Absolute Intense Wrestling presents Absolution III – Guerrilla Warfare
From: Cleveland, OH
Opening Contest: AIW Tag Team Champions The Switchblade Saints (Matt Riot & Sami Callihan) & Jason Bane vs. Alpha Beta Duke (Carlton Kaz, Nick Belushi & The Duke) in a War Games match: Riot and Duke kickoff the War Games match. They shove each other with Riot slapping Duke and Duke responds with left hands. Duke shoulder rams Riot a few times in the corner and hits a rolling neck snap. Riot blocks being sent into the cage, but Duke manages to send Riot into the cage a second time. Duke splashes Riot over the ropes. Duke slaps Riot on the mat to maintain control in the corner. Duke lifts Riot up with a choke before hitting an overhead suplex. Riot climbs the cage and Duke meets him on the top rope trading strikes. Duke rams Riot into the cage a few times and Riot drops to the mat. Duke locks in a full nelson submission on the mat, but the match can’t end yet anyway. Duke drops Riot with a strike. Duke has a trash can lid, but Riot is begging off. Duke whacks Riot over the head with the lid.
Sami Callihan runs into the ring with a chair and smashes Duke with it and clubs away on Duke with strikes. Callihan hits Duke over the back with the trash can lid. Callihan accidentally hits Riot with the trash can lid as Duke moved out of the way. Callihan catapults Duke into the bottom rope throat first and Riot delivers a double stomp.
Kaz makes his way out, but the cage door is kicked into his face by Callihan. Callihan delivers a chair shot to the back and sends Kaz into the guard railing. Kaz and Sami trade strikes around ringside until Kaz rams Sami into the cage with a powerbomb and then rams Callihan into the guard railing head first. Kaz gets in the cage and sets a chair up to drive Riot down onto it with a backbreaker. Sami gets back in the match with a chair, but Duke whacks Sami over the head.
Bane enters the match and goes after Kaz with strikes in the corner. Bane forearms Duke several times followed by a strike to the back. Bane tosses a chair at Duke while Riot nails Kaz with an axe handle. Bane slams Sami onto Duke to deliver a splash. Sami put s a chair on Duke’s back and puts a chin lock on Duke while Riot delivers a strike. Bane whacks Duke over the back with a chair shot.
Belushi is the final entrant for the match and hits a flying clothesline off the top onto Riot. Belushi decks Bane with a few right hands. Sami is sent into the cage by Belushi. Belushi sits Sami on the middle rope and delivers a chair shot. Kaz powerbombs Callihan and hits a swinging neckbreaker. Bane uses a chair on Belushi a few times. Bane whacks Kaz over the back with a chair shot. Sami whacks Belushi over the head with a chair shot two times. Duke is stopped on the top rope by Riot and Sami. Duke fights back shoving Riot to the mat and chokeslams Sami off the top leading to a pin fall to win the match and titles. (**. I’m not really a fan of War Games ending with a pin fall, but I guess it’s modernized version of the match. The action was really basic and it didn’t feel like it had the intensity that you’d expect from a War Games match.)
Second Contest: Shane Hollister vs. Zac Vincent vs. Facade vs. Benny Boone: Boone is knocked off the apron to start the match and has a microphone to hear his agony on the floor. Facade and Vincent kickoff the match legally. Vincent tries to get the crowd behind him, but they don’t do it. Tyler Black is on commentary, which the audience can hear. Facade gets wrist control, but Vincent breaks free and gets a hammerlock on Facade. Vincent switches to a headlock, but is sent into the ropes. Facade hip tosses Vincent and delivers an arm drag. Facade sends Vincent to the floor following a tilt a whirl. Hollister gets in the match and uppercuts Facade. Hollister dropkicks a seated Facade for a two count. Facade rams Hollister into the corner, but Vincent tags in and kicks Facade a few times. Vincent slams Facade and hits a standing shooting star and moonsault for a two count. Vincent hammers away on Facade in the corner with right hands. Vincent hits a hurricanrana and continues with right hands. Hollister enters the match and beats on Facade with strikes. Hollister punches Boone off the apron. Vincent tags in, but Facade breaks through a clothesline and hits a kick and heel kick. Boone tags into the match and cleans house with clotheslines. Boone sends Hollister and Vincent into each other. Boone is pulled to the floor and beaten by Vincent and Hollister.
Boone tries to fight back, but Facade takes them all out with a springboard somersault dive to the floor! Facade nails Boone with a springboard spinning heel kick and a split legged moonsault, but is pulled out by Hollister. Hollister knee lifts Vincent and delivers a kick. Vincent hits a leg sweep pin attempt for a near fall. Boone works over Vincent with right hands, but misses a clothesline. Boone catches Vincent on a crossbody to hit a swinging slam. Facade comes off the top to hit a splash to break the pin. Facade spine kicks Boone to the floor. Facade head scissors Hollister, but misses a kick. Hollister nails Facade with a kick to the face and a swinging suplex to win the match. (**. A fairly basic four way, but it didn’t over stay its welcome. Hollister winning may be the best option of the group. Facade had a few solid spots, so he could have been another option.)
Third Contest: Young Studs (Eric Ryan & TJ Dynamite) vs. Da Latin Crime Syndicate (K Fernandez & Luis Diamante) vs. The Homeless Handicap Connection (Gregory Iron & Hobo Joe) in a number one contender tables, ladders and chairs match: All six men are in the ring to start the match. Ryan and Dynamite are sent to the floor early. Irons and Joe go for stereo suicide dives and are met with chair shots on opposite sides of the ring. Ryan has a small ladder and begins to climb. Irons stops Ryan with a powerbomb off the ladder. Irons tries to climb and is yanked off. Luis nails Irons with a chair shot. Fernandez kicks Joe in the corner, but Irons kicks Fernandez allowing a side Russian leg sweep by Joe. Irons is on the apron hitting a somersault senton onto Fernandez in a ladder. Irons begins to climb the ladder trying to get the briefcase. Irons is tipped over and lands over the ropes. Dynamite slams Luis onto a ladder followed by a senton splash. Irons nails Ryan with a chair shot on the back on the floor. Luis whacks Irons with a chair, but Ryan nails Luis with a chair, too.
Dynamite is nailed by a chair shot on the floor. Ryan has Luis on the top rope, but Luis powerbombs Ryan onto a few chairs near the corner. Luis hits a suplex on Dynamite next to Irons. Fernandez is dropkicked off the ladder. Irons beats on Luis outside the ring. Ryan hooks Fernandez and drops him on the ladder head first. Luis sets up a table in the corner, and is speared by Dynamite through the table. Ryan nails Fernandez with a chair shot. Joe sends Irons into Dynamite with a ladder over him. Irons clotheslines Dynamite in the corner. Luis suplexs Ryan through a ladder on the floor. Joe sets a ladder up and works over Dynamite in the corner. Joe cannonballs into a table in the corner. Joe has the ladder over his head and spins around hitting everyone including the referee with the ladder. Joe puts someone on a table that’s not in the match. Joe climbs the ladder, but the table breaks already. Joe still hits a splash anyway. Irons climbs the ladder and can’t get the briefcase off. Irons lets go and Joe climbs the ladder. There were two chances to stop Joe, but Ryan and Dynamite didn’t do it. Joe grabs the briefcase, but there’s no referee. I forgot about that! The referee wakes up and sees Dynamite with the briefcase and they win the match. (**1/4. The camera work in this match was truly horrendous. So, this may have been a better match live than it was on tape. Irons kind of messed up the finish, but I completely forgot about the referee being knocked out, so it kind of balanced out there.) After the match, a fan throws something at Dynamite that was like yellow paint or something. Ryan tosses a ladder at Joe hitting him on the shin, which seemed unnecessary.
Fourth Contest: Mickie Knuckles vs. Hailey Hatred: They lockup to start the match with Knuckles getting wrist control. Hatred takes Knuckles down to the mat to keep leg control for a moment. Hatred switches to arm control, but Knuckles rolls to her left to break free. Knuckles forearms Hatred on the mat. Knuckles gets out of a test of strength on the mat and they begin to trade kicks. Knuckles monkey flips Hatred over and gets a headlock. Knuckles kicks Hatred through the ropes to the floor. Knuckles hits a suicide dive through the ropes to the floor! They trade strikes at ringside until Hatred takes Knuckles over with a snap suplex. Hatred cannonballs into Hatred into the corner followed by a dropkick managing a two count. Hatred leaps off the top missing a senton splash. Knuckles chops Hatred a few times in the corner. Hatred blocks a strike and tries for a suplex into the corner and tosses Knuckles despite a few elbows. Hatred covers Knuckles and wins the match. (*1/2. The finish was solid, but aside from that there wasn’t much to get excited about here.) After the match, Knuckles is insulted by her former group members. Hatred has returned to the ring and helps Knuckles by hitting a suplex. Knuckles delivers a kick to stand tall.
A video package promoting the Tyler Black vs. Johnny Gargano title match. Gargano and Black wrestled to a draw back in March and tonight there will be a winner. They will compete in AIW’s first ever Iron Man match.
Fifth Contest: AIW Intense Champion Tyler Black vs. Johnny Gargano in a 30-minute Iron Man Match: Gargano arm drags Black to start the match, but Black bails to the floor to regroup. Black takes a drink of water to regain his composure. Black slaps Gargano and runs away. Black wants to a test of strength and they lock hands with Black getting the advantage. Gargano counters and stomps on Black’s hands followed by a punch. Black decides to leave the match and is going to go home. Gargano follows backstage to grab Black and they return to the ring. Gargano rams Black into the corner a few times. Gargano kicks Black in the midsection and delivers a seated dropkick for a two count. Gargano stomps on Black in the corner and plays to the crowd. Gargano beats on Black on the apron. Black shoulder rams Gargano, but misses a slingshot and hits the mat. Gargano manages a two count. Gargano hits a slingshot splash for a near fall. Black works over Gargano in the corner with elbows. Black delivers a knee drop leading to a near fall.
Black shoulder rams Gargano a few times in the corner. Black chokes Gargano over the middle rope. Black sends Gargano into the corner, but Gargano delivers a clothesline and bulldog out of the corner. Gargano hits a running senton splash, but Black drives Gargano into the corner. Gargano elbows Black in the corner and goes to the top rope hitting a tornado DDT. Gargano goes to the top rope, but is crotched by Shane Hollister. Black gets a cover with his feet on the ropes to get the first fall. Black: 1 – Gargano: 0. Ten minutes have elapsed in the match.
Black keeps control with stomps, but Gargano battles back with strikes to the midsection. Black sends Gargano hard into the corner and kicks Gargano to the floor. Hollister cheap shots Gargano to help Black. Black delivers an axe handle off the apron to Gargano. Black delivers an elbow strike on the apron. Black locks in a sleeper hold on the mat, but Gargano doesn’t give in. Gargano elbows free and comes off the ropes, but Black delivers a backbreaker for a near fall. Black tries for a suplex, but Gargano blocks it. Black clubs Gargano over the back and drops Gargano over the ropes gut first. Black dropkicks Gargano off the apron to the floor. Black goes to the top rope as Gargano is on the floor, but jumps off and flips off the crowd. Gargano tries for a sunset flip, but is met with a dropkick for a two count. Black puts a bearhug on Gargano, but doesn’t get a submission. Black switches to a body scissors on the mat. Black switches to an abdominal stretch, but Gargano refuses to give in. Gargano breaks free with elbow strikes, but Black knee lifts Gargano to the mat. Black chops Gargano against the ropes a few times. Gargano delivers a knee to the back of Black’s head and drives down to the mat. Gargano atomic drops Black followed by a left hand and another atomic drop. Gargano mounts Black with strikes on the mat. Black is kicked by Gargano between the ropes and Gargano head scissors Black to the floor. Ten minutes remain in the match.
Gargano takes Black out with a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Gargano tosses water on Black and they return to the ring. Gargano heads to the top rope, but Hollister tries to get involved. Gargano kicks Hollister between the ropes. Black kicks Gargano, but Gargano gets a rollup and pins Black to tie the match. Black: 1 – Gargano: 1. Eight minutes remain in the match.
They begin to trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Black ducks a clothesline to drop Gargano with a neckbreaker for a two count. Black misses a springboard attempt and is dropkicked by Gargano for a two count. Black delivers a jawbreaker and hits an F5 followed by a kick to the face for a near fall. Gargano and Black collide on stereo crossbody attempts and they are both down. They roll through a few pin attempts and they trade rollups. They both go down following stereo clotheslines. Black runs into an elbow in the corner and kicks Gargano in the corner. Black powerbombs Gargano into the corner and delivers a mafia kick. Black leaps off the top to hit a frog splash, but Gargano kicks out at two! Black misses a Phoenix Splash. They both try for clotheslines, but neither budge. Black spin kicks Gargano to the gut. Black tries for a suplex, but Gargano counters with a kick to the back. Black kicks Gargano, but runs into a superkick and kicks to the head. Gargano drives Black to the mat face first managing a two count. Gargano hammers away on Black and hits another full nelson spinning facebuster for a three count. Black: 1 – Gargano: 2. There is only ten seconds left in the match. Gargano wins the title! (***1/4. Iron Man matches can be a tough match to get the audience behind since the final few minutes are what really matter at the end of the day. The action was fine, but it’s not an all-time classic that you might expect from the names involved considering their later success.)
Sixth Contest: Mike Toler & Rob Conway vs. Chris Cronus & Marion Fontaine: Toler and Fontaine start off the contest. Fontaine gets wrist control to begin the action. Toler counters with a hammerlock. Toler gets a rollup for a two count on Fontaine. Toler arm drags Fontaine and tags in Conway. Conway controls Fontaine with a headlock. Conway shoulder blocks Fontaine causing Fontaine to go to the corner and complains of a hair pull. Conway backs Fontaine into a corner, but is met with an eye rake and Fontaine chops Conway a few times. Conway works over Fontaine in the corner with several more chops. Conway covers Fontaine for a near fall. Toler returns to the match and keeps a wrist lock on Fontaine. Fontaine sends Toler into the corner, but Toler arm drags Fontaine and keeps arm control on the mat. Cronus enters the match and punches Toler a few times. Toler nails Cronus with a spinning elbow for a near fall. Toler keeps arm control on Cronus, but doesn’t get a submission. Toler keeps a front face lock on Cronus, but Cronus punches free and catches Toler on a leapfrog to drop Toler over the top rope chest first. Cronus stomps on Toler to maintain the advantage.
Cronus sends Toler chest first into the corner and gets a two count. Toler elbows Cronus, but is stopped by a knee lift and a vertical suplex for a near fall. Fontaine knocks Conway off the apron and that pisses off Conway, but the referee stops Conway. Cronus hits a back suplex on Toler and stomps away on Toler. Cronus stomps on Toler’s midsection and tags in Fontaine. Fontaine decks Toler with a left hand strike. Fontaine dropkicks Toler and taunts the fans. Fontaine gets a two count on Toler. Fontaine works over Toler with a forearm strike and a dropkick to the back of Toler for a near fall. Cronus keeps working over Toler with strikes. Cronus keeps Toler on the mat with a bearhug. Toler elbows Cronus, but Cronus gets a bearhug locked back in. Fontaine enters the match and works over Toler with a choke. Cronus gets an abdominal stretch locked in while the referee was distracted. Fontaine assists Cronus with extra leverage. Toler breaks free from Cronus and tags in Conway. Conway cleans house with right hands. Conway backdrops Fontaine and sends Cronus to the floor. Fontaine nails Conway with a kick, but misses a moonsault. Conway hits a sit out powerbomb for a near fall. Toler dropkicks Cronus and clotheslines Cronus over the top to the floor. Toler blocks a tennis racket by Fontaine. Conway and Toler hit a spinning vertical suplex for the win on Fontaine. (*1/2. A basic tag match with nothing really standing out from the match. Conway being on the show didn’t really add much to match. I think there was a connection with Conway and Toler from their OVW days, but it didn’t add much interest to the tag match.)
Seventh Contest: AIW Absolute Champion Sterling James Keenan vs. Dios Salvador: Salvador tackles Keenan and delivers several punches causing the champ to bail to the floor. Salvador kicks Keenan from the apron and delivers a baseball slide to send Keenan into the guard railing. Salvador chops Keenan against the railing before returning to the ring. Salvador stomps on Keenan. Keenan decks Salvador with a clothesline. Keenan chops Salvador against the ropes and delivers a kick to the back for a near fall. Keenan uppercuts Salvador to the mat. Keenan kicks Salvador to the mat. Keenan slams Salvador followed by a leg drop for a near fall. Keenan kicks Salvador to the mat and taunts the fans. Keenan knee lifts Salvador, but Salvador almost wins with a rollup. Salvador nails Keenan with a clothesline for a two count. Keenan sends Salvador into the middle turnbuckle. Keenan back elbows Salvador to the mat and gets a two count. Keenan chokes Salvador over the bottom rope and elbow strikes Salvador over the apron a few times. Keenan kicks Salvador on the apron and rolls back into the ring. They begin to trade elbows in the corner. Keenan eye rakes Salvador and hits a butterfly suplex. Keenan kicks Salvador and they collide on a double clothesline.
Salvador hammers away on Keenan, but is stopped by a knee lift. Salvador heel kicks Keenan followed by elbows and a leg drop for a two count. Salvador takes Keenan over with a series of suplexs. Salvador hits a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Keenan dropkicks Salvador into the corner and gets a rollup with his feet on the ropes for a two count. Keenan waits in the corner, but misses a strike and Salvador plants Keenan with a back suplex. Salvador heads to the top rope hitting a frog splash for a near fall. Salvador goes to the top rope, but some music begins to play to distract Salvador. Keenan gets up and spikes Salvador with a reverse piledriver for the win. (*1/2. I didn’t pickup on Salvador being a top contender to the title here, at all. I mostly bored by this one and I think a lot of it has to do with Salvador coming across as a weak challenger to Keenan.)
A video package promoting Revelation 13’s dominance in AIW for the past three years. They do whatever it takes to destroy people in AIW. John Thorne recruited Matthew Justice to win the tag titles. Drake Younger has joined Revelation 13 to add to their dominance. Vincent Nothing, who had been in Revelations 13, returned to AIW after being gone for a while. Nothing claimed to the savior to end Revelations 13.
Main Event: Faith In Nothing (Christian Faith & Vincent Nothing) & Mad Man Pondo vs. Revelation 13 (Drake Younger, John Thorne & Matthew Justice) in a no holds barred fans bring the weapons match: As expected there’s a massive brawl to kickoff the main event. Faith In Nothing drive Justice down to the mat with a double team move. Younger is met with running knees in the corner. Pondo whacks Younger with a weapon over the head. Pondo suplexs Thorne onto a chair. Pondo uses a barbed wire bat on Thorne’s forehead. Faith and Younger are trading blows on the floor. Pondo staples Thorne’s groin. Younger dropkicks a light tube into Faith in the corner for a near fall. Younger dumps out tacks on the canvas. Faith’s face is rubbed into the tacks, though he is wearing a mask. Pondo slams Younger off the top rope onto the tacks. Pondo suplexs Thorne onto a ladder on the floor. Justice head scissors Nothing into a trash can in the corner. Thorne whacks Faith over the back with a chair in the crowd. Younger and Faith trade right hands in the crowd. Thorne forearms Pondo several times in the corner. Younger slams Pondo to the mat. Younger stomps on Pondo and uses a skateboard with light tubes on the bottom to stomp Pondo. Faith is nailed with a light tube on the floor. Pondo whacks Younger over the head with the skateboard. Nothing was slammed onto a guard railing. Pondo is using bolt cutters on Younger’s forehead. Justice is sent into the railing back first, too.
Thorne is curb stomped onto light tubes by Faith while being held by Nothing. A barbed wire board has been slid into the ring now. There’s another barbed wire board with light tubes on it on the floor. Thorne delivers a DDT to Faith to stop his momentum. Pondo is setting things up as Thorne double stomped Faith. The board with light tubes is setup on chairs outside the ring. Pondo grabs Justice and and Pondo ends up going through the table with barbed wire. Justice can’t get a three count on Pondo. Justice is driven through a table by Faith and Nothing. Younger saves Justice, but Faith tries to powerbomb Younger. Younger breaks free and forearms Faith on the apron. Younger tries for a move off the apron, but Faith hits a Death Valley Driver off the apron through the barbed wire and tubes covered board on Younger! Pondo is slammed by Thorne onto a ladder covered with light tubes. Nothing elbows Thorne and hits s lifting reverse DDT onto the glass, but stumbled. Nothing delivers another slam onto the glass to win the match. (**. These kinds of matches are tough for me to review because it’s the level of violence that makes me cringe more so than I’m entertained by. There’s no doubt that it held my interest because it’s tough to look away from this sort of style. If you like crazy violence you’d probably enjoy this more than I did.)
I checked this show out because on paper there was a lot that caught my eye. I’m a sucker for War Games and then there was also a TLC match and an Iron Man match between two guys that would go on to become major names in pro wrestling. Considering that, I kind of felt underwhelmed by the show. War Games ending in a pin was bizarre to me. A lot stuff just came across sloppy. The Iron Man match was a good match, but the stipulation hurts the suspense of it all. I think I’ve got to give this one a thumbs down, which was something I was not expecting to do.
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.