US Indies WWW Review Archive (December 2015-July 2017)

AAW Killers Among Us Review: Cult of Callihan

Sami Callihan and The Big Gold Belt

AAW Killers Among Us

Watch: Smart Mark Video

115 Bourbon Street – Merionette Park, IL

June 17, 2016

Eddie Machete & Conor Braxton vs. Candice LeRae & Heidi Lovelace vs. Kongo Kong & Dezmond Xavier vs. Markus Crane & Shane Hollister

Dinero didn’t even make it to the match, Kong Kong took his spot. Literally. He attacked him as soon as he stepped out of the curtain and Xavier just shrugged. At the beginning of this match there’s a disgusting line from Gregory Iron commentary. The fucking dirt worst. After Machete & Braxton blindside Candice & Heidi, he says that he respects that and that he hit a few girls in his day because he learned from his dad and you gotta do what you gotta do to get where you want to go. Fuck off with that.

So, I watched this match with a little bit of a bad taste in my mouth. The match itself was pretty fun still. There’s a whole lot of pro wrestlers in this ring, which means a whole lot of shit was happening. Machete & Braxton were mega heels here and they got some good heat but at times it’s not so good. The hoverboard spot with Heidi especially. Crane really shined at times with some innovative offense, like a hangman STO (I guess?). Candice & Heidi eventually avenged themselves with a double ballsplex to Machete & Braxton, that was fun. This match had stiff strikes, moved fast, and was a decent opener. Kong picked up the win for his team after a huge splash from the top. Kong is awesome.

Scarlett got in the ring and cut a promo about how it’s the crowd fault that Machete & Braxton lost and how she doesn’t work with losers. She made an open challenge to anyone in the back to take them on. Then Pyscho Killer hit. TOMMASO FUCKING CIAMPA. Ciampa, as well as the crowd, tells them to get the fuck out of his ring, it’s time for his open challenge. Ciampa talks up a big game before the challenge, and then Josh Alexander answers. Holy shit. Welcome back chants erupted from the arena.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Josh Alexander

This match had a really cool atmosphere going into it. The crowd was chanting for both of these guys and Ciampa hugged Josh and welcomed him back. The tone early on was really light-hearted. There was some competitive mat wrestling but they were laughing and talking about Josh’s surgically repaired neck in the midst of it. Josh actually suckered Ciampa into a lariat by faking neck issues to change the tone of the match. Totally awesome to see that side of him after all the buddy buddy stuff. Plus Ciampa always works stiff and brings a ton of intensity so I thought this was going to and needed to take a turn. Then these two just absolutely killed each other. They went blow for blow, suplex for suplex, kick for kick. Ciampa did the typical indie, “I’m gonna sit down in a chair and running start kick you in the face” spot and Alexander ended up dumping him on his head on the apron. This was rich in the story context because Ciampa had been attacking his repaired neck earlier in the match. Alexander showed a ton of heart here. The finish of this match was INSANE. Ciampa kneed Alexander off the apron and he smacked his head off a pole on the way down. He kicked out at 1, took off his headgear and whipped it at Ciampa. Ciampa rolled down the kneepad and kneed him in the face one last time for the 3 count. Great match. I’d recommend this to everyone. What a comeback match for the former AAW Heavyweight champ. The two shared a hug in the ring afterwards. I really dug this.

Next we get even more of Scarlett, Braxton & Machete. Scarlett pretty much says they’re done being a joke and makes Braxton get rid of the hoverboard because they’re taking things seriously now. He was reluctant until she gave him the puppy eyes.

Jessicka Havok vs. Kimber Lee

This was hard hitting straight out of the gate. These two were straight business. Kimber Lee was eager to attack early but found herself being tossed around like a rag doll and eating the steel barricade. Havok would be in control for a period of time and Kimber would just start to come back before she took control again. This was a nice little match that ended up being pretty short. I have no complaints really. Havok won with The Demon Drop. After the match Havok went for another Demon Drop and then Heidi Lovelace came out for the rescue. It wasn’t long before she met the same fate as Kimber Lee. You can expect Havok vs. Heidi soon.

Drew Gulak vs. Silas Young

Silas cuts a really good promo before the match. I would talk about the meat and potatoes of it but at the beginning of it he —




But anyways it is a solid promo overall. Gotta love Silas with a mic in his hand.

I liked the mix of styles in this match. Especially since Silas is no slouch on the mat so he can hang with Gulak at least a little bit. Gulak was cocky and danced around Silas throughout the match, and even took off Silas’ knee brace. Which essentially turned it into a gimmick match from there out with the knee brace, but not in a bad way. The knee brace was a foreign object, used for chokes, clobbering, knees, everything. Gulak put in some solid work on Silas’ knee all match, but Silas slipped out of a figure four attempt and caught him in a small package for the win. Because he’s a real man.

Backstage Kimber Lee and Heidi talk about how scary Havok is. Heidi vs. Havock next month.

AAW Tag Team Championship: Davey Vega & Matt Fitchett (c) vs. The Hooligans

The Hooligans are just so damn loveable. Right from their entrance you know that they’re fun to watch. Then after the bell rings they surprise you with standing moonsaults, sentons and all kinds of awesome double team maneuvers. And these guys are vicious too. They attacked Fitchett as soon as he got in the ring. This was a fine little tag match. The Hooligans were the highlight with super fun offense and mannerisms. Buck Nasty puts so much into his gimmick at ringside too, I love it. I mean, he is FIRED UP all the time. Fitchett & Vega retained after a headscissors spike from Fitchett. I wish I could have watched these guys go for 5 more minutes.

Outlaw Inc. cut a promo backstage. They talked shit. Homicide spoke in Spanish. It was good shit.

Chris Hero vs. Drago

What a crazy match up this is. I love wrestling in 2016. The run we are witnessing this year from Chris Hero is an all-time great one. While this match wasn’t as incredible as some of the other Hero matches this year, it’s still very good and not bad by any means. The first half of the match was worked like Drago’s kind of match and the latter half was worked like Hero’s kind of match. It’s always so fun to see Hero keep up with these smaller quicker guys and then absolutely destroy them with elbows, kicks and knees. There were a few times where the chemistry seemed to be off a little, but nothing that really damaged the match. Hero won following a tombstone piledriver. They shook hands after the match while the crowd chanted “Please come back!” Solid stuff. CHRIS IS HERO IS THE GREATEST OF ALL-TIME.

Johnny Gargano cut a promo on Zack Sabre Jr. He hopes people think Zack is the best wrestler in the world so when he beats him, they’ll know why he’s Johnny WRESTLING.

AAW Heritage Championship: AR Fox (c) vs. Aerostar

More lucha! Hell yeah. Aerostar and AR Fox are two of the craziest high-flyers in wrestling so this is a hoot on paper. That’s what it was in execution too, for the whole 5 minutes of it. That’s right. Unfortunately, this is only 5 and a half minutes long. On a show with 10 matches, I understand that some of them have to be shorter than some others but it’s just a shame that this one had to be as short as it was. I love how Aerostar springboards off of the second rope and jumps over the third one. It’s the little things. Both guys were pretty great here, doing lots of their usual cool shit. AR Fox retained following a 450 splash. After the match Matt Fitchett came down to the ring and challenged AR Fox. Davey Vega rushed out and tried to get him to keep his focus on their tag titles but Fox egged him on and accepted. It’s set. Fitchett vs. Fox for the title next month.

Chris Hero cut a promo about how he doesn’t want to be in dream matches with indie darlings every other show, he wants to be consistent. And that’s what he’s been doing. 2016 is his year he says and he’s coming for the belt before it’s over.

Andrew Everett vs. Trevor Lee vs. Moose vs. Cedric Alexander

Holy shit this is a crazy lineup for a match. All hail the south. Before the match got underway, they decided to have a little fun. Everyone was goofing off, shaking hands, leading the Moose chants, and doing “flips.” Lee did a terrible cartwheel, Moose rolled over on his side and Cedric did a back somersault on the ground. Even the ref did the Carlton dance. They headed to the back to a chorus of “Match of the Year!” chants. Indie wrestling is literally a parody of itself. Gotta love it. Eventually they came back out for the real match. This was a hoot if I’ve ever seen one, and pretty much what you would expect from these guys in a 4-way. Lee, Everett and Alexander were on the same page on one thing: eliminate Moose from the equation. So, they ganged up on him throughout and tried to keep him on the outside. Then a whole bunch of sweet shit went down. Reverse ranas, MOOSE did a DIVE, apron powerbombs, you name it. Lee had an insane dive from god knows where that the crowd went nuts for. Eventually Lee scored the win with a Spanish Fly to Moose. Such a fun match.

AR Fox cut a promo backstage. I wasn’t impressed.

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Johnny Gargano

These are two of the best wrestlers in the world in 2016, so a bad match seems almost impossible here. There was a long-ish feeling out section early, which I love in a match with a guy like Sabre because I could watch him mat wrestle for days. Sabre was really dominant in this match and it looked like he was one step ahead of Gargano the whole match. The only time Gargano could take control for any real amount of time was whenever they were brawling on the outside, with the assistance of Papa and Dylan Hales, of course. Which soon led to bantering between the Hales Clan and Sabre, and Papa led an “England sucks!” chant. Sabre didn’t take a liking to that and made Gargano pay for it in the ring, wrenching, snapping and twisting his limbs in ways they shouldn’t. The crowd actually chanted “This is your fault!” at Papa and Dylan. I liked the pacing of this match, I thought everything built really well to their back and forth stuff towards the finishing stretch. Sabre came away with the win by submitting Gargano. Very good match. In a crazy year like 2016 this isn’t a MOTYC by any means but I’d recommend this one.

Trevor Lee cut a promo about how badly he wants the AAW Heavyweight Championship. I need Callihan vs. Lee. Please, AAW.

The Killer Cult (Sami Callihan & Dave Crist vs. Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston & Homicide)

If there’s nothing you love more than two dudes in a blood feud who hate each other’s guts beating the shit out of each other, then this match is for you. Talk about chaotic and out of control. Unsurprisingly, this one spilled to the outside extremely quickly and the majority of the match took place in the crowd. All four men clobbered each other with whatever they could find. Homicide hit Crist with a DDT on top of a bar in an awesome spot, Homicide dove into the crowd, Callihan and Homicide went through the merch table, all sorts of wild shit went down. Jake Crist, who retired from pro wrestling 6 months ago, made his return into the ring by helping his brother take out Kingston and taking him to the back. Which essentially made this become a one-on-one match between Homicide and Callihan. Callihan prevailed with a modified tombstone piledriver for the three count. I enjoyed this a lot. It was a really fun and brutal brawl that I was invested in, and I could literally feel the hatred between Callihan and Kingston.

A slew of promos played to end the show, here’s what you need to know. Kongo Kong is coming for the AAW Heavyweight Championship, Matt Fitchett is coming for the Heritage Championship despite Davey Vega’s lack of support, Josh Alexander is back and determined to get back to where he left off and challenged Silas Young, The Killer Cult are fucking crazy.

Overall Thoughts:

Overall this was a very enjoyable show to watch. No matches were bad by any means although some were skippable. The must-see matches are the main event, Sabre vs. Gargano, the 4-way, Alexander vs. Ciampa and probably Hero vs. Drago. Everything else is still very watchable and enjoyable though. The only complaints I have for the show are the lack of time for Aerostar vs. AR Fox and some really distasteful commentary at times from Gregory Iron, which sucks because at certain points in the show I could get behind him. In a few weeks on July 23rd, I’ll hopefully be attending AAW United We Stand so you can keep your eyes peeled for a live review that weekend.

Until next time, folks!


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