Aerial Assault on March 10th, 2012
Opening Match: Danny Havoc vs. Alexander James
Drew Gulak gives a special introduction for James as Havoc grows impatient in the ring. James comes through the crowd and attacks Havoc from behind. Havoc fights him off and connects with a corner yakuza kick. He follows with a DDT. Gulak provides a distraction, allowing James to apply the Gu-Lock. Havoc quickly escapes the hold and hits a brainbuster. Havoc adds the General Order 24 for the win at 2:25. This was a squash for Havoc, as it allowed him to send a message to Gulak before their eventual confrontation. Admittedly, Gulak talking trash to Havoc is entertaining and they could have a fun match at some point. ½*
Match #3: Adam Cole vs. MASADA
Cole receives toilet paper streamers from the crowd. MASADA hangs with him on the mat and informs the crowd that he can wrestle too. Cole uses Mia Yim as a distraction, allowing him to kick out MASADA’s left leg. He hits a dragon screw leg whip and connects with corner punches. MASADA sends him to the floor and lays in a few chops. Back in, Cole escapes a shoulder-capture suplex and connects with an enzuigiri. He adds a running knee strike and takes control. MASADA’s forehead is busted open due to Cole’s earlier punches. MASADA finds an opening to start working over Cole’s left leg. He applies an indian deathlock but Cole is able to reach the bottom rope. Cole connects with a superkick to the back of the head and synchs in a sleeper hold. MASADA powers out. They battle on the middle rope and Cole knocks MASADA to the canvas. Cole tries a crossbody but MASADA elevates him into a nice sit-out powerbomb. Cole connects with another enzuigiri and hits the Corona Crash for a nearfall. MASADA responds with a superkick but DJ Hyde pulls the referee out of the ring during the pin attempt. This allows Cole to connect with a superkick of his own for a two count. MASADA counters another superkick attempt into a shoulder-capture suplex for the victory at 14:58. The message here is that MASADA can wrestle. I remember watching a match that he had with Sami Callihan back in 2010 and being very impressed with his wrestling ability. The crowd absolutely loved MASADA and hated Cole for all of the right reasons. They had a lot of impressive back and forth exchanges and developed counters for each other’s offense as the match progressed. This was simply a smart contest that the crowd had no trouble getting behind. While MASADA has spent most of his time in the deathmatch realm, there’s no doubt that he can go in the ring. He looked like a world-beater after this contest. ***½
Hyde reminds Cole after the match that he couldn’t get the job done once again. He angrily tells Mia Yim that she better take care of Greg Excellent later. Cole steals the microphone. He claims that it bothers Hyde that he’ll never be better than him. Cole throws out more insults and walks away. The crowd even cheers for Cole a little bit. Matt Tremont comes to the ring. Hyde yells at him for interrupting and tells him to pay his dues. Tremont says that he has paid his dues. Hyde slaps him and refuses to wrestle him. Tremont somehow obtains a skewer. Hyde spears him and says that if Tremont wants a match, he’ll have to wait until Best of the Best.
Match #4: Dave Crist, Sabian, and Joker vs. Jake Crist, AR Fox, and Chuck Taylor
Taylor has apparently defected to Jake’s team since the last show. Sabian snaps off a satellite headscissors on Fox and Dave double stomps his arm. Fox hits a chinbreaker on Dave and connects with an enzuigiri. Taylor catches Dave with a dropkick. Jake tags in but Joker cuts him off before he can attack his brother. Jake connects with a leg lariat on Joker but gets caught by a basement dropkick. Philly’s Most Wanted take turns slamming Jake and they continue to work him over. Dave and Philly’s Most Wanted pull off some impressive triple team combinations as well. Jake eventually lands a flying crossbody onto Joker and makes the tag. Fox connects with a springboard dropkick on Dave and adds a shooting star senton in the corner. Sabian hurricanranas him to the floor and follows out with a plancha. In the ring, Joker hits a nasty corner cannonball on Fox. Sabian misses a flying double stomp and Taylor overhead suplexes him. Joker connects with a running knee strike on Taylor. Jake levels Joker with a superkick and hits a tiger suplex. Dave plants his brother with an ace crusher. He elevates Sabian into hitting a tornado DDT on Jake. Fox comes off the middle rope with an ace crusher on Sabian. He follows with a springboard reverse 450 to the floor onto Philly’s Most Wanted! Jesus. I wasn’t referring to Sabian there. In the ring, Taylor hits Sole Food on Dave. Jake and Taylor both connect with superkicks on Dave. They follow with a double stomp-tombstone combination and Jake pins his brother for the win at 12:23. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the feud between the Crist brothers has produced yet another awesome tag team match. We saw a contest similar to this one at the 13th Anniversary Show except Mr. Tofiga and Lucky tHURTeen were replaced by Philly’s Most Wanted here. So it should come as no surprise that they topped the match from last month with some excellent action down the stretch. This was a fun twelve-minute sprint that garnered a great crowd reaction and built nicely to a singles encounter between Dave and Jake. ***¼
Match #5: Tables, Ladders, and Chairs: Greg Excellent vs. Mia Yim
Yim attacks before the opening bell. Excellent blocks a hurricanrana and powerbombs her into a chair. He follows with a corner cannonball. Excellent hits her over the head with a tin. She spits water at him but he shrugs it off. Excellent absolutely levels her with a few chops. Yim hits an exploder, sending Excellent through a ladder. She uses duct tape to rip the hair off of Excellent’s back. That was unbelievably smart. Excellent sends her face-first into a propped chair. Yim blocks a dive with a chair shot that busts Excellent open. She kicks a ladder into his face and follows with a few more kicks. Yim puts a ladder around Excellent’s head and drives him from the middle rope to the canvas as he hits his head off the ladder. Excellent recovers with a samoan drop onto the ladder. A table is setup in the ring. Excellent goes up top. Yim kicks him to the floor and he crashes through a ladder propped between the apron and the guardrail. They battle on the apron and both fall through a table at ringside. Excellent looks to have gotten the worst of the table. Staff members slide a tall ladder into the ring. A doctor comes to check on Excellent as he takes awhile to recover. It’s announced that the match will be temporarily suspended while the doctor evaluates Excellent. He ignores the doctor and storms back into the ring. Yim repeatedly hits him with a chair and dropkicks it into his face. Excellent falls onto a table. Yim climbs the tall ladder but Excellent follows her to the top. Yim sunset bombs Excellent through the table for the victory at 19:38. This was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, in a good way. Excellent is a large man and his size alone would theoretically make it difficult for Yim to succeed in a hardcore environment. However, Yim took the fight to Excellent in a believable way and these two had an excellent weapons-based brawl that escalated the violence as the match went on. All of their big spots were appropriately spaced out and everything went according to plan. Yim took Excellent’s offense like a champ and as I mentioned already, she found creative and believable ways to fight back. When they had their first match against each other at Night of Infamy X, I’m not sure if they planned on the feud going this far, but they absolutely tore it up in this match. My rating is not exaggerated – these two deserve a lot of credit for their performances. ***½
Yim and Excellent receive a standing ovation from the crowd. She helps him to his feet as DJ Hyde enters the ring. Hyde chokeslams Yim and ruins her moment. Adam Cole chases him away. The crowd chants for Yim as she recovers. She thanks Excellent for treating her like a wrestler over the past few months. Someone in the crowd yells “you are a wrestler” at Yim in a cool moment. Excellent recognizes Yim’s toughness and gets helped to the back. Yim is in tears as the crowd chants her name.
Match #6: AJ Evers vs. Kit Osbourne
Osbourne snaps off a few armdrags and connects with a back elbow. Evers hits a back suplex and takes over. The crowd starts chanting “this match sucks.” Osbourne fights back with a headscissors but runs into a forearm. Evers synchs in a boston crab. Osbourne is able to reach the bottom rope. Osbourne sneaks in a backslide for the win at 4:03. It didn’t take long for the crowd to turn on this match and it looked like these two had trouble even filling their four minutes. I can accept that they’re students and this match happened immediately after intermission, but the action was severely lacking. ¼*
After the match, Younger says that he’s not one to complain but everyone knows his foot was on the bottom rope. He demands another shot at the title. Callihan says that it’s not 2008 anymore and claims that he’s better than Younger. He tells Younger that he can have a rematch anytime. He also requests that Younger be put into his bracket at Best of the Best.
Scotty Vortekz and Devon Moore come out for the World Heavyweight Title match. Instead of Robert Anthony, DJ Hyde appears. He announces that Anthony has retired from professional wrestling and inserts himself into the match. MASADA interrupts, obviously having an issue with Hyde’s actions during his match earlier. MASADA says that he deserves a title shot. Hyde responds by punching him in the face, leading to…
Match #9: Aerial Assault: Latin Dragon vs. Rory Mondo vs. Shane Strickland vs. Ryan McBride vs. Uhaa Nation vs. Niles Young vs. Lucky tHURTeen vs. Samuray Del Sol
This match will be contested under elimination rules, with the two survivors earning a spot in Best of the Best next month. Everyone does a hands-in before the match except for Young. They chase him around ringside. He backdrops everyone to the floor. Nation showcases some of his agility and press slams Young to the outside onto everyone. Del Sol and Dragon have a fast-paced exchange in the ring. McBride and Strickland take them out with stereo missile dropkicks. Strickland lands a springboard moonsault onto McBride. Lucky hurricanranas Mondo. He follows with a springboard corkscrew dive onto a group on the floor. Mondo climbs onto a box but Young trips him up. Nation lands an impressive dive to the floor. Del Sol and Dragon hip toss Young off the top rope. Dragon hits a dragon suplex on Del Sol. He follows with a dive to the outside onto everyone. Strickland adds a 450 off a box. Del Sol lands a moonsault off the box. In the ring, Young hits Dragon with a chair. He jumps off a box and sends a chair into Dragon’s face to eliminate him. Mondo catches Young with a flying double stomp from the box to send him packing. Del Sol nails Mondo with a spin kick. Strickland hits a brainbuster on Del Sol but botches a 450 from the box and kind of headbutts Del Sol. Nation hits three consecutive powerbombs on Mondo to eliminate him. Del Sol lands a corkscrew dive to the floor onto Nation and Lucky. McBride superkicks Strickland and follows with his flipping death valley driver to eliminate him. Lucky hits a backcracker on McBride and lands a fosbury flop to the floor onto Del Sol. He comes off the middle rope with a backcracker on Nation. Del Sol hits a bridging package piledriver on Lucky to eliminate him. We’re down to Del Sol, McBride, and Nation. Nation bicycle kicks Del Sol and lands a moonsault from the apron onto both of his opponents. In the ring, Del Sol hits a reverse hurricanrana on Nation. McBride hits a brainbuster on Del Sol and adds his flipping death valley driver. Nation lands a standing moonsault to break up the pin attempt. Nation follows with a standing shooting star press onto McBride to eliminate him. Del Sol and Nation are your winners at 15:12. You pretty much know what you’re getting with this match. There were a lot of dives and while not everything went off without a hitch, the action was pretty smooth for the most part. The crowd didn’t seem to be too vocal but they were happy with the eventual winners and the match worked in that aspect. If you’re a fan of these types of matches, I think you’ll enjoy this one. As a side note, Nation would end up getting injured at a DGUSA show and Greg Excellent was named as his replacement for Best of the Best. ***
Overall: This is the kind of show that I’ve been waiting for CZW to produce. A huge part of this show’s success involved the fact that every match received enough time to play out. As a result, six out of the nine matches reached the three-star mark, which is an impressive feat and a testament to the strength of the roster. Aerial Assault also featured MASADA’s escalation to the main event, with his great match against Adam Cole and subsequent world title victory. I truly believe that the TLC match between Greg Excellent and Mia Yim is something worth checking out as well. While I didn’t follow CZW closely in 2011, this show has to be considered one of the best CZW events of the past few years. Aerial Assault earns a strong recommendation.
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Ryan Rozanskii has been a professional wrestling fan since he was six years old. His first memory of it comes from witnessing Scott Hall win a sixty-man battle royal at WCW World War 3. Of course, that was before alcohol became a problem for Scott. Speaking of alcohol, Ryan is a youngster…not even old enough to consume alcoholic beverages. However, Ryan has used swear words to describe how much he loves Pro Wrestling Ponderings. That is something he’ll never try again, due to the risk of possibly being grounded by his parents. Some people compare Ryan to Butters from South Park. Currently, that comparison has yet to have any legitimacy.
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