Tagged: johnny gargano

Tim Donst Fights for Pro Wrestling

If this doesn’t make you want to see Michael Hutter get savagely gator rolled, you may hate Pro Wrestling. Tim Donst has been one of the most interesting people in the sport  for some time now, but this video shows a new side of him. Donst as an outspoken fighter for all that’s good and pure and independent about Pro Wrestling? I can dig it.

AIW is been one of America’s hottest promotions, you can see what all the buzz is about by ordering Absolution 8 here on SMVOD this Sunday. Besides seeing a former TV ‘star’ get suplexed, there’ll be a high-flying wuxia martial arts war between ACH and Louis Lyndon, “All Heart” Johnny Gargano versus “All Ego” Ethan Page, Veda Scott and Greg Iron trying to rid Ohio of a Batiri infestation, BJ Whitmer and Chris Dickinson trying to rid the planet of each other, and Tracy Smothers. Continue reading

Matches We Loved 2012: Part II


Part II of our list of our favorite matches from 2012. Again we’re joined by our friends Thomas Holzerman from The Wrestling Blog, Jamie from Dramatic DDT, T.J. Hawke from Free Pro Wrestling,  Ciara Reid of Angry Marks, Jae of iheartDGAlyssaAlexBenjamin, and Senor Lariato. By Leslie, GregChris C.Chris J.SonnyAoikougeiSarah (and her brother), Steph, and Martin.

Matches We Loved Part I

CHIKARA: ACH vs. “Mr. Touchdown” Mark Angelosetti

The Ring of Wax – August 18th, 2012

Chris: Myself and DDS’ resident Amazonian Warrior made the trip down to Indianapolis to take in a CHIKARA show featuring the last match in the annual Young Lions’ Cup tournament. These two up and comers are what the tournament is all about and they delivered in spades. This was a battle of superhero proportions, a real life Spider-Man vs. Venom (I can hear Touchdown calling me a nerd for that one already), complete with ACH cracking wise and getting touchdown to go long for a pass until he ran into a wall.

The story of this match was one of athleticism and heart and it came down to which one had just a little more of both at the end. While the good sportsmanship of Dasher Hatfield left the lovely but conniving Veronica in a trash can, ACH and Touchdown left it all in the ring. The Gridiron Grappler managed to withstand a Guile Flash Kick from the Last Hero and came up with the win and the trophy, which, unfortunately gave the W to evil that day. In spite of that, though, there’s really only two words to sum up this candidate for Match of the Year: “It’s good.”

DDT: Kota Ibushi vs. Kenny Omega

Budokan Peter Pan 2012 – August 18th, 2012

Jamie: Simply spectacular. For DDT’s biggest show in its 15 year existence, the main event could not have been anything else. We had to wait four years for Ibushi versus Omega to happen again but it was worth the wait. Both were on the top of their game and they pulled out all the stops to make this a match to remember. There were some amazing high risk spots that were worth doing because of how important the match was for DDT. After all, this wasn’t some small show at Shin-Kiba. This was the main event of Budokan Hall!

RPW: Kyle Matthews vs. Masked Assailant

Sizzlin’ Summer Bash – August 26th, 2012

Thomas: It’s the most effective story in professional wrestling, David vs. Goliath. In this case, David, Kyle Matthews, was the Champion, defending his title against a masked Goliath in the masked man who’d be revealed after the match as the former Luke Gallows. It was the latest in a scheme by the managerial conglomerate opposite of Matthews trying to wrest the belt from him. Gallows worked “big” better here than he did previously, and Matthews took it in stride with a good hope spot towards the end. Even in defeat, Matthews was able to embody heart, and that’s the sign of a great good guy. Continue reading

CHIKARA: King of Trios 2012 Gallery

DDS ace photographer Gregory Davis was on hand for this year’s edition of CHIKARA‘s annual, massive, King of Trios weekend. 2012’s KOT was all about the Queens though, as seven Joshi came to CHIKARA and demolished preconceptions, gender barriers and, most enjoyably, Matt Classic. Tsubasa Kuragaki told me she’s looking forward to returning to America again soon. Until then you can enjoy Greg’s shots of three days of wrestling excellence. You can also order the shows via SmartMarkVideo.com.

Continue reading

Beyond Wrestling and St. Louis Anarchy: Double Trouble Review

Featuring: ACH, Johnny Gargano, Eric Corvis, Jonny Mangue, Chase Brunett, Zane Silver, Matthew Justice, The Pitboss, The Hate Junkies, dany only, Strknyn, Arik Canon, Darin Corbin, Christian Rose, The Submission Squad, Evan Gelistico, Gary Jay, Pierre Abernathy, Dale Patricks, Remi Wilkins, Heidi Lovelace, Nate Stone, Reed Bentley, Tripp Cassidy, Davey Vega, Eric Ryan, The Kentucky Buffet, Alex Castle, Matt Cage, The Hooligans, Devin Cutter, Mason Cutter, Mark Angel, Drew Gulak, Aaron Epic, Pinkie Sanchez, Sugar Dunkerton, The Slaughterhouse, KJ Crush, Maserati Rick, Tony Banks, Rickey Shane Page, Dan Walsh, Johnny Cockstrong, RD Evans

Available on DVD for $12 hereMP4 for $12 here, VOD for $10 here.

Photos Courtesy Wayne Palmer 

On the day that their purchase of Women Superstars Uncensored was confirmed, Beyond Wrestling ventured to Absolute Intense Wrestling’s stomping ground, Turners Hall in Cleveland, in Ohio. But instead of AIW, they had a different dancing partner, in the form of St. Louis Anarchy. The mid-west cousins of Austin’s ACW had perhaps their biggest platform yet for this show. Did Beyond and SLA dare to try and one up AIW on their home turf? Indeed, they dared.

1. Eric Corvis [+11], Jonny Mangue [+2] & Team Beyond (Chase Burnett [-7] & Zane Silver [-3]) vs. Matthew Justice [-1], The Pitboss [+7] & The Hate Junkies (dany only [+4] & Stryknyn [+2]) – Team Beyond versus Team Kill Everyone In Beyond, essentially. Pitboss is facing his former Doom Patrol stablemate, Jonny Mangue, with some new, more like-minded partners in Justice and The Hate Junkies. Prior to this Mangue had helped Pitboss and Chris Dickinson make life hell for Corvis, Brunett, and Silver, but the “Smooth Savage” changed his ways this year and worked with his former rivals.

The match started with a big brawl that spilled to the outside very quick. Team Beyond got the early advantage, but the storm was weathered, and dany only puts his team in control. The “Shitboss”… sorry, Pitboss (only reporting what was chanted) continued to work over Zane Silver, but after a few minutes, Silver made the tag to Eric Corvis. After losing the advantage, the wrestlers at ringside got Corvis back in it by singing the Rocky theme.

Later on Mathew Justice, Pitboss and the Hate Junkies found themselves stacked up together, when Zane Silver dropkicked off the top rope onto all of them in a unique moment. dany only then created another one by suplexing Burnett into a DDT on his own partner Silver. After another melee, Justice caught Corvis with a low blow, and hit two DVDs into the corner on him for the win. A good opening contest, a bit crazy in places, but it had a nice flow. Johnny Cockstrong noted on commentary that The Beasts had a 200lb combined advantage on their opponents, and it ultimately told.

2. Arik Cannon [0], Darin Corbin [0] & Christian Rose [0] vs. The Submission Squad (Evan Gelistico [0], Gary Jay [-2] & Pierre Abernathy [-1]) – Cannon’s team came out to B.o.B, which Rose noted was not the song they originally intended to come out to. The Submission Squad were looking for a great performance here, with two of the members on losing records going in.

Things were off to a rough start for the Squad when even the referee found himself bodyslamming Gary Jay. As this is a St. Louis Anarchy match, and therefore competed under Anarchy Rules, the match continued. Then there was gigantic showdown between “Big Daddy” Pierre Abernathy and “Ginger Madness” Darin Corbin, and then there was the the usual slo-mo sequence (which Robert Evans, on commentary, followed suit in slo-mo calling). The Squad then took control and Evan “Kick the World” Gelistico pretty much took Christian “Born to Hurt” Rose’s face off. Appropriate. Arik Cannon (the Dastardly Urban Fiend as Evans put it) put down his PBR long enough to come in and run riot all over the Submission Squad. Things then went bonzo gonzo, and Jay used a break in the confusion to pull Cannon’s tights for the pin, and earning a huge win for the Submission Squad.

3. School Of Roc Tag Team Sole Survivor Elimination Match: Dale Patricks [0], Remi Wilkins [0] & Heidi Lovelace [0] vs. Nate Stone [0], Reed Bentley [0] & Tripp Cassidy [0] – Availible in its entirety above, this was a sole survivor elimination match: once a team is completely eliminated, the remaining members of the other team must wrestle each other until there is one winner. A sort of mini Cibernetico. Continue reading

AIW: Nightmare Before X-Mas Live Report

Photos courtesy Wayne Palmer

Absolute Intense Wrestling’s fifth annual Nightmare Before X-Mas show, while not implicitly Christmas-themed, did have its fair share of presents, surprises and joy. Most notably in the form of surprise visits from Jason Gory and Matt Cross, not one but TWO Colt Cabana matches, ACH’s first (and please, not last!) AIW appearance, showings from both Beyond Wrestling and St. Louis Anarchy, and Dave “Potato Dawson” getting the ever-loving crap beat out of him by Johnny Gargano. And that is only the tip of the pro-wrestling iceberg.

There were two pre-show matches, both of which I arrived in plenty of time to see and document properly this time.

A. Luis Diamante defeated Jason Gory – The first pre-show match saw Luis Diamante, representing Da Latin Crime Syndicate against surprise visitor Jason Gory, representing the Dead Wrestler Society from PWO. Gory got a pretty solid reaction on his way out to the ring, as I think we were all pretty surprised to see him there. The match itself wasn’t terribly long but had a lot of solid action, including some big top-rope moves from Gory. Unfortunately, one of those top-rope moves cost Gory the win when Diamante moved out of Gory’s landing zone.

B. Jarek 1:20 defeated Mazerati Rick – It was recently announced that AIW and Beyond have entered into a partnership; talent from Beyond will be at all future AIW shows. I for one am very excited about this. This particular show saw obvious crowd favorite Jarek 1:20 take on Mazerati Rick. Jarek spent most of the match having the heck beat out of him by Rick. Jarek only gained the upper hand after yelling “TIME FREEZE” while Rick was on crouched on the top turnbuckle. This froze everyone in the ring minus Jarek himself. He hauled himself to his feet, caught his breath, and turned time on again. Instead of laying helplessly on the mat, he dropkicked Rick in midair and pinned him for three. I cannot get over my love for Jarek’s magician persona and the way he plays it.

1. The Duke defeated Jock Sampson via countout – The show proper opened with Jock Sampson’s in-ring debut against The Duke. He stepped into the ring with a rope, cowbells and a chorus of boos. He took the mic for a moment just to threaten to kill everyone’s family if anyone started a “Galifianakis” chant. Naturally, a “Galifianakis” chant started almost immediately. The Duke came out shortly thereafter. It didn’t take much action for Galifian—I mean Sampson to exit the ring and attempt to run away like a bitch. Duke wouldn’t let him things continued at ringside, though it lead to Duke getting thrown into the barricade. Sampson hopped into the ring and onto the turnbuckle to announce that “I am the best of all time!” to which the crowd responded by starting an even more insulting look-a-like chant. Sampson tried to keep his momentum going with a big leap off the top rope, but Duke was able to move out of the way. Duke came back with a spinebuster and then sent Sampson over the rope with a lariat. Jock Sampson pouted at ringside and got counted out. He then grabbed his rope and cowbells and took after Duke with them. After beating him up for a few moments, Husk—I mean Sampson went on the mic to complain that he actually won the match, because throwing him over the top rope was a disqualification. He called us a bunch of virgins as a final salvo and stomped backstage.

2. ACH, Mat Fitchett, and Davey Vega defeated The Submission Squad (Evan Gelistico, Gary Jay, and Pierre Abernathy) – St. Louis Anarchy Offer Match – This was one of the matches I was most looking forward to. It took exactly one match to turn me into an ACH fan, which was him versus AR Fox at Beyond. If you haven’t seen that match yet, what are you doing here, go watch it. I’ll wait.

Just based on that one match alone I knew we were going to be in for a treat. Putting him with Fitchett and Vega, however, was perfection. ACH was a boss with the hugest leap I’ve ever seen in my life. And I don’t mean distance, although he did make it most of the way to the other side of the ring, but I mean height. I mean really high. I mean ten feet into the air and if that’s an exaggeration, it’s not by much.

Fitchett was also pretty boss, though he spent a great deal of time getting kicked around by various members of the Submission Squad and being victimized by “Stiff Ginger” Gary Jay’s particularly sharp chops. He had a gorgeous Fosbury Flop onto everybody at ringside and a beautiful Shooting Star Press towards the end of the match. That, in conjunction with ACH’s gigantic Frog Splash, lead the good guys to victory .

I’ve only recently become aware of the St. Louis Anarchy company, and I have to tell you, I’ve never been more sad that I don’t live in Missouri.

Continue reading

AIW: Hell on Earth 7

Photos courtesy Wayne Palmer

Hell on Earth. An apt name for a show that takes place on Black Friday. Whether you woke up at midnight to fight with the throngs of early shoppers, slept off a turkey coma, or, like some of us, actually had to work, I think we can all agree that there is no better way to end the day than with some fantastic wrestling. AIW certainly delivered on that account.

The seventh annual Hell on Earth show featured 12 matches, plus two pre-show matches. One was a four way scramble, which AERO! won, and the second was a Beyond Wrestling offer match featuring “The Human Hand-Grenade” dany only and Nick Talent.

Unfortunately, as I came to this show almost immediately after work, I missed both of these pre-show matches. I’m sure they were both great.

Earlier in the week, AIW announced that the company had been sold to an unnamed person. This person turned out to be Matt Wadsworth, who took the mic to start off the show proper. It seemed like he had the mic for a while when I came in. Of course, being the new owner and acting president, I’m sure it was very important for Wadsworth to lay down a baseline for what his ownership would entail, but blah blah blah whatever I just want to see some wrestling.

Eric Ryan defeated Façade and Samuray Del Sol – Ryan and Façade started the action off strong. Façade had a ton of breathtaking flips and leaps throughout, not to mention a great Huracanrana. Ryan was trying everything to keep Façade out of the air, including several cracking arm drags.

At one point the brawl ended up out of the ring and all way backstage. Façade came out with a chair and was followed by Samaray Del Sol, turning this match into a three-way contest. Del Sol added an additional level of awesomeness and danger with his own top rope leaping antics, much to the delight of the crowd, who broke into a rousing, “Holy Shit!” chant.

Eric Ryan was able to secure the win after taking down Del Sol with a massive powerbomb.

This was an epic, amazing opener and set the bar high for the rest of the show.

Da Latin Crime Syndicate defeated The Olsen Twins – This match didn’t even make it to the ring at first. It broke into two separate fights on opposite sides of the arena, one of which happened to be right in front of me (I saw a member of LCS get hit with a trashcan from about two feet away).

Eventually the separate fights made it into the ring and congealed into an actual wrestling match. Two other members of LCS came out to observe, participate, and cheat, making it something of a handicap match.

The Syndicate had most of the control during the match, naturally, though Jimmy Olsen managed to turn the tides once he finally got tagged in. Between him and Colin, they managed to slam and otherwise maneuver the whole of LCS into various compromising sexual positions, namely faces in crotches.

However, after a series of double team moves culminating in a big powerbomb, LCS came out entirely on top.

LCS went backstage while the Olsen twins called for beers in the ring. They toasted, drank… and then Jimmy smacked Colin in the head with his beer, and then spat on him. The crowd was stunned.

Great, albeit crazy match, with a shocking (and depressing) tag team split.

Josh Prohibition defeated Gregory Iron – This was a really good, fast-paced bout. Greg Iron was all over the ring with tons of huge moves and out of the ring with a nice suicide leap. Despite Iron’s efforts, Prohibition had most of the control in the match and eventually won.

Oddly enough, the crowd seemed almost entirely behind Prohibition. On one hand, I could see how they could feel that way with Greg Iron’s campaign to leave the loyal AIW fans and join another promotion for their next big event – but on the other hand… how can you root against Greg Iron?!

The Chad defeated The Duke by DQ – Unfortunately, the bulk of this match took place on the floor and in the audience on the exact opposite side of the ring from which I was sitting. Judging from what I could see and the reactions of that side of the crowd, it sounded like a pretty decent brawl going on.

Jock Sampson (whose entrance was greeted with chants of “Galifianakis!”) ran out from the back and attacked the Duke, causing the ref to call for the bell.

Jock Sampson does bear a passing resemblance to the one man wolf pack.

Intense Title Match – Bobby Beverly (c) defeated Izeah Bonds to retain

This match also featured a ringside brawl that I couldn’t see, but fortunately it didn’t last too long and they brought it all into the ring for some good action.

Izeah Bonds was all around impressive and brought out some incredible moves including an enormous off the rope leap, a back handspring, a backflip and a giant top rope moonsault.

And if he had landed that moonsault, he might have won the title. As it was, Bobby Beverly moved out of the way in time and took advantage of Bonds’ rough landing to get the pin and keep his belt.

AIW Tag Team Title Match: Aeroform [Louis Lyndon and Flip Kendrick] defeats The Irish Airborne (c) [Dave and Jake Crist] to win the titles

Aeroform is always a treat to watch and I was especially excited to see them against the Irish Airborne. You can’t go wrong with two teams that have versions of “air” in their name.

It was also interesting to see Aeroform use more under-handed tactics, since previously I had only seen them behave in a squeaky clean manner. They cheated often and enlisted ringside help from their associate Chest Flexor.

As expected, the match was full of amazing high-flying and everybody had at least one stand-out moment. Dave Crist leapt off the top rope and managed to land on his feet at ringside. Flip Kendrick had a beautiful hurricanrana, and Jake Crist got incredible air with a Frog Splash.

However, it was ringside interference from Chest Flexor which allowed Aeroform to get the win for the Tag Team titles. Jake Crist got on the mic and demanded a rematch right then and there, but Aeroform said no. To which the crowd responded with a very loud “PUSSY!” chant. Wadsworth then came out, walked over to the ring… and then right past it, disappearing into the back. He returned moments later, took the mic and said that the Irish Airborne would have to work back up the ranks for their rematch. The Airborne then chased Aeroform out of the ring and into the back.

Definitely a great match, though I think it might have been just a hair better if Aeroform had spent more time being awesome and not cheating every three seconds. Oh well, what do you expect from Flexor Industries?

Uhaa Nation defeated AR Fox

I knew this match was going to be awesome, and I was not disappointed in the slightest. Fox and Nation met in the ring to an equally split crowd. AR Fox wowed with his unique mix of high-flying and near-death experiences, most notably leaping over the rope, only to be  caught mid-air and slammed back-first into the edge of the apron by Nation.

Nation of course was full of big, powerful, stunning moves, like the aforementioned slam, a massive kick to the midsection of AR Fox and the beautiful standing moonsault he used to get the win.

On an aside, could you imagine a match between Izeah Bonds and Uhaa Nation? They’d tear the ring apart.

Anyhow, the match was amazing as predicted, and the crowd was utterly in love from start to finish.

Four-Way Elimination: Tim Donst defeated  Marion Fontaine, Rickey Shane Page, and Johnny Gargano – About a week earlier, AIW had announced that Page had been seriously injured, so when Eric Ryan came out to replace him, I was not terribly surprised.

I was surprised, however, when Rickey Shane Page came out right behind him and stepped into the ring. So I’m not sure if that was some kind of ruse or if he managed to recover enough to be able to compete, but either way, I’m glad he made it in.

Johnny Gargano and Marion Fontaine started off the match. Immediately after locking up, Fontaine took it upon himself to waltz Gargano around the ring. A bit later he took it upon himself again to pirouette atop a flattened Tim Donst. Fontaine also showed off his grace with this sort of helicopter-headscissors-spinning thing, though Donst was a terrible dance partner and countered with a powerbomb.

Thereafter, Johnny Gargano blew everyone away with this monster superplex to both Rickey Shane Page and Tim Donst. That was followed by RSP’s attempted a suicide dive, which landed him only on a bunch of chairs (it took place on the other side of the ring from me, again, but it sounded gnarly.)

The first two eliminations were Fontaine by Gargano and Page by Donst, leaving Donst and Gargano to duke it out for a few minutes. Gargano hit Donst but the evil ref Dave “The Potato” refused to count to three, to the extreme displeasure of the crowd and Gargano. Donst got up, beat Gargano around a little and got him for a fast count pin.

The crowd was not pleased, to make a dramatic understatement.

I’d count this match among one of the best of the night. The action was incredible, but the ending was ruined by that crooked ref.

AIW Women’s Title: Mickie Knuckles (c) defeated Mia Yim to retain. Special guest ref Gail Kim presided.

The brunt of this match had lots of banter and posturing between the ladies which made the pace seem a little slow, but there certainly were more than a few awesome moments.

Yim’s kicks to Mickie were all incredibly stiff, just for starters. She also performed a really great Sky Twister Press from the top rope, though unfortunately it missed. Mickie had some throws, and they each got a solid German suplex from the other. Mickie retained her title after hitting Yim with a strong slam.

Gail Kim got into the action after the bell was rung, calling Chest Flexor out for, again, his interference. She kicked the crap out of both him and Mia Yim to uproarious applause. I was disappointed her match with Hailey Hatred was cancelled, but it was cool to see her wrestle even for those few brief moments.

Shiima Xion defeated BJ Whitmer to retain the Absolute Title – Whitmer started the action out strong by trying to break the ring with Xion’s back. He then contorted Xion into a series of gorgeous holds. Xion decided he wasn’t having any of this and limped backstage with various members of Chest Flexor Industries, who had been milling about ringside. Obviously Whitmer wasn’t going to stand for this and dragged Xion right back into the ring.

Xion decided he did want to be in the match after all, and came back by slamming Whitmer’s face into a chair, then flipped him over the barrier into the crowd. When they made it back into the ring, Xion sent a missile dropkick into Whitmer’s face, and a little later got him with a beautiful moonsault.

Chest Flexor Industries were still ringside, and interfered, leading to referee Jake Clemmons getting knocked out. He was carried backstage and a second ref, Dave the Potato (also known as the crooked ref from the four-way) came out and refused to count Whitmer’s pin, preferring to fake-tie his shoe.

A third ref came out and finally counted three on Xion, but Flexor put Xion’s foot on the rope. The match continued until Xion got a pin on Whitmer, holding him by his tights out of view of the ref.

Johnny Gargano came out of the back with a chair, and Matt Wapdsworth took to the mic to announce a match for the next AIW show, Nightmare before X-mas: Johnny Gargano vs. Crooked Ref Dave the Potato.

MASADA defeated Mad Man Pondo in a Hell on Earth Bloody Damned Massacre – Implements of destruction brought out prior to the start of the match: fluorescent light bulbs, several boxes of glass Christmas ornaments, a stop sign, a light up plastic Santa Clause decoration, a sledgehammer and cutlery.

Implements of destruction utilized over the course of the match: all of the above, plus chairs, tables, cinderblocks, wooden skewers and baseball bats wrapped in barbed wire.

This can’t even properly be called a match; this was a massacre. Both men ended up covered in blood and glass shards, as did the ring and the arena.

Memorable moments include: Pondo giving MASADA the lowest of low blows with a light tube, Pondo again detonating a cinderblock on MASADA’s crotch with a sledgehammer, and a chair literally being broken over the back of the Pondo. At least I think it was Pondo, I might have been too busy cringing to take proper notes.

MASADA ended this bloodbath after throwing the Mad Man on a table and then leaping on him. Twice. Because the table didn’t break the first time (it may have been imported from Japan). Then he dragged Pondo into the ring and drove a solid handful of wooden skewers into his head. Where they stayed, through the pin, and through Pondo’s speech at the end.

Nine hours of work, several cups of coffee, and two energy drinks culminating in a nineteen hour day. I thought I was going to be exhausted; instead I was up on my feet screaming my lungs out, jumping up and down. Hell on Earth my day might have been, but the wrestling was absolutely worth every bleary eyed, ass-dragging moment leading up to it. And all that money I spent on energy drinks.

One final thing I’d like to point out: One of the things I really love about AIW is the crowd. There is nothing better than being in a crowd full of raucous, obnoxious wrestling fans watching awesome wrestling. After seeing Hell on Earth, I can honestly say that AIW does both of these things extremely well. If you’re in or around Cleveland, they are absolutely worth your time and your money. If you aren’t, they’re still worth your money and Smart Mark Video has your back.

Until then, enjoy over 800 photos below the cut!

Continue reading

JoshiMania: Night One – Death Queen Battle

CHIKARA’s three-day dream slam of Japanese Women’s Wrestling, JoshiMania, had its first show last Friday at the historic ECW Arena. The event delivered an authentic Joshi Puroresu experience to American fans, with the added bonus of bringing stars from several different Joshi promotions. CHIKARA advertised this event as being a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity for fans to see this sort of action without having to fly to Japan first. CHIKARA didn’t lie. Here’s how the weekend started:

JoshiMania Night One

December 2nd, 2011
ECW Arena – Philadelphia, PA

  1. Kaori Yoneyama, Hanako Nakamori, and Tsubasa Kuragaki defeated Archibald Peck and Los Ice Creams via submission as Kuragaki putting both Peck and El Hijo del Ice Cream in a Torture
  2. GAMI defeated Sawako Shimono with Top Rope Elbow
  3. Tim Donst defeated Green Ant with From Dusk ’til Donst
  4. Ayako Hamada and Cherry defeated Mayumi Ozaki and Mio Shirai via AP Cross from Hamada on Mio
  5. Manami Toyota defeated Toshie Uematsu via Japanese Cyclone Suplex
  6. Campeonatos de Parejas Title MatchFIST (Johnny Gargano and Chuck Taylor) (c) defeated The Colony (Fire Ant and Soldier Ant) 2 falls to 1
  7. Sara Del Rey defeated Aja Kong

The first thing, and perhaps only thing, you need to know about JoshiMania Night One is this: Tsubasa Kuragaki put Archibald Peck and one of the Ice Creams in a torture rack at the same time. The same time. Having the laws of physics challenged by one of the lesser known Joshi stars in the opening match set the bar fairly high for the rest of the evening. Japanese female wrestlers are known for their pride and competitive nature. The JWP women made it known from the outset they hoped to dominate this weekend (too bad the brilliant team of Peck and the Ice Creams were in the middle of that).

Of course, as everyone who has read our articles on her over at Diva Dirt knows 1, Manami Toyota is not satisfied unless she has put on the very best match on the show. That probably went double this Friday as Toyota was presented with the Diva Dirt Legacy award before her match with Toshie Uematsu. Toyota showed not only that she deserved the award for her past achievements, but also for her continuing performance and growth as a wrestler. Toyota has said that she felt invigorated by her trips to CHIKARA over the past year, and the new maneuvers she flaunted during JoshiMania were an example. Toshie, on her final tour of the US before her retirement early next year, was amazing as well. She showed once again that her larger than life character never overshadows her pure wrestling ability. It was an excellent match, perhaps the best either had had in the US.

Hoping not to be outdone by their guests, CHIKARA’s FIST and The Colony put on an exciting title bout. The ants showed off some JB Angels-esque fire while FIST resorted to L.C.O.-esque dickery. Dick won out, FIST retained, and Stargano remains a top champion in two of the United States’ finest wrestling promotions.

And then there was the much anticipated battle between Aja Kong and Sara Del Rey. As the most terrifying forces on their respective continents, the two death queens had been on a collision course for years. Somehow, Philadelphia managed to survive the inevitable crash.

Kong showed a lack of respect for Sara early on, refusing to shake hands. Sara returned the favor by barreling head first at her idol when the bell rang. The match was dark and unyielding. Sara kicked Kong as hard as she’s kicked anyone. Kong delighted in leaving handprints on the Death Rey’s chest, her thudding chops shaking the Queen to the core. After several minutes, but before either pulled out their MDK-level moves, Sara was able to dodge a Uraken and score a surprise pin on Kong to take the huge victory. A hard-fought battle for both, but each faced even tougher ones as JoshiMania went on.

It was the tag team contest between the team of Ayako Hamada and Cherry against the team of Mio Shirai and Mayumi Ozaki that proved to be the best of the night. While all women were familiar with one another,they don’t share any extensive history2. Still The beautiful and devious team of Mio and Ozaki worked very, very well together. The veteran Ozaki brought out her top shelf stuff this weekend, not that Ayako Hamada gave her a choice in the matter. Ayako was excited, and a bit nervous, about her CHIKARA debut. Of course, she performed to her usual standard of excellence.

The match also contained a revelation: Mio Shirai is a fucking star. Her mix of personality, style, humor, and sadistic violence won over the crowd. She helped make this semi-random tag flow gracefully. Mio showed she could keep up with two all-time greats in Oz and Hamada, and here’s hoping her success in the US pays dividends for her when she returns to Japan.

And that was Night One. A fantastic night of wrestling, no doubt, but JoshiMania was just getting started. You can already purchase the DVDs for all three nights at Smart Mark Video. While you wait on those to ship, enjoy the rest of the photos below the cut.

But just one more thing! Dig, if you will, this picture of The Beautiful One, Veronica, as she lays into a fan that she felt was a bit too bold. Maybe she’s just too demanding? She’s never satisfied with those in attendance. I took the photo as I wondered, “Why do they scream at each other?”

Continue reading

  1. Take a look at Manami Toyota’s Historic Career here as well as her Greatest Matches here on Diva Dirt.
  2. See a previous team-up of Ayako and Cherry as they take on Ayumi Kurihara and Michiko Ohmukai here.

PWO: Four Year Anniversary Report

All photos are from previous PWO events and courtesy Steven Csollak.

This past weekend I made a forty-five minute journey east to take in my very first PWO show in Streetsboro, Ohio.  They had an amazing card and put on about four hours of excellent wrestling to a crowd of roughly 120 people, including a surprising number of children (I was seated near a little boy who was about four, cheering like crazy for Jason Bane, it was adorable).

There were a total of eleven matches divided into four segments to be televised later this month.

Aaron Draven defeated Nickie Valentino (with Bobby Shields)

This was a nice opener. Valentino played up his nastyness quite and bit, and both wrestlers really kept the crowd engaged. Draven had a few stand-out moments; early on with an off the rope flip move and a little later with a gorgeous enzuigiri. Valentino shone with a big dropkick, but Aaron Draven made a pin after hitting a 450 Splash.

“The Embodiment of Evil” Krimson defeated “The World’s Most Huggable Wrestler” Bryan Castle 

This was some brilliant matchmaking. These two are polar opposites of each other and just that would have made this match worth watching. What also added intrigue to this bout was the fact that Castle was looking for a bit of revenge for his tag partner, Brian Bender, who had been taken out by Krimson and his Dead Wrestler’s Society.

Krimson had control for most of this match, though Castle did have a big comeback about halfway through. It didn’t last long once Krimson took the fight out of the ring. He then targeted Castle’s arm and shoulder, eventually pulling him into a submission hold, to which Castle tapped. Castle was then helped, limping, backstage by Brian Bender.

Lumberjack Match for the PWO Championship: Jason Bane defeated Marion Fontaine

This was really great, definitely one of the best matches of the night. Twenty or so members of the roster made up the lumberjacks, and Matt Cross observed from the ramp in preparation for his match against Bane later in the evening.

Bane had control early on in the match, taking down the much smaller Fontaine with a series of huge body slams. Fontaine only got the upper hand with the help of a few of the lumberjacks and a hard-hitting high kick.

In the midst of all the insanity and lumberjacks, Bane, Fontaine and the ref all ended up on the mat when, from out of nowhere, Brodie Lee ran out and draped Fontaine over Bane long enough for the ref to regain consciousness and make the count, giving Fontaine the title.

After a few long “WTF” filled moments, Justin LaBarr walked out with the mic in hand, claiming he was just been elected the new commissioner of PWO, and restarted the match!

The ring turned into one giant brawl with all the lumberjacks going at each other. It clears out after a few minutes, with Jason Bane leaping out of the ring onto half a dozen of those ringside. Fontaine tried for a huge leap of his own, but Bane countered out with a clothesline that inverted Fontaine’s mustache, allowing Bane to make the pin and retain the title.

Fontaine and Bane are quite different in both physical size and style, and the contrast made for an awesome match.

TV Championship: Jason Gory defeated Brian Bender

In this match we had Brian Bender taking on a different member of the Dead Wrestler’s Society for the Television Championship.

This was a somewhat short but very fast-paced affair. Jason Gory was so relentless that Bender barely had time to get his bearings, let alone take control of the match. He tried a few times, busting out a hearty slam and even sinking his teeth into Gory, but to no avail, as Jason Gory retained.

After deciding that a solid win wasn’t good enough, he jumped on Bender from the top rope after the match was called. Fellow DWS member Krimson also came out carrying a chair, but before they could really start in on Bender, Matthew Justice came in and broke them up.

Dan Arkham defeated Izeah Bonds

Another relatively short but solid match with two really great competitors. Dan Arkham won with a nice slam.

PWO Tag Team Title Match: Aeroform (Louis Lyndon and Flip Kendrick) defeated Sons of Michigan (c) (N8 Mattson and Benjamin Boone) to become the New Champions

Aeroform is rapidly becoming one of my favorite tag teams. Their matches are always incredibly fast and exciting and this match was no exception. Both Louis and Flip were all over the ring, on top of it and outside of it, wowing the crowd with suicide dives and crazy flips. Not being satisfied with inanimate objects, Louis Lyndon saw fit to jump off of N8 Mattson.

Though the Sons of Michigan put up a really strong fight, they were no match for the drive and the wild aerobatics of Aeroform, who pulled out a win after Flip Kendrick hit some kind of crazy flying spinny leap off the ropes, making them PWO’s new tag team champs.

Bryan Castle and Brian Bender vs. Corey Winters and Ben Fruith went to a No Contest

Bryan Castle made his second appearance of the night, this time with his tag team partner Brian Bender. I think the best part of this match was when Castle got tagged in, got Corey Winters into a hold and then looked over at Bender in the corner with big eyes and yelled “What do I do now?” So Bender had to dictate to Castle. “Now what?” “Slam him!” “Okay, now what?” “Go for a cover! No, don’t slam him, go for a cover!”

Unfortunately the silliness didn’t last long, as Brodie Lee again ran in and bodily slammed all four members of the match in order to make way for Marion Fontaine to grab the mic and complain about everything.

Eventually he shut up, and Corey Winters was able to call out Brodie Lee for a match at some undesignated point in the future.

Matthew Justice then came out to have some mic time and address the fans. He spoke at some length about having gone to Florida to develop his talents, but came back to Ohio and PWO because he didn’t want to sell out, and because he loves the fans and the company. He then called out Krimson and the rest of the Dead Wrestling Society.

Greg Iron vs Johnny Gargano went to a No Contest

This was one of the matches I was most looking forward to, and Greg and Johnny did not disappoint. They’re both fierce competitors who bring everything they have to the ring, so this matchup was bound to be amazing from the get-go. Gargano was all about precision and roughly eighteen thousand suicide dives and Greg Iron was all speed and surprisingly huge arm drags.

Add all that to the incredible number of near falls, and the two of them had the makings of the best match of the night…

And then Krimson and Jason Gory came out to beat the fuck out of Greg, and shortly thereafter Nickie Valentino and Bobby Shields came out for Johnny, giving the match no real satisfactory end. While it leaves the door open for Johnny and Greg to continue their feud, I really would have liked a better ending. Freaking Dead Wrestlers, showing up in matches where they don’t belong and ruining things.

Brodie Lee defeated Corey Winters

Here’s the match Corey called for earlier. Winters started everything off hot with a dive and later came out with a beautiful step-up enzuigiri.  Brodie Lee, who was not about to take that, tried to choke Winters with his shirt, and then cemented his evil trucker status by scaring the absolute heck out of a little girl in the front row.

Though it was obvious Corey Winters gave it all, the nail in his coffin was a ring-rattling slam from Brodie for the win.

Walking “ironic” hipster mustache Marion Fontaine then came out with a metal pole, obviously feeling a little left out, and tried to get some shots in on Corey. Before he could get too far, newly elected commissioner LaBarr ran out and put a stop to Brodie and Marion’s beat-down. When they refused to stop, he officially suspended Brodie Lee and threatened Fontaine with the same. When he realized LaBarr wasn’t kidding around, he reluctantly stopped the assault, and he and Brodie Lee very, very slowly made their way backstage.

Bobby Shields defeated Ben Fruith

This match was short but sweet. Both competitors had strong showing, Bobby Shields with a rib-crunching serious of chops, and Ben Fruith with a nice flying crossbody off the ropes a little later. Though the crowd was clearly on the side of Fruith, Shields pulled out a win and left Fruith a little pile of kindling on the mat.

PWO Title Match: Matt Cross defeated Jason Bane (c) to become the new Champion

Alright, let me first preface this whole thing by saying that I watched some of Matt Cross’ reality TV work, I was not hugely impressed by it, though I went into this match open-minded.

The Matt Cross I saw in the ring Saturday night against Jason Bane was not even remotely close to being the same person. Matt Cross is unbelievably brilliant. He was all over the place; suicide dives, this flagpole hold off the ringpost, a beautiful enziguiri, an equally beautiful and jaw-dropping moonsault. Jason Bane was barely able to get his bearings. He had a few moments, most notably when he had Cross in an armlock, and once when he knocked him over and under with a clothesline.

However, it was to no avail, as Matt Cross got the win after hitting Bane with a stunning, stunning shooting star press.

This was an amazing match, another one of the best of the night. The crowd was absolutely in love with Matt Cross, and that was saying a lot, since they were a bit subdued for most of the night.

On the whole, while it ran a bit longer than I had anticipated, it was a great show. I’m very pleased with the quality of the talent and the matches they put on. That’s the thing I’m really in love with about quality wrestling promotions; you pay $10-$15 for a ticket and you are pretty much guaranteed a great show. I look forward to atteneding my next PWO event.

All of these matches will be televised on PWO TV starting November 20th and can be seen via Youtube or PWO’s website, PWOwrestling.com. They also air Sunday nights at 10pm on SportsTime Ohio, if you live in the greater Cleveland area.

Their next show, Brawl in the Hall, is December 17th in Parma, Ohio, and is their first ever fundraiser to help families in need for the holidays. 

PWO: Four Year Anniversary Video Preview

This weekend marks the four-year anniversary of Cleveland based Pro Wrestling Ohio. They have put together one serious card to commemorate the occasion.

Matches include (but are not limited to): a double main event of Jason Bane defending his PWO Heavyweight title in two matches against “M-Dogg 20″ Matt Cross and Marion Fontaine, a special challenge match where Gregory Iron faces his once bitter rival Johnny Gargano, a tag team title match where The Sons of Michigan defend against Aeroform, and “The Embodiment of Evil” Krimson taking on “The World’s Most Huggable Wrestler” Bryan Castle.

Let’s take a closer look at these five match-ups.

Krimson vs. Bryan Castle

Krimson is a member of the Dead Wrestling Society, a collective usually found wreaking havoc upon PWO’s roster, most recently attacking Castle’s tag team partner, Brian Bender and Gregory Iron’s tag team partner Hobo Joe (more on this in a minute). Here he is giving an “interview” about his perspective on wrestling, and life, and… you’ll see:

And this is Bryan Castle. Here he is in a match against Benjamin Boone from about a year ago. He does indeed look very huggable.

Krimson is probably going to eat Bryan Castle’s soul and spit it out all over the ring, whilst maniacally laughing. I’m going to hope for the best for Bryan Castle, at least he should be able to put up a good fight, provided the rest of the Dead Wrestling Society doesn’t get involved.

Tag Team Championship Match: Sons of Michigan vs. Aeroform

The Sons of Michigan, N8 Mattson and Benjamin Boone, are obnoxious, arrogant, cheaters. The members of Aeroform, Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon, don’t feel the Sons properly represent the titles that they carry.

However, the Sons have managed to “beat” (cheat) every other tag team which has come against them. That includes Aeroform themselves back at Wrestlelution 4, when a split-second timing error cost them the win.

Kendrick and Lyndon have managed to work themselves back to the #1 contendership over the past couple of months, and will finally get a rematch. Here’s a bout with Aeroform taking on the Northstar Express from last year in Chicago’s AAW:

Johnny Gargano vs. Gregory Iron

Iron and Gargano have had a long, violent, and bloody history. It began with Gargano’s very first appearance in PWO, where he was defeated by Iron. He gave Iron no respect for this win though, and mocked him relentlessly afterwards. This culminated in a horrific attack that left Iron sidelined for three months:

Upon his return, Iron challenged Gargano to a Last Man Standing match at PWO’s first-ever Wreslelution event. Gargano soundly defeated him, seemingly ending the feud. In the three years since, something of a mutual trust has grown between them.

Iron specifically requested this match, seeing Gargano as a personal test. Since the Dead Wrestling Society attacked his tag partner Hobo Joe and put him out of action indefinitely, Greg Iron has had nothing but retribution on his mind but if he can beat Gargano, perhaps he’s ready to face the evil dead.

Here’s Greg Iron and Hobo Joe in action against Corey Winters and Eric Ryan:

Double Main event: Jason Bane vs. Matt Cross and Jason Bane vs. Marion Fontaine.

Current PWO champ Jason Bane has a lot on his plate. On one hand, he has Matt Cross calling him out after being back in PWO for roughly eight minutes. Bane readily accepted Matt’s challenge, but made sure to tear him up one side and down the other in the meantime:

On the other hand he has mustached attention whore Marion Fontaine. Since losing the belt to Bane back in April, Fontaine stopped at nothing to get the belt back, finally earning a rematch by beating Bane by count-out. This match was originally supposed to take place earlier in October, but due to the unfortunate postponement of the show, had to be rescheduled. Fontaine threatened to sue PWO if he did not recieve his title shot on this show, hence Bane having to defend his title twice in one night. In order to make sure there is no interference during the match, and that Marion Fontaine can’t run away, it will be a Lumberjack Match.

Here’s the match where Bane defeated Fontaine for the title:

But there’s much more on this show, including massive international star Brodie Lee. For a recap of recent PWO events check out the below video. PWO puts on a great monthly TV program, which they then upload online. Be sure to dig through those archives as lots of great matches. If nothing else, check out all the creepy cool Krimson videos. Also, let us know what matches you’re looking forward to and if you’re going to the show as we’ll be there! Until then, peace!

PWO’s four-year anniversary show takes place Saturday, November 5th in Streetsboro, OH. Doors open at 5, show at 6. Tickets are $15 for front row and $10 for GA. Get tickets here. Find out more about them on pwowrestling.com and follow them on Twitter @PWOwrestling.

Beyond Wrestling: Back In Flesh Live Report

This past weekend, I traveled to Lakewood to participate in Beyond Wrestling’s Back In Flesh. I wasn’t sure what to expect, never having been to an independent show before, but I will tell you: I saw some of the best wrestling matches I have ever seen in my entire life.

The venue was in the gymnasium of the Puritas Lutheran Church. I’m terrible at guessing numbers, but I could comfortably put less than a hundred people in attendance. The small crowd gave the event a really intimate and friendly atmosphere. Also in the crowd were various other Beyond wrestlers, adding their own particular brand of participation and insanity. There was a grand total of 11 matches and the show ran for about three hours.

1. Six Man Melee: #KOA (Sugar Dunkerton, Pinkie Sanchez and Aaron Epic)defeated The Submission Squad (Gary Jay, Pierre Abernathy and Evan Gelistico.)

This was a really nice opener. The Submission Squad, known bad guys, went all out in getting the crowd riled up and involved in the show. There was a lot of solid back and forth between varying members of both sides, including a series of very hard chops, which pretty much hurt even me.

Sugar Dunkerton had an amazing moment when out of nowhere “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly started to play and everyone in the ring went into slow-motion, giving him a chance to use his basketball in a bid to gain the upper hand over the Submission Squad.

The match came to a satisfying end when Aaron made the pin for the win, but the moment was short lived as afterwards Submission Squad cohorts Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett ran in and cleared the ring, bringing us to…

2. Aeroform (Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon) defeated The Sex Bob-ombs (Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett)

This match, in my opinion, was one of the best of the night. While the opener focused a lot on brute force and heavy physicality, this one was all finesse, and submissions, and high-flying, and acrobatics, which I utterly loved watching. Flip Kendrick and Louis Lyndon were an absolute privilege to watch. Both teams worked together beautifully, and traded a series of truly awesome holds.

Flip Kendrick took home the win for Aeroform with a gorgeous spinning rope jump, leaving Davey and Fitchett limping backstage.

The crowd was totally on board the entire time, with more than a few “This is awesome!” and “Holy shit!” chants.

3. Dave Cole defeated Jack Verville

The pace for this one was a little slower and the crowd wasn’t quite as into it, but it was still very good. No acrobatics, just a solid physical matchup.

Dave Cole won via submission.

Match Four, Winner Takes All Four-Way Tag: Team TREMENDOUS (Dan Barry and Ken Scampi) defeated Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous (Darius Carter and TJ Marconi), The Jollyville Fuck-Its (Russ Meyers and T-Money), and WWA4 All Stars (Stitch SyphEr and Uhaa Nation)

This was another phenomenal match. Everyone was leaping over the top rope and pulling suicide dives onto the floor which, by the way, was not in any way padded. Tons of huge aerial moves that put the crowd ridiculously over. It was the kind of match where you were half-afraid someone was going to land wrong and break something, which was terrifying but also get-on-your-feet exciting. Like the series of four suicide dives in a row done by four different guys, or Russ Myers doing a cannonball onto Uhaa Nation from the top rope.

Team Tremendous took home the win and Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous had some dissent after losing. A very strong performance from all teams involved.

5. Round Robin Tournament Match 1: Jonny Mangue defeated Johnny Gargano

I was very excited to see Johnny Gargano wrestle, since I’ve always heard the best things about him but had yet to see his skills in person. He was superb and I am hugely impressed. His control and presence in the ring is absolutely sublime. Complete precision.

Gargano got a huge ovation when he came out and held near complete control over Mangue for most of the match, until Mangue got in a headshot and took over for a while. Johnny responded with a huge powerbomb for a pin, but it was to no avail.

Due to some ringside interference from Pitboss, which involved him getting forcibly ejected from the venue, Mangue got Gargano for the win.

There was a quick intermission to allow everyone to catch their collective breath, and then right on to…

6. Four-Way Elimination Match: Jarek 1:20 defeated Chase Burnett, Mazarati Rick and KJ Crush

Jarek started out by hypnotizing everyone in the ring, including the ref (with the exception of KJ), which was quite hilarious. After that, it was a good match with a lot of really excellent physicality. KJ and Jarek stood out the most, KJ being clearly a jerk and Jarek the crowd favorite.

KJ owned the ring with a lot of Kevin Steen-esque moves. Lots of really huge body slams and powerbombs and things of that nature. He even looks a little like Steen.

The first elimination was Chase Burnett, taken out by KJ after a giant slam. Second out was Rick Mazerati by Jarek, leaving Jarek and KJ to beat the heck out of each other for a while before Jarek was able to pick up the win after a top-rope throw.

Jarek then took the mic for a moment to say he would be moving to California in January to further pursue his wrestling career, but he would always go with Beyond when they were around, as Beyond is and always would be his home. It was a sweet little moment.

7. Round Robin Tournament Match 2: Davey Richards defeated Johnny Gargano via submission

I do not even have the words. I really wish I could paint everyone a picture of how fantastic, how mind-blowingly, jaw-droppingly spectacular this match was, but I can’t. Johnny and Davey both put it on the line, so much that Davey was bleeding by the end of it. They were two fantastically matched competitors, with Davey’s intensity and Johnny’s precision bringing everybody to their feet and to ringside if there was enough space.

It was just absolute glorious perfection. Buy the DVD when it comes out. Do it for this match alone and you will not be disappointed. I promise.

Davey ended up winning the match via submission.

The crowd was so emotionally into this match that everyone was drained and fairly silent for the next two matchups.

8. Tony Kozina defeated Nick Talent via Submission

This was probably the weakest match of the night, not to say it was bad, because it wasn’t. There were just a few missed opportunities the crowd was still trying to get over Davey and Johnny from a few moments before. Both guys did definitely give it their all, and I’m sure any match taking place immediately after Davey and Johnny would have had trouble winning us over.

9. Mark Angel defeated Kyle O’Reilly

This match brought the crowd back from our Davey/Johnny induced awe. It had a strong start and kept a fast pace throughout, and the rest of the matchup was solid enough to keep the crowd interested and involved. Mark Angel pulled out the win, to the delight of most of the crowd.

10. No Disqualification: RD Evans defeated AR Fox.

One of the best matches of the night. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like, considering that Evans came out to Journey music in bright pink and white gear, and seemed almost afraid of Fox.

Fox flew right out of the box, in his Beyond debut, with flying moves that defy description. He was off the top ropes, running up the ringpost, flying leaps, backflips… he completely owned the crowd.

However, Evans slammed him to the floor, which you will recall was not padded, and then gave him two chairshots to the back. RD received some negative chants afterwards, including a very rousing rendition of “You’re an asshole!”

Evans took out a huge table to tease us with for a while when Davey Vega took it on himself to interfere and put Fox through the table.
RD Evans pulled off the win, but the clear crowd favorite was AR Fox. Keep an eye on this guy, he was utterly phenomenal, even when he was getting the absolute crap beat out of him.

11. Round Robin Tournament Match 3: Davey Richards defeated Jonny Mangue

Again, I do not have the words. Davey Richards in any match basically defies description. The only words are words like “intense” and “raw.” While Davey and Gargano’s match was all about precision, Davey and Mangue was all about raw brute force. There were tons of jaw-dropping moments (I think I spent the majority of the match with my mouth agape, when I wasn’t screaming at the top of my lungs, that is)  including some amazing suicide dives from Davey. Mangue and Davey were excellently matched and both of them really went  all out. Though Mangue put up a really good fight, Davey came out with the win.

I honestly feel so honored and so blessed just to have been in the same room as Davey Richards, much less been able to watch him wrestle two separate and amazing matches.

That being said, I am beyond impressed with the Beyond roster (pun not really intended, I promise.) These guys really lay it all out there in the ring, and I admire that so much. I also really loved how the roster just hung out at ringside. They interacted with the fans, with the guys wrestling in the ring, shouting encouragement and the like.

It was altogether a great experience. Get the DVD when it comes out. Let me know if you see a girl in a red shirt and a cool hat, because I totally name-dropped this website on camera. And if they come to your area, for the love of everything… just go. There is no better way to spend $15. Support your local wrestling promotions.

Learn more about Beyond Wrestling by following them on Twitter (@BeyondWrestling) and checking out their website http://www.lookmanofans.com.