ACW: From Innocence to Insanity V

Anarchy Championship Wrestling is unstoppable. Just a few weeks ago at Queen of Queens, they put forth a convincing case that the ACW American Joshi Division contained “Best Women’s Wrestling in the World.” This past weekend ACW demonstrated that it simply puts on some of the best, most entertaining, and most diverse, shows in all of wrestling. ACW wrestler Killah Kash summed it up best on twitter prior to the show:

ACW Line Up:

  • Men vs Men
  • Women vs Women
  • Men vs Women
  • Big Name vs Rising Star
  • Hardcore
  • Softcore
  • Parkcore

Wow. You won’t see this at [other shows].

Indeed.

Pre-Show

No other company delivers the same type of show ACW. Oddly, that became apparent when a delay in the arrival of the ring lead to an impromptu session of ACW Four Square. Fans witnessed the likes of Chris Hero, ACH, and Biss in an intense rendition of the school-yard favorite. No one seemed to mind that the actual wrestling portion of the show would be starting fairly late.

While there was no official winner, The Submission Squad’s Evan Gelistico was dominant for extended periods due to his reach advantage and creative ball serve. Likewise, the supernaturally tall Chris Hero went for long periods without elimination, but was ousted multiple times by the speed and athleticism of Athena and ACH. It seemed to all be Innocent fun until, after a bit of smack talk, Hero threw a sucker punch at ACH. At that point the ring had arrived, and thus began the Insanity.

Main Show

1. Legion of Shroom (Chingo Del Santo and J.C. Bravo) defeated Berry Breeze and Killah Kash – This was the conclusion of the ‘Smurf-fall’ epic. Berry Breeze was ousted from the Smurf Nation after being pinned in a “person who gets pinned is ousted from his group” match, and did not take it well. He secretly hired Killah Kash to repeatedly attack his old teammates. His attempt to destroy them succeeded in a way as Chingo and Bravo gave up their happy, smurfing ways to reinvent themselves as the ‘Legion of Shroom.’

There was a ton of animosity and neither team seemed willing to wait for the ring to be fully set up in order to settle their issue. It worked out. They brawled around the venue and used spare equipment to brutalize one another. The LOS took the win with a pin on Berry ringside. Post-match they tied Kash to a ring post and only half-heartedly tossed a chair in the direction of his face, seemingly expressing they had spent enough of their time and energy on this feud and were ready to move on. Poor Kash then got a slap from Berry, who didn’t feel like he got what he paid for. ‘Killah’ Kash should listen to this until he gets his swagger back.

2. Lone Star Classic Qualifier: JT Lamotta def. James Claxton, Franco D’Angelo, Big Ricky, Mat Fitchett, Jason Silver – This was one of ACW’s traditional multi-man “Holy Shit move out of the way,” type matches. Good fun, but unfortunately both James Claxton and Franco D’Angelo of The Takeover got injured mid-match. Claxton had to be carried to the back while Franco somehow managed to finish. JT Lamotta picked up the win though, getting his groove back after Lady Poison last month.

3. ACW Young Guns U-30 Title – Gary Jay (c) defeated Jessica James with a Michinoku Driver – Gary Jay seems to just hate everyone, Jessica James being no exception. He didn’t give Jessica James a whole lot of respect, so she tried to pound it out of him. JJ may have even set a ACW record for palm strikes per minute, that’s how much of a bum rush she put on. At one point Jessica put Gary Jay in a body scissors and made his hair into pig tails. Surprisingly, he seemed to really enjoy this new ‘do and the confidence boost gave him an edge for an extended period. It was a hard-hitting, highly competitive match, that was ruined when fellow Submission Squad member, and Joshi traitor, Athena cost Jessica the match and her chance at another belt.

4. St. Louis Anarchy Title – Evan Gelistico (w/ Athena) defeated Darin Childs (w/ Angel Blue) with a Chair Assisted St. Louis Stretch – Two of the men  most experienced at villainy vied for control of the St. Louis branch of ACW.  As Evan said before the match to his fellow master of evil, “Souls are not necessary for what we do.” Darin seemed one step behind in his acknowledgement of this, and it cost him. Evan was able to use fans as human shields to halt a dive from Darin at a crucial moment in the match. Later, Evan had Athena come in a deliver her devastating “O-Face” to Childs. That could have been enough but Evan decided to choke out Darin with a chair, for good measure. In a battle of evil, more evil won.

5. Lillie Mae defeated Athena, Amanda Fox, and Angel Blue – Any match where the first move is Athena getting surprise superkicked in the face is probably going to be a good one. Lots of crazyness went on as all four women were allowed in the ring at once. At one point there was a four person chained German Suplex, completely unreal moment, and match.

All four women looked great, but this was Lillie Mae’s chance to show that she deserved a chance in the QoQ tournament (a chance taken from her via Portia Perez’ wrench). While Athena and Amanda were very impressive, living up to their recent hype, Lillie and Angel ended up as the final two. Angel has looked great since returning to ACW a few months ago, but the same can be said same about Lillie. She took the win with an Implant Buster, and  then called Portia Perez a “chickenshit psycho” and challenged her to a Texas Bull-rope Match. Portia is definitely a psycho, but Lillie needs to be one too if she wants to survive, let alone win, a match of that sort against P2.

6. ACW Hardcore Title Match – MASADA (c) defeated Pierre Abernathy and Matthew Palmer – When Matthew Palmer lost the ACW Heavyweight Title early this year, he did not ask for a rematch or make promises of recapturing the gold. “I’m going after MASADA,” was his mission statement and this was the match where he finally got his chance. After changing his entire persona, wrestling style, and even appearance in order to make himself into the person that can end MASADA’s two year reign as ACW Hardcore Champion, Palmer had a chance to live his dream. Tje Submission Squad’s Pierre Abernathy cares nothing about that, though, and was just looking to bring some more hardware back to St. Louis.

Surprisingly, the match started as a fairly pure wrestling contest (with chairs coming in only once Pierre had had enough of being outworked by MASADA’s on the mat). It wasn’t long before bodies and chairs were flying into each other. Palmer diving Tornado DDT’d Abernathy onto a bed of steel, taking him out of the match. Palmer tried to use kicks and submission to keep MASADA grounded. It didn’t work. The Death Match Monster viciously power bombed Palmer, causing him to cough up blood. He held on, but was brought down with a rib crushing  body lock until he passed out from pain and pinned. At no point did it seem like Palmer was ready to tap, or give up his quest to take down MASADA. To be continued?

7. ACW Heavyweight Title Match – Davey Vega (c) defeated Jaykus Plisken (w/ Draven) with an Air Raid Crash – The most loved man in the Mohawk, and only Submission Squad member who isn’t a complete dick, Davey Vega, had his toughest title challenge to date against the leader of The Takeover, Jaykus Plisken. Jaykus set the pace for the match, dominating the champ in the same manner The Takeover has punished countless others on the ACW roster. In response, Vega employed a similar strategy to Palmer, kicking, choking, and attempting to ground the bigger and stronger Jaykus. The title seemed in constant jeopardy, but Vega survived the Jaykus’ onslaught just long enough to running kick his way to a massive superplex and a call for an Air Raid.

Nothing had gone right for the Takeover that night, and post-match Jaykus and Draven tried to take their frustrations out on Vega. Surprisingly, it was Darin ran out and made the save, chasing off the Takeover with a steel chair. He then handed the chair to Vega and lectured him to learn how to use it, in order to protect himself. Given that Vega had previously beaten Darin at the QoQ show, and the fact that Darin’s the evil, manipulative leader of a rival group, this was not just a bit of ‘friendly’ advice.

8. Khris Wolfe, Highroller Haze, Sky De Lacrimosa (w/ Vanity Valentine), Donny Davis (w) defeated Shawn Vexx, Slim Sexy, Jeff Gant (l), and “Too Much Metal” Gregory James – A fun eight man tag, highlighted by a couple of debuts. One, ref now wrestler Donny Davis and a stunning valet for Lost Boys named Vanity Valentine. This was my first time seeing Gregory James wrestle and, living up to his nick name, he was pretty god damned metal. Know what beats metal? Burning Hammers. That’s right, King’s Road Beast Mode was in effect again as Khris Wolfe took full advantage of Jeff Gant’s inexperience and laid him out for DD to make the pin.

After the match, a touching moment as Rock Hardly, brother and tag team partner of Highroller Haze made his return after a year long injury induced absence. He looked to be in great shape, putting  Team SEX back at full force. This should make for some interesting times in ACW’s perpetual faction war.

9. Anarchy Televised Title – Rachel Summerlyn defeated Scot Summers (c) by referee stoppage due to a Rear Naked Choke – I knew I had to be at this show when this match was announced. The top male competitor in ACW against the top female competitor. Both known for their size, strength, submissions, and love of violence. And it was for a title: The Anarchy Televised Championship. A title which instantly makes you, as ACH put it in our interview,  the face of the company, since all of the defenses are put on youtube. This match was going to be special no matter what, but it surpassed all expectations.

Before the match, Scot stated that he was very conflicted going in. He considers Rachel family and, having recently brought a daughter into the world, couldn’t imagine inflicting his usual brand of demented savagery on someone he holds dear. Rachel would hear none of it and demanded that she get Scot Summers at his most psychotic and brutal. Scot promised to not listen to the evil voices in his head; Rachel promised to take his title if he didn’t. No easy task. Rachel has slayed various ‘big bad’ monsters in the past, Daffney, Portia, Athena, but they do not come bigger and badder than Scot Summers.

Scot’s internal conflict was still playing out when the bell rang. The tension in the air was eerily similar to the early moments of Kana vs TAJIRI in SMASH. Rachel started as the aggressor and, while he engaged, you could tell Scot he was holding back. The feeling out process went on for a bit with Rachel begging Scot at several points to start going full throttle. He didn’t, so she hit him. Again. And again, and after one elbow too many, the real Scot Summers came out, viciously going after his “little sister.” Rachel just came at him even harder. He reciprocated.

Things went on like that for a while, but the end came in a way that no one could have predicted. After tossing Rachel ringside, Scot wasted valuable seconds contemplating whether he should go after her. The violence in Scot won out and he decided to dive head first at Rachel. The hesitation cost him, dearly, as Rachel was ready and tossed a chair at him, a chair that split the top of his head wide open. The gash, which required 44 stitches, poured and poured until his face, the apron, and Rachel herself were covered Scot’s blood. He did not stop fighting and, half blind, managed some offense on Rachel. Ultimately, inevitably he succumbed to a brutal rear naked choke and passed out as the referee called for the stop. Then in a transcendent moment Rachel, like ‘an angel covered in blood,’ rose and claimed her new title as the face of Anarchy Championship Wrestling. Simply amazing.

10. ACH defeated Chris Hero with the Best 450 In the World – It says a lot that after the previous, emotionally draining match, and the show starting very late, the crowd was still its hottest for the main event. Chris Hero, one of the best wrestlers in the world, took on ACH, who wants to prove he belongs on that list. They put on a once-in-a-lifetime typee match. Of all the bouts I’ve seen live, this may go down as the very best. Back and forth action, top notch athleticism, strikes, grappling, high flying, close calls, shocking reversals, it had everything you’d hope for.

The ACW atmosphere is always unique, and this was that atmosphere at its highest level. The entire ACW locker room lined up on the balcony to watch the match along with the fans, who were out of their seats. Everyone screamed “A-C-H” “H-E-R-O” and “You Can’t Beat Him” “Yes He Can” until they were hoarse, then screamed more.

ACH finally came out on top, much to the pleasure of the crowd (even the numerous Hero fans didn’t seem to mind). The self-proclaimed King of Wrestling spoke afterwards and, while acknowledging ACH is a top wrestler who will do big things in the future, said the next time they meet, Hero will put him out with a KO.

And that was that for this incredible, historic show. You will probably want to own on DVD as soon as it comes out. Every match was good, some were very good and a couple were  just amazing and unforgettable. Another stellar showing by ACW.

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