Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG DDT4 2014
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 03.19.2014
Reseda is injected with a healthy dose of Friendship...BEST Friendship.
After a very good All Star Weekend X, (even if some thought it was underwhelming) not much had changed. Mount Rushmore still did their thing, spotfests were had, etc. However, DDT4 presented something very interesting in that the Young Bucks were unable to show up, which threw a wrench into what is usually their show. I won't complain, because it will be intriguing to see the dynamic of the tournament now that its "stars" are out of the picture for now.
First Round: Best Friends vs. The RockNES Monsters
Chuckie T. and Trent Baretta had great showings at ASW X and had some considerable momentum coming into this, while seemingly perennial gatekeepers Yuma & Goodtime just kind of did their things. I suppose that last sentence kind of gives it away, eh?
Trent and Goodtime start things off with your usual tie up, heel doesn't give a clean break stuff. Trent knocks Goodtime down with a clothesline, but Goodtime gets out of trouble by tagging in Yuma as Goodtime comes in. The Best Friends start taking control of Yuma from there on. Yuma gets his knees up on the Super-Dangerous-Chuck-Taylor-Senton-of-Death, and the Monsters used some ass based offense to get the upperhand. Chuckie suplexes Yuma hard into Goodtime, knocking them both down in the corner. He tags Trent in with only the best theatrics, allowing Trent to come in to clean house. TRENT PUTS ON A CHUCK TAYLOR KNEEPAD! THE CHUCKIE KNEE! The Monsters come back, and Goodtime LIFTS YUMA INTO A REVERSE RANA ON TRENT! Chuckie breaks up the pinfall, but eats a mean Mushroom Stomp. Chuckie throws Goodtime off of the turnbuckle, but GOODTIME ROLLS RIGHT INTO A PLANCHA OVER THE RINGPOST! SEX FACTOR FROM YUMA! Trent throws Yuma off the top rope right into Goodtime's dick! The Best Friends' secret weapon turns out to be a trench coat, which THEY USE FOR THE SUPER BEST FRIENDS CHOKESLAM! Chuckie puts his foot on top of Goodtime for the three count in 11 minutes. ***1/4The perfect opener if I do say so myself. There was funny comedy, spurts of extremely good action, and the right guys won. You can't really start a wrestling show off any better.
First Round: The Unbreakable Fucking Machines vs. PPRay
Peter Avalon is fuuuuucked.
Holy shit, Cage DWARFS Michael Elgin. Steroids, kids. They're a sometimes-wonderful-but-usually-pretty-shitty-long-term thing. PPRay starts off by Pearl Harboring the Machines, but get caught on pescados and thrown back in...only to get caught on tope suicidas! Elgin powerslams Avalon on the floor, and the Machines continue their destruction in the ring with the trade-off, delayed, squatting vertical suplex on Mr. Fernum. Rosas uses a blind tag to get the advantage over Cage, planting him with a tornado DDT for a two count. The Machines don't stay down for long, and Rosas takes a bit of an asskicking. Rosas kicks out of Elgin's corkscrew senton. Rosas nearly pulls off a Yoshi Tonic/Crucifix with Avalon, but it wasn't meant to be. Elgin powerbombs Rosas on Avalon, but takes a Blockbuster/Powerbomb! Rosas HILARIOUSLY tries the Fucking Machine superplex on Cage, but finds himself outside pretty soon. Military Press into a Backfist, Neckbreaker, and an Elgin Bomb finish things in 13 minutes. **1/4This should have been 7 minutes at best. This should have had a few hope spots for PPRay, but ultimately a demolition that got the Machines over (as if they weren't already). You can't win them all I guess, but this wasn't good. Ha, look at me telling wrestlers how to wrestle.
Cole Steen Cole vs. Candice LeRae and Joey Ryan
Candice and Joey have quietly been the stars of PWG lately, with their MOTYC trios match at ASW X Night 2 and the Bucks tag from Matt Rushmore. Cole and Steen are obviously Cole and Steen, so this match has a few expectations to live up to.
Candice and Joey Pearl Harbor to start off, and Candice dives onto Cole with a somersault. Candice puts in a Butterfly Guillotine on Cole, but resorts to elbowing him...until Steen elbows the shit out of her and ragdolls her to his corner. He even does the "stepping her hair whilst pulling her up by her hands" thing that you see in your weekly 3 Minute Diva Special on RAW. Cole and Steen just objectify Candice in the most hilarious way possible, with Adam Cole dick-butting her (think about it for a minute). Candice hits a Stunner on Steen! Joey finally tags in and hits Steen with a spear, and follows up with a spinebuster on the champ! Tope Suicida from Joey! Steen comes back by powerbombing Joey on the apron. Things finally slow down for a while with a chinlock, applied by Adam Cole because they are absolutely necessary in a match with 4 people. I feel snarky today, sue me. Steen comes in, but takes the pumphandle suplex from Joey who gets to Candice! Candice dives down on Cole with a rana, and spikes him with a DDT! SHE COUNTERS A STEEN F-CINQ INTO A TORNADO DDT! BALLSPLEX ON COLE! JOEY ASSISTED HURRICANRANA TO COLE ONTO STEEN! Cole Northern Lights Suplexes Joey, but CANDICE DOUBLE STOMPS HER TO BREAK IT UP! Joey superkicks Steen to prevent him from cannonballing Candice! CANDICE REVERSE RANAS COLE! Cole hits Joey with that knee brainbuster, and counters a Ballsplex into an enzuigiri! CANNONBALL ON CANDICE! PANAMA SUNRISE! JOEY SUPERKICKS COLE! POP UP POWERBOMB! SUPERKICK! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! ANOTHER SUPERKICK! Cole Steen Cole wins in an awesome 12 minutes. ***1/2That is how you make the most of your allotted time. For some reason, Candice and Joey are just a magical tag team and it's hard to really find out exactly why. I think a lot of it hinges on Candice and her connection to the Reseda crowd. She's a sympathetic babyface, can work her ass off, and happens to be ridiculously hot. Joey holds up his end too and hasn't had a remotely boring match since his return, which is something I find to be a miracle itself. This was wild fun and I am looking forward to whatever Candice and Joey do next.
First Round: Martin Luther Kings of Wrestling A.K.A. Malcolm DeGeneration X A.K.A The Inner City Machine Guns vs. The African American Wolves (ACH & AR Fox)
Because why the fuck not?
"Chris Hero, if you like black guys who like to do flips, the indies are in a golden age." - Excalibur... "This is like 2 Cold Scorpio's family reunion," replies Chris Hero. ACH and Rich Swann play off their blackness by doing the Doink, mirror image thing. It is just as fantastic as the picture I've placed into your head. I love flips. They're so fun. There is my summary for the beginning of the match. IMPLODING SENTON FROM AR FOX! Fox however goes on the defensive immediately thereafter, but ACH takes control upon his entry. Ricochet hits a Zig-Zag and accidentally tags in ACH, who gets pissed and yells, "I'm not Rich Swann!" Rich eventually finds his way in, and he folds Fox up with a jumping lariat. Rich sends ACH out of the ring in spectacular fashion and COMES DOWN WITH A SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! Swann goes on the offensive from there on. ACH drops Swann on the apron and Fox does the wall-walk moonsault on him. Fox comes down HARD with a double stomp, and ACH does a good black Davey Richards impression with a little more charisma....sorry, it was RIGHT THERE. Ricochet finally gets the hot tag and hits a SICK running European uppercut on ACH, followed by a running diving lariat on Fox. RICOCHET KILLS FOX WITH A RUNNING CUTTER! DOUBLE TEAM OF FLIPPY DOOM from The Machine Gun scores, but for two. REVERSE STO FLURRY FROM ACH AND FOX! SPRINGBOARD CODEBREAKER FROM FOX ON SWANN! RICOCHET ENZUIGIRI'S FOX! HE EATS A ROARING LARIAT FROM ACH! NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX INTO A DEADLIFT BRAINBUSTER FROM RICOCHET! FOX BREAKS IT UP! Jesus. Fox hits the Shooting Star cannonball on Ricochet, but Ricochet COUNTERS LO MEIN PAIN INTO A MOTHERFUCKING DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE APRON! What in the FUCK?! ACH KICKS SWANN MID-HOP FOR THE 450!~! AIR JORDAN!~! DRAGON FLY ON RICOCHET! SWANN BREAKS IT UP~! Holy shit. That was ricockulous. LETHAL INJECTION FROM SWANN! STANDING 450 MISSES...BUT RICOCHET GETS ACH WITH A SPRINGBOARD 450 SPLASH!~! That is it for the African American Wolves in a sensational 23 minutes. ****Well it's not a six-man that steals the show this time, but I'll be damned if it didn't entertain me just as much. This was a ridiculously great spotfest with multiple spots that popped the crowd huge and had me wondering why the hell these guys would do this to their bodies for our entertainment. That DVD on the apron might be one of the most moronic things AR Fox has ever done and I love him for it. You can almost copy and paste my six man tag analysis from ASW X Night 1, pretend we're talking about four guys, and you'd basically have my feelings on this match. Fantastic.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Thornstowe
Thornstowe is a short notice replacement for Roderick Strong, and he looks like Raymond Rowe from ROH if Raymond Rowe had a shitty mullet-hawk and wasn't in very remarkable shape.
Ciampa beats the shit out of Adam to start, but Thornstowe dives out nicely with a tope con hilo. A Missile Dropkick scores for a 2 count. Thornstowe hits the "fuckin' unnecessary" kick to the back of Ciampa, which pisses the Sicilian Psychopath off enough to knee Adam's face in. Thornstowe hits the Eddie Guerrero senton atomico for a 2 count. Adam hits a reverse STO for a two count. I know my play by play isn't much, but I'm impressed with Thornstowe so far despite his dorky look. Thornstowe eats a bitchslap, so he superkicks Ciampa's head off for a close 2 count. Thornstowe misses a frog splash, and Ciampa hits a deadlift German for a nearfall of his own. Adam finally hits the frog splash for a 2 count. Ciampa kills Thornstowe with an Air Raid Crash on the apron, but only for 2. And a knee finishes it? Okay. Ciampa wins in 12 minutes. **1/4Just from the small amount I got out of this match, I know Thornstowe has more than that. This was just a sloppily, lazily put together match that slowly degenerated after a surprisingly hot beginning. I doubt Thornstowe will get another shot, but Ciampa didn't do him any favors. I don't know what he's missing in PWG, but he has not impressed since he debuted. I find it odd since he's one of the most consistent wrestlers in Ring of Honor, and the Reseda crowd likes him. Hopefully he'll get the chance to really flesh out soon with an opponenet that people care about.
Semi-Final Round: Cole Steen Cole vs. Best Friends
I don't have an introduction for this match. I'm losing my touch. Cole has the same gear as Mr. Wrestling, which oddly looks presentable with a guy in good shape wearing it. I'm only kidding, but it was RIGHT THERE.
Cole Steen Cole TEARS THE BEST FRIENDS TRENCHCOAT IN HALF. Oh man, shit just got REAL. Those are real heels, guys. It's a Pier Six Brawl outside the ring early. Chuck Taylor takes the commentary headset for a small amount of play-by-play, but doesn't stay long. STEREO BEST FRIEND TOPES OFF OF THE STAGE! Trent hits Cole with the Busaiku Knee in the ring for a two count. Cole superkicks Trent off of the apron and hits Chuckie with the DVD on the knee. Steen comes down with a Steenton Bomb (yes, he finally hit it) but only gets two. He follows up with a pop-up Ligerbomb after being stunned by Sole Food. Trent meets Steen up top, but Mr. Wrestling DESTROYS HIM WITH A SUPER FISHERMAN'S BUSTER! NEARFALL! Trent COUNTERS THE PANAMA SUNRISE INTO THE BACK PILEDRIVER! Cole backdrops Chuckie on some chairs outside, and Steen DESTROYS Trent with a Sleeper Suplex. They set up for the Package Piledriver/Superkick finish, but here's Candice LeRae to spit in Cole's face! TRENT ROLLS STEEN UP FOR THE WIN! Best Friends advance to the finals in 12 minutes. ***1/4This was incredibly fun for what it was. This was never going to be what preceeded them two matches before, but they packed a lot into that finishing stretch and the crowd's reaction to the finish was about as perfect as you could hope. My only minor complaint is that it makes Chuckie and Trent look a tad weak, but I doubt it will make much difference one way or another. And on the other hand, it does build something up with Cole and Candice, which is going to be amazing when it happens. This was another fun match in a line of them for this tournament.
Semi-Final Round: The Unbreakable Fucking Machines vs. The Martin Luther Kings of Wrestling a.k.a. Malcolm DeGeneration X a.k.a.The Inner City Machine Guns
If Rich Swann doesn't die in this match, I may feel a little ripped off.
Elgin overpowers Ricochet easily, obviously. Ricochet tries to knock him down with a shoulderblock and even tries blowing on him, but Elgin's all "fuck you" and sends him back again. Ricochet eventually gets the upperhand with a spike DDT, but only gets 2. Cage pulls off a sweet Lionsault, proving that 'roids make him only a better man and not...well, you know where I'm going with that one. It looks as though Elgin and Cage are trying to fulfill my wish of a Rich Swann murder. Elgin misses a SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT and takes a standing moonsault from Ricochet for 2. Ricochet's gestures while stuck in the vertical suplexes are hilarious. Instead, the Machines try to murder Ricochet, which is the next best thing I guess. Swann finally gets the hot tag and plants Elgin with a double roundhouse along with Ricochet. Elgin powerbombs Swann on Cage's knees for a close two count. Swann gets out of the "partner fireman carries partner while big guy German Suplexes the shit out of them" and Ricochet hits a Standing SSP for a close 2. Ricochet lands on his feet after Cage dodges an attempted 630, but drops both Cage and Elgin with a double back flip kick. Elgin dumps Ricochet and plants Swann with a Hellevator! Ricochet takes out Cage, but EATS A LARIAT! SWANN ENZUIGIRIS ELGIN! SWANN EATS A DISCUS LARIAT! RICOCHET DROPS CAGE WITH A METEORA! RICOCHET DIVES ONTO ELGIN OVER THE RINGPOST! SPRINGBOARD SSP OUT TO CAGE! SPRINGBOARD 450! CAGE KICKS OUT! CAGE COUNTERS THE STANDING 450 INTO A GORILLA PRESS/BACKFIST! SWANN KICKS OUT! Ricochet gets Swann out of trouble and Swann hits the standing 450 and Ricochet hits the 630...RIGHT INTO WEAPON X...NO, SWANN KICKS CAGE INTO A SUNSET FLIP! The Machine Guns advance to the finals in 19 minutes. ***3/4I was afraid of how this match was going to turn out before that last stretch of pure goddamned insanity, but I should have left it alone because they turned it up big time. Ricochet and Swann are just magical as a tag team and it's shown in two matches tonight, against two polar opposite teams. I'm sure some people tire of the spotfests these two pull out, but I see no issues with it as they consistently turn out the best in-ring action in PWG, tonight being a prime example. They are a bright, bright spot in this tournament and I can't wait to see the finals and what 2014 holds for them.
Number One Contender Four-Way: Chris Hero vs. Kyle O'Reilly vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Drake Younger
Whew, this is a four way line up if there ever was one. It's bittersweet that Drake is heading to Florida because I really wanted to see what he did in 2014 for PWG, but that's only selfishly. You can't really be anything but happy for one of the nicest dudes in wrestling, right?
FOUR WAY GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! Everybody chain wrestles, basically wrestling two indy match beginnings at once. I don't even know how to call this. I don't mean that in a bad way, I'm just not intelligent enough to describe it. SO MANY GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~!s. Hero fucking BRAINS GARGANO WITH A BOOT! Jesus CHRIST. He hits everybody with a boot and finally breaks up that wrestling shit. He totally bitched out Gargano there, that was amazing. Drake gets everybody out of the ring and DIVES OUT WITH A MOONSAULT! Hero KILLS Drake with a backdrop driver, but takes a swinging DDT that sends him out of the ring. Johnny counters Drake's Landing with what was basically an inverted Pedigree, and he cleans house on some bitches. Slingshot DDT scores on O'Reilly for a two count. O'Reilly dragon screws (ha) Hero, who in turn dragon screws Drake (HA!), and bitch slaps Gargano. O'Reilly looks for a cross armbreaker on Gargano, but Hero boots him out of it instead. Hero and Kyle go at it, but Kyle EATS an elbow for two. Gargano tries to build up some momentum by taking Hero out, but eats a running boot instead. HERO KILLS DRAKE WITH A DOUBLE ELBOW! Drake kicks out and finds himself in the cravat STF. Kyle puts in the cross armbreaker on Drake, and transitions into an Omoplata! Gargano puts the Garga-No Escape on Kyle mid-hold. HERO LOCKS DRAKE'S ARM IN AND CRAVATS JOHNNY! All four trade strikes in the ring. So many superkicks! Kyle hits a double Jawbreaker lariat! Hero hits him with a Rolling Mafia Kick! Cyclone Kill! Kyle kicks out. Gargano dives off of the apron onto Gargano, and O'REILLY FOLLOWS WITH THE DROPKICK INTO THE CHAIRS! CACTUS ELBOW FROM DRAKE! Drake suplexes Hero on O'Reilly in the corner, and DRAKE DEATH VALLEY DRIVES GARGANO ON TOP OF HERO AND O'REILLY! Drake eats a boot from Hero, but O'Reilly drops Hero out of the ring. Gargano puts O'Reilly in Garga-No Escape in the ring...but O'REILLY FUCKING COUNTERS IT INTO A REGALPLEX! NEARFALL! Gargano counters the Jawbreaker Lariat into a Hurts Dobut, right back in Garga-No Escape! Hero breaks it up by slingshotting in with a stomp to Gargano's head. CYCLONE KILL ON GARGANO! O'REILLY PUTS THE GUILLOTINE ON HERO! HERO COUNTERS INTO A HANGING CRAVAT! CRAVAT DRIVER!~! Drake shoves Hero off the top rope, but Kyle meets him up top...ONLY TO TAKE A TOP ROPE MAGNUM DRIVER! NEARFALL! BRAINBUSTER BY KYLE! DRAKE KICKS OUT AT ONE! ANOTHER BRAINBUSTER! CROSS ARMBREAKER! Drake gets out. DRAKE HITS A PILDERIVER! KYLE KICKS OUT! RUNNING DRAKE"S LANDING! DRAKE WINS! Drake is your Number One Contender after 28 minutes. ***3/4This was certainly a very ambitious effort, and I think it paid off. The crowd did get a little burned out by the end (which tells me this should have been about 8 minutes shorter) but they built up the action almost perfectly. They didn't blow their load early and were able to fill the downtime with clever 4 way spots that were admittedly a little contrived, but what multi-man matches aren't really? I know I'm a lot more generous with PWG than some are, but I don't look at every match to be some kind of exhibition of life-altering storytelling or beautiful knee psychology. I look at wrestling for fun first and foremost (fan before a critic and all) and this was just that. I really liked it, even if it could have been a classic at 20 minutes instead of something borderline-great at 30. I still won't complain.
Finals: Best Friends vs. The Martin Luther Kings of Wrestling a.ka. Malcolm DeGeneration X a.k.a. The Inner City Machine Guns
This is the absolutely correct finals match, if I do say so myself. Two teams that could really use a boost up the card, as well as two teams that would tear the house down with The Bucks. I don't see either team getting a big tag title run, but we've seen weirder things in PWG.
Swann out-flips Trent and dives out onto him BEAUTIFULLY. Chuckie and Ricochet have a great exchange in the ring, ending with a rana and a pretty Tope Con Hilo from Ricochet! The Best Friends reply with stereo Tope Con Hilos! Ricochet eats two superkicks from the Friends, but drops Trent on his head with a Regalplex. One sweet kick sequence later and everybody is down! Trent and Rich slug it out, but Rich goes all Inner-City (it is their team's name!) and beats the shit out of Trent. Ricochet misses a dive off the top and runs right into an elbow! BT Bomb from Chuckie gets two! Swann goes up top, but Trent meets him and SUPLEXES HIM INTO A 450 ON HIS FACE! THE AJ STYLES BUMP! BUSAIKU KNEE! BEST FRIENDS CHOKESLAM! SWANN KICKS OUT! Ricochet heads back in and tries to build momentum, back kicking Chuckie and hitting Trent with an enzuigiri! Standing SSP on Chuckie scores! Two count! Trent takes Ricochet off the top rope onto the apron, and TRENT MURDERS HIM WITH A HALF NELSON SUPLEX ON THE APRON!~! CHUCKIE COUNTERS A FUCKING LETHAL INJECTION INTO THE SICKEST AWFUL WAFFLE EVER!~! The Best Friends win DDT4 in a phenomenal 10 minute sprint. ***1/2They basically just had the last 10 minutes of a 20 minute match, but it made sense here. They were in a mad race for the DDT4 win, so what else would they do besides try to finish each other as fast as possible? It's crazy that these four put themselves through 3 insane matches (especially Swann and Ricochet) but they did it for a ridiculously fun cause, and the end result is a very successful match and tournament. Bravo.
Chuckie takes the mic after the match and says everybody in the crowd is his best friend. That's a true babyface right there, god damn it. How can you hate Chuck Taylor? Trent and Chuckie let Rich and Ricochet in on the Best Friends taunt, and we end there.
The 411: I enjoyed 2014's edition of DDT4 a bit more than I did 2013's. You could almost call them even, as 2013 didn't quite have this year's consistent match quality (I overrated some stuff hard there) but had emotion you rarely see in El Generico's pending farewell, while this year's edition had great matches up and down the card. It's apples and oranges at that point, really. I just had more fun watching this year's show from top to bottom, as none of the tournament matches ever outwardly bored me (except for PPRay/Machines which was more inoffensive than anything) like some did (Dojo Bros/Future Shock for 20 minutes) last year. I'm giving this show a high recommendation as usual, as it's yet another consistently fantastic offering from my favorite wrestling company.