Tommy End vs Jonathan Gresham – wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship Match.
Founded in 2000, wXw has established itself as the premier wrestling promotion in mainland Europe: boasting an impressive roster of European talent along with consistently high calibre imports, wXw has provided numerous exceptional shows since the company’s inception with the wXw Tag League shows earning the most acclaim in recent times.
The wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship reads as a whos who in independent wrestling; former winners of the prestigious wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship include Chris Hero, Alex Shelley, Jimmy Jacobs, Claudio Castagnoli, Bad Bones, Big Daddy Walter, Zack Sabre Jr and Tommy End.
Over the past year, Tommy End, in the UK and America, has delivered phenomenal matches against the likes of Chris Hero, Roderick Strong and Will Opsreay amongst multiple outstanding tag team matches with his Sumerian Death Squad partner, Michael Dante. Notably, End made his PWG debut at Don’t Sweat the Technique before impressing one again at BOLA making a considerable impression on both events.
Enigmatic, brooding and all round general bad-ass, Tommy End held the wXw Unified world Wrestling Championship for the most part of 2013 and early 2014: holding no prisoners and taking every available opportunity to kick the lights out of his opponents, Tommy End’s championship run became synonymous with hard hitting matches as he established himself as one of the most feared strikers in the world of professional wrestling.
Fixture of the US independent scene Jonathan Gresham, agile, athletic and acrobatic, became a regular in wXw following several impressive displays over the past few years. Greesham battled through the ranks of wXw to be crowned number one contender in 2014 where he would face the Anti Hero, Tommy End in this week’s indy match of the week.
Following a tentative opening exchange punctuated with some impressive chain wrestling, Tommy End landed several signature kicks to ground the considerably smaller man: although not a giant, Tommy End, 5 ft 10’, dwarfed Greesham who stood at a mere 5ft 3’ in comparison. Greesham’s agility allowed him to evade End’s fierce kicks before End delivered a ferocious kick to the gut.
Tommy End, settling into a sinister methodical pace, worked Gresham’s arm before delivering a single leg dropkick. Multiple kicks continued to ground Greesham but the challenger continued to return to his feet, even encouraging End. Jonathan Gresham shifted the momentum with a head scissors that sent the champion to the outside before connecting with a springboard cross body followed by a tope suicida.
Back in the ring, Gresham missed a shotgun dropkick from the top rope before, from a grounded position, delivering a hurricanrana into a pinning predicament for a near fall. Greesham had the champion reeling with several stomps to the knee before End regained the advantage with a meteora followed by a vicious roundhouse kick. An attempted dead lift german suplex was reversed into a roll up by Greesham before the challenger landed a beautiful springboard moonsault to the outside.
Sensing his moment to dethrone the incumbent champion, Gresham headed to the top rope before delivering a 630 splash that met the knees of the champion.
Unperturbed, Gresham reversed a brainbuster into a hurricurana followed by a reverse-rana that spiked the champion. Again, Gresham headed up to the tope rope, this time with more success: Greesham landed a 630 but the champion kicked out at 2.99. Following the application of the figure four, Greesham attempted an irish whip but End collapsed due to the leg work.
Somehow, injured leg and all, End looked for the brainbuster but Gresham reversed again but this time was greeted by a standing double foot stomp: limping, End made his way to the top rope to deliver the Owari Death Stomp only for Greesham to kick out at two. Greesham powered out of the Owari Death lock before eating consecutive roundhouse kicks. End delivered a second Owari Death Stomp.
With astonishing resilience, Greesham kicked out once more only for Tommy End to submit the plucky underdog with the Owari Death Lock moments later.
Not only did this match throw together an interesting clash of styles, End with his largely kick boxing offence and Gresham with his aerial acrobatics, it delivered the timeless big man/small man dynamic and executed it to perfection. At times, Greesham gave as good as he got, something very few men can claim when facing Tommy End.
Tommy End, following a year long reign, would be defeated by Big Daddy Walter a couple of months later before being crowned winner of the 2015 wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament. Over the past year, Tommy End’s fierce striking offence has endeared him to fans worldwide: continuing on an upward trajectory, Tommy End looks certain to have an even more impressive 2016 as he continues to establish himself as one of the most revered, and feared, wrestlers in the world.
Jonathan Gresham, on the other hand, remains pigeonholed as a good indie high flier although some impressive heel work in the US and matches like this testify to a his diverse ability as a performer.
You can see the match HERE
That’s it for this week’s indy match of the week. I will be back next week with another look at a match from the world of independent wrestling.