AIW: They Live

Cleveland, OH – 10.2.2011

Commentary is provided by Pedro Deluca, Aaron Bauer. Gregory Iron joins in for the second half.

BJ Whitmer vs. Davey Richards

Whitmer cleanly breaks a lock-up against the ropes. Richards grabs the ropes as Whitmer takes him down. Richards reverses a heel hook causing Whitmer to very quickly grab the ropes. An exchange of wristlocks ends with Richards forearming Whitmer against the ropes. Whitmer knocks him down with a forearm of his own. Richards kicks Whitmer in the arm from the mat to break a wristlock. Richards dropkicks Whitmer after failing to knock him down with shoulder blocks. Richards ties up Whitmer in a modified surfboard, rolling him into a Gedo Clutch for two. Whitmer drops Richards with a spinebuster. Richards whips Whitmer into the guardrail. Whitmer gets his boot up to block Richards’ follow up attack. Richards however whips Whitmer into the guardrail again and yakuza kicks Whitmer into the audience. Richards jumps into the crowd with a flying forearm. Richards brings him back in the ring after some kicks to the chest. Richards nails a spinwheel kick for two. Whitmer counters a suplex with a brainbuster. Whitmer facewashes Richards and gives him a backbreaker. Richards fires up from Whitmer’s strikes. They exchange forearms, with Whitmer winning the exchange and getting a two count from it. Richards sends Whitmer to the floor. He punts Whitmer in the chest from the apron. Richards dropkicks Whitmer in the side of the head back in the ring for two. Richards delivers a belly-to-belly suplex for two. He transitions right into the ankle lock, but Whitmer grabs the ropes right away. Whitmer knee strikes Richards into the corner. He suplexes Richards twice for two. Richards and Whitmer go back to throwing forearms at each other. Richards lights him up with chest kicks and a sole butt. Whitmer and Richards suplex each other over and over. Richards counters a wrist-clutch exploder suplex, rolling into the ankle lock. Whitmer reverses into one of his own. Richards counters his counter. Whitmer escapes and hits a Sick Kick. The wrist-clutch exploder gets him two. After driving his knee into Richards’ neck, he puts on the Peruvian Necktie. Richards passes out at 14:08. Whitmer just keeps putting on great matches in AIW, this one being no exception. Going over Richards is huge and I couldn’t be happier for him. Some of the usual no-selling silliness hurt the match in the middle, but I can’t deny that this had a great aura around it and the fans dug it. Both guys speak highly of one another afterwards. ***1/4

Archibald Peck vs. John Kermon vs. Tony Kozina vs. AERO! vs. Façade vs. Izeah Bonds

Kozina and Façade reach a stalemate. Kermon and AERO tag in. Kermon eats a dropkick after back elbowing AERO to the mat. AERO sends Kermon out with a wheelbarrow armdrag. Peck sends AERO to the floor and celebrates. Bonds tags in and questions Peck’s tactics. Peck fails to slam the larger Bonds. Bonds drops a cartwheel elbow for two. Peck boots Bonds but gets sent to the corner. Bonds hits a wind-up clothesline. Peck gets chased around the ring. He catches Bonds with a boot. AERO and Façade come in as Bonds suplexes Peck on the floor. Kermon sends Façade out. Façade hits a springboard double clothesline on Kermon and AERO. He then hits a double moonsault DDT onto both of them as well. Peck drop toe holds Bonds into the ring steps. Kozina knocks down Façade and goes up top. Façade dropkicks Kozina onto AERO and Kermon on the floor. Peck knocks Façade down with a leg lariat and suicide dives onto the three men on the floor. Bonds then slingshot senton’s onto them. Façade finally walks the ropes into a springboard cannonball senton onto everyone, causing him to hit the guardrail by accident as well. In the ring, Façade drops Peck with a springboard bulldog. Kermon crotches Façade on the top rope. The ol’ tower of doom combo (which Peck wisely stays out of) sees Façade take the worse beating. Peck pins everybody individually but fails to get a three count. Peck sees the opportunity to hit the Cranial Crescendo on five people at once. Of course, he misses everybody. Kozina pins Peck for two. Peck gives Façade a spin-out gutbuster for two. Kermon hits an inside out suplex on Peck for two. AERO drops Kermon with a wrist-capture reverse STO for two. Bonds delivers a spinebuster to AERO. The Pop Fly gets him two as Peck and Kozina break the pin. Façade German suplexes Peck for two. Façade puts Peck into a modified Cattle Mutilation. Peck taps out at 10:39. Crazy, fun stuff all around. Everyone who needed to stand out did and it was certainly a better showing for Façade than the last AIW show. **3/4

Eric Ryan vs. Josh Prohibition

Prohibition gets into the ropes to break a cravate. Ryan armdrags Prohibition to the corner. He hits two running forearms before Prohibition rolls to the floor. Ryan quickly follows out with a suicide dive. Prohibition gives Ryan a neckbreaker on the second rope for two. Prohibition hits a Perfect neck snap. Ryan small packages Prohibition to counter a suplex for two. Prohibition chops Ryan around ringside. Prohibition accidentally chops the ring post. Prohibition kicks Ryan in the groin while distracting the referee to not lose any of his momentum. Ryan and Prohibition exchange forearms back in the ring. Ryan drives Prohibition’s face into the mat to prevent a slingshot maneuver. Prohibition crotches Ryan on the top rope and crucifix bombs him into the corner. Prohibition follows up with a lariat for two. Ryan counters the Drunken Driver with a huracanrana. He hits a leg-cross suplex. He goes for the Drunker Driver himself. Prohibition counters it with a brainbuster. Prohibition sets up for the Drunken Driver but gets distracted by Gregory Iron in the crowd. This allows Ryan to roll-up Prohibition for the pin 7:30. Ryan seems to be all business these days, and this match really proved just how much better he’s gotten. All of his moves and transitions looks so much more crisp than even a month or so ago. Prohibition was a good foil for him, and I think with a little more time this would have been even better. **1/2

Intense Division Championship
Marion Fontaine (Champion) vs. Bobby Beverly

Flexor Industries referee Dave Dawson is officiating this match. This is not good for Fontaine, since Beverly is a Flexor Industries member. Chest Flexor and “The Chad” Williams accompany Beverly to the ring. These two counter each others’ holds from awhile. After sweeping each others’ legs for a pin, they reach a stalemate. Beverly gets tripped after doing a hip swivel. Fontaine log rolls his legs out. Fontaine stomps on his back to block a second attempt. Fontaine explains how he countered a corner attack. He does it a second time and slingshots into a lateral press. Beverly kicks Fontaine from the floor to counter a dive. Fontaine sweeps Beverly’s legs and hits a So Rude elbow drop for two. Fontaine butt bumps the back of Beverly’s neck and applies a Boston Crab. Flexor distracts Dawson. Fontaine gets distracted and eats an enzuigiri for two. Beverly pitches Fontaine to the floor so Flexor and Chad can get in some cheap shots. Fontaine elbows his way out of a headlock. Beverly clotheslines him down for two. Beverly gets two with a brainbuster. Fontaine rolls to the floor to avoid a superkick. He gets caught with a running boot when he reenters the ring. Fontaine gives him rapid fire headbutts and a rump attack in the corner. Beverly clotheslines him out of the corner for two. He then hits a Falcon Arrow for two. Fontaine delivers a rolling Death Valley Driver. Beverly gets his knees up to avoid a quebrada and superkicks Fontaine for two. A side powerslam gets him another two count. Fontaine side steps a top rope dropkick and puts Beverly into a Boston Crab. Flexor calls Dawson on the phone so he can ignore the submission. Fontaine releases the hold and gets in Dave’s face. He goes to reapply the Boston Crab but Beverly small packages him for the pin and the title at 11:02. Very good back and forth action with a cheap finish that worked. Beverly seemed to never get the recognition he is worthy of, so him being the one to take the title off of Fontaine to me is very appropriate. Hopefully his reign will continue to provide good, entertaining matches. **3/4

Flexor says he doesn’t want to wait to see who “The Chad’s” mystery opponent is going to be tonight, so he asks for whoever wants to answer to come out. The Duke answers the challenge.

”The Chad” Williams vs. The Duke

The Duke takes Williams down with a hammer throw and chokes him in the corner. He avalanches Williams and powerslams him. He goes for the Duke (Vader) Bomb. Beverly crotches Duke and kicks him as Flexor distracts referee Dawson. Williams hits the Mercy Kill for the pin at 1:21. Flexor Industries beats The Duke down until Tommy Mercer, better known now as Crimson in TNA hits the ring. Mercer says he’s heard Williams talk smack and seen him steal his finishing move. Mercer says he’s answering the open challenge and demands Williams get in the ring.

Tommy Mercer vs. “The Chad” Williams

Dawson is the referee for this match as well. Williams forearms Mercer in the shoulder blades before suplexing him for two. Mercer knocks him down with a pair of clotheslines. Mercer brings Williams in from the apron with a Falcon Arrow for two. Flexor grabs Mercer’s leg. Mercer chases Flexor around the ring. He gets met with a clothesline from Williams. Williams throws Mercer’s leg into the guardrail and stomps on his knee. Mercer whips Williams into the crowd. Mercer suplexes Williams in front of the merch tables. Back in the ring, Mercer clotheslines Williams in the corner. Williams hits a big boot for two. Williams slams his forearm into Mercer’s face while applying a headlock. A backbreaker gets him a very fast two count. Mercer counters a clothesline with a suplex. He delivers a Michinoku Driver which Dawson purposely slow counts and stops after a two count. Mercer splashes Dawson and Williams in the corner. Duke takes Dawson out of the ring. Mercer drops Williams with the Mercy Kill. Duke makes the count for the pin at 7:11. Mercer was a nice surprise and was a total crowd pleaser. He and Williams had a solid big guy match and pleased the fans. For these two, there’s not much more you can ask. **

#1 Contender – Intense Division Championship
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Sonjay Dutt

O’Reilly and Dutt aggressively trade holds. They stand-off after escaping each others’ front facelocks. O’Reilly hip tosses Dutt into a cross armbreaker which Dutt breaks with a roll-up. They hit stereo dropkicks and stand-off once again. Dutt sends O’Reilly to the floor with a huracanrana. He slides out and gets caught with a kick to the shoulder. O’Reilly places Dutt on a chair in the corner. O’Reilly dropkicks Dutt head first into the guardrail. Dutt catches O’Reilly with a dragonscrew legwhip in the ropes. Dutt then comes in with a springboard quebrada for two. Dutt targets his attack on O’Reilly’s leg. O’Reilly sweeps Dutt’s leg and delivers his signature butterfly suplexes into a cross armbreaker. Dutt gets the ropes to break the hold. On the floor, Dutt whips O’Reilly into the guardrail and kicks him into the front row. Dutt gets a running start to dive onto him. The fight ends up backstage. Sugar Dunkerton emerges from the back with Dutt and lays him down in the ring. O’Reilly follows and looks confused. Dunkerton gets on the microphone and says Dutt ruined his high score on his Gameboy game. Dunkerton says since they were so rude in getting his business, he wants to get into there’s and earn a title shot. The referee agrees and this is now a three way.

#1 Contender – Intense Division Championship
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Sugar Dunkerton

O’Reilly sends Dutt to the floor. Dunkerton knocks O’Reilly down with some punches and sends Dutt to the floor again. Dunkerton hits a senton on O’Reilly. He drop toe holds Dutt onto O’Reilly and dribbles his face into O’Reilly’s groin area. Dutt kicks Dunkerton in the corner and legdrops him on the second rope. Dutt slingshots into a crossbody on O’Reilly for two. O’Reilly enzuigiri’s Dutt and hits a tornado DDT. He gets two with a brainbuster. He transitions into the cross armbreaker. Dunkerton breaks it with a flying elbow on O’Reilly for two. O’Reilly rolls Dunkerton into a chest kick. Dunkerton fires up and slaps O’Reilly silly. He hits the Slam Dunk but Dutt breaks his pin. O’Reilly nails both Dutt and Dunkerton with rolling forearms. Dunkerton and O’Reilly trade punches. O’Reilly lands a sole butt. Dunkerton fireman drops him onto his boot. He follows up with a discuss lariat for the pin at 13:55. This makes three shows in a row where a singles match turned into a three way, so one has to figure this will lead to something eventually. The match(es) themselves were really good, lots of solid action and back and forth from everyone. O’Reilly and Dunkerton made for a great pair and I’d like to see a singles match with them sometime. Dutt did a great job too and seems to have his groove back for good. ***

AR Fox vs. Uhaa Nation

Nation snapmares his way out of a hammerlock. Fox reverses his headlock with one his own. Nation dropkicks Fox to the corner. He misses a splash, allowing Fox to take him down with a neck-tie headscissors. Nation overhead suplexes Fox and hit a standing moonsault for two. Nation suplexes Fox for two. Fox superkixks Nation’s leg out and delivers an enzuigiri. Fox hits a twisting forearm in the corner. He follows with a split-legged senton for two. Fox clotheslines him in the corner. Nation counters a crossbody with a powerslam. Nation German suplexes Fox twice. Fox evades the third time. Nation however powers him into a Samoan Drop. He hits a standing shooting star press for two. Fox avoids an O’Conner roll by springboarding into an ace crusher. He then hits a top rope somersault senton for two. Fox hits a diving Code Breaker which sends Nation to the floor. Fox flies out with a diving crossbody. Fox moonsaults off the ring post to the floor. In the ring, Nation catches Fox with three powerbombs, two deadlift style, for a two count. Fox snapmares Nation. He hits a delayed boot to the face. He misses a top rope Vader Bomb. Nation hits the Hero’s Welcome and Fox puts his foot on the bottom rope. Nation German suplexes Fox off the top rope. He follows with a tombstone piledriver for two. Fox manages to recover and hit the Lo Mein Pain for the pin at 8:58. It seems like it’s typical for Nation and Fox to steal the show whenever they face one another in a singles match. This match was no different. They won over every fan in the crowd on their company debut which is no small feat. Watch this match. ***1/4

Chest Flexor comes out to introduce his mystery team. He first asks for Johnny Gargano and Tim Donst, his mystery teams opponents, to come out first so he can see the looks on their faces. Dave Dawson is the referee for this match, by the way. Once they’re in the ring, Flexor tells them that this team e-mailed Flexor asking to join Flexor Industries if it meant facing Gargano and Donst. That teams turns out to be Aeroform, who run out and attack Gargano and Donst.

Johnny Gargano & Tim Donst vs. Aeroform (Flip Kendrick & Louis Lyndon)

Gargano and Lyndon fight on the floor right away. Donst clotheslines Kendrick to the floor and chops him against the guardrail. Lyndon whips Gargano into the guardrail. Gargano shoves Lyndon into some chairs. Donst also brings Kendrick into the crowd where he bashes him with forearms. Lyndon whips Gargano into some chairs while Donst throws Kendrick face first into the announcer’s table and a wall. Donst clobbers Lyndon with foearms across his face. Lyndon and Kendrick whip Gargano and Donst back first into a wall. Kendrick misses a backflip and gets sent into a wall. Gargano superkicks Lyndon and brings him back into the ring. Donst and Gargano double team Lyndon while Kendrick recovers in the crowd. Flexor distracts Gargano on the floor, allowing Lyndon to somersault dive onto him. Dawson blocks Donst from helping him out. This allows Aeroform to bring Gargano to their corner and beat him down. Gargano manages to catch Kendrick with a slingshot spear, allowing him to tag Donst in. Lyndon however distracts Dawson from seeing the tag. Gargano shoves Kendrick into the Lyndon and drops them both with a reverse STO/DDT combo. Dawson sees Gargano’s second tag out, letting Donst to clean house. He suplexes Lyndon and moves so that Kendrick frogsplashes Lyndon. He gut wrench suplexes Kendrick twice, then Aeroform simultaneously. Gargano suicide dives onto Lyndon and then Kendrick. Donst drops Kendrick with the Gator Roll. Dawson slow counts, giving Lyndon time to break up the pin. Lyndon sends Donst to the floor. Gargano rolls Lyndon into a low enzuigiri. Lyndon pump kicks Gargano in the corner. He moonsaults into a Dragon sleeper. Donst breaks the hold. Donst bulldogs Lyndon. Lyndon responds with an enzuigiri. He looks for a moonsault but Gargano catches him mid-air with a dropkick. Gargano lawn darts him into the corner and nails a running knee strike. Kendrick moonsaults onto him to break the pin. Kendrick hurancanrana’s Donst in the corner. Donst delivers the Donst Cap and German suplexes him out of the corner for two. Kendrick hits a Pele kick. Donst suplexes him into the corner for two. Kendrick huracanrana’s Donst off of Lyndon’s shoulders for two. Kendrick accidentally enzuigiri’s Lyndon. Gargano superkicks both members of Aeroform. Gargano hits Lyndon with the IED. Donst drops Kendrick with an STO. He brings Lyndon off with a super Donstitution. Donst then transitions into the CHIKARA Special. Gargano drops Kendrick with the Hurts Donut into the Gargano Escape. Both Aeroform members are tapping out while Flexor distracts Dawson. Donst gets poweder thrown in his eyes, allowing him to accidentally attack Gargano. Lyndon pins Gargano at 18:50. That was a very good tag match up until the cheap finish. It stinks to get that invested in a match that long only for it to end that way, even if I do understand why it was done. It made more sense in the Beverly match then it did here. Donst and Gargano did a good job as a team and I continue to wonder where this angle is going. ***1/4

Hailey Hatred vs. Cherry Bomb

Hatred and Bomb exchange holds. Things heat up with them throwing kicks at each other’s legs and then trading chops. Hatred wins that exchange and back elbows Bomb for two. Hatred throws her down for two. Hatred puts on a half crab. Bomb gets the ropes to break it. Bomb ducks a kick and hits one of her own. She wheelbarrows into an armdrag. She headscissors Hatred to the corner. She drop toe holds Hatred into the corner and dropkicks her posterior. Bomb hits a running dropkick from the floor to Hatred’s temple. Hatred rolls to the floor. Bomb follows with a crossbody from the second turnbuckle. Bomb kicks Hatred multiple times in the chest. Hatred catches Bomb’s crossbody attempt and slams her for two. Bomb grabs the ropes to break a cross armbreaker. Hatred throws Bomb out of a gordbuster then kicks her in the side of the head for two. Bomb recovers and hits a top rope dropkick for two. She wheelbarrows Hatred into a prawn hold for two. She also gets two with a Magistral cradle. Hatred suplexes Bomb onto her head for two. Bomb dropkicks Hatred to the corner. A running knee strike in the corner leads to Bomb putting Hatred in the Cattle Mutilation. Hatred puts her foot on the ropes to escape. Hatred boots Bomb for two. Bomb kicks Hatred from the floor. She drops Hatred with a sit-out Death Valley Driver for two. Hatred shrugs off two superkicks. She gets up after a German suplex and lariats Bomb for two. Hatred deadlifts Bomb into another German suplex for two. Hatred punts Bomb in the temple. She hits a running Liger bomb for the pin at 11:09. This is better action than you will see out of the women’s divisions in WWE or TNA, but I honestly expected more from Hatred in her return. She didn’t do a bad job at all, but really didn’t live up to the hype that a long absence and runs in Japan and Mexico would make you think. Bomb really has become the new women’s star to watch in AIW and I hope she gets a shot for the title soon. **3/4

AIW Tag Team Championship
Irish Airborne (Jake & Dave Crist) (Champions) vs. The Olsen Twins (Colin & Jimmy Olsen)

Some shenanigans delay the opening bell. Colin and Jake lock-up and break in the corner. They exchange a few quick pin attempts and then tag out to their partners. Jimmy and Jake fight over a headlock around the ring, causing them to spill to the floor, but not after both their partners blind tagged themselves in. Jake keeps his headlock on Jimmy as they walk around the building. Jake and Colin trade waistlocks. They stop their action once they realize what is going on with their partners. Jake throws Jimmy on the floor with a headlock takeover. Jake suplexes Colin and Dave comes in with a top rope senton for two. Colin armdrags him twice and hairmares him thrice. Colin and Jimmy take turns twisting Jake’s Mohawk. Jake escapes their grasp by giving Jimmy a neckbreaker in the tree of woe position. He tags out to Jake who nails Colin with a spinwheel kick. He and Jake get a kick in on Jimmy. Jake pins him for two after a quebrada press. The Airborne double team Jimmy in the corner. Jake frogsplashes his back but Colin breaks the pin. Colin gives Dave the Golden Gate swing. Both Olsens hit Jake with a missile dropkick. Colin Gory Bombs him onto his knees, followed by Jimmy delivering a low huracanrana for two. The Olsens give Jake a double stomp/tombstone piledriver, and Jake kicks out at one! Jake throws some weak shots that don’t connect and falls on his face from the pain. He thwarts the Olsens offense and takes out Jimmy with superkicks. Colin victory rolls Jake for two. Dave dives onto Jimmy and Aeroform, who made their way out to watch the match. Jake superplexes Colin and follows up with a brainbuster. Jake gets the pin after a running knee strike at 16:27. No matter what combination of teams you put together, the three teams mentioned in this match can do no wrong with each other. This wasn’t as crazy as their previous bouts but really exciting and hard hitting. It’s worth mentioning again just how much better these teams are now, and if you have not seen them lately, give them another shot. ***1/4

Absolute Championship
Shiima Xion (Champion) vs. Rickey Shane Page

Chest Flexor is in Xion’s corner. Page removes Xion’s Impact Wrestling shirt and wipes his ass with it. Page controls Xion on the mat and manages to get a two count. Xion also gets a two count to shove it in Page’s face. Xion rolls Page into the Filipino Facelock. Page reverses into a cloverleaf. Xion grabs the ropes to break it very quickly. Page has himself a violence party after a double clutch armdrag. Xion rakes his eyes and comes out of the corner with a twisting crossbody. Page rams Xion’s face into the turnbuckle. He back elbows Xion to the floor. Xion evades a senton and connects with a baseball slide. Page has another violence party against the ring post. Xion whips Page into the guardrail. Page pops Xion over the guardrail and into the AIW merch table. Page applies the cloverleaf on top of the merch table. Xion passes out but it means nothing since it’s not in the ring. Xion throws Page into some chairs and hits him with an action figure. Ringside, Page manages to hit a tope con hilo while Xion is sitting on a folding chair. Flexor distracts Page, allowing Xion to knock Page off the ring apron and into the guardrails. Xion rams his knees into Page’s back and punts him in the side of the head. Page backdrops Xion and kicks him in the back on the way down. Page Saito suplexes him and then German suplexes him for two. Page boots Xion into a stomp for two. Xion crotches Page on the top rope. Page manages to recover and deliver a super Death Valley Driver for two. Page misses a twisting senton. Xion superkicks him and hits a cruxifix bomb. Page gets up and delivers a rolling elbow for two. Xion hot shots Page into a neckbreaker. He gets two with a second rope moonsault. Flexor accidentally throws powder in Xion’s face. Page schoolboys him, but Xion still manages to kick out at two. Xion accidentally superkicks referee Jake Clemons while blinded. He pins Clemons and Page makes the count to confuse him As Xion is celebrating, Xion hits the rolling elbow. Another referee runs out to count, but Flexor pulls him out and knocks him down. Referee Dave Dawson then makes his way out to officiate. Page gets in his face. Xion jumps in with a tornado DDT for two. Xion hits a 450 splash for two, then transitions right into the Filipino Facelock. Page rolls him into a pin to break it. Xion then puts on an armbreaker. Page submits at 20:03. Page has earned his spot atop the AIW roster and I’m thrilled to see him have a good contest with the champion. I really like that the Flexor Industries stuff has yet to reach the point of annoyance and actually adds to the match. Kudos to AIW for wisely working the story, and for both wrestlers working hard. ***1/2

BJ Whitmer runs out to clean house. Whitmer challenges Xion to a title match at “Hell On Earth 7” next month. Xion says Whitmer doesn’t have what it takes to get the title. Whitmer lays out a challenge for a title match right now. Xion pretends like he’s going to accept but instead bails. Whitmer would end up getting his title shot at “Hell On Earth 7”.

Overall: For the purposes of quality matches and storyline advancement, “They Live” gets an easy recommendation. There’s not a single bad match on the show and the diversity of the matches makes the show fly by. Of course, if Davey Richards is the main draw for you buying the show, not only will you enjoy his match but others on the show equally if not more. You can pick this show up at AIW’s store or at Smart Mark Video.

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