PWG Don’t Sweat The Technique
Reseda, California 4/3/15
1.) Biff Busick vs. Brian Cage: ***1/2
The show kicks off with a battle between two hard-hitters. As you would expect, these two beat the crap out of each other. A pretty solid opener from these two. While things got rough towards the end, with one or two botches, this was still a good match. Cage would end up getting the win.
2.) “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Trevor Lee: ****
Lee is coming off unsuccessfully challenging Roderick Strong for the PWG World Title at From Out Of Nowhere, while Bailey made his debut on the same show. This match was freaking crazy!! These two took each other to the limit with a ton of crazy spots, the biggest of which saw Bailey hit a reverse hurricanrana on Trevor Lee onto the freaking ring apron!!! It was like these two were really trying to kill each other. Of course, the crowd went insane for a lot of these spots. Eventually, Lee would survive the madness, and pick up the win with a God’s Last Gift. This match has to be seen to be believed. It’s not the best match on the show, but some of the spots in here were just incredible.
3.) Non-Title Match – PWG World Tag Team Champions The World’s Cutest Tag Team (Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan) vs. The Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver): ***1/2
The PWG World Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line here, which makes sense, since Reynolds & Silver lost in their debut at From Out Of Nowhere. This actually ended up being a pretty good tag team match. Reynolds did his ejaculation gimmick once or twice, but unlike their first match, that was kept to a minimum. The action in here was actually really good. This was a much better performance for The Beaver Boys compared to their initial debut. They just work really work well together as a team. Of course, Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan looked very solid as well. In the end, The World’s Cutest Tag Team would get the win. Given this was a non-title match, they could have given the win to Reynolds & Silver to set up a future title match, but the result really doesn’t bother me.
4.) Chris Hero vs. Tommy End: ****1/2
Tommy End has come over to the U.S. for several weeks of shows across the independent scene. He competed the previous weekend during WrestleMania Weekend in San Jose for Evolve/WWNLive, and put out some impressive performances. On this show, he has a big challenge ahead of him in Chris Hero. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming in (given my only expose to End was his recent work in Evolve/WWNLive, and, I think, one match in PROGRESS Wrestling), but these two ended up having an incredible match!! They just beat the crap out of each other with a ton of hard strikes. It was a really brutal affair, and the crowd ate it up. Excalibur really put over Tommy End on commentary as well, with helped a good deal. Awesome stuff from these two. End put up a great effort, but would eventually fall to Chris Hero. As I said, this was an incredible match. Definitely go out of your way to see this one.
5.) ACH vs. “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa: ***1/4
We come back from intermission with a match featuring two talents from ROH (though Ciampa would actually finish up with ROH the next night in San Antonio, Texas). Nothing spectacular here, but a pretty solid match between these two. ACH once again broke out his inner Stone Cold, which I don’t think will ever get old. In the end, ACH would get the win over Ciampa.
6.) Love Gun (Chris Sabin & Matt Sydal) vs. The Monster Mafia (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander): ****
Sabin & Sydal scored a huge upset back at Black Cole Sun in December, defeating The Young Bucks in their first match as a team. They’re now known as Love Gun, and here, they’re taking on The Monster Mafia, who are looking to rebound after loosing their debut match to The Young Bucks at From Out Of Nowhere. A great match from these two teams. We saw some great tag team action, as you would expect, but we also saw comedy, particularly from Ethan Page. At one point, he mooned Josh Barnett & members of The Four Horsewomen (sans Ronda Rousey), who were sitting in the front row. In hindsight, it’s difficult to talk about this match, as it was later revealed by Josh Alexander that a nasty bump he took in this match ended up leading to more neck issues, and eventually, his retirement from wrestling a few months later. Still, this was a great tag team match that sees Love Gun getting the win.
7.) Andrew Everett vs. Ricochet: ****
Ricochet took on a veteran high-flyer in Matt Sydal at From Out Of Nowhere. On this show, he’s taking on the young high-flyer Andrew Everett, who’s making his return to PWG after suffering a serious knee injury in the Spring of 2014. A pretty great match from these two. It was awesome to see these two go at it, and we saw a lot of cool action and slick exchanges. They also told a really good with story with Ricochet, who at this point is a veteran, going up against the (relatively) younger Andrew Everett. Towards the end, Everett attempts a Double Rotation Moonsault (that looked crazy!), and Ricochet took advantage and scored the win. Extremely entertaining contest.
8.) PWG World Title – Roderick Strong vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: ****3/4
Zack Sabre Jr. made a big splash in his debut during the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles. Now he’s back, and he’s challenging Roderick Strong for the PWG World Title. This match was nothing short of AMAZING!!! I loved this match! Zack Sabre Jr. is an incredible wrestler. I’ve never seen anyone with the technical skill that he has. He’s so smooth with his submissions and transitions. You need to watch him to just appreciate how good he is. Then there’s Roderick Strong, who’s just been consistently fantastic for what seems like ages. The chain grappling, the back & forth action, the counters…all of it was just amazing. It was just an extremely fun & exciting match to watch. Matches like this remind me of why I’m a fan on pro-wrestling. The crowd being insanely into it as well just added to the atmosphere. In the end, Strong was finally able to get Zack Sabre Jr. to tap out to the Stronghold to retain the PWG World Title, ending the show with an incredible contest.
I’ve noticed that some people had been slightly down on PWG in 2014. The shows were still great, but they didn’t seem to have the quality of events from 2012 & 2013 (which is true to an extent). There were people wondering when the next truly amazing PWG show would occur. Well, I can confidently say that this was a Show of the Year Contender. This was simply an incredible night of wrestling. You had two amazing matches in Roderick Strong vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for the PWG World Title (which is a Match of the Year Contender) & Chris Hero vs. Tommy End (in any other year, this would be way up there as well). They are well worth going out of your way to see. Not only that, but the undercard was also pretty great as well. Out of the Eight Matches on this card, I had five of them at **** or better, which is just incredible to think about. While I don’t think this will top NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 9, this will definitely be one of the best shows of 2015, and a show that needs to be seen.