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.
You’ll note I’ve changed the format up a little here, and this will be the standard going forward. I felt like the previous format with 3-4 sets of results or capsule previews and then a big recap or other piece was limiting the amount of stuff I could cover beyond what I actually watch week-to-week. So from now on, you’ll still get all those recaps, profiles, and whatnot, but they’ll be posted on their own, and Sermon will be all about what you can watch and where you can watch it.
IWA Mid-South 20th Anniversary Show (October 6)
20th Anniversary IWA Rumble
“Littlest Viking” Jake Parnell vs. Johnathan Wolf
Jake Crist vs. Nathan Cruz
Bull Pain, Derek Neal, & Todd Morton’s Hangmen vs. Mark Wolf & the Threejects (John Wayne Murdoch, Reed Bentley, & Nick Depp)
Ram Jam vs. Zach Gowen
Bomb Shelter (Joseph Schwartz & Zodiac) vs. NVD (Hy-Zaya & Shane Mercer) vs. Sage Philips & Teddy King vs. the Brotherhood (Brother Reed & Mickey Muscles)
Cole Radrick vs. Sami Callihan
JJ Garrett (c) vs. Tracy Smothers (IWA World Championship)
Chris Hero vs. Kongo Kong vs. Matt Cage vs. Shigehiro Irie (Elimination Match)
20 years! Not many indies can lay claim to that sort of longevity. Granted, IWA have had their interruptions, but they’ve still laid out a hell of a card here. Look at that elimination main event there, for starters. Plus Tracy Smothers getting a title shot in the year of our lord 2016, and appearances from the likes of Sami Callihan, Zach Gowen, and inaugural Progress Champion Nathan Cruz, and all the local IWA talent that I’m less familiar with, and I’m sure it’ll be a blast.
AAW Jim Lynam Memorial Cup (October 7-8)
Jessicka Havok vs. Heidi Lovelace
Chris Hero vs. Kongo Kong (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
Mat Fitchett vs. Silas Young (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
Kamaitachi vs. Mustafa Ali (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
AR Fox vs. ??? (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
Drew Gulak vs. Jeff Cobb (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
Colt Cabana vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
Chuck Taylor vs. Davey Vega (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
Brian Cage vs. Josh Alexander (Jim Lynam Memorial Cup First Round Match)
Pentagón, Jr. (c) vs. Sami Callihan (AAW Heavyweight Championship)
AAW are adding to 2016’s stacked tournament field with an excellent looking offering of their own in the Jim Lynam Memorial Cup. 16 of the best wrestlers on the planet will meet with a shot at the AAW Heavyweight Championship on the line for the victor. Indeed, the field reads like a who’s who of the independent wrestling scene, plus non-tournament matches featuring Jessicka Havok going head-to-head with Heidi Lovelace and Sami Callihan gunning for Pentagón, Jr.’s AAW Heayvweight Championship.
Ticket presale is unfortunately closed as of press time, but you can always catch the action on VOD whenever it goes up.
Chikara Cruise Control / Judgment Day (October 8)
The Batiri (Kodama & Obariyon) vs. the Osirian Portal (Amasis & Ophidian)
Jigsaw vs. Missile Assault Man
Donald Kluger vs. Juan Francisco de Coronado
Los Ice Creams (El Hijo de Ice Cream & Ice Cream, Jr.) vs. Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice
Icarus vs. Silver Ant
Hallowicked (c) vs. Heidi Lovelace (Chikara Grand Championship)
Chuck Taylor™ vs. The Big Deal
Fire Ant vs. Mark Angelosetti
Cornelius Crummels & Sonny Defarge vs. Hermit Crab & Rock Lobster
Officer Warren Barksdale vs. Wani
Chikara are headed back to Haverhill, Massachusetts with a big double-header on Saturday. The biggest match of the weekend is almost certainly Hallowicked’s Grand Championship defense against Heidi Lovelace, but with Fire Ant and Silver Ant looking to avenge their tag team loss to Icarus and Angelosetti last month in singles action, as well as the new Chuck Taylor in action against the old Hornswoggle, it’s gonna be something.
CZW Tangled Web 9 (October 8)
BLK Jeez vs. “Chainsaw” Joe Gacy
Matt Tremont vs. Reed Bentley
Scarlet & Graves (Dave Crist, Dezmond Xavier, & Zachary Wentz) vs. Team Pazuzu (Angel Ortiz, Chris Dickinson, & Mike Draztic)
Joey Janela (c) vs. Tony Deppen (CZW Wired Championship)
Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack) (c) issue an open challenge for their CZW World Tag Team Championship
Homicide vs. Jonathan Gresham (c) (CZW World Heavyweight Championship)
Alex Colon vs. Danny Havoc vs. Rickey Shane Page vs. Tim Donst (Tangled Web Match)
It’s the ninth edition of Tangled Web and it’s going down this Saturday in Voorhees, New Jersey. Every CZW title will be on the line, including Jonathan Gresham defending his newly-won world championship against the nigh-legendary Homicide, Joey Janela defending the Wired Championship against newcomer Tony Deppen, and Da Hit Squad accepting all comers for their tag team championship. Plus the titular Tangled Web match, featuring a literal web of barbed wire, some exciting-looking trios action, it looks like a quality card start to finish.
NJPW King of Pro-Wrestling (October 10)
Bullet Club (Adam Cole, Bad Luck Fale, & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii, Will Ospreay, & YOSHI-HASHI)
Bobby Fish, Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma), & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Chaos (Beretta, Jado, Rocky Romero, & Toru Yano)
Team NJPW (Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima, & Yuji Nagata) vs. Team NOAH (Go Shiozaki, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Masa Kitamiya, & Maybach Taniguchi)
David Finlay & Ricochet vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship)
Briscoe Brothers (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (c) vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jay Lethal, KUSHIDA, & Michael Elgin vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito)
Katsuyori Shibata (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly (NEVER Openweight Championship)
Hirooki Goto vs. Kenny Omega (c) (G1 Climax Contendership Certificate)
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. Naomichi Marufuji (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)
The last really big NJPW show of the year is upon us and they’ve opened the floodgates, with G1 rematches on top in the form of Okada/Marufuji and Goto/Omega. Their G1 matches were among the best of the tournament, and now titles (or shots at titles, at least) are on the line. Plus Shibata willing himself into action despite a pile of nagging injuries to his spine and shoulder against Kyle O’Reilly in what is likely to be my match of the night, and the NOAH vs. NJPW feud rolling on as the 3rd Generation dudes take on NOAH’s hard hitters in eight-man tag action.
You can check it out on NJPW World live at 3AM Eastern time, folks, and of course I’ll have a match recommendations post after the fact.
Free matches here!
VII: Fight Forever
Courtesy of the UK’s VII Pro Wrestling, we’ve got not one, but five free matches in one video, since they uploaded the whole show free for nothin’! It’s Travis Banks vs. Wild Boar, Chris Brookes vs. Drew Parker for Brookes’ British Lions Championship, Chuck Mambo vs. Isaac Zercher, Dahlia Black & Nixon Newell vs. Jinny & Sierra Loxton, and Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate for Dunne’s VII Pro Championship, folks. Lot of quality talent on display, check it out!
Britt Baker vs. Sonya Strong
From the fine folks at AIW, more women’s wrestling featuring some up-and-comers here. You may remember Britt Baker being squashed by Nia Jax back in July, well now you can check her out in her home context.
Hanson vs. John Silver
More action courtesy of Maine’s Limitless Wrestling, former Ring of Honor tag team champion and known Warbeard Hanson takes on northeastern indie standout John Silver.
Full Impact Pro All or Nothing (September 30)
Martin Stone (c) over Nathan Cruz to retain the FIP Florida Heritage Championship.
Donny “Cherry” Ramones & Ricky Starks over Josh Woods & Kavron Kanyon (WWN Under the Radar Match)
Jon Davis over Deimos, Jody Kristofferson, Jojo Bravo, Monster Tarve, Odinson, and Rhett Giddens (Hoss Division Elimination Fray)
Greg Glover over Donovan Danhausen
Earl Cooter over Nick Cutler
Teddy Stigma over Drennan (Last Man Standing)
Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter) (c) over Flying Solow (Aaron Solow & Jason Cade) to retain the FIP World Tag Team Championship.
AR Fox over Sammy Guevara
Fred Yehi (c) over Caleb Konley and Martin Stone (c) to retain the FIP World Heavyweight Championship. Martin Stone’s Florida Heritage Championship was also on the line.
FIP kicked off All or Nothing with a somewhat shocking choice, running Martin Stone’s Florida Heritage Championship defense first on the card, but it paid off later as he made a post-match challenge for the world title and ended up inserted into that match. Also of note, the Heaviest Sumo in the Land, Jojo Bravo making an unannounced appearance in the HOSS division match, and Aaron Solow turning on Jason Cade after their loss to the Hooligans.
If you’re interested in checking it out, you can pick up the VOD over at WWNLive.com.
Freelance Wrestling Strikes Back (September 30)
Double Dragon Monkey Fury (Rey Furia & Space Monkey) over Arik Cannon & Ariya Daivari, Roscoe Eat Lisa (Mikey McFinnigan & Zakk Sawyers), and Superiority Complex (Roy Gordon & Tony Nas) (Tag Team Scramble Match)
Joey Ryan over Shigehiro Irie
Christian Rose over Gringo Loco, Jon Cruz, Kenny Sutra, Mr. 450, Stephen Wolf, Suge D, and Triton (Scramble Match)
N-Words (Acid Jaz & Bryce Benjamin) (c) over Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza) to retain the Freelance Tag Team Championship.
Craig Mitchell over Isaias Velazquez
Jeff Cobb over Jake Something
Mustafa Ali (c) over DJ Z to retain the Freelance Championship.
”All Ego” Ethan Page over Robert “Ego” Anthony (Steel Cage Match)
For the full story, go and check my recap, but suffice it to say, this was an awesome show, and perhaps the best I’ve seen from Freelance.
Beyond Wrestling Midas Touch (October 2)
“Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams over Chris Dickinson by DQ
Team Pazuzu (Angel Ortiz, Mike Draztik, & Pinkie Sanchez) over Joey Ryan & Massage NV (Dorian Graves & VSK)
Matt Riddle over Jaka
Tessa Blanchard over Ricochet
Deonna Purrazzo over Sonya Strong
Joey Janela over Jonathan Gresham
War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) over Da Hit Squad (Dan Maff & Monsta Mack)
John Silver over Michael Elgin
Chris Dickinson initially won the opener via submission, but he refused to break the hold and the result was overturned. Matt Riddle nearly suffered the same fate meting out the same punishment on Jaka, but Dickinson broke it up first, so it seems the war between Catch Point and Team Pazuzu is far from over. And yes, that is Tessa Blanchard and Ricochet taking their relationship to a whole other level. They asked for the match, Beyond gave it to them, and there we are.
Check it out on Beyondemand, folks. Raw footage is up now but full production will follow soon enough.
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.