Waiting outside in the 107 degree weather, there was a line in the parking lot that wrapped around the fence. I’d heard people had been here since early in the morning. Anticipation for this event was high, and almost matched the heat of the evening. Ash was falling in the air due to fires in the area, adding a battle like atmosphere for the occasion. The night started at around 8:30pm when Excalibur did his opener.
Brian Cage vs. Desmond Xavier
The first match started and Cage had a good amount of crowd heat already. This was a good opener and was fast paced. According to some wrestlers on the show, the air felt like “breathing pudding”, but they didn’t show it. Cage no-sold the early Xavier stuff and manages to even throw a Hurricanrana in there, along with a combo backbreaker. Cage started a “let’s go Desmond” chant that fired up Xavier, who later hit a nice looking cartwheel tope onto the floor followed by a corkscrew moonsault. Cage attempted two consecutive powerbombs on Xavier, but ended up getting hit with a reverse sunset flip of sorts to lose the match. Xavier took this one.
Xavier looked good in this. The pin had a huge pop by the crowd at the end, which was really fun to experience. I knew this was going to be a special night of wrestling.
Flash Morgan Webster vs. Marty Scurll
Marty took the mic and said he does as he pleases, doesn’t do what any of the idiots here ask him to do, and called Webster a waste of space and tells him he can go back to Wales. Webster then catches him with his back turned and almost got him on a roll up for three. Webster threw in some nice outside moves and some chair work got thrown in for good measure. After a backbreaker by Marty, a “Fuck you, Marty” chant started. Marty was in control for a while after this. There was a particularly funny spot where a fan told Marty to suck it, so Marty then threw Webster outside over the ropes onto the fan. Marty then hit a nice overhead release suplex, but Webster got back at him with a Hurricanrana off the top rope and a nice looking tilt a whirl buster. Marty started pulling some tricks, like distracting referee Rick Knox and such, but the match was closely contested and went back and forth. Webster flapjacked Marty and hit a nice running knee, and also managed to get out of the chicken wing once, but Marty caught him a second time for the win.
This was a good showing, especially by Flash Morgan, there were several “please come back” chants for him. Marty really got the crowd going, as it was fiercely half for and against Marty.
Rey Fenix vs. Rey Horus
This was a great matchup between two highly skilled wrestlers. This started off highly technical at first, with nearly a straight up race to the finish. Both had springboard moves of the ropes, and Horus had a nice looking Canadian-destroyer-to-leg-drop combo, followed by a hurricanrana. Horus pushed Fenix off the turnbuckle at one point and then just jumped out there on him. There were cutters, pop up DDTs, Fenix with a standing Spanish fly… it was nuts! At several points I heard fans saying this was the best match so far of the night. Fenix ended up taking this with a DDT to a lucha submission. The fans threw money into the ring to show their appreciation, which was well deserved. This was definitely one of the first matches to load up when the DVD comes out, so I’m not going to spoil the whole thing here.
The Chosen Bros. (Jeff Cobb & Matthew Riddle) vs. Donovan Dijak & Keith Lee
This was one of the higher anticipated matches on the card and it didn’t disappoint. This started out with some crazy athletic feats between Cobb and Lee. Dijak and Riddle got tagged in and basically wrestled to a stalemate, even though Riddle locked in a nice Kimura lock on Dijak early on. There were a lot of good double team moves, which I believe is what tag team wrestling is all about. Once spot was Dijak going into a step up moonsault and then Lee powerbombed Dijak onto Cobb for an exclamation point. There were so many great double team moves: an electric chair to a crashing knees by Riddle, a moonsault by Lee, and Cobb hit a side to side swinging gutwrench suplex that was just crazy to watch. Dijak hit a choke-bomb to sleep for two. It was fast paced and basically sprinted to the finish. An assisted knee plus took this match for the Chosen Bros.
This match may have been MOTN; such great teamwork by both teams. Some of this stuff will have to be seen to be believed, as word here can’t do this match justice. Fun, fast and impactful throughout.
Penta El Zero M vs. Matt Sydal
This match came after the intermission and was a back and forth affair. There really wasn’t a true good or bad guy in this match, which was cool. I like matches that are simply about ability and this one had some talented guys in it, too. Sydal has such a pretty shooting star press, it’s a shame he missed both attempts in this match. Sydal did hit a nice poison-rana near the end of the match, but Pentagon hit a Canadian destroyer for the win. The pace was measured, but still moved at a good flow. Both of these guys looked good and it made for a good action filled match to get the fans back into it after the break.
Jonah Rock vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
This match was a clash of styles with the intimidating size and strength of Jonah and the technical wizardry of Zack. Jonah started tossing Zack around, and hit him with an impressive senton right out the gate. Zack immediately went after the leg and went into kicky-Zack mode, attacking Jonah. There was a lot of psychology in this with Zack really concentrating on slowing Jonah down using tons of locks and submission holds, a kneebar, and an octopus lock to name a few. Jonah had an impressive chokebomb and a frog splash near the end of the match. Zack got all slappy, and a thunderous suplex by Jonah was his response. Jonah went on top for a moonsault but missed, and Zack got his submission locked in or the victory.
This match was a little slower than the previous one, as per Zack’s style. I believe the heat was a bit of a factor for Jonah since I’ve seen him a little more active on tape. However, the psychology of the match could have also been part of it. The match told a decent story, though I would have liked to have seen more of the pace that Jonah works best at. Solid match, plus it’s fun to watch people boo Zack.
Flamita vs. Ricochet
This was the final match of the night, and it was a hot one. It started off with a litany of technical moves by both competitors. The crowd was nearly split. Flamita had a crazy hurricanrana to lucha armdrag. Ricochet also looked very crisp from the get go. This was a real stalemate to start; both were trying to outdo each other to an impressive display. Ricochet had a nice dropkick-to-suicide dive to half rounded tope over the top rope combo. Flamita hit a spike-rana-to-codebreaker combo that was nuts. Flamita hit a 450, missed a 450, and missed a phoenix splash, just crazy stuff. I really liked ricochet’s axe kick work. It looked just devastating. He used it with some sort of inverted brainbuster that looked really painful. Ricochet ended up taking this, but it was a hard fought battle and a definite MOTN candidate.
This was a fun show and had a great pacing and opening night crowd. The matches really set the tempo for the weekend and showcased the talent well. It’s a testament to match quality that PWG has when at worst you have what would be a three star match as your worst match and it would be the highlight of any local card. This night had three must-see matches and some solid debuts. It will be a must-purchase when the media comes out. I really couldn’t decide on a match of the night, so here’s my top three.
The three must see matches in my opinion are:
- Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle) Donovan Dijak & Keith Lee
- Rey Fenix vs. Rey Horus
- Ricochet vs. Flamita