If the incredibly talented roster, amazing matches and awesome fans aren’t reasons enough to love Cleveland’s greatest wrestling promotion, Absolute Intense Wrestling, the fact that they regularly put on a women’s centric wrestling show should just about do it. In its Girls Night Out series, AIW brings the very best female wrestlers to compete in Cleveland, ranging from up-and-coming talents like Miss Heidi, K.C. and Latasha all the way to established ring veterans like the incomparable Sara Del Rey.
Fany promotions, in spite of a wealth of popular, skilled talent available don’t even book a single woman’s match at any given show, much less bank an entire show around women wrestling. AIW is the company that does this. And they have done this five times.
Let’s take a look at what kind of awesomeness they had prepared (and believe you me, awesomeness was brought).
Note: If you don’t want to be spoiled, you can download and watch the DVD of this show right now here in MP4 format at Smart Mark Video (or order the DVD). Then come back and check out Wayne Palmer’s awesome pictures.
AIW: Girls’ Night Out 5
January 29th, 2012
a. The Chad defeated The Duke with The Mercy Kill – The night started with three pre-show matches, all dude wrestlers (known as “Guys Night Out”). In the first, The Chad, with Chest Flexor Industries (including Dave Potato in a laugh-inducing neck brace, clearly showing the ill effects a pissed-off Johnny Gargano had on his health) met The Duke in a Hell On Earth rematch.
It was a solid matchup, comprised mostly of holds and grappling and the occasional chop for good measure. Duke held most of the control throughout, right up until Dave the Mashed Potato got all in the ref’s business so Chad could get in a sick Mercy Kill on Duke for the win.
b. Louis Lyndon defeated Façade – FI stayed ringside and waited for Lyndon, who the crowd greeted with a “You sold out” chant.
Façade and Lyndon were all over this ring with some really solid back and forth, perhaps led slightly by Façade with some huge kicks and an excellent springboard moonsault. Lyndon had some nice kicks for himself, and then there was Flexxor’s crew interfering at every other opportunity, trying to distract Façade or the ref.
It looked like Façade had this one down, but somehow Lyndon managed to sneak in out of nowhere for a roll-up and pin Façade for three. He always seems to get those sneaky pins that you never realize until his music hits and you’re going “Wait… what? When did that happen?”
c. Eric Ryan defeated Rickey Shane Page via submission with the Koji Clutch – This match started out with such a loud and equally split chant for both guys that they had to stop and stare at the loudest region of the audience. When they finally did start the match, the action absolutely did not let up for one second.
Eric Ryan was everywhere, leaping off turnbuckles for moonsaults and a seriously excellent coast-to-coast towards the end. Of course, RSP is a boss and didn’t let that stop him, even going so far as to actually catch Ryan in midair during that moonsault and countering with slams left and right
Ryan’s more than just flashy leaps though, as he utilized numerous submission maneuvers throughout, and while RSP did his best to stand up out of Ryan’s holds, but was unable, giving him the win.
Spectacular match. Can’t go wrong with these two.
Afterwards, Eric Ryan took the mic and challenged Shiima Xion for the Absolute Title at Gauntlet for the Gold in March, so that should be awesome.
After a brief interlude, Girls’ Night Out proper started in full.
1. Marti Belle defeated Mia Yim with an Angel’s Wings – Chest Flexor Industries were out at ringside, yet again, looking out for Mia Yim. Not that she needed any help, as she spent a comfortable amount of time kicking Marti Belle all around the ring. Marti didn’t take that for very long, and back just as hard with some seriously huge kicks of her own, not to mention some awesome slams and a seriously gorgeous ‘rana, which helped her secure the win.
It was quite surprising to see a match involving CFI and no interference. I guess it was a test for Mia, one she failed. After the match Louis Lyndon and Flexor himself climbed into the ring to berate Mia for losing to Marti, eventually holding her as Allysin Kay, another CFI member and all-around badass lady (as will be evidenced later) yelled at her and then smacked her across the face. Mia was dragged backstage and the tone was set for the rest of the show.
2. K.C. defeats Latasha via submission with the Cattle Mutilation – This was a solid, face-paced match that focused more on holds and grappling and full-out brawling than high-flying and fancy flips. Latasha had most of the control throughout, but KC managed to come back in a big way, hitting a clothesline, some hard elbows and a slam. She got the battered Latasha in to the Cattle Mutlilation, and Latasha tapped out quickly.
3. Crazy Mary Dobson defeats Miss Heidi with a Moonsault – This match had a bit of a rocky start, with a missed leap from Miss Heidi (but hey, it happens to the best of us, right?) but she definitely made up for it and brought the awesome.
Miss Heidi started it out with a (nicely recovered) leap from the top rope and kicking Mary right into the turnbuckle. She also threw down a really nice bridge hold, and later pulled out an enzuigiri followed by a backbreaker.
Mary almost got taken down by a kick in the face after tightrope walking across the top rope, but she came back from it after slamming Miss Heidi into the mat and then hitting her with a top rope ‘rana and nailing a Moonsault for the win.
I was really impressed with Miss Heidi and I definitely think she has a lot of potential.
4. Gabby Gilbert defeated Angeldust by submission with Crossface – This match took a little while to get up to speed, but once it got there, it delivered. It started with Gabby on the mic, talking a mile a minute about her name change and roughly a dozen other things while Angeldust stood around, looking confused (as we all did, really). She finally put down the microphone and they started running the ropes perpendicular to each other. Angeldust opted out after a few back and forths and watched Gabby run, encouraging her to keep on going, you can do it! Gabby eventually got winded, slowed down and stopped.
Angeldust took that opportunity to get on the offensive and battered Gabby with kicks and punches. Gabby got her second wind and knocked Angeldust down with a dropkick and a big clothesline, following it all up by twisting Angeldust with no small amount of various submission holds.
Naturally Chest Flexor Industries came out, because they have to be involved in everything, and Angeldust wiggled loose. It looked like the tides were turning in her favor, as she pulverizing Gabby with a backbreaker and followed that nasty hit with a pretty epic dragonrana.
That is until Dave freakin’ Potato climbed on the apron and interfered. While the ref was preoccupied with him, Chest Flexor himself threw a handful of something, probably baby powder, possibly cocaine, right in Angeldust’s face. Gabby grabbed the disoriented Angeldust, locked on a Crossface, and made her tap out.
Between matches, a guy game out with a mop to sweep the ring free of residual powder, and the AIW crowd cheered him on with a, “This is sweeping!” chant. I love AIW.
5. Veda Scott defeated Kimber Lee with a Jumping DDT – This was a solid match between two badass ladies. It was really a match that all women’s wrestling should aspire to be. Two talented women, no gimmicks, beating the heck out of each other around the ring. No booty-shaking, no bully tactics, no piercing screaming. Just two women wrestling.
And I mean really wrestling. Kimber Lee was out the gate with some huge armdrags and a big slam. She also pulled Veda into an awesome Tarantula style Octopus stretch, not to mention a gorgeous enzuigiri and a top-rope dropkick. However Veda came back and ended the match on a definitive note after dropping Kimber right on her head. Ouch.
6. Mia Yim defeated Allysin Kay with the Air Yim (SkyTwister Press) for #1 contendership to the Women’s Title – Allysin came out on the mic to address the fact her original opponent, Cherry Bomb, was stuck at the Canadian Border due to an anonymous phone call to the border patrol. She claimed since she was the winner by default, she should just be the #1 contender.
Owner Wadsworth came out to refute her grandiose scheme and tell her that’s not really how it works. He announced she would in fact have to fight for the contendership and announced an opponent.
Mia Yim came out and the crowd lost it.
It wasn’t even a match so much as it was a full-out brawl. Mia has the stiffest kicks I’ve ever seen or heard, and Allysin Kay ended the match with her nose broken in a three places. Her face was dripping bloody and she looked a mess. And she still beasted out the other half of the match, only succumbing to Mia’s incredible Skytwister Press.
Afterwards, Chest Flexor Industries and a variety of AIW staff climbed into the ring to check on Allysin, who was able to get out of the ring of her own volition, smashed nose and all. Respect.
7. AIW Women’s Title Match: Mickie Knuckles defeats Sara Del Rey with a Pumphandle Powerbomb to retain – Mickie spent the beginning of this match ducking Sara, throwing taunts and generally being silly. And not wrestling. Sara was only willing to take so much of these shenanigans before getting on the mic. She said Mickie was a joke. That she used to take Mickie seriously, and even touched the third rail by mentioning the time Mickie kind-of sort-of broke horrifically broke her leg in a match with Sara. Knuckles demeanor changed immediately (the word “fuck” may have been used), and went right at Sara Del Rey. SDR tried to combat Mickie’s rage with some kicks and arm submissions. She was in charge near the end when when Mickie landed a huge Pumphandle Slam Powerbomb to retain her title.
Any match that has SDR in it is always a treat, and this time was absolutely no exception.
I enjoy dudes wrestling as much as the next person (provided the next person is also a wrestling fan) but I love seeing kickass women in the ring. Women in this sport – in the ring and out of it – sometimes get a bad rep. Whether it’s sexist comments directed to the women busting their asses in the ring (admittedly the “This show was sponsored by Tampax; I had to pull some strings!” comment I heard at one point was hilarious) or certain wrestlers lumping all women wrestling fans into one unfortunate, derogatory category, it’s not always easy. But AIW, they don’t play these games. They recognize women as serious, legitimate competitors, as all fans and promotions should.