AAW: Unstoppable 2017 Review

November 25th, 2017

Opening Match:  OI4K (Dave and Jake Crist) vs. Team EatClips (Stephen Wolf and Trey Miguel)
Jake catches Miguel with a crossbody.  Wolf lands an asai moonsault to the floor onto Dave.  Miguel and Jake follow with dives of their own.  Wolf lands a dive over the ringpost onto OI4K.  Both teams brawl around ringside.  Dave back suplexes Miguel across the guardrail while Jake back suplexes Wolf onto the apron.  In the ring, Jake lands a flying crossbody onto Miguel.  Dave connects with a flying double stomp onto Wolf.  Everyone trades offense and it doesn’t look like the action is going to settle down.  Jake intercepts Miguel in midair with a flying ace crusher.  Wolf hits a gutbuster on Jake and Team EatClips follow with a doomsday meteora for a nearfall.  OI4K hit a double stomp-tombstone combination on Wolf for the win at 9:19.  The action was not the cleanest, but they were trying some outlandishly intricate sequences.  The good news is that the crowd didn’t particularly care and really came alive for this contest.  These two teams truly understood their role as the opener, didn’t mess around with heat segments, and delivered an entertaining sprint.  OI4K can have matches like this in their sleep.  ***

Match #2:  Brubaker, Connor Braxton, Curt Stallion, and Jake Something vs. Colt Cabana, PACO, Davey Vega, and Mat Fitchett
This started out as an interview with Vega and Fitchett, but Brubaker’s crew interrupted.  Vega initially abandons his team to go change into his wrestling gear.  Fitchett lands a double-jump dive to the floor.  Cabana and PACO chop Something, although Cabana’s chops seem much more effective.  PACO snaps off a flying hurricanrana on Stallion.  Fitchett hits a tornado DDT on Something.  Brubaker catches Fitchett with a lariat and the heels isolate him.  He eventually lands a flying crossbody onto Brubaker and Vega returns to receive the hot tag.  Vega connects with a knockout kick on Brubaker and hits a german suplex on Stallion.  Vega and Fitchett showcase some of their double team offense.  Brubaker’s crew find an opening to corner PACO and they toy with him.  Braxton lays him out with a spinebuster for a nearfall.  Cabana saves PACO with a series of punches and elbows.  Everyone trades offense.  Something catches PACO with a german suplex and a black hole slam for the victory at 13:23.  The action was much more cohesive and focused than I expected it would be.  They allowed Vega to be somewhat of a nuisance to his teammates without it overwhelming the match.  Additionally, the sequences with Cabana helping PACO overcome his size and strength disadvantages were a lot of fun.  **¾

Match #3:  Fred Yehi vs. Shane Strickland
Yehi gets the better of an opening mat exchange and targets Strickland’s left leg.  Strickland snaps off a headscissors but Yehi responds with a basement dropkick.  Strickland finds an opening to start working over Yehi’s left arm.  Yehi creates some space with a shotgun dropkick.  They exchange strikes and Strickland lands some nicely-placed kicks.  He follows with an ace crusher and a slingshot flatliner.  Yehi falls victim to an overhead suplex into the turnbuckles and Strickland has all of the momentum.  Yehi unloads with kicks and connects with a double stomp for a nearfall.  He adds consecutive backcrackers and a fisherman buster for a two count.  Strickland connects with a bicycle knee strike and a corner dropkick.  Strickland follows with the Swerve Stomp and applies a cross armbreaker for the win at 15:23.  Although Yehi gets more credit for this than Strickland, both men move around the ring in incredibly unique ways.  It’s no surprise that their interactions were very interesting to watch play out.  In terms of debuts, Yehi made quite the first impression and Strickland was the perfect opponent for him.  ***½

Match #4:  Flip Gordon vs. Myron Reed
They begin tentatively and have some back and forth trash talk.  They avoid each other’s strikes and Gordon gets a little kip-up happy.  Reed connects with a corner dropkick and lands a springboard crossbody.  Gordon comes off the middle rope with a twisting neckbreaker and lands a standing moonsault.  He takes control until Reed connects with a diving uppercut.  Gordon slows him down with a standing shooting star press.  Gordon follows with a 450 splash for a nearfall.  Reed hits a desperation stunner along with a springboard ace crusher for a two count.  Reed hits a standing spanish fly for the victory at 10:20.  These two felt pretty even in terms of high-flying and they inserted enough personality to keep the crowd invested.  This was a really effective showcase that didn’t overstay its welcome duration-wise.  This show is officially on a roll.  ***

Match #5:  AR Fox and Eddie Kingston vs. WRSTLING (David Starr and Trevor Lee)
Kingston and Fox interrupt a pre-match promo from WRSTLING with dives.  Both teams brawl around ringside and into the crowd.  Starr catches Kingston with a DDT on the apron and WRSTLING isolate him back in the ring.  Kingston hits a saito suplex on Starr and makes the tag.  Fox connects with an enzuigiri on Lee and hits a basement ace crusher.  Fox moonsaults onto Lee and hits a blockbuster on Starr.  The man is on fire.  Starr lands a dive onto Fox and Lee adds a pop-up powerbomb.  Kingston reenters the ring and trades punches with Starr.  Kingston hits a german suplex but Starr quickly responds with one of his own.  Kingston connects with the Backfist to the Future on Starr but Lee double stomps him before he can take advantage.  Fox hits a superplex on Starr and Lo Mein Pain on Lee.  Starr avoids a 450 splash from Fox and looks to put him away, but OI4K appear at ringside to distract him.  Fox sneaks in a rollup on Starr for the win at 10:21.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this was another entertaining match that didn’t overstay its welcome at ten minutes.  Starr and Lee make for a fun tag team and the Starr/Kingston hatred is extremely believable.  The finish leaves open some exciting possibilities moving forward with OI4K and WRSTLING.  **¾

Match #6:  ACH vs. Sammy Guevara
Guevara refuses a handshake at the opening bell.  They trade control of a wristlock and wrestle to a stalemate.  Guevara breaks serve with a dropkick and teases a dive.  ACH connects with a series of chops and goes low with a questionable strike.  Guevara catches him with a few superkicks and takes control with a standing spanish fly.  He catches ACH out of nowhere with an ace crusher for a nearfall.  ACH fights back with a double stomp and a basement dropkick.  He is heavily favoring his midsection.  ACH goes up top but Guevara rolls to ringside.  ACH connects with a punt from the apron and lands a top-rope splash for a nearfall.  Guevara lands a fosbury flop onto ACH in the front row.  Madness.  In the ring, Guevara connects with a double stomp but ACH won’t stay down.  ACH nearly knocks out Guevara with a slap.  Guevara lands a nice spin kick to ACH’s midsection and he is rolling on the canvas.  ACH blocks a 630 with knees and hits a brainbuster for the victory at 16:24.  Guevara showing no respect to ACH went from a nice touch early on to a theme throughout the match that took the action to the next level.  You sensed as the match progressed that they were slowing down the pace compared to the rest of the show, but it ended up being worth it once the finishing stretch came.  As far as brash newcomer vs. seasoned veteran stories are concerned, this was excellent.  ***¾

Match #7:  AAW Heritage Title: Penta El Zero M © vs. Zema Ion
Ion lands a dive onto Penta during his entrance.  He lands a slingshot splash back in the ring.  Penta kicks Ion in the face to block a lionsault and hits the Penta Driver.  Penta hits a backcracker out of the corner and follows with a sling blade.  Ion snaps off a hurricanrana and connects with a superkick at ringside.  Penta launches him into the crowd and lands a dive over the guardrail.  Ion responds with a dive of his own from the top rope into the crowd.  Ion goes up to the balcony and dives onto Penta.  Back in the ring, Penta blocks a diving elbow drop and yanks back on Ion’s right arm.  Ion hurricanranas Penta off the top rope and hits a DDT for a nearfall.  Ion follows with a reverse hurricanrana.  Penta blocks a second DDT with a superkick and hits a running package piledriver for a two count.  Penta goes to the middle rope but Ion catches him with a DDT to become the new AAW Heritage Champion at 10:14.   Again, ten minutes felt perfect for this contest given Ion setting the tempo early on with his pre-match dive.  The crowd brawling, balcony dive, and heavy nearfalls worked so well because we had not seen any of them from the first six matches.  I’m really glad that Ion is starting to receive bigger opportunities in independent wrestling, which makes his recent injury especially untimely.  Still, this was a crazy exhibition and these two had excellent chemistry together.  ***¼

Match #8:  AAW Heavyweight Title: Rey Fenix © vs. Jimmy Jacobs
Fenix wins an opening exchange with a pele kick.  Jacobs bites Fenix’s hand and hits a snap suplex.  Fenix connects with a springboard kick but Jacobs sends him into the guardrail.  They battle on the stage and Jacobs hits a spear.  Fenix lands a dive off the stage and takes out a fan in the process.  Back in the ring, Jacobs hits a neckbreaker and takes over.  Fenix comes back with a top-rope moonsault.  Jacobs hits an ace crusher followed by sliced bread for a nearfall.  Fenix connects with a double stomp.  Jacobs avoids a second one on the apron and hits a spear.  They trade strikes and Jacobs hits a double-arm DDT.  He transitions into the End Time but Fenix counters into a spike piledriver.  They trade counters and Fenix goes back to a spike piledriver.  Fenix immediately applies a rings of saturn to retain his title at 15:24.  This main event was solid insofar as the whole card was worthwhile – there was great crowd energy and in-ring intensity.  However, I kept waiting for Jacobs to become evil and use some dastardly tactics.  Instead, Jacobs tried to keep up with Fenix in a sprint, which was never going to work because Fenix is a madman.  If anything, this contest really lacked suspense or the feeling that the title could believably change hands.  They worked hard, though, and I could see a rematch being much better.  **¾

-Show Grade: B+
You Need to See:
You’d Enjoy Watching: Guevara/ACH, Yehi/Strickland, Ion/Penta, Gordon/Reed, OI4K/EatClips
You Should Avoid:

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