Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a bunch of half naked dudes fake fighting.
Because of a previous commitment to cover another event, I missed my first AAW show since Fate of Eight back in June. Based on what I saw that night, I can safely say I would have rather been at AAW. With a surprise tag team title change the week before and Shane Hollister competing for the heavyweight championship, this should be another interesting night of AAW action.
-Taped from Berwyn, Illinois
-Your hosts are Phil Colvin and Derek St. Holmes
-We open with the ending of the February 19 tag team title change as Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black became the new AAW tag team champions. This is a bit of indy wrestling history as Jacobs and Black have now held tag team belts for an east coast company, Ring of Honor, a west coast company, PWG, and now a Midwest company, AAW.
-Derek St. Holmes talks for a bit, but he gets interrupted by the Chan Clan. Holmes slapped his nephew, Knight Wagner, in Iowa the previous week. Chandler McClure wants revenge on Colt Cabana for what happened in Berwyn the previous month.
-The Chan Clan (Jordan McEntyre and Knight Wagner) and Mason Beck (w/Johnny Wisdom and Chandler McClure) vs. Zero Gravity (Bret Gakiya and C.J. Esparza) and Krotch
Krotch humps poor McEntyre to start. Krotch works the arm and does some more humping. Wagner in and he meets much the same fate. Esparza in. Wagner misses a blind charge. Double knees by Esparza. Series of double team maneuvers by both members of Zero Gravity. Wagner gains the advantage on Krotch for about 30 seconds. Krotch hits a bombs away like move. Mason Beck puts an end to the shenanigans with a shot to the head. Heat Segment on Krotch. Beck and McEntyre look the best I’ve ever seen them look. Beck in particular has clearly improved the most since I started watching the company eight months ago. Hot tag to Esparza who hits a number of wacky moves on McEntyre. Twisting DDT on Wagner. McEntyre fails on a standing senton. Beck hits both members of Zero Gravity. Johnny Wisdom tries to interfere, but that fails miserably. Gravity dropkicks Beck out of the ring. They send Wagner out. Bronco buster by Krotch on to Wisdom. Major screw up by Esparza as he damn near kills himself trying a springboard dropkick. Assisted moonsault and a splash by Esparza gets the babyfaces the win.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Zero Gravity (Bret Gakiya and C.J. Esparza) and Krotch/9:58/**1/2
-Solid opener. Zero Gravity did a lot of really of good double team moves in this match, the one botch being the exception. Good to see just about everyone in this match continues to get better, particularly Zero Gravity.
-Mason Beck beats up the Chan Clan for the hell of it. Truth Martini comes out and talks about the House of Truth not being a bunch of losers, but the fact is they’ve lost three major matches in a row. Martini calls out a slightly inebriated Dan Lawrence. Lawrence comes in and beats up both Beck and Martini. Josh Raymond and Christian Able come out to double team Lawrence. All the House of Truth are now out. Beck hits a release powerbomb on two chairs. Jesus. Phoenix Twins come in a little tardy to run the HoT out of the ring.
-Kevin Harvey interviews Darin Corbin about his match with MsChif later. Krotch sneaks up and drops a letter of some sort on the table. Corbin reads the letter… and Nikki was a dude?
-Jay Bradley talks about breaking away from Dave Prazak and doing things his way.
-Jay Bradley vs. Michael Elgin
Battle of the big men. Elgin is a thick man who looks an awful lot like Hugh Morris. Almost exactly. Big strike exchange to start. Bradley hits a forearm that you couldn’t pay me enough to take. After missing a splash, Bradley hits a series of knees to the head of Elgin. Tackle by Elgin and a reverse elbow as he comes back into the ring. Bradley goes outside. Elgin attempts a dive, but Bradley throws him into the guard rail. That was nasty. Lots of punching. Bradley takes control and hits a vertical suplex. More fists and a big boot sends Elgin to the guard rail. They brawl outside before Bradley tosses Elgin back in the ring. Lariat misses. Flying knee by Elgin. Shoulder tackle off the middle rope. Snake eyes reversed. Another lariat attempt misses. Bradley tries to ram Elgin down to the mat with a knee. Elgin German suplex gets two. Strike exchange. Bradley hits a standing spinebuster. LARIAT! 1-2-3.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Jay Bradley/9:24/**3/4
-Heck of a fun match as these two beat the hell out of each other. Love to see more of Elgin in an AAW ring, and Bradley is positioning himself to the champion once again very soon.
-Kevin Harvey interviews Shane Hollister. Hollister calls out Danny Daniels for a match. Unfrotunately, the best he can get is Ryan Boz.
-Shane Hollister vs. Ryan Boz (w/Danny Daniels)
This match doesn’t make a great deal of sense from Hollister’s perspective since he’s challenging for the AAW championship later on in the evening. Hollister starts quickly with armdrags and spends the early portion working the surgically reconstructed arm of Boz. Hollister has words for Daniels on the outside. Boz takes advantage and rams Hollister into the mat shoulder first. Kick to the chest in the corner. Boz executes a tiger driver right on Hollister’s head. Weak strikes by Hollister. Bearhug by Boz sends us back about 20 years. Hollister breaks out, but Boz headbutts him in the midsection. Off the ropes, and Hollister hits a suicide dive on Daniels. Hollister comes off the ropes and runs into Boz. Snake eyes and a big boot. Boz goes for chair, but Hollister kicks the chair in his face. Buzzsaw kicks gets three.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Shane Hollister/5:46/*
-Not much of a match. Least Hollister got the win in preparation for his title match later on in the night. Daniels attacks Hollister immediately after the bell rings and piledrives Hollister on the floor. Boz goes after Kevin Harvey of all people. Boz driver. Man, everyone is getting the shit kicked out of them tonight.
-Silas Young and Irish Airborne talk about what the AAW heavyweight championship means for all of them.
-Irish Airborne (Jake and Dave Crist) vs. The Hybrids (Donovan Caine and Jason Lyte)
I didn’t catch the names of the Hybrids, and I don’t think it’ll matter all that much. Airborne attack them before the bell even rings. Hybrids get on offense. Major botch done by one of them. Airborne regain the advantage and continue to show more intensity and aggressiveness than ever. Referee actually stops the match because of an apparent injury. Not sure if it’s a work or not.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Irish Airborne/3:36/1/2*
-Airborne continue to beat the Hybrids for the hell of it. Big spike piledriver. This was a great statement for Airborne. They need victories badly. Might as well have them dismantle some jobber teams to start.
-Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs talk about winning the tag team belts. Good babyface promo.
-2 out of 3 Falls: AAW Heritage Championship: Colt Cabana (champion) vs. Arik Cannon
Cabana and Cannon have had two fairly mediocre matches for the Heritage title up to this point. Let’s see what they can do here with a stipulation. Pretty basic to start, and Cabana keeps the comedy to a minimum. Makes me happy. Cannon has foregone the top of his Mohawk. That makes me sad. Pretty good back and forth as they keep it to wrestling. Cabana takes control with an elbow. He then rams the head of Cannon into the corners. Cannon stops himself from being rammed into the last one, but Cabana comes up with an elbow from the second rope. Cannon hits a clothesline. Cannon chokes Cabana with tape. Vertical suplex gets two. Chops in the corner. Cabana comes back with a tornado snap suplex. Off the ropes, but Cannon with an elbow. High cross body, but Cannon flails to the outside. Cabana dives to the outside. Cannon just punches him in the face. They brawl on the outside. Cabana gets himself fired up with a number of right hands. Cannon with a kick. Cabana with an okana roll. Referee counts both men’s shoulders down at 8:15, so we’re tied at 1-1.
That was certainly a unique way of booking this match. Dave Prazak comes out and says D.P. Associates is out recruiting, particularly Cabana. Or so it seems. The third fall begins with Cannon in control. Dropkick to the head gets two. Exploder attempt but Cabana comes back with elbows. Off the ropes and a flying lariat by the champion. Series of rights and chops. Bodyslam. To the second rope for a big splash. 1-2-NO! Cannon with an enziguri. Series of reversals leads to a Cannon brainbustah. Shining wizard misses. Cabana hits a flying asshole but again only gets two. Flying asshole in the corner misses. He introduces the towel. Cannon misses a moonsault. Prazak takes the towel away. Cabana goes after him. Cannon with the towel now. Choke thrust with the towel. Cabana isn’t dead. He takes control on the outside. Cabana goes after Prazak once again. Prazak goes in the ring. Cannon gets a roll-up and holds on to the towel for three at 5:19 of the third fall. Justice is served.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: NEW AAW Heritage Champion-Arik Cannon/13:34/***
–Definitely the best of the three matches. The goofiness was kept to a minimum and there was some good exchanges.
-The Chan Clan comes out to celebrate Cabana’s loss. Cabana talks about the things he does celebrate. One is sex. The second is sex with two girls. The third is signing a new contract with AAW. The gist of this promo is Cabana is going to wrestle Chandler McClure in the near future. If Cabanas pins McClure, McClure is done with AAW once and for all.
-MsChif (SHIMMER champion) vs. Darin Corbin Nikki (w/Nikki Meydey)
Corbin noticeably keeps his distance from Nikki since she used to be a he. I wish this was for the SHIMMER championship. Corbin almost wrestles a complete comedy match, but McChif takes this seriously. Crowd is fervently behind MsChif. They have a screaming match and St. Holmes gets a great joke in about them mating. Fill nelson by Corbin. Wheelbarrow leads to a facecrusher by MsChif. Modified Indian deathlock, but Corbin gets to the ropes. MsChif headscissors. Backbreaker by Corbin. Camel clutch. MsChif bridges out and gets a two count. Roll-up by MsChif gets two. Bearhug by Corbin. MsChif counters that too. Muta lock but Corbin gets to the ropes. Northern lights try which Corbin easily gets away from. Bridge battle. MsChif finally gets the northern lights. Corbin chokeslam. He preps for the low blow. Krotch comes in the ring. Nikki Follows suit. She gets thrown into the arms of Corbin. MIST! MsChif rolls up Corbin for the victory.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: MsChif/7:51/*1/2
-Fun little match. Corbin’s facials carried the day.
-AAW champion Silas Young comes out to cut a promo. He claims the crowd has no lives. Hard to disagree with that assertion. Microphone goes all wonky on Young for a moment. He calls the crowd simpletons and rips Hollister for being an egomaniac and calling out Daniels earlier in the night. Young also says the referee can call this contest because of the injuries sustained earlier in the evening. Then Hollister’s music hits and we have…
-AAW Heavyweight Championship: Silas Young (champion) vs. Shane Hollister
Hollister actually controls the early portion of the match with a number of strikes and kicks. Young punches Hollister into the ring barricade. Referee checks on the condition of Hollister outside the ring. Young misses a dropkick to the outside. Hollister rams him into the guardrails multiple times. The brawl continues on the outside of the ring. Northern lights suplex by Hollister. Dropkick. Young rips at the eyes. Neckbreaker and a spinwheel kick sends Young into the corner. Ten punches in the corner. Series of knees The area around Hollister’s left eye is bleeding. Backbreaker/lariat combo by Young. Vertitcal suplex and punches in the face. Powerslam by Young gets a long two. Legdrops. Young begins to taunt Hollister. Chinlock. Hollister fights his out but gets clotheslined hard. Young slingshots Hollister into the ropes larynx first. Double axehandle to the back of Hollister. Young eats a boot in the corner. Hollister with a series of kicks. Young takes control outside the ring. Elbows to the back and midsection. Chinlock. Crowd gets behind Hollister. He works his out of the chinlock, but Young rams him down into the mat. Another chinlock.Backbreaker held by Young. Hollister fires with rights. Another backbreaker held by the champion. Knees by Hollister. Both men crumple down on the mat. Forearm to the back. Another try but Hollister hits a forearm. Dropkick and Young is hanging on the ropes by his feet. Hollister ends up on top of Young in what I believe to be some sort of botched spot. They exchange punches. Hollister with kicks. Forearm coming out of the corner. Backbreak/flatliner combo gets two. Hollister climbs to the top rope, but Young brings him back down. Kick to the back by Hollister. Double knees. 1-2-NO! Young grabs a handful of tights on a roll-up and almost picks up the win. Chokehold. Quick shin to the head. Finlay roll but the springboard moonsault is met with knees. Flying knee. 1-2-NO! Buzzsaw kick. Young locks in the end time choke. His arm drops twice, but picks up the arm on the third try. Young steals Hollister’s Buzzsaw kick and gets the win.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL AAW Heavyweight Champion- Silas Young/21:16/***1/4
-I’m not a fan of a guy who got piledriven on the floor having a 20 minute championship match barely an hour later. At the very least, this was a very good match. A little bit on the deliberate side but enjoyable.
-Darin Corbin runs into Nikki Meydey in the men’s bathroom. The plot thickens.
-Three Way Elimination-AAW Tag Team Championship: Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs vs. House of Truth (Josh Raymond and Christian Able) (w/Truth Martini, Valerie Malone, and Mason Beck) vs. The Phoenix Twins (Tweek and Dash)
Very weird to see House of Truth without the championship belts since they’ve had the belts as long as I’ve been following the company. Phoenix Twins comes out to brawl with House of Truth even before the match even begins. The locker room clears out to break these teams up. Tyler Black officially makes it a three way elimination match. The brawling continues. Black and Jacobs join in on the fun. The two babyface teams focus their attention on HoT. Raymond and Able flee. Stall session develops. Eventually, Black and Dash start the match proper. Truth try a cheap shot on Dash, but he punches them both out. Black and Dash exchange armdrags. Jacobs tags in. Armdrag into the armbar by Dash. Jacobs hulks up and hits a lariat. Series of punches. Off the ropes and Dash gets a leg lariat. House of Truth try to run interference once again. Jacobs and Black take control on Dash. Tweek comes in now. House of Truth go after Black. Beck snake eyes Tweek on the guardrail. Heat segment on Tweek as House of Truth take the advantage. They do some of their trademark spots including the double powerbomb spot. Able and Black get into a spitting contest. That’s so disgusting. Dash gets the hot tag and cleans house on both members of the Houseof Truth. Jacobs spears Able. Raymond hits a neckbreaker on Dash. Black with a springboard clothesline on both men. Facebuster on Raymond gets two. Black heads to the top and takes care of the other House of Truth members. Dash hits a missile dropkick on Raymond. Able pounces him out of the ring. Able hits a DVD on Tweek. Jacobs with a kick to the gut. The contra code is countered. Scissor kick by Able. Raymond misses a springboard. End time on Able. Raymond with a lungblower. Black makes the save at two-and-a-half. Forearm exchange. Black misses the pele. Able hits a wheelbaroow suplex. They try the tower of truth. Raymond is at the top rope being held by Jacobs. Sweet twin music on Able. He’s out of the ring. Black and both Twins get superkicks on Raymond. House of Truth are eliminated at 13:37.
Twins and the champs face off now. They wave good-bye to House of Truth. They go back and forth all over the ring and the ringside area. Jacobs and Dash in the ring. Big senton hit. 1-2-NO! Contra code reversed into a backbreaker. Brainbuster by Tweek gets two. Twins focus on Jacobs as they appear set to take the titles. Black peles one of the Twins. Black and Jacobs hit their patented double dropkick in the corner. Black bucklebombs one Twin into the other. Black sets Dash up for the assisted contra code. He gets with a headscissors. Palm strike on Jacobs. End time by Jacobs. Dash stays alive. Sweet twin music. House of Truth pull Dash out of the ring. The brawl that started before the match continues. Black pulls Tweek out of the ring. Black hits a frog splash. 1-2-3.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL AAW Tag Team Champions- Tyler Black and Jimmy Jacobs/20:16/****
-Phoenix Twins lay down the gauntlet. They want a loser leaves AAW match for 90 days. Truth Martini counters with a loser leaves AAW for six months stipulation. Twins with one more counter. One year. At the anniversary show coming up this Friday night, it will be the House of Truth vs. the Phoenix Twins with the losers being out of AAW for one year. Even more incredible, it’s a barb wire match. Dash ends the night by diving on the House of Truth and hitting sweet twin music on Mason Beck.
-Great way to end the night. This was a tremendous wrestling match. Great pace. All three teams shined big time. Best tag team match I’ve ever seen in AAW. It’ll be sad to see one of the three teams leave for a full year.
Final Thoughts: The last two matches on the show make Bloody Valentine a mild thumbs up show. Lots of decent matches are spread throughout, but it’s only the main events that impressed me. I’m fascinated to see where this company is headed in the upcoming months with the barbed wire match just being the tip of the iceberg. Clearly, tension is being teased between Jacobs and Black when it comes to their chase for the AAW championship. With the unfortunate injury to Shane Hollister, it’ll also be interesting to see who steps up.