Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG Mystery Vortex II
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 06.26.2014
Three month absence be damned. Oh, and good wrestling.
DDT4 didn't advance too many storylines besides the rise of the Best Friends tag team, but it did provide some solid action, even if it wasn't up to the admittedly ridiculous standards of the 2012 and 2011 editions. The Best Friends came away with the victory and were assumed to be facing the Young Bucks on this night, the second Mystery Vortex. Like I said in the first Mystery Vortex review, this is a concept PWG can pull off splendidly well since they have so much sheer talent at their disposal. Will they use the best of their resources, or will they let us down with a mediocre card?
We are TAPED from the American Legion in Reseda, CA.
Your hosts are Excalibur and the usual commentary suspects.
Andrew Everett vs. Cedric Alexander vs. Trevor Lee
Well, I highly, highly approve of this match. Andrew Everett is a fantastic high flyer who has impressed me significantly in Ring of Honor, having a splendid TV match with Cedric Alexander, who is one of the most underrated commodities on the independent scene right now. I am thankful that ROH is pushing him because his sort of talent doesn't come around very often, and a spotlight in PWG won't hurt his stock either. I am not familiar with Trevor Lee past the mention of a name I'm afraid, but considering all three guys populate the same North Carolina promotion, I don't doubt that Lee will fit right in.
Everything is fast to begin as you could imagine, a nifty little sequence ending in a three-way GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! Lee shitcans Everett and Alexander, but runs right into a nice barrage of moves from Everett. Everett slickly transitions into a Misawa missile dropkick that sends Trevor Lee to the outside. That allows Cedric to come in and chop Everett silly. Everett takes Cedric out of the ring with a back springboard rana, but Lee DROPKICKS HIM IN MID MOONSAULT! Cedric comes in and gives Lee a taste of the chops he gave Everett, and they slow things down momentarily with a strike exchange. Cedric does well covering up a near botch, and drops Lee with a high brainbuster for a two count. Everett enters once more and takes a RIDICULOUS bump off of a backdrop! Everett slithers out at two. EVERETT MURDERS CEDRIC WITH A SPIKE HURRICANRANA! CEDRIC KICKS OUT! TIL, murder is illegal at the American Legion in Reseda, CA. Trevor Lee punts Cedric from the apron, and MUSHROOM STOMPS EVERETT! TOPE CON HILO ON CEDRIC! Safe to say he's fitting in pretty well, even if he has an uncanny resemblance (facially) to one Sami Callihan. Everett headscissors Lee into an enzuigiri by Cedric. He shitcans Cedric and COMES DOWN WITH A CORKSCREW DIVE! HE TOPS IT WITH THE HIGHEST SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR PRESS I'VE EVER SEEN ON LEE! HE LANDS ON HIS FEET! Cedric and Everett miss dives, and everybody trades strikes in the middle of the ring. Cedric KILLS Trevor with a 540 Kick! ROYAL FLUSH ON EVERETT! EVERETT KICKS OUT! Cedric puts Everett up top, but Lee stops whatever he was planning. Cedric misses the 540 Kick on Lee, and attempts a running crossbody BUT LEE FUCKING COUNTERS IT BY FLIPPING OVER IN MID-AIR AND BODY-PRESSING HIM!~! JESUS CHRIST! THAT ONLY GETS TWO! LEE ABSOLUTELY DECIMATES EVERETT WITH ORANGE CRUSH! EVERETT KICKS OUT! CEDRIC GIVES HIM A BRAINBUSTER! HE KICKS OUT AGAIN! Oh my God this is outstanding. Cedric gives Lee a brainbuster, but finds himself the victim of a tope atomico from Everett! They're all exhausted, so they trade strikes in the ring. Lee drops Alexander with a knee, but EVERETT GIVES HIM A REVERSE RANA! Everett drops Alexander from the top rope AND COMES DOWN WITH A PICTURE PERFECT SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Andrew Everett wins an incredible, incredible 13 minute opener. ****If there was ever a way to introduce yourself to an audience that hasn't seen much of your work, these guys found it. I'm a big fan of Everett and Alexander, but even I wouldn't have guessed they'd go this crazy. It probably isn't the wisest idea to go this crazy in the opener, but considering the crowd's reaction and how nuts the commentators were going, I don't think it matters too much. And stuff like Lee countering that running crossbody from Cedric Alexander...you don't see that anywhere else. If anything, that's a move you invent while playing with your wrestling action figures at ten years old. But I digress. This was just a tremendous effort by three guys who have permanent spots in PWG after this performance. Bravo to all three for one of the most exciting opening matches in PWG history.
B-Boy, Willie Mack, & Joey Ryan vs. Peter Avalon & The RockNES Monsters
Though these tags are getting rather tiring (I can deal without seeing the Monsters again if I'm being honest), I see their point. But really, Joey is only entertaining when he's teaming with Candice, and Willie Mack hasn't exactly lit the world on fire since his great 2011-2012 run. It won't be too bad, but my patience wears thin with these matches.
Joey Ryan takes the mic before Angelo Trinidad says "Realest Niggas in Pro Wrestling" and asks, since he's an honorary member of the team, does he get to say the dreaded N-Word? The crowd thinks so, but Willie doesn't. Joey tries to back it up by pointing out Legion Larry in the crowd, "Okay, you KNOW that Larry has used that word before!" Angelo doesn't get it out for a second time, as The Monsters and Avalon push him out of the way to take control early. Willie flies over a hurt Joey Ryan and takes out Avalon and Yuma with a double lariat. He takes out Goodtime with an MDX and dropkick. Goodtime climbs up top, but WILLIE MURDERS HIM WITH A DEADLY DRIVER TO THE APRON! B-Boy tries to stop Avalon for an elbow, but earns an eye-pole instead. B-Boy replies with a pie-face full of ball-sweat. Joey gives Yuma a spinebuster in the ring, and dives out onto his opponents with a tope suicida. Johnny Goodtime follows up with a BEAUTIFUL Tope Con Hilo. That allows Avalon and the Monsters to take control of Joey in the ring. Joey finally gets the hot tag to Willie Mack, who cleans house. DOUBLE POOOOUNNNCCCEEEE! Samoan Drop/Moonsault combo connects on Avalon for a close two count! Avalon eats a pop-up elbow from Mack, but Mack finds himself out of the ring after Avalon thinks on his feet! Frog Splash connects on Ryan from Goodtime, but Goodtime eats a Face Eraser from B-Boy. Mack comes in and destroys Avalon with a Sick kick, but he gets ANNIHILATED by a Sex Factor from Yuma! Joey superkicks the shit out of Avalon and his team wins in 10 minutes. ***This match was a perfectly timed comedown match from the bonkers opener, while still maintaining a good amount of excitement. It wasn't anything I'll go back and re-visit, but I can't complain.
Anthony Nese vs. Roderick Strong
With The Decade's formation in Ring of Honor, I've started to look forward to Roderick Strong's matches again, but Anthony Nese isn't very interesting to me at the moment. His contributions are serviceable, but he's become very stagnant in a small amount of time. I hope something changes my mind soon.
It's your usual fare early. Not much of any good happens until a double jump moonsault connects flush for Nese. Roddy hits a backbreaker for a two count. This match is killing me right now. Nese superkicks Roddy on the floor and comes down with a beautiful pole-vault dive over the top rope. Roddy yanks Nese off the top rope and gives him a backbreaker in a nice spot, for two. This match is so lifeless, just make it stop. Nese counters Death By Roderick with a double stomp and gets two off of it. Nese scores with a Pumphandle Powerbomb for a close two count. Nese goes up top, but faceplants on a 450. Roddy murders him with a Sick Kick, and ends it with End of Heartache in 17 minutes. **1/4I did not like this at all. It was so lifeless and full of going-through-the-motions feeling out. The crowd reacted relatively well but this was just not very fun to sit through.
The African American Wolves vs. The Inner City Machine Guns vs. The Unbreakable Fucking Machines
After somewhat of a lull in the show, this ought to get us back on the road the opener turned onto.
Ricochet and Elgin start things off, and Ricochet starts with a little bit of shucking and jiving...only for Elgin to top him with a very grandiose (and perhaps practiced) worm. Elgin goes tit-for-tat with Ricochet, even cartwheeling around to keep afloat! Ricochet eventually gets the upperhand, but that was a fantastic sequence. ACH and Brian Cage come in, and after ACH gets cocky with a basement dropkick, Brian just murders him with a lariat. ACH gets the fuck outta Dodge and immediately tags in partner AR Fox. I've never noticed it before, but AR Fox reminds me a LOT of Hodgy Beats from Odd Future. I don't know if that's a bad thing. Cage does curls with AR Fox, but Fox gets out and dropkicks him into a Rich Swann blind tag. Rich Swann tries for a Razor's Edge, but Fox stops it...only for Ricochet to come in and get his boy the upperhand with some double teams. Fox dropkicks Ricochet out of the ring, but Cage comes in and cleans house. The Machines look for stereo dives, but everybody else stops that in its tracks. ACH pulverizes Rich with a Kitchen Sink knee, and that gets a two count. MICHAEL ELGIN DIVES ON TOP OF EVERYBODY WITH A TOPE CON HILO! BRIAN CAGE TOPS IT WITH A MOONSAULT OFF OF THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR! The crowd is going absolutely bonkers right now. This show is the loudest they've been since BOLA if I remember correctly. Things finally their way back into the ring, where Cage and Elgin run their suplex train on Rich Swann. Swann gets the honorary shitkicking until he tags into Fox, who tries to clean house on the brick shithouse that is Elgin. ACH tries to dive into the ring, but dives right into a Black Hole Slam. After a bit, ACH just goes INSANE on Brian Cage, sprinting from corner to corner just to punish him. ACH GETS BRIAN CAGE UP FOR A DROPKICK DOOMSDAY DEVICE! "That might be the most incredible thing nobody cared about" - Chuck Taylor. Ricochet and Fox tussle in the ring, and Ricochet gets two off of a snap suplex. Fox drops Ricochet with a stiff superkick, and drops both he and Swann with a reverse DDT/reverse STO combo. The African American Wolves drop Ricochet with 3D of all things, but are quickly intercepted by Brian Cage. Cage catches Swann mid-Lethal Injection, but on a second attempt, Swann hits it for a nearfall. ACH and Swann fight in the middle of the ring, and ACH dropkicks Swann mid head-stand on the turnbuckle. ACH runs right into Ricochet, but is one step ahead of him. Fox bicycle kicks Fox, who turns around into a Swann enzuigiri. RICOCHET DIVES A MOONSAULT OVER THE GODDAMNED RINGPOST!~! FOX DIVES ONTO SWANN WITH A TOPE CON HILO OVER THE RINGPOST! Fox drops Ricochet with a corkscrew suplex, but Cage catches him in a suplex position and drops him with a brainbuster! Swann enzugiris the crap out of ACH, but runs right into an elbow from Elgin! RICOCHET GIVES ELGIN A REVERSE RANA! AR Fox gets destroyed by a double superkick from the Machine Guns, and ACH falls victim to a super rana! RICOCHET KILLS FOX WITH A 630! THE MACHINES BREAK IT UP! The Machine Guns shitcan The Machines, and go for the kill again. The Machines get back up instead and meet them up top FOR STEREO DEADLIFT SUPERPLEXES! THE AFRICAN AMERICAN WOLVES SPRINGBOARD SPLASH THEM IMMEDIATELY! ELGIN AND CAGE KICK OUT! ACH BRAINS CAGE WITH A DROPKICK IN THE CORNER! ACH tries for the Big Bang Attack on Cage, but can't so he asks Fox for help. Cage suplexes them both, obviously. Elgin DOWNS THE MACHINE GUNS WITH A DOUBLE ALABAMA SLAM! STEREO BUCKLEBOMBS! ELGIN BOMB ON FOX! DISCUS LARIAT ON ACH! That's it in 30 minutes. ****I think this could have been a little more exciting with about 5-7 minutes shaved off, but the sheer fact that these six went so damn long at such a ridiculous pace is enough for me to excuse it. No, it wasn't as insane as the BOLA six-person last year or anything, but this was just a marathon of awesome spots with no flubs and a constant crowd reaction that just got louder and louder over the half hour these guys went, which shows just how steadily this one built compared to the others. They didn't blow their load early and ended before they burned out the crowd, which is something I'd imagine is hard to plan for a wrestler. Bravo to these six for another excellent multi-man match.
Chris Hero vs. Tommaso Ciampa
This has the potential to be one of two things: 1) a ridiculous strikefest filled with some of the meanest moves this side of the Pacific or 2) a boring mish-mash of styles that proceeds to go all Nese/Strong on me. Considering Hero's involved, I'll expect the former just because it's Hero.
Hero has a mini-mufin top going on and it's distracting me. That's probably my fault more than his. They go through some slow but crisp technical rasslin' to start things off. This crowd perhaps makes itself even BETTER by noticing the Wu-Tang symbol (sorta) on Chris Hero's trunks, and chanting "CHRIS HERO AIN'T NUTHIN' TO FUCK WITH". Bravo, Reseda. Bravo. Ciampa skullfucks Hero a little bit while locking in a headscissors. Hero gets out, unbeknownst to Ciampa, and kicks him in the face. Ciampa tries to leapfrog Hero, but Hero stops and CLOBBERS him with a right hand. I like where this is headed. Hero Bicycle kicks Ciampa off of the apron, but eats a knee as he flies through the ropes! Ciampa gives Hero a rope-assisted Backstabber for a two count. Ciampa slows the pace down and methodically takes Hero apart with chops and such. Hero fires back with a chop that he puts his entire body weight into, pissing Ciampa off enough to make the Sicilian Psychopath take him down and bitch him out some more. Hero starts battling back with a very fiery comeback, including some biting. A middle-rope cravat facebuster gets a two count. Hero comes down hard on Ciampa with knees, and looks to finish things. Hero tries to catapult himself back in, but eats a knee instead for two. A Ciampa backslide gets two, but Hero is quick on the draw and fires back with a discus elbow for two. Hero drops him with a stiff boot for another nearfall. This match has grinded to a halt, but thank God the Reseda crowd is what it is. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring, and Ciampa grabs a cravat for some knee strikes. Hero counters into some of his own, and they trade off. He deadlifts Ciampa into a Cravat Suplex, and drops him with the Cyclone Kill. Ciampa kicks out at one! The crowd doesn't react much, and I don't blame them. Ciampa DROPS Hero with a running knee to the head. Ciampa hits his running knees in the corner, but Hero reverses a suplex into a unique one of his own. One more Cyclone Kill hits, but Ciampa kicks out again! Hero puts in the Stretch Plum and that's it in 20 minutes. ***This started off so well, but they never turned it up to a decent degree and didn't capitalize on the potential they had. The crowd kept me into this one more than the workers did, so good on them for that. I don't think PWG is a very good fit for Tommaso Ciampa, unfortunately. I think he's one of the few guys that shines better in the serious ROH environment, and that's perfectly okay. He also suffers from the "not getting to show what he can really do" issue that guys like Anthony Nese have had to deal with, and that hurts him in 20 minute matches because he's a guy that benefits from being let loose to do his thing. This match was good technically, and they got the crowd on their side through most of it, but they suffered hard without a rousing finishing stretch. Can't win them all, I suppose.
Johnny Gargano vs. Kyle O'Reilly
If this isn't a barnburner, I want my life back.
It's nothing different from the norm to start. They have the crowd going crazy from their sequences, and for good reason. You earned this GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! guys. I'm so glad Kyle finally has the charisma to carry himself. The team with Bobby Fish in ROH has done so much good for him, it's crazy. I used to HATE this guy with a passion and now I look forward to whatever he's doing. Kyle goes to work hard on Gargano's arm with a variety of stuff. Gargano does a good job fighting back, and puts in a Black Widow in the ropes, only for Rick Knox to make him break it. He whacks Kyle in the back of the head with an enzuigiri, and hits a Backstabber to top the sequence off. Gargano puts Kyle in the corner and drops him down immediately with shotgun knees. Gargano threatens to break Kyle's fingers and that earns him a hearty "fuck you" gesture, so Gargano bites him to make up for it. Roderick Strong says it doesn't taste like Canadian Bacon, and seems very proud of his comedic timing. Kyle makes a comeback, and hits his running slap. He hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall. Kyle brains Gargano with a knee, hits a German Suplex, and follows through with a rolling elbow for another nearfall. Kyle sends Gargano outside, but it backfires as Johnny comes down with a somersault to the floor! They head back into the ring, where Kyle hits an armbreaker off the top rope and transitions right into an armbar! Gargano looks for an O'Connor Roll, but KYLE COUNTERS INTO A CROSS ARMBREAKER! Kyle looks for a Tornado DDT, but Gargano counters to a suplex in the turnbuckles! They throw kicks at the same time and drop each other, and Gargano locks in Garga-No Escape! COUNTERED INTO A DEADLIFT REGALPLEX! GARGANO KICKS OUT! TRIANGLE! COUNTERED INTO A POWERBOMB! KYLE LOCKS IT IN AGAIN! Kyle punts Gargano in the face, but eats a superkick! Another superkick from Gargano...INTO THE REBOUND LARIAT FROM KYLE!~! They head out to the apron and trade strikes there. Gargano gets out of a brainbuster, and comes down with a tope suicida! Kyle counters the Slingshot Spear with a knee! Guillotine...countered into a Corkscrew Brainbuster! Gargano counters the La Magistral, and counters a Rebound Lariat, but Kyle NEARLY pins him with a victory roll! Kyle hits some Kawada Kicks when he's not getting forearmed to death, but is murdered with a superkick! O'Reilly shitcans Gargano and comes down with a MISSILE DROPKICK FROM THE APRON! BRAINBUSTER...BUT GARGANO KICKS OUT AT ONE! One Cross Armbreaker later, and Kyle wins to a huge ovation. That's it in 28 minutes. ***3/4As if this was going to be anything else, really. They did exactly what I expected them to do, even if it did run a little longer than I would have liked, which takes the rating down ever so slightly. But other than that, I have no real complaints for this match. It sets Kyle up for his next title match but it still keeps Gargano strong, something every competitive match should do in one way or another. Kyle's style is something we don't see often (Davey didn't really do the insane countering that Kyle's become known for) and it's always a treat to see against whatever opponent he's against. I think Gargano could probably benefit from being paired with newer guys to give them a good match, so he can work his way back up after a few losses. On the flip side, I think Kyle has the most momentum of anybody in PWG right now, and the crowd's reaction to his win backed that up. This is another great match for this show.
PWG World Tag Title Match: The Young Bucks (c) vs. Best Friends
I cannot believe I used to dislike the Young Bucks. Heroin is one hell of a drugs, kids. This is the DDT4 payoff obviously, after Best Friends pulled off slight upset by winning the tournament.
For some reason, we cut directly to Matt and Chuckie T starting. Matt has the cast on his hand here, but he still takes control of Chuckie early, but both Bucks still find themselves receiving suplexes from Mr. Taylor. Nick thinks he's got the upperhand, but turns around into a mean chop and tags out to his brother immediately at the threat of another one. Matt tries to chop Trent with his cast, but that works about as well as you would imagine. The Best Friends go to work on Matt. Trent builds up some momentum, but ends up stomping Matt's hand instead. Chuckie comes in with his relentlessly graceful tope atomico. Chuckie trades off elbowing Matt with embracing his best friend, Trent. HERE COMES THE TRENCHCOAT! They look for the super Chokeslam, but Nick springboards in and DROPKICKS TRENT DOWN ON HIS GODDAMNED NECK! That was disgusting. That allows the Bucks to take control, with the trenchcoat in their possession. Trent starts to fight back, but can't build up enough steam to get to Chuckie T. Trent however, ducks a punt from Nick on the apron and glides to Chuckie T, but Nick catches up and drops Chuck off of the apron. A Nick Jackson enzuigiri gets a nearfall in the ring. Trent ducks a knee in the corner, and that knee hits Matt and takes him out. This allows Trent to finally get the hot tag! He comes in at the according temperature, and dives out onto The Bucks with a Tope Con Hilo! Trent hits a diving back elbow to Matt in the corner, and The Best Friends hit an assisted cutter for a two count. Nick dropkicks Trent off of the apron, and helps his brother with a Sliced Bread #2 on Chuckie. Chuckie tries to counter the double team barrage, but eats a few superkicks for his trouble. Nick tries to superplex Chuckie, but TRENT JUMPS UP AND GERMAN SUPERPLEXES HIM OFF THE TOP! SWANTON BOMB FROM CHUCKIE! NEARFALL! TRENT BRINGS OUT THE CHUCKIE KNEE! Trent looks for the Chuckie Knee Doomsday Device, but DIVES RIGHT INTO A SUPERKICK! NICK HITS CHUCKIE WITH A TWISTING DDT ON THE OUTSIDE!~! THE BUCKS COUNTER TRENT'S BACK PILEDRIVER WITH A SUPERKICK INTO A YOSHI-TONIC!~! TANDEM TOMBSTONE! CHUCKIE SAVES THE DAY! THE BUCKS ACCIDENTALLY DOUBLE SUPERKICK JUSTIN BORDEN! CHUCKIE LOCKS IN SINGLE LEG CRABS ON BOTH OF THE BUCKS! They're tapping, but Justin Borden is out! Chuckie tries to revive Justin, and THEY HIT THE BEST FRIENDS CHOKESLAM ON NICK! MATT BREAKS IT UP BY HITTING JUSTIN BORDEN WITH HIS CAST! TRENT SUPERKICKS MATT! CHUCKIE SUPERKICKS NICK! PILEDRIVER COMBO! HERE'S RICK KNOX! ADAM COLE PULLS RICK KNOX OUT! RICK KNOX SUPERKICKS ADAM COLE! TRENT HITS COLE WITH A TOPE CON HILO! CHUCK HITS THE AWFUL WAFFLE ON NICK!~! NICK KICKS OUT! SINGLE LEG CRAB!~! MATT HITS CHUCK IN THE DICK WITH HIS CAST! The Bucks win an incredible effort in 18 minutes. ****1/4Thank God for the Young Bucks, I say. This was pure insanity from the moment Trent gave Nick Jackson a German off the top rope. It just got progressively crazier until that delightfully cheap finish, including Rick Knox making a fantastic cameo by superkicking one Adam Cole. I find it crazy how so far ahead the Young Bucks are of anyone in the world when it comes to tag team wrestling. They find ways to be totally innovative even when they only use their core moveset, which is one of the more difficult things I've seen when it comes to being an elite wrestler. They don't have to totally re-invent themselves every match just to keep their reputation, which benefits them in so many ways. The Best Friends worked like a well oiled machine here too, and while I love their comedy, it was kept to a minimum here which is for the best, because they got a near MOTYC out of the deal. I didn't think anybody would be able to top the opener after that lull in the card, but this show just kicked up in a major, major way.
Adam Cole takes the mic after the match and issues an open challenge to anybody in the back who wants it. The crowd is calling for Candice LeRae, and we cut to her stretching in the corner, ready to fight!
PWG World Title Match: Adam Cole (c) vs. Candice LeRae
I say, about damn time. We almost got this match for All Star Weekend X, but alas, it was not to happen. I'm more than happy to wait a few months because I'm pumped for this one.
Adam Cole offers Candice the opportunity to lay down and get it over with, but she ain't having it. Cole gets all sexist on her, which earns a loogie to the face. That pisses Cole off, so he toys with her a little bit with some hard bodyslams. Candice dodges a dropkick and knocks him down with a twat-shot to the face. Candice LeRae PULLS OUT THE VIOLENCE PARTY! The crowd erupts for that flurry, but Cole stops it real quickly by knocking her down hard. Candice sends the champ out of the ring and tries for her diving DDT, but Cole catches her and rams her against the apron. He throws her against the chairs outside. Candice puts Cole in the Black Widow, but again, Cole gets out of it relatively easily. Cole drags Candice off of the turnbuckle into a DISGUSTING backbreaker. Good Lord. She bumps like a champ. Cole teases dicking her in the face, but he boots her instead yelling, "You're not worth it!" Joey Ryan leaves commentary just in case shit starts to go down. Candice is seemingly caught by Cole off of a crossbody, but she still manages to hit a DDT! Candice comes off the top with a Lita-esque hurricanrana, and she hits a tope suicida! She gets two off of a double stomp to the back, and continues to build up a head of steam. Candice gets a crucfix for a two count, but Cole counters into a Fireman's Carry on the back of her head. He doesn't let Rick Knox count three and instead lifts her up to inflict more punishment. Candice plays possum and puts a sleeper hold in, and despite Cole countering, she's insistent. Candice has Cole laying across the second rope/turnbuckle and DIVES DOWN WITH A DOUBLE STOMP TO THE DICK! COLE MURDERS HER WITH A BRAINBUSTER TO THE KNEE! CANDICE GETS A FOOT ON THE ROPE! Cole thinks he's won, but that is not the case. Cole doesn't believe Rick Knox, and he gets pushy with Mr. Knox. KNOX PUSHES HIM INTO A SCHOOLBOY BY CANDICE! That only gets 2, and he boots her in the face to get out of harm's way. I absolutely ADORE the way they're working this match. Cole gets a chair and tries to hit Candice, but she moves AND SPIKES HIM WITH A REVERSE RANA!~! SHE STEALS THE PANAMA SUNRISE! COLE KICKS OUT!~! That was fantastic. Candice dives right into a superkick from Cole, but she kicks out! The crowd heckles him with a "You Can't Beat Her" chant, and that pisses him off. He superkicks her head off and pins her with the Florida Key in 14 awesome minutes. ****I debated with myself about getting to that extra star, and I figured I'd be generous, because this was a master class in psychology right here. It wasn't the most exciting affair speaking in terms of movez volume, but I'll be damned if they didn't tell their story perfectly. That's why it gets a higher rating than the O'Reilly/Gargano match. That match had its fair share of excitement, but I didn't get invested in it like I did this. I don't think all wrestling matches have to tell stories, because frankly too many fans have this unrealistic expectation of wrestlers in this day and age to have perfect storytelling when that just isn't the case anymore. If the wrestlers show that they want to win, that's enough for me. If they get over with the crowd and have people raving about them, that's enough for me. But when a bigger story needs to be told, it needs to be told. They didn't have Candice dominate Cole at any point in the match, and only had her hope moments during the champ's miscues, not out of any superior ability. Even with that, they never once managed to belittle Candice throughout the entire match. They put her over as a gutsy fighter while saying she was overmatched, something I feel was essential in getting this over so well. She was fucked from the beginning, but she wasn't going down that easily. The commentary worked splendidly in that regard as well, as Excalibur stressed that Cole could end it at any time, but he was just taking her too lightly. It puts Cole over as a dickhead heel, and Candice looks better in the loss as a fighting babyface with more heart than almost anybody in the company, defying the top dog in the company by holding on even if it earns her more pain. Not everything has to be drop-dead insane if there's something to get emotionally invested in. This was a fantastic main event and bravo to these two for pulling something very good out of a tricky situation.
The 411: Again, PWG comes through with a ridiculously consistent show with four matches touching the precious **** or more mark. It wasn't as drop-dead ridiculously good as the second show of All Star Weekend X, but not everything is going to be that good, so it's really an unrealistic thought. Mystery Vortex II was bookended by two wonderful--yet drastically different--matches with a lot of great stuff in the middle, like the usual Young Bucks frenzy and while there were a few letdowns (mainly Ciampa/Hero and Nese/Strong) those were forgettable moreso than offensive, and the great stuff it was surrounded by outweighed it pretty heavily. This show gets the obvious two thumbs up from me, and I don't see an end in sight considering what's on tap for the next several months in Reseda.