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Chairshot Classics

WrestleMania XX: Celebrating The Past and Embracing the Future

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WrestleMania 20 Logo

WrestleMania XX was a celebration of Vince McMahon’s biggest gamble. As expected for such a celebration, the card was stacked with great sounding matches. Several future big names are on this card, as well the tried-and-true favorites. Can this card and the superstars on it possibly meet the expectations such hype creates? Let’s find out!

Opener:

We start off the Boys Choir of Harlem singing ‘America, the Beautiful’. The kids sound fantastic and they start off with my favorite verse of ‘America, the Beautiful’ the song ends with a beautiful shot of New York City.

We get a great montage about Vince McMahon’s vision. Having watched all the WrestleMania’s so far, it’s incredible how far things have come from MSG in 1985 when no one knew if WWF would still be in business after WrestleMania.

Next is another great montage about what WrestleMania and Madison Square Garden means to WWE and the Superstars, ending with Vince, Shane, and Shane’s oldest son, who was a newborn at the time.

Everyone is so excited, you can feel it through the television.

WWE United States Championship Match: The Big Show vs John Cena

Cena comes out to a really great pop. He was still in his ‘Thuganomics’ gimmick, but he at least came out in a Patrick Ewing jersey. Cena raps a promo to the crowd about Big Show. Big Show comes out and he’s not in a good mood, for some strange reason.

This was a really good match. Cena’s still a little rough around the edges but Show really shows the potential in Cena.

Winner: John Cena by pinfall after clocking Big Show with his brass knuckles.

Highlights:

  1. Cena’s rap
  2. Show superkicking Cena right in the face
  3. Cena not giving up
  4. 500lb FU
  5. Cena diverting the ref’s attention with the chain and KOing Big Show with the brass knuckles

Comment: Seeing future stars in their first WrestleMania is always something I enjoy, and I remember being so excited for Cena when he won.

We get an Evolution promo about their match with Rock-n-Sock Connection and Randy’s promo skills leave a lot to be desired.

Fatal 4-Way Match for the World Tag Team Championship: Booker T & Rob van Dam vs Dudley Boys vs Garrison Cade & Mark Jindrak vs La Resistance

La Resistance is out to little reaction. Cade/Jindrak get a slight reaction, but not a lot. Dudleys get a great reaction. Booker T/RVD also get a good reaction.

This was a really good match. All four teams did a great job, but this match was slow until the last couple of minutes.

Winner: Booker T and RVD by pinfall

Comment: I liked this match.

We get a video recap of the Jericho/Christian creepy feud over Trish Stratus.

Christian vs Chris Jericho

Christian comes out to boos. Jericho gets a pretty good pop. Creepy, godawful story aside, this was a really great match. These two meshed seamlessly and put on a showstopper, in my opinion.

 Winner: Christian by pinfall after Trish ‘accidentally’ attacks Jericho. After the match, Trish slaps Jericho, and joins forces with Christian, thus turning heel for the first time since early 2001.

Comment: I hated this storyline but I love watching these two wrestle.

We get a great promo by Rock-n-Sock, who both look fired up about their match against Evolution, and the fact that it’s Foley’s first match in four years. Rock shows the excitement in the Garden, including the only WrestleMania appearance of the late Matthew ‘Rosey’ Anoa’i.

Evolution vs Rock ‘n Sock Connection – Handicap Tag Team Match

Well, after that fiery promo, Evolution’s reception is a little flat. Flair gets the best pop of the Evolution members. Foley gets a really great pop, being the hometown boy. Rock gets a great pop.

While I enjoyed this match, this was not one of Foley’s better matches. Unlike HBK, who came back after four years and didn’t seem to have missed a step, Foley’s time away from competition showed here. This is when Flair’s decline was also starting to show a bit. Still, this was a good match.

Winner: Evolution by pinfall. Mick is visibly upset, as is the Rock. The crowd is applauding both men and Rock joins them. Rock-n-Sock shake hands and hug.

Highlights:

  1. Rock’s promo.
  2. Rock vs Ric Flair
  3. Foley hitting a crossbody on Ric Flair
  4. Rock vs Batista
  5. Rock vs Orton

Comment: This would be the Rock’s last WrestleMania for seven years. He would return as the Host of WrestleMania XXVII in 2011 and embark on a multi-WrestleMania feud with John Cena, culminating at WrestleMania XXIX.

We get a recap of the Hall of Fame ceremony, first time that the whole thing was shown to fans. Our inductees were: Superstar Billy Graham, Sgt. Slaughter, Tito Santana, Harley Race, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, Big John Studd, Pete Rose, Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine, Don Muraco, Junkyard Dog,  and  Bobby Heenan. Mean Gene does the first Hall of Fame reveal. The crowd does the ‘Weasel’ chant and Heenan reacts accordingly.

Playboy Evening Gown Match: Torrie Wilson & Sable vs Miss Jackie & Stacy Kiebler

Sable gets little reaction, Torrie gets a good reaction. Miss Jackie gets no reaction. Stacy gets the best reaction. The best that can be said about this match is that it was short and the ladies didn’t wrestle in heels, or evening dresses for that matter.

Winner: Torrie and Sable by pinfall

Comment: What did I just watch and why was it on a WrestleMania card?

We get a video of Axxess, which looks so fun, like always.

Backstage we get a moment between Benoit and Eddie. Eddie recounts their history, being like familia and being Eddie’s vato, and that no matter what happens in the Triple Threat Match, he’s proud of him. Benoit is touched but tells Eddie not to talk to him like that. Eddie points out who Benoit is up against: Triple H AND HBK and that no one really expects Benoit to win. Benoit is pissed and blows his stack a little, saying that he believes in himself and that that’s all that matters and this is his night.

Eddie starts laughing, much to Benoit’s confusion, and says that what he was trying to do was fire Benoit up. Funny, he seemed to just be making him mad. Benoit says that tonight, Eddie will walk out of MSG as WWE Champion and he will walk out World Heavyweight Champion.

Cruiserweight Open for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Chavo Guerrero, Jr (with Chavo Classic) vs Akio vs Billy Kidman vs Funaki vs Jamie Noble vs Nunzio vs Rey Mysterio vs Shannon Moore vs Tajiri vs Ultimo Dragon

This is a Gauntlet match for all intents and purposes. A lot of the Cruiserweights get minimal reactions, Mysterio gets a pretty good pop and is dressed like The Flash. Chavo and Chavo Classic come out first to boos, but because he’s Champion, Chavo gets to enter last. This was a great match, very fast paced, but very good.

Winner: Chavo Jr with an assist by Chavo Classic

Highlights: The whole match. Mysterio taking out Chavo Classic.

Comment: I enjoyed this match, stupid finish aside.

Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg. Special Guest Referee: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Austin gets a great pop. Lesnar comes out to boos, Goldberg gets a mixed reaction. I was not impressed with this match, and apparently the crowd wasn’t either, judging by the chants and reactions to Goldberg and Lesnar.

Winner: Goldberg by pinfall.

Highlights: Austin stunning Goldberg and Lesnar.

Comment: This would be the last WrestleMania for Lesnar and Goldberg for several years. Both left the company after this match and wouldn’t return until 2012 and 2016.

Vince comes out and thanks the crowd for their support over the years. It’s always nice to see Vince outside his Mr. McMahon persona.

Fatal 4-Way Match for the WWE Tag Team Championship: Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty vs APA vs The Basham Brothers vs The World’s Greatest Tag Team

WGTT get a good reaction, so do the APA. Basham Brothers get no reaction. Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty get a good reaction. Like the RAW match, this was quick, but pretty good. WGTT was amazing to watch.

Winner: Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty retain by pinning one of the Bashams afterwards, they celebrate by dancing in the ring, to the joy of the crowd.

Highlight: Rikishi and Scotty dancing.

Comment: I enjoyed that match.

We get a promo about Edge’s return from neck surgery.

WWE Women’s Championship Match – Title vs Hair: Victoria vs Molly Holly

Molly comes out to little reaction. Victoria gets a great pop. This was a really good match. Molly and Victoria work really well together and it was an honest back and forth match.

Winner: Victoria by pinfall. Per the stipulation, Molly has to get her head shaved. Understandably, Molly isn’t eager to get her head shaved and so tries to bail out, Victoria chases her and they fight on the ramp, and Molly gets the upper hand decides to shave Victoria’s head. She manages to get off a few locks when the clippers jam and Victoria comes to. Molly gets knocked out and given the GI Jane treatment.

Highlights: Molly getting her head shaved.

Comment: This was a really great match, stipulation aside.

We get a video recap of the Eddie/Angle feud. I hated Angle SO much during this feud.

After the video, Victoria is nearly done with Molly, who looks ready to die.

WWE Championship Match: Eddie Guerrero vs Kurt Angle

Angle is out first to the usual ‘You suck’ chants. Eddie comes out in a Cadillac low rider to a nice pop. To no big surprise, this match is amazing. These two worked extremely well together and were well-matched.

 Winner: Eddie Guerrero by pinfall after tricking Angle into thinking his ankle was hurt and wrapping his legs around the ropes. Angle, who has been left holding Eddie’s boot, is livid.

Highlights: Eddie lying, cheating, and stealing a win.

Comment: This is a match of the night contender.

We get a recap of the Undertaker/Kane feud.

The Streak: Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs Kane

Kane gets little reaction and is trash talking towards the backstage entrance when the lights go out. The Deadman Cometh. In an entrance comparable to his WrestleMania XIV entrance, Taker is first preceded by Paul Bearer (who gets a great pop) and the druids, who line the ramp. Undertaker comes out his Deadman gimmick, which is a mixture of his various gimmicks over the years. Needless to say, the pop for Undertaker is tremendous.

This is not a technical masterpiece or a hidden gem. This was a fistfight, but a very good one.

Winner: Undertaker by pinfall. The Streak is 12-0

Highlights: Taker’s entrance.

Comment: While this match wasn’t a technical masterpiece, it told a good story and was fun to watch.

We get a video recap of the Benoit/HBK/Triple H feud. I really hated HBK for trying to rob Benoit of his earned title shot.

Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Triple H vs Shawn Michaels vs Chris Benoit

HBK is out first and the pop is good, but not what I expected. Benoit is out next to a good pop. Triple H gets the loudest of the pops.

Winner: Chris Benoit by submission. Afterwards, as Benoit celebrates, Eddie Guerrero comes into the ring and applauds, proud of what his friend has finally accomplished. Together, the two friends celebrate the night that saw them both walk out as champions.

Comment: This was my favorite WrestleMania moment for a long time and it still brings back fond memories of checking WWE.com and jumping up and down when I saw that Eddie and Benoit had both won.  Even knowing how the story would end for both guys hasn’t changed that, I welled up watching this match for the first time in several years because they were both so happy that night and I was happy for them.

Overall Comments

So, did WrestleMania XX live up to its great looking card? Overall, I’d say it lived up to it quite well. This was a really good show, if a little long. I will say that either the audience was making the wrestlers work very hard for pops or there was something up with the background audio on WWE Network, because the pops were quiet or almost non-existent for almost everyone but the very top stars.

 Stinkers: Playboy Evening Gown Match

Match of the Night: 

  • RAW: Triple Threat Match, Women’s match
  • SmackDown: WWE Championship Match

 Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this show. A lot of great stories were told, and we had several great moments.


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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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