The JT Lightning Invitational Tournament 2016: Night One
The Show: Friday, May 27, 2016
Ring Announcer Steve Guy came out to open the show…but forgot the microphone in the back.
Photos courtesty of AIWrestling.com
By the numbers opener. Louis Lyndon won via submission.
Winner: Louis Lyndon
I’d like to see Louis Lyndon try a new gimmick. I think a bit of freshening up might do the world of good for him.
Cedric Alexander demands that Veda Scott just allows herself to be pinned because she in no competition for him. She refuses.
Alexander buries Scott with a powerslam.
Scott hits a Canadian Destroyer into a belly-to-back suplex for a pin attempt.
Alexander with a Lumbar Check for the win.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
The match started quietly. It evolved into some high-octane moves leading to the finish. Alexander is looking sharp. I’m not sure if he qualifies for the weight class, but I’d love to see him in the upcoming Cruiserweight tournament being held by the WWE.
Little Guido was accompanied to ringside by Big Mo Graziano. At one point, Mo took a sick clothesline outside the ring.
Donst eventually won by submission.
Winner: Tim Donst
Guido is still in excellent shape. I remarked to my friend how well, and how much, he bumps.
Tim Donst is Tim Donst. He always delivers.
Usual stuff one would expect from these two.
The Duke, who accompanied BJ Whitmer to ringside, broke up a pin attempt. LeRae retaliated with pretty Suicide Dive on him outside the ring.
Whitmer nailed an Exploder for the pinfall.
Winner: BJ Whitmer
LeRae is such a scrappy performer. Over the years, I have seen BJ Whitmer in some brutal wars. He is never to be taken lightly. Despite being outsized by both size and strength, LeRae continues to square off with larger foes and put up a valiant, and believable, effort.
Dan Severn opens on Colin Delaney with a NASTY suplex.
He is tossing Delaney around.
Gut Wrench suplex.
Suplex City, bitch.
Severn wraps up Delaney in an STF.
He follows with multiple European uppercuts.
Severn locks in a Dragon Sleeper for the victory.
Winner: Dan Severn
The Beast showed a ton of personality during this match. He was clearly having fun.
Severn just beat that ass. The match was exactly what I wanted.
The crowd is hot for Billy Gunn. They begin chanting for each of Gunn’s numerous gimmicks throughout the years.
Before he could finish his “Now if you’re not down with that…” catchphrase, Gunn was jumped by Brian Myers.
The two went on to have a solid match.
Eventually, Gunn tagged Myers with a Fame-Asser allowing him to score a pinfall.
He then finished his catchphrase while the crowd popped.
Winner: Billy Gunn
Fun, but nothing special.
This is a “duh” statement, but Gunn has an astounding amount of charisma.
The match starts unassumingly enough. Eventually, they make their way outside the ring.
Laredo Kid executes a flying body press onto DJZ who is over the barrier and in the front row.
Later, DJZ responds with a gorgeous dive over the top rope near the time keeper’s table.
Both are fighting outside the ring.
Kid nails Z with a stiff kick to the face.
They are trading chops.
Kid hits an RKO.
DJZ with a Hurricanrana off the ropes.
Z hit a reverse Frankensteiner that Kid took roughly.
Kid kicked out of a pin attempt.
Kid executed a breathtaking Spanish Fly off the top rope.
DJZ spiked Kid with a DDT that leads to the pinfall.
DJZ’s recent training in Lucha has really shown a new side of him. Yes, he has always been a daring high-flyer, but he has stepped up his game in the last year or so. He has been in the business nearly a decade and a half, yet he is still growing and improving as a performer. I can respect that.
Things get serious early between these two.
Homicide: “Why’s it gotta be like that?”
Tempers flare as the two fight outside the ring.
Homicide escalates the fight when he throws the ringside bell at Colt Cabana’s head. The force of the bell hitting the steel post broke it.
‘Cide then starts violently tossing chairs at Cabana in the ring.
The two trade punches.
Cabana hits a Bionic Elbow and a Flying Asshole.
Splash off the ropes.
Homicide with a Tornado DDT.
Cabana avoids the Cop Killer.
Cabana ekes out a pin.
Winner: Colt Cabana
The last time I saw these two in the ring together was in Chicago in 2006 on WrestleMania weekend. They were wrapping up a violent feud in Ring of Honor. The audience had been whipped into such frenzy that evening that a chair riot broke out. Fast forward 10 years and these two don’t miss a beat. They pick right up with the no-nonsense tone of their old feud. It is always a treat to see two well-seasoned professionals do their thing.
Daniels is seconded by Gregory Iron.
“The Real Life Ben Affleck” Alex Daniels has “Gone Girl” written on the seat of his tights.
Britt Baker takes a rough uppercut outside the ring.
Daniels delivers a knee and goes for a pin.
Daniels chokes Baker with a length of his wrist wrap.
Baker reverses a powerbomb and drives Daniels into the corner/turnbuckles.
Baker locks on an armbar. She follows with a Tornado DDT.
Daniels suplexes Baker stiffly into the corner.
Daniels hits some sort of Butterfly driver for the pinfall.
Iron spits in Baker’s face after the bell.
Winner: Alex Daniels
I like both of these wrestlers quite a bit. Daniels new gimmick and gear was a much-needed adjustment.
I also think that he will learn quite a bit by being paired with Iron.
Iron spitting in Baker’s face is off-putting. He anchored the second stage of his career on his feud with Veda Scott, which was loaded with similar acts. I get that he is a heel. And to a certain extent, I get going to that well because it garners an easy reaction. But I fear that the well has been visited once too often. I hope AIW has bigger plans for Daniels/Iron that the creepy misogynistic route. Both performers are better than that.
And Britt Baker is coming along nicely. I think she is at the point of her development where she just needs to put in the ring time.
Tyson Dux was unable to make the show, so he was replaced by Dominic Garrini.
Tracy Williams won via piledriver.
Winner: Tracy Williams
This was the absolute sleeper match of the night. It was great. I’ve seen
I’ve seen Garrini multiple times recently. He is an AIW student. Hot Sauce is
Hot Sauce is a key player in the EVOLVE promotion.
These two totally clicked tonight.
Much of the success of the match is due to the story. It revolved around the cocky Williams not taking Garrini seriously. Garrini, however, legit wrestling and MMA background and was steadily going after an armbar submission.
It wasn’t flashy. It wasn’t showy.
It was a stiff, logical match between two tough guys.
It was a solid little piece of business.
Ray Rowe and Big Damo exchange shoulder tackles, both in and out of the ring.
This is two big guys trading paint.
Rowe hit an Exploder on Damo.
Rowe is unloading on his opponent, but Damo keeps kicking out.
They trade elbows.
Lots of heat.
Damo batters Rowe with his head !?!
He misses a Vader Bomb.
Rowe with a double-knee strike.
Death Rowe for the pinfall.
Winner: Raymond Rowe
This was great. Two big guys just slugging it out.
I had no idea how large and individual that Damo is. However, the dude is very agile for his size.
This was a cool match.
I really hope Damo comes back.
Johnny Gargano demands to know the final score of the Cleveland Cavaliers playoff game from an audience member before starting the match.
Things begin slowly.
Josh Alexander fires off some power moves.
Gargano tags Alexander with a Rude Awakening, bouncing Alexander’s neck of the second rope. (Alexander is only now returning to the business after almost a year off due to neck injuries.)
Gargano: “How’s your neck?”
He then dropkicks Alexander’s neck.
Johnny is scoring most of the offense.
Alexander begins to retaliate.
The two men trade devasting running elbows.
Gargano is down. Alexander catches him in a heel hook.
Gargano goes for a Lawn Dart, but Alexander reverses it.
Gargano then reverses the reversal.
Alexander locks in another heel hook.
Gargano kicks out.
Both men are on their knees trading strikes.
Gargano hits an Enziguri.
They exchange Roaring Elbows.
Alexander blasts Gargano with an elbow.
He pins Gargano for the win.
Winner: Josh Alexander
Neither man held anything back. I cringed multiple times when I saw the beating the Alexander’s neck was taking. I truly hope that his neck is ring worthy. I never want to see anyone seriously injured in the ring.
Another great outing from AIW. There were some excellent first round pairings and bouts. I’ve very excited to see the finale of the tournament this evening.
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