This week’s matches of the week come from Lucha Underground, wXw, NXT and Fight Nation.
Prince Puma vs The Monster Matanza
Prince Puma emerged to a thunderous reaction from the believers. The first Lucha Underground champion hoped to retain what has escaped the fan favourite for a very long time.
The immense strength and bloodthirst of Matanza squared off with the seasoned veteran speed and agility of Prince Puma in this match and it produced some serious fireworks. The fight spilled outside of the ring and the pair tried to utilise the destructive environment of the temple to inflict further damage to each other, similar to Texano vs Cage from earlier tonight. Puma slapped Matanza, which caused the beast to grow stronger and unleash a barrage of powerslams to the lumbar of Puma, taking the wind out of the former champions sails.
Cueto demanded Matanza ripped the mask of Puma but the monster preferred to wreak further damage on the lower back region of Puma. Paying tribute to his mentor, Prince Puma used a 619 and a standing shooting star press to try ground Matanza which didn’t work so Puma reverted to using a combination of deadlift suplexes to both shock Dario Cueto and the Believers beyond belief! The sheer strength of Prince Puma is fantastic. Puma then reversed a Wrath of the Gods into a DDT before nailing a 630 splash. Mil Muertes ran in and flattened Puma who looked poised to win the Lucha Underground Championship. Muertes attacked Puma, delivering a flatliner before Matanza took advantage of his former adversary and delivered a Wrath of the Gods to pick up another victory. Fantastic match.
During the credits, Joey Ryan interrupted Killshot who was hitting the weights, handing the former marine some documents that read “you left me for dead.”
wXw WTTL Night Two
Death By Elbow (Chris Hero & JT Dunn) vs LDRS (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr)
With the abundance of talent involved, this had the potential to be something special and it was. There is no one better than Chris Hero in the world at the moment, Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll have been cleaning up on the independent scene for the past eighteen months and JT Dunn is a young guy with a lot of talent. Every time either Sabre or Scurll has wrestled Hero this year, it has been magic: in fact, I would argue that Scurll and Sabre’s best matches this year have come against Hero. Interestingly, by the end of the match the audience was into JT Dunn arguably more so than Hero: Dunn was outstanding in this match. This match went to a thirty minute time limit draw, providing a little bit of everything: there was ferocious strikes, nuanced technical wrestling, flying, near falls and reversals. This match never once felt like it dragged. ****1/4
wXw WTTL Night Two
Jurn Simmons (C) vs Speedball Mike Bailey
wXw Unified World Championship Match
Although it wasn’t captured on the VOD, Jurn Simmons played six minutes of his entrance music before he arrived. Once again, Bailey found himself against a significantly larger opponent as he did on Night One: a dynamic that suits him. Bailey was dominated early on, tossed from post to post. Bailey was able to gain some momentum through his kicks. Once the kicks began, Simmons was evasive, attempting to head to the back through the crowd. Bailey relentlessly pursued Simmons but soon found himself on the receiving end of Simmons’ powerful offence. This was the basic formula upon which the match was founded upon. Bailey’s spurts of frenetic offence would prove inadequate to slay Massive Jurn Simmons, who continued to overcome Bailey with his power. Simmons could not defeat Bailey, who battled on motivated by the crowd’s chants. A misplaced tornado kick by Bailey connected with the referee before Simmons went low. Simmons attempted to leave with his title but a cavalcade of kicks forced Simmons back in the ring. Following a series of near falls that hooked the crowd, Simmons retained the wXw Unified Championship following a piledriver.****
Andrade Cien Almas & Cedric Alexander vs The Revival
Almas & Alexander worked well together considering they’re a put together team but, I would argue, no-one is doing tag team wrestling better than The Revival right now. This match had everything for me. I loved the pace, the talent on display, the teamwork. A worthy main event as well as an excellent first-round tournament match. Almas and Alexander had the best of the early part of the match, The Revival isolated Almas for the middle portion, until he finally managed to tag in Cedric Alexander. There was plenty of back and forth, and there were more than a few moments when it looked possible that Almas and Alexander might just do it. In the end The Revival delivered the Shatter Machine to Cedric Alexander and got the pin to progress to the next round.
Post-match Almas attacked Alexander in a vicious show of frustration. The crowd booed him out of the place and even got a ‘you suck’ chant going. I’m sad that we won’t see more of Almas and Alexander as a team but the take home message as the show ended is this – Finally, Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas got a reaction from an NXT crowd.
Fight Nation ep #10
Zack Gibson vs Doug Williams
Gibson prefaced the match with his customary lyrical diatribe. Even in the context of Fight Nation- a promotion that children are allowed to attend- Gibson’s promo elicits phenomenal heat. Not only is Gibson capable of finding heat in a freezer, but he is an excellent mat wrestler wrestler. Doug Williams, renowned for his technical nous, made a great opponent for Gibson here. Unsurprisingly, this match was worked predominantly on the mat, with Williams using his experience to continually gain an advantage over Gibson. Subsequently, Gibson had to resort to chicanery to land a string of offence. Following a fantastic series of reversals, Gibson went low before rolling Williams up for a victory.