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By Jeff Schwartz on 2023-09-16 02:43:00

Fite+ and Absolute Intense Wrestling brought us the JT Lightning Memorial Tournament Night 1 from Temple Live in Cleveland, Ohio.  Despite a disappointing crowd this was a great AIW show.  As someone who has been attending AIW over a decade, it’s great to see the company grow, but frustrating to see the fan support not at a number I would have hoped for.  Considering the card and recent events, AIW is firing on all cylinders and these are the results of Night 1, and subsequently Round 1.

Tre Lamar over Vik Vice in a fun, high pace contest.  Lamar has all the potential in the world, and Vice appears to be young enough to achieve that same level.  My favorite part of this match was watching the fast pace without seeing the obvious communication that this style often brings.  Lamar advances to a 4 way on Night 2, with a trip to the finals on the line.

Magnum CK over Ziggy Haim, in a battle of members of the former Production faction, Magnum returned with the star power of Clark Gable and showmanship of Rock Hudson.  This guy hasn’t lost a step and worked an interesting inter-gender match that didn’t insult fans intelligence.  A post match respect hand shake ensures support for Magnum on night 2!

Collin Delaney over Dex Royal, in a fun contest that showed the fans of AIW that Dex Royal has potential to be a serious factor in AIW going forward.  Delaney did an undertaker parody as he has competed in every edition of the JT Lightning Invitational.  Royal was super impressive athletically and mechanically.  Definitely someone I’m anxious to see more of!  Delaney advances with a shot at JT Lightning’s trophy.

Mikey Montgomery over Joseline Navarro, the take away here is that this didn’t seem to keep fans interest in spite of great effort from Navarro specifically to get the crowd going.  She’s taken a leading role in the AIW women’s division, and showed here in a loss she can win by losing.  She showed a crazy hip attack that got by far the loudest response of the match.  Montgomery advances to a 4 way.

Filthy Tom Lawlor over Austin James in a battle for the love of Jobu.  Lawlor was in full parody mode mocking James baseball character.  James didn’t emphasize much with baseball aside from a slide into a German suplex.  Lawlor won, and in rather dominate fashion.  Heading into a 4 way spot.

Psychosis was scheduled for the next match but the federal government and visas got the best of him leading to…

Dereck Dillinger over Matthew Justice in a disgusting bloody mess.  This was self admitting my not my taste.  Dillinger was cut somehow and bled like it was going out of style.  Chairs, doors, trash cans, all part of the match.  Not my cup of tea, Dillinger moves on.


Mance Warner over Katie Arquette in a match where the spirit of Tracy Smothers smiled.  Mance with a lot of Smothers mic work best Arquette with everything he promised he wouldn’t.  A nice laugh to kick off the second half.

Chavo Guerrero Jr over Dom Garrini in a surprise win.  Chavo was great, and worked his butt off.  Dom tried to submit Chavo but experience won out in a really fun styles clash.  Chavo gave a nice speech and at 52 looks great!

Alec Price over Paul London in a match that is as much a spectacle as it is a great wrestling match.  Paul London is as good as anyone and got a standing ovation backstage.  He sings himself to the ring too!  He worked heel which is like Ricky Steamboat dressed as the Honky Tonk Man.  This was my favorite match of the show.  

Sam Holloway over Chuck Stone in a match that had Stone work heel but had an entire side of the building cheering him on.  Odd dynamic good meaty men slapping meat match. Holloway advanced with a second rope choke slam.

Eric Taylor over Wes Barkley this was an upset match for sure.  Taylor a heel did his best to keep advantage.  Two AIW cornerstones here and a match that fans should seek out.

Masato Tanaka over Josh Bishop, in a match conjuring up memories of Awesome vs. Tanaka from 25 years ago.  At 50, Masato Tanaka is a maniac.  Chairshots to the head, tables, wild bumps.  This was everything you’d expect and more.  A great exclamation to the night.

Tonight, Matt Cardona, Steph DeLander, and Lance Archer are on the card.  Bell time is 7:30.  Be there at Temple Live or watch on Fite +!  Please come out and support great local wrestling in our own backyard of Cleveland, Ohio.  RIP JT Lightning!

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