Full Recap: What Lies Beneath
Full Recap: What Lies Beneath
Controversy and a changing of the guard in the tag team division ruled the night at PWX What Lies Beneath. Guest General Manager WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long did what he does including making a match with "The Undertaker" (White Mike) as well as a TAG TEAM match that once again highlighted the talents of High Profile, Shea Shea McGrady and Will Demented. Premiere Wrestling Xperience is on the tip of everyone's tongue as we roll into the summer of 2017! Join me as I recap every second of the action from What Lies Beneath.
PWX Innovative Television Champion Elijah Evans IV w/ THE Tommy Thomas defeated "The New Age Enforcer" James Drake to retain the title
Cold reception for the defending Champion Elijah Evans IV who has been accused of avoiding giving the former Champion his rematch for several months, the PWX faithful covered Evans with toilet paper to show them how they felt. The first announcement of the night from acting General Manager WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long changed the mood of the crowd quickly. Long declared that Evans' Syndicate teammates were BANNED FROM RINGSIDE!!! The Champ and his representative THE Tommy Thomas did not react well to the news and even before the bell had rang it seemed as though things were panning out for Drake to win the ITV title for a second time. Evans went to attack Drake but missed and got a penalty kick to the face and just like that the match was nearly over seconds after it started but Evans got a shoulder up at the last second. The challenger continued his assault with heavy hands and feet on Evans and Drake went for the 'Moon(pie)sault' very early and Evans escaped to the outside. Drake gave chase to Evans on the outside and laid in some thunderous chops but Evans avoided the 'bounce back' forearm and delivered one of his own to turn the tide of the match in the champion's favor. Both men take the action back to the ring and a back and forth battle of strikes ensues with Evans winning this battle leveling The New Age Enforcer with a big boot. The Champion not only wants to beat his opponent but embarrass him as well and Evans begins slapping Drake right in the face... If you've seen a Drake match you know that's never a good idea and Drake retaliates with a running kick to the face! Giving credit where it's due, Elijah Evans IV came right back with a booming spear but only got a two count, Evans sensed the end and went high risk for his picture perfect elbow drop but Drake moved out of the way and we were back to square one in this battle for the Innovative Television Championship. Evans scores with a big lariat and again can't put Drake away and the frustration starts to show all over the face of the champion who knows he must find a way to keep Drake down for a three count. The New Age Enforcer is never one to be counted out however as he fires back and spikes Evans with the "Drill Bit" Drake is the one who senses victory now as he ascends the ropes for the 'Moon(pie)sault' but THE Tommy Thomas scurries to ringside distracting Referee Kevin Pierce. James Drake brings Thomas into the action but before he can lay his hands on Thomas too much Evans smashes the back of Drake's head with a sledgehammer shot and covers his opponent to retain the ITV Championship.
Ace Austin & Malakai Matthews hit the ring next, Austin thanks PWX and the fans for the opportunities he's had so far but Austin is interrupted by Matthews who says he will not pander to anyone, he's here to TAKE A SPOT! The familiar music of Teddy Long hits and we get the first in ring appearance of the WWE Hall of Famer and Guest GM who tells Austin and Matthews they have bright futures in the business. Long tells them they're going to get the opportunity to take a spot right now "because we are having a TAG TEAM MATCH!" and their opponents are HIGH PROFILE!!!
High Profile (Shea Shea McGrady & Will Demented) defeated Ace Austin & Malakai Matthews
"Where there's a Will there's a Shea" as in Will Demented and Shea Shea McGrady! High Profile made their main show PWX debut to a raucous reaction from the PWX faithful following Teddy Long's signature announcement. Following a very successful debut on the preshow of 'Ode to Tradition' a couple months back High Profile got the party going in Concord for this impromptu tag team match. The crowd chants "Happy Birthday" for Shea Shea to begin the match and seamlessly High Profile begins their innovative, tandem offense on Matthews. Malakai Matthews has seen enough and tags in Austin who shows sportsmanship with Demented before the two lock up, Austin puts his athleticism on display with a one handed cartwheel but catches a jumping kick to the face from Will as High Profile tag in and out very quickly and make the most of their double team offense once again. Austin turns the tide with lightning quick kick combos and a leg sweep into the ropes but Matthews takes it upon himself to stomp McGrady's throat across the rope as Matthews and Austin don't seem to be enjoying one another as tag team partners. Matthews tags himself in and suplexes McGrady but Shea Shea using his quickness once again hitting a tornado DDT as both men race to tag the fresher man. Shea makes it to Will who comes in with a big kick to Matthews and dives to the outside on Austin before covering Matthews for a near fall. Austin back in the ring now and hits an arching Death Valley driver on Demented but Shea is back up and delivers a spinning neckbreaker from the middle rope on Austin. Matthews is back up as well and spikes Shea Shea but Referee Kevin Pierce astutely does not count the pin because McGrady is not the legal man, McGrady may have suffered a stinger at this point as he was done for the rest of the match. Will Demented all on his own hits a T-Bone suplex on Austin as Will tries to notch the victory for his team with the help of the PWX faithful. Will climbs to the top and comes crashing down with a twisting plancha to pick up the first ever main show victory in PWX for High Profile. Very good match from all four individuals but the energy for High Profile was off the charts in this one, look for more impressive outings in PWX from Will and Shea.
Tracer X defeated "The Revolutionary" Darius Lockhart
Two of the very best 'young lions' in Premiere Wrestling Xperience had their final encounter next and both men made it count. Tracer and Lockhart have battled for several months in singles matches, multi man matches and at What Lies Beneath the two left it all in the ring with their greatest encounter yet. The two rivals begin with a long stare down each waiting for the other to make the first move, it's Tracer who rushes in but Darius locks in a firm side headlock with a takeover to control the very early moments of the match. Tracer increases the pace of the matchup looking to make Lockhart fight his style but it's a stalemate as Darius avoids a dive but Tracer scores with a backwards dropkick sending Lockhart to the floor. Tracer again looks for the high risk offense but is stopped in his tracks by a forearm shot to the ear and a leaping knee to the side of the head as Lockhart turns the tide of the match more to his style and tempo. Lockhart smartly reapplies the firm head and chin lock putting pressure on the injured jaw of Tracer which seems to (smartly) be the game plan of The Revolutionary. Lockhart scores again this time with a dropkick right to the reconstructed face of Tracer and it looked as though the match would end in a count out victory for Lockhart but Tracer wills himself back into the ring at a count of eight. Darius shows a little too much bravado dumping Tracer out to the floor again and after working the headlock once again Tracer finally scores on a dive sending Lockhart over the guard rail and into the first row! The action is back in the middle of the ring now and turns into a battle of strikes and again it's Lockhart scoring with a huge lariat to the face of Tracer. Darius Lockhart continues to display as perfect of a game plan as possible in this final encounter between two of PWX's very best rising talents. Both men now racing to beat Referee Kevin Pierce's ten count and it's the tenacious "Independent Variable" Tracer X who gets up first and delivers a shotgun dropkick sending Darius into the corner. Tracer sets Lockhart up on the top rope and delivers forearm shot then drops his opponent with a superplex but only gets a two count. Tracer delivers some stiff kicks to the chest and arm perhaps in an attempt to take away that firm headlock that has applied so much pressure to his injured face and jaw but Lockhart comes right back with a booming knee to the back of the head and this time it's Lockhart who only gets a two count. Not one ounce of 'give up' in either of these two as they battle to be crowned THE best young star on the roster. Tracer once again looks to score with a big time sunset flip powerbomb from the top but Lockhart blocks it and drives two feet to the face!!! Lockhart looks to finish Tracer off with an electric chair drop but Tracer in very quick succession reverses to a victory roll, follows with a springboard flat liner and ascends to the top connecting with the 450 and just like that X GIVES IT to Darius Lockhart picking up the hard earned victory in a tremendous final installment in the war between two young men with incredibly bright futures in this business.
Corey Hollis defeated "The Product" David Starr
Brad Stutts does a tremendous job on commentary reminding us of the history between Hollis and Starr, it was The Product who dealt Hollis a loss over one year ago beginning a long losing streak as Hollis began to sort of lose his grip on reality in PWX. Starr as usual starts out 100 mph with a big boot to the face and then stomps a mudhold Stone Cold style in Hollis as the crowd cheers the pummeling of perhaps the most hated man in Premiere Wrestling Xperience. Hollis was losing the battle of physicality early on so he delivers a stiff kick to the knee of Starr and begins to work on the ankle with a single leg takedown applying extreme amounts of pressure taking away several aspects of The Product's game away. Referee Kevin Pierce tries to check in on Starr but Hollis' attack on the leg is relentless not allowing even a single second for Starr to recover or the referee to check on his wellbeing. Starr is visibly tenuous as he tries to battle back and Hollis sends him crashing into the guard rail outside, the former Bruiserweight seems resigned to a count out victory but Starr makes it back in at the last second and Hollis continues his assault on the lower extremities of the 104 minute man. Starr battles back with lightning quick chops and forearms but it's very noticeable that Starr cannot get all of his momentum behind the shots on one leg. Starr unties the boot to alleviate pressure, tries to shake the feeling back into the leg but Hollis takes the opportunity to quicken the pace sending Starr to the floor on that knee once again and follows with a sliding dropkick and a head butt right to the injured knee for a two count. Hollis completely loses it now stripping the boot of Starr off and biting his leg in the process, Starr now on one leg and with one boot delivers a big clothesline but it's not enough to end the match, Starr continues trying to win the match with his hands but has to sacrifice hitting the "Florida Keys" dropping Hollis directly on his injured knee but the sacrifice does not pay off as Starr only gets a two count! Hollis senses the damage not only he has inflicted but that Starr himself has inflicted and locks in the "Calf Crusher" and Starr screams in agony but somehow reaches the bottom rope and after a nearly disqualifying count of five Hollis has no choice but to break the hold. Hollis goes to the floor and attempts to further crush Starr's leg with a chair but the referee stops him opening the door for Starr to connect with his boot to the face of Hollis for a near fall. Starr again tries to block out the injured leg and goes for the German suplex but the leg doesn't hold and Hollis rolls him up grabbing a handful of tights to pick up the victory. The Victory it seems isn't enough for the 2017's "Wild Eyed Southern Boy" Corey Hollis who tries to 'Pillmanize" the leg of Starr but Hollis' former partner John Skyler intervenes and security backs Hollis out of the ring as he tries as he has for months now to goad his former best friend into a fight but the former two time PWX World Champion still isn't taking the bait.
"The Southern Savior" John Skyler defeated Jonathan Gresham
Corey Hollis does get escorted from the ring but he doesn't go far as he takes a seat at ringside with Brad Stutts and Brett Wolverton to get a close look at his former best friend and tag team partner's matchup with Jonathan Gresham in a battle between two ROH Top Prospect Tournament stars. Hollis was going absolutely ballistic on commentary throughout this whole match taunting Skyler but Skyler and Gresham engage in some chain wrestling to start and it doesn't take long for the pace to quicken and The Southern Savior does a great job hanging with his opponent but Gresham comes out of the exchange with a headscissors. Skyler fires back with some textbook European uppercuts but Gresham connects with a dropkick. Gresham scores with some more quick offense including a seated senton and some stiff forearm shots but Skyler smartly keeps his distance trying to take away the deadly submission game of the 2016 ROH Top Prospect Tournament Winner. Gresham hooks in an arm bar and Skyler does everything he can to get out of it including stiff kicks and a senton of his own, inside cradle out of nowhere gets Gresham a two count as Skyler is right back on his opponent while trying to avoid the ramblings of his former friend and partner at ringside. Gresham continues to go for the arm and finds success locking in the Octopus Hold but Skyler wriggles out of it as quickly as possible, head scissors by Gresham but Skyler catches him and plants him with a powerbomb for a two count. The Southern Savior is really favoring that arm at this point in the match but scores one of his patented moves, the slingshot spear. Gresham responds with a lightning quick exchange hitting a suicide dive followed by a shooting star press but Skyler rolls Gresham into a two count for a near fall! The pace once again quickens now as Gresham attacks the injured arm once again with a beautiful prawn style roll through and a booming kick to the joint of Skyler's arm. Gresham then locks in a crossface as Corey Hollis yells for Skyler to tap but The Southern Savior despite Gresham's best efforts finds the bottom rope to force a break. Gresham and Skyler finish this one super strong and show why they are legitimately two of the top prospects in the game right now. Back and forth pin combinations at an ultra-quick pace with Gresham continuing his focus on Skyler's arm but the 2 time former world champion responds by turning his opponent inside out with a clothesline, drilling him into the mat with a tiger driver and reversing the kick out into an STF! Gresham finds the bottom rope with his foot to break the hold and racks Skyler's arm across the top rope, the two jockey for position on the top rope and Gresham locks in the Octopus Hold but has to break it at the four count, Skyler takes advantage and hits the 'Finley Roll" from the middle rope covering Gresham for a hard earned, big time win. Gresham and Skyler shake hands and Gresham applauds Skyler as he leaves the ring only to be ambushed by Corey Hollis! Hollis pleads at Skyler "Save Him!" trying to lure his former best friend into a fight. Hollis takes a page out of Skyler's past and DDT's Gresham on the floor and Skyler comes as close as we've seen to taking the bait but again walks away from the fight.
Brad Stutts catches up with John Skyler once again backstage and Stuttsy questions Skyler's restraint and says the situation is getting out of hand and Skyler is IRATE! He screams that he didn't mean for anyone to get hurt, nobody was supposed to get hurt. Skyler exits as Stuttsy sums it up, one way or another "This S*it has to stop"
"Manscout" Jake Manning defeated Zane Riley & White Mike in a Triple Threat Match
WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long had already made a huge impact at 'What Lies Beneath' banning The Syndicate from ringside and making a TAG TEAM MATCH! There was only one thing left to do and that's make a "One on One match with The Undertaker" well sort of. Zane Riley came to the ring interrupting Long and asking him to put him in the match, Long obliged but instead of The Undertaker, we got "The UnderSTANKer" WHITE MIKE!! Mike made the classic entrance all wrestling fans know to a huge roar from the crowd and the match originally scheduled to be White Mike vs. "Manscout" Jake Manning turned into a triple threat match.
Following the memorable entrance of White Mike the action was all over the venue as Riley took Mike out before the former PWX World Champion joined the match and he and Riley battled at the merchandise tables and even at commentary where Manning (a part time comic in addition to wrestling) made some puns while pummeling Riley. Manning and Riley take the action back to the ring and Zane delivers a pop up powerbomb followed by his signature corner cannonball, White Mike takes the opportunity to get back into the action hitting a dropkick from the middle rope and follows up with (what else) a chokeslam complete with a very familiar pin attempt for a two count. White Mike continues his homage next going "Old School" as he climbs to the top rope (admittedly not his strong suit in the past) and walks three lengths of the ring before he crotches himself. Manning back into the fray with a top rope clothesline and the straps come down as he looks for the piledriver but Riley avoids it and his straps come down! Riley goes for the "Belushi Driver" but Manning counters and connects with a modified piledriver but White Mike is back in to break up the fall just before three. White Mike makes it a trifecta as HIS straps come down and he catches Manscout in a Tombstone Piledriver but instead of covering he goes to that unforgiving top rope and again the top rope woes come back to haunt him as he misses the diving head butt by a mile!! All three men trading chops, forearms, back elbows and elbows and it's White Mike going for the "Can Opener" but Manning reverses looking to hit the rope assisted piledriver until Riley calls "TIME OUT!" the action stops and Zane thanks the PWX crowd before calling time in and Manning immediately hits a double underhook DDT for the victory. Following the match Riley leaves his REVOLT arm band mid ring and with the absence of Caleb Konley this could spell the end or at least a changing of the guard for The REVOLT in PWX.
The Syndicate (Timmy Lou Retton & BOSS) w/ THE Tommy Thomas defeated PWX Tag Team Champions The Ugly Ducklings (Rob Killjoy & Lance Lude) w/ Coach Mikey to win the titles
Fans were not treated to the typical party style entrance of the defending PWX Tag Team Champions The Ugly Ducklings in this one, after being jumped from behind several months in a row it was Killjoy and Lude attacking Retton and BOSS as they made their entrance. The Ducks ran the enforcer of The Syndicate BOSS hard into the outside ring post and Killjoy takes over on Retton inside the ring with stomps in the corner. The aggressive, angry Ducks continue their assault with their game plan being to isolate Retton and keep BOSS out of the action as much as possible. Killjoy dropkicks BOSS off the apron as soon as he makes it back up there and the PWX Tag Team Champions connect on a pretty tandem wheel barrow moonsault for a two count. Timmy Lou catches Lude coming in with a knee strike but Lude is able to tag in to Killjoy who baits BOSS into charging him on the apron and they again keep the big man out of the match as Killjoy takes back over inside the right with an overhead suplex followed by a double stomp for another two count as Retton battles to stay in the match while BOSS waits to get into the action and make his mark for the first time. It doesn't take long as BOSS' patience runs out and he gets a blind tag on Retton and levels Killjoy with a running body attack!! Hip toss on Lude and a press slam on Killjoy onto the waiting knees of Retton and BOSS tagging in have changed the complexion of this tag team titles match. Slight miscue by the challengers as BOSS runs full speed into Timmy Lou knocking him to the floor and Killjoy strikes with a hard knee to the face of BOSS as the defending champions try to battle back into this one. Tandem strikes from The Ugly Ducklings and not 1, not 2 but THREE 'launchpads' finally takes BOSS down in the corner. Now a miscue on the part of The Ducks as they attempt to go for the 'DucksDay Device' on the 300 + pound BOSS! There is just no way they are getting a man of that size up for their finisher and Retton back in makes them pay for their mistake trapping Lude on the middle rope and delivering a picture perfect moonsault slam to the canvas!! Retton looks to follow up with another high risk move but BOSS stops him and he ascends to the top connecting with a somersault senton that had to bust Lance Lude up on the inside. Referee Kevin Pierce and Coach Mikey check on Lude and he's bleeding from the mouth, tensions boil over as Mikey and Tommy Thomas scrap at ringside as security administers any help they can to Lude and Rob Killjoy must go the rest of the match on his own! The Syndicate takes advantage of the numbers game as BOSS plants Killjoy and puts his partner on the top rope where Retton delivers beautifully again this time with a shooting star press but Killjoy somehow kicks out at the last second! Killjoy spits in the face of Retton, slaps BOSS and delivers a 'one finger salute' to both as his fighting spirit shines through but it will be an uphill battle if Killjoy is to defeat both members of The Syndicate and defend the tag titles for he and his injured tag team partner. Retton picks Killjoy up and whips him into the waiting arms of BOSS who spikes him a spinebuster THREE times and covers for the victory as THE Tommy Thomas' clients add more championships to their shelf! Backstage The Syndicate celebrate their victories at What Lies Beneath and Elijah Evans IV again promises he'll be ITV Champion forever, the foursome say they run PWX and BOSS ends it with "Because We Deserve It"
PWX World Champion Anthony Henry w/ Amber Young defeated Ethan Case via Ref Stoppage to retain the Championship
The only two men to have the honor of winning PWX's annual X-16 tournament met in the main event for the PWX World Championship. Champion Anthony Henry and challenger Ethan Case have been friends for many years and promised a good, spirited, but friendly encounter which is what we got until the end, that's when things got a little testy and a LOT controversial. The two friends and opponents had some fun to begin the match interacting with the PWX faithful and then engaged in a back and forth of one upsmanship which was a stalemate but the fans won this one as it did result in one of the best opening sequences of any PWX match in recent memory. Case catches the Champion in a snap hurrcanrana and the challenger has some more fun posing and yelling "OLE!” The pace quickens a bit and Case looks for the springboard 'Case Cutter' but Henry moves out of the way. The Champion goes into his bag of tricks looking for the 'round the world' kick on the outside but the familiarity comes into play once again and Case avoids it with a sly finger wag at Anthony Henry. The challenger slows the pace down once again and the Champion is happy to oblige but soon scores the first big impact move of the match tying Case up in the ropes with a dragon sleeper and then connecting with a pinpoint European uppercut from the middle rope. Henry hits a float over suplex and controls the action on the mat, with a cross choke on Ethan Case. Case uses the ropes to hit a spinning suplex for a two count and he applies the pressure to Henry now on the mat as the two try to grind one another down. The defending Champion goes for the first high risk move of the match, a frogsplash but Case blocks it with his knees and rolls Henry into a cradle for a two count. Another excellent exchange in the battle for the PWX World Championship next as Ethan Case connects with the springboard 'Case Cutter' follows up with a stiff knee and goes for his trademark release suplex but Henry lands on his feet and covers with a majhistrah cradle for a two but Ethan Case hits "EAT IT!" for a two count of his own. TREMENDOUS stuff from two of the best in the business. The two exchange forearms from their knees as both men reach their feet and Case plants Henry with a pop up powerbomb but Henry responds by sticking Case into the mat with a piledriver!!! "Iron Man" Referee Kevin Pierce administers the 10 count to both men who just make it to their feet. Henry with a kick right to the face of Case and the defending Champion looks to finish the match with the 'Kudo Driver' but Case fights out and rolls Henry up for a near fall as the two continue to battle with all they have to leave Concord as PWX World Champion. The PWX crowd showers both mean with chants of "This Is Awesome" and it truly was. Henry goes back to the 'Kudo Driver' but Case again avoids it and locks Henry in the sharpshooter dead center in the middle of the ring!! Case Reverses it and sits back applying pressure to the back of Ethan Case and the Champion picks Case's ankle and locks in the Ankle Lock as the challenger battles with himself against the pain trying with all he has to not submit and finally finds the ropes to break the hold. The challenger musters up the strength to go back to his signature trio hitting the 'Case Cutter, running knee strike and looking for the release suplex but again Henry avoids it and locks in the dragon sleeper! The PWX World Champion applies pressure as Ethan Case again struggles to avoid submission but the head and arm of the challenger completely go limp (if only for a second) and Referee Kevin Pierce makes the decision to call for the bell awarding Anthony Henry the win to retain the PWX World Championship. Seconds after the crucial decision Ethan Case pops up ready to continue the fight but it has been decided at that point. Case is clearly LIVID! and appeals the decision of the referee even going as far as grabbing the referee shirt. Such a hard fought matchup between both men and the original X-16 winner Ethan Case is clearly distraught and broken hearted with the decision. Confusion and controversy reign supreme to end 'What Lies Beneath' as Henry thought Case had tapped out and Case continued to make his plea that he was not in danger and was fighting to get out of the hold but Referee Kevin Pierce and PWX management uphold the decision and Anthony Henry retains admittedly not the way he wanted to when the bell rang to start the match. Garbage litters the ring from confused, upset PWX fans as Anthony Henry begrudgingly takes his Championship and has his hand raised to end the night. In a classy move, Anthony Henry takes the mic and tells Ethan Case that they'll make this right, Case responds with equal amounts of class promising that he WILL be PWX World Champion. PWX cameras focus in on a heated discussion backstage between Ethan Case and Referee Kevin Pierce just moments after the main event and Case again says he did not quit and disputes the fact that he lost consciousness in the ring. Pierce again explains his reasoning for the decision he made and tells Case that he will not allow his or anyone's health to be jeopardized because they "don't want to be the guy who got choked out". Brad Stutts steps in and does a great job trying to make sense of the finish stating that across the board in combat sports and athletics or any governing body the protocol is to look out for the wellbeing of the individuals competing.
The controversy from 'What Lies Beneath' has still not been settled to this date but a rematch between Anthony Henry and Ethan Case is set for July 8th in Charlotte, North Carolina at 'This is How We Do It' 2 out of 3 falls!
PWX returns to Escapade VIP in Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday July 8th for a 3 pm matinee show to be followed that evening by EVOLVE 88! See the stars of PWX, WWN, & EVOLVE on both shows that day. Tickets are available for This is How We Do It at www.pwxpro.com/live and for EVOLVE 88 at https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1491897-wwn-evolve-wrestling-present-charlotte/
Photos: John Moses Photography