Thursday, January 26, 2017

AAW The Chaos Theory 2015 Review

Eddie Kingston faces off against Josh Alexander as AAW returns to 115 Bourbon Street!

AAW The Chaos Theory 2015
Merrionette Park, Illinois 1/23/15

1.) Louis Lyndon vs. Davey Vega: ***1/4 

I thought this was a very solid opening match. There was some nice back & forth action throughout, and as a whole, this was an entertaining match to watch. Towards the end of the match, Vega tried to use some kind of weapon (they weren’t brass knuckles, but something similar), but Lyndon was able to avoid the attack and got Vega to tap out to a Dragon Sleeper. A perfectly good match to start off the show.

2.) Justice Jones (with Angelus Layne & Knight Wagner) vs. Tyler Thomas: *1/4

Knight Wagner, who missed the previous show, is back in the corner of Justice Jones, but this time, they also have Angelus Layne with them. This was pretty much just an extended squash match. Thomas got a few moves in, but Jones was in control for the majority of it. There was a pretty significant botch at one point, as Thomas tried to dive over the ring post and to the outside onto Jones, but he came up really short, and landed hard on the floor. That looked scary, and it’s incredible that he was able to continue the match. Shortly after that botch, Jones was able to pick up the victory. Again, this was a squash match, and the only reason to see this match is for that major botch from Tyler Thomas.

3.) AAW Heritage Title - Fatal Four-Way Match - Christian Faith (with Gregory Iron) vs. Mat Fitchett vs. Marion Fontaine vs. Dick Justice: ***

Christian Faith had been the AAW Heritage Champion, and up to this point, this was probably his biggest challenge, simply because he didn’t need to be pinned to lose his title here. Dick Justice was wearing an eyepatch, which was the result of a pepper spray attack by The Iron Curtain back at One Twisted Christmas 2014. For what it was, I found this to be an entertaining Fatal Four-Way Match. It was by no means spectacular, but it was perfectly fine match, for the most part. All four guys seemed to get a chance to shine at various points. In one particular spot, Christian Faith threw Matt Fitchett from the ring to the stage on the outside. Towards the end of the match, Dick Justice seemed to have the match, but Gregory Iron (who was out with Christian Faith) pulled the referee. This led to Justice chasing Iron to the back, and that essentially removed him from the match. Christian Faith eventually pinned Mat Fitchett to retain his AAW Heritage Title.

4.) Chris Sabin vs. Shannon Moore: ***1/4

Yes, you’re reading that correctly. Shannon Moore wrestled a match in AAW in 2015. I think the last time I saw him was during his TNA run when he was part of Ink Inc. with Jesse Neal & Christina Von Eerie. Moore was in his “Prince of Punk” attire for this show. Meanwhile, Sabin held up a fan sign that said “Sabin beats women” during his entrance (the sign referencing Sabin’s match the previous month against Heidi Lovelace). I thought this was another pretty solid match. It was on par with the opener, in my opinion. Both guys did a good job here, and considering its spot on the card, it was exactly the kind of match I was expecting. Towards the end of the mach, Sabin tried to use a chair, but the referee quickly took it away, which led a nice near fall. Then, Sabin threw the referee into Moore as a distraction, which allowed the Detroit native to pick up the win.

5.) Double Dog Collar & Chain Match - The Hooligans (with Bucky Collins) vs. Zero Gravity: ***1/2

These two teams have been feuding for a number of months. Their most recent encounter took place at Windy City Classic X, where The Hooligans defeated Zero Gravity in a Berwyn Street Fight. Now, Zero Gravity is looking to bounce back, but in a match that favors The Hooligans. I thought this was pretty entertaining Dog Collar Match. As you might have guessed, it was a brawl right from the start, and there were some fun exchanges between these two teams. They worked very well in this environment, and did a nice job using the chains at various points. While it wasn’t a bloodbath, like the Dog Collar Match that took place in AIW a few months prior between Eddie Kingston & Ethan Page, it did featured a lot more action. Eventually, Zero Gravity managed to score the victory, getting a measure of revenge against The Hooligans in the process. 

After the match, Bucky Collins & The Hooligans attacked Zero Gravity. They tied Brett Gakiya to the ropes with the two chains used in the match. Then, The Hooligans brought out a table and put CJ Esparza through it after one of them jumped off a balcony by the entranceway! That was crazy! While Zero Gravity won the match, it was The Hooligans who had the proverbial last laugh. However, after they left, Gakiya took the mic and called for a TLC Match at the next show!

Before the next match began, Gregory Iron came out with The Iron Curtain to cut a promo. He says he wakes up every morning and is thankful for his five senses, but mentions that he has no choice but to hear, smell, and see all of these people when he comes to Chicago for AAW. Iron says that he thought The Iron Curtain took care of Dick Justice last month, but it looks like they still need to finish the job. Dick Justice then comes out to interrupt them. He talks about how they took part of his sight last month, but mentions that he can smell scoundrels from a mile away. Justice says that he only needs one eye to take out Gregory Iron, but then he gets attacked from behind by Christian Faith. With The Iron Curtain holding him down, Christian Faith then pulled out a spike and went after the good eye of Dick Justice! With these specific attacks on these past few shows, I think you can probably guess what this feud is leading to.

6.) DJ Z vs. “All Ego” Ethan Page: ***1/2 

Of course, you may know DJ Z better as either Shima Xion or Zema Ion. He had been with TNA for (I believe) a few years, but joined up with The BroMans in 2014 to become their DJ, hence the name change. This wasn’t his first time in AAW, as he’s made appearances in the past. Here, he took on Ethan Page in what was a pretty good match. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a DJ Z match (since I don’t watch TNA regularly), and he looked very solid here. I feel like he’s very underrated, because you don’t exactly get to see his best work when he’s in TNA (though I think that seemed to change a bit in 2016). Page looked good here as well, and the match was fun to watch from start to finish. At one point, DJ Z got busted open, which I think occurred after he hit is face on the guardrail at ringside following a dive. In the end, Ethan Page was able to pick up the win. Again, I thought this was pretty good. Up to this point, I think the best match on the show was a tossup between this match and the Double Dog Collar & Chain Match.

7.) AAW Tag Team Titles - The Wet Bandits (Dan Lawrence & Markus Crane) vs. Ryan Boz & Paco Gonzalez: **3/4

Boz won this title opportunity after beating The Wet Bandits in a Fans Bring The Weapons Match the month before at One Twisted Christmas 2014 (which was really bad). He reveals his partner to be Paco Gonzalez, who he immediately launches at The Wet Bandits to start the match. I really wasn’t looking forward to this match going into it, but I must admit, this turned out to be a pleasant. It wasn’t exactly a good match, but it was solid for what it was. The match featured some fun moments, and I thought all four guys did a good job in their respective roles. Towards the end of the match, Knight Wagner & Angelus Layne attacked Paco Gonzalez, which distracted the referee. This allowed Justice Jones to run in. He tried to hit Boz with his finisher, but he dropped him. Jones picked him up for a second time, and successfully hit his finisher. He then killed Paco Gonzalez with a lariat, and pulled The Wet Bandits on top of Boz for the cover. Again, this match was better than what I was expecting it to be.

After The Wet Bandits left, Justice Jones took out Boz with another lariat.

8.) AAW Heavyweight Title - Eddie Kingston vs. Josh Alexander: ****

Josh Alexander scored a pinfall victory over Eddie Kingston in a tag team match back at One Twisted Christmas 2014, which led to this title match. I really like that they did that. It’s simple booking, but it’s effective. As for the match itself, I thought it was great! It was easily the best match on the show, in my opinion. While things did get off to a slow start (and that might be the main criticism of the match in general), there was some good exchanges, and they later managed to tell a good story with Alexander going after one of Kingston’s legs. Despite being in pain, Kingston fought through it, and this led to a very solid back & forth action. As I said earlier, the match was relatively slow in the first half, and the crowd seemed to be out of it a points, but looking back at the match in hindsight, I thought it built pretty well. The second half was particularly good, and featured some cool moments, and it told another story with Alexander really putting up a fight against Kingston. The finish came during a brutal striking exchange. Essentially, the two were just delivering strike after strike to each other, until Kingston finally hit the Backfist To The Future. Both men fell down, and Kingston just happened to fall on top of Alexander for the cover. Some may not like the finish, but given what they did in the match, I thought it worked very well. Alexander pushed Kingston to the limit, and the way the match ended actually makes Alexander look really good in defeat, as Kingston really didn’t defeat him in a definitive manner. He just so happened to fall on top of Alexander during that strike exchange. Again, I could see some not like this match as much as I did, but I thought it was great.

After the match, Kingston (begrudgingly) gives Alexander some props, saying that he just gave him his toughest match in three years, before focusing on Davey Richards, who he’ll be defending his title against on the next show. Kingston said that Alexander was the only person in AAW who had the heart to truly fight him. This brings out Ethan Page, followed by Mat Fitchett, Davey Vega, Brett Gakiya, Christian Faith, Chris Sabin, Marion Fontaine, and Justice Jones…..essentially a good chunk of the roster. During all of this, Sabin gets into it with Ethan Page, and this leads to a big brawl breaking out. Then, from out of nowhere, Silas Young appears and attacks Kingston with a chair!! Young had been out for the past few months with a knee injury, but he made his return to AAW in a big way. The show came to a close with Young standing over Eddie Kingston while holding AAW Heavyweight Title.

Overall: 7.5/10

I thought this was a pretty solid start to 2015 for AAW. Eddie Kingston vs. Josh Alexander for the AAW Heavyweight Title was the standout match on this show, and is worth checking out if you’re a fan of both guys. As far as the undercard goes, there was some pretty solid stuff throughout, but I wouldn’t call any of those matches “must see”. DJ Z vs. Ethan Page was very good, as was the Double Dog Collar & Chain Match between The Hooligans & Zero Gravity. As a whole, this wasn’t a spectacular show, but from start to finish, it was filled with some good matches and entertaining moments.

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