Last time out, we took a look at the first of the Moriarty-Shelley trilogy in AIW… we’re back for part two for some post-Christmas cheer!

We’re at the Odeon in Cleveland, Ohio for this instalment – which is available on IWTV…

Quick Result
Lee Moriarty pinned Alex Shelley in 13:00 (****)

Lee Moriarty vs. Alex Shelley
The first time around, Shelley needed a Shellshock and a Border City Stretch to put away Moriarty after a few scares – will he need to dig as deep this time now he’s more familiar?

Moriarty refuses a handshake at the bell, and this time he has to defend against Shelley working the arm… a counter sees Moriarty get the wristlock, only to get tripped as the pace was high out of the gates en route to a stand-off. Shelley flipping off Moriarty just angers, and he shows it by backing Shelley into a corner for some chops. A barrage of body blows follow, before Moriarty floated over Shelley… who tries for a superkick, only to find more luck with a snot rocket that earned him a head kick. A knee to the gut from Shelley keeps the pressure up, as does a kick to the back as Moriarty was reeling in the ropes, before a back body drop left Moriarty in a heap.

Shelley’s looking to control the pace as he rolled Moriarty into a high angle Boston crab – complete with the Lion Tamer-ish knee on the neck… but the Boston crab followed as they headed into the ropes. Moriarty fires back with chops as he trapped Shelley in the corner, but the veteran Shelley turns it around as he lit up the man behind “Taiga Style” with a litany of chops that woke up the crowd. An Irish whip from Moriarty took Shelley into the corner, but some boots just deny Lee from following up. He catches a superkick before tripping Shelley to the mat, kicking out the arm ahead of a hammerlock DDT. Shelley takes off an elbow pad and puts it on the “bad” arm – but it also opens up the “good” arm for him to throw some bare elbow shots with… they barely faze Moriarty, who keeps on the “bad” left arm with an armbreaker for a near-fall.

A slam keeps Shelley down for a one-count as Moriarty keeps him on the deck with an overhead wristlock. Shelley powers up though and breaks free, landing an elbow strike before shooting Moriarty into the ropes for an inverted atomic drop… before some misdirection from Moriarty allowed him back in with a European uppercut. A springboard dropkick takes Shelley outside, where he sweeps the leg to send Moriarty onto the apron to counter out of a PK. Shelley clears part of the crowd as he sent Moriarty towards the railings… there’s a block as Moriarty ends up eating a Shellshock into the railings before a Shiranui saw him land neck-first on the railings. OW. Moriarty manages to dig deep and dives over the guard rails into Shelley in the crowd though, before they headed back inside… but not before Shelley lifted up Moriarty and crotched him in the ring post from an atomic drop.

Shelley keeps going with a brainbuster from the floor to the apron, but Alex doesn’t pounce on him – and instead lets Moriarty get back up so he could throw some slaps. A roundhouse enziguiri from Moriarty cuts him off, then a regular enziguiri out of the corner before Lee went back to the arm with a double stomp, as a Mistica took him back into the Joint Custody… which quickly ends as Shelley got a foot to the rope. Having rolled outside for respite, Shelley dragged himself onto the stage… so as you do, Lee heads up top and leaps from the top rope onto the stage, only to miss Shelley, who dumps him with a brainbuster! Shelley dives back into the ring, expecting to get a count-out, but the referee heads outside to check on Moriarty before he started the count. A nice touch there: why count out someone who’s KO’d?

Somehow, Moriarty got back into the ring… and after he got spat on, Shelley hits a pair of superkicks, then a Shiranui… but Moriarty kicks out! Shelley has to dig deep, so he hits a Shellshock, spiking Moriarty on his head for a near-fall… but Lee kicks out! Alex immediately locks in the Border City Stretch, calling back to their first match, only for Moriarty to roll him up… and that’s the pin! This wasn’t as mile-a-minute as their first match, but this was an excellent story that built off of it. Shelley still perhaps underestimating Moriarty, but not for long… and at the second time of asking he found out the hard way that his foe here was able to learn from past mistakes. Excellent stuff – and of course, they completed the trilogy earlier in 2020. We’ll be on that next week! ****