Written by: Bob Colling
IWA-MS presents A Phenomenal Invasion II
From: Joliet, IN
Opening Contest: Joker vs. Gran Akuma: Early on, they are able to avoid each others strikes leading to a standoff. They trade arm drags and have a standoff after dropkick attempts. Akuma keeps Joker on the mat for the advantage. Joker blocks a kick in the corner and kicks Akuma’s leg to take him down to the mat. Joker plants Akuma with a back suplex for a two count. Akuma spin kicks Joker and comes off the ropes to deliver a boot. Akuma DDTs Joker’s left leg and keeps control of the leg for a few moments. Joker comes back with a knee breaker and a dragon screw leg whip. Joker puts a leg submission on Akuma, but can’t get a submission as Akuma reaches the ropes. Joker dropkicks Akuma on the knee and goes back to the leg submission in the middle of the ring. Akuma wiggles to the ropes and reaches them to break the hold.
They begin to trade chops with Akuma getting the advantage in the corner but Joker delivers a clothesline and an exploder suplex for a near fall. Akuma gets out of a suplex and kicks Joker a few times. Akuma knocks Joker off his feet with a kick to the head. Akuma nails Joker with a kick on the mat. Joker gets an arm bar on Akuma and switches to a rollup for the win. (*1/2. It wasn’t a bad start to the show, it just wasn’t a match that held my interest and I found myself getting easily distracted. By all accounts, the crowd enjoyed this far more than I did.)
Second Contest: The Pretty Unreals (Ash & Michael Elgin) vs. The Naptown Dragons (Dustin Lee & xOMGx): Ash and Lee start the match with some fast action. The announcers are heavily promoting Ash and Elgin. Ash gets double teamed in the corner and driven down with a bulldog out of the corner. Elgin kicks OMG on the apron as Joey Eastman distracted him allowing Ash to hit a back suplex. Elgin drives OMG down with a gut buster. Elgin drives OMG down to the mat gut first for another two count. Elgin scoop slams OMG before tagging in Ash, who hit a slingshot senton and Elgin delivers a splash for a two count on OMG. Ash comes off the ropes to double stomp OMG and Elgin nearly wins with a big splash. OMG stops Elgin with a jawbreaker. Elgin stops Lee working over his injured arm. Lee gets his arm worked over for several moments. Lee tosses Ash with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Elgin and OMG get tagged in with OMG hitting dropkicks and a spinning heel kick on Ash. Elgin gets knocked down following a double dropkick. Ash misses a dive and takes out Elgin on accident outside the ring.
Lee and OMG leap off the top rope to take Ash and Elgin out with dives to the floor. OMG hits a sit out slam on Ash for a near fall as Elgin breaks the cover. Elgin clotheslines OMG in the corner and comes off the ropes with a lariat. Lee breaks up the cover attempt. Lee spikes Elgin with a tornado DDT out of the corner. Ash superkicks Lee and does the same to OMG. Elgin plants OMG with a powerbomb and Ash hit a neckbreaker in midair for the win. (**. Not too bad of a match with the focus certainly being on Elgin and Ash. They worked a solid match and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these guys moving forward in IWA-MS.)
Third Contest: Jimmy Shalwin vs. Z-Barr: Shalwin avoids a cheap shot in the opening moment of the match and nearly pins Barr with a powerslam. Shalwin boots Barr through the middle rope to the floor. Barr avoids a suicide dive with a forearm shot before going to the top hitting a missile dropkick for a near fall. Barr keeps control of the match with strikes in the ring before going to the floor looking for a weapon, but can’t find anything. Barr sits down in a chair and puts a sleeper hold on Shalwin. Shalwin drop toe holds Barr onto the chair face first followed by jabs. Shalwin almost wins with a big splash. Shalwin avoids a brainbuster and plants Barr with a sit out chokeslam. Shalwin hits a top rope moonsault for the win. (*. The right guy went over in this match. It was a standard match as they kept the action rather basic and to the point. The finish by Shalwin was executed well, I’d say.)
Fourth Contest: Zach McGuire vs. Billy Roc vs. CJ Otis vs. Human Tornado vs. Jack Thriller vs. Josh Abercrombie vs. Ricochet in a seven man elimination match for the number one contendership for the IWA-MS Light Heavyweight Championship: This is a gauntlet match with men coming in as the match continues. Otis and Thriller start the match. Thriller comes off the ropes to deliver a kick, but Otis comes back with an overhead suplex for a two count. Thriller misses a splash in the corner allowing Otis to keep control with stomps. Joey Eastman chokes Thriller while the referee was distracted by Otis. Otis puts a Boston Crab on Thriller.
Ricochet and Zach McGuire come out at the same time with Ricochet hitting a missile dropkick. Ricochet nails McGuire with a kick to his head. Thriller plants Ricochet with a reverse DDT and McGuire hits a double stomp for a two count. Ricochet gets worked over on the mat by all three men.
Human Tornado makes his way out and gets a good reaction from the crowd. This is his debut in the company, too. Tornado cleans house with right hands on all the men. Tornado clotheslines McGuire in the corner followed by a few stomps in the corner. Tornado does a split to low blow McGuire in the corner. Ricochet gets a pimp slap and a heel kick from Tornado for a two count. Otis chokes Tornado from the apron, and forearms Tornado. Ricochet hits a somersault splash on McGuire in the corner.
The next entrant is Josh Abercrombie and Josh goes after Tornado with forearms. Tornado takes McGuire and Otis out with a dive. Abercrombie takes Thriller out with a dive to the outside. Ricochet takes Abercrombie and Thriller out with a twisting dive. McGuire hits a dive on the other side of the ring!
Billy Roc is the final entrant for the match and struggles to climb the ropes before taking everyone out with a crossbody to the floor. Thriller puts a figure four on Roc and it leads to everyone putting a submission hold on each other. The referee breaks up the submission by shoving all the men over. Otis decks thriller and Abercrombie decks Otis. Tornado kicks Abercrombie, who gets kicked by Ricochet. Roc forearms McGuire, but Thriller clotheslines Roc followed by the Thriller Driller. Tornado plants Thriller with a reverse DDT to eliminate Thriller.
Otis takes McGuire over with a German suplex to eliminate McGuire. Roc hits a standing Slice Bread to eliminate Ricochet. Tornado hits a double stomp as Otis plants Roc with a Burning Hammer to eliminate Roc. Abercrombie rolls Otis up to eliminate him. That leaves Tornado and Abercrombie as the final two.
Abercrombie hits a side Russian leg sweep for a two count. Abercrombie gets met with a hurricanrana off the middle rope. Tornado plants Abercrombie with a tornado DDT. Tornado heads to the top rope but Abercrombie gets his knees up and comes off the middle rope to hit a backstabber to win the match. (***1/2. I enjoyed the match and thought they delivered exactly what they needed. The highspots were fun and got the crowd invested into the match. I honestly thought that Tornado was going to win, but Abercrombie winning is probably the safe bet for the company.)
Prior to the match, AJ Styles turns heel before the match saying that he doesn’t need the fans cheers because he knows he is phenomenal.
Fifth Contest: AJ Styles vs. Tiger Mask IV: Mask kicks Styles to the floor and that causes AJ to regroup for a few moments. Styles returns to the ring and works over Mask with several strikes. Styles scoop slams Mask followed by a knee drop. Styles dropkicks Mask to send Mask to the floor. Styles takes Mask out with a slingshot crossbody. Styles drives Mash down with a backbreaker for a near fall. Styles connects with a delayed vertical suplex for a near fall. Styles keeps a sleeper hold on Mask, but Mask kicks his way out of the hold. Mask avoids a kick and nails Styles with several quick kicks. Styles misses a splash in the corner and Mask hits a tilt a whirl backbreaker for a two count. Mask plants Styles with a back suplex for a near fall. Styles stops Mask with a throat thrust and plants Mask with a springboard reverse DDT for a near fall. Styles goes to the top rope missing a 450 splash. Mask goes to the top and misses a diving headbutt. Styles hits a Pele kick, but Mask hits the same move. They are both down on the mat. Mask counters a Styles Clash with a rollup for a near fall. Mask gets a crucifix pin and is able to keep Styles down for a three count. (**. Well, I was not expecting that quick of a match nor was I expecting them to go with a rollup finish. I’d have to think this is a disappointing match as it never really got into high gear.)
Sixth Contest: Tyler Black vs. Joey Mercury: This is Joey Mercury’s debut in IWA-MS. Mercury takes Black down with a fireman’s carry and gets a two count leading to a standoff. Black rolls to the floor after Mercury took him down to the mat. Black tosses a chair out of frustration. Mercury keeps Black on the mat, but Black is able to counter with a headlock. Black taunts Mercury after a shoulder block and gets tripped. Mercury delivers a few uppercuts to keep Black on the mat. Mercury backdrops Black to the apron, but Black lands on his feet and misses a sunset flip. Mercury decks Black with a few stiff clotheslines. Mercury clotheslines Black in the corner and does his camera taunt. Black avoids a DDT attempt driving Mercury into the corner. Black forearms Mercury in the corner and kicks Mercury to the floor. Rollins comes off the apron with an axe handle and chops Mercury. Black gets a one count after a snap suplex. Black argues with the referee allowing Mercury to pummel Black with right hands. Black dropkicks a seated Mercury for a two count. Black tries several pin attempts, but can’t get a three.
Mercury forearms Black into a corner, but runs into an elbow strike. Mercury crotches Black on the top rope. Mercury hits a superplex. Black gets to his feet first but Mercury delivers several forearm strikes. Mercury comes off the ropes to hit a swinging neckbreaker. Mercury tried for a DDT, but Black counters. Mercury nearly wins with a northern lights suplex. Black drops Mercury over the top turnbuckle followed by a big boot. Black hits a top rope frog splash but Mercury kicks out at two. Black disrespects Mercury with a few boots to the face. Mercury almost wins with a quick rollup and a backslide. (The match literally fades to black and that’s all there is shown. So, that’s a major bummer. For what was shown, it was a decent match. It would appear that there was an issue with the event recording causing the finish to not be seen.)
Seventh Contest: IWA-MS Light Heavyweight Champion Brandon Thomaselli vs. Jigsaw: Thomaselli goes to the floor to stall for a few moments. Jigsaw nearly wins with a quick rollup. Thomaselli gets control on Jigsaw following a rollup. Jigsaw traps Thomaselli’s arms and puts a neck vice on for a few moments. Thomaselli takes Jigsaw down and taunts the crowd nearly costing him the title as Jigsaw got a rollup. Jigsaw keeps control of the champion on the mat and almost wins with a rollup. Thomaselli begs off asking for a timeout. Thomaselli takes Jigsaw down but Jigsaw counters the offense quickly. Thomaselli doesn’t budge on a shoulder block and taunts Jigsaw. Jigsaw avoids a clothesline by tripping Thomaselli. Thomaselli bails to the floor to regroup. Jigsaw fakes a dive and slaps Brandon’s back. Jigsaw tells Brandon that a fan hit his back and Jigsaw takes Thomaselli out with a dive over the top to the floor. Jigsaw chops Thomaselli around the ringside area. Jigsaw holds Thomaselli to allow the fan to chop the champ. Thomaselli clotheslines Jigsaw to gain control in the ring. Thomaselli splashes Jigsaw over the middle rope. Thomaselli plants Jigsaw with a vertical suplex and puts a chin lock on.
Jigsaw fights back with a few chops, but a jawbreaker stops his momentum. Thomaselli hits a running back splash into the corner. Thomaselli goes to the top rope missing a diving headbutt. Jigsaw tries for a cover, but Thomaselli kicks out at two. Jigsaw gets stopped with an uppercut. Thomaselli gets a two count after a running boot scrape in the corner. They exchange strikes on the mat as they are seated. Jigsaw counters a slingshot suplex with a neckbreaker. Jigsaw punches Thomaselli several times followed by a back elbow and clothesline. Jigsaw nearly wins following a heel kick. Jigsaw high knees Thomaselli in the corner and tosses Thomaselli off the middle rope. Jigsaw hits a top rope crossbody for a near fall. Jigsaw misses a superkick and Thomaselli hits a fisherman buster for a two count. Jigsaw nearly wins with a rollup out of a powerbomb. Jigsaw nails Thomaselli with a superkick for a near fall. Thomaselli plants Jigsaw with a reverse DDT for another two count. Jigsaw hits a sit out Torture Rack powerbomb, but only gets a two count. Jigsaw misses a top rope leg drop. Thomaselli hits a powerbomb backbreaker but pulls Jigsaw up at two. Thomselli hits a double underhook DDT/gut buster for the win. (**. Well, that was a rather boring contest that got a lot of time. There were entertaining parts, but it went on for far too long.)
Eighth Contest: IWA-MS Heavyweight Champion Chuck Taylor vs. Devon Moore: Moore hip tosses and arm drags Taylor. Moore sends the champ to the floor following a dropkick. Taylor runs around the ring and misses an elbow drop in the ring. Moore hits a hurricanrana but misses a splash in the corner and is in a tree of woe. Moore is able to hit a cutter out of the corner for a near fall. Taylor plants Moore with a stunner and chokes Moore on the mat. Taylor hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Taylor controls Moore with a chin lock. Taylor connects with a standing dropkick and taunts the crowd. Taylor runs into a big boot in the corner and Moore gets yanked off the middle rope. Taylor tries to get a submission on Moore, but isn’t able to get one. Moore delivers a spinning kick to drop Taylor to the mat. Moore forearms Taylor followed by a heel kick and back elbow for a two count. Taylor tries for a powerbomb, but Moore counters with an STO for a near fall. Moore signals for the end but Taylor fights out. Moore tosses Taylor with a back suplex for a near fall. Moore puts Taylor on the top turnbuckle.
Taylor knocks Moore off the middle rope and goes to the top rope hitting a missile dropkick and hits a powerbomb for a near fall. Moore counters the Omega Driver and kicks Taylor through the ropes to the floor. Moore takes the champ out with a suicide dive! Moore rolls Taylor back into the ring and runs into a back elbow. Taylor misses a moonsault attempt, but lands on his feet. Moore drop toe holds Taylor into the corner and hits a sit out slam. Moore goes to the top rope but misses a shooting star press. Taylor hits the Sole Food and the Omega Driver for the win. (**1/4. A decent title match with it being incredibly clear that Taylor is the better worker and more enjoyable than Moore. The action wasn’t all that exciting, but it held my interest for the most part. I think Devon Moore is really hit or miss and delivers better when there is a stipulation attached to a match.)
Ninth Contest: Axl Rotten vs. Tank in a falls count anywhere match: Huh, Axl Rotten looks to be in great shape. Tank attacks Rotten on the floor before the bell. They quickly brawl into the crowd trading strikes. Tank wastes no time busting Rotten open with an object. Rotten gets possession of the object and uses it on Tank to bust him open, too. Tank stops Rotten with a low blow. Tank continues to beat on Rotten outside the ring. Rotten sends Tank shoulder first into a wall and they brawl towards the commentary table. Rotten nails Tank with the ring bell a few times. Tank sets a ladder up against the wall, but Rotten sends Tank into the ladder instead for a two count. Rotten sends Tank into a soccer net and gets the crowd to yell out “goal!”. They proceed to brawl outside the arena. They quickly return to the ring where Tank delivers a few more shots. Axl misses a splash in the corner and whacks Tank over the head with a steel chair for the win. (DUD. It’s literally just a brawl that ends in a chair shot. I’m not exaggerating when I say there was not one wrestling move performed.) After the match, Axl Rotten gets a standing ovation for having not performed one wrestling move.
Main Event: Hotstuff Hernandez vs. Eddie Kingston: Hernandez tosses Kingston to the mat early on to showcase his size advantage. Hernandez also sends Kingston shoulder first into the corner. Kingston has his shoulder taped up, by the way. Kington fights back with a few strikes and chops. Kingston tries to knock Hernandez down with a lariat, but Hernandez doesn’t budge. Hernandez knocks Kingston down following several strikes. Kingston knocks Hernandez to the apron and Hernandez drops to the floor, which was awkward. Kingston knee lifts Hernandez a few times, but Hernandez hits a slingshot shoulder block into the ring. Hernandez has Kingston over his shoulder for a backbreaker. Hernandez drops Kingston down to the mat without a submission. Hernandez catches Kingston and tosses Eddie into the corner before hitting an overhead suplex for a two count. Hernandez tosses Kingston across the ring with his t-shirt around his neck. Hernandez locks in a bearhug and delivers an overhead suplex. Hernandez locks in a camel clutch, but Kingston refuses to give in.
Kingston fires back with a few strikes but promptly gets dropped on his neck by Hernandez. Hernandez argues with the referee that he got a three count. Hernandez tries for a slingshot splash from the apron, but Kingston got his knees up. Kingston delivers a discus forearm and a spinning back fist, twice. Kingston nearly wins with a side suplex. Kingston kicks Hernandez on the top turnbuckle and nearly wins the match. Hernandez plants Kingston with a sit out powerbomb for a two count. That sure looked like a three count and Hernandez is pissed. Kingston staggers Hernandez with a spinning back fist and a shining wizard for a two count. Kingston decks Hernandez with a clothesline to the back. Hernandez clubs Kingston before hitting the Border Toss for the win. (**1/2. I liked the story they told here. Kingston holding his own, but even with his best stuff not being able to knock Hernandez off his feet. Their story held my interest and I thought Hernandez looked like a stud in there. If I were fans in the area, my mind is set on seeing Hernandez destroy Chuck Taylor at some point.)
There’s a few decent matches, but I don’t think there is enough on here to give it a full recommendation. The Styles/Mask match being a disappointment probably hurts this show more than anything else not delivering for me.
Thanks for reading.