AAW “Legacy: 20-Year Anniversary Event” report: Vetter’s review of Sierra vs. Queen Aminata for the AAW Women’s Title, Davey Vega vs. Conan Lycan vs. Solomon Tupu in an elimination match for the AAW Title

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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AAW “Legacy: 20-Year Anniversary Event”
February 23, 2024 in Berwyn, Illinois at Berywn Eagles Club
Replay available via YouTube.com

AAW released “Legacy: 20-Year Anniversary Event” on Sunday for free on YouTube. I have always liked AAW and they are among the top 2-3 promotions I just don’t usually get to see, as their shows are on the High Spots wrestling network. This show was held at the Berywn Eagles Club, just west of downtown Chicago. This room is packed with maybe 300 people and I”m assuming this is a sellout. Trevor Outlaw provided heel color commentary. Like Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, AAW edits out ring intros and music. I do miss seeing those, as a wrestler can really get over their character in those pre-match segments.

* The show opened with a nice video package of their 20-year run, including clips of Kevin Steen, Tyler Black, Ruby Soho, Bryan Danielson and Eddie Kingston.

1. Isaiah Moore defeated Anthony Catena (w/Koa, Kalisse) at 6:49. I don’t know these two. Catena is white and has his hair in tight cornrows. Moore is Black and looks similar to Cedric Alexander. Moore hit a dropkick that sent Catena to the floor. Moore hit a Code Red for a nearfall at 3:30, then a dive over the top rope to the floor.  Moore hit a Pele Kick and a chinbreaker over his knees. Kalisse hopped on the ring apron and distracted Moore. Catena hit a DDT onto the ring apron. Moore hit a Spanish Fly and a brainbuster for the pin. Good opener.

* Backstage, AAW Tag Team champions Schaff and Russ Jones were interviewed. I always compare Schaff to Jake Something-meets-Braun Strowman as he’s a BIG man.

2. Solomon Tupu defeated Shawn Logan at 00:46. Logan is white and he attacked from behind before the bell. I have said before that Tupu is like a smaller, thinner Bronson Reed. Tupu grabbed him, hit a uranage, and scored the pin! The crowd popped for the quick victory.

* Backstage, we heard from Mat Fitchett and Ren Jones. Fitchett is like Tom Lawlor; a short brawler. Jones is like Jonathan Gresham, a short Black powerhouse.

3. Rohit Raju and Karam defeated Schaff and Russ Jones to win the AAW Tag Team Titles at 12:23. Karam and Schaff immediately traded punches and the action spilled to the floor. Rohit fought Russ on the other side of the ring; Raju is so much smaller than these other three muscular big men. In the ring, Russ easily tossed Raju across the ring. and the champs stomped on Raju in their corner. Karam entered and hit a hard clothesline on Russ at 4:30. Raju and Karam now grounded Russ. Karam and Jones traded punches and both were down at 9:00.

Schaff and Raju made hot tags, and Schaff hit a rolling cannonball in the corner. Schaff hit a stunner for a nearfall. Karam hit an assisted Flatliner for a nearfall. Raju got zip-ties and tied up Jones’ legs around the ring post! Meanwhile, Schaff was brawling with Karam. Karam hit a D’Lo-style Sky High powerbomb and pinned Schaff! New champions! I didn’t see that coming.

* Backstage, Davey Vega and his faction partners told Gnarls Garvin to take Mike Bennett out of the match, then take himself out. Gnarls looked reluctant but he shook hands.

Jimmy Jacobs was introduced! He’s an “AAW original.” (I have many early AAW DVDs with him headlining shows.) He got on the mic and said he can’t believe it’s been 20 years since he dumped an IWA-Mid South title in the garbage right here and joined the upstart AAW. He noted he just turned 40 this week. He referenced fighting Jerry Lynn and Tyler Black in this building and said he was grateful to everyone who watched him grow up in this business. He was interrupted by Ace Perry! Ace is a rocker and he’s equally as short as Jimmy is. “I liked you way better when you were a miserable drug addict, because at least that was honest,” Perry said to Jimmy. He said no one cares about Jimmy, and he just came back for some adulation. Perry pointed out Jimmy has a banner on the wall. “Where’s my red carpet? Where’s my banner on the wall?” He threatened Jimmy and told him to get out of the ring. Jimmy punched Perry and we have an impromptu match!

4. Jimmy Jacobs defeated Ace Perry at 3:48. Jimmy clotheslined Perry over the top rope to the floor, then he nailed a dive to the floor on him, and they brawled along the guardrails. Perry hit his own dive to the floor, then a top-rope Swanton Bomb for a nearfall. He ripped off his own shirt and choked Jimmy with it. The commentators said it is Jacobs’ first AAW match in four years, and it might be his first match in 2.5 years. Perry hit a Cradle Shock slam but only got a one-count at 2:30. Jimmy hit a fadeaway stunner for a nearfall, and he peeled off his shirt. Perry hit a superkick. Jimmy nailed a spear for the pin! That was fun and short.

* Backstage, Katena, Koa and Kalisse spoke. Koa challenged Isaiah Moore to a rematch at the next show.

5. Ren Jones and Mat Fitchett defeated Hartenbower and Xavier Walker at 11:27. Xavier is the tall, Black muscular man (think former NXT talent EJ Nduka) and I’ve seen a lot of him in Glory Pro Wrestling out of St. Louis. I always compare Hartenbower’s looks to Joshua Alexander. The commentary team wondered if both team will be able to get along. Walker and Hartenbower tower over their opponents and they worked over Ren early on. Ren finally hit a suplex on Xavier at 5:00. Xavier hit some hard chops on Ren, then a hard clothesline at 8:30.

Fitchett finally got the hot tag and hie kicked Hartenbower on the ring apron, then a Frankensteiner on Walker, then a frogsplash for a nearfall. Xavier accidentally punched Hartenbower! Fitchett hit a Pele Kick. Hartenbower accidentally speared Walker at 11:00. Fitchett hit a moonsault to the floor on Hartenbower. Meanwhile, Jones hit a frogsplash to pin Walker! Solid match.

* Backstage, Amish fighter Levi Everett was interviewed. He vowed he would retain his AAW Heritage title.

6. Robert Anthony defeated Gary Jay at 9:07. Anthony is a 20-year pro who has competed as the masked Cyon in NWA. I always say Gary is a red-headed Brodie Lee. Anthony got on the mic and said he was on the first-ever show. Jay hit a top-rope crossbody block to start the action, and they brawled on the floor. In the ring, Anthony hit a snap suplex at 2:30, and he bit Gary’s fingers! He hit a Northern Lights Suplex at 4:00 and kept Gary grounded. Gary hit a DDT for a nearfall. Henry hit a standing powerbomb. Gary hit a doublestomp to the back for a nearfall. Henry hit a Death Valley Driver out of nowhere for the pin! Good brawl.

* Backstage, Tupu boasted about how quickly he won. He said 2024 is going to be his year. My first time hearing him speak and he sounds like a southerner. Conan Lycan approached him and challenged him to a match April 20.

7. Shazza McKenzie and Missa Kate defeated Heather Reckless and Maggie Lee in a street fight at 12:26. Four pros here; Maggie is really tall and towers over them all, while Heather is only about 4’9″. Kate’s tough-girl demeanor is similar to NXT’s Adriana Rizzo. Shazza and Kate walked out first but were attacked from behind! All four brawled on the floor. Heather hit a baseball slide dropkick. Heather and Maggie got trash cans and put them over their opponents’ heads and hit them with kendo sticks. Maggie and Missa brawled over to the bar in a corner. Missa hit a DDT onto an open chair at 4:00. Meanwhile, Shazza was beating up Reckless in the ring. Missa shoved a trash can lid into Heather’s throat.

Missa and Shazza set up chairs in the ring and they slammed Heather onto them and set up for a powerbomb. However, Heather hit a huracanrana onto the open chairs. Meanwhile, Maggie hit a rolling Death Valley Driver, sending Shazza through a board in the corner, and everyone was down at 8:30. They all got up and traded punches. Maggie hit hard running kicks in the corner. Heather and Maggie hit stereo moonsaults for believable nearfalls. Maggie jabbed a chair onto Missa. Missa powerbombed Maggie through a door bridge for a believable nearfall at 11:30. Shazza hit a stunner on Heather across an open chair for the pin! A good brawl; all four women should be proud of this one.

* Backstage, Queen Aminata was interviewed. She is challenging Sierra later in the show. Aminata said she’s coming for that belt.

8. “Beef” Gnarls Garvin defeated Joey Avalon, Shane Hollister, and Mike Bennett in a four-way at 8:18. The winner of the match gets to challenge Davey Vega in the main event. Avalon is bigger with blond hair on top. Hollister wore a skeleton T-shirt; his black gear is similar to Sami Callihan. Beef hit a Thesz Press and punches on Avalon. Bennett hit an Exploder Suplex on Beef at 1:30. Hollister hit a dive to the floor. Avalon leapt off the top turnbuckle and hit a summersault to the floor onto the other three! That is a big man do to that move! In the ring, Bennett and Avalon traded punches, and Bennett hit a spinebuster for a nearfall at 4:30. Bennett hit a piledriver for a nearfall and suddenly everyone was down.

Hollister hit a Flatliner on Bennett onto the middle turnbuckle for a nearfall. Beef hit a back suplex on Avalon. Bennett hit a Death Valley Driver on Beef for a nearfall at 7:00. Hollister hit a brainbuster. Avalon hit a piledriver on Hollister for a nearfall. The ref got pushed into the ropes, causing Beef to crash and be crotched. Beef hit a Razo’s Edge on Hollister over the top rope onto the other opponents! He dragged Hollister back into the ring, hit a standing powerbomb with a jackknife cover and pinned him to earn the title shot later in the show. A very good brawl.

Davey Vega and his partners entered the ring and he looked upset at Beef for winning. On a video screen, John E. Bravo told Beef to “do the right thing” and lay down. Vega got on the mic and told Beef to be “a good little boy and lie down” and give me the easy victory. He warned him to do it “or something really bad is going to happen.” Beef got on the mic and said he won’t lay down, and he attacked all three heels. Referees and security had to separate all of them. So, we now are having a different match!

9. Davey Vega defeated Conan Lycan and Solomon Tupu in a three-way elimination match to retain the AAW Title at 9:10. Lycan and Vega brawled in the ring as Tupu was out on the floor. Conan slammed Vega back-first onthe ring apron at 1:30. In the ring, Lycan hit a spinebuster on Tupu. Tupu nailed a rolling cannonball in the corner on Lycan for a nearfall. Tupu hit a uranage on Vega for a nearfall at 4:30, but Shawn Logan jumped in the ring and hit Tupu, and a commentator said he’s trying to get revenge for that quick earlier loss. Lycan hit Tupu with a title belt! Lycan hit a pop-up powerbomb on Vega. Vega rolled up Lycan, put his feet on the ropes for leverage, and pinned him at 6:12! The match continued with just Vega and Tupu. Tupu hit some clotheslines. He hit a big leg lariat for a nearfall at 8:30. Vega applied a Fujiwara Armbar and Tupu tapped out.

* Mat Fitchett hit the ring; Vega ran the other way, but he accidentally left the title belt in the ring. Fitchett picked it up; the commentators said he may get it very soon.

* Backstage, Sierra was interviewed. She said “a lot has changed since you’ve last been here,” and she’s going to kick Aminata’s ass.

10. Joe Alfonso (w/Chuck Smooth) defeated Levi Everett to win the AAW Heritage title at 11:47. Alfonso attacked the Amish butter maker from behind and was in charge early. Levi ‘churned’ Joe’s arm then yanked it out of socket. Levi hit a dive through the ropes. He dropped Joe throat-first on the guardrail at 4:30. However, Joe hit a Death Valley Driver onto the ring apron. He grounded Levi in the ring and was in charge. Joe went for a dive to the floor, but Levy moved out of the way. In the ring, Levi nailed a jumping knee. The ref was distracted; Joe grabbed the butter urn and hit Levi in the head with it for a nearfall at 10:00.

Levi nailed a spinebuster and a diving headbutt to the sternum! He went to the top rope but Smooth grabbed Levi’s ankle! They fought on the top rope and Levi hit a headbutt that dropped Joe to the mat. Levi then hit a top-rope flying headbutt for a visual pin but Smooth pulled the ref from the rin! The ref kicked Smooth out. However, Alfonso hit a Jarrett-style Stroke faceplant for the pin! New champion. Decent match.

11. Sierra vs. Queen Aminata for the AAW Women’s title went to a no-contest at 11:43. Aminata has the height advantage. They shook hands at the bell and worked each other’s left arm. Sierra hit a running knee to the side of the head at 3:00, then a Stinger Splash, then running double knees in the corner. Aminata fired back with a snap suplex and some clotheslines, then a stiff kick to the spine at 5:00. Aminata hit a running butt bump in the corner. They brawled on the floor, with Aminata leaning her backward against the guardrail and chopping her chest. They got back in the ring and traded forearm strikes and overhand chops at 8:30.

Sierra hit a senton and a fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall. Aminata nailed an Air Raid Crash for a believable nearfall at 10:00. The ref got bumped. Aminata hit a release German Suplex, but Sierra popped up and hit a spear and they were both down. Shazza McKenzie jumped in the ring, threw Aminata on top of Sierra, and got the ref in the ring! Aminata got a nearfall. The lights went out! When they came back, Skye Blue was in the ring! She glared at Shazzza, but then she began hitting Queen Aminata, and the ref called for the bell.

* Backstage, Isaiah Moore said he won’t be overlooked anymore. In another promo, Rohit Raju and Karam showed off their tag titles. We flipped to Conan Lycan, who is upset at Tupu, saying he has cost him gold. He wants their match on April 20 to be a loser-leave-town match. We then flipped to Joe Alonso, who is proud of his title belt. Over to Tupu, who agreed to fight Lycan on April 20. He vowed to win the loser-leave-town match and never have to see Conan again. Another video with Beef Gnarls Garvin, who defended his decision to not lie down in the ring. We then flipped to Schaff and Russ Jones, who are livid about losing their tag titles. They want revenge on April 20.

* More backstage promos, as we went back to Joe Alonso. Joe said Levi brought the butter churn to ringside, so Levi should be upset at himself for bringing it. We went to Skye Blue, who looked bored and disinterested. She said she’s not done and she didn’t lose that title clean, so she’s coming for Sierra. In another clip, Davey Vega was asked about facing Mat Fitchett on April 20 for the title. Vega said they should have been working together, not against each other.

Final Thoughts: An entertaining show and worth checking out, especially if you don’t know this roster. Even though it was short, I’ll go with Vega-Lycan-Tupu for best, the main event second, and the inspired women’s street fight for third, just ahead of the men’s four-way that Beef won. This show didn’t air live and it’s better for it; I really like how they weaved in a bunch of backstage video clips, and the series of videos at the conclusion of the show set forward matches for the next show. I dislike the edits to remove ring entrances (I fully understand it’s likely done over music copyright concerns!) It is a mild distraction.


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