Written by: TJ Hawke
June 26, 2011
On Commentary: Pedro Deluca and Aaron Bauer
The show starts with a lengthy video package, where almost every wrestler on the show cut a promo to hype their match. As someone who is still learning more and more about AIW, I found this to be very helpful.
Flexor Industries show up to the show in a limousine. They all came out drunk. Chest Flexor says they are going to win everything.
Sugar Dunkerston vs. Sabbath vs. AERO! vs. Kobald [w/ The Batiri] vs. Maximo Suave vs. Low Rider [6 Pack Scramble]
Sabbath looks like a villain from a 90’s kid movie. That’s my only pre-show thought.
Sugar tries to get Sabbath to do a “jump-ball” to start the match, but Sabbath wasn’t having it. 2 men can be legal at a time (but that was obviously ignored rather quickly). Sabbath overwhelmed most of the competitors until Sugar Dunkerton wiped him out with a suicide dive. Aero and Low Rider followed that up with dives of their own. Suave was also going to do a dive, but Kobald speared him. Sabbath overwhelms everyone again. Sugar calls for a huddle on the floor with everyone else. “DEFENSE!” The rest of the opponents played the numbers game to take down Sabbath. See, I really love how Sugar used his character and comedy for sound psychology. Very good stuff. Sugar killed Aero with a lariat. Sugar has an underrated lariat. Sabbath recovered but Kobald kicked him out of the ring. Aero hit Kobald with a Boken Arrow, but the Batiri saved Kobald and destroyed Aero. Kobald went to finish Aero with a springboard move, but he slipped and only kind of landed on him: 1…2…3. Aw, you got a call an audible there.
This was a really fun way to kick off the show. Some of the guys looked green, but the match was laid out well so that it was always entertaining. Sugar Dunkerton should be in AIW as often as possible.
Match Rating: **1/2
BJ Whitmer vs. Eddie Kingston
Kingston had a knee injury from Chikara so he was noticeably hobbled. This is the first time this matchup has ever happened. These guys were both awesome in 2011, so I am giddy at the prospect of it.
They were feeling each other out at first until Whitmer went after King’s injured knee. Kingston is going to spend the rest of his career selling that knee, and I am completely ok with that. Whitmer killed Kingston with a running forearm to King when he was on his knees. Whitmer went right back to work on Kingston. Kingston managed to send Whitmer to the outside and then hit a suicide dive! That evened things up. Back in the ring, Kingston was able to get a nearfall after a forearm. Kingston locked in a submission to slow down Whitmer some more. A kid was heckling Kingston, so Kingston cussed him out and called him adopted. That made the crowd love Kingston even more. Whitmer came back with a big Exploder Suplex: 1…2…NO! Kingston comes back with an urinagi suple: 1…2…NO! Whitmer then hit a sweet running kick: 1…2…NO! They started trading chops. Kingston then hit a saito suplex…and then another: 1…2…NO! Whitmer came back with a wrist-clutch exploder suplex: 1…2…NO! Kingston then hit a lariat, Backfist to the Future, and a Sliding D: 1…2…NO! What! Whitmer blocked another Backfist and hit an ace crusher. Whitmer then locked in the Peruvian Necktie! KINGSTON TAPS OUT!
Well, this ruled. These two worked a really smart match at a very fan-friendly pace. I was never a big Whitmer fan during his first ROH run, but I’ve liked pretty much everything he has done during his comeback. Kingston was on fire for most of 2011 as well, and this match was no exception. I hope Kingston comes back to AIW soon.
Match Rating: ***1/2
Kingston and Whitmer put each other over after the match. Whitmer puts over the fans and the owners of AIW. The fans loved Whitmer even more after that.
Crimson (yes, that Crimson) was supposed to face The Chad, but I guess he couldn’t make it. Chest Flexor claims he made a deal with Dixie Carter, which caused Crimson to be sent to Orlando for the weekend. Flexor says that The Chad will now have the night off. Tim Donst comes out and says that he found a replacement for Crimson…
Chad “The Chad” Williams vs. Tursas
Tursas took down Chad with a dropkick early in the match. Chad fought Tursas into the corner and the referee got shoved down, which caused the referee to call for the bell. Chest Flexor tried to take down Tursas after the match, but that obviously failed. Tursas then tossed Flexor onto the rest of Flexor Industries on the outside of the ring. Flexor’s head smacked the ring apron and the floor on the way down. Ouch. The rest of Flexor Industries carried Flexor to the back.
This wasn’t really a match and more of an angle to try to make up for Crimson not being there. The action was short and slow. I hope Flexor was okay.
Team Duke [The Duke, Dasher Hatfield, “Mr. RBI” Izaeh Bonds & Lights Out (Corey Winters & Ben Fruith)] vs. Team Dalton [Dalton Castle & Da Latin Crime Syndicate (Luis Diamante, Joey The Snake, K. Fernandez & Isaac Montana
There was a brawl on the outside of the ring to start until Team Duke started to work over Joey The Snake. Snake gave Dasher a chinbreaker, which allowed him to tag out to Dalton. Team Duke then worked over Dalton. Dalton came back and hit a slingshot Vader bomb on Fruith. Team Dalton then started to work over Fruith. Fruith hit a tornado DDT on Diamante, which allowed the Duke to make a hot tag and run wild on Team Dalton. Duke tossed K. Fernandez onto all of Team Dalton on the outside. Winters and Fruith then wiped everyone out with slingshot planchas. Duke himself then hit a plancha. Back in the ring, Dasher hit Montana with a DVD, but Diamante made the save. Everyone started hitting finishers on each other. Finally, Duke and Dalton faced off, but K. Fernandez chopped out Duke’s leg. Duke came back and tried for a sit-out Tombstone piledriver. Dalton escaped, but Duke then hit it on K. Fernandez: 1…2…3
This match was well laid out so as to keep the crowd (and myself) entertained throughout. Dalton is athletic and has a lot of charisma, so hopefully he starts to shine more going forward.
Match Rating: **3/4
Marion Fontaine© vs. Shiima Xion [AIW Intense Title]
Shiima Xion is also known as Zema Ion in TNA.
Fontaine had the belt still around the waste as the match started and hit a Thesz Press on Shiima. Shiima grabbed the belt, but Fontaine then kicked the belt back in his face. Fontaine then wiped out Shiima with a suicide dive. They went backstage, and all of a sudden, Chuck Taylor came out with them! Taylor hit a springboard dropkick on Shiima, but the referee refused to count. Taylor grabbed a microphone, and said that since he was bored backstage, he thinks he should be in this match. The referee says yes!
Marion Fontaine© vs. Shiima Xion vs. Chuck Taylor [AIW Intense Title]
Taylor promptly hit a Rock Bottom on Xion. Fontaine hit a “Tea Bag” on both Taylor and Xion. Fontaine hit a leg lariat on Taylor for a nearfall. Taylor came back and powerslammed Fontaine on Xion and then delivered a sole food to Fontaine. All three men went down after a series of superkicks. They traded some rollups until Taylor was small package by Fontaine: 1…2…3!
This was a fun match with really crisp execution, but it seems like a title match should have gotten more time. Still though, I enjoyed what I got.
Match Rating: ***
Josh Prohibition vs. Gregory Iron [Street Fight]
They are in street clothes…for a STREET FIGHT! Josh spat in his face. Iron spat in his face. Iron quickly sent him to the outside and hit a suicide dive. Josh tried to choke him out with a fan’s cane. Iron took the cane and beat Josh with it. They started brawling all around the arena. Iron jumped off a merch table and hit a hurricanrana. They started brawl outside the ringside area, near the bar. Josh seemed to finally get the advantage after sending Iron into a wall. Back in the ringside area, Josh crotched Iron on the metal barricade. Josh has got really good facials. Josh tried to give him a Razor’s Edge onto the entrance ramp, but Iron escaped and back dropped Josh onto the ramp. And they are back in the ring. Iron pulled out a couple of chairs and a handicapped sign. Iron threw all the weapons at Josh , but Josh gave Iron a spinebuster on the handicapped sign. Josh then gave Iron a Razor’s Edge into the ringbuckle and then killed him with a lariat: 1…2…NO! Josh locked in a STF, but Iron was able to crawl to the ropes. Iron escaped a powerbomb and then hit Pay Dirt on the chair: 1…2…NO! Iron set up 3 chairs and then put Josh on them. Iron went to the top rope, but Josh just threw a chair at him. Josh then gave Iron a Drunken Driver (Jay Driller) through the chairs! AHH! 1…2…3
These guys worked their asses off, but the crowd didn’t seem too invested in the match. Both men sold their desire to win this match really well, and it didn’t seem structured as a mindless brawl. However, when you spend a good deal of time of a match outside of the ringside area, the crowd is probably going to lose interest. Their performances still sold me on wanting to see more of the feud though.
Match Rating: ***
Eric Ryan vs. Bobby Beverly
These guys were a tag team known as the Young Studs, but they obviously broke up.
Beverly immediately superkicked Ryan and then gave him a big back breaker. Ryan quickly came back and hit a Coast-to-Coast dropkick, followed by a suicide dive. Ryan went for a second suicide dive, but Beverly blocked it. Ryan recovered and sent Beverly into the crowd. Ryan went to the top turnbuckle and did a somersault dive onto Beverly. It looked like Beverly barely caught him and that, which must have sucked for Ryan. These guys are going a million miles an hour and hitting every move ever (slight exaggeration). They both recovered and went to the ring apron. Beverly DVDed Ryan on the apron. Ryan then powerbombed Beverly onto the ring ramp. Back in the ring Ryan hit a superkick and then a powerslam driver. They then traded German suplexes. Ryan then hit a torture rack driver: 1…2…NO! They start trading some big strikes. Ryan hit a package piledriver: 1…2…NO! Beverly then locked in a seated single leg Boston Crab. Beverly then hit an elevated implant DDT: 1…2…NO! Beverly then hit 8 kneeling superkicks, which still didn’t finish Ryan. Ryan recovered and hit a Vertabreaker: 1…2…3.
These two (who I have always liked) worked really hard but this match didn’t do much for me. They basically worked a half hour of big moves and nearfalls into a 10 minute match. Maybe the crowd just didn’t play well on video here, but they seemed to be just as apathetic as me. Maybe in front of a different crowd, this match could have seemed awesome.
Match Rating: **1/2
The Olsen Twins© (Colin Delaney & Jimmy Olsen with Colonel Dr. Nolan Angus) vs. The Irish Airborne (Jake and Dave Crist) vs. AEROFORM (Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon) [AIW Tag Titles]
Yes, that is the same Colin Delaney who had a run on WWECW. AIW billed this as the most requested rematch in AIW history. The Olsens and Nolan Angus seem like they would be perfect henchman for a big bad in a season of Justified. If you don’t understand the reference that means I think they are amazing. Also, it means you need to catch up on Justified.
The action immediately started fast and furious. Flip and Dave started off against each other, but they were quickly sent to the outside, and Lyndon and Jake paired off in the ring. Then Colin and Jimmy paired off in the ring…shades of ROH Tag Wars 2010. They were just messing around though, so Lyndon yelled at them. Colin Delaney looks 10 years older since his run in WWE. More crazy action. Colin went for a suicide dive, but he hit Dr. Angus by mistake. The Olsens, Lyndon, and Jake ended up behind the guardrail. Flip and Dave then hit stereo Fosbury Flops onto everyone. Crazieness. Kendrick and Dave then went back to the ring. Wait, the guys who hit the high risk dives are the first to recover. I am in love. After some more action, Colin hit a swinging neckbreaker on Lyndon and all 6 men were down. They all struggled to their feet and then paired off. Lyndon, Jimmy and Dave did a big power of doom spot. Jake, Colin, and Flip then all hit dives, which got 3 nearfalls. Lyndon wiped out the Airborne with a double jump somersault plancha. Flip then hit a package piledriver on Colin. Flip went to the top rope and hit a crazy shooting star senton. The Airborne then hit Jimmy with a double stomp-Tombstone piledriver combo: 1…2…3! Aeroform and the Irish Airborne shook hands after the match. The Olsens said they would shake their hands after they win the belts back.
Crazy match. I feel like this is a match that some people will shy away from because it feels very choreographed and “spotty,” but I had a lot of fun watching it (and that’s my minimum standard for pro wrestling, so mission accomplished). I enjoy all three of these teams, and Aeroform especially seem to be ready for a shot in PWG.
Match Rating: ***1/2
Sabu vs. Façade [Falls Count Anywhere]
So, I guess this was AIW’s attempt to get on Botchamania. In all seriousness, I normally wouldn’t mind Sabu being brought in for a guest spot here and there, but his overuse in DGUSA killed my interest in watching his matches. I also love a lot of things about Façade, but the matches of his that I’ve seen always seem to underachieve. Let’s see what happens…
Façade is called “The Bomber” here, which officially confirms that he has had different nicknames on every show I’ve seen him on. They start out on the MAT! That didn’t last long, as they ended up on the outside and Sabu threw a chair at Façade’s face. Back in the ring, Sabu worked over Façade as Sabu’s manager set up a table on the outside. Façade was laid out on the table, but he recovered to block Sabu’s attempt to put him through the table. Façade hit a nice top rope moonsault for a nearfall. Sabu grabbed a chair, but Façade dropkicked it in his face. Façade then gave Sabu some weak chair shots. Façade placed the chair on Sabu, and then hit an Arabian Press moonsault for another nearfall. Sabu pulled out a spike and started stabbing Façade. Back in the ring, a table was set up and Sabu laid Façade out with a chair. Façade low blowed him and put him on the table. Façade went for a springboard somersault; Sabu rolled off the table and then the table didn’t break for Façade. Sabu put Façade on the table and then hit a Arabian Skullcrusher: 1…2…3
I don’t have much to say about this. There wasn’t anything bad or insulting about the match, but it was just kind of there. It certainly must have been cool for Façade though to get the opportunity to wrestle his idol. If Sabu wasn’t overused in DGUSA, I may have found this guest spot more appealing. He looks in remarkable shape for his age, and he still moves relatively well.
Match Rating: **1/2
Rickey Shane Page vs. Vincent Nothing
Faith in Nothing was a tag team that consisted of Vincent Nothing and Christian Faith. Earlier in 2011, Faith unmasked and revealed himself to be Rickey Shane Page. Page still occasionally works as Christian Faith (at least he does in AAW anyway). There is a long backstory to this feud, which was detailed in a video package. The video package was set to Dr. Dre’s “I Need a Doctor,” which makes every video seem awesome. So, good call on that.
They were both hesitant at the start. They were very respectable, which surprised me. It seems like they just want to find out who is legit the best (that wouldn’t last long though). Page went for a chokeslam, but Nothing reversed it into a triangle choke. They went over the ropes, and Paige drove Nothing into a barricade to break the hold. Faith pulled out a ladder, but Nothing sent Paige into the ladder. Page bladed and his face was quickly getting covered in blood. Page set some chairs up on the outside. Nothing went for a suicide dive, but Page caught him and gave him a DVD through the chairs. That was awesome. Page set Nothing up on the chairs. Page went for a somersault plancha, but Nothing moved. Page went splat. Fuck that must have hurt. Nothing looked for more plunder, and Page threw a chair in Nothing’s face. Page set up a ladder on a barricade, but Nothing gave Page an exploder through the ladder. Nothing set up a table. Page sent him back into the ring, and then he hit a senton bomb: 1…2…NO! Page set up two ladders next to the table and then stuck about two dozen light tubes in between the ladders so that they were on top of the table. Nothing came back and kicked Page in the groin. Kicks to the chest from Nothing. Page came back and powerslammed Nothing on the wood floor. Page set up another ladder and he went to superplex Nothing through the light tubes and table. Nothing recovered though and pushed Page through the tables and light tubes! Oy vey. That was sickening. Nothing doesn’t seem proud of what he just did. He rolls him back in the ring. Nothing covered him: 1…2…NO! “WHAT THE FUCK!” Page asks for more. Nothing then killed him with a German suplex: 1…2…NO! Nothing then hit a DVD: 1…2…NO! Fans are chanting “Match of the Year!” They start trading strikes. Both men went down after lariats. Page hit a discus elbow for a nearfall. Nothing blocked another elbow and hit the 216: 1…2…NO! Fans were rallying around Page again. Page hit an enzugiri and pair of discus elbows. Page then hit the 216: 1…2…3! Fans chanted “Match of the Year” again.
This is a match that is very important for the fans and everyone involved with AIW, but it would be hard to walk into this match cold and appreciate it as much it probably should. As someone who pretty much did walk into the match cold, I was incredibly impressed with the work of Rickey Shane Page. Wrestling is about investing a crowd in what you do in the ring, and it’s clear that Rickey Shane Page can do that very, very well. With the right story, Page can be brought into any independent federation and thrive right now.
Match Rating: ****
Nothing gets on the microphone after the match and says that, despite what the fans may think after the match, Faith in Nothing is truly over. Nothing puts Page over huge. Page thanks him for the best five years of his life. Page puts on his Christian Faith mask, so the fans can celebrate with them one last time as Faith in Nothing.
Johnny Gargano© vs. Tim Donst [AIW Absolute Title]
Gargano has been AIW’s Absolute Champion for a year. At Absolution 2010, he won the title in a 4 way half way through the show and then went to a 30 minute draw with Bryan Danielson to end the show. Donst is pretty much a good guy in AIW, and he goes by Tim “Fucking” Donst. Donst won the 2011 Gauntlet for the Gold (AIW’s Royal Rumble) to earn this title shot.
They start the match on the mat with neither man getting a clear advantage. They ended up on the floor and the referee tried to break it up. Gargano went for suicide dive, but Donst moved and Gargano killed the referee. Gargano went right back and hit his suicide dive on Donst, followed by a rolling senton off the ring apron. Back in the ring, Gargano hit a neckbreaker, but Donst grounded Gargano with some suplexes to cut him off. Gargano went for a splash off the apron, but Donst caught him and threw him into the stands. They ended up outside the ringside area. They stood on a table, and Donst gave him a STO through the table. They made their way back into the chairs, and Gargano emptied a trash can and put it on Donst. Donst escaped and made his way back to the ring. They ended up on the ring apron, and Gargano speared him. Gargano followed that up with his slingshot spear through the ropes. Gargano went for a superkick, but Donst moved, and Gargano hit the referee. Gargano went for a suicide dive, but Donst hit an Ace Crusher in mid-air. That was awesome. Donst brought Gargano back in the ring and hit a Gator roll. A referee took forever to come from the back, but eventually he did and Gargano kicked out. Donst killed the referee in frustration. Another referee came down, but Gargano and Donst just tossed him out right away. Gargano locked in the Gargano Escape, but there was no referee. Donst locked in a Chikara Special, but Gargano kicked his way out. Donst hit another Gator Roll: 1…2…NO! Gargano hit a Hurt’s Donut: 1…2…NO! Donst locked in the Chikara Special again, but Gargano made the ropes. Gargano hit a Perfect Driver: 1…2…NO! Hurt’s Donut: 1…NO! Kneeling Superkick: 1…2…NO! Hurt’s Donut: 1…2…3!
Much like the last match, these two pulled out all the stops for the match. The four referees gimmick actually worked well, much to my surprise. Normally, those things feel overbooked, but it definitely added drama. I think the only way this match could have been better is if the crowd was firmly behind one guy and against the other. Still though, this was a very good main event from two guys who should absolutely make a lot of money in this business one day.
Match Rating: ***3/4
Gargano put Donst over after the match. They left the ring together, but Flexor Industries came out. Chest Flexor says the night is not over. Flexor says that Gargano is going to defend the title right now against Shiima Xion. And it is happening!
Johnny Gargano© vs. Shiima Xion [AIW Absolute Title]
They start brawling around the ring. They went into the ring and started trading superkicks. Xion locked in a Crippler Crossface. Gagrano rolled out of it though. Shiima went for a moonsault, but Gargano dropkicked in the middle of the air. Lawn Dart! Hurt’s Donut: 1…2…FLEXOR PULLS OUT THE REFEREE! Donst runs down and attacks Flexor. The rest of Flexor Industries attacks Donst. Gargano joins the fight but returns to the ring. The referee throws powder in Gargano’s eyes and Shiima rolls up Gargano: 1…2…3!!! WHAT!!!! Donst chases Shiima and the rest of Flexor Industries out of the building. They jump in their limo and drive off though before Donst can get to them. Wow.
I’m really not a fan of the crooked referee gimmick (even in Chikara), because it’s usually too hard book well after the initial turn. However, with Flexor Industries being the big heel group, and with Shiima Xion being a newly signed TNA star, I think this dynamic will work out. It certainly put a lot of heat on Xion for his title reign.
Final Thoughts: This was my first full AIW show and consider me hooked from here on out. AIW pulls out all the stops for Absolution, and the 2011 version was no exception. If you’re looking to jump into AIW, this show is an excellent place to start.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.