ACH vs Austin Aries
Gilt Nightclub, Orlando, Florida, United States
(reviewed 07/12/2018) Superworker ACH continues to blow me away with all manner of dance partners, this time taking crusty-ass Aries to his best match in years by my count. I’ve never really liked Aries outside of his biggest and best ROH matches but he’s certainly an efficient worker and when given someone as good as 2018 ACH—someone he’s had some public beef with, no less—it makes for a quality match. The ever-exuberant ACH is able to outspeed the veteran early on but once Aries starts going after the man’s ribs and applying a number of his signature aggressive combos he takes firm control of the match. ACH’s selling here is flat out awesome. Bum ribs are a debilitating injury and he makes sure to show it here, but on top of that the way he responds to Aries’ control segment is great. He curls up into a ball in the corner when the man towers over him. He paws at him feebly with forearms, not in an attempt to fight back but just to buy some time. When Aries comes off the top with a dropkick all ACH can do is just fall over to avoid the move. He climbs the ropes in response, looking for a signature splash, and when Aries rolls out of the way and ACH comes down directly on his chest it looks like he’s going to puke from the pain. It’s all great stuff, never feeling hokey or obvious and it actively makes his opponent look like a killer. Aries himself rises to the occasion too, being uncooperative in a few small ways and using a variety of mean reversals to give his opponent even more to rally against. Real good stuff all around. I wish the climax had been a bit bigger but this was the debut for both these men in MLW so I get it.