Although it has not fully outgrown its own bugs, Terminus 2 showcased the best the Terminus promotion has to offer and had a way better show than their debut, with a very bad finish. After a very rocky debut, Jonathan Gresham and Baron Black's promotion Terminus returned to the Oasis Event Center to go at this with a take 2 mentality, which is what they needed to do. Terminus's debut was critically panned and they needed to bounce back. I will tell you what: they did. The majority of the show was an outstanding improvement from their debut, putting on more quality matches, having wrestlers who were less scared of the rules and more apt to "break" them. The Oasis Event Center not only held a bit more people but created a better vibe for the entire show. The crowd was more engaged in this show and helped increase every match. Of course, there are some more issues, I believe, that need to get worked out, and the finish of the entire show was something else, but overall, Terminus 2 was a massive upgrade from its predecessor.
Chris Sabin def. Kenny Alfonso, Leon Ruff & Tre Lamar - Terminal Eliminator Match
Holy crap, what a match. On the entrances alone, this was a match of the night. Chris Sabin was of course big with wrestling fans, Alfonso and Lamar both got solid reactions, but Leon Ruff controlled this crowd in the palm of his hand. Everyone was behind this guy, reacting to every spot of his and replicating his cries of "Give up" to Sabin. He was the Freddie Mercury of this show. In only his 3rd match since leaving WWE/NXT, Leon Ruff found what I hope can become his home.
Outside Leon Ruff's performance, the match itself was incredibly strong, with great high-flying action mixed in with the technical wrestling. Whereas the last Terminal Eliminator match showcased the ways people can be eliminated, this match showcased the thing Terminus needed the most; wrestlers unafraid of the rules. Terminus 1 felt like a lot of the wrestlers had to restrict themselves to technical grappling, but that is simply untrue. This promotion is not a grapple-only promotion, just its focus. All other wrestling is welcomed. Ruff, Lamar, Sabin even, and Alfonso, who was a solid standout in this match, by the way, all showed off themselves in the full picture, rather than this idea of restriction. Outstanding match by these four men and a great way to start out my night. ***.5
Queen Aminata def. Killa Kate
A solid match between these two wrestlers. I've never seen Killa Kate before, but she has appeared on AEW Dark and Mission Pro before. She has a good foundation but is still fully there yet. On the other side, this was probably the best I've ever seen from Queen Aminata. All of it was working for her: the entrance, the facial expressions, the moveset. Her charisma was top. If anything, I would love to see her use the leg selling as a movement/moveset restriction. She did a good job remembering to sell her leg, but if you are going to run after your opponent, sell during the run as well. All in all, good average match with room for improvement. **.5
Dante Caballero & Joe Keys def. Daniel Garcia & Kevin Blackwood
Build your promotion around Caballero & Keys, heck, all four of these guys. These guys get it. Not just the wrestling, but what this promotion is. I adored this match. Not as good as the previous Caballero & Keys match, but improved on what working with the rules looks like. During this match, there was a great spot with Caballero doing an illegal tag by not touching the tag rope, which distracted the ref. This allowed Keys to throw Garcia out of the ring, which is a technical foul in this promotion. Garcia did a similar ref distraction spot to close fist punch Keys in the face, causing the man to bleed from half of his face. A blade job on a punch. That's what I'm talking about.
With all the praise though, comes the issues and that's with the refereeing, a theme of the night it seemed. There were moments where the ref counted a tag when Blackwood did hold the tag rope. I know that I want the wrestlers to not be afraid of working within the rules to construct their matches, but the referees need to be hard-asses about this stuff. I know that it might ruin the match flow but look, if you are going to announce the rules in this big press release, they enforce it. It's a very strange line I'm asking for but this creates confusion for the audience, and that heat will land somewhere. ***
Serena Deeb def. Liiza Hall
Similar to Killa Kate, I've never heard of Liiza Hall. She was supposed to be on the debut show, but due to travel issues, she was unable to fly down from Canada.
Very simply, I don't think this match worked. As a veteran vs newcomer/rookie match, the finish of a time limit reach then 25 seconds of overtime was just too long. The 90 second overtime period will always pop me, but there were points where the match was running out of ways to get to 15 minutes. Disappointing to me but maybe there were just cobwebs. **.25
Shane Strickland def. Davey Richards
I still can't believe WWE released Swerve. This man oozes charisma and confidence.
The match was alright. My expectation bar was admittedly high for this match but these two wrestlers did well within that. He doesn't have much of it but, Swerve still has some WWE-stink left on him. If he shakes that off in a few more matches, then he will be back to his great heights. Davey was solid like always in this match, delivering stiff stricks and great selling. This match also ended with the promotion's first count-out, which being the first time, the 5 seconds count-out confused a lot of people. I don't blame the crowd, but it caught them by surprise nonetheless. I think both guys have a better match in them, so I can't wait to see it again down the road. ***
Jay Lethal def. Baron Black
Jay Lethal was finally able to make it to Terminus, after missing the debut event due to travel issues and had a pretty good match with Baron Black. Personally, I think Baron Black is still finding his own but these guys a very solid match with lots of good drama. Lethal and Black started the match with a full minute of reversals on the shoulder and that was just silly fun that was a starting point to the rest of the match. Lots of arm work by both men, with Black doing a good job cutting Lethal off at the pass. They went to the time limit and as I said previously, the 90 sec overtime will always pop me. I would love to see Black establish more of his character in Terminus. I know he's one half of the booker, but I need more care into his character. A nitpick, but show me more of yourself. ***.25
Jonathan Gresham def. Santana - ROH Original World Title & Pure Rules Match
Alright, look. The first 90& of this match was borderline great. Almost a 4 star match for me. Gresham and Santana told a great story of Gresham wanting to fight in the ring and Santana wanting to take the match outside for a fight. We started with both guys testing each other. Gresham would get thrown to the outside and quickly reenter his comfort zone of the ring. He would dominate there until Santana found the opening to throw Gresham out of the ring and pummel him into some chairs. Gresham would always attempt to escape back into the ring but Santana would drag Gresham back out. Eventually, they stayed in the ring and Santana showcased his wrestling skill and held his own.
Until the finish happened and my god, what was that shit? Not only is that a quote by Gresham after the match, but it is completely accurate. This match finish was so incredibly bad, I popped out of my chair in sheer disbelief. If you have not seen it, watch it.
My interpretation of events is that Gresham was trying to repeat the finish of the Josh Alexander match from Terminus 1. Gresham reverses a roll-up on his opponent, the ref counts to 3 and his opponent kicks out at 3. The ref has the final say but you could argue that the opponent kicked out before 3. A purposeful ambiguous ending.
At this show, the spot happens and the ref screws up his timing then counts the 3. I don't know what happened, but the ref calls the 2 count. The wrestlers re-do the roll-up spot and the ref counts for 3, but Santana still does the kick out at 3 ambiguous spot. This was incredibly bad folks. You now have a botch into an immediate repeat of the spot that is meant to be confusing.
But you may be thinking, these two guys are professionals, they can fix this. Gresham then polls the audience if they should fire the ref or have a rematch at the next show. Not a rematch tonight, but at Terminus 3. The audience poll ends fairly evenly, so Gresham then decides to pick audience members to do a rock paper scissors contest to figure out the result of his poll. The ref getting fired option ended up winning.
This whole thing was atrocious, hat on a hat on a hat nonsense that could have easily just been a 90 second overtime. I don't know why a duplicate finish was used by Gresham two shows in a row, but when the ref screwed up the spot, there was zero need to quadruple down on trying to fix it. Either wrestle some more or call it. It was unbelievable for a match that good with that bad of an ending.
Terminus announced their next show with no date, so I guess we will see what happens. The show overall was way better than the first, with better quality of matches and a way better vibe, but the finish of the entire show was so incredibly bad. Last show I said was a double. This show was a home run where the runner tripped right before home plate and got out.