If you haven’t yet heard, then get ready for the best announcement from us yet! AIW – Absolute Intense Wrestling – of Cleveland, Ohio, is going to be back in action in just two short weeks with a “TPI-Style” 24-man tournament featuring some of the best independent professional wrestlers in the business today, despite some fierce competition. The tournament, known as the JT Lightning Invitational Tournament (or “JLIT”) will be running on Friday, May 11th for first-round matches, and then again on Saturday, May 12th for quarter, semi, and final rounds of the tournament. Bell time each evening is at 7:30 and will take place at Turner’s Hall at 7325 Guthrie Avenue in Cleveland
Though the TPI-style tournament holds a special place in the heart of independent professional wrestling, but the JLIT itself is even more special because it honors the late JT Lightning, former trainer and wrestler in the northeastern Ohio circuits. Lightning had competed numerous times in AIW himself, and his mentoring and expertise has touched much of the current and up-and-coming AIW talent. The tournament serves as a legacy, honoring him and his family who still works closely with AIW.
Friday, May 11th, Night One Match-Ups:
Brian “Spanky” Kendrick vs. Tim Donst: Last year, AIW’s 24-man tournament saw Paul London against [current champion] Shiima Xion, and this year his former partner Spanky will be taking on Tim F’n Donst! There is no doubt that the former WWE superstar will bring a fast-paced matched with a lot of quick, hard hits. Donst has been through a lot over the past year in AIW from being screwed over by, and taking false allegiances with Flexor Industries, losing his Absolute title shot, and teaming with others he deemed less than himself. Tim Donst has been through hell on his quest for the Absolute Title, and he’s certain not to let anyone, regardless of who they are, in his way.
BJ Whitmer vs. Colt Cabana: Sure to be an interesting, hard-hitting mesh of styles and personalities with a ton of potential to be hard-hitting with just the right amount of entertainment.
ACH vs. Davey Vega: Two aerial assassins will make their way to the ring in this match-up! ACH has been really capturing the eye of devoted independent wrestling marks all over the nation, and the AIW loyals are of no exception. Coming off a strong win in a 30-man Iron Man Match against AR Fox proved his worth to hundreds. Vega is right behind him; though usually paired with Mat Fitchett as the Sex Bomb-ombs, Vega is sure to bring a hard-hitting, high-flying style that is bound to impress.
Josh Prohibition vs. “MDogg 20” Matt Cross: Two of Lightning’s original trainees, gaining fan-support and recognition over the years through working with him, will go head to head. And to top it off? They’re the current AIW tag team champions, Youthanazia! These two have a long history that’s sure to make this match a “can’t miss.”
Willie Mack vs. Ethan Page: Willie Mack makes his AIW debut against the returning Ethan Page. Page has managed to gather enough fan support through social media to petition his way back onto an AIW card after appearing on the Girls Night Out 6 pre-show against Eric Ryan in a losing effort. Willie Mack has been tearing it up out west in PWG with his combination of agile, high risk, and powerhouse maneuvers for a man of his size and stature (not to mention attitude). Egos – and bodies – are sure to clash something fierce in this match-up.
Archibald Peck (with Veronica) vs. Colin Delaney: Though he’s Mixed Martial Archie in CHIKARA, he’ll be appearing as Archibald Peck with his majorette Veronica in this first round-battle against the Extremely Cute Wrestler Colin Delaney. Delaney has been proving to be a rough, erratic competitor most recently in AIW, bringing in bottles of liquor into his matches to use as weapons and a distraction. And with Peck’s strained relationship with Veronica, fans can only speculate what all will go down in this match.
Other first-round match-ups that are sure to please include the following:
- Eric Ryan vs. Obariyon (of The Batiri)
- Rickey Shane Page vs. Flip Kendrick (of Flexor Industries)
- Louis Lyndon (of Flexor Industries) vs. Mat Fitchett
- Bobby Beverly (of Flexor Industries) vs. Kodama (of The Batiri)
- Ophidian vs. Gregory Iron
- Marion Fontaine vs. Façade
Saturday, May 12th, Night Two Matches:
In addition to the quarter, semi, and final round matches of the JLIT tournament, two specialty matches will be taking place…
Women’s Title Match, “AK-47” Allysin Kay vs. “Girl Dynamite” Jennifer Blake: Blake returned to AIW at Girls Night Out 6 in April with gold on her mind, just as Kay took her place on top of the AIW Women’s Division as the Women’s Champion over Mia Yim in a no-DQ match. She may be ready to kill, but if Kay isn’t careful, this match could certainly explode in her face.
No Holds Barred, “The Passion” John Thorne vs. Mad Man Pondo: AIW promoter John Thorne returned to the ring at “Straight Outta Compton” in a no-DQ match in April against Hailey Hatred – a former rival and competitor chosen for him by Rickey Shane Page. The battle had been bloody and ended with Hatred scoring the pin, as Thorne took several light tubes to the head by Page himself. Not long after, the current hardcore and Juggalo icon himself, Pondo challenged Thorne to just “one more match.” Thorne accepted the challenge, and now with the stipulations set to no holds barred, there is no doubt that this match will become an all-out, absolute brawl.
As always, AIW looks forward to your support. If you can’t make it to the shows, check out smartmarkvideo.com for a list of all available AIW DVDs for purchase, and aiwrestling.com for tickets and more information on the show. AIW is also available on Twitter. Look for the hashtag #saveAIW as well, to help support AIW; having fallen on some rough financial times, the future of the company rests on the support of the independent professional wrestling fanbase. Check it out today!