Review: AIW Girls Night Out 10 (October 6, 2013)

Kay chokes Veda GNO Ichiban DrunkFollowing the model established by SHIMMER, Ohio’s Absolute Intense Wrestling experimented with the “two tapings in one day” format on October 6th, following up the afternoon Girls Night Out 9 event with Girls Night Out 10 later that same evening featuring (mostly) the same cast. If anything, Girls Night Out 10 could be considered the “bigger” of the two shows as it featured the highly touted AIW Absolute Women’s Championship match between Allysin Kay and Veda Scott. Attendance didn’t appear to pick up any for the evening show though, as it was – as far as I could see anyway – the same small (but vocal) crowd from GNO9. Regardless, I think AIW are considering the double taping idea a success (unlike NCW:Femmes Fatales, who tried it once for FFX and moved back to the single tapings thereafter), so this may be the new norm for the Girls Night Out brand. Apart from the big AK/Veda match, GNO10 also featured a rematch from SHINE between Nikki Storm and Mia Yim, an impromptu Anything Goes match between Jenny Rose and Mickie Knuckles, and the continuance of stories set up on GNO. Let’s see how it went, shall we?

1. Kimber Lee pinned Santana Garrett following a Ganso Bomb.
2. Jasmin pinned Jody D’Milo following a second rope moonsault.
3. Sassy Stephie defeated Jewells Malone via arm submission.
4. Melanie Cruise pinned Angel Dust following the Cruise Control.
5. The Social Network (Annie Social & Heidi Lovelace) beat Leva Bates & Xandra Bale with a powerbomb/backstabber combination.
6. Three Way Match: Leah Von Dutch (w/ The Duke) won over Savannah Summers & Shanna when Von Dutch pinned Summers after Summers had been laid out by The Duke.
7. No Disqualification: Mickie Knuckles pinned Jenny Rose after suplexing her through a table.
8. Nikki Storm pinned Mia Yim with the Eye of the Storm.
9. AIW Absolute Women’s Title: Allysin Kay made Veda Scott submit to a chair-assisted armbar to retain the title.

• I mentioned “(mostly) the same cast” above, and that was in veiled reference to a couple of wrestlers who appeared on GNO9 but didn’t appear on GNO10 – namely Marti Belle and Taeler Hendrix. Hendrix cut a backstage promo on her planned GNO opponent Seleziya Sparx (Belle was a last minute replacement for Sparx on GNO9), saying that she’d be there on future shows whenever Sparx manages to show up. That was, sadly, the last we’d see of Taeler Hendrix on the show.
• The opener was Santana Garrett vs Kimber Lee. This was good, but short. I wasn’t running a timer on it, but it seemed too short, given that these are two of the best up-and-coming women on the scene today. If it was deliberately short because it was the show opener for GNO10, then I’d have moved it further up the running order – but nevertheless, what we saw was very good. There was a Downward Spiral by Santana late in the match which was one of those moves where you’re not sure who’s delivering the move until you see who sells (it could’ve just as easily been an STO by Kimber), but the finish was absolutely no doubt – as Kimber dropped Santana in basically a Ganso Bomb – a knees first piledriver. I screamed at my TV. It was over. Ouch.
Stephie chinlocks Jewells GNO Ichiban Drunk• Next up was the match between Canadians Jody D’Milo and Jasmin. It’s the breakup of “Team Double J” from GNO9 already – and therein lies the problem. This could’ve been done a couple of shows down the line, surely? I’m all for the idea, and Jody as the asshole vet vs Jasmin as the adorable rookie is a fine dynamic – but I couldn’t really get invested in the match or the fact that they used to be partners simply because they’d only debuted as partners *that same afternoon*. Jasmin’s still noticeably green, but very likeable – and she won with a second rope moonsault. Fine, but their story lacked impact due to the compressed nature of it.
• Glad to see Jewells Malone get some more offence in against Sassy Stephie than she did in her GNO9 match with Annie Social. More competitive, and fine stuff. Match lacked any real bite, but it was good enough. Not convinced yet on Stephie’s new arm submission.
• Melanie Cruise vs Angel Dust was really fun. I expressed how disappointed I was that Angel Dust got the pin over Cruise on GNO9, so this was my payoff, basically. They had a good “David vs Goliath” match (which both of them are really good at now) and Cruise won after the Cruise Control. Dave Prazak on commentary was (for the second match in a row) waxing lyrical about Cruise’s Spine Splitter finish, but for the second match in a row we didn’t see it. That was a shame. Kudos to Angel Dust for being believable in what offence she did get in on Cruise.
• Tag action next, as The Social Network of Annie Social & Heidi Lovelace beat Leva Bates & Xandra Bale. Fine, if Classy Heidiunremarkable match. Heidi Lovelace plays a great heel in AIW, which is at odds with her role in many other places. Nice to see that. The finish here was kinda weird, as Leva Bates apparently slipped off the top rope, hurting her ankle in the process – and rolled to the outside. This left Xandra Bale as easy pickings for Social & Lovelace, finishing her with a pretty sweet powerbomb/backcracker combination. As a finish it didn’t do much for the babyfaces, but it certainly solidifies The Social Network as the top team in AIW… which begs the question… are we getting tag team titles somewhere down the line?
• Next up was supposed to be Shanna vs Savannah Summers, and in fact it started as that match until The Duke turned up a few minutes into the match and inserted “the best international wrestler” Leah Von Dutch into the match, making it a three way. I have to mention play-by-play commentator Vic Travagliante here, who *insisted* that Shanna be pronounced “Shay-na” rather than “Shah-na” – going so far as to “correct” Aaron Bauer on more than one occasion, despite her being introduced by ring announcer Pedro De Luca as “Shah-na” and having already pronounced it correctly on the previous show. Details, gentlemen… *sigh*. Anyway, once Von Dutch was added to the match, it became more about her as part of #NIXON as it did anything else, and the finish saw Duke lay out Savannah with a belly-to-belly piledriver behind the referee’s back, and Von Dutch get the uncontested three count.
• So far, everything’s been “fine” on the show – better that than bad, naturally – but there was nothing to this point where I’d be recommending the show as a “must see”… so I was glad when business picked up several degrees Jenny Rose vs A Bin GNO Ichiban Drunkwith Mickie Knuckles’ impromptu No Disqualification match with Jenny Rose. It was the stip which was the “impromptu” part of it, and it resulted in a tour of Turner’s Hall in Cleveland as part of a walkabout brawl which left the main hall and went down a corridor and back. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed this – but I’m bound to point out how I really don’t need to see unprotected cookie sheet shots to the head, nor do I need to see Mickie Knuckles take a suplex on the floor *onto the ring steps*. From the awkward landing and the fact that Mickie seemed bothered by her tailbone throughout the rest of the match, that’s not something I can endorse in front of 500 fans, let alone 50. Credit to the two competitors though – their level of competition and desire was light years above everybody else on the show so far. Finish was a suplex through a table from Mickie on Jenny – though it looked like Mickie took more of the table than Jenny. If anybody was worried about whether “the old Mickie Knuckles” still exists, she most certainly does (see her match with Saraya Knight at WSU for further evidence of this), and Jenny Rose showed another facet of her increasingly impressive game here. With the aforementioned caveats regarding safety, this was the best thing on the show so far.
• It may have been following the big brawl in the previous match, or it just may have been crowd burnout near the end of the second taping, but the crowd seemed quite quiet for Nikki Storm vs Mia Yim next. I feel like I’d need to watch the SHINE match again, but I think the match at SHINE 13 the previous weekend was probably better, though this was actually probably the best wrestled match on the show (the previous match was more violent, and the main event coming next told a better story – but this one had the best execution and flow in the ring than anything else on the show). Nikki Storm won, perhaps somewhat surprisingly. One hopes she’ll be back, but with international talents and availability, you can never be sure. Fingers crossed she is.
• I’ll be honest, I liked the pre-show promos a lot – and given that Veda had won her shot at Girls Night Out 8 during a 4-way ladder match, she was the rightful challenger in storyline terms – but I wasn’t really expecting the match to be anything special. Pass the humble pie. This one completely sold me early and didn’t let me go. What we Allysin Kay GNO Ichiban Drunkhad here were two women on opposite trajectories as far as their storylines in AIW are concerned. With Kay you had the heelish babyface taking the challenger too lightly and regressing into more heelish mannerisms and rough tactics as the match went on – whereas with Scott you had the heel trying to do it by herself (without the help of longtime tag partner Gregory Iron) and simply refusing to stay down in the face of a bigger, stronger opponent. On commentary you still had the longtime heel commentator Aaron Bauer still openly supporting Veda, but while Veda may or may not have gained the respect of Allysin Kay during the match, she damn sure gained the respect of the fans. The finish saw Gregory Iron come out with a chair, Scott refuse to use it, and after a bit of shenanigans which saw Iron booted by Kay, Kay eventually used the chair to her advantage, utilising it as a fulcrum in a pretty nasty armbar (while simultaneously kicking the back of the chair into Scott’s face). The commentators claimed Veda tapped, but to me it looked like she passed out rather than tapped out. The surly Kay headed to the back with her title, leaving a hurt Veda Scott to soak up an extended (and vociferous) “VEDA SCOTT” chant, and take the mic to announce that she wanted a rematch. The crowd roared their approval, and frankly, while I didn’t think I’d have said it before this match, I’d be entirely in favour of a Kay/Scott rematch, and that Veda Scott might just be the woman to end Kay’s record-setting title reign. If you see just one match from Girls Night Out 10, make it the main event. It told an engrossing story, and it told it very well… and left me wanting more. Can’t say fairer than that.

1186179_507964672633134_215200343_nOverall Impressions
As noted above, I was thinking halfway through this show that while I was mostly enjoying everything, there was nothing to really get excited about on this show… Everything was “fine”, and with Fight Season having so many great matches and shows demanding your money, I was wondering whether “fine” was good enough when compared to the likes of the other shows from October – but I’m glad to say that the Allysin Kay vs Veda Scott match in particular exceeded my expectations, showed AIW’s women’s division at its best, and *crucially* delivered something unlike anybody else during the Fight Season month. Oh, and if you like walkabout brawls, Mickie Knuckles vs Jenny Rose is probably right up your street too. All things considered, I’d recommend checking out the show for those two matches in particular. Oh, and while I ended up being drawn in by Veda Scott’s slow turn on this show and look forward to seeing how that continues, in retrospect I want to say that I think heel Veda is much better than babyface Veda in general – so I hope to see Veda Scott heel turns in other promotions soon to redress the balance! Just sayin’

— Stew Allen
— Photography by Ichiban Drunk


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