Summer of George Part III: Heroes Apply Here!, AWE’s final show before taking hiatus is in the books.
Martin Stone retained the FIP Florida Heritage Championship by defeating Chip Day in the first defense of that title to take place outside The Sunshine State. Sound and Fury claimed the top contender spot in the tag team division via victory in a six team rumble.
As AWE takes time off to reevaluate their situation and let the pro football hysteria pass, the company finds itself at a crossroads.
AWE has no peer in Georgia in terms of bringing top tier indy talent like Drew Galloway, Cedric Alexander, Tomasso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Tommy Dreamer, Sami Callihan, Team IOU, David Starr, Martin Stone, Shane Strickland…the list goes on and on. But it's an expensive way to do business. What has been a blessing for the AWE fanatics has become a curse for the company.
AWE is in a bind. The company has given their fans countless great matches, so much stuff in a relatively short period of time.
The bar has been set ridiculously high. The matches at “Heroes”, while perfectly fine, failed to attain stratospheric levels. They had no big names on this card to provide the juice. That’s OK if the fans are in synch with the stories. But the AWE fans aren’t feeling it.
They’re kind of for everybody, not strongly against anybody, and nobody is really over to the degree of being a difference maker.
A portion of the fan base is disenchanted with the direction of recent events. Some feel things had gotten too one-sided in favor of The Hierarchy. Last night, AWE made a concerted effort to rehabilitate the AWE Heroes with Stone doing tremendous job as the lead member, but didn’t seem to make major headway.
“Heroes” drew the quietest, smallest (under 50 paid) crowd since AWE starting running Sunday shows on Spring Street.
(1) Sound & Fury (Will Huckaby & Joe Black) defeated Kobe Durst & Shane Sabre and The Insiders (Ace Perry & Slade Porter) and Mason Maddox & a Chris Rock knockoff and Coldhard Security (Chris Mayne & Glenn “Chips” Matthews with Paul Coldhard) and Owen Knight & Kiera Hogan in a Tag Team Rumble to become the number one contenders for the AWE Tag Team Championship in 30:40. Sound and Fury started with Sabre & Durst. The crowd viewed the insertion of the Carolinians as a buzzkill. Insider took a powder while S and F brutalized the other teams. Huckaby made Maddox tap to cloverleaf. Black pinned Sabre shortly thereafter. Coldhard Security entered and got abused by S & F. Hogan and Knight were last to enter. Hogan hit a DDT off the top on Huckaby. As a team, they’re gold, but it was downright silly to have one of the most badass guys on the roster sell for her. Hogan pinned Coldhard with a spinning fisherman suplex. Paul taking the pin was a nice piece of business. Black speared Slade to eliminate the Insiders. Black speared Knight for the win.
(2) Space Monkey defeated Chris Crunkk in 10:33. You’ve got to hand it to Space Money for originating a unique character. His antics baffled Crunkk for much of the match with entertaining results. They did all the monkey business spots. A fan yelled “monkey lives matter” as Crunkk was beating the shit out of Monkey. Monkey kicked out a Liger Bomb and pinned Crunkk with after a neckbreaker and a slap across the face with his tail.
(3) Luscious Laron pinned Percy Davis in 1:58 with a variation of a sitout powerbomb. Along with Sound and Fury, Laron gets the purest babyface reaction of anyone on the show. I would put Monkey in that group if he was a regular. Insiders are in that conversation for midcard guys.
Mathias Darkthorne came out and said Laron was out of his mind to think Luscious and Dazzle weren’t one and the same. This segment was one of the best things about the show. Luscious is a weirdly sympathetic character. Fans chanted for Darkthorne to take his jacket (ridiculously heavy for August in hot Lanta) OFF! As Darkthorne was dressing Laron down on the mic, Dale Patricks hit the ring and laid Laron out with a slingshot suplex. A female fan got in Darkthorne’s face and he no sold it. Darkthorne got legit heel heat and had the fans chanting “Delete” at him.
(4) Aaron Epic defeated Tripp Cassidy (with Priscilla Kelly) in 14:10. All Cassidy early. Kelly got involved and Cassidy gave her a piledriver on the ring frame. She sold it like a dead woman and was carried to the back. Epic went for the kill shot to the temple. Cassidy countered with a tombstone piledriver and coast-to-coast dropkick off the middle rope. Epic kicked out both moves and reversed another tombstone piledriver attempt for the win.
Postmatch, Iceberg hit the ring to pound on Cassidy. Murder One joined in to beat on Epic. Epic ended up tossing Murder out and threatened to knock him out like JT Dunn did.
(5) Adrian Armour defeated Ethan Page in around 10 minutes. Really good match here and a big win for Armour. Armour capped off one hell of an exchange with a springboard knee that left both men down. Page hit a crossed-arms Iconoclasm for a near fall. Armour nailed Page with a high knee off the apron. with Page just barely beat the 10 count. Armour survived the Headshot Cutter and pinned Page with the Destructo Discus Elbow.
(6) ROAR match: Ashton Starr defeated Kimber Lee in 9:25. Lee is such a tough customer there was no credibility problem whatsoever against Starr, who excels at wrestling women. Match was 50/50 with no extended selling. Starr was whining about his aching nose then reeled off three near falls in a row. Lee regained the advantage only to have Paul Coldhard interfere. Lee clocked Coldhard but Starr capitalized on the opening with a flying ass and an axe kick.
(7) Martin Stone defeated Chip Day via submission to retain the FIP Florida Heritage Championship in 16:22. Stone told ring announcer Rico Delgado to fuck off and insisted that Wheeler do the intros. AWE sidelined one of their top babyfaces by removing Wheeler as emcee. FIP referee Frankie Desino was the official. Stone popped up after taking a german suplex and hit a stunner for a double down. Stone dusted off a Chaos Theory suplex. In the end, Stone withstood four consecutive superkicks and locked in the crossface.
Stone said he came up short against GWC Champion Jimmy Rave and he didn’t enjoy it. He wanted more gold and demanded another title shot.
The Hierarchy (Murder, Berg, Day, Armour and Lee) surrounded the ring.
The Heroes (Huckaby, Black, Crunkk, Epic, Knight, Hogan) came out on the stage to support Stone. Not much reaction. The visual was wrong with the babyfaces outnumbering the heels. This was similar to a wildly successful segment on one of the early Quad shows that had Alexander, Strickland, Armour and Cross representing the Heroes. Lightning did not strike twice.
Commissioner Stan Robinson stammered out a few words indicating the main event had already happened and there would be no match. I liked Robinson as a heel ref. If it’s not broken…
Stone again tried to rally the Fanatics, stating Hierachy was a vicious cancer in need of eradication.
Wheeler said the Hierarchy was the reason he stepped down as commissioner. “Fuck ‘em', he said..