Originally I wasn’t going to head out to PCW but then on the day of the show I was at lunch and thought to myself “I really want to check out this PCW show tonight.” So I made some changes to my plans and headed on my way to Torrance, and I’m glad I did. PCW is pretty new in SoCal, but they have been putting together some really strong cards, and this show looked to have their overall strongest card to date.
I ended up getting to the venue about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time, and they had already had a pre-show dark match between Danny Limelight and Cara de Leon which Danny Limelight won. I asked a couple people how it was, but both people I asked about it had missed all or some of it.
The first thing I noticed when I got into the venue was how professional PCW’s setup was. All the staff was in PCW gear and easily identifiable as being with PCW, they had large PCW banners up on the walls, and a nice setup with the entrance area. They definitely set themselves apart from some other promotions right off the bat. Indy wrestling fans are by nature hardcore wrestling fans, and great production values might sway a few more casual fans, ultimately though, the action in the ring is what is going to get people to come back. With the lineup they had, I didn’t expect that to be an issue.
They had some stiff competition with UFC 199 running in Inglewood and UEW holding a wrestling show in East Los Angeles as well, but I’d estimate they still managed to draw at least 400 people. There were some empty chairs, but not many. It was probably a good thing the draw wasn’t much bigger, as it was approaching 300 degrees in the building. I heard the concession stand actually turned the stove off and cooked the hot dogs using the ambient room temperature.
Before the show started there was a hip-hop performance by Nathan Haskill and another guy that I didn’t catch their name. The show actually started right on time.
Joe Graves over Alexander Hammerstone [10’59]
What a match to start off the show. Both guys had similar looking gear, which got a chant of “twinsies” going. The wrestlers seemed to of first realized it in the ring as well, which made for a humorous moment. After that however they really went at and had a fantastic match. Hammerstone hit a suplex on Graves on the outside and then Graves returned the favor and hit one on Hammerstone on the ring apron. A ton of stiff back and forth action between these two. Just a great match overall. Graves won the match via submission. Easy match of the month contender.
Reno Scum (Luster The Legend & Adam Thornstowe) over Los Luchas (Zokre & Phoenix Star) [9’03]
At the very start of the match there were a few miscues, but after that it was a great match. This was my first time seeing Reno Scum live, and they look even more impressive in person than do they do on video. Los Luchas are normally always really good as well. The story of the match was Los Luchas using their quickness to try and overcome Reno Scum’s strength and viciousness. Both teams managed to get a lot of offense in, and the match was really faced paced with really no slowing down at all. Reno Scum hit a pretty crazy top rope curb stomp to get the win. This was probably the best tag-team match in SoCal I’ve seen live this year (I thought the Young Bucks vs. Ricochet and Sydal from PWG was better, but I only watched that on video).
Kevin Martenson over Timothy Thatcher [13’11]
Both wrestlers are really good, but there seemed to be a bit of styles clash that took away from the match. Martenson was working over Thatcher’s leg for a good portion of the match and Thatcher was doing a great job selling it, even altering his offense because of it. Martenson got the win when he held the rope to secure the pin. It was a solid match, it wasn’t bad at all, and it may have been hurt by following the previous two matches as well, but it wasn’t anything special either.
The Almighty Sheik over Douglas James [10’02]
I really wasn’t sure what to expect going into this match, as I didn’t think these guys match up very well. The match actually ended up being pretty good for what it was and managed to put over the Sheik as being the brutal unbeatable guy and keep Douglas James fairly strong as well by allowing him to actually get the better of the Sheik and showing off his heart. Douglas James was using his quickness to counter the Sheik, and got a ton of offense in. They did a lot of brawling on the outside, with James getting tossed hard into the guard rails. James actually bladed in the match, and his face was completely covered in blood. James eventually got the upper hand, and went for the frog splash but ended up hitting the ref. While the ref was knocked out he got the pin on the Sheik and the crowd counted 3, but the ref wasn’t there to get the pin. When James went to get the ref, the Sheik was able to get James into the camel clutch and got a bloodied James to tap. It was a very entertaining match and the crowd was really hot for it and really got behind James.
At this point there was a fifteen minute intermission, and most of the crowd headed outside to escape the heat. During intermission they announced that Teddy Hart, who was scheduled to face Willie Mack, had a flight issue and was still not in the building yet. More on that later.
Scorpio Sky over Ryan Taylor [18’21]
At the start of the match there was dueling “Scorpio Sky” and “Ryan Taylor” chants that actually lasted for about 5 minutes before finally evolving into the “both these guys” chant. The crowd was super hot for this at the start. When they were wrestling it was a really really good match. Unfortunately there was a lot of stalling in the match. People in the crowd were saying that they were stalling to allow Teddy Hart to get there, which he did show up about half way into the match. If you take the stalling out of the match, this was a great match. They had a match at AWS last year that was said to be fantastic. As the match was, it was too slow at points and there were too many parts where there was just no action. Scorpio Sky won via submission.
After the match the ring announcer said he had no idea what was going to happen next as there seemed to be a lot of confusion with Teddy Hart showing up so late. When Teddy entered the building he was actually already in his gear, but he’d only just gotten there maybe 10 minutes prior. They announced that the main event was next and Jeff Cobb and JR Kratos came to the ring. Then Willie Mack’s music hit and he came out. A lot of the crowd was expecting this to now be a four-way with Teddy Hart, but the match started with no Teddy Hart.
Willie Mack over Jeff Cobb and JR Kratos [15’20]
This was a great match; I thought it was the 2nd best of the night. Willie Mack is so good. He is a heavyweight he moves like a cruiserweight. Cobb is so strong too, he was tossing Mack and Kratos around like rag dolls. JR Kratos looked really good in this as well. There are a lot of good heavyweight wrestlers lately. Kratos did a dive over the top rope onto Mack and Cobb. Then they did some crowd brawling that was on the other side of the venue that I wasn’t able to see, but the crowd over there seemed to be reacting to what was going on. Once they got back into the ring the match was really picking up. For some reason during the match Teddy Hart came out into the crowd, which really took a lot of focus off the match and there were a few people yelling for Teddy and just generally watching him. I think people were looking for him to get involved in some way. After a couple minutes he seemed to step outside, but then came back in and now had his cat. For the rest of the match a good portion of the crowd was focused on Teddy, which really took the focus off the ring and what was a fantastic match. There was one spot where Mack had both Kratos and Cobb in a fireman’s carry and then into a double slam. Mack got the pin on Cobb, allowing them to say Kratos’ unbeaten streak is still alive.
Apparently Teddy Hart has a flight issue and his flight went into Ontario airport, which is pretty far from the venue and with traffic he was running really late. By the time he showed up, they had already reworked the main event to include Willie Mack and the wrestlers had already planned it out so they took Teddy Hart off the show. I think that was a great move on PCW’s part in making the hard choice to take Hart off the show, especially since a lot of people wanted to see him. Adding him back on last minute would have meant there would be two matches with very little planning that could have greatly hurt the match quality on the show. PCW made the right call, and hopefully Willie Mack versus Teddy Hart will happen in the future.
Overall this was a really strong show from PCW despite the issues at the end. There wasn’t a bad match on the show. The show was also very fast paced lasting about two and a half hours, and it really didn’t even feel like it went that long. I’d highly recommend checking out the video when it’s released, and the next show will on August 20 (keeping with the theme of running against UFC) where they will be crowning champions. No matches have been announced but I was told they had a heavyweight, cruiserweight, and tag titles made.