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AWE Harsh Reality: A real bang for the buck
By ED LUDWIG - SLAM! Wrestling


The third installment of Winnipeg's AWE on PPV aired on Canadian cable providers this week, and it was the first since its Fight Network show began airing. The PPV turned out to be a very enjoyable evening of great wrestling action from past, present and future stars. It had a nice mix of talent and at a very reasonable $12.99 to order, it was worth every penny.

The show began with a tag team match featuring Wavell Starr and Shane Madison taking on the "Outlaw" Adam Knight and "Evil" Eddie Watts. The retirement match for the "Mecca" Shane Madison didn't go the way he had hoped as he and Starr went down to defeat against the long time veteran Eddie Watts and the newcomer Adam Knight.

The end of the match came when Starr and Watts were battling outside the ring and Madison had Knight trapped in the corner firing off a series of punches when Knight suddenly grabbed hold of him and delivered a sit-down power bomb for the pin.

Before the next match began Buff Bagwell was informed that his tag team partner Lex Luger was unable to make it due to travel difficulties and that he would need to find a tag team partner for his match with Rick and Scott Steiner in the main event. Bagwell got on the telephone and made a call, already having a replacement in mind.

Match two was the debut of the 6-foot, 8-inch, 325-pound Brody Steele as he squared off against the clearly overmatched and outgunned Zack Mercury. Brody controlled the action from the outset as Mercury was unable to sustain any offence against the big man and was pinned with a vicious choke slam. Steele has the size and look the wrestling fans are drawn to and time will tell if the skills are close behind.

Match three saw former Playboy playmate April Hunter go up against Alberta native Sexy Samantha. It was the power of Hunter versus the agility of Samantha. After a failed moonsault by Samantha, Hunter was able to capitalize and score the pin after a twisting neck breaker off the top rope. Hunter's victory sets up a future match with Sarah Stock in the coming months.

Match four was a tag team match pitting Assault & Battery (Chi Chi Rodriguez and Massive Damage) against Synn and Johnny Handsome. This was a showcase of power between four big men. Cruz and Damage didn't see eye to eye during the bout which hurt them against Synn and Handsome, a team that gelled and worked well together. Cruz and Damage had their moments but were unable to sustain any serious offence. Cruz threw his partner a cane and he tried to hit Synn but Synn was able to get the cane and use it on Massive Damage to score the pin.

Match five pitted former UFC Heavyweight champion Dan "The Beast" Severn against Donny DiCaprio in a MMA match. Due to the weight advantage for Severn a rule was put in place that no knee strikes on the ground would be allowed. The size and weight advantage was apparent from the outset yet DiCaprio held his own against Severn. After the three rounds were complete it went to the scorecards with Severn gaining a split decision victory.

Match six was another tag team bout featuring TNA Team Canada member "Hotshot" Johnny Devine teaming up with Shawn Houston as they took on Kenny Omega and Ryan Wood with Danny Duggan at ringside. Some good high flying moves by Omega and Wood gave them an advantage as they were able to catch and unsuspecting Devine and Houston which allowed them control most of the action. Omega hit a fisherman's suplex and came close to getting the pin when Devine made the save for his partner. The momentum suddenly changed and Devine hit a moonsault on Omega for the pin. It was an entertaining back and forth match up that had the crowd up on their feet applauding.

Before the main event started there was an interview backstage with Chuck Palumbo and Wavell Starr who gave their thoughts on the upcoming match. Starr commented that the Steiner Brothers are one of the greatest tag teams of all time and that the fans were in for a real treat. Palumbo was asked about Lex Luger missing the show and he commented that nothing could be done.

The main event kicked off with Buff Bagwell entering the ring first followed by his new partner for the evening -- the "G-Man" aka Billy Gunn/Kip James. The Steiner Brothers soon followed and it brought back many memories for fans as one of the greatest tag teams were together again for at least for one more match. The action started with Bagwell mocking Rick Steiner then a boot to the face quickly dropped Bagwell to his knees.

When Scott Steiner (with his new chest tattoo) and the G-Man entered the ring Steiner did his classic pose before taking the boots to the G-Man. The Steiners worked well and didn't miss a beat with quick tags and keeping their opponents at bay and not allowing for an easy tag. The lack of chemistry between Bagwell and the G-Man was apparent and although the Steiners had not worked together in a very long time they kept their composure and fed off the applause from the crowd. The G-Man would eventually head to the locker room and leave Bagwell to fend for himself. Soon after Bagwell was left hanging high and dry Scott Steiner applied the Steiner Recliner and Bagwell quickly submitted.

An outraged Bagwell took the microphone after the match and verbally tore a strip out of the G-Man for walking out on him. This brought the former New Age Outlaw back to the ring where an argument ensued. Bagwell had enough then started unloading on the G-Man until Chuck Palumbo hit the ring and nailed an unsuspecting Bagwell then the two on one beat down began. In the end Bagwell was down and out and Billy and Chuck left the ring to close out a very entertaining show.

NOTE: The AWE Harsh Reality will continue to run on Canadian pay-per-view providers, so check with your provider for future air dates.

RELATED LINKS

  • January 18, 2006: The Harsh Reality: AWE PPV tonight
  • AWE website

    Ed Ludwig is a boxing/wrestling writer from Burnaby, BC.