Third time this year in AIW for Yim & Kay – this time inside a fifteen foot (pink) steel cage, while we get one more (final) war between Hailey Hatred & Sara Del Rey. Meanwhile, we witness the birth of The Social Network.
1. Athena (1-0) pinned Sassy Stephie (0-3) with an O-Face.
2. Thunderkitty (1-0) pinned Trash Cassidy (0-2) after Cassidy swung a chair and it bounced back to hit her in the face.
3. “The Social Network” (Nikki St. John (1-0) & Annie Social (1-1)) bt Heidi Lovelace (0-3) & Angel Dust (1-3) when Nikki pinned Angel Dust. Post match, Lovelace joined “The Social Network”.
4. Kimber Lee (1-2) pinned Melanie Cruise (1-1) with a rollup.
5. Pondo Rules Match: Crazy Mary Dobson (3-0) pinned Lil Naughty (0-1) after a senton. Post match, The Social Network beat down Dobson.
6. Veda Scott (2-2) pinned Courtney Rush (0-1) with an inside cradle.
7. Hailey Hatred (8-0) pinned Sara Del Rey (2-4) with a running Ligerbomb.
8. AIW Absolute Women’s Title / Steel Cage Match: Allysin Kay (c) (4-1) bt Mia Yim (1-3) via hanging gogoplata submission.
• This show marks the debut of the new AIW concept of having a competitor’s W/L record be more important in determining rankings. Results above indicate each participant’s record after the show. On commentary it is acknowledged that the idea is still a work in progress, so whether this will have a major impact on shows going forward remains to be seen.
• Athena was brought in on a fan-funded indiegogo project. While I have my own personal reservations about funding shows in this manner, she delivered big time in a match that was not even her scheduled encounter.
• Neither Cherry Bomb nor the debuting Leah Von Dutch made the show due to border queue-related issues, resulting in Athena & Sassy Stephie working the opener against each other in a last minute change.
• Debutante Thunderkitty was booked as what was termed a “fan’s request” match. Her gimmick of a throwback Moolah-era wrestler included her pre-show promo being shot in black and white and ring announcer Pedro De Luca announcing in an old-school style. Nice attention to detail there.
• The show saw the formation of new stable “The Social Network”, as Heidi Lovelace turned on partner Angel Dust to join with Nikki St John & Annie Social in their new faction. Social’s manager Sammy Geodollno appears to be their spokesperson. After beating down Angel Dust, the foursome also attacked Crazy Mary Dobson after her match later in the show.
• Speaking of Crazy Mary Dobson, she continues to compete in “Pondo Rules” Matches, which means no DQ, no count out and falls count anywhere. I’ll admit to having zero knowledge of Lil’ Naughty before this show or why she’s here other than she was willing to compete under these thumbtack happy rules.
• Veda Scott was accompanied by Gregory Iron, and was referred to in storyline as Iron’s lawyer. He played into the finish of Scott’s match with Courtney Rush.
• Hailey Hatred had last fought Sara Del Rey in AIW at Girls Night Out 2.
• Kay & Yim’s cage match was the result of two controversial matches at GNO5 (where Yim destroyed Kay’s nose) and GNO6 (where Kay won the vacant AIW Women’s Title with apparently unwanted help from Flexor Industries)
• For a match only put together that afternoon when it became clear Leah Von Dutch & Cherry Bomb couldn’t make their booking, Sassy Stephie & Athena put on a great match. As an opening match, it didn’t go overboard with flashiness and near falls, but both ladies did their fair share to make a good first impression both for this show and for Athena in general. Athena’s O-Face finisher is still utterly amazing to behold.
• Commentary from Aaron Bauer & Paul Rodgers continues to be very enjoyable – to the point that when there were announce desk intrusions of some other AIW related names, I was wishing for a return to these core twosome, who have developed some good fun chemistry.
• Thunderkitty’s gimmick is a cute one, but it brings its own limitations. If you wrestle a very basic style (to fit your throwback gimmick), you are at the mercy of how well your opponent can work around the self-imposed style restrictions. You can end up with matches like this one with Trash Cassidy, which was simply terrible. Offence from both women was light as a feather and looked like it couldn’t dent a marshmallow, execution was clunky, the match was too long and the finish was atrocious. These two were not only not on the same page, I doubt they were reading the same book.
• I still don’t quite *get* Sammy Geodollno, but I know that she entertains me. She’s obviously playing on some sort of (I guess) Philly stereotype, but having never been to Philadelphia in my life and never having met anybody who acts remotely like Geodollno, I think there’s at least some of the gimmick that is lost on me, but she throws herself into her character wonderfully well.
• Heidi Lovelace comes out typing on her phone, which I guess in retrospect was a hint that she was joining The Social Network. With Lovelace turning, thankfully she stayed almost completely out of the ring until the finish, which saw her tag in… hit a couple of easy armdrags, then tag out to the still tired Angel Dust, who was then pinned by St John. It wasn’t quite the famous Horsemen beatdown spot, but it wasn’t bad execution at all. Very interested to see where TSN goes next. The tag match wasn’t great, but will be forgotten because of the finish.
• Melanie Cruise has changed up her look, going from her usual skirt and top to black tights and a black t-shirt. It’s plain, but it’s fairly badass. Kimber Lee, one of my favourite new discoveries in AIW this year, looked really good here in a match that I thought was more competitive than I expected it to be. Lee looked good here, en route to a rollup win.
• Incidentally, way to kill Thunderkitty’s throwback gimmick by seeing her stand at the top of the ramp, recording the match on camcorder throughout that last match.
• If you’re the sort of wrestling fan who likes hardcore wrestling with thumbtacks, then bless you – you’ll probably get more out of the Crazy Mary Dobson match than I did. Honestly, this style of wrestling is not for me, so I get nothing out of someone pushing a thumbtack into someone’s mouth, or rubbing someone’ face in a heaped pile of tacks. Naughty nearly dies on a middle rope rana, and Dobson somersault sentons herself into tack-covered Naughty for the win. Your mileage may vary, but this wasn’t for me.
• Veda Scott vs Courtney Rush is, on the other hand, much more up my street. Pro style, with a large dollop of shenanigans. Rush presented lawyer Scott with a “Super Legal Waiver” before the match, in order to protect her from being sued after she suplexes Scott all over the ring. Scott and Gregory Iron make a nicely hateable couple too. Finish came when Scott inside cradled Rush after Rush had been distracted by kicking Iron’s ass outside the ring. Fun, and while the finish was unsatisfying, it was unsatisfying in a good way.
• Hailey Hatred’s match with Sara Del Rey was like a different sport to absolutely everything else on the show. Wrestled at a comparatively slow pace, peppered with stiff strikes and suplexes, this was a sight. It had a heightened sense of realism compared to everything else. Hatred eventually put away Del Rey in what should be her last AIW appearance with a deadlift German Suplex, a running kneestrike and a running Ligerbomb. Uncompromising match.
• Could Allysin Kay & Mia Yim follow that? In my opinion, they absolutely did. Read further below.
Match of the Night: Allysin Kay vs Mia Yim
So… coming off Sara Del Rey and Hailey Hatred’s iron willed battle, it was up to Allysin Kay & Mia Yim to try and follow them and close the card inside a steel cage. Tough job, and whether you end up tagging this or Hatred/Del Rey as your Match of the Night is up to you, but for me, this just edges it due to the storyline running through the match. Allysin Kay has – no doubt about it – got something special. From the second she walked through the curtain ’til the moment she walked back through it, she was “on”. The camera lingered on her as she made her entrance and the basic backstory of the match was told in her face. She unsheathed her machete, then put it back (mouthing “I don’t need this”), took off her facemask (“This is because of you”), held up the title (because lest we forget that this is a title match too) and then got into the cage, whereupon it was ON. No collar-and-elbow tie-ups, it was a fight. Right on. Match was hard hitting, with both women targeting each other’s face with strikes. Yim looked excellent at everything she did, but AK-47 is possibly certifiably insane… first getting hung in a tree of woe from the cage, with nothing to hold her up but her own leg strength (while, incidentally, Yim peppered her with punches and kicks), and secondly for the utterly crazy/awesome finish, which saw Kay sitting on the top of the cage, throwing herself backwards head-first into a hanging gogoplata off the side of the cage. I’d seen a picture, and I’d heard the live reports, but even on DVD this was mental. Yim quickly tapped, and Kay scrambled down the cage with help from ringside assistants, and walked to the back with a look in her eyes like she’d just done something special. She had. Really, really enjoyed this. Credit to both women, and especially to Kay who did such a great job selling the importance of the match through her expressions and the risks she went to.
One thing I’ve always liked about about Girls Night Out that I like is the fact that each show appears to be a progression of what’s gone before. The format is tweaked, the wrestler lineup is streamlined and production issues are corrected… and in some ways, GNO7 is the best one yet. Not everything is a “hit” though – the aforementioned Thunderkitty/Trash Cassidy match was awful, and I really don’t dig on what is becoming the regular “Crazy Mary Dobson hardcore showcase” match, though I’m happy to admit that the latter is very much a personal taste issue. One of AIW’s positives is the diversity of talent they’re showing off. If you want Japanese style hard hitting, you’ve got it. If you want shenanigans, you’ve got it. If you want storylines, you’ve got it, and as AC/DC famously once claimed… if you want blood, you’ve got it. Well worth a purchase from Smart Mark Video.
– Stew Allen