Project Rewatch - PWG: The Good Shit

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:34 pm

Card Subject to Change 2 - February 4, 2006

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Cape Fear vs. Dark 'N Lovely

Fun tag match, and of course since this is PWG with some spotty workers involved the ref forgot who was legal a couple times. Tornado was hesitant to go against fellow Skinny Black Guy Generico, while that was contrasted by Sky demanding his former fellow Aerial Xpressionist Quicksilver to get in when he got tagged in. This had some decent comedy in the beginning, as Sky was overly proud of his abs and Generico mocked him for it.

There was nothing insulting, and had the ref remembered who was legal, this would be the in the very good territory. There were plenty of great spots, including the former Aerial Xpress both executing dives on their new partners simultaneously, and the match also had numerous counters. This concluded appropriately with Tornado evading a corner Yakuza kick from Generico and giving him a release German Suplex, or as Tornado so eloquently called it during his career, Dat ..... Dead.

I'm amused that Sky shoved Tornado off to get the win and Tornado is pissy about it. Sky was actually the legal man.

Rating: ***1/4

PWG Title - Elimination Match
Joey Ryan vs. Chris Bosh vs. Kevin Steen vs. AJ Styles


In true PWG early days fashion, the commentators fail to mention that this is elimination rules until about 12 minutes in. I thoroughly appreciated that this was tornado rules, none of that tag shit that any of my readers know by now the refs would have fucked off with enforcing once the match had gotten to its third act.

There were some nice moments in this, including Styles willing to play dirty with Steen and delivering an eyepoke receipt. There was of course a fantastic Lioncock lowblow from Bosh that had the L.A. crowd marking out. I must admit, there was about a minute in the middle of this match that fucking fell apart, luckily these four were good enough to glue it book into something good.

Ryan brought a chair in and used it on Bosh, then framed Steen for it to get the former PWG Champ eliminated. Steen argued with the ref, and Ryan took advantage to cheat more with the chair, eliminating Bosh once the ref came back in. He had a decent little finishing stretch, with admittedly a creative albeit dangerous finish. Ryan brought the chair back in, Styles waist-locked him, and executed a German suplex. However, Ryan placed the chair on the ground right before the landing, so that both went head-first on it. Ryan (on his belly) put his arm on Styles (on his back) for the pin.

Rating: ***

Oh, there's a tag main event that looks like it could be pretty sexy on paper, some of you may be thinking. Blow me.
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Sun Jul 20, 2014 1:35 pm

European Vacation: England - February 19, 2006

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Kevin Steen vs. El Generico

The usual good singles match from these two. Steen did use usual crowd banter throughout, ultimately forcing Generico to take too many bumps. They did a fine job of transitions, from yanking the ropes down on an attempted to clotheslines to a routine armdrag. Generico, in what I suspect is a move he picked up from the classic AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe match at Turning Point 2005 just a couple months earlier, pulled out the Fosbury Flop, which Steen took awhile to recover from.

The post-match is entertaining. Steen asks for a free Generico shirt, only to find out the item is sold out, then Steen says that he still hates his long-traveled colleague. Generico asks for a handshake and they embrace, only for Steen to of course clothesline and package piledrive him. Good stuff all around.

Rating: ***3/4

Jody Fleisch vs. AJ Styles

Before there was AR Fox, there was Fleisch to bring down singles matches a notch or two with botched spots. Fleisch badly botched a hurricanrana in the middle of the match, and Styles miscalculated his moonsault reverse DDT spot. That said, this was a good spotfest, although not anything epic. If it was actually epic and paced to its fullest potential, the crowd would've been going apeshit in the closing stretch.

Rating: ***1/2
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:18 pm

Hollywood Globetrotters - March 4, 2006

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Cape Fear vs. Chris Bosh & Scott Lost

Before the match, Bosh lays down a challenge that Cape Fear should perform oral fellatio on him in the ring once Arrogance wins. Quicksilver accepts.

The match is good stuff, paced very well, pinfalls only counted on the legal men, etc. It was on its way to be very good, but got thrown out when Joey Ryan and Super Dragon randomly interfered, then went at each other. Strange booking that really seemed to serve no purpose.

A rematch is agreed to on the next show in what seemed to be deemed as a Tag Titles shot match. Hopefully that one was booked with some kind of logic.

Rating: ***

Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley

Really good stuff here, just needed some more selling to become a great match. They started early with their typically good counter wrestling to establish their familiarity, then got vicious with the kicks and neck work throughout the rest of the match. That was of course brilliant to soften each up for their Cradle Shock and Border City Stretch Finishers. And I didn't mind that Shelley was done after getting hit with the former just one after the work that had been done on him. Just have Sabin sell his own neckwork and this would've been ****+ easily.

Rating: ***3/4

Tag Titles Match
Super Dragon & Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong & Jack Evans


Most will enjoy this way more than I did; this had some great action with a good pace, but ultimately didn't serve any kind of substance. I reflect back to Strong & Evans challenging Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer at ROH's Manhhatan Mayhem the year before, which was significantly shorter and with superior pacing and execution. While this was the main event for this show, that didn't mean this match NEEDED to go 25-30 minutes in order to be great. It could've easily shaved off 10-15 minutes to be just as good as Jacobs/Whitmer v. Strong/Evans.

Evans took a beating in this one as he should have, and I imagine it was a dream pairing for indy fans at the time to see the vicious dick SD unleash punishment on him. But at no point did Evans sells any limb work or even exhaustion from his beating later. This match also seemed to suffer from too many attempted hot tags, as there were several of them and none of them got a huge crowd pop. I'll never understand SD's mentality during his reign with the green Richards that it was necessary to work such ridiculously long tag matches like they were in fucking mid-90s All Japan.

Make no mistake, the action in this was very good and pretty. I definitely suggest watching it once as the mileage may vary for each viewer.

Rating: less than ***
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:33 pm

Beyond the Thunderdome - March 18, 2006

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Tag Titles Shot Match
Cape Fear vs. Chris Bosh & Scott Lost


Really good stuff here, without any of the bullshit booking from their match at the prior show. Just good tag wrestling, mostly smooth transitions, action-packed, with the crowd in a fucking frenzy at the end. I was genuinely shocked to see an Arrogance match in which tag legalities were remembered by the workers, not just the referees.

This was right on the border of being great, but I'll explain why I don't put it in that category ultimately despite the crowd reacting so incredibly well in the closing minutes. Bosh & Lost had some nice-looking double-team moves, but they didn't look as crisp as Cape Fear's double-team moves. I think had they studied Roderick Strong & Jack Evans doing double-team moves, in terms of timing, pacing, and teasing, they'd have looked much smoother AND gotten this crowd to have a collective hard-on before the third act. Still really good stuff though.

Rating: ***3/4

Tag Titles Match
Super Dragon & Davey Richards vs. AJ Styles & Christopher Daniels


I want to preface this match review. Years ago, I had been provided with a custom-made comp of the SD/Richards Tag Title reign. I had never been so close to quitting on wrestling. Their reign was very tedious to sit through, with matches that went long for the sake of going long, made worse by Richards being incredibly green as he had less than two years in the business and it was very obvious that their colleagues were usually taking it easy. In particular, their match against the Kings of Wrestling, something that would look and sound absolutely stellar on paper, was fucking dog-shit, just a worthless pile of feces without any peaks or valleys whatsoever.

But this match right here, as well as SD & Richards's prior defense against Strong & Evans, somewhat pacified me. Sure, the Strong & Evans match turned out to be a fun but meaningless spotfest in hindsight, but what about this match?

The challengers were putting aside their professional rivalry that had spilled over into numerous federations, and did a fantastic job in their unity, forcing the green Richards to pay his dues and play the Ricky Morton role. Styles in particular was a hard-ass on him, but Richards held his own with footwork and strength since both have compact, muscular frames that mirror each other.

Years before their singles matches, Richards and Daniels also showed a very good chemistry, and make no mistake, for all the times that Daniels has phoned it in for PWG, he brought his working boots on this night. That was very clearly displayed when Richards gave him a Saito Suplex, which all these years later I don't understand for someone who had a notorious neck injury and usually don't take risks. He and Styles just did a great job tagging in and out, wearing down the smaller, greener half of the champions.

SD of course made his presence known, even though this match was designed to be the coming-out party for Richards. He came in to break up a Styles pinfall attempt on Richards. Styles was fucking annoyed, got up, and the two former PWG Champions had a brief fisticuff, with Styles shoving him in charging fashion and giving him a double leg takedown. Later when SD did the same thing, he then dared Styles to retaliate by giving him extra slaps to the back of the head. Styles of course got irritated and went after the troll again. That Styles had dethroned SD just a couple weeks shy of a year earlier I'm sure was a deeper layer for these two having tension, not that they needed any extra motivation to piss each other off.

I must also mention that like in the earlier tag match on this night for a shot at the titles, pinfalls and submission were only counted when involving the legal men. Such a crazy concept, and it was yet another little thing that genuinely made me realize that this match was in the same league as many of the classic tag matches involving KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji.

Daniels got taken out at the end, showing that the dream tag team on this night was ultimately inferior to the champs that had been teaming for several months by this point. Once Styles took a super lung-blower from Richards while being held captive by SD, everyone just knew it was over. What an incredible match this was, and it might by team for those in charge at PWG to get it included on a compilation.

This was the first genuinely great match in the SD/Richards reign. It was the first great match to go on the resume of Richards, with literally less than two years in the business. It told a great story and allowed Richards to shine and sell to provide a star-making performance. It's no coincidence he would get booked by ROH shortly after this.

This is my pick for the best match of my retro PWG viewing so far. This is better than anything in SD's feud against Kevin Steen. It's better than the hard-hitting classic Styles had against Samoa Joe. It's better than the acclaimed singles encounters Bryan Danielson had worked with the usual suspects up to this point in the company.

I also wanna mention this, just as a what if. I mentioned KENTA & Marufuji. One of my big dream matches back in 2006 was to see KENTA & Marufuji vs. Styles & Daniels, since it would have put two great teams (consisting of natural rivals) against each other, with all four men having established themselves as stars in their scenes and the opposing forces never colliding. But I also wish we could've gotten KENTA & Marufuji vs. SD & Richards booked for ROH in 2006. That could've had some REALLY interesting dynamics in it.

Rating: ****1/4
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Aug 01, 2014 5:54 pm

All Star Weekend 3 Night 1 - April 8, 2006

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Matt Sydal's PWG Debut
Kevin Steen vs. Matt Sydal


Hell of a debut for Sydal here, as he continued the roll he was on in 2006. They have a nice exchange early and then Steen stalls. This prompts a fan to chant "We want wrestling" and Steen seats himself next to him to join in on the chant. He gets back in the ring and they have more exchanges.

This got really impressive in the finishing stretch. Steen went for the package piledriver, lifting Sydal for it only for Sydal to counter it with a hurricanrana pin. But Steen kept the momentum to roll forward with it and get leverage, getting to still drop Sydal with his finisher. Sydal also did a very good job of selling Steen's work on his left arm, more than he would've needed to make this an impressive debut. Steen puts him over strong post-match.

Rating: ***3/4

Apparent Lucha Rules Match
Los Luchas vs. Cape Fear


I say apparent because guys came and went mid-way in the match, so Disco Machine on commentary assumed it must be a Lucha Rules match with this including Los Luchas. This was a phenomenal spot-fest tag, and that someone actually acknowledged why it broke down into that style is what makes this click. An explanation from someone is all that I ask for.

Rating: ***1/2
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:56 pm

All Star Weekend 3 Night 2 - April 9, 2006

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Matt Sydal vs. Roderick Strong

Spectacular match. They do some nice exchange wrestling, with Strong constantly getting a hammerlock on, including a unique one I hadn't seen before. Strong would get to work on Sydal's back, just decimating the smaller of the participants. About mid-way through he brought Sydal's hope spots to an abrupt halt with a back-drop suplex on the outside ring apron, devastating the back even more.

Sydal though would show much heart and determination, even after being press-slam tossed onto a bunch of chairs on his back. He blocked an attempted powerbomb on the floor, using what strength he still had in his back to back-drop him. He'd suck up whatever pain he had after an extended heat segment, getting Strong to the outside and landing a corkscrew plancha. He would also manage to block an attempted Liontamer from Strong.

Strong blocked an attempted earclap hurricanrana while on the floor, following up with a Yakuza kick than Sydal taking a head-drop style bump for an awesome nearfall. After more great work, Sydal found himself on the turnbuckle, landing a picture-perfect springboard DDT to position Strong for a Shooting Star Press. This got Sydal a huge victory in PWG, making a star being born in the company, and hopefully he could carry that momentum into his singles pursuit in ROH.

All this match needed was a bit more selling from Sydal to be a MOTYC. But this was without a doubt a fantastic match, one of the best PWG hosted before its golden age.

Rating: ****
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:45 pm

(Please Don't Call It) The OC - May 6, 2006

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TJ Perkins vs. Rocky Romero

Good stuff but nothing memorable. The pacing and mat wrestling were all fine, but the selling was minimal and there was no emotional connection developed with the audience. I seriously don't remember who even won the match.

Rating: ***1/4

Chris Sabin vs. Austin Aries

Another good match highlighted by great character work from Aries. He dressed flamboyantly like his Starr gimmick in TNA and begged off early from the dominating Sabin, sparking "Macho Aries" chants. Since Aries was still a babyface, he gave the paying audience what they wanted with numerous Savage mannerisms, including the sledge and elbow drop along with taunts. Aries would win by holding the tights too much like WWF era Savage. You see how I actually remember finishes when the match actually tells a story?

Rating: ***1/4

Kevin Steen vs. Bryan Danielson

With this being the day before Steen's before, he says Danielson should sing "Happy Birthday" to him, to which Danielson agrees if Steen wins, but should Danielson win, then Steen is finished with PWG.

This was another good match for the night, with very good wrestling itself that unfortunately wasn't all that psychologically engaging. After Steen countered a Cattle Mutilation with his own shitty Cattle Mutilation, he found himself positioned for a Tiger Suplex, with Danielson then using the positioning to turn him over the victory.

Steen begs Danielson not to hold true to the stipulation because he would only have CZW left to earn anything resembling a decent living in the business. Danielson says Steen can stay but he had to sing "Happy Birthday" to him since Danielson's birthday was later in the month, AND Steen had to simultaneously booty-dance.

The post-match made me realize what this match needed to hit an emotionally unforgettable level. Since Steen was working in CZW during this period and was months removed from his violent feud against Super Dragon, inserting him into ROH for its feud against CZW would've been a great way to get him a spot in that federation, and had Steen challenged Danielson for the ROH Title, that could've been some hot shit.

Rating: ***1/4
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:36 am

Enchantment Under the Sea - May 20, 2006

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Human Tornado vs. Scorpio Sky

This is a battle of Dark & Lovey, and Scorpio is accompanied by Chung. I will be as gentlemanly as possible (unlike the commentary) and mention she provided a head-turning presence at ringside.

This started off hot and spilled to the outside. Tornado grabbed a nearby basketball, slam-dunked it on a nearby hoop, and used the slam-dunk position to execute a hurricanrana on Scorpio. Very creative, entertaining spot that was perfectly positioned. Then in a moment of foreshadowing Tornado's character, he attempted to assault Chung by throwing the basketball at her and chasing her around the ring while doing so. I don't recall her doing anything to have justified THAT much comeuppance from Tornado, so when she helped out Scorpio later, I was ethically sympathizing with her (not because of her beauty.)

Tornado also attempted a jumping move to the outside and hurt his right ankle, reaggravating a recent injury in that region. Scorpio went to work on it and applied numerous ankle lock submissions as well as a figure-four leglock. If only Kurt Angle had watched this to see how to soften an ankle, maybe his work wouldn't be so heavily criticized in the past several years.

Tornado was able to get some good comeback spots, managing to mix in his signature stuff. However, doing so caused more pain to his right ankle, which he sold very well. Also, Chung helped Scorpio out enough times, an unidentified attractive young white lady appeared to brawl with her, marking the PWG debut of Candice LeRae. Scorpio went after LeRae but Tornado prevented domestic violence.

With the ref trying to keep LeRae outside the ring, Chung tried to capitalize with a lowblow on Tornado, but she instead hurt her hand due to his being so large in the phallic department. This caused him to merely scratch his genitalia moments later to take away any discomfort in that region. Scorpio was able to overcome a Dat ..... Dead in the end, taking out Tornado with a beautifully executed DDT. That paid off some pain that was undoubtedly caused on Tornado's neck when he took an inverted DDT on the apron in the middle of the match.

This isn't necessarily great or anywhere near MOTYC territory, but I have zero complaints about this. Selling, storytelling, psychology, character work, great positioning and execution, with very, very good sports-entertainment meshed in.

Rating: ***1/2

Briscoe Bros. vs. Cape Fear

Easy match of the night here, and a great tag match. Sure, this had spots as would be expected, the highlights being some hurricanranas, dives, and running sunset powerbombs to the outside. But what stood out above everything was that tag legalities were never forgotten about by any of the wrestlers. NOT ONCE. Excellent match with great pacing, cutting the ring in half, comebacks, and amazing action.

Rating: ****

B-Boy vs. Matt Sydal

This would've been much better as undercard match since this lacked personality. Overall, the wrestling was good even with a botched head-scissors early, but B-Boy's heat segment just couldn't be as engrossing as Sydal's. With the commentary pointing out that B-Boy is owed a PWG Title shot in the future, it only made sense to go over after landing a discus lariat and G2S.

Rating: ***1/4
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:35 am

From Parts Well Known - June 24, 2006

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B-Boy's PWG Title Shot at Risk
Guest Ref - Human Tornado
B-Boy vs. Scott Lost


Good but a little too long since neither has the charisma and timing down to have a killer main-event quality match. Tornado was also annoying with his babyface biases. Everything was smooth in here, but as I mentioned there wasn't anything in this that was worthy of emotional investment. Jade Chung tried interfering on Lost's behalf but Tornado had Candice LeRae use a char to chase her to the back. B-Boy eventually won since I guess people were supposed to get a raging hard-on to see Joey Ryan vs. B-Boy in 2006. Good match but whatever.

Rating: ***1/4

Cape Fear vs. Chris Sabin & Kevin Steen

The unsurprising MOTN with ZERO TAG LEGALITY PLOT HOLES TO BOOT~! Really good action with various segments of cutting the ring in half. The highlight had to easily be a bunch of moves one after another on the outside, just crazy shit that was timed and executed perfectly to earn the enormous pop it got, ending with Sabin jumping off the apron and giving Generico a head-scissors into empty folding chairs. After a tremendous third act that was packed with action, Steen put down Quicksilver with a 450 Splash. Man, Sabin & Steen really could've been a special team but it's all good knowing who their primary partners in the business would turn out to be.

Rating: ***3/4

PWG Title Match
Guest Ref - Human Tornado
Joey Ryan vs. Davey Richards


I should note that the absurdly long reign of Richards & Super Dragon as Tag Champs ended at Enchantment Under the Sea to Ryan's Arrogance buddies Lost & Chris Bosh. IIRC it wasn't a clean end to the reign and may have been the beginning of the former X-Foundation becoming Arrogance. I don't care enough about this faction to bother confirming that. The Embassy gave indy fans the the same deal at this time but with much better pizzazz, charisma, and work ethic.

Because of that though, I believe it's why Richards started the match with a tope con hilo to Richards on the outside. He dragged Richards outside and into a locker room, beating the shit out of him. This became an extended squash, with the chickenshit Ryan getting the heat back through cheating or maybe interference from Arrogance. Tornado takes himself out when he launches himself at Arrogance, causing Rick Knox to officiate the rest of the match. Ryan eventually wins by cheating/interference. Whatever.

Post-match, B-Boy and Frankie Kazarian come out to force Arrogance to take a collective powder. I can't make out anything B-Boy says due to the shitty acoustics, but I do catch Kazarian saying he wants a shot at the PWG Title when B-Boy wins it. Oh goody. What I do know is that Ryan vs. Lost on the next event is a cage match. That sounds like it has all kinds of potential to unintentionally amuse me with indy bullshit.
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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:51 am

Threemendous - July 16, 2006

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Cape Fear vs. Kings of Wrestling

Good tag match as would be expected but not the potential classic for a number of reasons. Cape Fear truly shined in this match while KOW was a bit sloppy, but they were 24 hours removed from that work of art Cage of Death finale on the other side of the continent. That explains why they took shitty arm drag bumps, as well as Castagnoli's head bleeding quite easily.

While the match had its obvious flaws, it is a testament that after a rough performance for KOW in the first act, they got on track with Cape Fear, providing well-timed counters and double-teams galore. The highlight to me was near the end, as Hero thought he had escaped a Yakuza kick from Generico, only to turn around and eat one to the crowd's approval. I must point out that for some reason Castagnoli got the winning pin counted on Generico despite Hero being the legal man. Overall, this match was the best it could be given its circumstances.

Rating: ***1/2

PWG Title - Cage Match
Joey Ryan vs. B-Boy


I had heard many things about this match over the years, with them being polarizing of course. I'll be honest: I dreaded watching this match because Ryan is inconsistent and can have a tendency to over-rely on shallow smoke-and-mirrors to keep the audience engaged, while B-Boy's severe lack of charisma makes him a peasant's version of Homicide. And unfortunately, my dread was warranted.

I'm gonna go through the positives first: both men did work hard to make this match stand out, but this feud never had the heat to be the epic they wanted it to be. They took bumps, involved weapons, had blading, all the things on paper that a blood feud ender would want. But that's what a smarky know-it-all pre-teen would grab watching Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker from Bad Blood 1997, and this match seemed to be a shallow attempt at recreating that. The audience did at least get into all the interference in the last several minutes and rallied behind B-Boy to dethrone Ryan's shallow reign, absolutely molten-hot when they were convinced they'd see the title change.

However, now I get to take the dump on this match that it truly deserves. Granted, this DOES feel as great as HBK vs. Taker, Jimmy Jacobs vs. BJ Whitmer, and Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum TA (all that were very violent flavors of the cage match genre) if one wants to compare this to the god-awful piece of shit cage match between Adam Pearce and Frankie Kazarian two years prior. I'll give this match that much credit at least. But this is still an overall terrible cage match, especially one that's supposed to end a supposed blood feud.

The match itself went on for over 30 fucking minutes, which along with the brawling outside, interference, and referee violence, indicates that these two thought they could pull off something on par with that work of art in October of 1997 I keep mentioning, and I ain't referring to Age in the Cage. These two men simply aren't good enough to go that long and keep it organically engaging, especially with each other. While HBK was a major douche-bag with years of credibility established at the top, Ryan here was strictly a chickenshit heel relying on smoke-and-mirrors after being established as a choke artist beforehand. Meanwhile, B-Boy lacked the credibility of Taker, who had been made out as a legitimate bad-ass for many, many years before stepping inside that first-ever Cell.

The violence Ryan inflicted on referee Rick Knox must also be addressed too. While HBK hurt the ref inside that Cell match because he was looking to escape the epic beating from Taker, Ryan exchanged blows with Knox simply as a transparent attempt to get heat, rather than rely on his work, body language, and facial expressions. It certainly took away any hatred he supposedly had for B-Boy that the commentators were so desperately trying to force the viewer to buy into.

There was also all kinds of dangerous shit in here, and because there was no real meaning behind any of it, no fluidity or rhythm, I'm not going to bother going into further detail on them. But shit would happen that would end a PPV main event and then the match would keep on going, without any honest selling of the pain these two men dished out on each other. But that's not all, folks.

There was also the ludicrous amount of interference in the closing minutes, first beginning with Scott Lost to help out Ryan, and the crowd didn't even react, leaving me to make the educated assumption that they were rolling their eyes at it. When several more heels and babyfaces came to ringside, the crowd at least then got heated, but it was for the smoke-and-mirrors spectacle, rather than the interference itself adding a subtle wrinkle to the match like between Xavier and Paul London at ROH's One Year Anniversary Show. While in that match the interference from Allison Danger and Alexis Laree was quick and a way to get Danger out of the equation, and added heat to the possibility of London finally winning the ROH Title, this was just pure cop-out TNA main event booking bullshit that took away from what really mattered, which was Ryan and B-Boy putting their issue behind them with the company's biggest prize on the line.

That said, I had mentioned the crowd went crazy when they believed B-Boy was gonna dethrone Ryan, but that of course didn't happen, much like London not beating Xavier in that ROH match I mentioned. But that match gave Xavier credibility, showing how he took advantage of the situation as well as London's disadvantage of having just competed in a hard-fought title shot match. In this match, it soured the crowd completely on the match, with them genuinely feeling ripped off because it was time to finally bring the charade of Ryan's megapush to an end. I can only imagine how frustrated fans must have felt going home after this show. I know I'd have reservations about attending PWG's upcoming Battle of Los Angeles triple-shot.

What hurts this match more than anything really isn't how badly it pales in comparison to other matches from the past that it wanted to be. As mentioned, these two men supposedly hated each other, but I never once bought that from what I had seen from the two interacting on this rewatching project of mine. But while this half-assed excuse of a feud was going on, there was the greatest feud in the history of independent wrestling unfolding on the other side of the continent, ending 24 hours before this in the Cage of Death match I mentioned earlier in the tag match review. That match was a massive payoff of all the little things, with tremendous timing, teases being delivered, false finishes, a layered arc, and swings in momentum. This was just just a smoke-and-mirrors dog-and-pony show between two guys who looked like they watched Mick Foley tapes and thought they could do something magical by having blood and bumps aplenty.

In short, this match, when especially compared to the Cage of Death just the day before, was like the overall laughable final season of Dexter compared to the simultaneously airing masterpiece that was Breaking Bad's high-octane final season. This match on its own would already have glaring weaknesses, but that something within the blood feud genre that was so perfected also took place simultaneously only further exposes what a shoddy cage match this truly is.

Rating: less than ***
Last edited by supersonic on Wed Oct 14, 2015 11:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Thu May 07, 2015 10:39 pm

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Night 1 - September 1, 2006

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2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament 1st Round
Rocky Romero vs. Roderick Strong


The closest thing to a substantial match on this first night of triple-shot action. The action was decent enough to be on an episode of televised wrestling, but nothing close to being memorable, and based on this, I'm not as excited to for the rest of their PWG trilogy as I had assumed I'd be. This never kicked into an adrenaline-rushing gear and Romero's selling was nonexistent. If he had been willing to sell around this time, he could've made himself more emotionally engaging to the audience against the bigger, stronger Strong.

Rating: ***

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Thu May 07, 2015 11:02 pm

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Night 2 - September 2, 2006

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2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament 1st Round - Hardcore Match
Super Dragon vs. Necro Butcher


Necro is wearing wrestling boots which was a good idea based on this match's brutality. Way too much dangerous shit between these two as expected, but nonetheless a very good brawl. In the midst of all the crazy stunts these two pulled including numerous unprotected chairshots, and a wooden table breaking underneath their combined weight, there was plenty of psychology and storytelling largely thanks to Necro. On the outside, SD smashed Necro's right hand with a chair on the apron.

This caused Necro to be in severe pain when delivering right hand punches, even delaying him to go for pin attempts after dropping SD with devastating maneuvers, including a Tiger Driver. But that also sabotaged his attempts to get out of a head-scissors, and when he finally did to follow that up with punches, he had to nurse his wound. This allowed SD to land some Kawada kicks but Necro sucked it up again and dropped him with a right hand when running the ropes.

They also set up a table inside the ring which didn't break as expected upon impact; the ring also had a folding chair and non-folding chair inside, adding to the atmosphere of this chaotic main event. Perhaps most surprising was a great nearfall in which Necro almost put SD down with a classic O'Connor roll, showing that he's more than a garbage stuntman that he made himself known for. He also showed great fire in the closing moments as SD went to work on him, digging down deep to hit some right hand punches despite the pain.

But after taking a chairshot with another chair already folded around his head, a curb stomp, and Super Psycho Driver onto a chair, Necro had nothing left, bringing this war to its appropriate climax and closing the evening with a thunderous audience that pounded on the apron with great enthusiasm. Splendid surprise here.

Rating: ***3/4

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri May 08, 2015 12:38 am

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Night 3 - September 3, 2006

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2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament Quarterfinal
Chris Sabin vs. El Generico


One of the finest openers prior to the company's golden age. The action and mat wrestling were all great with tons of sweet reversals, but that didn't really matter. The primary story of the match was Generico teasing the Top Rope Brainbuster. Sabin did a masterful job of avoiding it and made sure that story didn't outshine him, as he controlled the majority of this match. But once Generico landed his finisher on Sabin, the crowd erupted with joy, and here's a crazy concept - it was the actual finish.

Rating: ***3/4

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament Quarterfinal
CIMA vs. Kevin Steen


Steen shows off during his intro and does sit-ups, so CIMA tops him by doing sit-ups on the top rope. Steen tries to copy it but fails miserably even with the ref's assistance. Already enjoying this match and they've yet to lock up. CIMA almost finishes Steen off early with a crucifix pin, and Steen returns the nearfall favor about 30 seconds later. They had some nice mat wrestling to follow up, and the big story became CIMA selling as he struggled to lift up Steen's heavy frame.

The tide turned when Steen charged at CIMA in the corner, but ended up having his left shoulder eat the ringpost. CIMA then followed that up with a successful scoop slam that caused all three men to bump to the crowd's uproarious approval. He then dropped Steen with a Saito Suplex for a nice nearfall, and it was incredible to see CIMA selling his back, not because of the work Steen had implemented on him, but showing that his adrenaline was wearing off.

Steen caught CIMA and took him down with a swinging modified Schwein of his own for a nearfall. They exchanged blows in the corner, resulting in Steen taking him down to deliver a gorgeous moonsault for another nice nearfall. He went for another one which was a huge mistake against someone with the accomplishments of CIMA, resulting in Steen eating a lung-blower while climbing the turnbuckles, landing the majority of the damage on Steen's neck.

CIMA got a double knees to the chest along with a followup guillotine choke DDT, then a figure four scoop slam for another nice nearfall, willing to cause further pain on his back. Steen lariats him when he runs the ropes for another nearfall, then attempts the package piledriver. CIMA evades it and lands a superkick, then counters another lariat attempt to finish off the former PWG Champ with a rollup that consisted of a Hammerlock and visually similar to the small package. Really good stuff.

Rating: ***1/2

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament Quarterfinal
Dragon Kid vs. Roderick Strong


The forgotten great match of the evening here. After being shoved around by Strong early, Dragon Kid avoids a chop and they have a nice sequence to follow up. Strong follows Dragon Kid to the outside after dropkicking him out of the ring, then makes the same mistake as he'd done against the likes of Matt Hardy, CM Punk, and Bryan Danielson. He went to clothesline Dragon Kid on the outside, only to be evaded and have his right arm strike the ring post.

Dragon Kid was phenomenal in following up on Strong's wounded right arm, landing all kinds of blows and locking on various submissions, including a stunner on the right shoulder and then delivering a knee drop on it. He was actually relentless on the right arm and shoulder, taking full advantage against the bigger and strong opponent. Strong would catch him sliding underneath the legs and land a backdrop suplex and then a butterfly suplex, but still sold the damage on his right arm afterwards from sucking it up for those moves.

Because he didn't chop the ringpost as he had done in his major ROH matches, Strong was still able to land a chop on Dragon Kid, but it hurt him like a motherfucker still. He locked in a submission that I've yet to identity, working on the neck, arms, shoulders, and legs of Dragon Kid, then landed a knee on the back. Dragon Kid still landed some hope spots including a spin kick, but Strong got pissed off from that and tossed Dragon Kid towards the turnbuckle and then tossed him with a followup fallaway slam.

Strong went back to work on the back, not only perfect for his repertoire, but to sabotage Dragon Kid's acrobatic work. Dragon Kid still went for hope spots while in a bearhug, only to be tossed overhead and then dropped with a vertical suplex afterwards for a nearfall. Strong went back to work with another submission I can't identity, harming the neck, shoulders, back, arm, legs, knees, and ankles, then kept implementing his will. He landed a chop which still felt uncomfortable, but didn't cause unbearable pain by this time.

Strong went for another bearhug, but Dragon Kid reversed a lifting move with a DDT to regain control. He did an absurd extended head-scissors than hit a moonsault on Strong to the outside as the crowd was getting crazy for this action. Back inside, he blocked Strong's cutoff attempts, hitting a springboard Buff Blockbuster style blow on Strong's right arm and shoulder while holding onto it. He ducked a chop while running the ropes, then locked an Octopus hold on Strong to follow up on the right arm and shoulder.

Strong managed to escape it and pancake Dragon Kid, but had to now use forearm strikes rathern chops with his right arm. That control would be short-lived though, as Dragon Kid cut him off while crotched on the top rope and slammed Strong's right shoulder on the rope, then landed a springboard Arabian press inside the ring for a nice nearfall. Strong would still block a hurricanrana and position Dragon Kid for a suplex, only to be hit with a Stunner. Dragon Kid went back to immediate work on Strong's right arm, but Strong lifted him and dropped him on the turnbuckle in a style visually similar to when Brock Lesnar countered CM Punk's triangle choke with his running powerbomb. Strong lariated Dragon Kid, resulting in a stupid head-drop bump for a nearfall, and he's slow to follow up due to his exhaustion and pain in the right arm.

This delay allowed Dragon Kid to hit a crucifix bomb while in the fireman's carry position, but it didn't quite have the epic impact of Austin Aries landing it on Samoa Joe on that magical night in Philly. That's just a nearfall and Dragon Kid is slow to get up after all the damage he's also taken. He does a roll-through hurricanrana (that's almost blocked) for a nice nearfall. When he runs the ropes, Strong catches him with a military press gutbuster for a nearfall, and Strong is continuing to sell the right arm, only using it for forearm strikes.

Strong runs the ropes and eats a drop toehold followed by a missile shotgun dropkick on the apron, then rolls back in. Dragon Kid springboards off the top rope to finish off Strong with his patented hurricanrana, only for Strong to channel Chris Jericho and reverse it with a Boston Crab, to which Dragon Kid almost immediately taps out. I love that realistic quick submission which I'm sure they learned from the Chris Benoit vs. Dave Finlay finish a few months earlier at Judgment Day 2006, and as the video chapter fades out, Strong is continuing to sell his right arm. Excellent match with tremendous psychology that is more than deserving of inclusion on the next edition of Sells Out.

Rating: ****

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament Quarterfinal
Davey Richards vs. Austin Aries


Aries still has his abdomen taped up due to the botched reverse hurricanrana at ROH's Unified. They have good matwork to start with Aries still getting the advantage despite his injury. They work on each other's left arms and Richards gets a crucifix pin nearfall. Richards continue working on the left arm of Aries, which I always love since Aries is left-handed. They continue to exchange more quality mat wrestling with Richards blocking the typical dropkick escape from the head-scissors, but Aries rolls forward for a headlock. Richards locks the head-scissors back on, only for Aries to use the momentum to hit his patended dropkick escape.

Aries controlled a bit more, including hitting a suicide dive and goes back to work on the left arm of Richards as well as a bit of the shoulder, which can be great for his finishers but also the Rings of Saturn as he'd used in the past for victory. Richards blocks a brainbuster to return the left arm favor, but gets a Finlay roll followed by a frogsplash attempt. However, Richards gets the knees up, causing further pain to the damaged ribs of Aries.

Richards followed that up by working on the ribs and abdomen, including an abdominal stretch. Aries would cut him off a few minute later for a comeback, including a nice roaring forearm with his left, although I'd have like a bit more selling on that joint from him. As I suspected, he went for the Ring of Saturn on Richards, following on that left arm work, but he couldn't lock it in fully, actually at least selling the pain in his ribs and abdomen, which Richards went back to work on a bit.

They have more nice back-and-forth work with Aries getting the upper hand. Not learning from his frogsplash attempt, he goes for a 450 splash but Richards rolls out of the way. Richards follows up the enhanced pain on the ribs of Aries with a fireman's carry gutbuster. Aries tries to use his veteran experience to take out Aries with a classic schoolboy pin, but Richards locks in a Cloverleaf-like submission that focused on the ribs of Aries, giving Richards a major singles victory.

Rating: ***1/2

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament Quarterfinal
Jack Evans vs. Genki Horiguchi


Pretty good spotfest here that Evans controlled the majority of. I was really impressed with how crisp the early sequence was, and the evidence was clear for the improvement of Evans thanks to his time in Dragon Gate. Horiguchi actually showed some nice psychology on his back, having difficulty following up with a pin attempt after landing a trademark move, reminding me of the trios masterpiece at Supercard of Honor. In the end though, the younger Evans had more explosiveness behind his acrobatic work, that was combined with his improved body part work, resulting in him advancing.

Rating: ***1/4

2006 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament Semifinal
CIMA vs. El Generico


The most acclaimed match of the night and deserving of it just as much as DK vs. Strong. In light of all the awesome action in this, I really appreciated CIMA continuing to sell his back from his earlier match against Steen during his pre-match stretch. They had nice technical wrestling early as usual for the evening. They reach a stalemate as their legs are locked up and they roll over on their necks for a very brief slap exchange, and CIMA is selling his left leg.

Generico gained control for some time, only for CIMA to land a lung-blower. CIMA followed up on Generico's lower back, which Excalibur is kind enough to point out in commentary would sabotage the top rope brainbuster. CIMA then decides to play heel when gouging Generico's eyes during an attempted comeback, then tells the viewer to fuck off. CIMA goes for an abdominal stretch and gets a Full Nelson aftewards, working on the neck. He places Generico's neck in a vulnerable position in the corner, hitting a lowered shotgun dropkick on the ass, which caused Generico's neck to jam into the turnbuckle.

Generico made a comeback and hit a top rope Quebrada to CIMA on the outside, but continued selling his pain and exhaustion. As CIMA is about to get back into the ring, he is surprised by Generic's trademark through-the-ropes tornado DDT for a wonderful pop. That not only is perfect for popping and rallying the crowd, but softens the neck for the top rope brainbuster. CIMA is still able to kick out in the ring after a splash, and now Generico is selling his back too.

CIMA baits Generico, evading a Yakuza kick, but winning the cutoff battle by kicking him in the gut. That's then followed by a springboard stomp and then a springboard shotgun missile dropkick on Generico's neck, softening up that body part for the Schwein. Generico still manages to cutoff a suplex and guillotines CIMA's throat, but his springboard move is countered with an Ace Crusher for a nice nearfall. CIMA goes for his guillotine choke DDT, but Generico hits him with a modified Falcon Arrow for a wonderful nearfall.

CIMA evades another Yakuza kick attempt, then walks into a big boot. CIMA sucks it up and lands an uppercut to Generico, then hits a modified Iconoclasm. CIMA goes for a frogsplash and gets the same result as Aries earlier in the evening. This allows Generico to finally hit the teased Yakuza kick and then a half-and-half (Nelson) suplex for an awesome nearfall as the crowd's giving them a standing ovation. CIMA cuts off a top rope brainbuster, then hits a top rope tornado DDT, which Excalibur is kind enough to point out in commentary is similar to Jushin Liger inflicting upon Owen Hart. CIMA follows that up with the Schwein, and the crowd is stunned to see Generico actually kick out! "THIS IS AWESOME~!"

CIMA blocks a last-ditch cutoff attempt, and finally finishes off Generico with a second Schwein. I've no problem with Generico kicking out of the Schwein as it elevated his stock for the PWG fanbase. This was an incredible match with quality selling and fantastic counters as well as storytelling. Worth every bit of praise it has gotten over the years.

Rating: ****

The rest of the tournament matches were disappointing thanks to selling issues from Davey Richards, who defeats CIMA in their lone singles match to date. Because Super Dragon was to win this tournament but got concussed earlier in the evening, a rewrite was done. Richards won but was granted his request to join SD in attempting to regain the Tag Titles. I'm sure SD wouldn't make Richards regret such a selfless act by his former fellow tag champ.

Despite the last couple tournament matches being disappointing, this show easily gets my highest recommendation thanks to SIX quality matches of varying flavors, including a couple classics, one highly acclaimed and the other sadly underplayed. Easily the best PWG event since Astonishing X-Mas and comparable to some ROH events at the time.

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:55 pm

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

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:31 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 jabroni 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

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:57 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 jabroni 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

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Nov 18, 2016 12:21 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 jabroni to Richards in victory the night before that Richards would’ve DEMANDED to be inserted alongside Strong into this main event.

Rating: ***1/2

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Sat Dec 03, 2016 5:23 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 jabroni 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

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:05 pm

Based on a True Story – January 13, 2007
Taped from Los Angeles, CA

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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

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Re: Project Rewatch: PWG - the good shit

Post by supersonic » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:16 am

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

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