AAW is my local promotion. I’m about twenty minutes away from the Berwyn Eagles Club where they run most of their shows and I’ve gone to the last four live events. I plan on going to all the nearby shows in the future too. Why? Because AAW is a good promotion with lots of top independent wrestlers coming in. Now I get to enjoy them live each month and on video each week with their new TV show. It’s on MaddyGTV on Roku and the AAW YouTube channel each Wednesday at 7 from here on out. Let’s see how the first episode goes.
Announcers Phil Colvin and Derek St. Holmes start the show by explaining one of AAW’s draws: no count outs, no disqualifications. AAW isn’t an ultraviolent promotion, the referees have discretion to stop a bout, but as Colvin and St. Holmes explain: “we like to see winners and losers.”
AAW’s first episode starts with Kevin Harvey on the mic. His big brute Keith Walker stands nearby. Harvey demands an answer to this question: how can an undefeated streak end on a two count? However it happened, Harvey thinks its time for some closure. He calls out “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin. Elgin isn’t afraid to answer.
Michael Elgin vs. Keith Walker: Walker rushes Elgin to start the match. He shows early on that he isn’t afraid of Elgin. Not only that, but he’s bigger than Elgin too, and is able to toss him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Walker tosses Elgin into the barricades outside the ring a few times, then brings him back in for a chokebomb. Elgin kicks out at two on the ensuing pin. Elgin cuts Walker off with a spinning backfist. He ducks a lariat and hits a German suplex that puts Walker down.
Elgin charges from corner to corner and back seven times for seven lariats on Walker. Walker slips off Elgin’s shoulders. Both men jockey for position on waistlocks. Elgin catches Walker with a black hole slam.Walker dumps Elgin with a back body drop shortly after that. Walker hits the ropes hard, first hitting Elgin with a forearm, then a butt bump. Walker’s side suplex gets another two count.
Elgin blocks Walker’s lariat attempt. Walker does the same to Elgin. Walker throws Elgin with a release German suplex. Elgin pops up, full of fighting spirit, and returns the favor. Walker is fired up now. He jumps to his feet and throws Elgin with a second German. Elgin stops a charging Walker with a boot, then backfists him. Elgin is about to powerbomb Walker when Tweek Phoenix comes running out of nowhere. It stops Elgin from powerbombing Walker. Harvey and Phoenix grab Elgin’s foot, tripping him up, which lets Walker drop Elgin with a hard lariat. Elgin kicks out at two.
Elgin takes Walker by the legs. He deadlifts Walker up into the air and powerbombs him. Two scissor kicks follow once Walker got to his feet. Then a spinning backfist. A sit-out powerbomb finishes this one, giving Elgin the first win on AAW TV. **
It was a good opener live and holds up well on tape. It’s two big men throwing each other around and makes for quite the spectacle. The biggest drawback to me is the German suplex exchange. I hate spots like that. Some people love them, but I don’t.
AAW returns from the ads with a Matt Cage promo. He’s worked hard to win the AAW Heritage championship and wants us to know it.
AAW Heritage Title – Matt Cage (c) vs. Mallaki Matthews: Cage headbutts Matthews instead of shaking the poor guy’s hand. Cage is ruthless, stomping away at the stunned Matthews. Cage has a mean leg lariat and knows how to use it. Matthews makes the most of his limited chances. He has control of Cage for a minute before the Heritage champ ends that. Colvin and St. Holmes pick on Matthews a bit for being the inexperienced youngster making some mistakes. Rather than trying to cover it up, they point out how Cage will make him pay. Cage outfoxes Matthews repeatedly, like when he trips Matthews on the apron and Matthews goes face-first into the steel steps. Cage stops Matthews with his version of the facebuster code breaker in a short match. *1/2
It’s a short match, but it’s perfectly acceptable wrestling. Cage gets to heel it up, Matthews gets a shot on the main show. Nothing wrong here.
Another commercial break. We come back to Scarlett Bordeaux preening in front of a mirror. She cuts a short promo: she’s Shane Hollister’s manager and the sky is the limit for her. Twenty-two years old and already managing a champion.
Tweek Phoenix (w/ Nikki Mayday and Kevin Harvey) vs. Colt Cabana: Cabana is one of the most over guys in AAW and the crowd chants his name before the match starts. Cabana scares Phoenix out of the ring before the match even starts, chasing him around with a towel, trying to snap it at him. Cabana and Phoenix tie up once the bell rings. This one’s exactly that you’d expect from Cabana: a lot of his British-influenced grappling and comedy spots. Cabana uses his guile to get a few shots on Phoenix while the ref looks elsewhere. Kevin advises Phoenix to slow the match down and wrestle at his own pace.
Phoenix gets a side headlock on Cabana for a few moments. That doesn’t last long. Cabana gets his own side headlock and goes on to make a fool of Phoenix with his smooth wrestling. Cabana is too clever for Phoenix tonight. Phoenix gains the upper hand when Cabana doesn’t take him seriously or turns his attention elsewhere. Otherwise, it’s all Colt.
Nikki and Kevin do their best to slow down Cabana. Tweek is able run the show for an extended period after that, mostly working Cabana over with forearms. Tweek goes up top for a splash. He has to check the precariously low ceiling before taking the leap. That gives Cabana enough time to roll out of the way. Cabana goes up for a splash of his own. Tweek immediately rolls. Cabana saw that coming, so he lands on his feet and springs forward, splashing Phoenix.
Nikki and Kevin distract Cabana once again. Cabana gets the best of them too, taking both of them by the scruff of the neck and forcing Kevin to motorboat Nikki. Phoenix gets the jump on Cabana, dropping him with a loaded boot. He covers, but it’s only good for two. A discus lariat follows, but that wasn’t enough to put Cabana down. Cabana clocks Phoenix with another boot. He takes Phoenix by the legs and taps him out with the Billy Goat’s Curse. **
The finish came out of nowhere on this one, which was is a peeve of mine. A bit of work to set up the submission would be nice. Still, Cabana really tied this one together. His timing and comedy manage to keep this from being an awkward match where the face controls the majority of the action and it gets zero heat.
More commercials! St. Holmes and Colvin give a quick wrap up, but Eddie Kingston gets to send us home. He’s out in the alley, smoking a cigarette, and he wants a fight. I can’t do this one justice. Kingston is a great promo with top notch delivery. Go watch it.
Glad to see AAW get a weekly series running. Tonight’s episode had three matches from it’s December show, One Twisted Christmas, so they’re going back a few months for content. I’ve seen all the matches at least three times now: live, once on video before, now this, and it still kept me entertained. It’ll be even better your first time around. Give it a watch. The only complaint I have are the commercials which are kinda long and repetitive, but AAW is putting out a free show, so don’t take that too heavily. Watch AAW, support your indies.
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