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May 16, 2010 / Jonathan Sullivan

Tyler Black (Seth Rollins) Vs. Jonathan Gresham from IWA-MS 2010

Jon is frightened and confused by the indies and uses Free Wrestling to face his fear head on. He can also be found on Twitter, on Tumblr, and possibly right behind you. Don’t look.

Event: IWA-MS A Taste of Hardcore Sweetness
Date: May 16, 2010

The Action

My familiarity with pre-WWE Tyler Black, Jonathan Gresham, and IWA-MS as a whole is very little so this should be an interesting watch. Black was the ROH World Champion at the time but the belt isn’t on the line for obvious reasons.

Black and Gresham shake hands to start as a commentator calls one of the fans a “douchebag” for some reason or another. Black with a side headlock, Gresham with an Irish whip but he gets taken down with a shoulderblock and covered for a 1-count. Black with a scoop slam and another 1-count. Buckle shot and backbreaker, and Black covers again for a third 1-count. Add those pinfall attempts together and Black has won the match! A chop war breaks out between the two, Black wins it by also throwing in a kick followed by a snap suplex and he covers again, this time getting a 2-count. Black works Gresham over in the corner as one of the commentators calls the sound guy a “retard” for playing the wrong entrance music. These commentators are awful. Gresham floats over a corner splash attempt and connects with a mule kick. Gresham follows up with a tornado armbreaker (called “Divorce Court”?) and covers for a 1-count. Gresham connects with a standing moonsault and transitions into an overhead armbar.

Gresham chops Black in the corner and continues working over his left arm. Black decks Gresham to stop his momentum for a brief moment in time. Black reverses a corner Irish whip, catches Gresham mid-float, and just throws him out on the wood floor. Match looks like it’s taking place at a restaurant or bar or something. Black works Gresham over on the floor, hanging him over the apron for some forearm shots and a running Yakuza kick to the side of the head. Oof. Black rolls in and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Black with a snapmare and hard kick to the spine. Gresham immediately gets to his feet and chops Black after a snapmare of his own. Black regroups quickly and kicks Gresham in the head to regain control. Black with an Irish whip and dropkick, then covers for the 1…2…kickout.

Gresham fights back with forearms and a kick to the side of the head, and goes back to working on Black’s left arm. Black reverses an Irish whip and belts Gresham with a forearm shot, covering for the 1…2…kickout. Gresham escapes a Fireman’s Carry and kicks Black’s left arm. Black reverses a corner Irish whip but eats buckle after a drop toehold. Gresham follows up with a running dropkick and covers for the 1…2…kickout. Gresham slides under Black’s legs and dropkicks Black’s knee then hits a tilt-a-whirl inverted DDT thing for the 1…2…kickout. Apparently the lead commentator openly admits to hating black people. Jeez, I hope that’s a gimmick. Forearm war between the two, Gresham with a standing shooting star for the 1…2…Black kicks out, Gresham immediately locks in a cross armbreaker on the hurt arm. Black lifts Gresham up and hits a buckle bomb, but Gresham counters Black’s superkick with a roll-up for the 1…2…kickout. Gresham slaps on a submission hold of some sort (I’m dumb) and Black gets to his feet and smashes him against the buckles.

Black seats Gresham on the top turnbuckle and goes for a superplex but Gresham elbows out. Black hits him with a kick then hits the hanging double stomp to send Gresham nearly through the canvas, followed by the Paroxysm for the 1…2…KICKOUT. A fan yells at Black, Black gets briefly distracted. Black calls for the Phoenix Splash and heads to the top turnbuckle. He goes for the move and lands on his feet when Gresham moves. Black hits a superkick, Gresham hits a stunner and an enzuigiri. Gresham heads to the top and connects with a Shooting Star Press (Black taking a pair of knees to the faaace) for the 1…2…KICKOUT. Aw snap. Gresham heads back to the top and goes for another but Black moves and hits God’s Last Gift (small package driver) for the 1…2…3!

Winner [via Pinfall]: Tyler Black (15:15)

Post-Match: After the match Black shakes Gresham hand, then challenges Gresham to a third match, “one more chance” to beat him. Black leaves the ring and Colt Cabana for some reason enters the ring. Cabana sasses Black for having an attitude then asks the crowd if they want another Black/Gresham match. They do, kinda. Cabana says he’s got enough “stroke” in the industry to talk and discusses IWA-MS past and present, putting over Gresham as a potential future superstar. Cabana books himself in a match against Gresham for July 3rd. Gresham accepts. Black jumps back on the apron and gets in a war of words with Cabana, angry Cabana didn’t mentor him the way he’s trying to mentor Gresham. This is going on for way longer than I expected. Gresham and Cabana shake hands to seal the deal.

*****

Match Review

I’ve heard about Jonathan Gresham over the years but this is the first time I’ve ever actually seen him wrestle, and I was impressed. He’s pretty damn good but this match is also five years old so I hope he’s still around doing his thing. The match as a whole was really good, with some good psychology in Gresham’s work on Black’s left arm, and Black playing the cocky heel to a tee (which, if you watch the WWE, isn’t so surprising). Black may have won but Gresham definitely got the shine on this one. But while I enjoyed the action, the commentary was annoying and had me inching towards the mute button as the match went on. I guess the lead guy was supposed to be the heel commentator or whatever but he was just grating. The match itself is good enough to ignore it though for the most part so I hope you sit through it or already have sat through it. (***1/2)

With this being my first real exposure to IWA-MS, I have to ask: should I seek out more from this promotion or was this a bright spot in an otherwise blah company? Sound off in the comments and let me know so I can expand my horizons a little more.

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