We take a look at Arik Royal’s first defence of the ACTION, as he takes on Matt Sells.

Quick Results
Angelus Layne pinned Erron Wade in 3:08 (**)
Adam Priest pinned Nolan Edward in 11:42 (***)
Kevin Ryan & Suge D pinned Akira & Brett Ison in 10:28 (***)
Logan Creed pinned Graham Bell in 10:41 (***¼)
Arik Royal pinned Matt Sells to retain the ACTION Wrestling Championship in 12:18 (***½)

We’re back at the Roger Spencer Community Center in Tyrone, Georgia for this one… If you have IWTV, this show’s up as part of your subscription…

Angelus Layne vs. Erron Wade
This may be a “lamb to the slaughter” moment…

Layne pushes Wade away, but Erron replies with kicks to take Layne into the corner. Some right hands and a back-fist keep the flurry up, as did some whips into the corner ahead of a shotgun dropkick. He stays on her with elbows, but a kick’s caught and turned into a release Northern Lights suplex. Kicks take Wade into the corner as he was now on the defensive, before a suplex took Wade back into the ropes. A headbutt follows, then a death valley driver into the corner, but Layne pulls Wade up at two as he was done for. She slaps him a few more times, as Wade began to fire up, but a Busaiku knee ends up putting Wade away in double-quick time. An enjoyable squash, with Wade getting a brief window of hope… but in the end this was one-sided. **

Adam Priest vs. Nolan Edward
Priest’s been running a sorta-exhibition gimmick as he’s being very selective over what counts on his win/loss record while also inflating his height.

We open with a lock-up as the pair head to the mat, with Edward eventually grabbing a front facelock that ended in the ropes. Another lock-up ends with them on the mat, but Priest’s attempt at a roll-up was blocked as Nolan dropped down for a two-count. Priest goes for a front facelock, but Edward escapes and takes him back down to the mat in a front chancery. Priest rolls out for an armbar, but Edward keeps floating up out of pin attempts that looked to unsettle Priest. A trip has Edward down for a side headlock, but it’s reversed as Edward grabbed on… but he’s able to push off before a dropdown tripped Edward. They head outside for a scrap, before a rebound Blue Thunder Bomb back inside nearly got Edward the win.

A suplex into the buckles followed as Priest’s bad back got worse, but he’s still able to kick out from it. Priest recovers with a brainbuster after he threw Edward into the corner, picking up a two-count from that, before a snap suplex keeps the pressure going. Priest looks to have a bloody mouth as he builds up momentum, stomping on Nolan in the corner, but Edward returns with chops only to get met with an uppercut. Forearms to the kidneys keep Edward rocked, but he snaps back with a pumphandle gutbuster… only for Priest to return with a back elbow.

A grounded full nelson attempt is fought out of by Edward, but Priest countered with a German suplex for a near-fall. They trade clotheslines, leaving both men down, before Edward pulls ahead with more chops and a dropkick into the corner. Priest tries to fight back, but a spinning neckbreaker before Priest slipped out of Snake Eyes. In the end, Priest hits a piledriver… but couldn’t get off a frog splash as Edward struck back and took Priest across the ring for Snake Eyes… only for Priest to roll outside. Out of nowhere, Kevin Ryan and Suge D run out to attack Akira at ringside, before Priest ran back inside and pinned Edward with a Magistral cradle. ***

Priest plays no part as Angelus Layne came out with a chair to lay out Edward – before they fought to the back. Cue a Heyman special when Brett Ison ran out as we bleed between matches.

No Disqualification: Akira & Brett Ison vs. The Good Hand (Kevin Ryan & Suge D)
The no-DQ stipulation was thrown in at the last minute, and we start with Akira and Ison cornering Ryan and Suge.

Ryan’s bounced with an overhead belly-to-belly, before face-washing boots keep Ryan in the corner. Suge tries to make a save, but he’s double-teamed as Akira holds him for some headbutts from Ison, before Akira just lobbed a water bottle at Ryan with a sliding punch to boot. We have to go picture-in-picture as Akira and Ryan go at it on the outside… Ison abandons Suge to join in, dumping Ryan on the ring apron with a back suplex, before Suge fought back with a jaw breaker. Akira’s gone outside for something, but Suge hits a rolling elbow to disarm him… but not to worry, as Ison fought back, punching away Ryan and Suge before a Saito spulex dropped Suge.

Ison busts out a Muscle Buster on Ryan for a two-count, while Akira was posted by Suge on the outside. Suge’s looking around ringside for something, and comes back with some tape as Ryan pushes Ison to the ropes, allowing Suge to tape up Ison to the ropes in a crucifix. They use a whack tonne of tape to restrain Ison… and when Akira does return, he’s mule kicked quickly. That allowed Suge to tie up Ison’s legs too, before they focused on Akira, stomping on his hands ahead of a mugging as Ison broke free of (some of) the tape. Suge just goes back to Ison and tapes him back up, before Ryan superkicked Akira, who still tries to fight back, only to get held on the mat and kicked in the balls as commentary likened this to “torture porn”.

A stomp-assisted neckbreaker followed… but Akira kicks out at two as Ryan heads outside for a chair. In the meantime, Akira PK’s Suge, but Ryan’s back as he dished out chairshot after chairshot as one of the commentary team – Mose – left to try and free Ison. It’s too late though as Akira takes a knee through a chair for a VERY near fall… before more chair shots ended as Akira’s put through a chair with a Meteora in the corner to the back… and that’s all folks. More of a long angle than a match, with the Good Hand of Suge and Ryan putting on an other-worldly display of aggression. A very different display of “heat” compared to what you’ll see elsewhere that’ll pay off handsomely when Suge and Ryan finally get their come-uppance. ***

Cabana Man Dan runs out to clear away Suge and Ryan… but that feels perhaps like it might have been questionably late? Just a cynical fan asking questions…

Graham Bell vs. Logan Creed
Creed’s been on a good run in ACTION, winning four matches as they don’t seem to count his match as part of the ACTION Futures show last October.

Bell spears Creed twice at the bell as he tried to shock Creed… taking him outside for a tope as punches followed. Creed fought back, before he threw Bell back into the ring, where a big boot followed in short order. Right hands keep Bell in the corner, where Bell finds his head gets rammed into the turnbuckle before Creed hit a boot as Bell was over the bottom rope. Bell avoids a punch as he springboards into Creed with a corkscrew senton on the floor. Back inside, Bell measures up Creed, but runs into a back elbow… he avoids a bulldog though and dives to tackle out Creed’s knee. A second dive’s blocked in mid-air, before a spear tied up Creed and took out his knee… following up with a Figure Four toe hold to exacerbate things further.

Creed breaks free and pulls Bell into a triangle… but Bell slips out and elbows away Creed’s leg for a two-count. Bell keeps hold of the leg, but gets pushed onto the apron… he tries to springboard back in but gets swatted away. A chokeslam from Creed leads to nought, but he just kicks out Bell’s knee then hits a curb stomp for a two-count. Bell escapes Scorched Earth and hits an enziguiri… then picked up Creed for a F5?! We lose picture as Bell gets a two-count, before a knee strike landed… Kawada-ish kicks follow, before a Tenryu-esque back elbow off the top drew a near-fall… but Creed goozles Bell and hits a chokebreaker onto his bad leg.

Creed’s back up as he hobbled into a splash on Bell, who spilled onto the apron… escaping a bulldog as he then proceeded to go for a springboard… but Creed caught it and brings him down with a chokeslam off the top! Bell’s up at two as Creed took his time making the cover, and tries to fight back, but Creed’s got more in his strikes it seemed before he got taken into the corner for some headscissors off the top… before Creed snuck back in with the Scorched Earth for the win. Some good back-and-forth this, with Bell going for the knee from the start, but in the end he was unable to neutralise Creed’s power, and that’s what cost him at the end. ***¼

ACTION Wrestling Championship: Matt Sells vs. Arik Royal (c)
A rematch from just over a year ago, where Sells beat Royal in a cash vs. hair match – coming off $2500 richer in what was the last match before ACTION’s pandemic-enforced shutdown.

When we get going, Royal tries to charge down Sells, but instead gets caught with a drop toe hold as Sells looked for an early finish. Royal rolls outside, but gets thrown back in as Sells goes for it again… but again Royal powders. Sells goes for a dropkick through the ropes, but Royal catches him and teased a powerbomb, only for Sells to escape and hit a PK on the apron, before he finally catches Royal and repeatedly drives his head into the mat with the humping headscissors. Rolling Royal over, Sells can only get a two-count before he caught his breath and went up top… but Royal stops him and looked for a superplex, only to get shoved down and met with a double sledge. Sells looked to weak his knee on the landing, and could only get a one-count as Royal fought back with a dropkick.

A diving tackle shoves Sells into the corner for a two-count as Royal slowed things down. A mudhole’s stomped on Sells in the corner, before Royal tweaked Sells’ wrist to keep him down further. The ropes come into play too, as Sells ends up being trapped in the corner for some chops, then some shoulder charges as the new champion was just having his way here. Royal grabs Sells by the hair for a hair mare, then another, before Sells hit a knee strike. The neckbreaker misses, but Sells counters an Exploder into a sunset flip for a two-count, before more knee strikes finally led to the neckbreaker for another two-count. Sells keeps going with a knee in the corner, but his follow-up suplex is pushed out of as Royal’s double-leg slam left both men down.

The pair fight on their knees, but it’s Sells who pulls ahead, shrugging off a palm strike before a flying forearm – the Kobe – took down Royal. Pulling himself back up, Sells elbows away Royal ahead of a rewind cutter out of the corner, before Sells cued up for something… only for Jaden Newman to appear at ringside to distract Sells. It works, as Royal charges in with a football tackle… and that’s enough for the win. A decent little match, but the distraction finish perhaps took the sheen off it a little – although I did giggle at security literally chasing Newman out of the building. ***½

A solid, five-match show keeps ACTION’s streak going – with the Good Hand really standing out here with a display of violence against the usually impervious Ison and Akira. At 1h 20m long, this is a lot shorter than most of your weekly television shows – and offers something that some argue is in short supply in wrestling today: something subtle, but different.