Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG DDT4 2011
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 11.30.2012
When Kevin Steen has to yell at you for screwing around in the ring, you're probably not doing too much. Ask Akira Tozawa.
Earlier this year, I reviewed DDT4 2012 and claimed it was one of the best tournaments I'd ever seen. I still stand by that claim, but everybody still says that PWG's DDT4 of 2011 is better. I took it upon myself to see if that was true, and I'm taking you lucky bastards at 411 along with me.
We start off with Matt Jackson on the mic talking about how he and his brother Nick are slumming it up in PWG. "In Orlando, we have our own trailers!" - Matt Jackson..."Your trailer sucks!" - Awesome Fan. I like this version of the Young Bucks better as personalities, because I just get a kick out of them in their TNA Is Better gimmick. Matt proclaims he and his brother Generation Me instead of the Young Bucks.
First Round Match: The Young Bucks vs. Willie Mack & Brandon Gatson
I've not seen enough of Mr. Gatson to form an opinion, but I love Willie Mack...even if he's missing his caveman beard for this show.
During the course of Matt Jackson's promo, Gatson LEAPFROGS OVER WILLIE AND TAKES THEM OUT ON THE FLOOR! Nick tries to take Mack out, but Willie rolls around and takes Nick down with a leg lariat. Nick grabs Gatson's leg on the outside, Gatson goes out to deal with him, so MATT DIVES THROUGH THE SECOND ROPE WITH A DROPKICK! Now the Bucks start isolating Gatson, and start tentatively working his arm. Gatson is on spaghetti legs until he reverses a Sex Factor into a Manhattan Drop on Nick. Gatson NEARLY gets to Mack for the tag, but no dice. Matt eats a Stunner and here..comes..WILLIE! Willie cleans house much to the delight of the crowd, and nails three splashes in the corner! Gatson stops a handspring backrake and does one of his own! SASUKE SPECIAL FROM GATSON! STANDING MOONSAULT FROM MACK! NEARFALL! Matt gets 2 on a victory roll, but Gatson and Mack hit an AWESOME ROCK BOTTOM/NECKBREAKER FOR A NEARFALL! Mack gets his knees up during Risky Business, and he and Gatson HIT A BIG HART ATTACK/BLOCKBUSTER! NEARFALL! These double teams are insane. Mack connects with a backbreaker on Matt, but Nick superkicks Gatson off of the top rope and SUPERKICKS THE FUCK OUT OF MACK to get the Bucks to the second round in 11 minutes. ***1/2Fantastic opener. They didn't slow down at all over the course of the 11 minute duration, and some of the double teams that Gatson and Mack pulled out are ones that I've never seen any tag team do, let alone a team that was thrown together for one night. The Reseda crowd was super hot for everything, and they exploded with every move that Willie Mack and Brandon Gatson did. Another wildly successful opener, something PWG has always been fantastic at.
First Round Match: The American Wolves vs. The RockNES Monsters
Nice to see the Wolves, who had a piss-poor FRIENDSHIP!~! feud last year. I cannot fathom how terrible that was. This ought to be a great match.
Yuma and Richards start us off, and Yuma bails after Davey whacks him in the thigh with a kick. Yuma comes back in after recovering and begins to actually wrestle. Yuma takes Davey out of the ring with a headscissors, and sends Eddie out with a hurricanrana. HUGE SOMERSAULT PLANCHA FROM JOHNNY GOODTIME! Surprisingly enough, Yuma and Goodtime do a good job of maintaining the advantage early on both of the Wolves. Eddie plasters Goodtime with a mean chop, and Yuma runs like a bitch when Eddie goes after him. Now the tide has changed, as the Wolves take turns picking Johnny Goodtime apart. You could not pay me enough money to get chopped by a pissed off Eddie Edwards. Davey tags in and falls victim to multiple hip attacks from the Monsters, but he stops their momentum by suplexing Yuma. Yuma gets tied up in the tree of woe after missing a Frankensteiner, and the Wolves take advantage with a mean double baseball slide. Johnny Yuma proceeds on to take an absolute shitkicking from both Edwards and Richards. Yuma desperately tries to come back and succeeds in getting the hot tag to Goodtime! Goodtime is fast and furious as he picks Eddie Edwards apart. Edwards unleashes a couple of chops, but Goodtime DVD's Yuma on top of Edwards for 2. Davey puts in an Ankle Lock on Goodtime's bad ankle, but Goodtime reverses into a Victory Roll for 2! BACKDROP DRIVER! Nearfall! Goodtime takes Eddie off of the ring apron with a dropkick and Davey falls to a Sex Factor! FROG SPLASH FROM GOODTIME! NEARFALL! Good story from Goodtime there, selling his ankle for a split second before trying to pin Davey. Goodtime falls to an Alarm Clock and a SUPERKICK/GERMAN SUPLEX/BRIDGE PIN! NEARFALL! POWERBOMB/LUNGBLOWER! ACHILLES LOCK FROM EDWARDS! Goodtime taps in 21 minutes. ***1/2This wasn't inherently exciting, but they kept it really interesting during the beginning portions as Johnny Yuma played Ricky Morton like a pro, while Goodtime set the crowd on fire with the stuff he did after the hot tag. They built up some really good nearfalls down the stretch too, and once again the crowd elevated this match with their big reactions. This is probably one of the more old-school tag matches I've seen in PWG, and it worked really well.
First Round Match: The Kings of Wrestling vs. The Cutler Brothers
The last time I saw the Cutlers, they stunk up the joint against the Dynasty. The KOW are always awesome, so hopefully this will be better.
Claudio and Dustin start off, and neither budge after a couple of shoulderblocks. Claudio takes Dustin off of his feet with a clothesline and tags in Hero, which brings in Brandon Cutler. Brandon eats a couple of chops from Hero, but decks him with a dropkick immediately thereafter. Claudio uses his freakish strength to press slam Dustin Cutler, much to the delight of the crowd. Hero hits a nasty Bicycle kick to Dustin's elbow, and then tags in to Claudio to continue the punishment. Dustin fires off a couple of bitchslaps on Hero, but he folds like a lawn chair after Hero connects with a high knee. Claudio deadlifts and SQUATS Dustin Cutler, all whilst gutwrenching him. Dustin nails a Casadora Bulldog and finally tags Brandon in, who cleans house! Brandon HURDLES HERO and leg drops Claudio, and spikes Hero with a cutter! WHEELBARROW LUNGBLOWER FROM THE CUTLERS! Claudio saves the pin, but boyt hat was pretty. Claudio tags in after Hero takes both Cutlers out with elbows, and he gets two after he knees Dustin the face. Chokeslam from Claudio gets a 2 count as Brandon and Hero fight on the outside. F5 X-FACTOR FROM DUSTIN! Nearfall only, and Claudio nails Swiss Death! I love the way Tyson Kidd sells that move, by the way. I want to see how Dolph Ziggler fakes death with it too. Patience is a virtue my friend. GIANT SWING DROPKICK FROM THE KOW! NEARFALL! A double Bicycle Kick gets the Kings the win in 16 minutes. ***1/4This match was a lot slower than the other two, but it probably benefited from the change in pace. It allowed them to tell the story that they wanted to tell and the crowd was with them the whole way. The Cutlers sure impressed me here, as it wasn't a huge carryjob from the still-superior KOW. Brandon Cutler's hair looked...effeminate...and not even like a "preppy, Abercrombie wearing douche" effeminate. Good match and all, but fix that hair Brandon.
First Round Match: The Briscoe Brothers vs. The Nightmare Violence Connection
In case you're not aware, the Nightmare Violence Connection is the tandem of Kevin Steen and Akira Tozawa. This match is going to fucking RULE.
Jay and Tozawa start us off. Tozawa gains the advantage early, and tags in Steen after he gives Jay some time to get up. Steen is noticeably less fat here than he would become later in the year. Mark tags in and DROPS Steen with a running knee. Steen prevents a double team initially by biting Jay's ear behind a distracted Tony Roma's back, but he still falls to a double side slam. Tozawa yells at the crowd and then tells them to shut the fuck up, earning him one of the biggest pops of the night. There's always something about a Japanese wrestler cussing that endears you to him. Jay kills Tozawa with a mean spinebuster and Mark tags in to kill Steen with an Exploder. KUNG FU EXCHANGE BETWEEN MARK AND TOZAWA! SHOUT-OFF! Jay and Steen reprimand their respective partners, and KILL EACH OTHER WITH LARIATS! SCREAMING DOUBLE LARIATS FOR TOZAWA AND MARK! Tozawa drops Jay with a Shining Wizard, but Mark saves the day. DVD FROM MARK! TWISTING SENTON FROM JAY! Nearfall only. SPRINGBOARD DOOMSDAY SHINING WIZARD BY TOZAWA AND STEEN! The Nightmare Violence Connection advances in 10 minutes. ***3/4I do wish that these guys could have gone longer, as The Briscoes are the best tag team in the world when it comes to pure crazy spotfests, but I do understand having to save Steen and Tozawa for their later matches. What we got was fantastic though, as the chemistry between these four shone through brightly even in such a short window of time. That Kung Fu exchange between Mark Briscoe and Tozawa had me in stitches, especially when they were lectured by their partners for dicking around. You just don't see that anywhere else...that's why PWG fucking RULES.
Semi-Final Match: The Young Bucks vs. The American Wolves
This is going to kick seven shades of ass.
Nick and Davey start us off, and Davey uses his speed to make Nick part for a moment. Matt tries to comfort his partner by kissing him on the cheek, so the crowd takes it upon themselves to chant, "That Was Incest!" I love Reseda. The Bucks do their little taunt and turn around the meet the boots of the American Wolves. The Wolves send the Bucks outside and HIT STEREO TOPE SUICIDAS! Edwards and Davey send it back to the ring quickly, and they take turns isolating Nick. Eddie serves chops to both of the Bucks. Nick holds on for dear life to the second rope, but Davey pries him off and puts in that arm-trapped Cloverleaf, only for Matt to kick him off. Eddie bridges back for a reverse Indian Deathlock, but Matt comes in and FLICKS HIM IN THE BALLS! Davey does the same to Nick in the Tree of Woe, prompting a Holy Shit chant. The Bucks start to isolate Davey, but Eddie tags in and takes Matt down with a high Misawa missile dropkick. Shining Wizard gets a 2 count. Eddie sends Matt on his ass in the corner, and he SUPLEXES NICK ONTO HIM! Matt catches an Alarm Clock, but Eddie kills him with a chop and Davey ENZUIGIRIS HIM! Eddie gets two off of a sitout powerbomb. Davey gets Matt in a tombstone piledriver position, but NICK SUPERKICKS HIM INTO A REVERSAL! HUGE PLANCHA ON EDDIE FROM NICK! TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! TWO COUNT! HANDSPRING KICK FROM DAVEY! TROUBLE IN PARADISE FROM MATT! SUPERKICK FROM NICK! SUPERKICK FROM EDDIE! ANKLE LOCK BY DAVEY! REVERSE RANA FROM MATT BUT DAVEY DON'T GIVE A FUCK! LARIAT FROM DAVEY! EVERYONE IS DOWN! Holy FUCK that was crazy. Nick misses the 450 in More Bang For Your Buck and DAVEY GERMANS MATT OFF THE TOP! POWERBOMB/LUNGBLOWER! ACHILLES LOCK FROM EDDIE! Matt rolls through into a small package for the three count in a wild 16 minutes. ****1/4That match kicked more ass than I even predicted, and trust me my friend, seven shades of ass is a lot of ass. The last 4 minutes or so were fucking bananas, with one of the craziest sequences of moves that I've seen in quite some time. I wasn't even let down by the finish! Man, I must be in a good mood tonight. I always say that I don't like the Young Bucks' forced heel act (even though it was just fine here) but if I EVER doubt their abilities in the ring, then email me, I'll give you my address, and you can come fuck my fiance if you want. This was AWESOME.
Semi-Final Match: The Kings of Wrestling vs. The Nightmare Violence Connectiom
Following that match is gonna be a daunting task.
Steen makes Angelo Trinidad bill him and Tozawa as the Kings of Sexual Intercourse. Steen and Hero start us off, and Hero puts in a Trailer Hitch. Claudio tags in, but falls to a mean arm wringer, bringing Akira Tozawa in. Tozawa fire off a few open hand chops, but Castagnoli knocks him down with a shoulderblock. Hero comes in and after TOZAWA SPITS IN HIS FACE, he destroys the dude with a chop. Tozawa throws Claudio out of the ring and before he can hit a tope suicida, CLAUDIO HITS A LEAPING EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! The KOW take turns working over Tozawa's neck, and basically giving him the asskicking of his life. Tozawa desperately looks for a Backdrop Driver and he DESTROYS HERO WITH IT TO A HUGE POP! HERE COMES STEEN! Steen runs like a house on fire and gets a 2 count on a Cannonball to Claudio. SWINGING DDT FROM STEEN! HERO SAVES! TOZAWA THROWS HERO OUT AND HITS TWO RAPID TOPE SUICIDAS! In the ring, Steen fires off a superkick, but Claudio drops him hard with a lariat. Tozawa tags in but he EATS SWISS DEATH~! Hero kills Tozawa with a piledriver, but only for a nearfall! GERMAN SUPLEX FROM TOZAWA! NEARFALL! BICYCLE KICKS FROM TOZAWA! ROARING ELBOW FROM HERO...BUT TOZAWA KICKS OUT AT ONE AND HE DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK!~! HERO MISSES A MOONSAULT! LA MAGISTRAL CRADLE! Tozawa pins Chris Hero to advance his team to the finals in 17 minutes. ****How can you not love Akira Tozawa? That little son of a bitch stole the show in this match. The pop that he got when he no-sold the Roaring Elbow might have been the biggest pop I've heard on the show yet, and he almost got a bigger pop with the cradle he pinned Chris Hero with. Admittedly, this one did start off a tad slow but when business picked up, it fucking PICKED UP. It sucks that Tozawa has to waste his time in DGUSA rather than make better use of his US time, but we always have matches like this to fall back on. Awesome, awesome stuff again.
Joey Ryan picks up a mic and talks about how he is the most powerful wrestler in Southern California. He says he could have been in the tournament, and he talks about how he talked to Karl Anderson and Scott Lost, but he told them to keep doing what they were doing. He says on April 9th, he will cash in his title shot against Claudio Castagnoli. Joey is the Hollywood Submission Machine, if you didn't know
Joey Ryan Invitational Gauntlet: Brian Cage-Taylor vs. Ryan Taylor vs. Peter Avalon vs. Candice LeRae
Holy comedown, Batman!
We start off with Brian-Cage Taylor and Ryan Taylor, who were the Fightin' Taylor Boys by this point. Not much happens in the first minute or so, until they do your usual armdrag/shoulderblock fest, but no GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! yet. Ryan Taylor is getting on my nerves in this match...he just wastes so much motion to get back to the hold he was in in the first place. It's like 2007-esque Chris Hero, except he's doing it because he thinks that makes him a better wrestler and not doing it to piss off a crowd. Cage fires off a couple of backbreakers until Ryan catches him with a bitchslap. Cage connects with what is now dubbed as the "Fucking Machine Superplex." Ryan redeems himself a little bit by dropping Cage into the chairs outside with a tope suicida. Excalibur and Joey Ryan make some pretty fucked up Benoit jokes on commentary..."Thank God there isn't any workout equipment at ringside, or things could be really bad for Brian Cage-Taylor....have we crossed the line, Joey Ryan?" You never cross a line with me, Excalibur. Cage KILLS RYAN WITH A POWERBOMB ON HIS KNEE! That only gets a nearfall. A Cravat Neckbreaker gets Ryan Taylor the pinfall.
Peter Avalon is the next wrestler out, and he wastes no time in jumping the wounded Ryan Taylor. He also wastes no time in putting in a chinlock of all things. They head to the apron, where Avalon Ace Crushes Taylor on the apron, and moonsaults onto him for good measure. Taylor puts in a LeBell Lock after a couple of mean arm wringers, but Avalon gets to the ropes. Avalon hits a Fisherman's Neckbreaker for a 2 count. Taylor looks for a Snapmare Driver, but Avalon rolls through into a schoolboy to pick up the pinfall.
Candice LeRae is next, but before the match starts, Joey Ryan superkicks Avalon to give Candice the win in a total of sixteen minutes. **This was way too boring to be worth 16 minutes of time, but it was fundamentally sound. The crowd couldn't have given two shits if their lives depended on it though, and it felt a lot longer than it was. Whatever, I guess.
Joey grabs the mic, but Candice takes it and says that she could make Joey tap out. Joey takes it back and says he doesn't look ridiculous and says he looks like Brad Pitt from Fight Club. Joey puts his title shot on the line,
Joey Ryan vs. Candice LeRae
Don't make me choose who I like more.
Candice nearly steals a couple of pinfalls early, and Joey breaks all of that with a knee to the nose. Candice puts in a Royal Octopus Stretch, but Joey shakes her off and shoves her down. Joey rubs his hands on his dick and chokes Candice with his hand, because he's Joey Ryan and he fucking CAN. He puts Candice up top for a Mustache Ride, but Candice jumps down and does a little Human Tornado boogeying! TOPE SUICIDA SWINGING DDT FROM CANDICE! Joey struggles to get in, but finally gets in at 19. As Joey gets in, he thumbs Candice in the eye and kills her with a Boobplex. You lucky piece of shit, you. Superplex from Candice only gets 2, unfortunately. BALLSPLEX! DIVING REVERSE RANA FROM CANDICE! NEARFALL! Joey got dropped right on his fucking head. Candice misses the moonsault, eats a Superkick, and taps to the Kimura in 9 minutes. **1/2This pretty much salvaged a pretty bad gauntlet, as they pulled out a match that woke the crowd up and played to their strengths. I miss Candice...
DDT4 Finals: The Nightmare Violence Connection vs. The Young Bucks
Oh hells yeah. I love PWG.
This is a Pier Six Brawl to begin, and Rick Knox lets the use of chairs go without consequence. FROG SPLASH ON THE FLOOR FROM STEEN ON NICK! Matt takes a couple of digusting powerbombs on the apron , and hits a guillotine legdrop! Nobody is home on a moonsault for Steen though, and the Bucks waste no time going after Steen's knee. The Bucks legitimately HANDSPRING RAKE STEEN'S BACK WITH A RAKE. That pisses Tozawa off, and the Bucks go outside and SPIKE DDT HIM ON THE FLOOR! That was nasty. Tozawa is taken to the back and the Bucks start working Mr. Wrestling over. Steen is busted open after multiple shots to the ringpost, and the Bucks resume in picking him apart. Steen starts mounting a comeback, but that all stops with a basement dropkick to the bad knee. Steen SPITS BLOOD INTO NICK'S FACE WHEN HE'S IN THE SHARPSHOOTER! AKIRA TOZAWA IS BACK! SHARPSHOOTER ON MATT BY STEEN! Nick Jackson tries to break it with a couple of punches but STEEN DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK! GERMAN ON NICK BY TOZAWA! Matt finally gets to the ropes and Tozawa tags in and HITS AN ARM CAPTURE GERMAN! NICK SAVES THE DAY! "THIS...IS...SERIOUS!" Steen lifts both of the Bucks up and hits a double Samoan Drop! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER/SHINING WIZARD ON MATT! NICK SAVES! BARRAGE OF SUPERKICKS! NEARFALL~! That's how they put away Steen in the Bucks' match with Steenerico! MORE SUPERKICKS! STEEN DOES NOT GIVE A FUCK! SUPERKICK! NEARFALL! TOZAWA COMES IN AND FUCKS SHIT UP!~! EARLY ONSET ALZHEIMER'S! DOUBLE MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! The Young Bucks pick up the win in a phenomenal 21 minutes. ****1/2Oh Akira Tozawa, how I love thee. The Young Bucks may have won the tournament (and they were really the only option at this moment in time), but this was Akira Tozawa's night. He stole the show in all three of his matches, whether it be comedically (vs. the Briscoes) or dramatically (in this match). He had the crowd on their feet with every single move that he did. Having him save the day only to be cut short was an awesome sequence to watch unfold. The finishing stretch rivals a lot of elite matches in pure drama and excitement and with four guys who can go balls-to-the-wall, there wasn't much else to expect. The finish may have been deflating for some, but who can complain after seeing something like that? This was probably the best match you could end the tournament on if I'm honest. Fantastic, tremendous stuff.
The 411: I feel like a douche for saying that 2012's DDT4 was the best, because 2011's rocked my shit. Two MOTYC's for 2011, one close behind and one that would have gotten to MOTYC with even 4 more minutes? You just don't see that every month. If you're a fan of tag team (or indy) wrestling at all, then DDT4 2011 is your best friend for three hours. It's damn awesome and depending on the day, I might say that this edition is the best DDT4 of all time. Highest recommendation possible.