What a night to be a fan of independent wrestling last night when XWA’s Wrestlution 16 came to the XWA Event Center in West Warwick, Rhode Island. The night started off with what I am naming match of the night and what could possibly be match of the year in the six man stipulation contract ladder match. The match featured Ace Romero, Tyler Nitro, Devin Blaze, Christian Casanova, Antonio Atama, and Kevin Bennett. The match had the most Holy Sh** moments of the night with guys going through ladders all around the ring. I thought at one point that Devin Blaze might have been dead after going through a ladder courtesy of Ace Romero, but he survived the night. There was so much mayhem around the ring that the referees were distracted and they didn’t see Christian Casanova grab the contract, but what they did see was Antonio Atama holding it. Atama pounced on the chance to steal the contract because he knew the refs weren’t looking like an intelligent competitor who is aware of everything that is going on. I am however going to say that every wrestler in that match definitely earned my respect for the punishment they put themselves through.
All of us thought that we were going to get a triple threat match for one of the main event matches. We were supposed to see Ricochet take on Zack Sabre Jr. and JT Dunn, but because of United Airlines dropping the ball, Ricochet and Tessa Blanchard couldn’t make the show. That in turn had an effect on another match as well as Sumie Sakai essentially had no opponent. Well that was until XWA student Isana stepped forward to challenge the Japanese wrestler. While Sumie Sakai would pick up the win against Isana’s valiant effort in the ring, the match was very entertaining as Sumie provided some laughs for the audience. For the triple threat match that Ricochet was to be apart of, it ended up being the rematch between Zack Sabre Jr. and JT Dunn to finally determine a winner that we didn’t get at Breakout. While Zack tried his best to turn JT Dunn into a human pretzel all throughout the match, JT Dunn stayed determined and he kept fighting back even trying to match wits with the technical wizard. As the match wore on and it looked like a stalemate, JT out of nowhere rolled up Sabre Jr. and took the win making the man from Providence the better of the two (for at least right now). One of the oddest, but my favorite moment of the night was the criss cross apple sauce slap fight that the two had in the middle of the ring (yes I did say that).
The other highlights of the night for me was seeing one of my favorites in XWA in Rudeboy Riley who took on the Prince of Dayton, Ohio Jake Crist. The two went through an absolute war with each other as they threw just about everything but the kitchen sink whether in the ring or out of it. We would see Sumie Sakai in the night once again when she accompanied NJPW’s The Tempura Boys (Sho Tanaka & Yohey Komatsu) who took on veteran Jason Blade and newcomer Vinny Pacifico. It was a treat to see some of the best from NJPW who along with Sumie Sakai got the crowd involved in the match with the abdominal stretch that had six or more people helping Sukie. A match that was absolutely intense as I thought it would be was the match between Kingdom member Vinny Marseglia who took on Callahan Death Machine Sami Callahan. At first I think the whole crowd believed that the match was going to be cut short due to an injury to Vinny, but that is why Vinny is one of the best. Vinny ran back to the ring to attack Callahan and it worked for a little while. The two actually fought each other all over the XWA Event Center, but unfortunately the match ended when Vinny decided to superkick the referee.
Travis “Flip” Gordon certainly had the odds against him in what was suposed to be a triple threat match against Mr. 450 and Jon Cruz. Little did he know that it was a 2 on 1 match, but nonetheless he flipped his way to victory over the LWO (Lucha World Order) who also happen to be some pretty intense guys. Brian Fury fought and won an absolute war against TNA talent Braxton Sutter, who for a while looked as if he was going to have the win. The final match of the night was a title match that saw XWA champion and Kingdom member “The Best Around” TK O’Ryan defend his strap against veteran “The Miracle” Mike Bennett. There was a special stipulation in the match that said that TK was allowed to have someone in his corner while Bennett was not allowed to. Who was the person, well it turned out to be Bennett’s own best friend and Kingdom leader Matt Taven. Taven for the most part of the match was pretty neutral until he showed his real colors not once, but twice. Bennett would nail TK with a superkick, but when the referee went to initiate the pin count, Taven would pull him out of the ring and he hit him with a superkick. After a couple of minutes, Bennett would then hit TK with the Miracle In Progress, but Taven would do the same thing. After a little bit of a distraction, TK would steal the win from Bennett retaining his championship.
TK O’Ryan and Matt Taven had thought they had pulled one over Bennett until XWA official Mike Antonucci came out and had a huge announcement. He was not a happy camper with how the match turned out so he announced that there would be a rematch at XWA’s Xtreme Rumble (January 20) and that there would be a special guest referee who was WCW and WWE legend Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. The crowd went absolutely nuts over the announcement and Matt Taven was not pleased at all. It was definitely the monkey wrench that could make things fair for The Miracle when the rematch happens next month. The thing that I love about this company is that not only do they have the best talent in the Indy scene, but they give their students a shot as well which rang true when Joey Bones and Sully pulled out a big win in a tag team grudge match during the night and as mentioned above, giving Isana a shot at Sumie Sakai. Overall, it was a great night of Indy wrestling that money could buy. I am going to give the event an A- for a final grade. Check them out on their website here or on Facebook for more info on events and other stuff.