AIW Battle Bowl 2011

Lakewood, OH – 3.25.2011

Commentary is provided by Pedro Deluca and Aaron Bauer.

Earlier today, twenty men were randomly paired into ten teams. Those ten teams will face off in five tag team matches. The winning teams of those five matches will qualify for a Battle Royal later tonight, or “Battle Bowl” as it is being called. The winner of Battle Bowl will go on to Absolution 6 on June 26th to face the AIW Intense Division Champion, Marion Fontaine.

Lethal Lottery Tag Team Match
Joey The Snake & Dalton Castle v. “Mr. RBI” Izaeh Bonds & Maximo Suave

Castle is displeased that Suave backed him to the corner. Castle knocks him down with a shoulder block, but gets taken down with an armdrag shortly after. Castle breaks a wristlock by kneeing Suave in the mid-section. Joey The Snake tags in and gets armdragged right away. A single leg dropkick gets Suave a one count. Bonds tags in. He hits a running forearm in the corner for two. Suave tags in and hits a tandem hip toss with Bonds for two. Castle knees Suave from the apron, allowing Joey to turn the tide. Joey and Castle work over Suave’s back in their half of the ring. Suave manages to drop Castle with a DDT, allowing enough time to tag in Bonds. He fights off both Joey and Castle. He gives Joey a spinebuster and a standing moonsault for two. Bonds flips out of the corner to avoid an attack from Joey, but Castle drops him on his head with a German suplex. Suave breaks the pin. Suave hits Castle with a forearm and a superkick. Joey rolls up Suave for the pin at 10:22. This was solid enough action but I don’t know if this should have gone ten minutes. Castle and Bonds both show lots of promise, Suave reminds me of Juventud, and Joey has moments of goodness but is inconsistent. **

Lethal Lottery Tag Team Match
Bobby Beverly & Gregory Iron vs. Hobo Joe & Ben Fruith

Chest Flexor is with Beverly and Dave The Potato is with Fruith. Joe takes cheap shots on Iron on the apron. Fruith takes control of Beverly on the mat. Beverly takes him over with a headlock. Beverly gets a little cocky with his offense. Fruith makes a small comeback before getting kicked in the chest. Joe kicks Fruith in the back from the apron. Joe and Iron tag themselves in. Joe doesn’t notice this and gets taken down with a Thesz Press. Iron boots Joe down and elbows him in the corner. Joe runs away and tags out to Fruith. Iron rolls up Fruith for two. Fruith tries a roll up and also only gets two. Iron delivers a Code Breaker. Beverly blind tags in. He wears down Fruith and surprisingly tags in Iron to help him out. Fruith lights up Beverly with kicks, but then gets knocked down with a hard superkick. Joe and Iron tag in. Joe spears him for two. Joe drops him with a TKO for two. Iron comes back with Handicap Parking for the pin at 11:42. This also went too long, but the right team certainly won. Iron has really come into his own and Beverly has dramatically improved over the past couple years. I see these guys become top tier guys in AIW. I liked what this had to offer with Joe and Iron on opposite sides, but it took a awhile to get going. **1/2

Ohio independent wrestling star Josh Prohibition makes his way to the ring after the match. He says last month he was embarrassed because he offered to mentor Iron and Iron turned him down. Prohibition retaliated by kicking Iron in the nuts and dropping him on his head. Prohibition says Iron’s retaliation was to go home and write a blog about the incident. Prohibition says a real man would have popped him in the face after treating him that way (all while poking Iron in the chest). Prohibition says Iron isn’t a man, but a one armed circus act. Iron fire back physically, laying in a few punches before Prohibition bails. Prohibition teases coming back for an impromptu match but ultimately goes to the back and claims that he’s retired.

Lethal Lottery Tag Team Match
Shiima Xion & Chad Williams vs. AERO! & Shawn Blaze

Chest Flexor was originally scheduled for the bout, but replaces himself with Flexor Industries member Chad Williams. AERO is able to take down Xion with an armdrag and a jumping forearm. He O’Connor rolls Xion for two. AERO takes him over with a few armdrags. Blaze tags in and knocks down Xion with AERO. AERO and Blaze each hit quebrada’s for two. Xion blind tags in Williams, who nails Blaze with a big boot. This boot is all it takes to allow Williams and Xion to isolate Blaze in their corner. Flexor even gets in a few licks on the floor. Blaze escapes with a leg lariat to Xion. AERO tags in and drops Xion with a flatliner for two. Xion delivers a back elbow and tags in Williams. Blaze superkicks Williams and assists AERO with a huracanrana. AERO doublestomps him on the neck. Blaze goes up top but Xion pushes him to the floor. Williams drops AERO with the Mercy Kill for the pin at 9:41. Xion and AERO have grown a lot in AIW lately, and Xion is straight up underrated as a whole. Blaze and Williams were fine. This match proves that (relative) brevity is a positive in these sorts of matches. **1/2

Lethal Lottery Tag Team Match
The Duke & Colt Cabana vs. Corey Winters & K. Fernandez

Cabana with the NWA Championship just makes me sad; that was a good month. Dave The Potato is in Winters corner. Cabana goofs around with Winters to start. They trade rolls ups on the mat but fail to score a three count. Fernandez and Duke tag in. Duke uses his large frame to mow Fernandez down. He sledges Fernandez in the back and face with forearms. Duke and Cabana hit tandem back elbows. Duke and Cabana use their power to keep an advantage over Fernandez. Winters runs in to attack Cabana. This allows Fernandez to throw Cabana head first into the second turnbuckle, effectively turning the match in his teams favor. Fernandez and Winters work as a unit to keep Cabana from tagging out. Cabana is able to crawl through Fernandez’s legs to his corner to tag in Duke. Duke German suplexes Fernandez. A powerslam and a Vader Bomb pin is broken up by Winters. Duke is upset because Winters is Duke’s recruit for the new Alpha Beta Duke. Cabana pitches Winters to the floor and gives Fernandez and the Flying Asshole. Duke drops Fernandez with the Rikishi Driver for the pin at 9:58. Fun stuff at times, but not a ton of substance overall. Cabana would be a nice occasional member of Alpha Beta Duke. The goofy frat boy gimmick could work for him. **

Lethal Lottery Tag Team Match
Luis Diamante & The Kombat Kidd vs. Façade & Christian Faith

This is Faith’s big return to the company after being gone for roughly a year. Diamante and Faith vie for control on the mat. Neither gets it, so they go to their feet where a forearm and a boot to the head from Faith sends Diamante to the floor. Kidd and Façade tag in. Kidd’s speed allows him to deliver a satellite headscisors. Façade blocks a wheelbarrow with a Manhattan Drop and a dropkick. Faith tags in. Kidd gets an advantage at first, but a knee and a fist drop from Faith changes all that. Façade takes Kidd to the mat. After a short beating, he shoves Kidd to his corner where Diamante tags in. Façade ducks a pair of clotheslines and hits a moonsault press for two. Diamante levels him with a lariat for two. Diamante goes for a slam, but Façade reverses into an inverted DDT for two. Kidd delivers a timid looking tornado DDT. Faith attacks Kidd from behind. He rolls him up for two. Kidd tries a sunset flip, but Faith picks him up into a brainbuster. Diamante breaks the pin. Faith elbows Diamante and hits a running knee strike. Faith looks to dive on Diamante, but Kidd flies in with a crossbody. Façade jumps up the ropes into a crossbody onto Diamante on the floor. Kidd pescado’s onto both of them. Faith tope con hilo’s onto the three of them. In the ring, Faith dumps Diamante on his head with a suplex. Kidd gives Faith some punches to his mid-section but they have no effect. However, a satellite DDT does the trick. Façade drops Kidd with a cradle piledriver and Diamante breaks the pin. Diamante gives Façade a backbreaker and Faith kicks Diamante in the face. Punches are traded between the two teams. Diamante and Kidd get in a small argument, and Kidd punches Diamante in the face. Faith pops up Kidd into a kick. He drops him with a Death Valley Driver for the pin at 13:25. The match was timid and awkward for awhile, but near the end everything became more coherent. It’s a shame because I genuinely like all four guys in the match but it just didn’t seem to click. The fans were hyped for Faith’s return though. *1/2

AIW Women’s Championship
Jessicka Havok (Champion) vs. Sera Feeny

Chest Flexor is in Havok’s corner. Feeny takes Havok over in a headlock. Havok rolls her over for a two count. Feeny reapplies a headlock. Havok forearms her way free and chops Feeny in the corner. Havok chokes her in the corner as well. Havok suplexes her for two. Feeny comes off the mat with an enzuigiri. Pissed off, Havok kicks Feeny in the head and on the mat for two. Feeny snaps off a satellite headscissors, only to be knocked down with a clothesline shortly after. Havok pulls Feeny’s hair and slaps her on the back. She spanks Feeny to humilate her. Feeny transitions into a Muta Lock. Havok escapes. Feeny delivers a tornado DDT for two. Feeny and Havok trade shots on their feet. Feeny gets in a flurry of offense before missing a corner splash. Havok drops her with an Air Raid Crash for the pin at 8:40. Feeny was competent enough, but getting a title shot in her debut was somewhat silly. This also just never got really interesting or out of first gear. *1/4

Havok drops Feeny with another Air Raid Crash and poses with the belt on top of her to add insult to injury.

Tim Donst vs. El Generico

Donst was supposed to face Steen, but Steen was unable to make it. What a more fitting replacement than his former partner Generico? Generico backs Donst to the corner and yells Ole! Donst backs Generico to the corner and slaps him in the face. Generico slapps Donst a few times and lays in some chops. Donst mocks Generico, but gets sent to the floor with armdrags for his troubles. Donst grabs a fan’s Generico replica mask and spits on it. This causes Generico to chase Donst around ringside. Generico takes control back in the ring by laying in punches in the corner. Donst brings Generico out with a Manhattan drop. Generico responds with a leg lariat for two. Donst twists Generico’s nipples and snapmares him into a hammerlock stretch. A gutwrench suplex gets Donst two. Donst gives Generico a backbreaker from the apron to the floor. Donst pushes Generico into the guardrail and then back first into the ring frame. Donst delivers an overhand chop. Donst rams him back first into the ring post. In the ring Donst stretches Generico’s back over his knees. Generico gets more damage inflicted on his back. He fires up and knocks Donst down with a few clotheslines. Generico blocks a Gator Roll with a Blue Thunder Bomb for two. Donst blocks a yakuza kick. Generico tries a tornado DDT. Donst counters with a Death Valley Driver for two. Generico throws Donst into the corner with an exploder suplex for two. Donst crotches Generico and hits the Donst Cap. He German suplexes Generico out of the corner and drops him with the SDT for two. Donst applies a butterfly stretch. Generico escapes and trades forearms with Donst. Donst drops him with a bulldog. Generico yakuza kicks him in the corner. He goes for a brainbuster, but Donst catches Generico with an inside cradle for the pin at 14:27. Donst’s streak of beating top independent wrestlers in good matches continues. I loved the story with Donst wearing down Generico’s back so Generico couldn’t hit the brainbuster. In the end, Donst outsmarted the pro and builds momentum to his Absolute title shot at Absolution 6. ***1/4

Johnny Gargano comes out with the Absolute title. He was supposed to wrestle Ricochet tonight, but he also could not make the show. In Ricochet’s place will be Jimmy Jacobs.

AIW Absolute Championship
Johnny Gargano (Champion) vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Gargano takes Jacobs down. Angry, Jacobs delivers a few punches and a bodyslam. Jacobs chokes Gargano on the mat. Gargano gives him a Thesz Press. Gargano snapmares him over and stomps on his chest. A dropkick to the neck gets him two. Gargano delivers a neckbreaker for two. Gargano hits a slingshot splash for two. Jacobs responds with a tornado suplex for one. Jacobs applies a bodyscissors while clawing Gargano’s face and hair. Jacobs turns it into a mount where he forcefully sits down on Gargano’s back. Gargano recovers and hits a slingshot spear. Gargano knocks down Jacobs with a bit of offense. Jacobs whips Gargano to the corner. Gargano hops into an octopus stretch in the ropes. Gargano rolls Jacobs into an enzuigiri. He drops him with an ace crusher for two. Jacobs delivers a springboard ace crusher of his own for two. Gargano sends Jacobs to the floor. He hits a suicide dive then a senton off the apron. Jacobs forearms Gargano on the apron. Gargano brings Jacobs out to the apron with a kick. Jacobs spears Gargano onto the edge of the ring. Jacobs goes for a dive, but Gargano cuts him off with a slingshot spear. Jacobs turns it into the End Time. Gargano breaks, hits a superkick, and then gets hit with a spear from Jacobs. Once back to their feet, Jacobs goes for the Contra Code. Gargano rolls through into a pin for two. Gargano blocks a springboard with a jump-up Russian leg sweep. Gargano applies a crossface stretch, and Jacobs gets the ropes to break it. Jacobs reapplies the End Time. Gargano picks Jacobs up and lawn darts him into the corner. One superkick and the Hurts Donut gets Gargano the pin and retention at 14:41. This had really great counter wrestling, a good story, and some creative sequences. The crowd ate this up which picked up the intensity and excitement. Even though Ricochet wasn’t here, these two more than made up for his absence. ***1/2

Irish Airbone (Jake & Dave Crist) vs. The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos)

Jake and Dos wrestle on the mat for awhile. Jake hits a leg lariat for two. Dave tags in and hits a top rope senton for two. Dos hits a leg lariat and some forearms. Uno tags in and hits a combo fist drop/standing moonsault with Dos for two. Uno delivers a hadouken to Dave’s mid-section. Dave sends Uno to the ring apron and enzuigiri’s him to the floor. Jake suicide dives onto Uno after knocking Dos to the floor. Dave and Jake take turns wearing down Uno in their corner. Uno uses the referee to assist with a neckbreaker to Jake. Uno finally tags in Dos, who drops a knee on Jake for two. A suplex gets him two. Uno and Dos hit a clothesline/spear combo in the corner. Dos hits a slingshot spear. Uno drops him with a side Russian leg sweep. Jake tries to escape, but gets slammed by Uno as Dos hits a sliding cutter. Uno clocks him with a Level 17 Wizard. Jake evades a cannonball senton with a kick to the face. He hits a diving reverse neckbreaker and tags in Dave. Dos gives him some forearms, but Dave hits him with a kick and knee lift. They trade yakuza kicks. Dave and Dos dive onto Uno and Jake, respectively, on the floor. In the ring, Dos gives Dave a full nelson suplex for two. Dos misses a splash in the corner. Dave and Jake double team Dos in the corner. Jake hits a senton bomb to his back for two. Dos hits Airborne with double moonsault kicks. Uno suplexes both of them too. The Smash Bros hit a sidewalk slam/springboard inverted DDT on Dave for two. Jake blocks a double team, but gets met with a t-bone suplex. Dos immediately hits him with a frogsplash. Dos lights up Jake with punches. Jake hits a discuss lariat for two. Jake hits Uno with two superkicks. The Airborne hit Shooty McGee for two. Uno and Dos hit a double urinage on Jake, but Dave breaks the count. Uno gives Dave a Blockbuster and Dos stomps on him. Dos hits an enzuigiri as Dave goes up top. Jake pushes Dos off. He stomps Dos into a tombstone piledriver from Jake for the pin at 18:36. This was hot, non-stop action for the last half of the contest. It’s amazing how underutilized these teams are in the grand scheme of things, and this match sent that point home. When the fans immediately begin to chant “rematch” when the closing bell rings, you’re doing things right. ***1/2

Battle Bowl; Winner gets a shot at the Intense Division Championship at Absolution 6

The participants are: Dalton Castle, Joey The Snake, Gregory Iron, Bobby Beverly, Shiima Xion, Chad Williams, The Duke, Colt Cabana, Façade, and Christian Faith.

I won’t be doing play by play (it’s sort of tough in a battle royal), but here’s the order of elimination:

1) Christian Faith is eliminated right at the start of the match. He was jumped by most everyone in the match and pitched to the floor. Enraged, Faith yells “it’s always something!” as he stomps around ringside. He takes off his mask and throws it to the ground before heading to the back.
2) Joey The Snake gets clotheslined over the top and to the floor by The Duke.
3) Iron eliminates himself by diving onto Josh Prohibition. Beverly sent Iron to the apron, causing Prohbition to run out. Iron kicked Prohibition away and went up top. He made a choice whether to dive back into the ring or onto Prohibition, and he went with his heart. This would end backfiring on him as Prohbition beat him down on the apron.
4) Colt Cabana was eliminated by Chad Williams, with a little assistance from the Duke.
5) Dalton Castle was eliminated by a clothesline from The Duke.
6) Bobby Beverly is eliminated by Duke. He and Williams attempted to throw Duke over, but Duke managed to hip toss Beverly over the top in the process.
7) The Duke is eliminated when Williams pitches him out to the floor.
8) Chad Williams is eliminated by Façade. Willims attempted to powerbomb Façade to the outside, but Façade countered with a huracanrana and came back in the ring.
9) Shiima Xion wins Battle Bowl after shoving Façade off the top rope to the floor. Xion will move on to face Marion Fontaine for the Intense Division Championship at Absolution 6 in June.

It’s hard to rate a battle royal in and of itself, but it did a good job of progressing storylines while also showing the unity and power that Flexor Industries has. Xion vs. Fontaine has promise to be a great match and I look forward to it. N/R

Overall: Unfortunately for AIW, the Battle Bowl portion of the show didn’t pan out as well as it could have. Most of the matches were average, though some guys did have a few impressive spots. The good news is that most of the non-Battle Bowl matches delivered in a big way. I commend them for trying the Battle Bowl concept, which did in fact wrap up nicely with the Battle Royal, but given that half of the card was spent setting it up in some tedious bouts is not a good sign. If you’re a fan of any of the guys in three matches before Battle Bowl, you’ll enjoy that particular persons match as well as the other good stuff on the show. Otherwise, look ahead to TPI.

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