AAW The Art Of War (2017) Review

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Jason Kincaid impresses in his AAW debut. Conor Braxton puts on the match of his career. A PWG-esque six-man tag team main event highlights the show, as AAW presents The Art of War. This event was held on February 17.

Best Friends vs Besties In The World

It took a while, but this match has finally happened. Surprisingly, there weren’t any comedic antics. Instead, they chose to work a standard tag team match and I don’t mean that in a bad way. These are four extremely talented individuals and this match was every bit of awesome as it sounds on paper. I don’t think there is a better FIP on the indies right now that Trent. There was a really unique set-up to the hot tag and Chuck Taylor brought the fire. A great start to the show.  ★★★½

Conor Braxton vs Zema Ion

Conor Braxton is slowly winning me over. This match was a big test for him to prove that he is more than just ‘the first graduate of the Black & Brave Wrestling School’. Zema Ion was a good choice for an opponent. This match went really well and Braxton showed-off a very unique offense. Hopefully, he finds his footing one day. This match is easily the best match of Braxton’s career. ★★★½

Matt Riddle vs Jason Kincaid

Jason Kincaid has been making some waves in EVOLVE the past year. This was his AAW debut and he definitely left his mark. This was an exciting back and forth match that felt like it could have ended at any minute.There were a few minor botches on Kincaid’s part, but his offense is so unique that it’s easy to forgive him. Who’s really going to be mad that only one foot connected on a springboard drop kick, from one end of the ring to the outside of the other? It didn’t hurt the match one bit. The finish was really hot for this. ★★★½

Trevor Lee vs Matt Sydal

This match was pretty forgettable. Trevor Lee wasn’t as unbearable like his match with ACH, but his mannerisms can be off-putting at times. I wish we could get PWG Trevor Lee, but it seems like we’re stuck with ‘Shake It Off’ Trevor Lee. This match just felt plodding while Lee was on defense and Sydal seemed to just be going through the motions. They really didn’t click. An underwhelming match. ★★¾

Low Ki vs El Hijo Del Fantasma

Initially, I liked the pacing of this match. They worked a slow, methodical pace andt it was really engaging. However, as the match continued, it started to feel a bit uninspiring. The match wasn’t long, so the slow pace ended up working against it in. El Hijo Del Fantasma was unable to match Low Ki’s fiery offense, making his comebacks pretty lackluster. It was a structurally sound match but it never got out of second gear. ★★★

Scarlet & Graves vs Unbreakable F’N Machines

I’ll admit, I don’t care much for either Cage or Elgin as single workers. They’re not bad workers, but I just don’t get hyped up for them. However, when you put them together, there is a certain magic to their matches. This match was the match of the night so far. They started off with a comedic routine that didn’t try too hard. Once it got over, they went full throttle. Elgin and Cage know how to utilize their size and strength in a match to make everyone look good. Wentz and Xavier had to work to cut them down, and they came up with some unique tag team moves. All four men worked extra hard and the end result was an electric crowd. This match was an adrenaline rush. ★★★¾

Abyss vs Eddie Kingston

As expected, this match was a brawl that went all over the place. Like most AAW brawls, the match got uninteresting once it spilled into the crowd. I’m sure it’s fun for the live audience, but for the DVD audience it just doesn’t make for compelling viewing. Abyss managed to botch throwing a bag of thumbtacks into the ring. An decent brawl, but “AAW” and “good brawls” just don’t go together for some strange reason. ★★¼

Sami Callihan, Dave Crist & Jake Crist vs AR Fox, ACH, Ray Fexis

This match was an absolute spotfest, and it rocked! Spotfests can be fun as long as there isn’t any resting periods. To keep it fun, something always needs to be happening. In this match, there was never any down-time. Fast-paced, hard-hitting, lots of cut-offs, jaw-dropping high spots, unique counters- all the ingredients for an amazing spotfest were there. Matches like these are the reason why AAW has built the reputation of being the PWG of the midwest over the past year. Amazing match, for what it was. ★★★★

You can get this event on Blu Ray at Highspots.com

DVD and Blu Ray available at SmartMarkVideo



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