This is my 3rd show from AIW. They always seem to be giving good shows and are very interactive on social media. This is their most recent show. It promises a hot main event, Davey Richards and the future (and in some cases, the present) of wrestling.
1. BJ Whitmer vs. Davey Richards
How do you get Davey Richards to work an opener? Of course, I’m a total Davey Richards mark. He’s the closest thing wrestling has seen to Chris Benoit since his passing. Whitmer and Richards are so good in the ring together, it was like a paso doble… with stiff kicks and chairs. BJ Whitmer has got to have one of the best chops in the business. It was so intense and Richards put over Whitmer without looking weak. After the match, Richards took the mic and thanked Whitmer and put him over majorly.
2. Aero! vs. Facade vs. John Kermon vs. Izeah Bonds vs. Tony Kozina vs. Archibald Peck
Facade is quickly becoming one of my favorites. Izeah Bonds is a large guy with some good agility. His gimmick is just kind of “indy” to me. It will be interesting to watch the development of his persona. Facade did a sickening moonsault onto the 5 guys at ringside. I think he’s got one of the most unique looks out there. This was a really good 6-man spotfest. Facade won it by a cattle mutilation in a bridge on Archibald Peck. Facade is quickly becoming one of my favorite indy wrestlers out there.
3. Josh Prohibition vs. Eric Ryan
Eric Ryan is one of my favorites in AIW. Prohibition is a consistent, solid worker. All right, forget what I said about Whitmer’s chops. Prohibition looks like he’s going to kill you. I’m concerned about facing Prohibition. He looks like he punishes you. I loved the Gregory Iron cameo. He distracted Prohibition and Eric Ryan walked away with a victory.
4. Marion Fontaine vs. Bobby Beverly
Bobby Beverly looks better with hair. He looks a lot like The Miz. Fontaine has a LOT of personality. He would make a nice comedy guy for WWE. This is probably the best I have ever seen Beverly look. I hate the heel ref, but so it goes. Beverly walked away with the belt.
5. The Chad vs. The Duke
I like “The Duke.” He’s good on the mic and has a nice ring presence. He’s also the cagey veteran you want to cheer for. Chest Flexor interfered and The Chad pinned him. Short match.
6. The Chad vs. Tommy Mercer
This must have been a good surprise. This is my first Tommy Mercer match. (When I say I don’t watch Impact!, I mean it.) It was a good big-man power vs. power match. They both demolished each other and then Mercer got the win. The Chad didn’t look weak, but I’m a little disappointed Mercer got the win.
7. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Sonjay Dutt
This in many ways is a dream match for me. O’Reilly is one of my top 3 on the indies right now and Sonjay has been one of my favorites a long time back to the CZW days. The moonsault on O’Reilly was pretty awesome. I can’t explain what the move was but it was like The Three Amigos but they were Double Underarm Hooks. I made my wife watch it after the first. They go fight to the back and out comes Sugar Dunkerton! And the match is now a 3-way. (Funny personal story: My wife told my daughter she had to go to bed during this match and she started crying.) And then Sugar Dunkerton won the match. Impact!, this is how you swerve an audience.
8. AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation
I figured out why they call this guy Uhaa Nation. He’s big enough to be a nation. This guy has to be seen to be believed. He does moves nobody his size should be able to. Dare I say “a black Brock Lesnar?” This was a really good match that got great work in from both. Uhaa did an overhead suplex that made my jaw drop. There were “Holy s***” and “That was awesome” chants. AR Fox pinned him out of nowhere. Dare I say Match of the Night?
9. Johnny Gargano & Tim Donst vs. Aeroform
This match didn’t see a ring for a while. Tim Donst is so innovative, I need a whole blog to describe his moves. Donst is the next progression of Taz. There were at least 3 or 4 “Holy s***” moments. It was ruined by the concept of the heel ref. It’s too bad because the 4 of them tore the house down.
10. Cherry Bomb vs. Hailey Hatred
I love Cherry Bomb. Yeah, I said it. And I had the chance to see Hailey Hatred for the first time during an IWA-Mid South tape. (Yes, I said “tape.”) This was a stiff, hard-hitting match. Both ladies gave everything. And then Hatred took away a victory. Cherry did not lose anything by losing this match.
11. The Olsen Twins vs. Irish Airborne
I was kind of worn out by this match. There was some good high-flying action. These 4 feed off of each other really well. The Olsen Twins did some great double-teaming. Aeroform got involved at ringside, but not long enough to affect the outcome. Irish Airborne walked away with the win.
12. Shiima Xion vs. Rickey Shane Page
Xion is a wrestler who owns his swagger and has a nice presence. Page is so over with that crowd. He has been such an integral part of that organization, the fans are deeply devoted to him. The fight went to the merchandise table. Page had him in what I think is the Sharpshooter or a Boston Crab and Xion was tapping out. But alas, it was not in the ring so it didn’t count. Page is a lot more athletic than his body shape looks. He did a flip onto Xion. There was a Spicolli Driver from the top rope from Page. Then there were two ref bumps. Xion did probably the best tornado DDT I’ve ever seen. The we got the heel ref who fast counted until Page “tapped out.” Disappointing finish to a good match. Thankfully for Page he lost nothing.
After the match, BJ Whitmer came to Page’s rescue. Whitmer is super over with this crowd, prompting a “Whitmer’s gonna kill you” chant.
All in all… A really good show. My match of the night was Uhaa vs. AR Fox. Two major things: I know I have been critical of the commentary in the past. Gregory Iron joined them on commentary, so that was pretty awesome. I can’t decide if the commentary was better or if I’m just used to it now, but I didn’t want to put it on mute.
The other thing is that I think Chest Flexor is getting a little over-exposed. I don’t mind him. I think he looks like a little weasel, is a great villain and has no problem bleeding for the cause (as evidenced by his match with Johnny Gargano). I would try to hold him back a little. Why watch when you know the challenger has no legitimate chance?
But again, all in all, a really good show and worth (more than) the $15.