Having recently attended AIW’s Rubber City Con event, I decided to go to their next event as well which was entitled Hell on Earth. This show was not just any show though for the typical AIW crowd, this one was special. Fans and wrestlers alike were saying goodbye to their most used venue,Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, giving the evening a special feeling that is hard to put into words, even for a writer. It was not only the venue that they were all saying goodbye to but a fellow wrestler as well, Magnum C.K, who for health reasons had to retire from the ring. Put all these things together, on top of one incredible show, and everyone was treated to a night that they won’t soon forget.
Starting Off Strong
Hell on Earth started off strong with it’s opening match being Duke Money (Mance Warner, Jock Samson, and The Duke), versus The Young Studs (Eric Ryan and Bobby Beverly), versus The Jollyville Fuck-It’s (Russ Meyers and T-Money), versus The Production (Derek Director and Danhausen). The match was an incredible way to start off the show, full of energy and spots that made fans not only excited for the match itself but for everything that was to come for the rest of the night. I truly enjoy watching Duke Money in the ring, they work well together, and I am always waiting on the edge of my seat to see what is going to happen next. Seeing Derek Director and Danhausen of The Production working together was also something I really enjoyed. I had not previously seen the two of them work together on their own before, I had only experienced watching them wrestle with the other members of The Production. The match ended with Duke Money defeating all the other three competitors.
The show continued with Maxwell Jacob Friedman coming out and cutting a promo. Since Tracy Smoothers could not make it to the show, Maxwell Jacob Friedman decided to call an open challenge to anyone who was in the back.The promo left me uninterested and quite frankly, not very excited to see who was going to accept the open challenge. Friedman should have had me on the edge of my seat wondering who would take him up on this challenge but instead I found myself wondering what was going to be in the next match instead of caring about the one that was going to happen in a matter of seconds. However, that changed rather quickly once it was Swoggle who answered the challenge, leading them both into a match. I always enjoy watching Swoggle wrestle in the ring and this match was no exception. Swoggle is one of those wrestlers who for every second that they are in the ring, they’re entertaining you, which makes watching every match of his feel like I am watching him wrestle for the first time in the best way. Swoggle’s performance in the ring worked well with Friedman’s and made this match one of the highlights of the show for me. Maxwell Jacob Friedman defeated Swoggle by disqualification due to Maxwell Jacob Friedman raking Swoggle’s eyes and for body slamming the referee Dave Dawson.
Next up on the card was KTB versus Dr. Dan, versus Josh Bishop, versus Dominic Garrini. The standout in this match for me was Garrini. I have seen Garrini wrestle a couple of times and while I have enjoyed what he does in the ring, this match was the first one where I felt myself sitting on the edge of my seat wondering what Garrini specifically, was going to do next.The match ended with KTB defeating all three, KTB pinning Dr. Dan after Josh Bishop and Dominic Garrini brawled into the locker room. This was an excellent way to end the match, leaving myself and hopefully the rest of the audience with questions regarding the story lines for AIW. Does this mean there is a feud coming up in the future with Dominic Garrini and Josh Bishop? Is this something that the audience of AIW would want to see? I don’t know for certain, but I do know that if it was to become a story line, I would certainly be in Garrini’s corner after seeing this match at Hell on Earth.
It’s Time for a Curtain Call
Very rarely will I state that once specific person or tag team stole the show when it comes to wrestling. I truly believe that every single wrestler has their moment to shine and brings something different to the show. Having said that, while no one person or tag team can steal the show, I do believe in stand out performances and The Production delivered quite the stand out performance, making both of their matches my top two favorite matches of the night. For The Production, the spotlight was on two members specifically, Magnum C.K and Frankie Flynn.
The first match was The Production (Magnum C.K and Frankie Flynn) versus No Consequences (Tre Lamar and Chase Oliver). Lamar always brings a certain type of flare to the ring when he is performing that makes it difficult to look away from, during his matches I usually find myself focusing completely on him and his athleticism. That flare was there in this match as well, but it was encompassed by Magnum C.K and Frankie Flynn. Maybe it was because this was one of their last matches together, maybe it’s because the title was on the line and they desperately wanted to keep it but there was a sense of urgency to this match from both men. Neither held back and it kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire match. The Production defeated No Consequences and after the match Magnum C.K had something to say. It was made aware before the show that Magnum C.K would be going into retirement due to back injuries. After having defeated No Consequences, Magnum C.K stated that he would be taking the AIW Tag Team Titles into retirement with him, leaving Flynn looking confused but regardless, like always, seeming to back up his tag team partners decision without fail.
While Frankie Flynn might have been on board with this plan of Mangum’s, it appeared as if not everyone else was, specifically, The Weird World (“Weird Body” Evan Adams and Alex “Worldwide” Keller). While Magnum was getting ready to leave with the titles, The Weird World came out from the locker room to cash in their guaranteed title shot from winning The Chandler Biggins Memorial Tag Team Tournament. This led to The Productions second match of the evening and if I thought things could not be more intense for The Production, I was very wrong. Both Magnum C.K and Frankie Flynn brought their A-Game even more so than they did in their first match, it was clear that neither of them wanted those titles out of their hands. Even with both Magnum C.K and Frankie Flynn not holding back though, they were defeated by The Weird World making The Weird World AIW’s new Tag Team Champions. Post-match, Magnum C.K gave a very moving farewell/ retirement speech rounding out the end of the first half of Hell on Earth.
Second Half, Second Best?
The second half of the show started off strong with To Infinity and Beyond (Cheech and Colin Delaney) versus PME (Philly Collins and Marino Tenaglia). The more I watch PME the more I truly enjoy seeing them in the ring. While a lot of people might suggest it has something to do with their upbeat energy and I am sure that plays a part in it, what really strikes me as wonderful about them is their chemistry. No matter who they are facing in the ring, they’re in it together, working as a team, which is something that is not always the case in wrestling. What made this match even better is that it wasn’t just PME who had this, but To Infinity and Beyond as well. The chemistry of both teams on their own and then in the ring together as well, made this match one that I simply could not look away from. The match ended with To Infinity and Beyond defeating PME, which was refreshing to me as an audience member. Since I have been attending AIW shows, I have not seen PME defeated and it was interesting to see what happened when they were.
The next match was a scramble between Louis Lyndon, El Hijo De La Park, Flip Kendrick, Façade, Laredo Kid, and Gringo Loko. It was a match that I wish I had more to say on however, it was not one of my favorites. Lyndon won the scramble and I found myself just wondering what was going to be the next match, which was L.A Park versus Nick Gage. This match was worth waiting for. I found myself enthralled by Park and Gage’s match. I have thought about it since the show and have not been able to exactly put my finger on what made it so captivating for myself until today. I knew what the outcome of this match was going to be because it is a predictable match, in the sense that you go into it knowing Park is most likely going to win, and I was correct. Park defeated Gage after a low blow. However, throughout the match, even with that knowledge going in, I was still breathless waiting to see what the next move would be, so much so that I started to second guess if Park would actually win. That type of performance from both athletes is something that could not go unnoticed by anyone that night.
As the night started to end, there were two more matches left. The next being for the AIW Intense Championship. This match had been announced at the previous show I had been to, Rubber City Con, and I was looking forward to this one based off the promo at the previous show. The match was Matthew Justice versus Tim Donst in a no disqualifications match to see who would become the next champion. The only word that I can use to describe this match is insane, but insane in the best way. There were ladders, chairs,garbage cans, even someone being literally put through the ramp. Matthew Justice always brings the unexpected when he is in the ring and this was no exception, the only difference is that this time, he left the ring with a new title. Justice defeated Donst and is now the new AIW intense champion. This was a hard match to follow and it shows. The main event of the evening was “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams versus Eddie Kingston for the AIW Absolute Championship. Still being on the high of excitement from Justice and Donst match, I found it hard to focus on this match for the Absolute Championship. It had nothing to do with the athletes and everything to do with the order of the matches. After seeing something that was a no disqualifications match, it’s hard to come back down from that, as a fan, and not recount everything that just happened in your head. I was still digesting Justice and Donst’s match and because of that, Williams and Kingston felt sort of lackluster in their main event spot. “Hot Sauce” Tracy Williams defeated Eddie Kingston to retain the championship.
One Hell of a Time
Overall, I really enjoyed Hell on Earth. I thought that the first half of the show was more entertaining than the second half but that is something that happens on occasion when going to wrestling shows. So many of the matches on this card were incredible, even the ones that weren’t my favorites had something to offer or to showcase that impressed me. Not only was the show impressive in regards to it’s athleticism but Hell on Earth did a great job at progressing story lines as well, leaving me curious about what is in store for the performers and what fans can look forward to in the future from AIW.