PWX Rise Of A Champion VIII
Charlotte, North Carolina 2/23/13
1.) Cedric Alexander vs. Chip Day: ***1/2
We kick things off with Cedric Alexander, now a ROH regular, taking on Chip Day. I’ve heard of Day, but I really haven’t seen much of him. This was a really good opener. These two seemed to mesh very well together, and we got a very solid back & forth opener as a result. Alexander would pick up the win in this entertaining opening contest.
After the match, Alexander gets interviewed on the entrance stage. He says that he is changing, and is getting better everyday. He wants to show the world why he is the best, but he doesn’t like the fact that he wrestled in the opening match on this show.
2.) “Mr. Elite” Drew Myers & John Skylar vs. Ernie Osiris & Rhett Titus: ***
It’s so strange to see Ernie Osiris outside of his ROH gimmicks (seemingly a homeless person at first, then a member of The Embassy). Myers & Skylar are two more southern indie guys who I’ve heard a good deal about, but never really saw before. The story here is that Osiris needed a partner, and he found one in Rhett Titus (This was right before Titus became part of S.C.U.M. in ROH). A solid tag team match here. The crowd loved Titus, Osiris was a good underdog, and the Myers/Skylar team worked well together. Good stuff all around. Titus would end up getting the victory for his team here.
3.) Chris Lea vs. Smith James: N/A
The DVD doesn’t show this match in full. It cuts into the match right as its starting, but it doesn’t last long, as Kongo comes out and destroys both men. For those who don’t know, he made an appearance for Ring of Honor as part of the 2014 Top Prospect Tournament. What’s interesting to note is that I checked his profile on cagematch.net, and I don’t think he ever wrestled a match in PWX (unless I missed something). If true, that
4.) Mixed-Tag Team Match - Mike Bennett & Maria Kanellis vs. Zane Riley & Amber O’Neal: **1/4
Up next we have a match with more Ring of Honor talent, as Michael Bennett and his then fiancé, Maria Kanellis, take on Zane Riley (who has some interesting attire) and Amber O’Neal (the future wife of Doc Gallows). This was an ok match. While the action wasn’t the best (it was probably the weakest match on the show that wasn’t the aforementioned Kongo segment), I thought both teams played their babyface/heel roles very well. O’Neal would eventually score the win for her team with a rollup on Kanellis.
The next match was originally supposed to be just The Dojo Bros. vs. Davey Richards & Kevin Steen, but The Great Outdoors of Jake Manning & Grizzly Redwood interrupt the proceedings. Manning cuts a promo saying that he & Grizzly want to be added to match (The Dojo Bros. defeated The Great Outdoors to win the PWX Tag Team Titles a few months prior). Richards & Steen agree (with Steen giving a very funny retort), and The Dojo Bros. agree as well, but on the condition that it’s a Non-Title Match.
5.) Non-Title Three Way Elimination Match – PWX Tag Team Champions The Dojo Bros (Eddie Edwards & Roderick Strong) vs. Davey Richards & ROH World Champion Kevin Steen vs. The Great Outdoors (Jake Manning & Grizzly Redwood): ****
With the addition of The Great Outdoors, this is now a Three-Way Elimination Match. I thought that this was a great match! Of course, anytime you get Roderick Strong, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, & Kevin Steen in a match, you know it’s going to be good. Adding in Jake Manning & Grizzly Redwood added a ton of intrigue to the match (for me, at least), and they worked really well in here against some of the best in the world. We saw some very cool stuff, including a six-man submission spot! The only real gripe I had with this match was that Richards & Steen ended up being eliminated by count-out. This left the match as Edwards & Strong vs. Manning & Redwood. In the end, The Great Outdoors were able to pick up a huge non-title win over The Dojo Bros.! Once again, a really entertaining match pretty much the whole way through.
Before the next match, we get a promo from an injured Adam Page (I believe he had a broken hand or wrist).
6.) PWX TV Title #1 Contender’s Match – Corey Hollis vs. The Chiva Kid: ***1/2
It had recently been announced that PWX was creating a TV Title. The winner of this match will advance to the finals on the next show towards the end of March. For those of you who don’t know, The Chiva Kid is Andrew Everett. Yes, he wrestled under a mask in the early part of his career. This was actually my first time seeing him as The Chiva Kid. The match itself was pretty good. I’ve always enjoyed Corey Hollis whenever I get a chance to see him, whether that be in his occasional Ring of Honor appearances or elsewhere. You could also tell by watching The Chiva Kid that the person behind the mask was incredibly talented. Unfortunately, the match ends in a Time Limit Draw (I believe it was 20 Minutes), leaving their futures in this tournament in question. Despite the finish, this was still very good.
7.) PWX Heavyweight Title – 2/3 Falls – Adam Cole vs. Caleb Konley: ****1/4
Konley was the person who Cole defeated for the PWX Heavyweight Title a few months prior. The commentators believed this was a 2/3 Falls Match under Three Stages of Hell rules, with the first fall being submissions only, the second fall being pinfalls only, and the third fall, if necessary, being a Last Man Standing Match. This ended up not being correct, so I’m not sure if that was a screw up on the commentator’s end or not. Still, this ended up being an incredible match. These two did a great job building up the drama in this title match. There was a ton of great action, and the crowd was really invested in it. After Konley won the first fall, the rest of the PWX roster came out to cheer him on. The second fall was absolutely bonkers. There were some insane near-falls towards the end, and the crowd was erupting. In the end, Konley defeated Cole in two straight falls to win back the PWX Heavyweight Title! I’m not sure how I feel about Konley winning in two straight falls. I think it could have been even better if it went to a third fall. However, if that third fall was supposed to be Last Man Standing, I’m not sure if it would have worked as well as a regular pinfall.
After the match, Konley celebrated his big title win with the rest of the PWX roster. He says that this show was The Rise of Caleb Konley, and that PWX is going to bigger, better, & higher places. His celebration is then interrupted when Kevin Steen (who was on commentary with Gregory Helms) attacks Konley, taking him out with a Package Piledriver! Steen then cuts a promo saying that the only way that PWX goes higher is if Kevin Steen is its champion. Konley vs. Steen for the PWX Heavyweight Title is then announced for its show in March to close out the evening.
This was my first time watching an entire PWX show in full (after watching the Cedric Alexander: The Dream Match Series DVD), and I really enjoyed it. I got to see the promotions where The Dojo Bros. stable originated, and some of the best in the Carolinas from guys like Cedric Alexander and Caleb Konley to others like Chip Day, Corey Hollis, and The Chiva Kid (the future Andrew Everett). Cole vs. Konley was easily the Match of the Night, and is definitely worth checking out. The Three-Way Tag Team Match, Cedric Alexander vs. Chip Day, & Corey Hollis vs. The Chiva Kid were all really good as well. A very solid show from PWX.