Thursday, November 24, 2016

AAW Windy City Classic X Review

Eddie Kingston & Keith Walker blow the roof of the Berwyn Eagles Club!

AAW Windy City Classic X
Berwyn, Illinois 11/29/14

1.) Louis Lyndon vs. Shane Hollister (with Scarlett Bordeaux): ***1/2

Hollister is coming off losing the AAW Heavyweight Title, along with his subsequent rematch, in the few months prior to this show, and has been getting some criticism from his manager/valet, Scarlett Bordeaux. I thought this was a really good opener. I’ve always enjoyed Louis Lyndon, and it’s a little surprising that a bigger promotion hasn’t picked him up yet. Hollister is, of course, a very good performer as well. There was some very solid back & forth action between these two, especially towards the end of the match. Eventually, Lyndon is able counter Shug’s Last Gift into a small package for the win!

After the match, Hollister wanted to shake Lyndon’s hand, and does, but Scarlett Bordeaux is none too happy with this. It’s pretty clear that their relationship in AAW is on thin ice.

Before the next match, Gregory Iron comes out with Benjamin Boone to cut a promo. He says that he’s an inspiration, and that he tried to guide Dick Justice, but then realized that he couldn’t, because Dick Justice is a loser and an idiot. Iron said he can turn anyone into an inspiration, and introduces Mr. Bernard, who I believe is the former Moondog Bernard (a lower-card wrestler in AAW who had a tag team called the L.O.S.E.R.S. with a guy named Seaman). Dick Justice interrupts this promo, and reveals to the Iron Curtain that Colt Cabana will be teaming up with him to take on the Iron Curtain on the AAW event in December. He wants to fight Iron now, but Benjamin Boone & Mr. Bernard go after him. Dick Justice takes them out, but Christian Faith comes out and attacks Dick Justice. This assault continues until Marek Brave runs out with a chair to make the save. He then calls for the bell, and our next match (for the AAW Heritage Title) is underway.

2.) AAW Heritage Title - Christian Faith vs. Marek Brave: **1/2

I’m not sure if this was a previously scheduled title defense by Christian Faith, or if Marek Brave just randomly called for a title match (I would guess the former, but I honestly don’t know), but regardless, we got a match. Marek Brave wrestled in his street clothes, which was odd since this wasn’t a Street Fight. I thought this was a decent match. It had it’s moments, but it honesty wasn’t anything special. Towards the end of the match, Dick Justice and Gregory Iron start arguing on the apron, which leads to Marek Brave diving from the top rope to the floor onto the Iron Curtain. He goes for a dive on the other side of the ring to the floor onto Christian Faith, but Faith just boots him out of the air. This would lead to Christian Faith getting the win to retain his AAW Heritage Title.

3.) Justice Jones (with Knight Wagner) vs. Marion Fontaine: *3/4

At this point, Knight Wagner looks like an Emo Chuck Taylor. This was pretty much an extended squash for Justice Jones. Fontaine managed to get in some offense, but Justice Jones ultimately prevailed. The match lasted about three minutes.

After the match, Davey Vega (who is wearing a knee brace and walking with a cane) comes out to check on Marion Fontaine. Vega is thankful for Fontaine’s friendship, and noted that he was supposed to wrestle Justice Jones tonight. However, he said that unlike Marion Fontaine, he would have actually beaten Justice Jones. Vega says he’s going to show Fontaine how he would have beaten Justice Jones, but then he just attacks Fontaine with his cane. I guess Davey Vega is a heel?

4.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. Chris Sabin: ***1/4

There really wasn’t a story going into this match. This was just two veterans of the independent scene going at it. I think Alex Shelley might have been the original opponent for Jimmy Jacobs here, but I’m not sure. For the most part, I thought these two had a pretty solid match. It’s hard for a match involving guys of this caliber to not be good (at the very least). The match featured some good back & forth action throughout. However, the match was hampered a fair deal by the finish. Essentially, Sabin faked a leg injury, and this brought the match to a halt. They played it up like it was a serious deal, but this just led to Sabin rolling up Jacobs for the win. Spots like this are really annoying because it makes Jacobs and the referee look really stupid. I don’t think anyone else in the building thought that Sabin was actually hurt.

After the match, Jimmy Jacobs cuts a promo saying that these fans wanted to see him face Alex Shelley, not Marty Jannetty.

Up next, Ryan Boz comes out to cut a promo. He says he wants to take care of that “pimple” known as Markus Crane (one-half of the AAW Tag Team Champions), who then comes out with his partner Dan Lawrence (the other-half of the AAW Tag Team Champions), who says they came to this show to defend their AAW Tag Team Titles. He notes that Ryan Boz doesn’t have a partner, but Boz reveals that he does have a partner in the form of Heidi Lovelace, who hits a double dropkick off the top onto Dan Lawrence & Markus Crane to start things off!

5.) AAW Tag Team Titles - The Wed Bandits (Dan Lawrence & Markus Crane) vs. Heidi Lovelace & Ryan Boz: **3/4

I thought this was a fine match, for the most part. It wasn’t the worst match on the show, but it wasn’t really that memorable either. To me, it’s amazing that Dan Lawrence & Markus Crane were actually AAW Tag Team Champions at one point. They’ve actively brought down the titles since they’ve won them. Towards the end of the match, Lawrence directs the referee’s attention to an injured Heidi Lovelace on the floor. This distraction allows Lawrence to kick Ryan Boz low, and Crane followed this up with a chair shot. The AAW Tag Team Champion then hit their tag team finisher, The Buddy System, on Boz to retain their titles.

After the match, Boz gets on the mic and calls for a Fans Bring The Weapons Match for the show next month against Dan Lawrence & Markus Crane. He adds that if he wins, he gets another shot at the AAW Tag Team Titles. Lawrence agrees to it, and the match is set.

6.) Berwyn Street Fight - The Hooligans (with Bucky Collins) vs. Zero Gravity: ***1/2

These two teams have been embroiled in a feud in the months leading up to this Berwyn Street Fight. This included a match in the AAW Tag Team Title Tournament the month prior at Jawbreaker that went to a No Contest. I thought this was a very fun hardcore brawl. A stop sign and various chairs were the primary weapons used in this match. It was entertaining to watch from start to finish. These two teams seem to work very well together, and this was another good chapter in their rivalry. The Hooligans would eventually get the win.

7.) Matt Cage vs. Johnny Gargano: ***3/4

Cage is coming off a recent run with the AAW Heritage Title, and this match was one of his toughest to date, as he took on Johnny Gargano. I thought this was really good. For me, it was just shy of being a great match. There was a ton of very solid action from start to finish. Gargano is just so amazing. He was great in this match, as he always is. Cage, however, looked very impressive as well. The only complaint I have is that they seemed to tease doing another “fake injury” finish, which would have been overkill (especially considering we just saw that in the Jimmy Jacobs/Chris Sabin match earlier in the show), but thankfully, that was just a near-fall. In the end, Cage was able to outlast Gargano, and scored the win over the two-time (and, at the time, current) Dragon Gate USA Open The Freedom Gate Champion. This was the second best match on the show, in my opinion.

8.) AAW Heavyweight Title - Eddie Kingston vs. Keith Walker (with Nikki Mayday): ****

When this match was originally announced, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. The only Keith Walker I knew (once I started watching AAW) was the guy that frequently teamed with Tweek Phoenix. I never saw him as more than that. He sure proved me wrong here, as he had a surprisingly fantastic match with Eddie Kingston for the AAW Heavyweight Title. I’m not sure what it was, but these two just clicked so well. The action was great, and the fact that Walker had teased prior to the match that he was probably retiring if he didn’t win the title really added a lot to the match. The crowd actually got behind Walker in a big way, and as a whole, they were pretty split between Walker & Kingston. Eventually, Kingston was able to put away Walker with several consecutive Spinning Backfists, followed by a Sliding D. If you haven’t seen this match already, you need to go check it out. It was a match that totally exceeded expectations.

After the match, Kingston brings Walker to his feet, and leaves him alone in the ring so he could have a moment with the fans.

9.) The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. The Monster Mafia (“All Ego” Ethan Page & Josh Alexander): ***1/2

So I was pretty excited to see this match. The American Wolves are a fantastic tag team, while The Monster Mafia were well on their way to being a great tag team in their own right. This match was very good, and had a lot of solid action from both teams, as you would expect. Unfortunately, shenanigans towards the end of the match really hampered things. There ended up being two referee bumps. The first occurred when Richards accidently kicked the original referee when Ethan Page moved out of the way. The second occurred when Josh Alexander tossed the second referee who came out to fill in the first referee. The match came to an end when Alexander caught Edwards with a jackknife pin (while Page was holding back Richards). That last part of the match really hurt what could have been a great match, and in general, the led to the show ending on a poor note. I think it would have been much better if they switched this match with Eddie Kingston vs. Keith Walker for the AAW Heavyweight Title, but that’s just me.

Overall: 7.75/10

As a whole, I thought this show was a very mixed bag. You definitely had some very good to great stuff on here, with Eddie Kingston vs. Keith Walker being the match of the night, followed closely by Matt Cage vs. Johnny Gargano. There were also some other very good matches on the undercard, including the Berwyn Street Fight between The Hooligans & Zero Gravity, and the opening match between Louis Lyndon & Shane Hollister. However, the card was hurt by a number of questionable finishes, such as what happened in the Jimmy Jacobs/Chris Sabin match, and the AAW Tag Team Title defense. The worst offender, when it comes to match finishes, was The American Wolves vs. The Monster Mafia in the Main Event which, while still a very good match, had a number of shenanigans that ended the show on a down note. Even with these issues, the show was still relatively good, as I mentioned earlier.

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