Beyond Wrestling: Spirit of 76


Philadelphia, PA – 1.27.2018

Powerbomb TV Independent Wrestling Championship
Jonathan Gresham vs. Mike Quackenbush

Gresham has been champion since 10.22.2017 and this is his fifth defense. Stokely Hathaway and MJF are in his corner. Gresham maneuvers out of Quackenbush’s grounded headlock, and Quackenbush rolls away to prevent Gresham from locking his legs. Gresham using his legs and hands to push apart Quackenbush’s legs. While seated, Quackenbush picks up Gresham by his midsection and tosses him overhead. Quackenbush uses the same technique to stretch out Gresham. Gresham distracts referee Kevin Quinn so he can grab Quackenbush by his ear to escape. Gresham can’t seem to keep a full nelson on Quackenbush. He asks Quackenbush to put him in one so he can practice a similar escape, but his limbs are too short to do so. Gresham uses his posterior to bump Quackenbush away and rolls him up in a prawn hold for two. After countering a wristlock, Quackenbush takes out Gresham’s right leg and picks his left ankle. He then gives a spinning toe hold to the right foot. Quackenbush catches Gresham’s other leg when he attempts a chest kick and locks Gresham in a double leg-capture STF. Even with all of Quackenbush’s body weight on him, Gresham frantically gets the ropes. Gresham comes off Quackenbush’s shoulders with a neck drag but is caught with a pair of back body drops. Gresham snaps off a trifecta of armdrags, barring the arm after the third. He can’t keep Quackenbush’s shoulders on the mat for a pin, even in a crucifix. He goes for a kick to the arm, but Quackenbush instead rolls him down back into the leg-capture STF. Gresham gets the ropes again. Quackenbush goes for the BTS, but Gresham rolls him instead. He kicks Quackenbush in the arm before arm dragging him back to the mat. Gresham ties up both of Quackenbush’s arms behind his back until Quackenbush gets his foot on the bottom rope. Quackenbush gets the better of a chop exchange, but Gresham taps him in the groin after misdirecting Quinn once more. From the mat, Quackenbush uses both feet to kick Gresham away. Gresham snaps Quackenbush’s arm as Gresham grabs the ropes to avoid an Irish whip. Quackenbush uses his shoulder for two more backdrops. After a monkey flip, Quackenbush hits the BTS for two. Gresham again gets the arm and kicks it away from the mat. Gresham armdrags Quackenbush into a crucifix pin for two. Quackenbush puts Gresham back in the leg-capture abdominal stretch. Hathaway distracts Quinn while MJF pokes Quackenbush in the eyes from the apron. Gresham pulls down Quackenbush and stomps on his arm before rolling him into a European Clutch for the pin at 14:19. This fell into the same pattern as Gresham’s other title defenses, where great wrestling is dismissed by a cheap ending. Every defense has been like this and it makes you wonder if when the story of his title reign has wrapped what people will say about the defenses themselves. Of course the wrestling here was excellent and there’s several opportunities this year for them to have a rematch, which I am very much hoping for. ***


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