RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S AAW REVIEW SERIES: "Path of Redemption 2013" 3/1 - Hollister-Callihan, Heritage Title Tournament concludes, Jerry Lynn's Chicago farewell
Nov 6, 2013 - 11:25:22 AM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S AAW REVIEW SERIES
“PATH OF REDEMTION”
MARCH 3, 2013
MERRIONETTE PARK, ILL.
The show started with a nice video package previewing the Heritage Title Tournament Semi-Final matches, the Callihan-Hollister feud, and Jerry Lynn’s final match in Chicago.
Louis Lyndon cut a promo backstage for his Heritage Title Tournament match. He said Del Sol was special, but his Kung Fu would reign supreme.
Phil Colvin and Derek St. Holmes are your commentators.
(1) Samuray Del Sol beat Louis Lyndon in a Heritage Title Tournament Semi-Final Round match. They had some great exchanges early. Lyndon took control and went after Del Sol’s neck. Lyndon hit a crazy moonsault off the ringpost to the floor that looked really dangerous, but he ended up connecting with it. Del Sol mounted a comeback and hit a dragon suplex with a bridge for a 2 count as the crowd fired up. Lyndon countered a reverse hurricanrana into a deadlift German for a 2 count. He followed up with a double knee moonsault for a 2 count. Del Sol ended up ducking a kick in the corner. He then hit a springboard reverse hurricanrana for the win. This was a very good opening match. (***1/4)
Kevin Harvey cut a promo outside on the Bourbon Street Fight later in the show. He ran down Ryan Boz, Darin Corbin, and Mason Beck. Harvey said tonight they would kill three people. He said he was willing to go to jail to win the match tonight.
A limo pulled up to the venue and a woman got out and walked into the venue after Harvey walked away.
(2) ACH beat Juntai Miller in a Heritage Title Tournament Semi-Final match. This is a first time ever match according to the announcers. Both men shook hands before going at it. ACH managed to duck several kicks and stomps from Miller after a fast paced exchange and they came to a stalemate. The fans clapped before they went at it again. Miller missed a springboard knee drop and ACH began working over his leg. ACH dominated Miller for a long period of time while constantly targeting his knee. Miller mounted a comeback and hit a springboard double knee strike for a 2 count. ACH quickly fired back and hit an ace crusher for a 2 count. Miller fired back again and used his legs to drive ACH head-first into the turnbuckles. He followed up with a head stomp for a 2 count. Miller finally decided to sell the knee that ACH had been working over before going back after ACH. Miller hit another foot stomp that sent ACH head-first into the turnbuckle followed by a dragon suplex for a 2 count. Miller missed a double stomp off the top. ACH lit him up with kicks and hit the orange crush bomb for the win. If Miller had sold his leg better this match would have been a lot more enjoyable. (**)
ACH and Miller shook hands and hugged after the match.
Dan Lawrence cut a promo saying management had given in to his demands and had given him a match and a VIP bar. He said tonight the joke would be on his opponent Colt Cabana. Cabana was then shown cutting a promo. Cabana said just because Lawrence had lost in the same spot for 15 years, he shouldn’t be called legendary. Cabana then turned his attention to Shane Hollister and he said he had his eye on Shane’s “prize.”
Lawrence came out for the match to boos from the crowd. One fan said, “F--- you, Dan!” Cabana got a good reaction and then he accidentally towel whipped the ref in the crotch. The fans chanted one more time. That was funny.
(3) Colt Cabana beat Dan Lawrence. They did some comedy early with Cabana getting the better of Lawrence. Lawrence then got in some offense and used cheap tactics to maintain the upper hand. Lawrence missed a charge into the corner and spilled to the floor. Cabana fired back and hit a bionic elbow to Lawrence’s crotch. Lawrence countered a GTA attempt into a sleeper hold, but Cabana drove him into the corner. Lawrence grabbed another sleeper, but Cabana hit the flying apple into the corner with Lawrence on his back. They went back and forth until Cabana countered a pinning combination and got a rollup pin with a handful of tights. This was the usual fun Cabana match.
The AAW owner and matchmaker were interviewed about the AAW Heritage Title tournament. Knight Wagner ran into the picture and complained about not being booked. He slapped the matchmaker and security ran in and threw Wagner out of the building.
(4) Sami Callihan beat Shane Hollister (w/Scarlett). Markus Crane and nailed Callihan with a bottle as he made his entrance. Hollister hit a brain buster right away for a nearfall. Crane tried to interfere after Callihan fired back and put the boots to Hollister after shoving the ref. Callihan powerbombed Crane to his death, but Hollister hit a low blow for a 2 count. Hollister did the shug step over Callihan, who grabbed testicular claw. They went back and forth and Hollister hit a dropkick on Callihan, who dropped to the floor from the top turnbuckle. They went back and forth on the outside. Crane tried to hit a splash off the ropes, but Callihan turned it into a powerslam on the floor. The sound Crane made when he landed on the floor made me cringe. Hollister cut off Callihan as he tried to get back into the ring and then nailed him with a big dive through the ropes. They had a big strike exchange and both men were slow to get up after Callihan caught Hollister with a powerslam off the ropes. Both men went for shoulder tackles at the same time and then both men hit kicks to the head at the same time and went down to the mat. They had some great hard-hitting exchanges. Callihan hit a huge running boot in corner. Callihan then hit a second running boot in the corner. Callihan went for another running boot, but Hollister caught him with a pair of superkicks. Callihan wouldn’t go down after a third superkick. Hollister went for another superkick, but Callihan caught it and nailed him with a bicycle kick. Callihan then locked in the stretch muffler, but Hollister rolled him up for a 2 count. Hollister fired back and hit a brainbuster, but Callihan kicked out at the last second. Crane distracted the ref and Scarlett went to hit Callihan with her loaded purse, but Callihan ducked and she hit Hollister. He kicked Crane off the apron and covered Hollister, but he kicked out at the last second. Hollister tried to fight off a powerbomb, but Callihan nailed him with a kick to the head and then hit a sit down powerbomb for the win. What a war! (****)
Hollister showed frustration after the match and shoved Scarlett.
(5) Keith Walker & Tweek Phoenix & Lamar Titan (w/Kevin Harvey & Nikki) beat Ryan Boz & Darin Corbin & Marion Fontaine in a Bourbon Street Fight. The action was chaotic during the early going with both teams brawling all over the place. They teased a confrontation between Boz and Walker, but both men got jumped. Corbin had the upper hand on Phoenix, but Nikki threw powder into his face. Fontaine ended up throwing powder in Nikki’s face, but Phoenix cut him off right away. Phoenix went up top for a splash on Fontaine, but Boz tossed him into a chair structure on the stage. Boz was cut off right away by a dropkick from Titan. They built up to a cool spot where Harvey interfered when Fontaine went up top. This eventually led to a double superplex on Fontaine and Corbin. They built up to another confrontation between Boz and Walker, but both men got cut off. Boz ended up getting stapled by Harvey, Titan, and Phoenix several times. Boz fired up and powerbombed Fontaine onto a pile of men on the outside. Boz and Walker then finally got a chance to exchange blows in the middle of the ring. Boz hit a big DVD on Walker for a nearfall. He called for a chair. He put a chair in the corner and tried to toss Walker into it, but Walker countered and hit a German into the chair wedged between the turnbuckles. The action continued on the outside as Walker covered Boz for a 2 count. Walker hit a powerbomb and a clothesline on Boz, but Corbin broke up the pin. Harvey tried to interfere and Corbin went to hit him with a chair, but Titan hit a springboard kick that sent the chair into Corbin’s face. Titan then hit a big pop-up double knees to the back for the win. I wasn’t a fan of the staple gun getting involved and the second half of the match dragged a bit, but overall this was solid. (**3/4)
They showed Hollister yelling at Crane backstage. He told the cameras to get out of the room. Scarlett said she didn’t understand all of this. She said he was the #1 contender. Scarlett told him it shouldn’t be this hard. He said he has men beat all the time and when someone interferes, he loses. He told Scarlett to get their stuff. Hollister said this wasn’t over. He said failure is no longer an option and he promised to hurt Callihan badly. He said he would have beat up Callihan in high school because he was fat. Hollister promised to hurt Callihan beyond belief when they wrestled again. This was a good promo.
Jordan McEntyre came out to open the second half of the show. He called the interviewer a DB and kicked him out of the ring. He said after seeing the people in the venue he wished Hurricane Katrina had wiped out Bourbon Street. He said Chicago has a history of ugly people, especially women. McEntyre mentioned Oprah, Jennifer Hudson, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama as being the ugliest people from Chicago. MsChif’s music played and she came down to the ring. She was dressed like Freddie Kruger. McEntyre said he wasn’t dressed to compete tonight. He then asked MsChif is she was interested in some extracurricular activity with him. He told her she could carry his bags and make him a sandwich. He said if she did a good job she could take a job on the McEntyre express. MsChif then gave him a low blow with the Freddy glove and he bailed to the back.
MsChif got on the mic and she had some business to take care of. She said she had minded her business, but Mason Beck had been messing with her. She called out Beck to face her.
(6) Mason Beck beat MsChif. MsChif locked in an octopus submission, but he ended up dropping her down across the top turnbuckle. Beck went to work on MsChif’s mid-section and the crowd fell silent. Beck has a huge size advantage on MsChif. A woman came down to ringside. It was the woman from the limo. The announcers identified her as Taylor Made. MsChif made a comeback and screamed at Made. She went for a splash off the apron to the outside on Beck, but he caught her and tossed her back into the ring before nailing her with a big boot. MsChif ducked a charge in the corner and hit a code red after a low blow for a 2 count. Beck fired back and lifted MsChif above his head, but she countered it into a DDT for a 2 count. MsChif went for the desecrator, but Beck turned it into a million dollar dream slam for the win. This was unpleasant to watch given the size difference between the two participants in the match.
ACH was interviewed backstage. He was asked about his match against Del Sol in the Heritage Title Finals. ACH said he wasn’t going to talk about his struggles. He said tonight he would be just like Elgin. He promised to become the Heritage Champion. Del Sol came into the picture and said good luck to ACH. He said let’s give them a heck of a show.
Michael Elgin came out to face Matt Fitchett. He asked if this was a non-title match. Elgin said he was like Fitchett a couple of years ago. Elgin talked about how opportunities didn’t come up for him too often back then. He said if Fitchett was good enough to beat him tonight, he would be the AAW Champion.
(7) AAW Champion Michael Elgin beat Matt Fitchett. Elgin dominated Fitchett with his power during the early going. Fitchett fired back and took Elgin down with a running knee. Elgin blocked a tornado DDT and hit a one handed back breaker for a 2 count. The announcers teased going to get a snack while Elgin held Fitchett in a delayed vertical suplex for about a minute. The action spilled to the outside and Elgin eventually lifted Fitchett up and dumped him down onto the apron. Fitchett countered a powerbomb and hit a double stomp on Elgin. He charged at Elgin, but Elgin elevated him and he crashed into the mat. Elgin went up top, but ended up missing a twisting senton. Fitchett hit a running double knee on Elgin. He stood on top of Elgin’s back a short time later and hit a moonsault for a 2 count. The crowd didn’t seem to buy into Fitchett someone that could pull off the upset. Fitchett got a couple of rollups for a 2 count each time. Elgin fired back and lifted up Fitchett into the suplex before dumping him down with a slam for a 2 count. Elgin hit a running DVD into the corner, but Fitchett managed to kick out at 2. Fitchett went up top and hit a dragonrana for a nearfall. The spot didn’t come off smoothly, but it was still darn impressive. Fitchett blocked a dead-lift superplex from the apron and hit a sunset bomb. He went for a SSP off the top, but Elgin got out of the way. Elgin hit a dead-lift German, but Fitchett kicked out. Fitchett blocked a second dead-lift German and rolled Elgin up for a 2 count. Elgin got right up and hit a backfist and a buckle bomb, but Fitchett countered the Elgin bomb into a reverse hurricanrana. Fitchett went for a SSP, but came up short and appeared to land on the ropes as he came down to the mat. That looked painful. The crowd fired up with both men down on the mat. Fitchett took down Elgin with three superkicks and went up top, but Elgin cut him off. They battled up top, but Elgin caught him with a kick to the head. Fitchett went for a hurricanrana, but Elgin hit a super sit out powerbomb and then an Elgin bomb for the win. The match started off slowly, but picked up nicely down the stretch with the crowd getting into it. (**3/4)
After the match, Davey Richards attacked Elgin and wiped him out with a kick to the head. Elgin picked up the AAW Championship as the fans booed. Richards put his foot on Elgin’s head and told him he would never stop hunting him until he got a shot at the title. Richards promised to beat Elgin and end him once and for all. Richards promised to be the new AAW Championship and the fans booed. Richards dropped the title on top of Elgin and said the hunt was on. This was a good segment.
They went to a promo video with a modulated voice. They showed a man with a shirt covered in blood. He said he was a man that was about to cause a lot of misery, which would make him happy.
(9) ACH beat Samuray Del Sol in the Heritage Championship Tournament finals to become the new Heritage Title Champion. Del Sol targeted ACH’s mid-section during the early stages of the match. Del Sol went for a springboard, but ACH got his knees up and went on the attack. ACH worked over Del Sol on the mat and applied a head scissors submission, Del Sol nicely countered it into a rear naked choke, but ACH got the ropes. ACH got up and wiped out Del Sol with a big dropkick before continuing to work him over on the mat with a headlock. Both exchanged strikes and then kicks to the head at the same time. Both men then staggered before hitting running kicks on each other at the same time that left both men down on the mat. They pace picked up and both men hit big moves for nearfalls. They went to a nice exchange with ACH countering a rear-naked choke only for Del Sol to use his feet to launch ACH into the turnbuckles for a nearfall. They battled up top and Del Sol hit the rinsing sun, but ACH kicked out and the fans fired up. They went to a great exchange to finish the match with ACH blocking a charge in the corner. He hit two tiger bombs and then flipped Del Sol up off the mat into position and hit the orange crush. There were some lulls in the match, but it turned out being great down the stretch. (***1/2)
ACH celebrated with the Heritage Title in the crowd after the match. Del Sol called ACH into the ring and shook his hand before raising it.
AAW Tag Team Champions Irish Airborne came out first for the main event to a chorus of boos from the crowd. Their partner Silas Young came out to a mixed reaction. Arik Cannon came out first for the babyface trio to a good reaction. Rhino came out next to cheers. Jerry Lynn then came out for his last match in Chicago to a huge reaction.
(10) Arik Cannon & Rhino & Jerry Lynn beat AAW Champions Irish Airborne (Jake & Dave Crist) & Silas Young (w/Val Malone). Rhino and Young went at it early. Rhino mounted a comeback with a big press slam and set up for the gore, but Young bailed to the outside. The fans wanted Lynn to tag in and he finally did to go at it against Jake. Dave tried to run in, but Lynn took them both down with a headlock/head scissor combination. Jake tagged in Young, but Lynn took him down with an arm drag. Rhino tagged in and began working over Young. Lynn ended up running wild with hip tosses and accidentally hit one on Cannon and the crowd popped big. Lynn and Cannon shared a toast with a PBR. Cannon, Lynn, and Rhino all grabbed leg submissions and did a toast. The heels bailed while the faces shared some beers. Everyone ended up brawling on the outside. Irish Airborne ended up isolating Rhino and the heels began working him over. Rhino finally mounted a comeback and wiped out Young with a clothesline before making the hot tag to Lynn, who ran wild. Malone ended up nailing Lynn with her shoe when Rhino whipped him into the ropes and Jake covered him for a 2 count. The heels began working over Lynn. Lynn finally made the hot tag to Cannon, who ran wild on Jake. Cannon hit total anarchy on Dave, but young made the save. Malone ran in to the ring, so Lynn hit a DDT on her into Young’s crotch, but Jake made the save. Jake took a Saito suplex from Cannon, a gore from Rhino, and Lynn went for the cradle piledriver, but Dave broke it up by rolling him up for a nearfall. Rhino went for a gore on Dave, but he got out of the way and he hit Cannon instead. Dave went for a cradle piledriver on Lynn and the fans booed. Lynn countered it and hit the cradle piledriver on Dave for the win. I loved the finish of the match and this was very good down the stretch. (***1/4)
Lynn went around ringside after the match and shook hands with the fans. Cannon started a chant for Lynn and the crowd chanted his name and pounded on the ring. The fans then chanted thank you Jerry. Lynn got on the mic and gave a farewell speech. He thanked the fans for sticking behind him. Lynn said he made a lot of road trips early on his career to Chicago and he called it his home away from away. Lynn said the best fans are in Chicago. Lynn said he meant it and wasn’t blowing smoke up their a--. This was a nice speech from Lynn.
Knight Wagner cut a promo and said he couldn’t be in the venue tonight because Tony Rican is mad at him. Wagner said he’s available for a match on March 23. He said he would show up and make history. He promised Rican to do something the fans wouldn’t forget.
Taylor Made was shown backstage. She said what she was doing during MsChif’s match was nobody’s business.
Sami Callihan was upset about being interviewed. He said tonight he beat Hollister because he was the better man. He said it didn’t matter if Hollister was a jock in high school because this was real life. Callihan said just because he was fat in high school didn’t mean he couldn’t kick Hollister’s a—in high school. Callihan said it was just him and Hollister. He told Hollister not to shove his girl around if he’s mad at Callihan. He told Hollister to come to him if he has a problem. Callihan said next time they got in the ring, he would embarrass Hollister.
Fontaine and Corbin cut a promo backstage. Fontaine said the issue wasn’t over between them and Walker, Phoenix, and Titan. Corbin apologized to Fontaine because he was helping him with his fight. He said Fontaine didn’t deserve the cage matches and street fights. Corbin said he had dragged so many of his friends into his battles. He said he didn’t know if he could do it anymore. Fontaine said it’s not over. He said tonight wasn’t the last chapter. Corbin said maybe it’s better if it ends with us. He walked away from Fontaine, who seemed confused.
ACH cut a promo about being the new Heritage Champion. He said he planned on doing big things with the title. ACH said he knew the title made him a target and he said people could take their shot.
Jerry Lynn was shown backstage. Fitchett went up to Elgin and shook his hand. Lynn told him he liked his match against Elgin and they shook hands.
Overall thoughts: (7.0) – This was a solid card from AAW. I really liked the look of the Merrionette venue on tape, but the crowd was flat for a lot of the action on the card and didn’t provide the atmosphere that I’ve seen on other AAW shows.
The undercard got off to a good start with the semi-finals of the Heritage Title Tournament kicking things off. Samuray Del Sol vs. Louis Lyndon was a good opener and Lyndon has improved his work and is having good matches on a regular basis when I see him. The ACH-Miller semi-final was plagued by selling issues. They tried to tell a story in the match with ACH working over Miller’s leg, but he didn’t sell it well and it hurt the match.
The highlight of the show was the hard-hitting war between Callihan and Hollister. This was excellent and Callihan overcame all sorts of interference to put away Hollister. The promos from Hollister and Callihan that were shown on this release were also well done and did a fantastic job of making people want to see the next chapter in their feud if they watched this show.
The second half of the show had some good action, but nothing blew me away. The Del Sol-ACH semi-final started out slowly, but picked up down the stretch and built to a really good finish. I was expecting more out of the finals of the Heritage Title tournament and hoping to see a higher quality match between Del Sol and ACH, but this was still very good and ACH looks primed to have a good run with the Heritage Title.
Jerry Lynn’s last Chicago match was a lot of fun to watch. It wasn’t a great match, but they put it together to let Lynn shine against the heel trio of Irish Airborne & Silas Young. The match was slow in parts, but the finish was outstanding and Lynn’s speech after the match was really nicely done.
AAW is doing a good job in 2013 of building feuds and storylines. I like the way they insert backstage segments into their releases during and after the show. The setup for Richards-Elgin for the AAW Championship was a nice surprise and well executed. It seems like a lot of wrestlers up and down the card have a purpose and that makes shows like this one where there’s only one standout match fun to watch.
You can purchase AAW’s “Path of Redemption 2013” by clicking HERE or by visiting SmartMarkWrestling.com. For more information on AAW vist AAWrestling.com.
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