Beginning in October of last year, AAW decided to run some shows in Davenport, Iowa. It’s the home area of both Tyler Black and Shane Hollister, two of AAW’s top stars. Guess that makes sense. Smart Mark Video recently released all four shows on two discs since no show is longer than about two hours. These are pretty much B shows, but I’m hoping for a bit of enjoyment based on some of the main events.
-Taped on October 24, 2009 from Davenport, Iowa
-Your hosts are no one. No announcers for any of these shows. That’ll make watching these shows a bit more difficult.
-Nick Brubaker vs. Bobby Valentino
It sure is dark in that building. Appears to be about 20 people and we’ve got one camera. Brubaker is aligned with Ryan Boz and Daniels, while I don’t think I’ve ever seen Valentino before. Valentino starts out quickly and sends Brubaker fleeing. Dive into the parade of empty chairs. Brubaker takes control with a clothesline that leaves the flexible Valentino in a bad way. Vertical suplex and a chinlock. Elbows but Brubaker rams him headfirst into the mat. Snapmare and a running elbow get two for Brubaker. Valentino shows some babyface fire and gets a headscissors for two. Kill Switch try but Brubaker works his out of it. Another try hits but only gets two. Brubaker small package into a fisherman’s suplex. 1-2-3.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Nick Brubaker/5:02/1/2*
-Cookie cutter opener that will easily be forgotten about in 10 minutes or less.
-Dr. X vs. Jordan McEntyre (w/Johnny Wisdom)
Good to see the dreaded Dr. X back in a wrestling ring. It’s been too long. Headlock into a bodyslam quickly for Dr. X. Wisdom tries to interfere, so X takes a step back. Full nelson but Wisdom grabs the leg of X. McEntyre headlock and he takes control of the match. Wisdom liberally cheats. Chinlock by McEntyre. Leg lariat gets two for McEntyre. Headbutts to the midsection but McEntyre rakes the eyes. Irish whip into the corner. Flying springboard elbow. X with chops and punches. Sunset flip but McEntyre hits him in the face. Springboard moonsault gets two. To the outside goes X, and Wisdom chokes him. McEntyre eats boot after leaping off the second rope. Series of jabs sends McEntyre down. Reverse elbow and a back body drop. Butterfly suplex. Knee and Wisdom heads to the top. X slams him off the top. Full nelson leads to the submission.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Dr. X/6:15/*
-This felt like something out of the 1980s. X wins a quick match against a youngster in the business. Basic match with not much to it.
-Mason Beck vs. Aaron Scott
Not expecting Scott to last long. Beck uses a couple power moves early but gets cocky. Scott hits a couple chops but makes a mistake coming off the ropes. Powerslam by Beck. Elbow on the canvas. Series of them. Irish whip sends Scott into the corner hard. Crowd doesn’t even bother cheering for Scott. Sideslam gets two for Beck. Scott meekly tries a comeback. That fails. Ram into the corner but Beck gets hit with a boot on two straight blind charges. Vertical suplex attempt fails twice. He gets it the third time and almost gets three. Beck hits another sideslam. Razor’s edge ends it.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Mason Beck/3:45/1/4*
-Borderline squash. Everything about this show makes it feel like something from FIP out of 2004. Lots of random matches with younger guys. One guy wins. One loses. Nothing inherently awful of what I’ve seen so far, but not a whole lot of entertainment.
-Silas Young vs. Krotch
Finally something to work with as this should be competitive. This was just before Young’s heel turn. Krotch is a bit toned down with this show taking place in either a church or a building with religious connections. The babyfaces shake hands. Lock-up and we get a clean break in the corner. Wristlock exchange. Krotch gets a headlock. Shoulder tackle by Young. Roll-up off the ropes and Krotch goes to work on Young. Knee and a forearm by Young. Krotch sends Young in the corner, misses a blind charge, but hits an elbow. Bulldog. He sits down on Young and gets two. Young sends Krotch flying into a sea of chairs. Young gets a two count. He continues working Krotch over in the corner with headbutts in the midsection. Snapmare. Slingshot into the bottom rope. Pair of gutbusters get two. Rights and lefts by Krotch. He misses a dropkick. Hard kick by Young with Krotch lying on the mat. Choke by Young. He rams him into the corner. Krotch reverses and gets a sunset flip. Lariat by Young. Neckbreaker by Krotch. He krotches Young across the top rope. I get it. Leaps over the top and misses a dive. Young misses a lariat. Krotch does get his dive in. Back inside the ring for a two count. Krotch springboards for a sitdown maneuver. Long two count. Off the ropes but Krotch gets booted. He flips Young over. Drop toehold into a submission move focusing on the neck. Krotch barely reaches the ropes. Elbows to various parts of Krotch’s body. Cloverleaf try. Krotch hooks a small package. They exchange small packages but neither man can keep the other down. They roll around the ring. Young misses a clothesline. Krotch hits a codebreaker and bronco buster. Dropkick. Contra code reversed into the backbreaker/clothesline combination. This gets three for Young.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Silas Young/10:59/**1/4
-Decent enough match that was actually competitive and showcased both guys pretty well.
-Silas Young gets on the microphone and says he’s the next AAW champion. Just wait a month. Tyler Black comes out, and this should be an interesting promo war. Silas says next time Tyler slaps him, he won’t be such a nice guy. They start brawling. Davey Richards runs out and attacks Black. Cloverleaf applied and Young noticeably does nothing. Richards goes after everyone, including the referees.
-Shane Hollister and Marek Brave vs. Danny Daniels and Trik Davis
Time for a brawl. Brave lost a match where he had to leave Berwyn for six months, but this is Davenport. Everyone in this match has some sort of issue with each other. Thing settle down into a normal tag team match. Heat segment on Brave. Brave works his way back into the match and tags in Hollister. Davis and Hollister have an exchange. Hollister gets a roll-up on Daniels, but he gets sent to the outside where he dives on Davis. Referee gains control of the match as he yells at Brave. Daniels attacks Hollister from behind. Heat segment on Hollister now. Flatliner on Davis and an enziguri on Daniels lead to a hot tag for Hollister. Brave goes nuts on the heels. Spear on Daniels almost gets him the win. He rams their heads together. Daniels and Davis get the advantage back as Daniels hits a DDT while Davis dropkicks Brave. Hollister back in and he kicks both opponents. Hollister knees Davis hard into the corner. Northern lights bomb. Daniels pulls Hollister off at two. Saito suplex. Brave tries suplexing Daniels on the ring apron. Davis prevents that, so Brave gets a sunset flip on Davis. 1-2-3? That certainly came from out of nowhere.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Marek Brave and Shane Hollister/9:56/**1/2
-Daniels and Davis hit a spike piledriver on Hollister on the outside of the ring. Years ago, that would put Hollister on the shelf for months, maybe a year. In this situation, Hollister came back less than a month later.
-The local promoter makes an announcement about the next month’s show. Marek Brave calls Danny Daniels out for what just happened. I assume an intermission came after the last match. The promoter suspends Davis and Daniels. Brave doesn’t care about Davis, but he does want Daniels in a street fight. And the match is made. Marek Brave will compete against Danny Daniels in a Quad Cities Street Fight. Not sure how that’s different from any other street fight.
-Knight Wagner (W/Johnny Wisdom and Jordan McEntyre) vs. Kyle ‘Reilly
Wagner complains about a hair pull after he gets arm-dragged. Wristlock exchange. Back and forth they go. Hip toss into a headlock by O’Reilly. Wagner counters with a headlock of his own. O’Reilly eventually gets a solid kick. Kicks to the legs. Irish whip into a dropkick. Backbreaker. Knee drop. Series of strikes in the corner. Wagner has gotten minimal offense in at this point. Hard running forearm. McEntyre grabs the leg and Wagner takes control with a punch to the throat. Russian legsweep and just some flat-out choking, Series of right hands. Legdrop gets two. Snapmare into a kick to the back. Kick to the front but O’Reilly kicks out at two. O’Reilly with kicks and strikes. Wagner regains the advantage. His compatriots on the outside go after O’Reilly while Wagner distracts the referee. Wagner goes to the second rope and misses a legdrop. O’Reilly with a pair of atomic drops. Irish whip into the corner. McEntyre and Wisdom get taken out. Butterfly suplex on Wagner gets a two count. Forearm shots and a big boot. Wagner counters with a kick of his own. Wagner goes for a move off the ropes, but he gets sent into the corner. Into the corner. Wagner gets a roll-up and holds the ropes. 1-2-3!
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Knight Wagner/6:59/*1/2
-Wagner actually picked up his first singles victory, so Derek St. Holmes comes out to interview his nephew. Funny segment as Holmes buries his nephew by telling stories and eventually kicking him out of the ring.
-Zero Gravity (Bret Gakiya and C.J. Esparza) vs. The Hybrids (Donovan Caine and Jason Lyte)
I like what I’ve seen from Zero Gravity and have only seen The Hybrids get squashed by Irish Airborne or wrestle on the pre-show. I still can’t tell The Hybrids apart all that well, so I’ll just speak generally about the match. Decent enough match although the Hybrids are really green. That’s why you have these kind of shows, to let talent develop and get ring time. Good tease of the hot tag towards the end of the match. Gakiya is surprisingly smooth even though he does a lot of flips and complicated maneuvers. Hybrids dominate a good portion of the contest but succumb to the double team to the flippy cup. Great name for a move.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Zero Gravity/10:10/*1/2
-Harmless if mundane tag team match.
-Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards
Black attacks Richards before the bell even rings. We’re only an hour and ten minutes in. I don’t see the need to rush. Black introduces Richards to the ring apron. Richards tries to escape to the back. Crack camera guy doesn’t even bother going to the back. To the ring where Black beats Richards up without even taking his shirt off. Richards escapes again and Black follows him. Into the steps Richards goes. Hard. He begs for mercy back in the ring. Black doesn’t buy it and rams his head into the turnbuckle. Snapmare but Black misses a boot. A kick to the stomach on a sitting Richards leads to the boot. Richards crawls to the ropes but gets hit with a belly-to-back suplex. Punches on Richards but a kick stops that in short order. Ten punches in the corner. Chops and Richards again heads outside. Poor Davey has had no offense in this match. Finally, he gets a poke to the eye. Back inside where Black regains the advantage. He misses a kick. Richards gets a kick of his own suplex Black’s stomach on to the top rope. Headbutt and a knee to the midsection. Snap suplex into a figure four on the middle part of Black’s body. Black counters into a pin for two. Elbows but Richards kicks Black right in the shoulder. Choke in the corner, but Black gets a few meager shots in. Chop and a clothesline by Richards. Belly-to-back of his own gets two. Boston crab try but Black reaches the ropes even before the hold is applied. Bodyslam and Richards applies a modified chinlock. Richards with strikes in the corner and a hard kick that sends Black flying. Richards wants Black to stay down. Referee begins counting him out. Running forearm and another kick. Running kick and Black crumples to the ground. Black is laid prone on the top rope. Richards chops him. Black comes back and off the top. He gets dropkicked. Richards applies the cloverleaf. Black reaches the ropes. Hard kicks to the chest. Black seems to be getting fired up. Right hands and Richards is rammed into the corner. After booting him on a charge, he gets atomic-dropped off the top rope. Series of punches and a hurancanrana. Vertical suplex and Black kips up. Lionsault gets two. Black gets himself all fired up. Leaping enziguri and a springboard moonsault. Black sets up for the buckle bomb, but Richards rams in the corner. He kicks Richards in the chest and leaps off the middle and top ropes with another kick. Missile dropkick. Running forearm leads to a boot by Black. Richards with a boot. They boot each other. Exchange of rights now as this has become a fight. Leaping kick off the ropes gets two. Waistlock but Black reverses. O’Connor roll attempt. More waistlock exchanges. Richards gets a powerbomb and another cloverleaf. Small package reversal gets two. Kick exchange. Pele kick by Black. 1-2-NO! Buckle bomb! Superkick! 1-2-3!
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Tyler Black/17:26/***1/2
-For being in front of only 20 people, I thought these two had a really good main event. I didn’t get the sense that they were half-assing it for a single second or that they treated this as just a payday. Props to both men for going out there and having the kind of match that I’d say is just short of what I think they’re capable of in Ring of Honor.
Final Thoughts: Pretty basic show that showcased a lot of the younger AAW talent. Before the main event and other than the tag team, this almost felt like the AAW equivalent of Pro Wrestling Respect. Not bad for the guys but not great for DVD watching. Still, there was at least a solid main event to end the show. I’ll review the next show before making a final verdict on buying the double DVD set