Shameless Plugging: Absolute Intense Wrestling Girls Night Out 7 (8/4/12)
Absolute Intense Wrestling returns to Turners Hall on August 4, 2012, for Girls Night Out 7, the first show in company history featuring an all-woman card. I’ll be there in my official capacity as “women’s (wrestling) expert,” and as a mostly unbiased judge of wrestling cards, #GNO7 looks like the company’s strongest to date. As always, there is a strong mix of national, international, and local talent, along with the promise of two massive feature bouts.
In the main event of the evening, Allysin Kay defends her AIW Women’s Championship against “The Blasian Barbie” Mia Yim. The two have had a bloody, violent history in AIW, and at #GNO7 they look to settle the score in the promotion’s second-ever Steel Cage Match. Cage matches don’t happen often in indie wrestling (for two good reasons: they’re expensive, and they take an incredibly long time to set up), and are only booked when the situation calls for it. Yim and Kay have met twice in an AIW ring, and there was blood both times. In their first match, Yim broke Kay’s nose with a stiff kick, which resulted in a war of words across twitter and various podcasts leading to an anxiously awaited rematch. At Girls Night Out 6, they met in an unsanctioned Fans Bring the Weapons match for the vacant AIW Women’s Championship. The match saw the use of light tubes, machetes, and garden hoses, but came to an end under dubious circumstances when Kay’s estranged manager Chest Flexor interfered, costing Yim the match and the title. The new champion, none too happy with Flexor’s interference, took her frustration out on the leader of Flexor Industries, asking for the match to be restarted so she could finish Yim herself.
Instead of doing that, AIW’s acting president Matthew Wadsworth promised a third encounter, one in which nobody could interfere. Now one of the most intense rivalries in AIW’s history (and, indeed, in wrestling today) comes to a close in one of the sport’s most barbaric enclosures. Cage matches in independent wrestling aren’t for the faint of heart or the weak kneed. Given the heat between the two and the title that’s on the line, blood will likely be shed and reputations will be made or broken. Both women have done great things in the past year, and this match is the culmination of their hard work and sacrifice. Only one of them can leave the cage a champion. The woman who does will have staked a claim as being one of the best in the world.
Veda Scott recently announced that she is suing Absolute Intense Wrestling on the behalf of Gregory Iron, claiming that the promotion is discriminating against the handicapped ex-hero on account of his cerebral palsy. Despite this conflict of interest, Scott finds herself booked at Girls Night Out 7 against a debuting Courtney Rush. Rush—recently one-half of the SHIMMER Tag Team Champions with Sara Del Rey—is a certified goofball (how else does one explain her role as Witch Bitch in Monster Brawl?), but she’s also something of a suplex machine, a very dangerous wrestler who can turn an opponent inside out in the blink of an eye. She looks to do well in her Cleveland debut, but faces a stiff challenge in Scott, whose early career momentum really hinges on her performances in AIW. She has a 1-2-0 record in Girls Night Out competition, but her match against Sara Del Rey at #GNO6 proved Scott to be worthy of the hype she’s gathered. This is a sleeper contest, one that could very well steal the show, and whoever wins has got to be considered a contender for the AIW Women’s Title.
AIW favorite Cherry Bomb returns to action at #GNO7, facing her toughest challenge yet in the debuting Athena. Cherry Bomb’s arsenal of lethal kicks will surely come into play here, as they’re what has propelled her to success in AIW, but one has to figure that Athena will do everything to derail the Canadian combatant. Athena comes to Cleveland on the back of a fan-supported fundraiser, coming to AIW by way of Texas, where she is a mainstay in Anarchy Championship Wrestling, as well as SHIMMER Women Athletes. The self-proclaimed wrestling goddess has been through wars in Texas, including a brutal 10,000 thumbtacks match against Rachel Summerlyn, but she also has a great pedigree, having trained under the likes of Jazz and Booker T. Cherry Bomb has yet to face a woman like Athena in AIW competition, and if she wants to ascend to title contention, she’ll need to prove that she can hang with one of the best in the United States. This is as good a chance as she could hope for.
Crazy Mary Dobson already feels like an AIW fixture, and that’s after appearing at just four events. She is undefeated in Girls Night Out competition, including a win over Trash Cassidy in a brutal death match, was proposed to by Madman Pondo in the ring during the fanfest portion of the J.T. Lightning Invitational Tournament, and involved herself in that evening’s no disqualification match between her new fiance and “The Passion” John Thorne, whom she hurricanranaed onto a stack of chairs before Thorne unceremoniously powerbombed her to return the favor. She takes on AIW newcomer Lil’ Naughty, who is in the same position Dobson was at Girls Night Out 5 so many months ago: Looking for an opportunity to make the roster and build a following with the Cleveland crowd. Give her a few months, and she could be throwing Thorne through piles of chairs, too.
Melanie Cruise made her AIW debut at Girls Night Out 6 in impressive fashion, taking out long-time rival Taylor Made. At #GNO7, she faces crowd favorite Kimber Lee. It’s a (horrible) cliche, but what Lee give up in size, she makes up for in heart. The former valet has made quite a showing for herself in AIW, and is looking to make her mark as a breakout performer here. She is 0-2 in Girls Night Out competition, having taken tough losses against Veda Scott and “Girl Dynamite” Jennifer Blake, and Cruise looks like the veritable immovable object coming into this match. To win, Lee will need to use her quickness and agility; one power move from Cruise, and Kimber Lee could be staring at the lights.
Fast-rising Canadian star Leah Von Dutch heads stateside to make her AIW debut, where she meets the challenge of Flexor Industries associate Sassy Steph. Dutch, coming off of a strong showing against Sara Del Rey during CHIKARA’s recent tour of Canada, has been looking to make an impression in the United States, and gets a chance against one of the best Ohio has to offer. Sassy Steph, of course, is seconded by Chest Flexor, a man who has seen his base of power in AIW crumble in mere months. Without a title (and without mealtickets Bobby Beverly and Allysin Kay), Flexor will be leaning heavily on Steph to step up and claim the AIW Women’s Title, preferably from the traitorous AK-47. She is 0-2 in #GNO competition and desperately needs momentum before she can reasonably demand a title shot. She could take a big step forward here, but if she overlooks Dutch, she and Flexor will need to go back to the drawing board.
The first women’s tag team match in AIW history came together at the insistence of Sammy Geodollno, the Arctic Splash drinking, Philly repping manager to the female stars. After a seemingly endless string of profanity-laden tweets, texts, and e-mails to top AIW brass, the company decided to see things her way. In one corner, Miss Heidi teams with the returning Angel Dust, a former AIW Women’s Champion. In the other, the team of Annie Social and Nikki St. John will be managed by the abrasive Geodollno, who cost Social her AIW debut when she tried to slip her client a chair, allowing soon-to-be TNA Knockout Taeler Hendrix to capitalize and score a victory at Girls Night Out 6. None of these women have experience teaming with each other, but that’s often the way the dice fall in women’s wrestling. Could we be seeing the birth of a new Jumping Bomb Angels? Will Geodollno’s frantic antics come to the fore once more? Only time will tell.
As requested by the AIW fans, Thunderkitty makes her AIW debut against Trash Cassidy, the self-proclamed Peacock of Destruction. Cassidy is coming off of a loss against Crazy Mary Dobson in her debut at Girls Night Out 6, and it would be huge for her to take a win from the much buzzed-about Thunderkitty. Thunderkitty, however, is nothing like Dobson, possessing a strongwoman’s build and a throwback mentality that clashes with Cassidy’s frenzied brawling style. The two most unique women on the Girls Night Out roster, Thunderkitty and Trash Cassidy are both looking to make an impression on the AIW fans. The Peacock of Destruction would like to do so without being thrown through dozens of lighttubes. Thunderkitty would like to prove that the fans asking for her are the smartest ones in the room. Both women want an opportunity. Here it is.
That Sara Del Rey is leaving the independents is hardly a secret, these days. The Queen of Wrestling has been working towards and asking for a shot in World Wrestling Entertainment, and, finally, her reputation as the Best Women’s Wrestler in the world has landed her just that. I’ve written plenty about Del Rey in this space, and a little about what it’s like to see a favorite wrestler venture off into the great unknown, and I’m a bit sentimental, since her match against Mickie Knuckles at Girls Night Out 5 was my first behind a microphone. The quality of that match saved me from making a complete fool of myself, and its due to her and Knuckles that I have my position.
Girls Night Out 7 is, so far as we know (sports entertainment is a mercurial mistress), Del Rey’s last appearance in AIW, one of her last on the independent scene, period. While Del Rey’s work in SHIMMER makes me wish she could have a send-off match against Mercedes Martinez or Cheerleader Melissa, there are few (if any) people better qualified for the Cleveland leg of Del Rey’s farewell tour than Hailey Hatred, who pioneered the Girls Night Out concept and took on the Queen of Wrestling in its second iteration. Since going to Japan, Hatred has blossomed as a performer. Sitting at the commentary table at Girls Night Out 6, the forearm shots and overhead suplexes she dished out to Leva Bates and Jenny Rose left me breathless and cringing, knowing full well that, were I on the receiving end, I’d be a quivering blob huddling for protection in the corner.
Hatred’s strong style attack should mesh well with Del Rey’s technical prowess and, sensing something special, AIW officials have decided that this match will have no time limit. With women this good and with all the time in the world, Sara Del Rey’s last match in AIW could be her best. It also stands as a huge opportunity for Hatred, who has to be considered a frontrunner for the soon-to-be-vacant title of Queen of Wrestling. A win over Del Rey, who has recently scored victories over Aja Kong, Kana, Meiko Satomura, and a host of supremely talented joshi talent, would be huge for Hatred, who is, in Japan, looking to recover from the loss of her many championship belts. The expectations for this match, even on a card with a cage match, are incredibly high. If any two women can meet or exceed those standards, it’s Del Rey and Hatred.
Tickets for Girls Night Out 7 are $15, and are available at shop.aiwrestling.com. Internet pre-orders are admitted first. For more information on this and upcoming shows, visit AIW on Facebook (facebook.com/aiwrestling) or follow them on Twitter (@aiwrestling).
Paul Arrand Rodgers
Paul Arrand Rodgers has this blog, and that's about it.