TERMINUS
All Roads Lead Here
January 16, 2022
Kroc Center
Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Salvation Army Kroc Atlanta

Watch: FITE

MEET OUR REVIEWERS

Gerard Di Trolio: Gerard is absolutely pumped for this show as it is one of the most interesting ideas to emerge on the North American indie wrestling scene in ages. Gerard is glad that Jonathan Gresham is spearheading this as he’s one of the best in the world right now and has a great mind for no-nonsense wrestling. Read Gerard’s All Japan coverage on this very site, and he’s on Twitter at @GerardDiTrolio 

Joey O’Doherty: Joey is a reinvigorated fan, who has been pulled back into the world of professional wrestling thanks to the success of AEW. My new year’s resolution was to get back into the independent scene and no better place than Baron Black and Jonathan Gresham’s new promotion. 

Sean Sedor: So Sean is very excited to dive into this new Terminus promotion being led by Jonathan Gresham. The concept and the rules are super interesting and totally different than anything else on the US scene right now, plus (as someone who’s been the ROH guy for this site for so long), it only feels right to follow the exploits of the true ROH World Champion (more on that later) during the company’s hiatus. You can follow Sean on Twitter @SASedor2994. If you’re interested in some other stuff he does, you can check out his YouTube channel (just search his name) if you’d like to see him play the Formula 1 game, and you can also check out his Extreme Warfare Revenge thread on the Be The Booker forums (if you’re into those kinds of games).

LEE MORIARTY DEF. JOSH WOODS

Gerard: That Lethal couldn’t make it from being in Seattle last night to Atlanta for this show isn’t too surprising given the weather, but Woods is a good replacement. I didn’t think much of him in NXT but he really got good in ROH. 

This was a real arm-wrestling match. Both guys went after each other’s left arm. There were some good reversals here. Woods was dominating but Moriarty managed to get a surprise European Roll for the three count. Very good opener that set the tone for what Terminus is trying to be. ***½ 

Joey: To be honest, I’d prefer Woods to Lethal, so I was pleased with the late change. I was wondering if Woods would have trouble adapting to the rules on short notice, but no such problems were present. A very enjoyable start to the show, with both competitors with some smooth mat exchanges. Leonard and Prazak both did a fine job of not only putting Woods and Moriarty over, but also reminding the viewers of the rules. 

The match was well-paced, easy to digest and the perfect way for Terminus to start off on the right foot. Very pleased to see a European clutch so perfectly executed to score the victory. Lee continues to impress, while Woods shows here that hes more than ‘tough enough’. ***1/4

Sean: Gerard said it already, but given the weather situation, Jay Lethal not being able to make it from Seattle (where he wrestled Jay White on the NJPW Strong tapings) to Atlanta in time for the show is understandable. Josh Woods is a very solid replacement, and another guy who fits in well with what Terminus is going for. The two had a nice technical exchange to start before Woods turned a Cravat into a pin (can’t say I’ve seen that before). They both tried to work on each other’s arm before Woods managed to gain the upper hand. Moriarty would soon turn the tide and get in some offense on the arm of Woods. The arm is very much the body part of choice in this one.

Moriarty eventually locks in the Border City Stretch/Gargano Escape, but Woods fights out of it and manages to hit a German Suplex after trapping Moriarty in the ropes. Just as it looked like Woods was back in control, Moriarty caught the ROH Pure Champion in the European Clutch to score the win. This was a pretty solid opening contest that was really perfect for its spot on the card. Some nice back and forth technical wrestling between these before Moriarty ultimately got the win. ***1/4 

TERMINAL ELIMINATOR FOUR-WAY MATCH
DANIEL GARCIA DEF. INVICTUS KHASH, JDX & ADAM PRIEST

Gerard: So instead of just another scramble, this match is only going to have two wrestlers in at a time and tags. They established the rules around the tags when Garcia tagged in on JDX and then Priest did so to Garcia very early on. I liked how they worked the rules into the story of the match, like how Garcia and Khash kept chopping each other to tag each other in and out. 

Once JDX was eliminated, this became a traditional three-way with all the wrestlers in the ring. Garcia pinned Priest, and then when it came down to the final two, Garcia and Khash just took their feud to the next level and pummeled each other. Garcia knocked out Khash with a palm strike giving him the win and all three eliminations in the match. Great ending.

I’m in multiple chats and in every one, there was some variation of the question, why would you book Garcia in a four-way? Well, I have to say, while I’m not crazy about three and four ways, they booked Garcia here in the best way possible. Garcia was the only wrestler in this match I’d seen before, but I thought everyone else showed lots of potential. ***½ 

Joey: I’ve only heard of Garcia, who has yet to leave me unimpressed. I’m unfamiliar with the remaining competitors but very pleased with what I’ve seen. While Invictus Khash looks like a pound shop Dexter Lumas, he certainly wrestles better. 

Garcia is a joy to watch. From his silky Smooth translations to his expert selling, it’s easy to forget that this kid is so young. JDX has potential also, but it’s Priest that made the best impression on me with some sweet snap suplexes and I was a little sad not to see Garcia and Priest go at it in the final stretch. 

Loved the finish, it was fresh and the referee sold it extremely well. Garcia is a joy and while I’d prefer to see him one on one, I still enjoyed this match. A minor nitpick is that it was too short. Would have loved an extra 3 mins at least to allow everyone not named Garcia time to shine. ***1/2

Sean: This is an elimination match, and for the first part of the match, it will basically be working under the same rules as the Four-Corner Survival Match in ROH, where only two guys are in the ring, and you have to tag in to become legal. Obviously, I’m familiar with Daniel Garcia from AEW. As for the other three, I’ve definitely heard of them prior to watching this show, but I can’t say I’ve seen any of their work. Khash and Priest gave us the first action of the match before Garcia tagged himself in. JDX soon entered the match officially, and we got some good action until Garcia and Khash started bickering with each other. Unfortunately, the first elimination looked to be a botch, as Garcia eliminated JDX. Seemed like the pin was just really messy, and everyone looked confused as to whether that was an actual elimination.

Of course, it became a three-way at this point, but that didn’t last long, as Garcia soon managed to eliminate Priest. With under four minutes left in the time limit, Garcia and Khash start going at it. Khash nailed a Croyt’s Wrath for a nearfall, but then Garcia nailed a vicious palm strike a few moments later, and the referee called for a stop to the match due to a knockout. A really cool ending to the match. While it would’ve been preferable to have Garcia in a singles bout, they did put him over pretty strong by having him score all three eliminations. If Terminus uses Garcia in the future (and I’m sure they will), I hope they give him a singles match, and honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing him face Invictus Khash again. ***1/4 

MIKE BENNETT DEF. MOOSE

 Gerard: Moose was the first wrestler on this show that exuded a big star aura on their entrance and got the biggest pop of the night so far. Moose gave Benett the double middle fingers instead of shaking hands. 

The story here was simple, Moose is a much bigger man. Moose caused the first technical foul of the show by throwing Bennett over the top rope. Moose played around with Bennett a lot, but that allowed Bennett to get some hope spots in. Bennett had Moose against the ropes and delivered several running forearms. On another running forearm attempt, Moose threw Bennett over the top rope again to cause the DQ. Normally, I’d say I hate DQs, but this was a good use of one to establish Terminus’ unique ruleset. Moose and Alex Coughlin, the original opponent who is out due to an injury, had some words after the match. I liked this for what it was. ***

Joey: Probably the Match I was least looking forward to as I have never been high on either Moose or Mike Bennett. But Moose has always looked the part, hasn’t he and he has a decent heel persona, so I was happy enough with Moose being the first to fall foul of the ‘directive’ rules. 

The match was ok, but if the objective of this match was to get over the rules, then mission accomplished. Bennet took the second top rope bump like a champ. I care very little about these two guys as performers, so I was never expecting this match to thrill me. 

Sean: While these two haven’t really interacted yet in Impact this year, this definitely has some connections to Impact, with the current “ROH invasion” storyline going on. We also have Matt Taven joining the commentary team for this one. Moose showed off his power early on, but then immediately got a technical foul by throwing Bennett over the top rope. Moose continued to have the advantage until Bennett finally fought back with a series of chops and a cutter that saw Moose land right on his head.

Bennett tried for a series of pin attempts, but Moose kicked out on both occasions. Bennett then nailed a series of forearm strikes against the ropes, and he was about to nail another one, but Moose sent Bennett over the ropes for the second time. Thus, Bennett wins the match because Moose committed two technical fouls. There was some good action throughout this bout, but it seemed to mainly serve as a display of some of the new rules in Terminus, as the technical fouls came into play for the first time. Should be interesting to see how the rest of the rules and technical fouls continue to play a role in Terminus. ***1/4 

DIAMANTE  DEF. JANAI KAI

Gerard: Due to travel issues, Diamante was a last-minute replacement for Liiza Hall, announced the night before the show. 

Lots of grappling on the ground to start, which was solid enough but nothing thrilling. Things picked up when they started striking, which Kai is good at. Diamante survived those kicks, nearly got a submission with a Half Crab but soon followed that up with a grounded choke of some kind on Kai for the submission victory. I thought this was decently worked but a little dry. **¾ 

Joey: I’ve heard good things about Kai but as I have been away from wrestling up until recently I have yet to see her compete personally. Diamante can deliver when motivated, so this match has potential. 

Early on, both women looked good, whether trying to out wrestle each other or nailing sweet-looking strikes. Kai in particular looked vicious when striking, as did Diamante when syncing in her submissions. A good match and both women did well to put their best feet forward. Happy enough with this outing overall. ***

Sean: This starts off with some grappling on the mat, with Janai Kai having the upper hand early on. Kai did get an early nearfall after a kick to the back, but Diamante soon took the match back to the ground. Diamante managed to get a nearfall off a Northern Lights Suplex, while Kai would continue to utilize her kicks. We then saw Diamante use a brutal-looking half-crab that nearly got a submission. While Kai was able to survive that submission attempt, she wouldn’t escape the following one, as Diamante would pick up the win. A fine match here that worked for its spot on the card. I guess the result does make me wonder if Liiza Hall was going to win this, but aside from that, nothing much else to add. **3/4 

IMPACT DIGITAL MEDIA CHAMPIONSHIP
JORDYNNE GRACE ©  DEF. KIERA HOGAN

Gerard: I’ve always been higher than a lot of others than on Hogan. I’ve always thought she has great potential as an underdog babyface. Hogan here early on, didn’t play the face in peril. She took a good amount of the early parts of the match. 

Hogan kicked out of a Muscle Buster which got a good pop from the crowd. Hogan would get a near fall on Grace, and went to set up another move but Grace caught her in the Fall from Grace and got the victory. This had a couple of sloppy spots, but I thought it told a good story of two wrestlers of very different sizes. ***¼ 

Joey: Hogan out here with her FC Basel hairdo. Or is it Genoa? Either way, very cool. Grace, as always, looking badass. The commentary team tells me they wrestled 31 times, so they should know each other well enough to deliver a decent match, right?

Hogan rolling on her head with Grace on her back could have gone horribly wrong, but she seems fine. A close miss. I’m a sucker for a delayed vertical suplex, so that’s me happy I guess. 

Grace nailed a nice powerbomb to muscle buster combo to a near fall. That should be a finish not a near fall. That said, her Fall from Grace is also very satisfying and eventually Hogan counted the ceiling lights. A really fun match that, like the Garcia 4 way earlier, could have done with maybe 3 or more minutes extra. ***1/4

Sean: We’ve got some Impact vs. AEW That said, the Fall from Grace is a fantastic finisher and Hogan eventually fell short. Like the Garcia 4 way, I could have let this match go on a little bit longer. Overall a fine bout  ***action here, though I’m sure these two have met a few times before while Kiera Hogan was working with Impact. After the opening exchange, Hogan nails a leg drop and her running corner dropkick. Jordynne Grace would soon use her power to gain the advantage, as she connected with a delayed vertical suplex. Grace continued to show off her power as she nailed Hogan with a powerbomb and a Muscle Buster that really got the crowd excited. Hogan would recover and once again nailed her corner dropkick for a nearfall. A few clothesline attempts from Hogan were unsuccessful, and Grace connected with a bridging German Suplex for a two count.

The two continued to go back and forth as the time continued to wind down, and as Hogan tried to go for….something (not quite sure), Grace was able to counter, and connected with Fall From Grace (which looks to be a variation of Made In Japan) to retain her title. This was a very solid match from start to finish. Both women looked good, and the crowd got into it in the second half, which was nice to see. Pretty enjoyable as a whole. ***1/4 

ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
BANDIDO © DEF. BARON BLACK

Gerard: I’ve only seen Black on AEW Dark so I’m interested to see what he can do here. I thought this started slow but really picked up after Black showed an incredible demonstration of his strength by lifting himself out of Bandido’s bridge purely on abdominal strength. 

Black pulled out a lot of moves and holds that I’ve never seen him use before. He took a good portion of this match and looked strong. Bandido showed his crazy strength here towards the end, hoisting Black up on his shoulders to deliver a knee, followed by the 21-Plex for the win.

While this was sloppy at points, I thought the work overall was fine. Black stepped up here and I thought he showed potential. He could really benefit from a couple tours of Japan. *** 

Joey: Audio issues plagued the pre-show, and they again rear their head during a Baron Black pre match promo. I’m a big fan of Bandido, so I’m looking forward to a match with Black. I’m not too familiar with Black outside of AEW Dark, so let’s see what these two can cook up.

Black comes out and immediately takes his straps down, which got me thinking he will have a big comeback in reverse, like some kind of backward Jerry Lawler? By the way, a backward Jerry Lawler sounds odd, doesn’t it? 

Nice spots in the early going, though I’m sick to death of 3 amigo spots. It’s so overused despite the respectful origins. I feel that while Black did well, I feel he struggled to keep up with his opponent at times.  Bandido in peril always cracks me up though, reminding me that Hulk Hogan existed everytime. Now that I think of it, he used a variety pack of Eddie, Cena and Punk movesets. I don’t hate it. 

Overall a decent match but nothing more. Black, while really talented in places, has a little way to go to compete at this level. Bandido was fine, but overall these two did not mesh well. **3/4

Sean: So to be clear, Bandido is the official ROH World Champion, but he is still carrying around what I will call the 2021 version of the ROH World Title. Meanwhile, I completely forgot that Baron Black was part of The Nightmare Family. I wish the commentary would’ve made it more clear that Bandido is not the official champion, despite the fact that (in storyline) he does have a claim. In the early minutes, Black would counter Bandido’s attempts to hit the 21-Plex as well as Bandido’s GTS variation. Bandido connected with the Three Amigos and locked in a submission, but Black escaped, and countered a Bandido dive with a tossing suplex.

Black worked over Bandido for a bit before the two got into a chop exchange. Black survives another Bandido submission, and nails a powerbomb before following up with a submission of his own in the form of the Texas Cloverleaf. Bandido would survive, and a few moments later, connected with a very sloppy headscissors that was too close to the ropes for the referee to call it a pin. Black would soon recover and nailed a big superplex off the top rope, but this wouldn’t be enough to put Bandido away. Bandido then nailed his GTS variation before connecting with the 21-Plex for the win. There were some sloppy moments for sure, but I thought this was pretty good. Bandido was his usual self, and as for Black, he’s definitely got promise, though he still has a ways to go. Would be interesting to see what this match looks like two years from now when Black gains more experience. ***1/2 

DANTE CABALLERO & JOE KEYS DEF. FRED YEHI & TRACY WILLIAMS

Gerard: Yehi came in here hot at the bell. He’s got a charisma that a lot of others on this show don’t have. Williams was his usual solid but dry self. Caballero and Keys were good too, though they didn’t stand out as uniquely charismatic. 

I thought this was a pretty good tag match. Williams and Yehi, owing to their Catch Point days, worked well together. And while I didn’t think Caballero and Keys showed a lot of charisma, they have chemistry as a team. This had a hot closing stretch, which is something I always like to see in a tag match.

Keys pinned Williams after a Diving Headbutt in what I’d call a bit of an upset. ***½   

Joey: I like Yehi and the former Silver Ant, but I’m completely unfamiliar with their opponents. I giggled at the Evolve joke. Caballero is surely a premature love child of Lance Archer and Tony Nese, while Keys is like Kevin Sullivan on super serum.

I did like the tag rope spot, little things like this if consistently used can make a difference once they’re not quickly forgotten. 

Yehi sparked the crowd into their most animated form thus far yet the quick return to resthold did not capitalize on it. But it wasn’t long before Yehi got them back into it with a nice suplex off the ropes. Yehi was the MVP of this match, and arguably the show so far. 

Surprised that Keys and Caballero got the win, while they were fine in what they did, nothing was memorable. A nice closing sequence pushed it up a notch. A fine match with a good finish. ***

Sean: We’ve got a bit of a Catch Point reunion here as Fred Yehi and Tracy Williams reunite to take on two guys who spent time in the ROH dojo during the pandemic. After the opening exchange, Yehi went crazy with a series of stomps in the corner. Joe Keys would respond by just taking Yehi’s head and pounding it into the mat. Williams makes the tag and runs wild for a few moments, but he gets cut off with a spear from Keys. Catch Point would continue to make quick tags, and at one point, Yehi nailed a wild kick on Keys. Caballero made a tag and went at it with Williams, but then got a technical foul for sending Yehi over the top rope. Caballero then had a chop exchange with Williams before the two connected with some tandem offense. 

The former EVOLVE Tag Team Champion would nail some tandem offense of their own, and Yehi nearly managed to get Keys to tap out to the Koji Clutch before Caballero broke it up. The two teams continued to go back and forth as we reached the final minute of the match. Then, in what has to be considered an upset, the former ROH dojo boys got the win after Keys pinned Willaims with a diving headbutt with only thirty seconds or so to spare. I thought this was a super entertaining match that featured a lot of really exciting action from start to finish. Of course, it was cool to see Catch Point back together, and they worked very well with Keys and Caballero, who turned out to be a good tag team in their own right. I thought this was definitely the best match on the show, up to this point. ***1/2 

ROH ORIGINAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PURE RULES MATCH
JONATHAN GRESHAM © DRAW JOSH ALEXANDER

Gerard: There was some nice technical wrestling here to start, before Alexander got the upper hand for a while and forced Gresham to use up two of his rope breaks fairly early on. Gresham fought back and went after the legs. I really liked how Alexander used a closed fist punch to escape a Figure Four and got a warning for it. This was a subtle thing to make Alexander the heel, and it would work into things later when Alexander went for another one, but was warned and it allowed Gresham an opening.

I thought the closing minutes of this match was strong with some great reversals. I get why people may hate the ending with the suplex into the double pin, but I thought everything leading up to it was great. The finish was obviously a political thing with Impact not wanting one of their top guys to lose. ****

Production issues aside, I thought this was a fun show, and something I was glad to have bought to support. The North American indies need something that is a traditional no-nonsense product. I’m excited to see what Gresham vs. Santana will bring us, as well as any other matches for the next Terminus show on February 24th. 

Joey: The match I was most looking forward to when ordering, so expectations are high going in. Both Alexander and Gresham are red hot and super talented, so no reason they can’t deliver. 

The opening 10 mins was wonderful, with some sleek technical wrestling and some quick, smooth exchanges. Both men showed why they are so highly regarded. It was well-paced, nothing seemed rushed while simultaneously having time to breathe. A personal highlight being a swift-running dropkick by Gresham to the legs of Alexander which the latter bumped and sold expertly.

The central story of the rope breaks was used well as Gresham ran out of breaks with 5 minutes to go. Alexander went to the Ankle Lock well more than once but Gresham would somehow battle out. Then, the double pin ended the match and it fell flat for me. I could have watched these guys go for another 20 at least. The match felt restricted by the time limit and was paced to go longer but was cut short. A pity as it was flowing quite well until the premature finish.

And from there, we had the Bandido and Gresham showdown. This showdown did little for me until Santana of Proud and Powerful/LAX fame arrived. Big fan of Santana, who in my opinion could be a fantastic singles star. Santana v Gresham appeals to me but it still felt it was a lackluster end to a decent, if unspectacular, debut event. 

Sean: Of course, Jonathan Gresham has already made multiple defenses of the ROH World Title since winning it back at Final Battle. We get some technical wrestling to start, as expected, with Josh Alexander getting the first nearfall of the match off of a backslide. The pace soon starts to pick up as Gresham runs wild and connects with a dropkick. Alexander would regain control shortly thereafter, and a pair of ankle locks would force Gresham to use two rope breaks in quick succession. Gresham would soon bounce back with some more kicks to the leg before locking in a Figure Four. This forced Gresham to use his first rope break. Gresham tried for the Figure Four again, but Alexander used a closed fist to escape the hold.

Alexander would nail a series of German Suplexes, though Gresham would continue to work over the leg of Alexander. A springboard moonsault would lead to a nearfall for Gresham, and a second springboard moonsault attempt would be countered into a tombstone. A forearm exchange leads to an ankle lock attempt, and while Gresham managed to escape, Alexander quickly followed up with the Jay Driller! Gresham was forced to use his final rope break at this point. Gresham survived yet another Ankle Lock attempt, but then a deadlift suplex led to a double pin, as both shoulders were down when Gresham countered with the small package. 

A very strong main event that had a very weird finish with the double pin. You can’t really fault the action throughout, as Alexander and Gresham are two of the best out there. However, I don’t know about doing a draw in the main event of your first show. I guess the rules that Terminus put out didn’t really say anything about what happens in the case of a draw via double pin (if they did, I guess I missed that part). Perhaps there were some promotional politics with Impact that led to the result? Regardless, the main event was set up in the post-match, as Santana from Proud ‘n’ Powerful came out and challenged Gresham to a title match on the next Terminus show on February 24th. That should be really good, and hopefully that has the definitive finish that this bout did not. ***3/4