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Terminus 2 on FITE TV
Atlanta, Georgia at Salvation Army Kroc Center
Report by Dot Net reader Chris Vetter
The crowd was perhaps 250-300. Lenny Leonard and Dave Prazak were on commentary, and they have great chemistry together. I have always loved the passion Prazak brings to calling action, and both men are very knowledgeable. The sound was good, the lighting was decent, and there were multiple cameras recording the action. They also had above-average on-screen graphics, including a countdown clock showing the time left in each match.
1. Invictus Khash defeated Adam Priest in round 3. This is somewhat like NXT UK rounds matches, where a clock counts down and there were breaks between rounds. Both of these guys have worked AEW tapings in the past. Decent back and forth action. Khash won with a rear choke-out hold on the mat.
2. Chris Sabin beat Tre Lamar, Kenny Alfonso, and Leon Ruff at 14:43 in a four-way elimination match. The match had a 15-minute time limit. Lamar has appeared on AEW tapings and Warrior Wrestling a few times. I don’t think I’ve seen Alfonso before. (Both Lamar and Alfonso are athletic, young black men, similar in size to Ruff. Lenny Leonard told us they are both in their early 20s.) Note 2: Josh Alexander was supposed to be in this match, but he was replaced by Sabin due to Canadian/VISA travel issues.
Tre Lemar hit a top-rope elbow drop on Alfonso for a pin at 9:36. Ruff hit a top-rope crossbody block on Lemar to pin him at 13:41. Sabin then hit the Cradle Shock/modified piledriver for the pin at 14:43. Prazak repeatedly pointed out the time limits, which played a factor in the frenetic finish of this match.
3. Queen Aminata pinned Killa Kate at 7:57. We’ve also seen Aminata in AEW Dark tapings a few times, and she came out with a full royal outfit. She has quite a presence in the ring. It was my first time seeing Killa Kate; she is a thin white woman with brown hair (the name Killa doesn’t seem to fit; she has a pretty generic look.) Lenny Leonard told us both have been competing four years.
They traded some really good back-and-forth action and the crowd was definitely into this. The last minute was hot action as they traded hard kicks to the thighs. They did the spot where they reversed inside cradles for nearfalls, when Aminita suddenly got the three count for the win.
4. Joe Keys and Dante Caballero beat Kevin Blackwood and Danny Garcia at 13:20. Keys and Caballero appeared on ROH TV a handful of times last year, and they had a surprising win at the first Terminus event over Fred Yehi and Tracy Williams. Garcia, of course, is coming off of winning the PWG Battle of Los Angeles tournament, and that excellent match a day earlier against Bryan Danielson on AEW Dynamite. This was first time seeing Blackwood; he is a white guy with numerous tattoos everywhere, and his mohawk is dyed pink; I know he has appeared in PWG including at BOLA last month.
Garcia and Blackwood provided good stiff action. This was solid tag team work from both teams. Terminus has the old-school rule that throwing an opponent over the top rope to the floor is illegal; a second one results in a DQ. I hate that rule, but the crowd goes nuts when the ref misses when this happens. Garcia and Blackwood worked over Caballero, with Garcia biting his fingers. Keys checked in. He soon was bloody on his forehead, probably hard way. Cabellero made the hot tag back in, hit a flying forearm, and scored another surprising win. Didn’t expect that!
5. Serena Deeb defeated Liiza Hall at 15:24. Deeb got the hero entrance and big pop. It was my first time seeing Hall; she is a white woman with red hair; looks similar to Kay Lee Ray. Lenny Leonard said Hall is Canadian with six years experience. Deeb tied her up and kept her on the mat, with that smug, arrogant look always present on her face. Deeb transitioned to working the left arm and was in complete control of the match.
Hall got a sleeper on the mat, and the crowd rallied for Deeb. They traded some solid action, but this could have been a bit shorter. Deeb applied the Jamie Noble Trailer Hitch, tying up Liiza’s legs with Serena’s arms. Hall hit a snap German suplex and a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. Hall applied a half-crab with a minute left in the time limit, but Serena reached the ropes. Serena applied a leglock but the time limit expired at 15:00, so we had overtime after a short rest. Just 24 seconds into the overtime, Deeb reversed a sunset flip for the pin. Solid action but the winner was never in doubt, and that took away a little from the match.
6. Sw3rve The Realest defeated Davey Richards at 13:08 via count-out. Swerve (Isiah Scott/Shane Strickland) was introduced as “the hottest free agent” in pro wrestling. Leonard said this is his third match since leaving WWE; he added this was only their second-ever one-on-one meeting. Richards repaced the injured Lio Rush. Swerve was a full five inches taller and it showed.
Really good opening reversals and mat work, and this was intense and believable action. Davey started hitting some hard spin kicks to the chest at the 7:00 mark and was in control. They started trading HARD forearms. The crowd cheered for boh guys. Swerve hit a Stunner for a nearfall at 10:30. Richards hit a brainbuster for a nearfall, applied an ankle lock, and the crowd chanted “This is awesome!” Richards went for a Gotch-style piledriver on the ring apron, but Swerve blocked it. Swerve nailed a double-stomp to the chest while Richards lied on the ring apron, and they both fell to the floor; Swerve got back in before the five-count for the win. (YES, a five-count on the floor, not 10 or 20. The crowd was startled by this unexpected finish.)
7. Jay Lethal defeated Baron Black at 15:34. Baron is really, really good and has competed a LOT on AEW Dark; he lost last month to Bandido in a good, competitive match. They traded arm wringers and reversals early. Lethal hit a high back-body drop. Baron unloaded a series of chops, then a snap German suplex.
Lethal fired back with a swinging neckbreaker and a brainbuster, and both men were down on the mat at 11:30. Lethal applied the Figure Four Leglock and had it in tight, with Baron writhing in pain before eventually reaching the ropes for a break. Lethal went for a Lethal Injection, but Baron countered it and hit a Lungblower/double knees to back. Both men were down and the crowd was evenly split. Lethal hit a stunner and a faceplant. Lethal again went for a Lethal Injection, but Baron caught him in a rear-naked choke. We got to the 15:00 draw. In overtime, they traded reversals, Lethal hit the Lethal Injection and score the pin. (This played out too much like the Deeb match’s finish.)
8. Jonathan Gresham defeated Santana at 19:15 to retain the Original ROH Championship. The men posed for a picture with the ROH Title, as the announcers told us that ROH just reached its 20th anniversary. The time limit was 60 minutes instead of 15 minutes, like all the other matches on the show. They immediately brawled to the floor, and Gresham made it clear he wanted the action to be in the ring, as this match is being fought under ROH Pure Rules.
Santana tossed him to the floor and nails a dive on Gresham at 4:00. They brawled on the floor, and the crowd is hot for this action. Leonard talks about how Santana never wins the big singles title matches, and noted his huge victory over Mike Bailey at Warrior Wrestling two weeks ago in Chicago. Santana tossed Gresham into the rows of chairs and the action remained on the floor until Gresham dove back in at 7:00. Leonard says Gresham has been wrestling in the United Kingdom and just flew home, and spoke about the toll the flight takes on an athlete.
Gresham tied up Santana in a pretzel on the mat and was dominating the action. Gresham was in control and applied a variety of armbars and holds. At 14:00, Santana was admonished for using a closed fist (a second will result in a DQ). Gresham got a rollup for a nearfall; Santana countered with a hard clothesline and both men were down. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!”
They traded hard chops and forearms at 16:00, and Gresham got an O’Connor roll for a nearfall. Santana hit another hard clothesline for a nearfall, and the crowd chanted “fight forever!” They traded rolllups on the mat; the ref stopped counting at one point when it looked like that should have been the pin. They awkwardly continued until Gresham got a pin on what was identical to what should have been the pin seconds earlier; the ref definitely screwed up at the end of a really good match.
Gresham got on the mic and teased firing the referee, but he also wanted a rematch with Santana. They shook hands.
Final Thoughts: Good show, but the cop-out finish of Richards-Swerve, along with the ref messing up the finish of Santana-Gresham, brought it down a notch. The show clocked in at just under three hours and it felt like it flew by. The clock on screen the entire time worked for me, and reminded me how the wrestlers had to keep on pace, but unfortunately, we had two matches go to overtime with near-identical finishes.