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Thread: Jim Reviews PWG

  1. #281

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG (ASW 9 Night 2)

    1.21 Gigawatts
    March 21, 2008




    Since this is 2008, be sure to be on the look out for last minute changes due to wrestlers no showing.

    Brandon Bonham vs Nemesis
    I miss Nemesis, what is the little guy up to these days? This is Bonham's debut in PWG. Within a couple minutes of the opening bell, the fans are so impressed with Bonham that they want to chant for him. However, since they can't remember his name, they have to settle for a "Let's go New Guy!" chant. Thus, Bonham's nickname of being The New Guy is born. For Bonham's spot on the card, this is about as good of a debut as he can have. He put in a lot of effort and managed to hit one big dive to the outside. The crowd is already loving him, even if they can't remember his name. To top off a good debut, Bonham wins with a beautiful looking Swanton Bomb. It's exactly what you'd want out of a PWG opener. Bonham's PWG run (Which continues to this day through his band, Barbarian Overlords, who provides the music for PWG DVD's) begins a great note. ** 1/2

    Candice LeRae vs LuFisto
    Holy shit, LuFisto is awesome. With her ultra aggressive style, she reminds me of a female version of Super Dragon. Even the pro-Candice crowd ends up loving LuFisto in her debut. When it came to Candice winning by rolling through a top rope cross body into a pin, some people actually booed. LuFisto's style also easily created a story throughout the match. Early on, Candice was trying to just wrestle LuFisto through simple holds. Yet, LuFisto beats the fuck out of her so badly that Candice has to resort to more of a brawling style. You end up with a David vs Goliath match with LeRae having to endure so much punishment and wait for her moment to throw in a few strikes of her own. So in that regard, it's comparable to an old Samoa Joe ROH Title defense. In the end, Candice uses her head and gets the win with the aforementioned counter to the cross body. This match murders every WWE Diva match in 2008. ***


    After the match, Human Tornado and Claudio Castagnoli come out to hassle Candice. Before they can get their hands on her, Chris Hero runs out for the save. He and Claudio brawl around the ring to set up...

    Chris Hero vs Claudio Castagnoli
    Hero was originally scheduled to wrestle El Generico tonight. I'll explain what happened in the next match. I believe this is the third of their five (?) PWG matches. It also happens to be their weakest match. That's not so much of a bad thing though. The match was thrown together at the last minute and it comes off more as a segment rather than an actual match. Claudio dominated the vast majority of the bout in his attempt to destroy Hero. Hero took a big bump into the crowd where he caused the one Claudio fan to take a big bump to the floor. The best aspect of the match for me was when Claudio finally had his giant swing countered. Even better is Hero counted it in such a way that he scored the surprise pinfall. Clever finish. If you want to see Hero vs Claudio at their best in PWG, watch one of their 2011 matches. If you want to watch the complete feud between Hero and Human Tornado, this is worth checking out. *** 1/4

    After the match, Human Tornado returns to attack Hero. Candice LeRae attempts to make the save, but LuFisto returns as well to fight Candice to the back. Finally, Hero gains control of the situation by bringing in a chair. The three heels retreat to the back.

    Before the next match, The Dynasty cuts a promo in the ring. It seems as if Joey Ryan received word shortly before the show that Eddie Kingston wouldn't be making the event. That meant the Dynasty's title defense against Kingston and Claudio was cancelled. That's annoying for the Dynasty seeing as they're trying to bring prestige back to the titles since so many people have been vacating the titles (SDDR) or not bothering to fly in when they had a title shot lined up (Kingston). Ryan sent a message on Myspace to Dino Winwood, but that asshole never responded. So Ryan texted Excalibur. While Excalibur did respond, he made it clear that he was too busy worrying about other stuff. So Ryan sent out a mass e-mail to every member of the PWG roster for an open title match. It's worth mentioning that during this promo, the crowd kept chanting "Chris Bosh".

    The Dynasty (c) w/Jade Chung vs Kevin Steen and El Generico - PWG Tag Titles
    And thus, Generico finds a new match after his match with Chris Hero was altered. This is Kevin Steen's first PWG in Cali match since BOLA 2007 Night 3 (Early September 2007), so it's a big homecoming for him. The ironic thing about Kingston missing this show is something he mentioned at just the previous show when he did a little guest commentating, "Why do you keep booking the Briscoes if they keep no showing?" By the end of the year, PWG would wise up about Kingston and stop booking him. While the actual match is good, Generico played the face in peril while Steen did his usual comedic taunts, none of that truly matters. What matters is late in the match, Super Dragon returned and killed Jade Chung with a Psycho Driver. Chung would never be seen in a PWG ring again. Meanwhile, that left Scott Lost to carry Chung's lifeless body back to the back and Ryan confused about what was going on. That easily allowed Steenerico to pick up the win following their trademark Package Piledriver/Brainbuster combo. With that, we have NEW PWG Tag Team Champions. More importantly, it completes the Dynasty's great little tag title reign. They were given the titles to give the division some structure again after SDDR kept missing shows. So the Dynasty defended the belts against the very top teams in indy wrestling, not just PWG. Finally, Super Dragon is the one responsible for them losing the belts for not only revenge of the Dynasty walking around with his belts, but for all of the trash talking and the disrespect Joey showed SDDR. ANGLE PROGRESSION~! This is part of the reason why PWG 2008 blows recent PWG years out of the water. One last time though, the match was quite good, but everything with Super Dragon, the tag title reign, Chung's injury and the entire Dragon/Ryan angle naturally overshadows it all. *** 1/2


    In the ring, Excalibur breaks the news that the scheduled main event of Necro Butcher vs Human Tornado will no longer be happening. Funny enough, since this is 2008, the moment Excalibur mentioned Necro, the fans instantly know that it has to do with a no show. For make up for the messed up main event, Excalibur has booked the first ever inter gender tag street fight - Chris Hero and Candice LeRae vs Human Tornado and LuFisto!

    The Young Bucks vs TJ Hooker vs Los Luchas vs Ronin & Scorpio Sky - DDT4 Qualifying Elimination Match
    At the conclusion of the last show, Scared Straight, TJ Hooker (Hook Bomberry and TJ Perkins) had cheated to beat Sky/Ronin to move into first place in the round robin. From there, they interfered in the Los Luchas/Bucks match to make it a draw, ensuring that they would remain in first place to win the tournament. Due to all of these dastardly deeds, one final match was created with the winner of this match being named the winner of the qualifying series. So basically, the entire qualifying series was pointless! Like throughout the entire DDT qualifying series, TJ Hooker are the stars of the match. They offered some story to this spotfest cluster fuck. In the first fall, they worked over Nick Jackson during a face-in-peril sequence. The first elimination even sees them cheat Scorpio Sky for the second straight show. Naturally, that meant TJ Hooker had to be eliminated next. Really, they should have won it all. The final showdown between Los Luchas vs Young Bucks was all about the spottiest of spots before Los Luchas won the tournament with their dual senton spot. On the surface, this match was just a random spotfest, it's the culmination of making a series of lowcard tag matches mean something. ***

    Chris Hero and Candice LeRae vs Human Tornado and LuFisto - Street Fight
    Holy shit balls, this was a WAR. Now admittedly, it's a war that lasted a long ass time. The actual match was only around twenty-seven minutes, but then you had a twelve minute post-match segment and a two minute backstage video. It's a lot to get through and I feel like it would have been a little better had they cut it down to under twenty minutes. The main positive of the match is that all four wrestlers brought the HATE. You believed that these two teams despised each other and that neither team would be happy until the other duo was dead. Just as she did in her earlier match, LuFisto was so damn great in being a major ass kicker. She and Tornado worked over Hero's knee for a bit early in the match, forcing Hero to sell the knee for the remainder of it all. Even though she was the weakest of the match, you have to praise LeRae's work in the match. She was forced to walk the tightrope between being the damsel in distress and then moments where she goes crazy by being super aggressive in wanting to destroy LuFisto and Tornado. Late in the match, things get intense as LuFisto busts LeRae open and Tornado gets in some shots as well to further put over the graphic scene. In the end, Hero manages to win by pinning Tornado following one of his wacky Cravate slams. Too long, but it's very easy to love this WAR~! *** 1/2


    After the match, Claudio Castagnoli runs out and hits Hero with a Ricola Bomb. This is when a good heated match becomes a chaotic epic 5 star angle. Claudio duct tapes Hero to the ring ropes. LuFisto blasts LeRae in the head with the PWG Title. Tornado gives LeRae the DND. There's a point where Hero frees one of his wrists and Claudio quickly jumps on him, tapes up the free wrist and wraps up the other wrist again for good measure. Rick Knox gets his ass kicked. You even see LuFisto grinding her boot in Knox's neck. Things are finally broken up as Excalibur leaves the commentator's table to clear the ring. The amazing angle continues as Tornado attacks color commentator, Taro, and the two get in a crazy pull apart on the floor that looked legit. Even Claudio and ring announcer, Jon Ian, nearly come to blows. Even once the heels leave, the angle continues to be amazing as everyone is trying to help free Hero from the ropes. Fans are giving officials their keys to try and cut the duct tape. Once it's all over, all I can think is that this was the best single night angle in the history of PWG. If you didn't already love the Tornado/Hero feud, I fail to see how anyone could not love it after this. Money angle.


    Overall
    On a two hour show, over half of the show was devoted to the Hero/Tornado program. With the Hero/Tornado feud being one of best angles of the year, 1.21 Gigawatts, is a must have show to see a highly important chapter. Yet, the show isn't just about Hero and Candice's war against Tornado and company. The tag team title match delivered and it included the big angle with Super Dragon returning to continue his feud with Joey Ryan. Funny enough, Dragon's return overshadowed the other important aspects of the match in that Steenerico became the new PWG Tag Team Champions and the Jade Chung character was killed off. Elsewhere on the show, the DDT4 Qualifying Series came to a conclusion with Los Luchas going over. So if you were following the series since Pearl Habra, you need to catch this show. Even if it's the least important match of the night, the opening match was memorable in that it's the debut of The New Guy, Brandon Bonham! Good show, but it stands out the most by being such a highly important show.

    Worth Checking Out
    Candice LeRae vs LuFisto
    The Dynasty vs Steenerico
    Chris Hero and Candice LeRae vs Human Tornado and LuFisto

    Avoid
    Expecting Eddie Kingston to ever show up

  2. #282
    Scumbag Role Model
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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG (1.21 Gigawatts)

    About time you reviewed more PWG....

    The main event and the tag title match from this show are really good. Yeah, LuFisto is awesome in this event, and Candice took a fucking beating that night.

    Tornado/Hero might be my favorite Indy feud ever aside from Whitmer/Jacobs or Danielson/McGuiness.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


  3. #283
    WAKE UP

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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG (1.21 Gigawatts)

    Oh man, totally agree on the main event and angle. The match is way too long but the content is mostly really good. Plus I love how different that kind of match is - how many other intergender streetfights like that happen let alone are really good? Candice getting busted open and the man-on-woman violence was really viceral and evokes the right kind of reaction. The whole angle after is just nuts and I had forgotten about it mostly until reading this. Incredible heel beatdown, and Taro getting involved was awesome. Man, the Hero vs Tornado fued fucking ruled.
    Talk about the best matches of the year here:

    WWE | AEW | New Japan | Other

  4. #284
    Mr. Victory Through Guts

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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG (1.21 Gigawatts)

    Man this show has like 85% of the people that made PWG so awesome and makes me sad they aren't around anymore. (Including Bosh even thoug he was already retired since you mentioned his chant)

    LuFisto's pretty much always awesome.

    I've always thought TJ Perkins was one of the most underrated indy talents around and he totally made that four way tag until TJ Hooker were eliminated. It's amazing how little the Young Bucks have improved in 6 years.

    If I were to make a list of wrestlers I wish would come out of retirement tomorrow, Human Tornado would be near the top of the list. Agree with everybody, the feud was great, the match went too long and what a post match angle. Great stuff.

    But there's one reason I remember over all other PWG events...this was the last night my favorite valet of all time, Jade Chung was in PWG! Damn that pudgy ass Super Dragon for taking her out. Curse this entire promotion and anyone who enjoyed that. (Not a bad match though)

    Pretty rad show up and down, no doubt about it.

  5. #285
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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG (1.21 Gigawatts)

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Man this show has like 85% of the people that made PWG so awesome and makes me sad they aren't around anymore. (Including Bosh even thoug he was already retired since you mentioned his chant)

    LuFisto's pretty much always awesome.

    I've always thought TJ Perkins was one of the most underrated indy talents around and he totally made that four way tag until TJ Hooker were eliminated. It's amazing how little the Young Bucks have improved in 6 years.

    If I were to make a list of wrestlers I wish would come out of retirement tomorrow, Human Tornado would be near the top of the list. Agree with everybody, the feud was great, the match went too long and what a post match angle. Great stuff.

    But there's one reason I remember over all other PWG events...this was the last night my favorite valet of all time, Jade Chung was in PWG! Damn that pudgy ass Super Dragon for taking her out. Curse this entire promotion and anyone who enjoyed that. (Not a bad match though)

    Pretty rad show up and down, no doubt about it.
    I saw Lufisto wrestle Sexxy Eddie in a hardcore match here in Montreal a few years ago and she tore it up. Shes one tough french chick. She was bleeding and everything and Eddie didn't go easy on here either.

    This show looks great!!

    I never watched the Hero vs Tornado feud. I know of it though. What shows does it span across?

  6. #286

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG (1.21 Gigawatts)

    Quote Originally Posted by indyfan View Post
    I never watched the Hero vs Tornado feud. I know of it though. What shows does it span across?
    The prologue ran from Holy Diver Down until Giant Sized Annual #4. You don't really need to watch these moments from the feud though. Just know that Tornado turned heel and began beating his valet, LeRae. Meanwhile, like a regular victim of wife beating, LeRae stuck around and kept taking it.

    The feud officially begun on BOLA 2007 Night 2 when Hero came out and attacked Tornado after his match when he began to hit LeRae again. From that point on, the feud rules the company until the conclusion at Life During Wartime.

    The epilogue occurred at I believe Express Written Consent when Tornado offered a heartfelt apoligy by telling Hero and LeRae, "My bad..."

  7. #287

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG (1.21 Gigawatts)

    The Makings of a Varsity Athlete
    December 20, 2019




    Prior to now, the most recent PWG event I had watched was All Star Weekend 9 Night 2, way back in March 2013. The roster is entirely different now with not a single wrestler on tonight’s show that competed back in 2013. Sadly, Reseda is now a thing of the past. Thanks to COVID, PWG ended up not running a single event in the entirety of 2020, marking this show as the last show. Maybe forever?

    Orange Cassidy vs Tony Deppen
    It’s nice to see that even with all of the changes in PWG since I last watched, there’s still the constant of Excalibur commentating and Rick Knox officiating this opening match. This would be my first chance to watch Deppen in action. For a first impression, Deppen seemed good enough to be curious to see him in action again. At one point, he did slip off the bottom rope when trying to launch himself into the ring from the apron, causing him to fall on his face in one of those awful botches that is a simple mistake, but it’s going to be one of your lasting memories of the match. I don’t think that this match was particularly good though. I’m wondering if I’m already starting to sour on OC because I didn’t think that the fun comedy ended up mixing well with all of the nonstop kick outs. It’s an opening comedy match, it didn’t need to go fifteen minutes nor did they need to kick out of practically everything. At one point, Deppen even delivered an awesome top rope double stomp only for that to be a middle of the match nearfall. After the endless kick outs, I began zoning out. The strength of the match was the comedy though. OC is just so over with his act and Deppen played a good foil as the angry dirt bag, who for some reason reminded me of old school PWG wrestler, Hook Bomberry. The finish felt clever as both men sprayed orange juice into the eyes of the other with Deppen rolling up Rick Knox while Cassidy counted, leading to Deppen believing that he had won the match. OC even went as far as to raise Deppen’s arm in victory before locking in an octopus stretch-like pin after Deppen’s eyesight cleared and he realized he had been tricked. I suppose it’s a bit ironic that the flaw in this OC match is that they tried too hard rather than taking it easy and fully embracing simply having a goofy match. ** ¼


    Paris De Silva vs Mick Moretti
    Not only have I never seen either man in action before, but I’ve never even heard of them. The Aussie born, De Silva, looks like a shrunken down version of Seth Rollins. Meanwhile, another Aussie native, Moretti, looks as if he was an extra on The Purge TV series. In a lot of ways, this suffered from the same problems as the opener - trying to mix comedy and indie main event style while doing way too much, but this one worked for me all because of Moretti. As someone who had never seen him before, his work was captivating. He was so crazy eccentric that I couldn’t help but to have my eyes glued on the screen reacting to many of his antics. Whether it’s performing a handstand and hopping towards De Silva in the corner, forcing a pacifier into De Silva’s mouth and rocking him to sleep, or spraying mist into the referee’s eyes at the count of 19 to ensure that the referee couldn’t reach 20 and count-out both men. It’s all so unusual and different. It reminds me of watching RVD for the first time and being blown away by his unique moveset. There’s a very good chance that Moretti’s entertainment only works when it’s new to you, but I came away from this match wanting to see more of this bizarre star. As I said, there were a bunch of kick outs after big moves. The biggest, in my eyes, being when De Silva stood on Moretti’s shoulders before hitting a monkey flip with poor Mick landing directly on his head with De Silva following that up with a nice looking Shooting Star Press, but that still somehow only produced a two count. Finally, after a match filled with nonstop unusual spots and creative blocks, Moretti blocked another Shooting Star Press, suplexed Paris into the corner, hit a middle rope DVD, and finally forced the submission with a weird ass straight jacket headscissors while performing a handstand for extra pressure (Think Charlotte’s Figure Eight). Literally, one of the most creative matches I’ve ever seen. *** ¼


    Before the opening bell for the next match, David Starr got on the mic to cut a heel promo. He reminded the fans that the last time he was here, he pinned the PWG Champion, Jeff Cobb, in a non-title match. He would have won BOLA too had the winner not fallen into a little luck. Seems like a solid set-up for Cobb/Starr II, but this time for the PWG Title at the next show.

    David Starr vs JD Drake
    Despite being one of the more praised indie stars of the last handful of years, I believe this is my first time seeing Starr in action. Leave it to me to finally watch the guy after he’s been outed as a POS. This is also my first opportunity to watch Drake. My main impression here is that both men are talented although there were a few hang-ups that kept me from loving this. Drake is awesome when delivering blows with Starr being a perfect opponent since he can really sell that “Knocked out of this world” hit. I do wish that Drake would have a little more simplistic moveset though. He looks like a good ol’ boy from the Carolinas with his purposely uninteresting look, but then he throws out some random flashy spots that seems out of character. It reminds me of Silas Young and how The Last Real Man has flippy spots when his character seems like he’d hate such spots. Drake pummeling or hitting moves like the Boss Man Slam or even a moonsault? Awesome. Stick with that. There was a bit of a story with Starr working over Drake’s knee with Drake having to hobble around. For some inexplicable reason, they ended up ditching that story though as the knee becomes forgotten. This becomes an odd move when the entire finish is built around the knee as Drake attempts to run into the corner, but his knee gives out on him. Needing to hold onto the referee for support, Drake ends up getting low blowed by Starr followed up by a strong lariat to give Starr the victory. Drake suddenly selling the knee again came out of nowhere and made the match feel weird at the worst possible time. Still, both men came off looking good even if I’d prefer Drake change things up for his character. ***


    Jake Atlas vs Blake Christian
    First time seeing both men. I know of Atlas solely because he’s been a regular on 205 Live as of late. Meanwhile, apparently Christian (Who I swear is just a redheaded Icarus) has recently been signed to a developmental contract. This match was what’s everything wrong with today’s wrestling or at least indie wrestling. It made me question if I’m officially old enough that I’ve Bill Watts’d or Jim Cornette’d myself into having wrestling pass me by. This was an indie spotfest with nonstop spots and little anything else. There wasn’t any selling, heat sequence, shine, or story. The closest we get to witnessing any sort of selling is when Christian would stumble sell his way into position for Atlas to attempt some spot from the top rope. Maybe this sort of spotfest would even be tolerable if either guy was memorable. They’re not though. They’re just two vanilla midgets acting as if they’re tough bad asses from the peak of Japan’s strong style. That’s not to say that small men can’t come across as being tough, Low-Ki certainly showed that, but these two guys? Zero credibility for being tough. Unlike the first two matches, neither man comes across as a unique star like Orange Cassidy or Mick Moretti. As I’m typing up this review, I’m left wondering how they reacted when they returned to the locker room. Did they excitedly pump each other up with compliments, thinking that they “Killed it”? Christian ended up winning with a goofy springboard corkscrew splash, which is apparently a huge upset. For all I know, Christian and Atlas may be swell guys that volunteers on the weekend, always helps little old ladies cross the street, and gently cradles their pet bunnies as they drift off to sleep, but if I were to ever stop watching wrestling, I’m solely blaming these two men and this spotfest. But hey, congrats on nabbing some WWE contracts, you two. * ½

    The Rascalz © vs Rey Horus and Aramis - Non-Title
    I saw one random trios match with Horus before, nothing from Aramis, and...I have no idea if I’ve seen The Rascalz before. I feel like I may have caught one of their tag matches on an Impact show? Just as I was thinking that Aramis has a really boring look, Excalibur let us know that his suitcase got lost, so he’s having to borrow a mask from Horus. That would explain the Nike pants. If that wasn’t bad enough luck, Excalibur then tried praising Aramis, predicting that 2020 will be his big breakout year. Maybe it’s because of the last match, but I went into this expecting to hate it. Instead of another spotfest, we actually got to see some heel work and a face-in-peril sequence! I don’t know if they’re normally heels in PWG or if they just worked it for tonight’s match, but I really liked Xavier’s heel work. Since their personalities are already kind of that of annoying twerps, The Rascalz as heels felt natural. Xavier would mock the crowd’s support of Aramis, even messing with his mask since he was already having difficulties with the unfamiliar mask. Once Horus did get the hot tag, the match settled into the more expected spotfest, but I could be cool with it as they already had tried offering some story. Rather than delivering a bunch of nearfalls, they kept things pretty restrained with the finish even coming out of nowhere as The Rascalz missed their shove/standing Shooting Star Press with Aramis capitalizing on it with a quick crucifix on Wentz for the upset victory. I have to assume that Aramis/Horus were penciled in to receive a PWG Tag Titles shot at some point in 2021 thanks to this win. Just another piece of bad luck for Aramis. A solid match that helped keep me from giving up entirely on pro wrestling. *** ¼

    David Starr vs Jonathan Gresham
    This was originally announced as Gresham vs Rey Fenix, but in classic PWG tradition, Fenix had to be replaced due to his flight being delayed. I suspect this pairing would be something that 2019 Ed would be all about. This was a mostly mat based match with a lot of unique holds being locked in. Starr’s pretty good at playing the role of a heel, perhaps working better nowadays since it’s easier to see him as being unlikable. Gresham is...fine. I know he has this huge reputation nowadays and I do dig his moveset, but he just feels great because guys like Bryan Danielson aren't wrestling on the indies anymore. The big deal is that Gresham locked in the Octopus Stretch, but after Starr refused to submit, Gresham altered his attack by getting him in a pinning position with Starr’s arms and legs still tied up. That gives Gresham the victory and ruins Starr’s plan to winning twice tonight to earn himself a PWG Title shot. Really solid stuff. *** ¼


    After the match, Starr, crushed by the realization that he choked in a big match against Gresham again (After previously losing in the BOLA 2019 finals, which Gresham also lost) snaps as he attacks Gresham. Starr teases uses a chair, but instead opts to just lariat Gresham’s head off.

    Jeff Cobb © vs Bandido - PWG World Title
    Cobb won BOLA 2018, defeating Bandido (And SHINGO) in the finals. From there, Cobb took his BOLA win and used it to challenge WALTER, beating him in the process to win the title. Now, a year later, Bandido was successful in winning BOLA 2019, defeating Jonathan Gresham and David Starr in the finals, and now is challenging Cobb, who had remained champion for over a year. It’s actually a pretty good story. The match was a whole lot of nothing though. This is my first time seeing Cobb, whereas I had only seen Bandido a single time in that six man tag that I previously saw Rey Horus from 2020. Both guys are over, but they didn’t even attempt to tell a story. The difference from this and Jake Atlas vs Blake Christian is that Cobb and Bandido actually feel like stars and have unique looks. Considering the fact that his finisher is just a variation of the German Suplex, I do dig how Bandido still manages to make the 21 Plex look better than it really should. Bandido attempted it multiple times, but couldn’t figure out a way to make his gimmicky suplex connect. However, in the finishing stretch, he managed to wear down the bigger champion to finally be able to hit the 21 Plex and win the match to become the NEW PWG World Champion. Not counting a certain former champion that is now working to help orphans, Bandido marks the first time that PWG has put the belt around the waist of a Luchadore. Good for him, but I wouldn’t say Bandido did much to make me really interested in seeing more of him. Same goes for Cobb. ** ¾


    After the match, there’s a lot of celebration from Bandido, where he got on the mic to thank the fans, Excalibur led the fans in a couple rounds of applause, and I believe Aramis is out celebrating with him.

    Overall
    There we have it, my first PWG show in years. It’s interesting thinking back over the time that I’ve missed and the eras that PWG, and indie wrestling as a whole, have been through. The biggest difference between indie wrestling “Today” and when I last watched PWG was the arrival of the Luchadores. Being that PWG was stationed in SoCal, they were never any stranger to featuring Luchadores on their shows, although they were mostly “SoCal Luchadores” like Los Luchas, Aerial Xpress, and Nemesis. Regardless of how Lucha Underground ended things, they were still ultimately successful in terms of creating all of these new Luchadore stars, which then gave way to additional Luchadores flooding America to take over after the British invasion started to quiet down due to many of them being signed. For someone who hasn’t been watching much indie wrestling over the last several years, it’s a bit of a difficult task trying to keep track of who’s who. You’ve got such a huge amount of new stars in Pentagon, Rey Fenix, Bandido, Rey Horus, Aramis, Laredo Kid, Black Taurus, Puma Kid, Flamita, ect. It’s like WCW 1997 all over again, except now the Luchadores are actually treated like stars.

    As far as The Makings of a Varsity Athlete goes, it was fine. It reminded me a bit of an old school PWG event where they’re in between important shows and their already limited available talent was made further difficult thanks to Rey Fenix’s flight being delayed and David Starr having to work twice. Starr gave off the strongest impression as someone who could work, but also had the personality to get invested in his character. Had PWG been able to run events in 2020, I see no reason why Starr shouldn’t have been pushed as the #1 heel. In hindsight of what we know about Starr now, I would say PWG should be thankful that they didn’t have time to put the PWG Title on him, but this is still the company that had Joey Ryan as a crucial figure for years. My favorite match of the night was Paris De Silva vs Mick Moretti, just because of Moretti’s insanely unique style. As I said in the match review, I have no idea if Moretti’s style continues to work if you’ve seen multiple matches or if it quickly becomes tiring, but my first impression is that his act is so entertaining. On the flip side, there’s the awful indie spotfest between Jake Atlas vs Blake Christian. I hated it. Neither guy seemed to have a single grasp on what makes for a good professional wrestling match, instead trying to get all of their shit in despite the fact that working such a match on a PWG show isn’t going to stand out because you’ve got far more talented workers trying to do the very same thing. At the time of posting this review, Christian hasn’t debuted for the WWE yet, but I would be curious to see Atlas vs Christian again, this time in a 205 Live ring to see how a different environment could change things. The rest of the show was solid, but it’s difficult to connect with anyone likely because of my lack of knowledge on them. The wrestlers that really tried to show a personality - Starr, Moretti, Xavier, Orange, and I suppose Drake worked far better for me than the others that tried getting all of their shit in.

    Currently, this is the most recent PWG event. Over the last decade, PWG has put in very little effort to create talk beyond just their handful of shows each year. So it’s not surprising that over the last year, there’s been very little talk from PWG. However, there has yet to be an announcement of the company closing up shop. As sad as it’d be if PWG were to shut down, especially over the last year that we also had EVOLVE and CHIKARA cease operations, I honestly don’t know what strong reasonings they have to remain open. Excalibur has a full time gig with AEW, many of the wrestlers are now either signed by Vince or in AEW, Super Dragon has always done well for himself in his other ventures, and it’s not as if PWG has been putting in much effort for years. PWG’s greatest success came when it veered into becoming a super indie, where you could see talent from all of the non-WWE companies. Is that even necessary anymore when AEW signs so many wrestlers and there’s still companies like AAW, that not only showcases stars from different companies, but can also run more than a handful of shows? If PWG were to tweet out that they were officially shutting down tomorrow, I would not be surprised. They served their purpose.

    Worth Checking Out
    Paris De Silva vs Mick Moretti
    The Rascalz vs Rey Horus and Aramis
    David Starr vs Jonathan Gresham

    Avoid
    Jake Atlas vs Blake Christian

  8. #288
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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    *sighs longingly*

    I may have misheard, but I swear Excaliber referred to PWG as his "former" promotion on last weeks Dynamite.

    Like you, I can't see the reason for PWG's continued existence. Everyone worth seeing is under contract somewhere and the Legion Centre has been demolished, if it comes back it just won't be the same.

    It sorta makes me sad, but then again there's so many ex-PWG/CHIKARA guys in AEW I can get nostalgic over my Indy glory days with Dynamite.

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  9. #289

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Quote Originally Posted by Postman Dave View Post
    *sighs longingly*

    I may have misheard, but I swear Excaliber referred to PWG as his "former" promotion on last weeks Dynamite.

    Like you, I can't see the reason for PWG's continued existence. Everyone worth seeing is under contract somewhere and the Legion Centre has been demolished, if it comes back it just won't be the same.

    It sorta makes me sad, but then again there's so many ex-PWG/CHIKARA guys in AEW I can get nostalgic over my Indy glory days with Dynamite.
    I suppose in Excalibur's case, it's possible he may be done with PWG, but PWG isn't officially dead yet. Although it's certainly not a good sign when someone like Excalibur refers to it as his former promotion.

    If PWG is dead though, I would be curious to learn about the current ownership status in regards to Excalibur/Super Dragon and Highspots. If AEW has any aspirations of starting up their own streaming service (Which may be difficult with their contracts with TNT, PPV, B/R Live, FITE TV), but buying the PWG library would be a great way to add content that would also showcase some of their talent. I know Highspots' streaming service currently features PWG, but I never hear anyone talk about them.

  10. #290
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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post

    If PWG is dead though, I would be curious to learn about the current ownership status in regards to Excalibur/Super Dragon and Highspots. If AEW has any aspirations of starting up their own streaming service (Which may be difficult with their contracts with TNT, PPV, B/R Live, FITE TV), but buying the PWG library would be a great way to add content that would also showcase some of their talent. I know Highspots' streaming service currently features PWG, but I never hear anyone talk about them.
    Funny you should mention this, I was looking for PWG on the Highspots Roku app last week and got nowhere fast. Checked on Chrome just now, and thankfully it's all there. Probably a reason you don't hear people talk about it.

    Yeah, an AEW service down the line with the PWG back catalogue as a hook would be awesome. Definitely something I'd go for.

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  11. #291
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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    I don't see a scenario where PWG returns unless it'd be for a one off farewell show unfortunately.

    I re-signed up with the Highspots On Demand service recently, it works just fine for me though the search is very basic. No complaints otherwise.

    I think I have seen some of this show, but the current crop of guys like Cobb and Bandido are thoroughly unimpressive to me.
    Talk about the best matches of the year here:

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  12. #292

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    It's a Gift...and a Curse
    April 5, 2008




    Hello Kitty vs Kuromi
    Well, this was certainly one of the more unusual matches in PWG history. Both men...female cats? represent Kitty World Order. I think it’s technically two guys from some smaller SoCal promotion, but whatever. The story of the match is that the legendary 40 year veteran, Hello Kitty, had been having to deal with this new heel for the last ten years. Hello Kitty was awful in the ring. Any time there’s a botch of an awkward spot, you can bet they’re responsible. On the plus side, Kuromi was actually pretty decent. He did a lot of heel antics and managed to hit a few good looking moves. While the crowd reacted some, it seemed to me they were just being polite or being humored by a couple of spots. The match went on for far too long when it wasn’t being built up properly. Finally, Hello Kitty manages to roll Kuromi up, despite Kuromi’s shoulder being up to get the pinfall victory. It’s unique, I’ll give the match that. ¾ *

    Before the next match, Bino Gambino announces that if he can’t win here, he’ll leave PWG forever.

    Bino Gambino vs Nemesis
    This would be Gambino’s first PWG match since Schadenfreude in October 2007. Despite never being too impressed with Gambino, I thought he actually looked really good out there tonight. He played to the crowd a lot, typically by cursing them out, but also managed to hit one good looking move after another. In fact, if anyone was a disappointment, it was Nemesis, a lowcard face act that I tend to be into. He wasn’t bad, but a couple of his spots looked pretty weak. Nemesis would win after countering Gimbino’s offense with a roll-up. This would not only be Bino’s last match in PWG, but other than another match in the SoCal area a few weeks later, Gambino would not wrestle again. I wonder what he’s up to these days? ** ¼

    TJ Hooker vs Scorpio Sky and Ronin - DDT4 Qualifying Match
    It was just at the last event of 1.21 Gigawatts that Los Luchas won the DDT4 round robin qualifying tournament, defeating The Young Bucks and both of these teams. Now these two teams are just back again, with another chance to enter the tournament. Seriously, the DDT4 qualifying series was so pointless! This is also a rematch from Scared Straight, where TJ Hooker won. Most of this match was entertaining enough. Ronin was rarely good in PWG, but his short lived team with Sky was surprisingly solid and the best he consistently looked. By this stage in their own short lived time together, Perkins has fully given into being a heel so he and Bomberry are able to cheat whenever they could. This included a face-in-peril sequence against Scorpio until Ronin could get the hot tag. The final couple of minutes is where the match falls apart for me. For starters, there’s an entirely unnecessary ref bump with TJP accidentally giving Rick Knox a lariat. That led to Perkins bringing in a chair while Ronin was down, but rather than just do the logical thing and use the chair against Ronin, he instead hits the chair on the mat and then lays it next to Ronin, before dropping to the mat himself. It’s obviously the Eddie Guerrero cheat. But the referee is down...and Ronin wasn’t even hit with the chair. As a result, Ronin is easily able to recover and using the chair that was laid right next to him, blasts TJP over the head with it. The referee finally wakes up and counts to three giving the victory to Scorpio and Ronin. They fucked up Guerrero’s signature cheat to the point where I’m questioning if Perkins had ever truly watched the spot or if he merely heard about it and tried to replicate it just from how it was mistakenly described to him. I do think it’s a shame that TJ Hooker didn’t end up being a part of the DDT4 tournament as Bomberry luring TJP to the dark side was easily the best story of the qualifying series. ** ¼


    Backstage, The Dynasty hypes their upcoming match against Claudio Castagnoli and Eddie Kingston. But wait! Kingston has once again missed a PWG show, preventing the match from happening yet again. Shocking. Ryan and Lost take time to poke fun at Super Dragon before ultimately agreeing that Lost will just face Claudio in a singles match tonight instead. It’s a wonderfully awkward segment where you could just tell that Joey Ryan and Scott Lost recorded the promo on one take without any real idea of what they’d be saying.

    Claudio Castagnoli vs Scott Lost
    Double C doesn’t have a good singles record in PWG against members of The Dynasty. His singles debut at Zombies Shouldn’t Run, Claudio lost against Joey Ryan. A couple of years later, the future Cesaro lost to Chris Bosh at Guitarmageddon II. Can Claudio finally beat a Dynasty member in a singles match?! Despite being a heel at the time, Lost worked the match in a babyface fashion. Claudio was the bigger and more powerful opponent who dominated the match by aggressively punishing Lost. Double C was vicious enough that at one point he began slamming the back of Lost’s head against the mat over and over. It’s as if Castagnoli knows that he’s struggled so badly against The Dynasty in PWG. Meanwhile, it was just up to Lost to find little opportunities to hit high impact moves whenever he had the chance. I actually found myself rooting for Lost because of how much heart he was showing in staying in the match. The finish saw Lost mounting yet another brief comeback, delivering a pair of great looking super kicks that caused Claudio to stumble into the corner. From there, Lost used the last of his strength to deliver a super plex and then lay dead on top of Claudio, scoring the pinfall. Lost won not because he was necessarily better, but because he got lucky that he was able to hit enough big moves in a row. A good little match that showed you can produce quality without it being overly long or doing too much. *** ¼


    After the match, Super Dragon runs in to attack Lost. He delivers a mean looking Barry White Driver (Man, that name does that reflect just how dangerous that move looks). Joey Ryan, in the middle of his Jim Duggan cosplaying days, makes the save for his Dynasty buddy. Joey trying to come off like a tough guy is...interesting.

    As Ryan tries to help Lost to the back, he’s jumped from behind by Super Dragon. This kicks off an unofficial street fight between Dragon and Ryan with the brawl taking place both in the parking lot and then around ringside. Despite not technically being a match, this fight ended up being the biggest selling point of the entire forgettable event. I know that back in the day, I would find this fight uploaded as a single file. It’s pretty fun stuff with chairs and tables being introduced. Dragon’s angry enough that he attacks two referees. It ends with Dragon blocking the Mustache Ride and instead hitting the Psycho Driver from the stage through a table. Although Dragon/Steen is my favorite Dragon feud, I think it’s very clear that Joey Ryan was Dragon’s ultimate PWG rival.


    Brandon Bonham vs Nick Jackson
    IIRC, there was a death in the Jacksons’ family, but The Young Bucks decided that Nick would still work the show while Matt paid respects for the both of them. Even though this is now the second match in PWG for Bonham, the fans still seem to ironically like “The New Guy”. The match wasn’t all that hot though. Jackson seemed pretty lost out there without Matt with commentators, Excalibur and Chris Hero, even joking about how Nick was clapping for himself. Jackson botched a couple of spots and just generally looked as if he’s better off sticking with tag wrestling until he can improve a bit more. I seem to recall Jackson putting on a great performance in a four-way in CHIKARA back in 2009, so it’s likely a case of Jackson needing additional bodies rather than having to carry a match all on his own. Bonham looked pretty good though, connecting with all of his big spots. While he doesn’t seem capable of being a star in PWG, he does seem more than talented enough to replace the likes of Bino Gambino, Disco Machine, and others that used to dominate the lowcard scene. After hitting a nice looking super kick, Jackson tried getting cute with an attempted Alabama Slam, but Bonham countered it into a partial Canadian Destroyer to score the pinfall. Not quite as good as Bonham’s debut match against Nemesis back at 1.21 Gigawatts. **


    Tokyo Gurentai vs Los Luchas
    Tokyo are a faction represented tonight by NOSAWA and Mazada. My understanding is that the pair eventually turned the faction name into a Japanese indie company, which potentially exists to this day. Although NOSAWA has popped up in PWG over the years, most recently a year ago at All Star Weekend V, MAZADA hasn’t been in PWG since he teamed with NOSAWA way back at 88 Miles Per Hour in early 2004. NOSAWA has a pretty bad reputation as being shit in the ring, but sometimes his antics can work really well. In this match, I found myself really digging Gurentai for how different they feel as compared to every other PWG team. They’re all about trying to amuse each other, cheat, be loudmouths, and savagely pummel their opponents. Since the second annual DDT4 is right around the corner and Los Luchas just earned their way into the tournament at the last show, I couldn’t help but question why Gurentai aren’t in the tournament instead of Los Luchas. Yet, thanks to Gurentai dominating, mostly cheating to maintain the advantage over Phoenix Star, Los Luchas’ super spotty style worked in this match because randomly unleashing some big dive was all that they could do to just try and get in a bit of offense. In typical Los Luchas’ fashion, some of the offense looked pretty weak, but in general I thought that this was a better than average Luchas match. Despite the fact that Gurentai are so clearly superior to Luchas, Los Luchas still mounted a brief comeback and won with their double springboard senton bomb finisher. Considering only Los Luchas are the ones entering DDT4, it made sense for them to go over here, even if they were the weaker part of the match. A much more entertaining bout than I expected it to be. ***

    Chris Hero w/Candice LeRae vs Roderick Strong
    Despite being PWG Champion, Human Tornado is working an ECWA show on the other side of the country. The result is that Hero’s feud with Tornado has to be paused for a moment. This match ends up being an unofficial #1 contender’s match, but in typical PWG fashion, more bad luck would follow with Tornado sustaining an injury before DDT4, prompting him to miss the next several events. PWG had the absolute worst luck in 2008. As expected though, this was pretty good stuff. Strong dominated the first half, initially working over the knee of Hero’s that Eddie Kingston had injured in their match back at All Star Weekend 6. From there, Strong showed an annoyed aggression, seemingly thriving in trying to hurt Hero such as twisting his body around the ring post or showing disrespect towards Candice in using her as a human shield. Strike wise is where the match gets way better though. Both men deliver these LOUD strikes with Hero even dishing out some mean chops thanks to Roddy being shirtless and each chop filling the building. Excalibur and Dino Winwood then began discussing how since this is sort of a #1 contender’s match, Strong is likely tied with Chris Bosh as having the most PWG Title shots thus far in the company’s history. This stood out as particularly odd to me as I couldn’t think of many Strong title shots in 2008. Looking it up, it seems as if I’m right as Strong has only had two title shots. Meanwhile, Joey Ryan’s year long PWG Title reign had multiple men challenge at least twice. It’s not a big deal, but the claim felt so out of nowhere. As the match went on, Hero got in more and more offense as both men began hitting big moves. Just as Hero seemed to have the match nearly won after connecting with a Blockbuster, that he had previously missed, Claudio Castagnoli ran out to go after Candice. Naturally, this distracts Hero, but when he goes to save his valet, Double C delivers an European Uppercut. That allows Roddy to hit a Sick Kick and after a couple of attempts delivers Gibson Driver to pull out the victory. It’s a cheap way to end the match, but ultimately Hero/Strong didn’t matter and the Hero vs Tornado (& Pals) feud is what’s important. If you’re a fan of hard strikes, this match should be a treat. *** ½


    After the match, Claudio tries to attack Candice, but Hero saves her from a Giant Swing.

    Backstage, Chris Hero cuts a promo on Human Tornado. He admits that tonight was a failure, but it just means that he’ll have to find some other means of getting his hands on Tornado if losing tonight means he won’t be receiving a title shot. Hero won’t be a part of DDT4, as he’ll be on a tour of Australia, but teases having a plan to mess with Tornado in his absence. Well joke’s on Hero because Tornado won’t be at the shows either!

    Overall
    If you wanted to skip one PWG show of 2008, without missing anything of true importance, It's a Gift...and a Curse is that show. In fact, even on PWG’s old message board, when the match card was released (Complete with the original match of The Dynasty vs Eddie Kingston/Claudio Castagnoli), some fans spoke up about how underwhelming the card was. That’s what happens when your PWG Champion is booked elsewhere, Eddie Kingston no shows again, and fly-ins were kept to a minimum. At the same time, it’s the event before DDT4. The company has been building up to that weekend for months now. The opening match featuring the Kitty World Order was unique, but I consider it to be a giant swing and a miss for PWG. It would have fit far better in CHIKARA. Seeing one half of The Young Bucks struggle to perform by himself was another fail. Another team qualifies for the DDT4 tournament, but it’s still not the team that came away from the qualifying series as the most interesting act (TJ Hooker). Who could possibly care if Scorpio Sky/Ronin is in a tournament? Even though the impromptu brawl between Super Dragon and Joey Ryan was the big selling point of the DVD, it doesn’t mean much in hindsight when Dragon will get hurt in his next match, resulting in him not wrestling again for years. As a result, the Dragon/Ryan feud ends here. It’s shit luck paired with PWG going with a few bad options. Luckily, the Kings of Wrestling were here to salvage the event some.

    Worth Checking Out
    Scott Lost vs Claudio Castagnoli
    Chris Hero vs Roderick Strong
    Joey Ryan/Super Dragon brawl

    Avoid
    Hello Kitty vs Kuromi
    Brandon Bonham vs Nick Jackson
    Last edited by Jim; 09-20-2021 at 03:49 AM.

  13. #293
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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Would second your recommendations on this show. Been a while since watching them, but I really liked those 3 matches. The Claudio match is definitely one of the better Scott Lost matches. The Ryan vs SD brawl is the highlight of the show and I think it warrants being treated basically as a match in it's own right even if there's no bell and it's not 'official' - it went like 15 minutes and was structured just like a match would be with one guy controlling then the other making a comeback, etc. Hell I'd say it was one of the best 'matches' Ryan ever had.
    Talk about the best matches of the year here:

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  14. #294

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon View Post
    Would second your recommendations on this show. Been a while since watching them, but I really liked those 3 matches. The Claudio match is definitely one of the better Scott Lost matches. The Ryan vs SD brawl is the highlight of the show and I think it warrants being treated basically as a match in it's own right even if there's no bell and it's not 'official' - it went like 15 minutes and was structured just like a match would be with one guy controlling then the other making a comeback, etc. Hell I'd say it was one of the best 'matches' Ryan ever had.
    Joey was a real mixed bag. More often than not, the gimmick would overshadow the workrate, but every once in awhile, he'd produce a match that took you by surprise because of how shockingly great it turned out. He produced some legitimate PWG MOTYCs over the years with the two that stands out the most being the sixty minute Iron Man Match against Super Dragon from Use Your Illusion IV and the Guerilla Warfare Match against Chris Hero at Threemendous II.

  15. #295

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    BOLA 2006 Night 1
    September 1, 2006




    One year ago, PWG hosted the first ever Battle for Los Angeles tournament - a two night super indie tournament. Night 1 saw then-PWG Champion, Kevin Steen, defeat Super Dragon in yet another one of their battles in their PWG Feud of the Year. However, going into night 2, Dragon regained his mojo, mostly by kicking the shit out of Davey Richards in an eight man tag in a battle where both men decided that perhaps they’d be better off as partners than opponents. Meanwhile, Chris Bosh became the unlikely BOLA winner, beating AJ Styles in the finals to kick off Bosh’s many shots at the PWG Title over the next year. In some weird way, the biggest benefactor of BOLA 2005 wasn’t Bosh, but rather Richards as he used that brief chemistry shown fighting Dragon to go from being a forgettable guy on the undercard to becoming one of the more important stars in PWG over the last year.

    Chris Sabin vs Colt Cabana - First Round
    Both men are making their BOLA tournament debuts, although Sabin worked non-tournament tag matches on both nights of BOLA 2005. A bit of an interesting match solely because they didn’t wrestle each other much in the 2000s despite both wrestling in the same companies. That being said, it’s an unusual choice for an opener as Colt is all about that comedy which is more ideal for later on in a show when you just need to relax a bit. Sabin is all about trying to out wrestle Colt, but Cabana does his best to throw him off by playing grab ass and at one point using his towel to wipe clean a turnbuckle pad. Personally, I found the match to be a bit dull. It’s only nine minutes, but it felt a lot longer to me. Who knows, perhaps the match would have gelled for me better had it taken place later. Instead, we’re getting a match that didn’t have much of a story nor did it have a lot of spots. Sabin would win with a roll-up out of the corner and smartly grabbing onto Colt’s wrists to make a kick-out more difficult. Even Cabana seemed amused by that. **

    Delirious vs El Generico - First Round
    Generico lost to eventual winner, Chris Bosh, in the first round of last year’s BOLA. Meanwhile, this is Delirious’ PWG debut. For whatever reason, Delirious never bothered making PWG one of his homes, thus making this one of his very few appearances. This is another match where you’d think it would have happened a lot, but didn’t. I’ll never understand why either because Delirious seems like such a perfect fit in PWG. Speaking of rare PWG appearances, future AEW referee, Bryce Remsburg, is the ref for this bout. It’s odd of me to think that if it hasn’t happened already, there will come a time when fans view Remsburg as an AEW referee than an old CHIKARA ref. Even though this one had a lot of comedy to continue the trend of the opener, I really dug it. All of the appeal had to do with the fact that Delirious got in all of his standard comedy, but he was a heel in the match. At least from my experience of watching Delirious, that’s pretty rare. Normally, when Delirious is a heel, he’s serious. Instead, he’s able to hide under the ring, make obscene gestures at the fans, and use his tassels from his mask to shove in the mouth of Generico. Meanwhile, much like Sabin in the opener, Generico is just trying to work a clean match, but he actually gets to be on the defense for a bit to further create some semblance of a story. Although Delirious looked great here and you could argue that Delirious was having the biggest year of his career in 2006 thanks to the Bryan Danielson ROH Title matches, it was impossible to buy Delirious has having a chance against Generico in PWG. Despite this, Delirious managed to hit Panic Attack, Shadows over Hell, and locked in the Cobra Stretch, but Generico still was able to kick out or reach the ropes. Yet, when it was time for Generico to hit some of his big moves, he did score the pinfall after a pair of Helluva Kicks and a Half & Half Suplex to advance to the second round. Good stuff for a first round match. ***


    Matt Cross vs CIMA - First Round
    Like others from Dragon Gate, CIMA is making his PWG debut in BOLA 2006. Unlike the other DG guys, CIMA’s BOLA debut is a bit more notable since he’ll be a future winner of the tournament. Cross is making his BOLA debut, but although he’s been pretty irregular for the company, he used to pop up on a lot of PWG events in their first year. For me, I never think of one specific company when thinking about Cross, but instead he just seems to pop up all over the place. This is also the one and only time these two were ever in a match together. Although this was more of the high flying spotfest that I was expecting in the opener, the drawback is that it’s a match with MDogg-20. I’ve never been excited by Cross. Yeah, he can bust out some crazy moves, but he’s such a dull vanilla midget. Even when he hits something big, he choreographs it to such a degree that the spot loses some of its luster. Literally, all Cross has to offer are his SPOTZ and he seems to fail to understand why that doesn’t make him exciting to watch. Meanwhile, CIMA does his fair share of crazy moves, but he does them so effortlessly that one moment nothing is happening and the next CIMA has Cross in some wacky submission hold that you’ve never seen before. It’s as if CIMA isn’t having to put forth effort while Cross is the biggest try-hard. The match managed to pick up a bit in the second half once the bigger spots were introduced, but I couldn’t be bothered to care about this one. CIMA won with an Air Raid Crash in the middle of the ring. ** ¼

    Kevin Steen vs Matt Sydal - First Round
    In a weird twist, these two didn’t wrestle each other a ton like you may think, but their three singles matches all took place in a year. In fact, all three matches were tournament matches with Sydal beating Steen in the TPI 2005 finals and Steen evening the series in the one night #1 contender’s tournament at PWG All Star Weekend 3. This would be Sydal’s first involvement in a BOLA tournament having only recently debuted in PWG (Coincidentally against Steen at All Star Weekend 3) while Steen is the first man tonight to not only be involved in BOLA 2005, but actually won his first round match. At this point in the show, getting such a comedy match is more expected, as a result, this worked better than the opener. Steen was proud of himself for his new singlet which showed a silhouette of Steen hitting a moonsault. That provided a good amount of comedy, complete with Sydal mocking Steen by performing the same pose (referee Bryce Remsburg would as well), a lot of standard playing to the crowd by Steen, and both men threatening the referee after Bryce got some cheers from the fans. Steen managed to control the majority of the match with Sydal being a bit of a fiery underdog, which worked well for him. The one real disappointment for the match is that the fans were dying to see Steen hit a moonsault, but it never came. Instead, Steen countered a Frankensteiner attempt with a middle rope power bomb while Steen was sitting on the top turnbuckle pad. That’s enough to give Steen the victory. Considering Steen is a major PWG name while Sydal has only worked a few shows at this point, the outcome never seemed to be up in the air. ** ¾


    Dragon Kid vs Quicksilver - First Round
    QUICKSILVER! Out of all of the SoCal talents that were forced to retire prematurely, I probably miss Quicksilver the most. Between Aerial Xpress and Cape Fear, Quicksilver had a couple of awesome early PWG tag teams. With wins over future No Remorse Corps members, Davey Richards and Rocky Romero, Quicksilver made it to the semi-finals of BOLA 2005 before being eliminated by Chris Bosh. Similar to CIMA, this is Dragon Kid’s PWG debut. This is also Dragon Kid’s first singles match in America since popping up on WCW TV super early in his career. At various points, it seemed as if the two really struggled to be in sync. When it came to the botches, it looked as if Dragon Kid was the one responsible for them, but I suppose it’s possible that Quicksilver was just not in position. Likewise, without knowing when Dragon Kid flew into the States, he could be badly jetlagged. Still though, they tried. Dragon Kid was the one responsible for all of the big spots, some of them looked good, others were botched. For Quicksilver, he got to show off a bit of an aggressive side as frustration began to overtake him after the Silver Slice, Silverado Slam, and a piledriver all failed to score the pinfall. When Quicksilver attempted a top rope Silverado Slam, Dragon Kid blocked it. At that point, it was clear that Quicksilver had nothing to beat Dragon Kid and it was just a matter of time before Dragon Kid would pull off the right big spot to beat Quicksilver. Sadly, that final move ended up being an awkward looking West Coast Pop which is already bad in itself, but when I was hoping to see the Dragonrana, it’s extra disappointing. You could say that Dragon Kid should have been given an opponent that he could have gelled with better, such as Matt Sydal, but it is only a first round match, so hopefully Dragon Kid has better luck going forward. ** ¼


    Roderick Strong vs Rocky Romero - First Round
    Yay! Although this is their first ever match in PWG, when I think of quality PWG matches, one of the first that always springs to mind is their rematch at All Star Weekend V Night 1 with Roddy using the entire ring to torture Rocky. Although PWG recognized the greatness of Roddy vs Rocky, ROH never once booked the two to wrestle in a singles match. Anyways, this is Strong’s first BOLA match while Rocky managed to win his first round match last year before being beaten by Quicksilver. This was the sort of match that this show badly needed. With the previous tournament matches not doing much for me, this was instead a STIFF fight with Roddy seemingly pissed off going into the match and wanting to take out his frustrations on poor Rocky. If their rematch at All Star Weekend V was about Strong using the environment to torture Romero, this match served as the set-up as Strong used just his body to inflict punishment. Even from the beginning, Strong is spitting water in Rocky’s face and trying to hurt his opponent to make it seem as if this was some grudge feud when it was just a random ass first round encounter in a tournament. Romero’s big mistake is that he tried to fight fire with fire as he attempted to fire off some stiff strikes of his own and spit water in Roddy’s face as well. As soon as it happens, you know it’s a mistake as Roddy calmly, far too calmly, begins removing his wrist tape and you just know that Strong is prepping to unleash hell onto his future NRC teammate. From that point on, it becomes a vicious BEAT DOWN. Strong just utterly kills Romero. Although Rocky does get in some solid strikes, Roderick always has a chop waiting that completely dwarfs Romero’s previous attempt. Considering how one sided the match could be at points, I never bought into a Rocky victory, but I find that I didn’t even care because I was so entertained by the massacre. To make matters worse for Romero, Roddy didn’t just attempt a finisher to win. Instead, Strong hit a vicious over the knee backbreaker, a Gibson Driver, and then the Stronghold to force the submission. Since this is the first of their PWG trilogy, I was worried that it wouldn’t hold up to the rematches, but it was great fun. Perhaps the environment wouldn’t have worked as well, but when you watch this match, you can’t help but scratch your head at the fact that ROH never bothered to book it. Your MOTN. *** ½


    The Dynasty and Petey Williams w/Jade Chung vs B-Boy, Homicide, Excalibur, and Human Tornado w/Candice LeRae
    This is built as a special mystery partners match where Petey was revealed as The Dynasty’s (Joey Ryan, Scott Lost, and Chris Bosh) partner while Homicide made his PWG return to team with his buddy, B-Boy. Homicide is someone who popped up a fair bit in 2004, including being one half of the first ever PWG Tag Team Champions (With B-Boy), but then disappeared for a year and a half. Even with this “Return”, Homicide is just back to work BOLA 2006 and then the subsequent All Star Weekend IV later in 2006 without ever returning to the company again. Coicentially, it was actually Joey Ryan and Scott Lost (Then members of The X-Foundation) who were the ones to beat Homicide and B-Boy for the tag titles. Although this match went twenty-seven minutes, it never felt as if it dragged or you overly felt that near thirty minutes. That being said, there wasn’t much about this match that was actually memorable. There was focus in the B-Boy/Joey Ryan feud, which makes sense since they had just worked their PWG World Title Cage Match at the last show, Threemendous, but who could possibly give a shit about B-Boy? Joey did his best to avoid being in the ring when B-Boy was the legal man, but I couldn’t tell you if they ended up fighting later in the match. The Ryan feud that was far more interesting was the one between himself and Human Tornado. Tornado just feels like a far more appealing rival to Ryan than B-Boy. Other than that, there’s a brief interaction between Candice and Chung and a fun spot where Petey prevents a Tower of Doom spot from occurring. Beyond that, it’s all mindless action for thirty minutes. I didn’t really care about anything, but it’s not as if the action was technically bad. Had the match been half its actual length, you wouldn’t have missed anything. Things only become notable at the very end as there’s miscommunication between Joey and Petey leading to Ryan making the mistake of spitting at Williams causing the former X-Division Champion to turning on his partner, delivering a Canadian Destroyer on Ryan to allow...EXCALIBUR, of all people, to drape an arm across Joey to score the pinfall. Naturally, we never saw a Joey title defense against Excalibur or Petey, so this entire result felt...pointless? Congrats on not making the match drag terribly like so many of B-Boy’s overly long PWG matches, but this one offered practically nothing. ** ¼

    After the match, there’s a brief cut before we’re thrown into the action as THE BRISCOES attack B-Boy and Homicide.

    Overall
    The first night of BOLA 2006 wasn’t great. I can’t say anything was overtly bad though. It’s just a show of mostly forgettable, average or slightly below matches. The one match that is worth watching is Roderick Strong vs Rocky Romero as they actually went into the match wanting to deliver. Their match is pretty great. The biggest failure of the night had to be Dragon Gate. PWG went to the expense of bringing in Dragon Kid and CIMA and...they delivered average matches at best. Was it their fault? Eh, at least in CIMA’s case, he was clearly the better wrestler in his match. Still though, what’s even the point of flying in Dragon Gate wrestlers if they aren’t able to deliver some crazy amazing match like they did in ROH earlier in the year? Expanding BOLA to three nights didn’t help with star power though. When you look back at night 1 of BOLA 2005, you had the likes of Styles, Daniels, Danielson, and Super Dragon. You don’t have that sort of star power on night of BOLA 2006, especially in taking into account of the bad matches that the Dragon Gate guys delivered. Overall, watch Romero vs Strong, but you can easily skip the rest although I did like the surprise of The Briscoes popping up to set-up future BOLA 2006 matches.

    Worth Checking Out
    Roderick Strong vs Rocky Romero

    Avoid
    High expectations for the Dragon Gate matches
    Last edited by Jim; 09-20-2021 at 03:49 AM.

  16. #296
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    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Memory of this tourney is pretty loose, but it was easily one of the weakest BOLAs they ran. The DG guys were never worth much in PWG, all their matches are just vanilla cookie-cutter indy spotfests. They were hot in demand after the Supercard of Honor 6-man but the glow comes off very quickly when you watch their run-of-the-mill effort.

    The only singles matches I have much memory of are Super Dragon vs Jack Evans (think it was a total botch-fest?) and Dragon vs Necro (too long but still awesome).
    Talk about the best matches of the year here:

    WWE | AEW | New Japan | Other

  17. #297

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Quote Originally Posted by King Steventon View Post
    Memory of this tourney is pretty loose, but it was easily one of the weakest BOLAs they ran. The DG guys were never worth much in PWG, all their matches are just vanilla cookie-cutter indy spotfests. They were hot in demand after the Supercard of Honor 6-man but the glow comes off very quickly when you watch their run-of-the-mill effort.

    The only singles matches I have much memory of are Super Dragon vs Jack Evans (think it was a total botch-fest?) and Dragon vs Necro (too long but still awesome).
    Yeah, BOLA 2006 doesn't get much talk (Which you can kind of say the same about 2005). I'll touch on this more in the review for night 2, but there were massive changes to the participants and the cards for BOLA 2006. It seemed like PWG attempted to put on an awesome weekend of shows with BOLA 2006, but even by PWG standards, they had zero luck with having to replace last minute injuries. Case in point, a night 2 tournament match was Disco Machine vs Austin Aries with that match originally being announced as Jay Briscoe vs Alex Koslov before somehow ending up Disco vs Aries with even Bryan Danielson briefly being announced in the match at points.

    I'm pretty sure I've seen Necro/Dragon before with it being solid. Claudio vs Jack Evans on night 2 sounds like fun. I know it wouldn't appeal to you, but Aries vs Richards on night 3 sounds good to me.

    Even if BOLA 2006 ends up being a disappointment, in my recent huge Highspots order are a bunch more PWG events including BOLA 2007 and 2008, which I've only seen random matches from prior to now.

  18. #298

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    BOLA 2006 Night 2
    September 2, 2006




    Austin Aries vs Disco Machine - First Round
    Sit back because explaining how this match came to be is a complicated tale of replacements, injuries, and a lot of reshuffling. This match was originally booked to be Jay Briscoe vs Alex Koslov, but due to Koslov moving to Mexico, he was pulled with Aries becoming his replacement against Briscoe. After The Briscoes missed the Threemendous event, both Jay and Mark were pulled from BOLA (Mark was scheduled to battle Matt Sydal) with Jay being replaced by Bryan Danielson. However, the Danielson vs Aries match wouldn’t happen as AmDrag would sustain his shoulder injury in a match against Colt Cabana forcing PWG to make multiple changes to fix things as Danielson’s replacement was Rocky Romero, but Romero was unable to attend the September 2nd event. So somehow, Disco Machine got moved from wrestling Colt on night 1 to now wrestling Aries on night 2. And that, ladies and gentlemen is how Jay Briscoe vs Alex Koslov became Austin Aries vs Disco Machine. Anyways, this is both men’s debut in the BOLA tournament, although Disco did work non-tournament matches last year. Aries went into the match with his ribs taped up, which provided Disco a bit of a target to focus on to try and lure fans into doubting the very obvious result a tiny bit. I never expect anything good out of Disco, but he put in a lot of effort, seemingly understanding that this was an important match, even if Disco clearly isn’t going to go far in the tournament. Aries’ back problems is what held the match together, but Aries still managed to lock in a Rings of Saturn and once he wrapped his leg around Disco’s head, Disco Machine tapped out. Hardly as good as a Danielson vs Aries match or even a Koslov vs Briscoe match, but it was fine for a Disco match. ** ¼

    Davey Richards vs Ronin - First Round
    This was originally booked to be Davey vs TJ Perkins in a very PWG 2005 sort of match, but TJP went out with an injury just prior to the event, forcing PWG to allow Ronin into the tournament. This would mark Ronin’s first and only appearance in BOLA. Meanwhile, Davey lost last year in the first round to Quicksilver, but ultimately gained a lot by having a killer sequence with Super Dragon in a loser’s tag the following night that basically is responsible for all of Davey’s subsequent success in this business. Much like Aries/Disco, there was zero doubt as to who would be winning. The one appeal this match had going for it is that Davey could be stiff and sometimes the one decent thing Ronin could do was deliver stiff strikes as well. Richards easily controlled Ronin in the early going, poking fun at PWG’s least favorite big man a bit. Eventually, Ronin managed to get in some offense, but it just feels like he’s getting in offense to ensure that the match wouldn’t be a squash. Richards would win with the DR Driver. Better than I expected. Since he was just a replacement, this is one of the few times where you don’t feel the need to judge Ronin too harshly. ** ½


    Jack Evans vs Claudio Castagnoli - First Round
    Now this is more like it. As far as first round matches go, this may actually be the match I’m most looking forward to seeing. This is the future Cesaro’s BOLA debut while Evans was eliminated in the first round by Styles last year. This match continues night one’s theme of booking really unique and rare matches. Believe it or not, but Claudio and Evans only wrestled each other...twice. That goes for ANY sort of match, including tag matches. BOLA 2006 is their first match while they will meet again in the semi-finals of the ROH Race To The Top Tournament. How is it that they never met in some random tag match or six man mayhem in ROH? As I tend to forget that 2006 Claudio is not the same as peak indie Claudio, I probably went into this match expecting a classic when I should have just been expecting something good. Oh well, that’s what you get for being cast under a spell by a long haired Cesaro. That being said, this was still really good. With the exception of Romero vs Strong from night 1, this is currently the best match of BOLA 2006. There’s some slowness in the early going, but there’s some great action as Claudio is able to manhandle to smaller opponent, but all of Evans’ offense is built around some crazy spot to make it seem as if he could get the best of the larger Castagnoli. I suppose if there’s something I wish the match did better, it was emphasizing all of Evans’ kick outs. Due to the size disparity, it felt like it should have been a big deal that Evans was kicking out of everything, but it was basically business as usual with even Double C not seeming surprised. On the flip side, since literally everything Evans was doing was some big high risk spot, he actually put over the fact that if he stood any chance of winning, it had to be with a big move. The finish saw Claudio countering a top rope Frankensteiner, but when he attempted to turn it into a middle rope Ricola Bomb, Evans busted out his best Rey Mysterio Jr 1996 impression by turning THAT into a Frankensteiner to send Claudio flying to the mat. After dragging Claudio into the corner, Evans finished him off with the 630 Splash to advance to round 2. The first match tonight that felt as if either man could have won. Keep your expectations realistic and this is a treat. *** ¼


    Chris Hero vs Genki Horiguchi w/Dragon Kid - First Round
    Surprisingly, despite being a semi-regular for PWG in 2005, this is Hero’s BOLA debut. Meanwhile, Genki is the third and final member of Dragon Gate to be involved in BOLA. Even though this was the least I was interested in seeing a first round BOLA match featuring a Dragon Gate wrestler, this ended up being the best match. For starters, it was clear that Hero “Got” Genki. His entire gimmick is built around losing his hair, so there’s some comedy in the early going with Hero bullying Genki for the hair loss. The bullying was extended to Hero’s greater size difference to his opponent. I thought Genki looked really good. Due to his over reliance of the gimmick, I tend not to think of him as a good worker, but he certainly seemed like one here. Meanwhile, Hero was...Hero. He’s great. At this stage of his career, he was able to race around the ring and look good with all of his standing back splashes. With the size difference, you kind of just assumed that Hero would win, but when Hero attempted Hero’s Welcome, Genki countered it into a backslide to suddenly score the upset pinfall in what actually felt like a surprise. Obviously, with the other Dragon Gate guys all winning, it should be a foregone conclusion that Genki was going over too, especially when Hero’s tag team partner literally lost the previous match, but I absolutely didn’t buy the backslide as the finish. Nothing earth shattering, but this was enjoyable. ***

    Joey Ryan © vs Excalibur vs Petey Williams vs Human Tornado w/Candice LeRae - PWG World Title
    I feel like the biggest moron. When reviewing PWG BOLA 2006 Night 1, I made it seem as if nothing came about with Petey turning on Joey and Excalibur scoring the pinfall in the eight man tag. Apparently, I missed the fact that that result was all about setting up tonight’s odd four-way. Fun fact, this is not only Excalibur’s one and only title shot at the PWG World Championship, but this would mark his final match in PWG entirely. Even for someone like me, who watches more old school PWG than recent, it’s hard to believe that Excalibur was done with the company, as an in ring talent, as early as he was. Sadly, for a final PWG match, this was pretty awful. When I think about the worst PWG World Title matches, my mind immediately goes to the sixty minute iron man snoozefest between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels at Jason Takes PWG. Still, at least that match looks great and important on paper. This match looks like a complete joke on paper and thanks to the booking, ended up being even worse in execution. The opening moments are good though as everyone decides to gang up on Joey since Ryan sucks, but once the brawl goes to the outside, Tornado ends up taking a pretty nasty spill into some chairs after missing a dive onto Petey. Williams seems really concerned, not knowing what to do and even calling referee, Bryce Remsburg, over to whisper something into his ear. PWG actually does a solid job at making this feel like a legitimate injury. Tornado ends up being helped to the back and both he and Candice are seemingly out of the equation. The problem is that just leaves Excalibur vs Petey/Joey with the former teammates deciding to form an alliance again since this is technically an elimination match. Although Excalibur absolutely belongs on a Mount Rushmore of PWG, he’s not exactly good in the ring. Furthermore, how are we supposed to believe that he wouldn’t be an easy elimination against Joey and Williams? This segment would be fine if it was short, but it ends up being the bulk of the entire match. Finally, Joey ends up predictably turning on Petey, delivering a super kick to prevent a Canadian Destroyer on Excalibur. There’s a brief sequence with every man for himself before Excalibur becomes the biggest heel of the match by surprising Petey with a roll-up to eliminate him just as Williams was set to hit the Canadian Destroyer on Ryan. Frustrated over his loss, Williams delivered a traditional piledriver on Excalibur, which allowed Joey to easily pin Excalibur to eliminate him as well. Seemingly, everyone in attendance, which is maybe 100 people, quite a contrast to what you think of a PWG Reseda crowd, begins to realize what’s going to happen as they begin chanting for Human Tornado. That brings Candice LeRae back out, wearing a trench coat. Removing the coat to unveil a white dress to signify the PWG debut of...EL SNOWFLAKE~! If you’re like me and you’ve never gotten around to watching that Jack Black comedy, Nacho Libre, this is a bit lost on you, but Human Tornado apparently cameo’d in that film as El Snowflake. So bringing the gimmick into PWG was a nice treat for the fans. Human Tornado rushes back out to the ring, now decked out all in white, including wearing trunks instead of pants. He quickly gets the best of Joey before Ryan decides to just bail and...is counted out. It’s a long twenty count, but eventually Remsburg reaches the twenty to announce Tornado as the winner, but that Ryan is still the champion. This was a sixteen minute match where the majority of it was dedicated towards a dull two-on-one battle that ultimately had one of the most unfulfilling finishes, complete with the disappointment of not even seeing the Canadian Destroyer. Going into the match, you knew it wouldn’t be great, but PWG badly dropped the ball on this match, failing to even achieve the level of being “Okay”. It’s notable for being the debut of El Snowflake and I suppose Excalibur’s final PWG match (Without counting his pinfall loss to Owen Steen), but otherwise, this is a strong contender for worst PWG World Title match ever. * ½


    Arrogance © w/Jade Chung vs The Briscoes vs Homicide and B-Boy - PWG Tag Titles
    So you’ve got the current PWG Tag Team Champions, the very first PWG Tag Team Champions, and arguably the biggest indie tag team going at that point in time. This feels like a pretty big match, especially for one that was thrown together. Although Arrogance were the tag team champions, this felt like it was just a feud between Briscoes and B-Boy/Homicide with the main focus being on the future ROH World Champions of Jay Briscoe and Homicide. The fight between Jay and Homicide, resulting in Jay quickly sustaining a crimson mask, was the most heat gained in the entire match. The rest of the bout was just a fast pace series of spots with the wrestlers cycling in and out. The fans in attendance seemed to dig it though as the crowd started a “This is awesome” chant in a time when that chant hadn’t been whored out yet. Still though, there wasn’t truly a story on display besides Jay and Homicide taking the match more seriously than the rest. After a long battle of a series of never ending spots, Homicide managed to hit the Cop Killa on Mark, but Arrogance stole the pin to retain their titles. Certainly better than the PWG World Title match, but this didn’t do anything for me. ** ½


    Frankie Kazarian vs Scorpio Sky w/Jade Chung - First Round
    A BOLA match with a backstory! It was back at (Please Don't Call It) The O.C. that Sky and Chung did the unthinkable - they cut some of Kazarian’s hair. Of course, this was a bit significant as the rumor for why Kazarian quit the WWE following his Velocity run is that he didn’t want to cut his hair. So now, not only is Kazarian one of the biggest rivals of The Dynasty, but he has a personal grudge with both Sky and Chung. Believe it or not, but Scorpio was actually touted as the favorite to win BOLA 2006. I imagine this had something to do with BOLA only having been won by SoCal wrestlers prior to this, but so many people just assumed that Scorpio would win it all. This would be Scorpio’s debut in BOLA while Kaz lost in the first round to Rocky Romero in 2005. Right away, the thing that worked about this match is that it felt like an actual grudge feud rather than a random tournament match. There was brawling to kick off the match, fighting in the crowd, and a general sense that this was different from all other BOLA matches. That being said, there wasn’t a lot offered beyond that though. I think that’s where the biggest weakness of the match came forward - it ended before even a finishing stretch could be teased. After brawling in the crowd, the action returned to the ring with Jade interrupting a pin attempt by Kaz by hitting him with a foreign object to force the DQ. I had fully expected the match to go at least five minutes longer, if not even longer. Their feud ender at Based on a True story is really good, this was just there to keep the feud alive. Still, I appreciate the fact that there was a reason to care about this match thanks to the storyline. ** ¾

    After the match, Frankie Kazarian promises victory in the entire tournament.

    Super Dragon vs Necro Butcher - No DQ - First Round
    Safe to call this the biggest match of the BOLA 2006 weekend? Super Dragon lost to Kevin Steen in the opening round last year while Necro wouldn’t debut for the company until 2006. Much like Scorpio/Kaz, this had a different feel from the other matches in round one. Unlike Scorpio/Kaz, there isn't an issue here. Instead, Necro is the #1 hardcore wrestler going today while Dragon is SoCal’s biggest asskicker. The result is that they have to kill each other to advance to the second round. Some of this fight is really fun. Just a lot of brutal spots and not a whole lot of protecting each other. This also seems to be the downfall as one particularly rough bump saw a botched piledriver with the top of Dragon's head compressed into Necro’s midsection. I'm convinced that Dragon has a concussion as he does seem to struggle to maintain his balance while on his feet. Yet, the fight continues. Don't get me wrong, there's some sick spots, but I'm over it long before the finish because it seems dangerous and frankly you can only go so far before you're continuing the fight for the sake of just continuing it. The very last spot of the match sees Dragon delivering a painful looking Psycho Driver on an open chair, but the spot just before that saw Dragon driving Necro face first into a chair with a Curb Stomp which Necro kicked out of. This absolutely didn't need to go twenty-five minutes. That being said, I liked that this felt like a war and ultimately was memorable. Just not a classic like some of Necro's most notorious battles. ***



    Overall
    Night 2 of BOLA was a slight increase in quality over night 1. Ditching the eight man tag in favor of two title matches certainly helped with the importance. Likewise, we saw an actual feud (Kazarian vs Scorpio) featured in the tournament and a crazy hardcore brawl (Dragon vs Necro). The MOTN honors goes to Jack Evans vs Claudio, a match I was really looking forward to seeing. It may have not been quite as good as I expected, but it still delivered the goods. The same sort of mixed feelings can also apply with the main event with the violence of Dragon vs Necro being fun, but there were multiple botches, it went on too long, and it just seemed too dangerous with Dragon's possible concussion. One flaw of the show was the chaos that went on behind the scenes as PWG tried their best to put together an amazing line-up and so many entrants had to be replaced. As a result, instead of seeing the likes of Bryan Danielson, Alex Koslov, or Jay Briscoe in the tournament, we got Disco Machine and Ronin. Then there's the PWG World Title match. Arguably the worst PWG Title match ever with far too much time dedicated to Joey Ryan/Petey Williams working over Excalibur before the debut of El Snowflake's count-out victory. BOLA 2006 continues to not be a great tournament, but night 2 still produced a couple of standout matches.

    Worth Checking Out
    Jack Evans vs Claudio Castagnoli
    Super Dragon vs Necro Butcher

    Avoid
    Joey Ryan vs Petey Williams vs Excalibur vs Human Tornado
    Last edited by Jim; 09-20-2021 at 03:50 AM.

  19. #299

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Guitarmageddon II: Armorygeddon
    February 10, 2007




    So, fun fact, this is the debut at the Van Nuys Armory. At the time, PWG fans were ecstatic at the idea that PWG would have this new location, which would HAVE to mean that they’d never have to return to that dump in Reseda. Little do the PWG fans know that the Reseda era of PWG hadn’t even truly begun yet.

    Before the opening bell, Scott Lost got on the mic to congratulate Ronin on his recent winning streak (Undefeated since BOLA 2006 with victories over SHINGO, Matt Sydal, Matt Cross, and even Super Dragon). Seeing as The Dynasty is now down one member, there’s a vacancy open...Ronin is offered a spot in The Dynasty. It’s all a ruse though as Lost takes the moment to attack Ronin while the big guy’s guard is down.

    Scott Lost w/Jade Chung vs Ronin
    I don’t know what surprises me more - the fact that this is a good Ronin match or that the fans are actually on Ronin’s side. Scott Lost is clearly a miracle worker. And to think, there was a time when I disliked Lost! Lost controlled a good portion of the match, sometimes utilizing Chung for the unfair advantage. Any time it seemed like Ronin would try to get something going, Lost would just regain the advantage. Where the match could really excel though were those rare times when Ronin could fire off a stiff strike, especially his pop-up forearm with Lost selling it beautifully. Meanwhile, things heated up for me when we got into the nearfalls as you can buy into each one since it’s Ronin. There’s NO WAY he could possibly beat Scott Lost. This absurd Ronin push has to stop somewhere, right? At the same time, Ronin literally just beat Super Dragon. Why can’t he beat Lost? Lost is hitting all of his key moves including the most underrated top rope elbow of all time, Superman Spear, and that roundhouse kick he’d use whose name I can’t remember. However, Ronin kicked out of everything. For Ronin, he managed to hit the pop-up forearm, but Lost managed to avoid the Death Valley Driver. Then the unthinkable occured as Ronin surprised Lost by tying Lost’s arms up and suddenly pinning the former PWG Tag Team Champion to continue his winning streak. The odd thing is that all of these wins never really led to anything for Ronin. A far better match than I expected particularly with the fans willingness to get behind the usually hated Ronin. ** ¾


    Karl Anderson vs Disco Machine
    This would mark Anderson’s second match with PWG, having just debuted at Based on a True Story. He came out to the ring wearing a baseball cap, which he touts as being special since he got it in Minnesota. Anderson REALLY likes his hat. At this stage of his career, Anderson isn’t really in shape and he hasn’t really “Made it” yet. In fact, despite being a regular at the now defunct New Japan Dojo promotion in Cali, The Machine Gun hadn’t even wrestled in Japan yet. This was purely a comedy match with Disco loving to gyrate his body, much to Anderson’s frustration. Meanwhile, Anderson brought some laughs with his high pitch squeals, his love for his hat, and the fans chanting “Gillberg” at him. Personally, I think Anderson looks more like the least in shape third member of The Gymini, but all of the Gillberg chants did lead to Anderson hitting a spear which caused some of the front row to bow to him. Disco even managed to hit one nice looking spot where he leaped onto Anderson’s back and then flipped over for a sunset flip. Disco wasn’t a good wrestler, but occasionally he could bust out some fun spots. The finish saw Anderson hitting a fine looking spinebuster and then turned Disco over into a Boston Crab with the PWG Six member immediately tapping out. Anderson never really found his groove in PWG like he would in NJPW, but he was fine in this lowcard spot. ** ½


    Before the next match, Joey Ryan got on the mic to address what happened at the last show, Based on a True Story. Yes, The Dynasty lost a member in Scorpio Sky, but more importantly, Joey lost his PWG Title. He demands a rematch tonight, but apparently he’s booked in another match. As a result, he orders PWG commissioner, Dino Winwood, to come out and explain himself. That brings out Dino, but since Joey has been the biggest heel of the last year, Winwood relishes in the fact that Ryan is no longer champion, so he throws his power around a bit. Not only does Dino confirm the fact that Joey won’t be receiving a title shot tonight, but he suggests it may be a LONG time before Ryan will get his contractual obligated title shot. Furthermore, the rest of The Dynasty is barred from ringside for Joey’s match.

    From there, Frankie Kazarian makes his entrance so Joey turns his attention towards his opponent. Trying to get under Kaz’s skin, Joey brings up the the fact that while Kazarian wasn’t booked on the latest episode of TNA iMPACT Joey was featured on MTV’s Wrestling Society X! That is such a specifically timed insult that a part of me is proud of Joey for getting in a WSX mention before that company almost immediately failed. Furthermore, as much as I’m in favor of trashing TNA 2007, imagine someone trying to brag about working for WSX over TNA.

    Joey Ryan vs Frankie Kazarian
    This was not the match I had expected. With Joey losing his PWG Title and Kazarian winning a feud to send Scorpio Sky out of PWG, you’d think Kaz would be in great spirits while Joey was in an awful mood. Instead, Kazarian unloaded on Ryan in the early going, upset over the comments made by Joey. So while Kazarian was really aggressive, Joey was working more of a comedy match. As a comedy match, I thought this was enjoyable thanks to all of Joey’s antics, but this just did not seem like the appropriate match to have when Kaz has been one of Dynasty’s biggest rivals, he just hurt them in a huge way at the last show, and Joey is reeling from his title loss. I’m sorry, but for as much of a fun spot as it is seeing Rick Knox bend down to tie his shoelace, thus accidentally tripping Joey, who wants to see that shit in what should be a grudge match? Even the angle in the finish is played up as some goofy angle with Karl Anderson coming back out to the ring to look for his forgotten hat. He eventually causes Kazarian and Knox to be distracted, allowing Joey to hit a low blow to steal the victory. We don’t know it at the time, but this is the creation of The Dynasty International with its sole member of Karl Anderson. Since Dino Winwood threatened to fire any Dynasty member that came to ringside, Joey found a way to allow for interference since Anderson isn’t technically a member of The Dynasty. This would set-up Kazarian/Anderson at the next show, so at least it accomplished something. The booking really let down this match. **

    Super Dragon, Bino Gambino, and Rocky Romero vs TJ Perkins and Los Luchas
    Super Dragon has to be hurt, right? There’s no other reason why he’d be in a six man tag like this. Otherwise, PWG is missing out on a fun looking match of Dragon vs Romero. Much to my surprise, I actually found this match to be a lot of fun rather than the boring trainwreck I was expecting. Fun is the key word. Prior to the match even beginning, a fan was heckling Dragon so Dragon stole the fan’s chair and put it in his corner. When the fan tried to get the chair back, Romero ran it backstage. For as much as I dislike Los Luchas, they paired really well with TJP with Perkins essentially becoming a third member of the team completing tag spots throughout the match. Rocky had some great exchanges with TJP, both with Perkins impressing with some funky kicks and later with Romero murdering TJP with some stiff strikes. Although Super Dragon didn’t do much in the match, his role seemed to be that of the guy who is there solely to torture Zokre and Phoenix Star. Lastly, there’s Gambino. Gambino isn’t a good wrestler nor is he even anything above a lowcarder, but he always stands out when I watch him due to his personality. Here, he entertains me because he seems clueless as to his place on his team, unaware that he’s not even close to being in Dragon and Romero’s league. Gambino often fucks things up and Romero at times seems like he views Bino as a joke. Gambino is a big trash talker though, constantly hurling insults back at the fans. He was a great member of PWG’s roster back in the day because there wasn’t any delusion as to Bino’s spot in the company. He was a bottom of the barrel wrestler, but he proved you can still have something to offer in such a low spot. Going into the match, I figured that Gambino had to be in the match to be the one to take the fall. Why else would he be in the match? I mean, MAYBE if he was a last minute replacement for an injured wrestler, but clearly he’s there to eat the fall. Imagine my surprise when Zokre escapes a Psycho Driver attempt and delivers a Reverserana to just...pin Super Dragon. It’s truthfully one of the more shocking results in PWG history. Looking back, with Dragon not wrestling again until DDT4 2007, I wonder if he was considering retirement. Why else would you have Dragon job out against Ronin Based on a True Story and now being the one to be pinned in a six man tag that also involved Bino Gambino? An entertaining match though. *** ¼


    Chris Bosh w/Jade Chung vs Claudio Castagnoli
    December’s Passive Hostility was meant to be a great night for Double C. It was set to be his final night for PWG before signing with the WWE and he’d be wrestling his long time partner, Chris Hero. On that night, although he lost, Claudio was still honored in this farewell...until The Dynasty ran out to ruin the celebration. It was then announced that Claudio had just enough time to return to PWG on December 16th to team with Hero to battle Arrogance. Hooray! And then everything went to shit. The December 16th show was cancelled, Chris Hero turned on Claudio in ROH, and Claudio’s WWE deal fell through. As a result, Castagnoli isn’t his usual jovial self. Instead, he’s coming into this match with a pissed off attitude to the point that he’s picking arguments with fans and essentially making Bosh the babyface of the match. This sort of attitude was routine for Claudio any time he was a heel in ROH, but it feels out of character for him in PWG, but I also kind of appreciate it. Although I was digging the match, it did feel a bit too long despite only being thirteen minutes long. I attribute this to Claudio being in firm control for the majority of it without trying to keep things more varied. Likewise, they don’t do much to build up to the finish. Instead, it’s a series of nearfalls until Bosh counters Claudio’s roll-up by flipping Double C over to surprise him with the pinfall. The nice thing about Bosh though is that despite being a member of The Dynasty, he’s still able to easily fall into that babyface role without it feeling conspicuous. ** ¾

    Human Tornado © vs Kevin Steen - PWG World Title
    No Candice tonight. Maybe she’s wrestling somewhere else? Tornado’s first PWG Title defense after winning the belt in a great Guerrilla Warfare bout from Joey Ryan at the last show, Based on a True Story. In the lead-up to this match, these two had a similar story where they were both major threats to Ryan’s PWG Title. It just so happen that Tornado was the one to beat Joey. Although Steen wasn’t a regular in ROH yet (Give it oh...a week) he does seem to follow the ROH wrestlers lead for the night as he too is angry and extra aggressive just like Claudio and later on Davey Richards and Roderick Strong. In Steen’s case, you can say that he’s extra aggressive not only because he’s jealous that Tornado won the title he had been chasing after, but this is his chance to finally regain the belt. Why not go hard? This meant Steen jumped Tornado before the bell and spent a large portion of the match destroying the champion. Unlike Bosh/Claudio, this worked a bit better because Tornado is your babyface champion, so selling a lot for his opponent can be expected. Meanwhile, when Tornado is able to get in some offense, he makes it count. This included sudden shots across the face and to the nuts, all of which phased Steen a lot. Steen’s biggest mistake came late in the match as he spent time arguing with a fan while climbing to the top rope for a senton. This allowed Tornado time to get the knees up to block the senton bomb. Still, since this was all about presenting Steen as being better than the champion, he once again found himself with victory nearly in hand as he climbed to the top yet again, but this time The Dynasty ran out to attack both men to cause the DQ. Is it an unsatisfying result? Absolutely, but for a company that tends not to focus too much on storylines, I can appreciate the fact that they’re trying to push a storyline rather than just relying on match quality. You can also say that running such a result in Tornado’s first ever title defense hurts his credibility as champion, but...PWG already has a solution to that one as well. Gotta wait a bit longer for that though. An enjoyable match though that easily sets up Steen/Tornado II, Steen/Ryan, Ryan/Tornado, and even Tornado/Ryan/Steen II. ***

    After the match, The Dynasty works over Tornado before Ryan got on the mic to announce that he has a rematch clause that he can cash in at any point and he wishes to do so right...now.

    Human Tornado © vs Joey Ryan w/The Dynasty - PWG World Title
    Just as the bell is rung, Top Gun Talwar randomly shows up wearing a turban and carrying a giant ass sword makes his PWG return. Talwar, one of the PWG originals and a member of the PWG Six, hadn’t even wrestled for PWG since Threemendous back in July 2006. This...scene rightly distracts Joey allowing Tornado to roll him up to immediately win the match and retain his title. For better or for worse, this would kick off a Ryan/Talwar feud, so even this had a purpose. ANGLE.

    Cape Fear © vs Roderick Strong and Davey Richards - PWG Tag Titles
    A bit of a refresher - with Davey’s BOLA 2006 victory, he was all set to use his prize to secure Super Dragon and himself a PWG Tag Titles shot against Arrogance, but then Super Dragon did the unthinkable - he decided to go after (And win) the tag titles with B-Boy before Davey could return to the company (He was busy working a ROH show at the first show post-BOLA). As a result, Richards has a bit of a shitty attitude and is now going after the titles with Roddy Strong. In the time since BOLA 2006, Super Dragon/B-Boy, Strong/Richards, and Cape Fear have all won the tag titles. What further doesn’t help Richards’ new attitude is the fact that he’s already defeated Cape Fear three times in 2006...with Super Dragon. Now, Richards wants to prove himself yet again, but this time without Super Dragon’s help. The end result is one of the most fun and brutal tag matches in PWG history. Richards and Strong, just a week away from forming No Remorse Corps in ROH, came into this match with a bullying mindset, prepared to just DESTROY the champions. For the majority of the match, it felt like a squash with the challengers talking trash (Especially Davey) while completely backing it up as they utterly refused to take it easy with the stiff strikes against Generico and then Quicksilver. All of this is going wonderfully for the future NRC until the second face-in-peril sequence ends with Generico firing off a stiff punch to Strong’s head and then came off the top with a crossbody. It was either the punch of the face that Generico landed on top of Roddy’s head that resulted in Strong sustaining a nasty cut around the eyebrow. To me, other than Candice LaRae’s crimson mask, this is the most iconic bloodshed in PWG history. It creates a perfect visual of Strong’s bloody half face, all seemingly trickling down from his eye. This injury also alters the story as well. Although Strong is still fully capable of unleashing hell with stiff shots, he’s clearly hurt and is practically dead on his feet. That allows Generico and Quicksilver to have the advantage for the first time in the entire match. It’s still a tough match for the champions, especially with Richards still healthy and aware that his partner is hurting, but they’re able to use the numbers advantage to keep firing off shots. Before long, Richards is sent to the outside and Quicksilver delivered a Silver Bullet with Generico immediately following it up with a brainbuster. With Davey held back from breaking up the fall, Strong’s pinned to allow Cape Fear to retain the tag titles. Despite Strong being the one injured in the story, this would actually prove to be Quicksilver’s final ever match as he sustained a staph infection in this match, nearly killing him, causing Quicksilver to decide to hang up the boots for good. As far as final matches go, this was a hell of a way to go out. With the exception of the title switch between AXP and Arrogance, I’d call this Quicksilver’s best PWG match. Considering how long it’s been since he’s been active, it’s easy to forget just how great of a tag worker Quicksilver could be. Beyond that, Generico was his usual great self and NRC worked so well as the bullying ass kickers with Davey’s new attitude gelling well. ****


    Overall
    Due to the cancellation of the originally announced December 16, 2006 event, PWG’s 2007 kick-off event, Based on a True Story, got to be a really big show. Sometimes when that happens, the next show is forced to be a step down just because there needs to be time to build towards another significant show. Thanks to the main event of Cape Fear vs NRC, Guitarmageddon II got to feel noteworthy as PWG produced another match that’s well worth going out of your way to watch. Besides producing a brutal match, the main event is also significant for being Quicksilver’s final ever match and by extension what would be the trigger for the creation of the DDT4 tournament later in the show. Meanwhile, Human Tornado got to be featured as the PWG World Champion for the first time, but his first match ended in a run-in while the second was only won because of a distraction. It’s not exactly a strong way to kick off Tornado’s title reign, but the direction where the title reign is going makes this decision a good one. With Scorpio Sky now out of PWG, we’ve now seen the little tease of making Karl Anderson an unofficial member of the faction while also setting up for Scorpio’s return due to The Dynasty’s lack of caring about losing a member. The six man tag was far better than I expected it to be while the Ronin match surprisingly didn’t suck either. The only match that I’d rule as being bad was Ryan/Kazarian, but that had more to do with the fact that it shouldn’t have been a comedy match given all those two men had been through over the last six or so months.

    Worth Checking Out
    Cape Fear vs Roderick Strong and Davey Richards
    Super Dragon, Bino Gamino, and Rocky Romero vs TJ Perkins and Los Luchas

    Avoid
    Joey Ryan vs Frankie Kazarian

  20. #300

    Re: Jim Reviews PWG

    Holy Diver Down
    February 24, 2007




    I feel like this could be a new regular segment in all of my PWG reviews, but here’s what the original card was announced as being:

    PAC vs Kevin Steen
    Cape Fear © vs MCMG - PWG Tag Titles
    Disco Machine vs Bino Gambino
    Ricky Reyes vs TJ Perkins
    Karl Anderson vs Frankie Kazarian
    The Dynasty vs Human Tornado, Top Gun Talwar, and Ronin

    Keep reading to see just how many changes were forced to be made!

    Joey Ryan vs Top Gun Talwar
    Talwar had returned to the company at the last show, Guitarmageddon II, in order to thwart Joey’s plot to screw Human Tornado out of the PWG Title. Much like Ryan’s other match at Guitarmageddon II, this should have been a grudge match, but instead was nothing more than a comedy match. And oh boy, what a comedy match it was. The majority of the match is just Top Gun pulling down Ryan’s trunks to expose and slap Joey’s ass. This happens a lot. Sometimes it even happens outside of the ring with Talwar offering fans the opportunity to get in on the action with no one volunteering. Considering everything that has gone down with Joey, I’m not interested in seeing his half for an entire match, especially when the set-up should have resulted in Ryan wanting revenge. Furthermore, while I realize bare ass spots always get a reaction in wrestling, which is why the likes of Ric Flair and Rick Rude made a career out of them, this feels like gross overkill. The comedy involving Rick Knox worked better for me. Joey ended up winning, obviously, but this was not a good opener at all. And to think, their infamously bad match is still to come. I suppose looking at the bright side, at least Joey isn’t involved in PWG Title matches anymore. * ½

    Ricky Reyes vs Ronin
    Hey, it’s Reyes. PWG is the one place where I welcome seeing Reyes singles matches since the expectations tend to be lower than in ROH and he’s pretty consistent. Similarly to Guitarmageddon II, Ronin actually has supporters, which blows my mind. They worked a fun back and forth match with some stiff shots and Reyes locking in a lot of holds. There’s not a whole lot to say about this one since Reyes won’t let Ronin such and considering Reyes is no longer a PWG regular, there’s zero doubt that Ronin’s undefeated streak would continue. Ronin wins with the DVD. Solid, if forgettable. ** ½

    Karl Anderson vs Frankie Kazarian
    Earlier in the month at Guitarmageddon II, Karl Anderson interfered in the Kazarian/Joey Ryan match while returning to the ring to search for his beloved hat. Now Kazarian wants revenge. By revenge, I mean it’s a silly comedy match where Anderson keeps doing his stupid high pitch shrieks while the crowd chants Gillberg at him. This Anderson is just annoying to watch especially when you recognize that unlike someone like Bino Gambino, he’s actually getting pushed. Meanwhile, Kazarian is just there. He literally just sent his arch nemesis out of PWG at the start of the year and now he’s stuck working comedy matches when they should be grudge matches. Between this and the Joey match, Kaz has been in a couple of stinkers, but it’s not anything he’s doing wrong as much as the poor booking due to the comedy putting the entire spotlight on his opponent while all Kaz can do is a couple flashy spots. Spot of the match saw Kaz counter Anderson’s second Money Clip with a bicycle kick. The finish saw someone resembling Scorpio Sky (Complete with Scorpio Sky’s old mask) run out for the distraction to allow Anderson to roll-up Kazarian for the victory. Is Scorpio Sky back in PWG?! The angle was fine, but ugh...who wants to see Anderson pinning a former PWG Champion? * ¾


    Arrogance w/Jade Chung vs The Motor City Machine Guns
    This looks pretty rad to me. Although Sabin and Shelley have teamed in PWG a handful of times in 2006, they’re just about to start teaming in TNA. This ended up being pretty good stuff, but also kind of odd. It’s a rather long match, going twenty-eight minutes. It can easily be broken down into two halves - a never ending babyface shine (Complete with a couple of fans ironically getting a cheesy “Motor...City...Machine...Guns...Let’s...Go” chant going) and then a heat sequence with both members of MCMG being on defense on after another. When things were clicking, it was great. At this early stage of their team, MCMG are all about those quick tags and endless amount of tag moves. They not only gel well together, but they also feel different from pre-MCMG Shelley and Sabin. Meanwhile, Arrogance brought some laughs (Mostly from Bosh, naturally) and a lot of cheating (Sometimes from Chung interfering behind the ref’s back). When things get odd is when you start to feel the match going really long and you’re also not getting that typical finishing stretch either. In fact, the finish was out of nowhere as both members of MCMG were whipped against the ropes, but they bounced back and surprised Lost and Bosh with dual small packages for the victory. In a match that went nearly thirty minutes, a pair of small packages isn’t the most satisfying finish. A fun match, but I don’t see any argument for why it needed to be so long when THAT was the finish. *** ¼


    Before the next match, Bino Gambino got on the mic to announce that this will be his last match in the SoCal area for awhile. Since he’s never received the appreciation he’s deserved, he’s going to appreciate himself tonight. With that, Bino pulls out a couple of streamers to throw into the air. God bless you, Bino Gambino.

    Disco Machine vs Bino Gambino - 2 out of 3 Falls
    A rematch from Passive Hostility, a match that was pretty darn awful. Although it’s technically a two out of three falls match, the first fall ended right after the start of the match with Disco ducking a slap from Gambino and then immediately pinned Bino with a backslide. Fall two ended moments later after Bino ruined Disco’s celebration with a low blow and some wonky double underhook slam move that I presume was Gambino’s finisher, but since he never won, I have no idea what his finisher actually was. So after maybe thirty seconds, the first two falls are finished and the remaining fall eats up the rest of the time. Nearly the entire third fall sees Bino dominating. Although it’s far too long, I really enjoy Gambino’s sleazy personality. He fits into this time period of heels interacting with the fans ala Chuck Taylor scaring children so well. Since he’s not a good wrestler and he’s just a lowcarder, this is all he can offer PWG, but especially watching this a decade after I began my PWG fandom, I’m really appreciating what heel Bino brought to the company. For Disco, his role in the match is to get his ass kicked and then to fire off a few high spots the few times he’s given an opportunity. Where the match feels as if it overstayed its welcome is when it seems likely that Gambino has run out of gas based on the fact that he starts to go quiet. Even with the match just going twelve minutes, it likely would have been better had it been trimmed to maybe nine. The finishing stretch is solid though as Disco makes a comeback and we get trading of finisher attempts with Bino kicking out of Disco’s choke breaker while Disco blocks Gambino’s weird double underhook finisher. It would be Disco’s middle rope bulldog that would give him the victory. Chances are, I may be Bino’s only fan. ** ¼

    PAC vs Kevin Steen
    Regardless of what happens in the main event tonight, this match is the sole reason why anyone remembers Holy Diver Down. This is PAC’s return to PWG after working All Star Weekend 4 weekend in a pair of singles matches against AJ Styles and El Generico. Apparently I loved the Styles match though I have no memory of it while the Generico match was one of PWG’s biggest matches of 2006. This time around, I think this is best match thus far in PWG. Unlike with the Generico match, I felt like there was a story rather than it just being an impressive spotfest. The match began with PAC in firm control as he out mat wrestled Steen. Since Steen doesn’t know this “British shit”, he often looks confused and angry every time PAC effortlessly gets the best of him. In order for Steen to gain the advantage, he needs to turn the match into more of a brawl, which suits Steen far better. For PAC, that means he needs to change up his strategy to counter Steen’s new offensive strategy. Finally, that means it’s time for some crazy spots, but since high spots are high risks, Steen is able to roll out of the way and PAC ends up crashing and burning. Here, Steen’s heat sequence continues as the match becomes a lot more brutal as poor PAC gets dumped on his head multiple times. I have no idea how PAC isn’t legitimately hurt, especially after one suplex where he landed directly onto his head...just after the last bump that saw him land on his head. You can see the crowd slowly getting into the match as the high spots get ramped up by PAC while Steen manages his own flashiness, mostly with counters. For example, PAC attempted to counter some sort of Steen top rope spot by leaping into the air for a Frankensteiner, but Steen countered that counter with a top rope power bomb. All of PAC’s high risks would finally pay off after hitting an extra rotation Shooting Star Press (So that he’d land on his back) and then followed that up with the Red Arrow to win the match and finally pick up a W in PWG. When going back and watching old indie matches, it’s tough to predict what will work for me and what won’t for some random reason, but I was pleased to see that this surpassed my memories of the match from first seeing it over a decade ago. ****


    After the match, Steen got on the mic to essentially take credit for PAC getting bookings for PWG, but in such a manner where he puts PAC over for being the best high flyer in the world. Steen just hopes that once PAC becomes all successful, he won’t forget about him.

    Human Tornado © w/Candice LeRae vs El Generico - PWG World Title
    2 Skinny Black Guys explode~! A couple of notes first - Candice is back after missing the last show and El Generico (For reference, it was just one week ago that Steenerico wrestled their first match against The Briscoes in ROH) is wearing his Tito Santana t-shirt that he infamously wore in some of his ROH matches. IIRC, he had some sort of contagious rash that he was trying to keep covered, but the Santana shirt has become legendary because of it. Despite being buddies and former co-holders of the PWG Tag Team Titles, this one came across as a grudge with the start of the match not even being on the DVD because apparently Tornado dived onto Generico during the challenger’s entrance. There’s not much of a story as the pair decides to just have a wild indierrific battle, but one that centered on both men being aggressive and not holding anything back. It’s certainly not the match I had expected to watch given their history together. With the pace being fast throughout, I wasn’t expecting the finish when it came as Generico delivered the top rope brainbuster (I feel like I haven’t seen that move in YEARS) to score the pin and become the NEW PWG World Champion. With the match not having much of a story, I wasn’t buying that as a finish. Furthermore, Tornado only won the belt in January after defeating the longest reigning champion (At the time) in PWG history. Meanwhile, not only is Tornado now the holder of the shortest PWG Title reign, but the previous shortest was 3x as long as Tornado’s. So to say the least, this title switch came as a surprise. A fun match, but one that clearly left a lot on the table. ***


    After the match, Generico offers his hand in a sign of respect to his former partner, but after some hesitation, Tornado decides to just leave instead while Candice fails to talk him into accepting the handshake.

    Overall
    With ROH’s Fifth Year Festival: Chicago taking place on the same night, PWG had to do without the ROH regulars including the newly formed No Remorse Corps, The Kings of Wrestling, and some others that only occasionally pop up in PWG (Colt, Joe, Briscoes, ect). In addition, Super Dragon is out with an injury and one half of the PWG Tag Team Champions, Quicksilver, is also out with an injury that would become a full on retirement. Luckily for Holy Diver Down, Steenerico aren’t regulars in ROH just yet and they had a fly-in with PAC. Throw in some TNA regulars (MCMG and Kazarian) and I wouldn’t say that the ROH guys were too badly missed. The one clear positive of the show was PAC vs Kevin Steen. It’s a hell of a match that avoided just being a spotfest. I’ll say this about PWG in 2007, they’re only three shows into the year, but every show has had a four star match. Although this is the weakest of the three, that’s still a great accomplishment. Hell, I don’t even think ROH could say that (Although, in fairness, ROH used to have a slow start to the year with January being pretty fillerish, particularly in 2007 with Danielson out). Outside of the great PAC/Steen match, you had a solid PWG World Title match that resulted in an unexpected title change, but the match didn’t have much substance to it. Luckily, it’s the initial spark for what will carry the company over the next two years while establishing a new ace for the company. MCMG vs Arrogance was good, but a bit wonky in terms of going long without a satisfying finish. Especially in 2021, I don’t think anyone wants to watch a match where Joey Ryan has his ass hanging out of his trunks for the majority of his match. Karl Anderson’s high pitch girly screams gets zero buys from me. Reyes continues to produce solid undercard matches while Bino still sucks, but gosh darn it I still love his act. If you watch Holy Diver Down in abridged form (MCMG vs Arrogance, PAC vs Steen, and Tornado vs Generico), it makes for a solid hour. Watching the full show means having to endure a couple of bad matches.

    Worth Checking Out
    PAC vs Kevin Steen

    Avoid
    Joey Ryan vs Top Gun Talwar
    Frankie Kazarian vs Karl Anderson

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