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Chairshot Classics

Chairshot Classics: WWE Royal Rumble 2017 – Remember The Rumble

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Our road to the 2019 Royal Rumble continues with a look back at one from the past!

For the 2017 Royal Rumble at the Alamodome, the WWE pulled out all the stops with arguably its most star-studded Rumble Match in history!

Kickoff Match #1: Naomi, Nikki Bella & Becky Lynch vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, Mickie James & Natalya
Nikki & Natalya will kickoff the action, they have some words for each other, Nattie mocks John Cena and Nikki slaps her across the face. The Queen of Harts quickly ducks into the ropes and tags out, the champion steps inside, goes for a lock-up, but Nikki grabs a waistlock. Standing switch from Alexa, Nikki switches back, gets clocked by a back elbow and then sent to the ropes for a back body drop. Nikki counters it with a kick, slams her down by the hair for a 2 count, brings in Naomi, sends Bliss to the ropes and she runs into a double dropkick.

The champion quickly brings Nattie in the ring, The Queen of Harts sets for a suplex, Alexa comes in to help out, everyone else steps inside and Nikki, Becky & Naomi delivers a triple suplex to send their opponents outside. The Lass Kicker & Nikki take them down with a baseball slide, The Glow Queen slingshots over the top with a crossbody and we head to commercial….We return and Natalya slaps Becky across the face, misses with a clothesline, Lynch scores with multiple clotheslines, then drops her with a leg lariat.

Nattie pulls herself up in the corner, The Lass Kicker charges in with the Flying Firearm, scores with a springboard sidekick and The Queen of Harts rolls out of the ring to regroup. Becky steps out to the apron and comes off with a clothesline, Mickie drops off the apron, deposits Lynch into the barricade, Natalya follows with a snap suplex on the floor, then tosses her into the squared circle. She climbs back inside and hooks on a rear chinlock, Becky works to her feet and escapes with an arm drag, tries to leap towards her corner, but The Queen of Harts drives her backwards into the corner.

Mickie tags in and puts the boots to Lynch, chokes her with the bottom of her foot, tags out and Alexa does some more of the same, then chokes The Lass Kicker on the 2nd rope. The referee backs her away and Mickie delivers a cheap shot behind the official’s back, Bliss covers for a count of 2, tags in Natalya and they both rip Lynch down to the canvas by the hair. The Queen of Harts continues to mock John Cena, gets surprised by a schoolboy for a quick 2 count, both ladies are up quick and Becky gets flattened by a clothesline. Nattie looks to wear her down some more with a rear chinlock, Lynch finds a vertical base, Natalya goes to the abdomen with a kick, then plants her with a Michinoku driver.

She knocks Naomi off the apron, turns back to Becky for a german suplex, The Lass Kicker with a standing switch, pushes Nattie to the ropes for a roll-up, but Alexa makes a blind tag. The champion looks to ambush Lynch and runs into a stiff forearm, The Queen of Harts grabs Becky for a body slam, Lynch slips out of it and dumps her to the outside. She leaps to make a tag, Nattie rips Nikki off the apron to prevent it, Bliss attacks The Lass Kicker from behind, then sets for a suplex. Lynch blocks it and counters with a small package for a count of 2, both women up quick, Becky attempts a kick that’s blocked, but brings the other foot around and scores with an enzuigiri.

Naomi gets the tag and springboards in with a crossbody to the champion, drops Mickie & Nattie to the floor with a double dropkick, Bliss rushes her in the corner, blocks a boot and swings the legs around, but The Glow Queen holds it off and connects with a roundhouse to the head. She hits the ropes and levels Bliss with a flipping clothesline, cracks her with a modified jawbreaker, unloads with a flurry of kicks and then drops Alexa with an enzuigiri to make the cover. Mickie hits the ring to break the count at 2, Becky steps inside, tosses her with a Bexploder, Nattie comes in from behind and drives her shoulder-first into the ring post.

Nikki slides into the ring and splits Natalya with a spear, they battle to the floor, Naomi charges Alexa back in the ring in the corner, gets elevated over-the-top and lands on her feet on the apron. The champion clocks her with a forearm shot, Naomi comes right back with an enzuigiri, steps in and delivers a split-legged moonsault for the win.
Winners: Naomi, Nikki Bella & Becky Lynch (Naomi/Split-Legged Moonsault)

  • EA’s TakeSolid opener, nothing super exciting. I’m kind of surprised this was moved to the Kickoff show, I don’t really understand that move and think it would have been good on the main card to give a bit of a “break” if you will in between the big matches. Now the Cruiserweight Title match or RAW Women’s Title match will get one of those spots, which makes them seem a little less important. Not to mention the main card is 4 hours and only 5 matches. I thought the heels may go over here, but I’m not shocked that it didn’t happen and Naomi got the pinfall. I figure she will be a transitional challenger for Alexa since Elimination Chamber is in two weeks.

Kickoff Match #2 for the RAW Tag Team Championships – Two Referees Assigned: RAW Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Cesaro & Anderson will begin, The Swiss Superman scores with a dropkick right at the bell for 2, dead-lifts him up for a gutwrench suplex and gains another count of 2. Anderson sneaks in a shot to the eyes, chokes The King of Swing on the 2nd rope, the ref in the ring backs him away, Gallows looks for a cheap shot, but gets caught by the 2nd referee. Anderson pulls Cesaro up and gets surprised by an uppercut, The Swiss Superman makes a tag, sends him to the ropes, Sheamus slingshots in with the Battering Ram and gets a 2 count.

Tag back to Cesaro, The Great White plants Anderson with a rolling fireman’s carry, The King of Swing follows with a double stomp, hooks the leg, but Anderson kicks out at 2. Cesaro whips him into the corner and follows in for an uppercut, Anderson side-steps out of harm’s way, clocks him with a bicycle kick, brings in Gallows and Luke hammers The Swiss Superman with the heavy artillery. He shoots Cesaro the ropes for a clothesline, The King of Swing ducks it, springs off the 2nd rope with a corkscrew uppercut, lateral press and a count of 2. The Celtic Warrior tags in and the champions hit a double suplex, Sheamus builds a head of steam for a knee drop, makes the cover, but still can’t put it away.

The King of Swing re-enters the match, Sheamus drills Gallows in the corner with an uppercut, Cesaro runs in with one of his own, the champions with frequent tags now to trade-off more uppercuts. The Swiss Superman looks to send Gallows to the ropes, Luke reverses, elevates him with a back body drop, backs Cesaro into his corner, but The King of Swing fights his way out of it. He shoots Gallows into an opposite corner and rushes in with an uppercut, Anderson with a distraction from the apron, Gallows drops Cesaro with a roundhouse kick, then knocks Sheamus off the apron with a big boot as we head to break….

Back from commercial and Cesaro fights up from a rear chinlock, Gallows delivers a headbutt to impede his progress, tries to level Sheamus on the apron and misses, turns back to The Swiss Superman for a suplex, but Cesaro blocks it and hits one of his own. The King of Swing starts to crawl towards his corner, Gallows grabs him by the foot to stop it, Cesaro rolls free, The Celtic Warrior gets the tag and flattens Gallows with a double sledge. He knocks Anderson off the apron with a double sledge, scores with another to Gallows, sends him into the corner and buries a shoulder to the breadbasket, whips him across and Sheamus charges in with a spinning heel kick, flipping to the apron in the process.

The Great White hooks Gallows for the Beats of the Bodhren, heads up top for a flying clothesline, hooks the leg and almost finishes it. He powers Gallows onto his shoulders, Luke battles out of it, gets cracked by an uppercut, Sheamus lifts him up again for White Noise, Cesaro gets the tag and comes off the 2nd rope, the champions with an assisted White Noise, but only get a count of 2. The Swiss Superman calls for the Swing, Gallows kicks him away and tags out, Anderson rushes in for a dropkick, Cesaro swipes him away and Sheamus gets hit instead, falling to the floor. Cesaro charges Anderson in the corner with an uppercut, sends him across for another and runs into a boot, Anderson stacks him up, puts his feet on the ropes, the 2nd referee slides into the ring and informs the other to stop the count at 2.

Anderson has some words for the official on the outside, turns around and gets clobbered by a Very European Uppercut, Cesaro makes the cover and Anderson just kicks out before the 3 count. He hooks him for the Neutralizer, Anderson counters with a back body drop, Cesaro lands on his feet, drops him throat-first on the 2nd rope and scores with the Swiss-1-9. The King of Swing ascends the corner now, delivers a crossbody for a near fall, looks for the Swing again, Anderson counters with a backslide and almost puts it away. Both guys are back up quick, Cesaro with a big uppercut, irish whip to the ropes is reversed, The Swiss Superman hits Gallows on the outside with a running boot, turns around and Anderson plants him with a spinebuster, but still can’t finish it.

He calls Gallows into the ring and the challengers set for the Magic Killer, The Great White rolls into the squared circle to prevent it, Cesaro spikes Gallows with a DDT, Sheamus lines up Anderson for a Brogue Kick, but misses and hits the referee instead. Anderson dumps The Celtic Warrior to the outside, the 2nd official checks on the one outside, Anderson turns around and Cesaro gets him in the Swing, then slaps on the Sharpshooter. Gallows steps inside and breaks it up with a superkick, Anderson covers, Sheamus breaks it up at 2, tackles Gallows and unloads with a barrage of right hands.

He does the same to Anderson, almost inadvertently hits the official, Luke seizes the opening and drills him with a superkick, then the challengers follow with the Magic Killer. Cesaro rises to his feet and dumps Gallows outside, Anderson grabs him from behind with a schoolboy, gets a handful of tights and we have new champions.
Winners and NEW RAW Tag Team Champions: Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (Anderson/Schoolboy)

  • EA’s TakeDamn man, it’s about freakin’ time! Personally, I think WWE dropped the ball by not having Gallows & Anderson win the titles last year in their feud with The New Day and if they had lost here, then what would be the point of even having them? I truly hope that this title change will give them a breath of new life because they’re incredibly talented, but some of their stuff has been hit-or-miss. Completely not their fault, by the way. Sheamus & Cesaro, while entertaining, I just never bought them as a team because they’re two singles competitors that were put together out of necessity. I think RAW’s mid-card or main event picture could use some fresh blood like Cesaro, even Sheamus going back into the top picture would feel fresh after being dominated by Rollins, Reigns, Jericho and Owens for months on-end.

Kickoff Match #3: Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax
Sasha rushes in at the bell, Nia catches her, backs her to the ropes and the ref separates them. Nia with some words for The Boss, Banks grabs her for a side headlock, Jax powers Sasha away to the corner, runs in, but The Boss side-steps out of harm’s way. She charges in with double knees, goes back to the well, Nia blocks it, explodes out for a clothesline, Banks ducks under and fires away with a series of chops. Sasha locks knuckles with Nia and looks to climb up top, Jax pulls her down, squashes her in the corner, then flattens Banks with a clothesline on the way to break….

We come back and Nia is in total control, Sasha tries to fight back, gets dropped by a headbutt, then sent to the ropes. The Boss tilt-a-whirls into a Bank Statement attempt, Jax breaks the grip, shoves her into the corner, runs in and Banks gets the boot up. Nia blocks the kick, leg-whips her bad knee into the canvas, then lifts Sasha up for a standing stretch muffler. Banks reaches out for the ropes, Jax doesn’t want to break, The Boss slips out for a sunset flip, can’t bring Nia over and gets tossed into the turnbuckles.

Jax tries to pull her back out by the legs, Banks lands on her feet, surprises her with a kick, slips out to the apron to avoid Nia charging in and she hits the ring post shoulder-first. Sasha unloads with a barrage of kicks from the apron, heads to the top rope and scores with double knees, hurts herself in the process, finally makes a cover, but only gets 2. The Boss continues to wail away on Jax with forearms, hits the ropes, Nia surprises her with a Pop-Up Samoan Drop and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Nia Jax (Pop-Up Samoan Drop)

  • EA’s TakePretty standard stuff here, this one going precisely as I had imagined it would. Nia really needed this win much more than Sasha did, especially if WrestleMania is going to feature a Fatal 4-Way between Sasha, Nia, Bayley and Charlotte for the RAW Women’s Title. Without a win, how on Earth could Nia have laid claim to a shot at the championship? It just makes sense.


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Classic Royal Rumble

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

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

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

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Chairshot Classics

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

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

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

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

What I Watched #15

AAW Defining Moment 2018

8/31/2018

Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL

Runtime: 3:18:22 (HighSpotsWrestlingNetwork)

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

 

THE RESULTS

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

 

THE BREAKDOWN

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

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

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

Darby Allin vs. Shane Strickland

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

Jessicka Havok vs. Palmer Cruise/Steve Manders

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

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

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

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

AAW Heritage Title- Trevor Lee © vs. DJ Z

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

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

AR Fox/Myron Reed vs. Bandido/Flamita

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

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Marko Stunt

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

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

Jimmy Jacobs vs. Sami Callihan

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

THE INCIDENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

AAW Heavyweight Title- ACH © vs. Brody King

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

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

THE FINAL REACTION

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

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

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

Best Match/Moment: Shane Strickland vs. Darby Allin

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

Overall Show Score: 8/10

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

 

THE SIGNOFF

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


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