The March 24 broadcast of IZW TV featured the opening round of a stacked tournament but did little to clarify some of the fallout that took place a week earlier on the “March Mayhem” iPPV. Only seven days removed from Aaron Neil winning the IZW World Heavyweight Championship for a record sixth time, the “way” he won the title was what everyone wanted to talk about. Unfortunately, that will have to wait for one more week, as Neil did not show himself to the IZW faithful instead leaving his minions and lackeys like Jordan Jacobs and Damon Windsor to wrestle in front of the IZW fans at the sold out Impact Arena.
The 2012 Impact Player of the Year Tournament kicked off the show with a tournament qualifier match between Double D and Damien Morte. The 8-man tournament will culminate at IZW’s next iPPV on May 12 at “Coronation”. The other 6 contestants are Jermaine Johnson and Rage Logan (who competed later in the show in the main event), Randy Price, Jordan Jacobs, Kevin Morgan and a mystery opponent. The twist to this year’s tourney, per Commissioner Brandon Bishop, is the final match at “Coronation” will be a Ladder Match! Double D and Morte tore into each other as these two went hold for hold for much of the match. Morte did a good job of keeping Double D grounded by taking him to the mat, but that was fine with D as he unloaded some tremendous chops that rattled not only Morte’s chest, but the building. Double D dished out more punishment and had Morte ready for the Defacer, but Rage Logan distracted D and even held him against the ropes while Morte readied with a punch. Double D broke free at the last second and Morte’s punch landed squarely on Logan’s jaw knocking him off the ring apron. Next Double D grabbed Morte and this time delivered the Defacer and got the 1-2-3 to advance into the second round of the tournament. It was a strong showing by Double D as he now waits for his next opponent in this murderer’s row of challengers for the Impact Player of the Year.
The next bout was a rematch of a bout at “March Mayhem” as Bryan Cruize defeated Kevin Morgan for the second straight time. Cruize snapped Morgan’s 26-week undefeated streak at “March Mayhem” and the loss seemed to invigorate Morgan as he pounded Cruize with every hard shot and slam in the book. Their first bout was back and forth, but this bout looked more like a one-side alley fight until the end. Cruize would not give up and kept hanging around and finally saw his opportunity as he ducked out of the way of a Morgan punch and rolled up the “Image of War” for another pinfall victory. Lighting can strike twice in the same place as this was reminiscent of the end of their first match only seven days earlier.
The new IZW Tag Team Champions were in action next as the Old School Suckas took on Impact Division Champion Jordan Jacobs and Damon Windsor. In the beginning, Price and Tool really showed what tag teaming was about as they isolated Jacobs away from Windsor and went to work on him. But Jacobs and Windsor worked well together as a new team, which is quite an accomplishment as they took on the best of the best in tag team wrestling and when Jacobs was able to tag in Windsor the tone of the match changed dramatically. Windsor’s size and strength matched up well with Tool and he worked over “The Coach” for some time. Coach was finally able to break from a choke hold and slam Windsor on his back. Tool made the tag and Price went to work landing haymakers on Windsor and Jacobs, dropping bodies with every punch. The end came when Price knocked Jacobs out of the ring and together with Tool they planted Windsor on the mat with a double neckbreaker.
Erica took on Kyra Maya next. Erica won the first ever IZW Women’s Fatal 4-Way at “March Mayhem” and Maya was intent on getting her pound of flesh. Maya grounded Erica early on and delivered a bone-crushing kick to Erica’s sternum knocking the wind out of the Lady of Impact and probably breaking a few ribs too. But Erica’s conditioning played a big part in the match. It let her recuperate faster than an average competitor and then Erica went on the offensive landing strike after strike on Maya. Erica executed a double knee shot to Maya’s chest knocking Maya down to the mat and in a daze. Erica then landed a big splash perfectly but the powerful Maya kicked out at the count of two. Maya rose to her feet and landed several hambones upside Erica’s face, but Erica did the smart thing and bounced off the ropes to create some momentum and hit Maya with a perfect bulldog. But even this wasn’t enough to stop the dynamo Maya! She kicked out again! Both women continued to fight in the corner until finally Maya dropped Erica with a short right and then maneuvered her up and gave her a pump-handle slam crushing the life out of Erica. Maya got the hard fought victory and showed that on any given night, she is the best female wrestler in the Mid-South territory.
In the main event, Rage Logan defeated former IZW Heavyweight Champion Jermaine Johnson after a perfect moonsault from the top rope that put the finishing touches on match of the night. Johnson was ready to put the past behind him from last week’s shocking loss to Aaron Neil and get back into the squared circle and in to the winning column, but Logan had other plans. Logan and his partner Damien Morte really got the crowd stirred into a frenzy before the match, but it was Johnson who shut down Logan’s antics, at least in the beginning. Johnson gave the fans a front row showing as he slammed Logan’s head into the guard rail right in front of the raucous crowd. Johnson followed up with a series of kicks to Logan in the corner that planted the former Tag Team and Impact Division Champion on his behind. Morte ambushed Johnson from behind, but Johnson was ready and stunned Morte with a drop toehold to which Morte’s ensuing momentum ran him face first into Logan’s family jewels! The referee had finally seen enough and gave Morte the boot. Now it was a true one on one match. Johnson showed off his submission game as he locked in the Cobra Stretch, but Logan was able to make it to the ropes for an automatic break. The rope break gave Logan the chance to get his second wind, and this time it was Johnson in the corner eating left handed punches and kicks from Logan. Johnson and Logan fought outside of the ring for a brief moment where Logan landed a swinging neckbreaker on the ropes before Logan brought Johnson back in to the ring the hard way with a hanging DDT that smashed Johnson’s head against the green mat. Logan went for the pin, but the former Champion Johnson would not stay down. Johnson was able to turn the tide in his favor for the final time when he dropped Logan on his head with a belly to back suplex from the second rope. But Logan was not to be denied on this night as he kicked out of the pinfall attempt at two! Johnson was ready to deliver the ES2 but then Aaron Neil’s music hit (he never showed), distracting Johnson and giving Logan a chance to fully recuperate. Logan whipped Johnson off the second rope sending him crashing down to the mat. Logan then bounced up to the top rope and executed a textbook moonsault on Johnson crushing the wind and the will to continue out of him. Logan is moving on in the 2012 Impact Player of the Year Tournament while Johnson suffers his second straight defeat and is left to pick up the pieces.
Stay tuned for next week when hopefully the new IZW World Heavyweight Champion, Aaron Neil, will make an appearance and explain some of his actions. Tune in this Saturday on GFL.tv for FREE to get the scoop!