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PWX What Lies Beneath 2017 recap & review: Syndicate reigns supreme, Skyler still won’t fight Hollis and Ethan Case absolutely passed out (unless he didn’t)

Highspots Wrestling Network

PWX What Lies Beneath 2017 went up on the Highspots Wrestling Network last week, so let's get right into it!

Elijah Evans IV (c) vs. James Drake (PWX iTV Championship)

We're told before the bell rings that acting general manager Teddy Long has banned the Syndicate from ringside!

Drake right in with a suplex and a Penalty Kick, only a nearfall! Running wild on Evans, thinking moonsault but the champ bails so James follows after him, throwing heavy chops as Elijah puts his own together in return. Pop-up apron haymaker blocked with a kick and Evans does his own version of the maneuver!

Back in the ring, the champ presses the attack but the New Age Enforcer starts to rally so he gets put into the ringpost and dropped with a big boot for his trouble. Exchanges, off the ropes, Drake hits a flying knee for a nearfall, back to the chops and Evans catches him with a spear... NO GOOD!

Up top, diving elbow comes up empty as James crawls to the turnbuckles. He charges in, Elijah catches him with a swinging atomic drop, a lariat, almost but not quite over yet! Getting cocky, going for the Drill Bit, Drake blocks and whips him into a giant spinebuster! Underhooks, Drill Bit, climbing the turnbuckles... Tommy Thomas is here to ruin it!

James slingshots him in the ring, Thomas runs away before he can strike, Evans has the sledgehammer and the referee's back is turn! He clobbers Drake in the back of the head!

Elijah Evans IV wins by pinfall with a lateral press, retaining the PWX iTV Championship.

Good solid opener. Evans as the cocky heel champ stealing all the old babyface champ's moves is fun, and James Drake is phenomenal as always. Legitimately infuriating finish is always good, too. You were banned from ringside, Tommy!

Ace Austin is out to cut a promo talking about how he hopes to be back here again and Mallaki Matthews takes the mic from him and says he's here to take a spot. Teddy Long comes down! It's not about him tonight, it's about PWX, and he thinks these men deserve an opportunity. He's seen video of them and he thinks they have great potential to be the next up-and-coming superstars.

So tell you what, that being said, they're gonna take their spot tonight, because right now we're going to have a tag team match!

Ace Austin & Mallaki Matthews vs. High Profile (Shea Shea McGrady & Will Demented)

Mallaki in and he immediately gets caught by High Profile, but he manages to get away and get a tag before too much damage is done. Ace, however, immediately ends up on the wrong side of the beating that Matthews dodged. Austin manages to get some separation and orchestrates a double team, hanging McGrady on the middle rope for a wicked stomp to the back of the head from Mallaki.

Half-halch suplex gets a nearfall, but Shea gets a satellite DDT off and both men are gasping for a tag...except Matthews decides he's fine and doesn't take the tag. Demented in, tornado DDT, a beautiful tope to wipe Ace out but the delay is enough that the cover doesn't end it. Ace Austin runs in, high-angle Death Valey Driver, McGrady catches him with a rolling cravate facebuster!

Mallaki takes Shea out with a flipping half nelson driver, but he's not legal so the pin is worthless. Things breaking down a little, Will catches Matthews with a kick...

High Profile win by pinfall with a Spiral Tap from Will Demented on Mallaki Matthews.

Fun little tag that fell apart a little towards the end, whether by design or not.

Darius Lockhart vs. Tracer X (THE LAST ENCOUNTER)

Darius keeping the flyer grounded early, locking him down with a side headlock, but X turns the heat up soon enough, flipping Lockhart outside, bit of light lucha inside, dropkick. But Darius cuts off the dive with a forearm, diving knee strike gets a two count and he goes back to the headlock, wrenching it in.

Fakeout to a knee strike in the corner, Tracer in a bad way but he's not done yet, and again Lockhart goes back to the headlock. Escape, to the apron, X rolling with a gamengiri but Darius catches him with a dropkick to the mouth that knocks him all the way down to the concrete! Tracer beats the count but takes a suplex back inside and right back to the headlock.

On the escape, Lockhart goes back to the face, wicked forearm, whip reversed, to the second but X clips him with a kick that knocks Darius to the floor! Slingshot dropkick, skin the cat, Tracer with the suicide dive! Springboard lariat, only good for two, pumphandle applied, blocked, and they slug it out. X ahead with a rush, a kick dizzies Lockhart but he's able to turn the flyer inside out and both men are out on the mat.

Darius up first, he hits a German suplex, Tracer lands on his feet and throws a shotgun dropkick in return. Setting him up top... AVALANCHE PUMPHANDLE SUPLEX! NO GOOD! Chest kicks, Lockhart dodges the buzzsaw and throws slaps. Hanging X on the ropes, knee to the back of the head... NOT ENOUGH!

Setting Tracer up top, they slug it out a little more, climbing after, X with a wicked chop right to Darius' cheekbone, thinking sunset flip powerbomb but Lockhart counters with a Banzai Drop! Electric chair, reversed to a victory roll for two, springboard reverse STO, up top...

Tracer X wins by pinfall with a 450 splash.

Really good match. Loved the transition from Lockhart grinding Tracer down with the headlock over and over to all hell breaking loose and the late bomb throwing. Never look a gift Banzai Drop in the face, I say.

Corey Hollis vs. David Starr

Starr right in it, hammering Hollis but Corey doesn't just fold up and die and gives back as good as he gets. Trading chops, David puts boots to him in the corner and Hollis returns the favor, raking his forearm across his face in the corner. Up and over, single leg dropkick sends Corey outside and Starr runs wild on him.

Springboard lariat takes Hollis out on the apron but a followup dive gets cut off with a chop block and Corey starts destroying the Jewish Cannon's knee. Starr throwing desperate strikes but cutting him off is easy as kicking at the leg and Hollis attacks unmerciful, hammer whipping him and forcing him to skid out, unable to run the ropes.

Breaking the leg against the ringpost, but David manages to block one, pulling Corey into the post. To no avail, however, because Hollis throws him into the barricade and Starr only barely beats the count by physically dragging himself up the apron. Once he's inside, Corey is right on him, stomping and landing a seated senton on the knee before wrenching him over into a half crab and untying the boot for good measure.

Jewish Cannon in with chops and forearms in the corner, trying to do as much damage as he can without the use of his leg. He gets the tilt-a-whirl slam off, and tries to stomp some life back into the leg. Attempting a suplex but his leg gives out, Hollis pounces him off the apron once, a second try almost gets caught by the DDT but again he knocks Starr down.

Up top... DIVING HEADBUTT TO THE KNEE! NO GOOD! Hollis takes a swing at the referee! Corey untying the boot the rest of the way as David claws at his face to try and stop him, but he bits the shin and gets the boot off! Starr with a low bridge, lariat, Product Recall, but he can't capitalize with the bad leg.

Going chop for kick, the Jewish Cannon gets the brainbuster on the knee but with Hollis' weight crashing down on his bad knee he can't take it! Corey locks the Calf Killer on, Starr is so close to the rope... and he gets it! Hollis goes and gets a chair but referee Kevin Pierce takes it away from him. Starr clobbers him with the boot! NOT ENOUGH!

Calling for the end, slapping more life into the knee, thinking Product Placement but Corey kicks his leg out from under him! Off the ropes...

Corey Hollis wins by pinfall with an O'Connor roll and a handful of tights.

Excellent match. He took his damn boot off! Just really clever work throughout, both on the offense and in selling. Feel like anything I can write here undersells how much I enjoyed this.

Hollis gives some additional beatdown to Starr after the match, looking to Pillmanize the leg but John Skyler comes down to make the save. Hollis spits in Skyler's face! Still, Skyler will not fight the man he once called brother. Corey joins commentary and calls for Jonathan Gresham to come down so the Southern Savior can do his thing.

John Skyler vs. Jonathan Gresham

Intense grappling to start as both men try to find a hold to grab. Thoroughly stalemated, they move to trading chops and Gresham dropkicks the taste out of Skyler's mouth! Corner lariat, whip reversed, boot up, diving seated senton, Penalty Kick to the arm and the blood is in the water!

Hammerlock slam, elbows to the shoulder, arm wringers, but John clips him with an elbow. Going for a whip but he can't follow through with his arm busted and he hits a crossbody instead. Following up with a senton, only two, putting what offense he can together here, a headbutt, distracted by Hollis and Jonathan gets a schoolboy momentarily.

Gresham bites his hand and takes the offense for a moment but gets slammed into the ropes. Back elbow, a roll-up, no good and the Southern Savior keeps pressing the attack. Stunner to an enzuigiri and then a German suplex as a rally from Jonathan but he can't immediately capitalize and he gets caught with a flapjack into the turnbuckles.

Boot up on a charge, diving knee, standing switches, mat slam and a stomp to the shoulder into a pinning predicament, no good. Back on the arm, looking for his signature octopus hold, he's got it locked on but Skyler deadlifts him out of it, hits a powerbomb, follows that with a Finlay Roll, no good!

Dumping John to the apron but Gresham gets caught by the slingshot spear! Charging uppercuts, Jonthan dodges one of 'em, sending him into the post and outside, suicide dive, back in, SHOOTING STAR PRESS! NO DICE! PIN REVERSED! STILL NO! Overhead German suplex, Gresham lands nicely and goes right back after the arm, roll-up rolled through into an arm-trap crossface!

Repositioned, wrenching the hold in, physically pulling back on Skyler's good arm to block him from the ropes but he gets them anyway. Shoulder armbreaker, stomp, laying 'em in, John back with a superkick, powerbomb reversed to a hurricanrana, trading pins! Boot to the arm, the Southern Savior defiant, he throws a lariat with the good one, underhooks, Tiger Driver right into an STF!

Shift to a crossface and then to a Rings of Saturn to keep Gresham from the ropes but he gets a toe on and forces the break. Armbreaker over the top rope, Jonathan climbs again, cut off with a slap but Gresham gets a Jim Breaks Special and locks a modified octopus hold on! Skyler breaks...

John Skyler wins by pinfall with an avalanche Finlay Roll.

Another really good match, bolstered by Corey Hollis on commentary really bringing the story into tight focus, calling Skyler out and demanding he be as good as he claims. And the Southern Savior responded appropriately, fending off the limbwork and finding ways to counter Gresham at every pass, even as his rallies grew slower and further apart, and finally finding a way to end the match in his favor anyway.

Hollis blindsides Gresham in the aisle! He throws him into the barricade and demands Skyler save him! John uses his words, trying to convince Corey that his issue is with him but Hollis chokes Gresham out with a guillotine, demanding over and over that Corey save him. Skyler still won't fight him... DDT ON THE FLOOR!

John Skyler is backstage frustrated and Brad Stutts comes up to him. He understands John's point of view but at some point this has to stop, and trying to reason with Hollis doesn't work. Gresham's going to the hospital and his way of handling this isn't working. Skyler is defensive, saying that it's not his fault and yelling at Stutts for questioning his integrity. Stutts tells him he respects him but this has got to stop.

Bit of a bummer but understandable, Highspots had to cut White Mike's entrance as the Undertaker it seems. (Teddy Long booked a tag already, so naturally someone needs to go one-on-one with the Undertaker.)

Anyway, Zane Riley is attacking Mike and "Manscout" Jake Manning makes the save!

"Manscout" Jake Manning vs. White Mike vs. Zane Riley

Jake taking his podcast partner (check out How Did This Get Booked?!?, it's good stuff) from pillar to post, wrenching his arms over the ringpost and joining the commentary booth for a moment! In the ring, Riley gets a pop-up powerbomb and a cannonball and White Mike returns to the match with a missile dropkick! Manhattan Drop, Rude Awakening... NODOWA OTOSHI!

Knucklelock, calling for Old School, he walks the ropes all the way to the next turnbuckle, and then to the opposite corner, to the last, wobbling but he makes it! But he gets greedy and looks to make the complete circuit, crotching himself when he loses his balance!

Manscout in, boot up, diving clothesline, the straps are down! Looking for the piledriver, blocked, Zane takes his own straps down , looking for the DVD, blocked and Manning gets the deadlift piledriver! White breaks the pin up and jaws with Jake... his straps are down and they're trading haymakers! Up and over, Manscout caught... TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!

Mike calls for the end, he climbs the turnbuckles, Frog Splash? Not even close to hitting. Manning makes a cover, Riley breaks it up and we proceed to a three-way strike exchange, a little Flip Flop & Fly from Mike, kick to the gut, looking for the Can Opener but Jake blocks it, setting up a piledriver in the ropes.

Zane calls for a time out and actually freezes time. Time in, Manning kicks him in the gut...

"Manscout" Jake Manning wins by pinfall with a DDT.

That was a hoot. White Mike remains the greatest and I hope the chokeslam stays in his arsenal.

Syndicate (Devan Knight & Timmy Lou Retton) vs. Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) (c) (PWX World Tag Team Championship)

Ducklings on the attack! Running wild on the Syndicate, rolling wheelbarrow drop to a standing moonsautl to a splash nearly ends it early and Lude hammers Retton's face with punches! Charging forearms, Timmy Lou gets a jumping knee and dazes him but he can tag Killjoy in. Going after Knight on the apron, uppercut for Mr. 500, throwing hands, exploder suplex to a double stomp, no good!

Rob bringing the mounted punches but Devan comes in and wipes him out with a pounce! Lance over him, no good, huge arm drag from the huge man! Corner lariat, Killjoy back in, he gets military pressed onto Retton's knees! Ducks fighting Knight two on one, trying to take him off his feet! Monkey flip cannonballs take him to one knee and to seated in the corner... NOT EVEN ONE!

Trying to get him up for the Ducksday Device but Timmy Lou breaks it up, Devan with a goozle, blocked, Retton has Lude... AVALANCHE MOONSAULT FALLAWAY SLAM! Dragging him into position, Knight climbs the turnbuckles... BIG MAN SENTON ATOMICO! HE CRUSHED LANCE LUDE! COACH MIKEY IS SAYING HE'S BLEEDING!

Mikey gets into it with Tommy Thomas at ringside and Knight takes him out. Killjoy fighting valiantly, rolling elbow, a second, staggering Retton, off the ropes, Devan catches him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Knight setting his partner up on top and waking him, beautiful shooting star press... NO GOOD!

Killjoy slaps Knight and spits in Retton's face! Double birds! Asking for Retton to do it... Devan with a pop-up spinebuster! Another! Throwing him over one more time...

The Syndicate win by pinfall with a pop-up spinebuster from Devan Knight on Rob Killjoy, winning the PWX World Tag Team Championship.

That exceeded my expectations nicely. Knight and Retton are really gelling into a formidable tag team in their own right, the Ducklings' title reign died a noble death, good stuff.

The Syndicate are backstage, and Tommy Thomas cuts a promo about how everyone else changed and they continue to dominate. Elijah Evans IV adds that he told each and every one of us that he's gonna be champion forever. James Drake got his shot and failed, and the next one is going to fail, and the title isn't going anywhere. The Syndicate runs PWX.

Timmy Lou Retton says it's fitting that the people you thought were nothing have everything, and nothing lasts forever. Devan Knight adds that they deserve it.

Anthony Henry (c) vs. Ethan Case (PWX World Heavyweight Championship)

Bit of fun between friends before we get to the actual grappling. Light lucha exchanges, Case snapping off a Frankensteiner! Whip in the corner, up and over, Ethan looking for that springboard cutter and he comes up empty! Rolling outside, Henry follows, Case wants no part of it and heads back in the ring.

Back to the mat grappling for a second and into some tight exchanges culminating with a Dragon sleeper in the ropes from the champion! To the corner, bit of World of Sport, diving uppercut and Ethan finds himself swinging at air but still has the wits about him to kick out. Charge in, snap suplex and Henry follows it by locking a Japanese stranglehold on.

On the escape, low kick, to the corner, high kick, Case gets a slap off, Iconoclasm, only two! Overhead elbow, lariat in the corner, tornado suplex, again only two but the Fully Gimmicked man is rolling and locks the champ down with a waistlock. Anthony out, drills him with a forearm, catches the cutter, turns it around, northern lights suplex, Penalty Kick, standing shooting star press... NO GOOD!

Lethal Lover climbing but Case reverses the dive into a cradle for a nearfall! Rolling solebutt, both men spent, the springboard cutter connects, knee lift, Crash Landing, Henry rotates himself to a safe landing! Looking for a cradle, Case hits Eat It! NOT ENOUGH! The desperation plays across Ethan Case's face and they move to trade forearms on their knees.

To their feet, still throwing, the champion pulls ahead with the strikes but his challenger gets a sunset flip for two. Following it up with a pop-up powerbomb, Henry returns the favor with a piledriver! Running out of gas, Anthony suckers him in with a forearm, another piledriver blocked to a pin, rolling superkick!

Looking for the Kudo Driver, blocked, another pin, no good, a lariat and both men are wiped out. Calling for the Kudo Driver, again its blocked and Ethan locks a Sharpshooter in. Henry nearly gets the ropes, Case drags him to the center of the ring and the champion grabs his own, sitting way back.

Rope break, he keeps the ankle, Case throwing kicks, Henry has an ankle lock! He sits back and grapevines the leg! Ethan gets the ropes! Back to it, Case fights him off with more kicks, hits the cutter, the knee strike, but his leg gives out on the Crash Landing! Henry has the Dragon sleeper! IT'S OVER!

Anthony Henry wins by referee stoppage with the Dragon sleeper, retaining the PWX World Heavyweight Championship.

That was awesome and I cannot wait for the 2 out of 3 falls next month. The slow, steady build from friends messing around to two dudes giving it all they've got for the greatest prize in PWX, loved it. Plus the simple beat of Henry wearing the leg out and then Case being unable to finish his usual ending sequence because he didn't have the leg strength, allowing the Dragon sleeper to come right back on? Fantastic.

Ethan Case is incredulous, he doesn't accept the stoppage! He's in denial! Henry's not happy about it either, and neither are the fans, as jeers and even a little bit of garbage is tossed into the ring. Anthony gets on the mic promising to make it right.

Case gets on the mic and says this is his house, and even if it's against somebody else, he will be PWX World Heavyweight Champion. Backstage he accosts referee Kevin Pierce again and they argue about the decision some more, Pierce insisting that Ethan got choked out.

Brad Stutts goes over the situation with Pierce and says officials are scrambling to make a resolution to the situation, which we now know is 2 out of 3 falls at This Is How We Do It on July 8.

Overall

A really good show from PWX. Matchwise I feel like we had a particularly strong slate this month, with a really strong main event, a strong tag title match, and three strong grudge matches in the middle of the card, including a Starr/Hollis effort I'd put in my favorite matches of the year to date.

And storywise, Hollis/Skyler continues to be one of the best things going today. Something has to give sooner or later, but how much carnage is going to be left in the wake of the Southern Savior's refusal to fight a man he calls brother? Plus this Henry/Case thing is intriguing, the Syndicate casts a long shadow over the undercard, and the Revolt! being significantly on the downswing and things are pretty exciting.

Check it out on the Highspots Wrestling Network, folks.