After a successful ‘One Night Only’ with TNA stars, EPW once again surprised italian fans with Total Honor, by bringing some world wide names and the greatest italian ones as well. The crowd was excited as the show started with MVP making his way to the ring: he’s happy to debut in Italy and while he was talking about the two main events of the evening, he had been interrupted by EPW champion Axel Fury. The champion was scheduled to fight in the main event in a triple threat match against Austin Aries and Eddie Edwards, but he was still injured and MVP wanted to give him two options: Option A, he had to wrestle no matter the injury, Option B, he had to vacate the title. Of course when it comes to “options” we talk about Austin Aries, who took the opportunity to claim his famous “Option C” going out to the ring: he wants to win that belt, so Axel Fury had no choice but vacating it. MVP decided there should be a triple threat match anyway, so the winner between Red Devil and Adrian Severe will be part of the main event, “and the match starts now!”
Red Devil vs Adrian Severe
Red Devil is the current ICW Italian Champion and one of the most decorated italian wrestlers and went one-on-one with Adrian Severe, an athlete who can mix his powerhouse style with some high flying maneuvres, in a match that surprised the crowd with some great spots and a tornado ddt followed by a tko from Severe that seemed to end the match pretty soon. Finally Red Devil won with an enzeguri kick and his signature move, the Devilsault (a lionsault), taking him one step closer to the championship.
Nathan Cruz vs Mark Haskins in a no DQ match
Great reaction from the crowd for Mark Haskins, not new to italian fans who enjoyed him in the previous EPW show against Karim Brigante, and at first it’s him dominating the match after a series of suicide dives. The two ended up wrestling in the crowd, with some stiff kicks that made Cruz react with a codebreaker and then hit his opponent on the head with a chair. Right when it looks so easy for Cruz to win, Haskins trapped him in an armbar and made him tap out.
Probably one of the best matches of the show, they connected with the audience and showed a different side of what a no DQ match can be, not just random hits with any kind of objects, but a very smart use of them.
Johnny Bono /w Axel Fury vs Red Scorpion /w MikeShowSha
This match was set up after an angle during Romics, a huge comic-con in Rome, where Axel Fury attacked MikeShowSha, a YouTuber, challenging him for a match at Total Honor. Due to Fury’s injury and the fact that MikeShowSha is obviously not able to wrestle, Johnny Bono represented his partner while Red Scorpion, current BWT champion, stood for the YouTuber. Good high flying spots by Scorpion, but the pin goes to Bono after the referee got distracted and Fury hit their opponent with a pedigree.
Toni Storm vs Nixon Newell vs Thea Trinidad in a triple threat match
Huge expectations from this triple threat match, where Toni Storm and Nixon Newell teamed up to get rid of Thea Trinidad, well known for his run in TNA as Rosita: a double big boot and a double suplex aren’t enough, and when Newell tried to hit her with a spear, she avoided it and connected the leg trap sunset flip powerbomb to Storm, ending the match. It’s good to see that the women got cheered by the crowd regardless of their heel or face attitude, and even if the match was very short people recognised (and confirmed, in Trinidad case) their potential.
Just before the two main events of the evening, MVP came out on the ring to announce the new EPW General Manager, the former champion Axel Fury, and added himself in the title match, which became a fatal four way between him, Austin Aries, Eddie Edwards and Red Devil. Needless to say that he was booed all along the backstage, but with his addition the title match looked even more appealing. But it’s time for the first main event, the long awaited match between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels!
AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels in a 2 out of 3 falls match
The two had wrestled for years, they know each other very well, but even if they fought loads of matches together, they can always surprise. The first fall went to Styles, who trapped the Fallen Angel in his calf killer, then the situation got reversed and it’s Daniels turn to hit his best shots. Spear, brainbuster, the Best Moonsault Ever and it’s even. The match was enjoyable with a great performance from both men and the final pin went to the Phenomenal One, who hit with a moonsault ddt and the Styles clash. After the match they hugged each other and paid a tribute to Dusty Rhodes, the man who believed in them since the beginning of their wrestling career. They made up a special angle with fans and it was really emotional.
Austin Aries vs Eddie Edwards vs MVP vs Red Devil in a fatal 4 way for the EPW championship
That’s it, finally after all that struggle to crown a new champion, there are four challengers ready to give their best for the title. Despite their different styles, they fit together and created some memorable moments like the tower of doom and a moonsault by Red Devil to all of his opponents outside the ring. The only problem was the very confusing ending. Aries hit the brainbuster to Red Devil, the referee counted three and the match was over; the wrestlers looked shocked and there was no bell, so at first everyone tought it was a mistake.
MVP took the opportunity to steal the belt, so the winner went after him on the backstage followed by Edwards and Devil, while Styles came out to challenge him at the next EPW show for the belt. What did just happen?!
So besides this ending, the show was good and beyond expectations; it was amazing to see some great action in a land where sometimes wrestling seems to be forgotten.
The match of the night was absolutely Styles vs Daniels, it was breathtaking and of course there’s no denying their abilities and their charisma on action. Cruz vs Haskins was impressive as well, a great performance by both athletes and I really hope we’re gonna see them more in Italy.
Worthy to mention Devil vs Severe, a good opener showing that the italian indy scene is improving and it can be competitive too.