AAW Homecoming (2017) Review

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Kyle O’Reilly returns to AAW for the first time in three years to take on Zack Sabre Jr and Sami Callihan defends the Mother F’N Big Belt against Low-Ki in the main event as AAW presents Homecoming. This event was held on March 17.

Oi4K (Jake Crist & Dave Crist) vs Best Friends (Trent? & Chuck Taylor)

Jake and Dave are in the prime of their career. This match proved just how versatile of performers they are. They can work an all-out sprint style spot fest or, in this case, a very methodical and deliberately slower paced match. This match was captivating from beginning to end. These are four very charismatic performers and their personalities shined throughout. The Crist brothers had a very compelling heat segment and Trent can make anyone’s heat look good. Taylor showed a lot of fire on the hot tag and there was an epic superkick/ace crusher party near the end. A very exciting opener. ★★★½

Abyss vs Homicide

Abyss’ matches tend to be the low points of every AAW show. Quite frankly, as much as it pains me to say it, so too does Homicide’s. This was a short brawl with not much heat to it. Abyss has mastered the art of over-using thumbtacks to the point where it has just lost its appeal. There just wasn’t anything interesting enough to make me really care. ★

Drew Galloway vs Zema Ion

What a match this was! Zema Ion has produced quite some gems in AAW the past few shows and this was no exception. Drew Galloway is always great to watch when he is playing the monster role. He commands such a presence and conveys a lot of emotion through his body language. This was a great match with Zema Ion having to dig deep down to fight from underneath. He brought a lot of fire and energy to his offense and comebacks. Galloway was just a beast as he tossed Ion around like a rag-doll. Highly recommended watch. ★★★½

Shane Strickland vs AR Fox

Initially, I thought I was going to hate this match. They started off with a generic indie sequence that lacked any sort of interest or excitement. They then kicked into full spotfest mode, doing a bunch of stuff without rhyme or reason. Suddenly, the match took a turn and actually become engaging. I’m not sure what happened but eventually, almost out of nowhere, the match found a structure and a logical sense of pacing. There were some exciting near falls near the end and I really enjoyed what these two presented when it was over. I just wish the first half made more sense. ★★¾

AAW Heritage Title Match: Penta El Zero M vs ACH(c)

Thankfully, ACH did absolutely no comedy in this match. Instead, we got the cocky ACH which is a much preferred version. This was a very enjoyable title match with some fine psychology thanks to ACH’s show-off mentality. I can’t sing enough of ACH’s praises in this match. I would even say he out-shone Pentagon in this match. I don’t mean to take anything away from Pentagon’s performance, but I just have more memories of ACH in this match because he was outstanding. Still, both men put on one hell of a match and I would like to see a rematch between these two. ★★★½

Scarlett & Graves (Zachary Wentz & Dezmond Xavier) vs Besties In The World (Davey Vega & Mitt Fitchett)

The dynamic of Fitchett and Vega always makes for an entertaining match. There was a humorous spot where Vega tried to get Fitchett to use an illegal tactic, but Fitchett refused to comply. It’s moments like those that add such a unique touch to the Besties’ matches. Apart from that, I found that this match was missing something. The way they went to the heat, while humorous, felt like a bit of a cop-out. It had all the elements of a good tag match, but it never managed to quite hit the mark. Still, this was a very solid match with a tight structure. Wentz and Xavier bring a burst of adrenaline to their matches that always make them fun to watch. ★★★

Trevor Lee vs Rey Fenix

Like ACH, Trevor Lee decided to leave the comedy home and it was the best decision he has made in AAW in recent months. This match started off fast and furious as Lee wasted no time getting the jump on Fenix. This match reminded me why Trevor Lee is one of the hottest young prospects in pro wrestling today. It reminded me why he had such a meteoric rise at a very young age. Trevor Lee wrestles years beyond his age. Lee slowed the pace down considerably and there were some shades of Chris Hero to the way he worked over Fenix. Everything was calculated, well-timed and he always looked focus. Absolutely no wasted motion. Fenix was fiery on his comebacks and by the end of this, I was left wanting more. I would love to see a rematch between these two. This match barely went over the 10 minute mark, but they made every minute count. Fantastic match. ★★★¾

Zack Sabre Jr. vs Kyle O’Reilly

This match was exactly what you would expect from these two. The early portions saw both men trying to gain advantage on the mat. The overly contrived mat wrestling that ZSJ is usually accused for was not present here. There wasn’t anything pretty or fancy to the mat wrestling. It looked like a legit contest. It very rough but that’s what gave it a sense of realism. There were some beautiful strikes exchanges near the end that slowed the pace down, but also kept the action going. The strike-offs were adrenaline pumping and the momentum could have easily shifted into anyone’s favour. This was just an exhibition of a match where the emphasis was more on trying to sell a fight, rather than trying to tell a story- which in itself is a story. Simply put, this is pro wrestling. Easily the match of the night. ★★★★¼

Sami Callihan vs Low Ki

This was a mixed bag, but I have more positive feelings towards it. It started off as a sprint with Low Ki mostly on offense. Callihan took over and kicked the match into an even higher gear. However, the middle portions just fell a bit flat. Like most Callihan title defenses, this match went a bit longer than it needed to. There were some shenanigans which were fine, but there was one moment in particular that was just too ‘silly’ for my liking. I’m not a fan of when wrestlers try to sell obviously fake injuries as real injuries. Still, this was a fun main event that I enjoyed by the end despite being uninterested through the middle. ★★★½

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

DVD and Blu Ray also available at Smart Mark Video

Also streaming at at AAW On Demand

 

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