Terminus All Roads Lead Here started the year with a strong show that will hopefully revive the indie wrestling scene in Atlanta, Georgia.
It was an uncharacteristically cold and snowy night in Atlanta as eager fans filed into the Kroc Center to see the debut of Terminus. The new independent promotion already had a tough task ahead of it with high expectations, the unwavering pandemic, and mounting complications for traveling talent.
There were also a few unforeseeable changes to the card and production issues throughout the night. However, Jonathan Gresham and Baron Black managed to put together an entertaining show with a unique presentation.
During their interview with Daily DDT, both men spoke about their dream to make their hometown a hub for professional wrestling again. To that end, their first showing imbued palpable new energy into the industry following its announcement. Terminus successfully delivered a great sample of what could become something even bigger.
There was a sense of community and enthusiasm in the building on Jan. 16 that couldn’t be forced. Hopefully, this is just the beginning of Black and Gresham’s passion project.
Lee Moriarty vs. Josh Woods
Unfortunately, Jay Lethal wasn’t able to travel from Seattle due to the weather in Atlanta. So, Josh Woods stepped in as his replacement in a fun opening match with Lee Moriarty.
The reigning ROH Pure champion was right at home on this card. He and the master of TAIGASTYLE put on a wonderful display of technical wrestling. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to fans of either wrestler but they probably made some new fans, as well.
In the end, Moriarty narrowly escaped with a European Clutch to secure the first win of the night. The Pittsburgh native has such infectious energy made him a perfect option to open the show and he proved why he will be someone to keep an eye on in 2022.
Result: Lee Moriarty def. Josh Woods
Terminal Eliminator Four-Way: JDX vs. Daniel Garcia vs. Adam Priest vs. Invictus Khash
This was a nice showcase match and the first example of how much the rules would play a part in the in-ring storytelling. The results were a bit mixed but it was a great way to set the precedent for the style of wrestling Terminus hopes to display.
Daniel Garcia was the most recognizable name out of the four participants but JDX showed off some exceptional offense early on. Adam Priest and Invictus Khash also fit the tone of the show and they quickly demonstrated why Black and Gresham chose to highlight them.
Garcia essentially dominated this clash of talent, eliminating JDX to make it a triple threat match. There was some confusion over the first pinfall, but the remaining competitors recovered well.
Priest showed promise and Red Death and Khash had excellent chemistry together. Still, the 2021 IWTV Wrestler of the Year ultimately survived, landing a brutal palm strike to win via knockout. This was a cool finish that set the table for an unpredictable outing.
Result: Daniel Garcia def. JDX, Adam Priest, and Invictus Khash
Mike Bennett vs. Moose
Say what you will about the current Impact World champion, but Moose has an undeniable presence. The Nigerian wrestler certainly brought some star power to this card as Mike Bennett stood across the ring as a plucky underdog.
These two surprisingly produced a quality story as Moose underestimated his smaller opponent Eventually, his tendency to break the rules cost him the match as he incurred two technical fouls.
This was a great way to potentially build towards a rematch on Impact programming. Even more, it illustrated just how much the rules would matter throughout the night.
Result: Mike Bennett def. Moose via disqualification
Janai Kai vs. Diamante
Liiza Hall wasn’t able to make her scheduled appearance, which is a shame because we were genuinely curious to see what the newcomer could do. Gresham raved about her during the promotional interviews for Terminus, so hopefully, she will take part in upcoming events.
Nevertheless, Diamante acted as her replacement in a hard-hitting match with Janai Kai. The Kick Demon is quickly becoming a noteworthy free agent thanks to her stiff strikes and distinct look. The skilled martial artist literally left a mark on Sunday night as she pelted her opponent with kicks and well-placed blows.
Diamante took a lot of punishment but she used her superior mat-based offense to force Kai to tap out. The difference in in-ring styles made this match stand out. In fact, it was a fitting representation of the promotion’s tagline, “Where Styles Make Fights.”
Result: Diamante def. Janai Kai
IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Jordynne Grace vs. Kiera Hogan
Straight away, Jordynne Grace vs. Kiera Hogan had potential because the two have wrestled so many times for Impact and other various promotions. As such, they worked well together in possibly the sleeper pick for match of the night.
Hogan effectively got her hometown into this encounter for the IMPACT Digital Media Championship. She made an exceptional babyface in peril and the crowd rewarded her effort with some of the loudest reactions of the entire show.
At one point, The Girl on Fire kicked out following a devastating powerbomb and Muscle Buster to produce a convincing near fall. However, the champion’s distinguished power game was too much as she countered a wheelbarrow into the Fall from Grace.
It’s easy to gush over Hogan’s gutsy performance but Grace looked fantastic, as well. Her feats of strength, including an awesome stalling vertical suplex, were one of the highlights of this matchup.
Result: Jordynne Grace def. Kiera Hogan
ROH World Championship: Bandido vs. Baron Black
Next, Bandido defended the ROH World Championship against Baron Black. As a fixture on AEW Dark, the Atlanta, Georgia native has continued to improve.
At Terminus, Black sought to prove he was more than just a potent talker and he succeeded as he pulled off a deep array of moves and holds. The EmpBruh also showcased an impressive display of core strength as he lifted himself out of a bridging pin and rolled into a pinning predicament of his own.
Still, Bandido looked like the star we’ve come accustomed to but Black executed some phenomenal counters and a believable comeback spot. The high-flying luchador finally put The American Nightmare alum away with his trademark rebound German suplex, the 21 Plex.
Result: Bandido def. Baron Black
Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi vs. Joe Keys and Dante Caballero
Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi reunited to treat fans to a brief Catch Point reunion in their tag match against Joe Keys and Dante Caballero. The stable best known for its time with EVOLVE was a nice addition to Terminus.
However, Yehi stole the show every time he stepped into the ring. The former AAW heavyweight champion was dynamic and his offense looked intense. Gresham and Black already announced a second show, and they should book him in a big one-on-one match because he was amazing.
Nevertheless, the tag rope was the biggest star of this match. As noted earlier, the rules played a key role in the storytelling across the board but the adherence to traditional tag team regulation went over really well with the crowd.
Both teams worked tremendously in tandem but Keys picked up the win with a flying headbutt. This was a big win for him and Caballero and we would like to see more of them.
Result: Joe Keys and Dante Caballero def. Tracy Williams and Fred Yehi
ROH World Championship (Original): Jonathan Gresham vs. Josh Alexander
Jonathan Gresham vs. Josh Alexander was the centerpiece of the show. The highly anticipated main event was clearly what most fans came to see as the two had finished 2021 among the hottest wrestlers in the industry.
These two first-rate technical wrestlers have crossed paths in the past but this encounter felt special. The first few minutes of exchanges and one-upmanship were incredible. In the most memorable moment, The Octopus countered an electric chair transition into an arm drag, ducked an incoming clothesline, faked and nailed his opponent with a dropkick. It all looked effortless.
Alexander quickly forced Gresham to use both of his rope breaks, which forced The Octopus to use an inventive spot later in the match to stay alive. The Walking Weapon also brilliantly adapted to the rules and everything Gresham threw at him.
The champion also showed resilience in what turned into an even matchup. As a result, the match ended in a draw after Alexander landed a superplex and Gresham rolled him up into a double-pin.
Now, booking a draw in the biggest match of their debut show won’t go over well with some fans. Yes, it is a bit anticlimactic and this match could’ve easily gone on longer, but this was a serviceable way to preserve this matchup.
Alexander will face Gresham again but this was a decent way for him to sustain his momentum ahead of his inevitable match with Moose for the Impact world title. Afterward, Santana entered the fray to interrupt a staredown between The Octopus and Bandido, setting up the next ROH World Championship match.
Result: A draw via double-pin
Overall, Terminus All Roads Lead Here offered an intriguing glimpse into Gresham and Black’s vision for pro wrestling. There were some hiccups but there was also plenty to like in their debut. We can’t wait to see what else they have up their sleeves this year with the next show scheduled for Feb. 24.