Saturday, July 5, 2014

AIW #TGIF Review

Michael Elgin & Drake Younger battle over the AIW Absolute Title!

Cleveland, Ohio 2/7/14

It was announced before the match that Colin Delaney was unable to make the show due to the weather. However, he shows up right before the match as Colin Olsen, who he was originally known as before his short run in WWE.

1.) Six-Way Scramble Match - Ty Colton vs. Flip Kendrick vs. Davey Vega vs. Matt Cross vs. Tyson Dux vs. Colin Olsen: **3/4

We saw one of these matches back at Dead Presidents. The idea they're going with is that if you win one of these matches, you'll get either a future AIW Intense Title Shot or a match higher up on the card (like Bobby Beverly, who won this match at Dead Presidents and is now facing ROH regular Kyle O'Reilly). The competitors are pretty much the same as the previous match, save for Tyson Dux. A pretty solid opener here. Lots of action in this one, and everyone got to showcase their stuff. My only really complaint was that the finish (where Davey Vega won) seemingly came out of nowhere.

2.) AIW Intense Title - Louis Lyndon vs. Johnny Gargano: ****

The fans chant "King Of Cleveland" at Gargano, and one fan even had a sign. Lyndon comes in as the champion. This was a great match. Johnny Gargano is without a doubt one of the best wrestlers in the world. He can have one of the best matches on any show, no matter where he is placed on the card (in this case, his match was second on the show). Lyndon looked great in here as well, and is someone who should definitely be getting opportunities in bigger promotions. Much like Lyndon's Title Defense against Kevin Steen, interference from #ALLEGO allows Lyndon to get the win & retain his title.

3.) AIW Women's Title - Allysin Kay vs. Veda Scott: **1/2

Coming into this match, Allysin Kay has held the AIW Women's Title for nearly two years (660+ Days). They brawl around ringside for a little bit before the match officially starts. This was a pretty solid women's match. Allysin Kay is a very good women's wrestler, and Veda Scott continues to impress with each showing. Eventually, Kay is able to get the win and retains her title.

After the match, Veda Scott former tag team partner, Gregory Iron, comes out. He points out that he kept his word and stayed in the back for Veda's match, and she still lost. Then he says he wants to take their relationship "to the next level". It looks like Iron is going to propose, but Veda, wanting absolutely nothing to do with him, attacks him. She is able to get away as the Iron Curtain comes out to protect Iron.

4.) AIW Tag Team Titles - The Jollyville Fuck-Its (Russ Myers & T-Money) vs. The Hooligans (Devin Cutter & Mason Cutter): ***1/4

I haven't seen much of The Hooligans, so this should be interesting. A very solid Tag Team Title Match here. The Jollyville Fuck-Its are really starting to grow on me, while The Hooligans, despite their size, were very agile and impressive. Russ Myers & T-Money were eventually able to score the victory to retain their titles.

5.) Triple Threat Match - Special Referee: The Duke - Rickey Shane Page vs. Eric Ryan vs. Leah Von Dutch: **1/2

#NIXON explodes in this match! The story behind this match is that all of the former members of the stable, following their defeat at the hands of Team AIW, were without contracts (save for The Duke, who still was a joint owner of AIW). Chest Flexor (the other majority owner who's Team AIW defeated #NIXON at Hell On Earth 9) decided to give the former #NIXON Members Eric Ryan & Rickey Shane Page a chance to fight for an AIW Contract, with The Duke as a Special Guest Referee. 

Before the match starts, The Duke takes the mic. He says that, in the interest of fairness, he's going to add another person to this match, who was also a former member of #NIXON (Just to clear this up, despite losing at Hell On Earth 9, The Duke still is a partial owner of AIW. Basically he's still a part owner, but lost all of his power to Chest Flexor). It turns out to be Leah Von Dutch! Now I'm not to familiar with the details, but apparently Leah Von Dutch has an extensive history of no-showing AIW Events in the past. The match itself was ok. This was actually my first look at both Eric Ryan & Rickey Shane Page, and they looked good in here. Leah Von Dutch got a good amount of offense in as well. The match came to a point where Leah Von Dutch pinned Eric Ryan, and The Duke did an extremely blatant fast count. Everyone is shocked by this turn of events.

After the match, The Duke taunts Eric Ryan & Rickey Shane Page as they are escorted out of the building. He then calls out the AIW Women's Champion Allysin Kay to defend her title right now against Leah Von Dutch. Kay comes out and it looks like we have a title match...

6.) AIW Women's Title - Allysin Kay vs. Leah Von Dutch: DUD

Well that didn't last long. The Duke (still in his referee shirt) gives Kay his finisher, The Duke Driver, and then counts the pin, ending Kay's nearly two year title. Leah Von Dutch is the new AIW Women's Champion. This whole thing was just a mess. A nearly two years title run ends like this? Allysin Kay deserves much better. This entire angle was just bad.

7.) Kyle O'Reilly vs. Bobby Beverly: ***3/4

Beverly got this opportunity to face one of the best on the independent scene after winning a Six Man Scramble Match at Dead Presidents. This was a really good match. O'Reilly continues to be just awesome, and Beverly looked good in here as well. I feel like, at the same time, that this match was just missing something. Not quite sure what it was. Despite this, Beverly is able to pick up the win over O'Reilly in a very solid match.

8.) #ALLEGO vs. Kevin Steen: ***1/4

This match came about after #ALLEGO cost Steen the AIW Intense Title at Dead Presidents. Steen attacks #ALLEGO in the middle of his entrance. These two had a good back & forth match until Seleziya Sparx interferes on behalf of #ALLEGO and causes a DQ. Lots of good action in here, but again, the DQ finish kind of ruined things, and took the match rating down a little bit for me.

After the match, Louis Lyndon comes out to help #ALLEGO beat down Steen, but Johnny Gargano is out to make the save! They clear out #ALLEGO & Louis Lyndon, and Steen ends up giving Seleziya Sparx a Package Piledriver!!

9.) Hardcore Match - Danny Havoc vs. Tim Donst: ***1/4

Back at Dead Presidents, Donst issued a challenge to Danny Havoc for a Hardcore Match for this show. They used a lot of plunder in this one. Light Tubes, Guard Rails, and more! Some of the spots were just sick. You might be into this more than I was if you're a fan of these type of Hardcore Matches. Despite being known for his Death Match abilities, Havoc shows he's a very capable wrestler as well, and he & Donst have some nice exchanges. Donst is eventually able to get the win after slamming Havoc onto thumbtacks & hot sauce!! 

After the match, Donst puts over Danny Havoc on the mic. He then issues another challenge, this time to Eddie Kingston (who Donst has a long history with in CHIKARA) for their next show. He says Kingston is going to die.

10.) AIW Absolute Title - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Drake Younger: ****

Elgin won the title at Dead Presidents, and this is his first defense. Drake Younger used to be a regular in AIW and is actually a former Absolute Champion. These two put on a great Main Event. As one would expect, they ended up brawling to the outside for a little bit, and we got some pretty good spots. The action in the ring was very good as well. This is very much the type of match you would expect these two to have in PWG. Elgin is eventually able to put Younger away and retains the Absolute Title!

After the match, Michael Elgin & Drake Younger both put each other over as well as AIW as a whole to close the show.

Overall: 8.0/10

AIW's first show of 2014 was a very solid one. It should come as no surprise that the best matches of the night came from Johnny Gargano & "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin. Kyle O'Reilly vs. Bobby Beverly was also a very good match. Those three matches are definitely worth getting the show by themselves. If you're into the Death Match Style, then Danny Havoc vs. Tim Donst is another good match for this show. Despite the whole controversy with the #NIXON match, the rest of the undercard is relatively solid, making for a show that is (for the most part) entertaining to watch.

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