So this weekend I attended Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s “Game Over, Man.” It has been a very long time since I had been to a PWG event. In fact, the last PWG event I attended was “Speed of Sound” on August 28, 2009. I seem to remember the main event being Bryan Danielson vs Brian Kendrick, but research shows me the main was in fact Chris Hero vs Roderick Strong. I guess my memory isn’t quite what it once was. Who knew?
I made the trip out from Las Vegas not really knowing what to expect, as I have not seen the PWG product product in a long time. I was excited to go, however, as I have wanted to see Zack Sabre Jr. and Jeff Cobb live for a long time. Plus the old school part of me was very happy Dick Togo was on the card. I arrived at the venue to see Legion Hall Lary busting some assholes drinking Smirnoff Ice in the parking lot. Some things never change. Lary is always on the prowl, and there are always fans who delight in drinking beverages more suitable for girls at their first high school party. The first time I was at the Legion Hall in Reseda I saw Larry bust some guys drinking Bartles and James coolers before the Alligator Death Match. In hindsight, I should have had a few myself. Would have really helped that main event!
Also, when I was in the parking lot, I ran into SoCal Steve. It has been forever since I have sat near Steve at an event, so this was awesome. I love talking about SoCal history with someone who has seen as much of it as I have. Plus it’s Steve. I also saw Jesse Hernandez, and got a “Where the fuck did you come from?” reaction. I love that guy so much, and was so happy to see a new ring truck and a rebuilt ring. His troubles are not over yet, so here is this:
To quote the famous scene in “Reservoir Dogs,” “Cough up a buck, you cheap bastard!”
First off, the event started a few minutes early. This is fucking huge. I’m not sure I ever attended a PWG event which started on time, save for a couple of the ones at the lodge in Santa Ana that was across the street from the Zoo. Also, I am not sure I have ever seen so many fans jammed into that place. This crowd gave a new meaning to “SRO.” Another thing I really loved about this event was the fact every match on the show was different. I always love to see this at any wrestling event.
Opener was Lio Rush vs Rey Fenix. Some sweet Lucha Libre. Everything was fast and exciting, which is how you want to open a show. This is how you use Lio Rush. It amazes me that a SoCal promoter would spend the cash on a guy like Rush and then hide him in a 7 way match instead of using him to make a local wrestler look amazing. It’s like some promoters have no idea what they are doing…
Matthew Riddle vs Adam Cole was next. This was good, I had never seen Riddle before, and he was very good. Adam Cole is great, so no reason to talk about that. Fun 2nd match.
Next up was my MOTN. Jeff Cobb vs Keith Lee. This match was amazing. I have only seen Cobb work his Lucha Underground gimmick, so this was a whole new world to me. Both men have agility beyond what men their size should have. They worked well and told a compelling story, which is unusual for a big man match. I was very impressed with the strength of Cobb, who was throwing German suplexes left and right and Lee was obviously not helping much at all. Watching Jesse and the ring crew guys during this one was intense as well, as there was a legit concern that the rebuilt ring was in serious danger here. I have to say after this I’d buy a ticket to see either man any day of the week. In fact, as much as I hate schmoz endings, a draw here would have been a great finish, as a rematch would have drawn good business. Great stuff!
Mike Elgin and Kyle O’Riley were next, and they had a hell of an act to follow. Instead of trying to go big right out of the gate, they did a slow build to what became a compelling match. Elgin is a favorite of mine, so I was excited to see him on this event. Elgin was selling his arm like crazy, and wrestled a good portion of this with only one arm. Very good stuff. Again, different from what led up to this. At this point of the event my wife texted me and asked if I was having fun. What I texted her back sums up everything. I wrote,”You know how I have a strange love/hate relationship with professional wrestling? This event is all the reasons I fell in love with it to begin with.”
After intermission we got Young Bucks vs War Machine. The Bucks are fucking over. I mean OVER. No one else is even close. I watched them sell merch before the event. And at intermission. And after the event. It’s like they turn on a faucet and money comes out of it. The fans can’t stop spending cash on everything they have for sale. They rock to “Umm Bop.” They just love these guys. I remember these guys 10 years ago. I knew they were good, but seriously, they are the biggest thing in wrestling that Vince doesn’t own. No one aside from their dad saw that one coming. I was interested in seeing them here. As everyone knows, the biggest knock on the Jacksons is they don’t sell a lot, but tonight they both sold for War Machine like they were channeling Ricky Morton. Not my MOTN, but nothing to say anything bad about this one. Fun match that the crowd loved.
Zack Sabre Jr vs Dick Togo in a non-title match was up next. Like Steve mentioned in his review, Togo’s selling came and went, but this was still very good. Sabre is an excellent wrestler, and I hear a ton of comparisons to Bryan Danielson. I wouldn’t go quite that far. Unlike Danielson, Sabre doesn’t pick a body part. He works everything. He also puts on cool moves, but then he releases the hold before any drama builds and does something else. I think with some focus he could be amazing. Was very glad I got to see this guy before he blows up huge.
The main event was a blast. Steve covered all the big spots, so I’m just gonna say both guys worked their asses off. The fans had seen so much at this point, and these guys delivered yet something else the fans had not seen yet on this night. Marty is such a great heel, and the fans ate up every bit of punishment he received. Both Rick Knox and Justin Borden were great in this one, as they were all night. Two SoCal hall of famers here, in my opinion. Why Knox isn’t already in boggles my mind. WTF, SoCal?
All in all, I had a very good time at PWG. Well worth the high price of admission. The price may be steep, but they fucking delivered on many levels. The one thing I would like to say, however, is the event lacked SoCal guys. No one was repping SoCal that had not made it somewhere else. While I understand that PWG is very exclusive, I think there may be a guy or two in SoCal who would fit in with what they do. I think they could benefit from creating a star or two on their own. Who should they use? To me the answer is obvious. Dickey Mayer. This guy is everything I love in a local wrestler. He works his ass off, he pays his dues, he keeps his ego in check, and he knows his role. He is a wrestler who is mat based and works on the art of psychology. It is only a matter of time before he breaks big, and it would be sweet for PWG to use him now instead of waiting for that to happen before they use him.
These are my thoughts on PWG, thanks for reading.