AWS held its latest show, Caged HATE on August 26th, and as the name would imply H.A.T.E was really the focal point of the show (as well as a cage for the main event). In the last year since they returned from a hiatus, AWS has really been firing on all cylinders, with maybe the best run of shows during its 15 year existence. Every show has not only been good, but they have done a good job building up matches and giving them meaning in their greater storylines. Would the trend continue at Caged HATE?
With Mayweather versus McGreggor going on, the show seemed to draw a third to half less than normal. The fight was on in the bar portion of the venue, and it ended at intermission. After intermission it seemed like there was at least 20-30 more people in the crowd for the wrestling. Despite the smaller crowd, the crowd seemed pretty hot for most everything.
Brian Cage over Super Beast [10’08]
Lacey Van Porter was Super Beast’s valet for the match. This was a pretty even matchup over all, with lots of power moves from both wrestlers as you’d expect. There was a funny moment where Cage had Super Beast in a suplex position, and Super Beast was having to bend his legs to avoid hitting parts of the ceiling. Despite some interference from Lacey, Cage won after hitting a discuss lariat.
Rating: ** 3/4
Ray Rosas over SoCal Crazy to win the AWS Lightweight title [5’28]
SoCal Crazy won the title exactly one year prior to the day. This was the first match featuring H.A.T.E, with the defacto leader of the group Ray Rosas challenging for the title. Surprisingly he had never held the AWS lightweight title, though he was the last EWF cruiserweight champion. With SoCal Crazy doing double duty on the show, defending the tag titles later, this was a pretty short match. There was some good stuff in this, but it didn’t really have a lot of time to develop. Rosas won with a sort of F5 into a double knee face breaker. Hopefully Crazy gets a rematch down the line and they can go longer.
Rating: ** 1/2
Ruby Raze over Priscilla Kelly and Mercedes Martinez [9’24]
This was originally set to be a tag match, with Raze and Britt Baker against Martinez and Kelly but Britt Baker’s flight was canceled forcing the change. This had a lot of the standard one wrestler takes a bump and rolls out of the ring and waits around while the other two wrestle. It seemed like Raze was in the match for the lion’s share, with the other two taking turns on the outside. There was some nice stuff between Kelly and Martinez when they matched up. Raze matched up well with both, especially Martinez. After seeing them interact during the match, I realized I’d really like to see Raze and Mercedes Martinez in a singles match. Martinez has to be one of the top five women’s wrestlers in North America right now, and Raze is having a fantastic year in Southern California. Raze hit Kelly with a Soul Eater and got the pin. Raze and Martinez had a stare down after and Martinez said “another time, and another place” and walked off. Hopefully not another place.
Jeckles over Funny Bone [12’03]
As Jeckles comes to the ring, somehow he got into a stare down with a kid in the audience, and the kid wouldn’t back down. Jeckles I’m sure didn’t want to back down from the kid either, and this seemed to go on for a really long time, with the audience chanting “Kid! Kid! Kid!” Eventually Jeckles walked off. Jeckles in his trash talking to Funny Bone said some disparaging things about Finn Balor as well. After the kid thing, the crowd was pretty dead for this early on. They were eventually able to bring the crowd into it, with everyone behind Funny Bone. There were some sloppy moments and it felt like it went on a little long, but it was fine overall. Jeckles hit a counter discus lariat to get the win.
B-Boy over Jake Atlas, Lil’ Cholo, Kadilak, Suede Thompson, and Legacy in an elimination match [26’32]
At the start of the match when all six guys circled up to face off, they brought the kid who stared down Jeckles into the ring to join their face off. That was pretty funny. As expected this was pretty much a sprint from start to finish, with the setup allowing guys to get a break while the action never stopped. Cholo and legacy matched up early on and Legacy had some really impressive moves. When you think about he is just a teenager it’s hard not to think about how good he is going to be. Suede Thompson is really entertaining as well, and comes across as if he is having a ton of fun out there. Justin Borden was ref for the match, and there was a hilarious sequence where they all were doing dives to the outside, and after the last guy did his dive, Rick Knox runs in, does a dive to the outside, despite not even being in the match, then casually walking out of the building. This was after B-Boy German suplexed Kadillak from the ring apron to the outside into the pile of wrestlers. There wasn’t a single elimination until 14:14 into the match when Suede eliminated Legacy. Suede then eliminated Kadillak at 18:31, and Cholo eliminated Suede at 18:47. That left B-Boy and Cholo to gang up on Jake Atlas. Atlas looked really good in this too. It is crazy that this is his rookie year. Atlas eliminated Cholo at 21:52. There were some near falls such as Atlas kicking out after B-Boy hit him with a brainbuster, but eventually B-Boy hit the chickenwing piledriver to get the pinfall. This was a lot of fun.
Rating: *** 1/2
Peter Avalon over Hudson Envy [11’59]
This was the next H.A.T.E match with Avalon taking on Hudson Envy. Hudson has such a great aura about her when she comes to the ring. Both were able to get in a lot of good offense and they matched up pretty well. I thought Hudson and B-Boy from Sabotage earlier this month was slightly better, but this was still good. Avalon won with the Marti-knees.
Rating: ** 3/4
SoCal Crazy & Mariachi Loco over Superboy Jr. & Principe Indu Jr. to retain the AWS Tag-team titles [13’55]
Superboy Jr. and Principe Indu Jr. are a like 3x the size of Loco and Crazy. Both teams are pretty entertaining, but early on it seemed like there were some miscues and stuff didn’t come out how they would have liked. With Superboy andIndu I figured there would be crowd brawling and there was. They also whipped both Crazy and Loco with that thick leather strap and it is so loud you can’t help but cringe. Eventually they got Indu back in the ring and both Crazy and loco were able to jump on him for the pin.
Rating: ** 1/4
Tito Escondido over Tyler Bateman in a cage match to win the AWS Heavyweight title [26’32]
This match had been built up over the past year, with Bateman winning the title as a member of H.A.T.E (exactly one year ago just like SoCal Crazy) and them eventually turning on him. With all the interference from other members of H.A.T.E this was setup as a cage match, though I don’t think anyone believed that was going to really stop any interference. This started out really good and both guys had some really hard hitting offense. Eventually Bateman was busted open and he was bleeding like crazy. With the top of the cage being so close to the ceiling, Bateman actually got blood all over the ceiling. H.A.T.E did their first run in, and threw handcuffs to Escondido. He was able to get them on Bateman, but not able to attach them to anything else. Escondido got into it with the ref, Rick Knox, and took him out. That allowed fellow H.A.T.E member Damian Arsenick to come out, take out the ref at the door to the cage, then repeatedly slam the gate on Bateman as he tried to escape. Bateman was then handcuffed to the ropes while H.A.T.E’s referee Justin Borden came out and declared Tito the winner as he exited the cage. Though I didn’t care for the interference and would have preferred to see what they would have done in a straight match, thought the match was really well executed, and well done. Both Bateman and Escondido were great in this. Escondido is really having a break out year and is really making a case for a Southern California wrestler of the year nomination. After the match H.A.T.E paraded around the ring celebrating.
Rating: *** 1/2
I thought this was another good show from AWS. Like I mentioned at the start, AWS has really had a great run of shows since coming back, and this was another good show. It will be interesting to see where the promotion goes with the H.A.T.E era as well as it opens up a lot of possibilities.
AWS will be back in South Gate on September 30th with a lethal lottery show where some of the matches are decided by fans drawing names. The show will also have a rematch between Tito Escondido and JR Kratos, who had a great match earlier this year.