Steve and Andrew are back with a review of the DVD and Blu-Ray release of PWG’s 13th anniversary show,”Thirteen,” which featured Zack Sabre Jr. defending the PWG World Championship against Kyle O’Reilly, the Young Bucks defending the PWG World Tag Team Championship against Death By Elbow (Chris Hero & JT Dunn), Roderick Strong’s PWG farewell, and more. That, and GIFs!
Steve: In the interest of full disclosure I was at this show live, and did a review of it at the time. I didn’t relook at my review and I’ll be giving my rankings based off the DVD viewing, so if my ratings change a little (or a lot) sometimes the experience is different live versus on video.
Adam Cole vs. Brian Cage
Andrew: Brian Cage was a late addition to this show and replaced Tommy End. I’ll be upfront here; I really don’t care for Adam Cole in PWG. His matches aren’t really that entertaining to me. This match felt like it would be a good match on another local show or a main event on an episode of Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, but it was pretty weak by PWG standards. Cage threw Adam Cole around, and Cole worked over Cage’s leg for a bit. I honestly thought Ryan Kidd vs. Tito Escondido from H.A.T.E’s “You Can’t Sit With Us..” was better than this match, and would’ve gotten over with the PWG crowd. I know PWG wants to put on the “best” wrestling shows in the world, but to be pretty honest, an Eli Everfly or Adrian Quest vs. Brian Cage match would’ve been better than this. Now I’m sure people are gonna be all like “but Adam Cole’s a draw” and such, but the truth is PWG’s shows are so loaded that Adam Cole not being on shows anymore wouldn’t hurt PWG shows.
Andrew’s Rating: **
Steve: The PWG crowd sure wants to see someone suck someone’s dick in the ring. I think the “suck his dick” chant comes out every show at least once, and it made its way out early in this show. I disagree with Andrew about Cole in PWG and have liked his work, and Cage is normally very good, but I thought this was the weakest match on the show. There was some good stuff like a sequence when Cole did a German suplex into a superkick then into a straitjacket German. Cole won via rollup.
Steve’s Rating: ** 1/2
Roderick Strong vs. Timothy Thatcher
Steve: Going in a lot of people expected this to be Strong’s last match in PWG with him going to WWE being the worst kept secret in wrestling. Roddy was super intense throughout the match which was great. He has had such a great run in PWG. This was one Thatcher’s better PWG matches lately too. Lots of striking in the match but Thatcher’s selling at points leave a lot to be desired. There was a really good sequence where Roddy hit a superplex and then went to a gut-buster but Thatcher reversed it into a Fujiwara arm bar. Roddy got out of it, and the crowd was firmly on his side despite him being heel. With the whole WWE thing there was nothing he could have done in this match to get heel heat. Roddy hits two knee strikes for the win. The crowd chanted “Thank you Roddy” after.
Steve’s Rating: *** 1/4
Andrew: I enjoyed this match. There was nothing in this that already hasn’t been done before, but the entire match was enjoyable. There was good action at a good pace. Not much else to say about it that Steve hasn’t already said.
Andrew’s Rating: ***
Jeff Cobb vs. Trevor Lee
Andrew: During his ring introduction, Trevor Lee had Angelo Trinidad announce him as a TNA star for cheap heat. The match started out with Trevor Lee was pretty entertaining talking shit on Cobb, and Cobb hilariously out wrestling him, frustrating Trevor Lee. Lee also bitch slapped Cobb, and proceeded to get his fucking ass kicked after. This match had a good blend of comedy from Lee and some nice spots, including Cobb’s various counters, suplexes, and slams. Cobb also hit his Standing Moonsault/Standing Shooting Star Press spot. Trevor Lee also hit a really nice Tope Con Giro to the outside on Cobb. I enjoyed this match and would like to see Cobb eventually become PWG World Champion. Really good stuff here. My only complaint here is that PWG crowds suck and are annoying. The beer line was an annoying distraction too.
Andrew’s Rating: ***3/4
Steve: I thought this was a really good match as well. Cobb has been so great everywhere this year, but it’s awesome to see how he keeps getting better every time you see him wrestle. A week prior to this show he had a match with B-Boy in FCW that I actually thought was better than this match too, but I’m not even sure If that match is on video anywhere. Cobb should be a strong contender for SoCal wrestler of the year for 2016. Trevor Lee has also been consistently good in PWG (and TNA) and should be getting more hype than he does.
Steve’s Rating: *** 3/4
Chuck Taylor vs. Trent?
Steve: This was one of my two favorite hardcore style matches in SoCal so far in 2016 (Thunder Rosa vs. Holidead from FCW being the other). The match started with Trent? not really going all out against Chuck and they had a nice technical sequence that ended in a hug. Then Chuck eye-raked Trent? and the match took a turn with Trent? now going all out. They were brawling in the crowd with slams onto chairs. When they got back in the ring they had setup ladders, to which Excalibur hilariously mentioned on commentary they need those ladder to reinstall the lights later. Trent? eventually brought out the thumbtacks and both guys took bumps in them. Chuck won with a piledriver into the tacks. This was a really great, fun match. Side note, I think as far as PWG’s commentary goes, Excalibur and Chuck Taylor are the best, followed by Excalibur and Chris Hero, but I thought Joey Ryan did a really good job in this match and his commentary helped sell the violence on the screen.
Steve’s Rating: **** 1/4
Andrew: I honestly loved this match. The entire story and build up from a normal wrestling match to a borderline Guerrilla Warfare match was so much fun to watch play out. Add in Chuck and Trent? slowly turning on each other and trying to kill each other made it more fun. Great stuff here. This was definitely my favorite match of the show.
Andrew’s Rating: ****1/2
Sami Callihan vs. Marty Scurll
Andrew: Sami’s “Space Cat” schtick would’ve been more entertaining if he were legitimately euthanized. Sami Callihan just sucks. Like I said about Adam Cole earlier, there are a bunch of locals who would do better than Sami Callihan. Guys like Mr. California, the American Oni, Sasha Darevko, or a woman like Lady Lee would all be better choices to be part of the PWG roster than Callihan. His phony “GRRR I’M ANGRY LOOK AT HOW INTENSE I AM” schtick is atrocious. Super Dragon should just take whatever money he uses to bring in Callihan in the form of single dollar bills and use them in his cats’ litter boxes. It would be less of a waste than using it on a plane ticket and Sami’s booking fee. I don’t give a fuck about Scurll and his antics either. I know he’s capable of having really good matches, but a lot of times he seems like he’s another guy enjoying his free trip to California. I couldn’t stand this match at all. The “meowing” and all the cat bullshit was so fucking awful. Fuck this crowd. Aside from the chick who was actually giving the match heat, they absolutely suck. I mean, she was into the match and wanted to see Marty Scurll win, while everyone else wants to get themselves over with “witty” chants and shit.
Back to the match, The double headkick spot looked fucking awful. Scurll won with the Crossface Chickenwing. At least the tolerable guy won. On the night this match happened, Steve texted me and told me what was going on and told me that I’d probably hate it. He might as well be renamed Michel de Nostredame cause I really hated this match.
Andrew’s Rating: 1/2*
Steve: First, I know Andrew dislikes Callihan, and ratings are subjective obviously, but I can’t see how anyone would think this match was “terrible”. I also didn’t care for the Space Cat stuff at the start, but a lot of the crowd ate it up. As an entertainer you have to play to your audience, and he did. I also think we’ve been watching different PWG shows, because Scurll has been great in PWG. The Space Cat stuff went way too overboard for my tastes, but after it had pretty much run its course I thought the match was pretty good. Scurll’s finger snap spot always induces a cringe. Scurll eventually hit a suplex into a chickenwing and got the win.
Steve’s Rating: ** 3/4
Andrew: Allow me to retort with this GIF to justify my hate for this match.
PWG World Tag Team Championship Match: The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) (c) vs. Death By Elbow (JT Dunn vs. Chris Hero)
Steve: This was my match of the night. I say it every review but Chris Hero is one of the best wrestlers in the world. The Young Bucks are one of if not the best tag-teams in the world, and JT Dunn is pretty good too. At the start the Bucks were doing their whole “suck it” shtick and Hero comes in and just destroys Nick Jackson. Death by Elbow lived up to its name and did a ton of rolling elbows in the match. Late in the match Death by Elbow was rally dominating and there was a bunch of 2 counts, but the Bucks via a surprise roll-up which was a pretty disappointing ending to the match.
Steve’s Rating: **** 1/4
Andrew: I thought this was okay. Hero delivered as always in his performance, and he was pretty much the star of the match. JT Dunn was alright, but I wasn’t really blown away by him in this match There were some decent spots, but overall I wasn’t digging this match. I mean, it was good, but there wasn’t really anything spectacular about this match.
Andrew’s Rating: ***1/2
PWG World Championship Match: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Andrew: I really enjoyed this match for the most part. They had a nice blend of chain wrestling sequences and typical pro wrestling stuff early on. Some of the technical wrestling sequences looked like they were doing flow rolling. If you don’t know what flow rolling is, it’s a Jiu-Jitsu thing. As the match went on, Kyle’s injured shoulder became the focus of the match. The mid portion of the match had a pretty slow pace, but it began to pick up in the latter stages of the match with Zack attacking Kyle’s injured shoulder, and Kyle fighting back. One thing I didn’t understand was why didn’t Kyle do a head spike spot to get out of Zack’s armbar in the later portion of the match? It’s not legal in jiu-jitsu, but it would be a really cool spot in pro wrestling. Zack retained the title by making Kyle tap to a really cool looking Octopus armbar submission. This was a pretty good match that could’ve been better.
After the match, Roderick Strong attacked Zack Sabre Jr. and demanded a rematch. Thoughts on that after Steve’s comments on this match.
Andrew’s Rating: ***1/2
Steve: There was a lot I liked about the main event as well, but also thought it could have been better with both these guys. Maybe if they condensed it a little bit and took maybe three to five minutes out it would have worked. PWG has been really good at building to some big matches, and that may have worked against this match because I don’t think anyone ever thought Sabre would lose either. Still, this was a really good match, and some of the ground work both guys pull off is amazing to watch.
Steve’s Rating: ****
PWG World Championship Match: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Roderick Strong
Andrew: Roderick went at Zack as soon as the bell rang, and did a bunch of moves on an exhausted Zack Sabre Jr. Zack would make a comeback and had Roderick in a submission before the Young Bucks interfered. Despite the interference, Zack was able to keep fighting. Marty Scurll and Kyle O’Reilly put the Young Bucks in Chicken Wings and helped Zack go after Roderick. After a few moments, Zack and Roderick are alone in the ring and exchanged several elbows and chops. Adam Cole tried to interfere on Strong’s behalf, but fought back and beat Strong with some fancy pin. This was a really good bonus match.
After the match, the fans chanted “Thank You Roddy” since he was WWE bound. He cuts a promo, brought out the Bucks and Adam Cole, teased a triple super kick, and hugged. The locker room emptied out and he cut the usual “thank you” speech. Excalibur got on the mic and closed the show. Aside from the cheesy, sentimental emotional bullshit, this was a good segment.
Steve: This was a great way to end Rody’s time in PWG and much better than probably anything else they could have done. It was a really nice send off.
Andrew: This was sorta underwhelming for a PWG anniversary show. I honestly didn’t feel into most of the matches aside from Cobb/Lee and Trent?/Chuck. I stand by my comment about Scurll/Callihan being the worst match of the show. I will say there’s been worse matches in PWG history (the Joey Ryan vs. Top Gun Talwar Tuxedo Match, Oven Mitts 1 & 2 vs. Hardkore Kidd, CM Punk vs. Donovan Morgan, CM Punk vs. Steve Corino, AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels in a boring ass one hour draw, and many more) and that match ranks up there with them.
With that said, Roddy got a proper sendoff and it was a real special moment. It sucks he’s leaving PWG, but there’s only so much more he could do now, and it’s time for him to move on. Dude gave PWG fans so many great performances over the years, and it’s great to see him moving on to bigger things.
Steve: I thought this was an excellent show. A couple of matches were above average to good, and then everything else was good to great. It was also a great ending to Roddy’s time in PWG, who has been an important part of the promotion for a decade. The show was probably better live, but when you watch it live you don’t get the joy of hearing Excalibur on commentary, who I think is one of the best in wrestling. I recommend buying this DVD.