Lakewood, OH – 5.20.2011
Commentary is provided by Pedro Deluca and a rotating cast of wrestlers, including: Rickey Shane Page, Sonjay Dutt, Colt Cabana, Tim Donst, Colin Olsen, The Duke, Sterling James Keenan, Hobo Joe, Sugar Dunkerton, Johnny Gargano, Dave Crist, Gregory Iron, Jimmy Olsen, and Marion Fontaine.
Ring announcer Pedro Deluca opens the show with a ten bell salute to “Macho Man” Randy Savage, who passed away earlier in the day.
Gregory Iron says tonight is the biggest night of his life. He hopes John Kermon isn’t underestimating him, because he is handicapable of winning the entire TPI.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Gregory Iron vs. John Kermon
Once again, Kermon wears an awesome Big O & Dukes t-shirt to the ring. Kermon shoves Iron to the corner. Iron ducks his punch and lays in a couple of his own. Iron tries an O’Conner Roll for two. Iron lands a pop-up rana. Iron hits a springboard back elbow for two. Kermon headbutts him in the mid-section and then rams his shoulder into Iron’s stomach multiple times. Iron sends him to the apron with a tornado DDT. Kermon drops Iron’s bad arm across the top rope and connects with a big boot. Kermon steps on Iron’s arm and stomps on his chest. Iron knocks Kermon down with a couple clotheslines. Iron Toyota Rolls Kermon for two. Kermon hits a modified suplex and a low superkick for two. Kermon double stomps Iron on the neck for two. Kermon hits a DDT for two. Kermon goes for Iron’s arm, but Iron rolls him up for the pin at 4:49. These guys did enough decent work for five minutes. I would have liked to see Kermon go further, but Iron of course is the hometown boy and deserves to make it far in this thing. *1/2
The Duke says he’s all business this weekend and he’s ready to take it to all twenty three other competitors.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
The Duke vs. AERO!
Duke attacks AERO from behind. He kicks out Duke’s legs and hits a low dropkick for two. Duke blocks AERO’s headscissors with a sidewalk slam. A back splash gets him two. Duke throws AERO overhead with a neck-hanging suplex. Duke shoulderblocks AERO off the apron and to the floor. AERO chops Duke and throws him face first into the ring post. Duke catches AERO coming off the apron and swings him into the guardrail. Duke puts him in a tree of woe. AERO sits up to avoid a running shoulder block. AERO hits a top rope dropkick to Duke’s shoulders. AERO applies a sleeper on the mat. Duke escapes and hits a spinebuster. AERO blocks a chokeslam. He gives Duke a neckbreaker in the ropes. AERO hits a step-up enzuigiri in the corner. Duke fires back with a big boot. Duke drops AERO with the Rikishi Driver for two. AERO hits a rolling cutter for two. Duke crotches AERO as AERO heads up to the top rope. Duke drops AERO with a super Rikishi Driver for the pin at 9:39. These two had a match a few months back that was great and so was this. Although they’re very different in style, these two guys manage to somehow mesh together very well. The ending was cool and unique and I wouldn’t mind seeing a third match between these guys. **3/4
TPI 2011 First Round Match
“Mr. RBI” Izaeh Bonds vs. Sterling James Keenan
Keenan cuts a pre-match promo putting down AIW, Todd Pettengill, and Mr. RBI just to cover all his bases. Keenan smacks Bonds in the chest after backing him to the ropes. Keenan escapes a headscissors and drops an elbow. Bonds evades a corner splash and hits a clothesline for one. Keenan gets his knees up to block Bonds’ Pop Fly. Keenan delivers a flurry of boxing-esque punches in the corner for two. Keenan chokes Bonds on the middle rope. Keenan applies a cross armbreaker. Keenan stretches out Bonds’ arm on the mat. Bonds fires up with a flurry of punches. He knocks Keenan down twice. Keenan responds with a clothesline and steps on Bonds’ throat. Bonds looks for a sunset flip. Keenan blocks and applies a cross armbreaker. Bonds turns it into a roll-up and scores an upset victory at 7:16. Keenan was boring on offense which was sadly the focus of this match. Bonds is much more fun when he’s doing his big man flips and all that. Not the right match for these two to have. *
Keenan picks on some fan and the fan’s wife ringside for whatever reason. We then go backstage to Sonjay Dutt who claims the TPI is his tournament. He excitedly talks about how he’s going to win the entire tournament and take out Bobby Beverly in the first round.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Sonjay Dutt vs. Bobby Beverly
Chest Flexor and “The Chad” Williams accompany Beverly. Beverly refuses Dutt’s handshake. Beverly slaps Dutt in the corner. Dutt responds with an overhand chop and a Fargo strut. Beverly controls Dutt on the mat by his wrist. Dutt snapmares Beverly into a chinlock. They roll each other up and each get a two count. Dutt takes Beverly down with a couple armdrags and hits a low dropkick. Dutt moonsaults off the apron onto Beverly on the floor. Dutt whips Beverly into the guardrail and then into the crowd. Dutt hits a somersault senton off the guardrail and onto Beverly. In the ring, Dutt hits a slingshot legdrop for two. Dutt hits double knees in the corner. Beverly dropkicks Dutt and then throws him into the corner with an exploder suplex for two. Beverly pitches Dutt to the rope and distracts the referee so that The Chad and Flexor can lay in some boots. Dutt grabs the bottom rope to break a pin. Beverly hits a suplex for two. Beverly catches Dutt in the ropes with a Boston Crab. Dutt escapes. He evades some attacks, kicks Beverly in the corner and then hits a springboard legdrop across the second rope. He hits a springboard crossbody for two. Dutt connects with a springboard back elbow for two. Beverly hits an enzuigiri and a superkick for two. Dutt escapes a slam with a DDT. He hits a running shooting star press for two. After a series of reversals, Dutt hits a superkick and a springboard clothesline for two. Flexor grabs Dutt’s legs. Beverly drops Dutt with a scoop powerslam for the pin at 12:48. Beverly is easily one of the best guys on the roster and continues to impress every time out. He and Dutt managed to put together a solid, exciting match that had the fans believe either guy could win at anytime. Flexor’s interference didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of match which is a testament to both guys. ***
Chest Flexor informs us that AIW Women’s Champion Jessicka Havok is injured and won’t be cleared to wrestle under “Girls Night Out 4” in July. He notes that former champion Angeldust will also be there and warns her not to try anything with Havok then. Mickie Knuckles, Havok’s opponent for the night, makes her way out. She says she didn’t drive all the way from Kentucky to not wrestle and challenges Flexor to take Havok’s place. Flexor says he’d never hit a woman, but he has recruited a woman who is disgruntled by AIW because they put up a video of her getting her head kicked in by Madison Eagles on their YouTube page. That woman is none other than Mena Libra.
Mickie Knuckles vs. Mena Libra
Knuckles brushes the back of Libra’s head before putting on a side headlock. Knuckles flips Libra over in a test of strength. She places her knees on Libra’s shoulders for a two count. She pokes Libra in the eyes and pulls at the sides of her mouth. Knuckles puts Libra back in a headlock. Libra reverses into a headscissors. Libra drops a couple elbows on Knuckles’ legs. Knuckles puts Libra in a body vice. Libra grabs the bottom rope to escape. Knuckles rolls Libra into a guillotine. Libra again uses the ropes to escape. Knuckles throws Libra fast first into the apron. She misses a chop, hitting the ring post. Libra and Knuckles trade forearms. Knuckles delivers a headbutt before tossing Libra into the crowd. Knuckles suplexes Libra on the floor. Libra whips Knuckles into the guardrail in response. Knuckles throws her head first into a hardback chair. Knuckles blasts her with repeated headbutts. In the ring, Knuckles lands aback senton for two. Libra hits a clothesline, but Knuckles shoulder blocks through, causing Libra to take all of the blow. Libra crotches Knuckles on the second rope and hits her with a butt-butt for two. After a bit of struffle, Knuckles drops Libra with a superplex. Knuckles goes for a deadlift move, but instead decides to pin Libra at 14:04. I have no idea what this was. There was no cohesion to anything they were doing and the crowd just about lost all interest by the time the bell rang. I know these women are capable of putting on good matches, so it sucks that this was just such a bummer. Credit for trying I guess? After the match, Knuckles assures us she will win the Women’s title. *1/2
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Dave Crist vs. Rickey Shane Page
Crist attacks Page from behind prior to the bell. Page boots Crist into a stomp. Page lays in consecutive punches and strikes in the corner. Crist hits a backflip dropkick. He hits some forearms in the corner. He snapmares Page for two. Page headbutts Crist in the mid-section and whips him down to the mat. He Oklahoma rolls him for two. Page ducks a crossbody but gets hit with an enzuigiri. Crist sweeps the legs and hits a standing moonsault for two. Page backflips Crist into a kick to the back. Page spins Crist into an ace crusher. A running chest kick gets him two. Crist connects with a swinging ace crusher of sorts. He tries a Gedo clutch for two. Page brings Crist to the top rope. Crist brings him down with a shiranui for the pin at 4:44. I’m really intrigued by Page now that he’s unmasked and was very surprised he lost his first unmasked match. Crist and Page looked excellent in the time allotted. **1/2
Sugar Dunkerton says he’s been studying his opponent Façade and sees him as a new age ninja. Dunkerton says he’s been studying ninja films to prepare himself. He says between ninjas and ball hogs, ball hogs always win.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Sugar Dunkerton vs. Facade
These two do a little inaudible trash talking (it looks to have upset Dunkerton greatly). Dunkerton calls for a test of strength. Façade high fives him instead. Dunkerton asks for it again, then mocks him with a Michael Jackson dance. Façade brings Dunkerton to the mat in a test of strength. Dunkerton reverses and does the same. Façade does a little mocking dancing when breaking the hold. Dunkerton kicks Façade in the back of his leg. Façade kicks him in the shin. Dunkerton kicks him in the shin, and now all three men lay in the mat grabbing their legs moaning like Peter Griffin. Dunkerton challenges Façade to some slap boxing, but gets kicked in the legs everytime he tries to get it going. Façade dropkicks him into the corner. Dunkerton takes a powder then comes back in the ring. He says he’s going to get his karate gear if Façade doesn’t leave the ring in five seconds. Façade sends Dunkerton to the floor with a dropkick, and Dunkerton furiously stomps backstage. He reemerges with karate pants on. He delivers some kung-fu strikes and one karate boot. He hadouken’s his basketball into Façade’s chest. Façade kicks him to the floor and hits a triple jump dive. In the ring, Façade walks the ropes and lands a crossbody. Façade legdrops Dunkerton on the second rope. Dunkerton punches Façade and stomps on his back on the floor. He reigns down with punches and headbutts back in the ring. Dunkerton hits a uranage for two. Dunkerton delivers a full nelson atomic drop and a belly-to-back suplex for two. Façade escapes a body scissors. He hits a Manhattan drop and a spinwheel kick. Façade hits a reverse DDT for two. Dunkerton nails the Bow Chicka Wow Wow (that’s his lariat’s name). Façade ducks a second lariat. He catches Dunkerton with a Michinoku Driver for the pin at 14:14. I’ve begun to notice a trend with Dunkerton; get the fun, goofy stuff out of the way early and then bring the goods in-ring afterwards. Although it was obvious Façade would win, Dunkerton looked extremely capable and got a “please coome back” chant. I hope he does. **3/4
Dalton Castle and Joey The Snake come out to the ring. He says his first night in AIW he was bamboozled by The Olsen Twins (he and Freddy Midnight lost to them in a gauntlet match at Absolution V last year). Castle says he found that teaming with Joey The Snake would bring him success, as proved by their tag team match at Battle Bowl in March. Castle believes since he and Joey are undefeated, they should get a tag team title shot against The Olsen Twins tonight. The Olsens come out (with belts and Four Loko in hand). Colin accepts the match.
AIW Tag Team Championship
The Olsen Twins (Colin & Jimmy Olsen) (Champions) vs. Dalton Castle & Joey The Snake
The Olsens get jumped at the bell. They attack their opponents and lay in punches in the corner. The Olsens slide to the floor and drag Castle and Joey out. The Olsens hit stereo dive onto their opponents. In the ring, Jimmy throws Colin onto Joey for two. Jimmy dives onto Castle as he grabs Colin’s leg. Joey drops Colin across his knee with a fireman’s carry. Joey and Castle wear down Colin in their corner. Colin finally manages to flip out of Castle’s suplex and tag in Jimmy. Jimmy knocks Joey to the floor and dropkicks him into the guardrail. He then drops Castle with a missile dropkick for two. Jimmy flips over a double clothesline and hits Castle and Joey with simultaneous dropkicks. Colin drops Castle on his knees out of a Gory Special. Jimmy lands a low huracanrana, and Joey breaks the pin. Castle suplexes himself and Jimmy to the floor. Joey lands a jackhammer-like move. Colin rolls Joey into a prawn hold for the pin at 9:43. The Olsens brought the fun and quality wrestling we’re used to by now. Castle’s character often undermines his in ring ability, but he’s a lot better than I think most fans realize. He and Snake made a good team and a formidable tandem to face The Olsens. **3/4
K. Fernandez and Luis Diamante attack The Olsen Twins and an Olsen supporter in the crowd (who happens to be in a wheelchair). Da Latin Crime Syndicate leaves them laying while the fans jeer. Backstage Flip Kendrick says he will choose that he’s the better brother in his match against Louis Lyndon tonight.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Flip Kendrick vs. Louis Lyndon
AEROFORM EXPLODES! Neither man gets the advantage at the onset. Kendrick lands an armdrag. He goes for a second but Lyndon kicks him in the ribs. Kendrick lands a springboard cartwheel armdrag and a standing moonsault with an extra rotation. Lyndon goes to the floor and Kendrick follows with a springboard plancha. In the ring, Lyndon applies a cross armbreaker. Kendrick escapes, but Lyndon decides to continue targeting Kendrick’s arm. Kendrick catches Lyndon with a boot. He flips into a Toyota Roll for two. Lyndon transitions intoa Fujiwara armbar. Kendrick escapes with an armdrag. Kendrick evades a moonsault. Lyndon evades a 450 splash, but Kendrick rolls into a headscissors. He spikes Lyndon with a reverse huracanrana for two. Lyndon knee strikes Kendrick to the floor. Lyndon missile dropkicks Kendrick into the crowd. In the ring, Kendrick avoids a dragon suplex. Lyndon blocks a reverse rana and delivers a deadlift German suplex for two. Lyndon huracanrana’s Kendrick off the top rope into a cross armbreaker. Kendrick rolls him up, so Lyndon grabs a standing Fujiwara. Kendrick escapes and hits a Death Valley Driver facebuster. He drops him on his face with a suplex. He hits a springboard sky twister press for the pin at 9:21. Lyndon took me by surprise by using a more grounded strategy than we’re used to. Luckily for Kendrick, he didn’t need the arm to execute the moves it took to bring Lyndon down. Good stuff all around. ***
Backstage, Jonathan Gresham says he’ll stop at nothing to become the TPI tournament winner.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Jake Crist vs. Jonathan Gresham
Gresham and Crist aggressively vie for the advantage. Gresham twists Crist’s ankle and crucifix pins him for two. Crist grabs a front facelock. Gresham applies a headscissors which Crist escapes. Crist and Gresham trade holds on the mat. On their feet, Gresham and Crist shove each other. They trade hard forearm strikes. Crist blasts him with a jumping knee strike for two. Crist goes for a Guillotine. Gresham rolls into a front facelock. Crist escapes and nails a leg lariat for two. Gresham gets two with a pair of pin attempts. Gresham sends Crist to the floor with a satellite headscissors. He follows out with a baseball slide of sorts. They trade uppercuts and chops. Gresham rakes Crist’s eyes. In the ring, Gresham delivers a top rope dropkick to Crist’s leg. Crisit unloads a flurry of kicks to Gresham’s face. Gresham nails him with a double axe throw. Gresham applies a half crab. Crist and Gresham each try a pin. Crist rolls through a sunset flip and blasts Gresham with a boot. He hits a spinwheel kick. Gresham rolls through a full nelson and applies an ankle lock. Crist flips to the top rope, kicking Gresham in the face at the same time. He hits a high crossbody and Gresham rolls through for a two count. Crist drops Gresham with a Tiger suplex for two. Gresham comes back with a German suplex for two. Crist applies a Triangle Choke. He rolls with it so Gresham can’t get the ropes. Gresham rolls into a pin for two. Crist nails two kicks and Gresham fires back with a clothesline for two. He goes back to Crist’s ankle. Crist uses the ropes to push Gresham off. He hits an enzuigiri and puts Gresham back in the Triangle Choke. Gresham taps out at 12:06. This was STIFF and completely unexpected. Again, Gresham and Crist had their strategies and Crist ended up getting the better of Gresham. This was exciting and with each passing strike you felt either man could take it at any time. Such good stuff. ***1/2
Colt Cabana mentions he’s a TPI veteran, but this is the first TPI he’s actually getting paid for. He says even though Fontaine has a nice mustache, he doesn’t like his odds in their match tonight.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Marion Fontaine vs. Colt Cabana
Cabana shoves Fontaine into all four corners and then to the mat. Cabana tries a couple pins in a lock-up, then throws Fontaine to the mat once again. Cabana does a hip swivel. Fontaine climbs to the ropes to whip Cabana out of another lock-up. Fontaine shows Cabana how a hip swivel is really done. Cabana says Fontaine was cheating by using the second rope. Cabana wants to lock-up from the second rope. Fontaine agrees, but baits Cabana into falling on the mat. Cabana breaks a full nelson attempt multiple times to the point where he and Cabana are somewhat dancing. Cabana applies one of his own. Fontaine snapmares Cabana and hits him with many elbows. Cabana punches him down. Cabana pins him Undertaker style for two. Cabana biels Fontaine out of the corner. Fontaine blocks a suplex from Cabana and hits a Rude Awakening. Fontaine delivers a moonsault press for two. Cabana misses the Flying Asshole. He leapfrogs Cabana and hits his neck. A kneestrike gets Fontaine two. Cabana catches Fontaine with double chops as Fontaine comes off the ropes. Fontaine catches Cabana with a victory roll for the pin at 7:47. Basically what you’d expect from these guys: fun, but not super exciting wrestling. **
Backstage, Tim Donst says a few months ago he was very excited to step in the ring with Mad Man Pondo. He then says that Pondo gave him the Stop Sign Smash and took away his pride and that act changed things. Donst says he’s going to continue making his name tonight by taking Pondo’s away. Donst then comes out and does some more trash talking. Pondo then comes out with a fetching young lady named Miss Natalie. Pondo says he’s a fan of Donst and is happy to have been invited to his first TPI, despite working in IWA-MS when they ran the TPI. Pondo says since everyone else has done wrestling and high-flying before them, they should make the match No Rules to switch things up. Donst declines as Pondo fills the ring with weapons. Pondo says Miss Natalie is a fan of deathmatch wrestling, and has her disrobe to entice Donst. Distracted, Donst foolishly changes his mind and Pondo attacks him at the bell.
TPI 2011 First Round Match – No Rules, Falls Count Anywhere
Tim Donst vs. Mad Man Pondo
Pondo blasts Donst in the head with a STOP sign. He has ringside fans hold the sign and throws Donst into it. Donst throws Pondo into a chair that other fans are holding. Donst knees Pondo into the guardrail. Pondo catches another knee strike attempt and throws Donst into the crowd. Pondo side slams Donst onto a chair. He hits Donst with a garbage can. He harshly whips Donst into a sea of chairs. He whips Donst into a sea of chairs on a different side of the building. He digs a chair into Donst’s arm. They enter the snack bar area where Pondo throws a snack cart into Donst’s head. Pondo throws the ladder onto Donst’s body. Donst low blows Pondo. He slams Pondo into the bar and asks for a shot of Skyy. He takes one shot, then spits another into Pondo’s face. The brawl goes into the bathroom where Pondo gives Donst a swirly. Pondo pulls Donst to the crowd and suplexes him on the floor. Pondo puts a STOP sign on a group of chairs. Donst leaps up and DDT’s Pondo onto the chairs for two. Ringside, Donst puts Pondo in a half crab while he’s sitting in a chair. Donst throws the STOP sign and Pondo into the ring. He positions a chair between the top and middle rope. Pondo Irish whips Donst into it. Pondo brings in a cinder block. Donst STO’s Pondo onto it for two. Donst seats Pondo in two chairs and spits in his face. Pondo lariats Donst and suplexes him onto the chair for two. Pondo sets up Donst in a chair and hits The Silencer for two. Pondo places the cinder block on Donst’s crotch. He smashes the cinder block with a sledgehammer! I can’t believe anyone would agree to take that. Pondo goes for a slam. Donst reverses into a small package for the pin at 13:46. That was just as crazy as it sounds, but boy was it fun to watch. This really was Donst out of his element and I am truly surprised as just how many crazy things he did (getting thrown into those chairs looked really painful). Kudos for these seemingly dichotomic wrestlers putting on a heck of a spectacle. ***1/4
Johhny Gargano is backstage. He says when AIW let him choose an opponent to showcase his talent during the TPI, the first name on his list was Akira Tozawa. Gargano mentions while they have wrestled together in multiple promotions, they have yet to face each other. Gargano says he knows they can bring out the best in each other and bring a show the likes the fans have not seen.
Johnny Gargano vs. Akira Tozawa
Gargano kicks Tozawa to the corner to break a wristlock. Gargano grabs a front facelock. Tozawa trips him into a headock. Tozawa armdrags Gargano into a senton. Tozawa hits Gargano with a balloon. Tozawa boots Gargano down and chokes him whilst rubbing the balloon in his face. Gargano hits a sole butt and doublestomps Tozawa on his back. He lands a knee strike and neckbreaker as well. He hits a second neckbreaker. Gargano kicks him in the back. Gargano ties up Tozawa’s legs around his knee. Gargano hits a sole butt. Tozawa responds with a suplex. Tozawa goes for the Apron Kara Tozawa. He misses but lands a senton for two. Tozawa lays in a few forearms. Gargano sends him face first in the corner and rolls him into a chest kick for two. Tozawa catches Gargano on the top rope with a bicycle kick. Tozawa gets two with a superplex. Gargano rolls Tozawa into a face kick. He hits the Diced Bread for two. Tozawa drops him with a Saito suplex. Gargano fires up and drops Tozawa with one of his own. They knock each other down with stereo clotheslines. They get up and trade forearms. Gargano kicks Tozawa. Tozawa huracanrana’s Gargano into a shining wizard. Gargano sends Tozawa to the floor. He hits a suicide dive and a cannonball senton off the apron. Tozawa kicks Gargano back to the floor and hits two suicide dives and a cannonball senton. Tozawa blasts Gargano with a bicycle kick in the corner. He drops him on his head with a Satio suplex. He connects with a running knee strike for two. Gargano rolls through a German suplex attempt for two. He hits an enzuigiri and the lawn dart. He hits a superkick and the Hurts Donut for two. Gargano applies the Gargano Escape. Tozawa grabs the ropes to break. Tozawa bicycle kicks Gargano and hits a German suplex for two. Gargano backs Tozawa in the corner and catches Tozawa with an ace crusher. He rolls into the Gargano Escape and Tozawa taps out at 13:55. This was a nice back-and-forth contest between two of the hottest guys on the indy scene today. I honestly was expecting something more special, but for what it was it was still a very good exhibition by both men. ***1/4
Jimmy Jacobs says although he’s been in TPI’s before, tonight’s a little different. He notes that his opponent is his former friend and rival BJ Whitmer. He points out a scar he received from Whitmer during their multiple wars. Jacobs pulls out a spike and says that the fight remains the same, win, lose or draw.
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer
Jacobs pulls out the spike right away. Whitmer kickes it away as he and Jacobs trade blows on the mat. Whitmer drops Jacobs across the top rope and boots him in the head. Whitmer punches him to the floor and hits a suicide dive. He whips Jacobs into the guardrail. Whitmer throws Jacobs into the crowd and trades punches with him in empty chairs. Jacobs jumps off a chair and elbow drops Whitmer. Jacobs goes for a second, but Whitmer moves out of the way. Whitmer slams a garbage can on Jacobs. Jacobs punches Whitmer and chokes him on the guardrail. Whitmer chops Jacobs and boots him down back in the ring. Jacobs spikes Whitmer in the forehead as Whitmer tries a powerbomb. Jacobs springboards into an ace crusher for two. Jacobs punches Whitmer in his open wound. He stomps on Whitmer’s mid-section and lands an elbow drop for two. Whitmer responds with an exploder suplex. He delivers a backbreaker for two. Jacobs tackles Whitmer. Whitmer grabs Jacobs’ face. He hits a Northern Lights suplex for two. Jacobs goes for the spike in desperation, but Whitmer kicks it to the floor. Jacobs hits a snap suplex. Jacobs nails a couple clotheslines and a elbow drop reverse DDT for two. Jacobs ducks a big boot and spears Whitmer for two. Jacobs backslides Whitmer. Whitmer rolls through and hits a buckle bomb. He follows up with a flying yakuza kick for two. Jacobs drops him with a reverse rana. Whitmer turns Jacobs inside out with a lariat. Jacobs puts on the End Time. Jacobs holds on as Whitmer tries to break free with a suplex. Whitmer lands an atomic drop and a reverse STO. He puts on a submission hold called the Preuvian neck-tie. Jacobs taps out at 15:06. Whitmer’s time off has done him some good, as he looks healed up and in great shape. His wrestling was top notch as he and Jacobs wrestled as if their feud never ended. There’s no denying these two’s chemistry and I hope we’ll see more of them both in AIW. ***1/4
TPI 2011 First Round Match
Paul London vs. Shiima Xion
Xion is seconded by Chest Flexor, The Chad, and Aiden Chase. Xion tries to attack London as he takes off his spacesuit. London hits a dropsault. He does a bit of a Randy Savage dropkick. He hits a second snapmare and a second rope double axe handle. London calls for a top rope elbow drop. Xion rolls out of the ring before London comes off the top. London suicide dives onto Xion. London kicks Flexor down, but Xion shoves London off the apron and into the guardrail. Xion drops London throat first on the guardrail. Xion poses on a chair in the crowd. London jumps off the guardrail and clotheslines Xion off of it. He slams Xion on a few chairs and kicks him in the face. London gets some fans to pull Xion’s hair. London throws Xion into some walls and hits him with a yellow Solo cup. London throws Xion into the bathroom and then brings him into the bar area. He lets a fan chop Xion. Xion throws London into the bar area. Xion spits beer in his face. Xion runs a man in a wheelchair (pretty sure it was Doctor Col. Nolan Angus) into London. London uses the bar to take Xion down with a headscissors. London shoves Angus into Xion into the guardrail. London wheelbarrow throws Xion into the guardrail. London drops Xion spine first on the ring apron. London misses a springboard crossbody. The Chad stomps on London behind the referee’s back. Xion only gets a one count when London is tossed back in. Xion throws London stomach first into the ring post. Xion chokes him on the middle rope and hits him with double knees for two. Xion whips him hard into the corner. Xion suplexes London from the apron and into the ring for two. Xion huracanrana’s London off the top rope for two. London escapes a sleeper by throwing Xion into the corner. Xion rolls through a sunset flip and kicks London in the face for two. London hits a spinwheel kick. Xion goes to the floor and London follows with a corkscrew pescado. London comes off the apron with a moonsault. Xion avoids it, but the second time London hits it. In the ring, London springboards into a Magistral cradle for two. London hits a flapjack. London cracks Xion with a leg lariat to block a clothesline. Xion hits a top rope dropkick for two. Xion applies a crossface. London escapes. Xion misses a sky twister press. London hits a shooting star press and Flexor pulls him out of the ring. London forearms him down. In the ring, Xion nails a superkick. He drops London with a crucifix bomb for two. Xion goes back to the Crossface. Xion transitions into a modified armbreaker. London taps out at 19:44. London’s track record since returning to the indies from WWE has been spotty at best, but he really brought his best in this match. He and Xion had a battle and pulled no punches. I was pleasantly surprised and it goes to show that when he’s motivated, London can make a match of his worthwhile. ***
Pre-Show Match: St. Louis Anarchy Showcase
ACH vs. Gary J.
ACH slaps Gary instead of participating in a test of strength. ACH escapes a wristlock with a kick to the head. ACH takes Gary over with a headscissors. Gary evades a springboard attack and hits a springboard back elbow for two. ACH kicks Gary in the ropes and nails a flurry of kicks. He dives onto Gary with a suicide tope. Gary evades a top rope doublestomp and drops ACH with a wheelbarrow facebuster. Gary dropkicks him in the back of the head for two. ACH drops Gary with a reverse STO in the corner. He follows up with a running low clothesline. Gary kicks ACH from the apron and doublestomps his back. Gary hits a suplex in the ring for two. ACH comes back with a pump-handle suplex. ACH hits a series of running forearm strikes in the corner. He ends the flurry with a cannonball senton. ACH delivers the Hadouken. Gary delivers a Michinoku Driver for two. ACH comes back with a middle rope 450 splash for the pin. I’ve never seen ACH before, but he really impressed me here. He’s like a mix between Kenny King, AR Fox, and Gran Akuma. Davey was solid enough but ACH stood out head and shoulders above him here. **1/2
Pre-Show Match: St. Louis Anarchy Showcase
The Sex Bomb-Ombs (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. The Submission Squad (Evan Gelestico & Pierre Abernathy)
I gotta love the Scott Pilgrim love in this match (even the Submission Squad came out to “We Hate You Please Die”). Listen guys, you can try and trick me into forgiving you for your King of Trios match, but it won’t happen. Gelestico pokes Vega in the eyes to escape a wristlock. Vega comes out of the corner with a rana and hits double knees in the corner. Abernathy and Fitchett tag in. Fitchett hits a corner dropkick and a running knee strike. Gelestico blind tags in. He and Abernathy light Fitchett up with kicks. Vega tags in but gets double teamed in the corner. The Submission Squad isolate Vega. Vega comes back by blocking a kick from Gelestico and double stomping him. Fitchett tags in and fights both Squad members by himself. Vega and Fitchett hit numerous kicks on Abernathy. Abernathy elbows Fitchett and throws him into a TKO from Gelestico. Abernathy faceplants Fitchett. Gelestico puts Fitchett in the Rings of Saturn. Vega blasts Gelestico with a kick in the corner. He hits a Code Breaker and Fitchett hits a shooting star onto Gelestico onto Vega’s knees for the pin at 5:26. This was a lot of fun, and a nice outing for both teams. I must say, the St. Louis boys put a heck of an effort into their showcase matches. **3/4
Overall: One night deep and AIW’s TPI is off to a great start. Aside from the cavalcade of name talent AIW managed to get together, the wrestling was consistently entertaining throughout. Even the matches that maybe fell slightly below others had at least some merit to it. If nothing else, you’re getting a great variety of matches throughout. No matter what kind of wrestling fan you are, you’ll find something to enjoy on this DVD. We’re off to a good start with Night One. We’ll see if AIW can keep the positive momentum forward, especially with a lot of the “name talent” falling in the first round.