AAW Rise of the Dragon
November 4th, 2017
Live report by Doug Enriquez for ProWrestling.com
I was able to attend the second of two nights that AAW put on this weekend (you can read night one’s report here) and I’m never disappointed by anything this promotion puts on. A special shout out needs to be put out there to Danny and Mike, who never fail to put on a phenomenal show, in addition to their friendly team including Tonya, Danielle, and Tony. They do a great job of accommodating the fans and the LaSalle crowd definitely went home happy on this one. Detailed match notes below!
(1) DJZ def. Myron Reed
DJZ had just come off a big win the night before at the Berwyn Eagles Club to become the number one contender to challenge Penta el 0M for the AAW Heritage Championship at AAW’s upcoming show November 25th from the Logan Square Auditorium, called Unstoppable.
This match was a very fun way to start the show off, with the crowd hot into it from the beginning. A high-flying, counter-heavy match took place that even spilled into the crowd, with DJZ diving over the guardrail onto a waiting Myron. The match ended with DJZ’s ZDT (rolling thunder into a jumping DDT).
After the match, DJZ lifted Myron Reed’s arm in the air, as Myron continues to impress every time he is in an AAW ring.
(2) Kodi Rice & Mike Hartenbower def. Bucky Collins & Connor Braxton
I’m always surprised with the level of heat that Braxton gets. The crowd loves to hate this guy. Hartenbower, who is affectionately known as “LaSalle’s Very Own” (LVO) always gets a great reaction with the hometown crowd and has dropped a considerable amount of weight. Overall a fun match, with the most impressive man being Kodi Rice who has a dancing gimmick that the crowd loves, and even performed some dives. The finish comes after Kodi delivers a piledriver on Bucky and is followed up by a brutal clothesline by Hartenbower.
(3) Semi Final Match – Women’s Championship Tournament: Rachael Ellering def. Kylie Rae
After impressing the crowd the previous night, Kylie Rae looked to do it again in front of the LaSalle crowd and she succeeded. The match started pretty technical, with lots of counters, and Kylie (who the crowd loved) getting the crowd into it, yelling out “WRESTLING!” whenever she’d get the upper hand. Her momentum stopped after a hard hit from Rachael.
Rachael put Kylie Rae in the corner and started pummeling her with a series of chops and strikes until Kylie reversed it with chops of her own. The match’s momentum shifted quite a bit with both women seemingly evenly matched and displaying fantastic offense. The match hit its peak when Kylie Rae put Ellering in a crossface, making the crowd go crazy with chants of “TAP!”, nearly causing Ellering to tap out.
The match ended a little confusingly in an otherwise good match, in what was a little botch from the ref who was out of position for the three count after Rachael hit Kylie with a face buster. Rachael’s music hit, but when she realized the ref had not really counted the three, she picked up Kylie Rae to hit her TKO for good measure and then pulled the ref down to count a second pinfall and to move on to hopefully be crowned the first ever AAW Women’s Champion.
(4) Semi Final Match – Women’s Championship Tournament: Ivelisse def. Delilah Doom
This was the second match in two days for Delilah Doom, which went pretty similarly to night one’s match. Definitely not as impressive as the other match on the card, but serviceable, but seemed to outstay its welcome.
Delilah started the match displaying excitement just to be there, before the match started, while Ivelisse displayed poise from her entrance all the way up until she walked back through that curtain. The women seemed to never really get their footing with each other, as there were a few spots in the match that were sloppy, one which ended with Ivelisse just pounding Doom with strikes in frustration, and following it up with an impressive fisherman suplex. Total control from Ivelisse thought the match, putting Doom in several submissions, including a sharpshooter, and later tying her up in the ring ropes and delivering stiff kicks and chops. The match ends with Ivelisse hitting an interesting looking (shall we say) destroyer on doom for the three count, and to move to the next round in the women’s tournament.
(5) Allie Kat (with Jake Lander) issues open challenge, answered by Jessicka Havok
This was the second time we saw Allie Kat in LaSalle, who gets a very mixed reaction as she has a gimmick where she acts as a cat, and issued what she called an open “Meow-lange”
The challenge was answered by Jessicka Havok, who cut a promo on how she was angry that she was there not able to have her Semi-Final match in the women’s tournament, but that that she would be willing to take out her anger by answering the open challenge.
The match was a quick one, where Havok destroyed both Allie Kat and her valet Jake Lander. Lander attempted interfering, but was given a choke slam and a powerbomb for his trouble. The match ends after Havok lays out Allie Kat, puts Lander on top of her, and pins both for the three count.
(6) Nick Brubaker, Curt Stallion, & Jake Something def. Zero Gravity & Chuck Taylor
I need to take a second to make sure I put over Jake Something, who for the second time in a row at LaSalle was the star of his match. The guy just has a good look, a good move set, and continues to show good charisma. I look forward to seeing this guy hopefully grow into a real player.
As expected, the match was decently high flying due to Zero Gravity’s involvement. The match was really all over the place, and Chuck Taylor was strangely quiet in this one, taking a slight backseat to the other men. The most impressive spot of the match was Zero Gravity hitting a combined handing DDT/moonsault. The match was a pretty quick one which saw Curt Stallion picking up the surprise win over Chuck Taylor, sending his team home with a victory.
(7) Eddie Kingston def. Kevin Lee Davidson
Match started with a little back and forth, before ending in a stalemate of shoulder blocks. KLD began to show off his impressive athleticism for such a big man, performing a leap frog over Kingston, a spinning heel kick, and a summersault plancha over the top rope to the outside onto Kingston.
Davidson had control early, but missed a splash, allowing Kingston to deliver SIXTEEN rapid fire chops across Davidson’s chest. He will be feeling that one in the morning.
Davidson made a small comeback, but was worn down by Eddie with a series of strikes and powered through lifting the big man and delivering a massive side suplex. The match ends with Kingston hitting KLD with a series of spinning backhands to his face and falling to the mat out cold, allowing Eddie to pick up the three-count.
(8) Triple Threat Tag Team Ladder Match for the AAW Tag Team Championships – The Besties In The World (c) def. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz, and Airbuds(Stephen Wolf & Trey Miguel)
Definitely the most fun match of the night, even if we had to ignore that there weren’t exactly championships hanging from the ceiling, and the finish took place by pinfall. Have to love the dynamic between Vega and Fitchett, because Vega continues to have a verbal war with the crowd, while Fitchett receives the adulation.
The match was VERY fast paced, as expected, so it would be easiest to point out the biggest spots of the match:
- Trey Miguel delivered a spinning leg drop from the apron to the railing onto Zachary Wentz who also had a chair resting on him
- Dez set up Wolf with a char in the corner of the guardrail, ran around the ring to deliver some sort of offense just to have that same chair brutally thrown in his face.
- Stephen Wolf delivers a huge splash from the ring over the turnbuckle onto the other 5 men.
- Wentz delivered a brutal double stomp onto Wolf who was laid out on a ladder.
- Vega delivered what was probably the most vicious attack, which was a crazy brain buster onto Xavier through a steel chair. This was more brutal than can be described here.
- Funny sequence where every man except Vega was laid out, and he attempted a pin on every man, including his own partner.
- Vega back body dropped Stephen Wolf onto a four chairs that were set up like a table.
This exhausting match finished up with a crazy sequence of the Besties superplexing both Xavier and Wolf, followed up by Wentz splashing both men from the top with a ladder, and then Trey Miguel stomping Wentz onto that same ladder. Vega came in and stole the pin onto Wentz for the surprise three count to retain their newly won championships.
(9) Colt Cabana & Space Monkey def. Ace Perry & Paco
Fun match here, but couldn’t take notes as Colt has a strict rule against texting during his matches. A fan paid for this the previous night and got his phone taken away. Colt lives up to his word every time he catches someone!
(10) WRSTLING (Jeff Cobb & David Starr) def. Monster Mafia(Ethan Page & Josh Alexander)
Just like the first night, the crowd popped pretty loudly for the Walking Weapon Josh Alexander, and were happy to see the reunited tag team of the Monster Mafia. To me, this was the match of the night with some great action, and every man just clicking and WRSTLING furthering themselves as heels throughout the match.
Early control of the match went to Page, but Cobb’s strength and size proved to be too much Starr is tagged in and put on a series of submissions on Page. Page is being controlled by the impressive team of Cobb and Starr, but eventually makes a small comeback to get enough time to tag in Alexander. Alexander begins to take out Cobb and Starr in dominating fashion, and delivers a power bomb backbreaker onto Starr.
Later, Starr comes back and goes on a rampage, delivering a splash on the outside onto Alexander and catches Page in a hanging DDT onto the apron, following it up with a shining wizard. The crowd comes out of their seats for this and Page still kicks out at two.
The Mafia comes back hitting a version of their Lochness Lowdown, which can only really be described as a reverse Death Valley Driver flipped into a powerslam, which was very impressive to watch. You can tell that Page and Alexander have great chemistry as a team and I can only hope that AAW continues to put these two men together.
The end of the match comes when Page is thrown out of the ring, and Alexander is knocked down in the middle of the ring. Jeff Cobb delivers a beautiful standing moonsault, and then follows it up with his always impressive Tour of the Islands to pick up the pinfall for his team.
After the match, Starr and Cobb extend their hands to Alexander and Page, but then pull their hands away, faking their opponents out and leaving the ring.
(10) AR Fox def. Austin Theory
It’s student against coach in this match, and Theory is one to watch as he grows and hopefully continues to make his presence known in 2018 for AAW just as his coach AR Fox has done over the last few years.
The match starts with Theory getting the best of Fox, but Fox comes back delivering a huge boot, a splash to the outside, and another huge boot with Theory laid out on the barricade.
Theory begins to fight back, delivering a VERY impressive standing flipping blockbuster neck breaker type move, and then sends Fox to the outside. Fox takes control and hits his patented moonsault off of the ring post. You have to see this move to appreciate it, the words do it no justice.
The match continues to be pretty even, and the men continue to hit counter after counter and make their way battling on the ring apron. Theory gets the best of Fox in this exchange and delivers a nasty fisherman suplex onto the ring apron, rolls Fox back into the ring and hits his Unproven Cutter. Somehow Fox kicks out at two, and takes control, finishing up the match with a 450 splash. Really great match here, and the crowd gave Theory a standing ovation as he left the ring.
(11) AAW Champion Rey Fenix & Michael Elgin def. Ultimo Dragon and Sami Callihan
The crowd was gassed on and off throughout the show, but I was surprised for how hot they were for this match. Chants of “all these guys”, “Callihan”, “Death Machine”, “Big Mike”, “Ultimo”, and “Fenix” broke out before the match even started.
The match started pretty fast paced with Sami and Fenix, and the AAW Champion took control early with his acrobatics that are always fun to watch, eventually sending Sami into his own corner with an arm drag. Sami tags in the man of the hour, and the crowd goes crazy for Ultimo Dragon in this match. We expect to see a lucha show, but Fenix instead tags in Big Mike. Elgin controls the offense for a bit, but Ultimo eventually takes control of both Fenix and Elgin with a combination head scissors/arm drag on both men.
Sami reenters the match, and is beaten down again by Fenix and later Elgin, and the champ and the number one contender have control. Fenix has his way with Sami, putting him into a Rings of Saturn, and then turning it into a pinning combination, and Sami kicks out at two. Sami goes to get up but is met with a stiff kick by Fenix before tagging in Elgin. Elgin comes in and holds Sami up in a vertical suplex that he held for thirty excruciating seconds.
Elgin and Fenix work pretty amazingly together, putting forth frequent tags and big strikes, really delivering a beating onto Sami throughout the match. Sami eventually made his way back, flipping Fenix heels over head into the turnbuckle.
At some point here, Fenix looked to have tweaked his ankle, which kept him out of most of the rest of the match, although he did fight through the pain for a few more spots including Sami’s hot tag to Ultimo Dragon. Elgin regains control for his team and delivers a monster Falcon Arrow on Callihan.
Fenix gingerly makes his way back into the ring and puts some offense back onto Sami, goes for a moonsault (which is crazy considering the amount of pain he was clearly working through), but was caught by Sami who delivered a tombstone piledriver, but the champ somehow kicks out at two.
All the men are down in the middle of the ring, and the crowd is exhausted along with these men who are leaving it all in the ring and LaSalle is loving it. The action has been back and forth throughout the whole match, but a credit to Sami Callihan who is one of the hardest working men in wrestling today and has taken a considerable amount of the beating in this match.
The match finally ends after Elgin delivers a series of stiff spinning back fists to Sami’s face, and follows it up with a powerbomb that shook the whole ring for the pinfall.
After the match, Fenix and Elgin celebrate and Elgin cuts a promo saying that while he will shake Fenix’s hand tonight, to make no mistake and to understand that December 30th at The Windy City Classic, they will be facing off and Elgin will be walking out at the AAW Champion.
Just then, the lights go out and the music hits for the Zombie Princess himself, Jimmy Jacobs is in the building! Jacobs cuts a fantastic promo, where he states that he has been a writer for the last couple of years, but missing punching people in the face and getting hit in the face, and he will be damned if he is remembered as the guy who created the list of Jericho, and he doesn’t want to be the guy that was famous for what came out of other people’s mouths. He goes on to say that someone once said that the pen is mightier than the sword, but that person has never experience how fun it is to jab a railroad spike into someone else’s head. He then corrected Elgin, and said that come December 30th at 115 Bourbon Street, it won’t be Rey Fenix that he has to face-off against, but it will be Jimmy Jacobs.
Elgin picks up the mic, and notes Jacobs’ passion and that he has respect for him, but notes that the one thing that stood out, was that Jacob’s misses getting hit in the face. Elgin drops the mic and obliges Jacobs with a stiff right hand. Chaos ensues in the ring, and Jacobs takes out the other men, jabbing the railroad spike that he carries around into Fenix’s head. Fenix is laid out, and the show ends with Jacobs holding the AAW Championship standing above both Fenix and Elgin.
Again, just a very fun show, and AAW continues to deliver with some of the best talent that can be offered. It’s announced that upon their return to LaSalle on December 2nd, Matt Riddle will make his LaSalle debut, along with the team of Keith Lee & Shane Strickland challenging for the AAW Tag Team Championships, and the AAW debut of “The Hurricane” Shane Helms.