7 Year Itch was AIW’s second show of the year and their second to last show before heading to New Jersey for WrestleMania weekend, where they would be putting on one of the biggest shows that they have put on to date. Having not been that impressed with their last show, Hail to the King Baby, I was looking forward to this show changing my mind about the direction that the company would be going in for 2019. This show was important because it would need to set up story lines, feuds, and alliances for the companies big Mania show while at the same time needing to be entertaining as a whole. Looking at the matches that had been announced for the show I was excited to be walking into the show and hoping that I would leave on a much more positive note this time than I did last time.
A First Half that Left Me Wanting More
The first half started off with a six-man scramble including Wheeler Yuta, AJ Gray, Façade, Tre Lamar, Danhausen, and Dr. Daniel C. Rockingham. This scramble was exactly what a scramble should be. Everyone was focused on throughout the match and everyone was able to have their moments to shine. The wrestlers that stuck out the most for me in this match, however, were Dr. Dan and Danhausen. Usually when we get to see Danhausen it is with the stable, The Production. It is very rare to see him on his own, so I was excited to finally get a chance to witness that. I was not disappointed. In my opinion, he should be on his own more often. He has such a handle on the character that he is portraying throughout his matches and there was talent from him, throughout this match, that I had not been expecting to see. Dr. Dan stood out for me because usually I cannot stand him as a wrestler. Me and comedy wrestling have never mixed well but in this match, I thought Dr. Dan brought his A game. I found myself laughing at his jokes throughout the match and this scramble had some of the best wrestling I have ever seen Dr. Dan do. Gray, Lamar, Yuta and Façade were impressive as well and helped to make this match as awesome as it was. The match ended with Danhausen defeating Yuta, Gray, Façade, Lamar, and Dr. Dan. The next match was Allie Kat versus Alex Gracia. This match was just pure fun and I loved every second of it. Having never seen either Allie Kat or Alex Gracia before I was very impressed with both of them from the second that they walked into the ring. Allie Kat is 100% her gimmick 100% of the time when she is in the ring, down to her having the crowd chant meows at her. Gracia is a force to be reckoned with. Though she might be on the smaller side, she definitely is fierce in the ring. While it was neck and neck for most of the match, in the end, Allie Kat defeated Alex Gracia.
A four-way tag-team match was next involving PME (Philly Collins and Marino Tenaglia), #DukeMoney (Mance Warner and Jock Samson with The Duke managing them), The Jollyville Fuck-Its (T-Money and Russ Myers), and The Production (Eddy Only and Derek Director). Both Philly and Marino were on fire during this match. Everything that PME did was clean and crisp, making them all the more entertaining than they already are. It is clear that they are one of the fan favorites when it comes to the AIW crowd and I would not be surprised if the Tag Team belts ended up on them in the future based on their popularity alone, but what would make it even sweeter would be the fact that these two are extremely talented performers. Something I was disappointed with during this match was how little Eddy Only was used during it. On the last show, I was very impressed by what Only brought to the table. While he took a lot during this match, it seemed as if Derek was the star during this match for The Production. I personally would have liked to have seen more from Only during this match. As a fan, I continue to be confused as to what exactly is going on with The Production. On the last show, neither Danhausen nor Frankie Flynn were there. This time Danhausen was back with The Production but there was still no Frankie Flynn. This leaves me wondering if there are some problems within the ranks of The Production, it seems as if only time will tell. The match itself was okay but it was not the best tag team match overall that I have seen at AIW. There were moments that felt slow to me and left me wondering how long the match itself was going to go on though there were some awesome individual performances. The match ended with PME defeating #DukeMoney, The Jollyville Fuck-Its, and The Production.
Next on the card was Tim Donst versus Filthy Tom Lawlor. This was my favorite match of the first half of this show. I have always been impressed with what Filthy Tom brings to the ring and it is no secret that he is one of my favorites. What impressed me about his performance in this match however was his stamina and how he could make someone else look just as good as him. Throughout this match, whatever was thrown at Lawlor by Donst, Lawlor would bring back times a thousand. It was not like this was a short match. In fact, this match ended up being a draw because Lawlor and Donst went over their twenty-minute time limit. Watching this match however, you would not be able to tell that Lawlor had been in the ring for twenty minutes. The second thing I loved about this match was the way Lawlor made Donst look throughout. He made him the heel whether he intended to do so or not. He sold everything perfectly to make the audience want him to win over Donst. Lawlor made the entire match look completely effortless. The match ended in a draw with Donst asking the crowd if they wanted five more minutes. When the crowd responded with cheers, Donst told them that they were paid for only one match so that was all they were going to get and Donst left the crowd with that exclamation.
A Second Half that Cures the Itch
The second half of AIW’s 7 Year Itch started off with Swoggle versus Big Twan Tucker, with Parker Pierce managing him. I loved this match for the purest and simplest of reasons, it was entertaining. I enjoyed both Swoggle and Big Twan in the ring together. It led to some comedy spots that I really enjoyed as well as it was just a purely entertaining match overall. The match ended with Swoggle using one of Scott Steiner’s moves to defeat Big Twan Tucker. What was great about him winning in that particular way was that at the WrestleMania show that this show was leading up to, Swoggle would be versing Scott Steiner. After defeating Big Twan, Swoggle took the microphone to give a personal message to Scott Steiner, informing him that he was going to kick Scott Steiner’s ass. The next match up on the card was Eddie Kingston versus Zach Thomas. Kingston is a fantastic storyteller in the ring, there is no one I have seen who can tell a story so clearly and in part, that is one of the reasons that this match was one of my favorites on this card. This match had a slower start, which is usually one of my biggest personal pet peeves, but these guys made it work. Thomas and Kingston had me on the edge of my seat for most of their match. When it did pick up and become more intense, I was even more into the match. Thomas has such stamina throughout the match that I was even more impressed than I have been with him in the past, and that’s saying something because I have always enjoyed his in-ring work. However, at the end of the day Kingston is the guy that I somehow end up always rooting for, no matter who he is going up against. Though he didn’t go down without a fight, Zach Thomas ended up losing against Eddie Kingston in this match.
The next match on the card was for the AIW Tag Team Championships with The Young Studs (Bobby Beverly and Eric Ryan) going up against the current champions To Infinity and Beyond (Cheech and Colin Delaney). This was such a fast-paced match and I loved every second of it. Whenever The Young Studs are in the ring, I have learned to expect the unexpected and for it to be intense, this was no different. Especially when you throw in To Infinity and Beyond. Ryan and Beverly held nothing back during this match and neither did Cheech and Delaney. This was a match that throughout the entire match I was constantly switching up my opinion on who was actually going to win. Both teams are so evenly matched in so many different ways, that I thought it was possible for either team to win, and I could not make up my mind on who it would be. So many times, I thought both teams had it and would take it home only for someone to kick out last minute and I would reevaluate everything all over again. To Infinity and Beyond defeated The Young Studs but To Infinity and Beyond would not have time to celebrate their victory. The Jollyville Fuck-It’s (T-Money and Russ Myers) came out from the back and started to attack To Infinity and Beyond. The Fuck-Its ended up throwing To Infinity and Beyond out of the ring, as the Fuck-Its picked up the Tag Team belts and admired them, another team came out from the back. Now it was The Production’s turn. The Production (Eddy Only and Derek Director) came out and started to attack The Jollyville Fuck-Its. The Production barely even had time to hold up the belts before PME (Philly Collins and Marino Tenaglia) came out and started attacking them. In the end, To Infinity and Beyond ending up snatching their Tag Team Championships away from everyone else and announcing that they would be going up against every tag team that was out there at The Slumber Party Massacre WrestleMania weekend show in New Jersey on April 4th.
It was time for the semi- main event, Dominic Garrini versus Matthew Justice with the Intense Champion title on the line. Anytime Justice gets in the ring I get excited, but I also get scared, which means he’s doing his job correctly. I was looking forward to this match very much because for the most part, I enjoy every match that both Garrini and Justice put on separately. There was an amazing blend in this match of both styles that both wrestlers have in the ring which made it such an intriguing match to watch. It was not just the different styles however, that made this match so great. Something that truly surprised me during this match was their in-ring chemistry. Throughout the whole match, both Garrini and Justice did an amazing job telling a story while still bringing forward impressive moves and incredible spots. The standout in this match for me was hands down Garrini. Seeing him do things that I would have never expected him to do really made this match one that I could not look away from for the entire match. I would not mind seeing more matches like this one from Dominic Garrini in the future. As the match was winding down, it truly looked like Garrini was going to win and become Intense Champion. However, just as Garrini was about to put Justice through some chairs, Josh Bishop and Wes Barkley came out distracting Garrini leaving Garrini on the floor and Justice not only winning the match but still being the Intense Champion.
The main even of 7 Year Itch was MJF versus PB Smooth with the Absolute Championship on the line. Since this was PB Smooth’s first match defending the title and since it was also the main event, I was really looking forward to this match and had high hopes regarding it. Sadly, to me, the match was uneventful. I found myself getting bored with aspects of the match and wanting it to just be over. I love MJF but this was not one of my favorite matches from him by far. As for Smooth, I wanted more from him. He had just become the Absolute Champion, I wanted him to show all of us how badly he wanted it and how badly he strives to keep it, I got none of that from him in this match. I wanted to feel more during this match and I sadly, did not. My favorite part of this match was what happened after PB Smooth defeated MJF. After Smooth’s win, Filthy Tom Lawlor, who was on commentary for the match, left the table and made his way towards the ring. Lawlor went on to talk about the fact that since he has been with AIW he has been undefeated in singles competition and has not had a title shot. He says that Smooth didn’t earn his title shot, it was just given to him, and then he went on to ask Smooth if was ready to go against him at AIW’s WrestleMania show. Before Smooth could answer Lawlor about the Mania show though Tim Donst came out saying that they should not be ending an AIW show because real AIW shows end with him. This led to Matt Justice coming out from the back as well and asking for a microphone, stating that he in fact, is the number one contender for the Absolute Championship seeing as how he already has the Intense Championship. This ended with the decision being made that at Slumber Party Massacre, the Mania show, all four men would go up against each other for the Absolute Championship.
The Perfect Buildup
7 Year Itch was the perfect buildup to AIW’s big WrestleMania week show. It set up all of the plot lines that needed to be set up for a big show while at the same time still provided fans with some amazing wrestling. I enjoyed this show ten times more than I did the last AIW show and I truly felt like this was a show that for the most part, had a nice flow to it. Though there were some matches I did not care for, overall this show has some great moments on it that I found myself talking about weeks after the show had actually taken place. AIW will have had one more show to go before their big Mania show that they entitled, WrestleRave. Based off of the way the card was for this show, I was looking forward to going to the next one to see what AIW would offer me next! I had no doubt that it was going to be one hell of a show, just like this one!
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