AIW: The 2011 Todd Pettengill Invitational

Lakewood, OH – 5.20.2011

Backstage, Tim Donst says a few months ago he was very excited to step in the ring with Mad Man Pondo. He then says that Pondo gave him the Stop Sign Smash and took away his pride and that act changed things. Donst says he’s going to continue making his name tonight by taking Pondo’s away. Donst then comes out and does some more trash talking. Pondo then comes out with a fetching young lady named Miss Natalie. Pondo says he’s a fan of Donst and is happy to have been invited to his first TPI, despite working in IWA-MS when they ran the TPI. Pondo says since everyone else has done wrestling and high-flying before them, they should make the match No Rules to switch things up. Donst declines as Pondo fills the ring with weapons. Pondo says Miss Natalie is a fan of deathmatch wrestling, and has her disrobe to entice Donst. Distracted, Donst foolishly changes his mind and Pondo attacks him at the bell.

TPI 2011 First Round Match – No Rules, Falls Count Anywhere
Tim Donst vs. Mad Man Pondo

Pondo blasts Donst in the head with a STOP sign. He has ringside fans hold the sign and throws Donst into it. Donst throws Pondo into a chair that other fans are holding. Donst knees Pondo into the guardrail. Pondo catches another knee strike attempt and throws Donst into the crowd. Pondo side slams Donst onto a chair. He hits Donst with a garbage can. He harshly whips Donst into a sea of chairs. He whips Donst into a sea of chairs on a different side of the building. He digs a chair into Donst’s arm. They enter the snack bar area where Pondo throws a snack cart into Donst’s head. Pondo throws the ladder onto Donst’s body. Donst low blows Pondo. He slams Pondo into the bar and asks for a shot of Skyy. He takes one shot, then spits another into Pondo’s face. The brawl goes into the bathroom where Pondo gives Donst a swirly. Pondo pulls Donst to the crowd and suplexes him on the floor. Pondo puts a STOP sign on a group of chairs. Donst leaps up and DDT’s Pondo onto the chairs for two. Ringside, Donst puts Pondo in a half crab while he’s sitting in a chair. Donst throws the STOP sign and Pondo into the ring. He positions a chair between the top and middle rope. Pondo Irish whips Donst into it. Pondo brings in a cinder block. Donst STO’s Pondo onto it for two. Donst seats Pondo in two chairs and spits in his face. Pondo lariats Donst and suplexes him onto the chair for two. Pondo sets up Donst in a chair and hits The Silencer for two. Pondo places the cinder block on Donst’s crotch. He smashes the cinder block with a sledgehammer! I can’t believe anyone would agree to take that. Pondo goes for a slam. Donst reverses into a small package for the pin at 13:46. That was just as crazy as it sounds, but boy was it fun to watch. This really was Donst out of his element and I am truly surprised as just how many crazy things he did (getting thrown into those chairs looked really painful). Kudos for these seemingly dichotomic wrestlers putting on a heck of a spectacle. ***1/4

Lakewood, OH – 5.21.2011

TPI 2011 Quarter-Final Round Match
Tim Donst vs. “Mr. RBI” Izaeh Bonds

Donst mentions how back in the day Eddie Kingston toughened him up, so he plans to do the same to Bonds. With that, Donst attacks Bonds in the corner right away. Donst chops him on the apron and drops him back first across his knee. He throws Bonds into the crowd and snapmares him back to ringside. Donst suplexes Bonds from the apron into the ring for two. Bonds throws Donst’s face into the top turnbuckle. Bonds “runs the bases” only to get caught with a reverse STO by Donst for two. Donst puts him in a tree of woe and twists his nipples. Bonds escapes a TKO but gets armdragged into the Reverse CHIKARA Special. Bonds gets his feet under the bottom rope to escape. Bonds knocks Donst down with a polish hammer and a spinebuster. A standing moonsault gets him two. Bonds “runs the bases” and hits a diving forearm for two. Donst pushes the referee into the ropes to crotch Bonds on the top rope. Donst drops him with a top rope fireman’s carry for the pin at 5:47. Donst certainly laid in a beating as promised and moves on in the tournament. Bonds had his usual game going, but I feel he’s better suited for multi-man bouts than singles matches. This was fine, but nothing memorable. **

TPI 2011 Semi-Final Round Match
Tim Donst vs. BJ Whitmer

Donst and Whitmer do a little amateur style back-and-forth wrestling on the mat. They go to the floor for a second, then go right back to the mat. They grapple to the floor. Whitmer looks to go back in the ring, but Donst sledges him in the back and throws him into the barricade. Whitmer barely makes it in before the ten count. Donst twists Whitmer’s arm whilst shoving his hand in Whitmer’s face. Whitmer gets the ropes, so Donst delivers a few elbows to Whitmer’s neck. He drops Whitmer off the ring apron into a backbreaker. Whitmer gets thrown back into the ring. He connects with a forceful baseball slide. Donst hits Whitmer as he tries a suicide dive. Donst delivers three consecutive gutwrench suplexes. Donst chops Whitmer and twists his nipples. Whitmer fires back with chops until Donst rakes his eyes to cut him off. Donst bites Whitmer in the forehead whilst choking him. Whitmer misses a corner attack after Irish whipping Donst. Donst hits the Donst Cap and a German suplex for two. Donst bulldogs Whitmer as Whitmer comes off the ropes. Whitmer catches Donst with a spinebuster. Donst and Whitmer trade forearms. Whitmer delivers an exploder suplex for two. Whitmer drops him with a brainbusterish suplex for two. Donst Gator Rolls Whitmer for two. Donst and Whitmer fight up top. Donst hits the Super Donstitution for two. Donst drops Whitmer with a reverse STO. Whitmer hits a T-Bone exploder suplex and Donst kicks out at two. Whitmer drives his knee into Donst’s head before applying the Peruvian necktie. Donst rolls to the ropes to break it. Donst rolls Whitmer into the Reverse CHIKARA Special. Whitmer taps out at 14:41. Donst looks great here, making a man much larger than him submit. Whitmer’s “comeback weekend” (he’s performed in HWA a few times before this) proved to me that Whitmer can still go, and may be better than before leaving in early 2008. Appropriately, the fans chant “Please Come Back”. I’d love to see him back in ROH and elsewhere. ***

TPI 2011 Finals; Elimination Match
Tim Donst vs. Shiima Xion vs. Gregory Iron

Chest Flexor and The Chad accompany Xion to the ring. After a few strikes, Iron sends Zion and Donst to the floor with a jumping back elbow. He jumps onto both of them with a knee-assisted senton. In the ring, Iron takes down Donst with a huracanrana and a satellite headscissors. Donst puts Iron in a grapevine surfboard stretch. Xion missile dropkicks Iron out of the hold. Donst chops Xion on the ropes. Donst chops Xion on the top rope. Xion sets it up so when he gives Donst a neckbreaker, Donst DDT’s Iron. Xion pins Iron for two. Iron backslides Xion. Donst gutwrench suplexes Iron out of it. Donst delivers one more, then gives on to Iron and Xion at the same time. Donst gives him a chinbreaker. He puts Iron on Xion’s shoulder then trips them both. Donst puts them in a Boston Crab. Iron escapes. He hops off the ropes and DDT’s Donst. Xion moonsaults Iron, and on the way down Donst catches Xion with an ace crusher. Donst whips Xion into Iron after twisting his nipples. Donst tries to German suplex Iron, but Iron rolls Donst face first into the corner. He gives Xion Handicap Parking and then bulldogs Donst into Xion’s crotch. Iron drops Donst the Handicap Parking. Just like at Battle Bowl, Josh Prohibition comes out to distract Iron. Iron dives onto Prohibition. Prohibition whips Iron into the ring post and gives him a piledriver on the floor. He throws Iron back into the ring. Xion pins Iron for the elimination at 9:34. Xion superkicks Donst for two as security helps Iron to the back. Xion chokes Donst on the middle rope and gives him double knees to the neck. Xion hits a frogsplash for two. Donst fires up after Xion slaps him. Xion gives him three superkicks. Donst responds with a bulldog. Xion escapes a Gator Roll and hits a crucifix bomb for two. He applies the crossface. Donst gets his feet on the ropes to escape. Both men trade forearms. Xion walks the ropes. He goes for a tornado DDT, but Donst catches him with the Donstitution for two. Xion shoves Donst into the referee to escape another Donstitution. Donst hits it, but of course no count can be made. The Chad drops Donst with a choke spinebuster. They revive the referee, but Xion only gets a two count. Xion instantly slaps on the Crossface. Donst rolls into a pin, Xion cranks the hold back on. Donst picks up Xion and drops him with the Donstitution and a Gator Roll for two. Donst tosses Xion off the top with a release German suplex. The Chad pulls the referee out of the ring as Donst puts Xion in the CHIKARA Special. Flexor throws a fireball in Donst’s face! Xion pins Donst at 16:51 for the win and the 2011 TPI Championship. Usually it’s heresey to have a dirty finish in the tournament finals, but the story was so good that it didn’t bother me so much. The fans were dying for Donst to win after Iron got eliminated, and with each kick out he only grew more hungry to win the crown. It took something as extreme as a fireball to throw him off and cost him the match. This is the kind of storytelling that makes this final match special and the best of the entire tournament. ***1/2

Donst angrily hurls a water bottle at Flexor Industries. The referee takes him to the back as Xion celebrates with his trophy in the ring. Since Xion has won the TPI, he now has a shot at the Absolute Championship that he can cash in at anytime. It works just like the Money in the Bank prize.

I reviewed the entire TPI. You can read my review of Night One here and my review of Night Two here.

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