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RADICAN'S AIW REVIEW SERIES: "Absolution VIII" 6/30 - Elgin-Alexander MOTYC, Gargano-Page, Hutter's return to AIW

Jul 20, 2013 - 11:54:57 AM

By Sean Radican, Torch columnist


JUNE 30, 2013

The show started with a video package. The ring announcer then introduced the show in front of a red hot crowd in a packed venue. Both teams were over when the ring announcer did the formal introductions.

(1) The Sex Bob-Ombs (Davey Vega & Matt Fitchett) vs. The Jollyville F---It’s (Nasty Russ & T-Money). This match marks Fitchett’s return to AIW and he got a big pop coming out with Vega. Fitchett and Russ started out with some nice chain wrestling. The crowd was hot as both men hit standing moonsaults and came to a stalemate. Vega and Money tagged in and Money quickly took Vega down with a shoulder tackle. Money no-sold a chop from Vega and nailed him with a chop of his own. Vega eventually took Money down with a leaping leg lariat. Money rolled through a small package attempt into a delayed vertical suplex for a 2 count. Russ then hit a moonsault off the top for a 2 count. Vega and Fitchett fired back and hit a series of tandem moves on Russ. Russ fired back and tagged in Money, who went to work on Vega. Fitchett made a blind tag and Russ dropkicked Money to the outside. Fitchett then followed up with a huge dive over the top to wipe out Money. The fans went nuts and Vega set up for a dive, but Russ cut him off. Russ followed up with a powerbomb into a pinning combination, but Vega kicked out.

The action continued at a rapid pace. Fitchett overshot a moonsault on Russ, but got enough of him to get a 2 count. The Bob-Ombs set up Russ in the corner, but Money ran into the ring and cut them off. Money blocked a reverse hurricanrana from Fitchett and held him on his back. Russ came off the top with a lung blower on Fitchett off Money’s back, but he kicked off at the last second. The fans went nuts after the nearfall. Vega nailed Russ with a series of superkicks to the head, but Money made the save. Money caught Vega coming off the ropes with a sick spinebuster. Russ then came off the top with the cannonball for the win.

Winners: Nasty Russ & T-Money

Star rating: (***1/2) – This match featured some fantastic tag action with both teams going back and forth at a rapid pace. I hadn’t seen these two teams before, but they were both very impressive. There were some incredible exchanges and Money’s power moves stood out in this match. Fitchett’s dive to the outside on Money was also pretty insane. Russ’s cannonball finisher looks like one of the stiffer top rope maneuvers to take that I can recall seeing.

Louis Lyndon came out for the next match to boos. Matthew Wadsworth came out and said ACH had suffered a concussion and couldn’t be on the show. He said he had a replacement that Lyndon had never beaten in a singles match. Flip Kendrick’s music then played and the crowd went bonkers. The fans chanted “welcome back” at Kendrick. Aeroform collides!

(2) Louis Lyndon vs. Flip Kendrick. Lyndon rolled up Kendrick with a pinning combination during the early going for a 2 count. The fans fired up as they backed away from each other before going at it again. They went to a fast paced exchange that ended with Lyndon nailing Kendrick with a superkick to the gut. Kendrick fired back and hit a standing SSP for a 2 count. Lyndon avoided a moonsault, but Kendrick landed on his feet. Kendrick charged at Lyndon on the apron, but ran right into a big knee. Lyndon took control of the action back inside the ring. The announcers said this was a brother vs. brother match. Lyndon grabbed a dragon sleeper, but Kendrick escaped. Kendrick went for a handspring moonsault a short time later, but Lyndon got out of the way. The crowd fired up as both men exchanged blows on the turnbuckles. Lyndon ended up getting shoved down to the mat, but he fired right back and shoved Kendrick off the top to the floor. He then followed up with a moonsault off the second rope to the outside. The crowd tried to rally behind Kendrick again, who eventually mounted a comeback with a springboard dropkick. Kendrick followed up with a cartwheel into a dropkick and the fans chanted his name.

Lyndon rolled to the floor and the fired up. Kendrick set up inside the ring and hit a springboard 450 to the outside to take out Lyndon and the fans fired up. Kendrick went for a springboard, but ended up slipping. He caught Lyndon with a rollup, but Lyndon kicked out and caught him with a running knee. Lyndon locked in a dragon sleeper, but Kendrick got the ropes. Kendrick fired up and hit a code red that sent Lyndon into the turnbuckles for a 2 count. Lyndon continued to dominate the action. He hit a springboard corkscrew splash, but Lyndon kicked out at the last second. Kendrick blocked a reverse hurricanrana off the top and went for a twisting 450, but he missed and landed on his feet. Lyndon nailed Kendrick with a series of moves and applied the dragon sleeper for the win.

Winner: Louis Lyndon

Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a fun match that was very spot-heavy. There was a nice story built in given the history between these two and the crowd took this match up several levels. Kendrick hit some insane high-flying moves during that match, but in the end fell to the dragon sleeper, which Lyndon had worked him over with throughout the match.

The announcers mentioned there were some technical difficulties going on. The ring announcer than brought out Nixon. The Duke cut a promo saying the fans should be singing happy birthday to them. Some fans sang happy birthday and some fans booed. The Duke said Bobby Beverly and Ricky Shane Page deserved better than to have to wrestle Josh Prohibition and Matt Cross again. The Duke then said everyone was hoping Colin Delaney would win the AIW Championship from Eric Ryan. Ryan was sitting in a chair with his feet on the ropes. The Duke ran down different fans and asked them what was wrong with them. The Duke asked the fans to cheer for Ryan tonight. The fans booed. This segment went on forever. I think they were trying to kill time for the live iPPV, which was having technical issues.

They went to a video package for Ethan Page. They showed him nailing his woman with a uranagi and telling her she wasn’t going to share his spotlight. They showed highlights of Johnny Gargano, who had been a thorn in Gargano’s side as he tried to get into position for a title shot in recent months. Page has kicked Gargano in the nuts many times in recent months. This was a nice video package.

Ethan Page danced to the ring with a trophy. Johnny Gargano came out to a big pop. Gargano had himself introduced as “Mr. Absolution,” which got a big pop.

(3) Ethan Page vs. Johnny Gargano. Gargano sent Page to the outside and nailed him with a dive through the ropes. He tossed page back into the ring and hit a slingshot DDT for a nearfall. Gargano then applied the Gargano escape, but Page got the ropes and bailed to the outside. Gargano got the better of Page once he got back into the ring, so he bailed again. Gargano followed Page to the outside and began putting a beating on him. Page fired back and went to work on Gargano with some punches before whipping him into the guardrail. Page charged at Gargano, but Gargano caught him and drove him head-first into the guardrail. Page cut off Gargano getting back into the ring and nailed him with a big chop. Ryan hit a suplex where he flipped Gargano onto his back. He continued to put a beating on Gargano for several minutes. Gargano ducked a charge in the corner and hit a backstabber on Page. The fans fired up as Gargano began to mount a comeback.

Page ducked a kick and curled into a ball, so Gargano hit a double stomp and a falcon arrow variation for a 2 count. Gargano went for a suplex, but Page countered it into a jackhammer for a 2 count. Both men began exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring. Page finally caught Gargano and spun him around into a DDT for a 2 count. Both men were slow to get up and the crowd fired up. They went out to the apron and Page went for a piledriver, but Gargano fought out of it. Gargano dumped Page into the ring, but he turned right around and hit an enzuguri. Gargano went for a shoulder tackle, but Page turned it into an ace crusher. Gargano no-sold an ace crusher and after a big exchange, Gargano hit a huge clothesline and both men were down. The fans fired up and chanted “this is awesome.” They then chanted “F--- him up Johnny.” Gargano hit several big chops in the corner and put Page on the top turnbuckle. Page pushed Gargano to the mat and hit an enzuguri for a 2 count. They went to another exchange and Gargano hit the hurts don’t it, but Page kicked out.

Page fought out of another hurts don’t it attempt, but Gargano began nailing him with Elbows. Gargano ended up charging at Page, but he ate a big Rock bottom. Gargano used Page’s legs to try to pick himself up off the mat, but Page slapped him across the face and then spit on Gargano. Gargano fired up and began nailing Page with forearms. Page dragged the ref in front of him and went for a low blow, but Gargano hit the hurts don’t it again. Page kicked out and Gargano immediately applied the Gargano escape and Page tapped.

The fans chanted for Gargano after the match as he posed on the turnbuckles.

Winner: Johnny Gargano

Star rating: (***3/4) – This was a really good match. AIW did a nice job of setting up the storyline between these two going into the match with a highlight package. I liked that both men were trying to position themselves for a title shot by winning this match and Gargano wrestled this match like he had a grudge against Page. They had some fantastic exchanges down the stretch and overall this was very, very good.

They went to a video package for AIW Tag Team Champions Gregory Iron & Veda Scott vs. The Batiri. The video package noted that a 4 count is necessary to beat Iron & Scott. This was another good highlight package.

(4) AIW Tag Team Champions Hope & Change (Gregory Iron & Veda Scott) vs. The Batiri (Obariyon & Kodama) w/Veronica Ticklefeather. Obariyon and Kodama charged at Scott and Iron as they made their entrance. Both teams began brawling on the floor. Scott got caught going for a dive and Kodama swung her into the barricade. Iron fired back and went into the ring to hit a springboard dive to wipe out the Batiri. Iron took on both members of the Batiri in the ring and they hit him with a leg trip into a knee strike to the head, but he kicked out at 3. Scott got into the ring and hit a huge spinning DDT on Kodama, but Obariyon broke up the pin. Scott and Iron double teamed Obariyon inside the ring, but Kodama made the save and dragged Iron to the floor. The action continued to go back and forth at a frenetic pace. Iron hit Kodama with a big DDT on the floor. He signaled for the GTS on Obariyon. Obariyon slipped out and no-sold a backfist, but Iron eventually raked his eyes. Iron got a chain with the ref distracted and nailed Obariyon with it for the pin.

The announcers said this was the end for the Batiri due to their loss. The announcer said the Batiri were now banned from AIW. Iron got on the mic and said nobody cares about the Batiri. He called Veronica a big tranny. Iron said he had promised if he won the match he would strip naked. Iron teased stripping. Iron took off his tights and revealed another pair of tights under them. Matt Wadsworth then came down and saw the chain had fallen out of his tights. He ordered the match to be restarted. The announcers were furious about this announcement.

Scott rolled into the ring and the Batiri hit a tandem GTS on her. Veronica tossed Iron into the ring. They hit a leg trip/knee strike combination on Iron. The Batiri then lifted and hit a wheelbarrow slam into knee to the face for a four count.

The announcers said it was all over for Hope & Change. Veronica pretended to urinate on Iron. Scott then got tossed into the ring. The Batiri got a small pool full of cheeseburgers. They then hit a curb stomp on Scott into the cheeseburgers. Scott ended up storming to the back after checking on Iron, who was eventually carried to the back by a couple of officials.

Winners: Obariyon & Kodama to become the new AIW Tag Team Champions

Star rating: (**) – This was fine for what it was, but the match featured a lot of disjointed action before Iron cheated to win the match. Things went south quickly after the match was restarted by Wadsworth.

A video packaged aired for the Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander match. They showed Elgin beating an injured Alexander with a backfist for Alexander’s first loss in AIW on a recent show. Elgin then challenged Alexander to a rematch.

Elgin came out first for his match against Alexander and got a good ovation and the fans chanted his name. Alexander came out next wearing headgear.

(5) Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander. Elgin tried to dead-lift Alexander during the early stages of the match, but Alexander rolled him up for a 2 count and they came to a stalemate. The crowd fired up as both men went to a test of strength. Elgin hit several shoulder tackles out of the knuckle lock and they went back and forth before Elgin caught Alexander with a side slam for a 2 count. Elgin began working over Alexander in the corner while targeting his mid-section. Elgin lifted Alexander, who is close to the same size of him. The crowd began counting and went nuts as they got closer to counting to 60. Elgin finally dropped Alexander down at the count of 60 and the fans went crazy. Alexander rolled under the ropes while Elgin played to the crowd. The crowd started a huge Elgin chant and he followed Alexander to the outside. Both men exchanged chops on the outside. The announcers pointed out that Elgin had a strength advantage. Alexander eventually fired back and caught Elgin coming off the ropes with a belly-to-belly suplex. The fans fired up with Alexander now in control of the action. Alexander hit a knee to Elgin’s face, but he kicked out at 1. Alexander immediately grabbed a headlock. Alexander went for a Boston crab, but Elgin kicked him off. Alexander charged at Elgin in the corner, but Elgin caught him and dumped him down to the mat with a big slam. They ended up battling up top. Elgin ended up hitting a belly-to-belly suplex off the top and the fans went nuts with both men down on the mat.

Elgin began hitting big clubbing blows to Alexander’s chest and back. Elgin connected with a big elbow to Alexander’s injured ear and followed up with the emerald frozien for a 2 count. Alexander countered a powerbomb attempt and they went back and forth. Alexander ended up hitting an inverted piledriver on Elgin for a 2 count and the fans went nuts again. Alexander charged at Elgin a short time later, but Elgin slipped behind him and hit a German into the turnbuckles and Alexander clutched his ear. The fans fired up as Elgin climbed to the second rope and tried to dead-lift Alexander for a suplex, but Alexander blocked it. He then went up top, but Elgin nailed him with a kick to the head. They ended up on the apron. Elgin ended up kicking Alexander over the top rope back into the ring. Elgin then went up top and went for a corkscrew senton, but Alexander got out of the way. The fans fired up as Alexander tried to get to his feet. They went back and forth. Elgin hit a German, but Alexander no-sold it and flipped Elgin off. Elgin then decapitated Alexander with a clothesline, but he kicked out at the last second and the fans went nuts.

Elgin hit a buckle bomb, but Alexander no-sold it and fired back with a pair of forearms to the front and back of Elgin’s head. He then hit a belly-to-belly suplex, but Elgin kicked out and the fans went nuts again. Both men went face-to-face and began trading forearms. Both men then began trading big kicks to the face. Alexander fired up and hit several forearms to Elgin’s head. Elgin fired back with an enzuguri to Alexander’s ear and went for a powerbomb, but Alexander blocked it. Alexander eventually caught Elgin and hit a tombstone for a nearfall and the fans gasped. The ref counted with both men as the fans went nuts. Alexander got up and went for a powerbomb, but Elgin got Alexander up on his shoulders and drove his head into the turnbuckle. Elgin then hit a huge backfist and a powerbomb into the turnbuckles. Alexander slipped away and tried to counter Elgin, but Elgin countered him and hit a huge clothesline. Elgin hit another buckle bomb and the Elgin bomb, but Alexander kicked out! Holy crap! The fans went ballistic after that nearfall. The fans began chanting “I love wrestling.” Elgin stood over Alexander and acted like he didn’t know what to do. Elgin lifted Alexander and said something before hitting a spinning backfist. Elgin followed up with a tombstone, but Alexander kicked out again. Elgin sold shock after Alexander kicked out. Alexander took an elbow and a backfist to his injured ear and Alexander fired up and hit an Elgin bomb on Elgin, but Elgin kicked out at the last second and the fans went bonkers again.

Elgin rolled to the outside and crawled on the floor. The announcer announced that 25 minutes had passed and 5 minutes remained in the time limit. They went back and forth on the outside and Elgin hit a powerbomb into the barricade. He then hit an Elgin bomb on the floor and the fans went nuts again. The ref checked on Alexander on the outside as Elgin rolled back into the ring. The ref began counting out Alexander. The fans tried to fire up and rally behind Alexander. Alexander barely beat the 10 count and the fans went nuts. Elgin fired up inside the ring. Elgin took Alexander’s head gear off and the fans booed. The announcers said Elgin shouldn’t win the match like this. Alexander got to his feet and shoved Elgin and Elgin hit another backfist. Elgin hit two backfists to Alexander’s head, but he kicked out at the last second. Elgin applied the crossface with under 2 minutes left. The fans chanted “Please don’t tap.” Alexander countered and rolled up Elgin for a 2 count. Alexander then applied a single leg crab with under a minute left. Alexander began kicking Elgin’s head while holding the submission, but Elgin ended up getting the ropes. Elgin tried to fight back, but Alexander got the submission. Elgin managed not to tap as the time limit expired. WOW!

The entire building stood and applauded. The announcers said Elgin broke the code by going after Alexander’s injured ear. The crowd chanted for 5 more minutes. Elgin got on the mic and said he didn’t lie about this being the best match the fans had ever saw. Elgin said neither man likes to quick. Elgin asked the fans if they couldn’t get the job done in 30 minutes, what made them think another 5 minutes would make a difference. Elgin said they would have a rematch on Nov. 29 with a no time limit. Both men shook hands and raised their hands for the crowd.

Winner: n/a -30 minute time limit draw

Star rating: (****3/4) – This was an amazing match that felt like a fight. These guys brought it in this match and went to war. There were so many great sequences, but Alexander showing heart down the stretch and not letting himself be pinned was amazing to watch. This crowd took the match up several levels as they ate up all the nearfalls and fighting spirit style exchanges down the stretch. You’re going to want to see this match.

AIW Intense Champion B.J. Whitmer made his way down to the ring. He got on the mic and said his match with Chris Dickinson wasn’t going to happen. He said Dickinson decided not to show. Whitmer said Dickinson had made a selfish decision, but he was here to defend his title. Nixon made their way down to the ring. The Duke asked Whitmer how many times he had defended his belt. The Duke said he hadn’t defended the title in a year. He said Whitmer was happy because he thought he’d take his pay and go home because Dickinson didn’t show up. The Duke said Bobby Beverly deserved a rematch. Whitmer told him to get into the ring. The Duke then said since he owned half of the company he could do whatever he wants. He said Ricky Shane Page was supposed to tag with Bobby, so he added Ricky to the match. Whitmer seemed happy about this development. Mr. Wadsworth then came out and said he had power as well. He said to even the odds for Whitmer against Beverly and Page, he would make it a four-way. Matt Cross then came out as the fourth wrestler in the match.

(6) AIW Intense Champion B.J. Whitmer vs. Bobby Beverly vs. Ricky Shane Page vs. Matt Cross in a Four-Way match. Whitmer and Cross kicked things off with the members of Nixon staying on the apron. Cross took down Whitmer with a nice rotating head scissor, but Page ran into the ring and cut him off. Cross went for a handspring backwards hurricanrana, but Page backdropped him into the turnbuckles. Cross sent Page to the outside a short time later and wiped him out with a handspring corkscrew dive to the outside. The action continued at a rapid pace. Page caught Cross going for a springboard and hit a big DVD. Beverly and Page began working together against Cross. The two members of Nixon worked over Cross for a long period of time. The crowd tried to rally behind Cross, but Page took him down with a big clothesline. Cross finally tagged in Whitmer and he ran wild on Page and Beverly. The action picked up with Beverly breaking up a pin on Page.

Beverly ended a rapid-fire sequence with Cross by suplexing him into the turnbuckles, but Whitmer broke up the pin. Cross hit a cross-body to take out both members of Nixon. Cross bailed to the outside with all of his opponents down inside the ring. Cross left the building after shoving the Duke away. He came back carrying a table and the fans fired up. Cross put the table into the ring, but Beverly and Page caught him with a double boot. Page then launched Cross into a superkick from Beverly. They began arguing over who would pin Cross. Whitmer ran into the ring and went y it with Page and Beverly. Page eventually caught Whitmer with a roaring elbow and he set up the table in the corner. Whitmer fired back and hit a full-nelson suplex on Page through a table for the win.

Whitmer called Cross into the ring after the match and shook his hand.

Winner: B.J. Whitmer to retain the AIW Intense Title

Star rating: (**1/4) – The first half of the match dragged with Nixon working over Cross. Things picked up during the second half of the match with some nice rapid-fire exchanges, but overall this was mostly flat.

The Submission Squad came out and Gelistico said Abernathy wasn’t with them because he had to handle some family issues. He said family issues brought them their third partner. The fans heckled Gelistico. He said their partner’s brother idolizes Tracy Smothers. Gelistico then asked their partner to come out. Ryan Nemeth then came out to his brother’s WWE music. Nemeth got on the mic and said he’s not Dolph Ziggler. He said the Submission Squad were his best friends. He said he had trained with them. Nemeth said the fans don’t know anything about having a best friend. Nemeth then ran down Tracy Smothers, so the fans chanted “You got fired” at him. Nemeth promised to end Tracy Smothers’s career.

Smothers got on the mic after the ring introductions. He asked if everyone was having a good time. He asked for the match to start with a dance off, but the Submission Squad and Nemeth jumped their opponents from behind.

(7) The Submission Squad (Evan Gelistico & Gary Jay) & Ryan Nemeth vs. The Old School Express (Marion Fontaine & Jock Sampson) & Tracy Smothers w/ Isabella Smothers in a Bunkhouse Brawl. Fontaine quickly cut off Jay and did some comedy, as he acted goofy and hit a back rake on Jay. Jay tagged in Gelistico, who went at it with Sampson. Sampson took down and Gelistico and nailed him with a dropkick. Nemeth tagged into the match and asked for Smothers. Smothers danced on the apron before tagging into the match. Nemeth offered Smothers a handshake and the fans booed. Nemeth shook Smothers’s hand and quickly took him down. Smothers told the ref that Nemeth pulled his tights as the comedy continued. Nemeth hit a big neck breaker followed by a nice dropkick for a 2 count. Isabella got into the ring and hit a big kick on Nemeth with the ref distracted. Smothers and Isabella both covered Nemeth, but they couldn’t get the pin. The heels bailed to the outside and Smothers teased a dive. Sampson then got a running start and wiped out everyone with a dive through the ropes and the fans went nuts. The announcers noted this was his first dive in AIW. Smothers used the ref as a weapon and whipped him into his opponents.

Both teams brawled around the venue and at ringside. Sampson came up bleeding on the outside. Nemeth wiped out Isabella with a big DDT inside the ring. Smothers hit a spear on Nemeth, but Jay cut him off. Fontaine hung onto the backboard to block a powerbomb on the outside from Gelistico and the fans went nuts. Smothers tossed a chair into Jay’s head on the outside. The action was hard to follow with men brawling all over the place. Jay got some lighter fluid and set a table on fire. Jay finally got the table lit and Gelistico tried to put Sampson through it. The flames went out, but Sampson ended up countering Gelistico and he hit a jumping piledriver through the table. Nemeth ended up spraying Smothers with the lighter fluid and Jay rolled him up from behind for the win.

Winners: Evan Gelistico & Gary Jay & Ryan Nemeth

Star rating: (**1/2) – This was fun while it lasted, but the match was all over the place and didn’t flow very well. The crowd was way into the action, which helped carry things and there were some big spots that got the crowd hot, but the execution was lacking at times in terms of putting the spots together so they built logically for the viewer.

The crowd chanted for Donst when he made his entrance. Michael Hutter (Derrick Bateman in NXT) then came out to you a huge pop for his first appearance in AIW in six years. The fans showered Hutter with beach balls. Donst got a mixed reaction when he was introduced, but then he got mostly cheers. A giant dildo ended up getting passed to Hutter and he batted the beach balls with it. Hutter ended up getting a huge pop when he was introduced.

(8) Tim Donst vs. Michael Hutter. The crowd chanted for both men after the belts. Donst and Hutter went face-to-face before Donst shoved Hutter away. The announcers buried WWE for letting Hutter go. The crowd is going absolutely crazy chanting for both men. They went to an exchange on the mat. The Donst fans started countering the Hutter chant with a you got fired chant. They ended up coming to a stalemate and the fans applauded. The fans then chanted for “AIW” before both men locked up again. Donst sent Hutter to the outside and nailed him with a dive through the ropes. Hutter fired back inside the ring a short time later and nailed Donst with a dive through the ropes. Hutter walked up to the top of the rap and posed as the fans applauded. Donst fired back and hit an ace crusher off the ropes for a 2 count. Donst dragged Hutter to the apron and slammed him down to the floor. The fans went nuts chanting for both men. It was so loud that it was hard to make out exactly what they were chanting at times.

Hutter eventually mounted a comeback and hit a clothesline for a 2 count. They ended up battling up top and Donst fired back. He then slipped down to the apron and clotheslined Hutter to the mat. Hutter tried to mount a comeback, but ended up missing a splash in the corner. Donst hit a German with a bridge out of the corner, but only got a 2 count. Donst went for another German, but Hutter countered and hit a German into the turnbuckles. Both men were slow to get to their feet and the fans chanted AIW as they began exchanging blows from their knees in the middle of the ring. Both men got to their feet and began chopping each other. The fans chanted this is awesome as they continued to exchange chops. Hutter finally took down Donst with a huge lariat followed by the headlock driver for a 2 count. Hutter went up top and dragged Donst up with him. Donst nailed Hutter with several headbutts and hit a DVD off the top and the fans went nuts. Donst followed up with a twisting neck breaker, but Hutter kicked out at the last second.

Donst couldn’t believe Hutter kicked out. He then tied up Hutter in the CHIKARA special, but Hutter kicked his way out of it. Hutter got up and hit a dead-lift buckle bomb and then the deviant bomb, but Donst kicked out at the last second. The fans chanted “Donst won’t die” as Hutter regrouped. The announcer said Matt Fitchett was injured earlier in the night. Hutter locked Donst in a modified full nelson in the middle of the ring. The Ref checked Donst’s arm three times and it dropped for the win.

The fans were split after the match, but Hutter got a nice ovation for winning. Hutter got on the mic and thanked the fans. He said getting fired was worth it for the reaction he got tonight. Hutter put over the wrestlers in AIW and then the fans. Hutter said Donst had gained his respect. Hutter asked Donst to shake his hand. Donst got on the mic and said he thought Hutter was just a superstar, but he was wrong. Donst shook Hutter’s hand and both men posed for the crowd to a big ovation. Donst then kicked Hutter low and the fans chanted for Donst.

Hutter eventually recovered and the fans chanted for him as he walked to the back.

Winner: Michael Hutter

Star rating: (***3/4) – This was amazing to watch. The crowd made the match, as they went crazy the entire match chanting for both men. The atmosphere may have been amazing, but Hutter came back to the independents after getting fired from WWE and fought a very physical match with Donst, especially down the stretch. The finish seemed to fall flat, as they did a lot of nearfalls. They lost me after Donst kicked out of a buckle bomb and then a deviant bomb. Other than that, this was a blast to watch for almost the entire time these two were in the ring just because of the fans.

They went to a video package with Colin Delaney talking about Nixon running rampant through AIW. He talked about making changes in his life and becoming a new man with a new focus after having problems with alcohol. They showed Delaney standing up against Nixon. They showed the Duke running down Delaney, who he called the shining white knight of AIW. The footage showed Delaney entering the Gauntlet for the Gold at #1. Delaney ended up winning the match. They showed Eric Ryan taunting Delaney with a beer. Delaney closed the package he never wanted anything more in his entire life than to beat Eric Ryan for the AIW Championship.
Colin Delaney came out first with Seleyzia Sparx. He got a good reaction from the crowd. Eric Ryan then came out looking a little bit like old school ROH C.M. Punk. Ryan put his belt down and drew a line in the ring. They did the formal ring introductions. Delaney got a good ovation and Ryan got booed.

(9) AIW Absolute Champion Eric Ryan (w/The Duke) vs. Colin Delaney (w/Seleyzia Sparx). Both men shook hands before the match started. That seemed off to me given the video package. Ryan tried to bail out of the ring, but Sparx tossed him right back in and Delaney took him down for a 1 count. Ryan took a hilarious bump when Delaney tried to backdrop him over the turnbuckles. It defied logic. Ryan bought a barbed wire plastic bat into the ring. The Duke tried to distract Delaney, but Sparx dragged him back to the floor. Ryan tried to catch Delaney by surprise, but he managed to avoid a dropkick and take Ryan down. Delaney went for a dive a short time later, but Ryan got out of the way and nailed him with the bat. Delaney came up bleeding. The ref decided not to call for a DQ. Ryan worked over Delaney on the outside. The action spilled back inside the ring and Delaney tried to get the crowd fired up, but Ryan maintained the advantage. The fans don’t seem to be into this one as much as some of the other matches on the card. The fans tried to rally behind Delaney. Ryan tossed him to the outside and The Duke nailed him with a big kick. Ryan tossed Delaney to the outside against a short time later and nailed him with a dive through the ropes. Delaney ended up suplexing himself and Ryan over the top to the outside and both men were down on the floor.

The fans fired up a little with both men down. Ryan got back into the ring and went for a dive, but Delaney nailed him with the bat. Delaney fired up and grabbed a bunch of chairs from under the ring. Delaney set up a chair structure on the outside and tried to powerbomb Ryan through the chairs, but Ryan managed to grab the ropes. They battled up on the apron. Delaney nailed Ryan with a running forearm, but he didn’t fall off the apron. Delaney then slid through Ryan’s legs and powerbombed him through the chairs and the fans fired up. The way the chairs scattered, it doesn’t look like they absorbed much of the blow. The duke got into the ring, but Sparx cut him off. The duke fired back on Sparx and set up for a powerbomb, but Chest Flexor ran down and threw a fireball into The Duke’s face. Ryan hit a suplex back inside the ring, but Delaney kicked out. Ryan hit a stunner and a springboard DDT for a 2 count. Delaney countered Ryan and rolled him up for a 2 count. Delaney and Ryan exchanged pinning combinations for 2 counts. Ryan hit a modified lung blower by flipping Ryan over his head onto his knees for a 2 count. Sparx gave Delaney her purse, which ended up being filled with thumbtacks. Delaney dumped the tacks onto the mat. They ended up on the turnbuckles. Delaney crotched Ryan and hung him upside down. Delaney then hit a doublestomp that sent Ryan into the tacks. Of course, Ryan kicked out at 2.

Delaney went up top and went for a splash, but Ryan got his knees up. Ryan then hit a suplex with a bridge for a 2 count. Delaney kicked out a German at 1 and fired up, but Ryan nailed him with a clothesline for another 2 count. The fans got behind Delaney as Ryan dragged him up to the top ropes. Delaney back dropped Ryan off the top. Delaney then hit a lung blower followed by a big splash off the top for the win.

Winner: Colin Delaney to become the New AIW Absolute Champion.

Star rating: (**1/4) – The crowd was mostly flat for this match and they resorted to a lot of big stunts to try to get the fans invested in the match. If they had told a story in the ring instead of resorting to a ton of stunt bumps, blood, and interference, perhaps the match would have gotten over better with the fans.

Ethan Page came down to the ring and Sparx nailed Delaney with a low blow. Page then cashed in his J.T. Lighting Trophy for a title shot.

(10) AIW Absolute Champion Colin Delaney vs. Ethan Page. The bell rang and Page hit a modified Rock bottom, but Delaney kicked out and popped right up to his feet. Page hit a side kick on Delaney. Sparx then held Delaney, but Delaney got out of the way and he nailed Sparx with a side kick. Delaney hit a pop-up kick to the head and went up top, but Page cut him off and hit the modified Rock bottom off the top for the win.

Sparx recovered and jumped into the ring to celebrate with Page. Page got on the mic and said he is the new champion. Page said he wasn’t always all ego. He said at one time Gabe Sapolsky called fat and ruined his night. He said he had a WWE tryout, but they told him he’s too young. Page said JLIT was the biggest night of his life. He said he asked his grandmother what he had to do to win JLIT. He said his grandmother gave him a cross and told him to wear it 24/7. Page said the night before JLIT he asked Jesus for help, but then he realized he didn’t need Jesus’s help. Page said he’s the best man in AIW. Page said after his conversation, he ripped off the chain and now Jesus wears a chain with Ethan page on it. Page said he was creating a new world. He said he was going to create the all ego era. The fans booed as Page left the ring with Sparx to end the show.

Winner: Ethan Page to become the new AIW Absolute Champion

Overall thoughts: (8.0) – This was a really good show, especially the first half of the card, which was amazing. Although the show ended on somewhat of a flat note, AIW has to be proud of this show. The crowd carried things and went absolutely crazy at times, but the Nixon angle didn’t seem to be over with this crowd as much as the other big matches on the card.

The show kicked off with a red hot tag match between the Sex Bob-Ombs and the Jollyville F------. This was a really good way to open the show and everyone impressed in the ring. Lyndon-Kendrick was another good match with a hot crowd that set the crowd on fire with their acrobatic stunts. The only blip on the undercard was the Scott & Iron vs. Batiri, which wasn’t very good and didn’t cast the tag titles in a good light with Scott & Iron having held them for so long. At least the Batiri were able to capture the titles. They’re an underrated tag team and are a good choice to carry the tag straps in AIW.

Gargano-Page featured some really good action that was nicely set up with a video package before the match aired. They had some really good exchanges down the stretch before Gargano was able to get the win to position himself for a future AIW Absolute Title shot.

The highlight of the show was MOTYC between Elgin and Alexander. Once again, the match was set up by a really good pre-match video package. You need to do yourself a favor and go see this match. The crowd was red hot and these two men went to war for 30 minutes. The exchanges and nearfalls down the stretch got the crowd even hotter and the promise of a rematch between these two after they went to a time limit draw is sure to draw a lot of attention come November.

The second half of the card was weaker than the first half of the show. One match you’re definitely going to want to check out is Michael Hutter (Derrick Bateman in NXT) returning to AIW to take on Tim Donst. The crowd was nuclear the entire match, as they seemed to be split down the middle between Donst and Hutter. The match itself was really good with the exception of the finish, which featured too many nearfalls and took things down a notch.

The main event between AIW Absolute Champion Eric Ryan and Colin Delaney seemed to be overbooked. The crowd wasn’t into the match much and the Nixon angle doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of heat. Delaney and Ryan resorted to a lot of stunts with weapons, interference, and blood, but they still couldn’t get the crowd into the match.

Page cashing in his JLIT trophy after Sparx turned on Delaney provided some excitement to end the show, but the fans didn’t boo the heck out of Page during his post-match promo after he beat Delaney for the title. I thought Page’s delivery was good, but it would have come across better if the crowd was all over him to end the show.

I give “Absolution VIII” a strong recommendation. There are a lot of good storylines and in-ring action to sink your teeth into on the card. The main problem with the end of the show is it didn’t seem like the crowd was too upset about Delaney’s “happy ending” being spoiled by Page. If the company can find a way to get their main angles to connect with their audience, there is a chance they could catch fire in 2013.

You can purchase AIW’s “Absolution VIII” at on VOD and on DVD/MP4 at

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