Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG Matt Rushmore
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 12.11.2013
I don't feel comfortable calling this PWG's "worst" show of the year.
After PWG's best show of the year in BOLA Night 2, a lot of interesting things started for PWG. Kyle O'Reilly's ascension to the top was fascinating to see, ACH coming into his own in front of the game Reseda crowd, and Johnny Gargano proving to everybody that he's truly one of the elite workers in the world. But as nice as those three things were, nothing raised more questions than the formation of the Mount Rushmore of Wrestling. Consisting of The Young Bucks, Adam Cole, & Kevin Steen, they formed an alliance after BOLA concluded after Kevin Steen piledrove Rick Knox to his death. Mr. Wrestling's justification? He did it because fans are assholes. Good enough for me. I was interested in this show not only to see how well their dynamic came off throughout a whole show, but how Super Dragon would book them. Would they be dominant? Cowardly? Who's to say?
We are TAPED from the American Legion in Reseda, CA.
Your hosts are Excalibur, Rick Knox, and some other regulars that I don't particularly care to list right now.
The Mount Rushmore of Wrestling interrupts Excalibur's opening monologue. Nick Jackson takes the mic, says something masked by the subpar (at best) audio quality, and pours a bunch of what I'm guessing is to-be-recycled beer cans into the ring. It's hard to make out anything these guys are saying besides Kevin Steen crying that the crowd isn't allowed to chant "Holy Shit" along with him. It doesn't help that Reseda cheers over a lot of their promo. Matt Jackson's promo is interrupted by excessive clapping from the PWG fans. I catch a Superkick Party proclamation though. Legion Larry brings out a trashcan and broom to clean up the mess in the ring, but Steen doesn't comply. Excalibur then takes the mic and basically says that they're dicks for messing up BOLA and "disrespecting Kyle O'Reilly, who had to wrestle 4 matches in one motherfucking weekend." The crowd actually cheers upon a Joey Ryan name-drop. "Then you guys come out here, and DISRESPECT RECYCLING?!" To repay the Bucks, Excalibur makes their match against Joey and Candice a title match with Rick Knox as the referee. He nearly catches an invitation to a superkick party, but Mr. Wrestling halts that and says he'll have their back on commentary. Cole takes the mic and says that the reason everybody came to the show was to see the four of them. He even gets in a jab at Kyle O'Reilly, saying he carried Future Shock on his back. More muffled audio and we're finally done with that segment.
B-Boy & Willie Mack vs. Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas
I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with Avalon not going by Norv Fernum. I'll have to sleep on it.
Willie Mack gives Angelo Trinidad permission to call B-Boy and Willie Mack "The Realest Distinguished African-American Gentlemen in Professional Wrestling." That's a quote, so it's not racist. Avalon and Rosas jump their opponents before the bell, but take too long with their taunting. B-Boy knocks Avalon into a new month with an elbow, so Rosas drags him back to his corner to tag him. I'm happy to report that Ray Rosas has a fannypack on while wrestling. Rosas lands an elbow that hardly fazes Willie, who POOOUNNNCCCESSS him out of the ring. A double team pop-up elbow scores on a victimized Avalon. Avalon buys himself some time and eventually lets Ray Rosas hit B-Boy in the head with his fannypack. He even uses it for a neckbreaker, and later the fannypack gets a nearfall! B-Boy comes back with some wicked move on both guys, and here comes Willie with the hot tag. He uses his agility to fuck some shit up, but Avalon & Rosas don't go down without a fight. Willie challenges Rosas to chop him, but ends him taking a rake to the eyes for his idiocy. Avalon & Rosas take control of Mack now. Willie does some wacky cutter on Avalon, and gets his chance to tag in. B-Boy comes in and meets Rosas, who takes a belly-to-belly suplex and a Tiger Driver for his troubles. Roderick Strong hilariously complains about B-Boy stealing his finish. MDX scores for Willie, and B-Boy caps off Ray Rosas' murder with a Face Eraser. That gets a nearfall. This match has been going on a good 5 minutes too long at this point. Ray Rosas dives out onto Willie Mack, leaving B-Boy alone with Avalon for a small moment. Gory Bomb/Cutter scores for Avalon & Rosas, but WILLIE BREAKS THE PIN WITH A DOUBLE STOMP! Avalon & Rosas eat exploders, but ROSAS COMES BACK WITH CODE RED! B-BOY BREAKS UP THE PIN WITH A DOUBLE STOMP! Avalon dives out onto Willie, but WILLIE CATCHES HIM AND POWERBOMBS HIM ON THE APRON! BRAINBUSTER BY B-BOY! B-Boy pins Ray Rosas in 18 minutes. ***Absolutely, positively way too long for what they were trying to accomplish. They could have had a more entertaining match by cutting this in half. It's the opener, not the match before intermission. That being said, they picked up very well down the stretch and pushed this into three snowflake territory. Not the worst thing in the world, but I doubt I'll watch it for pleasure.
Kevin Steen vs. ACH
Kevin Steen has given us the leisure of wearing tassels to the ring, because even PWG needs character development I guess.
Steen jumps a hyper ACH before the bell, bitching him out early. ACH doesn't quit fighting, but STEEN DESTROYS HIM WITH A SENTON! ACH starts fighting back again, but Mr. Wrestling cuts him off again. ACH does some weird springboard thingy to send Steen out of the ring, feigns a dive, but runs straight into a lariat that turns him inside out. ACH looks for a pescado, but Steen just walks away Samoa Joe style while ACH splats on the ground. Steen gets a cup of water while ACH writhes in pain, and ends up pouring it on him. ACH starts coming back with a barrage of punches, but Steen cuts him off again. ACH starts another comeback and HITS AN ARABIAN MOONSAULT TO STEEN OUTSIDE! Steen cuts ACH off again by throwing him into the turnbuckle, but misses a Cannonball! Slingshot cutter from ACH gets a close two count. Popup powerbomb of DEATH from Steen, but ACH counters an F-Cinq into a Stunner! AIR JORDAN SCORES! Dragonfly scores for ACH, but he only gets two. FLATLINER! KOJI CLUTCH! ACH tries to Sunset Powerbomb Steen to the floor, but Mr. Wrestling picks him up by the nose back up to the apron. Pele Kick scores for ACH, but STEEN CATCHES HIM AND JACKNIFES HIM ON THE APRON! Sleeper Suplex scores in the ring for a two count. Package Piledriver scores for Steen and that's it in 18 minutes. ***1/2Higher on the card, this match would have been something special. I'm not complaining about the quality or anything, because it more than served its purpose. I prefer to think that this was a teaser, because they did some good stuff the last 5 minutes or so without going totally crazy. Steen constantly cutting ACH off got a little annoying, but hopefully that was just an attempt at psychology. As it stands, this was a good match that did what it needed to do.
After the match, Steen gives ACH a couple package piledrivers after putting him over on the mic.
Chuck Taylor & Trent? vs. AR Fox & Rich Swann
I miss Ricochet. We can still be friends though, AR Fox.
Trent gets control early with some chain wrestling and whatever, but Rich Swann dropkicks Trent back to his corner. Fox and Chuckie T come back in, and Fox finds himself in the Figure Four; "As made famous by Adam Cole," says Kevin Steen on commentary. Fox rolls it over, but Chuckie turns it back. Rich Swann rolls it over for his partner, and so does Trent. Fox dropkicks Chuckie out of the ring and shitcans Trent, but has to put on the brakes during a dive. He waits until they don't expect it and moonsaults off of the turnbuckles outside! Chuckie gets the upperhand with an eyepoke and a hilariously slow Tope Atomico. Rich Swann tries for a comeback, but Trent puts him down with a backdrop. Chuckie and Trent are in firm control until Rich Swann hits a double Lethal Injection! AR Fox comes in on a hot tag and hits Goldust's finisher, and some pitifully contrived headscissor thing on both guys. Both Chuckie and Trent take tope suicidas and a TOPE CON HILO! Super Frankensteiner scores for Swann on Chuckie, and Fox follows up with a senton bomb. Chuckie comes back with Splash Mountain for two, and he and Trent DESTROY Fox with a double chokeslam! Enzuigiri from Fox! SUPERKICK FROM TRENT! SPINNING ENZUIGIRI FROM SWANN! Everybody is down. BUSAIKU KNEE FROM TRENT TURNS SWANN INSIDE OUT! NEARFALL! Chuckie takes Sliced Bread #2 on the apron, but it didn't look very good. Trent looks for his piledriver, but SWANN COUNTERS INTO A CANADIAN DESTROYER! STANDING 450 FROM SWANN! 450 FROM FOX! CHUCKIE BREAKS IT UP! Chuckie tries to superplex Swann, but Fox takes him off. Chuckie gets out and HITS FOX WITH THE AWFUL WAFFLE! The Best Friends win in 19 minutes. ***1/2This was great stuff for the last 5 or so minutes, but it's the third straight match that has suffered from being way too long. They could have cut down on the monotonous first segment by a good 4-5 minutes and had a match that didn't lose my interest halfway through. Luckily they picked it up and regained said interest, and barring some vintage AR Fox sloppiness, the finishing stretch was the best thing so far tonight.
Brian Cage vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Anthony Nese vs. Drake Younger
I love me a good mindless four way and considering who's wrestling, I doubt I'll see profound limb-work in this match.
Tommaso Ciampa jumps Drake before his entrance music even stops outside, and it's on. Nese hurricanranas Cage out of the ring and dives out with a tope suicida! Drake takes Tommaso on the apron, but TOMMASO GIVES DRAKE AN AIR RAID CRASH ON THE APRON! Nese and Ciampa meet in the ring, where Nese hits a pretty sweet double jump moonsault. Everybody ends up outside and DRAKE YOUNGER MOONSAULTS OUT ONTO THEM! HE TAKES A LIGHT FIXTURE OUT~! CAGE CATCHES BOTH CIAMPA AND NESE AND THROWS THEM WITH A LAST CALL AND SAMOAN DROP! Drake stops Ciampa's momentum by DROPPING HIM ON HIS HEAD with a half nelson suplex! Drake takes about 5 Germans from two guys, and he's out for a bit. Ciampa hits a knee on Nese, who then takes a Widowmaker from Cage. Cage then hits the Fucking Machine Superplex on Ciampa. Nese tries to sneak his way in, but Cage catches him and HITS A FUCKING STALLING VERTICAL SUPLEX! Drake tries to dive out onto Cage, but CAGE CATCHES HIM AND JACKHAMMERS HIM FOR TWO! Nese finds himself in the corner and the recipient of about 4 knees while Cage and Younger fight outside. CIAMPA DIVES OUT ON TOP OF THEM! ONE MORE KNEE ON NESE! SUPER AIR RAID CRASH~! CAGE BREAKS IT UP! FISHERMAN'S SUPLEX FROM CIAMPA! NESE BREAKS IT UP WITH A FUCKING 450 SPLASH! CAGE BREAKS UP THE PINFALL! Drake drops Ciampa with a lariat, but Ciampa hits Nese with a knee, who then takes a brainbuster. Drake takes a SICK German which leaves Ciampa and Cage to fight. They fall outside of the ring, where Nese does more damage to Cage. Nese gets two off of a schoolboy, but NESE LIFTS HIM UP AND POWERBOMBS HIM TO THE OUTSIDE! CIAMPA DROPS HIM WITH A LARIAT EN ROUTE TO A DIVE! PROJECT CIAMPA! CAGE BREAKS THE PIN AGAIN! CIAMPA AND CAGE GO AT IT! ALABAMA SLAM FROM CAGE! POWERBOMB ON HIS KNEE! He botches Weapon X (he doesn't that one very often) but Drake saves the day. DRAKE'S LANDING ON CIAMPA! Drake picks up the win in an exhausting 12 minutes. ***3/4One of the better 12 minute matches I've ever seen right here. These guys just didn't stop doing crazy shit and just kept upping the ante as the match went on. Cage showed that the muscle hasn't quite corrupted him, while Ciampa proved his worth in fast-paced matches like this. Some of the action was just a blur of greatness, which is still a compliment pretty much. It's hard to put any real intellectual justification as to why I think so highly of this, other than saying it's mindless entertainment and you should watch it because I say so. Happy?
Roderick Strong vs. Johnny Gargano
Man, I'm just having a hard time caring for Roderick's matches lately. They just don't make me want to stop what I'm doing and watch. You know that's alarming when Johnny Gargano is involved and I still couldn't care less.
Gagarno tries to play to the crowd a bit, but Roddy's all "fuck that" and destroys him with chops. They trade attempted finishers and end up in the first GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! of the night. They slug it out until Gargano gets the upperhand with a dropkick to a seated Roddy's head. Gargano shitcans Roddy, and somersaults out onto him! Back in the ring, Gargano looks to spear Roddy from the apron, but Roddy catches him and MANGLES HIM with a butterfly backbreaker. Roddy shows Johnny how to really chop, caving in his chest for about 30 seconds straight with chops. He proceeds on to throw Gargano around like a baby. They both go for a crossbody, but if you're a fan of wrestling, you can all probably infer about how that turned out. Gargano starts to make his comeback, with that awesome rolling enzuigiri on the ground and a slingshot DDT into the ring! That only gets 2. Things head outside, where RODDY KILLS GARGANO WITH A HALF NELSON BACKBREAKER ON THE APRON! Roddy drops Gargano with a superplex inside, but only gets 2. Roddy looks for Death by Roderick, but Gargano drops him to his knees with a bunch of elbows. Gargano catches Roddy coming off the second rope with a superkick, and NEARLY CRIPPLES HIM WITH A LAWN-DART INTO THE TURNBUCKLES! GARGA-NO ESCAPE! RODDY GETS OUT! KNEE FROM RODDY! STRONGHOLD...COUNTERED! SICK KICK! GARGANO KICKS OUT! HURTS DONUT FROM JOHNNY! RODDY KICKS OUT! DEATH BY RODERICK! GIBSON DRIVER! GARGANO KICKS OUT AGAIN! DISCUS ELBOW...COUNTERED INTO GARGA-NO ESCAPE! Johnny Gargano makes Roderick Strong tap in about 22 minutes. ***3/4Again, the closing stretch was tremendous, but they didn't spend the minutes before that doing anything that kept my attention. Maybe I'm just in a more cynical mood for this show, but I don't like having to sit through the first half of matches thinking it's a chore, only to be drawn in by the finish. I want to be interested for the whole match, and that's why this doesn't hit four stars. The fourway had non-stop action (and was better equipped to do so, admittedly) whereas this seemed phoned in until the finishing sequence. But don't let that fool you, since I still really, really liked this match. Roddy played the straight-faced badass in this match, which helped you get invested in what Gargano was doing for his comebacks and whatnot. Also, kudos to these two for having some genuinely believable nearfalls. I was sold at a couple points, which is always good for a nice cheer. So great stuff overall, even if I didn't care much at the beginning.
PWG World Tag Team Title Match: The Young Bucks (c) vs. Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan
This is the part where I profess my undying love for Candice, but I'm not sure I can say anything I haven't already said without getting a few weird looks from my 6 readers.
CANDICE STARTS THE MATCH UP WITH A DOUBLE BALLPLEX! TOPE CON HILO FROM JOEY! CANDICE MOONSAULTS TO THE OUTSIDE! They're not fucking around. It's just too fast to call right now, but after Nick drops Joey with a Facebuster, the action slows down a bit. Candice tags back in and puts in a Black Widow on Matt, and outsmarts Nick when he tries to save his brother. Joey helps her on the ropes, and SHE TIGHTROPE HURRICANRANAS NICK OFF OF THE APRON! Holy SHIT. Matt dives out onto her with a mean dropkick, and they take control of her in the ring. Candice dodges a lariat from Nick, which hits Matt. Matt recovers before Candice can make the tag, but she dodges a double team and finally gets it. Matt eats a German Suplex from Joey, and Joey POWERBOMBS NICK ON TOP OF MATT! That only gets two. Joey spears Nick out of the ring, and Candice comes in with a spinning DDT! Ballplex scores for Candice, but Matt tries to come right back with a Twatplex...but Joey hits a Ballplex on Matt! Candice dives out onto Nick with a tornado DDT! MATT EATS A SUPERKICK FROM JOEY! The Bucks make Joey put Candice in a Tombstone piledriver and KICKS JOEY'S KNEES OUT FROM UNDER HIM! EARLY ONSET ALZHEIMER'S ON JOEY! CANDICE REVERSE RANAS MATT ON MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK! RICK KNOX DODGES A CLOTHESLINE FROM NICK, WHO EATS A SUPEKICK! SUPER REVERSE RANA COUNTERED INTO A SUPER TANDEM TOMBSTONE FROM THE BUCKS! JOEY PULLS RICK KNOX OUT! JOEY EATS A SUPERKICK FROM NICK! MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK ON CANDICE! The Bucks pull off the win in a bonkers 13 minutes. ****What's with the shortest matches being the best on this show? This was tremendous. And despite my bitching about the length of the previous matches, I think this one could have stood to go a little bit longer. Not like, 20 minutes or anything, but I think this could have been even better with 3-4 more minutes. I'm not discrediting what they did of course, since this was far-and-away my favorite so far on this show. I just don't see any two guys in the world as good at the art of tag wrestling than The Bucks. And what's funny is I still see people trashing them, when they pull out matches like this on every PWG show. Candice and Joey did great as well, and I hope it's not too much to ask that they stay in this tag form for a while. Joey's a lot more fun to watch when he's in a tag team like this. Had this gone a little longer, you'd more than likely see a higher rating because what they did was so, so good.
PWG World Title Match: Adam Cole (c) vs. Kyle O'Reilly
This is Kyle O'Reilly cashing in the shot he won at BOLA, just in case it wasn't painfully obvious already. The only really great singles match I've seen between these two is that ridiculous Hybrid Fighting Rules match at ROH Best in the World last year. Hopefully they've improved enough to have another one.
It's your usual slow pace to start. Kyle decides to get a little sleazy, kicking the second rope into Cole's dick followed by some gyrating. For some reason, Cole wants a test of strength which evolves into a GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! Kyle takes control and counters anything Cole tries to do. Cole finally buys himself some time by kicking Kyle to the outside, and takes control from there. Not a good start so far, I'm afraid. O'Reilly picks things up a bit with a nice sequence, ending with a legsweep that drops the champ. The running slap scores to a sizable pop. He follows through with the Butterfly Suplexes and a cross armbreaker, but Cole gets the ropes. Cole looks to dive outside onto Kyle after catching a break, but Kyle elbows him and sets him on a chair outside. He looks for the dropkick, but COLE SUPERKICKS HIM IN MIDAIR! Cole uses that to get a little aggressive with his control, even busting out the Figure Four on the ringpost! That's one of my favorite moves ever. He uses that to launch some work on the knee. Cole gives Kyle a hearty bitchslap, followed by the strike battle in the middle of the ring. Superkick from Cole scores, but KYLE COMES BACK WITH THE JAWBREAKER LARIAT! Cole looks for a suplex, but KYLE COUNTERS INTO A GUILLOTINE! COLE COUNTERS INTO A BRAINBUSTER ON HIS KNEE! They fight on the apron until Cole HITS COLEATERAL ON THE APRON. Kyle barely beats the count but runs into a Shining Wizard upon entry. Kyle counters another one, and after a series of counters, finally EATS one for a close nearfall. Cole wastes no time locking in the Figure Four, but O'Reilly finds the ropes. Kyle goes up top with Cole and HITS A SUPER BACK SUPLEX! REGALPLEX! TWO COUNT! Cole dodges a Tornado DDT, but misses the Panama Sunrise! Kyle looks for a Jawbreaker Lariat, but EATS a superkick! KEYLOCK GUILLOTINE FROM KYLE! TRANSITIONED INTO A TRIANGLE! COLE COUNTERS...FOR TWO! SUPERKICK BARRAGE FROM COLE! KYLE KICKS OUT! KYLE KICKS OUT COLE'S KNEE BEFORE A FIGURE FOUR AND LOCKS IN A TRIANGLE! RUNNING PUNT! BRAINBUSTER! COLE KICKS OUT! CROSS ARMBREAKER LOCKED IN! HERE COME THE YOUNG BUCKS! Rick Knox disposes of the Bucks! O'REILLY DROPKICKS THEM FROM THE APRON! COLE HITS THE PANAMA SUNRISE IN THE RING! KYLE KICKS OUT!~! KYLE ROLLS THROUGH WITH A FLYING CROSS ARMBREAKER!~! KEVIN STEEN PULLS RICK KNOX OUT! RICK KNOX FUCKING JUMPS ON HIS BACK! F-CINQ ON RICK KNOX! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER ON KYLE! Cole picks up the win in 30 minutes. ****1/4If it wasn't for yet another uninspired beginning portion, this would have been one of the best PWG matches of the year. The knee psychology was a little hit-and-miss, but they made up for it with some tremendous hope spots for Kyle through what was some amazing counter-wrestling in the latter portion of the match. It's comfortably the best match of the show, and you've got to wonder how Kyle will get his revenge. Remember that Drake never got his though, so maybe this is all we're getting. Who knows?
After the match, the Mount Rushmore of Pro Wrestling picks O'Reilly apart until Rich Swann comes out. Of course, Rich gets decimated too. Here comes Drake! He walks right into Early Onset Alzheimer's. The rest of the roster clears out and Mt. Rushmore bails. Johnny Gargano cuts a fiery promo directed at the four guys, and he puts PWG over in the process. Speaking for everybody in the crowd, he's about sick of those four. A "fuck those four!" chant naturally starts up. He reminds Steen that he made him tap out, and he challenges Cole for the belt at the next show. Kyle takes the mic and says, "After you take this pussy out, I'm the first challenger." Gargano can cut a great promo, as he fires up the crowd big time here. I'm sold on the guy.
The 411: It's a tie between this and DDT4 for least awesome PWG show of the year, but since DDT4 had a purpose throughout the show and told one hell of a story, I'm going with this. Don't take this as me trashing the show per se, I just didn't enjoy this as much as say, BOLA Night 2 or Is Your Body Ready?, which isn't something that should give off the "This Sucked" vibe. It was a good show no doubt, but for the high standards pretty much everyone has set for PWG, this fell a little bit below them. The co-main and the main event were one of the better one-two punches of wrestling this year in my opinion, but everything before that was something I could easily see topped with most of the other shows this year. I'm still going to recommend it of course, because it's PWG and they haven't had a bad show in 4 years.