Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG's The Many Adventures of El Generico - Disc 1
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 02.10.2014
Even if he moved back to Mexico, we can still remember the fun times he had in Southern California.
El Generico, along with Daniel Bryan, is probably the best worker in the world. He's one of the best babyface wrestlers of the last decade, with an uncanny ability to make people look past what was once a silly gimmick, and make it one of the most endearing parts of independent wrestling. He's flourishing in NXT as Sami Zayn (that's the rumor), but still keeps the core mechanics of what made him such an important part of the indies; his selling, body language, and penchant for putting on some of the most exciting matches since Low Ki was in his prime. He got his start in Quebec's IWS, but made his name in my personal favorite wrestling promotion; Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. I'm here to take everybody through his SoCal career, which includes some of the biggest matches in the company's history. Considering he's the only wrestler PWG spent the money to compile a DVD on, you know he was something important to them.
This being a compilation DVD, the only host I can really pin down is Excalibur. So there you go.
El Generico vs. Kevin Steen
From Free Admission (Just Kidding). This was supposed to be Steenerico vs. The Aerial Xpress, but apparently Scorpio Sky & Quicksilver got "stuck in traffic" and were unable to show up. Knowing stories of Scorpio Sky, I'm not quite sure that was the most accurate thing in the world. This is Steen and Generico's debut, by the way.
Steen jumps Generico from behind before the bell rings, and it's on. This being 2004, PWG's production values don't light the world on fire. Steen has control early obviously, but is much more agile considering he isn't two of me. Generico comes right back with his tornado DDT, sending Steen out of the ring and onto a "an African-American" fan's lap. Generico tries to springboard in, but Steen catches him with a cutter coming down for 2. Generico goes for the tornado DDT again, but Steen catches him with a MEAN backbreaker. Steen clubs Generico with a Northern Lariat, and goes to work. Steen crotches himself on the second rope after El Generico moves, and Generico LIONSAULTS HIM DOWN TO THE MAT! Generico begins to his comeback, hitting a German for two, but Steen regains the advantage. Generico hits a Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. Steen comes back with a Stun Gun and a mean superkick for a nearfall of his own. Yakuza Kick scores for Generico, and he follows up with another one that sends Steen outside. TOPE CON HILO! Steen comes back with a beautiful Tornado Flatliner. PACKAGE PILEDRIVER SCORES! The crowd is absolutely in awe at the move, as are Disco Machine and Excalibur. Steen pulls Generico up after two, because I guess he's stupid. Generico counters a Package Piledriver into an Exploder into the corner, the Half-and-Half, and THE BRAINBUSTER! That scores Generico the win in 13 minutes. ***1/4A pretty simple match compared to what both men would go on to do later in their careers, but this was fascinating to watch. They're two of my favorites and to see them this early on is always a fun viewing. They incorporated a good story towards the end, as Kevin Steen's arrogance after the Package Piledriver cost him the match. Other than that, this was just a really good exhibition of what they could do.
El Generico & Quicksilver vs. Chris Bosh & Scott Lost
From Beyond The Thunderdome. I don't know what to say about this match. I'm not a huge fan of Bosh or Quicksilver, but I doubt they're going to try to make this an NWA class of wrestling psychology.
Generico prevents Scott Lost from Pearl Harboring him with a leg lariat. El Generico comes out with a twisting Pescado to a good pop. Bosh and Quicksilver come in and do some nifty spots that I don't think I've seen before. Chris Bosh takes Generico over when he comes in. Scott Lost hits Quicksilver with a Superman Spear, followed up with a Fisherman's Suplex by Chris Bosh. Reverse Silver Slice scores for Quicksilver, and everyone is down. Well, those two are. Generico gets the hot tag, and he comes in fairly warm. Tornado DDT scores on Bosh, but Lost jumps him from behind...until Generico BRAINS him with a dropkick. DOUBLE JUMP ASAI MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR! Crossbody scores on Bosh for a close nearfall. Quicksilver comes back in and falls to a double team backbreaker off the top rope. It was a lot cooler than that but I can't really describe it. GENERICO LIONSAULTS SCOTT OFF OF THE SECOND ROPE! That gets Quicksilver a nearfall. ORANGE CRUSH FROM GENERICO! That only gets a nearfall. Bosh scores with a Stunner, but runs into a Spinebuster from Quicksilver...who DIVES OUT WITH A PLANCHA ONTO SCOTT LOST! BOSH KICKS OUT OF A PIN ATTEMPT! Generico goes for a Top Rope Brainbuster, but Scott Lost stops that. Quicksilver jumps Lost and SUPELEXES HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE! GENERICO BACKFLIPS OUT OF A SUPER SUNSET POWERBOMB! YAKUZA KICK! LOST STOPS IT AGAIN! QUICKSILVER ENZUIGIRIS LOST! TOP ROPE BRAINBUSTER FINALLY SCORES! That's it in 15 minutes. ***3/4Wow, they really turned that up towards the end. These four are always good at mindless spotfests, so I don't think that this was really going to be anything less than this. They built it extremely well too, not blowing their load too early or overstaying their welcome. It crescendo'd to a hotter finish than I was expecting, so bravo to all four men for a great performance.
We segue to a hilarious interlude of Colt Cabana and Generico throwing money at a black janitor, with Colt yelling "Come on Sexual Chocolate" in one of the funnier things I've seen him do. They transition to something even funnier, quite literally blowing their load over Excalibur reading. And then, they top it with not even wincing at Candice LeRae (still ridiculously hot!) changing. That was amazing.
Battle of Los Angeles Semi-Final Match: CIMA vs. El Generico
From Battle of Los Angeles Night 2 on September 3rd, 2006. For the first time on the DVD, we are in Reseda! The venue actually looks pretty sweet with lighting, but the audio sucks. This is a copy and paste job from my PWG Sells Out review.
CIMA starts off with a top wrist lock and gets a cradle for an early two count. They tie their legs in a grapevine, and do that headstand slap thing to a huge pop from the crowd. They break, but Generico jumps right back on CIMA with a nervehold of all things. Generico tops that with a much fancier "Tijuana Moonsault." CIMA catches Generico off the ropes with a Backcracker. CIMA ties Generico's mask tassles to the bottom rope like a dick, but Generico eventually unties himself. Generico knocks CIMA to the outside and HITS A SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT ON HIM! HE DIVES THROUGH THE TURNBUCKLES AND TORNADO DDT'S CIMA ON THE FLOOR! The crowd accordingly goes insane. Generico heads into the ring and hits a diving splash on CIMA for a 2 count. Generico misses a shoulder thrust and is hung on the second rope by his mid-section, and CIMA hits a DROPKICK FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RING TO A PRONE GENERICO! HUGE FALCON ARROW FROM GENERICO! TWO COUNT! This match is pretty awesome right about now. ICONOCLASM FROM CIMA! FROG SPLASH FINDS KNEES! YAKUZA KICK! HALF AND HALF SUPLEX! NEARFALL! Holy shit, what a nearfall. The crowd went insane for it too. CIMA responds with a huge Tornado DDT and a Schweinn! NEARFALL! ONE MORE SCHWEINN! CIMA wins the match at the 18 minute mark. ***3/4This was a greatly exciting match between two greatly exciting wrestlers. They had the crowd in the palm of their hands the whole time, and Generico did his usual great job of playing the plucky babyface. I was surprised by the result, but it's not like it really matters in a DVD set really.
El Generico vs. PAC
From All Star Weekend 4, Night 2. I could copy and paste this one again, but the match is one of the best matches in both guy's careers, so I'll re-review it.
It's your usual beginning stuff to start out. It's funny to see the ring closer to the stage at the American Legion too. Throws you off a bit after watching modern PWG for so long. GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! Things head outside, where Generico catapults Pac into aN ASAI MOONSAULT! Pac uses that to take control. Generico begins to come back, hitting a few mean strikes and a leg lariat to top it off. Split Legged Moonsault scores for Generico, but only gets 2. Pac moonsaults into A TORNADO DDT! That buys him some time. One and Half Senton scores for Pac, but only gets 2. Generico cuts Pac off up top, but Pac shoves him off and MISSES A SECOND ROPE SHOOTING STAR LEG DROP! Half and Half scores for Generico, but only gets a nearfall! PAC COUNTERS A BRAINBUSTER INTO A SPIKE HURRICANRANA!~! NEARFALL! ORANGE CRUSH FROM GENERICO! PAC KICKS OUT! Generico goes up top BUT PAC FUCKING RUNS UP AND CATCHES HIM WITH A SUPER REVERSE RANA! STANDING CORKSCREW SPLASH! GENERICO BARELY KICKS OUT!~! BRITISH AIRWAYS MEETS KNEES! YAKUZA KICK! TOP ROPE BRAINBUSTER! Generico puts Pac away in 17 minutes. ****1/2What a jaw-dropping peformance these two shelled out, and this was one of the best promotional debuts (even though this was PAC's second match on the weekend) I can ever recall seeing in wrestling. Pac was just ON, as he never botched or even flubbed once.. This match also garnered some of the biggest crowd pops I can ever recall seeing in a Reseda crowd, and this was before PWG really hit its stride. That's almost exactly what I wrote when I reviewed it for PWG Sells Out, and it still rings true months and months later. Pac is a freak of nature, plain and simple.
World Tag Team Title Match: Roderick Strong & PAC (c) vs. Kevin Steen & El Generico
From Giant Sized Annual #4. Another copy and paste job from the PWG Sells Out review.
Generico and Roddy start off with some tentative technical stuff. Generico takes Pac down with his armdrag combo and tags Steen in. Pac uses his speed to get out of trouble with Steen and tags Strong back in. Generico settles into a familiar role of Ricky Morton, kicking out at 2 after an SSP. Nevermind, Steen tags in and Steenerico isolates Pac. Roddy breaks up a pin after a Tilt A Whirl backbreaker. SHOOTING STAR KNEEDROP ON STEEN! Strong and Generico tags in and takes down Generico with a clothesline for a two count. Strong COUNTERS A CASADORA INTO A BACKBREAKER! HUGE LARIAT FROM KEVIN STEEN ON PAC! TWO COUNT! REVERSE RANA ON STEEN! SICK KICK! 450 ELBOW DROP FROM PAC! NEARFALL! MOONSAULT ON PAC FROM STEEN! SUPERFLY SPLASH! NEARFALL! Roddy BACKDROPS PAC INTO A RANA ON GENERICO! STEEN SAVES! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER/BRAINBUSTER! Kevin Steen & El Generico win the PWG Tag Titles in 18 minutes. ****This was a killer spotfest between two great teams. The last 5-6 minutes are pure gold. If they would have used the first segment of the match more wisely (such as build up a little bit of an underdog story with Pac or Generico, something of the like) then we're legit talking about 1/2 a star more here. As it is, you still get an uber-exciting match, per the course for these guys.
We go right into Bryan Danielson coming out after the match. He tells Kevin Steen to leave as his problem does not concern Mr. Wrestling. Danielson's head is bandaged up after a match with Necro Butcher. Steen leaves and Dragon says that the advertised main event is him vs. El Generico. Danielson and if Generico wants to be a real champion, he has to beat the best.
PWG World Championship: El Generico (c) vs. Bryan Danielson
Here we go!
We start off like a house on fire and GENERICO WASTES NO TIME WITH A DOUBLE JUMP MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE! El Generico heads back to the ring only to be dropped with a powerbomb in midair by American Dragon, transitioned into a single leg crab. Danielson puts a surfboard in, and this crowd is MOLTEN for everything. Generico springs off the top rope with a crossbody and rips off Danielson's bandage! Blue Thunder Bomb gets 2. Danielson knocks Generico down after an exchange of strikes, but Generico dodges a diving headbutt! TWO YAKUZA KICKS! HALF AND HALF SUPLEX! Nearfall! GENERICO COUNTERS CATTLE MUTILATION! 2 COUNT! BRAINBUSTER! TWO COUNT!~! Danielson blocks a Turnbuckle Brainbuster and hits a huge back superplex! NEARFALL! CATTLE MUTILATION!~! GENERICO GETS THE ROPES BUT DRAGON PUTS IT ON AGAIN! HUGE FUCKING KNEES TO THE HEAD! TIGER SUPLEX! TRAPPED ELBOWS! CATTLE MUTILATION FOR A THIRD TIME! Generico taps in a hot 11 minutes. ****This is the best 11 minute match I think I've ever seen, as a combination of energetic wrestling, a subtle story, and a monster crowd made this one of the more special matches you'll see in this small window of time.
Battle of Los Angeles Semifinal: El Generico vs. Nigel McGuinness
From Battle of Los Angeles 2007: Night 3. I don't think I can say "fuck yes" any louder.
Nigel schools Generico technically early. Generico uses his speed to take over, and puts the brakes on a dive as Nigel moves. A chop pisses Nigel off, so he gets medieval and goes to work on Generico's arm. Nigel tests Generico's ability, and eats a few wicked chops in return. Nigel doesn't go down easily, and soccer kick/lariats him seated out of the second turnbuckle. That's not right. Nigel is just one step ahead of Generico here. Generico however drops Nigel with the Tornado DDT and DIVES ON TOP OF HIM WITH A DOUBLE JUMP SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! Generico tries to follow up with a dive into the ring, but NIGEL STIFFS HIM WITH A ROARING LARIAT! TOWER OF LONDON! NEARFALL! This match is awesome. Generico counters the Rebound Lariat and YAKUZA KICKS NIGEL OUT OF A HEADSTAND ON THE TURNBUCKLE! Nigel goes right back to the arm when he finds himself in trouble. LONDON DUNGEON! GENERICO FINALLY GETS TO THE ROPE! BRAINBUSTER FROM GENERICO! NIGEL KICKS OUT!~! Nigel gets a nearfall on a roll up, and GENERICO COUNTERS A REBOUND LARIAT INTO A SCHOOLBOY! Generico advances in an excellent 13 minutes. ***3/4It doesn't seem very many people liked this as much as I did, and to be fair, it isn't as good as their famed Ring of Honor matches. But hey, this is my review, so I can have any hyperbolic opinion I want! There was a good story here--and while it didn't factor into the finish--it was still sold throughout the match. That's one reason why Generico is so awesome. Nigel wasn't too beat up here, so he had a lot to contribute. I'm always a mark for his lariats so I get a kick out of fairly formulaic matches like this too. I don't expect others to dig this like I did, but I thought it was one of the more pleasant surprises of the compilation so far.
We transition a couple years later to The Gentle Art of Making Enemies where El Generico beats Chuck Taylor with a brainbuster on the apron. The full match isn't shown. We then find ourselves backstage, where Excalibur is helping El Generico relax after his match. Chuck Taylor pays him off and drops a bag on Generico's bad back. "Chuck Tayylloooorrr!" says the Generic Luchador. Cue the campy close up on Chuckie T; "El Generico, this isn't over!" We now cut to Generico taking his boots off backstage, where Kenny Omega and Chuck Taylor find him. They go all West Side Story on him, until Rick Knox hilariously makes the save with a slow unveiling of his ref shirt. Omega and Taylor snap their way out...
El Generico vs. Kenny Omega
From Express Written Consent. This show is most famous for being the first prominent indy show Paul London was booked on after his release from WWE as well as Colt Cabana's surprise return 24 hours after his WWE release, but that's not what we're here to focus on. Shit has gotten real.
GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! shows up early on, and they follow it up with a GENERIC INDY POSEDOWN!~! and a Kenny Omega eyepoke. Omega throws Rick Knox into an armdrag from Generico, who turns around into another eyepoke! Omega teabags Rick Knox because he can. Generico lets his Canadian side show, and HOCKEY PUNCHES Kenny Omega, who rips his shirt off and chucks it at Generico! Omega begs Generico not to throw his shirt in the crowd, and resorts to punching him in the kneecap. Generico responds by choking Omega with his shirt and giving him a leg lariat. A crossbody gets two for the Generic Luchador, who has seemingly bypassed the comedy by now. Omega doesn't stay down for long, chainsawing Generico with his arm to take control. Double Jump Hurricanrana scores for Generico, who begins to make his comeback. TOPE CON HILO! Sitout Powerbomb scores for Omega, but he only gets two. Michinoku Driver! That only gets 2. The STOP! Enzuigiri scores, and he hits a Rude Awakening! Only 2! Kenny spikes Generico with an Air Raid Crash, but Generico kicks out! Generico gets out of Croyt's Wrath, but Omega catches the Yakuza Kick and HADOUKEN! GENERICO KICKS OUT! Kenny Omega and Rick Knox get into it, and KNOX KILLS HIM WITH A LARIAT! YAKUZA KICK FROM GENERICO! TURNBUCKLE BRAINBUSTER! Generico wins in 18 minutes. ***1/2This wasn't anything we haven't seen from these guys before; good nearfalls, dives, etc. The personality, or the "sports entertainment" aspect of this match was probably more important than the wrestling itself, which isn't always the worst thing in the world. Rick Knox's involvement got the largest pop of the match, and rightfully so, considering anything the man does is gold in my book. There isn't much I can say otherwise about this other than it was a glorified exhibition with a surprise lariat at the end.
We cut to the amazing Cabana/Generico promo from Threemendous II, where Cabana tries to teach Generico how to cut a fiery promo against Chuck Taylor and Kenny Omega. Cabana whispers the promo in his ear; "I want to piss in your boots, and your ears. I eat children! Like buffet!" Cabana eventually gives up, even though Generico thinks he just cut the Cane Dewey promo. For a guy who didn't cut a real English promo for years, the guy has charisma just spilling from his pores.
The Young Bucks vs. Two Skinny Black Guys (Human Tornado & El Generico)
From Threemendous II. Here it is, the team that preceeded 2 Husky Black Guys from DDT4 2012. Quite the heritage.
Matt and Tornado start things off, and it's nothing special. Matt starts to take early control, but Tornado isn't fazed. Tornado steals his headband, to which Chuck Taylor says on commentary, "The grease will never come out that now!" much to my delight. Generico and Nick come in now, and the 19 (!) year old Nick comes down with a spinning arm drag. "I hate that little queer, but that was impressive," says Chuckie T. Tornado takes control of Matt with some weird no-handed Sharpshooter, but Nick backs him off and takes control of Generico moments later. Generico eats a double dropkick to a chorus of boos. Tornado finally gets the hot tag, and he comes in very warm. Some stomp-dancing finds the Bucks incapacitated outside the ring, where Human Tornado DIVES OUT WITH A SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! Tornado gets 2 on a Schoolboy, and follows up with a Tornado (lol) DDT for 2. DROPKICK INTO A HALF AND HALF! Matt kicks out at 2.82. Matt catches the Yakuza Kick and Nick cracks him with a knee! NICK DIVES OUT WITH A TOPE SUICIDA ONTO TORNADO THAT TAKES FANS DOWN! MATT KILLS GENERICO WITH A FLIPPING CUTTER! NEARFALL! A slightly flubbed moonsault/splash from the Bucks hits! Generico and Matt trade kicks, until Generico hits him with the Michinoku Driver! Generico catches Matt with an Exploder in the corner, but WALKS RIGHT INTO A CASADORA FACEBUSTER! Tornado follows with a running forearm to Matt. Nick gives Generico a boot and SLINGSHOTS IN WITH AN X FACTOR ON TORNADO! MOONSAULT ONTO GENERICO! MORE BANG FOR YOUR BUCK ON TORNADO! GENERICO SAVES!~! The Bucks dispose of Generico and KILL him with Early Onset Alzheimer's. GENERICO GIVES NICK A YAKUZA KICK IN THE CORNER! MATT EATS A DND FROM HUMAN TORNADO! TURNBUCKLE BRAINBUSTER!~! 2 Skinny Black Guys win a fantastic match in 20 minutes. ****This was a really great way to top off the first disc. I was expecting this match to be good, but surely not as good as it ended up being. Tornado admittedly didn't do much of significance like Generico and the Bucks did, but he still contributed enough to make it seem whole. The Bucks were the best tag team in the world here, and it's crazy that they still had so much room left to improve. You can call them spotmonkeys if you want, but they're masters at tag team wrestling and this is yet another piece of proof. Hard to believe this guys were only 24 and 19 (I believe) here. Excellent, excellent stuff.
The 411: I don't know what kind of expert analysis I'm supposed to provide here. I need to say something though, so let's put it this way: PWG released an El Generico DVD set including some of the best matches the man has ever had, and some of the best matches the promotion has ever had. I would wager to guess that is all you need for convincing, right? We're not even at Disc 2, yet!