Terminus – All Roads Lead Here: Gresham vs. Alexander, Santana appears

John Siino reviews the first Terminus event headlined by Jonathan Gresham and Josh Alexander for the original ROH championship.

Photo Courtesy: Terminus

Terminus All Roads Lead Here

January 16th, 2022

Salvation Army Kroc Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

By: John Siino

Commentary: Dave Prazak & Lenny Leonard

Terminus Directives

·       All matches must be won by pin, submission, KO or DQ (unless substitute stipulation agreed upon by grapplers)

·       Time Limits (Strictly Enforced): Singles 15, Tag/Multi-man 15, Championship Bouts 20

·       Overtime: A 90 second overtime period occurs if there is no winner after time limit expires. Grapplers will start the OT period in a neutral position. If there is no decision when OT expires, the result is a draw.

·       Disqualification criteria: Two technical fouls, foreign object usage, outside interference

·       Technical fouls: throwing the opponent over the top rope, 10-second tope rope count, 5 count rope/corner break, intentional physical contact with the referee, intentional low blow, intentional eye gouge, fish-hooking, intentional hair pulling, spitting, closed fist punches to face

·       Technical fouls given at referee’s discretion

·       Count outs: 5 seconds

·       Any weapon usage will result in immediate disqualification and expulsion from Terminus

Lee Moriarty vs. Josh Woods

The show started on a bit of a delay due to travel issues and the weather, as Atlanta got hit pretty bad by the snow. Josh Woods is replacing Jay Lethal who was unable to appear tonight for this match. Lenny Leonard does a great job at breaking down the rules from the Terminus directive to inform the viewer. Woods and Moriarty take it to the mat right away with a couple of arm drags and pin attempts, as Woods’ ROH Pure Championship is not on the line in this match. They tie up on the mat, with a couple submission and pin attempts. They go back and forth working on each other’s arms with the crowd getting in the trading back and forth, but Woods is able to catch Moriarty in the corner before keeping Moriarty down with the arm drag and continuing to work on the arm. After a bit of time, Moriarty is able to get out and snap Woods’ arm himself, before going to work on it, twisting Woods up and going for a couple pin attempts and right into a crossface. Woods is able to power out and hit a German Suplex to Moriarty, bouncing off the ropes for a two count. Moriarty comes right back, countering Woods into roll-up with a European clutch for the pin.

Winner: Lee Moriarty by pinfall at 8:54

Terminal Eliminator Match: Daniel Garcia vs. JDX vs. Invictus Khash vs. Adam Priest

This match is similar to the ROH Four Corner Survival Match where two men are in the ring and they use tag team rules, with eliminations until there is one man left. Khash and JDX start the match with the 15-minute time limit, but Garcia automatically tags himself in, blindsiding JDX. Khash and Priest end up in the ring with Khash going for the surprise pin attempt. Match picks up a bit with them trading arm drags until Khash knocks down Priest with a shoulder tackle before getting hit with a beautiful dropkick by Priest. Garcia tags in, knocks Priest down with a single leg on a leapfrog attempt, but Priest comes back with a German Suplex, as Garcia tags right out to JDX. JDX and Priest have a nice sequence, with JDX coming out on top hitting chops and an STO for a 2 count. JDX and Garcia go at it, with Garcia hitting a snap suplex for a two count as commentary does a great job breaking down Garcia’s recent AEW matches and storylines. Garcia starts stomping out the arms and legs of JDX, before chopping Khash back in, but Khash doesn’t take kindly to that so chops Garcia back in. They continue to do this with each time being a tag in, as JDX tries to capitalize and roll-up Garcia for the pin attempt, followed by a spine buster. Garcia and JDX have a bit of a confusing segment with some sort of low blow/pin attempt that results in JDX being the first elimination, but not sure what the reasoning was for it, as the pin attempt didn’t seem to be a three. This match now goes to a three-way as Garcia takes Khash out with a knee strike, before being taken down with a wheel barrel slam by Priest. Khash takes control of both men, but Priest hits him with a German Suplex, as Garcia takes advantage and hits a jackknife pin eliminating Priest as it’s now down to Khash and Garcia as the last two men. Khash hits a pop-up German suplex for the two-count. They go for a couple of pin attempts and open hand strikes, until Garcia knocks Khash out with a vicious palm strike, as the referee ends the match.

Winner: Daniel Garcia by knockout at 12:24

Moose vs. Mike Bennett

Mike Bennett is the replacement for Alex Coughlin in this match, who sustained an injury, as Matt Taven joins commentary for this one. Taven mentions how Moose was able to escape the beat down from the Ring of Honor guys at Hard to Kill. Should be noted that Moose’s IMPACT World Championship is not on the line in this first singles match from these two since 2017. Moose starts the match putting his hand out as a ‘code of honor’, only to flip off Bennett and knock him down. They start the match running the ropes until Moose throws Bennett over the top rope and gets his first foul warning and is announced if he does it again or any other technical foul, he will be disqualified. Alex Coughlin is seen in the audience watching this match. Moose and Bennett go back and forth with chops until Moose hits a headbutt but gets taken out with a cutter, as Bennett gets a two-count. Moose goes for a couple Lights Out spear attempts, but Bennett rolls them up for two counts. Bennett starts attacking Moose on the ropes, but on the last strike attempt, Moose tosses Bennett over the top rope causing the second foul, thus disqualifying Moose. Commentary and Taven mention how they think Moose might have done this intentionally as Bennett was getting the better of him.

Winner: Mike Bennett by disqualification at 6:39

Commentary mentions how Scott D’Amore might take note of this and watch IMPACT Wrestling for any repercussions. As Moose is leaving, he has a bit of a staredown with Alex Coughlin

Diamante vs. Janai Kai

Diamante was a replacement for Liiza Hall, as it was announced over 48 hours ago due to travel issues. They take it to the mat right away, with each applying waist locks. They go to hitting each other with strikes, before Kai keeps Diamante in the corner with kicks, hitting one in the spine for a two count. They keep it down on the mat again, with Kai having the upper hand until Diamante slips out with an arm lock. Kai kicks herself out and right into another pin attempt. They start trading strikes until Kai uses her kicks yet again for another two. Diamante comes back with a Northern Lights suplex for a two count into a chokehold, but Kai rolls up for a two count. Kai goes back to the kicks, as Diamante flesh is showing signs of the kicks doing damage. Kai hits a couple kicks to the spin, but Diamante is able to catch her foot and applies a Half Crab until Kai is able to inch over for the rope break. They trade a couple of submission attempts until Diamante traps in a body scissors until Kai submits.

Winner: Diamante by submission at 7:27

IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs. Kiera Hogan

Since leaving IMPACT, this has been Kiera’s second chance at an IMPACT title after fighting Mickie James for the IMPACT Knockouts Championship at NWA Hard Times 2. Kiera gets a big reaction here during the ring introductions being in her hometown, while Jordynne gets announced incorrectly as ‘Thick Pump Momma’ that resulted in a pretty funny face reaction from Jordynne. It’s also said that since this is for an IMPACT Championship, they are going by their rules, opposed to the Terminus rules. They start on the mat with a couple pin attempts by Kiera, until she tries to smack and kick down Grace. Kiera gets Grace in the corner and hits her with a running boot for a two-count. Grace comes back with her power and holds Kiera up in a suplex position as the crowd counts along for about 20 seconds until Grace finally drops her. Grace follows with a powerbomb attempt, but Kiera hits a hurricanrana. Grace places Kiera on the top rope, but Kiera kicks her down and hits a missile dropkick. Kiera takes advantage and kicks at Grace, until Grace traps Kiera, hitting her with a couple powerbombs and a muscle buster for a two count. Kiera is able to stop Grace on the ropes and hits her with a neckbreaker, followed by another running dropkick for a two count. Kiera attempts to clothesline down Grace but fails and gets whipped hard into the corner followed by a German suplex for a two count. Kiera comes back with a couple kicks and finally clotheslines Grace down for a two count. Kiera calls for her finish, but Grace gets out. Kiera comes back with a couple more kicks, runs the ropes but gets caught by Grace who hits the Fall from Grace for the pin and the win.

Winner: Jordynne Grace by pinfall at 8:18, to retain

ROH World Championship: Bandido (c) vs. Baron Black

Before they start the match, they cut to a really well down promo from Baron Black where he talks about being kept in the ‘Dark’ this entire time, and how he’s been conflicted on whether to choose being ‘honorable’ or ‘elite’, or just be out for his own. He also talked about being conflicted on who to sign for this open contract, before landing on Bandido. It’s noted that Bandido never lost the ROH World Championship, therefore defending the title he never lost and then saying this match has a 60-minute time limit as a result of the ROH championship. They go right away for a couple takedowns, until Black extends his hand just to put Bandido in a side headlock. Black stops a 21 Plex attempt by Bandido, as well as a knee strike attack when Bandido now extends his hand. Black responds by adjusting his straps as they meet up in the middle of the ring where Black takes the hand, but this time Bandido kicks Black in the gut followed by the Three Amigos suplexes. Commentary mentions how this ROH Championship situation will have to be handled soon, as both men can’t be running around with these titles, possibly alluding to a unification match happening once they resume operations.  Black is able to strengthen his way out of a pinning situation from Bandido, flip Bandido off onto the apron, but catches him on a springboard attempt for a suplex. Black puts on an abdominal stretch into a side suplex for a two count. Black continues to work on Bandido, until they get up for a chop exchange until Bandido takes him down with a leg lariat, followed by a Death Valley Driver for two. Bandido applies an Indian Death Lock, but Black is able to grab the rope for a break. Black comes back with a snap German suplex and a powerbomb for a two count, and goes right for the Texas Cloverleaf, until Bandido grabs the rope. They go into a tricky-looking hurricanrana spot, with the pinfall being broken up being too close to the ropes. Bandido goes to the top rope, but Black stops him and hits a butterfly superplex for the two-count. Bandido is able to come back and hit the 21 Plex for the pin.

Winner: Bandido by pinfall at 14:04, to retain

Tracy Williams & Fred Yehi vs. Dante Caballero & Joe Keys

A bit of a Catch Point reunion here with Williams & Yehi from their time as former EVOLVE Tag Team Champions, as Lenny Leonard goes down memory lane. Williams and Keys start the match, in the only tag team match of this evening. After a bit of confusion with the tag rope, prompting a chant from the crowd, Caballero and Yehi make their way in. Caballero attempts to chops, but Yehi tosses him into the corner for a huge chop before stomping him out. Yehi keeps Caballero down with a chin lock until Caballero gets out tagging in Keys where they do a bit of double teaming on Yehi. Yehi comes back, tossing Keys over with a suplex from the corner, before tagging in Williams. Williams tags Keys down with a hard clothesline and Caballero with a suplex. Keys comes back with a spear, calls for a move, but Williams reverses into a suplex that gets broken up by Caballero on the pin attempt. All four men start brawling in the ring for a bit until Williams hits a hard chop and tags back in Yehi. Williams comes in and starts striking down on Keys, but Keys fights back with a Gory Bomb, before crawling over and tagging in Caballero. Caballero and Williams fight on the top rope, where Caballero hits a top rope arm drag for a two count. Caballero sends Yehi over the top rope, getting his first technical foul, as Williams tries to capitalize from that slight distraction. Keys tags in and hits a backbreaker on Williams for a pin attempt that Yehi breaks up. Keys goes for another Gory Bomb, but Yehi tags in as they Yehi and Williams hit a flurry of double team moves until Yehi puts Keys into the Koji Clutch, the same time as Williams puts Caballero into a cross face and then the ankle lock that ends up going crashing into Yehi and Keys breaking up the submission. All four men slowly get up, until Yehi and Keys start trading strikes. Yehi hits a hard back fist into a sleeper hold, as Williams tags himself in. Keys stops Williams in the top rope, but Williams hits a DDT on the turnbuckle, followed by a German suplex by Yehi for a two count. Williams is able to chop off both Caballero and Keys with one minute left on the time limit. Caballero and Keys are about to double team on Williams, with Keys hitting a top rope headbutt on Williams for the surprise win.

Winners: Dante Caballero & Joe Keys by pinfall at 14:26

ROH Original World Championship: Jonathan Gresham (c) vs. Josh Alexander

This match is announced as being for the ‘Original’ ROH World Championship and contested under Pure Rules. Jonathan Gresham has a video package before the match where he says he has to earn the moniker Best in the World, and beating Josh Alexander is just one step to that. Alexander comes back and says that if he is the test, then Gresham can’t pass that test and he doesn’t think that Gresham is better than him. Real sports feel for the introduction of this match, as they take it right to the mat at the start. They go for wrist locks in a test of strength, with each man going back and forth until Alexander gets the backslide pin for a two count. They trade side headlock takedowns until Alexander pushes Gresham into the corner, only for Gresham to go on the mat and test Alexander on not being strong enough to lift him back up. This results in an exchange with Gresham hitting a perfect dropkick that gets the crowd really amped up. Alexander stops Gresham and starts twisting on his leg while intertwining with pin attempts, with Gresham eventually reaching out to the ropes for the first rope break of the match. Alexander goes right back into an ankle lock, as Gresham goes and uses his second rope break. They start trading chops until Gresham hits a basement dropkick, right into a figure four which causes Alexander to reach out and use his first rope break. Gresham comes back and tries a figure four lock again, but Gresham uses a closed fist which gets him the first warning, as a second one would cause a disqualification. Alexander comes back with three German suplexes, with the third getting a two count. Alexander tries a couple of Butterfly Suplex attempts, but Gresham is able to power his way out of both. Commentary mentions this being their fourth bout, with Alexander getting the first three wins. They go into a flurry of moves including Alexander catching Gresham off the ropes into a Tombstone for a two count. They go into a strike trade exchange, which leads into an ankle lock by Alexander. Alexander is about to hit another closed fist, but the referee warns him right before that it’ll disqualify him. Alexander instead hits a piledriver, and on the pin attempt, Gresham puts his leg on the rope using his third and final rope break. Alexander goes right back into the ankle lock again, but Gresham fights his way out and puts on a Figure Four. Alexander counters it back into the ankle lock, as Gresham climbs over the referee and grabs the rope using it to pull Alexander into the ropes breaking the ankle lock. Alexander hits a suplex to Gresham off the apron into the ring for the pin, resulting in a double pin, causing a draw.

The match ends in a double pin at 16:52, as a result, Jonathan Gresham retains

Santana in Terminus

The crowd chants for overtime, but commentary points out that since the match didn’t end in a time limit, that can’t be the case. Alexander shakes Gresham’s hand on his way out, but as Gresham is celebrating with his original ROH Championship, Bandido steps into the ring with his ROH Championship as they go face to face. We then hear Nas ‘New York State of Mind’ as Santana from AEW makes his way to the ring. Santana grabs the microphone and says this New Year is all about challenging and putting things in his path and says he has a lot of history together with Gresham and a few years back LAX and CCK had one of the best tag team matches in wrestling. Santana continues calling Gresham one of the best wrestlers in the world and suggests February 24th at the second Terminus show, challenging Gresham for the ROH Original World Championship. Gresham agrees and understands why everybody wants to challenge for the most prestigious championship, and tells Bandido that his time will come, but first, it’s him and Santana in Atlanta on February 24th.

Siino Vision: The show got onto a rocky start due to mother nature causing some travel issues for the talent as well as the crowd. Terminus’ Twitter had mentioned selling tickets at the door to this sold-out show, due to travelers not being able to attend as well as the concession stand not having any food or drinks, therefore fans would have to bring their own. On top of that, there were numerous time starts on FITE going from 8pm to 6pm to 430pm, until finally starting the pre-show at 5pm. Suge D and Faye Jackson started the pre-show with a sleuth of guests including Curtis Hughes, Zicky Dice, Matt Taven, and others, but unfortunately due to technical difficulties was unable to understand most of it. All that withstanding, the show finally started around 6:30pm EST, and only with a couple of technical and production mishaps, the rest of the show went pretty flawless.

When I first heard the idea of Terminus, I wasn’t sure what to expect but as we got closer to the event, the idea of it being something closer to a Bloodsport surely got me excited. That type of wrestling, along with the Pure Rules of ROH and Heritage Cup of NXT UK are my favorite to watch and report on as it focuses me as a fan and viewer to pay more attention to every detail, and as the Terminus Directives were released, I was nearly salivating at all the different rules and ideas that could cause some really interesting scenarios in these matches. Mixing that with talent from AEW, ROH, IMPACT, and more surely made it even more fun, especially seeing regulars on AEW Dark like Baron Black actually get to talk and wrestle more than a squash match surely made his promo about being ‘kept in the Dark’ mean more. I can see some viewers getting a bit confused at the rules and how the ROH and IMPACT Championship matches didn’t apply to them, it still made it fun, and having the Moose/Mike Bennett match actually utilize the technical fouls made the Directives actually matter.

The ending to the main event surely left a flat feeling in an otherwise amazing match, that the fans might have left the fans a bit confused as a well as me, as they had started a 90 second overtime in some scenario, but it wasn’t made clear to the fans in attendance that it could not apply to this, and I feel like that was what they might have expected, as it hadn’t happened at all through the night. Gresham surely has a lot to keep him busy before Ring of Honor returns in April, with Bandido looking to unify the ROH titles, Alexander getting a rematch and now Santana coming in with the surprise challenge that made this even more noteworthy. As soon as I heard ‘NY State of Mind’ by Nas, I had a feeling it would be Santana and Ortiz as they have used that before but was even more surprised when it was Santana alone, as I am perfectly fine with tag team wrestlers exploring singles programs.

Overall, I really enjoyed the show, and it sucks that the snowstorm prevented the venue here from looking full as it was touted as being a sold-out show, but the talent surely made up for it with the matches and presentation. I was certainly following the next Terminus show as well as future shows and will be interested to see if this will follow the win-loss presentation that Bloodsport does, and how AEW and EVOLVE were originally presented as doing. It should be intriguing to see how the evolution of Terminus goes from here on out, but certainly, check it out if you want to see a mixture of talent from various promotions in a new environment where they might get a chance to shine unlike they were able to before.

About John Siino 186 Articles
New York native and reporter at POST Wrestling. He is also Associate Producer and Social Media Director at upNXT, and the host of the 'Shot in the Dark' podcast.