Rise of a champion XV Results (editorial credit Heath Mullikin of Double Drop Kick Show)
More space and seats were opened up for PWX’s third show back from the pandemic. Attendance has grown from 250 in January to 350+ in February to right at 400 for their biggest show of the year. This has a big show feel. Temperatures were checked, 99.999% of the fans were masked, and people could distance if they chose. We sat in the back of the newly opened space because there was room to stand and stretch if we needed to without blocking anyone’s view. There is not a bad seat in the house in this venue. PWX will return to NC eventually, but they certainly have created a strong partnership with Rock Hill gymnastics. Another new strong partnership has been with Title Belt Ice Cream the past 2 shows with unique flavors tied to various wrestlers and as a public service I tried all of them and they are great.
Match 1-PWX ITV Championship Ladder Match
Champion Cam Carter vs. Lucky Ali
The future is bright for both of these wrestlers and 2021 will see them become ever more central to PWX’s plans and success. Carter’s manager, JP Lehman, was not at ringside per Carter’s request and desire to defeat Ali on his own. Unlike many local ladder matches, there were plenty of ladders just in case one broke. Both competitors used a smaller ladder for creative offense early on. Things were pretty even until Lehman brought the largest ladder in the building to the ring and assisted Carter as he made the first attempt for the hanging championship. Ali was able to recover and give Carter a low blow that dropped him off the ladder. He finally got his hands on Lehman and slammed him so hard that all of his cash and his trusted phone earpiece went flying. Lucky put the earpiece in his ear and threw Lehman over the top rope with reckless abandon. Lehman has taken 2 of the hardest managers bumps I’ve ever seen locally this year and has to be a frontrunner of Carolina’s Manager of the Year at this point. Lucky climbed the ladder to claim the victory and the championship. It is only a matter a time before both of these competitors is signed somewhere so get out and see them while you can.
Ring Announcer Brett Wolverton announced that Jason Cade had not arrived at the building yet, but that Madi Max would be banned from ringside for tonight’s Heavyweight Title match.
Jon Davis vs JD Drake
Many of these fans had already seen both of these men compete in hard hitting matches at Grindhouse earlier. Following the bell, the skipped all the pleasantries and went straight to the chops. This match wasn’t about championships or rankings, but two men vying to be the baddest man in wrestling. While the crowd was solidly behind local favorite Drake, they showed great respect for both men as everyone knew we were witnessing something special. They showed they could strike, wrestle, and fight with the best of them. This war of attrition ended when Drake hit the drill bit for the win. Drake cut a brief promo showing respect to Davis and hopefully Davis returns to SC since he is licensed for the year.
Match 3-PWX Pure Title
Champion Suge D vs. Timmy Lou Retton
Pure rules were in effect for this match. No fists or elbows to the face and only 2 rope breaks per competitor. This came into play as Suge D targeted Retton’s knee early and often and got 2 rope breaks early on. Timmy is in the best shape of his career and Suge D has quickly claimed a spot as one of the most hated wrestlers on the PWX roster. Suge makes no attempts to be a cool heel. He treats the audience with contempt and does not give a rip what they think. While Retton put up a great fight Suge D never seemed to be in danger before locking in a unique submission for the win. This was a good match in this spot and did a great job of following the first two contests. It did everything it needed to do. Following the win Suge D cut a promo saying he was bored with the competition he had been offered. He then presented an open challenge for the April show.
Drew Adler vs Chip Day
This was a match about position. Both competitors had achieved notable wins since the return of PWX and I’m sure the winner here would position themselves as a future contender for the Heavyweight Championship. Lots of back-and-forth action throughout the match with Chip looking to work the leg of Adler. There were several near falls for both men as the match built to a furious finish where Adler finished Day off with his version of White Noise.
And then, things got weird for a moment as 2 men approached the ring wearing President’s masks (Nixon and Reagan?). They surrounded Adler as a third masked man appeared and Adler was attacked. The masks were removed to reveal Mason Myles, Billy Brash, and Wolfe Taylor! Brash took a microphone and said they were tired of being overlooked and were there to claim what was there’s. That their group was a “Dying Breed.” Brash was unrecognizable following a haircut and clean shave, and in a time when there are no factions in PWX, this one has a chance to make an impact.
A video aired followed by an announcement that New Japan Pro Wrestling star and Bullet Club member, El Phantasmo, would be at the PWX show on April 17.
Tag Team Title Match
Champions The Revolt vs. The Heatseekers with the Rock and Roll Express as special enforcers
Great tag action and teamwork throughout. The Revolt have been the standard in PWX for a long time and the Heatseekers were trying to add to their extensive resume. Following a ref bump, Ricky Morton came into the ring to make a three count, but the Revolt were able to recover. As the Revolt set Sigmon up for their finisher, Elliot threw powder that missed Riley and went right into Morton’s face. As Konley went to check on him, Morton instinctively kicked Konley in the gut and hit a Canadian Destroyer that popped the entire audience. Following a powerslam from Elliot and a flying headbutt from Sigmon the referee recovered to make the 3 count and crown the Heetseekers tag team champions. Following the match, Zane Riley cut a promo stating his wish that Morton and Gibson would just stay home for the next show. In response, Morton said that the April match should be a three-way match for the tag team titles. Some may question whether the Rock and Roll Express are still a draw in 2021, but they had a line at their table from the time the doors opened to after the show was over signing autographs and taking pictures the entire time except during their spot.
Trish Adora vs Savannah Evans
Adora got in a lot of offense in this match and if wrestling were based on a scorecard she probably would have won. She showed a lot of “fighting spirit” against the taller Evans, but in the end, Evans’s strength was too much to overcome, and she was able to get the three count. This was Evans first match against another female in PWX since the return. She has dominated the Carolina’s women’s scene for the past 4 plus years. While the number of women’s wrestlers in the area has increased many of them are still very green and not ready for the spotlight of PWX. It will be interested to see how Evans continues to develop and what kind of opposition she faces in PWX moving forward.
PWX Heavyweight Championship
Champion Jason Cade vs. TJ Boss
TJ Boss earned this shot at the Heavyweight Championship with his 2021 X16 victory. Boss had previously been PWX Champion for about a minute before Jason Cade cashed in and won the championship from his former Syndicate stable mate. As Cade’s music hit, there was still a question if he was even in the building after avoiding PWX management and the inevitable clash with Boss for months. Senior Official Kevin Pierce called for the bell and was hit by Jason Cade immediately. Pierce called for the bell and ring announcer Brett Wolverton announced the disqualification and that Cade would retain the championship. The sense of disbelief in the crowd and in Boss’ face was palpable. Fans took to social media in the moment decrying the decision. As Cade made his way to the back, he was met by JD Drake and Jon Davis blocking his path as PWX Owner Brian Kanabroski grabbed a microphone. “I’m tired of you holding us up because you want that WWE TV money. This isn’t going to end like this. Restart the match! No Disqualification!” The emotion in Kanabroski’s voice was as real as it gets as was the reaction of the crowd. Referee Yolonda Wright made her way to the ring and the match was restarted. Boss and Cade had about a brutal a fight as 2 men could have with championship implications. Chairs. A kendo stick. Solid strikes. The match went back and forth until finally it appeared Boss was going win via pinfall. When Cade kicked out as close to 3 as humanly possible, a little bit of doubt crept into the crowd. And for the next few minutes it appeared that the coronation we had all come to see would not take place as Cade regained the upper hand. Cade beat down Boss relentlessly with chairs and strikes until it was his turn to go for a pinfall. Somehow, Boss kicked out at the last moment and hope was restored. The comeback began as Cade continued beating Boss with the Kendo stick until Boss had had enough and simply caught the next strike. He turned the tables on Cade and all the years of frustration poured out through TJ’s offense. After a brutal powerbomb, Boss covered for the pin. With most of the crowd standing, the audience of 400+ counted the 3 in unison and exploded with a joyous roar as this journey we had been watching came to a satisfying conclusion. It was a special moment not only to see, but to feel a part of. TJ Boss was presented the Heavyweight Championship and the celebration began. And then…
The familiar tones of “Desperation” began and John Skyler made his, some would say unwelcome, return to PWX. He told Boss he wasn’t there for a fight, but to congratulate him and remind him that everyone patting him on the back tonight would be trying to stab him in the back later. As Skyler went to leave the ring, Boss stopped him and told him he didn’t need his advice. Skyler then reminded Boss how people used to call him a “40 miler” and that there would be no PWX without Skyler and that he should be a little more grateful. Skyler then said at the next show he would put his career in PWX on the line for a shot at the Heavyweight Title. It looked like Boss agreed and the match was made. As Skyler left the ring, Boss continued his celebration and hugged his wife who had made her way to ringside.
One of the most fascinating things about the PWX shows in 2021 that I have noticed has been the number of wrestlers in the crowd watching and/or helping with set up. I counted no less than 15 notable wrestlers from the Carolina’s and Georgia who were in attendance. Another thing I noticed was the number of children in the crowd and how PWX shows now have that constant hum and kids yelling and talking throughout. It brings a special energy to shows and is much preferred to smart marks trying to hijack shows with their comments. So far in 2021 they have hit all the right notes, made all of the right moves, and PWX is set to start their new “season” with a lot of momentum at “What Lies Beneath” on April 17 in Rock Hill, SC.
For an audio version of this report from Heath Mullikin and Mark Whitman go to https://www.doubledropkick.com/294-pwxs-rise-of-champion-15/. For more behind the scenes news from the region go to patreon.com/doubledropkick.