Absolute Intense Wrestling presents Sunny Days
From: Cleveland, OH
One thing I really like about AIW is that the presentation feels like ECW towards the end of their run. The stage and entrances has a level of nostalgia that is fun, but doesn’t make me feel like they are trying to be something from the past.
Opening Contest: Eric Taylor vs. Tom Lawlor: Taylor starts off with a quick dropkick to send Lawlor into the corner. Taylor delivers another running dropkick in the corner. Lawlor misses a boot and is met wit a clothesline for a two count. Lawlor tosses Taylor across the ring with a slam. Lawlor continues with several chops in the corner. Lawlor stomps on Taylor in the corner. Taylor almost wins with a rollup and hits a curb stomp for a two count. Taylor clotheslines Lawlor in the corner and delivers a few chops and stomps. Taylor plants Lawlor with a DDT for a two count. Taylor tries for a diamond dust, but Lawlor counters with a chokehold. Taylor is sent into the Duke. Lawlor hits the Kryptonite Krunch and locks in a chokehold submission to win the match. (*1/2. Taylor was being presented as a major underdog and his offense was interesting enough to be entertaining despite the likely outcome. This was good for Taylor to get a bunch of offense and Lawlor doing little offense to win the match. I’d like to see more of Taylor in a more competitive situation.) After the match, Lawlor cuts a promo and says he didn’t come all the way to Cleveland to not give the fans what they wanted. Lawlor wants to wrestle someone man to man. That challenge is answered by Mance Warner.
Second Contest: Tom Lawlor vs. Mance Warner: Lawlor starts off with a chop to Warner, who responds with a chop of his own. They begin to trade jabs in the middle of the ring. After trading kicks there is a flurry of forearm strikes in the middle of the ring. Warner gets control with right hands and Lawlor appears dazed, but responds with a kick to the chest and chops. Warner chops and strikes Lawlor in the corner. Lawlor fights back with strikes in the corner. Lawlor takes Warner to the floor and delivers a chop and forearm. Lawlor steps on Warner’s back on the apron and taunts the crowd. Warner sends Lawlor into the guard railing ribs first. Warner smashes Lawlor with a chair shot. Warner continues with a few chops. Warner sends Lawlor into the post shoulder first. Warner delivers a headbutt and they both drop to their knees to trade more strikes. They trade several slaps before getting to their feet and trading more slaps. Lawlor drops Warner to the mat and delivers a kick to the head. Lawlor kicks Warner in the face. Warner eye rakes Lawlor and almost wins with a rollup.
They go back to trading strikes while on their knees and stand back up trading blows. Warner boots Lawlor and sends Lawlor into the corner chest first. Warner big boots Lawlor followed by a discus forearm. Lawlor nails Warner with several strikes a big boot for the win. (*1/2. The finish felt a little abrupt. I’m not sure if something happened, but that came out of nowhere. There was not one single actual wrestling move as they did literally all strikes and boots. Some may enjoy that more than I did.)
Prior to the next match, 9 to 5 have gifts for Members Only including hygiene products and entry level job applications. That leads to a brawl.
Third Contest: 9 to 5 (Jack Verville & Louis Lyndon) vs. Members Only (Calvin G. Lewis & Malcolm Cambridge): Lyndon chokes Lewis over the middle rope and delivers stomps in the corner. Lyndon has a coffee in his hands and puts it down to keep working over Lyndon. Lyndon decks Cambridge off the apron, but Lewis fights back in the corner until Lyndon delivers a neckbreaker over the middle rope. Verville sends Lewis into the railing and apron to help out Lyndon keep control of the contest. Verville drives Lewis down to the mat with a back suplex and tags Lyndon back into the match. Lyndon keeps the advantage with several kicks. Verville hammers away on Lewis before accidentally hitting Lyndon with a right hand. Lewis takes Verville down with a modified Angle Slam and tags in Cambridge. Cambridge cleans house with kicks and a modified Stroke and a swinging flatliner on Verville for a two count. Cambridge almost makes Verville submit with a crossface, but Lyndon made the save. Lyndon sends Cambridge to the floor and Lyndon accidentally moonsaults Verville on the floor. Members Only hit stereo dives to the outside! The crowd is going nuts. Members Only hit a double team elevated stunner for a two count on Verville. Cambridge misses a middle rope leg drop. Verville hits a piledriver over the middle rope, but Lewis makes the save. Lewis is kicked and sent over with a German suplex by Lyndon. Cambridge flips off 9 to 5. Cambridge almost wins with a rollup on Verville. They trade a few strikes until Cambridge is tripped and Verville locks in a choke and delivers several elbows to win the match by submission. (***1/4. I enjoyed this quite a bit, actually. I love the 9 to 5 gimmick and I’m surprised it’s something that hasn’t been done before. It kind of gives me RTC vibes, but for the working people. Their theme song is literally an alarm clock. Plus, Verville and Lyndon are very entertaining. Lyndon is a guy who has been working for many years and seemingly continues to go unnoticed. Members Only have a ton of potential and the crowd loved this match. An entertaining bout.)
Fourth Contest: Anthony Greene vs. Lee Moriarty: Greene backs Moriarty into a corner, but backs away and the referee yells at a fan in the crowd about something. Greene taunts the fan, as well. Moriarty arm drags Greene and fakes a right hand. Moriarty kicks Greene followed by a crossbody for a two count. Greene kicks Moriarty in the corner after faking a clean break. Moriarty arm drags Greene out of the corner and keeps arm control. Greene hits a twisting slam to drive Moriarty down to the mat gut first. They go to the floor where Moriarty uppercuts Greene. Greene misses a chop and hits the post instead. Greene kicks Moriarty’s knee into the railing and they return to the ring. Greene hits a twisting crossbody off the top for a near fall. Greene works over the leg to keep Moriarty on the mat. Moriarty tries for a rollup, but Greene bounces off the ropes and hammers away on Moriarty to keep the advantage. Greene scoop slams Moriarty and delivers more kicks. Moriarty fights back with a few kicks of his own. Moriarty kicks Greene in the corner and hits a double stomp for a two count. Moriarty is stopped by a superkick, but gets a rollup for a two count. Moriarty clotheslines Greene for a two count.
Moriarty tries for a suplex, but Greene breaks free and kicks Moriarty followed by a suplex and a under hook suplex for a two count. Greene locks in a half Boston Crab in the middle of the ring. Moriarty manages to reach the ropes to break the hold. Moriarty drops Greene’s arm over the ropes, but Greene hits a cutter over the top rope and slingshots Moriarty into the ring to hit another cutter for a two count. Moriarty head scissors Greene to the mat and locks in the Crossface to win the match. (***. A relatively quick match as I was expecting a longer match between the two. Greene controlled the match with his offense, but Moriarty pulled through in the end. Lee has signed with AEW, which by all accounts is a good thing for them. I kind of wish for a longer match to really see what these two could have done. I’ve always enjoyed Greene and I’m glad he’s getting back on the Indies rather quickly since his unfortunate release from WWE.)
Fifth Contest: Rhino vs. Kaplan: Rhino tossed several chairs into the ring during his entrance. They start off trading strikes in the middle of the ring. They collide on shoulder blocks with Kaplan being sent to the floor. They brawl around ringside for a few moments. Rhino sends Kaplan into the ring post face first. Rhino tosses another chair into the ring and goes backstage to get a trash can. Kaplan sends Rhino into the railing chest first and whacks Rhino over the back with a chair shot. Rhino sends Kaplan over the railing into the crowd. Rhino whacks Kaplan over the back with a chair shot. Kaplan sends Rhino into the post face first and hits Rhino over the back with a chair. Kaplan slides in a couple of doors into the ring. Kaplan sets a door over the railing and apron and goes to the top rope. Kaplan misses a somersault dive and crashes onto the door, but the door doesn’t break. Rhino tries for a cover, but Kaplan kicks out at two. Rhino has a staple gun, but Kaplan avoids it and tries to use it on Rhino, but Rhino blocks it, as well. Kaplan elbows Rhino in the corner, but Rhino low blows Kaplan. Rhino uses the staple gun on Kaplan for a two count. Rhino hits Kaplan over the back with a kendo stick. Rhino hits Kaplan with cooking sheets for a near fall. Rhino wedges a trash can into the corner and is sent back first into the can by Kaplan. Kaplan hits Rhino with cooking sheets for a two count. Kaplan sets a door onto two tables near the corner. Kaplan lays Rhino onto the table, but tips over. Kaplan goes to the top rope and misses a moonsault landing on the door, but it doesn’t break. Kaplan avoids the GORE and Rhino goes through a door in the corner leading to a near fall for Kaplan. Rhino ducks a clothesline to hit the GORE, but Kaplan kicks out at two. Rhino misses a GORE and Kaplan decks Rhino with a lariat for a near fall. Kaplan dropkicks Rhino into a trash can in the corner. Kaplan goes to the top rope hitting a split legged moonsault to win the match. (**. I was not expecting Kaplan to win the match. It’s a decent brawl and the high spots were entertaining. The doors not breaking were a bummer, but that didn’t hurt the match by any means. I’ve never seen Kaplan wrestle before and for a big man he has some impressive moves and took some big risks.) After the match, Rhino shows respect.
Sixth Contest: 40 Acres (PB Smooth & Joseline Navarro) vs. To Infinity And Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney): Smooth and Cheech start the match, but Delaney tags in after Smooth avoided Cheech. Delaney wants a piece of Navarro and tags Cheech back into the match. Delaney tags back in and continues to want Navarro, but Smooth doesn’t tag out. They lockup and Delaney climbs the ropes only to be dropped face first to the mat. Cheech axe handles Smooth from behind off the top rope and Delaney works over Smooth in the corner. Delaney hits a baseball slide German on Smooth. Cheech returns to the match and stomps on Smooth. Delaney returns to the match to keep a headlock on Smooth. Cheech tags back in and presses his feet into Smooth’s face. Cheech is tossed away by Smooth with a front suplex. Navarro tags in and cleans house with clotheslines, head scissors and dropkick. Navarro tosses Delaney with an under hook suplex. Cheech blocks a crossbody in the corner and Delaney almost wins with a cover. Cheech locks in a modified cloverleaf on Navarro, but doesn’t get a submission. Navarro continues to be worked over, but doesn’t stay down. Delaney sends Navarro to the floor where Cheech rolls Navarro back into the ring. Navarro fights back, but is stopped with a strike.
Navarro tosses Delaney with an exploder suplex. Smooth and Cheech are tagged in with Smooth cleaning house. Smooth slams Cheech to the mat and delivers a leg drop for a two count. Smooth knee lifts Delaney and delivers a face plant. Cheech knee strikes Smooth, but Smooth hits a step over leg drop for a near fall. Smooth is worked over in the corner with several running strikes and is nearly pinned. Navarro pulls Cheech to the floor and into the railing. Cheech boots Navarro and Delaney hits a stunner and Cheech hit a German suplex on Navarro. Smooth fights back and leg sweeps Delaney allowing Navarro to hit a sliding DDT for a near fall. Smooth clotheslines Delaney into the corner and Navarro nails Delaney with a crossbody in the corner. Navarro takes Cheech out with a suicide dive. Delaney dropkicks Smooth into Navarro and Smooth falls to the floor. Cheech prevents Smooth from getting into the ring. Delaney hits a backpack stunner/double stomp onto Navarro. Cheech suicide dives onto Smooth and Delaney pinned Navarro. (***. I don’t know if I was hearing incorrectly, but it was a bit odd to hear Delaney and Cheech getting booed as a tag team. I’ve not seen them compete in a company where they were heels. Again, I could be wrong, but that’s what it sounded like. I didn’t hate it, just caught me off guard. The main takeaway from me here was Navarro. I really enjoyed her performance and the match itself got plenty of time and held my interest.)
Seventh Contest: Matt Cross vs. Gringo Loco vs. Alex Zayne vs. Chase Oliver: Zayne dropkicks Oliver to start the match but is kicked by Loco. Cross and Loco remain in the ring to start the contest. Loco shoulder blocks Cross and they have a standoff. Cross head scissors Loco, but Loco lands on his feet. Oliver sits Loco on the top rope, but runs into a boot. Zayne hits a hurricanrana, but Oliver takes Zayne down with a reverse hurricanrana. Cross suicide dives onto Zayne. Loco hits a dive to the floor onto Zayne and Cross. Oliver springboards off the top to connect with a dive onto everyone on the floor. Zayne is sent into the railing while Cross and Loco return to the ring. Cross is shoved off by Oliver. Oliver is crotched by Zayne and drops to the mat. Zayne is kicked by Oliver, but Cross gets on the ropes, too. Loco comes over as well and they do a powerbomb/Spanish fly combo out of the corner. Oliver plants Loco with a cutter. Zayne strikes Oliver into the corner and head scissors Loco out of the corner. Zayne dropkicks Oliver and nails Loco with a cutter. Cross has Zayne and hits a double cutter on Zayne and Loco. Oliver takes Cross over with a snap suplex and heads to the top rope. Oliver misses a 450 splash and Loco plants Oliver with a top rope cutter. Loco plants Zayne with a Death Valley Driver, but Cross breaks the cover at two.
Cross handspring elbows Loco and a springboard crossbody. Cross double stomps Loco and plays to the crowd. Oliver spikes Cross with a package piledriver for a near fall. Zayne kicks Oliver and goes to the top hitting a shooting star knee strike to Loco. Cross misses a shooting star off the top on Zayne and is sent to the floor. Oliver plants Zayne with a spinebuster. Oliver puts Loco in a tree of woe. Oliver sends Zayne into the corner with a running Death Valley Driver into Loco. Oliver heads to the top rope hitting a shooting star press on Zayne for the win. (***1/2. I was highly entertained by this and the constant action by all four men. Oliver is someone brand new to me and I thought he looked great and is someone I’m going to be keeping an eye on. Zayne had a few nutty spots, but was loads of fun as well. Cross is always fun to see and Loco did a solid job, as well. All around this was a really good four way match that never felt like it was cluttered.)
Eighth Contest: Matthew Justice vs. Derek Dillinger: They introduce chairs into the ring very quickly. Dillinger misses a chair shot and backs away to avoid a chair from Justice. Justice knocks the chair away and smashes Dillinger with a chair shot and a running clothesline with a chair to send Dillinger over the top to the floor. Justice jumps off a chair to somersault dive onto Dillinger on the floor. Dillinger has been busted wide open. Justice whacks Dillinger over the head with a chair shot. Justice clotheslines Dillinger over the railing into the crowd. Justice hits Dillinger with a beer can, but Dillinger fights back with a chop. Dillinger backdrops Justice back to ringside and Justice suplexs Dillinger over the railing to the ringside area. Justice suplexs Dillinger again over the railing to the ringside area. Justice leaps off the apron to splash Dillinger against the railing. Justice grabs a door from under the ring. Dillinger forearms Justice and sends Justice over the railing into the crowd. Dillinger as his manager Zigi and sends her over the top and over the railing onto Justice.
Dillinger has a chair and scoop slams Justice with the chair. Dillinger sends Justice face first into a chair and slaps Justice with a beer. Dillinger sends Justice back into the ring. Dillinger sends Justice into the corner back first. Dillinger connects with the Bareback for a two count. Zigi has a chair on the apron and Justice is sent face first into it. Dillinger is sent face first into the chair after she wasn’t paying attention. Justice hits a jumping DDT for a two count. Dillinger whacks Justice with a chair for a two count. Zigi takes Alfonso whistle and walks off with it. Dillinger nails Justice with several chair shots and sets a door up in the corner. Justice elbows out of a death valley driver and rams the door into Dillinger’s face. Dillinger hits a rolling fireman’s carry, but misses a moonsault. Justice spears Dillinger through the door in the corner. Justice splashes Dillinger in the corner a few times. Justice delivers another running chair shot in the corner. Justice drops Dillinger over the chair with a death valley driver. Justice goes to the top rope hitting a big splash for a two count. Another door is setup on the apron and railing. Dillinger smashes Justice with a chair shot to avoid a suicide dive. Dillinger spins Justice into the railing and powerbombs Justice through the door on the floor. Dillinger sunset flip powerbombs Justice into the guard railing. Dillinger tries for a cover, but Justice powers out.
Zigi gets in the ring and has handcuffs with her. Justice is handcuffed while Alfonso remains on the floor. Dillinger hits Justice with the broken door a few times. Justice is fired up and takes several chair shots. Dillinger covers Justice for a two count. Justice refuses to give in on the match and struggles to his feet. Zigi slaps Alfonso and blows his whistle again. Alfonso plants Zigi with a DDT! Alfonso and Zigi go to the aisle and backstage. Dillinger destroys Justice with another chair shot over the head to win the match. (***1/2. Well, for a hardcore fight that was a lot better than I ever expected it to be. At one point I felt like it may have been going too long, but they continued to find ways to hold interest and maintain a crazy level of brutality. Justice looks like a star in the making and Dillinger getting a victory over him is something I wasn’t expecting. I really enjoyed this one, as well.)
Prior to the main event, the referee finds a couple of chains that the Rip City Shooter tried to hide in their gear.
Main Event: AIW Tag Team Champions Philly Marino Experience (Marino Tenaglia & Philly Collins) vs. Rip City Shooters (Joshua Bishop & Wes Barkley): Barkley and Marino kickoff the main event. Barkley gets to the ropes to break out of a wrist lock by Marino. Barkley gains control with a headlock, but Marino counters with one of his own. Marino gets a nice backslide after a roll through for a two count causing Barkley to bail to the floor and complains of a hair pull. Barkley knee lifts Marino and rams Marino into the corner. Marino arm drags Barkley out of the corner and keeps arm control. Marino keeps arm control on the mat. Marino ducks a clothesline and arm drags Barkley to the floor. Bishop tags into the match as does Collins. They trade right hands in the middle of the ring. Collins shoulder blocks Bishop and nails Bishop with an elbow strike. Marino tags back into the match and the champs double dropkick Bishop. Bishop pounces Marino to the aisle while Barkley delivered a DDT to Collins. Barkley sends Marino into the guard railing before returning to the ring. Barkley clotheslines Marino for a two count.
Barkley yanks Marino down to the mat by his hair and tags Bishop back into the match. Bishop sends Marino into the corner hard back first to keep control. Barkley returns to the match and elbows Marino to the mat. Marino refuses to stay down on pin attempts. Collins gets tagged in and dropkicks Bishop. Collins hits a swinging side slam on Barkley for a near fall. Barkley breaks free from Collins allowing Bishop to clothesline Collins and Barkley gets a two count. Barkley hammers away on Collins and chokes him against the ropes. Barkley controls Collins with a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring. Collins elbows free and tries to tag out to Marino, but is stopped. Barkley elbows Marino off the apron. Bishop returns to the match and beats on Collins in the corner. Bishop keeps Collins on the mat with a front face lock. Bishop nails Collins with a high knee lift for a near fall. Bishop drops Collins over the top turnbuckle. Barkley chokes Collins over the ropes and Bishop cheap shots Collins while the referee is distracted. Collins turns Barkley inside out with a running clothesline. Bishop and Marino are tagged in.
Marino forearms Bishop a few times followed by a heel kick. Marino kicks Barkley to the apron. Marino counters a chokeslam attempt by Bishop to hit a twisting blockbuster off the top for a two count. Marino leaps off the middle rope, but Bishop hits a twisting back suplex for a near fall. Barkley tags back into the match and Marino is slammed to the mat by the challengers for a two count. Marino avoids a double team slam and sends the challengers into each other. Collins dumps Bishop over the top to the floor. Marino kicks Barkley and Collins goes to the top rope as Barkley is on Marino’s shoulders. Collins leaps off hitting a crossbody on the referee. Barkley plants Marino with the Stroke. Bishop plants Collins with a black hole slam. Barkley gets the chain out of the referee’s pockets that he took before the match. Collins and Marino get the chains and hit both challengers. Bishop has grabbed a door from under the ring and a couple of chairs. Collins whacks Bishop with a chair while another chair was over Bishop’s head already. The champs lay the door over the chairs in the middle of the ring. Barkley is driven onto the door, but it doesn’t break. They ram the door into Barkley again, but it still doesn’t break. Barkley is tossed through the door in the corner. Marino has the cover, but the referee is still knocked out. Bishop takes the champs over with a double back suplex after a low blow to the champs. Bishop is driven onto the chairs with the Sunset Dreams by the champs. A second referee comes out and is pulled out by Barkley at the count of two. Barkley is met with an atomic drop and dropkick. Collins heads to the top rope with Barkley on Marino’s shoulders. Bishop chokeslams Collins off the top onto the aisle and Barkley rolls Marino up with his feet on the ropes to win the titles. (***1/4. Bishop may be my new favorite indie wrestler just for the fact that he has a similar look to Sid Vicious. The match was quite enjoyable and apparently this had been a long running feud for several months. Even without the context, I thought they worked a fun match and everyone looked good. Barkley and Justice are a good heel team and I’m thinking there may be a double chain match coming up due to the chain usage.)
It started a little slow action wise, but the show picked up and produced some good quality action making this a worthwhile viewing. Oliver, Bishop & Barkley, Justice, 9 to 5, Navarro, Collins & Marino, and Taylor are wrestlers that I was mostly unfamiliar with but they stood out to me here and I’m going to be paying attention to see them not only in AIW but elsewhere, as well. Check it out on IWTV.
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.