Review for PWG’s ”An Inch Longer than Average”

PWG delivered another solid show with quite possilby the best hardcore match I have ever seen, a nice surprise with CM Punk, and fantastic wrestling overall.PWG’s “An Inch Longer than Average”
November 15th, 2003 in Los Angeles, CA @ WCJCC
Attendance: 150

So yes, the show did start a half hour late, but the general consensus from my experience was that this was a good thing as most people were stranded in traffic at some point and ended up arriving right at 8 o’clock or a few minutes after. From what I heard, the ring was late getting to the venue and since they couldn’t have a show without a ring, so we ended up waiting for half an hour. The crowd soon packed in and we jumped right into the first match.

Topgun Talwar & The Ballard Bros. over Lil’ Cholo, Chris Bosh & TJ Perkins (Pinoy Boy)
This was a very strong six-man opener. Whereas the majority of six-mans that I have seen for openers are relative spot-fests to get the crowd going, this match had the Cholo/Talwar issue pushing it the whole way through. The guys did a great job of teasing the interaction before it finally happened. I gotta say, I wish we got to see more of Topgun because I think his character is hillarious and he is a very solid worker to boot. Everyone in the match looked great, hitting moves cleanly with smooth transitions. The only truly scary spot in the match came when one of the Ballards when for a springboard moonsault and landed on his neck, but was still able to continue. The finish came once the six-man broke down to its tell-tale everyone-hits-their-finisher spot, and Topgun came out on top after planting Lil’ Cholo with the Danger Zone. Overall, a fun opener that got the crowd.

M-Dogg over Jardi Frantz
I’m relatively new to the indy scene so I have limited experience with Jardi, but I think his pot-smoker gimmick works well. He didn’t overdo it which was nice, and mostly focused on wrestling. Everyone knew coming out that this would be a Straight Edge vs. Pot Smoker story, so that added a bit of depth to the acrobatics that we all expected and received from these two men. This was a good match that only had a few spots where things didn’t seem to click quite right. For some reason, the crowd was relatively dead for this one, which shocked me because it was full of high-flying stuff. M-Dogg hit a lot of his usual spots like his M-Dogg Space Dive (I think thats what its caleld) and his reverse rana. Jardi hit some equally fun flippy stuff, but in the end was defeated by a very nice Shooting Star Press from M-Dogg.

Funky Billy Kim & Scott Lost over Disco Machine & Excalibur (with Chris Bosh as Special Referee)
This match, although things didn’t quite click well the whole time, was sucessful because of the backstory with Bosh and Excalibur. Bosh did a great job in the ring as a referee, being inexperienced when he needed to be and right on at other times. Something notable from mid-match that I have to note was Lost absolutely getting killed by a Minnesota Lariat from Excalibur. Things started to break down towards the end of the match, but Scott Lost did a great job of keeping things going when it seemed like spots weren’t quite hitting right. Lost also ended up being the victim of a gruesome Tiger Driver, but Bosh was distracted by action on the outside, and thus didn’t make the three. While arguing with Bosh, FBK hit a sunset flip on Excalibur to pick up the win. Post match, Excalibur challenged Bosh to a hair vs. hair (you got me on how this is gonna work if Excalibur loses) and then to seal the deal, dropped him on his head with a absolutley gross reverse T-Bone suplex.

Super Dragon over Joey Ryan in a Guerilla Warfare Match
Holy Fucking Shit! That about sums up my feelings about this match. In everything that I have ever seen, this was hands-down the best hardcore match that I have ever seen. I have over a page of notes on this match, so its impossible to go thru it all but I’ll try to hit the highlights. For starters, I’d like to commend these guys on the way these used weapons, as there was a great build from spot to spot. They also didn’t just come out to blast each other, but they incorporated weapons in rather fun ways. Here’s some of the notables: Dragon locked in a hanging surfboard type thing and then stomped Joey’s face into a chair on the mat, Dragon hitting his Violence Party with a chair instead of fists, Joey ruining Dragon with a chair shot to counter an attempted Tope by Dragon, fun stuff with ladders (suplexes and footstomps), Joey killing Dragon’s arm when he attempted one of his infamous lariats (which Dragon sold like a million dollars), Joey bouncing Dragon off of a table with is Duff Drop, Dragon putting Joey through a table with his Senton (Table was bridging barricade and ring), to the absolutely most devastating finish ever. Dragon planted Joey with a rather brutal looking Psycho Driver onto a pile consists of a table, ladder, and steel barricade. The crowd was into this one the whole 30 minutes or so it lasted, with crowd momentum changing spot to spot. The finish illicited a “Holy Shit” chant from the crowd and a well-deserved standing ovation to Joey and Dragon. Match of the fucking night, and possibly match of the year. WOW. I almost feel bad for supporting such violence as this, but it was truly incredible. Lots of appreciation to Joey and Dragon for this one.

The bitch about having such a stellar match like Dragon/Ryan is that it kinda killed the rest of the card being that it was the semi-main. Coming back from intermission, people were still in awe over what they had seen in the previous match, and weren’t quite into anything else the rest of the night. It’s a shame because the last three matches on the card were very strong showings that could have benefitted from a hotter crowd.

Adam Pearce over Colt Cabana
This was the one match on the card that I was looking forward to most, and it did not disappoint. The Scrap Daddy and Cabana mixed it up in a great wrestling match that saw them use moves you wouldn’t normally associate with guys their size. One of the reasons that I think this match was so good is that Cabana and Pearce are of similar builds, and thier opponents usually are not. These two worked for a while, incorporating stiff power moves and some really aamzing pin sequences, but the crowd was still recovering from the Dragon/Ryan extravaganza. After an invvoative leg drop from Colt and a sick looking Kryptonite Krunch onto his thigh, Adam Pearce rolled up Cabana with assistance from Vanderpyle on the outside. I believe that this match would have been better with a more solid finish, as it would have helped get the crowd back into things. Still though, a wonderful confrontation and it’s too bad Cabana went heel, cuz I’d love to see them work each other again.

Samoa Joe over CM Punk
Talk about a surprise. I had no idea that we would be getting CM Punk and PWG handled it very well. Having Paul T. come out and make the comments about watching out for the fans and then introducing Punk was simply awesome. The place went absolutely berserk when Punk was announced, but the crowd quickly quieted down out of respect for the work between Joe & Punk. Their match was very solid, with Punk trying to work over Joe’s leg to reduce some of his offense. Punk would go on streaks of quick offensive moves and then Joe would just kill him with some ridiculously stiff power move. Joe hit a nice looking boot-scrape on the outside that made it appear as if Punk’s face was introduced rather violently to the barricade. The finish came with a Powerbomb into an STF to which Punk tapped out. A great match and a personal treat for me as it was my first time seeing either of them live.

Frankie Kazarian over American Dragon to retain the PWG Heavyweight Title
This was my first time seeing American Dragon live, and I was completely blown away by his presence in the ring. The man was so bloody intesne it was scary. Frankie and Dragon worked an amazing technical match, with Dragon working over Frankie’s wrist for about 80% of the match. Dragon kept locking Frankie into these nasty holds that I have never seen before and probably never will again. I honestly thought we might see a new champ once Dragon locked Frankie in the Cattle Mutilation mid-ring. Frankie somehow managed to power out of it however, and almost made Dragon submit to the Tazmission. After hitting a Wave of the Future for a false finish, the crowd was buzzing. They teased the One Man Revolution while both guys exchanged some horrifying head butts to one another. In the end, Frankie planted Dragon with his One Man Revolution to retain the title in what was a fantastic bout.

Post-match, Pearce and Cabana hit the ring to jump Frankie. Dragon and Joey then brawled to the ring which led to CM Punk evening the odds. Soon we had the whole locker room out as Frankie and Pearce were separated. Punk, Frankie, & Joey challenged Pearce, Cabana, & Super Dragon to a Six-man at the next show, at your main event for December 13th is set.

All in all, a very strong show, but the crowd was quieter than usual. While not as good as “Rock”, “An Inch Longer than Average” was still an awesome night of wrestling that I would definitely recommend picking up the DVD for, if for nothing other than the Dragon/Ryan match.