BANKIE'S HOT TAKE #56 - Quay-XW
With two shows left in the legendary Hamburg Field House in Hamburg, PA, American X Wrestling brought the most important live event to the venue in almost thirty years: UNITED WE SLAM 2023.
Not since the mid-1990s when ECW ran live events at the Field House shortly after turning EXTREME, United We Slam was a massive success. A mass of passionate AXW fans came out to watch the biggest match in the history of the promotion: Matt Quay vs EN Bush for the AXW Heavyweight championship.
Before the fans would receive that legendary encounter, the AXW locker room decided to go all out and give the fans one Hell of a wrestling event.
The opening match instantly brought the animosity, Tommy Vecs, with his face concealed underneath a Halloween mask and wearing a WaWa hoodie, jumped the “King’s Road Slayer” Derek Neal before the bell; however, the Bowling Green, Kentucky native quickly rebounded, surviving the onslaught from Vecs to his surgically repaired knee, and unleashed a wicked lariat for a three count.
Mr. Vecs, it should’ve been a Sheetz hoodie, sir. Just my personal opinion.
After a great victory against Taylor Oneshot, “the Redneck Chick” Izzy McCoy, AXW’s resident Ironwoman, announced she would be taking a step back from professional wrestling for an indefinite hiatus, beginning at the end of 2023. From this writer’s perspective, it will be a tough blow for AXW, as Izzy really grew this year as a talent and a beloved figure for the AXW fans.
The despicable Golden Era, AXW Tag Team champions Wet Brett Waters and Brian Morris, survived their first championship defense against Jos A and Jos B of the Hispanic Mechanics. As over-the-top arrogant Waters and Morris are, they are unafraid to back it up in the ring.
In one of the more anticipated matches of the evening, Goldy, leader of the aforementioned Golden Era, wrestled a back-and-forth battle against blue-chip athlete Richard Holliday. Holliday controlled the majority of the match, including a fantastic double underhook backbreaker with a twist to the carcass of Goldy. However, Morris and Waters made their way back down to the ring, and orchestrated a plan, starting with the Golden Era trying to slip Goldy his patented brass knuckles. They were then intercepted by the 2019 Super 8 Tournament winner Holliday, who had them confiscated by AXW Senior Official Ben Barnett. Within all of the calamity, Goldy schoolboy roll-upped Holliday for the three count, and then escaped the building like a deer into the night.
After intermission, the unique union of Tough Guy Inc and “Serious Business” Andy Header came out to a raucous ovation from the AXW faithful, and defeated the tandem of Aaron Truth, Cousin Condry, and Gregory McDaniels. The victorious trio, throughout the match gave love to the fans, and used their enthusiasm as fuel to win.
Leo Sparrow, “the Son of the Sun”, defended his recognized Earth championship successfully against Anthony Athens. The vegan withstood the carnivore, nailing his version of a leg lariat and followed up with a frog splash for a victory. Sparrow is still the protector and champion of our beautiful planet.
In the shocker of the evening, Team BabyDaddy defeated Reggie Collins and O’Shay Edwards, when “the Big Bad Kaiju” left the bombastic upstart Collins hanging for a tag after Ed House and Laszlo Arpad dominated him for the majority of the battle. Collins was left stunned, as well as defeated after a Laszlo Lariat and a House flying elbow drop for the loss.
FINALLY, after 364 days, Heart Vs Soul for the AXW championship took place.
AXW champion EN Bush and his sidekick Tommy Vecs made their entrance FIRST, a very unusual choice, but something that, according to my sources, the champion requested. However, not even Bush would have expected to see what happened next.
Riding in style down the entranceway in a military Jeep, “the American Hammer” Matt Quay hopped out, jumped on the hood, propelled himself to the top rope in the ring, and dove on top of both Bush and Vecs!
The fight was on.
After neutralizing Bush early, Quay set his sights on Vecs on the outside of the ring. “The American Hammer” then put him through the ringside table with a fireman’s carry slam, riling up the crowd into a frenzy!
However, the AXW champion persevered from the early onslaught and took back control. Using the experience that he gained while defending his championship against Scotty 2 Hotty and Martin Stone during 2023, Bush maintained offense at every opportunity. He was at the peak of his powers.
Yet, Quay didn’t quit. The more the AXW champion continued the beatdown, the more he kept fighting back. Finally, just as Quay gained control and aimed to “drop the hammer” on Bush, all Hell broke loose.
Seemingly from the ashes, Tommy Vecs rose up and inexplicably low-blowed referee Ben Barnett. Then, after a low blow from the champion to Quay, Vecs unveiled a referee shirt underneath his t-shirt that he wore out to the ring.
Bush proceeded to give the greatest curb stomp of his career to his challenger, leaving Quay out cold. The champion went for the cover, Vecs gave two slaps of the mat, and as he was coming down for a third, QUAY KICKED OUT! The roof seemingly came off the Hamburg Field House!
The dastardly duo decided that enough was enough, and attempted to leave through the front entrance of the Hamburg Field House. Unbelievably, the AXW locker room blocked the way for them, taking out Vecs and keeping Bush at bay. “The American Hammer”, surging with adrenaline after the vicious curb stomp, made his way back there, grabbed EN Bush, and dragged him back to the ring, while Bush kept hold of the AXW championship belt.
Quay nailed a vicious fireman’s carry neckbreaker and then made his way to the ring apron. One springboard later, Quay dropped the hammer down onto the chest of Bush, still clutching to his title belt. Referee Barnett recovered enough from the low blow to count three, and the legendary reign of “the Heart of AXW” came to an end.
AXW’s Soul, “the American Hammer” Matt Quay, became the brand new AXW champion!
The Hamburg Field House erupted in jubilation, as Quay pried the gold away from the arms of the former champion. Then, Quay’s family entered the ring, jumping for joy, proud of their hero.
It truly was a legendary moment for AXW, as Matt Quay finally achieved his dream, exactly 364 days after his first title opportunity.
I was so proud to witness this moment live. This event is something I will never forget. Matt Quay and EN Bush’s rivalry for the AXW championship really brought my fandom back to professional wrestling. I’m proud to have documented the journey in my Hot Take.
Sadly, I will not be able to attend the last show at the Historic Hamburg Field House on December 23, 2023, but I am so happy to have been a part of many great moments during 2023 for AXW. I am grateful for them, and I hope the AXW faithful enjoys the last ever event in Hamburg, PA. I bid thee FAREWELL.
However, I ask the question: did AXW UNITED WE SLAM 2023, and Quay vs Bush, live up to the hype?
It unquestionably did. #BANKONIT