Thursday, 27 March 2014 06:22
Submitted by Qumar Zaman
AAW Pro Wrestling Redefined celebrated 10 years of serving the independent wrestling scene in the Chicagoland area with EPIC. Before the show began, AAW Owner Jim Lynam came out to address the crowd and reflect upon AAW’s 10th anniversary. He thanked the fans and the many people behind the scenes that have helped throughout the years to get AAW to the level where it stands today. Unfortunately, Lynam was interrupted during his speech by Chandler McClure. McClure’s interruption full of complaints did not last very long, as Lynam was prepared for something like this to happen. That’s why he had Eric Priest waiting for anyone who had complaints like McClure did. Priest threw McClure over the ropes and out of the ring, allowing Lynam to finish his thank yous and get the show started.
A fantastic video montage was shown to the crowd at the Berwyn Eagles Club, showcasing the 10-year history of AAW, the various wrestlers and the standout moments that have happened in the company.
1.) The opening contest of AAW: EPIC was a 4-way match with the only way to win by pin or submission. The four participants featured a little bit of the past, present, and future of AAW with returning stars Christian Faith and Davey Vega joining CJ Esparza and Ty Colton in the match. Faith’s imposing presence offered difficulties for the three other men in the match, as none of them could match the size or strength of Faith. Vega’s technical maneuvers and Colton’s braggadocious behavior could only last so long. CJ Esparza wowed with his high-risk, high-flying moves. Esparza attempted a diving flip to the outside onto Colton, but that left Faith alone in the ring with Vega. Faith had weakened Vega, and he sat on the top rope. Faith then hit a super powerbomb from the top rope, knocking Vega out for the count and getting the pinfall victory.
After the match, we see a video of Silas Young continuing his mission to make Eddie Kingston’s life a living hell, issuing a stern warning to the man who has been a pest to Young over the last several months. Young will have to delay that quest when he faces Alex Shelley later on in the evening.
2.) It was time for a women’s match as Heidi Lovelace faced Seleziya Sparx in a one-on-one contest. Sparx’s physical size provided quite the mismatch for the small, yet versatile Lovelace. Lovelace used the instincts of anyone small facing a bigger opponent: weaken them to the point where they can’t stand to fight anymore. Lovelace withstood the barrage of attacks by Sparx, but quickly gained a boost of adrenaline. She put Sparx down for just a moment to get to the top rope and hit a devastating frog splash to get the 3-count and the victory.
Following the match, we see video of Jimmy Jacobs arriving to the Eagles Club, where he is met by Colt Cabana. Cabana offers his help to Jimmy, as Jacobs has a tag match against the AAW Heavyweight Champion Shane Hollister and a partner of Hollister’s choosing.
3.) The next match was a 6-man tag team match. The first team was led by AAW Heritage Champion “Money” Matt Cage, and featured the return of “The Clash”, which was a strong stable in the past in AAW, with its leader Cameron Skyy and Austin Manix. The other team was made up of one-time member of The Clash, Juntai Miller, and the duo of Louis Lyndon and Marion Fontaine, Kung Fu Manchu.
When three guys make up a team, the chemistry must be right. Egos need to be put aside for the common good of the team to ensure a victory. Good teams know how to do that, and some teams don’t. It appeared that Miller and Kung Fu Manchu did exactly that. The cohesion of this trio worked seamlessly together to attain victory.
While Cage, Skyy, and Manix worked well during much of the match, they lacked that chemistry that teams need to accomplish a goal. They weren’t able to use their individual abilities to collectively get the job done. Miller and Kung Fu Manchu used the best of their abilities to best their opposition. It was Lyndon’s high-flying attributes to accomplish the goal for his team, as he hit a moonsault to a dazed Skyy in the middle of the ring. Lyndon’s feet hit the head of Skyy, knocking him down and out for the pinfall.
Following the match, we see video of Kevin Harvey backstage. Harvey’s group was suspended by AAW management from EPIC, so Harvey found the one man he could convince to get his message across: Sea-Man.
4.) Sea-Man was out to the ring to compete in the next match. He just didn’t know who his opponent would be. The music hit and out came a new menace to AAW, Justice Jones. Jones made quick work of Sea-Man, as the big man lifted up Sea-Man over his shoulder forcing him to submit with a modified backbreaker/torture rack maneuver. Kevin Harvey then entered the ring, berating Sea-Man for his efforts and for his stable being suspended for the night because of people like Sea-Man.
Afterwards, we see an interview of Eddie Kingston. Kingston looked flustered and paranoid, obviously after hearing the threat put upon him by Silas Young. When his girl Jordynne came by, Kingston jumped in fear. Eventually, AAW Heavyweight Champion Shane Hollister walked by and interrupted the interview. He made a proposition to Kingston, asking Kingston to be his tag partner in his match against Colt Cabana and Jimmy Jacobs. Kingston accepted, but wanted something in return. Hollister granted the request by offering up his lackeys, Dan Lawrence and Markus Crane, to take out Silas Young so that Kingston would no longer have to live in fear.
5.) The following match saw the continuation of a rivalry that has been brewing for several months. Knight Wagner, who was joined by Killa B Bernadino, was scheduled to face Marek Brave. Wagner and Bernadino double-teamed Brave at every opportunity they could in the early going of the match. They took the match to the outside, creating an even further disadvantage in the match. The referee had lost control of the match, and he could not get Brave or Wagner back in the ring by themselves. The ref signaled to ring the bell, ruling that the match went to a “no contest”.
The referee signaled for help from the backstage area, as AAW personnel rushed to ringside to break up the fight. Brave found some separation as Wagner was being held back, so he rushed into the ring to hit a somersault plancha diving onto the pile of humanity that was keeping Wagner away from him.
Brave may have thought he had the last mark in the brawl, but little did he know that it wasn’t the case. Justice Jones came out of nowhere and beat up on Brave. Jones sent a message not just to Brave, but to the rest of AAW that he is here to stay. And, as Jones left, he was joined by Knight Wagner and Bernadino, so it appears that there’s a new group to deal with in AAW.
After the ruckus that was that no contest, we saw a video from Joey Eastman from his home in New Hampshire. Eastman wanted to be in Berwyn to celebrate AAW’s 10th anniversary, but he had to stay back because he was soon to become a father. Instead, he made the video and led the Berwyn faithful to a toast to celebrate the occasion.
6.) The return of Alex Shelley to AAW was one of the more anticipated moments for fans leading into EPIC, and they wouldn’t be disappointed. Shelley would face Silas Young in his return to the Berwyn Eagles Club.
These two men are consummate pros and they delivered a great match for the fans of AAW. For Shelley, it was a showcase that despite injuries that he has had to deal with recently, he can still go with the best of them. He moved in the ring with great finesse and reminded any doubters that he has healed from the injuries that plagued him from showing off his abilities.
However, for as great of a performer that Shelley is, he was stepping into the house of Silas Young. While Shelley was performing around the world, Silas planted his flag in Berwyn. It is his house, and he was able to outlast the returning Shelley in a 15-minute display of true athleticism and stamina. Silas Young hit his Pee Gee Waja Plunge to finish off Shelley and get the victory.
7.) Following that epic encounter, out came Dan Lawrence and Markus Crane. Crane was wearing a green blazer and misshapen tie, as he bore some gifts for his partner in crime. Crane presented Lawrence with a poorly made t-shirt with various spelling mistakes, as a reward for Lawrence joining the AAW Hall of Fame.
Crane went one step further by presenting a video montage for Lawrence. The video began with some great moments for Lawrence in AAW, including his victory over Silas Young to win the AAW Heavyweight Title. However, the video displayed a “signal lost” and “error” message, which led into a blooper reel of Lawrence’s follies in the company. The pair demanded the video be stopped, which it was. The video montage has been posted to AAW’s YouTube page for everyone to see in its entirety. (It's right here: http://youtu.be/1oLSZKyF5lg)
Just as Dan Lawrence was about to give a speech, he was interrupted by Ryan Boz. Boz came out to break up the celebration. While Boz dominated the brawl early, the numbers battle worked against him. Lawrence and Crane managed to beat down the big man, until AAW matchmaker Tony Rican raced into the ring to even up the odds.
Rican then made the ruling that it would be a Berwyn Street Fight match as he would team with Boz to face Lawrence and Crane. All four men brought out steel chairs as they began the match. Those chairs came into use in the match, as Dan Lawrence was lacerated after a devastating chair shot. Later in the match, Markus Crane laid out a bag full of thumbtacks onto the canvas. Crane was looking to put Tony Rican onto the tacks, but Rican reversed it and Crane’s back took the brunt of the damage from the tacks.
A steel barricade was also introduced in the street fight, as it was set up like a table using the ring and another barricade to stand. Markus Crane was able to hit a legdrop onto a prone Boz, who was lying on the barricade. Crane’s legdrop bent the barricade, but it didn’t break. Meanwhile, Dan Lawrence brought out a staple gun. Lawrence used the staple gun to staple some promotional materials onto Tony Rican’s head. However, Boz got back into the ring and wrestled away the staple gun from Lawrence. Boz returned the favor, as he relentlessly used the staple gun to further bloody the head of Lawrence.
Crane got back in the ring to stop the attack on his partner, as he found a way to dump Boz onto the pile of thumbtacks. Lawrence and Crane brought back the steel barricade and put it in the ring. They propped it up using the steel chairs they used earlier. However, Rican and Boz stunned them for a moment. Boz then took Lawrence and hit a Boz Driver on Lawrence onto the barricade. Boz then got ahold of Crane, hitting a slingshot variation of the Boz Driver onto the thumbtacks and pinned him for the victory.
8.) Following intermission, the AAW Tag Team titles were on the line. The Irish Airborne took on the champs, the Men of the Year, Michael Elgin and Ethan Page. Before the match, Elgin asked that Page cut out the silliness and to take this match and their opponents seriously. It appeared that we saw a toned-down version of Page in this match. He wasn’t as outwardly wacky as he tends to be when paired with Elgin.
The Crist brothers pulled out all the stops to regain the belts that they had once held a while back. Jake Crist even hit a plancha to the outside, but overestimated his landing spot and found himself in the front row with the fans. But, neither Jake nor Dave could match the strength or stamina of someone like Michael Elgin. Elgin is known for his lengthy standing suplexes and his brute strength in the ring, but he showcased his agility against Irish Airborne. Elgin went coast-to-coast in the ring four times, hitting the Crist brothers who were lying up along the corners of the ring. It looked like Elgin was running short sprints inside the ring with little effort.
Elgin’s conditioning may have been in peak form, but there was one person who couldn’t handle the attack: referee Andy Long. Long got in the way of an Elgin lariat, taking the brunt of the blow and getting knocked out. Irish Airborne hit the Irish Raid, but with Long out, there was no one to make the count for the pinfall. The Crists had a 3-count, but no one to count it for them.
The frustrations mounted for Irish Airborne, but that gave an opening for the Men of the Year to attack. Page and Elgin took control, fending off their opponents. Elgin finished it off as he powerbombed Jake Crist into a staggered Dave Crist in one corner, then picked up Jake once again and hit a sitdown powerbomb to get the pinfall victory and retain the titles.
9.) In the penultimate match of the night, Arik Cannon made his return to AAW as he took on Kyle O’Reilly. Cannon and O’Reilly put on a masterpiece in a 15-minute match before the main event of the show. Both men had clear advantages during the match, as either one could have pulled off the victory. But, it was the spry O’Reilly who was able to latch on a cross armbreaker, forcing Cannon to tap out.
Cannon wanted to be a good sport after losing the match, offering his hand to the victory. However, O’Reilly didn’t shake Cannon’s hand, but instead took one of Cannon’s cans of PBR and stomped it on the ring steps, spraying it into the crowd.
10.) It was time for the main event of EPIC, and that meant a tag team matchup featuring Colt Cabana and Jimmy Jacobs against AAW Heavyweight Champion Shane Hollister and Eddie Kingston. The champ and Kingston entered first, but they surprisingly came out to Kingston’s music. Once they entered the ring, the champion Hollister demanded that he will have his own entrance, since he is the champion. Hollister went back through the curtain, but as his music hit, he didn’t reappear immediately. Hollister was forcibly brought back by Cabana and Jacobs. The match started on the outside of the ring as all four men battled. It took at least three minutes for the action to resume in the ring, and the bell was rung signifying the official start of the match.
Jacobs and Cabana are very familiar with one another, and it showed in this match. They put whatever differences they had with one another aside to gain the upper hand against their opponents. However, Hollister and Kingston had an advantage of their own with their valets, Jordynne Grace and Scarlett Bordeaux. Jordynne interfered in the match just as Cabana had Kingston in the Billy Goat’s Curse submission maneuver. The distraction allowed enough time for Kingston to get back up and deliver a backfist to Cabana.
Kingston looked like he was confident, but it soon subsided as Silas Young ran into the ring and chased Kingston away from ringside, bringing the valets back with him. That left Shane Hollister all alone against Jacobs and Cabana. The champ fended off the disadvantage as best as he could. He was just about to hit Shug’s Last Gift on Jacobs, but Jimmy reversed it to an inside cradle pin and got the 3-count for the victory.
As Cabana and Jacobs were celebrating their win, out came Dan Lawrence and Markus Crane. The duo threw Jacobs out of the ring and was ready to set their sights on Colt Cabana. However, out of nowhere, Gregory Iron made his shocking return to AAW. Cabana and Iron were friends in AAW and it looked like Iron was going to even up the odds. Iron’s presence forced Lawrence and Crane to leave the ring, but just as Cabana was about to relax, Iron delivered a low blow to him. In a shocking turn of events, Iron beat up his supposed friend Cabana. Christian Faith joined in on the beatdown, as well as a couple big men in suits.
Shane Hollister went back in the ring to send a message to Jimmy Jacobs, as he finally hit Shug’s Last Gift without any issue. Even though Cabana and Jacobs won the match, they most certainly came out as losers in the battle. Hollister celebrates his attack as he holds the AAW Heavyweight title. But, it was Gregory Iron’s return to AAW and his shocking turn against Colt Cabana that brought the 10th Anniversary show to a conclusion.
AAW Pro Wrestling Redefined will make their debut appearance at Freakster’s Roadhouse in Pontiac, IL on Saturday, March 29th with “Take No Prisoners”. Already scheduled for the event is AAW Heavyweight Champion Shane Hollister facing one half of the AAW Tag Team Champions, Michael Elgin, for the Heavyweight Title. AAW Heritage Champion “Money” Matt Cage faces #1 contender Marek Brave for the Heritage Title. Ethan Page takes on Louis Lyndon, ACH faces Kyle O’Reilly, and former WWE/ECW/TNA star Rhino takes on Tweek Phoenix plus much more.
AAW Pro Wrestling Redefined will make its return to the Berwyn Eagles Club on Friday, April 11th as part of the traditional AAW-SHIMMER weekend with “Point of No Return”. Already announced to appear on that show is AAW Heavweight Champion Shane Hollister with Scarlett Bordeaux, AAW Heritage Champion “Money” Matt Cage, AAW Tag Team Champions Men of the Year (Michael Elgin and Ethan Page), Silas Young, Alex Shelley, Eddie Kingston, ACH, Irish Airborne, Rich Swann, Los Ben Dejos, Dan Lawrence, Markus Crane, Ryan Boz, Arik Cannon, Kyle O’Reilly, Jimmy Jacobs, Knight Wagner, Justice Jones, Kung Fu Manchu (Marion Fontaine and Louis Lyndon), Juntai Miller, Gregory Iron, Christian Faith, and women wrestlers Heidi Lovelace, Athena, and Saraya Knight.
AAW Pro Wrestling Redefined will also return to 115 Bourbon Street on Friday, May 2nd for “Day of Defiance”. Already announced for that show is Silas Young vs. Eddie Kingston in a steel cage match, as well as the return of Kevin Steen to AAW.
Tickets to all of these shows are available for purchase right now at aawrestling.com.