A personal aside from the writer…
2018 was a crazy year for independent wrestling. We were lucky enough to witness (and personally attend) ALL IN in the Chicagoland area, and more and more wrestlers continued to be signed to exclusive contracts as the indie boom continued.
AAW was not immune from that boom, seeing top talents last year leave like Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), and talents this year like Keith Lee and Matt Riddle to name a few. Either way, AAW had become to be known as something of a breeding ground for developing top talent, and feuds like Pentagon Jr. vs. Sami Callihan which was first seen in an AAW ring was brought to life on television on IMPACT wrestling. New talents were brought in like Mance Warner and Darby Allin, and they took their opportunity and made their mark on AAW and won over their crowd.
Careers surged like never before like Eddie Kingston who was arguably on a downward trend, who joined up with the likes of David Starr, Trevor Lee, and Jeff Cobb to form WRSTLING and become the most feared faction in AAW in 2018. Other stars emerged at the end of 2017 like Jake Something and Curt Stallion, and showed that they deserved their spots in 2018.
We also saw the rise of ACH, who became champion after beating Fenix, and spent most of 2018 as the champion before losing it to Brody King. ACH was much more than just a champion, but had incredible matches with top talent, legitimizing talent like PACO, and having a match with Trevor Lee that everyone was talking about which went to a 60 minute draw.
The women’s division came to a new high, crowning a new AAW Women’s Champion in Jessicka Havok in the end of last year, and seeing the journey of arguably the hottest talent in AAW, Kylie Rae make her way back from injury to capture the title at the latter parts of the year.
The Windy City Classic was the culmination of all of that. There were moments where AAW slipped a little, losing its footing due not knowing which talent would be available from month to month, but they never slipped in delivering quality matches, shows, and showing us new talent. What’s more, AAW delivered arguably the best show of the year in the Windy City Classic, showing not just fast paced, high quality action that normally comes with the indies, but story lines that were exciting, gut wrenching, and most of all, captivating.
In short, 2018 was great, but 2019 looks like it is going to be a marquee year for AAW, and I hope that I see some of you at the shows in the coming months. Read on for complete results of the WINDY CITY CLASSIC.
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