DVD Review: ACW Fourth Annual American Joshi Queen of Queens (24 June 2012)
Anarchy Championship Wrestling returns for its fourth American Joshi Queen of Queens tournament with Rachel Summerlyn looking to defend her crown, with Jazz and Jessicka Havok making their ACW debuts. Also on the card, Portia Perez challenges Angel Blue for the American Joshi Championship.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – quarter-finals
1. Athena made Su Yung tap out to a leg submission.
2. Christina Von Eerie beat Veda Scott with the 138.
3. Rachel Summerlyn pinned Jazz with a Gory Bomb.
4. Jessicka Havok defeated Lady Poison with a roll-up. Summerlyn stayed at ringside and distracted Poison to allow Jessicka to get the pin.
5. Matthew Palmer defeated Rodney Mack with a superkick to retain the Hardcore Title.
6. Darin Childs & Khris Wolfe retained the ACW Tag Team Championships by beating the Lost Boys, Electric Company, & Mojo Bravado in a 4-way dance.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – semi-finals
7. Athena beat Von Eerie with the O-Face.
8. Havok defeated Summerlyn with the Air Raid Crash.
ACW American Joshi Championship Match
9. Angel Blue pinned Portia Perez with a roll-up to retain the title.
American Joshi Queen of Queens – finals
10. Athena defeated Havok to become the 2012 Queen of Queens. She got the pinfall following an O-Face across an open chair.
• Harnessing her experience with a Ring Of Honor microphone, Scott mockingly interviewed Von Eerie at the start of their quarter final match.
• Jazz’s debut in ACW ends in defeat, falling to Summerlyn in the quarter finals.
• Angel Blue retained the American Joshi title by pinning Perez.
• At the third time of trying, Athena won the Queen of Queens tournament.
• Su worked as a mild heel, biting Athena’s fingers while working on her arm, and faked an ankle injury to lure Athena into a dive into a chair and to nail a tornado DDT. I pointed out a while ago that it’s impossible to dislike Su Yung – I still stand by that, but she does do well as the mischievous little heel.
• Yung’s version of Eat Defeat is called “Sole Food”. A much better name.
• Athena tied up Yung for the submission in a contest which was enough for an opening match.
• Von Eerie v Scott was messy at times.
• You can tell when a wrestler gets happier with their physique as their gear gets smaller. Rachel Summerlyn’s gear is pretty small on this show, and quite right too, as her physique is fantastic. The same applies for Jazz, who has abs you could grate a cabbage on.
• Lady Poison blindsided Summerlyn after her win over Jazz before delivering the Poison Kiss, with Havok making the save, setting up a zombie princess against a zombie hunter.
• Havok kept the mask on for most of the match to deny Poison the chance of kissing her, which can’t have been very comfortable, so fair play to her.
• Because Lady Poison is a super-heel, it ostensibly set Havok up as the babyface, which was unusual to see.
• Athena v Von Eerie felt like a filler. There was a bit of a brawl on the outside which looked a bit laboured, and the whole thing lacked drama. It just seemed like a means to an end.
• Havok followed the lead of Randy Savage at WrestleMania IV by changing her gear for each round. A nice touch that I always appreciate.
• Jessicka returned to being a heel in the match against Summerlyn, which is much more of a natural fit for her.
• The match itself was neither woman’s best of the evening and lasted a mere 5 and a half minutes. Storyline-wise, it makes sense and Summerlyn’s tank was emptied getting past Jazz, but I wish this match could have gone a little longer.
• Portia Perez is a babyface in ACW these days, which is as stark a contrast as Havok working babyface. Angel Blue is described on commentary as a “huge cunt”. Not flattering, but pretty accurate for the character she portrays.
• Blue’s heel character is very derivative of Perez’s heel schtick. Lots of chokes, hair-pulling and headlocks. As a result, Portia has to wrestling unlike how she usually would, with fire and the odd highspot. It’s very disorienting and for that reason, I struggled to get into it.
• The match ended after a Robert Evans video of him stalking Portia’s sister played to distract her, allowing Blue to get the pin. Essentially, this match was a plot device to forward Portia/Evans while Blue retains a title that she is being portrayed as being undeserving of having.
• I’ve no idea if Angel Blue is good or not. It’s really hard to judge as she is made out to be lucky rather than talented. Perhaps for that reason, she is both – I’d have to see more of her to know for sure.
• Like Havok, Athena changed her gear for the Queen of Queens final. Thumbs up.
• The match itself was a top brawl with some fine fighting on the outside, with the great dynamic of Havok’s power and aggression against Athena’s speed and agility. Also, the reaction when Jessicka kicked out of the O-Face was great.
• In the end, it was Athena combining brawling with speed which did the job, as a second O-Face onto an erected chair was enough to put Havok down for three.
Match of the Night
Rachel Summerlyn v Jazz
Jazz had her way with Summerlyn at the start of their match with her seamlessly transitioning from a half crab to a Muta Lock to a backslide with such little effort and then having her way with her on the mat. Rachel found a way to take advantage by going after Jazz’s left knee, kicking and grapevining it. However, Jazz fought back with clubbing forearms over the back to create some separation, but was stopped in her track when Summerlyn got back to attacking the leg and looking for a submission with the guillotine choke. The former WWE Women’s Champion responded with a trio of Butterfly Suplexes for a 2-count before taking the fight to the outside where Summerlyn accidentally took out her friend Machiko with a kick.
Back inside, the pair exchanged forearms before Jazz almost took Rachel’s head off with a wheel kick. Punches in bunches also failed to put Rachel away, with the Texan responding with a Gory Bomb for the pinfall. Great match.
I’m sure that for the fans in Hooligan’s bar in Live Oak, TX, this was an exciting event to be at – however, it struggles to convert that enthusiasm to the DVD – reminiscent to some of the ChickFight shows in the UK, though they were six years ago. Over the years, I have seen a number of companies adapt and improve its work to keep up with others, but ACW’s production seems to be the same as it was in 2010 with jerky camerawork, iffy audio and lighting which doesn’t do the matches justice. Also, when you consider that other promotions like Melbourne City Wrestling are putting out slick productions, having a double disc set on DVDR with the title of the show written on with a Sharpie just seems too low-rent these says.
The start of the DVD talks about how ACW respects and celebrates women in wrestling, then has misogynist JT LaMotta doing colour commentary being sleazy and suggestive during some of the early matches. I know he’s a heel, but it’s still a contradiction of the general ethos of the promotion. In fairness, he shows more respect in others and his comments become more supportive as the show goes on.
ACW treats itself as its own little microcosm, with outsiders coming in, mostly to enhance the profile of its resident wrestlers. There is nothing wrong with that, as the regulars are the ones who need to help to put butts in seats on a regular basis. However, this is the third year – after Summerlyn in 2011 and Perez in 2010 – that someone who is tightly woven into ACW has won the whole kaboodle. While this is not a problem for Athena’s victory, as she clearly possesses enough talent to be a plausible winner, I wonder what will happen for the 2013 edition. Given the history, one would assume that another ACW roster member like Angel Blue, Barbi Hayden, a returning Five Star Amanda Fox or current American Joshi Champion Jessica James – who has reverted back from her Lady Poison alter-ego – would be a likely winner. I’m not sure if being able to make that sort of educated guess helps the profile and unpredictability of the tournament.
Overall, I’d say there isn’t enough reason to warrant buying this, even though the Summerlyn/Jazz and Athena/Havok matches were of a high standard. However, should you wish to buy it, it’s available at Smart Mark Video in both the hard-copy DVD and as a digital download.
- Lee Burton
- Additional photos by David Muscarella