Everything was on the line as “March Mayhem” went down at the Impact Arena in Lawton, Oklahoma in front of a rabid crowd. The fans at the arena and watching live on GFL.tv saw all three IZW titles on the line and got a main event that after it was finished drastically changed the landscape of IZW and its competitors forever.
In the opening match, the Old School Suckas (Gary Tool and Randy Price) won the IZW World Tag Team Titles by defeating former Champs, Nemesis (Rage Logan and Damien Morte) after an old school brawl. Nemesis had been on quite a roll since winning the tag titles back at “Violent Valentine”, but Tool and Price were able to stop the momentum, at least on this night, of Nemesis. The crowd was solidly in the corner of the Old School Suckas, but that didn’t faze Nemesis in the beginning as Logan took it to Price and even landed a few Ric Flair chops in the corner that smashed across the flesh of Price. Morte then took his turn abusing Price and even choked him using the ropes, a blatantly cheating. Nemesis did a great job tag teaming against Price and keeping him in their corner for several minutes wearing him down with mat based grappling. Price made a valiant effort to finally tag in Tool, but the referee was distracted by Morte which meant Price had to stay in the ring and fight back some more. In the move of the match, Logan flung himself over the top rope twisting in the air and landed full force on Price who had just fallen through the ropes to the ground courtesy of Morte’s help. It turned out to be a reckless move as Logan was just as injured as Price after the fall. Both wrestlers finally made their way back in to the ring and after a quick double team by Nemesis, Price finally made the tag to Tool! Tool came in to the ring and gave Nemesis a double clothesline followed up by individual back body drops, which took the wind out of Nemesis’ sails. Logan was able to turn the tide for a split second with a jumping neckbreaker that put Tool on the mat and on dizzy street. Nemesis tried to double team Price next, but he ducked out of the way of a Morte mist attempt and the red substance landed directly in Logan’s face. After an atomic drop on Morte, Price and Tool landed their patented Old School Sucka finish on a confused Morte and got the pinfall becoming the new IZW Tag Team Champions.
In the second bout, in the first ever Women’s Fatal Four-Way Match, Erica defeated Starr, Kyra Maya and Miss Diss Lexia to prove to everyone in IZW that she is the alpha female. It was a free for all in the beginning with every woman going after anyone who was close. Midway through the bout, Miss Diss Lexia and Kyra Maya found themselves on the outside of the ring which gave Erica and Starr a chance to go one on one in the middle of the ring. The top two females went back and forth, with Starr landing a backbreaker and a sidewalk slam on Erica. It wasn’t enough as Erica kicked out of the pinfall attempt and then grabbed Starr by the head and jumped up to the top rope to land a variation of a neckbreaker that put Starr down for the count, and gave the Lady of Impact the victory.
Next up was “The Image of War” Kevin Morgan versus newcomer Bryan Cruize. This was the first competitive bout Morgan has been in for a long time as Cruize could almost match Morgan for size and strength. The two giants traded power moves and right hands but Morgan seemed one step ahead of his opponent, until the end. Cruize showed his agility in the ring as he outmaneuvered Morgan and landed a swinging neckbreaker, but Morgan was able to shake off the pinfall attempt. Morgan then went for his patented choke slam but Cruize slipped out of the hold and managed to roll up Morgan for a quick 1-2-3 pin! Morgan’s win streak is stopped at 26 weeks in a row and the newcomer, Bryan Cruize makes an immediate impact on his first night in IZW by taking down the giant.
Double D defeated IZW Impact Division Champion, “Lights Out” Jordan Jacobs, by disqualification after a wild match. Jacobs still retains the title as the title cannot change hands on a DQ. Double D came out like a bat out of hell but Jacobs quickly turned the tables with an illegal eye poke followed by several hard shots in the kidneys that slowed down Double D. Jacobs continued the onslaught by jumping on Double D’s back while his neck was against the ropes, sending his windpipe into the unforgiving cable and nearly choking him out. Jacobs even landed a sit-down power bomb but he could not put away Double D who was a man possessed. D was finally able to turn the tide and landed 10 knees to Jacobs’ face, no doubt rearranging the cartilage in Jacobs' nose. Double D then landed a crossbody from the top rope, but Shawn McHale distracted the referee from counting the pinfall and Jacobs was saved. McHale continue to distract the ref, giving Jacobs time to recover and grab his Impact Division belt which he swung at D like a baseball bat, but D ducked the attempt and landed a knee square into the metal belt which was then driven up into Jacobs’ face. Double D then executed a perfect Defacer and got the pinfall and won the title. That is until Commissioner Brandon Bishop came out to the ring and ordered a re-start to the match because of D’s apparent use of the championship belt (Bishop overlooked the fact that Jacobs brought the belt in to the ring in the first place). Once the match was restarted, Double D picked up right where he left off, and went up to the top rope to finally finish Jacobs off, but Jacobs blatantly hit Double D in the face with the belt causing an immediate disqualification and in doing so retained the title which he should have lost twice on this night. It was a smart albeit underhanded move by Jacobs to retain his title.
Eric Rose took on second generation wrestler Cody Jones, son of legendary trainer and wrestler, Tom Jones, in a great wrestling bout. The two traded leg kicks until engaging in a very technical match with some great mat wrestling. Rose tried to get the fight to the air by bouncing off the turnbuckle but Jones was persistent in grounding Rose’s attempts and getting him back on the canvas with Jones in charge holding a deep headlock as Rose had to constantly work to keep his shoulders off the mat. Rose was finally able to break Jones’ hold with a stiff right to the jaw, but then Jones landed a perfect drop kick that sent Rose out of the ring. Jones followed Rose which was a mistake as Rose was able to turn the tables and send Jones into the steel stairs turning the tide of the match in Rose’s favor. The men made their way back to the ring where Rose continued to work on Jones’ back, landing a back suplex that disabled Jones even more. Jones came back landing a springboard clothesline but Rose countered with a powerbomb. Both men then made their way to the top rope where Jones landed a frankensteiner as both men crashed to the mat. Jones was up first and after a scuffle with Shawn McHale, Jones landed a springboard double-knee to Rose’s face and got the pinfall. It was a great match and a tremendous win for Cody Jones who is quickly carving out a name for himself in IZW.
Next up was part 3 of “The Past, Present and Future of Johnny Z”, a behind the scenes video package of the IZW owner and founder. Part 3 covered the future and the question of retirement came up, which Johnny Z spoke about candidly. The Natural Born Leader isn’t ready to give up his time in the just ring yet. Z did talk about some of what he does behind the scenes and as the owner of IZW has his hands in every facet of the organization, but for the time being, he is not ready to be a promoter exclusively as he still feels he has a lot to offer as a pro wrestler, which no doubt wrestling fans around the world agree with. Johnny Z spoke of his goal for IZW to become a fulltime national promotion that can tour around the country brining the IZW brand to fans across the United States and beyond. Johnny Z promised he would be back in the ring when it was the right time, when he was 100% healed from his injuries, he would return.
In the main event, Aaron Neil captured the IZW World Heavyweight Title by defeating former Champion Jermaine Johnson in a No DQ Match after it was revealed that Neil enlisted the help and joined the faction of Brandon Bishop, Jordan Jacobs, Eric Rose and Shawn McHale in one of the more jaw dropping moments in IZW history. Neil turned on his fans and everyone who ever believed in him because deep down he knew he couldn’t beat Johnson fair and square. In becoming the 6-time IZW World Heavyweight Champion, Aaron Neil showed that there is nothing in this world, not fans, not friends, not even enemies that he will let dissuade him from his ultimate goal, which is carrying the twenty pounds of IZW gold around his waist and being the World Champ.
Before the match, it was announced that per Commissioner Bishop’s orders the match was now a No DQ which made sense at the end as it was all part of an elaborate plan meant to rip the title away from Johnson at any cost. Both men had a feeling out process to start the match with Johnson grabbing a headlock and then Neil doing the same. The stronger Neil got Johnson down to the mat where he was able to wear on him with his huge body. Johnson transitioned to a leg scissors and turned the tables on Neil but then both men got back to their feet. Neil landed a leaping knee to Johnson’s throat, and followed it up with a forearm to the chest that sent Johnson out of the ring and gasping for air. Neil suplexed Johnson back in to the ring and tried for a cover, but Johnson kicked out. Neil continued his onslaught landing flying punches, and clotheslines as Johnson tumbled outside of the ring for the second time in the match. Down by the guardrails, Johnson and Neil had a backyard brawl as they traded fisticuffs and chops, each one deadlier than the previous. Neil then changed things up a bit and threw Johnson head first into the steel cage that lines the IZW entrance ramp taking full advantage of the No DQ rules. Neil went for the same move on the opposite side of the ramp, but Johnson reversed him sending the “Real Deal” into the unforgiving metal and breaking his momentum. It was the opportunity that Johnson was looking for as now he was the aggressor. Johnson landed multiple chair shots on Neil and followed up by slamming Neil’s head into the concrete wall of the Impact Arena. This would have killed a normal man, but on this night Neil was no normal man. The two gladiators made their way back over the guardrail, where Johnson reversed Neil and sent him into the steel chairs crushing his skull into the black metal. Johnson got a second wind as he threw Neil’s limp body back in the ring and hit Neil with punches and kicks. Johnson went for a suplex but was reversed by Neil who landed a reverse atomic drop and once again gained the upper hand. But it was Johnson who landed a slam on Neil reversing the momentum as the crowd chanted “We got this”. Johnson landed a Real Drill of his own, but Neil would not go away as he kicked out of the pinfall attempt at 2. Commissioner Bishop then came down to the ring as Neil delivered a spinebuster. Johnson recovered and landed an ES2 (Energy Shot Two) for what looked like the match ending finisher, but that’s when Bishop came into the ring to break up the pinfall. Johnson gave chase to Bishop around the ring and when he came back to the ring, Neil was waiting for him and landed an ES2 on Johnson. But it still was not enough as Johnson kicked out at 2! After the ref got accidentally hit by Neil and fell out of the ring, Johnson landed a series of punches to Neil’s head, but Neil stopped Johnson dead in his tracks with a low blow. With the referee still out cold, Neil told Bishop to grab a chair and bring it into the ring. Neil then slung Johnson’s prone body Bishop’s way and Bishop teed off on Johnson’s head with the metal chair. The sound was sickening as Johnson’s head crashed against the cold steel like a watermelon dropping off of a skyscraper. Bishop then threw the ref back into the ring to count the pinfall, BUT THAT WAS STILL NOT ENOUGH! Johnson kicked out again! A chair shot by Neil came next but Johnson again kicked out! Neil went for a third chair shot, but Johnson managed to get Neil up in the air and dropped a Real Drill on Neil. Johnson then pulled Bishop into the ring and threw a few haymakers his way, but once again Neil smashed Johnson in the head with the chair. That’s four times for those keeping score at home. Neil then followed that up with a chair shot to the midsection of Johnson. EIGHT MORE CHAIR SHOTS and Neil finally threw the chair down! This was finally enough for Neil to get the win as the referee made the count to 3 as the fix was in the whole time. But Johnson fought back against insurmountable odds to almost overcome this sick display of sportsmanship. Neil and Bishop celebrated afterwards as Rose, Jacobs and McHale came to the ring to congratulate the new IZW World Heavyweight Champion as Jermaine Johnson lay motionless in the center of the ring.
What this means for IZW is anyone’s guess. Tune in this Saturday live on GFL.tv and for FREE to find out!