10/8 AAW in Berwyn, Ill.: Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix vs. Jake Crist & Sami Callahan


Zack Sabre, Jr. (art credit Matt Charlton & Sam Gardiner)

AAW JIM LYNAM MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT NIGHT 2 REVIEW
OCTOBER 8, 2016
BERWYN, ILL. AT BERWYN EAGLES CLUB
REPORT BY MICHAEL BLANTON, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT

This tournament blew me away. I don’t feel like I am hard to please when it comes to my wrestling, I really enjoy when it’s good. But when it’s great, I am just a happy man. This show delivered that and more. These wrestlers put their game faces on and performed on a whole different level. 

(1) QUARTER FINALS OF THE JLMT: Mat Fitchett vs. Chris Hero

Mat won his match with Silas Young in a major upset the previous night and was looking to do the same here. Hero came out strong and really put a beating on Fitchett. There were so many times in this match where I actually believed Fitchett had the pin. So many false finishes and the crowd was so into this. This was my favorite match of the weekend. Hero got the win in the end with the piledriver. The Berwyn fans gave Fitchett a much deserved standing ovation after the match. This dude is legit. What an opener.

WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE SEMI-FINALS: Chris Hero

(1) QUARTER FINALS OF THE JLMT: Prince Ali vs. Rey Fenix

Prince Ali and Fenix both came in ready for this one. There was lots of aerial action and things got heated quickly. I didn’t think anyone could follow that opener, but these guys wanted to prove me wrong. Fenix is so precise with every move he does. Ali has a little of that too, but sometimes the things he does look so unplanned that it adds so much to the match. This weekend really won Ali over for me personally. Fenix looked to have the match won when Sami Callahan, Jake Crist and JT Davidson came out to distract Fenix and they ate a giant flipping plancha for their efforts. Fenix came back into the ring and Ali was able to roll him up for the three count. 

WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE SEMI-FINALS: Prince Ali

After the match, Sami and company attacked Rey Fenix. Pentagon Jr. came out for the save and ran them off with an EIGHT FOOT POLE. This set up the tag match for later in the evening. 

(1) QUARTER FINALS OF THE JLMT: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jeff Cobb

This was so interesting to me. Power vs. Technical Skill. These dudes are awesome. Zack worked over the arm of Cobb throughout the entire match. In doing so, he was trying to limit the power of Cobb. Well, that didn’t work. Jeff Cobb was able to throw around ZSJ a lot in this match. But many of those times, ZSJ was like glue holding onto a hold on Cobb. He was defending power with submissions. Cobb showed a lot of his amateur skill in this as well. He held his own in the mat wrestling aspect of this match with Sabre. Finally, in the end, ZSJ was able to crucifix his shoulders down for the count. Post-match Cobb claimed to have a shoulder up. Maybe there will be a rematch between these two somewhere down the line? I sure hope so. 

WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE SEMI-FINALS: Zack Sabre Jr.

(1) QUARTER FINALS OF THE JLMT: ACH vs. Chuck Taylor

This was all kinds of hilarious/amazing. ACH tried a series of Booker T moves. Chuck sidestepped the axe kick. ACH proceeded to Spinarooni. Then Chuck told ACH he smelled like cocoa butter. ACH confirmed he used it. Great stuff. The back and forth between these boys was pretty crazy. Chuck had the early advantage, but ACH hit his 450 for the pin!

WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE SEMI-FINALS: ACH

(1) AAW HERITAGE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: AR Fox vs. Brian Cage vs. Drew Gulak

Brian Cage is a very strong man. He showed a lot of that here. Fox can fly as well as anyone. He showed a lot of that here. And Drew? Drew is just awesome. And he showed a lot of that here. A lot of craziness. A great diving ace crusher, a multi-person figure four, an insane sliced bread to the outside. You’re going to want to see this. AR Fox dove to the outside onto Brian Cage and then hit a giant splash onto Gulak in the ring for the pin.

WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: AR Fox

(1) SEMI-FINALS OF THE JLMT: Chris Hero vs. Prince Ali

Prince Ali wasn’t going to let Hero do his full entrance. Hero came out in different gear and Ali interrupted a pose with a KICK TO THE FACE. Hero made him pay for that. He hit his full body weight plancha on Ali. Death elbowed the crap out of him, too. Ali came back and reminded Hero that Ali ain’t nothin’ to fuck with. And he immediately ate a death elbow. And then another. And then Hero pinned him.

WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE FINALS: Chris Hero

(1) SEMI-FINALS OF THE JLMT: Zack Sabre Jr. vs ACH

This match was so great. Giant “Go Go ACH” chant that was dueling a “Let’s go Zabre” chant. The crowd was so into everything here tonight. Especially this. Sabre wrestled a very angry style. Jammed that elbow into the spine of ACH while trying to work a submission. ACH would answer with dives and striking. This one was non-stop from bell to bell. So many different technical and striking sequences in this match. Must see. Hero finally got the tap with an armbar.

WINNER AND ADVANCING TO THE FINALS: Zack Sabre Jr.

Post Match, ACH got the house mic and told the crowd that he was always told to be loyal to his wife. But that this crowd treats him way better than his wife. And that he was in love with another woman and that soon he would be divorcing his wife. It seemed to me like this was a metaphor about his current situation with Ring of Honor. So hopefully we will be seeing a lot more ACH in AAW. He definitely is welcome with this crowd.

(1) TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: “The Last Real Besties” Silas Young and Davey Vega vs. Kongo Kong and Marcus Crane

Vega came out and said that we deserved a tag team title match and that he found a partner for tonight. Then out came Silas Young, of all people. Silas was actually wearing the gear of Mat Fitchett, the normal partner of Davey Vega. Silas explained that Vega offered him a lot of money to team with him and even more money to wear that gear. Great stuff. I really love how AAW offers so many different things on these shows. Kong and Crane came out and this got pretty hardcore quick. They worked over Crane a lot and had a great face to face between Silas and Kong. There were kendo sticks and thumb tacks and the besties used both to gain the submission victory. 

WINNERS AND STILL INTERIM TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Silas Young and Davey Vega

(1) QUADRUPLE JEOPARDY TAG TEAM MATCH: Pentagon Jr. and Rey Fenix vs. Jake Crist and Sami Callahan

So previously in the night, we were told about the stipulations of this match. If Jake Crist is pinned, he must leave AAW forever. If Sami Callahan is pinned, he must shave his head. If Rey Fenix is pinned, he must unmask. And if Pentagon Jr. is pinned, he LOSES THE AAW HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE. Yes, you read that correctly. 

I can’t believe Sami and Pentagon can even wrestle after last night. But this one was crazy from the very beginning. Pentagon had the crowd chanting “Puto” at Sami. So awesome. Fenix almost lost the fall at one point but was saved with Pentagon pulling out the ref. They are fighting all over the place. Pentagon and Fenix got a VERY close two count on both Callahan and Crist, but it was not to be. Fenix and Crist fought to the outside leading to Sami and Pentagon face to face once again. Pentagon hit the piledriver for two. Sami got up and hit a low blow and hit a piledriver of his own. AND HE GOT THE THREE COUNT. WE HAVE A NEW AAW CHAMPION. Sami has his BIG F’N BELT back. The crowd was in complete shock. What a night and we still have the finals of this tourney. 

WINNERS: Jake Crist and new AAW Heavyweight Champion Sami Callahan

(1) FINALS OF THE JLMT: Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr in Berwyn right in front of me. Be still, my beating heart. This match was amazing.  These guys (in their third match each for the evening) completely delivered in this main event. Zack started early with his submission attempts and Hero (who changed his gear for the third time tonight) turned the tables and gave him a taste of his own medicine. Hero used his size advantage a lot in this match. He used his full body weight plancha to work over the arm and wrist of ZSJ. Just like I said before, Zack is like glue with his submission attempts. It’s a sight to see.  Hero then started hitting his elbows and Zack would answer with strikes of his own. Hero hit a piledriver. Two count. He hit another piledriver with more force. Still a two count. ZSJ just keeps coming. Finally, Hero took him to the TOP ROPE to hit one last piledriver. This one did it. CHRIS HERO WON!  Afterwards, Chris addressed the standing ovation with a very sweet and from the heart promo. He said he’s been in many, many tournaments and said that us fans and this locker room is so great. He said he didn’t know Jim Lynam well, but the showing in this tournament showed how loved and respected he was. He thanked us all and went to the back. 

WINNER OF THE JIM LYNAM MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT: Chris Hero 

This show was stellar. Both nights were. Go out of your way to see these shows. I insist you do that. There was so much talent and they all delivered. You won’t regret it.

AAW will be back on November 4th at 115 Bourbon St. with their next event ”Never Say Die” with “Broken” Matt Hardy. Tickets available soon at www.aawrestling.com

Follow me @RHRMike


If you attend a live event, please send results in the above format to pwtorch@gmail.com including your best estimate of attendance. Thanks!

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