Pro Wrestling Guerrilla held their sixteenth-anniversary show, aptly titled Sixteen, on July 26th, and what a show it was. For a promotion that in its 16 years has had some of the best wrestlers of the time appear, Sixteen had one of the best matches in the promotion’s history to go along with a great show from top to bottom.
The show started as always with Excalibur in the ring to do his pre-show promo. He mentioned that he has not been at every PWG show, and even Rick Knox has missed some, but one person has been there for every show: Super Dragon. He then went on to talk about how Super Dragon is the one responsible for everything, which lead to a loud “Super Dragon” chant. He then went over the rules, called the Discovery Channel cowards for only having Shark Week once a year, and started the show.
Trey Miguel over Andy Brown [8’05]
Andy Brown was a replacement for Flip Gordon who was injured last weekend. This was Brown’s second appearance in PWG, and he got a huge reaction. Brown controlled the offense early but Miguel made a comeback. Miguel and Brown looked great in this. Miguel won with a Meteora.
Rating: *** 1/2
The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson over Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent?) by DQ [15’21]
This same match is scheduled to take place at AEW’s All Out on August 31 so I expected some shenanigans with the finish here. The match itself was really good. Dark Order got “welcome back” and “Super Smash Brothers” chants at the start. It was really good to see them back in PWG. This had a ton of double team moves and the crowd was incredible for everything. Dark Order kept hitting low blows on the Best Friends while the ref was distracted. Eventually, Trent retaliated and the ref saw it and called for the DQ. The DQ finish got a strong negative reaction, but everything up to it was great. I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic match at All Out.
Rating: *** 3/4
This was the first DQ in PWG since 2014 and only the second since 2010.
It is also worth noting AEW owner Tony Khan was in attendance for the show, but he actually bought his ticket and was attending as a fan.
Darby Allin over MJF [12’30]
Before the match, MJF cut a promo running down California and the crowd. During his promo, he claimed he would win with a headlock takeover. MJF’s gear was in tribute to Roddy Piper, who was a huge star in Los Angeles. Allin took a beating as usual in this but managed to kick out of everything. MJF tried for the headlock takeover several times, but Allin kicked out. Allin eventually hit a low blow and then won with the headlock takeover MJF promised to beat him with. This was really good.
Rating: *** 1/2
Bandido, Flamita, & Rey Horus over Black Taurus, Laredo Kid, & Puma King [14’12]
This match is virtually indescribable. There was so much innovative stuff in this. It’s always amazing when you’ve watched wrestling for decades and then see stuff you’ve never seen before. It felt like this was not only a showcase for how great each of these wrestlers is but a showcase of what is possible in a wrestling ring. The crowd was insane for this and post match there had to be at least several hundred dollars tossed in the ring. Some people, including a few people who work for PWG, were claiming it was the best match in PWG history after. It certainly was up there. This is a match you really have to see to believe. It was absolutely incredible.
Joey Janela over Jungle Boy [12’12]
Jungle Boy rode Luchasaurus’ shoulders to the ring. They started out doing matwork, and Joey Janela even commented to the crowd “hey, I can wrestle.” This was good, but I think the crowd was still buzzing from the last match and even though there was an intermission in between, pretty much nothing can follow that. Janela hit the Super Human flying elbow to get the win.
Rating: *** 1/4
Brody King over David Starr [14’28]
This was really good and different from everything else on the show. There was a ton of stiff strikes in this. King went for a chop and Starr head butted his hand which legit injured King’s hand, but then they still did it again. Brody King once broke his leg in a match and still finished the match. He’s a mad man. King won with the Gonzo Bomb.
Rating: *** 1/2
The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) over LAX (Santana & Ortiz) in a ladder match to retain the PWG World Tag Team Championship [15’19]
These teams have been feuding for a while in PWG and what better way to do the blow off than in the first ladder match in PWG in years. This was great. Both of these teams are so good. LAX are free agents now and would instantly make AEW, WWE, and NJPW’s tag team divisions better. Everyone should be going all out (no pun intended) to sign these guys. The Rascalz are in the middle of the second best tag-team run in PWG history (behind the Young Bucks). Rascalz did their assisted moonsault on a ladder that was being bridged to another ladder. The ending felt somewhat abrupt however. Still, this was a great match and great way to end the night.
Overall this was another great show highlighted by an all-time classic match. The six-man is a must-see match and easily the best match to take place in Southern California so far this year.
No one sees to know what the future holds in terms of using AEW talent, though Excalibur is sticking around so that seems to be a good sign. Independent wrestling is so deep right now though there are always people to step up. While PWG was going on GCW was running on the East Coast and Defy was in Seattle getting rave reviews. PWG has done a good job in the past at mining new areas to bring in talent and keep up the high quality of their events.
I’ve known Super Dragon for 20 years and when he was a wrestler all he ever cared about was having the best match he possibly could. He went all out in his matches, it didn’t matter if he was in the Grand Olympic in front of thousands or in the parking lot of a car dealership in front of 20 people who just want to buy a car. He runs PWG the same way, where he just wants to have the best wrestling in the world. Obviously, not everything always works out, but over 16 years he has built something special in the world of wrestling.
This isn’t to take anything away from others. PWG wouldn’t be what it is without others such as Excalibur, Rick Knox, Joey Ryan, Disco Machine, Scott Lost, Topgun Talwar, Justin Borden, and even behind the scenes people like Atox, Devin, Jimbo, Andrew, Mike, and so on. But Super Dragon is the architect and I look forward to what he comes up with for the next 16 years.