From Larry Goodman:
Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment ran the Masquerade on a lovely Atlanta fall afternoon. It was AWE’s final show at that historic venue, as promoter Josh Wheeler had made no secret of how difficult it has been to work with Masquerade’s slacker management.
Attendance was around 80. I’m guessing half of them were paid admissions. It was the raucous, snarky, smarky crowd that has become the norm at AWE shows. The crowd was mostly the hardcore AWE Koolaid drinkers. Wheeler is clearly in synch with them and they enjoyed the hell out of this show. The question is what can AWE to get more fans to sample the product? If Wheeler builds it, will they come?
Wheeler announced January appearances by Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa and plans for AWE’s show of the year on December 27 at a much larger venue to be named later.
Back to yesterday, AWE’s standard cast of characters was bolstered by a number of participants making their way north from the FIP trios tournament in Tampa, as AWE continues to present a unique blend of talent that cannot be seen anywhere else in Georgia.
There was nothing subtle about the AW E show and no way not to be entertained by it. The spontaneous feeling was quite the contrast to the calculated booking of Superstars of Wrestling the night before. I enjoyed each of the shows for vastly different reasons.
(1) Submission Squad (Gary Jay & Evan Gelistico & Austin Blackburn) defeated Chris Crunkk & Ken Lee & Jake Dirden in 8:30. This was a frenetic, sloppy mess of a match. Submission Squad did not distinguish themselves. They looked like indy lifers. Dirden, a lanky Bruiser Brody knockoff, was the one that made an impression on me. He was part of the winning team at the FIP trios tournament along with Team IOU. Finish saw Jay hit a TKO variation of the GTS on Lee who was then pinned by Blackburn.
(2) Sylar Cross squashed Cold Hard Security (Paul & EDang) in a handicap match at 2:25, pinning Paul with an inverted gourdbuster. AWE’s sadistic bent was in full effect. Cross looks as if he has dropped significant weight, but he swears it's just dedication in the gym. He was loose as a goose and way over with the crowd.
Marko Polo (with Merica) said he couldn’t go due an injury suffered against Cross at the last AWE show. Polo said it was a pulled shoulder but he could have lost his arm if he wasn’t in such elite shape. Glen “Chips” Matthews came to the ring, having lost all of 2 pounds in the last week. Marko bonked Glenn with his protein shake and covered while Merica made the 3 count. Merica dumped the corn chip over Matthews' head on her way out. Perverse entertainment runs rampant.
(3) Team IOU (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy) vs. William Huckaby & Joe Black was ruled a no contest after 8 minutes of unhinged insanity. Talk about keeping it real. If these guys don’t hate each other’s guts, they had me fooled. This feud is nuts. One of my top wrestling ten moments of 2015 will be the sight of Nick Iggy sprinting down North Avenue to save to escape from the Carolina psychos.
They brawled all over the bar. Wheeler would have lost a small fortune on spilled liquor if things had gone awry.
Postmatch, fans were calling for a cage the next time these teams meet.
(4) Dark Mon defeated Luscious LaRon in 8:45. Bad match, quiet crowd. It looked like Dark Mon’s frustrations got the best of him and he dropped LaRon on his head to end it. I cannot fathom AWE’s thought process with Dark Mon. They have succeeded in killing his mystique dead by booking him even Steven with LaRon. Alleged agent of evil Andrew Akins was nowhere to be found.
(5) Ashton Starr defeated Kiera Hogan via submission in 7:30. Hogan quit AWE in protest of Starr’s inclusion in the women’s division, or so the story goes. Starr called Hogan AWE’s Eva Marie and said he was settling for a B+ player. Hogan won the crowd over bigtime in a losing effort. She’s still struggling to master the mechanics of the aerial spots, but the chick is fearless and has the heart of a great babyface. Call me crazy, but I think Kiera vs. Priscilla could be money once their in-ring gets solidifies. Give Starr credit where credit is due. He’s been consistently compelling as the flamboyant fag of AWE’s women’s division.
Jason Bailey from Rock 100.5 addressed the crowd and got a “Murder’s gonna kill you” chant for his troubles. Bailey and Murder had engaged in an on air feud to hype the show. Wheeler made a quip about the evident lack of listeners for Bailey’s station.
(6) Adrian Armour defeated Chip Day by DQ in 10:20 when Owen Knight attacked Armour. This was the all-out war it had to be to underscore the Heroes vs. Hierarchy s dealio that is AWE’s lead story. They beat the living shit out or each other. Like Cross, Armour earned showed that he belongs in the AWE Heroes. Armour had beheaded Day with the Destructo Discus Lariat when Knight came out of the crowd (he had a ticket!) to interfere. The insertion of Knight into this scenario is an intriguing development. Knight has everything going for him except for a physique.
It should be noted that the majority of the crowd was on their feet doing the Hierarchy’s salute for Rave’s entrance.
(7) Jimmy Rave defeated Davey Vega via submission to the Georgia Wrestling Crown in 16:17. Vega tapped out to Dusk Til Dawn with none of Rave’s usual trickery. Thank you for that AWE. If Vega is among the best the Midwest has to offer, then Georgia must be in pretty good shape for talent. Vega wasn’t bad, but there was nothing special about him. The “please come back” chant for Vega was kind of weird, coming on the heels of a “Prince of Persia” chant for his gear. All in good fun I guess.
(8) In a match with no rules, Murder One & Iceberg (with Priscilla Kelly) defeated Tommy Dreamer & Moose in 13:30. Murder said Hierarchy wasn't going to mess up their pretty faces, they were going to beat Dreamer and Moose in a wrestling match and then beat Bailey’s bitch ass. They did a bit of brawling outside the ring A smart choice.No way were they going to outdo IOU vs. Black and Huckaby. Kelly jumped on Dreamer's back and joined Murder in putting the boots to him. Bailey intervened. Murder cornered Bailey, so Dreamer grabbed Murder and had him up for the Death Valley Driver when Bailey gave Dreamer a low blow. Murder Etherized Dreamer for the pin.
Postmatch -- Bailey said he waited 5 years for revenge on Dreamer for grabbing his wife’s ass. Dreamer went for him, but Bailey got away. Dreamer then gave Priscilla a piledriver using her thong underwear for extra leverage.
Dreamer got the last word - He advised Priscilla not to underwear next time to make it less panful, and informed Bailey that his wife had given him a blow job.