AAW presents Destination Chicago
From: Chicago, IL
I believe this is my first AAW show since 2018. So, it will be interesting to see what the company has been up to since I last watched a show.
Opening Contest: Jake Lander vs. Davey Vega: Vega works over Lander with right hands, but Lander comes back with strikes of his own and a running head scissors. Lander dropkicks Vega to the floor. Lander tries for a crossbody, but is caught by Vega’s buddy. Lander sends him into the ring post face first. Vega baseball slides Lander into the guard railing chest first and manages a two count. Vega kicks Lander into the corner and keeps control with stomps. They trade strikes in the corner with neither man getting extended control. Lander sends Vega into the post shoulder first and hits a running forearm and a sling blade. Landers has Vega over his shoulder to hit a running somersault driver into the corner. Lander plants Vega with an airplane spin sit out powerbomb for a near fall due to the referee getting pulled out of the ring. Vega blocks a suplex attempt into the ring and forearms Lander. Vega hits a running powerbomb for a two count. Vega drops Lander over his knee with a brainbuster for the clean win. (**1/2. A quick opener, but an entertaining one. It’s interesting to see Vega portraying a heel in a singles role. I liked the Besties tag team, so this is an intriguing turn of events. Lander was enjoyable and I think I’d enjoy a longer match involving him.) After the match, Johnny Bravo cuts a promo and calls out Rush Jones. Jones is attacked by Damien Chambers and someone else, but Jones fights them off. Jones tackles Bravo’s muscle and Bravo begs off. Jones nails Bravo with a knee strike to the back of the head.
Backstage, Ace Austin cuts a promo about how special AAW is to him. Austin spent two years coming to the show just watching and waiting for his opportunity. AAW gave him his first opportunity and he’s been successful ever since. Austin promises that he’ll win in his first chance to win the AAW Heritage Championship. Austin wants Myron Reed to know that it’s nothing personal, but he’s a professional wrestler. He will do whatever it takes to win the match and become the AAW Heritage Champion. Austin hopes their friendship will remain intact.
Second Contest: 1 Called Manders vs. Juice Robinson: Manders attacks Robinson during his entrance. Manders whips Robinson over the back with his ring jacket. Manders breaks Robinson’s glasses and chokes Robinson against the ropes. Manders shoulder blocks Robinson and misses an elbow drop. Robinson chops Manders followed by jabs. Robinson clotheslines Manders in the clothesline followed by a full nelson slam. Robinson slams Manders and hits a senton splash. Robinson misses a running cannonball in the corner. Manders chops Robinson around ringside several times. Manders headbutts Robinson and delivers a few chops. Manders sits Robinson on a chair and runs around ringside only to be met with an elbow strike. Manders sends Robinson into the guard railing back first. Robinson boots Manders in the corner, but runs into a powerslam for a near fall. Manders ducks a strike and jabs Robinson several times. Robinson drives Manders down to the mat with a spinebuster. Robinson jabs Manders several times and connects with a DDT. Robinson clotheslines Manders in the corner followed by a cannonball splash for a two count. Robinson is clotheslined a couple of times and Manders gets a two count. Manders tries for a slam, but Robinson connects with a leg lariat and fails to deliver a powerbomb. Manders plants Robinson with a gut wrench powerbomb for a two count. Manders rams Robinson into the corner and hits a powerslam for a two count. Manders heads to the top rope, but InFAMy hits Manders with the tag titles. Robinson hits the Pulp Fiction for the win. (**1/2. I enjoyed it, but the referee drove me nuts. He has a hesitation on near falls that make it obvious there is going to be a kick out. I enjoyed Manders style, which felt similar to Dr. Death.) After the match, InFAMy attack Manders. They hit Manders with a tag championship. Jake Something and Stallion Rogers make their way to make the save and for the tag title match.
Third Contest: AAW Tag Team Champions InFAMy (Joeasa & Robin Steele) vs. Jake Something & Stallion Rogers: All four men are in the ring brawling to start the title match. The crowd is going nuts for Something and Rogers. Something hits a spear in the corner and tosses Stallion into Steele, as well. Steele kicks Something off the apron, but Something catches Joeasa on a crossbody. Steele takes Something out with a suicide dive. Stallion and Steele trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Joeasa trips Stallion allowing Steele to deliver a boot to the face. Joeasa nearly pins Stallion with a German suplex. Stallion is sent hard into the corner back first. Steele hits a slingshot senton from the apron for a two count. Steele clotheslines Stallion in the corner and chokes Stallion briefly. Joeasa returns to the match and prevents Stallion from making the tag to Something. Steele pummels Stallion with strikes in the corner. Joeasa chokes Stallion while the referee is distracted. Stallion comes back with a dropkick and tries to tag out, but is stopped. Stallion runs into a powerslam by Joeasa for a two count. Stallion avoids a double team and tags in Something. Something cleans house on the champs. The champs hit a Codebreaker/backstabber into a DDT for a near fall. Stallion takes Steele and Joeasa over with German suplexs. Stallion strikes Steele a few times. Something is sent into the champs by Stallion.
Something drops Steele with a forearm strike and shoulder rams. Joeasa beats on Something in the corner with Steele. Something is sat on the top rope. Stallion helps out and Something hits a double powerbomb out of the corner. Stallion hits a double big splash off the top for a two count. The champs deliver a double low blow and a back suplex/cutter on Stallion for a near fall. Manders causes a distraction allowing Something to hit a swinging side slam onto Joeasa to win the match. We’ve got new champions. (**1/2. The last time I had actively watched AAW, Stallion and Something were seemingly on the cusp of winning the tag titles, but that never quite happened. So, that’s kind of cool that they were able to win the titles here. The match was solid enough, but the distraction by Manders was quite obvious considering the previous segment. Regardless, cool to see new champions.)
Backstage, Daniel Garcia cuts a promo saying he’s been busy and is looking forward to wrestle Davey Richards tonight. Garcia believes he has to make Richards tap out to solidify his spot in professional wrestling.
Prior to the next match starting. Rich Swann made a surprise return to AAW.
Fourth Contest: Frontman Jah-C vs. Schaff vs. Ace Perry vs. Hakim Zane vs. Rich Swann in a Call Your Shot Five Way Scramble Match: This might difficult to cover, but I’ll try my best. Everyone attempts to go after Schaff, but he fights them off. Schaff slams Zane and yanks Perry off his back. Schaff shoves everyone away, but is dropkicked off the apron. Perry hits a suicide dive onto Schaff. Zane and Jah brawl on the floor briefly. Swann delivers a few shots to Zane. Jah tries to dump Schaff over the railing, but fails to do so and is sent into the post. Swann kicks Schaff into the railing. Zane leg sweeps Swann, but Swann delivers a head scissors. Schaff sunset flips Zane, who tosses Swann with a German suplex. Schaff decks Zane with a clothesline. Schaff strikes Jah and slams Perry to the mat. Jah elbows Schaff and hits a leg lariat in the corner. Perry decks Jah from behind. Jah misses a splash in the corner and Perry tries for a cutter, but Jah counters. Perry hits a release German suplex for a near fall. Zane pulls Jah to the floor and into the railing back first. Zane puts Perry onto Schaff’s shoulders and drives both men down to the mat face first.
Swann and Zane trade right hands in the middle of the ring. Swann gets the advantage and kicks both Zane and Jah. Swann hits a handspring cutter on Zane and hits a 450 splash off the middle rope for a two count. Jah drives Swann down to the mat with a full nelson slam for a two count. Schaff catches Zane and Perry to hit a slam/powerbomb combo. Schaff clubs away on Jah and press slams Jah over the top to the floor onto a group of opponents. Schaff hits a somersault dive over the top onto everyone. Schaff is dropkicked by Perry from behind, but doesn’t seem bothered and plants Perry with a powerbomb. Zane double stomps Schaff. Jah nails Zane and Swann splashes onto Jah causing everyone to be down. Swann and Jah trade strikes until Swann hits a neckbreaker. Swann misses a moonsault and Perry hit a cutter. Schaff nails Perry with a cutter. Zane and Jah drive Schaff down to the mat. Jah kicks Perry off the apron and is met with two knee strikes Zane leading to the three count. (***. Everyone got their moment to shine and the action was non-stop. I’m not overly familiar with Zane’s work, but he appears to be an over enough heel to make this work. As a result, he can choose whenever he cashes in for a title shot.)
Backstage, Davey Richards cut a promo. Richards lets his wrestling do the talking in regard to his return of professional wrestling. Richards believes he’s on the Mount Rushmore of technical wrestling. Richards notes that Daniel Garcia made his name while he was gone. Richards says the hunt begins tonight.
Fifth Contest: AAW Heritage Champion Myron Reed vs. Ace Austin: They shake hands to show respect for each other. Austin takes Reed down to the mat and gets a two count. They both attempt several pin attempts leading to a standoff. Reed shoulder blocks Austin, but is taken down with a drop toe hold and dropkicked into the corner. Reed leg sweeps Austin out of the corner and hits a slingshot leg drop for a one count. Reed chops Austin in the corner and connects with a heel kick for a two count. Austin chops Reed a few times and follows up with forearms. Reed misses a dropkick as Austin held the ropes. Reed misses a splash in the corner and Austin hit a springboard spinning kick for a near fall. Austin tosses Reed with a gut wrench suplex and a kick to the back for a near fall. Austin slams Reed to the mat for a near fall. Reed forearms Austin followed by a clothesline and a big boot to send Austin to the floor. Reed takes Austin out with a suicide dive to the floor! Reed leaps off the top, but Austin moves. Reed delivers a slingshot back suplex and an elevated flatliner for a near fall. Austin almost wins with a rollup moments later. Austin kicks Reed and drives Reed to the mat face first.
Austin hits The Fold, but Reed rolls to the floor to avoid being pinned. Austin takes Reed out with a suicide dive to the floor. Reed shoves Austin off the top rope to the floor. Reed takes Austin out with a somersault dive to the floor. Reed hits a springboard 450 splash for a near fall. Reed nails Austin with a running boot in the corner several times. Austin boots Reed in the corner. Reed avoids a springboard kick attempt, but Austin kicks Reed in the corner. Austin hits a top rope leg drop to a hunched over Rewed for a near fall. Reed nails Austin with a big boot in the corner. Reed has Austin on the middle rope, but Austin breaks free and kicks Reed off the ropes. Austin springboards off the ropes and Reed hits a cutter for a two count. They begin to trade forearm strikes with Austin gaining the advantage with knee strikes. Reed plants Austin with a stunner and a kick to the face. Reed misses a top rope back splash and Austin his The Fold to pin Reed and become the new champion. (***1/4. A good match, but the style of the match wasn’t something that I tend to overly enjoy. There’s no denying the talent between these two. The action might have been a little repetitive, but the pace of the match was good and held my interest throughout.) After the match, Hakim Zane comes out and gets the microphone. Zane gives Austin some props for winning the title. Zane reminds Austin that he can choose whichever belt he challenges for. There’s an echo and it’s tough to hear what he’s saying. Zane seems to be challenging Austin for the title right now. Austin insults Zane’s win/loss record on TV and accepts the match. Zane distracts the referee as Karam attacks Austin.
Sixth Contest: AAW Heritage Champion Ace Austin vs. Hakim Zane: Zane delivers a running knee strike and wins the match in five seconds. That seemed like a rushed angle. After the match, Austin’s girlfriend checks on him, but is tossed down by Karam. I’m assuming this will lead to a Zane/Austin match. Austin and Reed hug to show continued respect for each other.
Backstage, Josh Alexander cut a promo regarding the main event. Alexander says the stakes are high every time he enters the ring. Alexander says that losing is not an option. He’s a former two time champion in AAW and he’s going to regain the title tonight.
Seventh Contest: Daniel Garcia vs. Davey Richards: They lockup with neither man getting a clear advantage in the opening moments. Richards locks in a surfboards with Garcia’s arms wrapped around his neck. Garcia manages to counter and they have a standoff. Richards leg sweeps Garcia and they counter each other on the mat. They exchange a few rollup attempts and they have a standoff. Garcia takes Richards down to the mat and keeps control of Richards arm. Garcia bridges with a hammerlock, but doesn’t get a submission. Richards traps Garcia’s arm over the middle rope and delivers a kick to send Garcia to the floor to regroup. Garcia takes Richards over with a headlock. Garcia shoulder blocks Richards and returns to the headlock control. Garcia knee drops Richards on the back of the head for a one count. Garcia keeps Richards on the mat with a body scissors. Richards counters with a surfboard, but doesn’t get a submission. Richards wrenches on the arm and stomps on Garcia’s elbow. Richards kicks Garcia in the chest a few times and tosses Garcia to the mat for a two count. Richards elbows Garcia on the ribs, but Garcia tries for a sunset flip. Richards counters with an arm bar attempt. Garcia counters with an STF, but Richards doesn’t give in. Richards is able to reach the ropes.
They begin to trade forearms in the middle of the ring, but Richards drops Garcia with a kick. Garcia leg sweeps Garcia to the mat after putting Richards leg over the ropes. Garcia chops Richards several times in the corner. Garcia locks in a Crossface in the middle of the ring. They both have knee bars locked in on each other. Garcia has control with an ankle lock in the middle of the ring. Richards reaches the ropes after a brief struggle. Garcia gets a choke on Richards on the apron, but Richards elbows free. Richards dragon screw leg whips Garcia’s leg over the middle rope. Richards misses a double stomp, but gets a leg lock on Garcia in the middle of the ring. Garcia successfully reaches the ropes. Richards elbows Garcia on the arm and tries for a brainbuster, but Garcia breaks free with a knee strike. They begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Richards nails Garcia with a kick to the head and a release German suplex. Garcia connects with a lariat, but Richards comes back with a brainbuster. Richards has an ankle lock on Garcia, but Garcia rolls through with a rollup to win the match. (***1/4. A fine match that had a lot of focus on mat wrestling, which was to be expected. Because of the mat wrestling, there wasn’t a whole lot of entertaining offense, but they did enough work and interesting counters to hold my interest. The closing thirty seconds popped the crowd and was a good way to end the contest. These two are scheduled to wrestle again in ESW on October 10th, and it will be interesting to see how similar that match is to this one.) After the match, they shake hands to show mutual respect for each other.
Eighth Contest: AAW Women’s Champion Allysin Kay vs. Jody Threat: Threat has a headlock on Kay, but that doesn’t last long. The commentators send a heartfelt message regarding the recent tragedy of Daffney passing away. Kay controls Threat on the mat with an arm bar, but doesn’t get a submission. Threat kicks Kay followed by a snap suplex for a two count. Kay dumps Threat over the top to the floor. Kay works over Threat on the floor with chops against the railing. Kay drops Threat chest first over the guard railing. Threat fights back with forearm strikes and a chop. Kay grabs a fans drink and takes a swig. Threat punches Kay and takes a swig, as well. This is interesting considering the pandemic and risks involved, right? They are trading swigs of the drink. Threat finishes the beer and Kay hits a stunner on the apron. Threat avoids a discus clothesline and spears Kay. Threat avoids a kick and clotheslines Kay. Threat plants Kay with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Kay kicks Threat on the back of the head for a two count. Kay strikes Threat against the ropes and runs into a boot. Kay takes Threat over with a side suplex for a two count. Threat clotheslines Kay from behind and hits a double knee over the ropes. Threat tosses Kay with a German suplex and a clothesline for a two count. Threat has Kay over her shoulders, but Kay breaks free. Kay counters a slam with an arm submission forcing Threat to submit. (*1/2. A decent little encounter. I don’t think the comedy of the beer drinking really flowed well with the match. There wasn’t bad wrestling or anything, but I didn’t find myself interested in the action.)
Backstage, AAW Heavyweight Champion Fred Yehi cuts a promo. Yehi has heard everyone talk about Josh Alexander and what he’ll do to him. Yehi says that nothing that Alexander will do to him will work against him. Yehi doesn’t think a brick will even take him out. Yehi promises that Alexander will find out just how different he is. Yehi is prepared for war tonight.
Ninth Contest: Arez vs. Laredo Kid: They trade wrist control and they have a standoff. Kid controls Arez on the mat with a rollup for a two count. Arez tries for a few covers, but Kid kicks out. They shove each other leading to Kid arm dragging Arez and hits a head scissors to send Arez to the floor. Kid takes Arez out with a suicide dive to the floor. Kid hits a springboard splash back into the ring for a near fall. Kid misses a springboard moonsault and Arez eventually hits an arm drag and kick in the corner. Arez runs the ropes to walk on Kid’s back with a quick dropkick. Arez sends Kid to the floor and hits a somersault dive to the outside. Arez heads to the top rope hitting a double stomp for a two count. Arez kicks kid a few times followed by strikes to the back. Kid forearms Arez in the corner and hits a sit out slam. Kid hits a springboard moonsualt and plays to the crowd. Kid hits another moonsault off the middle rope for a two count. Kid has a Gory Special on Arez and climbs to the middle rope, but Arez counters with a sunset flip powerbomb. Arez nearly wins following a backbreaker. Arez plants Kid with a sit out powerbomb for a two count. Arez misses a one legged moonsault. Kid connects with a reverse hurricanrana. Kid goes to the top rope hitting a 450 splash for a near fall. Arez hits a springboard cutter for a one count and Kid gets up quickly. Arez drives Kid down with a backbreaker for another two count. Arez is stopped by Kid with kicks to the face. Kid hits the Spanish Fly off the top to win the match. (***. That was good for being a match of big spots to pop the crowd. Interesting to put this before the main event. Laredo Kid stood out to me here while Arez seems to have potential to be breakout on the indie scene. I’m not familiar with Arez, but I’d like to see more of him.)
Backstage, InFAMy are not happy about what happened earlier in night. They are pissed about Manders getting involved and costing them the tag titles. They will show him what a dog fight is on October 1st. It appears there will be a dog collar match on October 1st.
Main Event: AAW Heavyweight Champion Fred Yehi vs. Josh Alexander: In the early moments of the contest they focus on mat wrestling and they have several standoffs. Alexander tries for an ankle lock, but Yehi quickly bails to the floor. Yehi takes Alexander down to the mat to control with a leg lock. Alexander counters and gets on top to deliver a few forearm strikes. Yehi gains control with stomps in the corner. Alexander chops Yehi around ringside followed by an uppercut. Alexander chops Yehi over the railing into the crowd. They trade forearm strikes in the crowd with Yehi getting the advantage. They make their way toward the stage area. Yehi rams Alexander face first onto a chair a few times. They begin to trade chops on the stage area with Yehi falling off the stage. Yehi dropkicks a seated Alexander back in the ring to keep control of the contest. Yehi splashes down onto Alexander several times and keeps a head scissors on Alexander. Alexander stomps on Yehi’s knee to keep Yehi on the mat. Alexander scoop slams Yehi and twists Yehi’s leg on the mat. Yehi eye rakes Alexander, but Alexander keeps leg control on the mat. Yehi tries for a submission, but Alexander reaches the ropes.
Yehi stomps on Alexander from the apron. Alexander locks in the ankle lock, but Yehi kicks Alexander away on the apron. Yehi chops Alexander over the railing into the crowd. Alexander slams Yehi onto the apron. Alexander continues with chops against the railing. Alexander stomps on Yehi followed by a knee strike. They begin to trade chops in the middle of the ring. Yehi spikes Alexander with a brainbuster for a two count. Yehi stomps on Alexander and locks in a figure four leg lock, but doesn’t get a submission. Alexander rolls over and Yehi reaches the ropes. Yehi stomps on Alexander and puts a sleeper on Alexander again. Alexander locks in an ankle lock but Yehi reaches the ropes to break the hold. Yehi tries for an abdominal stretch, but Alexander elbows free. Yehi doesn’t let go completely and puts an abdominal stretch on Alexander. Alexander hip tosses Yehi and is met with a few chops. Alexander backdrops Yehi and misses a running strike in the corner. Alexander big boots Yehi and tries for a double under hoook, but Yehi breaks free. Alexander hits a rolling fireman’s carry. Alexander comes off the middle rope with a knee strike for a two count.
Alexander tosses Yehi with a German suplex, but Yehi holds the ropes and elbows Alexander. Yehi almost wins with an inside cradle. Yehi elbows Alexander several times and locks in the Koji Clutch, but Alexander breaks free. Alexander tries for an ankle lock, but Yehi prevents it with several kick strikes to the face. Alexander kicks Yehi to the apron and they both end up on the turnbuckles. Yehi drops Alexander’s arm over the turnbuckle and puts Alexander’s arm inside the ring post and delivers several strikes onto the elbow. The referee frees Alexander’s arm and Yehi forearms Alexander off the apron and into the railing. Yehi claws at Alexander’s face on the floor and Alexander has been busted wide open. Yehi sends Alexander into the guard railing. Yehi chops Alexander on the floor several times. Yehi connects with a running forearm against the railing. Yehi tries for a cover, but Alexander kicks out. Alexander pops up with a flurry of strikes, but Yehi drops Alexander with a running strike in the corner. Yehi attempts the Koji Clutch, but Alexander reaches the ropes. Yehi continues to chop and forearms Alexander for a two count.
Yehi has a choke on Alexander, but switches to a chop in the corner and sits Alexander on the top rope. Alexander powerbombs Yehi over his knee and both men are down. They begin to trade forearms from their knees. Yehi tries for a brainbuster, but Alexander blocks it. Alexander hits a fisherman suplex for a two count. Alexander chops Yehi in the corner and runs into a boot. Alexander stops Yehi on the top turnbuckle. Alexander hooks Yehi and hits a superplex. Yehi forearms Alexander while they are both on their knees. Yehi dumps Alexander to the floor and double stomps Alexander’s elbow. They trade strikes around ringside before returning to the ring. They have a standoff and trade more strikes in the middle of the ring. Yehi nearly wins with an inside cradle and drops Alexander with a discus elbow. Yehi keeps a headlock on Alexander and manages a couple of near falls. Yehi slaps Alexander and delivers a few stiff kicks. Alexander fires back with strikes in the corner. Alexander chokes Yehi in the corner and they are both down on the mat. Yehi chops Alexander, but Alexander throws his headgear at Yehi and hits a series of German suplexs managing a two count. Alexander holds on and delivers a few more German suplexs. Alexander lets go after nine suplexs. Yehi takes Alexander over with a series of German suplexs, as well. Alexander hits a chaos theory suplex for a near fall. Alexander has a double under hook, but they trade a series of rollups. Yehi chops Alexander a few times and locks in the Koji Clutch! Alexander is able to rollover and reaches the ropes.
Yehi knee strikes Alexander a few times, but Alexander backs the champ into the ropes. Yehi nails Alexander with a back fist, but Alexander gets out of a choke for an ankle lock, but Yehi gets out of it. Alexander knocks Yehi off the apron with a running crossbody strike. Alexander heads to the top rope hitting a moonsault for a two count. Alexander locks in the ankle lock, but Yehi doesn’t submit. Alexander sits down with a grapevine. Yehi has nowhere to go and teases submitting. Yehi struggles and manages to reach ropes. Alexander stomps on Yehi in the corner. Alexander uppercuts Yehi and they trade chops in the corner. Alexander takes his straps down and they continue to trade strikes. Yehi fakes a chop and yanks on Alexander’s arm followed by a fisherman buster for a two count. Alexander tries for an ankle lock, but Yehi kicks free. Alexander switches to a sharpshooter, but Yehi refuses to give in. Yehi reaches the ropes to break the hold. Yehi kicks Alexander several times, but Alexander kicks Yehi and spikes the champ with the C4 for a near fall. Alexander elbows Yehi a few times and chokes Yehi over the middle rope briefly. Alexander delivers a neckbreaker for a two count.
Alexander keeps a chin lock on Yehi, but Yehi breaks free and hits an exploder suplex, Yehi almost wins following a powerbomb and locks in a crossface. Yehi switches to an arm bar submission, but Alexander wiggles free and stomps on Yehi’s leg. Yehi gets out of an ankle lock and locks in the Koji Clutch. Alexander breaks free, but Yehi gets an ankle lock on Alexander. Alexander escapes and Yehi almost wins with an inside cradle. They trade forearm strikes and the bell sounds signaling an hour draw. After the match, Yehi flips off Alexander to end the program. (****. I’ve got to give them credit for wrestling an hour and keeping a really good pace throughout. It had a mixture of everything you’d want from a match. The mat wrestling to the brawling to the suplexs to hard hitting strikes and some good storytelling throughout. The crowd didn’t seem to be hot for the match, but they showed respect at the end of it. I enjoyed the match and while I’d like a finish and not a draw, I’m imagining there will be another match between these two in the coming months.)
From top to bottom, this was a good show for AAW. I’m interested in following the promotion moving forward since I hadn’t watched a show since 2018. As long as the show is intriguing, I’ll be checking them out. The show is four hours, but it’s worth the time.
Thanks for reading.