PWX took centre stage earlier this month as they returned for 2021, starting with the first half of their X16 tournament.

Quick Results
X16 2021 – First Round – JD Drake pinned Suge D in 10:37 (***¼)
X16 2021 – First Round – TJ Boss pinned Logan Creed in 7:55 (**¼)
X16 2021 – First Round – Cam Carter pinned Ethan Case in 9:57 (***)
X16 2021 – First Round – Lucky Ali pinned Savannah Evans in 10:30 (**¾)
X16 2021 – First Round – Timmy Lou Retton pinned Rob Killjoy in 15:00 (***)
X16 2021 – First Round – TGA Moss defeated Zach Cooper via referee stoppage in 6:05 (NR)
X16 2021 – First Round – Chip Day pinned Mason Myles in 8:22 (***)
X16 2021 – First Round – Anthony Henry defeated Drew Adler via submission at 17:07 (***¾)

The X16’s been one of those tournaments I’ve kept an eye on in recent years – with last year’s tournament having been won by Harlem Bravado. Of course, the world went to hell since then, with PWX barely running since then… but they returned earlier this month for a two-show-in-one-day tournament, bringing back the X16. We’re coming from the Rock Hill Gymnastics in Rock Hill, SC… and we open with a ten-bell salute for Hector Delgado, who was a part of the PWX crew. Commentary’s being handled by Trevin Adams, Brett Wolverton and Dave Foster.

X16 2021 – First Round: Suge D vs. JD Drake
Suge’s coming in as the PWX Pure Champion for a pretty stiff test in the opening round.

Drake’s raring to go, so Suge tries to slow the pace down by heading into the ropes to keep Drake away. Suge plays pat-a-cake when he offered a Test of Strength… that winds up Drake, who went for a chop before Suge managed to trip him down and take the back. He’s quickly thrown off, so Suge hides in the ropes to avoid a chop… then looked for a drop toe hold, but Drake tries to counter it into a Figure Four before Suge pushed away and powdered outside. Suge returns to the ring and goes for a knuckle lock… but he slips under Drake and flips him down for a pin, getting just a one-count. Drake gets up and throws him to the apron, then booted him to the floor as the match headed outside. Suge tries to strike Drake, then runs away from him, but Drake doesn’t give chase… leading to Suge backing into him, before he was popped onto the apron and hit with a right hand.

Back inside, Suge’s on the ropes as Drake rolls him down for a kick to the back. He tries for a chop, which feels futile, but he manages to avoid Drake, chopping out the knee in the process. Raking the eyes keeps Drake down, with a DDT to the leg following as Suge looked to jar the knee, before he boxed Drake into the corner. Tripping Drake lets Suge go for a Figure Four, which almost gets a pin before Drake finally chopped his way free. He adds some more as the pissed-off Drake took Suge into the corner, floating over him ahead of another chop, before a right hand and a splash took Suge into the corner for a belly-to-belly.

Drake tries to follow up with a Vader bomb, but Suge rolls away and tries to fight back with uppercuts, taking Drake into the corner for a Diamond Dust off the top for a near-fall. More chops from Suge earn responses as they go back-and-forth, marking up Drake’s chest in the process before Drake booted Suge. From there, a Drill Bit plants Suge for the win. A good back-and-forth opener, with Drake’s power overcoming Suge, whose game plan could well have worked on another day. ***¼

X16 2021 – First Round: TJ Boss vs. Logan Creed
A big lad’s match up second? Don’t mind if I do…

Creed towers over Boss as they go in for a lock-up to start, but it goes nowhere as the pair shake it off. Boss goes for an armbar, but Creed switches into a side headlock and gets pushed off as we get the big lads shoulder tackles. An Irish whip sends Boss into the ropes, but while he charges through a clothesline, he’s met with a bodyslam instead. Creed looks to go up top, but Boss caught him on the apron and suplexes him back inside. Second time’s the charm as Creed manages to go up top, but his bulldog misses as Boss slams him down, then hits a knee drop for a two-count.

Creed trips and stomps down Boss for a two-count, before a set of splashes in the corner led to Boss coming back with an overhead belly-to-belly into the buckles. Things descend into strikes, but Boss pulls ahead with a kick before an overhand chop stopped him in his tracks. A diving shoulder tackle has Creed in the corner, while a lariat spun down the big man. Boss tries to keep going with clotheslines, but Creed throws back too as both men went to a knee, only to return with a nasty chokebreaker. Creed looks to follow up with a full nelson, but Boss elbows free and throws Creed to the apron. They trade places, with Boss getting knocked to the floor… but he slides back in to stop Creed from doing a dive, landing a spinebuster instead, and that’s enough for Boss to get the win. This was fine, perhaps a little too slow for some people’s tastes, and that final exchange, while it worked, was a little headscratchy with the whole “trading places.” **¼

Post-match, Creed spears Boss, before he went looking for a chair, which he promptly destroyed by chokeslamming Boss through it.

X16 2021 – First Round: Cam Carter vs. Ethan Case
Case is billed as “Mr. PWX”, and has his own theme music that brags about him being the promotion’s head trainer. He also loves streamers, but because covid he can only throw one by himself… which led to him getting murdered with a head kick by Carter as he waited for the streamer to come down.

Case is still in the corner as the ref calls for the bell, with Carter still throwing stomps and kicks. A suplex from Carter’s blocked, with Case hitting one of his own instead before he caught Carter with a clothesline out of the corner. Carter tries to fight back, but he gets lifted up top for an Iconoclasm… but Carter lands on his feet as we reset and seemingly start this one properly. The pair go nose-to-nose, but it’s Carter who strikes first, knocking Case onto the apron with a series of kicks. Carter teases an apron piledriver, but instead gets lifted back in, with Case pulling him into the corner before a buckle bomb and a Ligerbomb almost ended the match. A pop-up powerbomb from Case gets countered into a cutter, but he hits back quickly with a dropkick.

Carter lands on his feet to escape an X-Plex, then hit a standing shooting star press and a pair of moonsaults, catching Case for a near-fall, before a pumphandle driver nearly nicked the win for Cam. Standing on Case’s hand, Carter controls things, but eats a pop-up forearm as Cam’s manager JP Lehman (yeah, that gimmick name for a banker is a little on the nose!) rolls his client outside. Rather than take the count-out, Case rolls outside to throw Carter back in… Carter rolls outside again as Lehman grabs Case’s leg. He’s kicked away, but Case then tells on Lehman, distracting the ref as Carter came back in with a gamengiri on the apron, before he stopped himself from leaping into a cutter. Carter instead waffles Case with a knee strike, and that’s enough for the win. I liked the story of Carter having scouted Case, avoiding most of his big moves, before he nicked the win with not a V-Trigger… ***

X16 2021 – First Round: Lucky Ali vs. Savannah Evans
Ali seems to be not wanting this match, and asks Evans to lay down. She doesn’t, and instead comes in with a side headlock that Ali countered out of with a wristlock.

Evans gets free with headscissors, then went back to the side headlock, taking Ali down as she had to escape a pinning attempt too. Ali again rolls Evans down for a two-count, then went for a headlock of his own… but she switches it into a side suplex for a two-count for herself. A charge from Evans catches Ali in the corner, before he’s hiptossed out of it, with a diving kick getting Savannah a two-count. Ali rolls outside, but Evans gives chase… she suckers him into a missed elbow drop back inside, but Evans misses a shoulder tackle back inside and ends up taking a backbreaker for a two-count. Ali jack-knifes Evans for another near-fall, but misses another elbow drop as his brief flurry of offence came to a halt.

Ali returns with some bodyscissors, but Evans escapes and took him back to the corner before she misses another shoulder charge. An Irish whip sends Evans twirling into the corner, but she hits back with a boot, then rolled past Ali ahead of a full nelson… Ali rolls out, only to get bitten by Evans, who responds with a DDT to fold him in half. Evans misses some chops, but finally hits that shoulder charge in the corner, with a gutwrench suplex taking Ali out of the corner for a two-count. A Samoan drop is next, with Evans getting another near-fall, before Ali’s roll-up got him a enar-fall, before a powerbomb ragdolled Evans for another two-count.

A slam from Ali leaves Evans down, but she keeps kicking out… he repeats it and gets the same result, before a forearm knocked Savannah down as Ali got the pin. This was okay, with Ali initially being unsure on the whole intergender thing but fought his way through it (pun not intended), having to go a little further than expected to get the W. **¾

X16 2021 – First Round: Timmy Lou Retton vs. Rob Killjoy
You might remember Retton as one half of the “Gym Nastie Boyz” back in the day – but with White Mike having seemingly retired, he’s striking out on his own. Killjoy was a late substitute for ACH, who was originally slated for this match.

Retton and Killjoy head into the corner from a lock-up, before Killjoy looked to work a wristlock on Retton. It’s turned into a side headlock, before Retton tried for a crucifix pin, getting a quick count on Killjoy, who returned the wristlock… only for Retton to quickly reverse it before we head to the ol’ indie double dropkick stand-off. The pair trade pinning attempts before Killjoy played keepaway from Retton, eventually landing a springshot monkey flip. Retton lands on his feet, then came back with a dropkick… only for Killjoy to roll up from the ground into a Victory roll for a near-fall. A ‘rana keeps Retton down, before they caught dualling kicks… they let go of each other as Killjoy lands a Quebrada… then landed on Retton’s knees from a second.

Retton clotheslines Killjoy to the outside, then followed up with a Sasuke special. Killjoy returns with an Arabian press. Back inside, Retton lifts Killjoy into the corner, only to get caught with a tornado DDT out of the corner for a near-fall… but Retton returns with a pair of boots in the corner, then a back senton cannonball for a near-fall. The pair neutralise each other briefly before Killjoy’s chops led to a handspring crossbody from Retton… but Killjoy rolled through and threw him into the ropes with an Exploder. From there he nailed a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall as both men looked to tire, before Killjoy went up top and missed a double stomp.

Killjoy’s caught with a bucklebomb after Retton floated over, but he couldn’t follow up with a second, and almost got pinned as a Gedo clutch in the corner got a near-fall. Retton gets back up and looked for a crucifix bomb, spinning Killjoy to the mat for a near-fall, before the pair fought with back-and-forth chops. They mix it up with kicks and knees, before Retton sprung back from the middle rope and lariat’d Killjoy down. Retton throws in a slingshot into a rolling neckbreaker for a near-fall, then went up top, stopping to kick Killjoy away before he was caught with a reverse ‘rana off the middle rope! Killjoy doesn’t go for a cover and instead picks up Retton for the Ghostbuster – the over-the-knee brainbuster – but that doesn’t get the win, so he heads back up top, looking for a superplex, only for Retton to strike back and drop him with a front suplex, before a goddamn 630 splash landed for the win. A pretty decent outing this, with the two guys who are more used to tag team stuff keeping it solid, but Retton blowing my mind with that 630 got the win. ***

X16 2021 – First Round: Zach Cooper vs. TGA Moss
Cooper was a replacement for Corey Hollis, whose rehabilitation wasn’t quite done in time, so in comes “baby Walter,” as some had dubbed him.

We open with a lock-up as Cooper took Moss into the ropes… there’s a reversal as Cooper grabs a side headlock, but Moss springboards back off the middle rope as Cooper shot him off, before offering a test of strength. Moss just gets slapped instead, and things descend into a hockey fight that spilled to the outside. Cooper swings and misses on a chop taking out the ring post as Moss then went after the Canadian’s hand, wrenching it around the ropes. A handstand from Cooper on the apron sees him avoid a legsweep, as he then came back with a kick to Moss… before leaping off the apron and into a big boot on the floor.

The pair fight from their knees, then rush back inside as the referee warned them about a double count-out. They resume, but Moss’ Quebrada’s kicked away by Cooper for a two-count then Beeled into the corner as the big man looked to make the most of the size difference on show. A Vader Bomb looks to follow, but Cooper abort as Moss rolled away. Cooper looked to have tweaked his knee on the landing, as Moss comes back with a right hand in the corner, then a clothesline… and Cooper’s out on his knees from that as Moss struggled to lift him up for a German suplex… before the referee waved this off as Cooper was unable to continue. The cameras stay on Cooper as he gets medical attention, seemingly knocked out from that Moss punch, and needed to be helped to the back.

X16 2021 – First Round: Mason Myles vs. Chip Day
Myles lost in less than a minute at this stage last year – and was hoping to avoid similar ignominy.

Day plays into that with a head kick for a two-count after just over a minute (thanks to some early stalling), before Myles dragged him outside and into the ring post. Back inside, Myles hits a dropkick and a Slingblade for a two-count, before he stomped away on Day’s back. Crossface punches and a diving knee keep Myles ahead, as did a suplex, but Day barely stayed down for a one-count. Day fought back with an enziguiri for a two-count, before a series of kicks wore down Myles for a two-count. He avoids a PK, rolling outside to get away from Day… who just followed him outside with an elbow suicida.

Back inside, Day hits a missile dropkick off the middle rope, then kicked out Myles’ shin… only for Mason to rebound with a tornado DDT for a two-count. A backfist and a brainbuster keeps Day on level pegging, but he’s lifted onto the apron as Myles dropkicked him to the floor, then threw him back inside for a Trailer Hitch with an ankle lock thrown in for good measure. Myles turns it back to a regular ankle lock, only for Day to roll him down for a reversal. A rope break saves Myles, who elbowed free, only to get charged into the corner as a Pele kick from Day has him on his way. A curb stomp knee follows, and that’s enough for Chip to make his way into the second round. ***

X16 2021 – First Round: Drew Adler vs. Anthony Henry
Adler, for some reason, seemed to be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. I mean for a main event, it’s certainly a choice of attire! He gets the mic and tells us why he’s not dressed to compete… it’s because he wants to cheer on Henry who’s “going on to big things.” Adler tells us he had two hip surgeries and can’t do this… so instead he offered to lay down for Henry.

Of course it’s a con, as Adler rolls up Henry for a two-count, then booted him into the corner before an Air Raid Crash got another two-count. So, about that hip… Adler had his trunks on under his jeans, and now he gets going with a boot before he charged Henry into the corner. A hiptoss out of it is next, then an elbow as Henry looked to be stirring. Some kicks on the mat offered hope, but Henry’s just pushed back down as Adler continued to bellow at him.

Henry tries to get away, but he’s taken down in a front facelock that ends in the ropes. A quick chase ends with Henry kicking Adler in the legs, but a suplex has Henry down for a two-count as Adler followed up with knees to the back. Henry swings back with some right hands, but Adler uses his knee again before a snap powerslam was avoided, with Henry throwing Adler onto the apron. A leg sweep dumps Adler as a low dropkick knocked him to the floor, where Henry followed with a diving knee off the apron. Henry takes it back inside for a snap German suplex, following up with a tornado DDT out of the corner, then a cross armbar as he looked to make Adler submit.

Adler tries to powerbomb his way free, but loses grip as Henry came back with an ankle lock… only for Adler to dive to the ropes. Adler pulls himself back up, but Henry tries to kick his leg out of his leg, following up with some mid kicks before Adler pushed him away. Body blows follow in the corner as Henry boxes away, as he then draped Adler across the middle turnbuckle as a running knee targeted him right in the ribs. Henry pulls his way up top, but leaps into a scoop slam for a near-fall as Adler then deadlifted him up for a fallaway slam that gets similar results. Henry’s suddenly on the defensive, as Adler took him to the apron, teasing an Air Raid Crash there, but Henry gets free and starts some back-and-forth kicks, ending with a gamengiri. Adler’s knocked to the floor, but he recovers to try and powerbomb Henry there… Henry slips free and hits a stomp against the side of the ring, before vaulting back inside so he could hit a tope… only for Adler to catch him and hit a swinging side slam onto the edge of the ring instead.

Back inside, a senton bomb from Adler almost gets the win. A hammer fist from Henry as he was on the mat was aimed Adler’s way, so Adler then asked Henry to lay down for him. That idea didn’t go down well, as a strike battle broke out, leading to another knee from Adler, before a Dragon screw took Adler down. A left hand knocks Henry down as both men looked to be running on fumes. A second Dragon screw traps Adler in the ropes, then a third, before a spinning knee from Adler connected. He followed that up with a boot, but an Air Raid Crash crash is countered as pinning attempts went to nought, with a Stretch Muffler from Henry eventually getting the submission. They told a great little story in this one, with Adler trying to pull the wool over his friend’s eyes, but in the end Henry managed to out last him – but at what cost, given the second half of the tournament was later the same day? ***¾

On paper a “so-so” show, but that tends to be the way whenever you’re dealing with one-day tournaments – particularly when the finalists have to go through four matches in one day. Bookended by the better matches of the show, this was a pretty easy watch, over and done in a hair over two hours.