OCTOBER 1, 2021

Watch: FITE


The winner of this six-way would be granted an opportunity into the 2021 Jim Lynam Memorial Invitational.

This was far more efficient than the usual indie six-man scramble. When things were all said and done, I felt like I could point out something special that each of these six individuals did. It was organized chaos, a collection of spots that largely had a purpose and built up to Ace Perry eventually scoring the fall on Brayden Lee after a low blow. The aforementioned Lee, someone who I remain incredibly bullish on, had a particularly good night, primarily mixing it up with Dante Leon and his AAW tag partner, Jake Lander.

Karam played the odd-man-out role well, easily imposing his size and strength on the five smaller combatants. He hit Jah C with a sitout powerbomb on the stage, which was absolutely disgusting, in the match’s most memorable spot.

Perry has been a winner for AAW coming out of the pandemic. He’s earned a spot in the Lynam as a pesky weakling who will be tough to shake. ***

Ren Jones announced that he is the champion of swag in a backstage promo. I love this man.


First of all, let’s welcome Jigsaw back to the world of professional wrestling. He’s largely been locked away behind the walls of the Wrestle Factory ever since his incredibly underrated and all too brief EVOLVE run was put on ice during EVOLVE’s golden age. Outside of working two one-off appearances for AAW during DGUSA weekends, he’s never been a fixture with the promotion. He’s still a beast who has so many fresh and exciting potential matchups with AAW regulars, so I hope he continues to be brought in.

He took a beating from Ren Jones who has been dominant on AAW Alive tapings. This was his main card debut and it seems like once again, AAW has found a largely unknown big man who can work and talk. AAW is answering the question of “what if 2003 Raw was actually good?” with their recent influx of muscled up monsters.

Jigsaw looked good in the few hope spots he was granted, but this was the Ren Jones show. My only knock against Jones is his weak elbow drop finisher. So much of his offense looked devastating, but his elbow drop from the top looked less impactful than the one that CM Punk normally does – which is an issue.

Even with that in mind, this was a fun undercard affair. I’m excited to see what Jones does next. **3/4


This was Hakim Zane’s first successful defense for his second reign as AAW Heritage Champion.

Myron Reed largely stayed out of the way in this one, with the notable exception being when he crashed and burned on a missed Flame On, which looked absolutely nutty. I’m willing to accept a bumpy journey in the Zane-Austin saga, as long as the destination ends up being worth it. I thought the angle to get Zane the belt from Austin was clunky and contrived and while this three-way wasn’t offensive, I know these guys are capable of doing more. I kept waiting for one big sequence of moves to fully capture my attention and it never happened.

Karam and Ace Austin’s girlfriend, Gia Miller, got involved during the finish. Miller was wrapped up in a Master Lock from Karam and when Austin went for the save, Zane rolled him up. The feud must continue, which is fine, but I was not in love with this match. **1/2


This is the first successful defense that the Cowboys From Hell have racked up as AAW Tag Team champions.

I’d like to know where I can apply for a Jake Something vs. Shane Mercer singles match. This was a very lopsided match in the sense that I didn’t feel like Rogers or Larry D brought a ton to the table, but Christ almighty did Something and Mercer show their value. Something is someone who I’ve always been high on, but he’s gone up a level in recent months. He’s starting to lead matches. He’s rightfully compared to Mike Awesome, but he’s quickly surpassing Awesome’s all-around game at his peak. I’d trust Jake Something to have a quality match with anyone worthwhile in the business right now.

Mercer blows my mind every time I watch him, which isn’t often enough. He connected with the Moonsault & Battery, his flipping press slam gimmick from the middle rope, on JAKE SOMETHING, not Stallion Rogers. That got me to jump off of my couch. Whenever he and Something were going at it, the match felt hot and it felt important. They carried this into an exciting closing stretch, with Something landing his signature powerbomb over Mercer for the win. ***1/4


This win marks Kay’s third successful defense with AAW’s women’s belt.

Maybe Allysin Kay has been dealt a bad hand with the AAW’s women’s belt. Her first defense was against the void of charisma that is Mel. Her second defense was against Jody Threat and it was plagued by bad comedy that might have worked for some in the audience, but it did not work for me. Then, there was this. Everyone worked hard, but I struggle finding enjoyment in crowd brawls at Bourbon Street when imposing figures like Manders and Mance Warner are causing destruction. Allysin Kay leading the charge in a Bourbon Street crowd brawl is just not for me, even if I enjoyed her suplexing Skye Blue on the top of the bar.

The closing stretch of this contest and the post-match angle delved into weirdness with the La Sociedad Boricua duo. They attacked Blue and Jaynes, whom they wrestled in a tag match on the pre-show of the last AAW show. Their presence led to Kay picking up the win. The post-match angle was far more interesting than anything that occurred between the bells, unfortunately. **1/2

La Sociedad Boricua continued their assault on Jaynes and Blue after their defeat. They attempted to put Jaynes through a door that was propped up in the corner with a powerbomb. That attempt failed, which sent Jaynes bouncing neck-first off the door in a pretty nasty way. The ensuing Death Valley Driver did the trick. They connected with their Welcome to the Islands finisher on Blue, which left her laying. That brought out The Sandman, who destroyed La Sociedad Boricua with an onslaught of kendo sticks. I don’t know how it was in the building, but on tape, The Sandman did not overstay his welcome, which is far and away the best thing you can say about him in 2021.


THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT. God, I loved this so much. Sometimes it’s just fun to watch dudes to movez with a “z” and that’s exactly what this was. At no point in time did I think I was watching a legendary match, this wasn’t exactly Blood Generation vs. Do Fixer when it came to pacing and match structure, but all four guys did a bunch of cool shit and after sitting through a few title matches that I didn’t love, that’s all I wanted to see here.

It’s hard to put this match into words because they literally did so many things that I’ve never seen before. Even Laredo Kid, someone who I go out of my way to watch when he makes tape, did a few spots that caused me to perk up because they looked fresh and devastating. For as much as I enjoy all of the meatheads that AAW has imported into the territory, I hope they are able to showcase more matches like this in the future. This was mindless fun in a promotion that can get away with it because of how tightly booked things are up and down the card. Aramis pinned Arez with a complicated Northern Lights suplex. This was well worth your time. ****1/4


This went under a minute. Garvin killed Logan. NR

John E. Bravo came out in a neck brace and offered Garvin a cash prize if he could take out Russ Jones.


Spoiler, Garvin did not take out Russ Jones. AAW’s most exciting big man was rolling through Garvin when Larry D came out and caused the DQ. I’m not pumped about more high profile Larry D matches, but I’ll let it slide because it looks like his next opponent will be Russ. NR


This was supposed to be a double dog collar match, but the collars were never properly attached, thus it turned into a bloody street fight. This was my favorite thing that inFAMy has done in AAW thus far and a nice return to form for both Manders and Mance, both of whom haven’t been as consistent in AAW as of late. There was a certain level of beauty with the lucha match earlier on the card. In a way, what they did was art. This was not art. There was no beauty to be found. This was four mean dudes hitting each other as hard as they could and in the case of Warner, in particular, bleeding all over the place.

The match escalated nicely throughout with Manders eventually getting the win by landing the Hawkeye Stampede off the middle rope and putting inFAMy through two doors in the process. I felt like their prior encounters liked a real urgency to hurt one another. That urgency was there in this match. This was a super enjoyable brawl. ***3/4

Schaff cut a dynamite promo, noting that whoever won the Jim Lynam would be gunning for Fred Yehi. I had no idea Schaff could talk like this. I thought this was an excellent promo.


It’s hard to mess up a match like this. AAW put four of their biggest stars in a Road To-style tag and everyone played their parts incredibly well. Obviously the issue between Alexander and Yehi is not completed. Their constant bickering in this match as a follow up to last month’s hour long draw made that obvious. Down the line, I hope they have another (shorter) match because they can obviously make magic. My main priority, however, is getting a Fred Yehi vs. Mat Fitchett match in the immediate future. Their chemistry was off the charts. Yehi has yet to miss since coming to AAW and Fitchett has been one of the most underrated wrestlers in the world for five years now.

Schaff held his own, despite looking dramatically out of place at times when Fitchett was scrapping on the mat with both Yehi and Alexander. His approach was far more simple and to a degree, far more effective. His performance here in the main event, plus the promo that aired right before the match, gave me confidence in Schaff as a main eventer, though. There’s more depth to him as a performer than I initially thought.

Yehi dumped Fitchett on his head with a brainbuster to conclude the festivities. I’m on board with Yehi defending the Big Gold Belt against any of these three men for his next defense. This was very fun and very effective. ***3/4

Final Thoughts

AAW’s Defining Moment showcased the undeniable variety that you get from AAW. A spotfest lucha tag, a bloody plunder brawl, and a story-driven tag match highlighted another enjoyable outing from Chicago’s premier indie. While this wasn’t their strongest outing of the year, they managed to produce another compelling, three hour card, which is a testament to their booking and the depth they’ve created over the past year. Thumbs up for Defining Moment.