AIW Against The World (2016)


AIW Against The World

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel

Cleveland, Ohio

August 26, 2016


The Jollyville Fuck-Its defeated Cheech & Eric Ryan

Colin Delaney was forced to miss the show due to unforeseen circumstances. Eric Ryan replaced him. Why Ryan wasn’t already booked on the show, I don’t know. I really want to see Ryan and Rickey Shane Page face off with the JFI.

T-Money is the Man. He hit a great suicide dive early. Later, he beheaded Eric Ryan with a clothesline and a huge leg drop. I thought that he caved in Ryan’s chest with a chop. Ryan got some sweet revenge with a coast-to-coast dropkick on Money.

Nasty Russ planted Cheech with a nice spinning powerbomb.

The finish was ridiculous. Ryan was outside the ring charging Russ when…BAM!..Money hits him like a freight train with the Pounce, sending Ryan over the barrier. It was completely brutal. I hope Ryan got a bonus for that.

Russ hit a Cannonball on Cheech to score the pinfall.

The best moments of the match involved Ryan v. the JFI.

Louis Lyndon defeated Shawn Shultz by submission

The match opened with nice chain work. They two fought to lock the other in a Dragon Sleeper. There is a nice point/counterpoint vibe the story. The crowd got a little chatty at one point but Lyndon won them back over. Shultz planted Lyndon with a DDT on the floor. Eventually, Lyndon locked on a Dragon Sleeper for the submission win.

Britt Baker defeated “Crazy” Mary Dobson

Baker locked in a single-leg Boston Crab. She followed with a figure four headlock. Dobson hit a ridiculous kick to Baker’s head. Baker returned fire with an angel wings faceplant. Baker by pinfall.

Dobson looks great. She has added a ton of thickness and muscle and has turned into a legit bruiser.

And Britt Baker: DAMN, THOSE ABS!! Baker has a ton of “It” factor. She has NXT written all over her. Dobson is already headed there.

“Crazy” Mary Dobson got a chant and standing ovation after the match. I’m gonna miss seeing her regularly in Cleveland.

Eddie Kingston defeated Shigehiro Irie

This match was nuts. Two big, tough dudes just going nose-to-nose.  At one point, Kingston machine gun chops Irie, who returns fire with machine gun elbows. Earlier on, Kingson got rocked and was sitting on the mat. Never one to give up, he punched Irie in the knee, which was awesome.

This match builds and builds. Irie will not go down. Kingston will not back down. Finally, the Mad King gets the pin. Even though he appeared to have injured his right hand, he got on the mic and put Irie over. Eddie Kingston is one tough son of a bitch. He is a true original.

BJ Whitmer (w/ The Duke) defeated Jimmy Wang Yang

Cute blonde “fan” in the audience is called to the ring because she has a sign reading “I Love Wang.” She seconds Yang for the match. (Oddly enough, I saw the two together when my friend and I were having dinner prior to the show at the Happy Dog.)

Later, the ref is down. Duke rolls in with a chair. The fan low blows him. She does the same to Whitmer. Yang hit a picture perfect moonsault. Duke pulls the ref out of the ring during the two count. Whitmer rolled up Yang for the pin. “You still got it” chant for Wang.

Kudos to both these guys. They left it all in the ring.



AIW Intense Championship

Alex Daniels (c) (w/ Greg Iron & Marti Belle & Ray Lyn) defeated Matt Cross & Triton & Laredo Kid

Daniels started the match with a promo. He said he had no beef with Triton or Laredo Kid but he did with Cross. Months earlier, Cross and kicked him in the eye and had put him out of action for a couple months.

This match was a stunt show. I’m loving the influx of Lucha into the company in the last year.

Daniels has been thrown in the deep end with some talented guys and he always manages to hold his own. While the girls distracted the referee, Daniels cracked Cross with the belt to retain.

This match felt a touch short. Just when it was starting to rev up, it ended. I’m hoping that Triton is invited back so we can get a better look at what he does.

Michael Elgin defeated Tracy Williams

One this I like about wrestling that doesn’t apply to boxing or MMA is the lack of weight classes. Some of the interesting or memorable matches of all time have played off of size disparity.

Elgin v. Williams is a different matter. Elgin is advertised as 245 lbs. Williams at 185 lbs. That 60 lb.-disparity was the story of this match. Both men are equal in skill and heart. They went after each with guns blazing. The blow-by-blow is filled with elbows, clotheslines, press slams, and backfists. Elgin won this one because of the size differential. That, and a nasty inverted Death Valley Driver.

This was another killer match. It’s a treat to see two guys just go to war they did.

AIW Absolute Championship

Josh Prohibition (c) defeated “Spyder” Nate Webb

Webb entered to “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus. If you haven’t experienced Webb’s entrance live, you are missing out. He ran through the crowd, stole the camera from the Smart Mark Video camera person at ringside, and created general mayhem. He is incredibly charismatic. (Full disclosure: I chugged a beer with Webb when he came up to the bleachers. My night was made.)

Probo got on the mic. He put over Webb’s entrance. That aside, he said that he clawed for 10 years to win the AIW Absolute Championship and Webb gets a title shot on his first night with the company. He then says that he wants to have a fight with Webb and requests that Tom Dunn to relax the rules for the match. Webb then palms some cash and slips it to Dunn, who then agrees to loosen the rules to a “That was shady” chant.

Probo: “Mr. Nate Webb, let’s get stupid.”

And they do.

Webb and Prohibition tee off on each other. They brawl through the crowd. Webb frog splashed Probo through a table. Probo retaliated by putting up his knees when Webb attempts to moonsault him while holding a steel chair.

The champ drills Webb with a Drunken Driver to retain his title.

Prohibition cut a promo putting over Webb. As Webb enjoyed the cheers of the crowd, he is jumped by Tim Donst. Prohibition came to Webb’s rescue.

I’m looking forward to more Nate Webb in AIW.

Facade (w/ Dani) defeated Teddy Hart (w/ Mr. Money) by stoppage

Teddy Hart’s cat, Mr. Money, got a huge pop as the duo made their way to ringside. I met Hart and Money during intermission. He let me pet his cat while we chatted for a moment.

Facade and Hart struggled to get the best of the other. The match was filled with lots of reversals. Hart hit Facade with a swinging cloverleaf powerbomb.

Hart is injured and carried to the back by some AIW students. However, he limped his way back to the ring to address the audience. He said that he had been looking forward to the match and apologizes to the crowd. It feels like it is going to be a swerve by Hart.

Facade gets the mic, announces that “only the strong survive” and jumped his opponent. He gave Hart a Canadian Destroyer. He rolls outside and takes a section of fencing and placed it spanning the space between the barrier and the apron. He drags Hart over. The two struggle. Hart gets the better of Facade and gives him a Canadian Destroyer on the barrier.

Teddy Hart showed up in killer shape. He has a great aura, too. I didn’t know what to expect when I met him but he was friendly and polite. Mr. Money is a straight boss.

I’m intrigued to see Facade have a heel run in the company. There is plenty of unfinished business between him and Hart.

Ray Rowe defeated Tommy End

The two circle each other like boxers. Rowe blocked End’s kicks and End blocked Rowe’s punches. They stunned each other with simultaneous forearm strikes.

End drives a knee into Rowe’s face.

The two battle outside. End nimbly jumps on the apron to avoid a strike.

The two whip each other into the barrier.

Rowe rattled End with a delayed vertical suplex. He continues to dominate him with an exploder.

End is able to put Rowe down outside the ring with a kick to the throat. End poured on the punishment with multiple Coup de Graces and knee strikes during the course of the bout.

Both men are on all fours, staring each other down. They trade forearms and knees as they battle to their feet.

Rowe rocks End with a gut wrench off the top rope.

Rowe connects with a Go to Sleep and a double-knee strike. End kicks out. End responds with a spinning knee strike.

Rowe hits a final Go to Sleep and scores the pinfall.

Rowe put over End on the mic. He said that he is a friend and a brother.

Shit. This was the match that I came to see and it was awesome.

This match was about commitment, dedication, and work ethic. It felt like a prize fight between two evenly matched competitors. This was a great show but this was the perfect main event.


I loved AIW Against The World. Rowe/End, Prohibition/Webb, Elgin/Williams, and Kingston/Irie are all must-see.

My friend Chris made an inciteful observation at the end of the Elgin/Williams match. He noted that normally AIW closes the night with an Absolute title defense. I get it. If the belt is to be revered, it should go on last. Chris noted, however, that tonight wasn’t the night to close with Prohibition and Webb. The final three matches ended the show on a hot note. The shenanigan-filled title defense, followed by the Hart stoppage/Facade heel-turn, followed by End v. Rowe in a brutal war made for a roller coaster ride of a final hour. There is a lesson to be learned here. Match order matters. Pacing and tone, when used correctly, are every bit as key as what happens in the ring.

I stuck around to meet Tommy End after the show. A huge line formed to meet him. He took pictures and signed autographs for everyone. He is a class act.

I highly recommend this show. AIW DVDs and streams can be purchased here.

Click here for more information about upcoming AIW events.

More Wrestling

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NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II

IPW: The 11-Minute Show

AIW: Absolution XI (2016)
















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