I had the pleasure of obtaining a couple of DVD's to add to my massive collection, and one that I picked up was AIW's most recent "Girls Night Out" event. This was a monumental night for AIW as it was their first live iPPV, being done through the great folks at Smart Mark Video. This event was highlighted by "AK-47" Allysin Kay defending her AIW Women's Championship against a mystery opponent, and a 4-Way Climb The Ranks Ladder Match for the #1 contendership for said championship. So, let's get into it.
First, I want to discuss the production value for this event and how spectacular it truly was. Smart Mark Video proved once again with this event that they truly know what they are doing when it comes to production. I wondered how things would transfer from the iPPV to the physical DVD and it was completely flawless. A couple of years ago, a friend of mine had showed me a AIW DVD, and the this company has advanced by leaps and bounds. There is HD video, no shaky camerawork, flawless transitions and more important, multiple cameras. It makes it really hard to watch a companies show when they only have one roaming camera at ringside and no hard camera, and in my opinion, more companies should look to AIW and Smart Mark Video as an example as to why production means so much. If you don't know how to produce DVD's and content like this, find and hire someone who does because it means so much when it comes to hooking people into your product.
Now, on to the actual show.
Climb The Ranks Qualifier: Sassy Stephanie vs. Addy Starr
We start things off with the 0-3 Sassy Stephanie taking on the debuting Addy Starr for the first spot in the Ladder Match main event. Addy’s “All American Canadian” gimmick is somewhat interesting, as she came out starting a “USA” chant. As much as we have seen the butchering of the “USA” chant lately in pro wrestling, there is something about a crowd cheering for a Canadian wrestler by chanting USA that I think is amazing.
This was a great way to open the show. Sassy Stephanie is very much underrated and Addy Starr made a big impression in her debut match for AIW, sealing things off with her signature Sliding D to advance. Sassy Stephanie still fails to pick up a win at Girls Night Out, but somehow still leaves an impression.
This contest was by far the best match of the four qualifiers, as well as a very strong contender for match of the night. Obviously, I have been a strong follower of Athena’s career, mainly from her time in Anarchy Championship Wrestling. She has made 2012 her year, with more and more people finding out how much of an amazing athlete she is. This however, was my first time seeing a full Kimber Lee match, only vaguely knowing about the stuff she has done in companies like CZW and WSU. I have to say, as much as 2012 was the year of Athena, 2013 can very much be the year of Kimber Lee.
These two had an amazing match, not just by the standards that can be placed on women’s wrestling, but also by wrestling in general. If there is one match you should go out of your way to see, it is definitely this one. Both wrestlers started at a much more methodical pace, but picked it up with a lot of intensity, including a sick looking german suplex by Kimber Lee as well as a devastating pump kick by Athena dead on the money. In the end, Athena finished off Kimber Lee with the O-Face, sending her to the Ladder Match later on. The only complaint I could have is that I wish both of these performers could have advanced, because literal insanity would have ensued.
Ok, the team of Hope And Change is amazing. Just amazing. From the DVD's I have picked up, many of them feature the evolution of Gregory Iron's heel turn in AIW and it is astounding how good of a heel he is. Maybe it is because of the CM Punk inspiration, but Iron and Scott continually drop truth bombs every time they speak in front of an AIW crowd. This time, the duo took aim at perverted female wrestling fans, and it was absolutely golden, including Veda Scott remarking that she did not own a Amazon Wishlist because, "I'm not a prostitute", and Gregory Iron offering various forms of lubricant at 20 bucks a pop. It was genius.
Leva Bates's cosplay choice for this evening was Daredevil, and it looked great as always. This match definitely had some great moments, but for some reason it didn't seem to click. I've seen both competitors put on great matches in the past (never with each other so that may have been the reason), so it was odd to see it not go the way I expected. However, it was very entertaining overall with Veda picking up the win with a saito suplex, earning her spot in the main event and going further on her path to adding the AIW Women's title belt to her collection with her AIW Tag Team title belt.
Also, as amazing as Hope And Change is, Sammy Geodollno is just as amazing. Her antics on the outside were as much fun to watch as the match was. Speaking of the match, while I have heard things about both Social and Dobson, this was my first time seeing the two perform. While I agree with many people about their opposition to Annie Social's...look, I think she was very impressive. There was something about Dobson though I wasn't all too sure about. It seemed as though, both in this match and in the Ladder Match, that she was trying to be a bit too gentle with her opponent, which is understandable but goes against the whole "Crazy Mary" thing. Though there was some fun stuff here with Dobson busting out a split-legged moonsault of all things, and picking up the win with a roll up. This would then lead to an attack by the other members of The Social Network, ending with Geodollno dumping her prized "Arctic Splash" iced tea all over Dobson. It is nice to see we have some smaller feuds developing in AIW's women's division, and it isn't just people going after the champion.
Side note: And I normally don't point these things out, but for seeing Mary Dobson for the first time she is very much attractive, which makes me wonder how the hell she is engaged to Mad Man Pondo of all people. Hey guys, there is hope.
Two new female wrestlers made their debut's for AIW at this Girls Night Out event, as Canada's Jodi D'Milo took on rising midwest and St. Louis Anarchy star Angelus Layne in a singles encounter. I have heard many good things about both competitors, and both did impress without one outshining the other. Layne was rocking some very interesting hair, which someone remarked was very My Little Pony-esque. D'Milo proved to be a very good striker while Angelus Layne pulled out a lot of innovative maneuvers finishing off D'Milo with a TKO variation and picking up a big win in her Girls Night Out debut. It looks like both Jodi D'Milo and Angelus Layne will be brought back to AIW for upcoming events, and I can't disagree with that smart choice.
The Social Network came back out later in the evening to participate in a tag team grudge match against the team of Angeldust and KC Warfield. At the previous Girls Night Out, Heidi Lovelace turned her back on Angeldust when they lost to The Social Network, aligning herself with Social, St. John and Geodollno. This is the first time I've had the privilege of seeing Angeldust compete and it is amazing how well versed she is considered how immensely small she is. And when I say small, I mean Nikki St. John looked like Godzilla compared to her. I have seen a few of KC Warfield's matches, and I have to say that this was not her best outing. She seemed very lost and out of place in this match, which is miles away from the match I saw her have with Allysin Kay, so it may have just been a case of nerves. With help from Annie Social and Sammy Geodollno, The Social Network squeaked out a victory. Personally, I would love to see an upcoming match between Angeldust and Heidi Lovelace, because based off of their track records it could be some really great stuff.
The mystery opponent for Allysin Kay was revealed to be none other than the returning Mickie Knuckles, sporting a much different look that veered away completely from the original Mickie. Most of the previous matches started out slow with chain wrestling and then picked up, but these two went at it straight out of the gate. Both brought their notorious violent tendencies to the table, including Kay attempting to curbstomp Mickie Knuckles into one of the guardrails, luckily with Mickie moving out of the way. Kay then busted out the signature machete and took a swing at Knuckles, who tucked it and delivered a devastating german suplex onto the entrance ramp. This match would then continue in the ring, where Kay eventually finished Knuckles off with a gogoplata, retaining her Women's championship in one of Kay's most toughest matches to date.
At the end, Kay, who has a tendency of not holding her opponents to the highest regard, offered a handshake which Mickie accepted. This was not only a great match, but a good appetizer to the violence we would see in the match after.
This match was all kinds of insanity as to be expected. Some of the crazy stuff included Addy Starr hitting Veda Scott with her signature double knees while she laid on a ladder, Mary Dobson pulling from the Terry Funk playbook with the windmill holding the ladder and Veda Scott locking Addy Starr in a Dragon Sleeper within the ladder. Not only were the ladders a factor, but two tables were introduced into the field. Mary Dobson was taken out after being suplexed through a table by Addy Starr, leading to a sick diving O-Face from the top of the ladder that would take Starr out of the mix. Athena and Scott were the last two standing and as Athena went for the contract, Scott sent Athena crashing through a table with a powerbomb, giving her the opportunity to ascend the ladder and obtain the shot at Allysin Kay's Women's title.
The one complaint that I do have to point out was the commentary during this specific match. I did find issues concentrating on the match because of how loud one of the commentators was being, obviously playing up towards Veda Scott as he was he heel announcer. I think he really needed to tone it down, that way when something big happened during the match it would come off as more important. I've griped about commentary before, and usually AIW commentary is very good, but I do think it hampered the match to a degree.
Overall, this was the first Girls Night Out event I have witnessed from AIW, and for the most part it did impress. This card is a testament to how much great female talent their is on the independents right now. People like Allysin Kay, Athena, Veda Scott, Kimber Lee, Addy Starr, Angeldust and so many others deserve to be booked by every company in the country. The ladder match and the Kimber Lee/Athena match are must sees, with matches like Allysin Kay vs. Mickie Knuckles also being really solid. There is also a ton of wrestlers that were brand new to me on this card and they impressed for the most part. If you are looking to build a collection of great women's shows, this is definitely one to grab.
Did you see Girls Night Out 8? Let me know what you thought in the comments section. Also, let me know who you think is the next up-and-comer in women's wrestling.