Outlaw, Inc. vs OI4K – AAW Don’t Stop Believing

Outlaw, Inc. (Homicide & Eddie Kingston) vs OI4K (Dave Crist & Jake Crist)

Tag Team Steel Cage Match

01/20/2017

115 Bourbon Street, Merrionette Park, Illinois, United States

(reviewed 08/04/2017) On paper, this is a very questionable match. Two brawlers who have been perennially injured for years now facing off against two of the most vapid spot monkeys around, in the confines of a steel cage no less? Sounds horrible. But in all actuality, the match comes out pretty ok. Most of it is due to a foolproof formula: the heels have gotten themselves in over their heads. The Hot Topic-frequenting middle class Ohio boys get their asses kicked by the New York thugs, nagging injuries or no. There’s some high quality brawling here, and peppered in with some well-planned and well-executed Crist signatures, it makes for a hell of a little match. They brawl outside for a bit before finding their way into the cage, where Homicide especially shines right up until the end. The end, sadly, is a real clusterfuck, first beginning with an awkward Cop Killer sequence that leads to Sami Callihan interjecting himself into the match on behalf of his Buckeye brethren, followed quickly by Abyss, who at first goes after Callihan before chokeslamming Homicide to allow the Crists to get the win.

A few months back, someone I know described AAW as the world’s worst ECW ripoff, and more and more I begin to see the truth in that. There’s a lot to like here in the actual match itself, a nice clash of styles that works far better than it has any right to, much like ECW. But like the fabled Philadelphia promotion, it can easily all fall apart when booking and egos and shitty finishes start to flare up. I used to really love AAW and I can see glimpses of that company here in this match, but by the end, I’m reminded of the harsh reality, and it bites.

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