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Project Rewatch - PWG: The Good Shit


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#41 BigBadMick

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 05:22 AM

I'll second that. A lovely addition to the site.



#42 supersonic

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Posted 07 October 2016 - 12:57 AM

Self-Titled – October 6, 2006
Taped from Los Angeles, CA
 
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Cape Fear vs. Motor City Machine Guns
 
This suffered from the usual non-legal pin issues on the indies, but that took this down from potentially great to merely a good to very good match.  MCMG dominated El Generico early, with very little answer from Cape Fear.  However, despite the domination, there wasn’t a clear segment of cutting the ring in half, thanks largely to tag legalities being ignored by the ref.
 
The most interesting part was the second half, as the wrestlers themselves expressed more concern about honoring tag legalities than the ref.  That wasn’t the only part that made the second half brighter though; it was simply action-packed with all kinds of immediate cut-offs, while staying true to the assumed legalities after the messy first half from that perspective.
 
An assisted Standing Shiranui by Shelley, Yakuza kick cut off by Generico, modified bombs by Quicksilver, the closing stretch was quite spectacular with all kinds of terrific moves.  The best part was the end as should be with every match.  Quicksilver launched himself towards Shelley on the outside, allowing Generico to go for the Super Brainbuster on Sabin.  The Detroit native sniffed it out though based on their singles encounter the month before, blocking it and finishing Generico with a Super Cradle Shock, and thus keeping Cape Fear from having any case for a shot at the NWA Jr. Tag Titles.  Very good, and with more polish under WWE guidance, would’ve met its full potential.  It’s amazing looking back a decade later and knowing that it would be Generico, not the highly creative, charismatic Shelley (who many compared to Chris Jericho) that would hit the big time.
 
Rating: ***1/2


#43 supersonic

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Posted 21 October 2016 - 10:30 PM

Horror Business – October 21, 2006
Taped from Los Angeles, CA
 
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TJ Perkins vs. Rocky Romero
 
Good exhibition match that as expected delivered zero emotion.  There’s not much to dig into here as it was just a crisp back-and-forth match, with submissions, kicks, and strikes being traded.  At no point until the finish did either get a definitive advantage to tell a deeper story.  The best part would be the finish, as it made a nod to the finish of the Kurt Angle vs. Chris Benoit classic from Royal Rumble 2003, with Romero not allowing Perkins to escape an ankle lock; where Perkins was very much a diet version and lacked the pain threshold to stay in the ankle lock before tapping, Romero gave his own touch by kicking the spine of Perkins to quicken the decision.
 
Rating: ***1/4
 
Scott Lost vs. Davey Richards
 
Superior to Perkins vs. Romero, as this one had more personality, although still flawed in that regard due to the lack of charisma of both participants.  In particular, for all of Lost’s smooth transitions, none of it was timed to emotionally connect with the audience, with plagued a significant portion of his career.  The same criticism is often thrown on Randy Orton, Christopher Daniels, and Alberto Del Rio/el Patron, but they are Shawn Michaels and Kenta Kobashi combined when compared to Lost.
 
The most noteworthy thing about the match to me was a commentator mislabeling a Stretch Muffler as a Half Crab; totally inexcusable when the moves look nothing alike and don’t have any history of being confused with each other.  The finish was fine as Richards hit a double underhook DDT, then followed that up with a shoulder submission, although such a story wasn’t really told throughout the majority of the match, even with an Omoplota shoulder lock being teased early.
 
Rating: ***1/2
 
Tag Titles Match
B-Boy & Super Dragon vs. Kings of Wrestling
 
Yep, Richards fucked up by not using his Battle of Los Angeles victory the month before to focus on a singles run to the top, instead waiting for SD to return from a concussion to reclaim the Tag Titles.  Speaking of that SD & Richards tag team, this was surprisingly better than the God-awful match 8 months earlier involving Richards instead of B-Boy.  Then again, Braun Strowman could work a 30 minute Broadway with a broomstick and it would’ve been vastly more gripping than that dog shit at Card Subject to Change 2.
 
With that said, while this was good, B-Boy’s lack of charisma really showed here, especially with him being so visually similar to semi-partner Homicide, who was crazy over at this time a decade ago on the underground scene.  It was weird to see KOW play the default babyfaces to the champs, although SD did his part in being a cunt to help out with that.  The champs gave KOW a taste of their own medicine from their actions in ROH, resorting to trolling and illegal eye-pokes behind the ref’s back.  KOW really should’ve known that was coming anyway; after all, SD had helped out their CZW cause in the war against ROH 6 months before this, so they know damn well how ruthless and dirty he’s happy to get.
 
The biggest opportunity coming out of this match is one I often see plague PWG during this time period.  Perhaps I’m just so accustomed after years of golden age ROH and modern day WWE, but all of the matches I reviewed on this card lacked a dramatic finishing stretch to put this over-the-top into something memorable like SD & Richards vs. Daniels & AJ Styles earlier in the year.  At no point was the crowd jumping up-and-down out of their seats for this one, which I firmly believe was possible even with B-Boy’s participation.  Instead, it was an anticlimactic small package win, nothing developed to be a respected finisher like Bryan Danielson had done throughout the year in ROH, and of course, there were tag legality issues here and there in this one, although not the most damning I’ve seen.
 
Rating: ***1/2


#44 supersonic

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 11:55 AM

All Star Weekend IV Night 1 – November 17, 2006
Taped from Los Angeles, CA
 
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Zero1 MAX Lightweight Tag Titles – The PWG Debuts of Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs
 
Thanks to not getting around to retro IWA-MS yet, this is the first Black match I’m revisiting from his days before WWE.  His diet and workout regimen throughout his 20s is highly admirable and worthy of respect.  He and Jacobs are accompanied by Lacey.
 
Jacobs started the match with Alex Shelley, and while their natural chemistry was on display, they didn’t crank in their storied hatred on each other from their ROH collisions.  Instead, Shelley showcased his excellent technical creativity, which spawned the closest thing to their storied history when Jacobs shoved him out of frustration.  It would actually be Chris Sabin to have a heated exchange with Jacobs, and as someone that has gotten around to IWA-MS yet as mentioned, perhaps there’s a history there between the 2 Michigan natives.  Lacey’s presence can’t be forgotten either, as Jacobs certainly had to gotten into this exchange to display his masculinity to her, and she did come in handy a couple times during the match, but neither time to an overwhelming degree.
 
This may sound surprising since Jacobs is obviously much smaller than Black, but it was Black who got the ring cut in half on him.  He was absolutely tremendous making MCMG look like a million bucks, and this was smart to have him pay his dues a bit more as just a 2-year veteran.  This had to have been a tremendous learning experience for him, going up against one of the absolute best tag teams on the entire planet here.
 
The best stuff would be saved for the third act, and it was one doozy of a barnburner.  Even more impressive is that although the referee got lenient with allowing insane action, nobody forgot about who was legal, giving this a polished professionalism very rarely seen in PWG at this point.  Everything made sense and everyone was on point, bringing this amazing work of art to a conclusion as MCMG retained as expected.
 
This was an insane match that tore the house down in Reseda, and I’d put it up against any of the countless acclaimed classics in recent years to have taken place in the same building.  The precision in this match was off-the-charts and even more importantly, MCMG brought a crisp ferocity, firing on all cylinders with awesome bombs, strikes, and submissions.  Others would likely have this a step ahead, but I have this up to this point in PWG’s history as its second-greatest match, just barely behind Super Dragon & Davey Richards vs. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels earlier in the year at Beyond the Thunderdome.
 
This match in particular made me ask out loud “Why the fuck was Shelley working PWG at this time instead of killing it on the ECW brand?”  He displayed a tremendous amount of aggression in his arsenal to pour sizzle onto its creativity, to go with a very marketable presence.  He had also already proven his mic skills in ROH.  It only looks even worse in hindsight for WWE’s hiring department throughout the 2000s, because here’s a scenario that WWE could’ve put itself in:
 
What if a decade ago, instead of killing it on the indies and in Japan, while getting very little out of TNA, Shelley had been a cornerstone of the ECW brand, being groomed for a dream match against the inevitably returning Chris Jericho?
 
Rating: ****1/4
 
Homicide vs. Christopher Daniels
 
This never became as hot as it likely could’ve been, instead doing the interesting stuff first as they engaged in a brutal brawl based on their recent TNA feud.  It was really unexpected, although fitting since there would certainly be no love lost between the two just a month removed from their cage match involving Hernandez and AJ Styles at Bound For Glory 2006.
 
Once it got back into the ring, it could never reach the drama of the lengthy brawl beforehand.  With that said, it was good stuff, although Daniels was getting bothered for whatever reason by a fan in attendance.  The finish was sudden when Homicide got the victory, and I’m a fan of that decision in hindsight to keep him strong across the industry in anticipation for Final Battle 2006.
 
PWG pointlessly includes a pointless post-match promo from Daniels, in which he easily displays being thin-skinned and lashes out at the fan that had bothered him.  I couldn’t confirm in the audio option I used (commentary track) what the fan said to bother Daniels, although I’d been told before that Daniels once lashed out in PWG due to someone accurately accusing him of phoning it in.  I assume this is it.  Like CM Punk earlier in the year in his final ROH appearance to date, this only made Daniels look like an insecure carny that can’t handle challenging criticism.
 
Rating: ***
 
PAC’s PWG Debut
PAC vs. AJ Styles
 
We’ve got another example of me being annoyed in hindsight with WWE’s hiring practices a decade ago, as I asked out loud “What was I watching AJ Styles work this little saloon for PWG instead of a major league arena on Raw or SmackDown 10 years ago?  Why was WWE instead trying to feed me scrubs such as Mike Knox and Kevin Thorne as the fucking future?”  Totally fucking ridiculous.
 
PAC had a good debut here although he did show his green status at times with near-botches, coming close severely hurting himself.  It made sense for the more experienced Styles, who was also much more muscular a decade ago, to eventually get the victory.  I could see some folks being disappointed with this considering the reputation Styles had at the time as a high-flyer, but I’ve no complaints as I knew PAC was green and Styles was awesome using his superior mat wrestling throughout.
 
Rating: ***1/4
 
Tag Titles Match
B-Boy & Super Dragon vs. Davey Richards & Roderick Strong
 
This was on its way to being as excellent as MCMG vs. Black & Jacobs.  Everything was clicking here, with not even B-Boy’s lack of charisma bringing this down.  He was tremendous in his willingness to bend the rules, but letting SD be the arrogant cunt about it.  SD and Richards were brutal on each other, and I was marking out as SD mocked Richards, who played the FIP, crawling for a hot tag.
 
What brought this match down are two things.  For one, the match simply went a bit too long and I began to lose interest.  Whereas MCMG vs. Black & Jacobs was perfectly timed at about 15 minutes earlier on the card, this went for the 25-30 minute epic, and it failed in that regard.  I also wasn’t surprised that unlike the mentioned show-stealing classic, tag legalities were ignored in this match.  That’s a lost opportunity to me.  With the way SD was acting here, I think it would’ve been fucking awesome to enhance his persona here by Richards going for the finish against an illegal B-Boy, only for SD to be a ruthless buzzkill to finish the match and then shove the rules of the match in his former fellow Tag Champion’s face, even with the eventual title change.  As is, a potentially great match with Richards laying the obvious FIP, that was anchored down to just good.
 
Rating: ***1/2
 
Samoa Joe vs. Rocky Romero
 
Joe did his job here in having a good match, although his face and body language screamed that this was just another day at the office for him.  Perhaps that’s because this was just 2 days from his dream match against Kurt Angle, which would be mentioned deep in the match when Rocky Romero went for a trademark ankle lock.  Assuming Angle is doing his homework and keeping tabs on Joe, that could come in handy for that historic TNA encounter.
 
That Joe was 2 days away from facing Angle made the result obvious, although Romero looked strong in this defeat.  Unlike 2 years earlier when Joe was feuding with the Rottweilers in ROH, this was a respectful battle with Romero focusing solely on his strikes and sudden submissions to cut off the former ROH Champion, rather than attempt to throw in cocky mind games on top of it.  Angle’s name being mentioned here made think that perhaps there’s another reason Joe didn’t face KENTA for that particular dream match in ROH at this time, even though other reasons came public.
 
Rating: ***1/4


#45 supersonic

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 02:18 AM

All Star Weekend IV Night 2 – November 18, 2006
Taped from Los Angeles, CA
 
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PAC vs. El Generico
 
PAC is much quicker than Generico here, although the Generic Luchador has done his homework and evades some of the British import’s quick strikes.  PAC eventually gets the heat when faking a spapmare takeover, turning it into an inverted head-scissors.  Generico cuts him off finally on the outside after a few spectacular moves, and it takes a sudden Asai moonsault for PAC to regain the advantage.
Generico is able to cut off PAC when the latter blatantly projects a handspring forearm, turning it into a Blue Thunder Bomb counter.  PAC is tremendous bumping for Generico’s offense, making the underground legends look like a million bucks.
 
For everything Generico could scout, PAC had another answer that couldn’t be scouted to keep him in this one to a greater degree than the night before against AJ Styles.  His arsenal against Generico while in control is both effective and spectacular, including a standing moonsault senton that dazzled the Reseda crowd.  I appreciated the teased Top Rope Brainbuster, but PAC’s advantage blocking it would be for naught when he missed a Shooting Star TNT Leg Drop and then got dropped on his head via a Half.n.Half Suplex.
 
No matter what though, PAC still kept himself in this match with surprise, sudden, spectacular counters aplenty.  Even when Generico appeared to have extended heat, his moonsault attempt left him open to PAC planting him with a Super Reverse Hurricanrana.  But that was for naught when PAC went for the Sky Twister and got kneed in the abdomen.  Generico hit a follow-up Yakuza kick, giving him the advantage during the corner struggle and landing the Top Rope Brainbuster.  Damn good debut weekend for PAC, and SoCal wants him to return.
 
Rating: ***3/4
 
Tag Titles Match
Davey Richards & Roderick Strong vs. Kings of Wrestling vs. Motor City Machine Guns vs. B-Boy & Super Dragon
 
Yet another match involving Super Dragon that went on for too long, and tag legalities got ignored deep into it as I expected.  This was still a hell of a fun match for the first 20 minutes or so, and how would it not be?  SEVEN out of the 8 participants in this one have had very little issue getting over to a significant degree in various territories, and there were plenty of fresh matchups in this one as well.
Hands down, KOW and MCMG were the standouts in this out, making me wish they had just faced each other on the undercard.  I wonder if that was planned but politics kept it from happening.  Hero was pretty hilarious with his antics while Castagnoli played the smug prick well, even playing the height joke successfully on Richards.  I loved when Castagnoli mocked Richards as well, chopping the champ’s chest and then twisting over to deliver another one rather than a follow-up kick like Richards does.
 
Alex Shelley was once again a fucking star in this one, just so crisp and vicious with his work.  Above everyone else, he shined the most as both a worker and personality.  This match specifically made me sad that nobody ever booked SD vs. Shelley in a singles match.  Shelley’s aggression and especially his water-spitting brought the intensity up a notch that not even in the champions’ stiff striking could pull off.
 
I wasn’t surprised for B-Boy & SD to regain the titles back after just one night.  The booking came across that Richards got a one-day reign with Strong so that he didn’t look bad coming out of his last-minute Battle of Los Angeles tournament victory.  However, I believe the better, more visceral story would’ve been B-Boy & SD coming into this as champs still, but SD being such an overwhelming cunt to Richards in victory the night before that Richards would’ve DEMANDED to be inserted alongside Strong into this main event.
 
Rating: ***1/2


#46 supersonic

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 07:19 PM

Passive Hostility – December 2, 2006
Taped from Los Angeles, CA
 
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Davey Richards vs. Rocky Romero
 
Richards displays aggression early when Romero reaches the ropes during a Crippler Crossface, not delivering a clean break and instead kicking and talking shit.  Romero gives a receipt with his own aggression of course.  Submission counters get broken in a chippy fashion too.  Richards has to back off a few times, so Romero spits to get in his head and ignite a striking exchange.
 
The action spills to the outside, including the venue stage where the live commentary team would sit at much later down the road.  Romero ducks a kick, forcing the left leg of Richards to strike the ring post.  That creates a perfect target for Romero and his ankle lock submission.  He keeps up the aggression, not wanting to let Richards think that he can’t be just as vicious if not more.
 
Richards makes the effort of selling his left leg when he regains control, although it’s highly flawed.  Rather than just avoiding putting any weight on it altogether, he walks on it gingerly which seems illegitimate.  Romero tries targeting it still but Richards cuts off various comeback attempts by the former Black Tiger.  After a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker cut-off by Richards, he stops selling his left leg altogether.  As someone who had very bad shin pain once, only for it to fuck off on its own after a couple minutes, I don’t see the issue with Richards moving on.
 
Richards continues dominating including cutting off another comeback attempt and countering it with an Inverted Cloverleaf submission.  This feels like Richards being pissed about not getting the last laugh on Super Dragon and trying to take it out on Romero, especially as he just taunts him.  The taunting allows a comeback via a strike exchange, but both go down after Richards hits a handspring elbow and Romero responds with a Busaiku knee.
 
Richards shoves off an ankle lock attempt only to get kicked in the chest.  Romero’s jumping head-scissors is countered with a Fireman’s Gutbuster and Running Liger Bomb.  A victory roll by Richards is countered with the ankle lock by Romero, who prevents numerous escape attempts.  He eventually escapes and they trade more bombs, but Richards gets the submission victory via another Inverted Cloverleaf attempt.  Damn good undercard match with aggressive sizzle thrown on top.
 
Rating: ***1/2
 
Claudio Castagnoli’s Advertised PWG Farewell
Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli
 
Castagnoli gets streamer treatment as this is advertised as his PWG farewell, which is why he’s facing his trainer and fellow King of Wrestling tonight also.  At the time a decade ago, Castagnoli had gotten interest from WWE.  While the future Cesaro would become one of the best performers on the planet, he was still quite green at this time, and that he would be recruited for his height and physique instead of a total package like Alex Shelley is another piece of damning evidence about WWE’s primitive hiring practices throughout the 2000s.  With this being the final PWG event of 2006, it bookends their year in the company, as they kicked off their year in PWG in a singles match against each other at Cruisin’ For a Bruisin’.
 
The first few minutes are a bit masturbatory as they trade moves and handshakes.  Once Hero uses an elbow smash, that triggers a strike exchange with Castagnoli using uppercuts to make this interesting.  Now rather than beat the fuck out of each other with dangerous strikes, they simply used that exchange to hook the crowd in a bit more and get them invested in their big moves.  That is evidence by the crowd’s louder pop afterwards for the big moves.
 
With Hero in control, Castagnoli tries to spark a comeback, although it lacks the proper fire, a problem he still has today.  The crowd tries to get behind it, but it’s definitely artificial, rooted only because this is supposed to be Castagnoli’s finale for the company.  It’d finally happen for Castagnoli when he runs the ropes and ducks an elbow, then hits a springboard middle-rope uppercut.  Once again, this successful comeback lacks fire, another reason WWE’s interest in him at this time over much more polished underground products is questionable.
 
Castagnoli maintains control thanks to a suicide dive, and Hero scouts a delayed vertical suplex, not wanting to have blood rush to his skull.  Hero makes a comeback here, and the crowd again weakly attempts to spark a Castagnoli comeback.  The applause for their moves feels more polite and automatic rather than a sign of being viscerally impressed, even for Castagnoli’s Alpamari Waterslide.  Hero against counters the delayed vertical suplex and mocks the crowd’s anticipated chanting, only to eat a delayed brainbuster.  This showed Castagnoli knew he couldn’t waste time holding the man who knows him most in mid-air for extended period.
 
Their exhaustion strike exchange is good but lacks drama, as does a Tiger Suplex and Pyramid Driver.  Hero counters an uppercut with a backslide, then hits a modified release vertical suplex, and anticlimactically finishes Castagnoli with a standing moonsault pin.  The crowd is basically silent at that finish, then breaks out a “Kings of Wrestling” chant.  Before Castagnoli can get a sentimental farewell, the Dynasty come preemptively ruin it by targeting both.  This sparks a “Kings of Buzzkill” chant.
 
Scorpio Sky challenges Frankie Kazarian to a loser leaves town match for December 16.  I don’t see that date in PWG’s history, but whatever.  Joey Ryan tries to talk shit to KOW, but they force the faction out with chairs.  Hero requests Commissioner Dino Winwood to come out and approve some sort of match.  The segment takes forever to get to the point.  Castagnoli will return on the 12/16 date, cancelling a booking in Europe, so that KOW can face Chris Bosh & Scott Lost.
 
That was a painful, low-rent post-match segment to cap off what was a very undramatic swan song for Castagnoli against his partner and at the time, best opponent.  The match lacked fire and was abruptly ended, met rightfully with silence.  The only silver lining in this whole presentation is Castagnoli deciding this not be his PWG finale.  This has to be the weakest chapter in the Hero vs. Castagnoli catalog.
 
Rating: less than ***
 
PWG Title Match
Joey Ryan vs. Kevin Steen vs. Human Tornado
 
Steen receives a welcome reception in the pre-match, making his first appearance since June I believe.  He explains in a promo that he’s been busy working in Dragon Gate, but makes it clear that he’s missed PWG, and he’s grown tired of Ryan’s utter chickenshit antics as champion.  Steen vows that the painful reign of terror, one that I would very much say is comparable to Triple H’s generally dog shit run throughout 2002 and 2003, is ending tonight, and that he’s breaking the champion’s neck.  His feelings are understandable, because if Ryan leaves as champion still, then the next day will be the 1-year anniversary of his reign that started by dethroning Steen, who seems to have lightened up throughout 2006 after entering the year conquered by Super Dragon.
 
I fucking hated this match with a passion.  I’ve seen numerous examples of three-ways consisting of a heel against 2 babyfaces, many of them having taken place years before this match, that provided templates for how this match should’ve been booked.  Many others three-ways featuring 1 heel and 2 babyfaces, including Uncensored 1998, SmackDown 9/26/2002, WrestleMania XX, Backlash 2004, Taboo Tuesday 2005, Royal Rumble 2015, and WrestleMania 32, all completely take a shit on this farce of a title match.
 
Ryan played the chickenshit as expected, sitting outside while Steen and Tornado did the work.  At no point when Steen and Tornado collided did it feel in any way important.  There was no flair to it at all.  While being mechanically sound, it was completely lacking in drama.  Then once they double-teamed Ryan for an extended period, I was wondering who exactly this match was plotted for, and it went on for so long that I was getting refreshed memories of Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon.
 
In the three-ways I had mentioned, the heels in them actually provided some sort of credible menace.  Now some of them got help from stablemates just like Ryan did in this match from Dynasty, such as Raven and his Flock, as well as Seth Rollins and his J&J Security tandem.  Whereas Raven and Rollins were bailed out or used as distractions to allow them to get a dramatic underhanded advantage, in this one Steen just brawled with Bosh and Lost to the back.
 
This left Ryan vs. Tornado, but the referee that was apparently EXTREMELY green had chased the commotion, allowing Ryan to hit Tornado with a chair shot to the head.  Ryan then did that again and the ref disqualified him.  I’m okay with this not being held under rules as lenient as WWE three-ways since PWG has never said weapons would be allowed in this.  The problem is that this match was ruled with Tornado as the winner, allowing Ryan to retain for a whole year, which the audience had been ready to move on from numerous months earlier.  Of course, that also means this sham of a three-way match ended anticlimactically, and did so with the chair blows that don’t age well in a world after Chris Benoit.  They especially don’t age well when the match is plotted and executed as poorly as this one.
 
Rating: less than ***
 
Tag Titles Match
B-Boy & Super Dragon vs. Cape Fear
 
I’ll get the negatives out of the way first, which was the usual: the match seemed to go a couple minutes longer than necessary, and nobody bothered to remember tag legalities during the last several minutes.  Also near the end, there wasn’t much drama to Quicksilver kicking out of the Argentine Piledriver, which is absolutely inexcusable.  Imagine the Philips Arena politely applauding when Sheamus was the first competitor to kick out of Big Show’s knockout punch.  It’s simply not fathomable.
 
This was nonetheless a very good main event and fitting to close out PWG for 2006.  The consensus MOTY for the company involved Generico, and with potential plans for him break out soon in ROH, the end-all, be-all of the underground scene, this is in hindsight the perfect booking choice to bring the year to a close.  Of course, it looked like there was supposed to be another event in 2 weeks, so for this to be the end is by accident.  I’m glad it was.
 
SD was a phenomenal cunt as always, showing an aggressive mean streak that I wish heels showed more often throughout the industry, not just the sanitized product of today’s WWE.  I loved when he cut off Quicksilver from getting a hot tag to El Generico, illegally interfering and charging to knock the Generic Luchador off the apron, and then mocking the hot tag.  B-Boy was impressive too, showcasing that SD’s dirty tactics were rubbing off on him by not going for clean breaks.
 
Besides the finish, the two highlights had nothing to do with the overall solid tag psychology.  Instead, it was two highspots involving SD and Generico.  At one point, Generico gave SD a receipt for the earlier attempt to sabotage Cape Fear’s hot tag, then followed up by giving SD a tornado DDT on the floor, using the venue’s wall as a platform.  Later on when the champs were regaining control, SD dove at Generico to the outside with a Tope Con Hilo.
 
Even the botches came off well in this match, as the impromptu positioning led to logical counters.  The big one that stood was Quicksilver attempting a head-scissors move on SD, and the botch allowed SD to hit a sudden Tombstone Piledriver.  But everything in this match paled in comparison to the finishing stretch after the Argentine Piledriver near-fall.
 
Generico took out B-Boy, hit some Half-n-Half Suplexes on SD, blocked a lariat with a Yakuza Kick, hit some more of those, and finished SD off with the Top Rope Brainbuster, and B-Boy didn’t have enough in the tank to make the save, meaning 2006 ended with Cape Fear as the new champions.  The crowd is very happy about this and damn well should be.
 
Ceap Fear leaving as champs wasn’t just intelligent, but a necessity after the garbage that it had to follow.  In a year in which most PWG viewers would claim the company’s MOTY was CIMA vs. Generico, this was definitely the correct decision to go with.  It’s poetic that although unintentional, this was the closing moment of the year for the company.  Even with this making for the 4th Tag Titles change out of the past 5 events, this was a no-brainer.  Now it’s time to enter 2007 with a solid run rather than the recent hot potato booking, and I certainly trust Cape Fear to go above and beyond the lengthy, disappointing reign of SD & Richards that had ended several months earlier.
 
Rating: ***3/4
 
As I close 2006 for PWG, I’ve reached a point in the company’s timeline in which I’m very rarely skipping events entirely.  It seems that on almost every show, there is at least one example of what I would consider the Good Shit to be found.  It’s taken over 3 years into the company’s vault, but I now feel confident enough to start treating PWG as seriously as I do ROH for the remainder of this project that has no end in sight.
 
Obviously, I’m quite a distance away from reaching PWG’s still-ongoing aesthetic peak that has spanned for nearly a decade now.  With that said, I saw enough quality material from PWG throughout 2006 that I will now have previews of what’s to be covered on the next event from now on, plus an end-of-year awards section too.  The latter won’t be as detailed as ROH’s since PWG has a thin storyline history, but I can still crown the best matches, performers, moments, and breakouts.
 
For this first time, I will be including EVERYTHING from the company’s birth in July 2003 through all of 2006.  Starting with 2007, each year gets its own awards section.  PWG has reached that point now in this journey to start getting that kind of respect, and I force myself to patiently await the best that’s still to come.
 
SUPER DUPER PWG 2003-2006 AWARDS
 
Best Wrestler:
Super Dragon
Runner-up – El Generico
 
Best Debut:
Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs @ All Star Weekend IV Night 1
 
Best Breakout Performance:
El Generico (vs. Chris Sabin; vs. CIMA) @ 2006 Battle of Los Angeles Night 3
 
Best Feud/Rivalry:
Kevin Steen vs. Super Dragon
 
Best Show:
2006 Battle of Los Angeles Night 3
Runner-up – Astonishing X-Mas
 
Best Moment:
Super Dragon conquering Kevin Steen @ Astonishing X-Mas
 
Best Match:
Super Dragon & Davey Richards vs. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels – Beyond the Thunderdome ****1/4
Runner-up – Motor City Machine Guns vs. Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs – All Star Weekend IV Night 1 ****1/4
 
PWG’s Top Ten Matches of 2003-2006 (in chronological order):
1. Joey Ryan vs. Super Dragon –  Use Your Illusion IV ****
2. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles – All Star Weekend Night 1 ****
3. Kevin Steen vs. Super Dragon – 2nd Annual Bicentennial Birthday Extravaganza Night 2 ****
4. Super Dragon vs. Kevin Steen – Astonishing X-Mas ****
5. Super Dragon & Davey Richards vs. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels – Beyond the Thunderdome ****1/4
6. Matt Sydal vs. Roderick Strong – All Star Weekend 3 Night 2 ****
7. Cape Fear vs. Briscoe Bros. – Enchantment Under the Sea ****
8. Dragon Kid vs. Roderick Strong – 2006 Battle of Los Angeles Night 3 ****
9. CIMA vs. El Generico – 2006 Battle of Los Angeles Night 3 ****
10. Motor City Machine Guns vs. Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs – All Star Weekend IV Night 1 ****1/4
 
Up next – Based on a True Story
Matches will include:
Frankie Kazarian vs. Scorpio Sky
Chris Bosh vs. Kevin Steen
Ronin vs. Super Dragon
Cape Fear vs. Los Luchas
Joey Ryan vs. Human Tornado


#47 G. Badger

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Posted 13 January 2017 - 07:52 PM

Excited to see your take on 2007 PWG. BOLA night 3 and Giant Sized Annual #4 were damn good shows that I recently watched... probably not representative since they were 'bigger' events but, many earlier PWG shows or matches look great on paper but, are average at best. I agree PWG starts delivering on these match-ups in 2007. Before you dive into it, what is your thinking on why it got better? Better talent, less shows, more annual shows like BOLA and DDT4 etc? Less Super Dragon?

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Posted 14 January 2017 - 12:02 AM

Excited to see your take on 2007 PWG. BOLA night 3 and Giant Sized Annual #4 were damn good shows that I recently watched... probably not representative since they were 'bigger' events but, many earlier PWG shows or matches look great on paper but, are average at best. I agree PWG starts delivering on these match-ups in 2007. Before you dive into it, what is your thinking on why it got better? Better talent, less shows, more annual shows like BOLA and DDT4 etc? Less Super Dragon?

 

Improved talent selection and higher match quality expectations.  Adam Pearce's vision of ROH really benefitted the PWG brand.



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Posted 14 January 2017 - 12:02 AM

Based on a True Story – January 13, 2007
Taped from Los Angeles, CA
 
dvdcov0063.jpg
 
 
Loser Leaves Town
Frankie Kazarian vs. Scorpio Sky
 
Fun opener but nothing special at all.  While the action itself was good, none of it was memorable in the slightest.  I like Jade Chung’s constant interference to bail out Sky, as well as her dumping her defeated man in the post-match.  I didn’t feel comfortable seeing Kazarian get physical comeuppance on Chung, nor Colt Cabana then saying on commentary to “take advantage of her.”  The finish was ugly when Kazarian hit the Flux Capacitor.  The segment ends with the combatants having a begrudging handshake and Sky giving Dino Winwood as Sky got a farewell sendoff from the Reseda crowd.
 
Rating: less than ***
 
PWG Title Shot Match
Chris Bosh vs. Kevin Steen
 
Another match with solid action but nothing memorable whatsoever.  At no point did the crowd emotionally get invested, not even the big moves which could’ve been used for dramatic near-falls in the closing minutes.  The pre-match segment discussing “Suck My Cock” rules doesn’t hold up well at all.
 
Rating: less than ***
 
Ronin vs. Super Dragon
 
Another match that disappointed a bit, but the crowd did get into Ronin cutting Super Dragon quite a bit in the last third or so of the match.  The match was a bit too long, a constantly fair criticism in SD’s matches, and I question giving Ronin a rare clean win on him instead of giving the nod to someone with more upside such as PAC, Steen, or El Generico.  Good match elevated by the shocking result.
 
Rating: ***
 
Tag Titles Match
Cape Fear vs. Los Luchas
 
Best of the evening so far and quite easily.  While there were some flaws, the match got the most genuine reaction out of anything else acclaimed on this card, feeling much like a modern-day weekly NXT main event.  The highlights would of course be at the finish, with all kinds of bombs being thrown and evaded.  My personal favorite spot would be when Zokre dodged Generico’s Yakuza kick, so minutes later Quicksilver held him in place for it then hit a head-scissors followed by a standard Generico brainbuster to finish it.  Very good and would’ve been much better with some WWE polishing under the likes of Arn Anderson and Ricky Steamboat.
 
Rating: ***1/2
 
PWG Title – Hardcore Match
Joey Ryan vs. Human Tornado
 
Ryan: “I’m gonna own you like it’s 1860.”  I’m sure there’d be no backlash today for that.
 
The highlight of an abysmal title reign for Ryan, one that truly seemed to aim as challenging Triple H and Jeff Jarrett for the most ennui-inducing of the 2000s decade.  For anyone who rightfully pinpointed the flaws of Seth Rollins throughout 2015, his WWE Title reign was Kenta Kobashi 2003-05 (thanks to numerous quality matches against John Cena, Dean Ambrose, and Neville) compared to Ryan’s reign of terror from Chanukah Chaos (The C’s Are Silent) to Based on a True Story.  There was not one good title defense whatsoever for Ryan until the very end, and it’s not like it was anything special.
 
It’s been said that had Rollins not shred his right knee in November 2015, his reign would’ve ended on a high note against Roman Reigns at Survivor Series 2015.  That’s exactly what happened here.  Now of course, this match was far from perfect, feeling very much like a poor man’s Randy Orton vs. Mick Foley.  The control segments for both participants were very tedious, neither displaying the correct body language and facial expressions to put this over as a climactic epic both to their saga and this reign.
 
Whereas when Orton was tossed on the thumbtacks at Backlash 2004, it elevated him to being a future primary champion in WWE, when it happened for Ryan to bring his reign to its conclusion here, it didn’t come within even a fraction of that importance.  The barbed wire board, the thumbtack bumps, none of it felt historic whatsoever; perhaps Orton vs. Foley is an unfair standard, and the more appropriate hardcore classic to compare this to would be SD vs. Steen from Astonishing X-Mas.  The same weapons in that one had far more meaning, truly settling the hatred between both gladiators.
 
What puts this over as a good match is that it was finally the end of one of the worst, most insufferable title reigns of the 2000s decade.  Once Tornado got the victory, the crowd was in jubilance; shame on whoever had the final say on this DVD release for not keeping the footage rolling as Reseda celebrated, and for not including promos from the new champion Human Tornado either at ringside, later in the evening, or in the days following.  PWG failed to make this title change mean something, when it had accidentally been handed right on its lap with the crowd’s longstanding annoyance towards Ryan reaching its relieving conclusion.
 
This coming just 3 weeks after the final match ever between Bryan Danielson and Homicide certainly doesn’t do any favors for it.
 
Rating: ***1/4
 
Despite this show being disappointing, it features a historic title change and brings hope to 2007 undergoing a major refresher.  While the Tag Titles match is worth seeing, it’s not really worthy of seeing on its own, and the main event is available on the first Sells Out compilation.  Recommendation to avoid.
 
Up next – Guitarmageddon II: Armoryageddon
Matches will include:
Chris Bosh vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Human Tornado vs. Kevin Steen
Cape Fear vs. Davey Richards & Roderick Strong


#50 G. Badger

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 11:41 PM

I also think better DVD covers too! I remember when these all came out. I couldn't tell one show apart from the other. PWG just used the same photo shopped images for their covers and added a wacky title. Once they had both BOLA and DDT4, they seemed to have confidence in being around longer than a couple years and put confidence in the product. I thought they had a west coast ROH vibe eventually...stoked for 2007 PWG & ROH :)

#51 G. Badger

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 03:02 PM

Bored going thru Wikipedia, looks like some of the SoCal originals like Chris Bosh, Excalibur, Quicksilver retired around this time...freeing up room for younger talent in the undercard.

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 01:05 PM

Guitarmageddon II: Armoryageddon – February 10, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

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Chris Bosh vs. Claudio Castagnoli

 

This is Castagnoli’s opportunity to seek vengeance on the Dynasty after ruining his originally planned farewell at Passive Hostility.  That explains why instead of wrestling in spandex tights, he’s sporting a dress shirt and pants with belt; he uses the belt later to choke Bosh out of the ref’s vision.  Castagnoli also was a bit cocky in this, marginalizing his chances to be the default babyface, while also leaving him prone to a tornado DDT on the outside while gloating.

 

Perhaps had Castagnoli just focused on wrestling instead of being an alpha male, he wouldn’t have choked this one away.  After dominating most of the match, he fell victim to a number of bombs from Bosh, including a backdrop suplex and clothesline backbreaker.  What should’ve been a victory for Castagnoli, that beinig the O’Connor Roll, was countered into a successful bridge win.  Had ROH been willing to openly include stories from all federations at this time, this could’ve been used as a kayfabe reason for Larry Sweeney refusing to be Castagnoli’s agent.

 

Rating: ***1/4

 

PWG Title Match
Human Tornado vs. Kevin Steen

 

Steen was a beast in this one, going right for blood during Tornado’s entrance routine.  He also had the champ’s corner shuck-n-jive low blow split scouted, just bringing the offense and determined to get the job done after having failed at Passive Hostility, only to see Tornado get dethrone Joey Ryan a month later.

 

Tornado kept this from being a total squash by having Steen scouted as well and throwing bombs out of desperation when the opportunity arrived.  In particular, the Pounce was fantastic, as well as the super tornado DDT.  To show how desperate that way, Steen was actually up first and he was actually the victim of that move, not the other way around.

 

After the two had pummeled each other for about 15 minutes and were down, we get a proview of what was to come 8 years later at Levi’s Stadium, as the Dynasty arrived to attack them and Joey Ryan announced that per what he’d been advised earlier on the card, he’s cashing in his title match right now as it’s basically under Money in the Bank rules.  This was a complete failure for Ryan though as Top Gun Talwar arrived in a thong to distract Ryan, allowing Tornado to roll him up immediately for the victory.  If Seth Rollins ever watched this match prior to spring 2015, he certainly learned from Ryan’s mistakes.

 

Rating: ***1/4

 

Tag Titles – Quicksilver’s Final Match
Cape Fear vs. Davey Richards & Roderick Strong

 

A bit disappointing largely due to Strong getting a severe cut in his left eye.  This was promising to be potentially the greatest match in PWG history up to this point, as Richards & Strong had put their beef from FIP behind them a week earlier and were total cunts in the first third of the match, cutting the ring in half on Generico.

 

Generico would get a hot tag, nothing remarkable though as indicated by the crowd.  That allowed the challengers, themselves Tag Champs for one night just 3 months earlier on the All Star Weekend IV double-shot to have a more engaging control segment on Quicksilver.  Richards was incredibly cocky at points, even getting irrationally irritated by an “Umpa Lumpa” chant.  Strong was vicious and very deliberate in not allowing Generico to intervene too.

 

When Quicksilver got the hot tag to Generico to begin the 3rd and final act of the match, Strong’s left eye region got busted.  His blood dripped at points onto his chest; this match, along with according to Quicksilver’s Wikipedia page that contracting MRSA in this match led to his choice to retire afterwards, is a great piece of evidence to prohibit blood spillage in wrestling, and that the inconvenient choice WWE doctors made for Samoa Joe at Takeover: Dallas was indeed the medically and ethically correct choice.

 

Once the champs finished Strong off in the same fashion as Los Luchas the month before, that was it.  Nobody was kicking out of an inverted Hurricanrana and follow-up brainbuster, especially someone who wasn’t just bleeding badly, but also had taped ribs for unknown reasons.  There was one minor moment when Strong forgot he was legal, but the blood loss both in reality and in kayfabe are the logical explanation for that, so it works.

 

Not a bad match for Quicksilver to bow out with, and it’s a shame that injuries derailed him, as I’d much have preferred him to get an opportunity in ROH over Matt Cross.  Whether it was a concussion as has been mentioned, the supposed MRSA contraction, or a combination of both, Quicksilver obviously made the right decision for his long-term health to hang up the boots.

 

Rating: ***3/4

 

Two fun undercard matches and Quicksilver’s finale are enough to give this show a recommendation, even if nothing was truly blow-away.

 

Up next – Holy Diver Down
Matches will include:

Chris Bosh & Scott Lost vs. Motor City Machine Guns

PAC vs. Kevin Steen

Human Tornado vs. El Generico



#53 supersonic

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:08 PM

Holy Diver Down – February 24, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

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Chris Bosh & Scott Lost vs. Motor City Machine Guns

 

Mentioned on commentary is that Quicksilver is still out due to a concussion, but no status is provided for the Tag Titles.

 

Very good tag match that was brought down by tag legality issues and going a bit too long.  MCMG were the obvious stars as the match, as if there would be any other expectation.  They were crisp, brought the pain, worked on limbs, dropped bombs, locked on submissions, and honestly dominated this.

 

If there was a missed universal storytelling continuity, it’d be Chris Sabin playing the Ricky Morton role once Arrogance got the heat.  As Jade Chung used a piece of clothing to choke Sabin, it’d have been a nice nod for Alex Shelley to be in that spot instead, with Chung still pissed about what happened during their time in the Embassy.  Now sure, Sabin comes across in the ring as much kinder than Shelley, so that’s probably the reason for him selling.

 

Once Shelley hit an assisted standing Shiraniu, the result wasn’t in doubt.  So once they got double small packages for Arrogance, it came as no surprise.  MCMG were simply on top of the world at this time, and it’s a shame it won’t being showcased in a feud against Paul London & Brian Kendrick at the time.

 

Rating: ***3/4

 

PAC vs. Kevin Steen

 

Excellent match here with Steen dominating early.  PAC took 2 scary head drops early, one a lariat and then an immediate trip to Suplex City courtesy of Steen.  There were numerous other bombs PAC took, including the pop-up powerbomb and a draping DDT off the top rope.  Had PAC sold his neck a bit more after that DDT, this would’ve taken this into potential MOTYC territory.  Doing so would’ve fit into Steen’s package piledriver finisher, which would’ve been a great story to tell.

 

This was no squash match though, as PAC got in his bombs as well, spectacular ones at that.  A reverse hurricanrana, a Quebrada that turned into a tornado DDT, even a Sky Twister to the outside.  No matter how much punishment he took, he took advantage at every opportunity to use his incredibly acrobatics to damage Steen.  Not even Steen countering a Super Hurricanrana into a Super Powerbomb was enough to keep PAC down.

 

The finish couldn’t have been any better.  In something I’d never seen, PAC had a shooting star SENTON for a near-fall.  He then wasted no time and finished off the former PWG Champion with a standard Sky Twister, pulling off a huge upset in one of the defining matches of his career.  This was sensational.

 

Post-match, Steen puts PAC over heavily, revealing how much respect he had for him throughout 2006 and lobbying for months to get him into PWG.  Steen says that when PAC becomes a big star one day and makes money, remember the guy that got him an opportunity.  I wonder if either one of these guys ever made money and became stars.

 

Rating: ****

 

PWG Title Match
Human Tornado vs. El Generico

 

Very good main event that was kept at about a dozen minutes which I appreciated, allowing both to just go for bombs on each other.  Tornado was noticeably cockier than usual, a higher level of arrogance than he had shown before.  This seemed strange considering that the two were occasional tag partners.  He was totally fine with giving Generico the shuck and jive low blow early to hammer this home.

 

Generico wouldn’t be denied though.  Perhaps due to Quicksilver’s uncertain status, the Generic Luchador wanted to ensure he left this evening knowing he’d have a title reign to continue.  Nothing would stop Generico, who pulled one bomb after another including a somersault plancha, half and half suplex, a Dat Nigga Dead of his own, and two Yakuza kicks before upsetting Tornado with a top rope brainbuster for a shocking title change.

 

In contrast to Steen earlier on the card, Tornado opts not to show respect, declining to congratulate his friend and just leaving a sore loser.  I’ll certainly take Tornado as the top heel over Joey Ryan without any hesitation whatsoever.  Perhaps there should’ve been a Generico vs. Tornado feud in hindsight.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

PAC vs. Kevin Steen gets all the love, but the other two matches are worth seeing, including a shockingly historic main event.  Recommended.

 

Up next – Album of the Year
Matches will include:
Rocky Romero vs. Claudio Castagnoli
El Generico vs. Davey Richards



#54 supersonic

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 09:21 PM

Album of the Year – March 10, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

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Due to Quicksilver’s concussion, Cape Fear are stripped of the Tag Titles.  They will be up for grabs in the first ever DDT4 tournament in 2 months.

 

Rocky Romero vs. Claudio Castagnoli

 

This was a battle of countering.  While Romero would repeatedly go for cross armbar submissions, Castagnoli used his height advantage to get easy rope breaks.  Romero failed to target a specific arm, which was arguably his downfall.  He needed to take away Castagnoli’s devastating uppercut arsenal.  As for Castagnoli, he never found a major advantage either, so it came down to his strength advantage, dumping Romero on his head with a trip to Suplex City, blocking a desperate adrenaline-rush kick, and hitting a discus uppercut for the victory.  Good stuff that would’ve been better with more focused limb work and selling.

 

Rating: ***1/4

 

PWG Title Match
El Generico vs. Davey Richards

 

This match never reached a high gear, making it quite disappointing considering it went over half an hour.  There was still good stuff in here, including Generico dominating the first several minutes and causing Richards to take a few powders.  Once Richards got control, he dominated the rest of the match while also jaw-jacking with the audience for whatever reason.

 

The finishing stretch had some good scouting and counters, including Richards turning Generico’s Yakuza kick into a calf-shoulder suplex into the corner.  Generico would knee the gut of Richards when the challenger went for a terrific Shooting Star Press, and finally moved to hit his trademark Yakuza kick and Turnbuckle Brainbuster, but Richards rolled out.  During one of these points Richards also went for a desperate inside cradle counter for a near-fall.  But once Generico hit an Apron Brainbuster, having already taken Generico’s regular finish, that was the ballgame.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

Up next – 70|30
Matches will include:
Alex Shelley vs. Rocky Romero
Chris Sabin vs. Scott Lost
Shingo vs. Davey Richards
El Generico vs. Christopher Daniels



#55 supersonic

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:57 PM

70|30 – March 24, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

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Alex Shelley vs. Rocky Romero

 

Submission counters lead to 2 stalemates, with no advantage until Shelley landed a kick on Romero’s head.  What looks to be a sustained, relentless advantage for Shelley, that being a unique Super Jawbreaker, turns out to be the end of his domination.  Instead, Shelley’s slow approach to keep it up allows Romero to gain control with a kick of his own.  But that turns out to be short-lived for Romero, as the two exchange control with various counters.

 

Romero wins a test of strength, allowing him to apply a shoulder submission.  But his insistence on kicks to Shelley’s hamstring is costly, as he eats a brainbuster.  Shelley’s selling of his left limbs is impressive as both get back up.  He even couldn’t hit a graceful Quebrada, climbing one foot at a time on the middle rope instead of jumping, and also using the right leg to deliver a Super variation of a kick similar to Liu Kang’s Flying Dragon.

 

Romero gains brief control but is cut off with a gutbuster.  Not even a cross arm breaker submission is enough as Shelely is too close to the ropes, and then counters another one, turning it into the Border City Stretch in the middle of the ring.  This is excellent stuff as Romero keeps rotating until he gets a rope break.

 

The excellent counters just keep on coming, resulting in a highly dramatic cross arm breaker.  But instead of the drama being in Shelley avoiding a tap out, it was in avoiding Romero from locking it altogether.  Romero avoids a Shiranui but goes to the well too often with the cross arm breaker, allowing Shelley to counter it with a pinning near-fall.  This classic concludes when Shelley hits a Reverse STO and forces Romero to tap out to the Border City Stretch.

 

Post-match, Romero challenges Shelley and a partner to face the Havana Pitbulls in May, to which Shelley obliges that the Motor City Machine Guns accept for the upcoming DDT4 tournament.  Both men are selling tremendously and just exhausted.

 

MCMG have a backstage promo afterwards, ready to come for the vacant Tag Titles.

 

A fucking excellent match that deserves compilation inclusion, topping PAC vs. Kevin Steen as the company’s best contest of 2007 so far.  Absolutely tremendous counters and submissions, with incredible selling to boot, including in the post-match promo.  Must-see.

 

Rating: ****1/4

 

Joey Ryan interferes in the Ronin vs. Kevin Steen match, hitting Steen with a stupid chair shot to the head and drawing a DQ on Ronin.  Steen is pissed but he’s earned a PWG Title shot by default.  He quotes Owen Hart and wants to earn his title shot, not have it handed to him.  Steen says he’ll kill Jack Evans coming up at All Star Weekend V Night 1, and asks for a match on Night 2 against Ryan.  Excalibur & Dino Winwood grant his request to make it a hardcore match.

 

In a backstage promo, Steen warns Ryan to watch the match against Evans.  He says despite liking Evans, he will beat the shit out of him, and imagine what will happen to Ryan, who he hates.  The events ever since the historic title change from Steen to Ryan at Chanukah Chaos (The C’S Are Silent) will finally come to a head.

 

The authority figures have some special announcements.  Low Ki will be debuting on All Star Weekend V to take on Davey Richards and Samoa Joe!  OH FUCK YES~!  For the DDT4 in May, Teams inserted into May’s DDT4 are the Briscoes, Kings of Wrestling, Richards & Roderick Strong, but before the announcements continue, Richards interrupts to the crowd’s disapproval.

 

Richards rejects teaming with Strong since they already won the Tag Titles before, instead saying he’s selected a mystery partner.  Speed Muscle is then revealed to be in the tournament.

 

So that’s the Briscoes, Speed Muscle, Kings of Wrestling, Havana Pitbulls, Motor City Machine Guns, and Richards with a mystery partner.  Not too bad of a tournament.

 

“Scorpio Sky” returns in a mask and defeats Top Gun Talwar.

 

Chris Sabin vs. Scott Lost

 

Good match with a cheap finish.  Sabin dominated early until Lost countered a corner move with a boot the face and follow-up gutbuster.  Sabin teased a comeback outside after getting back-scratched by Jade Chung, only to eat a twirling feet strike from Lost off a ring post.  Sabin would muster a comeback thanks to a Fisherman Buster, while Lost would get control back minutes later with an Ace Crusher.  After Sabin hit some corner dropkicks, his inside cradle got turned over thanks to Chung, resulting in a win for Lost.

 

Rating: ***

 

Shingo vs. Davey Richards

 

Shingo dominated early thanks largely to a sleeper hold swing,  After a few minutes, Richards manages a knee to his gut to get control, although he’s still getting too sidetracked by the crowd jeers.  Richards seems very much have made a decision to be a dick everywhere since forming the No Remorse Corps with Strong in ROH; perhaps their failure to win the Tag Titles a few weeks back with him against this very opponent and Naruki Doi are why he rejected teaming with Strong again in PWG.

 

Shingo’s comeback gets cut off when he goes to the top rope after a powerslam, as Richards hits a Superlex hurting both men’s back.  Richards causes Shingo to get fighting spirit during some kicks, with Shingo finally mounting a comeback with a Fireman’s Carry Spinebuster along with more bombs.  He even counters the handspring elbow of Richards, hitting a torture rack pancake for a near-fall.

 

Richards regains control after blocking a pumphandle move, hitting an Enziguri and Falcon Arrow for a near-fall.  He also cancels a Shingo comeback via a DDT, then goes for a Shooting Star Press.  That doesn’t pay off as Shingo avoids it and hits a spinning Gut Wrench Bomb for a near-fall.  He shrugs off a boot to the face and lands a lariat for another good near-fall.

 

Richards lands a low blow out of referee Rick Knox’s vision.  Shingo then taps out moments later to the Kondo Clutch in a bit of a messy finish.  Good match weighed down by the finish.

 

Rating: ***

 

Human Tornado intentionally puts Candice LeRae in harm’s way to hit the Dat Nigga Dead and beat Disco Machine.  He then hits one on her.  This wouldn’t hold up today, but it’s tolerable at this point in Tornado’s heel run.

 

Christopher Daniels is back to his 2002 attitude, unimpressed by El Generico and using the same hand mannerisms.  What was the point of his arrow paintings around his eye a decade ago?

 

PWG Title Match
El Generico vs. Christopher Daniels

 

Daniels is quite irritable to Generico’s early dominance, throwing a temper tantrum on the outside.  Generico still maintains control thanks to numerous arm drags and not succumbing to any Daniels strikes.  When he gets a wristlock submission, Daniels gets irritated again by its positing him for pin falls.  Daniels did not seem prepared for Generico bringing submissions to the table.

 

Daniels finally cut off the champion by evading and tossing him to the outside.  Daniels displayed no hesitation, scoop-slamming Generico on a chair and striking him with another one outside the ref’s vision.  This allowed Daniels to work on Generico’s back, perfect to prepare for the Koji Clutch, and marginalize the champ’s signature moves.  He turns up the misery he feels inside by stepping on Generico’s face for a couple near-falls, just showing complete disrespect.

 

Daniels was able to prevent a comeback, hitting another vertical suplex and then mocking the champ’s back pain.  After also stepping on his back, Generico mounts a comeback with various strikes and near-falls.  However, that ends when the Fallen Angel simply punches his face and goes back to being a miserable prick.  I wouldn’t have minded an ultimate heel battle between Richards and Daniels at this point in PWG.

 

Generico finally cuts Daniels off with a reverse DDT, although has too much back pain to immediately capitalize.  Once they’re both back up, Daniels has no answer for Generico’s offense, opting to take a powder.  But Generico wastes no time, hitting a Twisting Plancha instantly to the outside.  Generico gives a chair shot receipt to the back in front of the ref, who doesn’t care due to the antics of Daniels so far.

 

Generico keeps selling his back as he stays in control, which is appreciated.  Daniels then cuts off Generico’s tightrope attempt, hitting a Reverse STO and applying the Koji Clutch for a false finish.  Daniels is displeased by the Blue Thunder Powerbomb being a near-fall, but doesn’t waste time.  They have a strike exchange that ends with both collapsing when Generico hits a big boot.

 

I love Daniels blocking the Yakuza kick, only for Generico to sandbag the Angel’s Wings and hit a leaping tornado DDT.   Both are exhausted at this point, giving their all for the company’s top prize.    Generico slowly prepares Daniels for a Turnbuckle Brainbuster, which allows Daniels to scoop toss him and go for a crossbody, but that’s turned into a near-fall pin.  They have a great near-fall when Daniels hits an STO.  Generico scouts the BME and Arabian Moonsault, finally finishing Daniels off with the Yakuza kick and s standard brainbuster.  Kick up the pace a bit more and this would’ve been a classic.

 

Rating: ***3/4

 

Strongest recommendation of PWG’s early years thanks to a classic and near-classic.

 

We now arrive at one of the greatest events in PWG history.  Period.

 

Up next – All Star Weekend V Night 1
Matches will include:
Roderick Strong vs. Rocky Romero
Human Tornado vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Jack Evans vs. Kevin Steen
Kaz Hayashi vs. Alex Shelley
Low Ki vs. Davey Richards
El Generico vs. PAC



#56 supersonic

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:57 PM

All Star Weekend V Night 1 – April 7, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

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Rocky Romero vs. Roderick Strong

 

Romero went for an early advantage flurry but Strong weathered it twice thanks to chops and other blows.  He intelligently scouted Romero’s second spinning head-scissors attempt, blocking it to avoid another Romero cut off.  Strong brings the heat with his chops, being welcomed by Romero for more of it, and the strike exchange proves to be a mind game for Romero to cut Strong off and toss him down on a leapfrog attempt.

 

But Strong doesn’t succumb for very long, getting a comeback thanks to a press-up power slam.  For once in the match it’s a sustained heat, with Strong bringing the pain and backdropping Romero on the apron, but Romero positions himself to land on his leg instead.  Strong ensures some back pain is delivered via a Gorilla Press Toss onto a guard rail.  Strong keeps the pain coming, remaining focused on Romero’s back as the crowd gets behind the NJPW Dojo trainee.

 

Strong’s refusal to accept a potential count out victory almost costs him when Romero gets a near-fall.  Romero sees an opportunity to apply a cross arm breaker counter when Strong blatantly chokes him, and that’s an excellent hope spot as Strong quickly gets a rope break and goes back on offense.  Romero comes back after a submission attempt, getting Strong back in the cross arm breaker for a quick rope break.  But Romero can’t sustain a comeback, eating a suplex and cutting off Romero once again.

 

At this point the crowd broke out in dueling chants, very deservedly so for the intelligent story this match is telling.  Romero blocks a Super Fall Away Slam by Strong, finally getting a real comeback.  Although a struggle, Romero stays in control and gets the cross arm breaker back on, but Strong once again gets a quick rope break.  Strong regains control, hitting a backbreaker and putting Romero in the Liontamer.

 

Strong takes too long to apply a Tiger Driver, allowing Romero to deadweight it and position Strong into an ankle lock submission, but Strong yet again gets a quick rope break.  Romero holds onto his heat, booting Strong in the corner and landing a leaping DDT.  However, Romero is too fatigued to keep it going, getting cut off when Strong stomps his foot and then delivers a boot for a near-fall.  Strong takes too long to set a Super Gut Buster, and Romero taps out Strong instantly with a cross arm breaker than landed in the middle of the ring.  Very good stuff that sold how deadly Romero’s finisher was if the ropes weren’t so quickly nearby.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

Human Tornado vs. Claudio Castagnoli

 

Before the match, Candice LeRae foolishly accepts Tornado’s apology for his prior actions, only to get bitch-slapped and called a “stupid bitch.”  I’ll be avoiding this angle as much as possible going forward.  Castagnoli declines Tornado’s offer to degrade LeRae, who gets shoved into a ring post.  What a God awful fucking angle in 2007, and much shittier a decade later.

 

Tornado uses Castagnoli’s humane concern to get an easy cheap shot before the match officially begins.  Castagnoli cuts off Tornado to get control, hitting a delayed vertical suplex.  Castagnoli applies a wacky, contrived leg grapevine and cravate submission combo, showing he had plenty of room for improvement after being declined by WWE a few months earlier.  Tornado hits an eye rake to gain control, driving Castagnoli out of the ring via a body-scissors counter.

 

Tornado keeps Castagnoli outside by tossing LeRae onto him.  Who exactly thought such a blatant domestic violence storyline was a good idea in the first half of 2007?  Who thought it would make PWG not come across as insensitive carny trash aimed at the lowest common denominator?  The match is getting skipped now.

 

Matt Classic vs. Kikutaro

 

Classic is “replacing” Colt Cabana, who was unable to appear due to weather.  As expected, this was a perfectly acceptable comedy match with Kikutaro almost manipulating Classic and the referee to grapple.  Kikutaro pretends to event want an arm wrestling contest to gain advantage, and then rolls the ref too much that he gets physically driven back for it.  Kikutaro gets vengeance though when he kicks ropes into the groin of both the ref and Classic.

 

Classic’s arsenal is a sight to behold, putting on a clinic for all to study and admire, bringing a vintage approach rivaling that of Bryan Danielson a decade ago.  The technique, the blows, and his choice of being a rules stickler truly brought tears to my eyes as he desperately tried to overcome Kikutaro’s shenanigans.  Perhaps the highlight of the match would be the bearhug Classic placed on Kikutaro, proving to be a truly dramatic false submission finish.  But Classic could only take so much, hitting a low blow of his own, then the ref eats one too and all 3 men involved in this match collapse!

 

The referee is too sore in his groin to finish counting to 3, which causes Classic to shove him.  The ref shoves him back and Kikutaro takes advantage to win this sensational MOTYC.

 

Rating: ***

 

Jack Evans vs. Kevin Steen

 

Glorified squash for Steen, as he dominated and Evans only got sporadic comebacks that were never sustained.  This was fine to get Steen over, but by no means anything memorable as the message of the match got loud and clear at end, Steen choosing not to end it with the Package Piledriver and instead wanting one more big blow.

 

Rating: less than ***

 

Kaz Hayashi vs. Alex Shelley

 

Hell of a match as expected.  Shelley’s early work on Hayashi’s right arm would never really come into play, as the former WCW veteran instead had more control segments for submission work or just trade bombs.  Hayashi would substantially target Shelley’s left knee, relentlessly weakening in hopes of taking away the Shiranui.  Perhaps it worked, for when Shelley hit the Shiranui, Hayashi’s bump was very pedestrian instead of high-impact that most opponents would be forced into taking.

 

Despite tremendous cut offs and locking on the Border City Stretch, Shelley was outmatched by the more established Hayashi.  Once Hayashi hit his various Final Cuts, there was no turning back.  One can only fathom what a tremendous Cruiserweight Title program this could’ve been had WCW avoided death 6 years earlier…

 

Rating: ****

 

Low Ki’s PWG Debut
Low Ki vs. Davey Richards

 

This was surprisingly the Davey Richards Show as he dominated most of it, shining and getting to play the default heel as usual in 2007.  While Ki would win as expected, Richards was tremendous in cutting off the more successful, experienced Ki throughout the contest, and at no point did this match deliver a kicking exchange as anticipated like these two had against KENTA in the past.

 

While Richards dominated and Ki isn’t the most sympathetic seller, this was never a squash.  Ki stayed in it thanks largely to Richards trying to build his stock through trash talk, as well as Ki’s habits of striking kicks and locking on submissions from anywhere.  In honesty, Richards lost this match more than Ki won it.  Perhaps if Richards actually went for a finisher instead of trying to use his mouth to come out of this with more attention, he’d have gotten the biggest victory of his career up to this point.

 

Rating: ***3/4

 

PWG Title Match
El Generico vs. PAC

 

After some even stuff, PAC would gain the advantage and cause Generico to take a powder and regroup.  Several minutes would pass in the match until Generico finally cut PAC off effectively via a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.  Generico would capitalize on his advantage, delivering various strikes and slams to disorient the high-flying challenger.

 

PAC had hope spots and would finally get one thanks to a spike hurricanrana, but would miss a Standing Moonsault Senton, allowing Generico to cut him off with a lariat.  Whatever Generico had in mind as he climbed the top rope would be for moot, as PAC capitalized and hit a Super Hurricanrana.  A strike exchange would be won when PAC hit a Blue Thunder Powerbomb and Phoenix Splash for a couple near-falls.  Only about 10 minutes in and both are exhausted.

 

PAC blocks a Half-n-Half Suplex and goes for a Handspring Swinging DDT, only to eat a Rotating Powerbomb.  He’d then avoid a Yakuza kick to hit a Reverse Spike Hurricanrana, only to then eat a running boot from the champion.  After driving Generico to the outside, PAC went for a Sasuke Special and almost turned it into a Scorpion Death Drop as they fell down.  Back in the ring, PAC hit a Shooting Star Knee Drop for a near-fall, and this is getting potentially spectacular.

 

PAC tops himself with a Dragon Rana, and the crowd is loving this shit.  After both get up from exhaustion, Generico avoids a strike and executes a corner exploder suplex, Yakuza kick, and Half-n-Half Suplex for another wonderful near-fall.  The match kicks up a notch when PAC counters a Top Rope Brainbuster into a Body-Scissors Bomb, then hits a Sky Twister for a fantastic near-fall.  The match really is difficult to predict now.

 

Generico avoids a Super 720 Senton Splash, causing PAC to take a hell of a bump.  This should pretty much end it for PAC if Generico can recover.  The champion goes for the pin but it’s not enough yet.  The battle goes to the apron, and a Half-n-Half Suplex on it is only good enough for another great near-fall.  PAC tries shoving Generico off at the finish, but after a Yakuza kick, he’s no choice but to eat the Top Rope Brainbuster for the finish.  Excellent main event.

 

Rating: ****

 

Quality matches all over the card that are very different.  Strongly recommended.

 

Up next – All Star Weekend V Night 2
Matches will include:
Kevin Steen vs. Joey Ryan
Alex Shelley vs. Claudio Castagnoli
PAC vs. Kaz Hayashi
Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe



#57 supersonic

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:09 PM

All Star Weekend V Night 2 – April 8, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

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Hardcore Match
Kevin Steen vs. Joey Ryan

 

Good plunder match to finally put this issue to rest stemming from Chanukah Chaos (The C’s Are Silent).  Only about a dozen minutes, Steen dominated early when he interrupted Ryan’s story time promo attempt, unloading fury on him and taking it to the outside as well.  Ryan would gain some heat when Steen took too long to set up a diagonal guard rail platform, hitting the potential future Hall of Famer with a plastic garbage can, and then deadlifting Steen onto that guard rail to counter a Package Piledriver attempt.

 

However much pain he was in, Steen was resilient with anger, not allowing Ryan to sustain momentum and even running up the guard rail to deliver a blow.  Having not learned from taking too long earlier, Steen would take too long to insert a chair and chain into the match, allowing Ryan the opportunity to superkick him.  This led to Ryan punching Steen with the chain and choking him with it as well, but Ryan didn’t seem driven enough either.

 

There isn’t much to complain about here, as it was just meant to be a good but not great conclusion to this program, hence why it was so early on the card.  But the segment of the match involving Ronin and Karl Anderson did nothing to enhance the match, and in fact felt very low-rent and unnecessary.  It didn’t exactly devalue the match either.

 

Once Steen quickly enough set up 2 chairs to deliver a Package Piledriver on them, that was the ballgame.  This went exactly the length it needed to without ever feeling like a forced epic, and that’s very much worthy of praise.

 

Rating: ***1/4

 

Alex Shelley vs. Claudio Castagnoli

 

Another quality match on the card as would be expected.  The first couple minutes were equality-establishing chain wrestling, then it got good when Shelley targeted Castagnoli’s neck to soften it up for the Shiranui and Border City Stretch.  However, while Shelley would land many blows, counters, and various submissions, he never got a sustained strategy on display to that body part.

 

That Castagnoli would win was a surprise as it appeared Shelley had his number, but he was resilient.  The most shining example of Castagnoli’s resilience was when Shelley hit a Senton, only for the future Cesaro to suck up his pain and exhaustion, very quickly capitalizing as Shelley was seated to deliver a basement uppercut to the neck and shoulders.  This softened Shelley up later for the Alpamari Waterslide and Ricola Bomb, but those would just be near-falls.  Shelley ate too many uppercuts after a dozen minutes or so, no longer having enough to engage in a strike exchange, and succumbed to a springboard uppercut from Castagnoli for the minor upset.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

PAC vs. Kaz Hayashi

 

Hayashi played the default heel, not even agreeing to respect at the beginning of the match.  He was quite vicious, targeting PAC’s right shoulder after it struck a ring post and delivering a shoulder breaker.  Hayashi was relentless as a submission artist in this one going after PAC’s upper body, and also tremendous in cutting off any comebacks including hitting an Ace Crusher.

 

Hayashi also seemed to go into WCW alumni tribute mode, hitting a Quebrada and then applying the Crippler Crossface.  I would not have minded seeing a Neville vs. Chris Benoit match, that’s for sure.  Once PAC reached the ropes, he finally managed a remarkable comeback with a leg lariat and head-scissors, then followed up with a dive to the outside.  However, Hayashi evaded that and hit a superkick, only then eat the top of the guard rail to make the match even with both men on the outside.

 

Back in the ring, PAC retained control, delivering blows and bombs, although the Tiger Suplex attempt was blocked, allowing Hayashi to go for a near-fall pin, superkick, and Air Raid Crash.  No matter what, PAC just couldn’t maintain very lengthy control, even with various counters.  For every few moves PAC would hit, Hayashi had more either in quantity or devastation to cut him off.

 

The highlight of the match had to be Hayashi’s Splash Mountain Powerbomb for a near-fall, and PAC was incredibly in trying to evade it.  PAC managed to hit a superkick and then a successful Tiger Suplex for a near-fall.  But once again, that wasn’t enough.  PAC took too long on the top rope, so Hayashi shoved him to get crotched, only for the Super Splash Mountain Powerbomb to be countered with the Hurricanrana for a near-fall, bringing back memories of Psychosis vs. Rey Mysterio from Bash at the Beach 1996.

 

PAC learned his lesson and hit a Shooting Star Press for a good near-fall, and at this point the crowd was getting legitimately engaged.  He FINALLY has real momentum, blocking numerous cut-offs and counters.  They had a very engrossing near-fall exchange, but PAC made the final mistake.  A Standing Shiranui would be turned into a Tombstone Piledriver by Hayashi, who then hit the Final Cut for the victory.

 

The submission work early was mechanically good but not very engaging, and this picked up once the bombs were being thrown.  PAC’s improvement in recent months is quite noticeable, and working with a WCW alumnus like Hayashi will only help in that regard.

 

Rating: ***3/4

 

Samoa Joe’s Final PWG Match
Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe

 

Quite the poetry that Low Ki would be Joe’s ROH debut opponent, and now serves as his final PWG opponent.

 

This couldn’t measure to Glory By Honor, but damn was this still an excellent match.  The early strikes and evasions were marvelous to see, along with Ki getting on the ground but keeping on the defensive.  This is the type of match I’d like to see Joe attempt to have in WWE, although I imagine someone like Matt Riddle would need to be signed to pull this off as Ki will probably never sniff the opportunity again.

 

The work on the outside was really good, with Ki cutting off the Ole Ole Kick and then Joe delivering it the second time they were outside, paying off that particular tease.  That wasn’t the only tease either, as Joe went for a musclebuster only for it to reenergize Ki, who snapped on a cross arm bar submission in the ropes.

 

While Ki was on top of the underground in 2002, that wasn’t the case here 4.5 years later.  Joe managed to survive an extended heat segment by Ki, including a shotgun dropkick in the corner, somersault front face kick, and Ki Crusher for a tremendous near-fall.  Ki thought he had his Zero-One contemporary figured out, going for a top rope Dragon Sleeper, but Joe cut it off, delivering the musclebuster for the finish that had been teased earlier.

 

A decade later, it’s a bit surprising this would serve as the final PWG match in Joe’s PWG career considering the hot-and-cold relationship the federation has had with TNA, as well as his brief free agency period in 2015.  However, this was a fitting swan song against one of his greatest opponents, one that will always be a staple in his career.

 

Rating: ****

 

Strongest recommendation possible for 4 very different quality matches, closing out with what turned out to be a historic swan song.

 

Due to PWG’s style of booking, Samoa Joe would never come close to the staple that he played in ROH.  But he did leave some footprint in the company, delivering some great matches in the first few years of the company.  His farewell against Low Ki marks the 10th PWG match of his to get at least ***, and with that in mind, this review ends with a tradition only seen in the vintage ROH journey so far.

 

Samoa Joe’s Ten Greatest PWG Matches

1.     Samoa Joe vs. Bryan Danielson – The Musical ***3/4

2.     Samoa Joe & Ricky Reyes vs. Bryan Danielson & Christopher Daniels – The Reason For the Season ***1/2

3.     Samoa Joe vs. Super Dragon – The Secret of the Ooze ***3/4

4.     Samoa Joe vs. Bryan Danielson – Uncanny X-Mas ****

5.     Samoa Joe vs. Super Dragon – All Nude Revue ***3/4

6.     Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles – All Star Weekend Night 1 **** (Joe’s greatest PWG match)

7.     Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Steen – All Star Weekend II Night 1 ***1/4

8.     Samoa Joe vs. Davey Richards – Astonishing X-Mas ***1/2

9.     Samoa Joe vs. Rocky Romero – All Star Weekend IV Night 1 ***1/4

10.  Samoa Joe vs. Low Ki – All Star Weekend V Night 2 ****

 

An annual tradition begins to crown new Tag Champions, along with a singles dream match that anyone who followed the indies in 2006 is simply salivating over.

 

Up next – DDT4 2007 Night 1
Matches will include:

Briscoe Bros. vs. Kings of Wrestling
CIMA vs. Bryan Danielson
Speed Muscle vs. Chris Bosh & Scott Lost
PAC & Roderick Strong vs. Super Dragon & Davey Richards
El Generico vs. Kevin Steen



#58 supersonic

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 07:11 PM

DDT4 2007 Night 1 – May 19, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

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http://www.prowrestl....php?f=2&t=1459

 

 

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla ends agreement with TNA Wrestling

By Silverback, PWG Staff Writer

 

Los Angeles, CA - Generally, the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (http://www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com) news releases have been light-hearted yet informative, however that will not be the case on this occasion. Since our humble beginnings in July 2003, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has booked employees of TNA Wrestling to appear on our shows, in what can only be considered a successful relationship for all parties involved. Both companies experienced tremendous growth during this time period, admittedly with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla aided infinitely more so by TNA Wrestling than the other way around, and the relationship between the two companies has been affable. On April 24, 2007, TNA Wrestling presented Pro Wrestling Guerrilla with a contract that would prevent TNA Wrestling employees from appearing on DVDs sold through or distributed by any third parties. Because this would include long-time partner Highspots.com, as of May 3, 2007, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has severed all ties with TNA Wrestling.

 

Since February 2004, Highspots.com has been a major contributor to the success of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, by helping us to increase the popularity of our company through Highspots.com production and distribution of our DVDs. Since TNA Wrestling presented us with the contract on April 24, we have considered every possible solution, from opting out of our contract with Highspots.com, self distribution of events featuring TNA Wrestling employees (both of which, to their credit, Highspots.com was agreeable with), to releasing DVDs without the matches of TNA Wrestling employees through Highspots.com. Each solution, except one, was either financially irresponsible, meant higher costs for the fans, or would greatly compromise the quality of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla as a whole. Therefore, we have been forced to end our business relationship indefinitely.

 

Because of this situation, TNA Wrestling employees Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley will not be appearing at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's DDT4 Tag Team Title Tournament on May 19 & 20. We at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla would like to apologize to Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, who along with Frankie Kazarian, were not simply employees, but part of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla family. We would also like to apologize to Samoa Joe, Low Ki, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels, whom we had booked for upcoming Pro Wrestling Guerrilla events. We would also like to thank Homicide, Austin Aries, Petey Williams, and all those previously mentioned for their hard work and professionalism as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla wrestlers.

 

And most importantly, we would like to apologize to our fans, who have come to enjoy seeing TNA employees both at our live events and on our DVDs. Your appreciation and support gave the TNA employees a chance to wrestle at a level they often time are unable to. We hope you can understand that this was not an easy decision to make, but we did what we feel was best for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla now, and in the future. Later today, we will provide updated information regarding the DDT4 Tag Team Title Tournament, including the last team, more non-tournament matches, and the final DDT4 first round matches!

 

Tag Titles and DDT4 Quarterfinal Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. Kings of Wrestling

 

Nowhere near the show-stealer from Final Battle 2006, this came as a bit of a disappointment, although still turned out to be good, just not as special as one would’ve hoped.  The tag legality adherence was almost completely on point, just a minor blemish at the very end that would’ve made zero difference for the result of the match.

 

Unlike in ROH, there were no clear-cut babyfaces in this one, with the Briscoes even trying to be heel at some point, Mark mocking Claudio Castagnoli as he needed a hot tag.  But KOW would also bait the Briscoes on the outside after both landing feet-first with front cartwheels.  In the end, it came down to the Briscoes beating KOW to the finishing punch, landing the Springboard Doomsday Device on Chris Hero to win this and advance to the semifinals.

 

Rating: ***1/4

 

Dream Match
CIMA vs. Bryan Danielson

 

Excellent match as expected.  The match started with mat work early, with Danielson specifically targeting CIMA’s left leg.  CIMA would eventually gain the advantage when he blocked an Enziguri and kicked Danielson’s right leg after placing it on the middle rope, the Hall of Famer assuming it’d be a clean break even after not breaking clean himself early.  However, CIMA would spend the rest of the match targeting Danielson’s left leg, and in this case that didn’t turn out to be a backfiring strategy.  Deep into the match when Danielson countered with a backbreaker on his left leg, it neutralized him.

 

I really appreciated the false-finish teases in this one for the big signature moves such as the Cattle Mutilation and Air Raid Crash, then the appropriate, dramatic scouting being put on display for those same moves later in the match.  It resulted in a fantastic atmosphere as these two showed that personality and storytelling are all that should be needed to tear the house down.  A great example would be CIMA’s Iconoclasm.  After Danielson drove CIMA to the outside and hit a suicide dive, he climbed to the top rope rather than back in the ring.  It turned out to be a trap as CIMA went for the Iconoclasm again, with Danielson using the positioning to lock in his Crossface Chickenwing.  CIMA’s facial expression in this submission was tremendous as he teased having his hand drop 3 times.

 

Danielson’s Cattle Mutilation minutes later would be another phenomenal false finish, the Los Angeles crowd biting into it and then trying to will CIMA back in once he reached the ropes.  But Danielson made the mistake trying to use it as a counter, as CIMA now had it scouted for some false finish pins and then hitting the Air Raid Crash.  The match at this point got a standing ovation when Danielson kicked out, which was blameful on CIMA’s part since he failed to pin the Hall of Famer with the appropriate authority.

 

Another great example was CIMA hitting the Springboard Shotgun Missile Dropkick and then going immediately for another Air Raid Crash.  Danielson turned it into a crucifix pin, perfectly setting his potential fellow Hall of Famer for elbows to the head, resulting in another fantastic near-fall, both men exhausted after the kick out.  On the other hand, Danielson brilliantly made sure to take CIMA out with a backdrop suplex before going for the Cattle Mutilation again in the final seconds, but it would be futile when he turned CIMA over for a near-fall and the 30-minute time limit expired.

 

This was a brilliant match, with CIMA intelligently selling his left shoulder after having it targeted with various submissions, including an Omoplata Shoulder Lock.  The standing ovation in this dream match was well-deserved, as this was a splendid piece of business that lived up to huge expectations.  There definitely better be a rematch at some point.

 

Is this PWG’s greatest match to date?  It is not – it’s the #2, topping Motor City Machine Guns vs. Tyler Black & Jimmy Jacobs.  A very brief moment when Danielson stood still and glanced backwards before a taking a Lungblower keeps this from equaling, let along topping the gritty unpleasantries and excellent tag psychology of Super Dragon & Davey Richards vs. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels.  Nonetheless, this is PWG’s MOTY for 2007 up to this point, topping Alex Shelley vs. Rocky Romero; if this gets topped, that’ll be extremely surprising.

 

Rating: ****1/4

 

Tag Titles and DDT4 Quarterfinal Match
Speed Muscle vs. Chris Bosh & Scott Lost

 

Quality heel vs. heel match here with Speed Muscle at first rubbing their shit in Arrogance’s faces.  That would be reciprocated later when Arrogance mocked their hulking pose.  Bosh also gave a receipt for Speed Muscle’s dirty tactics when he gave Naruki Doi his JCVD low blow; this was in retaliation to Speed Muscle hitting Lost in the groin earlier but pretending that they had been hit low.

 

Ultimately, no matter how dirty Arrogance could get, they couldn’t measure up to the more successful Speed Muscle, not even with Jade Chung trying to help out when Doi outsmarted her.  With her and Lost taken out of the equation, that left Bosh alone with the speedster Masato Yoshino, eating his signature moves and then admitting defeat while in the Soi Naciente.  A shame we never got Yoshino vs. Danielson.

 

Rating: ***3/4

 

Joey Ryan defeats Ronin to be the first participants in the 2007 Battle of Los Angeles tournament.  Not a blow away first entrant, but already hyping up 3 months in advance?  That’s how to get those shows over as the WrestleMania weekend of PWG.  In the post-match, Scorpio Sky returns for the first time since his defeat to Frankie Kazarian at Based on a True Story, and Ryan says he failed Arrogance and has already been replaced.  Ryan then blames Sky’s departure for him later losing the PWG Title that night to Human Tornado, calling his former stablemate a worthless piece of shit.  Sky gets the final heat.  Way to really make that Loser Leaves Town match mean something 4 months earlier.

 

Tag Titles and DDT4 Quarterfinal Match
PAC & Roderick Strong vs. Super Dragon & Davey Richards

 

PAC replaces Jack Evans.  Can’t say I’m disappointed that there was no rematch from Hollywood Globetrotters.  In what sounds like pure kayfabe, Excalibur & Disco Machine on commentary claim Evans fled the country after impregnating an American.

 

This was just as disappointing as Hollywood Globetrotters, but in a different way.  While that particular match is just spotfest nonsense that is erroneously considered as amazing masturbation material by those who should know better, this just fell apart after the 2 big heat segments.  It was surprising for Richards to be the first to have to sell, but not so much once it was PAC’s turn.

 

Everything looked to be going good until the last several minutes.  There was no mega unpleasant exchange between SD and Strong as would’ve been expected; one knows that those two could’ve gotten UGLY with each other and it would’ve been beautiful.  Instead, it appeared SD suffered an injury, although there’s no report on a quick search of one.  He laid around heavily and only did an occasional spot in the closing minutes.  It’s a good thing PAC & Strong took this victory, as SD & Richards advancing to face Speed Muscle could’ve been a fucking styles clash disaster based on SD’s performance.

 

Rating: less than ***

 

PWG Title Match
El Generico vs. Kevin Steen

 

Good close to the show with Steen dominating the match both physically and verbally, coming across as the total star that he’d later come to show on a mainstream level.  With that said, this had no business being the main event of the evening over the CIMA vs. Danielson dream match, and it shows the fear bookers have in ending shows with draws or non-finishes.  This never came close to the drama of that classic, as the Steen vs. Generico saga had yet to reach the legendary status it holds a decade later.

 

Mechanically, the only complaint in the match was Steen hitting the Turnbuckle Brainbuster for a near-fall.  That move should ONLY be treated as a near-fall in the absolute, most epic match imaginable, something to end a legendary rivalry, culminate a deep-seeded personal grudge, or signal a possible change and changing of the guard in an iconic title reign.  This match had none of those factors going for it, and the pop for Generico kicking out of his own finisher couldn’t match the heat in CIMA vs. Danielson earlier on the card.  At least Generico finished Steen off with the Package Piledriver, that way they didn’t marginalize both of their finishers.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

CIMA vs. Danielson is on the first Sells Out, but the other 3 quality matches are worth seeing.  Strongly recommended for a dream match that may end up being PWG’s MOTY for 2007.

 

Up next – DDT4 2007 Night 2
Matches will include:
Speed Muscle vs. PAC & Roderick Strong
El Generico vs. CIMA
Joey Ryan vs. Bryan Danielson
DDT4 Final



#59 supersonic

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 07:14 PM

DDT4 2007 Night 2 – May 20, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

dvdcov0071.jpg

 

 

Tag Titles and DDT4 Semifinal Match
Speed Muscle vs. PAC & Roderick Strong

 

Just as fun as Speed Muscle’s quarterfinal match against Arrogance.  But in this one, it wasn’t about who could out-heel the other, but instead Speed Muscle trying their damnedest to overcome their thrown-together opponents.  In a surprise, PAC & Roderick Strong seemed much better at throwing bombs, forcing submission work out of Speed Muscle to try neutralizing them.

 

Ultimately Strong’s rag-dolling became too much for Speed Muscle, as Masato Yoshino just got tossed and slammed around at the end.  Naruki Doi was out of the equation after getting the same treatment, with PAC having just enough left in his tank to keep Doi at bay after Strong’s Tiger Driver.  Also smart in the finishing stretch was PAC’s selling on a successful 450 Splash, which had been countered earlier in the match with knees to the gut, still sore on the successful attempt several minutes later.  Only PAC’s botch on what looked like a Sasuke Special puts a blemish on this, but he went to work immediately with a Corkscrew Plancha rather than sulk on it.

 

Rating: ***3/4

 

PWG Title Match
El Generico vs. CIMA

 

Good match although heavily disappointing, coming nowhere near their classic the year before, as well as nowhere near CIMA’s dream match 24 hours earlier against Bryan Danielson.  This failed to ever get to a dramatic pace that’d earn a standing ovation, and with damn good reason.  CIMA this time was just a dick, perhaps realizing he’d have to play dirty and go for Generico’s groin after having failed to defeat Danielson.  He definitely took advantage of the fact that the referee didn’t wanna end this with a DQ.

 

On the outside, Generico decided to provide a receipt by headbutting CIMA’s groin, making this match far more even from that point on.  While CIMA would get plenty of deadly moves on the champion, including the Air Raid Crash, none of them were delivered with the precise authority to win the company’s top prize.  This showed in the lack of electrifying for the crowd when Generico kicked out of that established finisher.  Perhaps the other reason this lacked the signature drama of the year before is that nobody believed a special attraction would win the title, which is surprising coming at the time of Takeshi Morishima’s ROH Title reign.

 

The finish was smart but lackluster, as Generico finished CIMA with 3 consecutive Brainbusters, going for a pin-fall on each one and the third being the charm.  Once again, no huge standing ovation, putting the final piece of evidence on display that this failed to meet justifiably high expectations.

 

Rating: ***1/4

 

Joey Ryan vs. Bryan Danielson

 

It’s the battle of the 2 champions that dominated 2006, thus arguably being a dream match (despite it already happening in 2004)!

 

This match was perfectly plotted for its most appropriate story.  Danielson dominated earlier by being the vastly superior technician.  Ryan baited Danielson into a mid-match handshake to get a cheap shot and then dominate, specifically targeting Danielson’s left arm, a brilliant strategy since that left shoulder put Danielson on the shelf to kick off 2007.

 

Ryan was ultimately no match for Danielson, no matter how aggressive he attempted to be.  Locking in the Cattle Mutilation was a futile move, and even more so when he tried it again.  Going for the Crossface Chickenwing?  Even more pathetic.  Once Danielson got the elbows to Ryan’s head and then locked on the Cattle Mutilation, it was all over, with Ryan wasting no time in giving up.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

Tag Titles and DDT4 Final Match
Briscoe Bros. vs. PAC & Roderick Strong

 

An excellent main event and close to the weekend and tournament.  It looked like this would break down to the typical indy tag team bullshit when there was a tag legality blemish; instead, from that point on went up another level, in the meantime not allowing that kind of blemish to pop up again.  The Briscoes played the default heels, and it was ingenious to have them advance to this tournament final, for no team was more highly-regarded throughout the underground a decade ago, plus there were the ROH Tag Champs.

 

When PAC hit a Shooting Star Press that also hit the Briscoe in the back of the head, it looked like a mistake that it was a near-fall as the crowd was in a frenzy.  How exactly could that be topped?  Here’s the answer to that question:

 

Gutbusters from Strong to Mark.  PAC hits a 720 Splash on Mark for another insane near-fall.  Strong then puts Mark in the Liontamer while PAC keeps Jay at bay with a Sky Twister to the outside, leaving Mark no choice but to tap out.  Such a submission finish not only kept the crowd atmosphere up to its frenzied par, but also was brilliant in Mark selling the pain his torso was in on both his front end from the gutbusters, and now the back end with his spinal cord taking severe damage.

 

Fucking awesome main event, and for a tournament that was far from perfect, a terrific way to cap off what would become an annual tradition.

 

Rating: ****

 

Strong recommendation for this one even though the main event is on the first Sells Out compilation.  Something for everyone on the undercard.

 

A new annual tradition’s beginning has concluded.  And now, another era also in the tag team realm begins.  It’s time for the genesis of what has come to be known as a Superkick Party across the globe.

 

Up next – Roger Dorn Night
Matches will include:
Tyler Black vs. Joey Ryan
Young Bucks vs. Chris Bosh & Scott Lost
El Generico vs. Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards vs. Bryan Danielson



#60 supersonic

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Posted 10 June 2017 - 02:28 AM

Roger Dorn Night – June 10, 2007

Taped from Los Angeles, CA

 

dvdcov0072.jpg

 

 

Davey Richards kicks off the show offering to take Bryan Danielson’s spot in the main event for the PWG Title, citing that Danielson had to get head staples after a match against Nigel McGuinness last night in Philly.  Danielson arrives and says 3 staples in his head won’t sideline him; this is a wonderful look just 2 weeks away from the 9/11 of pro wrestling.  He offers to face both him and El Generico for the PWG Title.  Kevin Steen arrives and wants to make it a four-way match since he’s already facing Richards.  Seems obvious that Danielson wasn’t trusted to have a one-on-one main event against Generico, explaining this angle to merge the 2 singles matches.  Dino Winwood arrives followed by the PWG Champion Generico, who accepts the four-way challenge, which doesn’t please Richards.  He gives Generico a low blow and drills him with a DDT, vowing to take the title tonight.

 

TJ Perkins vs. Tony Kozina

 

All mechanics and nothing special, with both legitimately vanilla midgets having to overcompensate for their lack of charisma and personality.  It was this point that I finally figured out what Perkins visually is: a poor man’s Paul London.

 

Highlights include Perkins pulling the apron carpeting back to neutralize a baseball slide, as well as Kozina stacking chairs on Perkins on the outside and then idiotically hitting a slingshot senton, harming his neck in the process.  The lowlight would be a shitty apron DDT by Perkins on Kozina.

 

Kozina’s neck would be the story for the rest of the match, with admittedly good hope spots and comebacks, but it’s fucking Tony Kozina, so can who really get engaged by him, even with a Hurricanrana off the apron?  At least the ending made sense with Perkins going over, but it was anticlimactic, coming nowhere close to a frenzied finish that so many others working this same type of match would’ve mustered up.

 

Rating: ***

 

Tag Titles Match
PAC & Roderick Strong vs. Havana Pitbulls

 

Sloppy match overall here hurt even more by Ricky Reyes being just as exciting as Perkins and Kozina earlier on the card.  While the structure was fine, nobody bothered to build up a meaningful hot tag, although it’s difficult to care enough about rooting against a non-personality like Reyes.  PAC’s left leg being a target was a good strategy, and it explained why Romero didn’t get forced to take a full rotation near the end for a Reverse Hurricanrana.  Not a memorable first defense for the champs.

 

Rating: less than ***

 

Tyler Black vs. Joey Ryan

 

Another nothing special match on this card.  Such “highlights” include Black running around with the exhausted Ryan’s inhaler and having none of the comedic charisma of Bryan Danielson if he was doing this same spot; Ryan’s trunks being pulled down and revealing a thong; and Scorpio Sky appearing to help Black win via distraction and set up a post-match angle that in no fucking way measures up to the broken Loser Leaves Town promise ROH would book 4 years later.  Winwood books a hardcore match between Ryan and Sky for the future, with Sky banned permanently in all facets from PWG if he loses as the condition per Ryan, but a victory would ensure his full-time reinstatement.

 

Rating: less than ***

 

Young Bucks’ PWG Debut
Young Bucks vs. Chris Bosh & Scott Lost

 

Poor officiating brought this down a notch as is common on the underground, but this was otherwise a splendid first impression from the Bucks, although their biker short trunks certainly were not.  They dominated most of the match, catching Arrogance off-guard when they attempted sneak attempts during intros.  The Bucks brought in all kinds of cool moves as they’re known for a decade later, with so much control that Jade Chung had to distract the ref so Bosh could low-blow one of them.

 

The Bucks tried to get too cute at the end with Stereo 450 Splashes against the former Tag Champs of the company, resulting in both being missed and Matt tapping out to the Scorpion Deathlock.  These Jacksons may have some money in them, as they’re definitely comparable to the Hardyz.  Need a ring gear change, though.

 

Rating: ***

 

Bryan Danielson cuts a promo outside, stating that he suffered a concussion last night.  Now that’s a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful look for him and just 2 weeks away from the 9/11 of pro wrestling.  How the Hell could we all be so foolish to think it was wise for him to not only work with a concussion, but also do so after flying across the continent?

 

PWG Title Match
El Generico vs. Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards vs. Bryan Danielson

 

Good main event here with tag legality adherence throughout to the very finish.  Watching Danielson perform a Backdrop Superplex and diving headbutt sure wasn’t quite so pleasant coming right after his outdoor promo.  The real star of the match was Richards playing the top heel and being obnoxious.  At one point the champ was in peril, each of the challengers taking a turn on him.

 

Richards managed to avoid Generico’s Half ‘N Half Suplex, but left himself open at the end to a Yakuza kick after being too exhausted from hitting a Shooting Star Press on Steen.  With Danielson also too dazed due to his concussion from hitting a suicide dive, Generico capitalized on Richards with the Turnbuckle Brainbuster.

 

While Danielson honoring this booking is professionally admirable, everyone knows it was an incredibly dipshit decision to have made in hindsight.  But fuck the morality, fuck his well-being.  This match would’ve been better off without his participation, as it never reached the fever pitch that it promised to be on paper.  Let this also be a lesson to any aspiring wrestlers that may read this: when you take stupid fucking risks, you risk being able to honor your committed bookings in the short-term, and also shortening your career like Danielson.

 

Rating: ***1/2

 

Steen cuts an outdoor promo challenging Richards to a proper singles match for a PWG Title shot, pointing out that Richards last tonight after being such a little shit earlier.  Hovering airplanes interrupt, causing Steen to cut an amusing rant on Southwest Airlines.

 

The historic debut of the Young Bucks is on their PWG compilation, so unless one must see the main event for completionist reasons involving its 4 underground stars, stay the Hell away from this show.

 

History’s about to go down again, and the shit’s gonna hit the fan for the anniversary show.

 

Up next – Giant Size Annual #4
Matches will include:
Necro Butcher vs. Bryan Danielson
PAC & Roderick Strong defending the Tag Titles
And anything else of note that might just happen too…






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