PCW Ultra held its second show of 2018, titled Tuff Luck, on March 16th. This show was set to feature the rematch between Rob Van Dam and Penta el Zero M and the United States debut of Jordan Devlin.
This year, the promotion has started airing their shows live via iPPV on Fite TV. Adding that to them making all of their shows free for Amazon Prime members you really have to commend PCW Ultra for working on getting extra exposure for their product.
I watched the show live via Fite TV myself, so this review is based off the broadcast versus the live experience. I’m a firm believer that live wrestling is always better than watching it on a screen, especially at the independent level.
Before the show began airing, the promotion announced to the live audience that they are adding a women’s title and Ricky Steamboat will be at their May show. The show opened with a really well produced intro video followed by some banter between the commentary team of Todd Keneley and Christian Cole.
Before I get into the matches I want to say something about the show’s production values. I wrote about one of their videos last year and was very critical of the production. I can say they have improved by leaps and bounds. The lighting when wrestlers are outside the ring could use some work and for some reason it seemed like the crowd mics got turned way down after intermission and you could barely hear the crowd. Other than that, the production was very well done.
Hammerstone over Brody King [10’39]
After starting with some hard chops by Brody King, the match started out pretty even. They went outside and Hammerstone hit a Death Valley Driver on the apron. Not to be outdone, King powerbombed Hammerstone into the apron and it looked like Hammerstone took it on the head and neck. Hammerstone eventually won with a Nightmare Pendulum. This was a good opener and did a good job of showcasing both wrestlers.
After the match the rest of Warbeast came out and attacked Brody King for losing.
Eli Everfly over Chris Bey [7’05]
This was fast paced with some nice innovative offense from both wrestlers. It’s a shame this only went seven minutes because if they had more time they could have done something special. On commentary Christian Cole mentioned that Bey gets his hair done at The Predator’s hair salon. Eli Everfly won with an Avalanche Underhook Canadian Destroyer, which looked crazy.
Rating: *** 1/4
Flip Gordon over Garza Jr. [10’12]
The beginning of the match was built around who would get to remove their pants first. Seriously. This started out fairly slow but once it picked up it was really good. With it being a short match, they probably should have picked up the pace earlier. Still, this was good. Flip Gordon won with the Star Spangled Stunner.
Kikutaro over Swoggle [8’28]
Kikutaro is the greatest comedy wrestler of all time and he couldn’t save this. There was a funny sequence where Kikutaro mimicked The Great Muta, bad leg and all. He later tried to put Swoggle in a Figure Four but Swoggle’s legs weren’t long enough. Kikutaro hit the Go to Shit (a Go to Sleep that hits his opponent in the butt instead) for the win. This was average.
During intermission they showed a match from a prior show which was a nice touch. Much better than a blank screen or listening to the commentary team talk for 15 minutes.
Shane Strickland over Douglas James and Jordan Devlin to win the PCW Ultra Light Heavyweight title [12’40]
This was supposed to be Douglas James versus Jordan Devlin but Shane Strickland came out and said he was cheated out of the title and he wanted in the match. The commentary did a good job all night talking about this and explaining what had happened previously. Both James and Devlin agreed to let Strickland in the match. This was really good and they did a good job of avoiding the standard triple threat setup where one guy is out while the other two wrestle for the most part. This was really nicely paced and everyone looked great in it. Douglas James has really been the heart and soul of PCW as he has been on every show and is consistently having some of the best matches in the promotion. Like a few other matches on the show, I wish they had gotten more time, but this was great. Strickland hit a Storm Cradle Driver on James but James got his foot on the rope. When Devlin was trying to get back in the ring he knocked James’ foot off the rope, allowing Strickland to get the pin.
Rating: *** 3/4
Warbeast (Josef & Fatu) over Damian 666 & Bestia 666 to retain the PCW Ultra Tag Team titles [8’48]
This is one of those matches that was probably wild and exciting for the live audience, or at least the live audience near where the outside brawling is taking place, but doesn’t translate to video. With the action in two different places you can only really get half the match. That means they kept cutting away from a pretty interesting matchup with Fatu and Bestia to show some boring brawling between Josef and Damian. Aside from the aforementioned interaction between Fatu and Bestia, this wasn’t very good. Brody King came out late, handcuffed Damian, and that allowed Josef to beat on him till the ref stopped the match. Someone at the show sent me a text saying fans were throwing stuff in the ring, which lead me to ask if it was heat or people were mad about the bad match. They said “take your pick.” No one on Warbeast is a bad wrestler, but they’ve gone all in on this “all violence is legal” gimmick and it doesn’t translate well to video. This wasn’t good.
Rating: * 1/4
Penta el Zero M over Rob Van Dam to retain the PCW Ultra Heavyweight title [11’45]
Penta el Zero M hit RVD with the title to start the match. A lot of this match took place outside of the ring, which I can’t imagine made it a good match for the half of the crowd who couldn’t see what was going on. When they finally got in the ring, there was a ref bump and RVD rolled up Penta. The lights went out for some reason, which I’m sure was a technical issue as nothing happened, and then Penta hit a Penta Driver for the pin. This really wasn’t very good. Penta el Zero M is great and Rob Van Dam has had much better showings in PCW than this, but this just was poorly put together with an over booked ending. If you really want to see a match between these two wrestlers, check out their first meeting at PCW’s Clear the Way.
Rating: * 3/4
The first half of this show, minus the comedy match, was really good. The last two matches were not. That has really been the issue with PCW Ultra lately, a really strong undercard followed by a much weaker top of the card. Still, it is worth at least checking out the early stuff on this show, especially if you are an Amazon Prime member and you can watch for free once it has been added there.
PCW Ultra will be back on May 4.