We’re back with another PWG review as we take a look at one of PWG’s latest releases, All Star Weekend 12 Night 1 featuring the Young Bucks defending the PWG World Tag Team Championship against Ricochet & Matt Sydal, Roderick Strong vs. Mark Andrews, Chris Hero vs. Evil Uno, Trent? vs. Drew Galloway, and more. Plus GIFs!
Chuck Taylor vs. Trevor Lee
Andrew: This was a fun way to start the show. Trevor Lee was really hilarious when he was talking shit on Chuck Taylor to start the match. Lee and Taylor brawled in the crowd and wound up on the stage. Lee got on one of the headsets, talked some shit on Chuck Taylor before Chuck Taylor spat beer in Lee’s face after taking a drink from a fan’s pitcher. Chuck threw Lee off the stage, got on the headset Lee was using after spilling water on the commentary table, and did a flying Thesz Press off the stage.
The match was pretty solid, and for an opener, it was pretty good. The pacing was fun, the antics were genuinely funny, and the spots were built up well. Chuck Taylor mentioned later on in the night that he hurt his ballsack doing a sit-out, popup Lyger bomb on Trevor Lee. Chuck wins after countering a Small Package Driver attempt with a small package pin. Again, good stuff to start things off.
Steve: I really liked this match as well. Chuck Taylor has been consistently good in PWG, both in the ring and on commentary, and Trevor Lee is great as well. I’m in agreement that the match was well paced and there match was really fun. There wasn’t really anything not to like in this match.
Chris Hero vs. Evil Uno
Steve: These guys seemingly went into this match to legitimately beat each other up. Uno has been really good since his return to PWG (not that he wasn’t before) and Chris Hero never has a bad match, so I had high hopes for this match, and I felt they delivered. Towards the beginning it looked like they were going to do a staring contest, which I wasn’t looking forward too, and it was even mentioned on commentary how boring it would be, but luckily it was all just a ruse for Evil Uno to spit mist into Hero’s face. Uno lived up to the Evil in his name, even biting Hero in the elbow.
They worked really stiff in the match, with Uno delivering some really stiff elbows and Hero getting in a pretty vicious knee strike mid-match. There was a pretty nice sequence with Uno hitting a reverse brainbuster and a Gotch piledriver as well. Uno hit a lot of roaring elbows as well, but Hero got him with a suplex then destroyed Uno with elbows to get the win. A really good match.
Andrew: Fat Chris Hero might be my favorite incarnation of any Chris Hero. He did some really cool stuff in this as usual. Uno was alright, I didn’t think he had a blowaway performance, but he was fun in this. Not much else to say that Steve hasn’t already said.
Trent? vs. Drew Galloway
Andrew: This was a fun Big Man vs. Little Man match, with Drew Galloway tossing Trent? around like a he was nothing. They had a lot of cool spots where Drew would kill Trent? with all sorts of throws, slams, suplexes, and powerbombs into turnbuckles. I didn’t really care for the shenanigans during the beginning of the match, but things picked up along the way. One of the cooler spots of the match was Drew catching Trent? after a crossbody splash attempt, and turned it into a tilt-a-whirl Tombstone Piledriver. Galloway also caught Trent? on a Tope Suicida attempt and hit a belly-to-belly suplex onto the floor. This was cool stuff. Aside from the beginning portions of the match, this was really good stuff and a good showing of what former WWE talents are capable of without having restrictions placed on them. Trent? got the win with the Dudebuster.
Steve: Trent? has really taken a beating in PWG this year. At this rate they’ll probably match him up with Jeff Cobb next. I also thought this was a really good match. It’s crazy how much better Galloway seems in PWG than in TNA, not that he’s bad by any means in TNA, just PWG Galloway is on another level.
Roderick Strong vs. Mark Andrews
Steve: This was a non-title match so that there would be some suspense to who won and lost with Strong and Sabre scheduled on night two. They go outside the ring, and Andrews tries a head scissors on Strong, but Strong catches him and slams him into the side of the ring. Strong really dominated the match early. There was a really nice sequence where Strong goes for a pull out back breaker and Andrews hits a hurancanra and Strong gets up and immediately hits a drop kick. Most of Andrews offense came on reversals it seemed. Andrews goes for a moonsault, Strong catches him and Andrews turns it into a tornado DDT. Eventually Strong hits his finisher, the End of Heartache, but then pulls Andrews up at 2 to try and put one of Sabre’s submission holds on Andrews. Andrews manages to reverse it. Andrews hits a shooting star press, but catches some of Strong knees, and Strong is able to hit another End of Heartache and this time gets the pin. I thought this was a really good match that cemented Strong’s cocky heel status but kept him really dominant for the most part to make it look like Sabre has even longer odds the next night.
Andrew: This was a fun exhibition. I didn’t think PWG would book Andrews to go over Strong, so to me this felt like a solid display of what these guys are capable of pulling off. Andrews was super impressive as always. His offense looked solid, he hit cool reversals, and he was an excellent seller. Strong was really good as always, tossing Andrews around and also when taking his offense. Good stuff here.
Kyle O’Reily vs. Marty Scurll
Andrew: The crowd was pretty annoying in this. I hate that “Ooh-Ooh” shit they do during Marty’s matches, and they kept taking away from the match at some points. I was also pretty tired of Scurll’s antics at some points. That crowd work stalling bullshit belongs in CWFH, not PWG. This match was built up pretty well, but it felt like it dragged on way too much at some points during the first 15 minutes of the match. But like I said, the match built up well and the last few minutes of this match got the crowd going. Kyle O’Reilly’s technique and mat wrestling skills are great. Kyle got the win with an Ankle Lock/Toe Hold submission. This would’ve been better if it were five minutes shorter and didn’t have so many pointless moments, but this match was still pretty good and both guys performed well. Nifty mat wrestling and lots of stiff strikes in this.
Steve: I didn’t really mind the crowd work, I thought this was a great match. Both wrestlers have been fantastic in PWG this year, with Marty Scurll really becoming a breakout star.
Adam Cole vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Steve: Zack Sabre Jr. is one of, if not the best technical wrestler in the world. I’m almost certain you can put me in a match with him and it not be a total dud. Adam Cole is great as well. That being said, I thought this was the fourth or fifth best match on the show. Of course the normal PWG disclaimer applies where despite this match being fourth or fifth best, I’d still rate it around four stars. There was a lot of good back and forth, and Adam Cole kept trying to submit Sabre with the figure four, but Sabre just kept slapping him. Cole worked Sabre’s knees. Sabre takes control and does a bunch of different submissions on Cole, and Chris Hero on commentary puts over how in awe he is over Sabre. Cole continues to work over Sabre’s knee. Sabre gets Cole in an arm submission, and Strong does a run-in. Cole goes for a destroyer, but Sabre counters with a European uppercut followed by a PK, then submits him for the win.
Andrew: I wasn’t really into this. Zack was tremendous as always, but I didn’t get into the match. I don’t know if Adam Oole’s previous PWG run was full of great matches, but he’s sorta been underwhelming in PWG this year. Not only that, but seeing six singles matches in a row that all felt the same made the show drag for me a bit. I’m sure others will enjoy this match, but I really wasn’t into it.
PWG World Tag Team Championship Match: The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) vs. Ricochet & Matt Sydal
Andrew: Before the match, there was a very cringy promo by the Bucks. Matt Jackson made an Evan Bourne joke, and said Ricochet looked like Rich Swann. Ricochet responded to this by doing a stupid dance. Sydal & Ricochet were showing off the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight tag Team Championship belts, and the Bucks were showing off the PWG World Tag Team Championship belts. The Bucks were in control at the start of the match until Ricochet hit a Space Flying Tiger Drop on the Bucks after they hit some topes on him and Sydal. The Bucks regained control after Sydal missed a move and worked over Sydal for most of the match until Ricochet got a hot tag, resulting in the pace of the match to go a bit faster.
There were lots of double team spots in this, a bunch of striking sequences that featured lots of leg slapping, and overly choreographed shit. Ricochet was pretty good in this, but for some reason there was a group of fans who started booing him for some reason. Him and Sydal had some good stuff in this, but the Bucks shined a lot more on offense and produced more memorable moments in the match. I did like the sequence where Matt Sydal hit a Here It Is Driver, followed by Ricochet hitting a springboard 450 on one of the Bucks. The Young Bucks win after a bunch of shit happened, which resulted in them hitting the Meltzer Driver in front of Dave Meltzer for the win. Good stuff that the crowd was really into, but it didn’t really feel like anything we haven’t seen before.
After the match, there was a brawl to build up the Roderick Strong vs. Zack Sabre Jr. match on Night 2 of All Star Weekend 12. Strong cut a promo that upset people. I’ll talk more about that in the final thoughts section.
Steve: I thought this match was fantastic. There was a quite a few spots that defientely didn’t feel like stuff everyone has seen before. Ricochet hit a Space Flying tiger drop early in the match. There was a super Frankenstiner too, when Ricochet had Matt Jackson on his shoulders and was standing on the middle rope and Sydal jumped off the top rope to hit it. The crowd was super hot for the match as well. I’m not sure if I liked this better or O’Reily vs. Scurll. Both were great and serious SoCal match of the year candidates.
Steve: This was PWG’s best show of the year to date. Not a bad match on the show, and nothing under 3 1/2 stars with a couple of serious match of the year candidates. Definitely worth buying, in fact this was top to bottom the best wrestling show I’ve seen in 2016.
Andrew: I thought it was an okay event. While the matches weren’t outright bad, they just felt kinda bland to me. Compared to the other promotions here in SoCal, this show blows a lot of what they have to offer out of the water, but I feel like Lemmy and Bowie were both better than this. I also felt that the amount of singles matches in PWG lately has stale and as if I’m seeing the same shit over and over again. I really miss the multi-man tag matches and the variety PWG use to have, and even though the roster is much better now than ever, the shows just don’t seem to stand out.