PWG BAM 3000 Night 1
Here we are with the first part of PWG's first ever World Championship tournament. Immediately I am in love with this venue. It is fairly large, especially for PWG standards and a venue that obviously that don't keep that long because I'd never seen it before.
Super Dragon vs Hook Bomberry:
People are still filing into the building while Dragon and Hook do some chain 'rasslin' on the mat. Dragon was so damn awesome back then and really has the aura of someone that just likes to stiff the ever-loving FUCK out of people. Here he starts with grappling though, which coincides with Hook's “shooter” gimmick he has going on. This is also the infamous Annoying Fan match that has been seen on Botchamania where a fan just decides to chant for Dragon like a DOUCHE. Dragon of course nearly kills that piece of shit to the adulation of all. Other than that, this is actually a damn good match. It makes me wonder what happened to Hook because he looks like a pretty capable worker here. We get a fantastic “lets shake hands, just kidding I'm going to slap the taste out of your mouth” spot by Dragon that looks fucking BRUTAL. This is a match I'd show someone that doesn't think Dragon can wrestle on the mat because he really impressed me here considering he's mostly known for his brawling. Hook hits an absolutely perfect vaulting body press to the floor on Dragon as well which is awesome. We get a strange NOSAWA sighting from the side of the ring near the end of the match which is odd but funny. We can only assume that he was admiring Super Dragon's Liger Bomb into the turnbuckles into a float-over STF spot. ***
M-Dogg 20 vs Colt Cabana
Can M-Dogg redeem his shit match from the debut show? He gets to try in Colt Cabana's PWG debut and this is a Cabana that had just begun to find himself. He'd been working at a high level in ROH for several months by this time. What we get here is a decent match that is worked in a way that minimizes any chances of a fuck up. I would give Cabana credit for that because it feels very much like a Southern spot show sorta match which I happen to like. Like most of these early PWG matches, it is fascinating to see guys in their embryonic stages that would become stars as is the case with these two nowadays. We still get some botches from M-Dogg though which doesn't give me a lot of hope for him going forward in these shows. Cabana makes quite the chicken salad out of the chicken shit involved so that's good. *1/2
Scorpio Sky vs Joey Ryan
Ryan is 1/6 of the ownership as well as one of the better wrestlers in So Cal at that time along with Scorpio Sky as well. This is a quintessential PWG American lucha sprint for the most part and it isn't bad. It's really fun to see a baby Joey Ryan well before the awesome character work just being another indy guy with kickpads. Scorpio is also a damn infant here and this is during his masked days. While this isn't awful, there isn't a whole lot of specialness here. **
Disco Machine vs Adam Pearce
Pearce is just fucking awesome. I'd never seen earlier matches of his, and by that I mean pre-ROH run stuff and this makes me feel good about digging in on that era of him. I neglected to mention that he was pretty good on the debut show but that's because he was in a six man cluster fuck tag so it was hard to really gauge his ability. Pearce makes a point to grab the mic and shit on the fans which we all know I LOVE. Disco is goddamned over as well. Disco takes the mic himself and throws some shade on Mr. Pearce. This is the highlight of the first half of this show for sure and they haven't even locked up yet. DANCE OFF! Come on Scrap Daddy, we all know that Disco can't ever lose when it comes to cutting a rug. Pearce's fat manager Vander Pyle takes the dance challenge FUCK YES THIS IS GREAT. Pyle looks like hot garbage while gyrating like a retard, much like JR would on live RAW years later. Pearce cheap shots while asking the crowd who won the contest and we are OFF TO THE RACES. Pearce is heel deliciousness here and I am hoping we see way more going forward. Disco doesn't get enough credit for how capable he was in the ring as well. Pearce takes a bump off a fan insult, perhaps a first. Tope con hilo on Pearce and his fluffy friend on the floor looks alright. Pearce begs off like a little bitch and he's the big man in the match YES! Confusing eye poke spot maybe? Looked really bad. Vander Pyle isn't good, like at all but in a way that's what makes him effective. Cravate suplex by Pearce and we know he's been watching his Chris Hero IWA tapes. Pearce puts over how comically impossible it is to come off the top rope thanks to the weird ceiling of the building before dropping a fist from the second to applause. This was really fun despite not being a solid technical match which wins it points with me. **1/2
Frankie Kazarian vs Scott Lost
Another PWG founder in the mix (Disco's another btw) and this should be a pretty good one. This is right around the time Kazarian had his painfully short WWE run that I loved. I recall late Saturday nights tuning into Velocity and watching him rule pretty hard. He's rocking what looks to be salmon pint undies as well for what it is worth. Strong feeling out process to start with back and forth switches and headlocks as well as shoulder blocks and various counters. We get a pretty decent jumping heel kick that cancels out. We learn that you can't call Frankie a boy because Patrick Hernandez makes that mistake. Frankie is also really appalled by the dirtiness of the canvas, stating he could get staph on that damn thing! Man, I am really impressed with Frankie's shit talking here and I can't recall him really using that tactic much at all at this time or ever. Scott Lost is surprisingly docile which would rapidly change in the coming years. Still, this match is pretty solid and both guys are really at the cusp of hitting their peak at this point. Good stuff can be found in this. One knock is Frankie's constant application of the absolute worst katahajime aka Tazmission I've ever seen. Super awesome springboard back elbow attempt that is stymied by a nice German Suplex by Lost. About those katahajimes? Frankie must have really had a boner for ECW at this time because he goes for like 4 or so in this one. ***
Tony Kozina vs B-Boy
You wanna talk about a strange match up, this is it. Kozina is most notable for being the trainer of Davey Richards I would think and B-Boy is a legend in the California independent scene. He loves to annihilate motherfuckers and Kozina is pretty alright. Kozina tries to tie B-Boy up like a pretzel but he just can't DO IT. It is just a matter of time until Kozina eats some mean strikes so I wait patiently. Kozina finds himself on his ass in the corner so B-Boy decides he should use his face to clean off the soles of his wrestling shoes and does so quite magnificently with a rough corner dropkick to Kozina's mush. Kozina catches B-Boy with a nice improv gutbuster as he tries for a flying move and Kozina takes advantage with work on the abdomen. B-Boy actually SELLS and I'm shocked. In return, the crowd wills him on. Nice octopus hold by Kozina but B-Boy reverses and winds up hitting a t-bone suplex. Kozina puts on a pretty bullshit Regal Stretch later on and I think part of it is due to his height. Super cool Death Valley Driver reverse into a crucifix back into the DVD. B-Boy does this weird Tiger Driver slam looking thing that I've never seen. This might be the most solid of all the first round matches in this tournament with very little fuck ups. This crowd sucks pretty bad. ***
TARO vs NOSAWA
THIS is a goddamned match I want to see. I've recently gone back and seen some of TARO's Rev Pro stuff and he's pretty good. NOSAWA is more legendary for being a crazy bastard than for his wrestling prowess but he has some good in him. NOSAWA is awesome in the corner not understanding English at all. It isn't everyday that NOSAWA is the largest man in the ring but he definitely is here. We go right into some lucha wrestling before NOSAWA dicks around feigning a test of strength. TARO gets suckered at first but does all he can to reverse NOSAWA at all stops. These two go through sequences crisply. NOSAWA consistently proves he is quite the dick and he's not a bad wrestler either. It is a shame that TARO retired soon after these early PWG shows because he had crazy potential despite his size. I want Excalibur to do an interview explaining how in the fuck they managed to book NOSAWA in the first place. If I'm correct, he isn't done after this weekend either which is pretty intriguing. TARO is pretty over here too. This match is really short but otherwise this is good. NOSAWA gets so much heat leaving the ring that some dude moons him in anger which his perhaps a first in wrestling history. WOWWW. ** and no extras for the mooning.
Hardkore Kidd vs Christopher Daniels
Hardkore Kidd will be very familiar to any watchers of late 2004 WWE because he was Jesus, Carlito's Diesel to his Shawn Michaels during his feud with John Cena for the US Title. Daniels is a legend of legends on the indies and he's perhaps in his prime here ten years in the business already. Kidd starts us off hot with a nice big boot for a two count. Side slam follows when he can't get the win and Daniels is clearly going to fight underneath. Kidd does this wacky as fuck falling head scissors from the ring to the floor and it looks both sloppy and impressive. Daniels chops at the behemoth but keeps being neutralized. Anyone that knows me knows I love these kinds of matches so I'm pretty happy. Kidd does a whole bunch of senseless acrobatics and the crowd is audibly confused by it. It's a real shame that Kidd fell off after his WWE cup of coffee because it is clear in this that all he really lacked is good direction so he could improve but that's the 'rasslin biz. Daniels is smooth as silk in this and does all he can to hide Kidd's flaws. One weird thing here is that I am pretty positive both men are heels yet Daniels takes initiative to get the heat which is definitely helpful. It is bizarre to see the big man in the match with the comeback but Kidd does alright. He throws out a really nice Brian Pillmanesque second rope crossbody though. Despite the oddities involved here, it is a good match. **1/2
Overall Show Rating: B- only because of a weird crowd and some of the early matches being barely passable. We're definitely already seeing improvements though.
Next of course is the final leg of this tournament and there are some definite gems on the way!