Once again it is Thursday and it is time to hand in my homework. Each and every week without a major wrestling PPV, the fine hosts at the At Odds with Wrestling podcast alternate homework assignments highlighting highs and lows from the world of professional wrestling. This week’s assignment was the recent (4/22/2022) AIW event Eyes of the Beast.
The Mane Event vs 9 to 5.
9 to 5 attempt a behind the back jump on their opponents to no success. The usual tag team rules are out the window as the fight between all four takes place inside and out of the ring. 9 to 5’s office supplies almost come into play. Perhaps some foreshadowing? 9 to 5 might not have the best win loss record in AIW but with this gimmick, do they need one? Mane Event with the best looking Flea Flicker I’ve ever seen. The referee stops to remove one of the briefcases, but there’s another one! That one connects with Duke Davis’s face and 9 to 5 gets the win. Good opener. 9 to 5 get a win and Mane Event lose no heat.
Joseline Navarro vs Shazza McKenzie.
The Duke is great on commentary here. The announcers mention Joseline’s only two losses against other women. This version of Joseline tonight has improved so much in a short amount of time in comparison to the Joseline who lost those matches. Which makes me wonder, who was Shazza meant to wrestle two years ago? Because, to further the point, the Joseline of two years ago wouldn’t have had this level of a match. Shazza does well playing the heel against the hometown girl. I see some Molly Holly echoes in Shazza’s work. She’s been wrestling since 2008 and she’s an absolute machine here. The experience level is obvious and I feel like we should all have seen more of her over the years. I won’t be ignorant of her any longer. Joseline hits a Widow’s Peak type move and gets the win. Not that I doubted Joseline for a moment, but I expected with the two year build up that Shazza would get the win. I wonder what will happen for her next.
Derek Dillinger (with Ziggy Haim) vs Matt Cross.
Ziggy slashing her throat with the clapperboard is a holy shit level ring entrance. I may have told her so while watching the show. Derek can GO. I said it last time. The dude busts his ass to get better every time and it shows. Ziggy provides the distraction and then takes advantage of the referee’s line of sight. “4 seconds to get from one turnbuckle to the other.” This is such a good little detail that furthered my enjoyment of the match. Ziggy trips Cross but he flows with it into a split leg moonsault. Cross kicks Ziggy then hits a shooting star but Derek moves but Cross lands on his feet but then Derek hits a sunset flip bomb into the corner and he follows it up with a knee and Derek gets the pin. Wow. What an incredible sequence to close out this match. Huge win for Derek, Cross looks great, and the fans are getting their money’s worth tonight.
Jackson Stone vs Dominic Garrini.
“The Suplex Shogun” is one of the best wrestling nicknames I’ve heard in a while. Dom with a shoulder tackle and a classic “you can’t see me” wrestling hold. Stone hits an overhead suplex on Dom. They go outside of the ring for a chop fest. Stone suplexes Dom into the crowd and right onto a trainee. Stone with a powerful gut wrench suplex. (Did the lights go out or are my eyes getting worse?) Dom with multiple drive bys and it’s still not enough to keep Stone down. Stone dumps Dom on his head to regain control of the match. Dom fires back with a roaring elbow. These two are so evenly matched. How are they still able to fight? Carson comes out to distract the referee and Casey Carrington distracts Dom. Stone takes advantage and grabs Dom from behind for a massive suplex then gets the win. Is Stone now aligned with these two? Will Dom need backup or is he going to take on all three himself? Stay tuned to AIW!
PB Smooth vs Kaplan vs Tom Lawlor vs Joshua Bishop.
Kaplan takes out Justice and Lawlor immediately! Good strategy in such a match. 10-10-10 shots to Smooth’s head. So many 10-10’s I bet he’s saving a ton on long distance calls. This is followed up with a triple Dusty elbow. Smooth catches Lawlor with a slam dunk across the top rope. Kaplan flies but meets Josh’s chair. Josh and Tom are now in the thick of it. Tom with a guillotine. Josh punches and powers out of the move. PB slams Josh onto set up chairs. And one needs to make that distinction, because folded chairs laying on the mat and standing chairs must hurt in two different but still painful ways. We got doors! PB sets up a door. Kaplan returns to the ring. PB takes a chair. Kaplan runs Tom through the door. Kaplan goes up for a moonsault but Josh catches him with a chair on the way down. Kaplan flips off the top and puts Josh through two tables to the floor. Tom tries to steal the pin away. Kaplan with a split leg moonsault but Tom moves. PB is taking out Tom. Tom counters with a rear naked choke. So much is happening. No one can stay down long enough. Josh with an elbow/forearm to the back of PB’s head, another, three of them and Josh pins Smooth. Also, I learned I-90 goes all the way through to Cleveland. After a quick Google search I learned it goes much further than that. Who said you can’t learn things by watching wrestling?
Chase Oliver vs Mikey Montgomery (with the Duke) vs Uncle Chase vs Riley Rose vs Johnny Patch vs Wes Barkley.
What is the deal with Uncle Chase? I don’t know how to call a scramble. It’s different from the previous four way match. It just is. But try explaining that to a non wrestling fan. A reminder that there are no DQ’s in a scramble match as the Duke takes advantage of this. There is already so much happening in this match. Wes looks great tonight. Where has Uncle Chase been? This guy uses every part of the buffalo, and the buffalo is the ring. Duke interferes from the outside, but Riley Rose dives through the ropes to solve that. Everyone’s dives to the outside are crazy. I think we had two rounds of floor dives. Mikey keeps everyone out, hoping he can get the deciding fall. Chase takes out everyone, slamming into a neckbreaker and a powerbomb. Uncle rolls out and catches Duke with a kick. WTF was that?! Uncle with a slingshot splash move. Uncle with a DDT but Patch holds on and returns it into a suplex. Riley off of Patch’s shoulders and hits a Destroyer on Mikey. Duke and Taylor take out Wes. Uncle with the cane to flip Mikey and roll up his legs. What is this?! Chase with a Death Valley Driver onto Patch and then Chase hits a shooting star onto Riley for the pin. Wow that was nuts. I’m exhausted after watching it.
Members Only vs PME.
One of the Members gets tossed into the front row. Do these seats cost extra? This match is so close to being great and I don’t know what that missing thing could be. As just a fan and not a wrestler, my best guess is there’s not a moment to breathe. The match is constantly at this high level, which isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t give the audience a break. We can’t go down for a moment so we can then come back up and react even louder. Members Only hit a Hellevator and the timing on this move is awesome. These two teams are so even. We’re past my earlier thoughts and the crowd is invested in this match. There’s a three count but the referee notices the foot on the ropes later. A great spot for a heel team like in this match. PME takes advantage of this confusion and double teams their opponent. They make sure that Members Only can’t use the same rope save and PME gets the win. There’s a chemistry between these two teams. I would like to see them fight other people then come back in 3-6 months and see what happens.
Isaiah Broner vs Minoru Suzuki.
Isaiah punks out Suzuki! Oh that’s ballsy. These two have a chop contest on the floor. I’ve seen Suzuki against a lot of, we’ll say more famous, opponents over the last few months. The story of Suzuki being surprised by Broner works so well. Maybe he took Isaiah too lightly? He damn sure isn’t now. Suzuki is DROPPED by a lariat from Isaiah. Broner gets another two count but it’s still not enough. Suzuki finally gets Broner up for a delayed Gotch style piledriver and gets the win. What a great story in this match. Honestly, maybe my favorite Suzuki match I’ve seen during his current US tour. If it’s number two, it’s only behind him vs Joe.
Matt Cardona (with Chelsea Green) vs Josh Prohibition.
Slow build with some classic chicken shit heel work from Cardona. Due to this the match was changed to a no DQ contest. Cardona does sports entertainment heel work so well. Matt rubs his shirt on his crotch and then throws it at Josh’s daughter. That was a bit much. Cardona’s moves are coming across way too telegraphed tonight. Josh and W Morrisey both did cup spots on subsequent nights against Cardona. A chain is brought into the match and used to assist with a submission. Chelsea helps with a rope break. Philly of PME is in but Josh fights him off. Marino comes in and Josh fights him off too. Cardona with a chair shot to Josh. A skull crushing finale only gets two. Sophie – Josh’s daughter – comes in to block a chair shot. Matt picks her up for a power bomb but she reverses it into a rana! Josh with angel wings but Matt is out at two. Sophie has good ring awareness. Philly grabs Sophie but Josh is right there for the save. Josh is back in and Cardona hits radio silence but only gets a two. Chelsea tosses a chair at Josh, and Matt hits a second radio silence for the pin.
Really fun card all the way through. The only negative isn’t on AIW at all. I feel like I’ve heard Matt Cardona’s current work enough time on one of those “oh radios” that tell me everything. It’s a good song, but I’ve heard the song. And the duet with Chelsea freshened it up, but now that’s played every hour. We need a new single. Or a live version. And if you want the best live version, keep watching AIW on IWTV as I plan on doing.