Absolute Intense Wrestling “Slumber Party Massacre”
Thursday, April 4
White Eagle Hall, New Jersey
AIW is a promotion I should probably love—with a focus on local, Midwestern talent that is often underused elsewhere, occasional brutal hardcore matches and some lite-GCW (or Proto-GCW) nostalgia shit. I can never figure out how to watch it though, or what gets taped and where—maybe it’s easy now, I don’t know. (AIW- feel free to let me know), but people I socialize with like AIW, and when I do watch shows years after they happen, I generally like it too. This card for WM weekend doesn’t go as “All In” as some of the other indies with the crazy match-ups but rather blends big name gets, while seemingly still pushing storylines and their regular talent. And what’s more—I’m actually familiar with most of the names involved here and stoked for a handful of the matches.
AIW Tag Team Championship
To Infinity and Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney) (c) vs. The Production (Derek Director & Eddy Only) vs. The Philly Marino Experience (Marino Tenaglia & Philly Collins) vs. The Boys from Jollyville (Russ Myers & T-Money)
To Infinity & Beyond are more or less the major AIW tag team of the last many years, and they are totally solid in the ring. Colin Delaney is STILL unfortunately mostly known as a jobber on WWECW, but he’s proven to be a very reliable guy on the indie scene in the last handful of years. I’ve seen the Production once and wasn’t too into them, I YouTube’d the Philly Marino experience and don’t know what to think about them and the Boys from Jollyville are more or less my favorite independent tag team. Russ Myers is a solid worker and T-Money is a fuckin’ beast and should be a star, the two wreck house in every match they’re in. Anyway, this will probably be an insane, breakneck match and I would expect Cheech & Delaney to retain, but hope that T-Money pounces everyone out of the ring at some point.
PB Smooth (c) vs. ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor vs. Tim Donst vs. Matthew Justice
I imagine most people reading this are pretty familiar with Tom Lawlor and Tim Donst. Donst spent forever in CHIKARA and CZW and has been touring around the midwest and east coast working a lot of mid-cards in indies. I can like Donst, he’s adaptable and has had some very fun gimmicks. He’s a hard worker. Lawlor probably won’t work this card like all the other cards he has been pulled from, but I hope he does. Matthew Justice is the AIW Intense champion and another dude who works his ass off in the ring. I haven’t seen a ton of him, but reminds me kind of a throwback TNA/Impact dude, and I believe he spent time in WWE Developmental. PB Smooth COULD be a huge star. Huge being an operative word as the guy is like a legit seven feet tall and a super athlete for his size. He just won the title from Hot Sauce Tracy Williams back in February, defended successfully against MJF and seems like a good, newer talent to kinda push as someone who is uniquely your own. You can watch highlight reels and a couple of matches on YouTube and even with that limited amount of footage can see him greatly improving with each bout of recent footage—I’m into him.
Mance Warner vs. Nick Gage
Idk if there are sanctions around WM Weekend or the venues these shows are working or not (I sure as fuck hope not), but I really hope this match gets ultraviolent. I haven’t actually seen a lot of Mance Warner recently, though he has been popping up in more and more places and it seems like a lot of people have turned and started to really like him that didn’t years ago—but the dude basically went from garbage (though entertaining) IWA-MS dude to legit one of the bigger names on the NA indie scene, picking up bookings just about everywhere and cutting killer promos as well. Nick Gage needs no introduction and these two will try to kill each other.
Mexican Death Match
La Familia de Tijuana (Bestia 666 & Damien 666) vs. The Young Studs (Bobby Beverly & Eric Ryan)
Hey, I love that Bestia and Damien are getting bookings here, they should get more. I want more and more blood in this one. This should really just be a garbage match, fuck wrestling and work rate and give us a real, true Mexican Death Match and use fuckin’ gross weapons, do it outside, have a dog just on the outside, burn each other, stab each other in the feet, all that gross shit they do. This match should try and be the truly most shocking match of the weekend and I won’t accept anything else (I will and I’ll probably like it).
Ethan Page & MJF vs Colt Cabana & Space Monkey
I don’t have a strong opinion on any of these people, but I recently gave Colt Cabana vs Toru Yano **** in NJPW. I like Space Monkey and think he rocks when he’s in there with people who are gonna do all kinds of flips and dives and generally think his gimmick is pretty funny and I’m not an MJF hater or super fan. I like Ethan Page online, I like Ethan Page on the mic and like when he dwarfs guys with his size, but this is kind of just a match for me and feels like one that’s maybe happened in a dozen other places (it hasn’t). I’m sure it will be fine, but I’d love if these dudes tried to pull something to shock us.
Scott Steiner vs Swoggle
I hate this and yet I am for sure, 100% going to watch it. I don’t expect the same train-wreck awesomeness of Gage vs. Arquette or the legitimately super fun Steiner match from last year’s Bound for Glory, but I also just hope this is a very quick squash, in and out.
Eddie Kingston vs Shinjiro Otani
I’m not trying to bury my dudes, but when this match was announced as one of the handful of Otani matches taking place this weekend, some of my colleagues and pals thought booking Otani against Kingston was about as much as you could stall a needle. While I am certainly fuckin’ hyped for Jonathan Gresham vs. Otani on the GCW Orange Cassidy show, the truth is that most of Otani’s best matches over the last five years have been when he’s working people bigger than him in these big, grumpy, bruiser style matches and no one in the US is really better at portraying that then Kingston.
Eddie is ending his wrestling career soon, so I’m happy to see him get this match and I also have faith he isn’t gonna be the type of dude to be starstruck, that he is gonna be working his ass off and pushing Otani to beat the shit out of him, since he will probably try and do that with Otani. This should be brutal, this should have insane shops and forearms and boots and just be a ton of fun. On the real, for me, based on the great matches Otani has had recently with people like Yuji Hino & Kohei Sato, Kingston is maybe the most natural opponent he has in the US. Bravo, AIW.
This show should be fun, but not spectacular, which is sort of the vibe that AIW goes with on the whole. If I was a Midwesterner, I’d go to most AIW shows and wish the Northwest had a promotion that booked similar. It is going up against a very strong Impact Wrestling card, as well as taking place at the tail end of the DDT show, so I don’t expect the crowd to be huge—but for those there, I think they are gonna get exactly what they want. It’s an AIW show through and through and I expect it to make some new fans.