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Chairshot Classics: NWA-TNA Episode 16: Treading Water

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This week, TNA will deal with the controversial end to the X-Division championship match. Ron Harris will turn to another new partner in his bid to get his hands on Storm and Harris. The Maximos look to take full advantage of their golden opportunity. Mortimer Plumtree’s reasons for stalking the X-Division are revealed with surprising consequences, and Pac and James find the ‘perfect’ partner for their grudge match. So how did they do? Let’s find out!

Tenay and West welcome us to the shows. We’ve got some Hollywood type company in the house tonight. Chris Rock and Hermie Sadler are in the house. West gives us a rundown of tonight’s action.

We get a recap of the attack on Ron Killings.

Killings is coming out, but he’s not scheduled to be out right then, which confuses Borash. Killings has something to get off his chest. He claims that James and Pac needed to hire a hitman to take him out and that the mystery guy is their partner. He then insults Don West, who, for his part finds it ironic that ‘The Truth’ can’t face the truth. He attacked Syxx and James so they returned the favor. It should also be pointed out that the crowd as turned on Killings in a big way, they’re actually chanting ‘overrated’ at him.

James and Syxx come out to salvage this meltdown and James tells Killings, that he’s trying to help him, just like he did in WWF. He’s trying to get Killings to stop whining and crying and realize that not everything is perfect…or is it? We find out the identity of James and Pac’s mystery partner…Curt Hennig, aka, Mr. Perfect! The crowd is excited, but they aren’t popping as much as they would have a few years before.

I’m not buying that Hennig was the hooded figure from last week, but I’ll play along just to watch him wrestle.

Hennig says that he’s not sure what he’s gotten himself into, but he says that he was hired to do a job and he’s going to do it as only he can. He then says that he doesn’t like ‘The Truth’. Syxx Pac says that they’re going to do to Truth what his mother should’ve done: whip his ass!

This promo has veered back into the borderline cringe territory.

Anyway, Team Perfect Derelicts start down the ramp when they’re blindsided by Jarrett and Lawler and all six guys start fighting in the ring, so this match is on!

Curt Hennig, Syxx-Pac, and B.G. James vs Ron Killings, Jeff Jarrett, and Brian Lawler (with April): After Lawler makes sure April is ‘safe’, this match is starting and we start off with Hennig/Jarrett, which is probably going to be the highlight of this thing. Jarrett seems to delight in mocking Hennig and using Hennig’s moves against him. To be honest, this match was a little sad. I’m a huge Mr. Perfect fan, but he was not in prime physical shape and the moves weren’t as crisp and…perfect as they used to be. However, the match wasn’t terrible, it was pretty good, but not earth shattering.

Towards the end, things breakdown and James beats Jarrett with a chair and chases him to the back. For some reason, Lawler hits a blatant low-blown on Hennig and the ref doesn’t DQ him for it, despite seeing him do it. Remember me saying that I didn’t buy Hennig being the hooded figure that attacked Killings? Well, I was right. He showed up and hit a sitout powerbomb on Killings, giving Hennig the opening to hit the Perfect-Plex for the pinfall.

Winner: Hennig, Pac, and James.

Comment: That was okay. Not great, but okay.

Backstage, Goldylocks comes upon James, who is out cold, seeming to have been cracked over the head with a lead pip by Jarrett, who is nearby.

In the ring, what seems to be our regularly scheduled segment starts. Jerry Lynn comes out and discusses the controversial end to his match with AJ Styles last week. For those who don’t remember, it was a ladder match that AJ Styles won but because Sonny Siaki distracted Lynn, even though the distraction did not cost Lynn the title, Bob Armstrong disqualified AJ Styles, gave the title back to Lynn, and scheduled another ladder match.

Lynn addresses the Sonny Siaki situation and says that if Sonny Siaki is trying to piss him off, he’s done a very good job of it. He then vows that after he beats Styles fair and square tonight, he’ll face Siaki next week.

At this point, Siaki comes out and leans into the Rock rip off gimmick, claiming to be the reason all the fans are in the building, despite the loud round of boos he’s getting. Lynn runs up and they start fighting, which ends with Lynn’s knee having a nasty encounter with a guardrail and having to be stretchered out, leaving Styles’ rematch in jeopardy.

We see a video from earlier in the day. Goldylocks was getting ready to shoot something when she was approached by Syxx-Pac, who asked her nicely, to accompany him to the men’s locker room because he had something to say to someone and he wanted it filmed.

See, guys, really cool men don’t treat women like garbage, only insecure men do. Thanks for setting the example, Pac.

It turns out that Pac wants to apologize to Lo-Ki for his comments last week. Lo-Ki accepted the apology and everyone’s cool, until Doofus Styles shows up, claiming to be the X-Division.

I’m not sure what they’re trying to do with Styles, but it’s really not working for me.

NWA Tag Team Match: James Storm and Chris Harris vs The Maximos: The Maximos’ entrance music is really generic and blah. They get a pretty good pop. Harris and Storm get a good reaction too. Storm is still doing the goofy cowboy thing, but it’s over with this crowd. This match had an awkward start. Storm and Harris are used to being the outsized underdogs and that’s not going to work with the Maximos. To their credit, the Maximos changed up their game and actually included wrestling moves instead of just high spots. There was a really scary, not very well thought out spot where Storm pushed one of the Maximos off the topturnbuckle onto his brother OUTSIDE the ring. Thankfully, the spot went well, but whoever called that didn’t think it through very well. Storm and Harris would finally pull out the victory after hitting a double urunage on one of the Maximos.

Winner: Storm and Harris by pinfall.

Comment: This match wasn’t great, but it didn’t suck, which counts as a win at this point.

Once all four men clear the ring, Goldylocks, who is getting chants from the crowd, comes out and introduces one of our special guests for the evening: Chris Rock! For reference, in 2002, Chris Rock was one of the hottest comedians in the United States off of his ‘Bigger and Blacker’ tour. That said, I find it weird for him to be at TNA, he doesn’t strike me as a wrestling fan. Anyway, Rock praises TNA wrestling and challenges anyone to say that it’s fake because they’ll get their ass kicked.

Okay.

Four Corners Match: Kid Kash vs Tony Mamaluke vs Ace Steel vs Lo-Ki: Okay, apparently, this is one of those matches for rankings in the X-Division. Whoever gets the most pins in 15 minutes is the #1 Contender. This match was hard to keep up with. Interestingly, Mortimer Plumtree is back, an apparently all his lurking during the X-Division matches was gathering data to help some member of the X-Division get the title match, or some such nonsense.

Ace Steel manages to get the win with two pinfalls, but the sequence was total crap: Ki suplexes Steel into the ring as the clock runs down, Steel rolls Ki into a small package and gets the pinfall with an assist from Plumtree.

Winner: Ace Steel.

Comment: Eh. Not a bad match, but the ending was garbage.

After that mess, our palate cleanser is Hermie Sadler (yawn), who has shaved off his goatee. He’s super proud to be driving the NWA-TNA car for NASCAR, though how TNA can still afford to be sponsoring anything when they’ve just narrowly escaped going out of business is a little beyond me. Anyway, Bruce shows up, still in his lovely Miss TNA dress that I still want, and derides Sadler’s driving since he always seems to be at TNA instead of driving. Jarrett then comes out and trashes Sadler as well, asking why they couldn’t have picked a better driver for the TNA car.

Sadler, who seems to have taken a couple of promo classes, shoots back at Jarrett’s big talk, pointing out that Jarrett still isn’t NWA Champion and then asks Bruce if he’s going to grow up to be a man or a woman. Well, that did it, we got ourselves a fight, which B.G. James joins in, helping Sadler get rid of Bruce and Jarrett, and promises Jarrett that their issues aren’t finished yet.

Ron Harris and Sonny Siaki vs Rick Michaels and Chris Michaels:  This seems to be our random match of the night. Apparently, despite having the same last name and wearing identical outfits, Chris and Rick Michaels are not related to each other. We find out as the match gets going that whoever wins this match gets a title shot at Storm and Harris next week, which pretty much gives the ending away.

Overall this match was okay, it wasn’t magic. The team of Harris and Siaki worked pretty well, but it feels like TNA isn’t sure what to do with Siaki if he’s not with the Flying Elvises. Whoops! Guess I spoke too soon. The Michaels pick up the pinfall after a really badly done ‘missed’ kick from Harris to one of the Michaels hit Siaki instead and Harris does not try to break up the pinfall.

Winner: Chris Michaels and Rick Michaels.

Comment: Okay. It wasn’t great and Harris’ kick stunk, but it was a good. The only person that didn’t look great was Ron Harris.

After the match, Harris and Siaki get into it, with Harris blaming Siaki, despite it being Harris’ mistake and refusal to stop the pinfall that cost them the match. Siaki fights back and the brawl is broken up by Don West and TNA security. Don Harris seems to be on his brother’s side because he throws Siaki out.

After everyone leaves, Boring Bill Behrens comes out to give us an update on Jerry Lynn: Due to injuries sustained during the earlier brawl with Sonny Siaki, Jerry Lynn is unable to compete tonight, however, the ladder match will still go on. It’ll be Ace Steel vs AJ Styles. An angry Lo-Ki storms out, pointing out that he was robbed and that the only reason Steel won is because he had a ‘nerd’ helping him.

Didn’t anyone tell you that the geeks and nerds will inherit the earth, Lo-Ki?

Anyway, Plumtree comes out and insults Lo-Ki, calling him a liar and a punk, which is about the DUMBEST thing you can say to someone with Lo-Ki’s background, especially if you’re someone who looks like he couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag, like Plumtree. Plumtree further risks his life by saying that Ki lost a fight to Tammy Lynn Sytch, aka, Sunny to you WWF fans.

Lo-Ki tears Plumtree a new one for his stupidity and says that Plumtree was, is, and will always be an outsider looking in and wishing he could belong.

At this point, Bob Armstrong comes out and says that this isn’t a talk show (no, Bob, it’s a promo segment, remember?) and makes a match: Steel vs Lo-Ki to face AJ Styles.

Lo-Ki vs Ace Steel (with Mortimer Plumtree) – Winner faces AJ Styles for the X-division Championship: This one was quick. Steel attacks Lo-Ki’s bad ankle, Plumtree rams a steel chair into said ankle with the ref not looking. When Bob Armstrong comes out, we learn a very valuable lesson: ALWAYS tell the ring announcer if the finish was changed! Why? Because Borash announces Steel as the winner by count out, which was the original finish, and is then told that Lo-Ki is the winner by DQ.

Winner: Lo-Ki by DQ.

Comment: Who forgot to tell Borash about the changed finish?

To further muddy these waters, Armstrong decides to just throw out the rankings from the Four Corners match earlier in the evening and declared that all X-Division wrestlers are eligible for this ladder match.

Ladder Match for the X-Division Championship: AJ Styles vs Lo-Ki vs Ace Steel vs Syxx Pac vs Kid Kash vs Tony Mamaluke vs Jose Maximo vs Joel Maximo:  This match started in chaos and stayed that way, which is normal for a multi-man ladder match. The problem is that pretty much no one knows how to do a ladder match or do it very well. Styles and Syxx-Pac are the only ones in the group that have done a ladder match, to the best of my understanding.

This match was a mess from the start, there were a lot of poorly executed high spots, but not a lot of going for the title. However, we did get the obligatory ‘Everyone climbs the multiple ladders in the ring’ spot. For some reason, the ref is in the ring, which is stupid and dangerous. Syxx-Pac would eventually climb the ladder and get the gold after suplexing AJ Styles off the ladder.

Winner: Syxx-Pac. The crowd doesn’t know what to think about this and neither am I since Pac didn’t do much in this match.

Comment: I love ladder matches, but this was an ‘eh’ for me.

West gives us the weekly ‘Please tune in so we stay employed’ promo, which promises that our THIRD ladder match in as many weeks will happen next week between Syxx-Pac and AJ Styles as well as the NWA Tag Team Championship match.

Overall Comments: So, how was NWA-TNA episode 16? The wrestling was great overall, but there were a lot of wonky and just silly finishes. It doesn’t feel like any stories were advanced very much.

I have to say that for an organization that was over 50 years old at the time of this episode, the NWA doesn’t seem to have a clue on how to do a TV show. A lot of stuff that went on, like forgetting to tell Jeremy Borash that the finish had changed, was very amateurish.

Also, it seems that TNA is trying to do to Styles what they tried to do with Jarrett and have him waver between very unlikeable babyface and a heel by constantly screwing him over when it comes to title shots. This seems to be Russo’s attempt to create a new Stone Cold Steve Austin, which proves how little Russo really understands about wrestling. You can’t just recreate lightning in a bottle. Neither Styles or Jarrett are a good fit for that role, but whoever does the writing keeps trying to make them fit in that mold instead of being themselves and the same goes for trying to make Sonny Siaki into TNA’s version of the Rock.

I love Curt Hennig, but I’m not sure what to make of him in TNA. At the time this episode was done, Hennig had just been released from WWE for his part in the ‘Plane ride from Hell’ and it’s clear that time, injuries, and substance abuse issues were starting to catch up with him. He wasn’t the smooth, crisp Mr. Perfect I remember from my childhood and that makes me sad.

Stinkers: X-Division Ladder Match. Just…eesh.

Snoozers: Six Man Grudge match.

Match of the Night: Harris/Storm vs Maximos.

Final Thoughts: Overall, this show didn’t completely suck, there was good wrestling, just crappy finishes and amateur antics that people who have been around as long as Jerry Jarrett and the NWA should not be doing.


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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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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…

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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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