AAW Day of Defiance (May 5, 2018) Review

Added by Tony Kegger

AAW returned to LaSalle, Illinois for the last time until August 4th for Day of Defiance. Ten matches were advertised for the show.

Buck Nasty vs. Mike Hartenbower vs. Hakim Zane vs. Curt Stallion vs. Space Monkey

Five-man scramble match to start Day of Defiance. Space Monkey was impressive here with a moonsault and then later a front flip over the top rope to the outside. The spot of the match was a multi-man suplex in the middle of the ring with everyone in the match involved including the referee. Stallion ended up winning in 5:29 after pinning Space Monkey. **1/4

Laredo Kid vs. Zema Ion

Laredo Kid made his return to AAW one year after competing in the Thursday Night Special show in May 2017. Both of these wrestlers have a fast-paced style so this was an exciting match. Kid and Ion had several nearfalls in the opening few minutes. Kid hit a springboard moonsault to the outside and Ion did a springboard hurricanrana. Ion hit Kid with a DDT for the win in 8:32. ***1/2

Scarlett Bordeaux vs. Shotzi Blackheart

Bordeaux was accompanied to the ring by Davey Vega. This was my first time seeing Blackheart and she looked impressive. Blackheart hit Bordeaux with a cannonball senton in the corner. Bordeaux later hit Blackheart with a crossbody off the top rope. Vega got involved in the match and broke up one of Blackheart’s pin attempts. Blackheart kicked Vega out of the ring, but Bordeaux was able to use the distraction to get the win in 5:13. *3/4

Connor Braxton, Jake Something & Brubaker vs. Stephen Wolf, Dante Leon & Sage Cainan

Mike Hartenbower was originally announced to be teaming with Leon and Cainan, but he was replaced by Wolf who was originally supposed to be in the opening five-man scramble match. This was a good decision by AAW because Wolf’s style is more similar to his tag team partners. This was only fourth time AAW has used Leon and Cainan. It was my first time seeing them and I like what I saw from them. They are both high flyers and they looked good. It looks like Leon and Cainan have only been wrestling on shows for a year, but I wouldn’t be surprise if they got booked for bigger AAW shows in 2018. So far they have only wrestled at LaSalle and those AAW shows have a “B Show” feel to them. This was a good six-man tag match, but nothing really stood out other than Leon and Cainan looking impressive. Wolf got the win for his team in 7:13 with the blue thunder bomb. **3/4

AAW Heritage Championship: Trevor Lee (c) vs. Paco

Paco won the Heritage Rumble at AAW Path of Redemption in March to earn the opportunity to challenge Lee for the AAW Heritage Championship. The start of this match featured Lee in complete control and putting Paco in several restholds. Paco was able to fight back and get several nearfalls. Paco is very over with crowd whenever he is at an AAW show and the crowd was rooting hard for him to win the Heritage Championship. Lee tried to get a cheap win by grabbing Paco’s tights during a pin attempt but the referee caught it in time. Lee brought a chair in the ring, but when he tried to hit Paco with it, Paco ducked and Lee ended up hitting himself in the face after the chair bounced off the ropes. Paco tried to hit Lee with a frog splash, but Lee was able to block it with his knees and pin Paco with a small package to retain his title in 19:05. ***1/2

AAW Tag Team Championship: Besties in the World (Davey Vega & Mat Fitchett) vs. AR Fox & Myron Reed

Scarlett Bordeaux is currently the manager for the Besties in the World and she was ringside for this match. The Besties have been two of the most consistently booked wrestlers in AAW. They rarely miss a show and they were in the main event of the Pancakes and Piledrivers show AAW helped produce in New Orleans during WrestleMania weekend. The Besties have been the AAW Tag Team Champions since November of last year. AR Fox and Myron Reed won an amazing three-way tag team ladder match at the AAW Never Say Die show in April to become the #1 contenders for the Tag Team Championship. During a recent backstage interview with the Besties promoting this match, Fitchett said he was nervous about Bordeaux getting involved in the match and causing them to lose so it felt like Bordeaux was going to be an important component of this title match. Bordeaux played a role early when Fox accidentally took out Bordeaux who was standing too close to the action. Vega immediately asked Fitchett to check on her when that happened. The highlight of this match was the Besties hitting Fox and Reed with both double Tombstone Piledrivers and double Last Rides, which were stolen from the Undertaker’s move set. The Besties got nearfalls for both and later attempted double chokeslams, but Fox and Reed were able to counter them. Fox and Reed looked good here and hit double 450 splashes onto the Besties for a nearfall. Bordeaux later recovered from her injury and the Besties retained their titles in 14:02 when Vega got the pin with his feet on the ropes while Bordeaux held his feet. ***1/4

Rey Fenix vs. Trey Miguel

AAW started booking Trey Miguel in 2017. He has been mostly used in a tag team with Stephen Wolf. This was only Miguel’s second singles match in AAW and by far his biggest because it came against the former AAW Heavyweight Champion Rey Fenix. This match featured a lot of the usual high flying spots from Fenix, but Miguel got in plenty of offense and had several good nearfalls where he came close to pulling off the upset. Fenix won the match in 11:15 with a powerbomb and afterwards, he grabbed the microphone and put Miguel over with a brief speech. It was one of best matches on the show. ***1/2

Dog Collar Match: Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. Ace Romero

AAW is a promotion that regularly has long-term storylines and one of the current storylines in AAW is the feud between Ace Romero and MJF. It started at AAW Epic in March when Romero entered the ring after a match between Paco and MJF to defend Paco. A singles match was made for the Never Say Die show, but one match was not enough so a dog collar match was booked for this show. This was a typical dog collar match. The chain was used as a weapon several times. At one point in the match, Romero was on the top rope and MJF pulled him off to the outside by pulling on the chain. Romero was later busted open and bled from his forehead. MJF used the chain to win by submission in 17:20. ***1/4

Moose vs. Brody King

This was Brody King’s AAW debut. King has wrestled for PWG a few times this year. Moose made his AAW return in March after being gone for over a year. Moose is a powerhouse and King is a brawler so their styles are similar and they are both close to the same size. It was a hard hitting match with some brawling in the crowd. It wasn’t at the same level as the match of the year candidate Moose and Keith Lee had in March for AAW, but it was a good match. Moose hit King with a spear to win in 13:18. ***1/4

ACH & Kongo Kong vs. WRSTLING (Jeff Cobb & Eddie Kingston)

The team of WRSTLING is led by David Starr, but he was not at the show. Trevor Lee, another WRSTLING member, was not ringside for this match. This felt like an odd choice for an AAW main event. WRSTLING has had a small feud with ACH in 2018, but neither Starr or Lee, who wrestled against ACH in a tag team match in March, were involved in this match and Kongo Kong hasn’t been in AAW since April 2017. I didn’t see any backstage promo video released by AAW explaining why Kong was selected as ACH’s tag team partner for this match. ACH is AAW’s current Heavyweight Champion and it seemed strange that AAW would make this a tag team match rather than a title defense. The only thing about this match that seemed appealing was a possible interaction in the ring between Cobb and Kong. If you are not familar with Kong, who currently wrestles for Impact Wrestling, he is listed at 6 foot 7 inches and 400 pounds. He’s a big guy. The Cobb-Kong interaction did happen and it ended with Cobb suplexing Kong. Cobb later hit ACH with the Tour of the Islands and pinned the AAW Heavyweight Champion in 13:26. **1/2

This was a solid show from AAW. Unfortunately, it lacked a great show stealing match that most AAW shows seem to have at least one of. AAW’s next show will be Take No Prisoners in Logan Square on Friday May 25th. Jessicka Havok vs. Kimber Lee for the AAW Women’s Championship has been announced. Talent expected to be there includes PENTA EL 0M, Rey Fenix, Juice Robinson, Sami Callihan, Colt Cabana and making his AAW debut, Darby Allin.