AIW Dead Presidents
Cleveland, Ohio 12/27/13
Before the first match, #NIXON (Eric Ryan, Ricky Shane Page & The Duke) show up through the crowd. At the last AIW show, they had lost in a brutal main event match with control of AIW on the line. The Duke is allowed to stay because he still had a "talent's contract" but Ryan & Page are both kicked out of the building.
1.) AIW Tag Team Titles - Four Corner Survival - The Jollyville Fuck-Its (Russ Myers & T-Money) vs. The Submission Squad (Evan Gelistico & Pierre Abernathy) vs. Youthanazia (Josh Prohibition & Matt Cross) vs. The Hot Young Best Friends (Briley Pierce & Gary Jay): **3/4
The Jollyville Fuck-Its (That's an interesting name for a Tag Team, isn't it) are defending the titles in this four-way match. This was a fine opener. Solid action but nothing overly good. The Boys from Jollyville retain their titles.
Gregory Iron, accompanied by his Iron Curtain Security, is out for his "Wide Open Challenge", despite being not actually dressed to compete. He disparages the fans at ringside before Veda Scott, who was formerly Tag Team Champions with Iron as part of Hope & Change, comes out to answer. Iron keeps interrupting Veda until she finally attacks him. She has the upper hand for a bit (including a dive onto Iron & his security) before the numbers catch up to her. They beat her down and Iron forces himself on Veda. He & his Iron Curtain leave and Veda simply says "WAR" before heading to the back.
2.) Six-Way Scramble Match - Flip Kendrick vs. Johnny Wave vs. Davey Vega vs. Bobby Beverly vs. Colin Delaney vs. Marion Fontaine: ***
Another multi-man match, this time it's a Six-Way Scramble. I found this to be entertaining. Again, nothing overly good, but solid action combined with some funny moments. Bobby Beverly gets the win.
3.) Colt Cabana vs. Tracy Smothers: N/A
Smothers is accompanied by one of his daughters. Before the match even starts, Smothers cuts a long promo where he talks about various things....for some reason. I guess it's because people like to hear him talk. Cabana interrupts on a few occasions to make some crude sexual remarks towards Smothers' Daughter.
If their's any match that deserves an N/A Rating, it's this one. To be completely honest, it truly wasn't that much of a match as it was a larger comedy skit/wrestling match between Cabana & Smothers. They did some pretty funny stuff while Dave Prazak sounded drunk on commentary. Cabana eventually picks up the win. If you're big fans of Colt Cabana & Tracy Smothers, then this one's for you.
4.) AIW Intense Title - Louis Lyndon vs. Kevin Steen: ***1/2
Lyndon is defending his title here against Steen. A pretty solid match here. I think that any time you get a bigger guy vs. a little guy on the indy scene nowadays, it tends to be pretty good. Steen & Lyndon put on a good match and it's nice to see Lyndon showcased against one of the bigger names in Independent Wrestling. Lyndon retains his title after a distraction from Lyndon's partner in crime, Ethan Page, costs Steen the match.
5.) Tim Donst vs. Chris Hero: ***3/4
I was actually really looking forward to seeing this match going into it. These two have some history as Donst spent some time training under Hero at The Wrestle Factory when Hero was still in CHIKARA. It certainly didn't disappoint. Hero & Donst put on a very good match here. It's even more impressive when you consider the fact that Donst was wrestling with a 105 Degree Fever. Lots of good match wrestling and hard hitting action. I feel like Donst is someone who people might overlook because he's been mainly associated with CHIKARA for most of his career, but he's really good, and deserves to get opportunities in bigger promotions. Donst gets the win with a cradle pin.
After the match, Hero puts over Donst and says that there will be a rematch in the future. Donst talks about how he overcame a 105 Degree Fever to be here to wrestle (and beat) Chris Hero. He then calls out CZW Wrestler Danny Havoc, challenging him to a Hardcore Match on the next AIW Show.
6.) AIW Absolute Title - Three-Way Elimination Match - UltraMantis Black vs. Johnny Gargano vs. "All Ego" Ethan Page: ***1/2
This was originally scheduled to be UltraMantis Black defending against just Johnny Gargano, but Ethan Page (the man Black beat for the title) demands to be put in the match. Black & Gargano agree to do so and it's now a Three-Way Elimination Match. A pretty solid match here. Didn't get quite as good as I hoped it would, but still a very solid three way. UltraMantis Black is eliminated first, and a run in by Louis Lyndon to distract Gargano allows Page to roll him up and claims his second Absolute Title.
Page is celebrating in the ring with Lyndon until Michael Elgin comes out. Elgin talks about how he was supposed to have a 2/3 Falls Match with Josh Alexander, but since he's not there, he wants his 2/3 Falls Match with Page for the title right now. Page declines initially, but then accepts only after attacking Elgin from behind.
7.) AIW Absolute Title - 2/3 Falls Match - "All Ego" Ethan Page vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****1/4
I though this was an awesome match! I can see now why Elgin talks so highly of Ethan Page in regards to ROH bringing him in. These two worked really well together and the final fall was especially great. The only thing preventing this match from being better was actually the crowd. Their were times they really reacted, but at the same time, their were times they were on the quiet side, which I think took away from the match a bit. Still, an incredible performance by both guys. Elgin & Page split the first two falls, but then Elgin claims the third fall after an incredible exchange to win the Absolute Title.
After the match, Elgin celebrates his title win and puts over AIW to close the show.
This was my first foray into AIW, and I gotta say, it was a pretty good show. The first part of the show seemed to drag a little bit, but one you got to Lyndon vs. Steen, things really picked up and you go some pretty good to great matches. The talent I was familiar with did well, as you would expect, and the AIW Talent certainly showed their stuff. On the whole, a relatively solid outing from AIW.