Written by: Bob Colling
IWA-MS presents A Phenomenal Invasion
From: Evansville, IN
Opening Contest: Eddie Kingston vs. Danny Daniels: Daniels tries to shoulder block Kingston, but Kingston doesn’t budge and taunts Daniels for attempting that. Kingston gets tripped coming off the ropes. Kingston knee lifts Daniels and keeps control with strikes in the corner. Daniels chops Kingston in the corner several times followed by forearm blows. Daniels chops Kingston to the floor. Kingston comes off the ropes and is met with a kick. Daniels connects with a sloppy DDT coming off the ropes for a two count. Kingston blocks a piledriver attempt and hits a belly to belly suplex. Kingston drives Daniels down with a vertical suplex. Daniels punches Kingston and hits a missile dropkick. Kingston stops Daniels with a backbreaker. Daniels hits a double stomp and a senton splash. They begin to trade strikes until Daniels gets the advantage. Daniels pulls Kingston down in the corner and rams Kingston groin first into the ring post. Daniels heads to the top rope and hits a head scissors for a two count. Kingston counters a backbreaker with an overhead suplex for a two count. Daniels low blows Kingston as the referee was distracted and spikes Kingston with a piledriver for the win. (*1/2. There were a few sloppy moments and I didn’t find the action to be all that exciting.)
Second Contest: MsChif vs. Tracy Brooks vs. Mickie Knuckles: Brooks hammers away on MsChif to start the match and Knuckles helps out to hit a double hip toss slam and elbow drops. Brooks nearly pins Knuckles from behind. Knuckles and Brooks trade chops in the middle of the ring. MsChif trips Brooks and pulls Brooks to the floor. Knuckles attempts a suicide dive and gets caught in the ropes. MsChif sends Knuckles into the empty chairs in the crowd. Brooks clotheslines MsChif for a two count. Brooks clotheslines MsChif in the corner, but MsChif delivers a neckbreaker to stop Brooks momentum. Knuckles returns to the match and sends MsChif into Brooks boot and clotheslines MsChif for a two count. Brooks and Knuckles both try to get a cover, but pull each other off. MsChif decks both women with a running clothesline as they were trading strikes. Knuckles spears MsChif as Brooks helped take MsChif down to the mat. Knuckles barely delivers a kick to Brooks allowing MsChif to plant Knuckles with a DDT for the win. (*. I think these three struggled to make sense of the three way and the formula. It got a little sloppy in spots, but there’s no denying that there’s talent between the three.)
Third Contest: B-Boy vs. Nate Webb: Boy bails to the floor as Webb crawled on the mat. Boy takes Webb down to the mat with a front face lock and switches to a leg lock, but Boy gets out of the hold quickly. Boy slams Webb to the mat and gets arm control for a moment. Webb counters with a rollup and they have a standoff. Webb hits a running senton splash in the corner, but misses a second one. Boy tries for a dropkick, but Webb kicks Boy into the corner. Webb connects with a running crossbody in the corner and lands on the floor. Webb goes to the corner, but misses a coast to coast dropkick. Boy drives Webb down to the mat with a swinging neckbreaker. Boy kicks Webb on the back after a snapmare. Boy stretches Webb out on the mat. Boy takes Webb over with a snap suplex and a knee drop. Boy delivers a reverse rolling neck snap for a two count. Webb breaks free from Boy for a sunset flip, but Boy dropkicks Webb for a two count. They trade strikes in the corner until Boy delivers a spinebuster in the corner for a near fall.
Boy chokes Webb in the corner and delivers a facelift dropkick. Boy takes Webb over with a double under hook and keeps a submission on Webb, but Webb doesn’t give in. Boy argues with the referee about the count on a pin attempt. Webb hammers away on Boy with a few strikes and hits a spinning heel kick to knock Boy down to the mat. Webb counters a clothesline with Hell Shock for a two count. Boy spikes Webb with a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Webb takes Boy down with a Butt Bomb and locks in the Webb of Death, but Boy doesn’t submit. Boy dropkicks Webb on the knee and tries for a double stomp, but settles for a running knee strike to send Webb to the floor. Webb returns to the match and tries for a slam, but Boy hits a Ki Krusher for a two count. Webb manages to avoid a knee strike and rolls Boy up for the win. (**1/2. Boy worked a good match and his style is something I’m growing to enjoy the more I see him. Webb didn’t seem to do a whole lot of risk taking, which was a little disappointing. It was a decent encounter and suitable for a undercard while not outshining anything later on, I’d assume.)
Fourth Contest: Cash Flo & Mad Man Pondo vs. The Lynch Mob (2 Tuff Tony & Corporal Robinson) in a falls count anywhere tables elimination match: Despite the rules to the match, they start off with regular tag rules, which always drives me nuts. Pondo whacks Robinson over the head with a stop sign. Pondo delivers a stop sign shot to Robinson’s groin as Flo sets a table up on the floor. Tony enters and backdrops Pondo with Robinson. Flo tags in and works over Tony with strikes. Flo and Tony trade chops in the corner with Tony getting the advantage. Tony decks Flo with a clothesline before tagging in Robinson. Flo is dropped gut first over the top rope and Tony hits a somersault leg drop to Flo, who was over the top rope. Flo manages to hit a double suplex on both Tony and Robinson back into the ring from the apron. Tony avoids Pondo in the corner and hits a reverse piledriver, but has to put Pondo through a table. Robinson and Flo brawl on the floor. Robinson whacks Flo over the back with a steel chair.
Pondo whacks Tony with a stop sign in the middle of the ring. Pondo saves Flo from a middle rope move and Flo puts Tony through a table with a powerbomb to earn a three count and eliminate Tony. Pondo lays Robinson on a table outside the ring. Flo misses a top rope leg drop and goes through the table. Robinson hits a side Russian leg sweep on Pondo and pins Flo on the floor to eliminate Cash Flo. Robinson pounds away on Pondo against the ropes. Pondo stops Robinson with a low blow but can’t toss Robinson through the table. Tony whacks Robinson with a kendo stick and then slaps hands with Pondo. Tony beats on Robinson with a kendo stick to help out Pondo some more. One table is setup over the top turnbuckle and another table setup in the ring. Tony has Robinson on the table on the top turnbuckle. Pondo is up there as well and they proceed to superplex Robinson through another table leading to Pondo pinning Robinson. (*1/4. Apparently Tony and Pondo are known tag partners in Big Japan, so Robinson looks like a complete idiot for having his partner be Tony for this match. There wasn’t anything overly violent in this match and it felt like it was just taking up time on the show.) After the match, Robinson continues to be attacked until Ian Rotten and Nate Webb make the save.
Fifth Contest: JC Bailey vs. Steve Stone: Stone takes Bailey down to the mat, and quickly gets a two count. Bailey backdrops Stone and hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Bailey takes Jim Fannin out with a suicide dive! Stone catches coming off the top with a powerslam in midair. Bailey takes Stone down with a back suplex. Stone hits a sit out spinebuster for a near fall. Stone sends Bailey to the floor where Fannin gets a few cheap shots in. Stone hammers away on Bailey, but Bailey connects with an ace cutter. Bailey kicks Stone before hitting a tornado DDT. Stone nails Bailey with a lariat from behind for a near fall. Bailey stops Stone with a jawbreaker and heads to the top rope. Bailey misses a leg drop. Stone plants Bailey with the White Out to win the match. (*1/2. Definition of a standard match between these two as neither man did anything all that exciting or risk taking.)
Sixth Contest: Arik Cannon vs. Roderick Strong: They trade holds on the mat early on with neither man getting a clear advantage. Cannon low blows Strong after a few chops. Cannon gets a two count after a neckbreaker. Cannon gets a two count following a rolling neck snap. Strong takes Cannon over with a butterfly suplex and an elbow drop for a near fall. Strong drives Cannon down with a vertical suplex. Strong keeps Cannon on the mat with a chin lock. Cannon stops Strong with a jawbreaker followed by a brainbuster . Strong counters a knee strike with a backbreaker for a near fall. They trade forearms in the middle of the ring until they both stagger. Strong tosses Cannon with a German suplex. Cannon hits an exploder suplex. Strong hits a German suplex on Cannon to regain control. Cannon tosses Strong with another exploder suplex. Cannon stops Strong with a backbreaker and a shining wizard to win the match. (**. I wasn’t expecting this to be so short, but it was decent for what it was. I really enjoy Roderick Strong and Cannon held his own well here.)
Seventh Contest: Alex Shelley vs. Claudio Castagnoli: Shelley keeps Castagnoli on the mat with wrist control until Castagnoli rolls around on the mat to break free from the hold. Shelley leg sweeps Castagnoli and maintains control on the canvas. Shelley delivers a throat thrust as Claudio comes off the ropes. Claudio kicks Shelley away while on the mat. Shelley hip tosses Claudio, but gets kicked away by Castagnoli again. They counter each other on the mat until Castagnoli went for a submission, but Shelley rolled free. Claudio drops Shelley with a few cheap shots and a uppercut to the upper back of Shelley several times. Claudio drops Shelley over his knee from a neckbreaker position. Shelley takes Claudio down with a few dragon screw leg whips and puts the Trailer Hitch leg submission on, but Claudio reaches the ropes to break the hold. Shelley drives Claudio down with a leg lock DDT and a swift kick to the knee. Shelley dragon scree leg whips Claudio off the middle rope and hits a frog splash off the top onto the injured knee. Claudio stops Shelley with a kick to the head.
Claudio uppercuts Shelley three times to the mat for a two count. Shelley spins Claudio down to the mat by his leg and tries for a figure four, but Castagnoli nearly wins with an inside cradle. Shelley dropkicks Castagnoli on the knee and locks in the figure four. Claudio breaks free and has a hangman’s neckbreaker on Shelley, but Shelley counters with the Border City Stretch. Claudio manages to reach the ropes to break the hold. Claudio drops Shelley with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Castagnoli sits Shelley on the top rope to deliver an uppercut. Shelley avoids an uppercut and double stomps Claudio’s injured leg. Shelley locks in the Border City Stretch, but Claudio wiggles free. Claudio locks in the Swiss Sleeper and wins the match. (***. This was all about storytelling with the knee and I thought they did a solid job telling that story. It didn’t feel like it overstayed its welcome and I enjoyed the action they produced here.)
Eighth Contest: AJ Styles vs. Matt Sydal: Sydal tries to take Styles down to the mat and accomplishes that after a brief struggle and that leads to a standoff. Sydal avoids a dropkick, but not a kip up hurricanrana for a two count. Sydal regains control with a headlock on the mat. Styles back suplexs Sydal over the top to the floor. Styles hits a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Styles takes Sydal over with a snap suplex for a near fall. Styles slams Sydal and comes off the ropes to deliver a knee drop for a two count. Sydal boots Styles in the corner and head scissors Styles for a near fall. Styles blocks a kick and drops Sydal face first to the mat. Styles kicks Sydal on the floor a few times. Styles nails Sydal with a lariat for a near fall. Styles drops Sydal gut first over the top rope and a forearm off the apron. Styles gets yanked off the apron and falls to the floor back first. Sydal climbs to the top rope managing to hit a moonsault. Sydal stomps on Styles before returning to the ring. Sydal slams Styles and hits a springboard twisting splash for a near fall. Sydal has a leg lock on Styles and switches to an Indian death lock, but Styles doesn’t give in. Sydal drop toe holds Styles and hits a standing shooting star press to AJ’s back for a near fall.
Sydal sends Styles back first into the corner and gets the crowd behind him. Sydal gets stopped on the top turnbuckle. Styles tries for a back suplex, but they counter each other. Sydal tries for a springboard crossbody, but Styles hits a swinging side slam. Sydal chops Styles a few times, but Styles fires back with a forearm shot. Styles takes Sydal over with an exploder suplex for a two count. Styles tries for a springboard reverse DDT, but Sydal counters with a reverse neckbreaker/leg drop combo for a two count. Styles counters a hurricanrana, but Sydal counters the Styles Clash with a snap hurricanrana for a two count! Sydal sits Styles on the top turnbuckle to deliver a few strikes. Sydal tries for a middle rope hurricanrana, but Styles counters and goes for a sunset flip rolling into a Styles Clash, but Sydal kicks free. Sydal avoids a lariat, but Styles plants Sydal with the Styles Clash to win the match. (***1/2. An enjoyable match between these two and they got a standing ovation from the 80 people in attendance. This is the kind of match to make a guy as Sydal came across as a completely viable challenger to someone on AJ’s level. These are the kinds of matches that I seek to find that not many people attended live.) After the match, Ian Rotten enters the ring because he needs to take some shine from the wrestlers.
Ninth Contest: Bryan Danielson vs. Chris Hero in a best two out of three falls match: Danielson doesn’t shake hands to start the match. Danielson gets in the referees face after a rope break. They start off with a slow beginning with some mat holds. Hero has a leg lock on Danielson, but Danielson reaches the ropes to avoid having to submit. Danielson knees his way free from Hero. Hero takes Danielson down to the mat and keeps the advantage with a neck vice. Hero presses down on Danielson’s thighs. Danielson stops Hero with a jawbreaker and a leg whip. Danielson takes Hero over with a surfboard, but Hero doesn’t give in to the hold. Hero kicks Danielson away into the corner. Hero blocks a kick and locks in an STF, bu switches to a pin attempt for a near fall. Danielson locks in a modified surfboard. Danielson gets out of a head scissors and reaches the ropes. Danielson delivers a few uppercuts, but Hero fights back with forearms and chops. Hero goes for a neck vice on the mat, but Danielson doesn’t give up. Hero avoids the Cattle Mutilation by reaching the ropes. Danielson delivers a knee drop followed by uppercuts.
Hero decks Danielson to the mat with a forearm strike. Hero knee lifts Danielson in the corner followed by another forearm strike. Hero delivers a running boot scrape. Hero tries for a DDT, but Danielson counters Hero’s Welcome and gets a rollup on Hero with a bridge to win the first fall. Danielson: 1 – Hero: 0
Hero tries to deliver a strike, but Danielson backs away into the ropes to avoid the strike. Danielson uppercuts Hero, but Hero fights back with a forearm strike. Danielson drops Hero to his knees with an uppercut, but Hero comes back with strikes again. Hero staggers Danielson with a few combinations, but Danielson stops Hero with a standing dropkick. Danielson wrenches on Hero’s arm on the mat. Danielson focuses his attack to the left arm of Hero. Hero reaches the ropes to break free from a submission attempt. Danielson is trying to get control of the left elbow, but Hero fights it off by reaching the ropes. Danielson knee strikes Hero coming off the ropes. Hero rolls through to hit an overhead suplex. Hero forearms Danielson coming off the ropes followed by a double leg slam. Hero hits a somersault senton splash for a two count. Arik Cannon has come down to ringside and taunts Hero. Danielson elbows Hero followed by a roaring elbow for a two count. Hero powerbombs Danielson and locks in the Hero Clutch, but Danielson reaches the ropes. Hero pulls Danielson away from the ropes and reapplies the Clutch. Hero plants Danielson with the Hero’s Welcome to earn a pin. Danielson 1 – Hero: 1
Danielson forearms Hero on the middle rope and hits a superplex. Danielson heads to the top rope, but Hero avoids the headbutt. Hero comes off the top missing a missile dropkick. Danielson locks in the Cattle Mutilation, but Hero rolls free from the hold. Hero counters into the Hangman’s Clutch. Danielson rolls through again and gets the Muta Lock on Hero. They have both have neck wrenches on and the referee calls for the bell. The referee claims they submitted at the same time. (***. Okay, that finish is dumb. Why are we booking two out of three falls matches and having them end in a draw? If you don’t want Hero to lose matches, don’t put him in matches like this. The action was decent, if a little slow and boring at times. It was a fine match, but probably a little disappointing.) After the match, Hero says that they will wrestle again, but Danielson isn’t interested in that and tries to leave, but Ian Rotten comes out again. Rotten calls Danielson a chicken shit. Rotten tells Danielson they will eventually wrestle in a one hour iron man match. I’m sure that ends in a draw, folks. (After doing a bit of research, it appears the match never actually happened.)
Main Event: IWA-MS Heavyweight Champion Petey Williams vs. CM Punk: They counter each other on the mat early on with neither man getting a clear advantage. Williams and Punk trade chops until Williams monkey flips Punk. Williams dropkicks Punk and goes for the Sharpshooter, but Punk avoids the move. Williams keeps control with an arm lock. Williams knee drops Punk on the mat a few times. Punk continues to beat on Williams with chops in the corner. Punk gets arm dragged a few times to counter Punk’s offense. Williams nearly counters a double leg slam with the Canadian Destroyer, but Punk bails to the floor. Punk and Williams trade chops in the middle of the ring. Williams knocks Punk to the floor and they continue to trade blows on the outside. Punk tries to do a flip in the corner, but fails and lands on his neck. Punk tries to hit a double axe handle, but Williams blocks with a strike. Williams avoids a low blow attempt and arm drags Punk moments later. Punk stops Williams with a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Punk keeps a sleeper hold on Williams on the mat.
Williams doesn’t let his arm drop three times and fights free only to be sent to the floor. Punk drives Williams back first into ring post. Punk rams Williams back first into the ring post followed by more strikes. Williams nearly wins with an inside cradle, but Punk decks Williams. Punk dropkicks a seated Williams. Punk connects with a back suplex for a near fall. Petey tries for the Destroyer after several strikes. Punk avoids a clothesline to hit a DDT for a near fall. Punk heads to the top rope but Williams avoids a dropkick and tries for a Sharpshooter, but gets kicked away and Williams lands on Punk’s groin. Williams head scissors Punk over the middle rope and hits a springboard crossbody. Williams hits a Codebreaker and a tornado DDT for a two count. Punk avoids the Destroyer with a few kicks to drop the champ for a two count. Punk nails Williams with a clothesline for a two count. They trade a few rollups for near falls. Williams hits a swinging neckbreaker but misses a top rope diving headbutt. Punk is sent through the ropes to the floor. Punk kicks Williams and looks to go for the Pepsi Plunge. Williams counters the move and seems to hit a botched piledriver. Williams tries for the Destroyer and settles for a low blow. Williams locks in the Sharpshooter and that forces Punk to submit. (**1/2. There was a few sloppy moments between these two, but the action was consistent and decent throughout. It never felt like it got out of first gear and it lacked interest to justify a main event spot.)
I’m going to consider this an average show, but leaning towards a positive experience. The second half of the show delivered some good action and a few matches on the undercard were fun. Styles/Sydal was the match of the night and really made Sydal look like he was on equal footing to Styles.
Thanks for reading.