The show so important, they had to capitalize its name.
PWG was having another banner year when their TENTH anniversary hit on July 23rd. Due to scheduling conflicts, the show took place in early August, but it’s good enough. A doozy of a card was announced, certainly on par with that of Threemendous III, which for my money is still the best show PWG ever put on. Of course, I don’t have a lot of money, but that will teach the rest of you to go to college. Without further Apu…
Candice LeRae, Willie Mack, & B-Boy vs. Joey Ryan, Ryan Taylor, and Peter Avalon
This was certainly a welcomed bonus for me. I’m practically in love with Candice LeRae, and I figured PWG’s 10th Anniversary would be as good a time as any to watch her get violated in a PWG ring again. What can I say, I’m a chauvinist.
“When Joey Ryan got released from TNA, it was the worst day of Super Dragon’s life,” says Excalibur. Not much to say other than that for you rotten Joey haters. Of course, the first thing the returning Joey does is call out Candice. “I’m a changed man Candice, shake my hand,” says he. Candice telegraphs Joey’s obvious trick, and elbows him to oblivion instead. She transitions right into a Black Widow, but Joey gets out and punches her straight in the mouth. She comes back with a beautiful rana off of the ropes, which makes Joey get the hell out. Ryan Taylor (booooooooo!) and Willie Mack come in now. Ryan no-sells a shoulderblock, but RUNS INTO THE POOOOOOOOUNCE! Of course, Taylor no-sells it again and tags out to Peter Avalon, who I have missed dearly. Avalon thinks he outsmarted B-Boy, and runs RIGHT INTO AN ELBOW that knocks him limp. He’s literally the only guy that can sell that spot to absolute perfection. ALARM CLOCK ELBOW FROM B-BOY AND WILLIE MACK! Willie puts all three heels in the triple Tree of Woe, so Candice and B-Boy join him for a triple dropkick. Ryan Taylor hits some dude in the audience, but he was obviously a plant. To his credit, the fan sold it perfectly. Candice drops Joey with a stunner, and she tags into Willie Mack, who cleans house. Now I remember why he’s so awesome. Willie Mack hits rolling Wastelands (something I have never seen) and packs all three heels onto his shoulders for a TRIPLE SAMOAN DROP! Willie sweeps Ryan Taylor off of the apron, and Joey spears B-Boy through the ropes. WILLIE HELPS CANDICE DIVE DOWN TO RANA JOEY OFF OF THE APRON ONTO EVERYBODY ELSE! TOPE CON HILO FROM WILLIE! Ryan Taylor hits B-Boy with a scissor kick, but runs into something from Willie that looked a lot worse than it was probably meant to. BOOB-PLEX FROM JOEY! CANDICE DOUBLE STOMPS JOEY TO BREAK UP A NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX! I don’t like Ryan Taylor. Couldn’t we have just had Ray Rosas? He wouldn’t look like a bitch trading with B-Boy. REVERSE RANA BY CANDICE ON JOEY! BALL-PLEX! TOPE SUICIDA DDT FROM CANDICE! HOLY FUCK SCOTT LOST JUST HIT AN ACE CRUSHER ON RYAN TAYLOR ON THE APRON! So that was the “plant”. I get it now. CHOCOLATE THUNDER DRIVER ON AVALON! Willie gets the win for his team in 17 minutes. ***1/2Perhaps a bit long for the opener, but everything in it was great aside from Ryan Taylor, even if Ryan admittedly set up the best moment of the match with the Scott Lost cameo. The match itself was mindless fun, which is something these six have proven to be great at numerous times in a PWG ring.
Brian Cage vs. Anthony Nese
Anthony Nese was replacing Davey Richards here, but I found this a more intriguing match anyway. I haven’t seen much of Nese aside from his cup of coffee in TNA, so I’m looking forward to see if he lives up the hype the WWN fans have given him. Brian Cage needs to lay off the ‘roids though. I hope the steroids part is a joke, because he’s just bulky at this point.
Cage is so bulked up that Nese can’t even tie his legs up. Wow, Cage looks fucking horrible in this match. Tony Nese is running circles around him. Nese hits a slick double jump rana, misses a pescado, and Cage drops him off his face on the apron. Cage hits a backbreaker for a two count. Dude looks BLOWN already. Nese dives in for a Lionsault, and a two count. Alabama Slam bomb gets two for Cage. Jesus, what happened to the Cage that was, ya know, a fucking machine? If he’s this bad here, imagine how bad Davey would have ruined him! He finds the juice (hehe) for a moonsault, but misses. NESE WITH A HUGE RUNNING BACKFLIP OUT TO THE FLOOR! “Do you think his archrival in high-school was James Nephew?” says Excalibur, and Steen cracks up after taking a few moments to figure it out. CAGE CATCHES NESE IN MID-AIR WITH A BRAINBUSTER! TWO COUNT! Cage fucks up his little neckbreaker (but it ends up looking okay) and he BRAINS NESE WITH A DISCUS LARIAT! Cage picks up the win with Weapon X in 13 minutes. ***They did just enough to ease into three star territory, but I’m worried about where Brian Cage is going. He’s sacrificing endurance for muscle, and it’s showing in his performance pretty blatantly, so much that Kevin Steen and Excalibur were eluding to it on commentary. I’m all for a good physique on a wrestler, because it seems more professional, but there’s pretty obviously a limit. I know I’ve been going on and on, but if you’re having trouble getting through a 13 minute match, you might want to make some adjustments. Anthony Nese showed flashes of greatness here and I can’t wait until PWG lets him cut loose, because he contributed a lot more to this match than I envisioned. So good stuff, but I’d advise Brian Cage (ha, look at me talking to a wrestler who won’t read this) to work on his cardio a little bit.
RockNES Monsters vs. Forever Hooligans
I’m all for Forever Hooligans in PWG. The only ‘bad’ matches I’ve seen them have are with the American Wolves, and I’m pretty much sure that’s just a case of bad chemistry by this point. The Monsters are a guilty pleasure of mine, especially Johnny Yuma, who everyone seems to hate but I love in a Peter Avalon sort-of way.
Johnny Yuma cut his hair, thus looking one Kevin Smith away from a Jay & Silent Bob rehash. Gain some weight and make Jersey Girl, Goodtime. You have the beard. Romero drops Goodtime with a dropkick early on. Romero tosses Goodtime by his beard and dropkicks him in the head again for a two count. Koslov tags in and splashes Goodtime for a two count. Romero does his little “hogging the spotlight” deal, and they start fighting again, but guess what? They hug it out! Hilariously, Johnny Goodtime gets disappointed when they hug. Johnny Yuma decides he wants a hug to, but the Hooligans shut that shit up real quick. The Monsters take control with some awesome hokey punches to Romero’s back. The Hooligans start coming back, and they botch a team assisted backbreaker when Romero slips off the rope. The Hooligans go for the Contract Killer, but Yuma stops it and Goodtime DVD’s his partner on top of Koslov for a two count. Yuma EATS a jumping knee from Romero, who runs right into a facebuster from Goodtime…who turns right into a Koslov knee. DOUBLE STOMP TO ROMERO’S HEAD FROM GOODTIME! PLANCHA! SEX FACTOR FROM YUMA! NEARFALL! Mushroom Stomp scores, and Explosive Amnesia hits…for TWO! CONTRACT KILLER! KOSLOV DIVES ONTO GOODTIME! Yuma stays down for three in 16 minutes. ***1/4It got relatively exciting for the closing stretch, and some of the dull parts were kept alive by the Monsters’ amusing heel tactics. I think they could have cut the time a bit and had an even better match, but beggars can’t be choosers. I liked it enough, but it isn’t something I’ll remember in a month.
Michael Elgin vs. AR Fox
Also known as murder, except without the criminal implications.
Fox gets a taste of what he's in for, but gets cocky. Fox tries to use his speed to get the upperhand, but Elgin shakes off a dropkick and plants Fox down with a shoulderblock. He uses that to take control. Fox gets out of the vertical suplex and uses everything he can to get control himself. Fox does a ridiculous "look at me jumping thing" Chris Hero style, but DIVES TO THE FLOOR WITH AN IMPLODING SENTON! Fox looks for his legdrop, but Elgin moves. Fox dives out for a tope suicida, but ELGIN CATCHES HIM AND GIVES HIM A BLACK HOLE SLAM ON THE FLOOR! Elgin now hoists Fox up for the vertical suplex for a good minute and a half, complete with showboating for a two count. ST-Joe scores for Elgin, who misses the corkscrew senton. Fox knocks Elgin off the top rope and connects with a springboard missile dropkick, and skins the cat into a sitting corner dropkick. Fox drops a leg on an apron-prone Elgin, but only gets two. HELLEVATOR FROM ELGIN! Fox powers out at 2. Deadlift German gets Elgin another nearfall, because AR Fox is stupid. Shiranui misses for Fox, who eats a heabutt. I like him and all, but Fox has NO fire in his strikes at all. Like, it's crazy how little he puts into it. Unless he's selling fatigue, then more power to him. I highly doubt that though, because HE JUST DID A RICOCHET DIVE OVER THE RINGPOST! SPINNING DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Elgin kicks out. Fox finds himself on the apron, but ELGIN DROPKICKS HIM IN MID-SPRINGBOARD! DEADLIFT FALCON ARROW! HOLY SHIT! FOX KICKS OUT~! Good selling surprise by Elgin there. Not something you see from him much. Things head out to the apron, where FOX HITS A SHIRANUI ON THE APRON! 450 SPLASH SCORES! ELGIN KICKS OUT! Wow, that was beautiful. ELGIN CATCHES THE CANNONBALL SHOOTING STAR! BUCKLE BOMB! FOX COUNTERS AN ELGIN BOMB INTO A REVERSE RANA! Elgin MURDERS FOX WITH TWO STIFF BACKFISTS! IMPLODING ELGIN BOMB!~! Elgin finally picks up the win in an AWESOME 20 minutes. ****Due to some miscommunication and Fox's hokey strikes, the match maxes out here, but don't think I'm slagging it. Elgin is just a scary talent at this point, racking up showstealers in every match he's in. This one was no different, especially considering he basically had a breathing ragdoll to work with. Fox (when he and Elgin were on the same page) showed grace in his moves that you wouldn't see out of a random indy guy in New York. There's a difference between a heatless spot-monkey like Matt Cross and AR Fox, that's for sure. That 450 he did might have been the best one I've ever seen if I'm honest. This was another crazy match that didn't go into overkill, and maxed out at the finish. Awesome stuff wall-to-wall.
Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick
I wasn't sure what to think about this match, considering I'm not a big fan of Brian Kendrick lately. The other three are talents I'm highly fond of, but I was wary of a weak link. That's not to say Kendrick isn't good or anything like that, I just don't find him all that entertaining. Different strokes for different folks. I'm optimistic that Londrick can turn back the clock and give us something worthwhile here.
Things start off hot and heavy with a CHICKEN FIGHT FEELING OUT PROCESS! Just when you thought the RockNES/FIST sequence on the apron back in March couldn't be topped, here you go. CHICKEN FIGHT SHOULDERTACKLE knocks Kendrick on his neck..."We just witnessed the hardest bump off of a shoulderblock ever," says color commentator Rick Knox. London gives Taylor a clean break as a wrestling match threatens to break out. London out-speeds Taylor, who doesn't seem to like it much. Chuckie karate-chops London, and hits a belly-to-belly...only to run right ito a dropkick. London fakes a dive as Taylor pulls a fan in the way, and somersaults into a tag. Gargano and Kendrick do their thing. GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! Paul London stops the Gargano/Taylor dance-fest and "challenges both of you geekwads to a fucking duel...", proceeding to miss a second backhand with the gloves. Kendrick stops Gargano and Taylor from dancing all over London, and they hit duelling glove slaps. Both Gargano and Taylor bail and find themsleves dropped by stereo tope suicidas! They try it again, but eat spears. A Chuckie T. dropkick gets two on Kendrick. TOPE CON HILO FROM CHUCKIE! London drops Gargano with a dropsault and DIVES DOWN ON TAYLOR AND GARGANO WITH A DOUBLE STOMP! 450 FROM KENDRICK! LONDON STAR PRESS! GARGANO BREAKS IT UP! HURTS DONUT FROM GARGANO! London kicks out. London DROPS Chuckie with a Bicycle Kick, but eats chair when he tries to capitalize with a pescado. CHUCK TAYLOR CATCHES KENDRICK OFF OF SLICED BREAD #2 AND HITS THE RAZOR'S EDGE/CUTTER! 17 minutes later, Gargano and Taylor pick up the win. ***1/2That match ruled. It blended comedy perfectly with balls-to-the-wall wrestling, which is something a lot of guys don't tend to do very well. These four are connesieurs in comedy wrestling--which helps, but they can also pull out a wicked spotfest when they need to. I rate matches based on entertainment first and foremost, and I got that in spades throughout, whether I was laughing or watching the wrestling. I wouldn't be opposed to a Londrick/Bucks match down the line if this performance is anything to go by. A very pleasant surprise.
Kyle O'Reilly vs. TJ Perkins
Ya know, since TJP has impressed me lately (as Manik and as TJ) I'll be optimistic here, because if anyone can drag something awesome out of Chris Sabin, you deserve the benefit of the doubt.
It's faux-MMA city, but they pull off some pretty sweet counters. GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! These guys are pulling off some wicked shit and I'll excuse the second standoff, because those motherfuckers EARNED IT. I won't excuse the many doofuses chanting "This is Wrestling" when that's literally what they've been watching for the last hour-and-a-half. TJ eats it on a drop toehold, but Kyle is all over him. Now a "We Love Wrestling" chant starts up. I'll let that one slide because it's a compliment I guess. Kyle punts TJ in the back, and TJP doesn't like it all that much. Kyle jumps with a knee and hits a running paintbrush slap. He should go all Young Bucks one day and bring in a real paintbrush to do that with. TJ fakes Kyle out on a dropkick and slaps him, for a two count. Kyle pulls off a beautiful snap suplex, with TJ's arm stuck behind him. TJ either botches something horribly or has a good sense of psychology by having his arm give out on a springboard. I'm just glad they didn't repeat the spot. Spin kick drops Kyle, as does a running knee for a two count. Kyle puts in a guillotine, but TJ eventually turns around into a Kimura. Detonation Kick...INTO A JAWBREAKER LARIAT FROM O'REILLY! SITOUT POWERBOMB FROM TJP! TWO COUNT...COUNTERED INTO A TRIANGLE! ANKLE LOCK FROM TJ! SMALL PACKAGE! Kyle kicks out. TRIANGLE FROM KYLE! RUNNING PUNT TO THE CHEST! TWO COUNT! SNAP REGALPLEX! TJ KICKS OUT AGAIN! TIGER GUTBUSTER FROM TJ! KYLE KICKS OUT! That's his finisher in TNA. O'Reilly looks for a super Regalplex, but TJ knocks him down. Kyle looks for it again and COUNTERS INTO A POWERBOMB! 450 EATS KNEES! STOMP, ELBOW, BRAINBUSTER! TJ KICKS OUT AGAIN! CROSS ARMBREAKER! TJP taps in 21 minutes. ****Forgetting the fact that they basically forgot the armwork (TJ still sold it, but not enough that it mattered), this was fantastic. It reminds me a lot of Kyle's match with Sami Callihan back in March, where they got their story over by legitimately wrestling, as opposed to just throwing shit to see if it sticks. It's very similar to the Benoit/Angle series in that regard, and I like that. I like that TJ Perkins is stepping up because I want to like him, and matches like these, the one with Sabin on Impact, and the Samuray Del Sol match 5 months ago are telling me that I've been mistaken. Excellent match and on par with Fox/Elgin, even if the two matches aren't exactly easy to compare.
Guerrilla Warfare for the PWG World Title: Adam Cole (c) vs. Kevin Steen vs. Drake Younger
Yep, Drake Younger in another hardcore match. As long as he doesn't staple shit to people, I'm cool with it. It's insane how likeable the dude is, though. As Kevin Steen says, he's a ray of sunshine and it's impossible for me not to root for him.
Cole wastes no time telling everyone to suck his dick, and that earns him a double asskicking. Steen shoves Cole's head in his groin area, and gives a little bow to round it off. Cole takes the honorary ass-kicking. Cole and Drake go at it in the ring, but Cole chucks the Psycho Shooter bringing the wrath of Kevin Steen. Cole fakes a a dive by trying to sit in a chair, but the chair BREAKS and DRAKE BUMRUSHES COLE WITH A TRAFFIC CONE! HE DROPS HIM DICK FIRST ON IT! Drake starts waffling bitches with a garbage can and BACK SUPLEXES COLE ON TOP OF IT! Drake wraps his head in the trashcan and BRAINS HIM WITH A CHAIR! Steen comes in and BRAINS DRAKE! CANNONBALL ON A PRONE COLE! Steen drops Younger with a pumphandle neckbreaker. Drake hits a Magnum Driver on Steen, but only gets two. Drake sets two chairs on their side and tries to do something to Steen, but Cole comes in and DEATH VALLEY DRIVES DRAKE ON THE CHAIRS! Drake sets a table up and GIVES HIM A GORDBUSTER ON THE EDGE! STEEN COMES IN AND WRECKS SHIT! Drake brains Cole with a lariat after the champ disposes of Steen, and KILLS HIM WITH A STRAIGHT-JACKET PILEDRIVER! Cole avoids Drake's Landing through a table and GIVES HIM A PANAMA SUNRISE ON THE TABLE! STEEN PULLS COLE OUT AND HITS A POWERBOMB ON THE APRON! YOUNGER KICKS OUT OF A PIN ATTEMPT! Steen sets some chairs all nicely together...and GIVES DRAKE A FUCKING PACKAGE PILEDRIVER THROUGH THEM! Cole tries to steal the pin, but Steen saves! Cole superkicks Steen, who GIVES NO FUCKS! HE KILLS HIM WITH A POPUP POWERBOMB! Cole looks for the Panama Sunrise but STEEN FUCKING MURDERS HIM WITH A TURNBUCKLE BRAINBUSTER! Drake pulls Steen out and goes for the cover, but COLE STEALS IT WITH A CRUCIFIX in 18 minutes. ****I don't think this had enough substance to extend beyond four stars, but everything that was there satisifed me greatly. No one took any bumps that were unnecessary, but they had no problem living up to the Guerrilla Warfare name. It had some good story to it, with Cole always trying to steal the pin and eventually doing it, which I love as a recurring gag in every one of Cole's matches. I doubt Drake will win the title at this point, but he turned out another great performance doing what he does best. Steen wasn't as big an entity, but he did a good job being the big bastard that wrecks shit for the fun of it. Another four star match in a line of them for this show.
Ladder Match for the PWG World Tag Team Titles: The Young Bucks (c) vs. The Inner-City Machine Guns vs. DojoBros
Last year's ladder match at Threemendous III was PWG's Match of the Year. With guys like Ricochet and Rich Swann in there, will they be able to top it? I'm almost scared to think how at this point, but I'm ready to see.
It's a Pier Six brawl to begin obviously. Everyone takes turns shallacking Matt Jackson with a random assortment of strikes and backbreakers. The Bucks take control over everyone in crazy fashion. The Machine Guns hit stereo SSP's on the Bucks, but the DojoBros come in and splash the Machine Guns on top of the Bucks themselves. DojoBros look for a ladder, but everyone distracts them and THE MACHINE GUNS DIVE OUT WITH STEREO TOPE CON HILOS! Ricochet sets a ladder up in the ring, and RODDY GETS BACKDROPPED ON IT! LADDER RUN SENTON FROM NICK ON TOP OF EVERYONE ELSE! The Bucks get an enormous ladder that doesn't even look healthy to touch, let alone kill people with. Matt hilariously does the back handspring, climbs the ladder, and rakes Rich Swann's back. Swann superkicks Matt as he drags him off of the big ladder, but Nick takes care of him. Nick thinks he's going to do his little ladder push, springboard thing but Swann ends him crotching him instead. Swann hits the Lethal Injection as Steen cracks up over Rich Swann apparently being a black Chris Jericho. RODDY GIVES NICK A BACKBREAKER ON THE LADDER! SWANN DIVES OVER DOJOBROS AND FROG SPLASHES NICK! Ricochet sets up the big ladder, but Matt PUSHES HIM INTO A FUCKING ASAI MOONSAULT! MATT RAGDOLLS RICH INTO A LADDER! RICOCHET EATS A BUCKLE BOMB ON THE LADDER! Nick sets a table up on the floor as Matt climbs a smaller ladder for the belts, but Roddy and Eddie stop all that shit. DEATH BY RODERICK! LARIAT FROM EDDIE! END OF HEARTACHE! DOUBLE STOMP FROM EDDIE! Eddie puts Swann in the Achilles Lock, but RICOCHET CATCHES RODDY WITH A CUTTER OFF THE LADDER! Ricochet sets up the big ladder by the corner and DIVES THROUGH IT TO GIVE RODDY A SWINGING DDT! HE DIVES UNDER IT TO THE OUTSIDE! NICK GIVES RICH SWANN A SUNSET POWERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLES! Ricochet is the last one standing, until the Bucks come in and HIT A FUCKING TANDEM TOMBSTONE FROM THE TOP OF THE LADDER! DojoBros now stops the Bucks but TRADE INSANE STRIKES! RODDY BRAINS NICK WITH A KNEE! Swann is somehow able to get into the ring, but can hardly stand. Swann tries to climb up, but THE DOJOBROS HIT A DOUBLESTOMP/POWERBOMB! The Bucks hit him low and get the belts in 20 minute of insanity. ****1/2I feel like an ass for saying this, but since people are going to compare the two anyways, I'll get it out of the way; no, this wasn't as good as Threemendous III's main event. Why does it matter though? They were both filled with death-defying shit that you probably aren't going to see anywhere else, and that's why we all love PWG. What better way to celebrate your tenth year of existence than putting on something that is strictly going to be a PWG product, in front of the best crowd in the world, in the best company this side of the Pacific. Call me a fanboy, but for my money, you aren't getting a better wrestling experience in the US than PWG. This match is the exact reason why. Bring on the next ten years, I say.
The 411: PWG goes into it's eleventh year with a rousing event. Four ****+ matches is an automatic recommendation, but you can't rule out the undercard, which was filled with gems like Londrick/Gargano & Taylor, and the opener. This show is exactly why PWG is so far ahead of every company in North America now; they have their finger on the pulse of independent wrestling, and they give the fans what they want. They won't pass up a chance to tell a great story either. I know I come off as a fanboy, but there's a reason for it. For $15 every two months or so, you get shows like this consistently. That's all the justification you need. Another incredible show for the boys in Reseda.