PWG Black Cole SunReseda, California 12/12/14
Before I start, I just have to say that the title of this show is AWESOME!!!! Combining the Soundgarden song Black Hole Sun with Adam Cole was pretty clever!
Continuing with the celebrity trend I mentioned in my last PWG review, The Four Horsewomen are back (sans Ronda Rousey), and are sitting in the front row with Lucha Underground’s Johnny Mundo (formerly known as John Morrison & Johnny Nitro in WWE). I’m actually kind of surprised that PWG hasn’t tried to book Johnny Mundo for a show.
1.) Six-Man Tag – The African American Wolves (ACH, AR Fox & Rich Swann) vs. Chuck Taylor, Johnny Gargano & Bobby Fish: ***1/4
So there were some minor changes to the card for this show. Firstly, Trent? was going to be in this Six-Man Tag, but he was injured, and unable to compete. He was replaced by Bobby Fish, who was supposed to face Roderick Strong in a singles match, but Strong had “missed his flight” (more on that later).
This opening match was pretty entertaining. ACH wore a Santa Claus hat for most of the match, and got “Ho Ho ACH” chants from the PWG faithful. There was also a lot of very good action in this match. We saw plenty of multi-man spots, and everyone got a chance to shine. This is exactly what you want out of an opening match. In the end, the team of ACH, AR Fox & Rich Swann would pick up the win.
2.) Adam Cole vs. Cedric Alexander: ***1/4
So PWG didn’t have their regular ring announcer, which meant that Excalibur was handling announcing duties. Cole had him read this hilarious introduction that has to be heard to be believed. His unique intro offended Alexander, who jumped him right at the opening bell. This was a pretty solid match. While it wasn’t the best match these two had against each other in 2014 (they had an incredible match against each other in ROH a few months prior). We saw some pretty good action in this match, and eventually, Adam Cole picked up the win with The Florida Key.
After the match, Cole cut a promo, where he acknowledged that he had an injury (one of his shoulders was taped up in this match) and that this would be the last time we would see him in PWG, at least for the foreseeable. For those who might not know the situation around this time, Ring of Honor was pulling some of their top stars (with Ring of Honor exclusive contracts) from wrestling in other independent companies, including PWG. This, in particular, pertained to Cole, reDRagon, & Michael Elgin (who hasn’t been seen in PWG since the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles). We’ll see the effects of this later on in the show.
3.) Chris Hero vs. Trevor Lee: ***3/4
I may sound like a broken record, but Trevor Lee has been on a roll in 2014. He’s defeated many former World Champions, and now he’s facing an independent stalwart in Chris Hero, who kicked off the match (no pun intended), by attacking Trevor Lee during the ring introductions. The story of the match was that Hero, with his larger size, dominated Trevor Lee for a good portion of the match, but Lee did not give up. He fought back in a big way, and it resulted in a really good match. There were points where these two just beat the crap out of each other. A lot of hard-hitting action throughout this one. Despite all of the punishment inflicted on him, Trevor Lee was able to catch Hero with his signature small package to get the win. Another former World Champion falls to Trevor Lee!
4.) PWG World Tag Team Titles – The World’s Cutest Tag Team vs. The Addiction: ***
Candice LeRae has dyed her hair purple for some reason. It actually looks kind of weird. To say that there were a lot of shenanigans in this match would be an understatement. The beginning portions of the match saw Joey Ryan & Frankie Kazarian do disgusting things with the former’s signature lollipop. Pretty disgusting. About midway through the match, Joey Ryan got hit with one of the PWG World Tag Team Title belts, and was taken to the back. This left us with basically a handicap situations, as LeRae had to face both Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian. Ryan eventually came back to the match, and the two of them were able to retain the PWG World Tag Team Titles. The action in this match was fine, but some of the antics just didn’t click with me.
5.) Fatal Four-Way Match – Biff Busick vs. Brian Cage vs. “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa vs. Uhaa Nation: ***1/2
These four guys were involved in two singles matches back at Untitled II. They didn’t even bother with the ring introductions, as they went at it right from the get go. This was just a crazy match from bell to bell. Lots of insane, nonstop action from all four of these guys. It was really entertaining to watch. In the end, Brian Cage was able to survive all of the carnage to score the victory. This was a ton of fun to watch.
6.) The Young Bucks vs. Chris Sabin & Matt Sydal: ****1/4
Now this was a match I was very intrigued to see going into this show. We all know how great The Young Bucks are, but I believe this was the first time that Chris Sabin & Matt Sydal have teamed up together. Both guys certainly have plenty of tag team experience, but they’ve never been on the same side. I figured this would be pretty good, but it was definitely better than I expected. The Young Bucks were of course fantastic as they always are, but Sabin & Sydal really impressed in their first outing. They had some really cool tandem offense that served them well in this one, including an awesome tag team finisher, a Neckbreaker/Shooting Sydal Press combo, which they used to win the match! This was definitely a huge upset, and I can’t wait to see what the team of Sabin & Sydal do in the future.
7.) PWG World Title – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Ricochet: ****1/4
Ricochet earned this title match by winning the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles (just one of his many accomplishments in 2014). This is another match that I was really looking forward to. It’s a dream match that you’re not going to see anywhere else, and it was definitely awesome. This was just a great professional wrestling match. These two are some of the best wrestlers in the world, and they should that here. You had the sheer athletic ability of Ricochet against the technically sound & hard-hitting Kyle O’Reilly. These two put on a great show, and in the end, O’Reilly was able to make Ricochet tap out for the win, retaining the PWG World Title.
After the match, Ricochet hands the PWG World Title to O’Reilly, and the two embrace after an incredible contest. O’Reilly then takes the mic, and goes to address his future, when Roderick Strong comes out of nowhere and attacks O’Reilly!! Strong says that he wants a PWG World Title Match right now, and if O’Reilly doesn’t give it to him, he won’t walk out of the building under his own power. He goes to continue the beating, but O’Reilly fights backs. He says he’ll put the title on the line against Strong, but he wants a Guerilla Warfare Match!! It’s on!!
8.) PWG World Title – Guerrilla Warfare Match – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Roderick Strong: ****1/4
This was a complete contrast from the previous match. While O’Reilly/Ricochet was a great professional wrestling match, this was just an all out brawl, with tons of weapons getting involved. We say almost everything in this match, including chairs, trash cans, chains, and a table. We even saw Strong take off the top rope & use it to choke O’Reilly. Both guys fought very hard, but Strong was just too much, as he eventually scored the win with an incredible flurry to finally capture the PWG World Title! This was just an insane match. Nobody sat down once it started, and it had an incredible atmosphere. Guerilla Warfare matches in PWG are always a treat, and this was no exception.
After the match, Strong takes the mic and says now that he’s PWG World Champion, he can proudly say “f*ck every single one of you motherf*ckers”, as the show comes to a close.
PWG looked to close out the year in a big way, and they certainly did so. There were thing that varied in the undercard, with really good matches like Chris Hero vs. Trevor Lee & the Fatal Four-Way, and disappointing matches like the PWG World Tag Team Title Match. The top matches really delivered. You had an incredible Tag Team Match with The Young Bucks vs. Chris Sabin & Matt Sydal. Then you had two PWG World Title Matches that were completely different stylistically, yet equally awesome. This was also the end of an era for PWG (as I mentioned in the beginning of this post), as Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole, who came into PWG together in 2011 as Future Shock, exited the promotion (for now) due to their contract situation with ROH. O’Reilly went out in a big way, and was definitely the MVP of this show, while Cole had his own unique farewell. Meanwhile, Roderick Strong is now at the top of the promotion as PWG World Champion, and it will be interesting to see what he does in 2015.