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Chairshot Classics

WrestleMania IX: Genius Gamble or Busted Flush?

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WrestleMania 9

WrestleMania IX is regarded as a flop by a lot of fans. WWF’s first venture into running outdoor arena was done at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Fans cite the lackluster card, the venue, and the costumes as reasons to dislike this show.

 

WrestleMania IX was a fairly significant show for a couple of reasons, it was the first main event to be decided by the challenger winning the Royal Rumble, the debut of the legendary Jim Ross (in a toga, no less), and it would be the last WrestleMania appearance by Hulk Hogan until 2002.

 

So, is WrestleMania IX a flop, or just misunderstood? Let’s find out.

 

Opener: A Camel vs Bobby Heenan

We open in Caesar’s Palace, Monsoon is in a toga, which he seems to like (whatever floats your boat, Gino). He then introduces us to the newest member of the WWF broadcast team, Jim Ross. JR looks very excited to be there (this was before he had Bell’s Palsey), he jokes about the toga that he’s wearing, along with his lovely gold sandals. He teases the ‘centurion’ and comments on his great physique.

 

We’re sent to ‘Finkus Maximus’ (oh, lord), who is also in a toga, and has laurel wreaths on his head, who introduces us to Caesar and Cleopatra, who come out on an elephant, Cleopatra being carried on the elephant’s trunk. JR is extremely impressed and gives us a quick history lesson on the use of elephants in Roman history and about Cleopatra.

 

Up next is Macho Man, who comes out on a sedan, accompanied by llamas (I think) and Vestal Virgins. Macho Man is the only one not wearing a toga, and he’s being given grapes by the lovely ladies. JR welcomes Macho Man to the show and asks where Heenan (who was apparently supposed to be on the sedan) was. We quickly get our answer as an ostrich and several dancing girls come out, followed by Heenan, who is riding a camel backwards, and not happy about it. Heenan’s dismount gets a -1 from the judges and he flails about, falling on his hands and knees. Macho Man pulls up Heenan’s toga to show his underwear, much to Heenan’s dismay.

 

Heenan is hopping mad about the camel and hollers that he smells like a zoo and that he got an ‘attack camel’. He wants a bath, which JR agrees that he needs, and comments that JR’s probably used the smell. JR says he is, but they don’t have camels in Oklahoma. Macho Man keeps doing weird promos.

 

Winner: The camel

Highlights: The togas. Heenan on the camel.

Comments: This opener was so funny, I had to include it. I will also say that while Savage has many skills, commentary is not one of them of this opener is anything to go by. Also, Heenan and JR have the makings of a great commentary duo. I kind of wish it had been just them, instead of including Savage.

 

 

Intercontinental Championship Match: Shawn Michaels (with Luna Vachon) vs Tatanka (with Sensational Sherri)

HBK is out first and he’s got a new manager (he and Sherri had a falling out). His new manager is the maniacal Luna Vachon.

 

Tatanka comes out to a pretty good pop and is followed by Sensation Sherri.

 

This match was good, but awkward in spots. Tatanka kept kicking HBK off the apron, despite the fact that he couldn’t win the IC belt on a countout. That said, this was an okay start and Tatanka looked like a real threat to HBK.

 

Winner: Tatanka by countout. When the ref tried to signal for the bell, HBK yanked him out of the ring and punched him, climbed in the ring, Tatanka ducks a clothes line and hits HBK with ‘White Noise’ (I didn’t know what else to call it). Afterwards, Luna attacks Sherri from behind, slamming her and kicking her before Tatanka intervened.

Highlights: Sherri vs Luna was an interesting sideshow.

Comments: I was ‘eh’ on this

 

The Steiner Brothers vs The Headshrinkers (with Afa)

Headshrinkers and Afa are already in the ring to loud boos. The Steiners get a great pop.

 

This match wasn’t pretty, but it was very good. The style contrasts worked.

 

Winner: Steiner Brothers by pinfall.
Highlights:
Headshrinkers hitting the double splash on Scott Steiner. Rick Steiner ramming the Headshrinkers’ heads together and getting a double headbutt in return.

Comments: I liked this match. It could be a match of the night contender.

 

Doink the Clown vs Crush

Our old friend Matt Borne is back. Last time we saw Matt, he was going up against Ricky Steamboat at the very first WrestleMania. Now he’s Doink the Clown and going up against former Demolition member, Crush.

 

Crush is out first to a great pop. Doink gets a round of boos.

 

This match was not a classic. It was okay, at best. The whole double Doink was eyeroll inducing.

 

Winner: Doink the Clown by pinfall after the first appearance of Doink #2. Bill Alphonso tells Joey Marella what happened, but they can’t find Doink #2, so the decision stands.

Comments: This seems to be a battle of the worst gimmick changes. Matt Borne went from having really no gimmick to being a sinister clown. Crush went from Demolition to surfer dude.

 

Razor Ramon vs Bob Backlund

Razor is out first to a mixed-to-positive reaction. Backlund also gets a mixed-to-slightly negative reaction

 

This was good match that was used to build Ramon up.

 

Winner: Razor Ramon by pinfall by getting Backlund in a small package.

Highlights: Ramon showing his wrestling skill was impressive

Comments: It’s sad, but not unexpected that Backlund didn’t get over with the fans for a long time during his second run. His heyday was in the pre-Hogan/WrestleMania years, a decade before WrestleMania IX, a lot of fans didn’t know or remember him and his old school babyface gimmick didn’t click with people.

 

WWF Tag Team Match: Money Inc vs Mega-Maniacs (with Jimmy Hart)

Money Inc is out first to loud boos, unsurprisingly. The Mega-Maniacs come out to a loud pop. Hogan’s eye is a mess, Beefcake has a mask to protect his face.

 

This was a pretty good match. The tag titles were secondary to the feud between Hogan/Beefcake/Hart and DiBiase/IRS.

 

Winner: Money Inc by disqualification after Danny Davis disqualifies Hogan for using Beefcake’s face mask as a weapon. Hogan and Beefcake really don’t care. They throw Money Inc out and pop open IRS’ briefcase to reveal a lot of money throw it to the crowd.

 

Highlights: Money Inc finding out that Beefcake’s protective face mask is hard. The ref making Money Inc come back or lose the tag titles. Hogan getting out of the Million Dollar Dream. Hebner tripping over Million Dollar Man. Jimmy Hart literally turning his coat to become a ref and getting the three count.

 

Comments: It’s weird to see Jimmy Hart as a face manager. There have been several explanations for Hogan’s injured eye. Officially, it was a jet ski accident that they explained in kayfabe by saying DiBiase had some people beat Hogan up. Unofficially, there’s a theory that Savage and Hogan got into it because Savage thought that Hogan and Miss Elizabeth had had an affair before she and Savage divorced. This would be the last WrestleMania for DiBiase, Beefcake, and Jimmy Hart. DiBiase would retire and become a commentator and manager. Hogan, Beefcake, and Hart would go to WCW. Hogan would return in 2002, but Beefcake and Hart wouldn’t.

 

Lex Luger vs Mr. Perfect

Luger is out first with some lovely ladies in thong bikinis, so I’m guessing the cheers are for them. Mr. Perfect gets an amazing pop, and one of Luger’s attendants seemed to prefer Perfect to Luger.

 

This was a really good match. Perfect and Luger really meshed well.

 

Winner: Lex Luger by pinfall but the ref didn’t see Perfect’s feet on the ropes. When Perfect complains, Lugar cheapshots him and leaves. Perfect runs to the back to confront Luger and gets attacked by HBK.

Highlights: Perfect fumbling Luger’s gimmick name and not caring. One of Luger’s attendants coming on to Perfect during his entrance. Not sure if that was planned, but it was funny.

Comments: Luger always came across as phony to me as a kid, but it worked with the Narcissist gimmick. This would be the last WrestleMania as a competitor for Mr. Perfect as he would take time off due to his back issues and go into commentary before going to WCW.

 

The Streak: Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs Giant Gonzalez (with Harvey Whippleman)

Gonzalez is out first, in his weird suit, to a round of boos. Undertaker comes out on a funeral chariot, with a vulture in tow, to a huge pop.

 

This match wasn’t godawful, but I’m glad it’s over. Both men really tried to put on a good show, but Gonzalez’s limited movement and skills really hindered it.

 

Winner: Undertaker by disqualification. Streak stands 3-0

Highlights: Taker coming back to chase Gonzalez out of the ring and Paul Bearer trying to stop him

Comments: Of all the matches in Taker’s streak, that has to be the worst one in terms of overall quality. This is the only match in the Streak that wasn’t by pin or submission.

 

We get a recap of Yokozuna’s tsunami of destruction, taking out Hacksaw Jim Duggan and how the feud between Hart and Yokozuna started.

 

 

WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match: Bret Hart vs Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji)

Yokozuna and Mr. Fuji are out first to boos. He looks a little nervous, but there are some female attendants waiting for him. Bret Hart gets a great pop.

 

This match was really good. Bret and Yokozuna really did a great job.

 

Winner: Yokozuna by pinfall after Fuji throws salt in Bret’s eyes. Hogan comes out and argues with the ref and check on Bret. Fuji gets on the microphone and answers Hogan’s challenge from earlier in the evening and says that his Yokozuna will put the title on the line, right now!

Highlights: Bret Hart trying to mat wrestle a man who outweights him by a good 200lbs. Bret getting Yokozuna into the Sharpshooter.

Comments: This was the first WrestleMania where the #1 Contender was the winner of the Royal Rumble match. It’s funny, I remember not believing that Yokozuna was Japanese when I was a kid. I don’t know how I knew he wasn’t (he’s a member of the Samoan Anoa’i family), but I did.

 

WWF World Heavyweight Championship Match: Yokozuna (with Mr. Fuji) vs Hulk Hogan

Hogan hesitates to accept since he’s not really dressed to wrestle, and he’s tending to Bret, but Bret and the crowd urge him go after Yokozuna. After some prodding, Hogan accepts.

 

This match is quick, so there’s not much to say about it.

 

Winner: Hulk Hogan by pinfall.

Highlights: Fuji getting Yokozuna in the face with the salt.

Comments: This was an okay ending for Hogan’s Mania career. The crowd got to see him holding the gold for the first time in well over a year, but it didn’t really do anything for Bret Hart, who would not get the belt back for a year.

 

Overall Comments:

So, is WrestleMania IX as bad as people claim? Well, much like WrestleMania V, the answer is a little more complicated than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. There were certainly a couple of stinkers, but the whole card wasn’t awful.

 

Stinkers: Undertaker vs Giant Gonzalez.

 

Match of the Night: This is a draw: Steiners/Headshrinkers and Lugar/Perfect.

 

Promo of the Night: The opener. It wasn’t TECHNICALLY a promo, but it was hilarious.

 

Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought this show was okay. It wasn’t the best. This was the first outdoor WrestleMania WWF attempted and they wouldn’t try again for another decade.


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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!

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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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