Joe Babinack looks at Absolute Intense Wrestling Hell on Earth



 
 
Hell on Earth 3
Absolute Intense Wrestling
AIWrestling.com
$15.00
Reviewed by Joe Babinsack


AIW's Hell on Earth plays up on the ongoing horror movie theme, which struck me a nanosecond after hearing Tubular Bells. Too bad there's no Samoan Swat Team, but that's another story.

Looking back at an old Absolute Intense Wrestling DVD has multiple purposes;

1) To take a look at a number of notable wrestlers, and see what they had to offer way back in the time machine.

2) To show fans that the indie level stars of yesterday are now knocking on the door of the mainstream.

3) To get more attention to a smaller, regional promotion.

Sure, AIW sometimes misses, and sometimes hits home runs, but like most of the indie scene, it's a roster of wrestlers who do a whole lot for the industry, who keep local fans happy, and who are keeping the artform alive.

SJK Interview

Sterling James Keenan reminds me of Randy Orton, well, yeah, with the weird tatoos and thinner. If the WWE were more Old School, SJK would be brought up as Orton's cousin, and not just languish away in FCW.

Keenan interrupts an opening ceremony involving Boy Scouts, which makes this 'from the stack' review pick all the more current. I'll stop while I'm in front of that controversy, but anyone who wants to debate tyranny and freedom, drop me a line.

Keenan's not sporting the fox fur coats and other vastly controversial attire, and he dodges a devastating heckler's comment about burying someone with his career.

The promo sets up his Title match later on the card, and there's an appearance by Chandler Biggins.


Rebis vs K-Fed
Yeah... AIW hits the extremes. Imagine Mario Fontaine's very much obese cousin, with the moustache, and you may get the grasp of Rebis. At first I thought Rebis was a high flyer, out with a Rey Mysterio mask, and a weird, white jacket, and who looks somewhat like Jeff Hardy (somewhat, I said!)... but then I was rather horrified.
At least it didn't go too long. I'm reminded immediately that AIW does the announcing piped over the crowd... which is novel. Annoying a bit, but wow, there's something to be said about that level of improvisation and confidence by said announcer (who I think is Pedro Deluca... and definitely not Aaron Bauer).

Cronus vs Equinox
Ok, admittedly I was thinking the wrong Kronus and the wrong Equinox. 

Cronus is a musclehead, bulkier than the guy once TNA famous as Crimson, but without the charisma. Believe me, TNA sucks the charisma out of potential like no other promotion, so maybe the Ivelisse Velez decision is a blessing in disguise. What??? Oh well, nevermind.

Equinox is not that guy from CHIKARA... which sucks. Sometimes AIW misses. 


Matthew Justice vs Hallowicked
Hallowicked is that guy from CHIKARA, which is awesome. Justice is part of Revelation 13, which is the quasi mystical cult faction of AIW that once included John Thorne, Christian Faith and Vincent Nothing, but now/then/this card is lead by John Thorne.

Justice is a high-flyer babyface type with the long hair. Solid match with heel overtones.... not Awesome, but Intense....

Tyler Black vs Shane Hollister
This is a match I pegged as well worth watching. Hollister is climbing the ranks in Chicago's AAW, and Tyler Black is laying the foundation of a big run as part of The Shield, you-know-where...

Black, by the way, is the Intense Champion, which suits him. Black cuts a promo, referencing losers, Boy Scouts and Starless. It is quite intense.

Chandler Biggins interrupts Black's promo, setting the match as Tyler Black vs his buddy (who's already in the ring) Shane Hollister.

Ok, one more self-Russonian-swerve on my expectations.

Black sets up the "you lay down" plan for a match, but Hollister tries a quick roll-up at the bell, and Black ends up with his T-shirt over his head.
Weird dynamics that made the match hard to read, and the kind of booking that made me say “huh?”

Mike Krease vs Josh Prohibition
Mike Krease does a long promo...well, it seams very long. Sandman's music plays, but it's a heel move and there's no drunk guy with a Singapore Cane. So Krease talks more, and then Josh Prohibition comes out with a Singapore Cane, and then he talks, talks, talks .. then attacks Krease with the Cane, just after complaining about his back. Weird.

Krease has a Kevin Steen physique, while Prohibition does not in any way, shape or form.... But Prohibition has a weird red Romanesque covering over his tights.

Stiff match. What impressed me most was the finish, with someone going through a table, and then selling it like it should be sold. There's something about pro wrestling actually making something believable that always gets me more involved. 

Call me strange, I guess.

Three-way for the AIW Tag Team Titles: Alpha Beta Duke (c) vs The Colony vs The Young Studs
The Duke and Alpha Beta Duke take fan interaction to another level. Not so sure how funneling beer to fans is a good thing, but again, they take it to another level. It's always interesting to see how the local roster interacts with other talent, and The Colony (even a younger version) is a definite measuring stick. 

Solid work.

Tyrone Evans vs Jigsaw
This was a matchup that was must-see for me. Evans got a look in the WWE as part of NEXUS, as Michael Tarver. Jigsaw is one of the best on the Indie scene. 

As if this hasn't been said before, by many others about way too many talented wrestlers, but the WWE missed out on something with this guy.

Evans has too many nicknames here – “The Panther” and the “Suplex Machine” go in different directions, but he definitely has talent. It's very odd that he's selling better than Jigsaw in this match, and maybe that was a weakness, but wow, most wrestlers have the exact opposite problem.

While the political approach of his role is awesome as a heel, I couldn't see the mainstream letting that play out, but the entourage (his “queen”, his technical assistant) was interesting and even as Tyrone Evans, this guy has a level of presence that just can't be taught.

From the suplexes (too few for a machine!) to the knockout power assumption to the submission finish, Tyrone Evans shows himself to be well rounded as a wrestler.

How is it possible to not find something to do with this guy? 


Dios Salvador vs. Sterling James Keenan
Keenan is now Corey Graves in FCW, one of many from the indie level to get placed in the WWE pipeline. Maybe it's best that he didn't get to the big show yet... maybe. 

Salvador is a high-flyer. He's always been impressive, but the days of real high-flying seem to be one more fading fad. 

This is a strong match, and both have their working shoes on, but ends up with the notion that building to a three-way is more important than building to a singles match. There's already two three-ways on this show, but I guess another one next time was important.

Too much of a decent thing is not a good thing.

3 Way Deathmatch: John Thorne vs Drake Younger vs Necro Butcher
Ironically, this is a throwback to the garbage wrestling days, which was always a genre I avoided, but somehow the bloodied faces of Necro Butcher and Drake Younger on the cover didn't dissuade me.

Probably because I haven't watched a bloodbath in a while.

As always, Necro is vastly more capable than just drawing blood, but he must love that sort of thing. Younger is another CZW alum, and just as crazy. Thorne provides the Revelation 13 factional tie-in, which plays out at the end of the match.

If thumbtacks, brutal bumps and crazed high spots are your sort of thing, there's really not a lot of that around these days (and for a good reason), so here'e a chance to relive the g(l)ory days.

Garbage is what garbage is … this isn't any worse than what you would expect, if you consider this the kind of wrestling to watch.

AIW – still going strong after all these years, and still providing a platform for the stars of tomorrow, and for the top indie names of today.

Joe Babinsack can be reached at 
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 . Next up: the definitive Bruno Sammartino in the WWE HOF column.


 

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