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Chairshot Classics: What I Watched #14 – AAW Destination Chicago 2018

2018 was a hype year for professional wrestling and Harry continues to find some Independent gems to reminisce about. AAW Destination Chicago is up now!

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Allow me to set a scene for you all. Oh, hi. Harry here once again with another new edition of ‘What I Watched’…now, as I said, allow me to set a scene for you. The Young Bucks and Cody (can’t legally call him) Rhodes (at the time) decide that they want to put on the biggest independent wrestling show in US history. With the assistance of ROH and New Japan, that vision became ‘All In’, a show I have reviewed in my archives but plan to re-release in the new format down the road. ‘All In’ is set for the Sears Centre in suburban Chicago on September 1st (a Saturday if memory serves).

The reason I share that information here is because much like WrestleMania, All In became the place for independent promotions to run a show. One of the main players in Chicagoland, AAW, decided to run two (Thursday and Friday). I found it kind of interesting that my watch through for 2018 AAW reached these shows right as I brought back ‘What I Watched’ and thus decided to make this double shot my next set of reviews. With all that said, we once again hop into our WayBack Machine takes us to August 30th, 2018 and to Chicago proper as All American Wrestling (AAW) presents ‘Destination Chicago’ 2018

What I Watched #14

AAW Destination Chicago 2018

8/30/2018

Logan Square Auditorium in Chicago, IL

Runtime: 2:47:37 (HighSpotsWrestlingNetwork. Not sure how the current branch out that HighSpots is doing is going to affect this, however)

Commentary By: Tyler Volz (PBP) and Sarah Shockey (Color)

 

THE RESULTS

  • Match 1: AAW Tag Titles- David Starr/Eddie Kingston def. Davey Vega/Mat Fitchett © w/ Scarlett Bordeaux to win the titles, Starr pins Fitchett @ 6:42
  • Match 2: PACO (Paco Gonzalez) pins Stephen Wolf, rollup @ 5:42
  • Match 3: DJZ (Shiima Xion) wins 3 way, pinning Laredo Kid with a ZDT @ 7:09 in a match that also involved Myron Reed
  • Match 4: Trevor Lee pins Ace Romero, mid-ring CBB counter to powerslam @ 14:28
  • Match 5: Curt Stallion/Jake Something def. OI4K (Dave/Jake Crist), Something pins Jake @ 7:32 
  • Match 6: Brody King/Jimmy Jacobs def. Jessicka Havok/Sami Callihan, King pins Havok @ 12:59
  • Match 7: Maxwell Jacob Friedman pins Colt Cabana, dick kick —> rollup @ 8:59
  • Match 8: AAW Heavyweight TItle- ACH © pins Jeff Cobb, brainbuster #2 (believe ACH calls it the ‘Buster Call’) @ 23:12
  • Match 9: Fenix/Pentagon Jr. def. Bandido/Flamita, Pentagon Jr pins Bandido @ 17:12

 

THE BREAKDOWN

AAW Tag Titles- Besties in the World © vs. WRSTLING

*Sigh…it’s times like this match that make it hard to be a wrestling supporter. Three absolutely amazing guys and performers in this match in Davey Vega, Eddie Kingston and Mat Fitchett. And then you have David Starr…who has (justifiably) been exiled from wrestling for being a Joey Ryan level scumbag.

In an attempt to do the other three competitors justice, we’ll focus on the match. The story of the reinvention of Eddie Kingston in AAW was fantastically done and I feel like the big payoff will eventually be a ‘GFY’ to Starr and the other members of WRSTLING (Wrestling without the Entertainment). They do when the tag titles here as Starr gets the pin Fitchett with ‘Product Placement’, a arm capture German suplex. Vega is distracted during this as Jeff Cobb (another member of WRSTLING) came to ringside and abducted Scarlett Bordeaux causing Vega to lose his focus on the contest at hand. The match is good for what it is but kind of short given that Starr was flying out to Germany that same day to wrestle for wXw. (***)

Stephen Wolf vs PACO

*Five and a half minutes and even that felt like it overstayed its welcome. I’ve seen PACO in way better matches. I seem to recall a main event match from Glory Pro against AJ Gray that really delivered. Stephen Wolf was a competent guy in tag matches but this one did absolutely nothing for me. The post match attack by Wolf seems to set up a direction for his character as a single but I do have questions on his ability to deliver on said direction. (*½)

Lucha Libre 3 way

*I am a big fan of DJ Z (Shiima Xion) having been around in some of his formative years here in Ohio. Myron Reed has improved as a singles wrestler but I do prefer him as a tag guy with Trey Miguel. Laredo Kid is someone I’ve not seen much of; what I have seen, I’ve enjoyed though. I didn’t mind this match but it seemed like it was there to give DJ Z a win to continue his road back to Trevor Lee and the Heritage title. He catches both Myron and Laredo with the ZDT (rolling stalled DDT) and pins Laredo off of it. Everything is more or less clean during the match (not something you can always say about lucha libre as you’ll later see in the main event), so bonus points for that but nothing has any real consequence and if you’ve been following the product for a while, the winner was never in doubt. (**)

Ace Romero vs. Trevor Lee

*Romero had been a breakout star in AAW since he debuted earlier in the year (February, I think). This was supposed to be his shot at Trevor Lee’s Heritage title, but Trevor weaseled out of that by saying he forgot the belt back in North Carolina and that this would be a non-title match. You may know Ace from his run as part of XXXL in Impact Wrestling. Trevor Lee is now better known as Cameron Grimes in NXT.

The match itself is decent but truthfully, a little underwhelming. I’m willing to bet this does get run back at some point and maybe they left something in the tank for that, but as a fan that may have been at this show, I would’ve expected more. The finish is visually impressive with Trevor catching Ace as he comes off the ropes and into the mid-ring flipping powerslam for the three count. It looks gravity defying and one of those moves that always comes off looking cool if not necessarily always realistic. (**½)

Curt Stallion/Jake Something vs. O14K (Dave/Jake Crist)

*Much the same as our opening contest…oof. Curt Stallion is a transphobe (he has apparently apologized for the remarks made but whether or not he was sincere in said apology is up for debate). Dave Crist is a woman beater who is now also exiled from pro wrestling; to the point even his own brother wants nothing to do with him. Jake Something and Jake Crist are stand-up dudes, however.

Match is good for its placement but does play a bit of background, especially as we get to the finish…Brody King and Jimmy Jacobs come out to distract the Crist’s (Dave specifically takes the bait) and Jacobs is then able to push Jake off the top turnbuckle into the waiting arms of Jake Something. The catch itself was a little sloppy but Something was able to recover nicely and powered Jake up to make the Bossman Slam look worthy of the three count that followed. (***)

Brody King/Jimmy Jacobs vs. Jessicka Havok/Sami Callihan

*So, your enjoyment of this match will depend on how you feel about the Attitude Era in WWF. If you like the crowd brawls, the weapons and the chaos, you’ll probably like this. If you did not, you probably won’t. If you are too young to remember the Attitude Era; way to make me feel old. My thoughts: I thought it was okay but not what it could have been (seemingly a theme this evening). I like Jacobs and Callihan. I more or less like Havok (she’s had some bad matches, but everyone has an off day now and then). I’m not sold one way or the other on Brody yet because I’ve not seen enough. 

I will say that I enjoy the way that it plays out with the brawling to sell the emotion of the feud going back to King attacking Havok after she challenged for the AAW Women’s Title against Kimber Lee (oof) in the main event a couple months prior. The finish sees King pinning Havok with a powerbomb into a set of open chairs. Later it was revealed that King would have the Heavyweight title shot the next night, so that makes sense. But I feel pinning Callihan (“The Draw” in AAW) would have made a bigger statement for Brody. (***)

Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Colt Cabana

*For what it was, enjoyable. This was kind of a comedy break match, which one might come to expect from Cabana. The whole storyline where Cabana is MJF’s long lost dad is one of those funny in wrestling kinda things where you can just accept the absurd soap-opera nature of it all. The commentators do an excellent job in putting over the emotion at the end when Cabana and MJF play catch (yes, that’s a real sentence) before MJF dick-kicks Cabana into a rollup for the pinfall. Light, breezy and entertaining. (**½)

AAW Heavyweight Title- ACH © vs. Jeff Cobb

*As good as this match is and it is quite good, I think their match at the LaSalle show earlier in the month of August (Jawbreaker) is a little bit better. That match is a little more concise and tells the same story that this one does minus about five minutes. That’s not to say that this is a bad match because it definitely isn’t. ACH and Cobb have quite the battle and seeing the strength of a dude like ACH as he muscles Cobb up into the ‘Buster Call’ is impressive. I wish ACH was in a better place mentally (and the NXT merchandise people weren’t morons) because that is a dude who deserves to have made a long living at the top of what NXT used to be (and he seemed to be trending in that direction too). Cobb is sadly one of those “what could have been” stories to wrestling fans. He’s had minor exposure in AEW a couple times but never anything sustained. His most prolonged run in the US was under a mask in Lucha Underground (he was Mantanza Cueto). Cobb spends most of his time in NJPW these days and that sadly leaves him a secret to most American wrestling fans. (****)

Fenix/Penta El Zero M vs. Bandido/Flamita

*I made a statement earlier about the cleanliness (or lack thereof) in lucha libre. This match moves a million miles per minute and while the vast majority is executed damn near flawlessly, there is a chicken fight sequence that gets so badly blown even the announcers have to say something to try to cover for it. Everything is not going to go perfectly every time, but a situation like that does cost it match of the night honors to me because I felt ACH vs Cobb was much smoother.

The rest of the match is more or less balls to the wall action. And on a personal note: does Rey Fenix have something against guardrails at wrestling events? The three count, following a beautifully done spiked Fear Factor on Bandido for the win is preceded by a ‘tope con hilo’ from Fenix to Flamita with such velocity that it sends both guys shooting over the guardrail and into the crowd. It reminded me of the way Homicide used to do the ‘tope con hilo’ in ROH. (EDS NOTE: Andrew does indeed inform me that Fenix vs. Guardrail is indeed a long standing rivalry) (****)

THE FINAL REACTION

Top to bottom, it’s a pretty strong card for the time in independent wrestling, which should come as no surprise giving the amount of talent that was in Chicago on this particular weekend. The main event is absolutely bananas (which is a bit of a surprise given that all four would play huge roles at ‘All In’ just two nights later. The Heavyweight title match is an excellent ‘big vs little man’ story and ACH shows off his deceptive strength quite impressively. As for the undercard, the opening couple contests are nothing to write home about (PACO vs. Wolf especially) but there is enough of an investment in the story of the company to keep one intrigued. You’ll want to watch for the second half of the show, but there is a little something for everyone if you’ll pardon the cliche. Call it a 7.5, for what I believe is the highest rating of my return thus far.

Best Match/Moment: ACH vs. Jeff Cobb just barely squeaks this one out over the main event.

Worst Match/Moment: PACO vs. Stephen Wolf. Nothing against either guy, just didn’t click. And the short run time on a stacked card probably didn’t help either.

Overall Show Score: 7.5/10

MVP: Man, this is a tough one. Usually on these shows, it is an easy decision. But here, there are good matches and a couple really good promos. I’ll give it to Fenix for trying to kill himself for our entertainment in the main event.

 

THE SIGNOFF

Normally, I’d have a big writeup here asking for ideas and questioning myself about my wrestling life choices. This time, there is no such reason to do so. This is part one of a double shot AAW weekend and it just makes sense to cover the next show as well. ‘What I Watched’ #15 will cover AAW’s “Defining Moment” 2018. Hope to see you there, everyone. Thanks for reading.


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Classic WWE

Attitude Of Aggression #292- The Big Five Project: King of the Ring ’93

The Big Four Project becomes the Big Five Project as the guys cover King of the Ring ’93 and Bret Hart’s fantastic run to the crown!

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Attitude of Aggression

The Big Four Project officially becomes the Big Five Project here on Episode 292. It’s the Attitude Of Aggression and it is time to return for another installment in the chronological analysis, review, and discussion about WWE’s now Big Five PPVs/ Premium Live Events. On this Episode, the guys cover King of the Ring ’93. In the wake of the disaster that was WrestleMania IX, WWE rebounded in a huge way with the first ever PPV version of the King of the Ring Tournament. After being screwed out of his title in Las Vegas, Bret “Hitman” Hart would complete a legendary hat-trick en route to becoming the first, and only, back-to-back KOTR winner. The guys cover all that, including a watch along of the epic Semi-Final match between Bret Hart and Mr. Perfect. KOTR ’93 was also significant as it marked the official end of Hulkamania as Yokozuna emphatically reclaimed the WWF Championship from Hulk Hogan. All that plus Shawn Michaels retaining the IC title against Crush. King of the Ring ’93 was clearly the best PPV of 1993 for WWE (by a wide margin) and the guys have all the details for you here on another epic edition of the Big Five Project!

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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Classic WrestleMania

Attitude Of Aggression #291- The Big Four Project: WrestleMania IX

The guys review quite possibly the worst WrestleMania of all-time, as Yokozuna wins, and then loses, the WWF Championship all in the span of 5 minutes!

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Attitude of Aggression

The Attitude Of Aggression returns for another installment of The Big Four Project, a chronological analysis, review, and discussion about WWE’s Big Four PPVs/ Premium Live Events. On this Episode, the guys face their ultimate challenge…. making WrestleMania IX interesting. Regarded by many as the worst WrestleMania of all-time, the guys do their utmost best to break the event down and to try and make sense as to how and why it was booked as badly as it was. WWE got the location right for WrestleMania IX, but everything else was very wrong. Filled with frustrating non-finishes, matches being made up on the fly, double Doinks, chloroform filled rags, and a bizarre finish done for the sole purpose of getting Hulk Hogan (of all people) over, WrestleMania IX was very bad indeed. The guys do find a few gems here and there though. Is it enough to salvage this event from the lowest level of WrestleMania hell? Join us here for to find out plus much more on another epic installment of The Big Four Project!

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.

The Chairshot Radio Network
Your home for the hardest hitting podcasts and radio shows!

All Shows On Demand

Listen on your favorite platform!

iTunes  |  iHeart Radio  |  Google Play  |  Spotify
Listen, like, subscribe, and share!


Chairshot Radio Graphic


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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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