At Odds with Wrestling Homework: AIW Is This Something You Might Be Interested In

Is this something I might be interested in? I don’t know yet. I was interested in doing the At Odds with Wrestling homework, assigned this week by Joe. I wasn’t able to watch the show live but thanks to IWTV it was easy to find the next day. I came into this blind. I knew zero matches, zero announced talent, and did not read any results. This entire show was a complete surprise to me.

And I think that’s exactly what I needed. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching GLOW with my friends, that’s different than the wrestling I’ve watched all my life. Even wrestling from the last year plus without fans and some promotions phoning it in has been different. This night was wrestling though, once again. Passionate wrestlers. Passionate fans. Great stories, great matches. I’m craving a live indie show now.

Kaplan vs Levi Everett.

I dug this match so much. Have I seen Levi before during a homework assignment? I think so. Love the Amish butter churner gimmick. Kaplan came across as an absolute monster. His cannonball type spot in the corner was the first of many high impact feel the pain through the screen moves this evening. Just when it looks like Levi doesn’t have a chance, he busts out that butter churn submission hold and I’m buying it. First match in and I’m fully embracing the suspension of disbelief for the evening. This must have been a blast live. Kaplan hits a big lariat for the pin and I’m all set to buy tickets to see either man on a show. Good opener that went the right amount of time and hypes up viewers for the evening ahead.

9 To 5 (The Aggravated Account (Louis Lyndon) & The Bitter Banker (Jack Verville)) vs Bulking Season (Arthur McArthur & Chuck Stone).

I did not realize 9 to 5 would have a dramatic reveal at the end. Honestly, I was all about this “from the Internal Revenue Service” gimmick. Miserable, hating their lives, taking their anger out on their opponents. Been there. Could we get a similar gimmick based on working retail?

Speaking of GLOW, I love a good rowboat spot. And speaking of IRS, if you wear a tie into the ring it must be used to choke your opponent. Good job here. One of the ring announcers says he saw the team “next to me in line at Burger King” and my kid popped huge for that line. The claw/back breaker thing by Bulking Season was a hell of a move. Not a crazy flippy thing, but effective as hell. 9 to 5 hits a double gourd buster and they win? I’m shocked. Oh, and there’s the unmasking. I’m not familiar enough with AIW talent for this moment to really hit but it was clear the crowd completely bought in. Well done.

Joseline Navarro vs Allysin Kay.

AK is here. A wrestler I’ve always enjoyed but she also always seems to be in promotions when I’m not watching them religiously. These two get started and I’m stunned. Have they faced each other before? There is amazing chemistry between the two and I would believe they’ve battled hundreds of times already. I’m loving this match more than the previous two, nothing against those wrestlers, I’m just totally into a good women’s match. AK ripping the eyelashes off of Joseline isn’t a move that is going to threaten her career but it looks great. Dominant, disrespectful, and you could feel the crowd reacting. AK wins, which makes the most sense, but Navarro looked great against her.

Mance Warner vs the surprising Tommy Rich goes to a no contest. I know Rich doesn’t look how he used to, but he’s 64. How did your grandparents look and move around at 64? Good chance Tommy is blowing them out of the water. It’s a fun start to the match until the interference begins! The Bitcoin Boys, Ethan Wright, and – hey I remember this guy! – the Duke begin their attack. The Philly Marino Experience comes out to make the save and we have a four on four tag team match.

The Philly Marino Experience (Marino Tenaglia & Philly Collins), Mance Warner & Tommy Rich vs The Bitcoin Boyz (Eric Taylor & Mikey Montgomery), Ethan Wright & The Duke.

Just too much action taking place here. It was good, a fun brawl all over the place. But way too much to call blow by blow. However, why is AIW using doors and not tables. Well, they use tables too – but why the doors? I’m sure there’s a story here. All of the faces get together to single out the Duke and put him through a table (pretty sure it was a table this time). Tommy Rich gets the pin and you can just feel that everyone enjoyed working with a legend this evening.

Derek Dillinger (w/Ziggy Haim) vs Big Twan Tucker vs Brayden Lee vs Casey Carrington vs Riley Rose vs TKD in an intense scramble match.

Again, too much going on. Also, I may have focused on Ziggy a bit too much. And damn doesn’t she steal the show. She’s taking unbelievable bumps here and really helping the flow of the match. Her scariest moment is when she almost overshoots the guys and is nearly tossed into the crowd. I’ve seen Big Twan before but I think everyone else was new to me. It’s a spot heavy match but it’s a fun one. Exactly what it should be to get pops from the crowd every minute. Speaking of people getting launched, Twan shoulder blocks someone, I missed who, over the guard rail and many feet into the crowd. Dillinger gets the pin and I’m not quite sure what his deal is so I’m not sure how to react to the win.

40 Acres vs The Mane Event.

If you’re booking an indie show, grab all four guys and just put this match on the card. The size of them, the looks, the chemistry, the moves you’re not expecting from any of them. Best of all, they’re only going to get better. I see these guys thrown on something like an AEW Dark and getting so much attention they’re on Dynamite the next week. Can they cut promos too? I’m seeing four hungry Black men that could command attention. PB Smooth of 40 Acres pins Ganon Jones Jr of Mane Event but I think all four of them came out winners.

Dominic Garrini vs – surprise – Eddie Kingston!

What a surprise. What a moment. I have not watched enough of Eddie overall, because this version of Eddie shocked me. It might be my favorite version. What a hard hitting match. I think the announcer calling these “gunshot slaps” is the perfect description. Both men get so fired up. Take a hit, and just snap their heads back eyes wide so they can stare into their opponent’s soul and say “is that all you got?” Kingston seems like a man that gives no one respect, you have to earn it from him. Some people give everyone respect and it’s up to you to lose it. Others give you none and make you work for it. Eddie and Dominic clearly respect the hell out of each other and maybe that’s what allows them to do this to each other. One of the best matches I’ve seen in a while. I watched AEW Blood and Guts as well, and if Eddie could show this on TNT he would have all the belts. One back fist, doesn’t catch all of the second, but the third makes up for it and Eddie wins. Best match of the night for sure.

AIW Absolute Title / AIW Intense Title Intense Rules Match
Joshua Bishop (w/Wes Barkley) (c) vs Matthew Justice (w/Bill Alfonso).

I see why these two are in the main event. They both have something that grew as the match progressed. I see both men getting scooped up by other promotions. Justice looks crazy, starting the match by leaping onto Bishop. But Bishop responds with a coast to coast onto all the chairs. Bishop hits a DVD through the door and I think I see the point of the door now. It shatters in a different manner. Pieces of it work well as weapons too. However, some muscle and weight needs to be put behind that. Alfonso and Barkley trying over and over again to break the door was tremendous. We see tables break all the time (or doors) and this shows it’s not as easy as random fans might suspect. It makes the tables (again, and doors) dangerous again. I loved seeing Justice and Bishop parallel each other as they climb back onto the apron. I can’t believe either man got up but that shows how much the titles mean to them. Justice puts Bishop through two tables but that’s not enough. Bishop comes off the top with a disgusting chair shot, and that’s not enough either. Apparently the earlier spot was foreshadowing because Bishop tombstones Justice onto a table, which doesn’t break. He follows it up with an Awesome bomb and a DVD and still it doesn’t break. Stay down! Bishop finally pins Justice and it feels like mercy.

What a great homework assignment. I had a blast watching this and I’m jealous of all who saw it live. As of the time of writing I’m half vaccinated and can’t wait to see live shows once again.

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