In Streets Ahead, we invite columnists to write about wrestlers and companies that are still on their way up or you might not be too aware of. Simply put, if you don’t get on board with them, you’ll be streets behind.
Today, we have Alex (aka @failraiser on Twitter) to tell us about Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW). Take it away, Alex!
I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again. There is no wrestling company in the world that I believe in more than Absolute Intense Wrestling. No wrestling company that keeps me excited to see the next show like AIW.
What is AIW?
Since the first show I saw in 2011, I followed AIW from show-to-show, even travelling to see some of them in person. In 2011, they were good. In two years, they’ve become great; combining in one show some of the best the independent scene has to offer. Of course, this includes the ROH and DGUSA mainstays, making AIW comparable to PWG. However, what I feel sets AIW apart from PWG is that the talent pool is largely made up of the talent at the cusp of breaking out.
For instance, the winner of the JLIT – a tournament borne from TPI and named after JT Lightning, the godfather of Cleveland wrestling – is Canadian export Ethan Page. A part of the roster for a little over a year now, Ethan Page has proved that he’s the real deal through how natural he plays his character (I called him a magnificent asshole once, it feels appropriate) and his undeniable talent.
His schtick, an egotist who cannot stand if the limelight is on anyone other than him (including his beautiful ex-girlfriend, Seleziya Sparx), is so easy to hate, but matches such as his incredible match with Sparx make Page one of the best all around talents on the indie scene.
Who are some of the standouts with AIW?
AIW provides a place for wrestlers like Page – undeniably talented but somewhat underexposed – a place to grow, mixing with talent such as Adam Cole, Michael Elgin, BJ Whitmer, and Cleveland’s own Johnny Gargano. Fellow Canadian Josh Alexander, Michigan’s Louis Lyndon, St. Louis’ Davey Vega, New York‘s Chris Dickinson, and Ohio natives such as Rickey Shane Page and Bobby Beverly create an unreal environment, a card full of diverse matches that all seek to outdo one another. Ifblood is your thing, the Nixon faction will bleed to prove they belong with the best.
If you’re looking for hard hitting, few wrestlers hit like Dickinson and Alexander. Lyndon and Vega are among the best highflyers on the scene. Hell, you want to laugh, where better than the place that unites Tracy Smothers with a redneck that considers Golden Corral fine dining?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from AIW, it’s that I haven’t seen anything yet. I’ve seen thin, pale Colin Delaney from the ECW reboot become one of the most inspirational stories in Independent wrestling. I’ve seen Chikara‘s Tim Donst, a talented wrestler who can’t get out of his own way (or get hanger-ons out of his way), tear the house down in Cleveland. The talent that come through AIW have a chance to steal the show, to look like the best men and women on the scene, a chance they seem to run with.
AIW’s talent is the best in independent wrestling, even if you don’t know it yet. The announcers are definitely the best in wrestling. If you’re not watching AIW, you’re missing one of the most complete wrestling experiences.
Where to get started?
Buy a DVD, or check out the coming IPPV on SMV (starring Michael Elgin, Tracy Smothers, the sweet dude formally known as Derrick Bateman, and a cast of AIW’s fantastic regulars). You won’t be disappointed.
Want to find out more about AIW?
For card information, and DVDs of previous shows, visit www.aiwrestling.com/index.php
For ordering information on the ippv, visit http://smvod.com/premium-video/aiw-june-30-2013-live-ippv-absolution-viii-cleveland-oh