Disclaimer: Before you go on and read this review, I just wanted to state that I respect and appreciate all the workers involved with the show. Any negative criticism stated does not negate the fact that I respect and appreciate everyone that puts their body on the line for us fans. Thank you.
PWG’s latest show from the Elks Lodge was a really good show. They haven’t had a bad show yet. The PWG crowds puzzle me though. I was talking to Joey Ryan Fan about this, and he says the acoustics are bad and that the crowd would seem much more hotter at a venue like Frank & Sons (not saying to go back there, no way) or even the old JCC in LA (too bad they lost that venue). I really can’t explain it. Would you rather have more people that don’t appreciate the in-ring product, or less people that do? I think the small crowds at PWG are some of the most respectful and most intelligent wrestling fans out there. Some thoughts on the show…Black Tiger’s and Puma was good. Maybe not a good choice for an opener as it didn’t get the crowd hyped up, but it was still a good match. Glad to see that both Black Tiger’s and Tiger’s Mask got better matches on Sunday than Saturday. Puma is still looking good in the ring. I think Puma needs a higher slot on the card.
Quance and Tiger’s was good too. I really hope Quance isn’t going to the Navy. Call me selfish, I suppose, but Quance just is just way too talented to leave the squared circle for the battleship. I hope Quance is booked on the next PWG show. Always fun seeing Tiger’s Mask hit his baseball spots. It was pretty cool seeing Tiger’s work rudo at PWG.
Havana Pitbulls versus Gurentai was BADASS. Really good match from both teams. Both teams were equally stiff with each other and wrestled a pretty fluid match. The beginning of the match, Rocky was on the ring apron and copying whatever NOSAWA would do on the apron. NOSAWA has some awesome broken engrish as well, “I don’t give-ah fuck!” Throughout the match, Paul T. would pace around the ring saying, “Nobody has the balls to stiff the Cubans. Everyone’s afraid to stiff them. But not Gurentai. They don’t give a fuck!” Not a direct quote, but that’s pretty much what he was saying. MAZADA needs to be brought back as well. I’ve only seen him live twice and that’s not enough. Both times I’ve seen him he worked the Pitbulls and I’d love to see these two teams go at it once more. MAZADA just looks so surly and so badass in the ring. This tag match was one of my favorite matches of the night. 2004 is the year of the Havana Pitbulls. Easily. SoCal needs more Gurentai as well. And thanks Paul for rockin the suit! It sure was hot in there… One of my favorite matches of the night.
Dragon/Bradley was a great hard-hitting match. I have never seen Brad Bradley before, but he looked good in there. He looks like the “traditional” wrestler and he gives that presence where he can and will legit fuck you up. I don’t think I’ve seen American Dragon wrestle an opponent Bradley. See, with Samoa Joe, Joe is the bigger adversary and likes to hit hard as well (just like Bradley), but Joe also goes to the mat. With Bradley, it was just him laying the beatdown on Dragon with Dragon coming back with some big offense of his own. Finish saw Dragon slap on some crazy submission that I have never seen before. Bradley was on his stomach being bent back like a camel clutch. American Dragon was on his stomach too, but had his legs headscissor Bradley’s head and would do a pushup. Really crazy stuff. After the match, Dragon went on to say that Brad Bradley has been his toughest opponent in PWG. Bradley being the unknown in SoCal got a “Bradley” chant after the match, showing that the SoCal crowd dug his stuff. I hope AmDrag and Bradley both come back to PWG somewhere down the line. I loved this match. Another one of my favorite matches of the evening.
Pearce/HKK vs. Slymm/Frankie was a good match that further proved that Pearce and Frankie do… not… like… each… other. Not one bit! Pearce is such a natural heel and Frankie is such a natural face. So of course you know that they’ll have such awesome chemistry with each other. It was cool to see Valentina in Pearce’s corner because like Pearce said himself, “Every great champion, needs a great woman”, or something to that effect. A heel champ is cool, but a heel champ with a valet is even cooler. Similar to past heel champs Ric Flair and Shane Douglas with the women by their side. Good stuff from both teams from the entrances to the final segment with Patrick the ref. I hope the feud between Pearce and Frankie will continue but it looks like Slymm/Pearce is being setup. Pearce piledriving the ref at the end further proved how much of an asshole Pearce is. This is good for Frankie because now he will be involved in some fresher match-ups as he makes his way back up the rankings back into #1 contendership for the PWG Title. Still weird without Vanderpyle in his corner…
Ebessan/Kamen was fanfriggingtastic! Who knew Ebessan could hit a Skytwister Press? I told you guys, slow-motion spots = GOLD. Ebessan’s promo before the match was hilarious and is reason alone to pickup the DVD. Some of the more classic lines include:
– “United Airrine… fuck up!”
– “Why?! Faack!!”
– “I went to WWE, sold out. But I bought ticket from scalper, 50 each. I go to gate, ‘Sorry already used’. Whaat?! Faack! Fake tickets?! Why!?”
– “I ate yogurt. My ass is now flooded. Why water from my ass?!
– “TARO, greatest… CAHCKSAHKA!”
Too many funny Ebessan-isms. Hopefully he cut a backstage promo for the DVD as well. Too much funny stuff in this match to list that had the whole crowd cracking up. Both of their performances were great from both PWG and Rev Pro. Very memorable stuff. Pick up this DVD ASAP just for their “proper” US debut.
The Guerrilla Games match was good. But it could have been much better. The Team Top Gun squadron brought a very arrogant vibe along with them, which was great. It was great seeing the Joey/Dragon hatred continue, as they both bickered on who would start the match. As they continued to bicker, Scott Lost ended up starting the match with Scorpio while Dragon and Joey argued in the ring. Funny stuff. At one point Dragon slapped Joey in for the tag-in and Joey retaliated with a vicious waist lock takedown on Dragon, which got the Anti-PWG crew to egg them on by chanting “FIGHT! FIGHT!” from the ring apron. Quicksilver and Chris Bosh would rush in for the attack screaming like banshees, only to get blasted in the face for their troubles in a rather comical moment. Those two know how to display such cockiness, such arrogance in the ring. It got pretty chaotic at times with people not tagging in and going for pins, but that’s explicable because that would just be me being very nitpicky. A huge dive sequence was mixed up in all this, which came off good for the most part. Charles Mercury took one of the most hardcore beatings from Super Dragon and still managed to stay in the match and NOT TAG OUT. He just shook off that beating like it was nothing because he is the super-human android from Alhambra, even though he would be considered the least experienced not only on his team, but the opposing team as well. Top Gun took a monstrous beating from the PWG Fab Five, taking each guy’s finisher one after the other with the finale being Dragon drilling the “big man” with one of sick Psycho Driver. Top Gun took his beating like a champ. Although I do feel Top Gun needs a new finisher, as I feel he can’t execute his current finisher as smooth as he would like to.
I love how Scorpio vs. Super D was set up for the next show as it has been built to since “Pimpin In High Places” in December (and longer than that in Rev Pro). Scorpio taking out Dragon with the belt and getting disqualified keeps Scorpio strong as nobody eliminated him AND makes him look strong and like an asshole by taking out Dragon with a belt shot to the noggin (dome piece, yo!) and his own finish, the OG Psycho Driver. Good setup right there. With the right execution, their upcoming match could be the Match of the Month, and possibly the Match of the Year. We’ll just have to wait and see. More storylines were advanced and unfolded as well; with Chris Bosh hitting Excalibur’s own finish on him to eliminate the Detroit Shorty, thus stretching out their feud even further than expected. Bosh and Quicksilver were the last two guys on their team and the X-Foundation were the last two on theirs. These four guys met in the Tango & Cash tourney, which saw the X-Foundation get the duke over the Rev Pro upstarts. With the X-Foundation eliminating this pair yet again, Bosh and Quick wanted yet another shot at these guys, but this time for the PWG Tag Straps. X-Foundation accepted, and we have ourselves a Tag Team Title match for the next show. Although this match was built up to and it does make sense, I think PWG fans really want to see the Havana Pitbulls in the Tag Team Title mix. The Pitbulls have wins over the Aerial Express, Hardkore Inc., the Thomasellis, and now Gurentai. The Bosh/Silver combination have wins over… um, Zokre and Phoenix Star from the first match at T&C. And on top of that, the AXP combination of Scorpio Sky and Quicksilver seems to be the more formidable opponents for the tag straps than the Bosh/Silver combo, but Scorpio it seems that Scorpio will already be involved in an upcoming program with Dragon, and I am just nitpicking once more. OK, now I’m rambling at this point. This match was good, but it had the potential to be way better. I liked the way the angles were setup for future shows and the way some angles were furthered. Really fun match.
Overall, PWG delivers with yet ANOTHER KICKASS SHOW. That phrase is getting too repetitive when mentioning PWG but it’s true! And to think, PWG wasn’t even planning on doing this show! VERY IMPROMPTU PEOPLES! On a sidenote, to me, PWG has filtered out all the crappy fans and now you have this kick-ass (albeit small) core group of fans. But more peoples in the crowd wouldn’t hurt! Just don’t be a dumbass, that’s all… March 27 is gonna be bonkers!
I cannot do this enough. But once again, a huge thank you goes out to the ENTIRE Osaka Pro crew (Ebessan, Kuishinbo, Tiger’s Mask, Black Tiger’s, the merchandise girl, the driver?), Paul T., PWG, Revolution Pro, the SoCal fans, and everyone else that had a hand in importing them over here to SoCal. This weekend has been one of the most memorable weekends in SoCal history. Thank you for turning me back into that giddy wrestling fan I once was.
A SoCal fan…