Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG Failure to Communicate
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 01.31.2013
Michael Elgin pulls double duty because he's Michael Elgin. Oh, and because some guy named Kenny Omega came back.
And just one match before I finish my Mystery Vortex review, Failure to Communicate arrives. I know, this show is from October and I'm reviewing it in January, but things happen when you have a life.
Your hosts are Excalibur and whoever the hell.
Joey Ryan vs. Ryan Taylor
This is Joey's penultimate match before his farewell at Mystery Vortex, and it's underwhelming, even for an opener. I'm not a big fan of Ryan Taylor at all and as much as Joey has earned his way into my heart, he ain't the best wrestler to ever do it.
Ryan takes Joey out with a dropkick right as the bell rings, which stops the humorous conversation about how shitty The Office is between Excalibur and Kevin Steen. Joey gets to the ropes after sitting in a half crab for a bit and connects with his pumphandle T-Bone suplex. Joey puts on a chinlock, and Jesus Christ this has been the worst opening match of the year so far. It's just SO BORING. Taylor nails a Yakuza Kick and a front suplex, and gets a two count off of a missile dropkick. Things get decent as Taylor dodges a spear with a switch knee and puts on a cross armbreaker. A scissor kick gets another nearfall, but Joey gets 2 off of a spinebuster. Kevin Steen seems so bored with the match that he implores Excalibur to tell him what's happening while he closes his eyes, so he can prove his theory of being able to pay attention to something while not looking and just listening to commentary. Taylor gets a two count off of a Regalplex, and pins Joey after a spinning cravat neckbreaker in 9 terrible minutes. *This was PWG's worst match of the year by a long way. Neither of these guys did anything exciting and the only good sequence in the match lasted for about 30 seconds. Nothing technically wrong, but this was a chore to sit through even if it didn't break ten minutes.
Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin
This is Elgin's first of two matches of the night, and this should be a real barnburner. They had a fantastic match on ROH TV in late-2011 that is way overlooked.
Eddie looks for an armdrag, but Elgin's like NO BITCH and lifts him up. Eddie nearly pins Elgin with a cradle (the one Shawn Michaels used to pin Chris Jericho at WM XIX) but Elgin gets out and buys himself some time. They waste no time in trading strikes and Elgin RUNS RIGHT THROUGH A CHOP AND TACKLES EDDIE! Eddie hits an enzuigiri, but Elgin CATCHES EDDIE'S TOP ROPE LUNGBLOWER IN MID AIR AND HITS AN AIR RAID CRASH! VERTICAL SUPLEX HELD UP FOR 65 SECONDS! Elgin follows up with an Undertaker leg drop on the apron and puts in a chinlock. Eddie comes back and tries for a Chinchecker, but Elgin counters and looks for a Chaos Theory but EDDIE GETS OUT NAILS A STIFF BOOT TO THE HEAD AND A TOPE SUICIDA! Eddie gets two on a Shining Wizard, but ELGIN HITS A HELLEVATOR! Nearfall! Elgin hits an enzuigiri, but Eddie dodges a lariat and nails a frontplex! Elgin gets out of an Achilles Lock and NAILS A DEADLIFT GERMAN FOR TWO! Eddie goes up top and nails a Superplex, but Michael Elgin does not give a FUCK! BACKFIST COUNTERED INTO A LARIAT! ELGIN KICKS OUT AT ONE BECAUSE HE FUCKING CAN! TIGER SUPLEX! NEARFALL! ELGIN BOMB COUNTERED INTO A HURRICANRANA! GERMAN SUPLEX INTO THE CORNER FROM ELGIN! BUCKLE BOMB! ELGIN BOMB! That is it in a batshit crazy 16 minutes. ****I'll go with the negative first; they didn't get past four stars because they nearly lost me before the really crazy sequence kicked in, but everything before that and especially everything after that tore the damn roof off. It reminded me a lot of Elgin/Richards from Showdown in the Sun with the way Elgin kicked out of a huge move at one and proceeded to rip some shit up before the finish. Maybe the one-count spot was a little unnecessary, but the crowd had no qualms with it and it made them go insane, so it added to what was a fantastic match at that point anyway. It's hard to believe that Michael Elgin went from a fat-as-shit 20 year old in IWA-MS to this absolute monster we see tear the house down every time. Another top-notch match for Eddie and Elgin in a year filled with them.
B-Boy & Famous B vs. The RockNES Monsters
This seems to just be a placeholder until a newly heel Monsters team get their tag title shot, but the Monsters are getting really good heat surprisingly.
After 30 seconds or so of odd stalling, Yuma jumps B-Boy and dives out onto him in short order, followed by a Goodtime double stomp. Yuma--because he's a little shithead--bitchslaps B-Boy...who stops him on a rope-run with "HOLD UP BITCH" and KILLS HIM WITH AN ELBOW. Yuma is knocked the f out, and when Goodtime tries to pick him up, B-Boy takes both Monsters out with a Face Eraser. Goodtime tags in and yells "I WANT THE BLACK GUY!", and as the crowd chants "Racist", Famous B comes in and takes Goodtime down with a bunch of really cool moves. Excalibur and Kevin Steen take to calling Yuma 'Lars Only', which makes me happy and angry at the same time. B-Boy and Famous B do their own little Violence Party on Goodtime in their corner, but Yuma takes Famous B onto the apron and DDT's HIM ON IT! Yuma is Owen Hart-esque in his happiness that he executed the move. Now Famous B is your Ricky Morton as the Monsters cheat their way to maintain control. Yuma cheapshots B-Boy, which pisses the New Age Punisher off enough to make him go get a chair, but referee Justin Borden takes it away. Yuma THROWS GOODTIME INTO A CANNONBALL ON FAMOUS B! Famous B comes back with a dropkick onto Goodtime, who had Yuma on his shoulders. B-Boy comes in and Exploder suplexes Goodtime onto Yuma and immediately after maneuvers the Monsters as to where Yuma takes a DDT while B-Boy hits a neckbreaker on Goodtme. Famous B cracks Yuma with superkick, and everyone kicks everyone until B-Boy hits Goodtime with a cutter. Frog Splash from Famous B gets a two count! Famous B hits a butterfly backbreaker on Yuma and a Swanton Bomb! He botches a tope con hilo onto Goodtime as Yuma rolls up B-Boy in the ring with a handful of shorts for the win in 16 minutes. ***The thing against this match was the length, as it was a good 5 minutes longer than it needed to be. It wasn't the greatest match in the world either way, but it was fun for the most part and it was entertaining enough to break through the three star barrier.
Sami Callihan vs. Davey Richards
This is the good shit...even if PWG copied it from AAW....I kid, I kid.
Sami and Davey waste no time trading strikes until Davey latches on the ankle lock! Sami throws him off and dives out to him with a heat seeking missile. Sami bodyslams Davey into the ropes and puts on a modified trailer hitch, but Davey counters into an ankle lock! Sami toughs it out and stomps Davey's knee into the mat, thus keeping control for a little longer until Davey MDK kicks Callihan from the apron. Davey takes Sami back in and puts in an Indian Deathlock. Sami tries to come back with a couple of leg kicks, but Davey has none of that and drops Sami with a spin kick to the gut. Davey jumps right on Callihan's knee with some stretching and an STF, but Sami bites Davey to get out. Davey get pissed and just STOMPS Sami in the chest, ala Bryan Danielson..."I'm better than Danielson!" says Davey. The smirk he said that with was so good. Davey goes up top, but Sami kicks his leg out, making Davey tumble down. Davey makes him pay for his misdoing with more kicks until Sami moves out of the way and hits his running boots in the corner! Sami nearly catches the Alarm Clock, but he counters into a Figure Four! Davey comes back with a roundhouse to the face and a German Suplex! Cross armbreaker...COUNTERED INTO A LOW STRETCH MUFFLER! DAVEY COUNTERS TO A SHARPSHOOTER! Sami reverses to a small package, but gets only two. SPINNING HEEL KICK! LARIAT FROM SAMI! Sami misses a splash and eats an Alarm Clock and a superplex! BRAINBUSTER! NEARFALL! TOMBSTONE FROM DAVEY! NEARFALL! DOUBLE STOMP! NEARFALL~! FUCK YOU MURDERDEATHKILL KICK FROM DAVEY! STRETCH MUFFLER FROM SAMI! INSIDE CRADLE FROM DAVEY! NEARFALL! BITCHYCLE KICK FROM SAMI! SAITO SUPLEX! LARIAT...but guess what Davey gives...NO FUCKS WHATSOEVER! LARIAT! NEARFALL! STRETCH MUFFLER FROM SAMI! DAVEY TAPS! Sami Callihan wins something insane in 17 minutes. ****What a match. This didn't hit the highest gear until the very tail-end of the match, but once they got there, they friggin' GOT THERE. A lot of the nearfalls here were actually believable and I commend PWG for letting Callihan finally get a big win in PWG. He and Davey delivered on some really high expectations.
Roderick Strong vs. Rich Swann
I've heard good things about Swann, but I haven't cared to watch any promotions that he was in. CZW is CZW and fuck EVOLVE and DGUSA, really.
Swann starts dicking around, and Roddy shoves him to tell him to stop. Swann FRONT FLIPS OVER A MONKEY FLIP and nails a mean dropkick! That brings Reseda straight to its feet. Rich gyrates during the 10 Punch spot, so Roddy pays him back destroys him with chops. Rich tries to dropkick Roddy through the bottom rope, but Roddy grabs him and DROPS HIM ON THE APRON! HE DARTS RICH INTO THE RINGPOST! Jesus Christ, Rich is taking a shitkicking. Swann looks for a rolling frog splash, but he eats Roddy's knees in full force. Swann again tries to use his flips to turn thing around, and again he finds himself bouncing off of Roddy's knee. Strong just decides to bully Rich around, but pays for it with High Jump Frankensteiner! CORKSCREW PLANCHA! Swann rolls Roddy back in the ring and gets a two count on a Rolling Thunder. Swann takes too long to follow up, and Roddy responds with a boot, a jumping knee, and a sick back suplex backbreaker. Roddy hits the gutbuster...for a two count! Roddy muscles Swann to the center of the ring and puts on the Stronghold, but Swann gets out and nails Trouble in Paradise! LETHAL INJECTION FROM SWANN! Nearfall only. STANDING 450 SPLASH! Nearfall! Roddy rolls out of the way to dodge a frog splash, and KILLS SWANN WITH THE ORANGE CRUSH BACKBREAKER to win in 18 minutes. ***WAYYYY too one-sided in Roderick Strong's favor to be any higher. Swann doesn't look to have as much to offer as you'd think, because in spite of a few really awesome spots, he didn't take the shitkicking as good as he could have and his offense (from what I saw here) is limited. He's better than a guy like Ryan Taylor or TJ Perkins (although TJ did have a better--though much more even--match with Roddy in July) but he just didn't look to be worth the hype to me. There were sequences of goodness spread throughout, but this could have benefited from either A) shorter length and/or B) a more evenly matched (i.e. Rich Swann not looking like a bitch) bout. Disappointing through and through.
Willie Mack vs. Brian Cage
Hey TNA, go fuck yourself. Brian Cage is ten times better than Jay Bradley ever was. Jeez, such a gyp. I love Willie Mack and all, but I imagine his potential for actually skyrocketing as a wrestler more as a wrestler could grow if he really got into shape. Dude is so athletic and it's getting to the point where I think his look hurts him a bit.
Mack does not move when Cage attempts a shoulderblock, so Cage bitchslaps him. Mack looks for a shoulderblock of his own and can't get Cage off his feet, so he bitchslaps Cage. They head to the outside, where Mack spits beer on Cage! Mack suplexes Cage on the floor! Willie hits some kind of facebuster for a two count, but Cage comes back by dodging an MDX and hitting a Backstabber for two. DELAYED VERTICAL SUPLEX BY CAGE! Mack dodges a Lionsault after taking a Samoan Drop, and hits a floatover Zig-Zag! Yeah, it was a Zig-Zag, and fuck you. The first real exciting moment comes in the match during Willie's comeback as Mack nails an Exploder for two. A Saito suplex connects for Mack and after only a two count is reached, Mack goes up top. Mack misses a Frog Splash and takes a Flatliner! Pumphandle Facebuster! Standing Moonsault from Mack! Cage looks for the Fucking Machine Superplex, but Mack kicks him off and spears him for a two count. Mack misses a BEAUTIFUL diving moonsault, and Cage DEADLIFTS Mack onto his shoulders and nails a TKO Stunner! FUCKING MACHINE BRAINBUSTER FROM CAGE! HOLY SHIT. That only gets a two count, crazily. Cage looks for a LARIATOOOOO but Mack counters with a powerslam! CHOCOLATE THUNDER BOMB! Nearfall! Mack counters Weapon X into a sunset flip for a two count and a DISCUS LARIAT HITS REF JUSTIN BORDEN! CHOCOLATE THUNDER BOMB! NO REF! This match has suddenly gotten pretty awesome. Cage kicks Mack in the dick and he plants Willie down with Weapon X. Justin Borden gets enough strength to count the pinfall in 18 minutes. ***1/2For the first few minutes this led absolutely nowhere and was starting to bore me, but they really started to pick it up right when they needed to. Both guys are tremendous athletes and wrestlers and if it wasn't for TNA's incomptency of signing talent, you might be seeing Brian Cage in OVW right now! I joke, I joke, but this was a really good match. I've seen some label it a disappointment and I certainly see where they're coming from, but the last 7-8 minutes put it over that slump for me.
El Generico and Kenny Omega vs. The Young Bucks
Oh fucking YES.
Before the bell even rings, Nick Jackson tries to tightrope walk the ropes and EATS SHIT. HAHAHAHA. Generico and Matt start, and shirt-throwing abounds until Generico DROPS Nick off of the apron. Nick comes in after Generico chucks Matt out of the ring and Generico has the upperhand during the technical exchanges. Nick uses El Generico's armdrag (and this time doesn't eat it whilst walking the ropes), and Omega tags in after Generico recovers! Awesome sequence ends with Omega sandbagging an armdrag and dropping Nick on his chest! Matt tries for a slingshot sunset flip inside of the ring but Generico YAKUZA KICKS HIM OUT OF THE AIR! STEREO TOPE CON HILOS! Things calm down as Matt and Omega wrestling in the ring...Omega puts the hat on...and turns it backwards! IT'S TIME TO GO OVER THE TOP! NICK SPLASHES KENNY TO BREAK IT! You fucking buzzkill. Omega DROPS Matt with a bicycle knee and here comes Generico! Generico's hot tag does not last long as the Bucks cut the ring in half. Generico counters a back handspring backrake into a back suplex, and the crowd EXPLODES. Here comes Omega! Nick takes a crossbody and after a scare, Omega nails a Fameasser/Bulldog on both Bucks! 2K1 Bomb connects for Omega as he tags in Generico. Generico eats a rolling enzuigiri, but gets two when he catches Matt with a Blue Thunder Bomb! CASADORA FACEBUSTER FROM MATT! Nearfall...but man, that's a sweet move. Generico eats a superkick and a corkscrew Ace Crusher from Matt! Nick jumps off of the top rope but KENNY CATCHES HIM RIGHT ON THE CHIN WITH A DROPKICK! HADOUKEN... COUNTERED INTO SUPERKICK! EARLY ONSET ALZHEIMER'S...STOP!...ENZUIGIRI! DRAGON SUPLEX ON NICK BY OMEGA! NEARFALL! Holy Jesus, what a sequence. The Bucks look for Kota Ibushi and Omega's finisher from DDT, but they miss! DOUBLE YAKUZA KICK ON THE BUCKS FROM GENERICO! HADOUKEN! MATT BREAKS UP THE PIN! TANDEM TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER ON OMEGA! 2.9!! Omega looks for Croyt's Wrath, but Matt runs him into Justin Borden and hits him in the balls! Omega gets out of More Bang For Your Buck and GENERICO KILLS MATT WITH A TURNBUCKLE BRAINBUSTER! A FUCKING SUPER CROYT'S WRATH ON MATT!~! Rick Knox counts the pin to give Omega and Generico the win in 26 amazing minutes. ****1/4This was a textbook example of tag team wrestling. The first 10 or so minutes of the match consisted of heat segments--which never got boring--and they teased tags so well that when either Generico or Omega got their tags, the crowd was ecstatic. That's simple wrestling psychology. The crowd was molten for this match too, probably moreso than I can remember happening this year. There's a reason Kenny Omega has a strong fanbase, and he showed that during this match. You aren't going to see an arm-wrestling match so casually implemented into a pro wrestling match. It just doesn't happen...unless you're Kenny Omega. Everything about this match was so good and exciting and the crazy thing about it is, it might not even be in the top 10 of the 2012 PWG MOTY list! I love this promotion.
Kenny Omega takes the mic and says that the reasons he couldn't come back were because of his Japan schedule. He said that once he had the chance, he made sure to come back to PWG. He says he came back mostly because of the fans, because they let him armwrestle and sing John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith (in one of the funniest matches of all time against Bryan Danielson at PWG One Hundred) and be a goof. Omega closes by saying if the fans want him back, he'll come back as soon as he can.
Three Way Match For the PWG World Title: Kevin Steen (c) vs. Michael Elgin vs. Ricochet
Kevin Steen is without his belt for this match, as Adam Cole stole it after winning BOLA. This combination of wrestlers have had some of the best matches of 2012 (Ricochet having BOLA's second and third-best matches with Steen and Elgin, Steen and Elgin having MOTY in ROH) and they're gonna pull out some wacky shit for this three-way, I can already tell.
Ricochet does the whole Kurt Angle thing, trying to get in the middle of Elgin and Steen (ala Angle/Taker/Rock from Vengeance 2002) and Ricochet TAKES ELGIN OUT WITH A TOPE CON HILO! CORKSCREW PLANCHA ON STEEN! Ricochet catches Steen with a cutter for two and when he tries to run at Michael Elgin, Elgin slingshots in with an elbow. Elgin counters a tornado DDT from Ricochet into a backbreaker, but Steen breaks up the pinfall with a senton! Cannonball on Elgin! Steen SPIKES RICOCHET WITH AN ELEVATED DDT! Steen looks for a double clothesline and drops Ricochet, but Elgin doesn't budge and DROPS Steen with a lariat! Elgin looks for an elevated vertical suplex on Steen, but Ricochet kicks Elgin's leg out from under him and nails a shooting star press for 2! Ricochet misses a Phoenix Splash and is locked in a sharpshooter by Steen! Elgin breaks it up and PICKS STEEN AND RICOCHET UP FOR A FALLAWAY SLAM/SAMOAN DROP~! A corkscrew senton from Elgin meets Steen's knees, and Steen goes up top only to meet Ricochet. He hoists Ricochet up on his shoulders and FINLAY ROLLS HIM ON TOP OF ELGIN! Steen covers Elgin for 2! Elgin drops Steen with a Black Hole Slam for 2! Steen puts Elgin in a sharpshooter, but RICOCHET BREAKS IT WITH METEORA ON STEEN! Ricochet looks for a rolling moonsault, but ELGIN CATCHES HIM AND NAILS A GUN SLINGER! Ricochet looks for something on Steen, but INSTEAD HE TAKES ELGIN OUT WITH A SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO THE OUTSIDE~! SHOOTING STAR PRESS ON STEEN~! NEARFALL! THIS...IS...SERIOUS! Ricochet goes up top again, but Elgin stops him. BUCKLE BOMB ON STEEN! BUCKLE BOMB ON RICOCHET! REVERSE RANA ON ELGIN! STEEN RUINS RICOCHET WITH A POWERBOMB AND PACKAGE PILEDRIVES HIM ON TOP OF ELGIN! Steen retains his title in 12 (!) minutes. ****That was goddamn insane and one of the better spotfests of the year in PWG that didn't include a tag team. Ricochet is a freak of nature, Michael Elgin is a monster, and Kevin Steen is Kevin Steen. Put these three together and they can main event any indy show in the world, especially with this match. There isn't much analysis to put to this one other than saying how batshit crazy it was, so watch it.
The 411: In a lot of ways, this was one of PWG's better shows of the year. The sheer amount of matches that get to (and in one case, exceed) the four star mark is insane for any kind of wrestling promotion to hit. Not to mention the several others that were approaching said mark. However, Joey Ryan and Ryan Taylor had an ABYSMAL match to begin the show and thus made this show one of the worst PWG events of the year. It's not World's Finest, but shows like Death to All But Metal didn't have a bad match. Maybe a mediocre locals match, but not a terrible Taylor/Ryan match. So GET ALL THIS except for that match. It's still tremendous. It just goes to show you the high expectations that PWG has every time out, because they're simply that great.