Notes In Observance – AML Wrestling LIVE! 1/13/17: Going Hardcore
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– This review will chronicle Episodes #79-85, with the first being the AML Prestige Championship Four-Way Elimination between Cedric Alexander, Jordan Kage, Caprice Coleman and Sean Denny to crown the inaugural Champion. We liked the idea of the Prestige Championship as a means of an Intercontinental Championship of sorts to give upper midcarders a nice accolade. There was plenty of buildup here too, given how everyone in the match won four-ways of their own. The twist here was that this was elimination style, as opposed to the one-fall qualifiers. The contenders also made sense too. Alexander had momentum with THE Tommy Thomas as his manager, Kage had his “Picture Perfect” gimmick going for him, Coleman was probably AML’s most over guy and then Denny had an injury to overcome given to him from AML Tag Team Champions The Heatseekers. All the ingredients here for a thriller. There was a brief production blunder since they gave a “Let’s Hear From The Contestants” graphic without any actual promos to follow. Alexander had a big pop upon his entrance with “Best In The World” chants galore. In swiveling heel fashion, he also trolled a little girl at ringside by pretending to give her a high-five only to pull out at the last second. This Alexander’s awesome. Sean Denny smartly sold his injury as he walked to the ring. Coleman had the biggest reaction and hugged a group of kids by the ring. What a gentleman. As things went underway, Alexander lured the injured Denny to take him on as he mocked his walking stance. He targeted the knee and hit the Lumbar Check to quickly eliminate him. Makes sense after all. It did get a little predictable here, since Coleman was being worked over by Kage/Alexander (two heels), that it’d come down to him/Alexander. Coleman battled back with a nice double huracanrana. The Trinity eliminated Kage as we figured, to leave it down to the final two. At this point, it got ultra-competitive and it worked because of their similar styles. Lots of history to play up on too as they were former partners in the C & C Wrestle Factory. Coleman hit an awesome huracanrana from the canvas to the floor. Alexander landed on his feet off a Leap of Faith attempt. Alexander had the Sky Splitter scouted and went for a brainbuster for a two. Some shenanigans from Thomas and a foreign object slipped into the ring in the finish made it clear that Alexander would emerge victorious. Still great though, as was Alexander’s post-match trolling with the fans, as he literally went around the first row and made them individually say he was the “Best In The World.”
– The AML Prestige Championship match between Champion Alexander and Shane Strickland was fresh off Alexander’s win. Of course, it didn’t occur to us that Strickland was Lucha Underground’s Killshot until it was mentioned on commentary. Strickland on his own comes off as somebody random and the “Swerve” nickname is kind of weak. That said, this was just all about the action. Just how we’d want it to be. Funny antics during Alexander’s entrance as Thomas blocked a fan’s attempt to get a selfie with Alexander. Early highlights included Strickland’s ability to land on his feet from the overhead scissors takeover. Strickland channeled WWE’s TJ Perkins as he “dabbed” after a nice roundhouse kick in the corner. All in all, a very technically sound encounter. Strickland impressed as he hit a 619 and a springboard missile dropkick. Alexander responded with a urinage onto the ring apron. Strickland struck with a somersault cutter for a two. A double bicycle kick had both men laid out, as Strickland feared the Lumbar Check. Strickland executed a middle turnbuckle DDT and climbed to the top rope to hit a double stomp for another close near-fall. This is where we were a little sad, given Strickland’s random Title shot and Alexander as the new heel Champion. There was no way that Strickland was winning this. Impressive finish (and clean) as Alexander hit a top rope reverse huracanrana and the Overtime for a two. When that didn’t work, he finally hit the Lumbar Check to get the three. Just perfect, straight-up wrestling. Seek this one out if you can. Hopefully, Strickland’s modest aerial ring abilities can translate to his LUG character soon.
– The AML Tag Team Championship match between The Geordie Bulldogs and Champions The Heatseekers certainly had its background story. The faces were previously taken out by HS in attacks that put them into the hospital. The backstage promo portion of this saw some excellent mic work from Mark Denny where the challengers stated that their bodies were broken, but they were still standing. It was almost Pitbulls-esque. HS’ response promo wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but their confident demeanor fit their smug characters. Sigmon’s “Life Is A Work” shirt was awesome. For dramatic effect, Elliott Russell mocked the GB dog sounds. Keeping in line with the personal edge, Sean rubbed the HS shirt in his crotch and shoved it into Sigmon’s face. Even better, that same shirt depicted the Tag Champs as “Just Married.” GB dominated the first few minutes before Sean got the hot tag and went after Russell. A solid yet short tale of HS’ cheating ways backfiring on them, as Sigmon hit Russell with the belt by accident and got hit with mist. Russell was down as Sean hit the GBH to get the pin and crown new Champions. Sure, the action suffered a little, but this was a nice effort that concentrated more on the storyline behind it and had the ring psychology to make up for it.
– The Kage-Coleman match revolved around the story where “Picture Perfect” wanted revenge against Coleman eliminating him from the AML Prestige Four-Way. Of the backstage promos, Kage’s was better as he wanted to prove he was the best in the state. Besides that, it felt more like they were each making a play for the new pretty female interviewer. Sort of a lull start as the two felt each other out, bordering on comedic tendencies on Coleman’s part. Coleman used the bottom rope to assist for a nice head scissors takeover to the floor. Kage hit a vicious Flatliner onto the ring steps. More heel work as he used part of his attire to choke Coleman behind the Referee’s back. Kage thwarted Coleman’s second head scissors attempt as he dropped him facefirst onto the apron. Not really any story to the match despite some close near-falls. Coleman was over with the fans, so thankfully there was that. It all led to the finish where Kage hit the Fuzzy Eight By Ten – a rope-assisted piledriver. A nice move to get the win, as Kage needed it more here. Also like that his use of the piledriver, however variated, could give him an advantage should they ever propel him to a Title shot against AML Champion King Shane Williams. Battle of the Piledrivers? Yes.
– The Dixon Line-Team Axcellence match was a way to have two teams on the lower tier of the Tag Team Division battle it out to have a future shot at the belts. Backstage promos were maybe average at best, with DL’s sarcastic delivery and “child abuse” angle good for a laugh or two. With that, it was right to the action in a bout that was fast-paced and back-and-forth. Axton Ray showed off his athletic prowess, as he performed a nice springboard elbow on Ken Dixon for a two-count. To add to that, he hit a handspring roundhouse kick. Joe Keys hit a double stomp on Brandon Scott’s lower back with help from his partner. With heel tendencies bleeding into the finish, it was DL who got the win with a handful of tights and opponents a face-full of ring ropes. Makes more sense, since DL could use the mini-push, even with GB as worthy Champs. DL’s post-match promo was great as they sent a message that GB were next on the list. As they should be.
– The Lio Rush-Caleb Konley match already on paper, we expected a full-on clinic. Given what both guys are capable of, it could’ve gone either way. When we realized that we got this match as a “bait and switch” tactic with the Konley-Kevin Kross feud in the bigger picture, it took a little steam out of it for us. Not to take away from the ring action, as it was still strong. Also liked the running joke of Team LaBron James constantly getting interrupted or attacked in their promo time. It was nice to see Kross in AML as his intensity works. It also helped that he flaunted Titles from other promotions to prove his own success. While Konley plays a brash heel in West Coast Wrestling Connection, he makes a great “never say die” babyface in AML. It probably also helps that he comes from North Carolina. Rush shined early with a step-up enziguiri and rope-assisted huracanrana followed by a tope suicida. He also hit a bulldog onto the floor as he used the apron as a stepping stone. Konley sold all of this well, as commentary put Rush over as the 2016 Ring Of Honor Top Prospect Tournament Winner. He hit Rush with a belly-to-belly suplex off the top rope. With the two’s styles so close, we got a fierce exchange in the closing minutes. It was everything we could’ve hoped for. Channeling WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens, Konley hit an apron powerbomb. Ouch. Rush got out of a Cradle Shock attempt and landed a reverse huracanrana. Near-fall. Just damn. Rush followed with the Rush Hour, but was so winded that he couldn’t get a pinfall attempt immediately afterwards. Konley dug down deep and came up with a wild spinning back fist and the Cradle Shock to score the win. Logical since the guy who usually gets “switched on” almost always gets the win. Also, Rush wouldn’t have anything to gain from this. Konley’s post-match promo was average, as he claimed Kross could run, but everyone knew the truth that he was scared. Sounds about right.
– The Triple-Threat Hardcore match between Tommy Dreamer, Zane Dawson and Damien Wayne were three combustible elements ready to blow in an “Extreme” environment. Frankly, it was smart to stick the wildcard Dreamer into this longtime feud. We also like the little badass tweaks they’ve done to Wayne’s character to make him more of a tweener. Hell, in his backstage promo, Wayne even threatened to go after Owner Tracy Myers. That’s brutal. In the meantime, Dawson’s one of those bully heels who actually comes across as intimidating on the screen. Think Owens with a Bray Wyatt face. George South was loud as always and is a perfect sidekick to the aggressive Dawson. Now to the best part of all – Dreamer’s lead-in promo. This might’ve been stuff of legend. He made strong points where he called his opponents hypocrites and that he got into this to get away from the politics that anybody would end his career except him. It was promo fire. Why didn’t WWE ever let him talk like that? To start, Dawson was cornered by Dreamer/Wayne and ran away. Wayne continued his “unpredictability” as he savagely targeted Dreamer afterwards. To fill in the “hardcore flavor,” Dreamer began to utilize some handy weapons like a dry erase board, trash can and water bottle on both opponents. In true rival fashion, as Dawson/Wayne worked over Dreamer, they argued over who did it better. Some highlights included Dawson’s sidewalk slam on Wayne onto a trash can for a two-count and the always-enjoyable Tower Of Doom spot. Dreamer had Wayne pinned, but had to fight off South on the outside. Dawson was slipped brass knuckles from South and he used them to get the pin on Dreamer. Surprise, surprise. Dawson was obviously the best choice here as he could give Williams a run for his money. The post-match promo from Dawson/South was great, as the heel duo soaked in the heat. Dawson claimed any ECW legend could be brought into AML and he’d take them all out. Most importantly, he declared a run at the AML Championship. Who’s going to stop that? Count us in.
- AML Prestige Championship – Fatal Four-Way Elimination – Cedric Alexander (w/THE Tommy Thomas) def. Jordan Kage, Caprice Coleman and Sean Denny (w/Mark Denny) to become inaugural Champion
- AML Prestige Championship – Cedric Alexander (Champion) (w/THE Tommy Thomas) def. Shane Strickland via pinfall to retain
- AML Tag Team Championships – The Geordie Bulldogs def. The Heatseekers (Champions) via pinfall to become new Champions
- Jordan Kage def. Caprice Coleman via pinfall
- The Dixon Line def. Team Axcellence via pinfall
- Caleb Konley def. Lio Rush via pinfall
- Triple-Threat Hardcore Match – Zane Dawson (w/George South) def. Tommy Dreamer and Damien Wayne via pinfall
Posted on May 29, 2017, in AML Wrestling and tagged Blake Chadwick, Caleb Konley, Caprice Coleman, Cedric Alexander, Damien Wayne, Jordan Kage, Kevin Kross, Lio Rush, Mark Denny, Sean Denny, Shane Strickland, Team Axcellence, The Dixon Line, The Geordie Bulldogs, The Heatseekers, THE Tommy Thomas, Tommy Dreamer, Tracy Myers, Zane Dawson. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.