Ryan Smile (RPW British Cruiserweight Championship)
RevPro are back in the Cockpit in London and you’re not having deja vu, Travis Banks and Zack Sabre, Jr. are indeed having singles matches on back to back days for different promotions this weekend. Should be neat to compare the two and see how they differ! Plus Kurtis Chapman absolutely insisted that his title be on the line against former champion Ryan Smile, and let’s see how that plays out for him.
Get your tickets here or check it out on RPW On Demand, folks.
Free matches here!
Britt Baker vs. Faye Jackson
From the fine folks over at AIW in Ohio, we’ve got some women’s action for you today. It’s Britt Baker vs. Faye Jackson, and who doesn’t like to see a dentist do battle against milkshakes? Check it out!
Team Freelance (Craig Mitchell, GPA, Matt Knicks, & Rob Matter) vs. Team Limitless (Aiden Aggro, Danger Kid, Jeremy Leary, & Skylar)
From the good people over at Limitless Wrestling, we take a trip back almost a year ago, when Freelance Wrestling sent a team of their finest to do battle against the best Maine has to offer, and this is the result. This is the kind of match I like to push here from time to time, with a few more well-known names and a few less, that all-but guarantees if you watch it, you’ll walk away with somebody new to be a fan of. Enjoy!
Bryan Danielson vs. Munenori Sawa
And now for a REAL blast from the past courtesy of the good folks over at the World Wrestling Network. Evolve started as the vision of the American Dragon, and nowhere is the vision he had for what Evolve could be stronger than in this match, part of Bryan’s summer/fall 2010 tour of the indies after being fired from WWE for a short time. It is, bar none, one of the finest, most intense technical wrestling contests I’ve ever seen. If you watch one match I link in the freebies here all year, make it this one. Don’t miss it!
AAA Guerra de Titanes (January 26)
- Australian Suicide over Lanzelot (c) to win the AAA Cruiserweight Championship
- Faby Apache over Lady Shani (c) to win the AAA Reina de Reinas Championship
- Poder del Norte (Carta Brava, Jr., Mocho Cota, Jr., & Tito Santana) over Aerostar, Drago, & Raptor, Argenis, Bengala, & Mascara de Bronce, and Los OGT (Averno, Chessman, & Super Fly) (c) to win the AAA Trios Championship
- Psycho Clown vs. Rey Escorpion went to a no contest (Bull Terrier Match)
- Dark Cuervo, Dark Scoria, & La Parka over Psycho Circus (Dave the Clown, Monsther Clown, & Murder Clown) (Street Fight)
- Dr. Wagner, Jr. over Johnny Mundo (c) to win the AAA Mega Championship
- El Hijo de Fantasma (c) over Texano, Jr. by disqualification (AAA Latin American Championship Steel Cage Match)
AAA shenanigans abounded on a show that, according to reports (check out luchablog’s in-depth look here, for one), was chugging along pretty pleasantly until the last two matches. A disqualification in a steel cage match speaks for itself, but the Mega Championship match saw Dr. Wagner’s son turn on him inexplicably and Vampiro beat everybody up, because that’s what a guest referee does, right?
But in better and more exciting news, the Bull Terrier match went to that no-contest after Psycho’s former clown brothers did a run-in and two masked men saved him... and turned out to be his brother Maximo and cousin La Mascara, finally having made their way to AAA after being exiled from CMLL last year.
Check it out on AAA’s Twitch, where it did stream after all, or on their YouTube channel soon enough.
House of Hardcore 37 (January 26)
- Hornswoggle over Mikey (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Kenny over Lisa Marie Varon (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Bull James over Eddie Kingston (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Alex Reynolds over Super Crazy (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Crazzy Steve over Maxwell Jacob Friedman (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Killer Kross over Little Guido (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Dan Maff over Ace Romero (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Billy Gunn & Tommy Dreamer over Joey Mercury & Nick “Magnus” Aldis (Hardcore War)
- Austin Aries vs. Matt Riddle goes to a time-limit draw (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Austin Aries vs. Matt Riddle goes to a time-limit draw (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Austin Aries over Matt Riddle (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Willie Mack over Luchasaurus and Matt Cross (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
- Brian Cage over Sami Callihan (HOH Television Championship Tournament First Round Match)
House of Hardcore returned to Twitch with a show that had a lot going for it, including a really fun match between Guido and Kross that saw the Full-Blooded Italian get a chance to stretch his UWFi skills, a HOSS WAR between Maff and Romero that ended in Ace somehow going up and coming down with the damn Burning Hammer, the obligatory Sandman appearance, and more.
To explain the Aries/Riddle situation there, the (quite good) match went to a time-limit draw with Riddle trapped in the Last Chancery, so they got five more minutes. That ended in a draw with Aries in the Bromission, so again, they got five more minutes... and Aries snapped a brainbuster off in seconds to take it. 2/3 falls when, Tommy?
Check it out on Twitch.tv, folks.
Shine 48 (January 26)
- Amber Nova over Chelsea Durban (Sparkle Showcase)
- Stormie Lee over Tesha Price
- Holidead over Dynamite DiDi
- Brandi Lauren over Leva Bates
- Cutie Pie Club (Candy Cartwright, Dementia D’Rose, & Kiera Hogan) over Aerial Monroe, Priscilla Kelly, & Vanessa Kraven
- Jordynne Grace over Natalia Markova
- Santana Garrett over Renee Michelle
- Las Sicarias (Ivelisse & Mercedes Martinez) (c) over Lady Chardonnay Darcy & Isla Dawn to retain the Shine Tag Team Championship
- LuFisto (c) over Rain to retain the Shine Championship
Nothing seems capable of dislodging Shine’s top champions right now, but the Nova scene may yet shift soon, with Candy Cartwright using her new-look Cutie Pie Club to get a pin on Nova Champion Priscilla Kelly in the trios match here. She’s failed twice, but perhaps a third time (and the assistance of Dementia D’Rose) will be the charm? We’ll have to see if Shine book the match.
Check it out on VOD over at WWNLive.com, or in about two weeks it’ll go up on Club WWN.
Beyond Spirit of ‘76 (January 27)
- Jonathan Gresham (c) over “Lightning” Mike Quackenbush to retain the Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship
- Maxwell Jacob Friedman over Brandon Watts, Damien Smith, Jay Freddie, Josh Briggs, and Mike Verna (Beyond Wrestling Tournament for Tomorrow Semifinals Scramble Match)
- John Silver over LuFisto
- Amityville Project (Dan Barry, Rex Lawless, & Ryan Galeone) over Bill Carr, Brian Cage, & Kyle the Beast
- Joey Janela over Chris Dickinson
- Martin Stone over Flip Gordon
- Orange Cassidy over Hornswoggle
- EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) over Hot Wheelz (“Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams & Wheeler YUTA)
- AR Fox over Tessa Blanchard
- David Starr over Matt Riddle
Beyond’s Philly debut might have been a secret, but it’s one everybody should know! You can check out in-depth results here, but highlights include Quackenbush and Gresham putting on an absolute clinic for the Poewrbomb title, the six-way scramble to replace Ace Romero in the TFT finals, the HOSS six-man, Cassidy and Hornswoggle’s tour de force comedy match, and of course, Starr/Riddle, because those guys always come together for a good friendly violent time.
Check it out on Powerbomb.tv, folks.
NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo (January 27-28)
—Night One (January 27)—
- Michael Elgin over Katsuya Kitamura (Kitamura Challenge Series Match 2)
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Jushin Liger, KUSHIDA, Manabu Nakanishi, & Tiger Mask IV over Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) over Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi)
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Roa) (c) over Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare, & Togi Makabe) to retain the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
- Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, & Marty Scurll) over David Finlay, Juice Robinson, & Kota Ibushi
- Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito) over Chaos (Will Ospreay & YOSHI-HASHI)
- Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, & Kazuchika Okada) over Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA)
- The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson) over Chaos (“Switchblade” Jay White, SHO, & YOH)
- Minoru Suzuki over Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship
—Night Two (January 28)—
- Juice Robinson over Katsuya Kitamura (Kitamura Challenge Series Match 3)
- Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) over Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino, & Tiger Mask IV
- Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) over Bullet Club (Hikuleo & Yujiro Takahashi)
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Roa) over Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, Togi Makabe, & Tomoyuki Oka
- Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) over Michael Elgin & Toa Henare
- Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, & Marty Scurll) over David Finlay, Kota Ibushi, & KUSHIDA
- Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) over Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, & YOSHI-HASHI)
- Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) over Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
- ”Switchblade” Jay White over Kenny Omega (c) to win the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
New Beginning is two thirds done and as always since I can direct you to my match recommendations, I’ll keep it short and sweet here, but yes, the Golden Lovers are reunited once more and I can admit I rolled a tear at 4:30 in the morning over it. Wrestling is fantastic sometimes.
Check ‘em out on NJPW World, folks.
Beyond Powerbomb Pre-Game / WWR Five Year Plan (January 28)
—Beyond Powerbomb Pre-Game—
- Matt Riddle over AR Fox
- Brian Cage over Josh Briggs
- Flip Gordon over Brandon Watts
- Jonathan Gresham (c) over Martin Stone by countout (Powerbomb.tv Independent Wrestling Championship)
—WWR Five Year Plan—
- Sonya Strong over Jordynne Grace
- Terra Calaway over Kennedi Copeland
- Kasey Catal, Kris Stadtlander, & Vanity over Alexxis, Gilian Leigh, & Taeler Hendrix
- Solo Darling over Willow Nightingale
- LuFisto over Skylar
- Holidead over Delmi Exo
- Faye Jackson over Allie Recks
- Team Adams (Deonna Purrazzo, Karen Q, & Tasha Steelz) over Black and Blue (Belmont, Davienne, & Vionette)
- Janelope (Joey Janela & Penelope Ford) over David Starr & Tessa Blanchard
- Jordynne Grace wins the Revolutionary Rumble
Check out full results here, but there are two big takeaways from this one, folks-- one, Jordynne Grace has earned the right to wrestle Tenille “Emma” Dashwood in her Women’s Wrestling Revolution debut on March 25, and two, David Starr’s war against what he considers poor officiating rolls on, as Janelope won by pinning Tessa Blanchard... with her foot on the ropes. Blatantly so, as well-- while you can argue that the referee made the exact right call at Heavy Lies the Crown, in this case, there’s zero question.
Check the free pre-show out right here (make sure to watch Fox/Riddle, they go like seven minutes and it’s a hoot made of the purest medical-grade sprintanium!) and the main show out on Powerbomb.tv, folks.
Chikara Beware the Snowman (January 28)
- Oleg the Usurper over Kobald
- Travis Huckabee over Gran Akuma
- Proletariat Boar of Moldova over Cornelius Crummels
- The Closers (Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice) over Dez Peloton (Donald Kluger & Jasper Tippins), Legion of Rot (Frightmare & Hallowicked), and the Throwbacks (Dasher Hatfield & “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti) (Elimination Match)
- ”17” over “Ophidian”
- Merlok & Oceanea over Cajun Crawdad & Hermit Crab
- Juan Francisco de Coronado (c) over Hype Rockwell to retain the Chikara Grand Championship
- Razerhawk over Sonny Defarge
Lot of stuff set up for the future here, with the biggest ones being that the Closers and Oleg are both in line for title shots now, sitting on three points each as they are. But also we have a couple matches set up for National Pro Wrestling Day, as Blank (the now-masked Race Jaxon) challenging the Boar and the new 17 turned out to be the old Ophidian and took the mask back from the new Ophidian and my head hurts but he’s wrestling Frightmare at NPWD so that should be fun. And some alliances were made, with Lucas Calhoun accepting his existence as a clone and teaming up with fellow clone Jeremy Leary as well as Cajun Crawdad and Hermit Crab heading off with Oceanea after she beat them.
Check it out on Chikaratopia, folks.
Progress Chapter 62 Fear No More, Come to Dust (January 28)
- Chris Ridgeway over Omari (Natural Progression Series V First Round Match)
- Roy Johnson over Pastor William Eaver
- Zack Sabre, Jr. over Chris Brookes and Trent Seven
- Travis Banks (c) over TK Cooper to retain the Progress World Championship
- Toni Storm (c) over Chakara to retain the Progress Women’s Championship
- Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins over Danny Jones & Mark Andrews
- ”Flash” Morgan Webster over Doug Williams
- WALTER (c) over Timothy Thatcher to retain the Progress Atlas Division Championship
As always with a show I recap I’ll keep it short and sweet here, but despite having to change the women’s match a second time due to Millie McKenzie being out hurt, Progress made the most of it because Jinny has a posse now, being joined by Chakara and Nina Samuels.
Check it out when it hits Demand Progress, folks.
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.