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AAW NEVER SAY DIE SHOW REPORT
APRIL 29, 2022
AIRED ON FITE TV
REPORT BY CHRISTOPHER MAITLAND
-AAW announcers kickoff the show.
(1) SHANE HOLLISTER vs. DAVEY VEGA vs. BRAYDEN LEE vs. GRINGO LOCO – Heritage Championship Number One Contender Match
Hollister gave Lee a destroyer and piledriver onto Loco, but Vega super kicked Hollister and stole the pin on Lee at 10:41.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: Started kind of awkwardly with the guys seeming lost, but they got a groove with each guy getting a chance to shine for a bit. Gringo Loco and Brayden Lee in particular came out as the stars with the most spectacular moves. A hot opener to get the crowd fired up.)
(2) VICTOR BENJAMIN vs. SCHAFF
Schaff pinned Benjamin in 5:58 with the DD214 (reverse TKO).
(McClelland’s Thoughts: Basically, just a squash for Schaff with Benjamin getting just the barest minimum of offense in.)
(3) FRED YEHI vs. MIKE BENNETT
Yehi was the aggressor for much of the match, taking apart Bennett with a variety of offensive moves, combining hard strikes with submissions. Yehi TKO’d Bennett at 11:48 with a Koji Clutch and punches.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: This was a great technical match. Both guys brought a sense of realism by fighting to get holds on and fighting to escape. Bennett did a great job selling the holds and blows and Yehi showed awesome fire and aggression.)
(4) REN JONES & HAKIM ZANE & KARAM vs. Super ACH & JAH C & RICH SWANN
Swann was a mystery partner for ACH and Jac C. The heels could not get along which led to their downfall even though they worked on Swann for a long time. Finally, their arguing led to the faces taking them out with a variety of moves, culminating in ACH giving Jones a brainbuster while the other two kicked him in the head for the pin at 15:20.
(McClelland’s Thoughts: Very good tag team match with all six guys putting in a lot of work. Swann and Jah C looked phenomenal.)
(5) ACE AUSTIN vs. MYRON REED – AAW HERITAGE CHAMPIONSHIP
Austin pinned Reed in 9:59. Reed gave Austin the Cap’n Crunch (Air raid Crash) but Austin rolled up Reed in a crucifix out of nowhere for the flash pin.
(McClelland’s Take: Match was disappointing. For a supposed grudge match, crowd was pretty quiet and there wasn’t a lot of intensity to the slow-paced match. Always good to see a match end with a crucifix.)
(6) SKYE BLUE vs. CHRSITI JAYNES – AAW Women’s Championship
Jaynes won the belt at 9:51 after Blue charged at Jayne but Jaynes moved and Jones hit Blue with a chair, Jaynes hit Blue with a second chair shot and locked a rear naked choke on the unconscious Blue.
(McClelland’s Take: Really bad match with an interminable brawl in the crowd, including on a bar, mid-match shots and not much in the way of good-looking offense.)
-Matt Fitchett cut a great promo on Eric Young.
(7) JOSH ALEXANDER vs. GNARLS GARVIN
Beef is new to AAW while Alexander is the gatekeeper. Match started as a kind of technical exhibition early but moved into more of a hoss battle with Alexander playing an arrogant heel. Befitting his up-and-coming status, Beef took a lot of punishment but could not be put away, winning the crowd over. Alexander put Beef in an ankle lock for a long time and was finally able to pin him with the C4 piledriver at 13:49. Alexander offered Garvin a handshake as a sign of respect, afterwards.
(McClelland’s Take: A very good match that expertly told the story of the upstart Beef finding the will to hang with veteran Alexander. They did an excellent job in getting Garvin over even while losing.)
(8) ACE PERRY & ALEXANDER HAMMERSTONE vs. RUSS JONES & HEATHER RECKLESS – AAW Tag Team Championship
The story was Jones could pick any partner and went with Reckless to the disgust of manager Chuck Smooth. Before the match, Smooth and Jones got in an argument with Jones firing Smooth. This was two matches in one, with mostly comedy stuff when Reckless and Perry were involved and a serious hoss fight when Hammerstone and Jones got involved. Smooth came back out and pushed Reckless off the top rope, leading to Perry pinning her with a tight pull at 8:48.
(McClelland’s Take: Despite the oddity of the match, this was pretty entertaining. Hammerstone and Jones looked very impressively when they squared off and I’d like to see a singles match between them, which I think was this match’s intention. If you don’t like comedy wrestling, you probably wouldn’t care for this.)
(9) MAT FITCHETT vs. ERIC YOUNG – AAW Heavyweight Championship
Fitchett hit the Busaiku Knee basically out of nowhere for the pin at 12:50.
(McClelland’s Take: Both guys worked crisply and hard but the match lacked a certain spark especially considering it was for the promotion’s main title. Match felt liked it peaked way early, with Young hitting a piledriver (his finisher) and then the fight continuing for 3-4 more minutes.)
(10) SILA YOUNG vs. MANDERS – Steel Cage Match
The two fought outside the cage for a long time, alternating brawling with throwing weapons in the ring. They finally got in the ring and had a big weapons brawl. Both were busted open fairly early. Silas gave Manders a TKO through a door. They fought over a spur, which Manders eventually grabbed and repeatedly ran across Silas’s forehead. Val interfered in the match and was power slammed through a door. Finally, Manders power slammed Silas off the top of the cage through a stack of doors for the pin at 18:12.
(McClelland’s Take: A good, dumb violent brawl that was a fitting end for the Silas/Manders feud. Lots of big spots that built to the big one off the top of the cage. A violent and exciting end to the show.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A mixed bag of a show. Alexander/Garvin and Yehi/Bennett were both very good and Manders/Young was certainly not dull. Much of the rest of the show felt flat with not a lot of energy. Hear more on AAW Never Say Die on the premier edition of Wrestling Coast to Coast PWT Dailycast, this Thursday.