Wednesday 18 September 2013

AWW 10th Anniversary show – Wolverhampton Civic Hall, Wolverhampton – Sunday 15th September 2013

Before travelling to any wrestling show, I always wonder if the time spent on the road will be worth it. After my previous experience of AWW (back in February) I had no doubt that it would be. That show saw an excellent ladies match between Emi Sakura and Shanna, as well as some top UK and International talent. This time would be no different as the likes of El Ligero, Nathan Cruz and Mark Haskins would be joined by former TNA star Doug Williams, and two exciting Japanese wrestlers in Kenbai and Hiromu Takahashi.

These two Japanese guys both put on great matches; first, Kenbai took on El Ligero in a match that I fully expected to be a great one. I wasn't disappointed as both men started with excellent, and flowing sequences resulting in a stalemate each time, showing how equally matched they were. This wasn't going to be a walk in the park for either man. Towards the end, Ligero seemed to show signs of frustration as he couldn't put his Japanese opponent away – trying for three-counts at every opportunity before throwing Kenbai to the floor – hoping to gain the victory by count-out. After an exciting ending, Ligero managed to roll up Kenbai for the win – an excellent showing by both men. It's matches like this that melt my smarky heart and make me realise that I am still just a fan underneath it all!

Hiromu Takahashi took on Nathan Cruz in the other 'International' offering. This had great sequences at times but differed from the Ligero/Kenbai match; hard hitting throughout and what I would call the war of the night. Both men were physically drained by the end as Cruz would take the victory.

Other than the star-studded main event, two other singles matches were on the card, pitting some of the best UK talent against each other. The opening match of the night saw former TNA Bootcamp contestant 'Party' Marty Scurll take on the ever-popular T-Bone. Bone's strength and intimidating look took centre stage as Scurll would run away in the early going. Really great work from Scurll throughout to get the crowd to hate him; T-Bone instantly loved as a result. I've lost count of how many opening matches that I've seen T-Bone in this year and it's credit to him as he puts on a great show everytime and gets the crowd 'warmed up' leading into the rest of the night.

The pop of the night, for me, went to Mark Haskins. The Oxford native came out to a huge ovation against his very bearded opponent, Saul Adams. The early part of the match would see duelling 'Yes' and 'No' chants as well as a 'Sh*t Matt Morgan' chant that was quickly thrown out as Haskins would remind that part of the audience that there were kids present. I still don't understand why some people don't think about that kind of thing when at shows. None of us – fans or wrestlers – need to swear to have a good time and put on a great show. Much of this match was entertaining with Haskins grabbing a handful of beard at every opportunity. Despite Adams getting the somewhat surprising victory, Haskins would trash Adams' feather boa and mirror, infuriating the bearded, vain, Sensational one.

With all the star names that I've mentioned above, there was also a six-man tag team match between some of the AWW's brightest prospects. Charlie Garrett, Matt Lightening and Daniel Valentine would be victorious over the heel team of 'The Real Deal of Sex Appeal' Tukay, The Judge and Sam Wilder. Most notably for me was the performances of Garrett and Tukay – Tukay in particular as I haven't seen him wrestle since the February show. At that show, he was also in a six-man tag match but seemed a little nervous and a little too 'smiley' for a heel. He seems to have improved greatly since then – looking mean at times and giving great facial expressions depending on the situation in the match. It makes me happy when I know that there are youngsters that are taking their wrestling training seriously and I think Tukay is right up there in that respect.

The main event saw four gentlemen that were looking to resolve issues from the previous show. The new AWW Champion Johnny Storm, the former champion Brandon Thomas, the claimant to being the next AWW Champion Stixx, and former TNA Star Doug Williams all had scores to settle in this one. The main situation that I could see in this match was that Stixx is a dominant force that will, in the near future, challenge Johnny Storm for his AWW title. As the faces entered the ring they would charge their opponents' corner only to have Thomas bail out of the ring and Stixx refusing to budge; firmly locking eyes with the new champion. This would continue throughout as Stixx would show the gap in size between him and Storm. Luckily, Storm's lightening quickness would show through at times as he got the better of both larger opponents. The ending would see Storm and Stixx brawl to the back leaving Thomas to fall prey to the experienced Williams.

T-Bone defeated 'Party' Marty Scurll
Charlie Garrett, Matt Lightening & Daniel Valentine defeated Tukay, The Judge & Sam Wilder
El Ligero defeated Kenbai (Match of the Night)
'Showstealer' Nathan Cruz defeated Hiromu Takahashi
'Simply Sensational' Saul Adams defeated 'Star Attraction' Mark Haskins
AWW Champion 'Wonderkid' Johnny Storm & Doug Williams defeated Stixx & 'The Messiah' Brandon Thomas (w/ Violet Vendetta)

Overall, an excellent show from top to bottom. All the matches with top UK talents delivered and the six-man tag match was performed at a really fast pace at times which made it really enjoyable and exciting.

It's shows like this that make the travel time MORE than worth it. I believe the next AWW show is sometime at the end of November and I think I'll be needing to make the trip back up to Wolverhampton!

For my work (on WWE and British Wrestling) please visit and follow me on Twitter @jimmosangle

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