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Chairshot Classics

Leaping Through The Network: Wrestling Superheroes (1990)

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WWF Macho Man Randy Savage

Putting the ‘Flashback Friday’ into Flashback Friday, welcome to a review series with a twist. See, every review series be it typed up or a talking podcast lays out their timeline from start to finish and they go forward in a straight line.

My twist is that I took my timeline that I wanted to do (and damn is it a long one) and I rolled it up into a ball. When you do that the timeline gets jumbled up and the bits of timeline all touch each other allowing me to move seamlessly from one to the other.

In scientific terms (shamelessly borrowing the plot of a TV show I used to watch) that is called quantum leaping. And that, dear reader, is what we are going to do. We are going to quantum leap through the timeline. One week we might be covering the Attitude Era the next it’s the New Generation Era. It could be the Old School Era, it might be the Ruthless Aggression Era. Could be ECW. Could be WCW. Could be meat, could be peaches.

All except the first one. All journeys have a start point. Even if you decide to spend the next year randomly getting on a train and seeing where it takes you, the start point is when you leave your house and go to the first train station. Sorry rambling, point is we have to start somewhere. I have seen a ton of wrestling. Anything we review here I’ve probably already seen. But years ago a nine year old boy got a VHS tape for his Christmas. It was the first time he had ever saw wrestling as a moving picture and not on a trading card. So we are starting there. All the way back at……


WWF Wrestling Superheroes – March 21 1990

We start with Sean Mooney welcoming us and introducing us to all the competitors we’ll see. Nothing else of any importance, moving on.

Axe & Smash vs The Warlord, The Barbarian & Mr Fuji
Handicap Match for the WWF Tag Team Championships

To someone who had never seen wrestling before, a Handicap Match must have seemed odd. To someone who has seen wrestling, I find the idea that two guys the size of The Warlord and The Barbarian need a third, comparatively smaller, tag team partner odd.

I’ll get this out my system now. What in hell are Axe and Smash wearing? Maybe at the time they looked like bad asses but time has passed and they look like they have been engaging in a spot of S&M which in the kid friendly days of the late 1980’s is an odd gimmick to run with so more power too them.

Warlord starts by clubbing Axe with some forearms to the shoulder blades before Axe reverses an Irish Whip and hits Warlord with forearms of his own battering Warlord to the ground. Tag to Smash and they both batter Warlord with punches. Odd start to the contest with the champions battering the challenger down thirty seconds into the match, imagine the Tweets if that happened these days. Right hand, Snapmare, Rest Hold. Hang on a rest hold? Now? On the plus side he’s bac up in mere seconds and Smash Facelock Drags him into the corner to tag Axe who hits a Snapmare and…. for the love of…. a rest hold!

Smash is back in and they beat Warlord down again before he finally carries Smash to his corner and tags Barbarian who gets a couple of punches in before Smash via a boot takes back control. Tag to Axe who knocks Barbarian down with a Clothesline. It goes like this for a few minutes. Punches, kicks. frequent tags. All by Axe and Smash. There’s nothing really happening but the odd looking guy with the red tie sat in the front row seems interested.

Warlord and Barbarian have finally worked out what ‘being on the offence‘ means and like their opponents, it’s punches, kicks and (because they’re the bad guys) foot on the throat choking. Fuji is in and he hits a chop and a headbutt to Axe’s gut where Fuji’s shoulder catches Axe low. More of the same punches and kicks by Warlord and Barbarian before a Barbarian Powerslam. Fuji tags in and attempts a top rope Elbow Drop and misses. Axe and Smash hit Warlord with some sort of double team Stun Gun which gets a two count.

All five are in the ring now until Axe Clotheslines Barbarian out of the ring and goes out to get him. Warlord grabs Smash’s arms as Fuji digs for some salt (doubt you’ll see Japanese wrestlers do that anymore) Smash ducks and the salt goes into Warlord’s eyes. Fuji is all alone with Axe and Smash and Axe pins Fuji after The Decapitator (a second rope elbow drop). Nostalgia tells me this was a better match but it really wasn’t. Not going to give it a star rating though, my name isn’t Meltzer.

Winners: Axe & Smash (Still Tag Team Champions)

Jimmy Snuka vs Greg Valentine

Valentine attacks Snuka from behind to start this one continuing his attack with chops and a couple of Elbows. Already this looks a better match than the last one. A chop gets Snuka back into the match before knocking Valentine down with a running Headbutt but a second rope diving Headbutt is met by Valentine’s knees (or shin guard to be more exact) and a series of Elbow Drops wins Valentine a two count.

Valentine kicks Snuka out of the ring and repeats this to break/restart the count anytime Snuka looks to be getting back into the ring. This angers the referee who gets into an argument with Valentine. In a move that confused the nine year old me and probably anyone watching this without context, the referee then punched Valentine in the head.

Context: the ref is a wrestler called Ronnie Garvin. He lost a retirement match to someone I think might have been Greg Valentine. No longer a wrestler, he’s now a ref. Everyone following? Cracking.

Said punch to the head by the ref has dazed Valentine. The argument has allowed Snuka to climb to the top turnbuckle and he flies of at the dazed Valentine with a High Cross Body. The pin, the win. Rather a short match.

Winner: Jimmy Snuka

Roddy Piper vs Rick Rude
Cage Match

Fun fact: I have watched this so many times that I know Rick Rude’s opening “What I’d like to have right now…” speech word for word. Also: this entire Piper vs Rude feud (hey that rhymed) started when Piper mooned Rude during a match. Wrestling was a bit odd in the late 80’s.

Rude starts this by attacking Piper as he gets into the cage with a series of Right hands. An Irish Whip is reversed by Piper and Rude goes careering back first into the cage. Piper takes this time to remove his shirt and kilt. Rude tries to climb out so Piper takes his belt and whips Rude in the back with it. Looks painful. Piper wraps the belt around his fist punching Rude before biting him. Rude is bleeding. Rude decides escape is a good idea. Piper grabs Rude’s tights exposing a corner of Rude’s ass to a feminine pop before biting Rude on the leg. Rude is down but Piper grabs him and throws him head first into the cage wall. Piper tries escaping but Rude pulls him down and crotches him on the ropes. Men around the world exclaim “Jeez” and feel Piper’s pain as he rolls around the canvas clutching the affected area. Rude hits Piper with a low knee to the groin.

Rude goes for the door but Piper grabs his ankle in an attempt to stop him. It works but Piper receives some Stomps and Forearms for his trouble. He goes for the door again but piper literally drags Rude back into the ring. Rude hits a Rude Awakening (Neckbreaker) to Piper but has no strength to make the cover. Nor can he climb out because he can’t see due to the blood in his eyes, so his manager at ringside, Bobby Heenan, reaches through the bars and leads him to the door. Piper spies the open door and clambers over Rude to escape but Rude has to grab Piper to stop him. Rude sends Piper off the ropes and the clatter into each other knocking each other down.

Both men start climbing the same side of the cage and even exchange punches at the top. The both then climb down the outside of the cage. They both ram each other’s head into the cage and the both get to the floor at the same time.

Winner: Draw

The ring announcer tells us the match must continue so back in the ring we go. Rude climbs to the tippy top of the cage and instead of escaping, which would have been a really good idea, dives off hitting piper with a Fist Drop. Piper makes some strange noise like a horse snoring as Rude makes a cover but he only gets two as Piper kicks out. A Piledriver gives Rude time to climb the cage again but while he decides to leave or hit another Fist Drop, Piper shakes the cage and Rude drops onto the cage grapefruits first. A couple of Right Hands and Rude is hanging upside down from the top of the cage. Nothing can stop Piper as he heads for the door. Well, nothing except the cage door that Bobby Heenan slammed into his head anyway. Rude’s back down and makes the cover, gets another two. Bobby Heenan passes Rude some brass knuckles through the bars. A Right Hand by piper and Rude drops the knuckles. Piper finds them and well….. Rude is out. Piper is out of the cage.

Winner: Roddy Piper

Hulk Hogan vs Hercules
WWF Championship

We start with a Test Of Strength. Hercules wins as Hogan drops to a knee. Hogan makes faces and Hulks up and powers his way back to his feet. Hercules is on his way down but he Headbutts Hogan in the gut before lifting him and slamming him into the corner. Hercules peppers Hogan with Elbows and Right Hands before Hogan reverses an Irish Whip and follows Hercules with a Clothesline. Hogan shoots Hercules off the rope and Hercules ducks a Clothesline but is met with a High Knee. Bobby Heenan (him again) tries interfering but Hogan gives chase. Heenan slides into the ring allowing Hercules to ambush Hogan. It doesn’t last and a Big Boot knocks Hercules down. Hogan then Bodyslams Hercules before going for an ELBOW Drop? Hercules moves though and Hogan elbows the canvas. An Irish Whip drops Hogan to the ground where Hercules works over him with shins to Hogan’s lower back.

A big Man Cuddle… sorry Bear Hug slows the pace down but keeps the pressure on Hogan’s lower back before Hercules drops Hogan back first over his knee. Hercules lifts Hogan for a Torture Rack. After a few minutes, Hercules dumps a limp Hogan to the canvas thinking he’s won the match and the title (he hasn’t). Hercules and the ref argue about this (although Dave Hebner doesn’t do a Garvin and punch Hercules) as do commentary. Accepting it, Hercules makes the cover. Hogan kicks out and it’s time for the familiar (or it will be the more of these I do) ‘Hulk Up‘ routine. Hercules’ punches have no effect on Hogan but Hogan’s stagger Hercules. Same when Hogan rams Hercules into the top turnbuckle pad. Boot. Legdrop Of Doom.

Winner: Hulk Hogan (Still WWE Champion)

Randy Savage vs The Ultimate Warrior

Savage attacks Warrior as he enters the ring but Warrior blocks Savage’s attempt to ram Warrior’s head into the turnbuckles and hits Savage’s head into them instead and a running Shoulder Block knocks Savage out of the ring. Warrior goes out after him and Gorilla Presses Savage back into the ring. Savage goes back outside the ring, Warrior gives chase. Savage back in the ring and ambushes Warrior as he gets in. Think Hogan fell for something similar in the last match. Warrior catches Savage as he attempts a High Cross Body and dumps him Tree of Woe style in the corner and stomps him. The ref tries to break it up but Warrior grabs the ref and sits him on the turnbuckles in the opposite corner.

That’s a DQ for manhandling the ref, or at least it SHOULD have been. Savage is back up but Warrior Chops him back into the corner before a 10 Punch Spot. A knee to the back sends Warrior to the outside before Savage climbs to the top turnbuckle and comes down at Warrior with an Axe Handle to the back. Back in the ring Savage grabs Warrior and hits a modified Stun Gun where, instead of lifting Warrior and dropping him over the rope, Savage grabs warriors head and leaps over the top rope dropping Warrior throat first over the rope.

Blatant choking gets Savage a two count. As does a knee to the skull and a kick and a short Elbow Drop. A Chinlock allows both men to get their breath back before they Clothesline each other knocking both men down. Savage crawls over and gets a two count before climbing to the top and hitting Warrior with an Axe Handle to the skull which only gets a one count. Warrior counters a Suplex with one of his own for a two and Rick Rude is here to pose for some reason. Warrior whips, kicks and Clotheslines Savage before an Atomic Drop gets a two when Savage drapes a foot over the rope. A School Boy by Savage gets a two count and a pose from Rude. A Big Splash is blocked when Savage gets his knees up.

It’s time for Warrior’s ‘Hulk Up’ routine which is shaking the ropes as he gets his second wind. A couple of Clotheslines has Savage dazed and a Running Powerslam probably has him finished. Warrior however is distracted and exits the ring to confront Rude. A short chase ends with Warrior brawling with Rude at ringside. Count Out. Post match Rude takes a clobbering culminating in a Gorilla Press Slam. Doesn’t matter though.

Winner: Randy Savage.

Sean Mooney tells us to keep an eye out for more events (way ahead of you there Sean) and we’re done. Fade to black, Trademark Titan Sports.

Post show: Because this was the first wrestling I ever watched, I probably think of this differently from others. That said I’m aware that to others this is just another bog standard release. It’s decent but nothing more. However it is good as an introduction to wrestling, we saw Hogan, Warrior and Savage who were probably the three biggest stars of WWE at the time. We saw Singles matches, a tag match and a cage match. Wrestling Superheroes is good in that respect.

Match Of The Night: Rude vs Piper. Yes this is a random VHS tape but this is a match that probably should have been on a PPV as it may be one of the best cage matches I’ve seen. If nothing else it’s a heated standard that I have probably based other cage matches on. I strongly advise going out of your way to see this. Plus this, like everything else I’ll cover in this timeline, is available on the WWE Network. We know how much it is, we know the first month is free, go and watch this cage match.

MVP: As this is a mixtape and not a proper show, I’ll miss this one out.


And that is me. I’ve been Stevie C and I can be found on Twitter @Callaweasy2220 for anyone who wants to talk wrestling.

My hands are going blue. I feel I’m about to leap. Hope it’s a good one…….

“He wants me to rub the moons on his belly? Are you bloody mad?”

Oh boy.


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Classic Royal Rumble

Attitude Of Aggression #275- The Big Four Project Chapter 3: Royal Rumble ’88 & WrestleMania IV

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Attitude of Aggression
Attitude Of Aggression #275- The Big Four Project Chapter 3: Royal Rumble ’88 & WrestleMania IV

The Attitude Of Aggression returns for Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project, a chronological analysis, review, and discussion about WWE’s Big Four PPVs/ Premium Live Events. On this Episode, Dave welcomes back the one and only PC Tunney to discuss two more immensely important events in pro wrestling history, the inaugural Royal Rumble and WrestleMania IV. The 1988 Royal Rumble was different than any other Rumble in history and not just because it was the first. Dave and Tunney break down the fascinating history of the first installment of an event that would evolve into an annual favorite for many in the WWE Universe. From there, the guys recap the surreal events that led to the end of Hulk Hogan’s 4-year reign as WWF Champion and set the stage for, arguably, the most important tournament in WWE History at WrestleMania IV. Macho Madness reached new heights that night. But was Savage the first choice of Vince McMahon to emerge from Atlantic City with the gold that night? We have the whole story for you here on Chapter 3 of The Big Four Project!

About Chairshot Radio

The rebirth of Chairshot Radio will see a rotating cast of hosts delivering you new shows and content. Sports, Entertainment, and Sports Entertainment is the umbrella under which we seek to invade your earballs. So sit back, relax and LET US IN…

For the latest, greatest and up to datest in everything pro wrestling, sports and entertainment head to TheChairshot.com and remember to ALWAYS #UseYourHead.

About the Chairshot Radio Network

Created in 2017, the Chairshot Radio Network presents you with the best in wrestling and wrestling crossover podcasts, including POD is WAR, Women’s Wrestling Talk, Chairshot Radio daily editions, The #Miranda Show, Badlands’ Wrestling Mount Rushmores, The Outsider’s Edge, DWI Podcast, Bandwagon Nerds, the Greg DeMarco Show, 3 Man Weave, Five Rounds, Turnbuckle Talk, The Reaction and more! You can find these great shows each week at theChairshot.com and through our distribution partners, including podcasting’s most popular platforms.

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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #15 – AAW Defining Moment 2018

Harry covers a show that helped to continue Sami Callihan’s 2018 infamy. AAW Defining Moment should be a fun trip down memory lane!

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Apologies for the slight delay getting to this but it’s Harry here once again. And for as verbose as I can be at times, I don’t feel the need to waste any time getting to this one. This is the second part of the double shot for AAW on ‘All In’ weekend in Chicago. 

The WayBack Machine takes us to August 31st, 2018 as we once again arrive at the Logan Square Auditorium (and oh boy does that become important later) for AAW’s Defining Moment 2018.

What I Watched #15

AAW Defining Moment 2018

8/31/2018

Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL

Runtime: 3:18:22 (HighSpotsWrestlingNetwork)

Commentary By: Tyler Volz (PBP) and Marty DeRosa (Color)

 

THE RESULTS

  • Match 1: Curt Stallion/Jake Something def. Ace Romero/Colt Cabana, Something pins Cabana @ 8:41
  • Match 2: Shane Strickland pins Darby Allin, top-rope Swerve Stomp @ 13:30
  • Match 3: Jessicka Havoc def. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders, pinning Cruise with a Chokeslam @ 2:52
  • Match 4: OI4K (Dave/Jake Crist) def. Ace Austin/Brian Cage, Dave pins Austin @ 5:55
  • Match 5: AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © pins DJ Z (Shiima Xion), roll-through on CBB with tights @ 13:30
  • Match 6: AR Fox/Myron Reed def. Bandido/Flamita, double cover @ 15:42
  • Match 7: Maxwell Jacob Friedman taps Marko Stunt, Salt of the Earth @ 10:41
  • Match 8: Sami Callihan pins Jimmy Jacobs, Cactus Driver on a bridged guardrail @ 17:52
  • Match 9: AAW Tag Titles- Eddie Kingston/Jeff Cobb © def. Davey Vega/Mat Fitchett, Cobb pins Fitchett @ 14:19
  • Match 10: AAW Heavyweight Title- Brody King pins ACH ©, All Seeing Eye (Whiplash) @ 22:46

 

THE BREAKDOWN

Curt Stallion/Jake Something vs. Ace Romero/Colt Cabana

*The match was decent but nothing special. A pretty big win for Something at the end with the three count over Cabana, who has a storied past in Chicago and was one of the biggest names in independent wrestling. That said, I personally don’t love the flukish nature that Something pins Cabana, as I think Something could have used a defining pinfall to really give him a rub going forward. 

Cabana usually makes for a fun watch and I’ve grown to enjoy Ace Romero the more I see him (he especially stands out for Limitless, which I hope to get to one day soon). Jake Something is a huge star in the making and you can see it even early in the run of AAW that he has. Stallion is what Stallion is. Solid opener, but nothing you’ll remember post show. (**½)

Darby Allin vs. Shane Strickland

*Showstealer, plain and simple. Strickland had been with AAW for a while but to the best of my memory, it was more often in a tag team with Keith Lee (funny how that works out with 2022 eyes on it, as Swerve and Keith are the current AEW tag champions at the time of writing). I do believe this is only Darby’s second match in AAW (the prior being a five-ish minute loss to Brody King). Both guys are huge names now and with efforts like this, it’s easy to see how. Darby tries to keep pace with Swerve and is able to do so for a good portion of the contest until Swerve finds that next gear down the stretch and puts Allin down with the Swerve Stomp to a massive (deserved) ovation from the crowd. (****)

Jessicka Havok vs. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders

*I dislike handicap matches in general. However, unlike certain other writers for this site, I don’t mind intergender wrestling. But the suspension of disbelief gets lost here when you have two dudes the size of Cruise and Manders struggling with Jessicka Havok, who should realistically not being coming in at 100% after taking the Ganso Bomb from Brody King through the chairs the night before. I won’t rate the match due to the Larry Csonka (RIP) Rule of not rating anything shorter than three minutes, but I’m calling this a miss regardless. (X)

OI4K (Dave/Jake Crist) vs. Ace Austin/Brian Cage

*The Brothers Crist come out to ringside to stand next to Havok after said match and call out Brody King and Jimmy Jacobs. They get one of those two men as Jacobs makes his way out, but informs Dave and Jake that neither he nor Brody will be facing them due to having prior obligations, but he did find the perfect opponents for OI4K. As for the opponent, Cage does make for a good size fill-in for Brody King. Ace Austin is a OI4K trainee that hadn’t quite made a name for himself at the time but has since turned into a pretty good wrestler, having just competed for NJPW in Best of the Super Jr’s as well as being Impact Wrestling’s X Division champion for a while.

The match itself was not memorable at all. I will admit to typing this review on a bit of a delay and other than the finish (a Tiger Driver ‘98 by Dave to Austin), I don’t remember anything that happened during the course of the contest. Not the best impression for these four men to leave. (**)

AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © vs. DJ Z

*I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I like DJ Z. I liked him more under his previous identity, but this was him using the Impact Wrestling name for more notoriety with the casual fan. That being said, despite DJZ winning a three way relatively quickly the night before while Trevor was in a war with Ace Romero, I never felt the title was in jeopardy here. For as much as I like DJZ’s run with AAW, this misfortune of his injury just so happened to coincide with Trevor Lee becoming one of the hottest acts on the undercard and there wasn’t anything in the build up to the rematch (despite some good promo work from Z) that made me think that the strap was switching here. 

As for the match itself, they have really good chemistry together and that isn’t a surprise given how many of the same promotions they were working for at the time as well as their history in AAW up to this point. I do think this match does a nice job of setting the stage for a return match as it is DJZ’s offensive attack at the end of the contest that gets reversed into the cradle (with a handful of tights) for the finish. The nature of the victory leads me to believe that the story with these two isn’t over quite yet. (***½)

AR Fox/Myron Reed vs. Bandido/Flamita

*This was similar to the main event the night before, but didn’t have the same crowd investment that match did. Bandido and Flamita once again shine here and it is easy to see why they become semi-regulars in AAW after this weekend. AR Fox and Myron Reed (Team Firefox, as they were referred to by Sarah Shockey) get a massive victory with a double pinfall following stereo 450 splashes. This sets up Fox and Reed for a title match against the winners of WRSTLING vs. Besties later in the night, but honestly, I think that Bandido/Flamita was the better pairing to have go forward to a title shot. Firefox had previously unsuccessfully challenged for the tag belts and if I’m being fully honest, I prefer AR Fox as a singles wrestler over being in a tag team. Good match, but I think the wrong team wins. (***½)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Marko Stunt

*Marko had just made a name for himself at GCW’s Lost in New York (a show I have watched) and this was a way for him to break out back in his Midwest home. MJF has been on a hot streak point up to this point (believe he is the current CZW Heavyweight champion, though I don’t think he ever actually defends that title) and MJF would make himself a known commodity the next night opening the ‘All In’ PPV against Matt Cross (in a losing effort)

Easy story to tell with MJF taking the much smaller Stunt lightly and Marko making him pay for it. It is unfortunate that more people didn’t get to see what Stunt is capable of, because his run in the indie scene before he went to AEW was quite special to watch due to his ability to connect with a crowd (no different here). The finish sees MJF take advantage of the arm work that he did early in match and after Marko escapes a fujiwara armbar, MJF is able to catch Marko in ‘Salt of the Earth’, a wakigatame (Marko on stomach as MJF applies a cross-armbreaker) for the the tapout. Very good work and Marko does really well for himself in his debut with another high end US Independent. (***)

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sami Callihan

*Ooooh, boy. A lot to unwrap with this one. Let’s get the match first, because the drama that it creates leads to the fallout that has to be discussed. It is honestly a pretty standard Sami brawl for the time frame. PWG used to have what was known as the “Sami Sprint”…by which it would be Callihan vs. Opponent and the match would run anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes of hard hitting back and forth action with little in terms of a cohesive story or selling. Pretty much a ‘can you top this?’ kind of situation. This feels like that in a sense because the match features both Sami and Jimmy going into their well of tricks (the crowd brawling, the spike, the guardrail that gets used in the finish) while maintaining the crowd reaction from the prior night’s tag match. Fittingly, the finish is visually impressive as Callihan hits the ‘Cactus Driver’ (pulling piledriver) on a guardrail bridged across two metal folding chairs to secure the three count. (***½)

THE INCIDENT

The bigger story coming out of this is that this match almost costs AAW the Logan Square Auditorium and almost ends even more disastrously personally for Callihan. At one point, Callihan and Jacobs are brawling over by the stage in the venue (traditionally used for concerts) where Callihan buries Jacobs under a portion of the stage. Callihan then starts winging metal sitting chairs (not the standard folding ones you see in most companies because the four legged dinner table type chairs) at Jacobs. A voice comes over the house mic telling Callihan to stop, causing a loud visceral boo from the crowd. Callihan more or less tells said voice to “fuck himself” and hurls more chairs at Jacobs. 

At first, I thought it was Danny Daniels telling Callihan to stop, but it turns out it was actually building management. This becomes important when after the three count goes down, building security surrounds the ring to escort Callihan out of the building as they were pissed at Sami for throwing chairs that the venue used for other events. As I’ve heard the story, Callihan thinks this is part of a storyline and begins to push the security guys until one of them shows Callihan that he is carrying a real pistol and will use it if necessary. Things break down from there with the rest of OI4K getting involved and eventually Sami is escorted to the back (and presumably out of the building).

How much of this is real? How much of this is scripted? How much of this was sensationalized for additional attention? I don’t have the answers for those questions. I do know that cooler heads would prevail and AAW was able to continue running at LSA, however I feel the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It may have been a planned altercation to play off the recklessness of Callihan. It may have been a real reaction from the building to what they perceived as damage to personal property. The old axiom in wrestling is “believe none of what you hear and half of what you see”. Overall, it makes for a great story with a relatively happy ending all considered. But man does it take the wind of the crowd for quite a while. And I will have to check out the follow up AAW shows to see what the fallout truly is.

AAW Tag Titles- Eddie Kingston/Jeff Cobb © vs. Davey Vega/Mat Fitchett

*Trevor Lee’s promo before the match is not one I can do justice. I recommend the show in general, but Trevor’s asshole smarmy heel persona in AAW (Impact Superstar Trevor Lee) is one of the best things going in the company.

Match is good but you’d have to expect that from the four men involved. Kingston and Cobb work surprisingly well as a team and despite being on separate pages for most of the bout, Vega and Fitchett do link up for a few double teams (corner enzuigiri/Kippou kick combo being standout among them) to continue to prove why they are one of the best tag teams in pro wrestling (still are to this day, though not known as the Besties in the World anymore). The finish sees the final stab from Vega to Fitchett as Vega chooses to take Scarlett to the back after she gets knocked off the apron, leaving Fitchett alone to take a one-two combo of the Backfist to the Future from Kingston that staggers him into a Tour of the Islands from Cobb to finish the contest. The ring work is on point, the story is very well told and you can hear the disappointment from the crowd when Vega chooses the hussy over his long-time tag partner. (****)

AAW Heavyweight Title- ACH © vs. Brody King

*Unfortunately, something gets lost during the course of this contest through no direct fault of the participants. As I understand it, Brody King got concussed relatively early in the bout. Credit to ACH for keeping things together as well as he did, but I would be curious to see what they are capable of with both competitors at 100% capacity for the full duration of the match.

As for the match, it does tell a pretty good story. ACH comes in still pretty beat up from the match with Jeff Cobb the night before. However, ACH lets his pride (or perhaps his ego) get the better of him as he once again tries to hang step for step, strike for strike and move for move with a man much bigger than he is. It ends up coming back to bite him at the end as a distraction from Jimmy Jacobs allows Brody King to take a distracted ACH up into the All Seeing Eye (fireman’s carry into a Michinoku Driver) for the three count to crown a new champion. Slightly cheap on the distraction ending but does help get Jimmy some of the heat he lost earlier in the evening back after dropping the contest to Callihan. (***½)

THE FINAL REACTION

Overall, a better show then the day before but not without a couple flaws. Obviously, the big story to come out of this show would be the fact that AAW almost lost Logan Square Auditorium due to the issues in the Callihan-Jacobs match. Thankfully, those would be resolved and to my knowledge, AAW is still running there. But it gets awfully hairy there for a few.

The highs: two four star matches on this show and they come in completely different type contests. Eddie Kingston continues his march of dominance in AAW and cuts one hell of a promo at the end of the show to run down how ACH let him down by losing the title. Marko Stunt has a fun debut and quickly gets the crowd behind him. The lows: that handicap match helped no one and the tag match that followed wasn’t much better. The main event isn’t what it could have been either, but that’s a case of shit happens with the early concussion to King. I will also say that I thought Sarah Shockey did a better job on color commentary yesterday then Marty DeRosa does here.

We’ll call it an 8 overall. As I said, it is a better top to bottom show then Destination Chicago is. And while high on the guest stars (for obvious reasons), you also get a really good look at what the overall AAW roster is all about too. I look forward to coming back to AAW down the road (ironically, upcoming shows are a double shot as well for the ‘Jim Lynam Memorial’ tournament), but I do want to mix in some other odds and ends before I do so.

Best Match/Moment: Shane Strickland vs. Darby Allin

Worst Match/Moment: The Havok handicap. Especially when you consider what Steve Manders would come to mean for AAW, it’s a really inauspicious debut.

Overall Show Score: 8/10

MVP: Eddie Kingston. The key part of a match that tied for best match of the night honors and absolutely shows why he is viewed the way he is when it comes to talking with an amazing promo to close out the show.

 

THE SIGNOFF

So, where does ‘What I Watched’ go from here? I go on vacation in about a week’s time and will be gone for most of August. I spoke to Andrew and what I hope to do is reformat the ‘All In’ report that I did to the new style so you guys have something to tide you over.  As for where I go when I get back from vacation…well, the Peacock WWE Network watch-through that I am working on has reached a show that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen (and if I have, it has been quite a while). Therefore, ‘What I Watched’ #16 will be ECW’s Guilty as Charged 1999 to set the tone for a year where all hell breaks loose in two of the three major promotions. Hopefully, you guys enjoy the ‘All In’ redo to hold you over and I’ll be back later in August with Guilty as Charged. I appreciate everyone who has been checking these out and if you’ve missed any, feel free to click on my name at the top of the article to check out my archive. Thanks for reading.


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