PWG’s fifteen year anniversary show, “Threemendous V,” was a fun few hours of high quality wrestling put on by charismatic performers for a hot crowd. It was also the first Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show I’d had the opportunity to attend. I had heard about this legendary independent wrestling promotion and had seen some of its matches before, but covering for Steve Bryant for this review was the first time since moving to Southern California I’d been able to actually check it out in person due to time and financial constraints.
This was PWG’s second ever show at their new downtown LA home, the Globe Theatre. The PWG crowd was enthusiastic but not rowdy, and took heed of Excalibur’s encouragement to buy as much alcohol as possible to consume humanly and safely (PWG gets a cut of the bar here!) without turning into a mob of drunk jerks. Overall, it was a very good time in a cool space.
David Starr def. Dalton Castle
The night’s opening match saw Dalton Castle and David Starr face off in a slugfest. It was a smart choice of opener, with a clear face/heel dynamic and characters easy to cheer and boo to get the crowd fired up. Both wrestlers were in good form, and Starr tapped out Castle after interfering with the referee.
Castle’s boys for the evening were local wrestlers Anthony Rose, best known as WPW’s Shitty Superman and EWF’s Ty Ray.
Rey Horus def. Penta 0M
Both Horus and 0M performed well, but this match was all about Penta. The beloved antihero is on a hot streak in just about every promotion he’s in right now (Impact, CMLL, PCW, Lucha Underground, etc) (plus, of course, he’s All In), and this PWG match didn’t challenge that narrative. He was the crowd favorite and looked dominant here, but Rey Horus won decisively and impressively enough to earn the crowd’s appreciative applause. Afterwards, both wrestlers raised the Mexican flag and hugged to cheers. It was a really nice moment of appreciation for lucha libre and the country/culture that birthed it.
Jeff Cobb def. Joey Janela
Cobb and Janela are both very charismatic, which helped carry this match that started and finished strong, but I thought sagged in the middle. They both hammed it up at the beginning, with Janela stage diving from the ring apron and Cobb sitting and waiting during the dueling chants for him and his opponent. The finish was surprising and fun, with Janela introducing chairs to the match only for Cobb to capitalize for the win. Afterwards, Cobb raised Janela’s hand and pointed at him like, “You trickster.” Although this wasn’t the strongest match of the night or that I’ve seen from either of these wrestlers, their chemistry made me want to see a rematch.
PWG World Tag Team Championship match: The Rascalz (c) def. The Young Bucks
The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz and Dezmond Xavier) defeated The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) in a bout that worked well as both a wrestling match and a comedy sketch. The longtime PWG favorites and current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are obviously incredible popular and talented, and were undeniably the stars of the match. While the Rascalz didn’t look like they were on the Bucks’ level, they played their supporting roles well and showed off their athleticism.
Before the match, Matt got on the mic and brought out the “How Psychology Works” book from the latest episode of “Being The Elite.” He said the Bucks would be forgoing high spots and winning the match via technical wrestling (examples of technical wrestling: headlock takeovers and isolating a body part.) A “psychology!” chant got off the crowd, and Matt and Xavier started the match with a test of strength, followed by, yep, a headlock takeover to Xavier. Nick Jackson yelled jokes from the apron about rest holds and slowing it down.
After Wentz and Xavier double teamed Matt, Nick was tagged in and went for a high spot. Matt showed him the book to stop him, but Nick threw the book away, superkicked both opponents, and busted out some classic Young Bucks moves. He hit Wentz with his own signature Bronco Buster, but Wentz escaped a Metlzer Driver setup with a cutter. After some kickouts, the ref was taken out, and the true shenanigans could begin. We got an effective punchline to the book gag when Matt hit Wentz with “How Psychology Works,” then looked at the book and kissed it with glee.
The Bucks pinned after the Meltzer Driver, but the ref was still out of the ring. Wentz was able to score a roll up victory during the set up for More Bang For Your Buck once the ref had recovered. It earned frustrated boos from the crowd, and the defeated Bucks took the tag belts… but gave them back to the champs and shook their hands.
Rey Fenix def. Trevor Lee
Lee, “the Impact wrestling star,” heeled hard from the get go here, earning boos and a spinning kick to the head from Fenix after he said, “Now as for this Mexican I got right here in the ring…” Fenix was not as over as a face as Lee was as a heel, but Lee was so despicable that it kept the level of interest high. Lee interfered with the ref and dominated the match for a long time, and the two men fought amongst the crowd. Fenix finally started to shine, lucha-style, and won by pinfall after thwarting some mask shenanigans.
Matt Riddle def. Marty Scurll
I was extra hyped for this match because it would be my first time seeing Matt Riddle live, and he didn’t disappoint. You know who did disappoint though? Marty Scurll, for making me look at that entrance plague doctor entrance mask with HAIR. Why does his mask have hair now? It’s very confusing and disturbing, and makes it look like he’s starring in a version of the musical Cats, but about birds. (This musical would be called Birds.)
Entrance mask trauma aside, this was an enjoyable match between wrestlers whose characters and in-ring styles worked well together. We got good technical wrestling, plus Riddle’s feats of strength and Scurll’s villainy. Scurll played being offended by fans chanting for Riddle well, and held open the ropes for an audience member who yelled, “Hey, you f*cking suck,” to enter the ring and fight him. (The audience member did not enter the ring to fight Marty Scurll.)
I also liked the chicken wing countered into a powerbomb to knee strike for a nearfall by Riddle and Scurll using the toe version of his trademark finger snap attack on Riddle’s bare feet. Riddle escaped two more chicken wings, and won by submission after weakening Scrull with a tombstone piledriver.
PWG World Championship match: WALTER (c) def. Brody King
The night’s main event was originally a non-title match between PWG World Champion WALTER and Van Nuys’ favorite death metal son, Brody King. However, the announcement it was non-title was booed, and King hopped on the mic to challenge WALTER for his belt. The champ accepted, and the hoss fight was on. It was a story of two men with powerful chops, with lots of chops being dodged, and then being sold hard when they landed.
Brody King showed fighting spirit holding his own against the force that is WALTER, holding his own in a chop exchange on the mat that resulted in both men being nearly counted out, and escaping a powerbomb. WALTER kicked out of King’s All Seeing Eye cradle shock finisher and delivered one of his legendary big lariats. WALTER pinned King and remained champion, but allowed rising star King to shine throughout the match.
The DVD and Blu-Ray of Threemendous V is available for order now at Highspots.