PWG “Head Like a Cole” May 19, 2017 – review

PWG held their latest show, Head Like A Cole, on May 19th in what was widely believed to be Adam Cole’s farewell to the promotion. This was another good show from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla filled with a really solid under card, a crazy spotfest, and what should be a Southern California match of the year candidate for the main event.

The show ended up starting really late, even by PWG standards. The ring truck, which is EWF’s replacement truck to the one that was destroyed in a fire, broke down on the 210 freeway on the way to the venue. That caused EWF, which supplies PWG’s ring, to rent a U-Haul, drive to where the truck was, unload the ring truck into the U-Haul, and then fight rush hour traffic in Los Angeles to the venue. Even though the ring didn’t get to the venue until 7:30 pm (30 minutes before the scheduled bell time), the crew should be commended for finding a way to get there at all.  With the ring getting there so late, the crowd didn’t start entering the building till a little after 8:30 pm, and the last group of fans got in after 9:30.

Angelo Trinidad was back as ring announcer, and he hit the ring right as the last fans were entering the venue. This brought out Excalibur for his normal pre-show speech, and the show started a little before 10:00 pm. Before the show I heard some fans worried the late start might cause some wrestlers to have to leave to make flights for other shows, but the only change was the second and third matches got flipped in the match order.

Keith Lee defeated Trevor Lee in 16:42.

Before the match Trevor Lee told Keith Lee they should form a team and go to TNA and they could be TNA tag champs, all Keith had to do was lay down for him. Keith Lee said no and the match was under way. Trevor Lee had great heel heat throughout the match. Early Trevor Lee was trying to use his quickness and speed to counter Keith Lee’s power, but would occasionally try power moves on Keith with little success. Trevor did hit his kick from the apron on Keith Lee on all four sides of the ring. Keith Lee hit the Spirit Bomb. This was really good.
Rating: *** 3/4

The Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb & Matthew Riddle) defeated reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) in 15:58.

This was another really good match. Jeff Cobb tossing people around never gets old. He picked up Bobby Fish, threw him straight up and caught him in a vertical suplex at one point. Kyle O’Reilly and Matt Riddle really matched up well also. Bobby Fish looked like he got busted open over his left eye. Cobb tossed Fish into Riddle’s standing knee strike to get the pin.
Rating: *** 1/2

Michael Elgin defeated Shane Strickland in 12:37.

This had some really nice sequences but some of it felt too setup. There was one point where Strickland slipped on a springboard but Elgin immediately went on the attack to try and cover it. Still, this was a good match. Elgin won with an Elgin Bomb.
Rating: *** 1/4

Sami Callihan defeated Adam Cole in 18:46.

This match told a really good story, and if you’ve seen some of their previous matches there was a lot of playing off of those. Sami Callihan showed really great aggression in this and Cole was clearly the face with it being his possible last PWG match. Cole took a ton of punishment, including getting powerbombed onto a chair from the front. Callihan worked over Cole’s leg, hitting with chairs and putting in chairs and then hitting them. The only real downside is that Cole didn’t really sell the leg after all the punishment it took. Callihan won with a small package, which is how Cole had beaten him in one of their previous matches. This was a lot of fun.
Rating: *** 3/4

Lio Rush defeated Mark Haskins in 16:03.

This was the first match after intermission, it was hot in the building, and it was getting close to midnight, so the crowd was a little more dead for this than any of the previous matches. Lio looked good in this but it felt like Haskins was a little off. They had a a sequence on the outside where Lio went for a Spanish Fly on Haskins on the apron like he hit on Rey Fenix last month, but Haskins was able to avoid it and actually hit a Death Valley Driver on Lio on the apron instead. Lio got the win after a frog splash.
Rating: ***

PWG World Tag Team Championship Match: Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M defeated The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) in 14:29 to retain the PWG World Tag Team Championship.

The crowd must have been saving its energy from the previous match for this one, as both teams got huge reactions. Before the match Nick Jackson announced that they didn’t want to do a regular match, but instead a Texas Tornado Spotfest. The rules were dives, super kicks, and spots were all legal. They went full on spot fest early on, with the first five minutes or so being almost nothing but dives. The entire match was pretty much nonstop action. This was a ton of fun. The finish saw Rey Fenix double stomp one of the Bucks into Penta’s package pile driver as Rey Fenix immediately hit a dive to the outside on the other Buck. It looked like Fenix got hurt on the dive as he was down for a bit after and seemed to be having trouble walking afterwards. He wrestled again on the next night in Northern California so it likely wasn’t too serious.
Rating: ****

PWG World Championship Match: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Trent? in 23:46 to retain the PWG World Championship via submission.

This match started at about 12:30 am. Zack Sabre Jr. does such an excellent job as the arrogant heel. Trent? was excellent in this. Sabre Jr. worked over Trent’s leg almost the entire match and Trent? did an excellent job of selling it. Trent? was able to get some comeback offense in at times, but was unable to follow up due to his leg. Sabre Jr. was able to get Trent? to tap with a leg stretch ankle lock. They did a fantastic job of telling a story with this match and really building to the finish. This was excellent.
Rating: **** 1/2

With the victory Zack Sabre Jr. will have the second longest title reign in PWG history behind Adam Cole’s 538 day reign.

Overall despite the late start this was another good, solid show by PWG. The last two matches really elevated the overall show and it’s worth checking out on DVD for those two alone. The show is available on preorder now at PWG’s site and PWG’s next show is Man on the Silver Mountain on June 16th.

About the Author

Steve Bryant
Fan of Godzilla.