Another show “saved” from the original Collective weekend, we take a look at For The Culture…
Mike Outlaw pinned Timmy Lou Retton, AC Mack, Mo Atlas & Zay Washington in 5:45 (**¾)
JTG pinned Trey Miguel in 8:30 (***¼)
PB Smooth & Tre Lamar pinned Christian Casanova & Tasha Steelz and Air Wolf & Angel Dorado in 11:43 (***½)
Trish Adora submitted Suge D to retain the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship in 12:50 (***¼)
Calvin Tankman pinned O’Shay Edwards in 9:10 (***½)
Willow Nightingale pinned Devon Monroe, Faye Jackson & Marti Belle in 7:30 (**½)
AJ Gray pinned Dezmond Xavier in 11:36 (****)
Lee Moriarty pinned ACH in 16:00 (****¼)
AR Fox pinned 2 Cold Scorpio in 14:08 (***¾)
We’re back at the Marion County Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, Indiana – for a show that was rebooked from the cancelled Collective weekend. The great Percy Davis and a revolving cast of friends were on commentary for the night.
Timmy Lou Retton vs. Mike Outlaw vs. AC Mack vs. Mo Atlas vs. Zay Washington
We open the match with a four-way scramble, but AC Mack inserts himself into the picture, still sore from losing the SUP Bonestorm title earlier. Nobody but Mack got entrances on the iPPV…
Mack attacks Retton at the bell, as things get wild early. Atlas is lowbridged to the outside as Mike Outlaw wheelbarrowed Washington for a quick pin. Armdrags and punches have Washington in the corner, before a dropkick took Washington outside. Timmy Lou Retton’s back with a nice dropkick, before Atlas returned to hit a cravat neckbreaker. Out goes Retton, in comes Mack who dropped Atlas with a low dropkick… right as Washington returned to hit a neat backflip into a low dropkick. Zay keeps going as he back body drops Outlaw from the ring to Mack on the floor, before a perfect Asai moonsault finds its mark.
Retton’s flattened by Atlas, who then hits a monster of a tope to complete the set, before everyone returned to the ring to trade shots. It leads to Retton dumping Washington with a rolling elbow, before Retton’s moonsault rolled into a cutter on Outlaw. Atlas clobbers Retton as AC Mack tries to come in to steal the win, but can’t get any three-counts. It backfires as Mack gets POUNCE’d by Retton, before a uranage from Outlaw left him prey for Atlas, who went for the Overdrive. A splash squashes Washington in the corner, but Zay slides out and powerbombs him away for a delayed two-count. Mack superkicks the pin apart, then hits a Pedigree on Washington… but Retton breaks it up.
Retton goes for what commentary called Broke-Black Mountain – think a Storm Breaker landing onto a knee. That’s an instant upgrade… but Outlaw runs in to boot Retton and steal the pin. Some fun stuff in this opener, but there’s only so much you can do in a six minute scramble. **¾
Trey Miguel vs. JTG
It’s a little bittersweet this, as Cryme Tyme were meant to be booked on the original event. However, the tragic passing of Shad Gaspard earlier this year meant that that couldn’t happen here – as JTG ended up taking on Trey Miguel instead.
Miguel hits JTG with a dropkick as he was in the corner before the match, then followed him outside with a knee slide into a powerslide DDT on the floor. Kicks knock JTG into a chair, but he swats Miguel away before he got posted after Miguel slipped out of a lawndart attempt. The bell rings as they return to the ring, with Trey getting a two-count from a diving knee, before he took JTG into the corner. Putting JTG in a Tree of Woe, Trey comes in with some stomps, before distracting the referee to mask a dick punch. That gets Trey a two-count, before JTG knee slid into an uppercut on Trey… who replies with a dropkick for a two-count before he slowed down the pace with a chinlock.
Trey goes for a handspring, but JTG caught him and turned him into a suplex/neckbreaker combo. Clothesline and elbows keep JTG pushing ahead, before he sized up Trey for a Slingblade. JTG goes for a Facebuster out of the corner… it’s caught, so he goes for another one before a swinging sidewalk slam almost put Trey away. JTG tries to pull Trey up, but he’s wheelbarrowed for a near-fall before Miguel came back with a Cheeky Nando’s. Other chicken restaurants are available… and JTG’s right in with a lariat to take Trey down and almost win the match. The pair go back and forth with elbows, but Trey followed up with a gamengiri in the corner, before he lifted JTG back up for another Cheeky Nando’s.
He lands it, before a 619 takes JTG back down… Trey misses a Meteora off the top and gets kneed in the gut as JTG followed up with a Brooklyns’ Edge – a Razor’s Edge into a beautiful neckbreaker – and that’s the win! A good little match, with JTG showing that he’s more than just your “usual ex-WWE guy playing the hits” here. ***¼
40 Acres (PB Smooth & Tre Lamar) vs. Top Flight (Angel Dorado & Air Wolf) vs. Culture SZN (Christian Casanova & Tasha Steelz)
Casanova and Air Wolf start us off, trading wristlocks as Casanova looked to force an early opening. Air Wolf spins out into a cravat, but he’s quickly grounded by Casanova as the pair reached a stand-off.
Air Wolf trips Casanova and grabs a toehold, but Christian stands on his head before heading to the ropes for a break. Things break out into a chop battle, as Casanova made up for a silent chop by blistering Wolf ahead of being taken into the corner. Angel Dorado blind-tags in and lands a senton atomico. Casanova tags out to Tre Lamar, who trips Dorado… and gets tripped himself before a Magistral cradle from Dorado almost won it. Lamar’s taken into the corner and comes back with a dropkick as PB Smooth comes in to squash Dorado… then flapjack him into the corner. A shotgun dropkick keeps Dorado there, but he rolls outside as Tasha Steelz volunteered to take over as I guess we’re under lucha rules.
Steelz barely reaches Smooth’s chest, but she gives it a go, throwing in forearms and chops before a big boot dumped her down. In comes Air Wolf as the thing begins to fill with everyone trying to take down Smooth, before a springboard ‘rana from Steelz was caught… she’s thrown into Top Flight, who goddamn PROPEL HER into Smooth for a ‘rana. NICE!
With the big man out, Lamar throws Steelz outside, then Casanova, before Top Flight chopped him ahead of a step-up dropkick into the ropes. Casanova drops Wolf with a springboard hooking lariat, before Top Flight knocked him into the ropes, following up with another clothesline that took Casanova outside before Angel Dorado’s tope was countered into a hot shot by Smooth from the floor. Smooth’s back in with a facebuster and a legdrop to Dorado for a near-fall. A chokeslam/neckbreaker combo from 40 Acres keeps Dorado down, but he rolls outside as Air Wolf had to fight out of a superplex… which he did so with some elbows. Lamar takes over but gets pushed down as a missile dropkick spun him inside out, while Casanova went airborne with a tope con giro to Smooth on the outside.
Air Wolf wants to get involved too with a wild Fosbury flop, before Tasha Steelz hit a senton to the pile off the top rope. A Sasuke special from Dorado completes the set, before Dorado and Casanova returned to the ring, with Dorado going for a Dragonrana… but Casanova rolls through and came back with Dirty Diana, before kicking Dorado into an accidental Destroyer. This is too fast man, and I’ve got the option to rewind and pause! Wolf boots Casanova in the corner, but gets hung up for a springboard rewind legdrop from the ropes, as PB Smooth came back in. Steelz gets knocked off the apron as she looked to tag in, but it’s not counted as Smooth just lariats Casanova before a fireman’s carry sit-out slam (EVIL’s Darkness Falls) gets the win. Very flippy, very enjoyable – and I’m not gonna forget the air that Tasha got on that ‘rana early on. ***½
Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora Wrestling Championship: Suge D vs. Trish Adora (c)
According to Cagematch, the Pan-Afrikan World Diaspora title’s only been around for eight months – but it’s something of a badge of honour rather than “this is a title for this promotion.”
Adora backs off on a lock-up, and gets rolled to the mat early on as Suge went for a wristlock. She rolls out of it, but Suge comes back with a cravat, only for Adora to counter out with a hammerlock. Trish holds the hammerlock, before snatching a schoolboy roll-up for a one-count as Suge tried to play it cute. Suge goes back to the neck, but Adora’s back with the hammerlock… which Suge reverses, only for Adora to run him out of the ring. The challenger’s frustrated, and perhaps a little insulted when Adora holds the ropes for him to come back inside, just like he did before the match. Trish goes back to the hammerlock, then a wristlock as she kept Suge at bay.
Adora holds on despite getting slammed, before some stomps to the feet finally broke the hold as Suge pulled her into a punch to the gut. A suplex has Trish down, as Suge then worked over her with an armbar, thens stretched her with a double armbar, but she’s able to fight free with an armdrag, only for Suge to kick her down again. Headbutts from Suge keep her down, as does a backbreaker, before Adora’s draped in the buckles for a nasty push-down stomp that saw Adora recoil in the ropes. Suge keeps on top of Adora with kicks, but eventually she’s had enough and begins to fight back, chopping Suge into the corner before an enziguiri began to aim for Suge’s arm.
A palm strike gets Suge back in, only to get cut-off with a German suplex as Adora was beginning to feel the strains. Suge trips her into an ankle lock, scissoring the leg, before moving back up into an armbar, only for Trish to roll him up for a near-fall… before surprising Suge with the Lariat Tubman for a near-fall. Suge mouths off, so Adora lands a second Lariat Tubman, before pulling him down for a modified crossface, swivelling Suge away from the ropes before he was forced to submit to a Rings of Saturn-like crossface. That was a nice, brutal finish. You could sense the crowd weren’t that familiar – but they were by the end! ***¼
O’Shay Edwards vs. Calvin Tankman
Time for a beautiful hoss fight!
We start with the pair switching around into the ropes from a lock-up, before a Test of Strength saw O’Shay overpower Tankman with one hand. He eventually needs a second hand though, as they pulled each other into shoulder tackles, with neither man coming out on top. Tankman takes him into the corner for a clothesline and a back elbow, before a floatover from Tankman led to him POUNCING O’Shay to the outside. Edwards staggers around outside, but blocks a Tankman dive with an uppercut, before they head back inside with O’Shay floating in ahead of a German suplex attempt. It’s elbowed away as O’Shay caught Calvin with a spear. The pair trade chops that ring around the venue, before a dropkick in the ropes from Tankman took O’Shay back outside for a tope!
Back inside, Tankman tees up and misses a running shooting star press, before a German suplex from Edwards left him rocked. Running forearms in the corner lead to a pop-up back elbow from Tankman, as duelling crossbodies leave both men flat on the mat. Tankman comes back with a backbreaker and a lariat for a near-fall, before Edwards nailed a Sky High powerbomb off the ropes to keep the near-falls coming. O’Shay keeps going as he teases a Fire Thunder driver, before a spinebuster and an elbow to the back of the head from Tankman left O’Shay in a heap…
Yet somehow Edwards fired himself up, only to get caught with a headbutt and a Fire Thunder driver as Tankman eked out the win. A glorious battle of two big men who can really MOVE. I’ve already said it this weekend, but get O’Shay a contract somewhere! ***½
Willow Nightingale vs. Faye Jackson vs. Marti Belle vs. Devon Monroe
Now for something different, as we start with Belle and Jackson laying into each other, before Willow and Monroe looked to snatch roll-ups.
Things eventually calm down as Jackson charged down Belle, before Monroe came in and landed some armdrags – including a sweet springboard lucha armdrag. Nightingale’s in to cartwheel her way in for a superkick and a suplex on Monroe, but Belle breaks up the rolling suplexes so she can roll Nightingale in for a pair of PKs. Willow’s back with a side Russian legsweep into a grounded Octopus, but Monroe breaks it up with a neck crank… before Faye just smashes it apart with a hip attack. On the outside Jackson cannonballs off the apron, while Belle hit the ropes for a low-pe into the pile, before Monroe went for a plancha to complete the set. Back inside, Willow catches Monroe up top and lands a superplex… and rolls through only for Faye to hit a spear to help that second suplex.
Belle heads up top next for a crossbody into Jackson as all four were left laying. They all trade elbows after getting back to their feet, then double boots as we’re back to square one. In the end, Willow goes for a death valley driver on Jackson, before a springboard facebuster from Monroe left Willow down… but she kicks out at two. Devon keeps going with a running Meteora/jawbreaker combo on Belle and Jackson for a near-fall, before a gutwrench powerbomb from Willow ended it all. Decent for what it was, but these scrambles – especially short ones – have a tendency to just be one big ol’ Parade of Moves. **½
Dezmond Xavier vs. AJ Gray
This should be a cracker – neither of Gray’s titles are on the line, as we get going with Gray pushing Xavier back into the corner from a lock-up.
Wash, rinse and repeat, with Xavier countering out by reversing an armdrag as Gray was sent flying across the ring. A side headlock from Xavier leads to him clinging on as Gray tries to push him into the ropes, eventually just flinging Xavier away before a shoulder tackle took him back to the mat. Xavier sweeps the leg but can’t get a pin off as Gray was too fresh in the match. A clothesline misses, as Xavier kicks Gray away, then hit him with a dropkick to take AJ outside, before Xavier landed a moonsault that just about took Gray down for a two-count. Elbows take Gray into the ropes, but he’s back with a spinning heel kick before tying Xavier in the ropes for some chops, before he just pulled Dezmond face-first back into the ring.
Gray keeps up with more chops in the corner, before a shoulder charge wedged him between the buckles. Xavier’s back with a flurry of shots and a cutter, following up with an overhead kick and a cannonball as Gray was trapped in the corner. It’s enough for a near-fall, but Gray responds with a pop-up spinebuster and a powerbomb for a near-fall. Gray heads up top for a swandive headbutt… but Xavier caught him on the impact and rolled back into a Dragon sleeper. It’s rolled out of as Gray charges into the corner, only to get rolled back as a back handspring kick left AJ down, with Xavier heading back up top for a Spiral Tap that almost ended it.
Things break down into strikes as the pair lit each other up, with Gray’s jab knocking Xavier back. Xavier falls down as Gray went for a Shotei – and accidentally got headbutted in the balls for good measure – before Gray just got up and murdered him with a lariat for a near-fall. Gray calls for the finish, but runs into a superkick, before Xavier backflipped into a torture rack. Xavier flips onto the apron to save himself, before a big lariat spun him down as Gray finally got the win. This started tough, but they hit their strides beautifully and ended up being a battle between hard hitting strikes and finesse. Turns out that lariating your opponent into the middle of next week works! ****
Lee Moriarty vs. ACH
After coming up short in his earlier matches, Moriarty’s looking to get his first win of the weekend – against someone he later went on to say he idolised.
Moriarty offers a handshake at the bell, which ACH slaps on as the pair scramble on the mat, with both ACH and Moriarty spinning back to their feet. A hammerlock from Moriarty is countered with a side headlock… but he countered back with a wristlock, only for ACH to roll him into a chop. Moriarty grabs a nerve hold as he took ACH into the ropes for a lucha armdrag, following up with a low dropkick and a punt to the leg, but ACH is right back with chops before he ran into another dropkick. A PK off the apron keeps ACH down, taking him into the front row before they headed to the apron for chops, with ACH accidentally chopping the post in the process.
Back inside, they hit the ropes with ACH sweeping Moriarty’s leg ahead of a stomp to the back for a two-count, with a kick to the back following afterwards. A slam barely gets a one-count, while a tiltawhirl backbreaker gets two, as ACH was slowly starting to pick Moriarty apart. Moriarty gets free from ACH with a clothesline in the corner before a leaping stomp left ACH laying, and bought Lee a two-count. ACH blocks a tornado DDT but can’t avoid a boot in the corner as Moriarty went up for another stomp, this time hitting the arm as the tornado DDT landed at the second time of asking.
ACH responds with a leg trip and a low dropkick, taking Moriarty into the ropes but a swap around sees Moriarty land a gamengiri before ACH countered with a slingshot cutter for a near-fall. A backbreaker/German suplex combo from ACH almost puts Moriarty away as the explosiveness of ACH was back on display. Heading up top, ACH looks for a superplex, but Moriarty tweaks the fingers before going to the mat for a hammerlock DDT that left ACH in agony. ACH rolls onto the apron, but Moriarty joins him and just poked him with a series of kicks. ACH chops back, before Moriarty tripped him to the side of the ring with a hammerlock’d STO.
Back inside, a springboard was dropkicked away by ACH, before the pair went back to elbow strikes that just increased in intensity and tempo. ACH avoids a head kick and a stomp, but can’t avoid the roundhouse, before a chop and a Tiger Driver almost got the win. ACH heads up top again, but Moriarty ducks and hits the ropes for a Mistica, going into Joint Custody… but the Fujiwara armbar ends with ACH getting a foot to the rope. Moriarty tries to drag ACH away from the ropes, but can’t as ACH gets up and lit him up with kicks… then dumped him with a mega brainbuster for a near-fall. Shocked, ACH heads back out to the top rope, but crashed and burned on a 450 as Moriarty ran in to kick out the arm, before a Mistica was blocked… so he comes in with a Mouse Trap that snatches the three-count! A heck of a final flurry, with Moriarty picking up a monster win in a superb back-and-forth outing. ****¼
AR Fox vs. 2 Cold Scorpio
This one started slowly, with Fox looking to work the arm of Scorpio, but an armdrag frees the veteran as we reached a stand-off.
A second lock-up sees Scorpio come in with a wristlock of his own, but Fox works free before he’s forced to bridge up from a leg sweep as Scorpio looked for an early pin. Coming off the ropes, Fox runs into a dropkick from Scorpio, who then followed in with an armdrag before he took Fox into the corner with shoulder charges. An elbow keeps Fox there, but Fox reverts back with an Irish whip, clotheslining Scorpio through the corner before he skinned the cat into a slingshot dropkick. That takes Scorpio outside, but he drags Fox out with him as they brawl around the crowd, which didn’t help with Social Distancing much as Scorpio then positioned a chair… which he got pushed into with an apron 619 as Fox proceeded to get his legs swept as he crashed to the floor.
Scorpio returns to the ring with a bottle of water, but he’s kicked in the gut, then the head by Fox, who then took a swig and threatened to spit it at Scorpio… faking it out so he could land a DDT for a near-fall. Fox crashed and burned on a senton bomb afterwards, with Scorpio following up with knee striked and a corkscrew overhead kick… then a front flip legdrop for a two-count. Christ, for a guy turning 55 in a few weeks, Scorpio can still go! Shoulder tackles take Fox into the corner, before an up kick left Fox on his haunches, with Scorpio teasing a trip up top. Fox gets lifted up top, but he hits back with a tornado DDT instead for a near-fall, before he went back to the ropes for a Coast to Coast that knocked Scorpio back to the floor. Dragging Scorpio back towards the ring, Fox hits a legdrop on the apron, before following up with a senton bomb that lands flush for a near-fall.
Scorpio fights back in with a Koppo kick, then went back up top himself with a front flip legdrop off the top rope, crushing Fox for a near-fall. CHRIST. A back suplex follows as Scorpio goes back up for a moonsault stomp that still couldn’t get the win. Head kicks get ducked as Fox hit back with an up kick of his own, before a springboard cutter out of the corner left Scorpio down, as a 450 splash saw Fox put 2 Cold away with his own move. This was a hell of a surprising main event, with Scorpio more than rolling back the years to close out the night. Get these last three matches watched! ***¾
When the Collective was originally cancelled earlier in the year, it was perhaps the show that was the biggest loss, going by the message the entire show was sending. The turmoil that 2020 has since seen underscored all of that – and while everything may not be well with the world right now, this event showed that promoters who stick with line-ups described as “pale and stale” just aren’t looking in the right places.