Strongsville, OH – 7.17.2010
Commentary is provided by Matt Wadsworth and Pedro Deluca.
TJ Dynamite vs. Kaden Hassad
Both guys fight for a wristlock. Dynamite gets a hammerlock, which Hassad breaks. Dynamite gives Hassad a few different armdrags. He clotheslines Hassad to the floor. Dynamite chases him around the ring. He avoids an elbow drop from Hassad as he comes back in the ring. Hassad hits a back elbow for two. Hassad stomps on Dynamite and then hits a slam for two. Dynamite comes off the ropes and Hassad hits another back elbow for two. Hassad drops an elbow from the second rope across Dynamite’s neck for two. Dynamite hits a jawbreaker to escape a headlock. Hassad throws Dynamite face first into the second turnbuckle. Hassad hits a slingshot senton for two. Dynamite catches Hassad with a clothesline to the mid-section as he comes off the ropes. Dynamite hits a leg lariat. Hassad drops Dynamite with a facebuster for two. Hassad gets in the referee’s face, allowing Dynamite to schoolboy Hassad for the pin at 7:01. A competent, simple match, but nothing to really write home about. Not much else to say. *
The Kombat Kid vs. Mr. RBI
Before this match can really get underway, Blackballed come out. Lamont Williams says that he trained both Kombat Kid and Mr. RBI. Williams says that AIW management should give them a match tonight. Absolute Owner Chandler Biggins comes out and says both students are better than Williams and Kano. Biggins makes a tag match and says the winners will get AIW contracts.
Blackballed (Lamont Williams & “Kano” Josh Emanuel) vs. The Kombat Kid & Mr. RBI
Blackballed jump Kid and RBI at the bell. RBI and Kano trade chops in the ring while Williams takes it to Kid on the floor. RBI lays in some forearms to Kano. Kano elbows him in the forehead. RBI evades an attack in the corner and powerslams Kano. RBI and Kano continue their fight on the floor as Kid and Williams come into the ring. Kid takes Williams over with a headscissors and a slingshot armdrag. He hits another hurricanrana for two. Williams sends Kid to the apron. Kid leapfrogs as Williams slides to the floor. Kid jumps on Williams with a pescado on the floor. Kano cracks RBI with a big boot. He prevents Kid from hitting a springboard dive, allowing Williams to nail him with an enzuigiri. Blackballed take turns decimating Kombat Kid in their corner. Kid comes back by hitting a rope-assisted bulldog on Williams. Kano however knocks RBI off the apron and drags Williams back to his corner so he can tag out. Kid gets a little more beaten down before coming off the second rope with a clothesline to Kano. Kid turns a slam from Williams into a DDT. Kid then gives Kano a reverse DDT. Mr. RBI finally gets tagged in and cleans house on Blackballed. RBI nails Williams with a clothesline for two. RBI goes up and over Kano and knocks him down with a polish hammer for two. RBI drops Williams with a spinebuster and follows up with a standing moonsault for two. RBI hits Kano with a forearm in the corner while Williams beats on Kid ringside. Williams comes in and dropkicks RBI to the second rope. He nails him with a hard enzuigiri from the floor for the pin at 15:00. This served as a really good showcase for both teams. Kid and Mr. RBI actually looked quite good given the experience they had and Kano and Williams have gelled really well in all the outings I’ve seen of them. The beatdown on Kid lasted entirely too long and they lost the crowd for part of it. Other than that, this was a pleasant surprise. **3/4
Chest Flexor vs. Reggae Dones
Dones look like if Xavier decided to become a stripper. Dones takes Flexor down with a pair of armdrags. Flexor brings Dones to the corner and kicks him in the gut. Flexor hits a back elbow for two. Flexor sits on Dones’ throat across the second rope. Flexor lands a back drop and applies a modified chinlock on the mat. Dones picks up Flexor and drops him off of his back. Flexor blocks a back drop and lands a neck breaker for two. Dones ducks a clothesline. He hits a shoulder tackle and a dropkick. He follows up with a powerslam for two. Dones gets sent to the apron. He comes back in with a springboard sunset flip for two. Flexor pokes Dones in the eyes and rolls him up in a pinning combination for the win at 5:00. Shockingly short, but even in the time given Dones shows a lot of promise. He kind of reminds me of Alberto Del Rio in his look and demeanor, and I hope he gets another chance in AIW. Just like the first match, this was very basic and short. *
The Pleather Platoon (Corey Winters, Ben Fruith, & Dave The Potato) vs. Da Latin Crime Syndicate (Luis Diamante, Joey The Snake, & K. Fernandez)
DLCS’ theme song (“Rompe” by Daddy Yankee) is one of my favorite in all of wrestling right now. This is a match made out of what happened at Absolution V. Diamante chops Dave on the back of his neck, and Dave tags out to Fruith. He and Winters come in and hit stereo knee strikes. Fernandez comes in and eats a dropkick from Fruith into a stunner from Winters. Joey comes in and gets nailed with an enzuigiri from Winters and a wheelbarrow senton from Fruith. Joey The Snake comes in and throws both guys to the floor. Joey brings in Dave and throws him into a clothesline from Diamante. Angered by Dave’s win from last month, DLCS trap him in the ring and brutalize him. Dave finally escapes their onslaught by avoiding a backdrop from Diamante and tagging in Fruith and Winters. They hit the ring and knock down all three DLCS members. Joey throws Fruith into a yakuza kick from Fernandez. Joey kicks Winters into a powerslam from Joey. Diamante and Fernandez hit the Cracker Jacker (a powerbomb/top rope back cracker combo) on Dave for the pin at 6:30. DLCS are one of my all around favorite acts in AIW, and they did a fine job killing Dave The Potato while making Winters and Fruith look like formidable opponents as well. This was a nice follow up to their Absolution match, and very fun to watch. **1/2
“The Passion” John Thorne vs. “Aftermath” Justin Lee
Lee pounds on Thorne to start. Thorne knocks Lee off the apron to the floor. Thorne gives him an overhand chop and a punch to the head. He lets a few fans chop Lee. Back in the ring, Lee tries a sunset flip. Thorne escapes a stomps on Lee’s chest for two. Thorne hits Lee with a forearm as Lee comes off the ropes. Thorne grabs a chair from stage side. He puts Lee in a tree of woe and puts the chair by his face. Thorne tosses a stool into the chair into Lee’s face! Lee recovers a suplexes Thorne through a chair. A few referee’s come to check on Thorne. Frustrated, Lee beats up both referees, a security guard and drags in the ring announcer/commentator. He Pillmanizes Thorne’s neck, causing Gregory Iron to run out. Lee bails as the officials and wrestlers check on Thorne’s condition. This was a really convincing angle, and a nice set up for future AIW storylines. N/R
Lee gets on the microphone saying that Thorne is done for good. He adds that what he did to Thorne is nothing compared to what he will do to Gregory Iron. Once Thorne is brought out of the ring, Iron says that he will win his match tonight that will qualify him for CHIKARA’s Young Lions Cup tournament. He also challenges Lee to a No Disqualification match at AIW’s next show, “Ascension”, on August 20th.
The Duke vs. Bobby Beverly
Duke does damage to Beverly’s arm. He knocks Beverly down with a shoulder block and follows up with a hip toss and a Japanese armdrag. Beverly goes to the floor to catch his breath. Beverly comes back in. Duke blocks a flurry of offense and gives him a side Russian leg sweep. Beverly goes back to the floor. Duke follows up him out. Beverly lays in some punches and throws Duke shoulder first into the ring post. Beverly brings Duke back into the ring and focuses his attack on Duke’s shoulder. Beverly hits a sole butt and a yakuza kick to Duke’s mid-section for two. Duke drops Beverly with a spinebuster. Duke hits a powerslam. Beverly gets his feet up to block a Vader Bomb. He dropkicks Duke’s legs out and then hits him with a superkick. Duke drops Beverly with an over the shoulder reverse piledriver to score the pin at 9:15. Duke actually looked really good here, and he and Beverly put together a good match with a good story. I was a bit worried since Duke is mostly known for doing stuff in tag matches, but it’s clear he’s able to put a good singles match together as well. I’ve always liked what Beverly’s done, and he was just as good here. **1/2
Tommy Mercer vs. Shawn Schultz
Schultz comes out with a manager named Tony, who cuts a promo putting down Ohio and hyping up Schultz. Mercer cranks on Schultz’s arm. Mercer takes him down with a waistlock into a front chancery. Schultz transitions into a headlock. Mercer brings the fight back to their feet where they exchange holds. Mercer feels no effect of Schultz’s punches and knocks Schultz down with a clothesline. Schultz tries a sunset flip, but Mercer rolls through and kicks Schultz in the face. Schultz ducks a clothesline. Mercer blocks a headscissors and drops Schultz with a back breaker for two. Schultz retreats to the floor. Mercer looks for a dive, but Tony trips him. Mercer chases him, and Schultz tries a clothesline. Mercer feels no effect and brings Schultz back in the ring. Tony again grabs Mercer’s leg, allowing Schultz to sneak attack him. Schultz tries some chops, but all they do is fire Mercer up. Schultz stops a splash in the corner by booting Mercer in the face. Schultz ducks a lariat and hits a superkick for two. Mercer fires up again, hitting a big shoulder tackle. Mercer drops Schultz with a fallaway slam for two. Schults hits a swinging neckbreaker for two. Mercer comes back with a Michinoku Driver for two. Tony gets on the apron to distract Mercer. Mercer knocks Schultz into Tony and then drops Schultz with a spin-out facebuster for the pin at 9:34. Mercer is like the Goldberg of AIW; a beat who dominates his opponents who the fans believe in. I really like what AIW has done with him and I hope he can continue to be apart of the roster even though he’s signed with TNA. Schultz is a pretty basic guy, but he certainly helped get Mercer over. **1/4
Tommy Mercer is outside the building. He tells Sterling James Keenan that he came to AIW to be Absolute Champion, and that’s the only thing he wants. He blames Keenan for costing him the title at Absolution V. Mercer says he’s got to take Keenan out to get back into the Absolute title picture.
Marti Belle vs. Tina San Antonio
Tina and Belle crank on each other’s arms. Belle throws Tina down by her hair for two. Tina mounts Belle and lays in some punches. Belle reverses and rams Tina’s head into the mat. Tina takes Belle down, but misses a splash. Tina knocks Belle down and does a barrel roll. Tina knocks her down with a forearm for one. Tina cartwheels to corner looking an elbow. Belle blocks with knees to the back. Tina evades an O’Conner roll. Belle drops her with a Russian leg sweep for two. Belle chokes Tina on the second rope. Belle snapmares Tina down and kicks her in the back. Tina knocks Belle down and goes to the second rope. She misses a somersault senton. Belle recovers and throws Tina head first to the mat for the pin at 7:44. This was awkward, boring, and disjointed. There’s really no point to this, although I guess we know now that these two women need a lot of polish. DUD
Winner Enters CHIKARA’s Young Lions Cup VIII Tournament
Eric Ryan vs. Gregory Iron
Both guys start with a series of roll-ups. Ryan hits an armdrag, and Iron responds in kind. Ryan armdrags Iron to the corner. Iron side steps a dropkick. Ryan traps Iron in the middle rope and throws him down to the mat. Iron clotheslines Ryan to the floor. Iron hops off the apron with a crossbody block. In the ring, Iron ducks a pair of clotheslines and hits a springboard elbow. Iron lands a senton for two. Ryan drops Iron with a TKO for two. Ryan slams Iron and hits a legdrop for two. Iron ducks an attack from Ryan in the corner, but Ryan comes back with a clothesline. Ryan lands a series of knees to Iron’s face, transitioning into a vertical suplex for two. Iron blocks a clothesline and hits three of his own. He throws a series of elbows to Ryan’s forehead in the corner. Iron runs to the opposite corner, and Ryan follows with a dropkick. Ryan hits a cannonball senton for two. Ryan hits two suplexes. He looks for a third, but Iron counters with a chin breaker and ace crusher for two. Iron blocks an O’Conner Roll. He hits a wheelbarrow bulldog for two. Iron picks up Ryan, and Ryan drops him with a DDT for two. Ryan goes up top. He lands on Iron with a splash, and Iron somehow kicks out. Iron looks for a snapmare, but Ryan rolls him up and holds the tights to score the pin at 10:38. I love the finish calling back to the beginning of the match. Iron and Ryan worked really hard and put on a great contest. Each of their moves was executed with purpose, and you got the idea that both guys really wanted to win. Very good job by both guys. **3/4
The Young Studs are outside. Eric Ryan wants Bobby Beverly to go back inside and party with him. Beverly isn’t happy that he wasn’t in contention for the YLC spot and that he had to wrestle The Duke instead. Ryan gets mad, asking Bobby why he can’t be happy for his win tonight. Bobby walks away and Ryan looks like he regretted making that remark.
As it would turn out, both guys in this match would enter the Young Lions Cup tournament. Although Iron lost, he was randomly drawn to replace Sindarin, a California luchadore, who was unable to make it. Unfortunately, Ryan and Iron were both knocked out in the first round, but not without putting on very good performances. Iron would return the following night to compete in non-tournament action against Tursas. Iron lost that match as well.
Johnny Gargano (Champion) vs. Tim Donst
Gargano spits water in Donst’s face before the bell. Donst spits at Gargano at the start of the match, then goes to the apron to avoid repercussions. Gargano rolls through a wristlock and hits a dropkick. Donst takes down Gargano in a waistlock. Donst trips Gargano and applies pressure to his leg. Gargano transitions into an armbar, which Donst escapes via rope break. Donst and Gargano go back and forth until Gargano takes Donst down with a headscissors and a hurricanana. He sends Donst to the floor with a spinwheel kick. Gargano brings Donst back in and hits a few punches. Donst drops Gargano with a neckbreaker as Gargano charges at him. Donst snaps off a suplex for two. Donst gets whipped to the corner. Donst sends Gargano to the apron, and brings him back in with a belly-to-belly suplex. Donst picks up a cornhole bag from ringside and throws it at Gargano. Gargano catches it. Donst covers up to stop Gargano from throwing it, and Gargano instead gives him an Atomic drop. He knocks Donst down and drops the cornhole bag on Donst’s groin. Gargano goes to the floor and rams Donst’s groin into the ring post. Back in the ring, Donst blocks the slingshot spear with a DDT and gets a two count. Gargano makes a comeback and hits Donst with a clothesline. He follows up with a sole butt. Donst looks to suplex Gargano from the apron. Gargano claps his ears and comes in with the slingshot spear for two. Donst kicks Gargano away and looks for the Gator Roll. Gargano escapes, but Donst comes back with a modified bulldog. Gargano comes back up with an enzuigiri. Gargano sends Donst to the floor with a rolling kick. Gargano jumps to the outside and Donst catches him with an ace crusher. Back in the ring, Gargano hangs from the ceiling to kick Donst down, and falls off into a splash. Gargano applies a crossface. Donst escapes and tries an O’Conner roll. Gargano blocks. Donst ducks a kick and rolls up for Gargano for two. Donst sunset flips Gargano. Gargano rolls through into a cross-legged cloverleaf. Donst taps out at 13:05. This was a very fun and unique main event to cap off the evening. Gargano just gets better every time I see him, and Donst has improved leaps and bounds in 2010. These two together meshed really well and put together a match that the crowd really got behind and that made the Absolute Title look good. ***
Donst puts his hand out for a handshake. As Gargano goes for it, Donst drops and rolls out of the ring. Donst heads to the back as the fans chant to Gargano “You deserve it” (the title, that is).