Written by: Bob Colling
AAW presents Thursday Night Special
From: Berwyn, IL
Connor Braxton starts the show issuing an open challenge because he is undefeated on Thursday’s in AAW since this is his first time wrestling on a Thursday for AAW. Paco answers the challenge.
Opening Contest: Paco vs. Connor Braxton: Braxton wastes no time nailing Paco with a big boot and hammers away with right hands. Paco elbows Braxton followed by a kick. Paco kicks Braxton off the apron and attempted a suicide dive but got caught and Braxton tosses Paco into the ropes to deliver a head butt on the floor. Braxton sends Paco into the ring post before returning to the ring. Braxton tosses Paco with a release overhead throw. Paco knee lifts Braxton and delivers a few forearm shots. Braxton avoids a tornado DDT but not a super kick. Pack kicks Braxton two times for a near fall. Paco goes to the top but Braxton stops him with a kick and tosses Paco to the canvas for a two count. Paco gets a victory roll and pins Braxton! (**1/4. I can see why Paco is liked in AAW. Braxton came across like a solid heel here as well. A short opener but good enough that it popped the crowd. I don’t think I needed it to be longer than it was, either.)
Backstage, Colt Cabana is interviewed by his buddy Marty DeRosa. Cabana wants to restart with Marty not saying that only wrestling fans are watching this. Cabana notes everything that he has done in outside of wrestling. Tonight, he will be wrestling Trevor Lee. It will be their first time wrestling and Cabana looks forward to it tonight.
Second Contest: Laredo Kid vs. Jake Crist vs. Joey Janela vs. Myron Reed: Kid kicks Crist and Reed dropkicks Janela sending both men to the floor. Reed kicks Kid over the head. Kid kicks Reed from the apron and hit a cross body. Kid hits a flipping DDT on Reed but Janela comes in and controls Kid with a few kicks. Janela nails Kid with a super kick and uppercuts Crist. Crist comes off the top to hit a cross body and plays to the crowd. Crist drops Janela across the middle rope. Crist plants Janela with an ace crusher. Reed super kicks Crist, who comes back with one of his own. Crist continues with a neck breaker but get stopped by Reed in the corner with a forearm. Reed comes off the top rope to hit a reverse hurricanrana and takes Crist out hitting a suicide dive. Well, now literally everyone hit a suicide dive to the floor. Reed somersaults over the top and Janela hit a moonsault onto Reed. Kid hit a cross body and Crist also hit a dive to the floor. JT Davidson takes everyone out with a somersault dive to the floor and Crist plays to the crowd. Crist does Randy Orton’s pose on the middle rope. Crist spikes Kid with a piledriver and Janela nearly wins with a double stomp on Crist.
Reed knee strikes Janela and hit a running shooting star press. Reed continues with a springboard uppercut for a two count. Kid kicks Reed on the top and hit an ace crusher back in the ring for a two count. Reed kicks Kid off the apron to the floor. Crist trips Reed from the floor and goes to the top rope. Reed stops Crist with a palm strike and connects with a Spanish Fly but only manages a two count on the cover. Crist spikes Reed with a Canadian Destroyer twice, with the second one coming off the middle rope. That’s good enough for a three count. Janela seemingly tried to get attention in the corner being shocked he lost, but it seemed out of place. (**1/2. They did everything that Randy Orton hates about indy wrestling, but it was enjoyable for what it was, which is being a spot fest. Reed seems like a promising young talent.)
Backstage, Davey Vega says they are making the Besties better, since his usual partner Mat Fitchett isn’t with him. Instead, Alex Daniels found the missing jacket and they’ll be teaming tonight.
Third Contest: Colt Cabana vs. Trevor Lee: Lee gets the early advantage working over Cabana with strikes before the bell. Cabana comes back with a head scissors takedown. Cabana holds Lee’s foot and eventually twists him down after avoiding wild punch attempts. Lee works over Cabana with a few chops but Cabana rips Lee’s chest hair out and blows it back into Trevor’s face. This is basically a comedy match, as per usual with Cabana. Lee counters a suplex to the floor from the apron by biting Colt’s fingers and kicks Colt right on the chest from the apron. Lee tries for a German supelx but Colt elbows out of it. Lee attempted a gut wrench but Cabana countered with a rollup for a two count. Lee knee lifts Cabana and takes Cabana over with a gut wrench slam for a two count. Cabana ducks a clothesline and jabs Lee several times followed by an elbow strike. Cabana hits a running butt splash in the corner and hits a big splash off the middle rope for a two count. Cabana elbows Lee but a running double stomp from Lee nearly gets a three count. Cabana nearly wins with a rollup after avoiding a dropkick. Lee catches Cabana on a flying asshole attempt hitting a German suplex for a two count. Cabana stops Lee on the top rope with a right hand. Lee eye rakes Cabana but misses a double stomp off the top. Cabana nearly gets the Billy Goats Curse, but Lee rolls through and pins Cabana with a rollup and using the ropes for leverage. (**. I wasn’t all that entertained by this. The comedy act by Cabana is rather lame these days for me. Trevor Lee isn’t anything all that great, either. This was just kind of there to me.)
Backstage, Jack Swagger is interviewed regarding his match with Michael Elgin tonight. Swagger is excited to be there in AAW and wants the people to make noise. Swagger believes he has the people with him tonight. He’s doing his “We The People” gimmick.
Backstage, Juventud Guerrera has finally arrived to AAW and is going to take the soul of Sami Callihan tonight. He’s going to have Sami respect Mexico. He’s going to take the AAW Heavyweight Championship with him.
Fourth Contest: Trey Miguel & Stephen Wolf vs. Davey Vega & Alex Daniels vs. Team Tremendous (Bill Carr & Dan Barry): Vega and Daniels attack Miguel an Wolf before being dumped to the floor by Tremendous. Carr gets sent to the floor by Wolf and Miguel. Barry gets kicked by them as well. Vega gets double teamed in the corner by Miguel and Wolf. Daniels enters but is kicked into the corner and Wolf hit a dropkick. Carr enters and clotheslines Wolf and Miguel to get control of the match. Carr works over Wolf with a few chops in the corner. Barry hits a senton splash on Wolf to keep control of the bout. Vega tags in and keeps Wolf in the corner to keep control in their corner. Daniels comes off the bottom rope with a double axe handle shot. Vega performs the same move off the middle rope. Barry slams Wolf down with a back suplex and Carr connects with a leg drop for a two count. Wolf kicks Barry a few times followed by a knee strike to get momentum in his favor. Wolf crawls to the corner but Miguel gets yanked off the apron by Daniels. Carr gets another two count on Wolf. Vega hits a Flatliner on Wolf and Daniels drives Wolf down with a slam for a two count.
Vega tags back in and works over Wolf several times with stomps. Wolf drops Vega with a forearm shot and both men are down. Wolf tags in Miguel and he cleans house hitting Team Tremendous with forearms and Barry with a double knee off the top rope. Daniels enters but is met with a forearm shot Daniels hits a neck breaker on Vega, who also DDTs Daniels. Miguel takes Daniels and Vega out with a twisting dive to the floor. Barry does the same with a dive over the top. Wolf was going to do one but Bill Carr cuts him off with a Pounce. Carr wanted to dive but everyone ran away. Wolf flips over the ring post onto everyone to get his dive in. Wolf knee strikes Carr and attempts a springboard but Carr caught him to hit a swinging side slam for a near fall! Carr holds Daniels up to allow Barry to hit a Flatliner for a two count. Vega saves Daniels and sends Carr into Barry in the corner. Vega big boots Carr as does Daniels. Vega plants Carr with a tornado DDT. Wolf and Miguel take out Daniels with a kick and a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Carr plants Miguel with a Canadian Destroyer. Barry hit a middle rope flipping fallaway slam on Miguel. However, Barry gets tossed to the floor allowing Vega and Daniels to steal the win. (***. It’s a solid match involving the three teams. The moves are already coming across repetitive from the earlier matches. The dives to the floor are overdone and I’m the fourth match in. I’m a big fan of Bill Carr.)
Backstage, Donovan Dijak is interviewed regarding his match with Keith Lee coming up. Dijak doesn’t like that it hasn’t been back in AAW in over a year. Dijak notes they are friends behind the scenes but bitter enemies in the ring. He’s gonna stay in AAW by proving to be the man in the ring against Keith Lee tonight.
Backstage, AAW Heavyweight Champion Sami Callihan wants everyone to look him in the eyes. He says that Juventud Guerrera is a Lucha legend and says Juventud Guerrera was the last guy to answer the challenge. He wants to unmask Guerrera tonight despite Juventud having lost his mask in 1998 to Chris Jericho. Sami says a lot of lucha guys are trying to come in and take their spots but that’s not gonna happen.
Fifth Contest: Donovan Dijak vs. Keith Lee: The fans are chanting for both men but it seems like more people are behind Lee. Lee blocks a boot at the start but Dijak does a flip and avoids a leapfrog by hanging onto the ropes. They chop each other with Lee getting the better of the exchange. Lee works over Dijah with a double palm strike to Dijak’s chest. Lee plays to the crowd while Dijak struggles in the corner. Dijak avoids a chop to the chest by turning his back but Lee decides to chop Dijak’s back anyway. Lee tries to slingshot into the ring from the apron but Dijak delivers a super kick! They are on the floor where Dijak works over Lee with a few strikes. They are trading strikes with Lee hitting Dijak with double palm strikes but Dijak coming back with forearm shots. Dijak tries a roaring elbow but Lee casually stops him with a double palm strike. Lee drops Dijak with a head butt to the chest. Dijak super kicks Lee into the guard railing. Dijak has Lee on his shoulders but Lee lands in the crowd and chops Dijak again. Dijak blocks a chop and rams Lee face first into the guard railing. Dijak comes off the railing taking Lee out with a somersault dive, which Lee did a not-so great job of catching Dijak.
Dijak goes towards a table in the crowd but is caught by Lee, who porches to power bomb Dijak onto a chair! Lee rolls Dijak into the ring and quickly follows in as well. Lee puts Dijak onto the top turnbuckle and delivers a shot. Lee has Dijak for an overhead toss but Dijak fights his way out and decks Lee with a wild forearm. Lee falls off the middle rope crashing to the apron. Dijak grabs Lee from the top rope but Lee chops Dijak to stop him. Dijak sets Lee up on his shoulders on the middle rope and hits a sit out spine buster but Lee manages to kick out! Dijak pie faces Lee a few times and wants to know what it will take. Dijak is pissed about his chest. Dijak returns a chop but Lee comes back with a sit down power bomb for a near win! Lee has Dijak on the apron but Dijak is blocking a power bomb. Dijak has Lee on his shoulders but Lee elbows out of it. Lee connects with an insanely dangerous Canadian Destroyer on the apron! Lee has Dijak set for a power bomb and tells the fans to move, but Dijak gets out of it and nails Lee with a discus kick knocking Lee over the railing into the crowd! Dijak is on the apron and demands Lee stay down.
Dijak stands on the apron and proceeds to take Lee out with a springboard moonsault into the crowd! Dijak tosses Lee back towards ringside. They return to the ring where Dijak puts Lee on the top turnbuckle. Lee stops Dijak on the middle rope with a chop to the chest. Lee has Dijak on his shoulders but Dijak fights out with elbows. Lee blocks a hurricanrana attempt and power bombs Dijak but Dijak refuses to stay down on the cover! Lee heads to the top rope after dragging Dijak towards a corner. Lee eventually hits the moonsault off the top but Dijak kicks out at one! Dijak avoids a chop and kicks Lee in the corner. Dijak sets Lee up for the Burning Hammer into a knee strike, but Lee doesn’t go down. Lee chops Dijak and hits a Death Valley Driver turned into a Jackhammer to finally win the match! (****. Uh, so that was great. I don’t recall seeing a Lee match prior to this, at least nothing memorable. I’ve seen a few for Dijak, but this was by far the most impressive match he’s had that I’ve seen. I liked the chops by Lee that Dijak had trouble with but eventually kind of figured out how to avoid them, but still lost. Lee is insanely agile for his size and Dijak was great, too. I don’t see anything matching this on the rest of the show. I’d like to see more from these two.)
Backstage, Shane Strickland and Lio Rush are interviewed regarding their tag match against AAW Tag Team Champions Rey Fenix and AR Fox. This is Lio Rush is making his AAW debut. They admit that the champions have helped shape their career and they aren’t afraid of gold.
Backstage, Trey Miguel and Stephen Wolf cut a promo saying that even if they lost tonight they will be back. They didn’t even lose to the Besties In The World. They’ll be here every time as long as the love is shown by AAW fans. This felt a little awkward.
Backstage, Marty DeRosa catches up with Joey Janela outside. Joey is pissed about being a second class citizen every time he comes here. Joey says the fans chant for him but every time he comes here there’s an issue. He’s not a loser, but rather a bad boy. If they want to see him in AAW again then they need to treat him like bad boy.
Sixth Contest: FKA Jack Swagger vs. Michael Elgin: Swagger is a big guy in terms of height compared to Elgin. Swagger cleanly backs away in the corner but Elgin steps up to him. They trade a few strikes but neither man goes down. Elgin forearms Swagger followed by a shoulder block. Swagger big boots Elgin in the corner and comes back with right hands and a shoulder block of his own. Swagger big boots Elgin and knee lifts Elgin off the apron causing Elgin to hit the guard railing. Swagger goes to the floor and they continue to trade blows. Elgin staggers Swagger with several blows. Elgin blocks a boot and super kicks Swagger on the apron. Elgin drops Swagger across the apron back first with a back suplex. They continue to trade blows on the floor with Elgin not selling chops from Swagger. Elgin super kicks Swagger again and that drops Swagger on the floor. Elgin drops Swagger again on the apron back first. Elgin goes for a cover but only gets a two count. Elgin sets Swagger up for a delayed vertical suplex which Elgin held for thirty-seconds. Elgin goes for the cover but only gets a two count.
Swagger gets shoved into the corner but clotheslines Elgin a couple of times in the corner. Swagger takes Elgin over with a power slam and plays to the crowd. Swagger runs the ropes and ducks a clothesline to hit a belly to belly suplex for a two count. Swagger blocks a boot to the gut after trying a splash out of the corner. Swagger almost had the ankle lock but Elgin got out of it. Elgin takes Swagger over with a German suplex. Swagger elbows out of the hold but Elgin comes back with a snap German suplex. Elgin plants Swagger with a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Elgin clubs Swagger with stiff short arm clotheslines. Elgin goes for a lariat but Swagger counters with an ankle lock but Elgin reaches the ropes quickly. Elgin kicks Swagger from the apron and heads to the top rope. Swagger tosses Elgin off the top rope with a belly to belly suplex and hit a big splash off the middle rope for a two count. Swagger tries a gut wrench but Elgin gets out of it and eventually plants Swagger with a sit down power bomb. Swagger ducks a clothesline and they collide a few times neither man going down. Swagger turns Elgin inside out with a clothesline. Elgin clotheslines Swagger in the corner a few times. Elgin puts Swagger on the top turnbuckle but Swagger fights his way to knock Elgin off. Elgin pulls Swagger off looking for a power bomb but Swagger fights out and locks in the ankle lock. Elgin rolls through to get out of the hold and misses a splash. Swagger takes Elgin over with a release German suplex. Elgin avoids a splash and buckle bombs Swagger followed by a sit down power bomb for the win. (***. It was kind of strange to see Swagger get manhandled by someone the size of Elgin. Sure, Elgin is a strong guy, but his height made it just look awkward to me. It was a solid match, and I thought their styles meshed well enough. I think Swagger can do on the independents.)
Marty DeRosa comes into the ring and Michael Elgin is apparently set to get an AAW Heavyweight Championship match. Elgin says anyone who leaves New York says it’s because they got held back. Apparently, a fan didn’t know that WWE is New York and they got made fun of for it. Elgin believes that Jack Swagger was telling the truth when he said he was held back by New York. The fans believe he’s the next champ.
Backstage, Marty DeRosa interviews Trevor Lee. Lee thinks the fans love him here because the fans believe in him. Lee doesn’t think the company believes in him. Lee says there is someone else that pisses him off here in AAW. Lee recalls when the fans loved him and then some guy in a mask came in and stole his thunder. He’s referencing AAW Heritage Champion Pentagon Jr. He wants a match with Pentagon and will challenge for all the titles. He asks if DeRosa wants to be his tag partner, but DeRosa declines since he’s not a wrestler.
Seventh Contest: AAW Tag Team Champions Team Fonix (Rey Fenix & AR Fox) vs. Lio Rush & Shane Strickland: Fenix and Strickland kick off the title match. Strickland trips Fenix to the mat but Fenix goes for an arm drag but Strickland does a handstand attempting a head scissors, but Fenix stays on his feet. They trade arm drags out of the corner and they have standoff after both men missed standing shooting star presses. Rush and Fox are tagged in to try their luck. Rush and Fox take out the opposing partners and Fox kicks Rush a few times followed by a jaw breaker. Rush stops Fox with a roundhouse kick to drop Fox. Fox continues with a twisting brain buster. Strickland comes in and kicks Fox a couple of times. Strickland slams Fox down to the mat. Fenix should rams Strickland from the apron and hit a hurricanrana. Fenix hits a rolling frog splash. Rush kicks Fenix a few times, too. Strickland and Fox trade strikes on the apron until Rush nails Fox with a handspring kick. Rush hits a suicide dive to take Fox out on the floor. Fox kicks Rush again and slams Strickland face first on the apron. Fenix nails Strickland with a double stomp. Rush prevents Fenix from hitting a springboard slamming him face first on the apron. Fenix comes back and hits a suicide dive on Rush while Fox does the same to Strickland.
Fox and Fenix hit another pair of suicide dives to the floor. Fox springboards off the ring post to take Strickland out and Fenix dives onto Rush. Fox heads to the top rope but Rush shoves him onto Shane’s shoulders allowing Strickland to hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron. Fenix gets kicked by Rush and an ace crusher by both challengers. Rush and Strickland had Fenix in the ring while keeping Fox on the floor. Rush holds Fenix while Strickland comes off the ropes to deliver a kick. Rush kicks Fenix on the chest a couple of times. Strickland drives Fenix down with a backbreaker. Rush keeps Fenix on the mat with a sleeper hold. Rush almost get a three count with a rollup. Strickland gets tagged in and trades blows with Fenix. Fenix drops Shane with a roundhouse kick. Fenix hits a Gory Bomb on Rush and leg drops Strickland! Fox continues with a springboard dropkick but is kicked by the challengers. Fox takes the challengers over with a head scissors and headlock combo.
Fox hits a springboard ace crusher on both men and hit a top rope swaton nearly pinning Rush. Rush knocks Fox to the floor and Strickland takes Fenix off the top allowing Rush to hit Rush Hour but that’s not good enough for a three count. Fenix and Rush trade forearms shots with neither man going down. Fox and Strickland do the same moves and all four men kip up at the same time but then crash back down. Fox clotheslines Strickland and Fenix delivers a kick. Fenix hit a Codebreaker on Rush and Fox comes off the top hitting a 450 splash but Strickland makes the save. Rush takes Fenix down with a reverse hurricanrana. Rush gets stopped by Fox on the top. Strickland stops Fox with a kick and Fox is dangling from the middle rope allowing Shane to hit a double stomp. Rush with a frog splash and Strickland hit a double stomp but Fenix kicks out again! Strickland and Rush are met with big boots from Fox, but Rush kicks Fox a couple of times. Fox hits a Spanish Fly out of the corner and a brain buster to pin Rush. (***. It’s a good showcase with both teams hitting plenty of high spots. They just need to allow some things to breath a moment to appreciate it instead of just constantly going into the next spot.) After the match, Lio Rush gets the “Please come back” chant.
Backstage, Marty DeRosa interviews Keith Lee who will wrestle for the AAW Heavyweight Championship on July 15th. Lee thinks the title shot is justified. Lee is limitless and has a title shot for the next show.
Main Event: AAW Heavyweight Champion Sami Callihan vs. Juventud Guerrera: Guerrera wastes no time hitting a big boot and taking Sami, Jake Crist and JT Davidson out with a suicide dive to the floor! Guerrera sends Sami into the guard railing and continues to work over the champ with chops. Sami sends Juventud into the guard railing back first. Guerrera big boots Callihan but runs into another big boot. Guerrera comes off the apron but avoids Sami and sends him into the guard railing again. Guerrera chops Sami a few times and returns to the ring going to the top to deliver a big splash for a two count. Guerrera signals for the 450 splash but JT Davidson prevents him. Guerrera takes Sami over with a head scissors and Sami goes to the floor. Guerrera slides to the floor and Sami runs over Guerrera with a suicide dive! Sami spits on his hand and catches the spit back in his mouth before sleeping Juventud. Callihan chops Guerrera and plays to the crowd holding the gold in the air. Sami runs into a big boot on the floor but Sami dumps Guerrera into the crowd. Sami runs around ringside but gets tossed over the railing into the crowd by Guerrera. Juventud comes off the railing to take Sami out with a somersault!
Juventud jumps off a chair to deliver an elbow drop. They return to the ring where Guerrera goes to the top but the referee gets sent into ropes dropping Guerrera across the top turnbuckle. Sami chops Guerrera on the top rope trying to get the mask off of Guerrera. Guerrera plants Sami with a sit out power bomb for a two count. Juventud kicks Callihan a few times for a two count. Guerrera nails Sami with another kick to the face after rolling through a rollup. Guerrera clotheslines Sami several times and hits a Roll of the Dice for a two count. Guerrera misses a somersault splash in the corner. Sami delivers a running knee strike in the corner but Juvi comes back with a big boot. Sami gets out of a rollup and kicks Juvi followed by a lariat for another two count. Guerrera kicks Sami in the midsection and eventually rolls through a rollup for another kick. They both go down following stereo kick attempts. They battle on the apron trading shots. Sami goes for a piledriver but Guerrera breaks free and head scissors Callihan off the apron onto Jake Crist and JT Davidson! Guerrera goes to the top rope hitting a cross body on Sami for a two count. Sami plants Guerrera with a power bomb for another near fall. Callihan locks in the Stretch Muffler and that gets a submission. (**1/2. It’s cool to see Juventud competing in top level matches as I’ve always enjoyed his work. I didn’t get a vibe from the live crowd that they thought Guerrera had any real chance of winning the title here. It’s a decent title match but probably went a little too long for my liking.) After the match, Sami tries to get the mask of Juventud but Rey Fenix comes running down to make the save but he gets beaten up too. Fenix is being held by Davidson and Crist. Sami says that dreams don’t come true. Sami thinks they hide behind masks because they are fake. Michael Elgin runs into the ring and makes the save for his masked friends.
I thought it was a solid show for AAW with Dijak/Lee being an outstanding match and the rest of the action being quite good to go along with it. The show came in under three hours and they continue the stories they have going on. I dig it. Good stuff going on in AAW.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.