Lakewood, OH – 5.21.2011
Commentary is provided by Pedro Deluca and Aaron Bauer. Tim Donst steps in for commentary during The Duke vs. BJ Whitmer.
TPI 2011 Quarter-Final Round Match
Tim Donst vs. “Mr. RBI” Izaeh Bonds
Donst mentions how back in the day Eddie Kingston toughened him up, so he plans to do the same to Bonds. With that, Donst attacks Bonds in the corner right away. Donst chops him on the apron and drops him back first across his knee. He throws Bonds into the crowd and snapmares him back to ringside. Donst suplexes Bonds from the apron into the ring for two. Bonds throws Donst’s face into the top turnbuckle. Bonds “runs the bases” only to get caught with a reverse STO by Donst for two. Donst puts him in a tree of woe and twists his nipples. Bonds escapes a TKO but gets armdragged into the Reverse CHIKARA Special. Bonds gets his feet under the bottom rope to escape. Bonds knocks Donst down with a polish hammer and a spinebuster. A standing moonsault gets him two. Bonds “runs the bases” and hits a diving forearm for two. Donst pushes the referee into the ropes to crotch Bonds on the top rope. Donst drops him with a top rope fireman’s carry for the pin at 5:47. Donst certainly laid in a beating as promised and moves on in the tournament. Bonds had his usual game going, but I feel he’s better suited for multi-man bouts than singles matches. This was fine, but nothing memorable. **
Marion Fontaine says even though he defeated Colt Cabana, he’s still got some road blocks in the way. He says his opponent Gregory Iron is just a stepping stone in his quest for the TPI crown.
TPI 2011 Quarter-Final Round Match
Gregory Iron vs. Marion Fontaine
Fontaine and Iron argue about who’s facial hair is better. Fontaine doesn’t budge at Iron’s shoulder block. Iron sits down on Fontaine’s monkey flip attempt for a two count. Fontaine takes a breather. He puts on a full nelson. Iron escapes and delivers a gimp slap. Iron blocks another monkey flip but eats a dropkick. Fontaine grabs Iron’s gimp hand and Iron grabs Fontaine’s mustache. The referee breaks it which they don’t appreciate it. Fontaine rolls Iron up for two. Fontaine hits a suplex for two. Iron snapmares Fontaine and lands a couple clotheslines. He delivers a Codebreaker and a springboard elbow for two. Iron delivers a seated corner clothesline for two. Iron hits a senton for two. Fontaine superkicks Iron and delivers an Olympic Slam for two. Fontaine hits a top rope elbow drop for two. Iron and Fontaine hit simultaenous clotheslines. Iron hits two Handicap Parkings. Fontaine goes for a Stone Cold Stunner. Iron blocks and hits Handicap Parking again. Fontaine comes off the middle rope, and Iron catches him mid-air with an STO for the pin at 8:33. A super cool finish to a fun match. Not the best outing either guy has had, but a little more intensity than you’d expect. When Fontaine cuts out the gaga, he actually is a very skilled wrestler which I think some people overlook. Iron of course has improved leaps and bounds over the year and shows no signs of slowing down. **1/2
Bobby Beverly says he did what nobody thought he could do last night; beat Sonjay Dutt. He says he leaves it all in the ring no matter what and guarantees that he will end up the TPI Champion.
TPI 2011 Quarter-Final Round Match
Façade vs. Bobby Beverly
Chest Flexor and The Chad accompany Beverly to the ring. Façade turns a wristlock into a thrust kick. Beverly sends Façade to the apron. Façade elbows Beverly and lands a moonsault press for two. Flexor trips Façade as he hits the ropes, allowing Beverly to nail him with a low dropkick. Beverly delivers a butterfly suplex for two. Beverly hits a low clothesline. Beverly blasts Façade with a single-leg dropkick in the corner. Beverly drops Façade with a fisherman’s suplex for two. Flexor and Chad set up a table ringside as Beverly lights up Façade with kicks. A back elbow gets Beverly two. Beverly looks to suplex Façade through the table, but Façade fights free. Façade nails a springboard enzuigiri. Façade goes to dive, but Beverly kicks him from the floor to block. Beverly kicks Façade on the floor then hits a diving clothesline. He throws Façade into the crowd and dives onto him from the ring apron. Beverly makes it known he wants to put Façade through the ringside table. Façade avoids being put through, then walks the ropes and dives onto Beverly. He grazes Beverly with a senton. He hits a springboard dropkick, sending Beverly back into the crowd. Façade dives off the top rope onto him. In the ring, Façade hits a springboard bulldog for two. Beverly delivers a uranage backbreaker and a superkick. He powerslams Façade for two. Façade hits an Asai moonsault for two. Flexor passes a steel chair to Beverly. Façade kicks the chair into Beverly’s face and spin kicks Flexor. Façade calls for the triple jump moonsault. As he hits the top rope, Flexor pushes him through the table on the floor. Flexor tosses Façade back in the ring so that Beverly can pick up the pin at 15:13. The beginning of the match was a slow-go, but picked up once Façade blocked the original table spot. Regardless, the finish was creative and let Beverly advance while not taking anything away from Façade. **3/4
Chandler Biggins announces that every year they do something special at Absolution. With that, he announces that Façade will get a match he’s dreamed of at Absolution VI, as he will take on Sabu in a No Disqualification match.
TPI 2011 Quarter-Final Round Match
BJ Whitmer vs. The Duke
An aggressive lock-up is broken in the corner. Duke shoulder blocks Whitmer down hard. Duke whips Whitmer to the corner and hits a butterfly suplex for one. Duke applies a chinlock and digs his knee into Whitmer’s back. Duke snapmares Whitmer into a Perfect neck snap. Whitmer goes to the floor for a breather. Duke follows and eats a few chops and strikes from Whitmer. Whitmer chops Duke down to his knees and then brings him back in the ring for two. Whitmer hits a knee strike and a snap suplex for two. Whitmer back elbows him for two. He hits a sick kick for two. Duke throws Whitmer with a German suplex. Duke gets two with a Vader Bomb. Whitmer comes back with a reverse STO. He applies the Peruvian neck-tie. Duke taps out at 8:37. This was the kind of slugfest you’d expect out of these two guys. Both Duke and Whitmer’s matches from last night were better, which is funny when you consider that you would assume that these guys would work better together than either of their opponents last night. Decent outing from both guys. I’m loving Whitmer’s new submission. **
Shiima Xion says the reason he wants to win the TPI is because he likes doing big things. He thinks winning the TPI will put a feather in his cap. He thinks he will be the reason people buy tickets to AIW and believe a star was born at the TPI.
TPI 2011 Quarter-Final Round Match
Shiima Xion vs. Flip Kendrick
Chest Flexor and The Chad accompany Xion to the ring. Xion and Kendrick look for the advantage at the start. Kendrick armdrags Xion into the corner. Xion asks for a test of strength. Kendrick flips around in the clutch, and Xion pushes him to the corner. Kendrick flips into a quesadora. He comes off the ropes with an alita. Xion rolls Kendrick into an armdrag of his own. Kendrick hits a springboard dropkick. Kendrick escapes a corner attck and dropkicks Xion to the floor. Kendrick hits a sky twister press to the floor. Xion dropkicks Kendrick as he goes for a springboard. Xion hits an Asai moonsault on Kendrick as he dangles in the ropes for two. Xion drops him with a neckbreaker for two. Kendrick gets his knees up to block a moonsault. He hits a package facebuster and goes up top. Xion catches him. He hits a super Falcon Arrow for two. Xion goes for a superplex. Kendrick shoves him off and connects with a missile dropkick. Kendrick connects with the inside-out driver for two. Kendrick hits a tornado DDT. He goes for a moonsault, but Xion opens his legs and captures Kendrick in a crossface. Kendrick gets his foot on the bottom rope to break. Kendrick escapes and hits a backflip kick. Kendrick delivers a huracanrana for two. Kendrick hits a top rope shooting star senton for two. Xion catches Kendrick with the Flapjack (DDP’s old finisher) for two. Xion locks Kendrick in the crossface. Kendrick taps out at 10:56. The style and back and forth action in this match was excellent. The fans were so behind Kendrick that when Xion got the surprise win the disappointment was palpable. Essentially, these guys did a great job putting on a great display while conveying their characters simultaneously. ***1/4
Dave Crist says it’s a little disheartening that he has to face his brother in the TPI, but feels that an argument they had a few months ago may have foreshadowed his chance to be TPI champion.
TPI 2011 Quarter-Final Round Match
Dave Crist vs. Jake Crist
THE IRISH AIRBORNE EXPLODE! Jake goats Dave into a headlock by feigning a handshake. Dave uses the same trick to trip Jake into a grapevine chinlock. Jake escapes and suplexes Dave. Dave twists Jake into a wristlock on the mat. Jake escapes and puts Dave in a headscissors. Dave pops out in a front chancery. Jake pops out and stands off with his brother. Jake backs Dave to the corner to break a butterfly stretch. Dave muscles Jake up to the top rope. Jake hits a crossbody block from the top rope for two. Jake double wrist clutches Dave and pushes his shoulders to the mat. Dave pops up, and springboards into a moonsault DDT! He shockingly only gets a two count. Jake backdrops Dave to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Dave hits a springboard frogsplash for two. Dave delivers a cutter for two. Dave gets two with a Gedo clutch. Jake uses the ropes to break a front chancery. Jake hits a Dragon suplex for two. They fight for a pin on the mat. Dave rolls through into a Gory Bomb for two. Dave brings Jake up top. Jake tosses Dave off. Dave nails a running kick and goes back up top. He hits the Spanish Fly and Jake kicks out at one. Jake kicks Dave and flips to the top rope. Dave hits a European uppercut. Jake hits flipping pedigree off the top rope and Dave kicks out at one. Jake lands a superkick. Dave hits an exploder suplex. Jake hits a superkick and a roundhouse kick. He drops Dave with a brainbuster suplex for two. Dave hits two tornado kicks and a Falcon Arrow for the pin at 12:18. Holy cow, these two really beat the tar out of each other. I watch a lot of wrestling and saw some stuff I’ve truly not seen anywhere else. The Irish Airborne have truly developed into a top notch team and I’d love to see them get opportunities elsewhere. They also proved that you can kick out after a big move and still sell the damn thing. Props to Jake for having the best match in both the first and second round. ***1/2
Johnny Gargano comes out to the ring. Gargano informs us that his scheduled opponent, Samuray Del Sol, is not in attendance tonight. Gargano decides since the TPI is about giving young guys chances, he’ll deliver an open challenge to anyone in the back. Rickey Shane Page answers the call, saying that he needs to reassert himself in professional wrestling.
Johnny Gargano vs. Rickey Shane Page
Gargano and Page trade holds with neither man getting a clear advantage. Gargano ducks a clothesline and back elbow, but gets big booted into a stomp for two. Page whips Gargano to the corner. Gargano hits a sole butt and doublestomps Page’s back. Gargano kicks Page into a jump-up neckbreaker. Gargano ducks a clothesline. Page backdrops Gargano and kicks him on the way down. Page unlesahes a flurry of strikes in the corner. Page applies a Texas cloverleaf. Gargano breaks the hold and hits his patented slingshot spear. Gargano hits a running forearm, then rolls Page into a chest kick for two. Gargano puts Page in the ropes with an Anaconda Vice. He lets go at the five count. He rolls Page into a low enzuigiri. He hits a low Code Breaker for two. Gargano sends Page to the floor with a rana. He hits a suicide dive. Page catches Gargano as he attempts a cannonball senton. Page drops Gargano chest first on the ring apron. In the ring, Gargano slingshots into a crucifix pin. Page blocks the Gargano Escape. Garano hits an enzuigiri and an ace crusher. He rolls back into the Gargano Escape. Page hoists him up into a Death Valley Driver. Gargano rolls up Page in a wheelbarrow for two. Page drops Gargano on his head to avoid a low ace crusher. Page kicks Gargano in the head and hits a lariat. Gargano frees himself from a tree of woe and hits the Diced Bread. Two superkicks gets him a two count. Page misses a senton. Gargano headscissors Page right into the Gargano Escape. Page taps out at 12:52. Page showed a lot more here than he did last night, though Gargano may have something to do with it. The crowd ate up two of their favorites going at it, making a really enjoyable atmosphere for the match. ***
Gargano leaves as Page recovers in the ring. Suddenly, a man in black wearing the mask of Christian Faith, Page’s former identity, comes to the ring. Page unmasks him to reveal Vincent Nothing, Page’s tag partner when he was apart of “Faith in Nothing”. Nothing hasn’t been seen in AIW in over a year. He clotheslines Page inside out. Nothing rolls him into a rear-naked choke (Nothing left wrestling to become an MMA fighter). Nothing grabs the microphone after choking him out. Nothing says that Page used to stand for something when he was Christian Faith. He puts the Faith mask back on Page. Nothing says he helped build Page into a monster as Christian Faith and felt by unmasking, he threw everything that Nothing did for him away. He says he could force Faith to do whatever he wants, but he will allow Page to make the choice himself: be Faith, or be nothing at all.
TPI 2011 Semi-Final Round Match
Gregory Iron vs. Bobby Beverly
Chest Flexor and The Chad accompany Beverly to the ring. Iron gives Beverly the middle finger and O’Conner rolls him for two. Iron wheelbarrow pins Beverly to block a full nelson slam. Iron gets two with a jackknife cradle. Beverly kicks Iron multiple times in the ribs. Beverly suplexes him for two. Iron sends Beverly to the floor with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors. Beverly kicks Iron as he goes for a dive. Beverly wears down Iron on the floor. Iron whips Beverly into the barricade. Beverly delivers a bicycle kick before throwing Iron head first into the barricade. Iron backdrops Beverly into the crowd before stumbling back into the ring. Iron hits his leg on the guardrail as he dives into the crowd onto Beverly. Iron throws Beverly back to the ringside area. In the ring, Beverly swings through the ropes and kicks Iron in the head. He delivers a top rope dropkick right to Iron’s chest for two. Beverly dropkicks Iron in the corner. Iron kicks Beverly out of the corner and goes up top. Iron lands a flying crossbody for two. Iron then hits a reverse neckbreaker. Beverly hits an ace crusher and a superkick. Iron hits the gimp slap and a senton splash for two. Beverly drop Iron with a uranage backbreaker for two. Iron catches Beverly with the Handicap Parking for two. Beverly and Iron fight on the top rope. Iron hits a sunset bomb for the pin at 12:35. A fine showcase between of AIW’s finest. The surprise finish and the joy the fans had for Iron making it to the finals added another layer of specialness to match. I guess when you almost literally kill yourself to make a good match, good things can and will happen. **3/4
TPI 2011 Semi-Final Round Match
Tim Donst vs. BJ Whitmer
Donst and Whitmer do a little amateur style back-and-forth wrestling on the mat. They go to the floor for a second, then go right back to the mat. They grapple to the floor. Whitmer looks to go back in the ring, but Donst sledges him in the back and throws him into the barricade. Whitmer barely makes it in before the ten count. Donst twists Whitmer’s arm whilst shoving his hand in Whitmer’s face. Whitmer gets the ropes, so Donst delivers a few elbows to Whitmer’s neck. He drops Whitmer off the ring apron into a backbreaker. Whitmer gets thrown back into the ring. He connects with a forceful baseball slide. Donst hits Whitmer as he tries a suicide dive. Donst delivers three consecutive gutwrench suplexes. Donst chops Whitmer and twists his nipples. Whitmer fires back with chops until Donst rakes his eyes to cut him off. Donst bites Whitmer in the forehead whilst choking him. Whitmer misses a corner attack after Irish whipping Donst. Donst hits the Donst Cap and a German suplex for two. Donst bulldogs Whitmer as Whitmer comes off the ropes. Whitmer catches Donst with a spinebuster. Donst and Whitmer trade forearms. Whitmer delivers an exploder suplex for two. Whitmer drops him with a brainbusterish suplex for two. Donst Gator Rolls Whitmer for two. Donst and Whitmer fight up top. Donst hits the Super Donstitution for two. Donst drops Whitmer with a reverse STO. Whitmer hits a T-Bone exploder suplex and Donst kicks out at two. Whitmer drives his knee into Donst’s head before applying the Peruvian necktie. Donst rolls to the ropes to break it. Donst rolls Whitmer into the Reverse CHIKARA Special. Whitmer taps out at 14:41. Donst looks great here, making a man much larger than him submit. Whitmer’s “comeback weekend” (he’s performed in HWA a few times before this) proved to me that Whitmer can still go, and may be better than before leaving in early 2008. Appropriately, the fans chant “Please Come Back”. I’d love to see him back in ROH and elsewhere. ***
TPI 2011 Semi-Final Round Match
Shiima Xion vs. Dave Crist
Chest Flexor and The Chad accompany Xion to the ring. Crist grabs Xion’s hair and brings him to the corner. Crist rolls Xion to the ropes in a headlock and grabs his hair again. He verbally berates Flexor and Chad. Crist breaks a wristlock and hits a standing moonsault for one. Xion locks Crist’s legs and twists on his ankle. Crist escapes and applies a side headlock. Xion reverses into a headscissors. Crist pops out and both men standoff. Crist dragonscrews Xion into a grapevine stretch. Crist applies a half-nelson choke until Xion reaches back and grabs the ropes. Crist gets the fans to chant bad words at Xion. Xion pops off the ropes into an armdrag. Crist moonsaults into an armdrag and then a huracanrana. He palm strikes Xion thrice before dropkicking him to the floor. Crist hits the Fozberry Flop onto Flexor and Chad. Xion moonsaults onto Crist. The Chad hot shots Crist on the guardrail while Xion distracts the referee. Xion suplexes Crist into a facebuster on his knee. Crist grabs the bottom rope. Xion angirly stomps on and pummels Crist for another two count. Xion goes up top. Crist hits him with an uppercut and an enzuigiri. Xion pushes Crist off the top and hits a 450 splash. Crist kicks out at two, making Xion angry. Crist kicks Xion from the top rope. Xion kicks Crist off the top rope and to the floor. Crist fights off The Chad. He springboards from the apron, to the top, and into a huracanrana for two. Crist lands a Falcon Arrow after some kicks for two. Xion puts Crist in the Crossface. Crist rolls back for a pin, causing Xion to break the hold. Crist hits the RKO for two. Xion ducks a clothesline and puts Crist back in the crossface. Xion the puts him in a hyper-extended cross armbreaker for the submission at 15:24. You got to give it up to Dave Crist; that dude can fly with grace, creativity, and style. He and Xion captivated the audience and raised he importance of the outcome. Seriously, AIW has some of the most underrated guys on the scene today and these two are right near the top of that list. ***1/2
The Olsen Twins make their way out to the ring. Jimmy Olsen says he’s feeling good because he won a mini-golf tournament last night, but someone killed his buzz. Colin mentions how much he loves coming to Lakewood before mentioning how he and Jimmy successfully defended their AIW Tag Team titles last night. Colin also mentions how he was laid out by Da Latin Crime Syndicate after the match. Colin says he doesn’t care who’s responsible for it, and calls the perpretators to the ring. With that, Dalton Castle and K. Fernandez come to the ring with DLCS member Isaac Montana. We now have a tag team title match on our hands.
AIW Tag Team Championship
The Olsen Twins (Colin & Jimmy Olsen) (Champions) vs. Dalton Castle & K. Fernandez
The Olsens bring out Col. Dr. Nolan Angus (the man in the wheelchair that got beat up by DLCS last night) to be in their corner. The Olsens attack Fernandez and Castle before the bell, spilling the fight to the floor. Jimmy throws a chair on Fernandez while Colin whips Castle into the barricade. Fernandez slams a small plastic crate on Jimmy. Castle slams a trashcan into Colin’s shoulder and onto his back. Jimmy delivers a haymaker to Fernandez in the snack area. He rides a trashcan on wheels into Fernandez. Colin dumps Castle in the trashcan. Colin spits a beverage into Castle’s face. Fernandez suplexes Jimmy into a chair. Colin puts Castle in a chair-assisted Boston Crab. Jimmy whips Fernandez into a crowd of chairs. Castle leapfrogs over Dr. Angus into a punch from Colin. Fernandez violently backdrops Jimmy on the floor and Castle follows up with a boot to the face. Castle slams Colin on a table with a uranage. Jimmy clobbers Castle with a chair. Jimmy throws Fernandez off a chair onto a table. Castle knocks Jimmy down with a flying forearm. Jimmy slides the table with Fernandez on it into Castle. Jimmy accidentally chops the ring post in an attempt to chop Fernandez. Colin throws Castle back to the ringside area. Colin gets violently whipped into the barricade. Jimmy suplexes Fernandez on the entrance ramp. Colin chokes Castle on the middle rope. Fernandez and Castle set up Colin for the Hart Attack. Colin ducks, but Castle and Fernandez get a sidewalk slam/elbow drop combo for two. Colin gets worn down while Castle and Fernandez isolate him from Jimmy. Colin avoids a top rope attack from Fernandez. Castle chases Colin around the apron. He tags Jimmy who boots Castle and dropkicks him to the floor. He ducks a clothesline from Fernandez and suicide dives onto Castle. Colin hits Fernandez with a missile dropkick. Jimmy wheelbarrows Colin onto his knees by accident. Jimmy breaks a small package and gives Fernandez a low huracanrana. Fernandez gives Jimmy an upside down lungblower for two. Castle deadlift German’s Jimmy for two. Colin pitches Castle to the floor. He drives his knee into Fernandez’s throat. He hits the 12 Lage elbow drop for the pin at 16:45. The crowd brawling was fun, but the issue was after they went back in the ring, things died as Fernandez and Castle spent too much time wearing Colin down. Things picked back up after the hot tag and the finish was great. Basically, the majority of this match was very good. ***1/4
The Olsens get the crowd to chant for Larry Sweeney, dedicating the previous match in his memory.
Hobo Joe comes out to the ring. He says he hasn’t spoken to his former partner “The Aftermath” Justin Lee in awhile. He apologizes for being a bad person, stating that The Aftermath got into his head. He apologizes to his former friend Gregory Iron, citing jealously as the reason for turning on him. He also apologizes to the fans who are split on whether or not he apologizes to them. As Joe begs fans for change, Chest Flexor emerges with The Chad. Flexor says the only reason AIW allowed Joe to apologize to the fans was because they couldn’t get Tommy Mercer in from TNA for the show. Flexor says Mercer is too scared to come back to AIW because of Flexor Industries. To prove a point, he has The Chad to wrestle Joe.
“The Chad” Williams vs. Hobo Joe
Williams attacks Joe before the bell. He give Joe a big boot and calls out Mercer. He attacks Joe in the corner. Joe ducks a babk elbow and hits a flurry of punches. He hits a corner clothesline and gives Williams the Pit Stop. Williams flips Joe from the apron into the ring. He delivers a suplex and calls out Mercer again. Williams drops Mercer with the Mery Kill (Mercer’s finishing move) for the pin at 3:09. This match set up Williams’ match with Mercer at Absolution VI, showcasing him as a monster. For that, you must consider this a success. ¼*
AIW Intense Division Championship
Marion Fontaine (Champion) vs. AERO! vs. Louis Lyndon vs. Maximo Suave
Even though he wrestled earlier tonight, Fontaine is generously wrestling again and putting his title on the line. AERO attacks Suave and Lyndon before the bell. AERO sneaks up behind Fontaine when he enters the ring. Fontaine hops over him and sweeps his legs. He sends AERO to the floor with a leg lariat. He gives Suave the So Rude kick and a flying forearm. Fontaine leapfrogs over Lyndon but gets caught with double palm strikes. Lyndon lands an armdrag and a rana. Fontaine cartwheels to his feet, but Suave and AERO attack him and Lyndon from behind. Suave gives AERO a back cracker for two. AERO nails a step-up enzuigiri and Cactus clotheslines himself and Suave to the floor. Fontaine dives onto AERO while Lyndon baseball slides Suave. Lyndon cannonball sentons onto AERO and Fontaine. He superkicks Suave and throws AERO back into the ring. Lyndon puts AERO and Suave into double Muta Locks. Fontaine breaks the hold and sentons onto AERO and Suave. Fontaine and Lyndon then hit stereo sentons for two. Lyndon gives Fontaine a couple kicks and Fontaine responds with a clothesline. All four men slug it out on their feet. A combo move knocks all four men down. Suave drops Fontaine with a pumphandle driver for two. Lyndon hits Suave with a missile dropkick. AERO gives him a reverse STO. Fontaine lionsaults onto AERO for the pin at 6:56. This was essentially four men flying around aimlessly. After everything else, this just seemed sloppy and uncoordinated. There was some good action, but no story or true merit to it. *3/4
TPI 2011 Finals – Elimination Match
Tim Donst vs. Shiima Xion vs. Gregory Iron
Chest Flexor and The Chad accompany Xion to the ring. After a few strikes, Iron sends Zion and Donst to the floor with a jumping back elbow. He jumps onto both of them with a knee-assisted senton. In the ring, Iron takes down Donst with a huracanrana and a satellite headscissors. Donst puts Iron in a grapevine surfboard stretch. Xion missile dropkicks Iron out of the hold. Donst chops Xion on the ropes. Donst chops Xion on the top rope. Xion sets it up so when he gives Donst a neckbreaker, Donst DDT’s Iron. Xion pins Iron for two. Iron backslides Xion. Donst gutwrench suplexes Iron out of it. Donst delivers one more, then gives on to Iron and Xion at the same time. Donst gives him a chinbreaker. He puts Iron on Xion’s shoulder then trips them both. Donst puts them in a Boston Crab. Iron escapes. He hops off the ropes and DDT’s Donst. Xion moonsaults Iron, and on the way down Donst catches Xion with an ace crusher. Donst whips Xion into Iron after twisting his nipples. Donst tries to German suplex Iron, but Iron rolls Donst face first into the corner. He gives Xion Handicap Parking and then bulldogs Donst into Xion’s crotch. Iron drops Donst the Handicap Parking. Just like at Battle Bowl, Josh Prohibition comes out to distract Iron. Iron dives onto Prohibition. Prohibition whips Iron into the ring post and gives him a piledriver on the floor. He throws Iron back into the ring. Xion pins Iron for the elimination at 9:34. Xion superkicks Donst for two as security helps Iron to the back. Xion chokes Donst on the middle rope and gives him double knees to the neck. Xion hits a frogsplash for two. Donst fires up after Xion slaps him. Xion gives him three superkicks. Donst responds with a bulldog. Xion escapes a Gator Roll and hits a crucifix bomb for two. He applies the crossface. Donst gets his feet on the ropes to escape. Both men trade forearms. Xion walks the ropes. He goes for a tornado DDT, but Donst catches him with the Donstitution for two. Xion shoves Donst into the referee to escape another Donstitution. Donst hits it, but of course no count can be made. The Chad drops Donst with a choke spinebuster. They revive the referee, but Xion only gets a two count. Xion instantly slaps on the Crossface. Donst rolls into a pin, Xion cranks the hold back on. Donst picks up Xion and drops him with the Donstitution and a Gator Roll for two. Donst tosses Xion off the top with a release German suplex. The Chad pulls the referee out of the ring as Donst puts Xion in the CHIKARA Special. Flexor throws a fireball in Donst’s face! Xion pins Donst at 16:51 for the win and the 2011 TPI Championship. Usually it’s heresey to have a dirty finish in the tournament finals, but the story was so good that it didn’t bother me so much. The fans were dying for Donst to win after Iron got eliminated, and with each kick out he only grew more hungry to win the crown. It took something as extreme as a fireball to throw him off and cost him the match. This is the kind of storytelling that makes this final match special and the best of the entire tournament. ***1/2
Donst angrily hurls a water bottle at Flexor Industries. The referee takes him to the back as Xion celebrates with his trophy in the ring. Since Xion has won the TPI, he now has a shot at the Absolute Championship that he can cash in at anytime. It works just like the Money in the Bank prize.
Overall: When IWA:MS ran the TPI consistently, it quickly became known as not only one of the most prestigious tournaments in independent wrestling, but one that got to showcase a lot of young wrestlers have the potential to break out. I think that can be said for this TPI as well. Between Shiima Xion, Irish Airborne, Tim Donst, and non-tournament competitor Johnny Gargano, the TPI puts on display wrestlers who have taken it to the next level. While the show takes a few matches to get it’s footing, after that it consistently delivers till the final bell (save for a couple non-tournament bouts). More importantly, it built to AIW’s biggest show, Absolution VI, which is just around the corner. My recommendation is to pick up both nights of the TPI. The fact that you can get 31 matches across two days for $30 is pretty crazy, especially when you consider that the vast majority of them are worth your time. It’s best to digest the weekend in smaller bites, as they are very long. Be sure to pick up both nights at either AIW’s store or Smart Mark Video.