AIW Absolution IX
Cleveland, Ohio 6/29/14
Before the actual show starts, we get a bunch of promos, from pretty much everyone, talking about their matches on the show. Really adds a lot to what you're watching on the actual show.
1.) Kevin Steen vs. Chris Sabin: ***1/2
The fact that this is the opening match says a lot about the quality of this card (it's really good). This was a very good opening match. Very solid action here from two guys who you know can put on a quality match. A few entertaining moments in here as well (as is always the case with most Kevin Steen matches). Steen is eventually able to put away Sabin with the Package Piledriver to score the victory.
After the match, Steen starts cutting a promo, putting over Chris Sabin, but then is attack by Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer of The Forgotten!! Jacobs talks about how people will probably forget about Kevin Steen, but they won't forget about himself & BJ Whitmer. He then calls out The Jollyville Fuck-Its for their title match, and it's on!
2.) AIW Tag Team Titles - No DQ Match - The Jollyville Fuck-Its (Russ Myers & T-Money) vs. The Forgotten (Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer): **1/2
After the brawl they had at the last show, it makes sense that this one is a No DQ Match, with the AIW Tag Team Titles on the line! This was actually a pretty short match. They had some good brawling and some nice spots on the outside. Then Tommy Mercer (formerly known as Crimson in TNA, and also a member of The Forgotten) comes out of nowhere and takes out Russ Myers & T-Money. This allows Jacobs & Whitmer to capitalize and capture the AIW Tag Team Titles. This was fine for what it was, but it seems like the only reason they made this a No DQ Match was so that Tommy Mercer could interfere. Wish they would have done a bit more with the stipulation.
3.) Johnny Gargano vs. #AllEgo: ****
This is actually a rematch from Absolution VIII last year, which Gargano won. AIW Intense Champion Louis Lyndon & #Sparx accompany #AllEgo to ringside, but he sends them to the back, saying that he can win without help. The match itself was pretty great!! Gargano is always fantastic and #AllEgo was equally as impressive. At one point, #Sparx tries to provide a distraction, which allows Louis Lyndon to sneak in the ring to help #AllEgo, but #AllEgo superkicks Lyndon instead! The action continued for a little while longer, but eventually, Gargano locks in the GargaNO Escape, and #AllEgo passes out.
After the match, Gargano & #AllEgo shake hands.
4.) Six-Man Scramble Match - ACH vs. Brent Banks vs. Cheech vs. Colin Delaney vs. Flip Kendrick vs. #Sparx: ***1/4
AIW has been doing these a lot lately, and they always prove to be entertaining. The story that quickly developed here was that #Sparx overpowered the other competitors in the match, which led to the guys trying over & over to gang up on #Sparx. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. Of course, the match eventually broke down, and ACH was able to take advantage and score the win after a 450 Splash onto #Sparx.
5.) Gregory Iron (with The Iron Curtain) vs. Veda Scott: **1/2
This is the long awaited match between two former tag team partners. Veda Scott attacks right away and The Iron Curtain go after her almost immediately. Veda fights back but she isn't able to overcome the numbers. After doing enough damage, Iron tells them to leave, with Scott significantly weakened. They wrestle a decent match, but then Veda Scott goes to hit Iron with a chair, but he moves, and she hits the referee. The brings out the rest of The Iron Curtain, but Veda is able to fight them off. Veda gets Iron to tap, and the referee calls for the bell, but the result is that Iron wins by DQ, since Veda hit the referee with a chair.
As Gregory Iron celebrates with The Iron Curtain, Veda Scott challenges him to a Steel Cage Match at the next show, Battle of the Sexes. The match is fine for what it was. It did a decent job extending the feud and gives a reason for the Steel Cage Match to be taking place.
6.) Bobby Beverly vs. Tyson Dux: ***1/4
These two have had a simmering rivalry over the last few months. The last time we saw them, they were brawling to the back during a Six Man Scramble Match at the 2nd Night of the 2014 JT Lightning Invitational. This was a pretty solid wrestling match. Other than that, there really isn't that much to say about this. Beverly gets Dux to tap out to score the win.
7.) AIW Intense Title - Louis Lyndon vs. Davey Vega: ***1/2
Vega got this title opportunity by winning the aforementioned Six-Man Scramble on the 2nd Night of the 2014 JT Lightning Invitational Tournament. This was a really good back & forth match. Lyndon had been turning in a number of solid performances over the last few months against the likes of Johnny Gargano, Kevin Steen, & ACH, although a number of those matches had interference from his then stablemate #AllEgo. His long reign as AIW Intense Champion, however, would come to an end here, as Davey Vega scored a big upset win to capture the title!! I've grown pretty fond of Davey Vega since I started watching AIW. He's a pretty good wrestler, and it's nice to see him rewarded for his hard work.
8.) Eddie Kingston (with The Duke) vs. Rickey Shane Page (with Eric Ryan): **3/4
The Duke is going after his former #NIXON stablemates, and Eddie Kingston is his "hired gun". Eric Ryan, who was injured in his match with Michael Elgin during the JT Lightning Invitational, is in RSP's corner. The match was pretty decent. Nothing really special of note. Two big guys just going at each other. It was short, and it was perfectly fine for what it was. Kingston is eventually able to put Rickey Shane Page away with the Backfist to the Future.
After the match, Kingston takes the mic and cuts a promo crapping on AIW, specifically those in management, like John Thorne. This brings out #AllEgo, who stands up for AIW, saying this company gave him a chance, and he was able to become more well known across the wrestling world because of that. #AllEgo wants a fight, and he wants right now, but Kingston says he doesn't work for free and The Duke says that Kingston only works when he pays him to, as both head to the back.
9.) Josh Prohibition vs. Matt Cross: ***1/2
This is a battle between two former tag team partners & best friends. They've been cutting some amazing promos which I highly recommend you all check out. Really gives some great context and backstory to this whole story. Essentially, Cross turned on Prohibition, and the latter is looking for payback. A really good match here. These two know each other extremely well, so it's no surprise that this was good. There was a lot of brawling, and a lot of nasty spots throughout. A lot of action in this one. Prohibition hit several Drunken Drivers, but Cross fought back with high impact moves of his own. The promos and the crowd both added a great deal to this match, and it showed. Prohibition is eventually able to hit The Drunken Driver onto Cross on top of several chairs to score an emotional victory on AIW's biggest show of the year!
10.) AIW Absolute Title - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Tim Donst: ****
Donst got this title shot by winning the Gauntlet For The Gold Match back in March, while Michael Elgin has held the AIW Absolute Title since December. This was a really long match. I think it was just under 40 Minutes. They beat the crap out of each other for almost all of those forty minutes. Really intense match. Elgin was his usual self, and Donst showed why he is one of the top guys on the independent scene, and why he should be in places like Ring of Honor. Really great Main Event. Even though Donst lost to Elgin in the end, he still looked great and proved he could hold his own with Elgin, who retained the AIW Absolute Title.
After the match, Elgin was in the middle of cutting a promo, putting over Donst, when #WalkingWeapon comes out, making his AIW return!! They were supposed to have a 2/3 Falls Match back in late 2013, but a series of circumstances prevented that from happened, and it actually kept Alexander out of AIW for several months. He wants that 2/3 Falls Match right now, as does Elgin, but AIW Officials don't, saying they'll have their match when their both 100%. This leads to a big pull-apart brawl between Elgin & #WalkingWeapon to close the show.
Once again, AIW put together another really good show. There really isn't anything overtly bad to speak of on this show. You had two awesome matches (Gargano/#AllEgo & Elgin/Donst), and a lot of solid/really good matches on the undercard. It's a really long show, admittedly (over three and a half hours), but I think the good wrestling balances that out. We also got a lot of angle advancing on this show, setting up things for the future. Another solid outing from AIW.