Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment presented the 2017 incarnation of "Homegrown" at the Museum Bar on an exquisitely lit Monday night in Atlanta GA.
Martin Stone retained the GCW Championship in a 30 minute endurance match over Chip Day and David Starr. Tank and Iceberg scored an evocative upset victory over the Carnies to win the GCW tag titles. The grudge match between Homicide and Murder One, almost 20 years in the making, went to a no contest in a demented brawl that had a totally unsatisfying finish. Homicide was legit banned from the building as a result. The rematch that needs to happen will take place elsewhere. ACH defeated Jimmy Rave in a bout that provided a much-needed contrast to the rest of the show.
I had mixed feelings about the show as has been the case with virtually all of my AWE show experiences during the company's three years existence. "Homegrown" provided epic moments in abundance. That said, I have the sneaking suspicion the show would have been more effective with less.
Paid attendance was in the range of 175. In these parts, AWE is in a bubble all its own. Their hardcore cult following loves the product. Yet the company can't give tickets away to anybody else. AWE consistently brings in talent that cannot be seen in other promotions and provides the best match quality around. Under the circumstances (a Monday night show in downtown Atlanta, four hours worth no less) promoter Josh Wheeler did rather well at the gate.
Referee Stan Robinson announced his resignation as president of the company to a chant of "Fuck you Stan".
(1) Sugar Dunkerton defeated Adrian Armour in 10:45. I really liked this match. It would have stood out more if the next two matches didn't have a similar style and pace. Dunkerton pinned Armour after a sick clash of heads that was the first and far from the last for the evening.
(2) Billy Brash & Isla Dawn defeated Ethan Case & Su Yung in 10:50. Case was returning from a broken ankle suffered at "Best of the Year" and played it up with a close call during his entrance. The women opened up with stereo topes on the men. Yung was way, way over with the cult. She took manly punishment from Brash. then hit him with red mist. In the end, Dawn pinned Yung with a half nelson german suplex.
"The Undead Bride" Yung rose from the dead, which got a bigger reaction than anything during the match.
(3) In the Joe Black Open Challenge, Black defeated Curt Stallion in 12:50. They did some cool false finishes that didn't pack the same wallop after seeing them in the opening match. They got a "this is awesome" chant so what do I know? They traded german suplexes leading to Black pinning Stallion with a dragon suplex. Wheeler noted that Stallion drove 24 hours to do the show. To me, Black is more interesting and has more upside. After three matches, I had already seen enough forearm shots to last me a lifetime.
(4) ACH defeated Jimmy Rave with a brainbuster at 19:30. They worked a more deliberate pace than the previous match, letting things sink in to build the drama. The setup, with the majority of the crowd standing at ringside, worked against them. This match was better appreciated by being able to sit back and absorb the story. The accent was on ACH as an entertainer and performer more so than his athleticism. In a total class move, ACH respectfully admonished "SmarkRage" Corey Nachamkin for his brand of fan participation. For once, Corey was speechless. ACH's selling, first a hand and later a knee, was terrific. ACH got a ropes break on Rave's single leg crab before hitting the brainbuster.
Rave raised ACH's hand after the match.
(5) Chris Mayne won the Bad and Boujee Battle Royal in 16:43. Migos' chart topper accompanied each entrance. It was never a dull moment with a new wrestler entering the fray every 15 seconds boiling down to an elimination scramble amongst the final six. Slade Porter, Will Huckaby, Heisenberg Brothers, Chris Crunk, Jade Newman, Everett O'Connor, an amazingly svelte Sylar Cross (with Mathias Darkthorne), Stich Osiris, Ashton Starr, O'Shay, Matt Knicks, Luscious Laron, Mr. Sleaze and Aspyn Rose were all in there. The scramble came down to Mayne, Kiera Hogan, Owen Knight, Priscilla Kelly, former WWE developmental talent Matt Justice and Northeast indy sensation Maxwelll Jacob Freidman. Yung returned to scare the wits out of Kelly and chase her out of the match. Hogan was shocked after eliminating her love interest Knight in the heat of the moment. Freidman's uber arrogance eventually got the best of him as Mayne dropped him on his head with an inverted off-the-shoulder piledriver.
(6) Gary Jay defeated Evan Gelistico. A redundant match with a bazillion strikes. They worked hard and hit hard The point of the match was lost on me.
The crowd vociferously chanted "that was bullshit". Homicide said Murder was a bitch and Rave was a cunt and called them back out. Rave reappeared but nothing of substance materialized.
(7) Tank & Iceberg defeated The Carnies (Kerry Awful & Nick Iggy) to win the GCW tag titles in 12:40. Awful asked me to print the following quote: "We are going to put the old cows out to pasture." So there you have it. Helluva brawl here. Awful bled but no badly. The attention grabber was Awful threatening to piledrive Iceberg's wife on the floor. Finish saw Tank hit chokebreakers on both Carnies and Berg pinned the both of them with a Ground Zero splash. The outcome was a surprise as Tank doesn't figure to be back to defend.
The postmatch was an emotional show of mutual respect. The teams took turns bowing down to each other. Tank thanked the fans for their support and asked them to support AWE.
(8) Unsanctioned Grudge Match: Homicide vs. Murder One was a no contest at 14:25. This was a gutter brawl - choking, gouging, fish-hooking with no semblance of wrestling. Homicide did a number on Murder with the metal ring steps.They fought their way out of the building and into the middle of Ralph Abernathy Boulevard with the crowd following them out. Homicide tried to yank a street sign out of the ground. Back inside the ring, Murder hit a superplex for the only wrestling move of the match. Rave entered and hit Rock the World but Homicide kicked out. Referee Stan Robinson got toossed out of the ring. Kelly entered with a crossbody of the top on Rave and the match disintegrated. Robinson it called off and walked out. The match lost all of its precious momentum once Rave and Kelly got involved. If it had to be a no decision then it should have been via a heated pull apart between Murder and Homicide.
The crowd vociferoulsy chanted "that was bullshit". Homicide said Murder was a bitch and Rave was s cunt and called them out. Rave reappeared but nothing materialized.
(8) Martin Stone defeated Chip Day and David Starr in a 30-minute endurance match to retain the GWC Championship. Day was in his best shape since I don't know when. AWE redeemed themselves with the finish of this one. Story was Day being denied of winning a fall ans Stone and Starr swapped the title back and forth. Starr pinned Day to take the title. Stone made Starr tap to the crossface to take it back. Starr made Stone tap toa leglock and appeared to have the match firmly in his grasp. As the time wound down, Day hit a swanton bomb that would have Jeff Hardy proud on Starr for very close near fall. Ref Ryan "Butterbean" Harmon got knocked out. Day first got a visual three count on Stone, then on Starr. Referee Darryl "Grandpa Booker T" Hall hit the ring and Starr tapped out to Days' heel hook for a huge pop. Stone had Day in the crossface as the final seconds ticked down. Day wouldn't give but Stone got Day in a pinning predicament just before the bell rang. The AWE fans are going to blow the roof off when Day finally wins the title.
Day lodged a protest after the match. Upon further review by referee Hall, Day tapped out after the 30 minute mark and will be granted a one-on-one rematch with Stone at "Season 3 Finale" in July.