AAW Bound By Hate 2014
Berwyn, Illinois 6/20/14
1.) The Batiri vs. Zero Gravity: ***1/4
CHIKARA was going to be running two shows in Chicago the next day, so that's why The Batiri were booked for this show. Here they're facing Zero Gravity. This was a pretty solid opener. Similarly to when Los Ben Dejos came in a few months prior, The Batiri got a shot to impress against an established team in AAW, and they did just that. Both sides got their stuff in and it proved to be a pretty solid opening match, though Zero Gravity would get the win.
2.) #1 Contender's Fatal Four-Way Match - ACH vs. Louis Lyndon vs. Marek Brave vs. AAW Tag Team Champion #AllEgo: ***1/2
The winner of this match would face Shane Hollister later in the night for the AAW Heavyweight Title. In a funny moment, #AllEgo had to go back to his merch table during his entrance to get his AAW Tag Team Title belt (guess he forgot about it). This was a pretty solid match. All four guys got to hit their stuff and everyone looked good. ACH would eventually pick up the win, and moves on to face Shane Hollister in the Main Event.
3.) Keith Walker (with Tweek Phoenix & Nikki Mayday) vs. Shane Saber: 3/4*
Before the match, Tweek Phoenix cuts an angry promo, talking about We Are Here's leader, Kevin Harvey, not being there after being injured at the hands of Rhino. They say that they can still be successful despite Harvey not being there. Tweek challenges Tony Rican & Ryan Boz to a Street Fight, against himself & Keith Walker, at the July 18th AAW Show. Walker then went on to defeat Shane Saber in what was essentially a squash. It was ok for what it was, though I think Saber got in a bit more offense in than he should have.
Up next we have Derek St. Holmes interviewing Knight Wagner (with Justice Jones & Alex Bernadino) in the ring. Wagner talks about coming into AAW many years ago and the class of wrestlers from Iowa who were (or still are) a part of AAW (Tyler Black/Seth Rollins, Shane Hollister, Marek Brave, and himself). He berates the fans for not respecting him and ponders why Marek Brave was put in a #1 Contender's Match earlier tonight. Derek St. Holmes says that it sounds like a bunch of whining on Wagner's part. This leads to a shoving match. Wagner holds St. Holmes back as Justice Jones beats up a bunch of local guys. Eventually Marek Brave comes out with a chair to make the save, and although it looks like he was going to be taken out, he is able to escape.
4.) Silas Young vs. John Silver: ***3/4
John Silver is mainly known for being on half of the Beaver Boys in CZW, along with Alex Reynolds. He's also made spastic appearances in Evolve & ROH. He's another talent who is in Chicago for the CHIKARA Shows (obviously won't say who he portrays) and is getting an opportunity against an established star in AAW. This was a really good match. Silas is always on his game in AAW, but Silver definitely impressed. Lots of solid action in this match. Eventually, Silas is able to pick up the win over Silver. Young puts Silver over on the mic after the match.
Christian Faith (with Gregory Iron & The Iron Curtain) vs. Colt Cabana:
This was originally supposed to be Christian Faith vs. Colt Cabana in a singles match, but before the match, Cabana is surrounded by The Iron Curtain. Cabana retreats and takes the mic, saying that he won't be outnumbered, and that he has friends in the locker room who will back him up in this fight. Marion Fontaine & Junthai Miller come out, and attack The Iron Curtain. It looks like we now have a Six Man Tag!
5.) Six Man Tag - Colt Cabana, Junthai Miller & Marion Fontaine vs. The Iron Curtain (Christian Faith, Benjamin Boone & Joey Vincent Martini with Gregory Iron): ***
Junthai Miller has teamed with Cabana many times previously, and Fontaine seems like a natural fit with them as a trio. A pretty entertaining match here. We saw some good action and everyone played their rolls well. Gregory Iron would get involved, going after Colt Cabana. He provokes him, and Cabana chases him to the back. This however, leaves his team at a 3-on-2 disadvantage, and Christian Faith pins Marion Fontaine to score the win for The Iron Curtain.
6.) #WalkingWeapon vs. AAW Tag Team Champion "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin: ****
After being sidelined with an injury, #WalkingWeapon made his return on the more recent AAW Shows, going after Men of the Year, specifically being upset about #AllEgo teaming up with Michael Elgin following his injury. This was a very interesting match. I though that, for the most part, it was a a really great match. There were, however, a few things that prevented it from being fantastic. Firstly, I felt like the match never really got to that next level. The action was great, and the intensity picked up at various points, but it never reached a higher gear like it should have. Secondly, I wasn't the biggest fan of the finish. There was a ref bump, which allowed #WalkingWeapon to get a low blow on Elgin. #AllEgo then comes out, seeming to defend Elgin, but then turns around and clocks Elgin with one of the AAW Tag Team Title belts. While the turn made sense (and was further explained in a backstage promo), it did end of taking away from the match, in my opinion. Still, the match was really great. Anytime you get Elgin & #WalkingWeapon in a match, you know it's going to be good. Elgin cuts a promo afterwords, essentially implying that he'll be coming for revenge.
7.) Eddie Kingston vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***1/4
This is a very interesting matchup, as these two were facing each other, on the same weekend, for two different promotions (AAW & CHIKARA). Before the match began, Eddie Kingston cut a promo. He turns on his valet Jordynne Grace, questioning why she wasn't with him at ringside for his Steel Cage Match with Silas Young back at Day Of Defiance. When she fails to provide an explanation, he (very crudely) tells her to hit the bricks and that they're done. Grace leaves before Jacobs makes his entrance.
These two had a pretty good match. It was on the shorter side, but it was still entertaining. Kingston got in a lot of offense, but Jacobs did get some spots in as well and looked good. In the end, however, Kingston is able to pick up the win over Jacobs.
8.) Dan Lawrence & Markus Crane vs. The L.O.S.E.R.S. (Moondog Bernard & Sea Man): *3/4
Crane tells the announcer to refer to him & Lawrence as The Wet Bandits. This was ok for what it was. The L.O.S.E.R.S. get in a bit of offense, but Lawrence & Crane got in most of the offense and ended up getting the win.
After the match, Markus Crane takes the mic, and touts their victory. In a moment of overconfidence, he calls out Ryan Boz, much to the dismay of Dan Lawrence. Boz comes out, and The Wet Bandits taunt him, smacking his beer out of his hand. This sets Boz off, and he laid out both Lawrence & Crane (giving Crane an awkward piledriver off of the top rope through a bunch of Chairs). We Are Here then come out, and Keith Walker brawls with Ryan Boz, and lays him out with a chain. This brings out Tony Rican, who tries to defend Boz, but then gets chokeslammed through a chair for his troubles.
9.) AAW Heritage Title - Matt Cage vs. Heidi Lovelace: ***1/4
Matt Cage, the AAW Heritage Champion, issued an open challenge for the evening, which Heidi Lovelace accepted. Cage cuts a quick promo, questioning why a woman is out here. Lovelace slaps him in response, and the match is on! It was actually a pretty solid match. Lovelace looked really good in here, getting to hit a good deal of offense on Cage, while Cage looked good as well, with some of his facials being really good (specifically in reference to Lovelace kicking out late in the match). Despite Lovelace's efforts, Cage is able to pick up the win and retains his title.
After the match, Jordynne Grace comes out. She cuts a promo berating Heidi, calling her "washed up", and also referring the fact that she "dumped" Eddie Kingston as well as that she herself is only 18 Years Old (WOW......that's......really weird). She challenges Heidi to a match right now, and claims that she is the new face of AAW Women's Wrestling, but Silas Young comes out. He tells her that he was going to let her "slide" when it came to her being on Kingston's side during his feud with The War King, but now that she came out to berate Heidi, he changed his mind. It look like, for a second, that Silas is going to let Grace leave, but he ends up taking her out with his Backbreaker/Clothesline Combo.
10.) AAW Heavyweight Title - Shane Hollister (with Scarlett Bordeaux) vs. ACH: ***1/2
As previously mentioned, ACH won a Fatal Four-Way Match earlier in the night to earn this title shot. It was a pretty good match, but it wasn't a great match. Both ACH & Shane Hollister are very good wrestlers (as we all well know), and while this match was good, I don't think it lived up to the quality of being a Main Event Title Match. Hollister has had an interesting title reign. His title matches have all been good, but he's only really had one or two great title matches as champion, which really isn't something you want. The fact that he retains his title with a rollup (where he pulled the tights of ACH) doesn't really help his cause. The match was still pretty good, but I didn't like the finish that much and it wasn't a Main Event Quality Match.
This was a pretty solid show from AAW. When you look back at the card, it was actually really consistent. You had one match that cracked ****, and seven matches that were in the ***+ range. In that regard, the show was pretty easy to sit through. A show doesn't necessarily need to have a bunch of amazing matches, as a show with several matches in the ***+ range can still be really entertaining. We also saw a lot of storyline advancement on this show, and that's always good, especially for an independent promotion like AAW. At the same time however, this show did have some issues, particularly with some match finishes, and Shane Hollister, the AAW Heavyweight Champion, not putting on Main Event caliber performances. In the end, despite these issues, it was a very solid show from AAW.