AAW 03/17/17 Homecoming Results & Live Review

AAW 03/17/17 Homecoming Results & Live Review
Credit: Our own AAW analyst Derek Walker

Quick Results:
OI4K (Dave and Jake Crist) defeated Best Friends (Chuck Taylor and Trent) in 12:22 with a spiked tombstone piledriver

Abyss defeated Homicide in 7:47 with the Black Hole Slam

Drew Galloway defeated Zema Ion in 11:06 with a spinning Future Shock DDT. Great match that got a standing ovation at the end.

AR Fox defeated Shane Strickland in 13:38 with a 450 Splash. Strickland received please Come Back chants.

Penta el 0M defeated ACH in about 12 minutes with a low blow followed by a package piledriver. New Heritage Champion!

(Intermission)

Scarlet & Graves (Wentz and Xavier) defeated Besties in the World (Vega and Fitchett) in 10:19 with a Pedigree and Swanton Bomb combo

OI4K defeated Scarlet & Graves in 0:38 with a spike tombstone piledriver. New Tag Team Champions!

Rey Fenix defeated Trevor Lee in 11:29 with a turn-around Destroyer

Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Kyle O’Reilly in 16:32 with Hurrah! in a fantastic match

Sami Callihan defeated Low-Ki in ???? after Abyss interfered, tossed powder into Low-Ki’s eyes and hit a chokeslam

***John Morrison, Big Mike Elgin, Rey Fenix, Jack Evans, Matt Riddle, Shane Strickland and Penta el 0M vs. AR Fox announced for Joe’s Live in Rosemont on April 8***

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Live Review

The Berwyn Eagles Club was sold out in advance of Friday night’s “Homecoming” live event, which featured ten matches, including three for championships. A crowd of three hundred fans lent their lungs and their best chants, their yeas and their boos and their f*ck yous to the action, though that number is approximate. There were more people in standing room only tonight than any other Berwyn show I have attended, fans lining the bar-side wall two, even three deep at some points. This was a packed show in more ways than the one. But, of course, if you have a more firm headcount, like, if counting people at wrestling shows is your jam, then let me know.

Ohio is 4 Killers first challenged the Best Friends of Chuck Taylor/DUSTIN and Trent/Greg in a semi-final match in AAW’s mini-tournament for its Tag Team Championships. The Killers are very popular in AAW, but in Berwyn, especially, though the crowd did warm for the Friends after a devastating moonsault from Chuckie T. The Crist Brothers mostly resorted to heel tactics during their control segments, walking through a number of classic tropes like pulling the tights and using heel manager JT Davidson for assistance. There was a hot back and forth sequence where everybody hit a cutter on another guy in the match, but in the end, the Killers picked up the win and advance to the finals with a spike tombstone piledriver.

Davidson wasn’t done, as he next managed Abyss in his match with an aging Homicide, whom I enjoy from time to time, but when you’re pushing forty, how gangster are you really? His shtick has reached its shelf life, but thankfully, his effort is still there, as this was a decent go with the monstrous Abyss. The competitors took advantage of the no-disqualification stipulation and battled around ringside before a chair was introduced. Then, Homicide hit a fork to the groin and a cutter onto thumbtacks. Meaning, he landed back-first onto the tacks too. Smart man. Abyss won with a Black Hole Slam in an OK match. Both Abyss and Davidson have great heat with the Berwyn fans.

Drew Galloway vs. Zema Ion/Xiima Zion/DJZ or whatever you want to call him was my match of the night. DJZ worked his ass off here and kicked things into gear early with some great-looking offense. Drew powered back, however, using his strength and some wicked chops to cut down his opponent. The crowd got very into Drew after he started throwing around DJZ. Drew won with a swinging Future Shock DDT. Overall, this was a fun match with a David-Goliath type of story to it. The fans loved every minute of it, and gave both men a standing ovation after it ended.
AR Fox strutted out, a bandana around his neck as the Quad City DJs’ “Space Jam” blared over the speakers. Beats whatever song he was rocking previously. He was to take on the debuting Shane Strickland. This one featured a lot of flying, including a brutal spot where Fox draped Strickland between the ring and the barricade before executing a moonsault off the ring post. I thought this would have been more of a sprint, but they lasted a little longer. A fun match that hit its next gear, Fox winning with the 450 Splash. The audience was thrilled, serenading Strickland in chants of “please come back.” Turns out, he will be back next month.

ACH put his AAW Heritage Championship on the line next against Penta el 0M, and this match featured a mega-popular Penta! And a heel ACH! After a bit of goofing around early, the two engaged in a feeling out process. The action picked up after ACH low blowed Pentagon (!) and started toying with him. ACH then began aping Penta’s moves, including his destroyer and package piledriver, but Penta wasn’t pleased and dumped ACH on his head with an apron package piledriver of his own. Not to be outdone, Penta also got in a low blow before ending ACH’s reign as champion with another package piledriver. Absolutely ridiculous match.

After intermission, the team of Scarlet & Graves (Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier) faced the Besties in the World (Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett) in another semi-final match in the Tag Team Championship tournament. The AAW fans are major into the Besties’ act – they love hating Vega but love cheering Fitchett. This was a fun, fast-paced contest in which the Besties teased dissension, with Vega working heel and Mat working face. Scarlet & Graves won by hitting a Pedigree and Swanton Bomb combo in another solid effort. Worth checking out for both young tag teams and a hot crowd.

But wait! JT Davidson is out AGAIN, and on behalf of OI4K he’s challenging Wentz and Xavier for the belts RIGHT NOW! The bell rings and thirty-eight seconds and one spike tombstone later, and the Killers are your new AAW Tag Team Champions. The Killer Cult now holds three of the four championships in the company. Will Pentagon join the boys from Ohio next month? Tune in to find out!

While that most certainly will not happen, what happened to be pretty great was Trevor Lee vs. Rey Fenix. Lee, who usually acts like a goofball in AAW, put on his serious work boots for this one, jumping the bell and hitting Fenix with a second rope German suplex as he posed for fans. This was one methodically worked match, with Rey overcoming a cheating Lee with a Mexican Destroyer. I would love to see more of this Trevor Lee going forward, and the rest of the fans want to see more Rey Fenix, as money rained down on him from the first three rows. Had to have been forty bucks in there.

This card featured a bit of technical wizardry, as well, as Zack Sabre Jr. took on the returning Kyle O’Reilly in a match that had fans at a hush – not out of boredom, but out of respect for the performers. This was a hold-for-hold, mat-based, methodical burner of a contest between two of the very best, and the two traded submissions and counters and some lethal-sounding strikes for just about the duration, before ZSJ won with his Hurrah! octopus submission. It wasn’t the match they had at PWG a few years ago, but it didn’t need to be. Slow and calculating, this was pure wrestling, pure sport, at its finest. Well worth the price of the MP4 of this show.

The first eight or so minutes of Sami Callihan vs. Low-Ki actually made me think, “This is worth the price of the show” because in those eight minutes, these two beat the f*ck out of each other. Just brutal, vicious, unadulterated carnage at a frantic pace. Ki hit a massive baseball slide dropkick, shooting Sami back into the guard rails (reminiscent of their previous match in JAPW), but Sami came back stronger with a low suicide dive of his own that bent Ki back over the guard rail at a ninety-degree angle. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. And then some of the throws into the rails, just painful stuff. The match died down toward the middle, both men likely feeling the effects of those first eight minutes, so if they’d cut it off there, I would have been fine with it. Instead, they carried on and on before, damn it, Abyss came out and ruined the whole thing, giving Callihan the win with a chokeslam to Ki.

The main event did feature a cool spot where Low-Ki “broke” Sami’s jaw, and Sami had no choice but to tear off one of JT Davidson’s sleeves and tie it around his head before continuing. I didn’t care for the finish, but there was enough here to satisfy me, and I am far from a fan of one Sami Callihan.

“Homecoming” was a hoot and a half, and AAW always seems to do right in Berwyn. Nothing was outstanding, but beyond the Abyss/Homicide hardcore match, everything was good-to-great and definitely worth watching. There was no nonsense on this show – no BS, no awkward comedy match, nothing ill or offensive. With names like Matt Riddle, John Morrison, Shane Strickland, Jack Evans, and Chuck Taylor announced for April 8 at Joe’s Live in Rosemont, the company will certainly be doing its best to keep alive its streak of quality shows.
RECOMMENDED: Drew Galloway vs. Zema Ion; AR Fox vs. Shane Strickland; Trevor Lee vs. Rey Fenix; Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kyle O’Reilly

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