Views from the Hawke's Nest: Free AIW Matches Part 2
Posted by TJ Hawke on 06.30.2013
One more CD and then I'm packing up my bags and as I'm leaving
I'll guarantee they scream, "Dre, don't leave us like that man," 'cause...
AIW has an iPPV coming up. Order it if you are so inclined. The iPPV is being done by Smart Mark Video; they have an excellent record on iPPV so far. The card is Eric Ryan vs. Colin Delaney, Tim Donst vs. Michael Hutter. Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander, BJ Whitmer vs. Chris Dickinson, Gregory Iron & Veda Scott vs. The Batiri, The Submission Squad vs. Marion Fontaine, Jock Samson, & Tracy Smothers, Josh Prohibition & Matt Cross vs. Rickey Shane Page & Bobby Beverly, Louis Lyndon vs. ACH, The Jollyville Fuck-Its vs. The Sex Bob-Ombs, and Johnny Gargano vs. Ethan Page.
Thanks to Alex Torres and Barry Murphy for doing the recap of the first two matches. They wrote the recap of said matches on my website, and I saw little reason for me to make another recap of them.
Hailey Hatred vs. John Thorne from AIW's Absolution 2009
Recap by Alex Torres:
This match is an I Quit Dog Collar match. Commentary done by Matt Wadsworth, Denver Colorado, and Benny Boone.
Thorne uses the chain to yank Hatred off her feet. Hatred slides under Thorne's legs and crotches Thorne on the chain. Hatred pulls Thorne to the outside with the chain. Hatred kicks Thorne's head into the ring post. Hatred grinds the chain into Thorne's head. Hatred grabs a chair, but Thorne pulls the chain, bringing Hatred into the chair and the ring post. Thorne attacks Hatred with the chain around the guardrail, putting Hatred's head under the guardrail and pressing her neck up against it.
Back in the ring. Boot to Hatred's midsection. Thorne hangs Hatred with the chain. Thorne puts Hatred in the crossfire with a chain. Hatred applies a submission of her own, but Thorne punches her with the chain to get out. Double stomp by Thorne. Hatred still doesn't quit. Another double stomp. Thorne holds Hatred's head up and drags scissors across her head. Colorado hands Thorne his chair, but Hatred kicks the chair into his face. Hatred lands an Exploder Suplex onto the chair. STF from Hatred with the chain makes Thorne quit.
The match is pretty brutal, and that's something everyone should know going in- it won't fit everyone's fancy. On top of that, there was a fair amount of misogyny in Colorado's commentary- which I think worked with the story. However, it showed how resilient Hatred was, most of the match consisting of her taking a beating, but refusing to quit. Thorne played his part well, and we all wanted him to get his comeuppance, his own arrogance leading to his downfall. You're not going to leave this match knowing what kind of wrestlers Hatred and Thorne are- but you will leave thinking that Hatred is tough, and Thorne deserved to be humiliated, and for that, this match did its job well.
Thoughts from TJ Hawke:
This match ruled. While blood and gore is not my thing, when it's used by performers as talented as Hatred and Thorne, it comes across as believable as opposed to exploitative. The emotion conveyed by these two was absolutely awesome. Check this match out for sure (this is an older AIW match, so the video quality is pretty weak).
While I'm here, a common topic I see being discussed and argued about is "violence against women" in wrestling. This is how I see it: context is everything. If a promotion was promoting man on woman violence as something good or if they were romanticizing misogyny in any way, that would be bad, and I would gladly call them out for it. However, wrestling is a platform for all sorts of stories being told. If there is a male character who is violent against women, but there is a story being told and and the character's actions are portrayed to be "wrong," then I don't see what the problem with that is. It's pretty clear (based on this match) that Thorne was being portrayed as a dick for hating on women, but then Hatred got revenge on him. What's wrong with that story? Match Rating: ***3/4
Tim Donst vs. Sonjay Dutt from AIW's Girls Night Out 3
Recap from Barry Murphy:
Some fine mat work from both to kick things off. Donst locks on a variant of the 'million dollar dream' which Dutt easily escapes from. The commentator (announcing over the PA, perhaps because someone in charge lost a bet) drew attention to Sonjay perhaps being the best talent to never win the X Division title. That inspired a 'fuck TNA' chant from one guy, and a laugh from Sonjay. More solid mat work, with Sonjay getting the advantage with a front chancery. Donst escapes to the floor, drags Sonjay to the apron and hits a nice backbreaker from there. Donst re-enters the ring, drops Sonjay with a guillotine across the top rope and gets a one count. Donst applies a nice bow and arrow submission, but Dutt gets out of it and lands in a cover for a two count. Donst continues to work over Dutt in a heelish fashion, before slapping on a NIPPLE TWISTER! Surely that can't be legal? Atomic drop, hip attack and a running elbow for Donst. He runs from corner to corner to set up another elbow but is quickly followed by Dutt who hits a huge leaping Yakuza kick to regain some momentum. Dutt again dodges an attack, this time ducking out to the apron and hitting a see-saw kick on Dutt, followed by a beautiful guillotine legdrop over the turnbuckle, across Donst who is prone on the second rope. A big springboard splash gets two for Donst, and the crowd awakens. Dutt locks Donst in a octopus, but Donst powers out and hits a sweet Death Valley driver variant for a two count. Dutt hits a superkick but misses a dropkick. Donst hits the ropes, dodges Dutt and follows up with a nice bulldog. Dutt fights free of Donst's grasp, hits a front leg sweep and follows up with a standing shooting star press for another two count. Sliced bread attempt is counterd into a powerslam by Donst gets two. A roll up by Dutt gets two. An attempted sunset flip from the apron is countered by Donst, who grabs, the ropes and gets the three count, defeating Dutt.
An enjoyable preshow bout, that didn't feel dull but also didn't try and steal the thunder of anyone on the main card. Donst was a functional if an unremarkable dominant heel, and Sonjay's flurries of high flying offense really engaged the crowd. Given how much Donst has upped his game recently, I'd love to see these two do battle on the main card of an AIW event, with a bit more time and in a more prevalent spot.
Thoughts from TJ Hawke:
I really enjoyed this. They worked a fan-friendly pace and style. For a pre-show match, they didn't do anything to overshadow the main card, but they didn't make you feel like your time was being wasted. Match Rating: ***
AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation from AIW's They Live 2011
Nation hit a big overhead belly-to-belly suplex and then hit a standing moonsault. Fox came back and hit a split-legged corkscrew senton. Fox went for a top-rope cross-body, but Nation caught him and powerslammed him. Nation followed that with two German suplexes. Nation went for a third, but Fox escaped only to run into a Samoan Drop. Nation then hit a standing shooting star press: 1…2…NO! Crowd chanted “What the Fuck!” Fox came back with a middle rope diving cutter and then a swanton bomb: 1…2…NO! Fox then hit a top rope single knee codebreaker. Nation rolled to the floor and Fox then hit a no-hands running plancha crossbody. Fox followed that up with a kick-flip moonsault to the floor. Fox rolled Nation back into the ring. Fox went for a springboard move but Nation caught him and gave him three powerbombs in a row: 1…2…NO! “Holy Shit!” Fox came back and went for a top rope Vader Bomb, but Nation avoided it and hit a Roll-of-the-Dice: 1…2…Fox gets his leg on the ropes! Fox went to the top rope, but Nation caught him and gave him a super German Suplex! Tombstone Piledriver: 1…2…NO! WHAT! Nation went to the top rope, but Fox jumped up and hit the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…3!
Yep, this ruled. These two bring out the best in each other. Nothing else really needs to be said in my opinion. Anytime you have the opportunity to see these work against each other, you should take advantage of it. Match Rating: ***1/2
Brian "Spanky" Kendrick vs. BJ Whitmer from AIW's JT Lightening Memorial Tournament 2012
This was a semi-final match in AIW's first ever #JLIT tournament. Spanky had previously defeated Tim Donst and Louis Lyndon in the tournament. Whitmer had previously defeated Colt Cabana and Bobby Beverly in the tournament. The winner of this match will go on to face ACH and Eric Ryan in the finals of the tournament.
They traded a lot of strikes to start the match. The crowd did not seem all that excited for this match. Whitmer got control of the match for a bit. Spanky eventually came back with a diving tornado DDT from the middle rope. Spanky managed to bait Whitmer to the floor. Spanky then took out Whitmer with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Whitmer blocked a frogsplash attempt from Spanky. Whitmer got a nearfall with a bridging Northern Lights suplex. Spanky came back with a reverse hurricanrana and a Sliced Bread #2. Whitmer managed to roll to the floor. Spanky got Whitmer back into the ring, but Whitmer caught him with a small package: 1...2...NO! Spanky came back with a superkick and another Sliced Bread #2: 1...2...NO! Whitmer came back with a super back suplex and a mafia kick: 1...2...3
I liked this match, but it didn't light my world on fire. The action was good in theory, but it didn't generate much emotion from the crowd until very late in the match. Kendrick was working super serial here, which took me off guard. That's not a complaint; it's just an observation. Match Rating: **3/4
Allysin Kay vs. Jennifer Blake from AIW's JT Lightning Memorial Tournament 2012
This match was for Kay's AIW Women's Championship. Kay got an early nearfall with a lariat. Blake managed to send Kay to the floor at one point, and Blake then wiped her out with a tope suicida. Blake then booted her in the tits. Back in the ring, Blake hit a diving crossbody, but Kay then caught her with a fallaway slam. Blake came back with a superkick: 1...2...NO! Blake then hit a swinging DDT for another nearfall. Kay came back with a high kick: 1...2...NO! Kay then hit a Samoan Drop for another nearfall. They traded some strikes until Kay blocked a strike and hit a cutthroat back suplex: 1...2...3
This match was solid, but the environment really didn't allow them to flourish. They did some cool things, but it was hard to get emotionally invested. Match Rating: **1/4
JAKA vs. Biff Busick from AIW's Hell on Earth 2012
This was a Beyond Wrestling showcase match. Busick ended up on the floor, and JAKA took him out with a slingshot plancha. JAKA was in control after that, and he brought my favorite wrestler of all time in the ring to work over. Busick came back with a few strikes and a standing senton. Busick hit a German suplex and a running forearm. JAKA came back with a diving crossbody: 1...2...NO! Busick came back with an uppercut and a blockbuster: 1...2...NO! JAKA caught Busick with the Jaws of the Jaguar! Busisck escaped, but JAKA then caught him with a Baldo Bomb: 1...2...NO! JAKA delivered a number of strikes and then locked in the Jaws of the Jaguar again. Busick tapped out.
I don't think this was either man's best match, and I strongly believe they are capable of producing greatness together. This match was far from bad, but something was just missing and it never came together as a whole like I expected it to. Match Rating: **1/2
Louis Lyndon vs. Josh Alexander vs. Davey Vega from AIW's Hell on Earth 2012
This match was originally just supposed to be Vega vs. Alexander. Lyndon was supposed to be in a tag match, but his partner, Flip Kendrick, was stuck in Canada (I think that was the story).
Alexander got a nearfall on Vega early with a rolling forearm. The three of them did a double submission spot on the top rope. They broke the holds, and Alexander sent Lyndon to the mat. Alexander then powerbombed Vega onto Lyndon. That was cool. Alexander ended up on the floor, and Lyndon wiped him out with a moonsault. Back in the ring, Lyndon hit a series of kicks. Vega came back with an enzuigiri. Alexander hit Lyndon with a big German suplex. Vega gave Alexander a baseball slide, which sent Alexander into the crowd. Vega called for a dive. He went for a tope suicida, but Alexander caught Vega and threw him into a guardrail. Back in the ring, Lyndon hit Alexander with a reverse hurricanrana: 1...2...NO! Lyndon went for a moonsault, but Alexander avoided it. Alexander then hit a spinning tombstone: 1...2...3!
This was a really fun undercard match. This was my first time seeing Alexander, and I immediately understand why I see so many good things written and said about him. Someone needs to book Josh Alexander vs. Michael Elgin right now. Lyndon and Vega were their usual good selves. I would like to see all three of these men put into big singles matches for AIW in 2013. Match Rating: **3/4
Ethan Page vs. Colin Delaney from AIW's Hell on Earth 2012
Delaney had been a heel for a while, but in the wake of Nixon, Delaney has said that he is standing up for and fighting for AIW. Delaney is clearly getting back into better shape. Page is one of AIW's most hyped prospects.
Seleziya Sparx was in Page's corner. Delaney's quickness gave him the advantage early. Delaney went for a tope suicida, but Page caught him. Delaney managed to escape and send Page into a ringpost. Page hid behind Sparx, and that allowed Page to cut off Delaney. Back in the ring, Delaney managed to kick Page to the mat. Delaney went for a standing shooting star press, but Page avoided it and hit a release vertical suplex. Page got the heat. Delaney came back with a diving Ace Crusher and a couple of kicks, but Page came back with an enzuigiri, a backbreaker, and an Ace Crusher. Delaney managed to send Page to the floor, and he hit a suicide armdrag (yes). Delaney then monkey flipped Page into the barricade. Delaney went to the top rope, but Sparx held up Delaney. Page then hit an Iconoclasm for a nearfall. They got to their feet and traded some strikes. Delaney hit a couple of knee strikes and a HUGE DDT. Sparx jumped up on the apron and threatened to take her top off. Delaney ignored her and hit a diving elbow drop. Sparx pulled out a bottle of booze (Delaney is a recovering alcoholic). Delaney was momentarily distracted, which allowed Page to get a small package: 1...2...NO! Page sent Delaney into the ropes, and Sparx spat the booze into Delaney's face. The referee saw it happen. Page then hit a spinning Rock Bottom: 1...2...3!
I really enjoyed this match. The only thing I didn't like was that the interference at the end was seemingly done right in front of the referee (which is a huge pet peeve of mind). However, I really dug everything else about the match. Colin Delaney had been someone that I had lost interest in, but his new direction feels very fresh and substantial. I hope to see more of his work in AIW soon. Ethan Page has a lot of tools to become a great performer. I hope he fulfills his potential. Match Rating: ***
The 411: I like AIW. They're really trying to make a name for themselves in a competitive marketplace, and I think they realize now (with Chikara dead, ROH fading, WWN being WWN, and even PWG seems to be plateauing) is the time for them to make their move to create some very dedicated fans. Their shows are still a work in progress, but they seemingly have the right attitude. I hope they make big leaps in 2013, and I hope you give them a chance to see if they are for you.