PWX were the latest group to break into the rumble gimmick, as they looked to crown another number one contender for their world title.

Yes, we’re midway through February here and we’re STILL having promotions doing Royal Rumbles! Last month, PWX held their X16 tournament, which was won by James Drake after a pair of shows that came across rather flat after an angle halfway through the second show took the crowd out of the remainder of the tournament.

The Battlefield X match is for a shot at Anthony Henry’s PWX title… so we’re going to have two contenders. We’re in Gastonia, North Carolina for this one… Bob Evans and Kevin Kelly are on commentary. Guess who didn’t make an effort this month?

Mason Myles vs. Mr. Sleaze vs. Ian Maxwell vs. Big Country
Myles came out to Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation”. I wonder if anyone in the building was expecting Ronda Rousey to be a curtain jerker? Big Country is “the Southern Punisher”, which gives him the excuse to wear that mask…

Country wipes out Myles with a powerbomb onto the apron at the bell, and it’s like men against boys as the big guy tears through everyone. Mr. Sleaze is the only one even close to his size, but the 467lb-er easily DDTs him in the ropes as the smaller guys are forced to break up covers and try anything they can to get the win while Country’s resting.

Maxwell and Myles have an enjoyable series, ending with a double knee press for a near-fall for Maxwell… before Big Country just splatted through him again. The constant gear changes when Big Country came and went made this tough to get into, but fortunately there’s not much more left as Myles rolls up Sleaze with a handful of tights as the pair were planning to double-team the immobilised Country in the corner. Myles makes it to the Battlefield X match, and I can wipe this from my memory. *½

PWX Innovative Television Championship: Martin Stone vs. Chip Day (c)
Does PWX have a TV show? Chip Day kinda resembles that “hello fellow kids” meme, in that his gear and music doesn’t really look like a fit. Especially when he too is borrowing the David Starr nickname list… in a match that Starr is not in!

Day started by working over Stone’s arm, prompting the Brit to roll his way free, before Chip threw a hissy fit as Stone went for a receipt. Stone threatens a low blow after catching Chip on the mat, but he instead goes to the arm and wrists as he kept restraining the champion. Chip finally begins a comeback, pounding Stone into the corner, but the pace stays torturously slow as Day mouthed off to the crowd, blowing a kiss to someone. Stone breaks free and leathers Day with a clothesline for a near-fall, following up with an Ace crusher, before Day manages to get a boot up to block Stone’s charge.

Stone busts out the Chaos Theory out of nowhere, then a pop-up powerbomb and a knee to the head, sending Day to the outside… where he decides to keep up the offence with another European uppercut. After getting thrown in the ring, Day pulls down the referee, but rather than get disqualified or anything, he just hits Stone with a spin kick for the win. What was the need for the ref bump? Commentary notes that Day may have had a foot on the rope himself, but I’d long since lost interest. Nothing to do with Stone, but Chip Day bored the hell out of me here. **

Serpentico vs. Tracer X
We start with some arm work from both men, as they don’t fire themselves out of the proverbial cannon, and instead build up to their flips.

It’s Serpentico who flies first, taking Tracer out in the aisle with a tope… before we get a reply with Tracer’s springboard forearm back into the ring as he only gets a one-count. A slew of pinning attempts follow as both men go for roll-ups and cradles, rudely halted by a Tracer dropkick as the crowd… made a sound?

Tracer’s offence quickly ends when Serpentico leapt into him, and he’s again thrown outside for a… slap! They trade blows on the outside, before stealing some seats for a sit-down brawl… ending when Tracer’s chopped out of his chair. A chop from Serpentico misses as he hits the ring post instead, but he’s able to shrug it off and grab a keylock after throwing Tracer back inside.

The local lad Tracer’s back in with a dive of his own soon enough, but he’s throwing Serpentico straight back in for a slingshot Downward Spiral as he tried to put away his masked foe. He takes too long to go up top though, and after shoving away Serpentico, Tracer’s got to trade more forearms, only to run into a handspring stunner for a near-fall. A top rope ‘rana gets Tracer a near-fall, before he counters another handspring into a German suplex, following up with a shotgun dropkick into the corner. With Serpentico down, Tracer heads up quickly for a 450 Splash… and that’s all! Pretty truncated, but this was decent enough without either guy really getting into gear. **½

Yep, I sense we’re getting short matches because there’s a lot of double duty going on later…

Darius Lockhart vs. Maxwell Jacob Friedman
MJF gets the old Jimmy Rave toilet roll treatment, before he veers into something oh-so-slightly racist with a “you people” line, and that prompts Lockhart into a jumpstart.

The early exchanges see MJF fake out a dive, but he ends up outside anyway as Lockhart kicked him in the head. Back inside, MJF threw him shoulder-first into the ring post as the “two year veteran” tried to get ahead… but his constant playing to the crowd threatened to get him knocked off several times.

MJF’s knocked off the top rope and met with a flying crossbody from Lockhart… and Darius landing badly, he’s able to keep his offence up as he knocked MJF into the corner for a swift knee to the head. Friedman’s able to come back with a pumphandle driver though as the back-and-forth continued, almost ending with a piledriver through the ropes as Josh Bodom’s Bliss Buster doesn’t get the job done.

MJF heads outside for a chair as his frustration grew… but the referee disarms him anyway before Lockhart almost rolled him up for the win. The small package doesn’t get the job done as Lockhart unloads on MJF with a series of rights, before a spit stopped him in his tracks. More knees from Lockhart knocks MJF loopy, and out of nowhere an Awful Waffle-ish facebuster gets Lockhart the win. Well, I wasn’t keen at all on the racial overtones at the start, but this was a pretty decent match when this got going… but not much more. ***

PWX Tag Team Championship: White Mike & Jake Manning vs. Ugly Ducklings (Lance Lude & Rob Killjoy) (c)
Mismatched tag partners ahoy! In PWX, White Mike doesn’t tag with Timmy Lou Retton as part of the Gymnasty Boyz, as instead Retton’s part of the Syndicate… so here he’s got a Man Scout as a partner… and as someone whom he can steal gear from.

The Ducklings are regulars in PWX, so the crowd actually give a damn about them… unlike most other groups I’ve seen them in. Maybe that’ll help with perception? There’s some grounded stuff as White Mike’s tripped early on, before his attempt at a leapfrog’s rudely turned into a powerbomb by Killjoy, before the Ducklings busted out some double-team stuff on Mike. A big bodyslam from Mike puts Lude down though, and in comes the Man Scout to bust out some Dusty punches to both tag champions.

A pair of clotheslines sent the Ducklings flying next, before the scouts displayed their rope tying prowess by tying the Ducklings in the ropes in Paradise locks, ahead of a pair of dropkicks to free them. Wonder if they got badges for those knots? A slow-pe from Mike ends up taking out Manning… but a trust fall off the top rope from the Man Scout helps keep his side in it. Not sure why he was reading a scouting manual…

Lude remains in the ring as the Scouts remained in control, helped when Manning crotched Lude on the top rope before tagging in to go for a butterfly superplex. The challengers keep Lude isolated, with White Mike chopping him in the corner before knocking Killjoy off the apron… which gave Lance enough time to flying off the top with a ‘rana!

A headlock driver takes Mike down for long enough for Lude to make the tag out, but the fresher Killjoy could only get a two-count out of a running forearm. The springboard dropkick knocks Mike off the apron as Killjoy keeps control… landing an Arabian press to Mike that the camera crew completely missed, choosing to focus on a cowering Manning instead. A tope con giro from Killjoy keeps the champions ahead, but he misses a double stomp off the top before dumping Manning with a Saito suplex. Lude makes a blind tag in as Killjoy rebounded off the ropes, and that confuses Manning for long enough to get caught out with a shotgun dropkick… following up with a rocket launcher cannonball into the cornered Manning for a near-fall, thanks to Mike breaking it up.

Things break down a little, ending with Lude almost losing to a sunset bomb in the corner, but Killjoy makes the save as tags… are a novelty at this point. Manning chains together a backbreaker and facebuster on Killjoy, before a piledriver and a swinging, spinning reverse DDT left Lude down for a two-count as White Mike’s overeagerness to celebrate the pin led to him stomping on Manning’s hand.

Yeah, that looked hokey. The pair argue over Mike’s oafishness, and that leads to the finish as Killjoy rolled up Manning for the win. An eh finish, but this was pretty solid. I’m still not sold on the Ducklings, nor do I think I ever will at this rate. ***

Hey, they edited out intermission! We still have almost 90 minutes left… which makes me a little nervous.

Battlefield X
It’s your Royal Rumble format, starting with two men and entries at indeterminate intervals. I’ve had enough of Rumbles for the year.

Corey Hollis starts out with Darius Lockhart, who nearly eliminates himself in the opening minute, but he stays alive and drops Hollis with a nice hammerlock capture suplex, just in time for Zane Riley to appear… and he instantly hugs former Revolt tag team partner Lockhart as they gang up on Hollis. Billy Brash is in at number four, with the camera showing a long shot of an empty entrance way rather than what was going on in the ring. Joe Black comes next, instantly dishing out German suplexes like they were going out of fashion, before Tracer X emerges like a house on fire. He’s almost thrown out by Hollis, but he saves himself and hits a 450 splash as he brought himself back inside.

Out at seven is Chip Day, just as Brash gets thrown out, before Zane Riley’s thrown by Lockhart after the pair tried to con each other. Day gets rid of Lockhart as the ring empties, leaving us with Day, Tracer, Black and Hollis for now, but we quickly get number eight appearing: Mason Myles. Yep. Myles is quickly eliminated via headscissors from Tracer, but Chip Day’s spin kick knocks Tracer out too, since he’d gone over the top rope while taking out Mason. Joe Black is still in, and he’s gone straight for Day… but Corey Hollis returns to eliminate them both as they tried to suplex each other out of the match.

So we’re back to an empty ring as commentary berated Hollis… just in time for High Profile to enter the match. They both have stoner gimmicks, but they haven’t; agreed which of them is entering… a game of rock, paper, scissors gives Shea Shea McGrady the spot. He thinks he’s eliminated Hollis with a clothesline, but of course he hasn’t, and Corey quickly backdrops him to the floor to send High Profile packing. Serpentico is out next, and he takes down Hollis with ease with headscissors, before getting shoved to the floor as he tried to springboard into the ring.

Next is John Skyler, as he gets a chance at revenge for what happened to his girlfriend last month… and the former tag partners are more than happy to go at each other! Skyler pounds Hollis into the mat, but almost gets eliminated, with Skyler having to cling onto the ropes and do the “one foot” Shawn Michaels spot, before slingshotting back in with a spear! Hollis rolls out under the bottom rope as the fight goes into the crowd, meaning we have another empty ring as White Mike joins the fray, ignoring Hollis and Skyler as they brawled to the back! Number thirteen is out as the Syndicate’s Timmy Lou Retton, as the Gymnasty Boyz came face to face! Retton has his Gymnasty gear on underneath his shirt and jogging shorts, and I guess they’re together here?

They hug it out, and we wait for the next entry as they tease eliminating each other… Jake Manning comes out to seek retribution for earlier, seemingly not accepting Mike’s apology from the last match. There’s a scuffle, and we have another entry in… Grizzly Redwood. Have I stepped into a time warp? The former Great Outdoors pair of Redwood and Manning hit ridiculously-sold stunners, but they can’t force out the Gymnastys as the clock ticks down again.

Tim Hughes is out next, popping Brutal Bob on commentary, and I’ve a feeling that Tough Guy Inc. may be the next team in, given what Bob is wearing. Hughes tires himself out with avalanche clotheslines, and all five men in the ring collapse to the mat… pulling themselves up as Lance Lude comes into the fray. Effy is out at 18, renewing his rivalry with White Mike from last year… by kissing Effy. Well, that solves things, I guess? Not really, Effy slaps him back, and Manning unceremoniously throws Mike out, before Effy took Manning out too. More White Mike arguments! Rob Killjoy is next out as the ring’s really filling up.

The Ducklings try to go for a pin in the Rumble, and that almost costs them as Killjoy has to hang on to the bottom rope. Rhett Titus comes next as the surprises continue, with the first PWX champion almost eliminating Killjoy again, this time with Rob tapping his feet on the ropes to stay in it. Brady Pierce comes next, eliminating Effy instantly, before shrugging off some offence from Redwood as Grizzly’s easily launched out. A backdrop sends Tim Hughes out of the match, before the Ugly Ducklings double-team Brady for a spell… just in time for a musical botch as the Duckling’s coach appears to Real American… and yes, we get Coach Mikey as the Duckster.

We get Hogan spots from the Duckster, with a big boot decking Pierce, but Mikey plays to the crowd too much and Brady eliminates him with ease. Boo. The Ducklings try to get instant revenge, lifting Brady onto the apron, but he saves himself as Maxwell Jacob Friedman gets a late entry at 23. There’s a lot of pokes to the eye from MJF, as well as back rakes, just in time for Hollis and Skyler to re-appear through the curtain as they’ve apparently been brawling forever. They took the chant literally, right?

Drew Adler is out next, but he’s met with a superkick by Skyler almost as soon as he comes through the curtain… and Skyler’s almost sent flying by Pierce, only for the “Southern Saviour” Skyler to backdrop the big guy out of the match! Corey Hollis has disappeared again, and it’s time for a favourite to appear: Alexander James! Kevin Kelly puts over James huge over because of his recent clean win over Jurn Simmons, and AJ’s is going straight for everyone’s arms. MJF almost gets thrown out, but his springboard back in is caught and met with a quick thrown down as we get another countdown to the intro of… Montana Black!

Black clears house, eliminating both of the Ducklings, before he does the monster roar spot as everyone tried to eliminate him. Timmy Lou Retton goes back to Syndicate colours as MJF walked into a Montana punch, and we’ve another entry in the form of Ethan Case. Stunners for everyone from Case, who quickly squared off with MJF, and eliminates him with a solid clothesline over the top rope! Joshua Cutshall is out at 28, with a maniac gimmick (and his head in a cage)… and to be fair, Cutshall starts out hot, but doesn’t get any instant eliminations. Bob Evans leaves commentary to look for Corey Hollis… and finds him under the ring as Skyler chases him some more. Martin Stone is our penultimate guy, but trapping Hollis in the aisle before throwing a headbutt as Skyler and Hollis finally got their hands back on each other.

Stone gets rid of Drew Adler as the final entrant is revealed as the Syndicate’s Elijah Evans IV. Elijah takes forever to disrobe, and he’s still not in as Alexander James skins the cat, before Skyler ducks as AJ eliminated himself. With everyone in, it’s just a matter of time for the herd to thin out, with Cutshall getting thrown out after trying to get on the Syndicate’s side. Rhett Titus tries to go for Montana Black, but despite getting him in the ropes with a dropkick, a body attack waits for Titus on his way back, and some triple-teaming eventually gets rid of the former “Romantic Touch”. You know how the big feud in this was between Corey Hollis and John Skyler? Well, the production crew missed Skyler throwing out his former partner. YOU HAD ONE SPOT TO CATCH, PRODUCTION CREW!

We’re down to the final half-dozen, with the Syndicate against Case, Skyler and Stone… and it’s the good guys who edge ahead with a trio of Thesz presses… but they can’t seem to force any eliminations, with Skyler again having to hold on. Stone gets thrown out, before Elijah rips into Retton for wearing the wrong ring gear.

Montana’s next, courtesy of a double clothesline from Case and Skyler, before Evans is saved by way of a crutch being shoved into his chest to keep him in. Elijah may be saved, Corey Hollis sneaks back out to hit Skyler with the crutch, sending him out of the ring for the next elimination as Skyler’s girlfriend Katie again ended up getting cornered between Hollis and his goons. Commentary bemoan being unable to do anything, but Katie slaps Hollis, just in time for Skyler to jump him as the pull-apart continued.

As for what was left of the match… we’re down to the Syndicate against Ethan Case, with Retton and Evans looking to have a numerical advantage. Case almost gets spiked on his head a la Sabu, before Retton headed up top for a moonsault… and connects! Evans blindsides his man though, throwing out Retton, presumably because he was wearing the wrong uniform. We’re down to Case and Evans, and after Ethan lands a pop-up forearm, he’s knocked down with a spear, before Evans’ attempt to eliminate Case saw both men spill over the top rope and onto the apron. Back-and-forth blows ensue, before Evans clotheslines Case back into the ring… because. Evans follows him back in with some ground and pound, before shrugging off a Case crusher as he attempts to hoist Ethan out over the top rope.

A Blue Thunder Bomb from Evans follows, but Case gets off another forearm and an Ace crusher, before clotheslining Evans over the top rope… and that’s twice now Elijah Evans IV has been so close to a title shot before ultimately missing out. This was a long one, with some high moments, but ultimately there was a lot of stuff that didn’t seem to lead anywhere in the end. I know I watched the “live edit” on HighSpots, but how the hell do you miss the one big spot?! **¾

Battlefield X was a bit of a mediocre show, all told, with a lot of folks doing double duty… which meant that the undercard was pretty by-the-numbers. “Southern wrestling” really isn’t a style I’m fond of at the moment, but if you want to see another Rumble, then this is one for you, I guess…