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.
In the news
FIP All or Nothing 2016 (September 30)
Donny “Cherry” Ramones & Ricky Starks vs. Josh Woods & Kavron Kanyon (WWN Under the Radar Match)
Earl Cooter vs. Nick Cutler
Donovan Danhausen vs. Greg Glover
Deimos vs. Jody Kristofferson vs. Jon Davis vs. Monster Tarver vs. Odinson vs. Rhett Giddens (Hoss Division Elimination Fray)
Drennan vs. Teddy Stigma (Last Man Standing)
AR Fox vs. Sammy Guevara
Martin Stone (c) vs. Nathan Cruz (FIP Florida Heritage Championship)
Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter) (c) vs. Flying Solow (Aaron Solow & Jason Cade) (FIP World Tag Team Championship)
Caleb Konley vs. Fred Yehi (c) (FIP World Heavyweight Championship)
Full Impact Pro come back into your home Friday night with All or Nothing. Up top we’ll see Caleb Konley finally gets his world title rematch against Fred Yehi, Flying Solow look to end the Hooligans’ 400+ day tag title reign, and Martin Stone defend the Florida Heritage Championship against former Progress Champion Nathan Cruz.
The undercard has delights as well, as AR Fox and Sammy Guevara do high flying battle, Drennan and Stigma look to put each other away once and for all in a Last Man Standing match, and, in the match that might interest me most on the entire card, the six-way HOSS eliminationation fray.
So if this sounds interesting to you, you can mosey on over here for tickets if you’re in the Orlando area or just pop on over to WWNLive.com to buy the iPPV.
Freelance Wrestling Strikes Back (September 30)
Christian Rose vs. Gringo Loco vs. Jon Cruz vs. Kenny Sutra vs. Mr. 450 vs. Stephen Wolf vs. Suge D vs. Triton
Arik Cannon & Ariya Daivari vs. Rey Furia & Space Monkey vs. Roscoe Eat Lisa (Mikey McFinnigan & Zakk Sawyers) vs. Superiority Complex (Roy Gordon & Tony Nas)
Joey Ryan vs. Shigehiro Irie
Jake Something vs. Jeff Cobb
Craig Mitchell vs. Isaias Velazquez
”All Ego” Ethan Page vs. Robert “Ego” Anthony (Steel Cage Match)
N-Words (Acid Jaz & Bryce Benjamin) (c) vs. Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya & CJ Esparza) (Freelance Tag Team Championship)
DJ Z vs. Mustafa Ali (c) (Freelance Championship)
Freelance Wrestling are putting Freelance Wrestling Strikes Back on on Friday as well, and despite some last minute card shuffling necessitated by Lince Dorado’s sudden intake to the WWE system, it’s another one of the stacked cards we expect to see from Freelance. WWE Cruiserweight Classic standout Mustafa Ali puts his title on the line against TNA superstar DJ Z, the N-Words defend their tag titles against the debuting Zero Gravity, and Ego vs. Ego comes to a final culmination inside of a steel cage!
Teammates, enemies, teammates again and now once more enemies, Craig Mitchell and former Freelance Champion Isaias Velazquez go one-on-one, Jake Something and Jeff Cobb have a HOSS WAR, Joey Ryan fight DDT import Shigehiro Irie, but wait, there’s more! Not one, but two traditional Freelance scramble matches, a singles eight-man with the likes of Suge D, Mr. 450, and Mexican import Triton, as well Freelance’s first ever tag team scramble. It’s gonna be fast and furious, folks.
How can you see it? Buy tickets here if you’re in the Chicago area or head over to their website to buy in on the $5 stream. As a reminder, it’s just a hard camera with commentary, not full production quality, and there may be blips and errors, but you get all the action at a price that’s hard to beat.
Gold Rush Pro The Fourth Golden Rule (October 1)
Alexander G. Bernard & ??? vs. Dylan Drake & Kaka Meng vs. Lucian D. Light’s Mystery Team vs. Manny Mars & Matt Carlos (Gold Rush Tag Team Championship #1 Contender’s Elimination Match)
Rik Luxury & Shamrock (c) vs. the Resident Cowboys (Cowboy Charlie & Dalton Frost) (Gold Rush Tag Team Championship)
Christina Von Eerie vs. Kikyo Nakamura (c) (Lady Luck Championship)
MPT (c) vs. War Pig Jody (Gold Rush Heavyweight Championship)
Boyce LeGrande (c) vs. King Kratos (Dynamite Division Championship)
Gold Rush Pro are running a show on Saturday and it’s another good opportunity to sit down in front of the stream on their YouTube and get exposed to some fine local California talent. Or, of course, go ahead and buy a ticket if you’re in, around, or willing to travel to Pacifica.
SWE Speed King 2016 / Queen of the Ring 2016 (October 1-2)
—Speed King 2016—
Bubblegum vs. Chris Ridgeway
Martin Kirby vs. Robbie X
Mark Haskins vs. Stevie Boy
Chris Tyler vs. Matt Cross
Fénix vs. Sami Callihan
Lio Rush vs. Will Ospreay
—Queen of the Ring 2016—
Alex Windsor vs. Leah Vaughan
Lana Austin vs. Melina
Jessicka Havok vs. Viper
Kay Lee Ray vs. Nixon Newell (Street Fight)
I’m just shining a spotlight on Southside Wrestling Entertainment’s two tournaments here, but they’re actually running no less than five shows this weekend, starting with Friday night’s Adrenaline Rush and ending with KirbyMania on Sunday.
Both tournaments are fairly well busting with talent both local and international, including Melina’s first singles match in four years. So if you’re nearby Nottingham, Sheffield (or St. Neots, for Adrenaline Rush), pick your tickets up here or check out the VOD on SWE’s Vimeo when they go up.
Candice LeRae vs. Cloudy vs. Laredo Kid vs. Louis Lyndon
Our free match today comes courtesy of the fine folks at AIW, from their April 2016 show Forgot About Dre, and it’s high flying four-way action. Check it out!
Progress Chapter 35: Writing Nirvana On Other People’s Bags (August 28) recap & match recommendations
Following on as promised from last week, with the simple five point scale I’ve laid out where a 1 is total skip, 2 you can probably skip unless you love one of the folks in it, 3 is a match that's worth watching but not necessarily worth making time for, a 4 is a solid recommendation to make time for if you can, and a 5 is a must-watch. They’re not star ratings, they’re just a quick way for those who can’t make as much time for the graps as I can to figure out what’s essential and what can be skipped.
British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven) over Damian Dunne & Tyler Bate (3): Weird watching this and knowing that Moustache Mountain are Campeonatos de Parejas over in Chikara.
Anyway, starting hard on the outside with a good couple minutes of hard fighting before the bell even rings, including a sick Crash Landing on the apron from Pete Dunne. Lots of good stuff in the actual match, built largely around each set of former teammates beating the crap out of each other.
Nixon Newell over Alex Windsor (3): Alex Windsor with an excellent violent streak here, countering a headscissors into a backbreaker, uppercut to stop a suicide dive, hard sweep on the apron, lots of cool ways to cut plucky babyface Nixon Newell off. Nixon with good comeback fire, especially from the forearm sequence onward, just pure determination.
Overall I kind of expected to write this off as nice but slight, but they really impressed me here and had a good match that’s well worth a watch.
Jack Gallagher over Eddie Dennis, El Ligero, and Zack Gibson (3): Zack Gibson got such heavy booing during his intro that he had to get a megaphone and it still wasn’t enough. My god.
Comedy early on as Ligero and Gibson gently strike each other while Dave Mastiff chants on commmentary but the faces come back in and it starts to play out more like a tornado tag than anything. Eventually some the Origin boys get mixed up, Gibson breaks up a pin, Gallagher does the “tie you up and kick your bum” deal and we head straight for the finish.
Good solid four-way with fantastic commentary from Dave Mastiff. Post-match, Mastiff distracts Gallagher and Dennis so Zack Gibson can pay off the “Where’s my car stereo?” chants and knock them in the head with an actual car stereo.
Joe Coffey over Dave Mastiff in an Atlas Championship Tournament Semifinal Match (3): Hard and heavy right from the start with Coffey going full bore on Mastiff. The match plays out much like Rees/Mastiff the last show, with Mastiff cutting corners where he can and Coffey relying on his strength and explosivity to make openings. At one point Mastiff whips Coffey into the turnbuckles so hard you hear the ring shudder, it’s HOSSTASTIC. Very fun match overall.
Shane Strickland over Will Ospreay (4): So, they sat and worked a headlock for a couple minutes...
C’mon now. This is exactly as flippy as you knew it was gonna be, so a match recommendation number is kind of pointless really. Either you love this stuff or you don’t, you don’t need me telling you whether you should spend time on it. There’s a corkscrew Asai moonsault, folks, and it ain’t even the craziest thing that happens.
That said I don’t think it’s the best of this kind of match these two could have, even before you get to the injury angle, so I’m not giving it an unconditional recommendation, but it’s still quite good.
Post-match, Ospreay gets on the mic and apologizes for faking the injury before going to say that he hasn’t won a match in Progress all year. He went to New Japan and won Best of the Super Junior, and now his schedule doesn’t match Progress’s schedule, so he’s saying “pip pip, cheerio” to Progress for the time being.
Mark Haskins over Mikey Whiplash to retain his contendership to the Progress Championship (4): Haskins with his wonderfully inventive grappling to start and Whiplash frankly seems outclassed. Mikey does eventually catch Haskins by the boot on the turnbuckle and takes him into a neat spinning back suplex off it before taking him outside to ram him into the apron and call him names for a while.
Whiplash continues the abuse on the inside, busting out a sweet back-to-back bow-and-arrow dropped into a slam when he can’t lock his hands. Haskins manages to mount a comeback, back aching, firing off a hard dropkick in the corner and going from there and onward until he gets the sharpshooter, sitting really deep in on it.
It’s not enough, though, and Haskins starts picking the arm apart to set up his bridging Fujiwara, but Whiplash is able to cut him off again and go back to wearing him down. Ringpost powerbomb on the outside, another powerbomb inside into Zombie Maker, but Haskins is staying in it. Indeed, he fires up off a suicide dive and right into a finishing run capped off by the Fujiwara.
Really good stuff, although it went long for the story they told. First two-thirds or so were great, though, with the story of Haskins wrestling literal circles around Whiplash until Mikey had a chance to pile on the abuse.
Rampage Brown over T-Bone in an Atlas Championship Tournament Semifinal Match (2): A Bull Moose HOSS FIGHT, a slugfest, or as JR would say, a good old-fashioned slobberknocker, this one. It’s not bad or anything but there’s something about Rampage where I just have a hard time connecting with his matches, so keep that in mind as I slap a 2 on this bad boy and move on.
Sebastian out to cut a promo, talking about how if there’s one thing he hates, it’s a fraud, which is why he cost Pastor William Eaver his title last month. He calls Eaver out, and when he arrives, says that the Pastor has a secret and everybody needs to know it, but he’s not gonna share it now, because he wants him to suffer. For now, he offers the Pastor a chair to take his revenge for being cost the title, but as a man of god, he resists temptation and gets kicked in the groin and eats the chairshots himself, Sebastian eventually Pillmanizing his right hand to cap it off.
Marty Scurll (c) over Mark Andrews to retain the Progress Championship (4): Andrews takes the air right off, trying to end it before it even gets going, but Scurll is able to cut him off pretty easily and establish dominance. Fighting to the outside, chucking Andrews into the second row and generally taking advantage of referee Chris Roberts’ reluctance to throw a title match out unless he absolutely has to.
Back in the ring, Andrews fires up and comes back with a wicked series of forearms and chops, eventually landing an avalanche Frankensteiner followed by a shooting star press but the Villain doesn’t give. To the outside again and this time Andrews has the lead but the run ends shortly after they go back in, Marty getting knees up on a moonsault and landing a particularly wicked Graduation.
Andrews tries to put another comeback run together but Scurll catches him on a dive right into the crossface chickenwing. Andrews rolls it into a pin but the damage is done. Scurll dawdles and ends up going for a chair, he misses, and then Andrews has second thoughts and grabs the chair himself, chasing Scurll up the ramp, but Scurll ends up tossing the chair at Mark Haskins on commentary.
Villain looking for a press slam from the stage into the crowd but Andrews slips out and nails him in the balls before following with a tope con giro. Scurll with an incredible suplex lift flip into the chickenwing back in the ring but Andrews gets the ropes. Scurll gets into a shoving match with referee Chris Roberts and Andrews grabs a rollup before making one last valiant run with the stunner counter on the suplex and the shooting star press but Scurll gets his feet on the ropes and quickly locks in the chickenwing again to end it.
Good match, maybe a little too much chair drama but it’s a pretty good time.
The Origin hit the ring after to beat the crap out of Andrews but Eddie Dennis, Jack Gallagher, and Damon Moser make the save. And after, when Andrews is celebrating, Scurll comes back to choke him out with the chickenwing before Mark Haskins runs down to lay him out in turn and pose with the title belt.
A good but somewhat uneven show— Strickland/Ospreay, Haskins/Whiplash, and Scurll Andrews were all potential blockbusters, but each of them fell a little flat for me in ways explained above. Still, worth a shot, so head on over to Demand Progress and subscribe if you haven’t and check ‘em out!
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.