[There are minor spoilers here regarding the match-ups, but not the results.]
To top off an impressive year for All American Wrestling, AAW presents Unstoppable, once again from a sold out 115 Bourbon Street, in Illinois. Featuring two huge title matches, for the AAW Heavyweight Championship and the AAW Heritage Championship, this event (which took place on December 30, 2016 – I’m a bit behind) has a stacked car which is not to be missed. At the top of the lineup, Sami Callihan (a hugely underrated personal favourite of mine) will defend his AAW Heavyweight Championship against fellow Lucha Underground mainstay Rey Fenix, whilst AR Fox, who is in the middle of a seemingly unending run with the AAW Heritage Championship, will look to conquer the challenge of ACH. Also on the card is a potential barn-burner between Drew Galloway and Jeff Cobb, and what is sure to be a slug fest between Pentagon Jr and Chris Hero.
+ Sami Callihan (c) vs Rey Fenix (AAW World Championship): the champion becomes the champion by being the best, and I truly believe Sami Callihan is one of the best wrestlers on the planet right now. His opponent, Rey Fenix, is perhaps the best young luchador in years, and this was a phenomenal match-up, with one sequence of brutal strikes exchanged in particular going to stick with me for a long time. There were near-finishes, hard hits, flashy and dangerous moves, and a post match segment which left me wanting more and more
+ Mat Fitchett vs PACO vs Dezmond Xavier vs Michael Elgin: hot damn Elgin is a big boy, especially compared to the others in this match. This was another really good match, with constant match-up changes due to the scramble-style stipulation. This was frantic from start to finish, and a must see to see the kind of matches AAW is capable of putting on
+ Matt Riddle vs Davey Richards: Matt Riddle, the King of Bros is so damned good, and his surprised opponent, Davey Richards, was a fantastic match up for him. This was a really good match, from start to finish, and even had Richards bust out a personal favourite submission move of mine, the Texas Cloverleaf
+ Jeff Cobb vs Drew Galloway: Cobb is a monster in the ring (haha, get it?) and Galloway has been on fire the past year or so on paper this looked like a good match up. Thankfully, it did end up being so, as the technical Cobb tried to outmanoeuvre the long-limbed strikes of Galloway. A scorching promo from the winner made the result even more enjoyable
+ Heidi Lovelace vs Kimber Lee: unless I am mistaken, this would have been the last indie date for both of these women before they want to NXT. If that is the case, it was an acceptable farewell. Not quite to the standards of the rest of the show, but certainly better than nearly every WWE women’s match, which is a shame considering what is in their futures
– AR Fox (c) vs ACH (AAW Heritage Championship): these two are such phenomenal athletes, but for whatever reason this match just never clicked with me. Maybe it was the over the top moves each performer did, with flips and quick recoveries and whatnot, but here it just seemed worse than other matches of similar pacing
– Kongo Kong & Markus Crane vs OI4K (Dave & Jake Crist): both of the Crist brothers are so good, so it was a shame they had to carry their opponents through their pre-match brawl and then an actual match. This was not a good match, but it really wasn’t the Crist brothers’ fault
– Chuck Taylor & Colt Cabana vs The Last Real Besties (Davey Vega & Silas Young): the story going into this is that Davey has bitten Chuckie T on the penis not once, BUT TWICE. So Cabana was called in as the Penile Protector… and it was that kind of match. I am not a fan of Colt Cabana’s “comedy”, so this match did nothing for me.
– Connor Braxton (w/ Eddie Machete & Scarlet Bourdeaux) vs Homicide: I admit, I’ve never really cared for Homicide, and I am very unfamiliar with Braxton (though we all know his valet, Scarlet Bourdeaux). This was short and kind of irrelevant, and generally just not very good
– Chris Hero vs Pentagon Jr.: oh lordy THIS match, with the most spectacular sight you’ll see between the bigger Chris Hero and the man with zero fear, Pentagon Jr. The conditions of this match meant it was mostly a brawl outside of the ring with a bit of move-spam towards the end. This wasn’t a good match, but it was not entirely the fault of the competitors
> AAW became one of my favourite independent promotions last year, due to it’s very small but personal building. I am looking forward to it’s future
Should you watch this event: Following the first two matches, this show looked like it was going to pick up. Unfortunately, even the huge amounts of talent on the show were not enough to make this a must-see event. This was a perfect split of good and bad matches, and the bad were just not worth sitting through to get to the good matches.