Watch the show on IndependentWrestling.TV!
This week is a good pick from Adam of the At Odds with Wrestling podcast. There’s been a few AIW shows assigned and I think there’s finally been enough to really get a feel and enjoyment for everything that is AIW. The pace of the show, the stories, the energy. All of it. Something didn’t click with me for the AIW Evil show. A fine show, but I had enjoyed others more. I liked Black Widow, but there are Marvel movies I like more. That said, this show was fantastic. This is the show that not only has me trying to schedule my nights to be available for every AIW show on IWTV. I also checked Google Maps to see how long the drive would be to Cleveland. 5 and a half hours. Which isn’t a no, there’s plenty of wrestlers that drove more than that to appear on these shows. But this might be something I start planning for because these AIW shows are awesome. Let’s get down to ringside.
Tom Lawlor vs Eric Taylor.
I have a filthy limit. I like Tom Lawlor and think he’s incredible, but sometimes the gross antics go too far for me. Snot rockets are too far for me. Thankfully, none of that happened here. Duke does a great job at turning the expectations around and Eric Taylor controls the first half of the match. He’s looking like a threat to Tom when most people had written him off. Great work here that really engrossed the crowd. Tom gets the victory in the end.
Tom Lawlor vs Mance Warner.
Both men drink beer out of a boot. Filthy, but still within my personal tolerance level. Your levels may vary. Mance is crazy and this match was a blast. I always want at least one match like this on every AIW show, and I get it. Lawlor is just so ridiculously good. Maybe one of the most under rated indie wrestlers on the planet. He needs to be booked more all over the world. Mance scares me because he can hang with anyone. On paper one might not think that the same wrestler in the first two matches would flow well, but the fans got a surprise and then a damn good fight to start the show. Excellent time and I’m all set for the rest of the night.
9 to 5 vs Members Only.
Everything about 9 to 5 screams that they should be beaten. Not that they appear bad, or lesser than their opponents. But their gear, the alarm “music”, every bit of their persona demands to be smacked like a snooze alarm. The gimmick definitely creates a false level of expectations, because the team holds their own in the ring, especially seen with the win tonight. I think this is a slow build and we’ll see 9 to 5 contend for those tag team titles.
Lee Moriarty vs Anthony Greene.
What a great story here. Moriarty who was just signed by AEW vs Greene who just got served his release papers. Crossing paths here in AIW at different changes in their careers. Greene has a real younger Jake the Snake Roberts look to him and I was impressed with what I saw before from him. These two clicked well and it would be a shame if this is the only time they face off. I think these two could get something great from each other with a little bit more familiarity. Lee gets the win, which makes the most sense too. But I’m all set to see what Greene does next, maybe on future AIW shows.
Alright, at some point – and I didn’t write down when – Sunny joins the commentary table. The event was called Sunny Days. I had a feeling she would be involved. But she never appears on camera. Also, I was watching this in the archive, not live. Maybe IWTV aired the intermission or some sort of segment that was edited. Maybe she didn’t want to appear on camera but in front of the crowd was fine. Who knows. Either way, it was odd to hear her on this namesake show but never once see her.
Kaplan vs Rhino.
Rhino was given a couple days notice for this match, and knowing that helps. Also factoring in Rhino has been wrestling 25 years and not an easy on the body style. No, he’s not moving like early 2000s Rhino did, which is what many fans would be most familiar with. None of us are moving as well as we did then. For his veteran status with minimal time to get ready, I think this was the best this match could be. Kaplan getting the win helps build him up and I have a feeling the experience of being in the ring with Rhino was a high point for him.
To Infinity and Beyond vs 40 Acres.
OMG, I want a rematch already. This was great. We’ve all seen 40 Acres a couple times now and every single person who does the homework has been impressed. But you can’t discount Colin and Cheech. Using their experience to out smart the rookie team was brilliant. 40 Acres loses nothing, To Infinity look awesome. Everyone comes out of this with a push. It wasn’t 28 seconds but 40 Acres could almost go the Bianca Belair route. They didn’t know what to expect from TIB, but now that they do you’re not going to beat 40 Acres twice. I mentioned Cheech on a recent podcast but put Colin in there too. Grossly under rated yet some of the best and most dedicated on the planet.
Chase Oliver vs Alex Zayne vs Gringo Loco vs Matt Cross.
What a gravity defying match. Multi man matches are so tough to call the action but there were some amazing spots here. And not lets kick each other a bunch spots. Like lets pull out innovative moves to defeat or confuse opponents. It’s tough to have a counter for something you never see coming. Chase is fantastic and everyone is absolutely right, if he stays healthy he’s going to be huge. It’s also a great spot for the match too. I don’t know about other fans but about 2/3 of the way through any show I start yawning. I’m not bored, the matches aren’t bad, it’s just too much sitting and not enough moving around on my own part. Putting something crazy like this late in the night got me excited at home so I can only imagine the live crowd got a second wind.
Derek Dillinger (with Ziggy Haim) vs Matthew Justice (with Bill Alfonso).
Well, if anyone wasn’t wide awake after the last match they are now. What a violent crazy match. I’ve been watching so much AIW now the doors make sense! Down with tables. Justice taking shot after shot after shot to the head was absurd. The doors break a certain way but those chairs bring a whole different element to the cranium. What a story! An incredibility well done handcuff spot. Alfonso and Haim added so much to the match too. I was surprised but thrilled Dillinger won. Honestly, I would have put this match last but the champion goes on last.
The Rip City Shooters vs The Philly Marino Experience (AIW Tag Team champions).
So I made a huge mistake before watching this match. I started to look up the event online because I wanted to get names correct. I was writing previous match thoughts as this match started. Which means I saw who won before the bell rang. And it took me right out. My own fault, and a damn shame too. There were many moments that would have been amazing near falls and I would have marked out for, had I not known the finish already. We can debate spoilers all day long but the unknown element of wrestling is a necessary intangible and once removed I couldn’t get that level of excitement back. Again, that’s on me and takes nothing away from anyone in the match.
Here’s to more AIW action whether they be homework assignments or not.