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Chairshot Classics

WrestleMania 29: WWE Goes Home Again or Does It?



Wrestlemania 29 Met Life Stadium

WrestleMania 29 comes to us from New Jersey’s Met Life Stadium, instead of MSG, which had become too expensive to run TV from, sadly. This WrestleMania marks the start of the ‘NXT Generation’ as superstars that have come from NXT as a developmental brand are starting to come onto the main roster. The first to do this is the Shield, who are making their WrestleMania debuts after running through the roster for three months.

There are other things going on at this WrestleMania of course, The Rock/Cena feud will reach its climax, CM Punk and the Undertaker will lock horns, and Triple H will put his career on the line against the returning Brock Lesnar. So, does WrestleMania 29 live up to this card? Let’s find out!


We start off with a gorgeous tribute to the people of New York and New Jersey, who had withstood Superstorm Sandy, which totally trashed the Northeast, especially New Jersey and NYC. I don’t like Chris Christie, but that was great. I’m also crazy about ‘I’m Coming Home’. The New Jersey National Guard is there, and MetLife Stadium is packed.

Now, we get a promo about WrestleMania moments, and there have been tons of them. This includes promos for the three big matches: Taker/Punk, Triple H/Lesnar, and Rock/Cena.

Six Man Tag Match: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins) vs Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show

Sheamus comes out first to what sounds like a pretty good pop, Orton is next to another great pop. Big Show doesn’t get quite as big a pop, but everyone seems really amped up for this. In a show of solidarity, Orton, Show, and Sheamus come to the ring together.

JBL points out the big problem with this set up: Orton, Show, and Sheamus are great individuals, while the Shield is a TEAM. Lawler thinks Orton and company are the people who can beat the Shield, who have been running roughshod over the roster since their debut.

The Shield get a really good pop, coming through the crowd. None of them look nervous, which is surprising. I’d be peeing my pants.

This was a really good match, all three members of the Shield were a little rough around the edges, especially Roman, but everyone looked really great.

I actually forgot how great the Shield were as a team back in 2013. I hear a chant for Ambrose going, but with the open stadium, it’s a little hard to tell.

Orton and company seem to like to take the clothes off the Shield. Rollins dang near killed himself in a suicide dive.

Winner: Dean Ambrose gets the pin on Orton for his team. Big Show is ticked that Orton tagged himself in when Sheamus was going for Show and KO’s both Orton and Sheamus before leaving.

Highlights: The Shield!!!!!!!! Ambrose shirtless (I’m shallow, what can I say?). Big Show spearing the Shield and saving Sheamus from the Triple Powerbomb. Big Show KOing Orton and Sheamus.

Comments: Seeing all three members of the Shield in their first WrestleMania is fantastic.

We get a promo about Rock/Cena Part II. I admit, I didn’t like Rock beating Cena in 2012, but this was probably already penciled in, so I won’t complain about it. I forgot that 2012 was a pretty rotten one for Cena personally and professionally. I won’t comment on Rock beating Punk since I haven’t seen the match in awhile.

Mark Henry vs Ryback

Mark Henry comes out first to a decent sounding pop. Ryback’s pop is quieter and it’s hard for me to say who the crowd is rooting for, to be honest.

We start off with a lot of trash talk, at least Ryback does. If you’re looking for something technical, skip ahead. This was a rough, physical match. It also had some old-school elements, such as bearhugs.

This match was slow, but very good. Both guys looked great and Ryback’s loss was more because of Henry’s veteran instincts than anything else.

Winner: Mark Henry by pinfall. Ryback is in bad shape after that finish, but Henry decides to put Ryback in the Hall of Pain for good measure, but Ryback hits a spinebuster and goes for Shell Shock and nails it this time.

Highlights: Ryback going for Shell Shock on Henry and getting squashed due to Henry grabbing the ropes.

Comment: I’m not sure what this feud was all about, but this match was interesting, if a little slow.

We’re getting getting a promo for some WWE toys and JBL has it in for his Rey Mysterio toy, due to his embarrassing loss at WrestleMania 25. A partnership with Special Olympics is also announced. The Special Olympics team is on the stage with Stephanie McMahon and Chris Christie.

WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) vs Dolph Ziggler and Big E (with AJ Lee)

Ziggler and Big E are out first to a decent sounding pop. It’s weird to see Big E not part of New Day. I like this more serious Big E better, personally.

Team Hell No get a great pop. Ziggler insists that AJ kiss him in front of Bryan. Bryan’s response is to kick Ziggler’s head off, which pretty much sets the tone for this match. This wasn’t a pretty match, this was a fight. There was a botch, the ref counted three before Kane got his shoulder up

Winner: Daniel Bryan pins Ziggler to retain the Tag Team belts.

Highlights: Ziggler trying to nail Kane with the MitB briefcase and missing badly.

Comment: I really liked this match. It had a lot of great elements, and again, veterans winning due to experience not poor wrestling by newcomers.

We get a promo by Cena for Make a Wish.

Fandango vs Chris Jericho

We have a lot of dancing ladies for Fandango’s debut. Funny, he looks like Johnny Curtis from NXT. Okay, Dude, you can sort of dance, this isn’t ballet or ballroom dancing. Jericho gets a great pop, I can’t say that the audience seemed very impressed with Fandumbo (my favorite of Jericho’s nicknames for him).

Fandango exhibits some dance…steps, but Jericho isn’t having it and proceeds to take Fandango to the woodshed, as JR would say. This match was pretty much all Jericho at the start. Fandango did manage to get some offense in, but this match was not great, especially for someone making their in-ring debut, even his victory seemed like more a fluke than being a better wrestler.

Winner: Fandango by pinfall. The crowd is not impressed with this result, and neither am I, to be honest.

Highlights: The reel of Jericho’s nicknames for Fandango. Finding out that Cole studied ballroom dancing.

Comment: There’s a story that Jericho summed up Fandango’s prospects as ‘The song will get over, but the guy won’t’. IF that story is true, I can see what he was talking about, at least at this point.

We get a highlight of the pre-show IC title match between Barrett and Miz.

We get another promo for Rock/Cena, but from Rock’s POV. There’s parts of this that seems fake. Like the kids claiming to be one of the millions, but they were born after Rock was gone from WWE. I’m just not buying this promo.

After that, we get a montage of WrestleMania moments, so this must be the halftime show. Our performer is Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs. I’m not a listener of his music, so I can’t tell you how good or bad this is.

Diddy reminds us that WrestleMania started in New York City and really gets the crowd going.

We get a promo for ADR/Swagger. I’d totally forgotten how much they danced around the racism line during this feud.

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez) vs Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)

Swagger and Colter are already in the ring, Colter is yapping and the NYC/New Jersey crowd isn’t having it. Considering that New York City has been multi-cultural for pretty much all of its history, I’m not sure letting him cut a promo against multi-culturalism was such a good idea.

ADR and Ricardo are out next, Ricardo not very convincing on crutches. ADR gets a great pop, which is surprising to me. For whatever reason, ADR is wearing a robe like a boxer.

To no big surprise, this was a really good match, the storyline of the ‘Real American’ vs the Immigrant Who Made Good was a good one and made the great ring work really meaningful. ADR vs Swagger is one of those great feuds that could go forever in a lot of different ways, they’re so well matched and work so well together. I honestly thought the barely hidden racism of the story would turn me off, but it didn’t. I really wanted to see Swagger get beat by ADR.

Winner: Alberto Del Rio by submission by the cross armbreaker, he retains the World Heavyweight Championship. ADR and Ricardo celebrate in the ring.

Highlights: ADR stomping on Colter’s hand for trying to trip him up. ADR countering the Ankle lock into the cross armbreaker and Swagger reversing it back into an Ankle Lock.

Comment: It’s weird thinking of ADR as a babyface, but it worked.

We get a promo for the National Guard.

We get a promo for Undertaker/Punk. I have to admit that this whole thing about disrespecting Paul Bearer bothered me deeply and having his death be used in a storyline angered me. That might have been the point, but it still makes me mad and deepened my dislike for Punk.

The Streak: Undertaker vs CM Punk (with Paul Heyman)

Living Color sings Punk and Paul Heyman to the ring, the reaction to Punk is mixed and the cheers seem to be for the band more than Punk. The Deadman Cometh.  Taker comes out of the floor, with the ands of fans through the smoke looking like hands reaching out from hell. Taker’s in his Lord of Darkness type rig.

Punk plays some mind games with Taker and draws first blood, but Taker is the Master of mind games and gets in the saddle quickly. This wasn’t a pretty match, but if you want a match where the heel gets his can kicked, this is a good one to watch. There was a possible botch towards the end of the match, Punk hit an elbow drop from the turnbuckle to where Taker lay on the Spanish Announce table and the table didn’t break, which hurt Punk and Taker.

My deep dislike of Punk aside, this was a really great match, and easily could’ve gone either way. That said, I’m not sorry Punk lost, though it looks like a big part of the audience thought he’d win.

Winner: The Undertaker by pinfall. The Streak is 21-0. Afterwards, Taker takes the urn back, places it in the ring and celebrates, just as if Paul Bearer were there with him…maybe he was.

Highlights: Heyman nearly crapping his pants when his attempt to save Punk from the suicide dive nearly ends with him getting chokeslammed. Taker countering the GTS into a tombstone. Chioda waiting for Taker to finish the ‘Rest in Peace’ pin before counting.

Comment: This is the one match in the Streak where I wanted to see Taker’s opponent get the s**t kicked out of them. I had enough respect and/or liking for Taker’s other opponents to not want that for them. Punk pissed me off and I wanted Taker to teach him respect. Also, this would be Punk’s last WrestleMania, he would leave the company in January 2014 and has not returned.

We get a promo of Mick Foley’s newest documentary: For All Mankind.

We get a third promo for Rock/Cena. They’ve promoted this one match more on this show than the rest of the card. I get it, WWE, lay off.

We get a promo for Triple H vs Brock. I’m irked by the commentators saying No Holds Barred is Brock’s match, when Triple H has been in, and won, his fair share of No Holds Barred matches.

Disclaimer: I do not like Brock Lesnar, I haven’t since his first run in WWE, so if the following comes across as heavily biased against Lesnar, that’s why. I will try to be neutral, but I won’t promise.

Triple H (with Shawn Michaels) vs Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) – No Holds Barred. If Triple H Loses, He Retires

HBK comes out first and gets a great pop. He looks like he just got in from hunting something and considering that it was 50F when the show started, the tank top cannot be keeping him warm.

Lesnar and Heyman are out next and the reaction seems mixed for Lesnar.

Triple H gets a really great pop and has his Skull King entrance. For some reason, he’s got something glowing on his stomach. I’m not sure if that’s water or something else.

Lesnar tries get go for the kill quickly, but Triple H is ready for him. This match starts off as a slugfest pretty quickly. This narrative that No Holds Barred favors Lesnar is deeply irritating to me because it ignores that Triple H has been in many No Holds Barred matches. It’s like they completely forgot about Taker/H two years before, all the Hell in a Cells, and the Street Fights Triple H has been in over the years.

My almost pathological hatred of Lesnar aside, this was a pretty good match, but it was slow moving and not quite as excited as other ones I’ve seen, including Triple H vs Taker. I’ll give both guys their due, that was a great match and one I’d recommend watching.

Winner: Triple H by pinfall. HBK and Triple H celebrate in ring, the McMahons were avenged.

Highlights: HBK distracting Lesnar without doing anything. HBK taking an F-5 to help Triple H. The look on Lesnar’s face when Triple H gives him a taste of his own medicine. HBK hitting Sweet Chin Music on Heyman.

Comments: I despise Lesnar, but that was really good.

We get a promo for WrestleMania 30.

New attendance record: 80,676!!!

WWE Championship Match: The Rock vs John Cena

Cena is out first to a mixed reaction. The crowd doesn’t seem to really be behind him, but he shakes hands with Michael Strahan. Rock gets an amazing pop. It’s been eleven years since Rock was the defending champ at WrestleMania.

Cena and Rock circle each other and we are off! Cena gets first blood, but Rock gets the upper hand quickly.

I’m getting Hogan/Andre vibes and not the good ones. This match is like Hogan/Andre at WrestleMania IV with bloom off the rose. This is a slow match and it is getting boring. I almost want to poke them and say ‘Come on guys, pick up the pace a little’. It did pick up the pace towards the end, but not enough to salvage the whole thing.

Winner: John Cena by pinfall, we have a new WWE Champion. Afterwards, Rock and Cena exchange words (nice ones) and hug. Cena lets Rock have the ring to himself. On the stage, they have a moment and Rock raises Cena’s hand. The torch is passed.

Highlights: Cena using Rock’s moves against him and suckering Rock in.

Comments: I’m sorry, but that was a boring match. It was good, but very boring.

Overall Comments

So how did WrestleMania 29 do? It actually did really well, in my opinion. Compared to the previous two WrestleManias, this was a great show. All of the matches had great spots in them, even the boring/not great ones. My biggest issue is that a lot of the matches were slow. I realize that everyone wants to do their best at WrestleMania, but the slowness really bugged me.

Snoozers: Cena vs Rock. I’m sorry, but that was incredibly boring and not what I expected from either man.

Stinkers: Fandango vs Jericho, having your first match at WrestleMania, with a legend like Chris Jericho, should produce something more impressive than that match.

Match of the Night: Triple H vs Lesnar. My deep dislike of Lesnar aside, that match was fantastic.

Sign of the Night: I hate Cena Guys. Last year, I saw three of them spill beer on a Baby!

Hall of Fame: Mick Foley, Bob Backlund, Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus, Booker T, Donald Trump.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this show, even the not great matches had good spots and there was a lot of interesting things going on. Only thing I didn’t like were the three promos for Rock/Cena, it just about killed any desire I had to see the match.

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Classic Royal Rumble

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



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: 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!



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


Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL

Runtime: 3:18:22 (HighSpotsWrestlingNetwork)

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



  • 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



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 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)


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.



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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