Wrestling Review: AIW Thunder in Indianapolis (2020)

Originally scheduled to take over Florida in March as part of Wrestlemania Weekend, Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) will instead host The Collective, a series of 12 massive events featuring competitors from across All Elite Wrestling (AEW), Ring of Honor (ROH), Impact Wrestling, Black Label Pro, and many other independent promotions.

Following on from the wild Jimmy Lloyd’s D-Generation F is a show from Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW), Thunder in Indanapolis. Two of AIWs top championships will be be defended in the main event, as dual AIW Absolute and AIW Intense Champion, Matthew Justice will face off against Josh Bishop in a match where the ring will have no ropes, and instead see barbed wire pulled taut between the ring posts. The AIW Tag Team Champions will also be defended, as the current champions, To Infinity And Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney) will face The Philly Marino Experience (Philly Collins & Marino Tenaglia) in a match where the winner must win a best two our of three falls affair. Also on the show are appearances from “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, Danhausen, Mordecai, up and comer Lee Moriarty and Impact wrestling star, Alex Shelley among many more.

+ Matthew Justice (w/ Bill Alfonso) (c) vs Joshua Bishop (w/ Wes Barkley) (No Rope Barbed Wire Match for the AIW Absolute Title & AIW Intense Title): started off slowly, but soon picked up, and by the end I was fully invested. Barbed wire has to be up there with thumb tacks in the list of things I would want nothing to do with in a wrestling match, and it’s that innate feeling of mine (and I assume many others) that bumped this up from being a “regular” weapons style match to something more. Both Justice and Bishop were good, with Bishop in particular really impressing me. I’ll be keeping an eye out for his name going forward
+ To Infinity And Beyond (Cheech & Colin Delaney) (c) vs The Philly Marino Experience (Marino Tenaglia & Philly Collins) (Best 2-out-of-3 Falls Match for the AIW Tag Team Title): this was pretty dang good from two teams I’m not overly familiar with. I know of Delaney and Cheech but not enough to have a preconception going in. Both teams worked really hard, and both hit some really unique and cool looking moves that made them stand out amongst other tag teams
+ Tom Lawlor vs The Karate Man: this was mostly a comedy sketch. The parts that were comedy did not do it for me at all, but the wrestling itself was pretty good. I’m listing this as a positive just for that aspect, and maybe you’ll get a laugh or two as well, but I’ll freely admit it won’t be for everyone. Maybe I’m just biased because I’m a fan of both guys involved?
+ Alex Shelley vs Lee Moriarty vs Tre Lamar: oh hell yeah, this is the match I was waiting for. Moriarty is something special, and I think he is another that will be a big star in a non-WWE or AEW promotion in the near future, and Tre Lamar is two for two following his match with JJ Barnett at D-Generation F. Alex Shelley is a long time veteran, and his entrance attire only made him more of a favourite of mine. This was an incredible match, and I expect it to be one of the best of the Collective events
+ Allie Kat & Levi Everett vs The Bitcoin Boyz (Eric Taylor & Mikey Montgomery) (w/ The Duke): Allie Kat had a busted nose, Taylor got spiked on the top of his head and Everett was absolutely on fire, this was a pretty good match albeit much shorter than I thought
+ Derek Dilinger (w/ Ziggy Haim) vs. Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham vs PB Smooth (w/ Jocelyn) vs Zach Thomas: this was a match of four relatively large, but very athletic big men – and two woman that were willing to give it all to make an exciting match up, and it was a lt of fun

Mance Warner vs Mr. Brickster: I knew what I was getting into when I saw Mancer’s name on the card, but dammit I hate this type of match. Not just bloody and dangerous, but STUPIDLY dangerous, with real headbutts, direct chair shots and other bullshit “wrestling”, and then to top it all off some sloppy refereeing made it look amateur
Erick Stevens vs Dominic Garrini: I was excited for this match as a technical showing, something a bit different on the show, and I was disappointed
Mordecai vs Danhausen: this was a sub-par comedy sketch before a sub-par wrestling match broke out, and I’ll be honest neither segment did anything for me at all. I remember being a fan of Mordecai/Kevin Thorn back in the day, and I know what Danhausen is all about these days, but frankly this was a swing and a miss

Should you watch this event: There was more good than bad on this show, but frankly that Danhausen match was perhaps the most disappointing thing I’ve seen in a while. I like Danhausen, and the way he stands out on the independent circuit, but this has soured me on him a bit. Definitely seek out the Shelley/Lamar/Moriarty triple threat, because I think Moriarty in particular will be something big in the future.

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