AAW presents Windy City Classic IV
From: Berwyn, IL
Danny Daniels was interviewed at the bar before the show began. Daniels doesn’t want to wrestle guys who don’t belong in the ring and doesn’t want to work. Daniels doesn’t want to be part of the team for the elimination match because he didn’t pick the guys. Danny says he’s taking the night off and having drinks with fans in the front row.
Joey Eastman, Mason Beck and the AAW Tag Team Champions The North Star Express come out to cut a promo. Eastman announces that the TLC match for the AAW Tag Team Championships has been cancelled. Eastman thinks the TLC is a stupid match and doesn’t think the champs needs to be in it. Eastman brings out the newest members of his faction, the Phoenix Twins. Dash and Tweek make their way out to join Eastman. As it turns out, the Phoenix Twins aren’t joining the group and will instead kick their asses in the main event. They have a brawl in the ring until Shane Hollister slides into the ring and goes after Mason Beck.
Opening Contest: Mason Beck vs. Shane Hollister: Hollister hammers away on Beck with a few strikes and ducks a wild strike attempt. Beck knee lifts Hollister to gain control of the match. Beck press slams Hollister, but Hollister lands on his feet and kicks Beck on the knees followed by a standing dropkick and a spinning heel kick to send Beck to the floor. Hollister takes Beck out with a somersault dive to the floor. Hollister continues on the floor with a right hand before they return to the ring. Beck dropkicks Hollister off the top to the outside. Eastman stomps on Hollister before rolling Hollister into the ring. Beck keeps control with a clothesline and gets a two count on a cocky cover attempt. Beck sends Hollister hard into the corner back first. Beck stands on Hollister and taunts the crowd while Eastman delivers a cheap shot from the floor. Beck grabs Hollister by the neck and tosses Hollister into the corner. Eastman continues to choke Hollister from the outside while the referee is distracted. Beck runs into a back elbow in the corner. Hollister continues with a boot in the corner and fires back with right hands. Beck rams Hollister into the corner back first. Hollister delivers a spinning back elbow and a kick to the face. Hollister tries to send Beck into the corner, but Beck counters. Beck misses a splash in the corner and Hollister kicks Beck from the apron. Hollister delivers a boot strike from the top and nails Beck with another kick to the face for the win. After the match, Arik Cannon hits Hollister from behind with the AAW Heritage Championship. (*1/2. Safe to say that wasn’t the ideal way to start a show. Beck didn’t come across as being a seasoned wrestler and had a limited skillset. I want to enjoy Hollister, but he hasn’t been clicking with me from what I’ve seen thus far.)
Backstage, Silas Young is interviewed regarding his title shot for the AAW Heavyweight Championship. Young says that the past is the past and the present is the focus. Young goes running everyday to be in peak shape. Young’s life has been focused on the match tonight and he’s promising to win the title tonight. Young is going to prove he’s the best that AAW has to offer. There’s nothing that’s going to stop him.
Second Contest: Phil Atlas vs. Josh Raymond: Raymond taunts the crowd a few times by avoiding a lockup with Atlas. Atlas gets a two count with a rollup as Raymond wanted to do more taunting. Atlas shoves Raymond into a corner where Raymond regroups. Atlas takes Raymond down to the mat and tries for a Crossface, but Raymond reaches the ropes quickly. Raymond knee lifts Atlas and gains control with a headlock. Atlas drop toe holds Raymond and continues with an arm drag. Atlas hits a springboard back elbow and another arm drag to keep arm control on the mat. Raymond forearms Atlas in the corner to gain the advantage. Atlas hits a lariat for a near fall. Atlas gets a two count with a backslide. Atlas dropkicks Raymond on the knee, but is dumped over the top to the floor. Raymond baseball slides Atlas into the railing. Raymond tries for a cover, but Atlas kicks out at two. Raymond tries to keep Atlas on the mat, but Atlas gets to his feet. Raymond sends Atlas into the corner hard back first. Raymond plants Atlas with a back suplex for a two count. Raymond elbow strikes Atlas and locks in a sleeper. Atlas fires out of the hold and kicks Raymond on the side of the head. Atlas clotheslines Raymond and delivers a back elbow strike. Atlas splashes Raymond in the corner and hits a spinning kick for a two count. Atlas connects with a leaping cutter, but Raymond kicks out at two. Atlas tries for a fisherman buster, but Raymond takes Atlas down to the mat with a modified Crossface. Atlas doesn’t give in and gets to his feet. Raymond back elbows Atlas, but Atlas hits the Chicken Wing Plant for a near fall. Raymond elbows Atlas off the middle rope and takes off the chain around his neck. Atlas tries for a back suplex, but Raymond hits Atlas with the chain and hits the top rope Phoenix Splash for the win. (*1/2. That was another boring match for the most part. Atlas didn’t do anything to impress me or make me want to see more of him in AAW. Raymond worked well as a heel here, but his offense outside of the finish move didn’t do much for me either. I’ve never understood heels having flashy finishing moves because why would a fan want to jeer that Phoenix Splash?)
Backstage, Matt Cross is interviewed regarding his match with Arik Cannon for the AAW Heritage Championship. Cross says that Cannon isn’t half the wrestler he is. Cross gets cutoff by Arik Cannon, who says he was just taking a dump of little M-Dogg 20s. Cannon isn’t impressed by Cross because he hasn’t beaten half the guys that Cannon has in AAW.
Third Contest: Team Daniels (Danny Daniels, Chandler McClure, Christian Able, & Jordan McEntryre) vs. Team Esparza (CJ Esparza, Krotch, Nick Brubaker, & Brett Gakiya) in a Thanksgiving Traditional Elimination Match: Considering this match is mostly involving local talents, I’ll keep the review to the eliminations and overall thoughts. Daniels isn’t even starting in the match and is rather drinking a beer in the crowd. McEntyre is the first elimination due to a standing somersault splash by Gakiya. McClure pins Gakiya with a quick rollup. Able hits a Death Valley Driver on Brubaker for the third elimination. Daniels ends up getting thrown into the ring and worked over by Esparza and Krotch. McClure forces Krotch to submit with The Sugar (modified Rings of Saturn). That leaves Esparza against Daniels, McClure and Able. Esparza pins McClure following a shooting star press elbow drop. Daniels spikes Esparza on the floor with a piledriver and Able pins Esparza to win the match. (**. It wasn’t a bad match, but man Esparza winning here probably would have been a benefit. The shooting star press elbow drop is a crazy spot and I love it.)
Backstage, Hunter Matthews and Knight Wagner cut a promo about their tag match. Matthews tells Wagner that he’s going to take care of him and they are going to win tonight. Ryan Boz enters the scene and they runoff. Boz cuts a promo on Jimmy Jacobs saying they will take a tour of Jacobs own personal hell and he’ll probably not survive.
Fourth Contest: The Hybrids (Donovan Cain & Jason Lyte) vs. Hunter Matthews & Knight Wagner: I couldn’t tell you who these guys are and the commentators have no idea who the Hybrids are. Hybrid control the early moments of the match by making Matthews and Wagner look like fools and they hit stereo dives to the floor. Matthews avoids a springboard and delivers a knee strike. Wagner dropkicks Lyte off the apron to the floor. Wagner delivers a gut buster onto Lyte to avoid a crossbody. Wagner takes Lyte down to the mat and keeps leg control. Matthews delivers an overhand strike and forearms on Lyte against the ropes. Lyte tries for a sunset flip, but Matthews hits a double stomp for a two count. Wagner goes to the top, but Lyte sends Matthews into Wagner to crotch Wagner. Cain gets the hot tag and leaps off Matthews to knock Wagner off the apron. Cain almost pins Matthews after a palm strike. Lyte is driven down with a wheelbarrow/face buster which is known as the Hack Attack to win the match. (*. Local guys and the crowd doesn’t care about them.) After the match Matthews is thrilled to have won the match and offers an open challenge to anyone. Jimmy Jacobs runs into the ring and attacks them. The crowd didn’t care about Jacobs attacking them.
Jimmy Jacobs cuts a promo regarding Ryan Boz and calls Boz out to fight him right now.
Fifth Contest: Ryan Boz vs. Jimmy Jacobs: Jacobs baseball slides Boz onto the floor. Jacobs nails Boz with a suicide dive. Boz sends Jacobs into the railing ribs first and continues with right hands. Boz sends Jacobs into the railing back first and chokes Jacobs. Boz back rakes Jacobs around ringside and continues with right hands around ringside followed by a headbutt. Jacobs dropkicks Boz on the floor into the guard railing. Jacobs rams Boz into the guard railing chest first and delivers an axe handle to the back. Boz continues with a strike to the back and sends Jacobs into the railing. Jacobs hits Boz over the back with a chair. Jacobs rolls Boz into the ring and delivers a few forearms. Jacobs puts a front face lock on Boz, but Boz powers up and rams Jacobs into the corner to break free from the hold. Boz continues with strikes in the corner. Boz sends Jacobs into the corner, but Jacobs goes to the choke hold again. Boz struggles and goes under the ropes to the floor with Jacobs keeping the hold locked in. Jacobs puts the hold on again, but Jacobs is dropped over the railing chest first. Jacobs head scissors Boz face first into the wall. Jacobs runs off stage and take Boz out in the crowd. Jacobs rams Boz into the speakers and hits a hurricanrana on the floor.
Jacobs sends Boz over the railing back to the ringside area. Jacobs tries for the Contracode, but Boz avoids it and hits a big boot for a two count. Boz pummels Jacobs with right hands on the mat. Boz delivers a couple of facebusters and a buckle bomb into the corner. Boz clotheslines Jacobs for a near fall. Boz kicks Jacobs and continues with right hands. Boz headbutts Jacobs several times. Boz plants Jacobs with a gut wrench powerbomb for a two count. Boz powerbombs Jacobs a second time. Boz hits a sit down powerbomb, but Jacobs kicks out at two. Boz delivers a knee drop and covers Jacobs for a two count. Jacobs tries to fight back with right hands to stagger Boz. Boz spears Jacobs for a near fall. Jacobs runs the ropes and goes for a choke, but Boz tosses Jacobs overhead for a near fall. Boz spikes Jacobs with the Boz Driver and wins the match. (**. I honestly thought that Jacobs was going to prevail here, so I’m relieved to see Boz pickup a dominating win.)
Backstage, AAW Heavyweight Champion Tyler Black cuts a promo about the showdown with Silas Young. It’s a match that everyone has been talking about in Chicago. Black is going to prove that he’s the best and tonight it is put up or shut up.
Jim Lyman comes out and says that Mason Beck has been banned from ringside for the main event TLC match.
Sixth Contest: AAW Heritage Champion Arik Cannon vs. Matt Cross: They trade some mat wrestling holds in the opening moments of the contest. Cross handsprings to avoid Cannon and delivers an arm drag out of the corner. Cross head scissors Cannon and delivers several kicks in the corner. Cross nails Cannon with a kick to the head to knock Cannon down on the floor. Cross fakes a dive to the floor to scare cannon and Eastman. Cannon avoids a crossbody and rams Cross into the railing ribs first. Cannon rolls Cross into the ring and chokes Cross on the mat. Cannon staggers Cross with a right hand knocking Cross into the ropes. Cannon chokes Cross over the middle rope. Cannon distracts the referee and allows Eastman to choke Cross over the ropes. Cannon beats on Cross with strikes and a chop in the corner. Cannon shoulder rams Cross in the corner several times. Cannon eye rakes Cross and Eastman cheap shots Cross while the referee is distracted. Cannon hits a rolling neck snap for a two count. Cannon sends Cross to the floor and Eastman continues to cheap shot Cross. Cannon drives Cross down to the mat with a vertical suplex leading to a near fall. Cannon tells the crowd to stop clapping for Cross. Cannon chops Cross against the ropes and taunts the crowd.
Cross leg sweeps Cannon and hits a standing moonsault for a near fall. Cross elbows Cannon in the corner and misses a clothesline allowing Cannon to deliver a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Cannon locks in the sharpshooter, but Cross refuses to give in and reaches the ropes to break the hold. Cross elbows Cannon, but an eye rake stops Cross in the corner. Eastman eye rakes Cross in the corner. Cannon punches Cross in the corner and taunts the crowd some more. Cannon sends Cross into the corner, but runs into a boot. Cross nails Cannon with a kick to the head and both men are down. Cross forearms Cannon and delivers an elbow strike. Cross clotheslines Cannon and tries for a powerbomb, but Cannon counters with a right hand strike. Cross runs the ropes and spikes Cannon with a tornado DDT for a near fall. Cannon stops Cross on the apron with a strike. Cannon hits a twisting neckbreaker off the top leading to a near fall. Cannon argues with the referee over the count. Cannon chops Cross in the corner a few times and tells the crowd to be silent. Cannon dumps Cross to the apron where Cross delivers a forearm strike and a springboard double stomp. Cannon avoids a double stomp, but not a standing shooting star press for a near fall. Cannon hits Cross with a kick to the head. Cannon tosses Cross with an exploder suplex for a near fall.
Cannon signals for a lariat, but Shane Hollister gets in the ring and accidentally hits Cross with a running knee. Cannon dumps Hollister to the floor and nails Cross with a shining wizard leading to the win. (*1/2. I didn’t care about this match and the interference didn’t help matters either. Clearly they are still focusing on a Cannon/Hollister issue proving that this match meant basically nothing.) After the match, Cross shoves Hollister and they have a brief confrontation.
Backstage, The Phoenix Twins are interviewed regarding the TLC match. This is it for Eastman. They’ve been beaten and embarrassed. Eastman has done everything to bring them down, but they are still standing. They promise to make Eastman bleed like a pig.
There’s a lengthy video package promoting the AAW Heavyweight Championship match between Tyler Black and Silas Young is shown.
Seventh Contest: AAW Heavyweight Champion Tyler Black vs. Silas Young: Black wants to shake hands and they get in each others faces for a moment. They lockup and Black backs Young into a corner, but cleanly breaks off. Young backs Black into another corner and backs off cleanly. Young controls Black with a wrist lock for a moment, but Black tries to reverse. Young delivers an arm breaker, but Black counters with a wrist lock of his own. Black yanks down on Young’s arm, but Young counters with an arm bar on the mat. Black breaks the hold by reaching the ropes. Young keeps a headlock on Black on the mat, but the advantage doesn’t last too long. Young counters a head scissors and puts a headlock on Black. Black kicks Young in the ribs and keeps a front face lock on Young. Young shoulder rams Black in the corner, and they trade arm drags leading to a standoff. They do a test of strength until Black kicks Young. Young cartwheels free and puts a hammerlock on Black to keep control on the mat. Black elbows free of a top wrist lock and puts a headlock on Young. Young hits a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Young controls Black with a modified Rings of Saturn, but Black reaches the ropes.
Josh Raymond comes down to ringside with a microphone. Raymond tells Young that Young’s woman is in labor with his kid. Black knows that the due date is close and Young has a responsibility. Black tells Young if he needs to take care of something he understands. Black promises to give Young the fight of his life he stays. Young asks if she’s in labor and Raymond says yes. Young tells Raymond as soon as the kid is born, Val Malone might as well drop dead. Young returns to the ring and locks up with Black. Young tries for a cover, but Black kicks out. Young rolls over and locks in a row boat submission, but Black refuses to give in as Young pulls back on the arms of Black. Young curb stomps Black down to the mat and plays to the crowd. Young misses a springboard moonsault attempt. Black stomps Young in the corner a few times. Black kicks Young over the back and manages a two count. Black mounts Young with right hands on the mat leading to a near fall. Black keeps an arm bar on Young as Raymond has remained at ringside cheering on Black. Black sends Young into the corner and delivers a stomp to Young’s lower midsection. Young rams Black into the corner back first to regain control of the match. Black rams Young into the corner and puts Young in the tree of woe.
Black hits a dropkick in the corner and Young collapses to the mat leading to a near fall. Black scoop slams Young to the mat and delivers a stomp to the face. Black goes to the floor and stalks towards Raymond. Raymond tries to leave, but Young attacks Raymond on the floor along with Black. Raymond gets in the ring and is double teamed. Young pummels Raymond in the corner. Black tries for a slam, but Young nearly wins with an inside cradle. Young shoves Black and they argue for a moment. They begin to trade forearm strikes in the middle of the ring. Young punches Black several times, but Black counters a suplex by delivering a few kicks. Young hits a fisherman suplex for a two count. Young lifts Black up, but Black breaks free and elbows Young. Black tries for a lifting reverse DDT, but Young connects with a backbreaker for a near fall. Young elbows Black in the corner and tries for a springboard, but is met with a dropkick in midair. Black delivers a neckbreaker for a two count. Young stops Black with a jawberaker, but Black hits a leaping kick and a reverse DDT for a near fall.
Black misses a superkick and Young locks in the full nelson submission on the mat, but distracted by Josh Raymond. Black hits a modified F5 and a kick to the face. Black takes Raymond out with a suicide dive on the floor. Black gets a two count on a springboard sunset flip attempt. They proceed to trade a series of pin attempts, but Black manages to keep Young down and wins the match. (**1/2. I’m incredibly disappointed by this match. There must be a three-way going down between Young, Black and Raymond. That is the only reason for Raymond’s involvement. If there isn’t a three-way match then it’s just unnecessary distraction that took away from two good workers from working an entertaining match.)
Josh Raymond is on the big screen and says that Val Malone isn’t having the baby, but rather at home unable to be at work. Raymond calls Young an idiot for falling for it. Raymond says the baby is his and the belt is, too. Raymond says that Young will never have either one of them. Black is still in the ring and is apologizing to Young, but Young leaves the ring without shaking hands.
There is a lengthy video package promoting the TLC main event for the AAW Tag Team Championships between the North Star Express and the Phoenix Twins. Eastman had been with the Phoenix Twins, but back in January, the Phoenix Twins didn’t want to use a baton and that led to a split and Eastman associating with the North Star Express. Back in April, the Phoenix Twins fired Joey Eastman officially. In May, the North Star Express kicked the Phoenix Twins in the nuts to avenge Eastman. In June, Eastman used a strap to whip the Phoenix Twins. In July, North Star Express won a tag match following a low blow. That match was a losing team gets whipped. Eastman had the Phoenix Twins whip each other. September saw Eastman reveal that he hired a lawyer where there is a restraining order on the Phoenix Twins. Eastman believes the Phoenix Twins will never win the tag titles. In November, Eastman refused to get rid of the restraining order on the Phoenix Twins. Jim Lyman threatens to fire Eastman if he doesn’t get rid of the restraining order. Lyman announced the TLC match.
The belts are not hanging from the ceiling. It’s pin or submission rules.
Main Event: AAW Tag Team Champions The North Star Express (Darin Corbin & Ryan Cruz) vs. The Phoenix Twins (Dash & Tweek) in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match: They begin brawling after the Phoenix Twins are slapped. All four men are in the ring until Cruz dumps Tweek to the floor. Phoenix Twins tackle the champs to deliver several strikes. All four men go to the floor to continue the brawling. Tweek stomps on Cruz outside the ring and sends Cruz into the midsection chest first. Tweek works over Corbin with strikes and chops against the railing. The champs are punched while crotched on the railing. The champs are rolled into the ring and the Phoenix Twins chase after Eastman, but are stopped in the ring by the champs. The champs elbow Tweek coming off the ropes and work over Dash in the corner. The champs hit running clotheslines in the corner on Dash. Eastman grabs a steel chair from under the ring. Cruz headbutts Tweek and wedges the chair in the corner. Tweek saves Dash from hitting the chair. Tweek sends Corbin into the chair in the corner head first. Cruz tackles Dash and delivers several strikes. Tweek hammers away on a bloodied Corbin on the floor. Dash and Cruz fight for the chair, but Tweek hits a tornado DDT on Cruz. Dash goes under the ring to bring a ladder into the match. Dash tries to send Corbin into the ladder, but Corbin avoids it. Cruz punches Tweek into the corner, but Tweek avoids the ladder. Dash has Cruz over his knees and Tweek drives the ladder into Cruz on the mat.
Corbin uses a chair on both Tweek and Dash to gain control of the match. Corbin puts the ladder around his neck and is met with chair shots causing Corbin to drop to the mat and is whacked by several chair shots. Eastman is chased on the floor until Cruz clotheslines Dash on the floor. Cruz jabs Tweek with a chair shot to the lower back. Cruz catapults Corbin into Tweek in the corner. Corbin stomps Tweek in the corner and continues with an elbow strike in the middle of the ring. Corbin dropkicks Dash off the apron and continues with a dropkick. Cruz sets a ladder over the railing and apron. Cruz uppercuts Dash, but Dash avoids a backdrop onto the railing. Corbin blocks a suplex attempt by Dash onto the apron. Cruz nails Dash with the ladder and Dash lands onto the guard railing. Tweek is double teamed while Dash is out on the floor for likely several minutes.
Tweek dropkicks a ladder into the champs to even the momentum. Tweek jabs Cruz several times and hits a snap powerslam for a two count. Tweek chokes Cruz with the ladder, but Corbin beats on Tweek. Corbin shoulder rams Tweek in the corner and decks Dash off the apron to the floor. Corbin clotheslines Tweek in the corner, but Tweek grabs a chair. Corbin doesn’t realize this and Tweek hits Corbin on the shin. Cruz nails Tweek with a leaping kick. Cruz keeps Dash out of the ring and sets up several chairs in the ring. Corbin is bleeding pretty good at this point. Cruz rams Tweek face first onto a few chairs and kicks Dash off the apron. Tweek fights back with a few strikes as Cruz is on the top rope. Tweek hits a top rope superplex onto the chairs and Cruz’s neck seemed to dangerously land on the chairs. Tweek sets up a table over the railing and apron.
Cruz is laid onto the table and Tweek sets up two ladders in the ring. Corbin stops Tweek on the ladder. Corbin press slams Tweek off the ladder and Tweek crashes through the table on the floor! Dash is stopped by an arm breaker by Corbin. Corbin jabs Dash on the arm with a chair shot. Corbin stomps Dash while setting up chairs in the ring. Corbin grabs Dash on the chairs and looks for a piledriver, but Dash fights it only for Corbin to lay Dash onto the chairs. Dash whacks Corbin over the arm on the ladder. Dash is chopped by Corbin. Dash backdrops Corbin off the ladder onto the chairs! Dash lays a ladder over four chairs in the ring. Eastman grabs Dash on the top rope and Cruz tosses Dash off the top with an overhead suplex sending Dash onto the ladder. Cruz slides a table into the ring for Corbin to use. Eastman wants Dash to be put through a ladder instead of a table. Eastman calls for Mason Beck to come out to the ring and get involved. Corbin digs surgical scissors into Dash’s face in the corner. Dash spits at Eastman as he refuses to give up. Eastman takes off his belt and whips Dash in the corner several times.
Tweek fires back on the champs with right hands and clotheslines the champs over the top to the floor. Tweek takes everyone out with a somersault dive to the floor. Dash has gotten up and Eastman is stuck in the ring. Dash decks Eastman with a right hand. Tweek also decks Eastman with a right hand strike. Dash uses the surgical scissors on Eastman to make Eastman bleed. Tweek tapes Eastman to the ropes and whips Eastman with his own belt. The champs hit Phoenix Twins with chair shots from behind. Twins low blow the champs and superkick Mason Beck. Twins whack the champs with chair shots over the head. The champs are laid onto a table. A bloodied Eastman is brought up to the top rope. Phoenix Twins slam Eastman off the middle rope onto the champs through the table and the Twins pin all three men to win the match and titles. (***1/2. It’s a good main event and the good guys getting their revenge over the hated Eastman led to a good pop from the crowd. There were a few big spots to garner a good reaction. There was a good story told and the action was the best action on the show tonight. I’m kind of surprised that neither team broke out of the indie scene. Sure, the Phoenix Twins reached ROH briefly, but neither team broke out.)
The main event was strong, but as a show overall it was a bit underwhelming. Black/Young was a major disappointment for me. The involvement of Josh Raymond did more harm than good. AAW usually delivers strong shows, so hopefully they bounce back.
Thanks for reading.