Scars and Stripes 2009 Review

Our journey into the world of AAW continues this week as we set the wayback machine for… July 11, 2009. Most remember it as the night Brock knocked Mir the fuck out. I remember it as my first live AAW show. With all that mind, let’s go to the tape.

-Open with the same Phoenix Twins promo that was at the end of the June show.

-Jordan Mcentyre and Knight Wagner vs. Faith in Nothing

Big old four way to start. Bad and very awkward botch when Faith in Nothing have trouble lifting Mcentyre. Faith and Nothing do a nice hip toss into the corner to pick things back up. Faith does a big dive, which is pretty impressive considering his size. Not to get off topic, but Wagner and Mcentyre just reek of jobberness. With their look and their vanilla offense, I just wasn’t impressed with them. I’m sure they’re nice guys, but their heat segment is very mundane. Faith and Nothing pick things up once again and hit a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for a nice win.

-Faith in Nothing looked pretty good in this opener, and I think these guys have a lot of potential. They’re on a growing list of really impressive Midwestern tag teams.

-Winner/Time/Rating: Faith in Nothing/5:42/*

-Krotch and Nikki are still not getting along. Not exactly Academy Award level acting. Interviewer’s snarky comment about this not being “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” saves the segment.

-Zero Gravity(Brett Gakiya and C.J. Esparza) and Krotch vs. Northstar Express (Ryan Cruz and Darin Corbin) and Nick Brubaker

Brubaker used to be with Zero Gravity but has since turned on them. Krotch’s sister Nikki and Corbin really are just friends. And if you believe that, I will also tell you that wrestling is also a real sport and professional football is fake. Brubaker messes with Gakiya. This Gakiya kid has really shown me a lot of athleticism in the two times I’ve seen him on DVD. He definitely belongs in a tag team based on size and basic wrestling school, but in short bursts he definitely makes a show more entertaining. He also had to be a gymnast in another life. Zero Gravity with a double team. Brubaker tags Corbin as Krotch is tagged in. Corbin runs away. Cruz instead comes in. Krotch applies a heascissors… and humps him. I hate this guy. Triple team on Cruz by the babyfaces. Gakyia hits more flippity-flop type maneuvers. Head in to the top turnbuckle and the heels take control. Corbin grabs the sign that says BOOBAKER and folds it so you can only see BOOB. Awesome. Nice DDT by NSE. Gakiya hits double knees and tags Krotch. He ends up with Corbin at last. Brubaker pearl harbors Krotch. All six in the ring and we get another nice dive by Gakiya. Like I said before, Gakiya (and Esparza) have looked pretty darn good in this match. Cruz throws a chair into the ring that Krotch grabs and appears ready to use. His sister prevents a chairshot. Corbin lowblows Krotch and gets the three count. Not a bad match at all.

Winner/Time/Rating: Ryan Cruz, Darin Corbin, and Nick Brubaker/10:28/**

-Nikki and Krotch argue in the ring after the match. Zero Gravity hangs around for whatever reason, Hey guys, they’re brother and sister. This is not worth getting involved in, and they should really just mind their own business. Brother and sister argue all the way to the back.

-Chandler McClure promo. He’s still banned from AAW, but his grandmother has money so he buys promo time. Why do all wrestlers have rich grandmothers?

-Danny Daniels comes out for his match, but Jimmy Jacobs doesn’t even give him a chance to head to the ring. No bell as they just brawl all over the building. One poor referee takes a bump into the hard guardrail. They visit each section and give everyone a front row seat. Back in the ring and they exchange wrestling holds. This lasts about thirty seconds before Brubaker runs in and a double team beatdown commences. Jacobs holds them off and even gets a sliced break number two off Daniels Chest. Jacobs sets up a table. Uh-oh. After last month, this might not turn out well. Ryan Boz interferes with Jacobs’ attempts to dive onto Daniels. Personally, I think Boz is trying to save Jacobs because these tables are more hardcore than the wrestlers. Jacobs thwarts Boz, sentons Brubaker inside the ring, and BREAKS THE TABLE with a senton on Daniels. Jimmy Jacobs, giant killer. Jimmy Jacobs, tablebreaker. Really good intense brawl between these two. Referees call it a no-contest since the bell never rang. No contest, no match, no rating.

-More with Nikki and Krotch as they argue backstage. NSE commence a beatdown on Krotch. Nikki doesn’t want them to beat her up… in front of her. So the door closes and things don’t look good for Krotch. Ouch.

-Dan Lawrence and Silas Young call out the tag champs, but instead we get the younger brother of Shawn Davari, Ariya. Devari says Suds and Buds won’t be wrestling House of Truth. They WILL however have a challenge to respond to. Devari has a partner, a championship partner. Why it could be only one man… the greatest man who ever lived… A Double himself. Ring of Honor World Champion (until WWE offers him a developmental deal) Austin Aries. Aries cuts a promo burying everyone, and even uses the word rinky dink to describe AAW. Uh Austin… forget it. I’ll just remind you that about six people get HDNet and move on.

-Austin Aries and Ariya Devari vs. Suds and Buds (Silas Young and Dan Lawrence)

Aries and Devari go to work before the bell even rings. Well, the bell doesn’t actually ring, but pretend it does. Silas Young in trouble early until he fires away and tags in Lawrence. Lawrence is a PBR of fire, but as he’s about to dive, A Double clotheslines him and we have our Sud Bud in trouble. The segment doesn’t last very long as Young tags in and beats Devari down like… Oh, I’m not going there. Rolling thunder but a diving backrake from Aries stops that. Young tags in Lawrence, who dives in on both of his opponents. Double suplex back in the ring. Young attempts the springboard moonsault but Aries dropkicks him in the face. Devari and Aries try to double teambut Aries accidentally punches him in the nuts while Devari is on the top rope. Guess Shawn won’t be an uncle. Devaru recovers and uses his carpet that he brought with him to the ring for a splash. Lawrence doesn’t show him the world, but he does show him up by pinning him in a roll-up. Too short to mean anything, but Aries was a great surprise.

Winner/Time/Rating: Silas Young and Dan Lawrence/6:46/*1/2

-Tyler Black cuts a promo about his upcoming challenge for the AAW championship against Jay Bradley. Yup, lot better than his ROH ones.

-House of Truth come out and accept the challenge of Suds and Buds… just not tonight. Dicks. They will however accept the challenge of two young up and comers. Least they didn’t pick their names out of a hat.

-AAW Tag Team Championship Match: House of Truth (Josh Raymond and Christian Able w/Truth Martini, Val Malone, and Mason Beck)(champions) vs. Mike Sydal and Juice Robinson.

Sydal and Robinson has wrestled on the pre-show. Robinson’s blonde afro is enormous, and I can see why he shaved it off for the following month’s show. It’s a huge distraction. Sydal has stars on his back… literally. Tattoos really can be life’s biggest mistake. Remember how I ripped the Jay Bradley/Krotch match the month before? This was just as long, but it felt a lot better and made more sense. Robinson and Sydal had no business beating the champs or even competing against them. But for a few and brief shining moments, you could almost believe that there was a chance House of Truth would lose. This is what makes House of Truth awesome also. They’re heels so the more they let faces have hope, the more dastardly they appear and the better their opponents look. This also happened to be a nice little match. Not a classic but they wrestled about a 50/50 match. The wheelbarrow skullcrusher finally has a name too., the Tower of Truth. Works for me. It’s even a relatively clean win for the new champs. Very good match given the context.

Winner/Time/Rating: STILL AAW Tag Team Champions- Josh Raymond and Christian Able vs. Juice Robinson and Mike Sydal/9:09/***1/4

-Martini talks about the match being a piece of cake. Another great heel line. Make it some like the tough match you were just in was a piece of cake. Since everyone in the audience knows it wasn’t and they’re heels, this works. Folks, it’s not hard to do what AAW is doing with House of Truth. But I see it screwed up so much that when it’s done right, you notice it a lot more. Lawrence and Young take umbrage and attack House of Truth. Big man Mason Beck tries a double chokeslam but gets two kicks to the groin. Pretty good brawl develops between both teams. Referees and a lot of the locker room empty out to try and keep these four men separated. They’re pretty successful at it too. Young gets on the mic and announces that at next month’s show, it will be a Double Dog Collar match between the two teams. Has to be better than Necro and Jimmy Rave, right?

-Jay Bradley and Dave Prazzak cut a promo on Tyler Black. Bradley sounds a lot like Randy Orton. If his match with Tyler is restarted three times, I quit.

-The Phoenix Twins (Dash and Tweek) vs. Irish Airbourne (Jake and Dave Crist)

Pretty basic to start, but you just know these two teams can’t start doing all kinds of crazy crap at any given point. Unfortunately, these guys don’t really get a good amount of time to have a great match. I was a bit disheartened at the time because of how good I think these teams can be in this type of environment. They’re not serving as enhancement talent for bigger teams in ROH. They’re about dead even in AAW. Sweet Twin Music gets Irish Airbourne the victory in under ten minutes. Would love to see a return match down the road.

Winner/Time/Rating: Dash and Tweek Phoenix/7:27/**3/4

-Arik Cannon promo. He doesn’t like Shane Hollister.

-AAW Heavyweight Championship Match: Jay Bradley (w/Dave Prazak)(champion) vs. Tyler Black

Black is already a two time champion, while Bradley is a former WWE developmental guy. Exchange of holds to begin as Bradley asserts his size and strength advantage. Black is able to use speed and quickness to hang around. Fairly simple concept. They do some “We know each other spots” and Bradley takes a breather. As Black wants to dive, Bradley forearms him and kicks him off the apron. Bradley stays on top and keeps working on both the head and neck. Tyler fires back briefly but Bradley rides him down with the knee from the top rope. This gets two but Black is just getting beatwn down. Bradley preps for the lariat, but Black gets a sunset flip. Bradley counters that as well. Big shot across the chest and a knee to the jaw as Black lays prone on the apron. Another kick to the head. Knocks him with even more elbows. Throws back the arm again, but Black kicks the arm and bulldogs his opponent. To the top and Black reverses a slam attempt. Clothesline of his own. Another one. Boot to the face and one more clothesline from the second rope. Black gets all fired up (called the war dance by the announcers) and runs into the corner. Back kick and yet another clothesline gets two. Tyler dives to the outside and puts him back inside. Two count but he’s thrown off hard.

Black makes an attempt for the quebrada but he misses. Standing shooting star press but God’s Last Gift is countered with a kick to the gut. Fireman’s slam. Climb the ropes but black is quick to the task. Powerbomb. He tunes up the band, but Prazak is on the apron. Black gets distracted and punches him in the face. Bradley has the belt in his hands, but Black kicks it back his face. Ref falls down behind Bradley and then Black leaps for a Phoenix Splash. Bradley gets out of the way. Ref doesn’t. That’s just nasty. Belt shot misses. Pele kick. Superkick but there is no referee. No one runs out from the back to make the count. Phoenix Splash attempt once again. Bradley stops it yet again and hits a belly-to-back suplex. Prazak helps the referee on the outside. Finally, Bradley hits the lariat. Another referee sprints from the back. 1-2- NOOOO!!! This is the first time anyone has kicked out of Bradley’s lariat. Another lariat. This one gets three.

Winner/Time/Rating: STILL AAW Champion- Jay Bradley/17:48/***3/4

Tyler Black has had the worst 2009 ever when it comes to singles title matches. He had to forfeit the FIP belt because of an injury. He lost the AAW championship back in March and now lost this return match clean as a whistle. Of course, his ROH failures are very well know. Poor guy. Anyway, this match was awesome and a great story was told here. Bradley and Black have excellent chemistry, and I think Bradley is someone who can counter the flippy-flopiness of Black well. I think these two having a rematch is an excellent idea since I feel like they have a lot more to give.

-Dragon Gate USA Promo. Nope. Never heard of them.

-Stairway to Hell- AAW Heritage Championship match: Arik Cannon (champion) vs. Shane Hollister (52:15)

The rules are fairly simple. It’s essentially a ladder match except a barbwire bat is in place of the title. But once you actually go up and physically grab the bat, you still have to pin your opponent or make him submit. This is a rivalry that goes back quite a few months. Hollister absolutely goes all out in this. So does Arik Cannon really. It starts out as basically every street fight you’ve ever seen the last ten years or so, but it becomes more and more epic as the match wears on.

-On the podcast, I brought up how the amount of violence went too far since they used a number of things that really shouldn’t be used in wrestling. Ever since the Benoit tragedy, I’ve become more sensitive to certain objects being used. I don’t like seeing barbwire, thumbtacks, staple guns, or fire used. You can also throw lighttubes in there too. To me, it’s just a symbol of guys making up for a lack of talent by just doing violent shit. Hollister is a guy who is smaller but shows a willingness to do anything as this match shows. He’s the one who takes many of the bumps. Both guys bleed a gusher, and all of the aforementioned objects are used. There’s even a particularly dangerous spot as Hollister hooks in a camel clutch and threatens to put the barbwire bat across Cannon’s neck Ridiculous.

I’ll admit that this match definitely isn’t my cup of tea, but I can see a lot of fans enjoying it. There are some pretty vicious visuals and a whole heaping load of violence. It’s certainly appropriate given that these two have been feuding for some time that we get a big old violent brawl to put this issue to bed. I guess the only thing I wished was that they didn’t have to resort to this kind of stuff. Cannon is someone who’s wrestling at the DG USA show, and Hollister recently competed at the Young Lions’ Cup. That means these two guys have talent and don’t actually have to take all these shortcuts. The Northstar Express even interferes, but Matt Cross stops them from doing serious damage. After all the punishment taken, Cannon uses the fireball to finally end this match.

I can’t give this a dud just because of the effort involved and the intensity. I don’t even feel right giving it a star or something because of the same reasons. Therefore, I think about two-and-a-half stars seems appropriate.

Winner/Time/Rating: STILL AAW Champion-Arik Cannon/37:48/**1/2

Final Thoughts: With nothing exceedingly awful and some good matches, I’d give this show a recommendation. Not a strong one but there are certainly some very good matches, and I think most people will enjoy the main event more than I will. I think Black and Bradley is the match to watch because of the quality work provided by both men. I think the underrated match was the tag title match since I had zero expectations. Raymond and Able did a fantastic job and continue to be two of the MVPs of the company. So I’d recommend this show.

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