Commentary is provided by Aaron Bauer and Matt Wadsworth.
Dave Dawson tells AIW Owner Matt Wadsworth he wants to be a referee again. Wadsworth reluctantly agrees, but for a probationary period he will not let Dawson referee any Flexor Industries matches. Dawson is not happy but accepts. Jock Samson thinks Colin Delaney is Eric Embry and wants to be booked in World Class Championship Wrestling. Delaney tries to convince Samson he is not Embry, but Samson’s not listening. He says he’s going to beat Façade’s face in tonight. Samson says he’s going to beat the hell out of The Duke tonight. Rickey Shane Page doesn’t understand how John Thorne can say he drove a spike into his head because he’s his friend. He doesn’t know who Thorne is picking as his opponent tonight and he doesn’t care who it is. If it helps him find out what Thorne’s problem is with him, he will do it. Sugar Dunkerton reminds us the last time he was in AIW he defeated Kyle O’Reilly and Sonjay Dutt for an Intense Championship shot. Dunkerton never did get his shot, but now that’s he’s back in AIW, he’s coming for it again. Before he can get it though, he’s got to show AIW he’s still worth it. He’s not sweating his three opponents tonight. He’ll do whatever it takes to get that shot he rightfully earned. ACH plans to show Fox what he’s all about in their 30 minute Iron Man match. He wishes Uhaa Nation well, as ACH is replacing him in that very match.
The Sex Bob-ombs (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. The Submission Squad (Pierre Abernathy & Evan Gelestico)
This is actually a rematch from the pre-show of the first night of the 2011 TPI. Fitchett twists up Abernathy’s arm. Gelestico blind tags in. Fitchett shoves Abernathy into him. Fitchett eats kicks from both Submission Squad members. The Squad taunt the crowd and Vega while double teaming Fitchett in their corner. Fitchett hits Water with Elephants on Gelestico to break away. Vega tags in and gives Gelestico a huracanrana. He kicks up Gelestico’s back and chest before landing a senton for two. The Bob-ombs double drop toe hold Gelestico into the ropes and deliver tandem dropkicks to the back of his head. They give Gelestico a wet willy while twisting both his arms. Gelestico sends Vega to the apron where Abernathy boots him. Gelestico lands forearms in opposite corners. Vega evades a third and hits a gamengiri. He connects with a top rope dropkick and tags Fitchett back in. Fitchett enzuigiri’s Abernathy. Abernathy boots Fitchett into a TKO knee strike from Gelestico. Abernathy drops him with a modified Shell Shock for two. Gelestico puts Fitchett in a standing STF. Vega superkicks Gelestico to free his partner. Vega gives him a lung blower. Fitchett delivers a standing moonsault onto Gelestico while he’s still on Vega’s knees. Abernathy breaks the cover. A series of moves knocks everybody down. Vega gets Abernathy in a triangle lock. Gelestico is there to save his partner. Vega is able to hold Abernathy. Fitchett ends up giving Gelestico a blockbuster off of Abernathy’s back for a two count! A Complete Shot and DDT from the Squad lead to Abernathy putting Fitchett in a cross face. Vega breaks it after sending Gelestico to the floor. Vega yakuza kicks Abernathy. Gelestico knee strikes Vega. Fitchett Pele kicks Gelestico to block his and Abernathy’s tandem offense. Vega superkicks Abernathy. Fitchett hits a running shooting star press on him for the pin at 10:00. That was just as good as their match from a year ago, though the Bob-ombs are certainly looking better as time goes by. They have the skills to be a top team in AIW and I think that’s where they are headed. The Squad is serviceable but need to work out their kinks if they want to be anything more than pre-show/opening match guys. **3/4
The Duke vs. Jock Samson
Samson slaps Duke in the face. Duke throws some hard punches and a boot. Duke throws punches at his ribs while choking him on the top rope. Duke splashes Samson in the corner. Duke pitches Samson to the floor through the middle ropes. The referee stops Duke from using a chair. While the referee is arguing with him, Samson throws the chair at Duke’s face. He also chokes Duke with the chair against the ring post. Samson nestles a chair between the top and middle turnbuckle and whips Duke into it. Samson “Tebow’s” after delivering a dropkick. Duke back elbows and clothesline Samson. Samson rakes his eyes to cut off his comeback. Samson however misses a top rope elbow. Duke gives him a chokeslam. He goes for a Vader Bomb when The Submission Squad runs out and attacks The Duke. This includes Gary Jay as well. They hold Duke so Samson can clobber him with a cowbell. He also hits him the Duke’s pledge paddle. Da Latin Crime Syndicate come out, seemingly to help them out. Their last big feud was with Duke and his pledges. Instead of helping Samson and the Squad, they end up evening the odds for The Duke! While DLCS and the Squad fight to the back, Duke catches the distracted Samson for the pin at 9:31. Obviously this match was more of a backdrop for this other feud, but the action was actually pretty good up until the interference. **1/4
DLCS come back out so Samson won’t attack Duke post match. They put of their hands for Duke to shake. Duke is reluctant at first, but shakes all three of their hands with no problems. Joey The Snake and K. Fernandez even raise his arms in victory.
Colin Delaney vs. Facade
Delaney has a WWE Superstar sign and 40 with him. Façade wins a wristlock exchange, locking on arm armbar. Delaney rolls him up for two. Façade shoulder blocks Delaney. Delaney shoves him to the corner. Façade knees him across the ring. Façade slingshots in with a headscissors. Façade spray paints over Delaney’s WWE Superstar sign. This raises Delaney’s ire, and the fight between the two goes backstage. The referee and Façade come out looking confused. From the side door is Colin Delaney and Marion Fontaine! These two had some issues at last month’s “Gauntlet For the Gold 7” show. Fontaine is officially added to the match.
Colin Delaney vs. Façade vs. Marion Fontaine
All three guys for a quick pinfall and fail. Delaney sunset flips Fontaine. Façade dragon kicks Fontaine and kicks Delaney in the chest for two. Delaney blocks Fontaine’s top rope huracanrana. Façade then successfully hits one on both men simultaneously. Fontaine suicide dives onto Delaney on the floor. Façade springboard dives onto Delaney. He goes for a springboard move on Fontaine back in the ring. Fontaine puts his knee out, catching Fontaine with an atomic drop. He superkicks Façade. Delaney hip tosses Fontaine into a knee strike. Façade roundhouse kicks Delaney. Delaney DDT’s Façade. Fontaine gives Delaney a rolling Death Valley Driver. Façade German suplexes Fontaine for two. Façade fisherman suplexes Delaney. Delaney kicks out. Fontaine gives Façade a spinebuster. Delaney and Fontaine trade forearms. Delaney goes to the floor. Façade gives Fontaine an inverted cradle piledriver for the pin at 11:34 (total). This was a bit all over the place when it comes to the action, but I like the direction Fontaine and Delaney took and Façade didn’t botch things up. **1/2
Delaney laughs at Fontaine in the middle of the ring. Fontaine seems to have a realization, saying he has to “be a man.” He leaves the ring promising to show Delaney what a real man is.
Tonight, we have two Pick Your Poison matches. John Thorne and Rickey Shane Page get to choose each other’s opponents. Rickey Shane Page’s match is up first. He makes his way to the ring anxiously awaiting his opponent. It turns out to be “The Psycho Shooter” Drake Younger, who at one time was AIW Absolute Champion.
Rickey Shane Page vs. Drake Younger
Page and Younger go forearm for forearm. Younger blocks a hip toss and throws Page to the floor. Younger comes off the top rope with a somersault senton. He does another one off of the entrance stage. Back in the ring, Page backdrops Younger and kicks him in the back on the way down. Page only gets a two count. Page has himself a mini violence party in the corner. He drives his knee into Younger’s face for another two count. Page looks for weapons under the ring. Younger recovers in time to strike first with a cookie tin. He tries to suplex Page onto two chairs laying on the floor. Page fights back and ends up slamming Younger onto them. Page gets two on the floor, so I guess this is Falls Count Anywhere. Page sweeps Younger’s leg back in the ring. He sets up Younger in a chair. Younger gets out and throws the chair at Page’s head as he sits on the top rope. Younger slams Page through a set up chair for two. Younger uses another chair to slam the broken chair on Page’s back. Page fights back, giving Younger an enzuigiri, a Saito suplex and German suplex for two. Page gives Younger a Death Valley Driver onto a chair, also for two. Page gives Younger two chair-assisted slams. He misses a swanton bomb. Younger gives him a Tiger Driver onto a chair for two. Younger slams Page onto a set up chair with a Death Valley Driver. When that only gets a two count, John Thorne comes out and throws a strand of barbed wire to Younger. Page and Younger fight for position. Younger slams Page’s face into the mat. Younger digs the barbed wire into his forehead and mouth! Younger puts on a crossface with the wire in Page’s eyes. Thorne smacks Page in the head with light tubes from the floor! This sends Page into the Drake’s Landing for the pin at 12:36. I haven’t seen a lot of Younger lately, but I think he’s become a lot smoother and overall better as a wrestler. Even though this had a hardcore component, they got the most out of all the spots and built them throughout the battle. Page is slowly becoming the best guy in AIW. ***1/4
Drake Younger says Thorne getting involved in the match was bullshit. He says it was an honor to fight someone as tough as Page and that he was happy to be back in AIW tonight. He too sees a bright future for Page. Page gives Thorne a cryptic message before heading out.
Sugar Dunkerton vs. Alex Colon vs. Eric Ryan vs. Gary Jay
There seems to be a bond between Colon and Jay, as well as Ryan and Dunkerton. Dunkerton and Ryan give them tandem suplexes. Ryan gives Jay a pair of clotheslines and double knees in the corner. He gets two with a running chest kick. Jay throws his own chops. Ryan sends him to the floor. Colon shoulder blocks him down. He rolls Ryan into a cradle but does not get the pin. Two of his dropkicks send Ryan out. Dunkerton throws multiple punches at Colon. He slingshots Jay back into the ring. Jay kicks Dunkerton in the face and stomps the back of his head for two. Dunkerton busts out on an old boombox on the stage. It takes some time for him to set it up, but when he does, “Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys (Rest in Peace MCA) plays. He sets up some cardboard mid-ring for a dance off. Dunkerton steals Jay’s jacket during his dance. Ryan busts out a reverse worm. He even forces Colon to bust a move. Jay smacks Dunkerton and gets suplexed for his troubles. Jay headscissors Dunkerton into the ropes and double stomps the back of his head. Ryan clotheslines Jay to the floor. Colon accidentally boots Jay. Ryan suicide dives Jay off of Dunkerton’s shoulders and into the crowd. Colon comes off the top with a spinning dive onto Dunkerton. The impact seems to have hurt Dunkerton’s arm something fierce and he heads backstage, eliminating him from the bout. Back in the ring, Colon gives Ryan an Ace Crusher for two. Jay and Colon fight over who will pin Ryan. This leads to them trading strikes and headbutts. Ryan German suplexes Colon for two. Ryan gives him a Northern Lights suplex on the ring apron. Jay hits a Michinoku Driver on Ryan but Colon breaks the cover. A three way chop fight ends with Ryan giving Jay a Package Piledriver. Colon tries to pull Ryan off but can’t, so Ryan pins Jay successfully at 11:13. Ryan and Colon kick one another in the chest and face. Ryan superkicks Colon and gives him the Package Piledriver for the pin at 11:53. Even if the two pins being so quickly after each other felt a bit awkward, Ryan pinning both of them is awesome for his career. Up until Dunkerton’s injury things were going fine and the other three were able to keep it going in lieu of that happening. I would not mind at all seeing Colon back in AIW. **3/4
Eric Ryan tells the crowd he just went through three other competitors. A fan begins to chance Shiima Xion, and Ryan tells that fan that Xion is too busy sucking Hulk Hogan’s dick to put the AIW title on the line. He says if Xion doesn’t show up soon, he will come and find him. Just then, Shiima Xion’s theme music hits. No one comes out. Ryan says he’s done with the games and claims Xion is a dead man.
John Thorne vs. Hailey Hatred
Page has chosen one of Thorne’s oldest rivals in AIW for his opponent tonight. These two had an absolutely hellacious Dog Collar Match at “Absolution IV” in 2009. The fight spills to the floor almost immediately. Thorne takes control with some right hands but Hatred throws a headbutt right back. She whips him into the barricades. She dropkicks Thorne into them as well. Thorne brings Hatred into the crowd, digging a spike into her forehead. Hatred kicks Thorne in the side of the head. She sits him on a chair against the wall and delivers a running crossbody. Thorne kicks Hatred from behind. He superkicks her for two. Thorne whips her into a door and smashes a board over her back. Thorne sets up two chairs. He goes for a clothesline, but Hatred ducks and suplexes Thorne head first onto the chairs! As they fight to the ringside area, Thorne catches Hatred with a dangling DDT from the barricade. He pulls out a staple gun from under the ring. He leaves it in the corner and suplexes Hatred. Thorne comes off the secnd rope with a double stomp for two. Thorne says he’s pro choice before moving the staple gun close to Hatred’s lower region. Thankfully Hatred kicks him away. She stomps Thorne down in the corner and grabs a barbed wire 2×4 from underneath the ring. She lays it across Thorne’s groin and dropkicks it into him! Thorne kicks out. Hatred face washes him. Thorne blocks a running boot with a lariat. Rickey Shane Page runs out with some light tubes. He gives Thorne a Death Valley Driver through them! Hatred hits him with a chair to get the pin at 14:10. While Younger vs. Page was a little more cerebral, this was two old rivalries beating the hell out of one another. Really there could not have been a more appropriate choice for Thorne. Moreso than the weapons shots and strikes, I liked the duality in the ending of this match and the Page/Younger one. Now that they cost each other the Pick Your Poison matches, I look forward to their inevitable one-on-one encounter. **3/4
AIW Tag Team Championship
Youthanazia (Matt Cross & Josh Prohibition) (Champions) vs. Irish Airborne (Jake & Dave Crist)
Jake and Prohibition look for control. Prohibition twists Jake’s wrist so Cross could double axe handle it. Jake and Cross each miss a standing moonsault and standing shooting star press. Both hit dropkicks. Jake holds onto a front facelock so Dave can senton onto Cross’ back. The Airborne deliver stereo boots and knee strikes to the side of Cross’ head for a two count. Cross gives Jake a neckbreaker across his knee. He and Prohibition pop Jake up into double gut busters. Stereo dropkicks gets Prohibition a two count. So does a Perfect necksnap. Prohibition gives him a neckbreaker in the ropes and follows up with a slingshot neck snap. Jake still kicks out. Jake kicks Prohibition as he skins the cat to the top rope. Jake crossbody’s Prohibition for two. Jake kicks Prohibition into a lionsault from Dave. Prohibition elbows Jake off the apron and crotches Dave on the middle rope. Cross strings a cartwheel back elbow, a pump kick and a standing moonsault onto Dave. Dave manages to kick out. Cross double stomps Dave on Prohibition’s shoulders, leading into Prohibition giving Dave a TKO. Jake breaks the pin. Prohibition gives Jake a neckbreaker across his knee. Cross and Prohibition suicide dive onto the Airborne. Airborne take control on the floor. In the ring Jake Death Valley Drives Cross onto Dave’s knees. They set up Prohibition for Irish Coffee. Cross makes the save. He crucifix bombs Jake into the corner. He gives Dave the Drunken Driver. Cross follows with a shooting star press for the pin at 10:53. It’s pretty clear that Prohibition and Cross are made to team with each other. They complement each other so well and seem really motivated. There styles meshed really well with the Airborne and gave them a great first title defense. ***
30 Minute Iron Match
AR Fox vs. ACH
Uhaa Nation was the original opponent for Fox, but he suffered a leg injury the previous weekend in Dragon Gate USA. ACH is his replacement. Things start a little slowly, but pick up when each guy snaps off an armdrag. Both guy does a great job evading the others’ offense. ACH gives Fox an atomic drop, but Fox responds with a dropkick. ACH evades a 450 splash but Fox lands on his feet on the floor! ACH trips Fox on the apron and hits a sliding clothesline. ACH follows up with a split-legged moonsault. Fox recovers and dropkicks ACH to block a dive. ACH cuts him off with an Ace Crusher and delivers another sliding dropkick through the ropes. While on the floor, ACH suplexes Fox on the edge of the entrance ramp. Fox gives ACH a bottom rope Tiger Feint kick and a kickflip moonsault off the ring post. In the ring he does a running shooting star press cannonball senton for two. Yes that’s a real move. A fight on the apron ends with ACH giving Fox a neckbreaker on the ring apron. Not before singing some Baby Bash first. Fox avoids an attack against the barricade. He hits another running shooting star press cannonball senton into the barricade! Can we get a name for that move please? The fight leads into the crowd where ACH is thrown face first into the wall. In the ring Fox hits Lo Mein Pain for the first fall at 15:37. Fox gamengiri’s ACH and looks for another Lo Mein Pain. He avoids it and tries a few cradles to try and tie things up. Fox kicks out of his attempts. ACH however does score a pin with a cradle DDT at 17:37. ACH wisely goes after Fox’s legs, tying him up in a sharpshooter with his knee dug into Fox’s back. Fox uses the ropes to escape. ACH scissor kicks him in the ropes for two. Fox dropkicks ACH off the top rope and to the floor. Fox follows with the Lo Mein Rain! Both men struggle to make it back in the ring. They exchange punches. ACH sweeps Fox’s legs, stomps on his neck, and blasts him with a running knee strike for two. Fox gets his knees up to block a frogsplash. A rolling Death Valley Driver leads to a springboard 450 splash for only a two count. Fox goes for the Lo Mein Pain. ACH blocks it and hits a 450 splash of his own. Fox manages to kick out at two. Fox gets two with a Blue Thunder Bomb. ACH and Fox try some quick pinning combinations but nothing seems to do the trick. That is until Fox goes for a Magistral Cradle and ACH sits down on it to get himself a pin at 26:37. ACH leads 2 falls to 1. Fox ends up first off his feet and kicks ACH in the side of his head. With two minutes to go, Fox hits Thugbait. ACH manages to get his foot on the bottom rope. A flying Codebreaker gets a two count. With one minute left, Fox desperately scrambles for another quick pinfall. Fox smartly hangs out by the ropes to make sure a pin can’t happen. The clock runs out at 30:00, giving ACH the victory 2 falls to 1. That was the fastest thirty minutes of my life. These guys went balls to the walls (as they are want to do) and had the crowd pleasing match of the evening. It really can’t be overstated how athletic and exciting these two guys are. I really loved the desperation Fox portrayed at the end to really make the match seem all that more important. I’m thrilled AR Fox has made a name for himself already, but I think 2012 IS ACH’s year. Bank on it. ***3/4
ACH shakes Fox’s hand after the match. He tells the crowd to bank on him winning the JT Lightning Memorial tournament.
Compton Street Fight
Johnny Gargano, Tim Donst & BJ Whitmer vs. Flexor Industries (Chest Flexor, “The Chad” Williams & Bobby Beverly)
Whitmer smashes Beverly with a trashcan. Donst goes after Williams while Gargano gets his hands on Flexor. Donst puts Williams in a trashcan and tips it over. Donst chokes him back in the ring while Gargano chops Flexor. Whitmer chokes Flexor with a towel. Gargano enzuigiri’s Flexor while Donst lifts him up for a brainbuster. Flexor kicks out. The Tecnico team takes turns throwing chops at him. They even twist up his nipples. Beverly brings Whitmer to the floor and whips him into the barricade. Whitmer and Donst bring Beverly and Flexor into the crowd. Donst suplexes Beverly onto the floor. Gargano lawn darts Flexor into the bottom turnbuckle. Gargano lawn darts him into a trashcan. Donst throws Williams against the box office table. The fight spills out to the parking lot with the Tecnicos well in control (Gargano has now joined them). Gargano slams Beverly into an attached bed of a truck. Donst somersault sentons off the truck onto Williams and Beverly! Flexor, who is bleeding profusely, angrily runs out and takes down all three of his opponents. He even throws Donst onto the hood of a car. Flexor shoves Gargano and Donst into the trunk of the car after punching out the driver. Flexor Industries bring Whitmer back into the arena. Although it seems like Flexor Industries will have things easy, Donst and Gargano make it back. Donst suicide dives after Williams. Gargano clotheslines Flexor to the floor. Gargano rolls Beverly into a low enzuigiri. He waterwheel slams and enzuigiri’s him for two. Beverly and Gargano trade kicks. Beverly catches him with a backbreaker. Donst breaks the pin. Donst gives him a bulldog. He gives him a Gator Roll. Williams pops him up into a spinebuster. Whitmer blocks Flexor’s chair shot. Beverly nails Whitmer with a chair shot from behind. Beverly drop toe holds Whitmer face first into that chair as well. A table is set up between the ring apron and the barricades. After fighting amongst both teams, Donst finally puts Williams through the table with a Death Valley Driver. Flexor low blows Gargano from behind. Beverly smashes a beer bottle over Whitmer’s head to get the pin at 17:37. Nothing beats the novelty of seeing wrestlers fight outside and all around an arena. This had that, and a lot more. I love the building of Whitmer/Beverly throughout the match and a few spots that made Donst seem as if he was one of the top guys in the company (which as of now he is). The surprise finish left something to be desired, but if nothing else it makes me look forward to another match like this between both teams. ***1/2
Overall: This is the best AIW show since “Absolution VI”, which I still contend is the best AIW show ever. This had everything you could want in a wrestling show, both in terms of having great matches and advancing storylines from top to bottom. In this case I think the snowflakes speak for themselves, and I absolutely recommend picking this show up.
Kevin Ford has been a wrestling fan for as long as he can remember. His first legitimate writing gig was with the now defunct ‘Cool Kids Table’ website where Kevin wrote about Ring of Honor, CHIKARA, and did CHIKARA DVD reviews. Kevin continues to write about CHIKARA at 411mania.com and has an entire blog dedicated to CHIKARA reviews (chikaraspecial.wordpress.com). Here at PWP, Kevin serves as a co-founder and mainstay on the podcasts. Kevin also contributes various reviews on independent wrestling DVDs. He also loves films and television, They Might Be Giants, Yuengling beer, and Chipotle. He hopes this combination will bring him success in his life.
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