By Brian Kelley
MWR fans I am here to review a show that we covered at the beginning of the year AAPW’S Main Event in Marion, Illinois on January 14th, 2012. For the fans that are new to the site, AAPW has been a part of the MWR family of promotions from the very start. Throughout their history the company has been a proud company who has worked with the communities in southern Illinois for fundraisers while providing exciting wrestling with stars such as the current AAPW Champion Edmund McGuire, “Serial Thriller” Shane Rich, Playboy Paul Rose, the Mississippi Madman and “Homicidal” Steven Davis.
In the spring of 2011, it was announced that AAPW would be heading to the homes via WSIL3 ABC in their area with Collision; AAPW’S version of WWE’S RAW. AAPW would also be led by Chris Hagstrom, a promoter, who like his predecessor Sean Chambers had a desire to deliver Southern Illinois with family friendly wrestling filled with action, drama and a great time.
I won’t lie to you this review will be an inside look at the show from the ring and out as I know some of the men and women involved in making the show such a success.
First we will start with a fellow friend Adam Testa. AAPW Marketing Director Testa and I have different opinions on the way we like our wrestling, yet there is one common ground that we share, the desire to work to make what we do as big as we can. Testa, Hagstrom and AAPW announcer Kevin Hunsperger went to work locally putting up posters, and working the community. The three men were active in getting the word out about the show through various markets via the web. As my friend HVW promoter TNT Keny G says, the last thing you want to do when having a promotion is to have “a secret show”.
While MWR covered AAPW with 10 reasons why you should attend AAPW’S main event, Hagstrom joined Greg DeMarco of 411mania.com and the VOC Nation for an interview, Jerome Cusson, editor-in-chief of Pro Wrestling Ponderings (prowrestlingponderings.com) sat down with Hagstrom and Testa to discuss Main Event. Kevin Hunsperger, AAPW play-by-play commentator, had been previewing all the Main Event matches on his blog, My 1-2-3 Cents.
Fans could listen in on the radio as Hagstrom and Testa were joined by former AAPW Tag Team Champion Heath Hatton for a whirlwind tour of Withers Broadcasting stations during the week on the FM dial and Testa and Hatton were interviewed by Jimmy Fish, live on 1150 AM WGGH.
Flipside, inside The Southern Illinois, delivered with a special coverage of the Main Event, including an interview with special guest “Boom Boom” Colt Cabana that was set to print the Thursday before the show.
Then, on Friday morning, Hagstrom was live with Hunsperger at “WSIL in the Morning” on WSIL-TV 3. Hunsperger was interviewed about facing “The Masterpiece” Mike Masters at Saturday’s Main Event.
So with all that hard work done by the AAPW Staff, there was no way that anyone in Southern Illinois, heck the country could not know about this event.
As the doors open, people keep piling in one after another. I was behind the curtain with my friend and AAPW Champion Edmund McGuire as we watched the fans keep coming in. McGuire turned to me with a smile and said these words to me that I will never forget “Brian you have covered us when we had only 20 people and now look at this, wow”. Wow, was right as the building would fill up to standing room only as 405 fans total was ready for wrestling at the Black Diamond Harley Davidson. The building is filled with motorcycles above the ring, no not just motorcycles; Harley’s. This is a great venue for wrestling.
So with 405 fans ready for wrestling, and the emotion and excitement buzzing through the air it was up to the wrestlers to stand up and rise to the occasion.
The announcers on this DVD are AAPW Promoter, Chris Hagstrom, Kevin Hunsperger and former 3-time AAPW Champion Shane Rich.
The cover has great photos courtesy of Jason Wilkey, and the back has an easy to read match line up for this huge show. There is two disc done for this event with images of Colt Cabana on disc one and disc two features McGuire and challenger Ax Allwardt in a stare down.
Before I even put a DVD in the machine, I am impressed with the quality of the box. Now let’s see if the matches were as good on TV as I felt they were when I left the building that night.
Heat Hatton vs. “The Golden Boy” Greg Anthony
A grudge match between the veteran Anthony and young Hatton would start the match. The three commentators do a good job of announcing while not taking away from the in ring action. Anthony had cost Hatton the AAPW Tag team belts and had been a thorn in his side in 2011. This is a great match to start as Anthony is one of the best on the microphone. A student of the game, Anthony quickly lets the fans and us at home know that he is not the one to root for. The promo is nothing to intense, but an easy effective old school promo that has the fans rooting for Hatton off the bat.
The match is very solid as Anthony works over the legs of Hatton, then taunts the crowd. Anthony maintains control of most the match but one mistake from the Golden Boy and Hatton capitalizes with a roll up for the victory. I do enjoy the replay of the final moments of the match as it added to the professionalism of the DVD.
Promo David Ade with Stacey O’Brien
Awesome, wasn’t expecting promos on the DVD. I am a huge fan of promos almost as much as I like the wrestling. The problem in the Midwest is that the wrestlers have very little experience at doing promos so this is great for the talent of AAPW. O’Brien put over that she has been training with Harley Race which is good and lets the fans know the history of her and Rebecca Raze.
“M-Dogg 20” Matt Cross vs. Pokerface
The undefeated Pokerface sent out an open challenge to anyone to face him at the Main Event. Fans of WWE’S Tough Enough would recognize him as “M-Dogg 20” Matt Cross. Still I could tell most of the fans at AAPW didn’t recognize him but I knew at the end of the day, his skills would make them remember him.
Pokerface may not have the name but you can tell that he puts in the work as he is in top shape. Rich gives a history lesson of Cross’s words to Stone Cold Steve Austin on Tough Enough. Hagstrom hypes the show Collision. This match promises to be an exciting contest.
Cross delivers some great action that has the fans laughing and Pokerface in disgust. This a great back and forth wrestling match between these two on this night. This is a wonderful matchup that the fans at home or watching on DVD cannot keep their eyes off the ring.
Pokerface nails a great Ghetto Blaster kick for the win. A fun match. The replay shows that Cross is nailed with a bull’s eye with that kick.
PROMO PAC with Chris Hagstrom and El Generico- El Generico puts over PAC and states he has always respected him and their matches in the past and PAC lets the fans know that it has been over two years since they last met and Generico doesn’t know him at all.
NOTE: I enjoy that the promos are done well before their match instead of right before the match.
Jay Space vs. Billy Hills vs. Justice vs. Paul Rose vs. Bull Bronson Five man free for all.
First man to score a pinfall or submission would be the winner
The Farmer is OVAH at AAPW, Paul Rose has been a very entertaining wrestler at AAPW, and Jay Spade seems out of place with these big guys in the ring, can his speed help him win this match? Also in this match is the huge Bull Bronson, though he is very raw, I am impressed with the size and potential for Bull Bronson. Last but not least is Justice, another big guy who debut recently at AAPW.
The farmer and Paul Rose go at it in the ring while Bull takes out Justice early by injuring the arm of the newcomer. Jay Spade takes out the other three guys with a dive from the top rope to the outside. Bronson is a monster tearing up the farmer then turning his attention to Spade. Rose and Bronson seem to have an early alliance but at the end of the day a win at AAPW is vital to capture.
Justice returns and takes out all the men except Bronson. Bronson throws out Justice then delivers a splash on Rose to pick up the win. I actually liked this match more on DVD than I did live.
Commercials ??? Kind of cool really, don’t know why I think that.
Money Makin’Jam Boyz the Mississippi Madman and KC Jackson vs. Roscoe D. Harris and Bull Bronson.
I didn’t like it when Bull came out right after his match live but with Roscoe’s brother not there for the match I guess Harris figured he needed the stregnth of Bronson to take on the former 3-time AAPW Tag team Champions.
There is no man in the Midwest more popular than the Mississippi Madman. His tag team partner KC Jackson is a great contrast to his partner Madman. During the start of the match they discuss Kevin Hunsperger’s scary situation that will be featured on later in the night as Hunsperger takes on Mike Masters.
The Money Makin Jam Boyz dominate early and when KC Jackson gets in trouble the fans chant loudly for him to make the tag to the Madman. Good double teams until Roscoe made the mistake of throwing Jackson into the Madman thus giving them the hope they needed.
Bronson and Harris gets back the advantage for a moment till Jackson hits a stunner on Harris setting up the Fifth floor slam from the Madman.
PROMO Chris Hagstrom and Colt Cabana – Colt =Charisma
PAC vs. El Generico
This match is worth the $15.00 that AAPW is asking alone.
Promo Bob Fester interviews AX Allwardt and Gaylord Stevens. Wished they had some graphics to tell the fans that don’t know who these guys are. Both of these guys have always been fun giving promos.
MWR’S Dubray Tallman presents Stacey O’Brien with the 2011 MWR Female Wrestler of the Year plaque….I am just glad she got in the ring and spoke instead of myself so GREAT JOB Dubray……Rebecca Raze comes to the ring to “cheer” on her rival O’Brien. Shortly after Raze attacks O’Brien looking to make a name for herself.
Stacey O’Brien vs. Rebecca Raze
O’Brien proved why she is the 2011 MWR Wrestler of the Year against the returning Raze. In Raze’s defense she has been out of action for quite some time and found herself in trouble at times against her former foe.
Promo- David Ade with Mike Masters. Masters sends a message that there is about to be an opening for an announcer at AAPW after he is done with him. Ok, he doesn’t say that but that’s what it sounds like.
Colt Cabana vs. “3G” Eric Wayne
This is a match that Eric Wayne would like to win to let the world know that he is among the best in the world. Wayne seems to be really off his game due to the shenanigans of Cabana from the get go.
It would take some time for “3G” to get on the offense but when he did it appeared that he had the popular Cabana where he wanted as he hit a death valley driver for the upset win.
Promo Bob Fester interviews Edmund McGuire- McGuire promises to maintain the AAPW Championship.
The history of Hunsperger and Masters highlight reel……Great job teaching new fans why an announcer is in this match.
Kevin Hunsperger vs. Mike Masters
AAPW built this match up perfectly as the bully Mike Masters blamed AAPW announcer Kevin Hunsperger for his losing streak in 2011. I had the feeling that Hunsperger felt he had a chance in this match, though I would disagree with him a 100%. Even though Masters had a rough 2011, he is still one of the most talented wrestlers in AAPW.
Masters dominates Hunsperger over and over again. The fans of AAPW is behind the announcer so that is a testament to the booking of this match and the men involved. Now that the match has begun, Hunsperger comes to his senses and realizes that he is in the ring with the big boys.
Hunsperger takes a beating as the fans chant “Lets go Kevin”
Masters brings in a steel chair to the ring to finish Hunsperger. Hagstrom enters the ring to protest to the referee .
That gives Jay Spade the chance to interfere and take the chair away from Masters and level Masters with the steel chair and giving Hunsperger the chance to steal the win.
Commercial Black Diamond Harley Davidson– Nice
AAPW Heavyweight Championship No disqualification
Edmund “Livewire” McGuire vs. “Old School Warrior” Ax Allwardt
Allwardt has been on the hunt to win his first ever AAPW Heavyweight Championship, but his arch enemy Edmund McGuire has stood in his way. The fans at AAPW LOVE Edmund McGuire, and rightfully so, as he is one of the nicest guys in the sport today. McGuire also has one of the most lethal superkicks in the game. If Allwardt was to get the belt on this night he would have to keep away from the finisher of Livewire.
Allwardt and McGuire have met many times at AAPW, and the ussal calm McGuire showed true emotion from the start. Allwardt would receive a belt from his manager to whip the champion with. Allwardt would drop two referee but with the no DQ stipulation, then McGuire hits the third official with a superkick when Allwardt pushed the ref into the kick.
Chaos ensued as the fans chanted “You suck. You suck” to Stevens and Allwardt.
I was for sure it was over when AllWardt hit his patented piledriver then goes for a chair from Chris Hagstrom who fights back, Shane Rich keeps any more damage coming to Hagstrom after he is pushed to the ground.
Back in the ring Allwardt looks to nail a pildriver on a chair but McGuire was able to fight out of it an back drop him on the chair then delivers a superkick on Allwardt.
Stevens sense that his man is in trouble and enters the ring but is met with a superkick. McGuire then returns his attention to Allwardt for a second superkick for the 1-2-3.
A testament to the wrestlers from the first match to the last to keep all 405 fans involved into the matches. The intermission went a little longer to allow the fans enough time to get autographs and photos and the down time didn’t hurt them one bit as the action in the second half delivered as well.
Positive – The wrestling was entertaining throughout the night. The stars delivered while the local talent proved that the talent in the Midwest is top notch. I have to give big props to AAPW for not trying to have a “Heel” announcer who isn’t funny at all. Hagstrom and Hunsperger deliver a serious steady call of the action while Rich gives the team a wrestlers perespective.
Downfall of the DVD- No commercial for MWR on either disc. hahahhaha
ADVICE –Buy This here