BJ tries to get some movement in his leg going so he can continue his offence. BJ rushes Kruger into the steel steps and quickly throws him back into the ring. Pinfall by BJ and gets the two. BJ slaps the canvas to get the fans behind him, and they are right there with him.
BJ elevates himself on the second rope in the corner, and Leo turns to his hands and knees. BJ dives off the second rope with senton, flattening Kruger and flips him over for the cover. 1...2 – Leo gets the shoulder up at two. Leo rolls outside in the direction of the entrance way. BJ doesn’t follow him, but instead bounces around on his feet and charges over the top rope with a flipping senton. THE CROWD IS HOT.
Both men catch their breath and make it up to their feet. They trade strikes as they make their way up the entrance way. BJ connects with some stiff kicks to the chest, and Leo follows up with some hard chops. Now, BJ hits some forearm smashes to Kruger’s back, dropping Kruger to both knees. He goes in again, but Kruger grabs hold of the tights and pulls BJ into the entrance way screen. The crowd let out a huge OH!
As the sound was sickening, BJ seems out of it, and Kruger hoists him up on his shoulders to carry BJ back to the ring. He covers BJ 1…2 – BJ barely gets his shoulder up.
Kruger is frustrated now with the referee, but turns his attention to a very sluggish BJ Whitmer. Whitmer is trying to use the ropes to get up, and Kruger grabs a hold into a sleeper hold position. But BJ won’t let go of the ropes, so Leo throws BJ over the top rope and lands on the apron. He follows BJ out but BJ kicks the rope, and it catches Leo downstairs. BJ capitalizes and DDT’s Kruger onto the ring apron!
Byron Saxton: “Oh my, Dustin! BJ just dropped Leo hard on the ring apron, the hardest part of the wrestling ring!”
Dustin Rhodes: “I hope to God Kruger is alright, young Saxton. That was very dangerous yet calculating by the ring veteran, BJ Whitmer. This has been a brutal war that I wouldn’t have expected.”
BJ on the apron catches his breath, and Kruger is yet to get up. BJ drops to the floor and slowly picks up Kruger. He throws him back into the ring and makes his way to the top turnbuckle. Frogsplash by BJ! 1…2 – Kruger barely moves his shoulder off of the mat.
BJ looks as if he doesn’t know what to do to beat Kruger. BJ moves over the ref to double check whether or not Kruger kicked out. Kruger gingerly makes way over and rolls up BJ. 1…2 – BJ rolls out of the cover.
On his way up, he is met by a hard kick to the head by Kruger. He covers again 1…2 – BJ kicks out at the very last second. Kruger now positions BJ and goes to the top turnbuckle, but is slow to get up there due to the pain in his shoulder.
BJ shoots up and climbs up in front of Kruger on the turnbuckle. BJ hits Kruger with a forearm smash, and Kruger returns with a head butt, rocking BJ, and Kruger pushes BJ from the second turnbuckle to the outside. The fans are in awe at what they are witnessing.
Kruger slowly makes his way down to the outside. He is unable to move his arm properly due to that apron DDT by BJ. Kruger kicks the ring steps to separate them and sets one up in between the ring and barricade. BJ is slowly moving to try and get away from Kruger. Kruger walks over the ring announcer and pushes him out of the way to get to the steel chair.
BJ is crawling away, but Kruger manages to muster up enough strength in his arm to hit BJ with a sickening chair shot to back. He drops the chair and drags BJ over to the steel steps. He holds BJ’s leg on the steel steps and swings it hard into the steps. BJ screams in pain as Kruger does it again.
Back in the ring now, Kruger positions BJ in the middle of the ring and locks in a sharpshooter. BJ is trying to maneuver his way out of the hold, but can’t. His hand rose as if he is going to tap out, but he tries to hold out. The pain in Kruger’s shoulder is bothering Kruger, as the strength of the hold is loosening, and Kruger needs to let go.
Kruger, now with his back to BJ, holds his shoulder and tries to gets some feeling in his arm. Both men face each other on their knees and trade forearms. They use each other to get up and continue to trade blows whilst up. The dueling boos and yeahs chant begins as they trade blows. BJ catches Kruger out and hits an Exploder Suplex into the ropes folding up Kruger. He gets the pin 1…2…3! (14:22)
Ring Announcer: The winner of the Proving Ground match, BJ Whitmer!
Byron Saxton: “Man oh man Dustin, what a match on this historic night. These two were in an absolute war!”
Dustin: “There are no other words to describe this match other than a War. It was brutal, Veteran versus Young Gun, and on this night, the Veteran walks out the victor”
The Referee raises BJ’s arm as BJ tries to catch his breath. The referee now checks on Kruger, who seems out of it. BJ walks around the ring a bit before asking for a microphone. Kruger, holding his shoulder, is slowly making his way up.
BJ Whitmer: “Now, that is what the Proving Ground is about. This is why Mr. McMahon asked me to run the Proving Ground: to develop talent like this. Leo, you showed me pure heart and a strong will to win. Leo Kruger, I want you to stand up and leave this ring with your head held high. Because tonight, you proved that you belong to be here."
BJ extends his hand to Leo. Leo looked at BJ for a few moments before accepting the handshake. Leo goes to step away and boots BJ Whitmer downstairs dropping him. He spits on BJ before leaving the ring. Kruger walks up the entrance holding his shoulder and turns back with a sick look on his face to close the show.