Preview: AIW – Gauntlet For The Gold 14 (4/26/19)

Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) continues it’s string of top notch cards as one of the premier Midwest indies with Gauntlet for the Gold 14 on Friday night in Parma, Ohio, which features the AIW Farewell Match for DJ Z, who is heading to WWE shortly.

Josh Prohibition vs. Matt Cross

Photo: AIW

A match literally 20 years in the making. Matt Cross made his pro wrestling debut on April 24, 1999 and this weekend he faces a man who has been intrinsically linked to his career for a large part of his two decade career. In 2002, Cross and Josh Prohibition were paired together in Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling (CAPW) and together as Youthanazia (and also known as Burning River Brigade) they traveled together for years, running riot in tag team divisions in AIW, International Wrestling Cartel (IWC), and more before disbanding in 2014. Since then, Cross has found international stardom as a singles competitor, as well as national recognition as Son of Havoc with Lucha Underground. But on Friday, it’s two former friends and allies facing off one on one.

AIW Tag Team Championships: To Infinity And Beyond (Colin Delaney & Cheech) vs. La Familia de Tijuana (Bestia 666 & Damien 666)

Photo: AIW

Since 2014, To Infinity And Beyond has been one of the best tag teams in the Midwest, where they’ve become 4x AIW Tag Team Champions. The duo are 119 days into their fourth reign and on Friday night will defend their belts against two mean hombres from Mexico in La Familia de Tijuana, a rogue faction that works with The Crash Lucha, the hardcore Desastre Total Ultraviolento (DTU), and multiple other Mexican indies. The unit of Bestia 666 and former WCW Superstar Damien 666 have been working the US for much of the new year and are looking to bring some US gold back down South.

AIW Intense Championship: Matthew Justice (c) vs. Joshua Bishop

Photo: AIW

Matthew Justice has emerged as the new force in AIW and his reign as Intense Champion is over 150-days now and has pushed back challenges from Dominic Garrini, KTB, Wheeler YUTA and G-Raver. Trained by Ohio legend JT Lightning and debuting with Lightning’s CAPW in 2006, he’s put in a lot miles over the years to get to where he is now. He puts his title on the line once again, this time against one of AIW’s rising young talents in Joshua Bishop, one of the young stars in the No Consquences stable that has been running wild in AIW since 2017.

MJF vs. “The Franchise” Shane Douglas w/ Francine

Photo: AIW

All Elite Wrestling (AEW) and Major League Wrestling (MLW) star MJF has been a thorn in many a wrestler’s side over the past few years, with a talking game that is nearly unparalleled that has a way of getting under everyone’s skin. On Friday, he runs into a mouth that has ran for decades and has had the fists to back the words up, in former 4x ECW World Heavyweight Champion and NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Shane Douglas, who is bringing his Queen of Extreme Francine into his corner to shut MJF up once and for all.

Mance Warner vs. Eddie Kingston

Photo: AIW

Eddie Kingston is seemingly on a farewell tour of his own and he continues to bring the damage to AIW as he returns on Friday night looking for a fight. A former Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) World Champion, IWA Mid South Heavyweight Champion and CHIKARA Grand Champion (for a record 924-days), Kingston is one of the most ruggedly tough brawlers in the game. Originally slated to face Nick Gage on Friday night, the Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) World Champion had to withdraw from the card early Friday morning, but AIW has found a suitable replacement in one of 2019’s emerging breakout stars and former CZW World Champion Mance Warner. Warner is a near-indestructible lunatic, and will be equal to the task of facing “The Mad King”.

Farewell to DJ Z: DJ Z vs. Flip Kendrick vs. Deranged vs. Gringo Loco

Photo: AIW

For former 2x IMPACT X-Division Champion DJ Z’s last match with AIW, the former AIW Triple Crown Champion (Absolute, Intense and Tag Team Champion) has hand picked the combatants in his Fatal Four Way Match. Flip Kendrick is a Midwest veteran who has been battling DJ Z since 2008. Whether in singles action or in tag team wars against Kendrick as part of Aeroform (with Louis Lyndon) or alongside Facade, he’s been one of DJ Z’s great rivals. Deranged is a former star from Ring of Honor’s earliest days, when he was a member of the stable Special K. He recently reunited with Special K’s Slim J and Azrieal  over WrestleMania weekend and is back on the indies full force. DJ Z first encounted Gringo Loco in the Chicago indies in 2015 and they’ve had countless battles ever since, including several encounters in AIW starting in 2016. Gringo Loco has exploded nationally since debuting with MLW last year, and is a perfect compliment to what should be an explosive four-man match-up.