AAW will make its long-awaited return to the Logan Square Auditorium on Saturday, May 6 for “Take No Prisoners,” an evening of hard-hitting action and, this time around, a number of debuts. Keith Lee, Bobby Fish, David Starr, Jason Cade, Space Monkey, Myron Reed and Aeroboy all will make their main roster debuts, each man looking to impress company officials in his own, unique way. For the likes of Lee and Fish, who are coming off obligations with Ring of Honor, the expectations are high, as each man has a big-name opponent well-known to the AAW fanbase. Starr has worked a LaSalle show but will make the trip to Chicago for his first match with AAW’s “super indy” product. Reed, Cade, Space Monkey and Aeroboy, meanwhile, will each take part in a six-man scramble match up that pits young talent against young talent in a battle for exposure. Which of these young, yet-proven superstars will punch his ticket to a future with AAW?
But, perhaps I have already said too much. Let’s run down the matches.
The Match: Connor Braxton vs. Myron Reed vs. Paco vs. Jason Cade vs. Space Monkey vs. Aeroboy
The Skinny: This one features all young and/or local talent looking to make a name for itself, and what better opportunity than one gigantic cluster of a match? Braxton is a student of Seth Rollins and Marek Brave, with impressive size, while Reed and Paco are under Michael Elgin’s tutelage and have been breaking out lately. Jason Cade hails from New York and has under five years experience to his credit. Space Monkey is a Canadian export who has impressed all over North America with his high-flying and commitment to his character. I don’t know much about Aeroboy except that he is from Mexico and is an up-and-coming lucha libre star there. That determined, who will be AAW’s next breakout star?
My Take: In a word or two? Pure chaos. Given the top names populating AAW’s cards nowadays, the company doesn’t have a whole lot of room for unproven talent, so I think the cream will rise to the top as each of these six men brings his very best. It’ll be a young boy showcase, so that should make for plenty of dives and stiff strikes and moves that get the crowd fired up. And maybe some monkeyshines. Look back on this match in, oh, five years and you will smile fondly. If I had to pick a winner, I would go with somebody who’s already familiar to AAW fans. In this case, it’s Paco.
The Match: Trey Miguel, Chuck Taylor and Stephen Wolf vs. Alex Daniels, Mat Fitchett and Davey Vega
The Skinny: Wolf and Miguel made their main roster debuts last month, impressing AAW brass and fans alike with their aerial offense and teamwork, and now they’re getting another crack at it — this time teaming with the Kentucky Gentleman, Chuck Taylor. Meanwhile, Fitchett and Vega have sort of been in limbo since teasing dissension, though a win here, with partner “Real Life Ben Affleck” Alex Daniels, would certainly put them back in contention for the AAW Tag Team Championships. Which trio will reign supreme?
My Take: Miguel and Wolf more than impressed at “EPIC: The 13-Year Anniversary Show,” so there should be more of the same from these two. With the addition of Chuckie T. to the mix, the possibilities are endless. But I don’t see Fitchett and Vega just taking it lying down. With help from Daniels, the Besties in the World will try everything they can to stake a clear advantage. I think Miguel, Taylor and Wolf win here, causing more dissension and possibly a break up between Fitchett and Vega.
The Match: David Starr vs. Eddie Kingston
The Skinny: This is a match both men personally wanted, and AAW’s higher-ups pulled the trigger. Starr’s stock is on the rise, putting in notable efforts with CZW and wXw, among other promotions, while Kingston is looking to reclaim some of the glory he had in the company when he was champion a year and a half ago. Starr has competed in AAW previously, but this will be his main roster debut.
My Take: I for one am happy to see Starr in an AAW ring, as he has put together one of the more entertaining, inspiring runs on the indies the last handful of years. The man of a thousand monikers — my favorite being “Your Favorite Wrestler’s Favorite Wrestler” — has a tough test in the “War King” here, and it will be an uphill battle if he wants to slay the former two-time Heavyweight Champion. As much as I love Starr, I think Kingston takes this match and puts himself back on the path to contending for a championship.
The Match: Bobby Fish vs. Trevor Lee
The Skinny: This is Bobby Fish’s AAW debut. Fish is fresh out of the waters of Ring of Honor, where he had a notable career earmarked by several tag team championship runs with partner Kyle O’Reilly, as well as a Television Title victory. Lee, leaving behind his dancing days of mid-match comedy spots and the like, has been riding a mean streak lately. The two clash here in a singles match that will put Fish to the test. Not only must he keep up with Trevor’s pure wrestling ability, he must also be on the lookout for Lee’s more nefarious, opportunistic side. Will Bobby be able to overcome Lee? Or will Trevor fry the Fish with his underhanded tactics?
My Take: He’s free, he’s free! All joking aside, it is nice to see Bobby Fish outside of an ROH context, and against somebody the caliber of Trevor Lee, who’s looked like an all star compared to how he was booked just a handful of months ago. I haven’t much insight into Fish’s singles work, but from what I have seen, I really enjoyed, and Lee is one of my favorites in any company. Trevor takes this one, probably through cheating or being a jerk, as he is wont to do.
The Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Michael Elgin
The Skinny: Back in November at “Windy City Classic XII,” Zack Sabre Jr. asked for an AAW Heavyweight Championship match, to which “Big Mike” took exception. The former AAW Triple Crown Winner felt that if anybody deserves a championship match, it is him, not ZSJ. The two have been kept separate ever since, at least in AAW. Despite the match itself not being billed as a number one contender’s match, a win by either man will put him at the top of the proverbial crop as far as that is concerned.
My Take: These two had one of my favorite matches of WrestleMania weekend, at EVOLVE 81, where Sabre defeated Elgin. It was concussive and filled with desperation, and it even saw Zack bleed from a gash above his right eye. While I don’t expect quite the level of violence in this one, why wouldn’t two wrestlers of this caliber go out there and deliver anyway? Both men are quality and work well together, making this one of my most anticipated matches of the show. I’ll throw you a curve ball and say this one goes to a draw. That’s right, I am predicting a draw. Deal with it.
The Match: OI4K (Jake and Dave Crist) (c) vs. Rey Fenix and AR Fox, AAW Tag Team Championship Match
The Skinny: Fenix and Fox took the Killers to the limit a couple weeks ago in LaSalle, going to a feverish 30-minute draw. The Crist brothers have been busy, though, taking their act nationwide all across the country, including matches all over WrestleMania weekend and PWG. Now, the belts are on the line once again, but the time limit has been thrown out the window, and anything goes. There must be a winner. Can Ohio’s favorite sons send the two “Lucha Underground” stars packing, or does the flip-happy duo have Dave and Jake’s number?
My Take: Case studies are to be written about some of the high spots these two teams are able to pull off. This should be a fast-paced bout with plenty of head trauma in the form of tombstone piledrivers, Canadian and Mexican Destroyers, and whatever stupid sort of bumps AR Fox is going to subject himself to for our entertainment. With the buzz surrounding the first match, I have been waiting to see this one for a while. Who wins? I’m feeling risky — let’s go with Fenix and Fox. New champs.
The Match: Penta El Zero M (c) vs. Keith Lee, AAW Heritage Championship Match
The Skinny: Keith Lee is making his AAW debut while Penta El Zero M is looking to keep riding the hot streak that landed him the Heritage Championship in March at “Homecoming.” This is a first-time match up between the two. Lee is a massive man, standing 6’2 and tipping the scales around 330lbs, but don’t let his size fool you. A former football player, Lee combines strength, athleticism and speed to wow opponents and fans alike with his moonsaults and dives outside the ring. Can Penta overcome his biggest challenge yet (literally)? Or does wrestling’s new “man of the hour” have other ideas?
My Take: It’s going to take an effort and a half to compromise Keith Lee, but if there is anybody up to the task, it has to be Penta, who is going to have to chop the big man down if he hopes to gain an advantage. Lee is the hot hand coming off an impressive run over WrestleMania weekend, but Penta means too much to too many people for him to lose his championship this soon. This will be match of the night. Penta wins this one with, let’s go crazy, a Canadian Destroyer on the big man.
The Match: Sami Callihan (c) vs. ACH, AAW Heavyweight Championship Match
The Skinny: Callihan is now seven months into his second Heavyweight Championship reign, having defeated the likes of John Morrison, Kongo Kong, Rey Fenix, Candice LeRae, Low Ki and others to cement himself as one of the company’s most prolific top guys. ACH has been in an identity crisis since losing the Heritage Championship to Penta to months ago, dishing out low blows, pulling hair, you know, real bad guy stuff. But the man with Attitude, Charisma and Heart is going to have to go even lower if he wants to topple AAW’s Worldwide Desperado.
My Take: I’ve been waiting for ACH to be given a title match, and finally, he’s got one, and while I don’t see him winning the championship from Callihan, I am looking forward to what he brings to a main event. As previously mentioned, AAW has been pushing ACH as a more villainous type of character as of late, so I am excited to see how he fares against the company’s ultimate bad guy, Callihan. Will he sink even lower to win the title? Does he have it in him? After a killer match, I see Sami retaining the Big F’n Belt.
- Also signed to appear at this event is Colt Cabana.
- AAW returns to action at the Berwyn Eagles Club on Thursday, May 25, with “Thursday Night Special.” Already signed: Keith Lee vs. Donovan Dijak, Shane Strickland vs. Lio Rush, OI4K vs. Team Tremendous, and an appearance by Formerly Known As Jack Swagger. Tickets for this event can be purchased here: aawpro.ticketleap.com/