Cleveland, OH – 1.29.2012
A new interviewer, Vic Travillgante, stops Sara Del Rey as she comes in the door (which she is not pleased with). She says that she’s main evented Girls Night Out for the past three years, and all that’s left now is for her to leave the event with the Women’s title. Vic then talks to Angeldust. She’s not happy that Flexor Industries screwed her over, which she won’t let happen again. She plans to go after them after defeating Gabby Gilbert. Kimber Lee is confident that she will defeat Veda Scott in her AIW debut tonight. Vic asks Gabby Gilbert about her history as a wrestler, but she rambles on and on very quickly. Basically she enthusiastically says she will win her match. Veda Scott is pissed that Cherry Bomb isn’t around given what Cherry did to her at Girls Night Out 4 (check out that video here if you did not see the show). Scott says her loss to Cherry was a fluke and that she will be able to defeat Kimber Lee tonight with no Cherry Bomb around to get in her way. Mickie Knuckles says she broke her femur when her and Sara last squared off in AIW. Since then they had promised to face each other again and that rematch takes place in the main event. Knuckles is looking to make it the best match in her career.
”Guys Night Out 3” Pre-Show
The Duke vs. “The Chad” Williams
Chest Flexor and Dave Dawson are in Williams’ corner. Duke cleanly breaks a lock-up in the corner. Duke shoulder blocks him to the mat for a one count. Duke lays in some elbows to the top of Williams’ head. Williams bails to the floor when Duke whips him to the ropes. Duke dangles Williams on the second rope. He legdrops him from the second rope for two. Williams side steps a corner attack from Duke, sending Duke shoulder first into the ring post. Williams back elbows Duke in the opposite corner. Williams delivers a suplex before applying a chinlock. Williams slams his forearm into Duke’s chest and pins him for two. Williams shoulder blocks and clotheslines Duke in the corner. Duke comes back with some over hand chops. Duke suplexes Williams for two. Dawson distracts the referee. Duke gets distracted by Flexor, allowing Williams to clothesline Duke. Williams hits Duke with the Mercy Kill for the pin at 7:04. Unsurprisingly this was pretty slow. Williams using the Mercy Kill as his finish leads me to believe that we will eventually see him vs. Tommy Mercer (Crimson in TNA) sooner or later, and I hope that’s the case. *
Façade vs. Louis Lyndon
Flexor, Williams, and Dawson stick around after the first match to be in Lyndon’s corner. Lyndon is impressed by his own armdrag. He blocks an O’Conner Roll. Façade backslides him for two which frazzles Lyndon. Lyndon kicks Façade and chops his back. Façade ducks some strikes. He kicks Lyndon in the chest twice. They block each others’ hip tosses until Façade armdrags Lyndon across the ring. Façade sends Lyndon to the floor with a satellite headscissors. Flexor chop blocks Façade on the ring apron. Lyndon chokes Façade with his boot back in the ring. Lyndon dropkicks Façade in the corner for two. Façade puts his boot up when Lyndon comes into the ring. Façade hits an STO. Both men take some time getting back to their feet. Façade kicks Lyndon in the chest thrice. Lyndon pitches him to the apron. Façade baits him into a kip-up kick to his chin. Façade lionsault’s into an elbow strike. Flexor holds Façade for Lyndon to attack him. Lyndon accidentally dropkicks Flexor and falls to the floor. Façade dives onto Flexor Industries. Back in the ring Façade hits a springboard bulldog for two. Lyndon cradles Façade into a kick to the head. Lyndon hits a moonsault double stomp for two. Flexor and Lyndon argue the count with the referee. Façade connects with a springboard chest kick to the distracted Lyndon. Flexor looks to spray Façade’s own spray paint into his eyes. While the referee is stopping Flexor, Lyndon kicks Façade in the groin. Lyndon small packages Façade for the pin at 9:20. Having two matches with back-to-back Flexor Industries BS finishes was a bit much to handle, but at the very least this match was quite enjoyable anyhow. Lyndon is doing a very good job under the Flexor regime. **1/2
Rickey Shane Page vs. Eric Ryan
Ryan was supposed to replace Page in a four-way #1 Contenders match at Nightmare Before X-Mas 5. Page however came in at the last minute and decided to wrestle the match instead. Page powers Ryan to the corner and breaks the lock-up. Ryan also breaks a lock-up in the corner. Page blocks Ryan’s armdrag. Ryan huracanrana’s Page to the corner. Page hops over Ryan and armdrags him to the corner. Page powerbombs Ryan into the turnbuckles. He follows up with a tornado kick. Page punches and chops Ryan against the guardrail. Page pops Ryan to the ring apron. Ryan moonsaults onto Page on the floor. Page punches Ryan when Ryan goes back in the ring. Page puts on a sharpshooter, then chokes Ryan with his boot. Ryan blocks a boot. He goes for an ankle lock. Page shoves him and stomps Ryan to the mat for two. Page whips Ryan to corner. Ryan ends Page to the apron. Page kicks Ryan in the head from the apron. Page misses a top rope senton. Ryan dropkicks Page twice and superkicks him once. Ryan’s beautiful missile dropkick sends Page back to the floor. Page catches Ryan’s suicide dive. Ryan kicks him from the apron and then successfully suicide dives onto him. Ryan double stomps Page on his back while he’s getting up. Ryan goes for a modified Koji Clutch. Page escapes and backdrops Ryan, kicking him in the back on his way down. He suplexes Ryan into a side slam for two. Page hits the Emerald Dream for two. Page has a violence party in the corner. Ryan dropkicks him in the opposite corner. Ryan face washes Page, then coast-to-coast dropkicks him for two. Page blocks a superkick with a rolling forearm that sends Ryan back to the floor. Page brings him back into the ring for a two count. Ryan gets Page in the Koji Clutch. Page tries to fight his way free but fails. Page taps out at 11:17. That was a terrific outing for both men, who I really think are capable of being the top two guys in AIW. The way they have improved over the past year cannot be understated. In my eyes, they’re both deserving of an Absolute Title shot. Eric Ryan says he wants to face Shiima Xion at Gauntlet for the Gold 7 for the belt. Sadly, that match would not come to be. ***
”Girls Night Out 5”
Mia Yim vs. Marti Belle
Yim has Flexor Industries (including Allysin Kay) in her corner. Yim and Belle fight over controlling the others’ arm. Belle trips Yim for a two count. Yim forearms Belle in the chest. Belle headscissors Yim to the ropes and drives her knees into Yim’s back. Belle gets two with a low running clothesline. Belle puts on a Guilltoine Choke. Yim slams Belle into the corner to break it. Belle slips through Yim’s legs. She sunset flips Yim, who kicks Belle right in the chest. Yim hairmares Belle across the ring. Yim catches Belle with a tarantula. She breaks at the count of five and gets a two count after a couple forearms. Yim stretches Belle’s arm until Belle gets Yim to the ropes. Yim kicks Belle in the back for two. Belle and Yim trade kicks until they knock each other down. Yim boots Belle. Belle dropkicks Yim’s leg out and slams her face into the mat. She gives Yim a quesadora facebuster and a bicycle kick for two. Belle delivers a huracanrana. She drives Yim’s face into the mat for another two count. Bell does underhook X-Factors Yim for the pin at 8:25. I was absolutely not prepared for Belle to win. She looked much better than her last match at Youth Gone Wild. This almost ended up a borderline squash for Belle, but I think we’re about to see why. **1/4
Flexor Industries berates Yim after the match. Kay especially gives Yim the business. She slaps Yim as Lyndon and Williams hold Yim back. It takes some muscle, but Flexor Industries manages to take the hot headed Yim backstage.
Luscious Latasha vs. KC
KC mocks the shorter Latasha by asking for a test of strength. Latasha twists KC’s arm to show her up. Latasha brings her to the mat in a side headlock. Once KC turns that into a headscissors, they both pop up and stand-off. Latasha shoulder blocks KC. KC hip tosses Latasha twice and dropkicks her to the floor. Latasha clotheslines KC to counter her suicide dive. Latasha snapmares and neck snaps KC for two. KC leap frogs over Latasha into a sunset flip for two. KC sunset flips her again for two. Latasha boots KC in the throat. KC chin breakers her way out of a chin lock. KC spins her into a side slam for two. Latasha drives the back of KC’s head into the mat for two. KC side steps a corner splash. She splashes Latasha and bulldogs her. KC puts on the Cattle Mutilation. Latasha taps out at 7:35. I was thoroughly impressed with both women. Their timing, precision and strikes all made for a fun watch. I’d certainly like to see both of them back. **1/2
”Crazy” Mary Dobson vs. Miss Heidi
Heidi ducks a clothesline and kicks Dobson in the leg. Heidi throws Dobson by her hair and snaps the top rope into her throat. Heidi crossbody’s off the second rope for two. Dobson knees Heidi and rakes her face. Dobson boots her down in the corner. Dobson’s basement dropkick gets her a two count. Heidi drives Dobson’s head into the second turnbuckle with her knees. Dobson trips Heidi and pushes her boot into the back of Heidi’s head. Dobson chokes Heidi after legdropping her. Dobson grabs the ropes when Heidi sunset flips her. Heidi puts on a Muta Lock. Dobson elbows her way free. Dobson knees Heidi some more and digs her elbow into her back. Dobson applies a STF. Heidi grabs the ropes to break it. Dobson walks the top rope while holding Heidi’s arm. Heidi yanks her off and kicks her on the way down. Dobson and Heidi trade forearms as they make their way up to their feet. Heidi wins the exchange and hits an enzuigiri. This gets Heidi a two count. Heidi gives her a backbreaker. Heidi gives her a sloppy twisting neckbreaker, transitioning into a butterfly lock. Dobson escapes and throws Heidi’s face into the mat. Dobson huracanrana’s Heidi off the top rope. Dobson follows with a top rope moonsault for the pin at 7:33. This was quite awkward. There was some hesitation, purposefully slow movements and botched maneuvers. To their credit, they recovered over every stumbling block they had and put together a fairly decent match in spite of those mistakes. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing them again because I can see they have talent; this just didn’t come together like I’m sure they wanted. *1/2
Angeldust vs. Gabby Gilbert
Gilbert babbles on the microphone before the match. She paces Angeldust when Angeldust tries to stop her. She gets upset when the fans chant for Angeldust. Gilbert keeps shoving Angeldust away when she goes for the arm. Angeldust pushes Gilbert’s own hand into her face. Gilbert tries to criss-cross the ropes. Angeldust slaps her in the face, as she wants the shenanigans to cease. Gilber stops another criss-cross. Angeldust slaps her in the face again. She then starts the criss-cross, letting Gilbert run out of breath. Gilbert ends up rolling out of the ring after collapsing. Angeldust kicks Gilbert once she gets back in the ring. Angeldust dropkicks Gilbert to the floor. Gilbert catches Angeldust when she goes for a baseball slide. She boots Angeldust in the face for two. Gilbert chokes Angeldust on the ropes and hits a clothesline. Gilbert chokes Angeldust, then snapmares her into a chinlock. Angeldust escapes but gets a knee in the mid-section. She hip attacks Angeldust, seemingly proud of her backside. Flexor Industries comes out to watch the match. Angeldust ducks a clothesline and hits one of her own. Angeldust gets two with a backcracker. Angeldust has the pin with a Yoshi Tonic when Dave Dawson gets on the apron to distract referee Jake Clemons. Flexor throws salt into Angeldust’s face! Gilbert brings her down into a crossface. Angeldust taps out at 12:00. If nothing else this match went way too long. Gilbert’s offense could not hold my interest. I’m glad Angeldust’s hatred of Flexor Industries did not fall by the wayside and made the ending make sense. That said, this took far too long to get interesting whatsoever. This felt like a lot of time killing before the finish. *
Veda Scott vs. Kimber Lee
Lee wins a test of strength, so Scott kicks her away. Lee armdrags Scott twice and hits a dropkick. Lee side slams her for two. Scott bulldogs Lee and throws forearms at her. She applies a legged full nelson. Lee leans back to get a two count and break the hold. Scott clotheslines Lee for two. Scott chokes her on the middle rope. Scott spears Lee in the corner. She goes for another. Lee instead hops over Scott and puts on an tarantula/choke combo in the ropes. Scott drives Lee’s face into her knees for two. Scott holds Lee’s leg to block her boot. Lee however enzuigiri’s Scott for two. Scott clotheslines Lee off the second rope for two. Scott forearms Lee on the top rope. Lee knocks Scott to the mat with forearms of her own. Lee delivers a missile dropkick. Lee does a split-legged jawbreaker, then rolls Scott into a Fujiwara armbar. Scott puts her foot on the rope to break it. Scott kicks Lee and rolls her into a Rings of Saturn like submission. Lee manages to escape. Scott gives Lee the Mind Trip for two. Scott then puts on a cross armbreaker. Lee rolls her up for two. Scott hits a tornado DDT. Lee rolls to the apron to avoid a Guillotine. Scott DDT’s Lee instead for the pin at 7:15. Veda Scott knows what she is doing. Her mannerisms, facials and ring awareness are all very impressive given how little time she’s been around. Kimber Lee also had an excellent showing. I had actually only see her as a heell before, but she fit the babyface role perfectly. Very good stuff. **3/4
Allison Kay comes out with Flexor Industries for her match. Cherry Bomb was originally scheduled to be her opponent but was unable to make the event. Kay hints that she got Cherry held up at the Canadian Border intentionally. She says with Cherry not being there, she gets to be the #1 Contender by default. Matt Wadsworth has different thoughts. He doesn’t feel right just handing her a title match. He found someone who was more than willing to fill Cherry’s shoes. That person happens to be Mia Yim, who Kay berated and hurt earlier in the night after her match with Marti Belle. Yim throws a chair at Kay before the match (it does not hit her).
#1 Contendership for the Women’s Championship
Mia Yim vs. Allison Kay
Yim and Kay roll around trading forearms on the mat. Their fight spills to the floor where even harder forearms are thrown. Yim kicks Kay in the chest against the guardrail. Kay does the same. Yim catches her leg and slaps her in the face. Yim catches Kay with a kick to the face, breaking her nose in the process. Yim rolls Kay back in the ring for two. Kay Oklahoma rolls Yim for two. Kay’s face is bloodied up, and that blood is also on Yim’s back. Kay kicks Yim in the chest and head. Yim fires up asking for more, but one swift kick takes her down for a two count. Kay German suplexes Yim for two. Kay throws multiple knees to Yim’s face. Yim forearms and bots Kay, then cannonball sentons her. Yim gets two with a gutwrench suplex. Yim escapes a suplex, giving Kay a German suplex of her own. Yim knee lifts Kay in the face twice. Yim then delivers a twisting senton off the top rope for the pin at 5:06. Kay is one tough customer for breaking her nose within the first minute of the match and sticking in there. She and Yim did NOT go lightly one each other after the fact either. As horrible as the break was, it brought this match up to a different level and added a level of intensity that the other matches did not have. If am very much looking forward to the rematch coming at Girls Night Out 6 in April. ***
AIW Women’s Championship
Mickie Knuckles (Champion) vs. Sara Del Rey
Sara grabs a wristlock out of the initial exchange. Knuckles takes Sara over in a headlock, but Sara turns that into a headscissors right away. Knuckles pops out and re-applies the headlock. Sara breaks against the ropes. Knuckles flips Sara over in a test of strength. Knuckles trips Sara and smacks her bottom. Sara does not seem amused when she rolls to the floor. Sara even grabs the microphone. She says there was a time she considered Knuckles an equal, but now she considers her a joke. Knuckles gives chase to Sara when she mentions about breaking her leg. Knuckles throws Sara’s face intot he guardrail and ring apron. Knuckles whips Sara into the ring post. Sara snaps Knuckles’ arm on the second rope when she tries to re-enter the ring. Sara kicks Knuckles in the chest repeatedly. Sara drives Knuckles’ shoulder and face into the mat. Knuckles rolls up Sara to stop her from stretching out her shoulder. Unfortunately, Sara goes right back to work on the shoulder, suplexing her for two. Knuckles uses her legs to throw Sara head first into the top turnbuckle. Sara drops Knuckles’ arm across her knees. Knuckles gets the ropes to break an armbar. Knuckles suplexes Sara. Sara rolls to the floor as to not get pinned. Sara gets back and puts on a cross armbreaker. Knuckles grabs the ropes. Knuckles elbows Sara in the face. She powerbombs Sara into the corner. Sara rolls Knuckles into another armbreaker, which Knuckles breaks with the ropes again. Knuckles rocks Sara with a few knee lifts. She dropkicks Sara for two. Sara Koppu Kicks Knuckles twice in opposite corners. Knuckles ducks a kick. She pump-handle slams Sara for the pin at 15:23. This was a good way to end the match. Sara putting Knuckles in her place and then picking apart her arm was a nice direction to take things. I’m surprised with how Knuckles’ leg injury was built up that Sara wouldn’t go after that. Still, this was a good title match and another example of just how good Del Rey is. ***1/4
Overall: This is one of those cards where a match either sank or swam. Luckily, the matches that stayed afloat were plentiful and made up for the other not-so-great matches. I’m not a big fan of women’s wrestling by and large, but I saw a lot of potential in every girl involved in the event. Even if they didn’t necessarily deliver, if and when they come back, I look forward to seeing them improve. That being said, this was an easy and fun watch with many matches exceeding my expectations. Page and Ryan stole the pre-show, Scott and Lee showed that they have what it takes to be future stars in women’s wrestling, Mia Yim won over the crowd, and Sara Del Rey continued to show why some consider her to be one of the best wrestlers today. For those reasons, I give this show a mild thumbs up.
My infatuation for AIW as a whole has grown in spades as they are completely on point with their storylines and know just what to do to make me want to come back show after show. They also turned the negative of Cherry Bomb into a positive. Instead of throwing anyone in the spot, they worked a storyline around Cherry’s replacement and got a must-see rematch out of it. The commentary is also on point and I’m happy that we’re able to hear it crystal clear these days. Everyone does a good job explaining the story’s behind the matches and giving us the back story to the competitors.