Results & Observations: Gauntlet for the Gold Eleven
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel-Cleveland,Ohio-March 18, 2016
Eddie Kingston started out the evening on the mic destroying the Cleveland crowd.
Once the match began, he brutalized the novice Frankie Flynn with vicious chops and strikes. Kingston clearly savored his work.
After a number of exchanges, Flynn shocked “The Last of a Dying Breed” with a cradle and pinfall. Kingston was incensed, and argued with the Duke. He then “quits,” severing the relationship with his manager.
These two teams are no strangers to each other after a number of meetings in recent months. Cheech hit a “Go 2 Sleep” on “Hot Sauce” Williams to regain the tag straps. Dux got on the mic after the loss and called TIAB “bland.”
“We bring the SPICE!!”
He challenged the new champs to a rematch on April 8th.
This match featured the AIW students. I think the sizable crowd might have triggered nerves with a couple of the performers. There was sloppiness throughout the match. I marked in my notes that there were times I felt like someone was going to be injured. I’d advise the young talent to just slow down a bit.
I really like Britt Baker. She has a great look and can hang in the ring with the physically larger males.
Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham has the makings of a great heel manager. The gimmick works and he is good at pushing buttons.
Alex Daniels is taking his career seriously. He has dramatically changed his body since he first popped up on the indies. He has a professional-type physique now. The haircut was a good call. It gives him a crisper look. Small things like that matter when it comes to selling yourself in wrestling. As always, his work was solid.
Dominic Garrini. I heard that this was his second match. This was a high-pressure situation for a new guy. I like his “shooter” gimmick. A number of months ago, I happened to sit in the audience next to him at the show of another company. He is a nice guy. Very respectful of the business. He has a legitimate wrestling/MMA background.
Garrison King. First time that I recall seeing him. Good entrance. Lots of swagger. He is willing to take chances in the ring.
Josh Singh is coming along nicely. He is so graceful and athletic. He is going to be a long-time contributor. He is one of my favorite new faces in Cleveland.
There was too much activity to keep track of everything that happened in the match. Ultimately, Baker tee’d off on Daniels. Daniels hit her with a driver for the pin.
At one point, LeRae hit him with an, erm, “Nutplex.” I guess that’s what ya’d call it.
Things then escalated. Candice took multiple kicks to the head. She kicked out of a “Tombstone” and a “Cop Killer.” Shelley hit an “Air Raid Crash” for the pin.
He then got on one knee and proposed to her. She declined and he locked her in a crossface. Johnny Gargano (LeRae’s legitimate fiance) ran in for the save. The two guys traded verbal barbs. Things are in place for a match on 4/8 between Gargano and Shelley.
The bout contained all the crazy spots that one would expect.
This was my first time seeing Joey Janela. I really like the kid. He is solid in the ring, and has lots of attitude.
Johnny Gargano tapped Janela with a “Gargano Escape.”
Lots of shenanigans in this one.
At one point referee Tom Dunn hit a “Dunn-dertaker” chokeslam on Rex Brody.
I love Brody’s stuntman gimmick. It’s the type of schtick that so obviously lends itself to wrestling that I’m shocked that no one has come up with it sooner. Brody plays it to perfection.
Ok, my big problem with this match is that at one point one of the participants threw baby powder. (I didn’t see by who because I just happened to look away at this time.) Whoever threw the baby powder used waaaaaaaaaaay too much. It was everywhere in the ring. This lead to, what felt like, a 10-15 minute clean up after the match. The ring was swept, then mopped. This was a total momentum killer for, an honestly pointless, spot.
Crowd on fire.
Double-knee strikes from Rowe.
Pentagon hit a gorgeous “Lung Blower.” Chants for the luchador fill the arena.
Stiff strike exchange. Ray with a brutal “Superman Punch.”
Ray with a “Belly-to-Back” suplex.
Pentagon hits a “Canadian Destroyer.”
Rowe with knee strikes to Pentagon’s neck.
Big exchange after big exchange.
Rowe hit a “Gut Wrench” power bomb for the pin.
Pentagon Superkicked Rowe. Ray rolled out of the ring. The two stared each other down as Rowe slowly made his way to the locker room.
Crowd chanting “This is awesome!” and “Please come back!”
Great, great match. Very stiff. It ran a bit short. Maybe 10 minutes tops. I really hope it wasn’t truncated because of the wasted time from the stupid powder spot.
Otherwise, it was completely badass.
Pentagon oozes charisma. He has such an aura about him.
Ethan Page ran his mouth early. Sabre tied him into knots. Page with a nasty closed-fist.
Time after time Sabre worked Page’s wrist. It looked…excruciating.
There was no equity in this match. Sabre gracefully transitioned from Move A to Move B to Move C, etc… Page would sock him in the face.
Sabre was dazzling. So much small joint manipulation.
Page eeked out a pinfall to retain the Absolute title.
Sabre’s reputation as one of the most technically sound performers in the world is clearly well-deserved.
Marion Fontaine was out first throwing flower petals. Then Cheech. Dick Justice entered the ring as “Freebird” played.
The “Wedding March” began. Missy Hyatt looked stunning in a short white dress and veil.
Space Monkey got a great pop as he came out as the ring bearer.
After the obligatory, “Speak now or forever hold your peace,” line by the officiant, Col. Robert Parker emerged from the locker room to protest
“There is no justice, and, looking at you, boy, there is no dick!”
Dick Justice moved in to attack Parker.
Hyatt turned on Justice.
Jock Samson ran in and demolished Justice.
Knuckle duster from the Col. on Justice.
Parker stops Samson from stabbing Dick with a piece of the destroyed wedding set.
Jock, err, “sodomized” Justice with broken shard of wood.
Order of Entry:
- Colin Delaney
- Tim Donst (Instead of immediately locking up, the two share a beer.)
- Garrison King
- Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham
- Greg Iron
- Marion Fontaine
- AIW Superstar Jerry
- Tyson Dux
- Brian Carson
- “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams
- Candice LeRae
- Ryan Kaplan
- Jock Samson (w/ Missy Hyatt & Col. Parker)
- Johnny Gargano
- Josh Singh (In a great spot, Rockingham was tossed over the top rope, but landed on his Hoverboard. He cockily rode around the ring.)
- Big Mo Graziano
- Rex Brody
- Weird Body
- Frankie Flynn (Flynn did a nice job selling his injuries from earlier in the evening as he made his way to the ring.)
- Dick Justice
- Britt Baker
- BJ Whitmer (The Duke annouced Whitmer in place of Kingston.)
- Josh Prohibition
- Louis Lyndon
- Alex Daniels
- Space Monkey
- Ray Rowe (Immediately tossed Weird Body & Space Monkey.)
Dux out by Williams. Williams out by Probo. Lyndon eliminated Johnny.
Final Four: Rowe v. Lyndon v. Donst vs. Probo
Ray and Donst get stiff. Ray gives him “Superman Punch” for the elimination.
Probo ousts Lyndon.
Probo v. Rowe. Fighting on the apron, Josh gives a Death Valley Driver to Rowe.
Winner: Josh Prohibition…
Apparently, Rowe had stepped BETWEEN the ropes before taking the move.
Rowe quickly eliminated by Prohibition after a “Low Bridge.”
Winner and New #1 Contender: Josh Prohibition
Ego attacked Probo. He burnt him with a fire ball. Rowe alligned with Page. They beat on Prohibition.
Donst out for the save.
Something I’d work on: Time Management
This has always been an issue for the company. It was a great show, but a looooong night. A 30-wrestler Gauntlet, a wedding, Pentagon, and Sabre, Jr. on one show is awesome…but it was almost too much. The event didn’t end until almost 12:30 AM. I’d concentrate on conciseness for future events. I hate to say it, but this may not have been the show to include the student scramble.
What they got right: Atmosphere
Rowe v. Pentagon was fire. Pardon the pun, but it was “Absolutely Intense.”
Same with Sabre & Page.
AIW knows how to cultivate a “Big Match Feel.” The fans know this and have come to believe in the promotion.
Cleveland is lucky to have such a cutting edge, quality promotion in it’s backyard.
AIW can be reached at:
-Zep the Bear