We arrived during the Perkins-Kidd match. My group made the abysmal mistake of sitting in the first open seats we could find, right next to one of the scorching spot lights, also nowhere near any sort of doors. This meant a night of sweating, which is only good when railing pussy is the cause. Suffice to say, there was no pussy railing to be had.
((TJ Perkins over Hardkore Kidd))
TJ “The Pinoy Boy looking Puma” Perkins has improved so much over the years. He was always good. Even as a rookie, he had an incredible amount of polish to his work. But he’s successfully obliterated the snide/punk charisma he used to carry around even when he didn’t mean to and comes off as a good, spunky babyface now. Kidd has a ton of charisma too. They worked well together. Everything was smooth. Perkins’ innovative nose-gig job brought some impressive color to the match. Kidd losing was interesting. As mentioned before, seems strange to job a well known, talented heavyweight in his first match back. Although maybe he has no plans of sticking around long. Perkins is like 12-1 or something now, and you have to wonder if he’s ever going to be put into the title picture. He did the “I’m feeling the belt around my waist” move after the match, so he must be wondering the same. I don’t really recall Perkins ever challenging for any big titles before.
The crowd was really into the match. Lots of catcalls for Kidd. Perkins did a cool somersault senton variation onto Kidd from the turnbuckles. Someone else can explain it, cause I don’t want to go into the effort. Decent opener. **1/4.
((Rocky Romero over Davey Richards))
Another good match. Rocky “Ricky Reyes” Romero and Richards kicked and slapped the shit out of each other. This match built pretty well and ended up with a dramatic finishing sequence. They were both very intense, no surprise there. Romero came in with tape on his left shoulder so when Richards starting working it over, it came to no surprise. He tried several Fujiwara arm bars near the end, but they didn’t really get too much response, probably because no one has won with a Fujiwara arm bar in 15 years. But it was a nice thought. Richards seemed to gas out at the end, and it started to get a little sloppy, but the whole was very good. Richards is going to be a very, very good wrestler if he keeps improving at this rate. Romero is one of the most underrated wrestlers in the world. ***
((SBS (Disco Machine & Excalibur) & Ronin over Gunning For Hookers (Top Gun Talwar & Hook Bomberry) & Mr. Excitement))
I enjoyed Val’s outfit.
Ronin got a probationary invite to be in SBS for this match and the immediate future. I, honestly, haven’t ever seen Ronin in any great matches, although he gets a lot of high praise. Maybe I just haven’t seen the right matches. Talwar and Hook did a few lines earlier in the night, then did a few more before they came to the ring. They did a few more off the ropes during the match. The whole drug gimmick is pretty fantastical. Talwar, just in general, is a spectacular human being. He has one of the greatest gimmicks ever. The comedy stuff he was doing was hilarious. Unfortunately, that was the only good thing going for this match. There was a lot of standard stuff in-between the funny comedy spots. It dragged for awhile. The match basically went too long. PWG undercard matches have a knack for over-staying their welcome. All six of these guys are very talented and I’ve enjoyed them in countless matches and basketball games. But tonight wasn’t a great night. Except for Talwar, he was gr8. *1/2
((Joey Ryan over Claudio Castagnoli))
Another match with good moments but overall it dragged. Castagnoli’s mannerisms and routine were pretty funny. Joey Ryan’s acting ability has improved leaps and bounds over the years, too. He’s not exactly over the top with his heel routine, but his facial reactions and overall body language really work. When Castagnoli did that “I put your hands behind my head and reverse the hold” several times in a row, what really made the moment was Ryan’s bewildered and frustrated look from side to side. Instead of being like “wtf was that”, I was like “”. All thanks to Joey Ryan. And Castagnoli.
As mentioned in other comments, Castagnoli’s uppercuts are great. He does some really athletic stuff, such as attempting a tope but turning it into a somersault to the outside when Ryan moved. He got a standing ovation for that one. Ryan was a good opponent for his debut, just because I think Ryan has the ability to work with anyone and he has a good heel repoire with the crowd. It almost guarantees a face reaction for the newcomer. But with all that praise, I still thought the match was choppy and seemed to drag in between the entertaining spots. A successful debut, but not a great match. **.
((Christopher Daniels over Chris Hero))
Daniels cut an amusing and effective promo before the match. He refuses to put his X title up for grabs anymore until he feels that he’s found a deserving opponent. I think this is a good idea since no one believes he’s going to lose the X Title in PWG, so maybe now there will be some extra drama to his matches. That was the only interesting thing about this match, actually. Since he already beat Hero a few months ago and this was non-title, I was half expecting Hero to win this one. Both guys are popular with the crowd. Hardy Fan even made a sign for Daniels with 12 pt Verdana font. They work well together. Daniels is an indy legend and Hero is one of the most popular indy wrestlers in the country, but something prohibits me from being awe struck by their performances. This match was fine, but I wasn’t digging it. I know I’ve always been a little put off by Daniels matches to devolve into “your spot-my spot-your spot” affairs, although I don’t recall thinking about that much here. Honestly, the heat may have been destroying my brain at this point. I was thinking *a lot* about how much my right side was sweating but not my left at this point. I wasn’t really sure why, it didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. The light was to my right, so I think that’s the reason. I could also be diseased in some way. I’m really open to any ideas. But I lost interest in this match about half way through. **
Intermission came up here. I played a few rounds of “Millionaire 2005” on my cell phone. I was able to get up to the 500k question a couple times, but no million. I also played about 10 levels of Tetris. I’ve gotten very good at cell phone Tetris over the years. I think ahead several bricks and formulate brilliant strategies for getting lines. I was up to level 12 (where the blocks fall at an amazing rate) when intermission ended and I was forced to quit the game.
((Super Dragon over Quick Silver))
This match didn’t have much of a storyline behind it and was promoted as a special “bonus match”. They delivered on this one. This was the match of the night and one of the best matches of the year. No one else has really praised it that far, but I think it was. There was a point where I thought the match was going to turn into a Dragon squash, something that Dragon did quite a bit with Quick and his other RevPro comrades from the same era last year and the year before, but the match evolved from there into something much more. Where as in their previous matches it was almost all Dragon, Quick was able to fight back and delivered some serious damage of his own.
Dragon’s methodical, cocky style came back to hurt him in the match because it allowed Quicksilver to make his comeback, and to actually dominate the match for a stretch. Even though Dragon was able to win every striking exchange, Quick landed the first really high impact move, when he did a flying, inverted headscissors, which saw Dragon go backwards right onto his head, in a great bump. Quicksilver was able to get a serious of near falls. Not long after, he got Dragon on the outside and did a sunset flip powerbomb, with Dragon smacking into the floor on the outside. Another fantastic bump. Dragon is known for his punishing style and often times, the way he dominates his smaller opponents, but he is one of the greatest bumpers in the world. Very few people outside of a couple guys on the indies and some of the top end wrestlers in Japan attempt pull off the high risk bumps he does and not get seriously injured. The talent isn’t in the mere attempt, its the fact that he doesn’t completely fuck himself up doing it.
The match was paced great. The intensity picked up throughout the match. The finishing sequence with the attempted Psycho Driver turned into the Barry White Driver looked great. The crowd jumped out of its seats on that one. A string of mediocre matches plus the unbearable heat were getting me down , but this match had my attention all the way through. It brought the crowd completely back into the show also. The final thing I liked about the match is that they didn’t try too much. Some Dragon matches see the guys get carried away and attempt to much stuff. They did some sick moves here, and they all meant a lot. ****.
((Two Skinny Black Guys (The Human Tornado & El Generico) over Arrogance (Scott Lost & Chris Bosh) to win the vacant PWG Tag Team Championship))
Another very good match. I’d say they owe Dragon and Quicksilver some pats on the back for getting the crowd back into the show on the last match. The Black guys have great face charisma. Especially Tornado, he’s just a natural to root for. On the opposite side, Bosh and Lost are terrific heels. Its pretty tough to be great in the ring and still get indy fans to root against you. They all worked well together and it built to an exciting finishing sequence. It was tough to judge who was going to win, so that added to the drama. Generico and Tornado did some amazing dives to the outside towards the end. Lost put a double scorpion death lock on Tornado and Generico. I’ve never seen that before. The entire crowd popped for it. I don’t think this was as good as the Dragon match cause it seemed a little more sloppy. I also don’t care for the PWG tag rule that tags become useless during finishing sequences and all men are legal. Seems lazy to me that they can’t work within the rules they obey the entire match until the end. I understand the logic of creating a crazy and exciting atmosphere during the finish, but for me, the man that thinks, I’d rather see them get the same atmosphere within the rules they set. It’s like when a film sets about giving the audience an omniscient point of view the entire movie, then swerves the audience by revealing that something happened off screen. The movie set up the rules (omniscient point of view) then cheats by changing it at the end for the sake of drama. Obey your rules, fuckers!
But the match was still very good. The atmosphere created by the pacing, high impact moves, and the guys’ charisma made for an exciting bout. The crowd was completely into it and was cheering the finish wildly. That’s evidence enough that the match worked. ***1/2.
((Kevin Steen over AJ Styles to win the PWG Championship))
Another good match. The show after Intermission was pretty amazing. Steen and Styles both have championship charisma. They carry themselves with a lot of swagger and confidence. Steen has a lot of natural ability which immediately got him over with the PWG crowd but his feud and subsequent domination over Super Dragon has made him into a super star within the fed. Beating Styles was the best move in order to keep his character going upward. The crowd wasn’t as hot for this as the previous two matches, which made sense, since it wasn’t as good as the previous two. Finish saw Steen reverse the Styles clash by grabbing the ropes and then using them to pin him. They teased their finishers a lot throughout the match at the right times to get a reaction. They also worked pretty stiff together and got a lot of pops for the strikes they hit. Steen’s title reign will be interesting. PWG does a good job of differentiating itself from ROH with its champions. Dragon is obviously committed to the company and his character isn’t really the same in his East Coast trips. AJ Styles, when he won the title, wasn’t in ROH at the time, and was committed to PWG for an entire year. And Steen hasn’t really found the opportunity for this type of success in any other US fed. Both he and Generico were brilliant acquisitions. I’ll be curious to see what PWG does with him. ***
The show was a definite thumbs up. There was nothing bad on the show, which isn’t a surprise. PWG could make a money-back guarantee that there will never be any terrible matches on their show and get away with it 99% of the time. The first half was flat at times. A cooler building and shorter matches would have improved it. The last three matches were all big hits. Dragon-Quicksilver was an awesome match. The DVD is worth the purchase just for that match. People unfamiliar with the fed or the characters could easily get into it as well. The Skinny Black Guys was a great, emotional peak to those guys’ climb in the fed. Arrogance’s “passing the torch” promo after the match seemed to hint that Bosh and Lost will be doing more singles matches in the future.
Any show with four *** matches and a MOTYC can only be a big thumbs up. Next show has the third Dragon-Joe match, which I would expect to finally have a definitive finish since they have both won by count out in their previous two matches. Ryan-Romero is an exciting match up. Steen vs Daniels is interesting. Both guys have been dominant in the fed for most of this year but I think Steen has to win at this stage. And Petey Williams returns to do his Canadian Destroyer that has the crowd in a communal orgasm every time he hits it.