We’re dipping into AIW’s last show again, and a look at what some are calling one of the future stars of the US scene.
AIW isn’t a promotion I tend to keep tabs on – but the announcement of this match was what got me to plunk down my money for the iPPV. We’re in the Celebration Plaza Amphitheatre in Indianapolis for this one…
Lee Moriarty submitted Erick Stevens in 10:20 (***½)
Erick Stevens vs. Lee Moriarty
Commentary’s tagging Moriarty as “the best wrestler in North America” – which Lee tries to play down with some geography. Modesty.
We start with the pair rolling to the mat as he looked for a hold, but Stevens spun free before the pair went in on a knuckle lock. Stevens bridges back Moriarty for some pinning attempts, before Moriarty countered out with a monkey flip, only for Stevens to roll through for a cross armbar attempt.
Moriarty escapes, then went in for another lock-up as they hit the ropes. A springboard armdrags takes down Stevens, who’s then tripped and kicked in the arm as Moriarty built some early momentum, sending Stevens onto the apron for some respite. There’s better places to go perhaps, but Stevens counters an armbar by dragging Moriarty onto the apron before he blocked a hammerlock DDT. Stevens tries to capitalise with a lowpe, but Moriarty swats it away before his own dive was faked out, only for Stevens to sweep the leg and clubber him on the apron. A back suplex drops Moriarty on the edge of the ring, before Moriarty was bounced off the buckles back inside, following up with a grounded bodyscissors as Stevens looked to stretch his foe.
Stevens works his way into an Axel Dieter Special, letting go to roll over into a leg clutch pin for a near-fall as Moriarty was in trouble. He tries to find his way back in with chops, stinging Stevens until his foot was stomped. An enziguiri from Moriarty helps as he rolls over Stevens before rolling him down for a Goomba stomp that gets him a near-fall.
Moriarty misses some double knees in the corner and gets lifted up top… but he’s able to hit back with a stomp to the arm before nailing a hammerlock DDT for a near-fall. From the kickout, he rolls Stevens into a Joint Custody attempt, but Stevens escapes the Fujiwara armbar and instead lands a tiltawhirl backbreaker and a Tiger bomb for a near-fall of his own. A Boston crab is next for Stevens, but Moriarty rolls out and goes for a tornado DDT… only to get scoop slammed into the corner.
Stevens pushes on with a pumphandle backbreaker for a two-count. Moriarty throws some rights to get back in it, before he countered out of a scoop slam… then a Boston crab as he rolled up Stevens. Another Boston crab came to nought, before Moriarty countered a tiltawhirl into a Mistica, catching Stevens with the Joint Custody armbar on the mat for the submission. This was pretty damn good – again, a touch short at ten minutes, but they crammed a lot in – and it’ll be interesting to see how they could kick this up with a little more time. ***½