(01/24) Shane Hollister (c) vs. Jimmy Jacobs

Berwyn Eagles Club (Berwyn, Illinois)
AAW Heavyweight Championship

This was a very fun match from start to finish, but it was the finish that really brought it to the next level. The entire match had Jimmy Jacobs’ finger prints all over and his performance is the one that stood out, although Hollister played his role well.

The first few minutes were very good with some quick-moving mat work and counters lead by Jacobs. Jacobs was positioned as the determined underdog which has always been a good role for him. It is how he originally made his name – as the goofy but never-say-die Bruiser Brody enthusiast – and although he has largely wrestled as a mastermind heel in recent years, the undersized babyface role is still a role he plays well. He fights from underneath here effectively, mixing it well-placed hope spots and comebacks. For his part, Hollister is fine working Jacobs over for much of the match.

Jacobs establishes early on that that he feels he will need to pull off a big move to get the win. He teases the Contra Code in the ring, on the apron, and on the floor throughout the match but never hits it. At around the fourteen minute mark Jacobs makes a comeback that peaks with him locking on the guillotine choke. Hollister powers out, but the move comes into player later. At around 20 minutes, after trying for the Contra Code on the apron, Jacobs finally pulls off the big move he was looking for when he hits a great through-the-ropes spear that sends Hollister crashing violently into the guardrail. It also busts Jimmy open.

Back in the ring – with Jacobs now bloodied – the stretch run begins in earnest. Without giving everything away, the violent move and the blood adds an air of desperation. Jacobs goes back to the guillotine choke but the blood loss and general fatigue has potentially already taken its toll. This leads to a good and unique ending stretch that helped both guys walk away from the match looking strong.

At the end of the day, this is probably my favorite US Indie match of the year so far. I don’t think it would be fair to view that on a sliding scale either. The match is legitimately good, even if the standards of the current US indie scene are all not that high. The match didn’t go too long, had nice bookends (a fun opening and hot ending stretch), with a good narrative holding it altogether. It is definitely worth checking out.

Title Match | Watch It | Quality & Individual Performance (Jacobs)

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