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Chairshot Classics

Retro Raw: RAW #1 [January 11 1993]

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Welcome everyone to the place where we used to put the ‘Flashback Friday‘ into Flashback Friday. Hottest Matches last week proved to be just that and has burnt out the circuits in my time machine (go with me) meaning we can no longer leap from show to show and pay per view to pay per view.

What it means is we have to take the long way home. What it means, and I’m guessing you’ve got there by reading the title of this, is we are going to cover Raw. Yes people we are going to put the ‘Monday‘ into Monday Night Raw as we go back 25 years and over 1300 episodes and start at the very begining.

RAW #1 [January 11 1993]

Sean Mooney is outside the Manhattan Centre and he welcomes us to Raw. Bobby Heenan tries to get into the building for his usual comentary role but Mooney tells him he’s been replaced. Heenan seemes angered by this, which does raise the point that Mooney seems OK with being outside, but I digress.

Following the opening credits we are welcomed to Raw (again) this time by our commentary team of Vince McMahon, Randy Savage and Rob Bartlett (no, I’ve no idea who he is either and after watching it don’t want to) they give us a run down of the matches we’ll see tonight before we head into the first ever Raw match.

Yokozuna vs Koko B Ware

Bartlet runs through a series of fat jokes and Vince suggests Yokozuna has eaten Koko’s parrot, all before the first move of the match which is a Collar and Elbow Tie-up which ends when Yokozuna pushes Koko halfway across the ring and into the corner upside down. A second Collar and Elbow Tie-up ends the same way. Koko bounces off the ropes with a Shoulder Block but runs right into Yokozuna and it is Koko that ends in a heap on the ground. Again. A second Koko Shoulder Block ends the same way. Two Dropkicks stagger Yokozuna but they don’t knock him down. Koko flies at Yokozuna with a Clothesline but Yokozuna steps out of the way and Koko lands on the ropes and is bounced backwards landing on the canvas where Yokozuna drops on him with a huge Legdrop before following up with a huge Avalanche and ends it with a Banzai Drop. There it is people, first match in Raw history and it was not a classic. That said, Yokozuna looked like an unstoppable monster which was the whole point of the match.

Winner: Yokozuna

An ad airs for the Royal Rumble that airs in a couple of weeks. Don’t worry, when we get there I’ll slip the results in to keep everyone up to speed.

A woman with huge hair and a bathing suit wanders around the ring with a ‘Monday Night Raw‘ sign. You would NEVER see that happen in 2018.

A pre-tape promo airs with Bobby Heenan. He talks about Narcissus. He tells Mr Perfect that Narcissus is beyond perfection, anatomically perfect and physically and mentally superior beyond imagination. Heenan says that Narcissus is so beyond perfect it’s like he’s from another galaxy. Heenan tells us we will see Narcissus at the Royal Rumble.

Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner vs Executioner One & Executioner Two

Ah enhancement talent. We have covered these a couple of times back on ‘Leaping Through The Network‘ and we are going to encounter a LOT of them here on ‘Retro Raw‘. My plan is to get some of them a small level of notoriety as we go. The Executioners are Barry Hardy (no relation to Matt or Jeff) and the second most famous enhancement talent of all time, Duane Gill (for the record, I’m counting Barry Horowitz as number one. We’ll see him as we go on. Don’t agree with my #1, tweet me!)

Scott turns a Collar and Elbow Tie-up into a Back Elbow that knocks Ex 1 down and Doink is in the crowd. Scott shoots Ex 1 off the ropes and hits him with a Tilt-a-whirl Sidewalk Slam, an Elbow Drop and a Snapmare before tagging Rick. Rick hits a Knee to the gut and a Right Hand that knocks Ex 1 down. Ex 1 manages to hit Rick with a Right Hand and whips Rick off the ropes but Rick reverses it and sends EX 1 face first into the ropes. Rick shoots EX 1 off the ropes and knocks him down with a Clothesline before draping him over his shoulder and ramming Ex 1 chest first into the corner. Ex 1 recovers at ringside with Ex 2, Scott Steiner comes over and cracks their heads together with a Double Noggin Knocker and throws EX 2 into the ring. Ex 2 shoots Rick off the ropes and attempts to leapfrog him but Rick catches him and Powerslams Ex 2. Scott tags in and hits Ex 2 with an overhead Belly To Belly Suplex. Scott throws Ex 2 into his corner and he tags Ex 1 back in. Scott grabs Ex 1 and hits him with a Double Underhook Powerbomb before lifting Ex 1 onto his shoulders allowing Rick to climb to the top turnbuckle and hits what I call (and will do so in future matches) a Doomsday Bulldog. Scott makes the cover and he gets the win.

Winners: Rick Steiner & Scott Steiner

Outside the arena, Rob Bartlett’s aunt is trying to get inside to see her nephew. Turns out it’s just Bobby Heenan in drag.

Vince McMahon is in the ring. He announces for an in-ring interview, Razor Ramon. Vince asks if he is ready to challenge Bret Hart in two weeks at the Royal Rumble. Razor says he was born ready. Razor says it took Bret Hart eight and a half years to reach the top of WWE, but it only took Razor eight and a half months. Vince asks Razor why he attacked Owen Hart on Mania on Saturday morning, Razor says it was fun and there is nothing that Bret Hart can do about it. Another thing that Bret can’t do anything about, according to Razor, is stop Razor from taking the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble.

Shawn Michaels vs Max Moon [Intercontinental Title]

Match starts with a Collar and Elbow Tie-up that Shawn turns into an Arm Drag. Shawn turns another Collar and Elbow into a Headlock then a Hammerlock that Moon quickly turns into one of his own before he eats a Back Elbow from Shawn in the face. Shawn bounces of the ropes but Moon ducks him and leapfrogs him. Moon catches a boot from Shawn before spinning him round and lifting Shawn for an Atomic Drop that Shawn manages to roll out of. Moon slips behind Shawn and pushes him off the ropes for an O’Connor Roll but Shawn grabs the ropes and only Moon goes rolling backwards. Shawn charges at Moon who ducks and leapfrogs Shawn again before Hip tossing Shawn over his head before Hiptossing Shawn again when he gets to his feet and hitting Shawn with a Bodyslam that sends Shawn retreating into the corner. Shawn hits a knee to the gut to get out of a Collar And Elbow. Shawn whips Moon off the ropes but Moon ducks a Back Elbow and ducks a charging Shawn before grabbing Shawn for an Armbar in mid air!!

We come back from the ads as Shawn pushes Moon into the corner, he whips Moon into the opposite corner but Moon moves out the way of a charging Shawn and Shawn goes shoulder first into the corner. Moon attempts an Arm Wringer but Shawn punches Moon in the face before ramming Moon’s face into the buckle and whips Moon into the opposite corner. Moon attempts to leap over a charging Shawn but he gets caught and Shawn drops him, Snake Eyes style’ onto the ropes. Shawn chokes Moon before whipping him off the ropes and Dropkicking the rebounding Moon. Shawn shoots Moon off the ropes again but Moon catches Shawn with a quick Roll Up that gets a two count. Shawn catches Moon in a Headlock and hits him with a Left Hand and rams his head into the corner before whipping Moon into the opposite corner so hard it knocks him off his feet. Shawn hits Moon with a series of rights and a Headbutt.

Shawn tries for a Bodyslam that is countered into a Small Package that gets Moon a two count. Shawn whips Moon off the ropes and catches him with a Back Elbow that gets Shawn a two count. Shawn applies a Reverse Chinlock that slows things down for a bit. Moon hits a couple of elbows to Shawn’s gut to get himself out of the hold before catching Shawn as he attempts a Dropkick and Slingshots Shawn over the top rope and out of the ring. Moon then gets onto the apron and (it’s the best I have to describe this cleanly) Flying Teabags Shawn on the outside. Moon rolls Shawn back into the ring and hits an Uppercut, an Irish Whip and a Spin Kick into the corner before lifting Shawn onto his shoulders where a Rolling Kenton gets Moon a two count. Moon hits a Bodyslam but misses a sommersault Legdrop allowing Shawn to Superkick him and hit a Teardrop Suplex for the three.

Winner: Shawn Michaels [still Intercontinental Champion]

An ad airs for Mania, a Saturday morning show that airs at 10 am.

We cut to Mean Gene with the Royal Rumble Report. It’s a rundown of all the anounced matches for the PPV. Over then next few years we will get a lot of [insert PPV name] Reports. One matches at the upcoming Rumble is Shawn Michaels vs Marty Jannetty for the Intercontinental Title so we cut to a pre-taped Shawn Michaels. Shawn says that Marty doesn’t deserve a title shot but as Shawn is ‘Mr Cool‘ he’s giving Marty a shot anyway. A pre tape with Marty Jannetty where he tells us that he will get everything he wants at the Rumble: He will get the Intercontinental Title as well as ending Shawn’s career.

Announced so far or the Royal Rumble Match is Ric Flair, Tatanka, Irwin R Schyster, Bob Backlund, Jerry Lawler, Mr Perfect, Ted DiBiase, Crush, Rick Martel, Yokozuna, Randy Savage, Papa Shango, Earthquake, The Berzerker, The Undertaker, Carlos Colon, Tenryu, El Matador, Typhoon, Samu, Fatu and Jim Duggan. Also Bret Hart vs Razor Ramon for the WWE Title has been announced for the Rumble

Outside with Sean Mooney and Rob Bartlett’s uncle….no wait, It’s Bobby Heenan in a wig and a fake beard.

We see a ticket hotline number to get tickets for Raw. Usually on the WWE Network we get a ‘number no longer active’ over phone numbers. This one doesn’t. Interesting.

Kamala split from Harvey Whippleman and Kim Chee in a segment that looks a bit odd in 2018. A black man (Kamala) is chastised by two white guys (Whippleman & Kim Chee) until a second black guy (Slick) runs in to break it up. Whippleman punches Slick knocking him down and this angers Kamala and he chases Whippleman and Kim Chee away.

The Undertaker vs Damian Demento

Demento hits a series of Right Hands before whipping Undertaker off the ropes but he bends too far for a Back Drop and Undertaker rams his face into the canvas before ramming Demento’s head into the corner. Undertaker then climbs to the top rope and hits Demento with Old School (which wasn’t called Old Shool in 1993 granted but I’m writing this in 2018 so tough). Undertaker rams Demento’s head into the corner again before choking him. Undertaker Irish Whips Demento into the corner and charges but Demento gets a foot up to block him before climbing to the second turnbuckle and hitting Undertaker with an Axe Handle and drops Undertaker with a running Shoulder Block but Undertaker sits right back up. Vince McMahon is discussing “Bret Hart” as Undertaker hits an almost botched Flying Clothesline before a Tombstone finishes it for Demento.

Winner: The Undertaker

Vince advertises a Cage Match for next week between Woody Allen against Mia Farrow. Topical joke, I think they may have been divorcing at the time.

Vince McMahon is with Doink. Vince tells Doink that Crush has warned him about making kids cry. Doink says if kids don’t have a sense of humour it’s their problem. Crush comes to the ring and says if Doink keeps pulling pranks on children and making them cry, Crush will put Doink’s legs and arms in plaster. Doink sprays him with a water pistol.

Outside the building, Sean Mooney tells Bobby Heenan that he’s just gotten word that Bobby can get in the building. The show fades to black.

Post Show: This is interesting as it is so long ago and it’s the very first one. But the commentary is bad. Rob Bartlet spent the entire Shawn vs Moon match doing a really bad (and probably offensive) impression of Mike Tyson to the point that the other two sped more time dealing with him than calling the show. The matches are OK but they are TV level and we are going to get a lot more enhancement talent on Raw for the next few years and the matches won’t be great as a result.

Match of The Night: Shawn Michaels vs Max Moon. It wasn’t anything special but it was the best of what we had.

MVP: Max Moon. I thought he had a decent match and looked on Shawn’s level. Even if it was just for one night.

With that I am done. No more leaping, no more votes. Just moving on to Episode #2 of Raw next week. IN the meantime I can be found on Twitter @Callaweasy2220 where I live tweet my way through Raw, Smackdown, NXT and, when there is one on, PPV as well as randomly posting screen shots of what I’m watching if ever I’m bored. If you want to talk about Wrestling, Dr Who, Batman or my style of review writing. I’ll be back with episode 2 so until then #UseYourHead and ALWAYS have an Angle.

“Not a Chance of you doing the thing to me again”


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Classic Royal Rumble

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

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

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

About Chairshot Radio

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

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

About the Chairshot Radio Network

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

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Chairshot Classics

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

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

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

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

What I Watched #15

AAW Defining Moment 2018

8/31/2018

Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL

Runtime: 3:18:22 (HighSpotsWrestlingNetwork)

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

 

THE RESULTS

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

 

THE BREAKDOWN

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

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

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

Darby Allin vs. Shane Strickland

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

Jessicka Havok vs. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders

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

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

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

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

AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © vs. DJ Z

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

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

AR Fox/Myron Reed vs. Bandido/Flamita

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

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Marko Stunt

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

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

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sami Callihan

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

THE INCIDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

AAW Heavyweight Title- ACH © vs. Brody King

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

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

THE FINAL REACTION

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

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

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

Best Match/Moment: Shane Strickland vs. Darby Allin

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

Overall Show Score: 8/10

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

 

THE SIGNOFF

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


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