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PWX Eye of the Beholder recap & review: WorkHorsemen explode (kind of), Corey Hollis finally crosses a line, and Darius Lockhart seals the deal

Highspots Wrestling Network

The show went up on Highspots Wrestling Network earlier in the week, so without further ado let's crack it open and see what we got!

Billy Brash vs. Chip Day vs. Ethan Case (PWX X16 Tournament Qualifying Match)

Brash starts off in charge, jawing about his previous accomplishments in PWX, but Day takes him outside and gets into it with Case for a minute. Billy returns the favor on Ethan and Chip dives on both of 'em! Back in the ring, Brash cuts Day off over the ropes, jockeying for position with Case and a back body drop wipes him out!

Chip in, ducking and dodging, a big roundhouse wipes Ethan out, struggling in the corner, Tower of Doom denied, Day takes Brash out with a strike sequence ending in a sliding Meteora but gets laid out with a flapjack. Billy back in, tries to take Case out with an elbow drop, thinking about a superplex, another failed Tower of Doom and Brash comes out the better, hard knees for everybody!

Eat It on Billy, Day kicks his leg out from under him and Atlanta's Arrow has 'em where he wants him, corner knees, big DDT, Brash makes the save! Two for one sale on chest kicks, Case catches one and hurls Day's foot into Brash with a vengeance and a crack that echoes around the arena!

Struggle in the corner, Billy doesn't even try the Tower this time, Ethan slamming him and using Chip as a weapon, Iconoclasming him on Brash! Only good for nearfalls, Day back in with kicks and chops, up and over to the apron, a backfist knocks him down and Billy Brash comes in with a springboard moonsault to the outside! An inside out cutter almost finishes Ethan Case off!

Day and Brash trading forearms, slugging it out on the proverbial postage stamp and Case hits a springboard double Ace Crusher! Knee lift into the FloPlex but Brash tries to steal the pin... CHIP DAY LIVES! Punting Ethan, going for a facebreaker but it's blocked, a little strut for the Nature Boy right into the figure four leglock! Chip sneaks over...

Chip Day wins by pinfall with a body press on Ethan Case, qualifying for the X16.

Great opener, really enjoyed the recurring Tower of Doom tease and a really fun finishing stretch to boot.

Day and Case engage in a bit of good sportsmanship, but Brash lives up to his name and refuses, tossing out a crotch chop.

Gunner Miller vs. Joshua Cutshall

Cutshall charging in hard but Miller catches him with a pair of belly-to-belly suplexes, Joshua blocking the third with an eye rake, blinding Gunner. Miller swings wild, blinded, but Cutshall takes full advantage with a reverse STO into the turnbuckles before putting boots to him and choking him over the ropes.

Snapmare to a head vise(!), Gunner crawling for the ropes and Joshua turns it into a head vise facebuster before locking a front chancery on and trying to choke the lights out of him. Suplex denied, off the ropes, Miller back into it with lariats, a big flying shoulder block connects.

Cutshall trying to pull himself back into it but Gunner hits a thrust spinebuster and he ends up bailing outside for a breather. But there can be no escape as Miller goes over the top with a surprisingly graceful suicide dive! Joshua sidesteps a spear, grabs the wristlock...

Joshua Cutshall wins by pinfall with the Realization Elbow.

Really good stuff. Gunner Miller is the real deal and I don't get to see him work nearly enough, plus Cutshall’s got some really unique offense.

Pop Culture (Jason Cade & Veda Scott) vs. Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy)

Killjoy and Cade to start, but Montana Black and Tommy Thomas of the Syndicate come to ringside, Thomas sitting in on commentary. A bit of light lucha libre, Rob blocks a headscissors takeover but Jason lands it off a springboard moments later. Caught by a sweet back suplex off the ropes and we have a bit of a stalemate.

Tags made, Lude and Scott have a clash of the titans, full-on bull moose HOSS action but Killjoy tags back in and the Ducks pull ahead with a series of double teams and combinations but it's not enough to end the match so quickly. To the apron, Veda fights back, Cade cleans house and she takes Rob up the aisle with a Frankensteiner!

Quick tags, a punt to the butt, Killjoy firmly on the outs as Pop Culture remain firmly in control. Sweet double team Frankensteiner into a frog splash, not enough to put a good Duck down! Neckbreakers all around, Rob has some separation and he gets the tag! Diving crossbody for Jason, shotgun dropkick for Veda, handstand headscissors takeover for Cade, Lude Awakening on Scott... NOPE!

Superman Punch breaks up another, Killjoy in with a dropkick as his Batman underpants creep up over his tights, Veda makes the save in the corner and Cade gets a double stomp that sets up a German suplex from Veda Scott... NOT ENOUGH! Biel off the top, Lude lands on his feet on a German, kicks Veda back, O'Connor roll into an electric chair but Cade makes the save!

A victory roll nearfall, Jason snaps a superkick off, Pop Culture taking it to Lance in the turnbuckles but he's able to block a superplex to the outside. Setting a Ducksday Device on the apron, Veda knocks Lude into the waiting arms of Coach Mikey and Cade hits a poison Frankensteiner on the apron!

Scott with a diving crossbody onto the pile, they have Rob Killjoy in the ring, diving splash, frog splash, double cover but Lance Lude makes the save! Lude swinging for the fences but he gets caught with kicks, set up in the corner but Killjoy blocks whatever they're trying and Lance sets 'em up for the monkey flip cannonball! Setting up another...

Ugly Ducklings win by pinfall with the monkey flip cannonball on Veda Scott.

Really fun match elevated even further by Tommy Thomas joining commentary solely to dump on the Ugly Ducklings as Brad Stutts got increasingly amusingly frustrated.

Corey Hollis vs. Sugar Dunkerton

Corey comes down to cut a promo, saying we're dead wrong if we think he's gonna come out here and wrestle some guy pretending to be a wrestler. He orders everyone out of his ring and says he doesn't care if people like him, because eventually John Skyler is gonna fight him. He can get all the opportunities he wants, but at the end of the day he's gonna embarrass him such that he never shows his face again.

He says he's not wrestling another match in PWX until he gets Skyler! He goes to walk out and Suge gets on the mic asking where he's going. He continues, saying he knows he has some issues, but he didn't put on his thirty dollar dress shirt to not get some action. He worked hard to get a shot in PWX and nobody's walking out on him when it means the difference between him coming back on the regular or staying at home.

And if Hollis doesn't want to wrestle, that's cool, they don't have to wrestle, they can fight, and he'll lay him out. A real man wouldn't have to think about it, and maybe John Skyler-- HOLLIS TAKES HIM DOWN AND THROWS PUNCH AFTER PUNCH! Dunkerton back in it with a wicked back body drop that sends Corey outside! Elbow drop on the shirt, Ric Flair style and the bell rings.

Hollis kicks Suge lame and clobbers him with a lariat. The action heads outside, putting Dunkerton into the barricade before bringing him back in the ring for punches, chops, and stomps in the corner. Suge back in it with kicks but again Corey goes after the knee and takes full advantage, fireman's carry spinebuster into mounted punches on the mat, forcing the referee to pull him off!

Dunkerton blocks a suplex, throwing desperate punches, a left hook lands squarely on Hollis' jaw and wipes him out! But he ducks a lariat and grabs a mic to say he's done, and he takes a walk.

Sugar Dunkerton wins by countout.

My word, this Corey Hollis story continues to be one of the best things running in all of pro wrestling today. Not a huge amount of match here and that's a bit of a bummer, but really good stuff all the same.

Darius Lockhart vs. Elijah Evans IV (c) (PWX iTV Championship)

Evans makes a last-ditch plea for Lockhart to join the Syndicate... DARIUS COLD COCKS HIM IN THE FACE! Pressing the attack, in the corner with chops, fending off an early rally, jumping back elbow, putting boots to the champ. Staying a step ahead until Elijah lands an atomic drop as a counter to an up-and-over!

The champion goes to work on the arm, wrenching it over the top rope. He doesn't stay on it, however, and Darius is able to fight back in with strikes and eke out a fighting chance. Sunset flip denied, back on the arm, stomping and wrenching, scraping his face with the ridge of his forearm bones to boot. Hammerlock body slam, Lockhart takes refuge in the ropes and kicks the champion in the head when he tries to pull him off.

Lariats with the good arm, low superkick into a gamengiri, sidestep a charge, knee to the mouth! Going for a back suplex but the arm gives out on him so he heads back in for a half and half suplex, putting the torque on the good one... NOT ENOUGH! Going for the back suplex again, this time blocked with a punch to the face.

Blue Thunder Driver denied, jockeying for position, Evans hits the spear... NOPE! Looking for the Drill Bit but Darius blocks... WRIST-CLUTCH CRADLE DDT! STILL NOT ENOUGH! Calling for a dive, Lockhart climbs but the champion cuts him off immediately and meets him in the corner, struggling... Elijah hits the superplex! Only a nearfall!

The crowd getting behind the challenger as he gets punched in the corner, reversals in a whip, Frankie Gastineau gets sandwiched in the corner, Assata Driver... no referee to count the pin! Tommy Thomas gets on the apron to tell him it's not too late to join the Syndicate and Evans hits him low! Montana Black brings the sledgehammer to the ring!

Elijah kisses it and gets ready to use it... HERE COMES THE NEW AGE ENFORCER, JAMES DRAKE! He takes Black out and gets in the ring, divesting Evans of the sledgehammer! Lockhart lands a knee ot the back of the head...

Darius Lockhart wins by pinfall with a bridging prawn hold, winning the PWX iTV Championship!

Fantastic match. Hot start, strong through-line with the armwork, great finish bringing Drake back into it without making it all about him, great stuff.

Darius gets to celebrate his title win with his mother in the front row, which is pretty cool.

A Quickie with White Mike

Mike comes down and slaps hands with all the fans in the front row and puts the match we just saw over, saying he had tears of joy during it, and that PWX is the place to be. He talks about a match he had last night, one of the "nastiest" matches ever, and he's not sure if he's gonna be able to wrestle today. Earmuffs the kids real quick, and he's got a cast on his jimmy, and it hurts so bad. He's got red huevos, it's terrible.

Enter the Manscout. He wants to get it straight, asking Mike if he can't wrestle because he broke his dick. White tries to blame Corey Hollis on top of it and Manning continues, saying he doesn't want to be a buzzkill or a dickbreaker or a ballbuster... there's too many jokes here. He asks Mike his age and he tells him he's 31.

That's his point, when he was 31 he had wasted ten lifetimes of potential, whether because he was bitter or drunk or just wasted time on comedy because he thought there'd be a tomorrow, but in the words of Apollo Creed, there is no tomorrow, and he doesn't want him to wake up 35 years old with one leg and half a brain wondering where it all went.

White asks if he wants him to take the sock out of his pants and Jake says he wants him to be himself but after what we just saw with Darius, does he want to sit on the sidelines? But he doesn't want to fight against him, he wants to fight with him, to show him the potential he has, and that's why they should be a tag team. As he sees it, the tag division is wide open right now.

This brings the Syndicate out. Timmy Lou Retton questions what Manning just said, saying the tag division is closed, because they're the tag champs. Jake says he sees that, and he sees that they have a non-title match against High Profile. Since they're so big and bad, and since it's non-title, why not add them to the match? As long as HIS dick isn't broke, that is...

The Syndicate put boots to them and High Profile hit the ring. We have a match!

High Profile (Shea Shea McGrady & Will Demented) vs. "Manscout" Jake Manning & White Mike vs. the Syndicate (Timmy Lou Retton & TJ Boss)

Chaos early as the brawl resolves to a match, Boss in on Manning but he sends him packing with a headscissors takeover. High Profile in with their waffle print tights, Timmy Lou and White Mike end up having a faceoff, tossing the High Profile boys out after double teaming one of them with a Rock Bottom / lungblower combo!

A nearfall as the bell finally rings, chaos on the outside, the Manscout climbs the turnbuckles, consults his trusty scout manual... AVALANCHE TRUST FALL SENTON TO THE OUTSIDE! Mike's fired up and takes TJ out with a suicide dive! Demented joins the fountain, McGrady takes Tommy Thomas out and puts boots to him but Boss clips him with a freight train elbow!

Double team fireman's carry lungblower almost gets the win for the Syndicate but Shea Shea manages to kick out, and the match finally settles into good order as Retton and TJ work McGrady over with vicious double team maneuvers. Shea Shea gets a satellite DDT off on Timmy Lou and finally has the separation he needs... but Boss yanks Will down off the apron!

Tag to Manning instead, in hot with punches, whipping Retton into TJ, sunset flip powerbomb follows, double-arm DDT but Boss lays him out with a shotei and cuts White off with a boot. Biels for High Profile but all four non-Syndicate men hit quadraphonic superkicks! WHITE MIKE CON GIRO!

Drop toehold facebreaker on Jake sets up a basement dropkick to the head but Mike makes the save. Demented takes Retton out with a crossbody but this gives Manning the opportunity to hit the piledriver, White Mike hits the Can Opener...

"Manscout" Jake Manning & White Mike win by pinfall with a lateral press from Manning on Shea Shea McGrady.

A hoot of a match. The stuff with Timmy Lou and White Mike early (and in the post-match beatdown you'll read about in a second) as a nod to their tag team life as the Gymnasty Boyz elsewhere is good stuff in particular, always like it when outside continuity gets referenced.

Post-match, the Syndicate put boots to Jake & Mike! TJ Boss has Mike up and ready for a ripcord maneuver as Timmy Lou Retton hesitates to attack his occasional tag team partner. Boss hits a spinebuster out of it and sets the Manscout up for a shooting star press from Retton! Boss gets both High Profile guys up at the same time for a combination Samoan drop / fallaway slam!

The Syndicate set a table up in the corner and drag High Profile over with violence on their minds... UGLY DUCKLINGS MAKE THE SAVE!

ACH vs. Tracer X

Feeling out early, bit of light mat grappling, but the temperature soon heats up as the pyrotechnics light off. Tracer throwing chops in the corner, pressing the attack with a springboard forearm but it only gets one and ACH decides to teach him a lesson. Wristlock kicks to the shoulder, a fireman's carry evaded, chops blocked, but the "What's that?" chop to the gentleman's area connects!

ACH going to work, Manhattan Drop and then just devastating X with big chops, leaving him on the mat, gasping for air. Tracer turns the speed up trying to create some distance and gets sent outside with a headscissors. He sidesteps a dive but ACH is on him with the chops again, putting him into the barricade, thinking about a suplex but X lands on his feet, sidesteps a charging chop... ACH puts his hand into the post and skids out damn near up the ramp!

Tilt-a-whirl headscissors puts ACH into the barricade, giving chops back before taking it back in the ring. That doesn't last, back outside, whip reversed... X SLIDES UNDER THE BARRICADE! He goes for a followup springboard and ACH cuts him off! Happy to take a count-out, celebrating prematurely in the ring, the disbelief washes over ACH's face when Tracer returns.

Body slams for a nearfall, chop in the corner, setting X up top but he fights back and throws ACH to the mat. ACH springboards back in, Tracer blocks it and lands a missile dropkick! Both men down and out, ACH trying a whip, denied but he uses it to set up the pumphandle suplex! NOT ENOUGH!

Tracer lands on his feet on a German suplex, shotgun dropkick, charging in, up and over, he sidesteps a bicycle kick, lands a gamengiri, flash reverse STO, only a nearfall! X goes up top, ACH sidesteps the diving lariat, trips him low, stomp to the back, basement dropkick, Tracer outside but it just gives ACH the opportunity to hit the Penalty Kick off the apron.

Back inside, discus lariat, bridging German suplex... NO GOOD! Underhooks applied, X fights away and eats a huge palm strike but gives a hard forearm in return. ACH to the apron, a boot, springboard reverse STO, only a nearfall. A backslide attempt foiled, ACH lands a Tiger Driver... TRACER X LIVES!

Buster Call reversed into a small package, Sleepytime Tea connects, tornado DDT follows... NOT ENOUGH TO PUT ACH AWAY! X up top for the 450, nobody home, he rolls through, ACH clips him with a lariat...

ACH wins by pinfall with Buster Call.

Cocky vet who gets angry when the plucky young upstart proves he can actually hang with him and needs to dig deep and use more of his arsenal than he expected is a classic pro wrestling story for a reason, and it was well executed by these two here. Very good match.

Anthony Henry (c) vs. James Drake vs. John Skyler vs. Martin Stone (PWX World Heavyweight Championship Elimination Match)

WorkHorsemen in working together early, dispatching Stone and putting boots to Skyler together! Double team Codebreaker into a double stomp for the Southern Savior, but he gets a few licks in and Martin comes back, forming an equal and opposite impromptu alliance, dumping the Evolve Tag Team Champions before backing into each other and locking horns.

Off the ropes, the Guv'nor picks a leg but Skyler has his wits about him and keeps it from going anywhere and they jockey for position and advantage around the ring. John with the senton, Drake pulls him out and Henry goes to work on Stone! Martin sidesteps a charge, exploder suplex, a wicked right, Anthony out, James in. The big man throwing chops, Martin gives them back in kind but the New Age Enforcer wipes him out with a dropkick.

WorkHorsemen alone together, the champion begging off and Skyler saves them the strife climbing the turnbuckles. Drake and Skyler struggling in the corner, Stone comes over and powerbombs the big man! The Guv'nor catches a boot but Henry drops him with the other and climbs to meet the Southern Savior. Looking for a Frankensteiner, Skyler reverses to an avalanche Finlay Roll... DRAKE BREAKS IT UP!

Skyler catches Drake with a DDT after an exchange but his fellow WorkHorsemen is right in there, fending the Southern Savior and Martin Stone off two on one. A little too cocky and he gets hit by Shatter Machine... NO GOOD! The Guv'nor drops the New Age Enforcer with a headbutt and takes him to the floor where Skyler nails him with a dropkick through the ropes.

Anthony hits a turning springboard crossbody to the outside to wipe the pile out and sets John up in the middle of the ring, but the double stomp misses. Skyler lands a superkick on the button, Tiger Driver... NOT ENOUGH BUT HE HAS THE STF ON! STONE ADDS AN ARM-TRAP CROSSFACE! But the uneasy alliance breaks down and Martin and John rise to their feet, uppercut for uppercut, whip into a wicked lariat, StoneKO denied but it connects on Drake!

Slingshot spear on Stone, Skyler goes to the apron for one on James, he's lying in wait... COREY HOLLIS PICKS HIM OFF THE APRON AND PUTS HIM INTO THE BARRICADE! Smashing his face into the ringpost, Hollis takes him up the aisle... DDT ON THE CONCRETE! Corey offers him up on a silver platter...

Anthony Henry eliminates John Skyler by pinfall with a lateral press.

Henry celebrates like he's won the whole match, posing for the crowd, and when he finally goes to it, Stone catches him in a small package! But the referees are all busy helping Skyler to the back! One returns, a certain victory becomes a nearfall, and the Lethal Lover beats the Guv'nor down. WorkHorsemen working together, but Martin fires up and fends them off until the champ gets a Manhattan Drop that feeds into a Shining Wizard from James and a jackknife pin but it's only a nearfall!

Chops and forearms on Stone, beating him down again. Drake catches him in a double chickenwing but he slips out and Henry's roundhouse hits his partner! Martin firing up, German suplex, a lariat, off the ropes, pop-up powerbomb, roll through into a chest kick and a headbutt but the New Age Enforcer runs over...

James Drake eliminates Martin Stone by pinfall with an overrotated schoolboy pin.

Lethal Enforcers about to explode as Drake realizes the situation he's in. Henry reminds them of their partnership and asks him to lay down! He gets the Evolve tag title belt and holds it high to drive his point home, and James finally acquiesces, getting down on one knee, but he ain't laying down, getting up as the champion poses and landing a spinning backfist for a nearfall!

Strike rush, another nearfall, fisherman's Falcon Arrow... NOT ENOUGH! Kick to the back, the action heads outside, Drake taking Henry apron to barricade and beating on him but the champion gets separation with a kick and lands a drive-by running knee! Around the ring for a charging leg lariat, on a second he simply slows at the end and slaps the taste out of his mouth!

Back in the ring, climbing up but James cuts him off with a palm strike, a chop, climbing to met him, struggling in the turnbuckles, Anthony gets him up... AVALANCHE AIR RAID CRASH! Up top once more, diving double stomp... NO GOOD! Trying to get Drake up for the Kudo Driver but he fights out with elbows, underhooks, Drill Bit denied, TEK ducked, SICK KICK!

RUNNING SHOOTING STAR PRESS! STILL NOT ENOUGH! Up top for the moonsault but there's no water in the pool! Snap low-angle German suplex into a snap scoop powerslam, flash roundhouse kick... JAMES DRAKE LIVES! Disdainful slaps, Drake offers one of his devastating chops in return and we have a slap exchange! James pulls ahead, chop rush, a charger catches Henry square in the jaw but the second is sidestepped, reverse STO into the turnbuckles!

Jockeying for position, Drake gets a thrust spinebuster off, nearfall, the moonsault connects, underhooks but here comes Amber Young! She and the New Age Enforcer jaw at each other, Henry over for an O'Connor roll but it's not enough, one TEK, a second, a third...

Anthony Henry wins, last eliminating James Drake by pinfall with three TEKs in a row, retaining the PWX World Heavyweight Championship.

So that was excellent on a lot of levels, the two big ones being the use of Evolve continuity to get to our final stage without damaging PWX continuity and the idea that Skyler is unbeatable in these kind of elimination contests (which, as always, the story was put over excellently on commentary by Brad Stutts, joined for this show by Trevin Adams, I really don't spend enough time putting that aspect of these shows over) only for Hollis to play spoiler.

And of course, the work itself, top notch. Full marks.


A great show from PWX, one of the best in the time I've been following them. Not a bad match in the bunch, but the main event is the head-and-shoulders standout of them. Just to shout a few more out, Lockhart/Evans was also very good, ACH/Tracer delivered on the promise of the dream match, and Cutshall/Miller stood out for a match between two guys who I'd very much like to see on a PWX show again.

The stories are what really takes this show over the edge, though. Hollis/Skyler continues to be one of the best angles in wrestling today, and after that DDT on the concrete, you have to think the Southern Savior's pledge not to lay a hand on a man he considers a brother will be sorely tested. But also Anthony Henry's slow-burning turn rolls on, all too happy to try and get his fellow WorkHorseman to try and lay down for him, but James Drake is too noble a man for the turning, and I for one would be very excited if WorkHorseman vs. WorkHorseman is the direction the title is headed in now.

And the other story beats as well, Manning and White Mike not just forming a team but you have to think leapfrogging themselves into contendership with a non-title win in a match the champs were in, Lockhart escaping the shadow of the Revolt! and firmly placing himself on the side of the angels by taking the iTV title from Elijah Evans IV (which, will Tommy Thomas and the rest of the Syndicate tolerate a weak link like that?), all in all we're going some really interesting places.

Check it out on Highspots Wrestling Network folks.

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