Chad Campbell will be live blogging the Absolute Intense Wrestling iPPV tonight. Stay tuned for his notes from Absolution VIII.
My favorite indy from the 2000’s was IWA-MS. Their closest relative today (although IWA-MS recently returned) is AIW. AIW has really built well to this show that even matches on paper that don’t jump out have been built up. They also ended their last Absolution show with an intense, crazy angle in the vein of Nexus with #Nixon emerging. This show should be a great one.
Opener of The Sex Bob-Ombs vs. The Jollyville Fuck-Its was missed due to the stream crashing.
Louis Lyndon vs. Flip Kendrick (Sub for ACH)
This was a pretty good match that in the early going showed more restraint than I imagined going in. Flip had some ring rust and flubbed one springboard maneuver badly. He did a great springboard 450 to the outside and some other unique highflying moves. Lyndon was able to reign him in and the finishing sequence featured a couple of teases to the dragon sleeper and then the eventually finish with a reverse rana, yakuza kick, and dragon sleeper for Lyndon gaining the submission.
Ethan Page vs. Johnny Gargano
Ethan Page is one of my favorite guys on the indies currently and I don’t understand why ROH hasn’t given him a look. He has good size, good strikes, impact moves, and doesn’t try too hard at playing the “heel” character and still exudes off a lot of cockiness. Gargano in AIW as the spunky babyface veteran is my favorite iteration of his character that he plays on the indies. They delivered a really good match that had a clear heel/face strutuctre and built to an exciting climax. All of the big moves were given a chance to breath and the hate displayed in the final sequence was palpable. Good win for Gargano with the tap out.
Hope & Change (Veda Scott/Gregory Iron) vs. The Batiri – AIW Tag Team Titles (Batiri career vs. belts)
This started as a wild brawl and didn’t become a structured match throughout. They tried to cut a frantic pace, but missed the mark and this was my least favorite match so far. Gregory Iron wearing a Best Disabled Wrestler in the World Shirt is awesome. I do like the gimmick of him as a heel and the four count rule being in effect. Veda needs some work in the ring. The finish resulted in some Memphis shenanigans as Greg Iron pulled out a chain and banished the Batiri from AIW. The Cleveland crowd also gives a classy chant to Veda to show here tits afterwards. Greg Iron promised to strip but Wadsworth (acting president) came out and restarts the match. The Batiri hit an assisted kick to eliminate Veda then hit two moves on Iron to win the belts. Afterwards they curbstomp Veda into a kiddie pool of cheeseburgers (she is vegan). Next.
Michael Elgin vs. Josh Alexander
You can take everything I said about Page before minus the heel character stuff and apply it to Alexander. What a war this was. They kicked out of a lot of moves but I loved this match because it was rooted around the legit ear injury Alexander suffered at the JLIT tournament in May. They pulvalized each other with insane strikes and threw out a variety of powebombs and suplexes. This was a great way to build Alexander over as the top face in AIW and make him look vulnerable with this injury. The build to the 30 minute draw was done nicely with the match still hanging in the balance in the last minute. After the match, Elgin offers a challenge for a rematch in November. This was draining stuff that I think had more logic than the Elgin vs. Richards match from ROH last year and just as much action with hoss strikes mixed in.
BJ Whitmer vs. Bobby Beverly vs. Ricky Shane Page vs. Matt Cross (sub for Chris Dickinson) –AIW Intense Division Championship
It looks like since Dickinson no showed, two matches have now been merged into one. Buffering issues reoccurred badly during this so I will have to rewatch on replay. Whitmer won with a dragon suplex through a table.
Submission Squad w/ (Briley Pierce) vs. Old School Express
Bunkhouse brawl match that was a ton of fun and went about as you would expect. Tracy started off the match with some great comedy including milking a handshake for all it was worth. We also got a GO TRACY GO TRACY GO chant and a Hulk Sucks chant. Eventually this broke down like you knew it would into a sprawling brawl throughout the building with chaotic action. Finish saw Jock Samson put Even Gelistico through a “flaming” table but Smothers got squirted in the eye with lighter fluid and rolled up by Gary Jay for the big upset.
Tim Donst vs. Michael Hutter
This is Hutter’s return to the indies after his Derrick Bateman days. Incredible atmosphere for this one with dueling chants that lasted the first 10 minutes of the match, Hutter getting swarmed with beach balls when introduced, and a great story being told with Donst showing Hutter that he can outwrestle him. The ending stretch still felt dynamic even after 20 minutes of action and included some interesting stuff and callbacks including Tim Donst locking on the Chikara Special. Hutter was able to hit the Deviant Bomb and lock on the Labell Lock type submission for the win in his return match. Donst passed out and never tapped. They end up shaking hands at the end of the match in a cool moment. SWERVE as Donst kicks Hutter down. That was awesome and I bought it.
Eric Ryan vs. Colin Delaney – AIW Heavyweight Title
This is what I was talking about in the preview as a match that feels strange to be the main event but if you follow the product, it makes perfect sense. Unfortunately, we miss the first half due to stream issues. When we do pick the match up, Delaney is bleeding and the match took a more hardcore tone that I would have liked. Some nasty spots with Delaney double stomping Ryan from the middle rope through thumb tacks. Duke tried to interfere but got fireballed by Chase Flexor. Delaney comes back and hits the 12 Large to win the championship.
Then Ethan Page’s music wins and he is cashing in his shot right now. Seleziya Sparx low blows Delaney! Wow, didn’t see that coming. Page hits is spinning Rock Bottom finisher but Delaney kicks out. They go back and forth for a second but Page hits the move from the top rope and we have a new champion. Page then does a great promo giving a state of his career and how he doesn’t need anyone included Jesus because he is such a good wrestler. Big time promo and moment from him. Cool moment to finish out the show.
Overall Thoughts: While I don’t know if this was the home run show I would have hoped for, it was a solid double and really sets up Page vs. Alexander long term as the “AIW” guys they can really get behind. I am sad to see the #Nixon run look to be completely done but I am nonetheless interested in where they head. Streaming issues were unfortunate but a nature of the beast in the ippv game right now.