I question the name of this show.
-This is a five match card, so this shouldn’t take long.
-Taped from Milan, Illinois
-Some army commandos try to get the referees to work-out. Chan Clan interrupts and are subjected to push-up drills. Zero Gravity walks by and makes fun of them.
-Four geeks are in the ring. I have absolutely no idea who any of these people are. As I press the panic button, Mustafa Ali comes out to beat the anonymous geeks. He cuts the same promo every other middle easterner as cut in the last 30 years. It’s pretty appalling, especially considering the amount of army members in the audience. Tyler Black goes all Hacksaw Jim Duggan as a response to Ali. Main event is set. I sense a happy ending. Black tries to end things early with a superkick, but Ali runs away. See, he’s a coward because he’s not American.
-Dr. X(w/Derek St. Holmes vs. Knight Wagner (w/Jordan McEntyre)
Wagner accuses the Dr. X that’s in the ring of not being the real Dr. X. St. Holmes denies these false charges. This Dr. X is clearly smaller, but I attribute it to a great diet or getting off the gas. X uses a lot of the same offense he usually does to further prove Wagner wrong. Honestly, this feels like an opening match I’d see from an old territory house show with how basic everything is. McIntyre distracts the referee. A second Dr. X comes in to help the first Dr. X win. It really doesn’t get an great response from the crowd.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Dr. X/4:01/*
-St. Holmes takes Wagner over his knee for a spanking. McEntyre’s attempts to thwart the spanking fail. Crowd still isn’t into this angle.
-Zero Gravity (Brett Gakiya and CJ Esparza) vs. House of Truth (Christian Able and Mason Beck)
Mason Beck adds a completely different dynamic to these matches because while Raymond uses speed and technical wrestling, Beck is all power. He’s also much larger than either member of Gravity. Able uses his power to take advantage early. Odd to have the heels control so much of the early offense. Esparza finally gets a rana and dropkick. Gakiya tags in and we get a series of double teams. Heels take control and use open handed chops. Beck smiles and laughs while tossing Esparza around. Overhead press slam attempt. Sloppy dropkick by Esparza into a tag. Gakiya with a headscissors, but he gets caught on the 619. Esparza in again with a hurcanrana. Able charges but goes over the top. Gakiya tries a dive but gets caught by Able. Esparza kicks the rope into Able’s groin. Blind charge misses. Able with a boot, and then he tosses him like a lawn dart to the corner. Jesus. Able tells Beck to put up the boot, so he obliges. Heat segment on Gakiya. Hurancanrana and a hot tag. Esparza uses his feet well on Able. Corkscrew splash gets two. Beck catches Esparza coming off the rope. Able catches Gakiya in a wheelbarrow and hands him off to Beck. Beck hits an impressive overhead slam with both members of Zero Gravity in hand. Beck continues beating Esparza down. Big swing and Gakiya is down again. Able locks in an abdominal stretch and gets some additional support by holding on to Beck’s hand. Able does it a second time, but the referee sees it. Esparza almost gets the hot tag, but Able knocks Gakiya down. This match is getting a lot of time. Beck with some clubbering while talking trash. Esparza with forearms. Kick to the midsection and another forearm. Off the ropes and he gets caught. Counter into a facebuster. Gakiya and Able each get tagged. Series of kicks and knees by Gakiya. Able with a chop. Irish whip. Gakiya dropkicks Beck’s leg. 619 on Able. Esparza with a huge dive on Beck. Gakiya comes off the the rope only to get nailed with a clothesline. Beck goes for the Edge but Gakiya comes out of it. Beck accidentally kicks Able in the face. Swinging DDT by Esparza. Running kick by Gakiya Top rope flippy cup and a shooting star press. Gakiya covers and gets three.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Zero Gravity/18:12/***
-This match got a lot of time and didn’t come off like a traditional tag match. I believe we had three hot tags and a number of up and down moments. I liked the story it told. I liked how much Able was showcased as both a wrestler and a personality. Good to see the tension with Beck and H.o.T continue. Finally, Zero Gravity getting the win over an H.o.T B-team makes a lot of sense.
-Krotch doesn’t think it’s cool to piledrive women and vows revenge.
–Miss Eryn is in the ring for an interview as she’s scouting for new talent since the Hybrids turned out to be monumental failures. Chan Clan comes out. Wagner claims he would face St. Holmes, but his ass hurts. No, really. St. Holmes brings up his personal vow not to face his nephew. Wagner slaps his uncle in the face. Things get serious as St. Holmes takes his jacket off. McEntyre takes St. Holmes out, and it leads to Miss Eryn being taken down
-Derek St. Holmes vs. Jordan McEntyre
McEntyre of course is in control as the bell rings. St. Holmes sends McEntyre into each turnbuckle. St. Holmes is in jeans for God’s sake. Vertical suplex and a knee drop. McEntyre with a knee and bodyslam. McEntyre messes up a springboard moonsault badly. Whoosh, that was awkward. St. Holmes in control as he stomps away. Slap right in the chest. Over the knee for a spanking. Knee by McEntyre and outside St. Holmes goes. Chan Clan with a double team. Referee does nothing. McEntyre chops the ring post. St. Holmes lets the fans slap McEntyre’s hand. Very creative. St. Holmes works the arm and hand. More slaps to the butt. McEntyre with a short back drop. Double axehandles. Wagner gets a cheap shot in on his uncle. What a great family. Shots to the midsection and neckbreaker by St. Holmes. Bulldog. Irish whip. Wagner trips St. Holmes. McIntyre takes his belt off and whips away. Referee takes it away. St. Holmes with a belt of his own. Just a good old-fashioned country whipping. Choking. Irish whip and St. Holmes takes a bump chest first into the buckle. Hey, someone else does do that bump. I pondered that in my Best of Raw review. Springboard by McEntyre gets two. They exchange punches and slaps. St. Holmes starts no-selling. Running forearm. Wagner on the apron and into the ring. St. Holmes deposits him outside. Spin kick by McIntyre gets two. Irish whip in the corner. St. Holmes gets a butterfly suplex for three.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Derek St. Holmes/9:11/1/2*
-All I have to say about this match is… it won’t exactly make my list for best of the year. Far from it. I was stunned by how much time this got. Cut this sucker in half, and I think you have a far more entertaining bout that serves its purpose. Let’s never speak of this match again.
-Danny Daniels vs. Krotch (w/Scarlet)
Daniels says he’s better than Krotch and anyone in the crowd. Daniels gives Krotch the opportunity to leave the ring. It’s only a five match card guys. If this doesn’t happen, we lose 20% of the matches. Krotch teases leaving but hits a Thesz press as the bell rings. Krotch with a series of punches in the corner. Daniels tries an atomic drop but gets hit with a leg lariat. Krotch first for a two count. Daniels tosses Krotch by the tights outside the ring. Bodyslam. Daniels tries a chop… but unfortunately hits the post. Always a nasty move. Now Daniels is the one trying to run away. We lose the competitors for a minute. They come back and Krotch uses a series of chops and strikes. Krotch actually gets a sunset flip on the floor. Not sure what purpose that served. Krotch gets a headscissors for two in the ring. Contra code attempt but Daniels simply pulls away and sends him down face first. Series of right hands by Daniels. Vertical suplex gets two. Another two count and Daniels is not happy. Strike exchange which ends with Daniels raking the eyes. Daniels places Krotch on the top rope. He slaps him around for a bit before heading up himself. Krotch slaps him down and gets a hurancanrana. More punching and a big forearm by Krotch. Daniels hits a forearm and chop. Neckbreaker by Krotch. Neckbreaker by Daniels. Krotch drives Daniels on the back of his head for two. Krotch runs in the corner and guillotines Daniels neck on the top rope. Daniels hits a dropkick. Into the corner with another chop. Daniels goes into the ring post shoulder first. Daniels sells the injury only to get with a dive by Krotch. I should point out that there appears to be little to no lighting in this facility, and I can barely see what is going on. Daniels powerbombs Krotch into the post. Daniels teases piledriving Scarlet a third time because the first two times got so much heat you see. As Daniels is about to piledrive the young lady, Krotch hits a sitdown slam for two. Scarlet then does a… broncobuster. No comment is needed. Kick. Krotch goes for the contra code. Daniels counters and gets a low blow. Piledriver. 1-2-3.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Daniels/11:58/*
-This feels like the same exact match as last month except Daniels won. Not much to see here. Move on.
-Tyler Black (AAW Tag Team Champion) vs. Prince Mustafa Ali
THIS is the main event of the evening. Someone apparently turned an extra light on because you can actually see what’s happening in the ring now. Ali tries to attack Black from behind, but he ends up being clotheslined out of the ring for his troubles. Black maintains the offense while Ali continues fleeing to the outside. Becomes a chase outside the ring. Ali even misses an elbow drop before sending Black into the middle turnbuckle. Black allows the fans to hold Ali while he chops or superkicks them. Black goes into the post. Ali hits a shoulder DDT and goes to work. In case you missed the last match, Ali is working the same limb as Krotch did. Black regains the advantage and goes up top. Ali pushes him down. Ali continues working the shoulder and even breaks out a bastardized version of the tortelino. Not exactly as smooth as Yoshino. Ali tries to walk across the rope, but Black crotches and pele kicks him. Black comes off the top with a dive. Black gets all fired up and hits a running forearm. Tree of woe and Black hits a hesitation dropkick. Springboard clothesline gets two. F-5 attempt but Ali goes back to the shoulder. Armbar. Would be more effective if Black was actually selling the limb. Black sends Ali into the corner and the referee. Ali with some sort of object that he hits Black with. 1-2-no. Ali puts Black on the top rope and sets up for a superplex. Sunset bucklebomb. Superkick. Done.
-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Tyler Black/13:48/**
-The only purpose this served was to send the crowd happy. Black didn’t sell the shoulder at all, and Ali seemed to only be on the show to help get heat since there were so many soldiers. I’m glad AAW did a show as a sendoff got the troops in Milan, but I’m not sure the best of what AAW is capable of showing was shown here.
Final Thoughts: I liked the April show despite not thinking anything was a classic. Not so much a fan of this show. I didn’t really point this out in the review, but the crowd was completely dead for the action. I’m tired of the middle eastern character who hates America. It felt even more awkward on an AAW show because Ali is not a regular for the company. The star power was non-existent except for Black. Unless you have to see every AAW show like me or are a die hard fan of guys like Black and House of Truth, I’d skip this DVD and buy the numerous other great shows AAW has put on this year.