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AIW They Live 10/2/2011

Written by: TJ Hawke

October 2, 2011
Cleveland, OH

On Commentary: Pedro Deluca, Aaron Bauer and Gregory Iron

BJ Whitmer vs. Davey Richards
Richards comes out with the ROH World Title, but it’s not on the line here. This was Richards’s third match of the day, as he had already faced Johnny Gargano and Jonny Mangue at Beyond Wrestling on the first show of this double-header.

They traded holds at the start of the match with neither man getting an advantage. Davey looked to be getting the momentum, but Whitmer cut him off with a spinebuster. They started brawling on the outside of the ring. Davey sent him into a guardrail twice, and then Davey kicked him over the guardrail. Davey then did a jumping forearm over the guardrail. Back in the ring, Whitmer stopped Davey’s momentum with a suplex. Whitmer was getting the advantage until Davey back dropped Whitmer to the outside and then delivered a soccer kick off the ring apron. Back in the ring, Davey hit a nice belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall, and then transitioned into an ankle lock! Whitmer got to the ropes quickly though. Whitmer came back with a series of suplexes. They started trading some big exploder suplexes. Davey got another ankle lock! Whitmer rolled through and he got an ankle lock now! Davey got out of it and Whitmer hit a series of big moves for nearfalls and then locked in the Peruvian Necktie! Davey is not responding and the referee calls for the bell! Whitmer wins!

This was a damn fine opener for AIW. Whitmer was gaining lots of momentum at this time in AIW and now he just beat the ROH World Champion. Good action and a good result. My only nitpick is that Whitmer’s Peruvian Necktie comes too much out of nowhere. I feel like that’s happened on a number of comeback matches
Match Rating: ***1/2

You’ll never believe it, but Davey got on the microphone and put over his opponent after the match. Davey said that Whitmer is going to be back in ROH (that ended up coming true). Whitmer says it was his honor and a privilege to be in the ring with him.

Aero! vs. Facade vs. John Kermon vs. Izeah Bonds vs. Tony Kozina vs. Archibald Peck (with Veronica)
This match will either be nuts or a mess. Archibald Peck makes the former more likely.

Not much of note happened until Bonds suplexed Peck on the floor. Façade then hit a springboard somersault clothesline on Aero and Kermon at the same time. Façade followed that up with a double springboard moonsault reverse DDT. Façade is crazy (like a fox). Façade then dropkicked Kozina onto Aero and Kermon. Peck then wiped out all of them with suicide dive. Bonds then hit a slingshot somersault plancha. Then Façade nearly killed himself. I’ll try to explain what he did: He walked the ropes until he was near the big pile of bodies and then did a springboard, double rotation cannonball senton where he missed everybody and landed on the edge of the guardrail. Somehow, Façade is still alive. He somehow got to his feet first and hit a springboard bulldog on Peck. Everyone but Peck then did a big Tower of Doom spot. Peck tried to pin all of them afterwards, but they all kicked out. Peck then went for his top rope headbutt on all 5 men, but they all rolled out of the way. Bonds hit a big spinebuster and a standing moonsault on Aero, but Peck made the save. Façade then hit a German on Peck: 1…2…NO! Façade then hit a Michinoku Driver on Peck, and then transitioned into a modified cattle mutilation. Peck taps out!

The match was a fun mess. Not everything went smoothly, but it was always enjoyable.
Match Rating: **1/2

Josh Prohibition vs. Eric Ryan
Ryan went for a Coast-to-Coast dropkick early, but Prohibition rolled to the outside. Ryan then wiped him out with a sick suicide dive. Prohibition almost immediately cut Ryan off with a neckbreaker in the ropes. Prohibition started to get heat after that. Back in the ring, they started to trade strikes. Prohibition went for a slingshot move, but Ryan caught him and gave him a Sex-factor all in one motion. Prohibition came back with a Buckle Razor’s Edge and a big lariat: 1…2…NO! Prohibition went for a Drunken Driver, but Ryan escaped it. Ryan hits a leg-cross suplex and then goes for the Drunker Driver himself. Prohibition escapes that and hits a brainbuster, but he was distracted by the sudden presence of Gregory Iron yelling at him at ringside. Ryan then took advantage of the distraction and rolled up Prohibition: 1…2…3!

The “I’m too distracted by someone outside of the ring to pay attention” has been played out as a finish (mostly WWE and TNA’s fault). It gives Prohibition an excuse for losing, but it doesn’t make Ryan look all that much better for winning. The action was nice and crisp though. I am really digging Prohibition’s demeanor right now. He is a natural heel.
Match Rating: **1/2

Marion Fontaine© vs. Bobby Beverly (w/ Chest Flexor & The Chad) [AIW Intense Title]
The referee that threw powder in the eyes of Johnny Gargano (costing him the Absolute Title) is refereeing this match. Well, that doesn’t make any sense. Things don’t look good for Fontaine.

They went back and forth at the start. Fontaine briefly got the advantage after using some shenanigans. Fontaine hit a slingshot body press and locked in a single leg crab. Flexor distracted the crooked referee though, which distracted Fontaine. Beverly started to get the heat. Beverly threw Fontaine to the outside for Flexor and Chad to do some damage. Beverly hit a nice vertical suplex for a nearfall. Beverly was setting up for a kneeling superkick, but Fontaine rolled to the outside. I think there was some miscommunication as it seemed that was supposed to lead to something, but it never did. Fontaine rolled back in only to get kicked down again. Beverly hit a Falcon Arrow neckbreaker for another nearfall. Fontaine avoided a kneeling superkick, and then hit a superkick and a Death Valley Driver. Beverly blocked a Lionsault attempt and then hit a kneeling superkick: 1…2…NO! Beverly hit a powerslam driver: 1…2…NO! Fontaine avoided a big top rope splash, and then locked in the Boston Crab on Beverly. Flexor was seen calling someone with his cell phone. Then, the crooked referee answered his phone. Beverly then small packaged Fontaine: 1…2…3.

This match was not as fun as I imagined, and I did not like the finish. However, much like the Shiima Xion title change at Absolution, this will get more heat on Flexor Industries. I think booking like this can’t be properly assessed until you see it play out.
Match Rating: **3/4

The Chad vs. The Duke
This was an open challenge match for the Chad that the Duke answered.

Duke formally accepts the challenge and punches Chad in the face. Duke hit a running powerslam. Duke was going to the middle rope, but Chest Flexor distracted the Flexor Industries referee. Beverly kicked down the Duke, and Chad hit the Mercy Kill: 1…2…3!

Flexor Industries beat down the Duke some more. But who should make the save but CRIMSON! Crimson was known as Tommy Mercer in AIW before being signed by TNA. Crimson says he’s not “Crimson” tonight, but instead he is Tommy Mercer from Cleveland, Ohio.

The Chad vs. Tommy Mercer
Chad hits a suplex early. Mercer makes a comeback and hits a Falcon Arrow. Chest Flexor distracted Mercer, which gave Chad an opportunity a chance to get the heat. Mercer came back and hit a suplex on the floor near the merchandise table. Back in the ring, Chad hit a big boot for a nearfall. Duke was going for the Mercy Kill, but Mercer escaped and hit an exploder. Mercer hit a Michinoku Driver Variation: 1…2…and the Flexor referee refused to count. Mercer accidentally knocked the referee down and then took it Flexor and Beverly. Mercer then hit the Mercy Kill on Chad! Duke counts the pin: 1…2…3!

Flexor Industries vs. a surprise hometown star who made it into TNA? That is a pretty easy formula for success, which obviously helped to cover for the limitations of the workers. This was a fine, crowd-pleasing segment.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Sonjay Dutt
This matchup feels very random, but very intriguing. The winner of the match will get a future shot at the AIW Intense Title.

They did a couple of stale-mate spots to start the match. They went to the floor where Kyle got the advantage with some kicks and his running kick to a seated Dutt. They were on the ring apron, when Dutt gave him a dragon-screw legwhip in the ropes. Dutt followed that with a slingshot Lionsault. O’Reilly came back with some strikes and a cross-armbreaker. Dutt crawled and was just able to make the ropes. Back to the outside and Dutt was able to get the advantage after a mafia kick. Dutt then hit a running dive over the guardrail. They eventually made it backstage out of view. Dutt came back out with SUGAR DUNKERTON! Sugar got on the microphone and said that they interrupted his Gameboy session, so he wants this to be a three-way match. The referee approves.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Sugar Dunkerton
Sugar was in complete control and was actually dribbling Dutt’s head into O’Reilly‘s crotch. Finally, Dutt cut him off with a slingshot leg drop. O’Reilly then hit a tornado DDT and a brainbuster on Dutt. O’Reilly locked in a cross-armbreaker on Dutt, but Sugar then hit a top-rope elbow on O’Reilly. Sugar hit a Royal Butterfly sit-down bomb, but Dutt made the save. Dutt was tossed out of the ring. Sugar then hit a Go-2-Sleep (the Knee version) on O’Reilly and then hit his massive lariat: 1…2…3!

Sugar’s lariat is quite awesome. I don’t know if it should be his finisher going forward, but he should definitely be trying to build it up as something special. I enjoyed both sections of this match, but the crowd was kind of cool for it. O’Reilly should be brought back as much as possible as he is really becoming a top-flight performer right now.
Match Rating: ***

AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation
These two trained together at Mr. Hughes’s school in Georgia so they have insane chemistry. They have been working together all over the place recently.

Nation hit a big overhead belly-to-belly suplex and then hit a standing moonsault. Fox came back and hit a split-legged corkscrew senton. Fox went for a top-rope cross-body, but Nation caught him and powerslammed him. Nation followed that with two German suplexes. Nation went for a third, but Fox escaped only to run into a Samoan Drop. Nation then hit a standing shooting star press: 1…2…NO! Crowd chanted “What the Fuck!” Fox came back with a middle rope diving cutter and then a swanton bomb: 1…2…NO! Fox then hit a top rope single knee codebreaker. Nation rolled to the floor and Fox then hit a no-hands running plancha crossbody. Fox followed that up with a kick-flip moonsault to the floor. Fox rolled Nation back into the ring. Fox went for a springboard move but Nation caught him and gave him three powerbombs in a row: 1…2…NO! “Holy Shit!” Fox came back and went for a top rope Vader Bomb, but Nation avoided it and hit a Roll-of-the-Dice: 1…2…Fox gets his leg on the ropes! Fox went to the top rope, but Nation caught him and gave him a super German Suplex! Tombstone Piledriver: 1…2…NO! WHAT! Nation went to the top rope, but Fox jumped up and hit the Lo Mein Pain: 1…2…3!

Yep, this ruled. These two bring out the best in each other. Nothing else really needs to be said in my opinion. Anytime you have the opportunity to see these work against each other, you should take advantage of it.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Chest Flexor comes out because Gargano and Donst are going to face a team of Flexor’s choosing. Flexor then brings out Aeroform who have apparently turned heel after taking the money of Flexor Industries. Team Oreo is dead!

Johnny Gargano & Tim Donst vs. Aeroform (Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon with Chest Flexor)
All 4 men brawl around the ring to start the match. They quickly spill into the crowd. Aeroform sent both Gargano and Donst back-first into the wall. Finally, they made it back to the ring with Gargano and Donst back in control. A tag team match broke out shortly after this. Gargano was distracted by Chest on the outside, and Gargano went outside to grab him. Lyndon then wiped out Gargano with a tope con hilo. Aeroform started to work over Gargano after that. Gargano was worked over for a while until he hit his slingshot spear on Kendrick. He made a hot tag to Donst, but Lyndon distracted the crooked referee and the referee ruled the tag illegal. Gargano took Aeroform down at the same time, and that allowed him to make a proper hot tag to Donst. Donst ran wild on both Kendrick and Lyndon. Donst even managed to hit a gutwretch suplexes on them at the same time. Gargano then hit 2 sucide dives, one for each member of Aerform. Donst hit a gator roll on Kendrick, but the referee refused to count. Lyndon then locked in a Dragon Sleeper on Gargano, but Donst made the save. Lyndon took down Donst with an enzugiri. Lyndon went for a moonsault, but Gargano hit a dropkick on Lyndon. Gargano hit a Lawn Dart on Lyndon, but Kendrick made the save. Kendrick and Donst then went at it. Donst gave Kendrick a suplex into the corner, and the referee made a very slow count. Aeroform then hit a Doomsday Hurricanrana on Donst: 1…2…NO! Gargano avoided their double team moves and hit a kneeling superkick on each of them. Donst recovered and hit a super FU on Lyndon. The referee counted too slowly again, so Donst locked in a Chikara Special. Gargano hit a Hurt’s Donut and locked in the Gargano Escape. Kendrick and Lyndon both tapped out, but Chest Flexor had the referee distracted. Chest threw powder into Donst’s eyes and Donst then accidentally gave Gargano a DVD. Aeroform then easily won.

The middle chapters of this crooked referee angle are going to be frustrating just like in Chikara. I think the crowd, much like myself, felt that the referee situation gave away the result of the match, and thus they were not as invested in the match as they should have been given the talent invilved. That being said, all 4 guys are talented and worked very hard, so the match was still quite good.
Match Rating: ***1/4

Cherry Bomb vs. Hailey Hatred
Hatred used to be a regular in AIW, but she now spends most of her time in Japan (where she has been wildly successful).

They started kicking each other’s legs and they then started trading chops. Hatred locked in a single leg crab, but Cherry made it to the ropes. Hatred was sent to the outside and Cherry hit a middle rope splash to the floor. Back in the ring, Cherry went for a top rope move, but Hatred caught her and slammed her to the mat. Hatred followed that up with a gordbuster. Cherry came back with a top rope dropkick: 1…2…NO! Cherry got a couple of pinning combinations, but Hatred kicked out. Hatred came back with a Northern Lights Suplex: 1…2…NO! Cherry recovers and hits some running strikes in the corner. Cherry then locked in Cattle Mutilation, but Hatred easily made it to the ropes. Hatred hit a couple of big kicks to the head, but Cherry came right back with kicks to the head and one to the arm. Cherry then hit a DVD: 1…2…NO! Cherry hit a big German, but Hatred got right back to her feet and hit a lariat: 1…2…NO! DEADLIFT GERMAN: 1…2…NO! Hatred then hit a running knee and a running powerbomb: 1…2…3

This was disappointing, but it was clearly much more impressive than 90% of what the Divas have been doing week in and week out for years. That being said, the crowd responded to this match about as well as WWE fans respond to Divas match (as in, not much).
Match Rating: **3/4

The Olsen Twins (Colin Delaney & Jimmy Olsen) vs. Irish Airborne© (Dave and Jake Crist) [AIW Tag Titles]
Irish Airborne defeated The Olsens for the AIW Tag Titles at Absolution in three-way match that also involved Aeroform.

The match starts with Colin and Jimmy in the ring. Then they tag in the Irish Airborne. They almost fall for the shenanigans, but Dave then tags in Colin. More Olsen shenanigans. Jake got Jimmy in a headlock, and they walked all over the arena in it. Finally, Dave did a headlock takedown on the floor, and the crowd chanted “Holy Shit!” Colin then started to work over Dave’s hair. The Olsens worked over Dave (mostly his hair) for a long time. Dave avoided a corner attack from Jimmy and tagged in Jake. The Airborne then made a great comeback with lots of cool stuff. The Olsens came back and hit a double stomp-Tombstone combo on Jake: 1…NO! What! Jake gave Jimmy a series of kicks. Jimmy rolled to the floor where he was met by Aeroform. Dave then did a plancha onto all of them. Jake then hit Colin with a Superplex-Brainbuster combo. Jake followed that up with a running knee: 1…2…3

I’m all about shenanigans in wrestling, but the stuff before the match really started didn’t add much when all was said and done. If they just trimmed everything down, this would have seemed much better. All of that being said, it’s the Olsens and the Irish Airborne; the teams are too talented to not have a fun match.
Match Rating: ***

Shiima Xion© (w/ Chest Flexor & Bobby Beverly) vs. Rickey Shane Page [AIW Absolute Title]
RSP just defeated his former partner, Vincent Nothing, in one of the most emotional wrestling matches of 2011. He was then voted in by the fans to challenge Xion for the belt. Xion’s heel group screwed over Gargano at that same show to win the belt, so he is certainly not a favorite of the fans here.

Xion is wearing an Impact Wrestling shirt #Heel. Page ripped off the shirt and threw it out of the ring. The referee then tossed Bobby Beverly from ringside. Shiima tried to lock in a crossface, but Page reversed it into a Cloverleaf. Xion managed to make the ropes though. Xion hit a middle-rope twisting body press, but Page came back with a Silverking back elbow to send Xion to the floor. Page went for a somersault plancha, but Xion avoided it. Page was able to land on his feet, but then ate a baseball slide from Xion. They made their way to the merchandise table and Page managed to lock in a Cloverleaf on the table. Xion tapped out but obviously that didn’t count as a submission. Page put Xion on a chair and then hit a somersault plancha on him. What. The. Fuck. Ouch. Page got distracted by Chest Flexor, and that allowed Xion to send Page into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Xion was getting the heat until Page hit a back drop and then kicked Xion on the way down. They started trading chops. Page hit a snap back suplex and a German suplex: 1…2…NO! Page went for a top-rope move, but Xion crotched him. Xion went for a superplex but Page managed to hit a super Death Valley Driver: 1…2…NO! Page gave Xion a big boot: 1…2…NO! Page went for a twisting senton, but Xion rolled out of the way. Xion hit a superkick and a crucifix driver. Page recovered and hit a big lariat: 1…2…NO! Page went for a 216 when Xion escaped and hit a neckbreaker. Moonsault from Xion: 1…2…NO! Chest Flexor went to throw powder in Page’s eyes but he threw it in Xion’s eyes by mistake. Page rolled him up but Xion kicked out. Xion, still blinded, accidentally superkicked the referee and then covered him. Page counted the pinfall, and Xion thought he won the match. Page then hit a roaring elbow: 1…2…NO! Chest Flexor pulled out the replacement referee! The crooked Flexor Industries referee popped up. Xion hit a tornado DDT: 1…2…NO! Xion then hit a 450: 1…2…NO! CRIPPLER CROSSFACE! Page escapes, only for Xion to lock in a painful looking arm submission and the crooked referee calls for the bell! I don’t think Page actually tapped out or verbally submitted.

This was a damn fine main event to close out a really consistent DVD. They may have gone a little long for what was a very long day of wrestling for this crowd, but both guys are such talented performers that they got the crowd invested in the match anyway. Shiima Xion is very talented and with the Flexor Industries story plus his TNA status, he makes for an excellent choice as heel champion. If Rickey Shane Page doesn’t “break out” in 2012, I’ll be very disappointed.
Match Rating: ***1/2

Flexor Industries are celebrating in the ring, until BJ Whitmer comes out. Whitmer lays out the challenge for the next show. Xion says he doesn’t have what it takes, but seems to grudgingly accept. Whitmer says he wants to fight now, but Xion says no. Whitmer and Page shake hands in the ring to end the show.

Final Thoughts: Top to bottom, this is one of the more consistent independent wrestling shows of 2011. AIW provided an excellent mix of their top regular performers and some great guests to supplement their talent. The only thing missing from this show is that “one special match” that you must go out of your way to see, but even without that, this show is so consistently good that you will feel like you got your money’s worth.

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