I had heard about AAW ever since the night the WWE Champ showed up to put over Gregory Iron. I’ve followed the direction of the company and knew about their goings-on. But I’d still never seen an event on DVD. I needed to inject some newness into my wrestling watching so I tried to mix it up a little. For those wanting a play-by-play, this is not one of those. This is my stream-of-consciousness with my thoughts on the show.
1. Dan Lawrence vs. Davey Vega
Dan Lawrence really didn’t do too much for me. I guess it was the tassels. He was nothing bad, just didn’t stand out to me. What I watched here was a showcase of Davey Vega. The funny thing is that he was there to be a showcase for Lawrence. I watched how Vega bumped and sold to get Lawrence over. Vega is quickly becoming one of my favorites in the ring. There is a name he reminds me of that I do not use very lightly-Jerry Lynn. The match was pretty good and Davey put on a bumping and selling clinic.
2. Kyle O’Reilly vs. J. Miller
O’Reilly is one of my favorites in the ring. This was my first time to see Miller, and I’m not entirely sure I buy his gimmick. This match was really good. There was good sportsmanship before and after the match. For anything negative I thought about Miller’s character, I was silenced when the two began working. Miller has a unique style that I haven’t seen a lot. It worked great with O’Reilly’s style. They had great chemistry and honestly, this match alone would have been worth the price of the DVD.
3. Shane Hollister vs. ACH
This match was one of the reasons I bought this DVD, and of course, it did not disappoint. Hollister was escorted by Scarlett. I just gotta say she’s gotta be one of the finest women in indy wrestling. She cuts promos too. ACH found the only way I would ever boo him. He wore that awful burnt orange of the University of Texas Longhorns. (I’m a diehard Aggie fan.) ACH is so good with a crowd and plays them like a fiddle. This was another match that was so good. This was worth the price of the DVD for this match alone. Neither man could put the other away. It was a stunning match to watch.
4. Tweek Phoenix, Lamar Titan & Keith Walker vs. Zero Gravity & Isaias Velazquez
I’m a big fan of Titan. I’m familiar with Velazquez. So this match was multi-layered, as most 6-man matches are. I don’t know if this is my first chance to ever see Zero Gravity, but I was definitely blown away by what they could do. Walker was the big one, I believe. I liked the dynamic he added. It was a nice showcase for some really talented wrestlers with lots of potential.
5. Kellie Skater vs. Christina Von Eerie vs. Nicole Matthews vs. Athena
This was one of the reasons that I got this DVD. You had 4 really good wrestlers representing SHIMMER. I’d like to say that I paid close attention, but my 3 year old decided she wanted to watch wrestling with me. Whenever we watch wrestling, I tell her it’s SHIMMER, so now she thinks every wrestling show is SHIMMER. Every wrestler came out to the ring and we practiced saying everybody’s name. I asked her who she wanted to go for, and I’m pretty sure she said Athena. She goes for the hometown girl. We did the “Oy! Oy! Oy!” chant for Von Eerie. She kept on standing up and cheering for the match. And every move meant something to her. She reacted any time she saw something. So the match was pretty good, and we got an O-Face, but my main focus was not on the match itself.
6. Silas Young vs. Davey Richards
This was my first Silas Young match (that I can think of). I have this love-hate relationship with Davey Richards matches. I guess in the past, I got into a rut where every Davey Richards match seemed to be just like the last, like he only had one story to tell. I used to call it the 25 Moves of Doom to play on John Cena’s 5 Moves of Doom. This was a different Davey. He did some of the same spots, but has Ric Flair ever done a match where he hasn’t gotten caught on the top rope? Maybe it’s the amount of time since my last Davey match or maybe it was Young’s work, but this match I would officially call epic. And that is not a word I use lightly. So I’ve already said this twice, but this match also was worth the price of the DVD.
7. Markus Crane & Austin Mannix vs. Darin Corbin & Marion Fontaine
This was my first time for all but Fontaine. I’m a big fan of Fontaine. I like his gimmick and persona. I was impressed by the size of Mannix. I think with some toning he has the potential to make an impact at a developmental territory. I really liked Corbin/Fontaine in their double-teaming. It was a really short match for what I’ve seen so far from AAW. After the match there was a beatdown and then Joey Eastman came out and cut an awesome promo, so far up there as one of my favorites of 2012.
8. Saraya Knight vs. MsChif
This was another great showcase for the ladies of SHIMMER. My favorite part was that Saraya had to have security escort her out. Not for her sake, but the fan’s. If you are wanting a beautiful technical match filled with grace and elegance, go watch the 4-way. This was a brutal, stiff brawl. This was everything you want in a brawl, well, without the blood. Really fun match.
9. Danny Daniels & Jesse Emerson vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Arik Cannon
Emerson was the only new wrestler for me here. His figure reminds me a lot of a 50’s black and white wrestler. I liked the fact he wasn’t cookie-cutter. Of course the work was excellent. Cannon is quickly becoming one of my favorites in the ring. They had a story they kept telling with Jacobs & Cannon teasing a break-up. It was a fun story with some really good action.
10. Sami Callihan vs. Michael Elgin
What words can possibly be used to describe this match? What a beginning to a match. What two talented wrestlers in Michael Elgin & Sami Callihan. You had two of the best in the business going at it. This was the first real time that I was able to see something legendary in Elgin. From me, one of the highest compliments I can give a match is the word “epic.” This match went beyond that. I am coining a new word for me to fit this match: “legendary.” With respect to ACH-AR Fox at AIW, this is probably the best match of 2012 involving men.
All in all: I got this DVD skeptical of what they could offer. They completely blew away my expectations. There was not a bad match on this show. There was not even a “meh” match on this show. I’ve had certain watershed moments in my wrestling watching life. My first WCW Nitro, my first ECW PPV, my first AIW, my first SHIMMER. I think you can add AAW into my watershed moments.