Monday, May 30, 2016

Project Reseda: The Bad Ass Mother 3000 Title Tournament, Night 1

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. ***


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! 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Project Reseda: My Look at the Early Days of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla

I have been aware of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, at least in the periphery, since I got online in late 2004. At the time it was just another of many small time indies in the States displaying the various talent from all across the country, mainly though showcasing the best of Southern California. I'm not even sure what my first taste of PWG even was, and in fact it could have been the highly pimped CM Punk vs Super Dragon match at the time. Either way, I didn't really pay much attention because the focus in those days was much more on Ring of Honor and the relative boom in business they were having.

Time went on as it does and PWG remained, and thrived. YouTube also became part of the world in 2005 and thus, pro wrestling of all kinds had their vehicle for exposure that had never been available before and PWG was part of that revolution of distribution. Compilation videos were the thing in those days since bandwidth was practically nothing and some of the best involved PWG footage. I recall seeing an absolutely awesome Super Dragon comp that showcased how goddamn vicious he was. Of course in doing that there were the other PWG talents that came with that. Suddenly, PWG was no longer a glorified local indy; it was becoming a national and global brand.

To say that I became obsessed immediately would be very incorrect. YouTube still didn't change how difficult finding fool shows was in those days so PWG really wasn't part of my religious wrestling fandom. Years went by and I sort of forgot about the company I suppose and focused more on Japanese stuff. Then I began to see and read interviews with the top independent stars of the country and they all kept praising what PWG was doing. That coincided with the expansion of internet video streaming and I slowly began to see more and more PWG matches. By early 2011, I was able to finally get my hands on PWG DVDs and my first was All Star Weekend of that year. THAT is when PWG bit me and I was hooked. It was the perfect blend of tongue-and-cheek comedy as well and absolutely phenomenal pro wrestling that got better and better with each match and show. I've yet to look back and this is my diary while I plunge deep into the history of what I see as the greatest promotion in all of the world today.

PWG Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (aka The Debut Show)

This show is the very definition of what you would call a diamond in the rough. There isn't a lot of necessarily crisp pro wrestling but it was the beginning of a movement. The match is littered with fairly short matches and some rather bad ones as well. The biggest thing I took away from this show was that it was absolutely meant to be a local show to give all the PWG Founding 6 somewhere to work after Revolution Pro began dying a slow death. The two best matches are Scorpio Sky and Quicksilver vs The Ballard Brothers as well as the main event match between then-NWA World Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles and Frankie Kazarian. This show gave us the proper glimmers of what would make the promotion unique; fun and downright hilarious commentary by Excalibur and various other founding members, spotty as all fuck Americanized lucha, and occasionally some damn good wrestling. Of course the last part of that equation only grew and grew along with the rest. Kazarian and AJ have a pretty solid sprint match and would become a pairing that PWG relies on heavily down the road. I would give this show an overall C rating simply because of the very green and limited roster of the show. Some of these matches didn't do it any favors but much of the last part of this show made up for it. Also, Super Dragon vs M-Dogg 20 may be the absolute worst Dragon match EVER.  

Next we have PWG's big title tournament that can be considered the father of the Battle of Los Angeles tournament that has become a signature for PWG. Things get real interesting in that tournament so stick around.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wrestling Lunacy gets Long Winded

Wrestling Muthafuckin' Lunacy is back!

I warn you now, this is a huge ass post so take it in pieces if that helps you digest this lunacy. Either way, here's some gems I found as of late.

Chris Hero vs Zack Sabre Jr. vs Speedball Mike Bailey, The Finals of the 2015 PWG Battle of Los Angeles

Very slow start here but I think it worked greatly after a weekend of absolutely insane action. The crowd needed to be eased into this one and all three did well early with smart stalling that managed to entertain. Light grappling here and there becomes three man grappling that looked slick in spots. Eventually, we get the match's body with all three men exchanging control. Spots usually zenith in this one when the third man is tired of the other two's shit and nullifies what is going on. One thing that was awkward and not within my tastes was the exchanging of seated soccer kicks by Bailey and ZSJ. I don't understand the whole “lets do a spot where we volunteer to get our ass kicked” but it ends with them double kicking Hero's chest in so it was alright. Bailey is a badass with his kicks and moonsault knees he does that look SICKENING. There was a lot of questionable ZSJ selling here, which is a common con thrown his way these days. Bailey is structured greatly as the little engine that could in this thing with constant firing up on Hero after taking awesome strikes. Kenta chop spot in the ropes is awesome when Bailey goes all Kawada and reverses it into some flash chest kicks before diving onto ZSJ on the outside. Hero is so crazy believable that his matches are good simply because he looks like he murders people with his strikes and of course he isn't anything to scoff at grappling. We get an absolutely fucking unbelievable no touch high jump like dive shades of 2005 AJ Styles and I'm reminded why Hero is the fucking man. That Hero short piledriver is a thing of beauty for anyone that loves seeing concussion like symptoms in your 'rasslin. He decides Bailey doesn't need his vertebrae and fucking drills him again and again with the thing and puts a cherry on top with a Gotch Piledriver for the elimination of Bailey. Now we get the Sabre vs Hero goodness we have come to love in 2016. Sabre finds a way to counter Hero elbows with armbreakers and the story becomes who will have the lungs to win the whole damn THING in a sweatbox in Reseda, Cali. Hanging Kimura by Sabre is always fun to see. Hero splatters Sabre's brains on the mat though with a nice brainbuster. Great teasing on the top rope of a piledriver that Sabre survives with a nice kick to the back of the knee. When Sabre goes into satanic hatred mode it is fucking GREAT with his dickhead kicks to the head in submissions and just driving your goddamn knee through the mat into Hades. We get a fucking awesome finish and ZACK SABRE JR MAN! I think this match, while having some strangeness in places, is fantastic. ****

Trent? Vs Drew Galloway, PWG All Star Weekend 12

So I heard a lot of ruckus about this match through various online mediums so I had to check it out. Not to mention this is PWG! Chuckie Taylor is on commentary telling us this is a rematch from 2009 when Trent got knocked the fuck out. Galloway is just a monster! They tell the legendary story of David vs Goliath here. Anything Trent has a shot at getting somewhere, Galloway just throws him away like a bag of shit. A test of strength spot STARTED by Trent is so awesome. They work that thing really well too. Galloway at one point headbutts Trent and it looks beautiful. Trent sells really great and Galloway gives him the chance by just manhandling him for a while. This match just highlights how improved Galloway is since leaving WWE a couple of years ago. He has a great presence now that makes you believe he's a star. Trent is fucking great but if you've been around a couple of years you know this. Galloway channels Ronnie G and Randy O with stompage to the limbs like a total dick. Gorgeous backdrop bump by Trent. What a working fool. Trent reminds me of Zayn at times with how smooth he is in the ring. Galloway should be arrested for using that heinous reverse Alabama Slam that just pancakes people. Galloway hits the Death Valley Special (tombstone) but Trent SURVIVES. Trent finds a way to lock on the crossface but Galloway is a goddamn hoss and finds himself using a Gargano Escape crossface. Jumping Yakuza Kick just demolishes Trent. Trent nearly fucks up running up the ropes but corrects himself and slings Galloway over with a sweet belly to belly. Galloway doesn't care though and murders Trent more. A Trent dive reversal into a belly to belly ON THE FLOOR LIKE A MANIAC and Trent looks legit dead. I tweeted him my concern btw. He gets buckle bombed to HELL but Trent no sells like this is no biggie and we go into the immediate finish. Fucking cool match. ***1/2

Roderick Strong vs Mark Andrews, PWG All Star Weekend 12

This is non-title which sort of sucks but it's also crazy intriguing. Roddy has been such a consistently fantastic wrestler for so long now and gets better and better to me. He is such a dick heel in PWG and it is a thing of beauty. We get the expected grappling from Roddy while Andrews flips his way out of holds. Andrews gets creamed with a swing into the apron in the powerbomb position! Roddy is such a quintessential dick these days and I am LOVING it. We get his signature, disgusting chops that Andrews can't even understand. Awesome submission sequence where Roddy puts on a wild arm and necklock thing that I believe Matt Hardy did for a second. He immediately transitions into a camel clutch and it looks sweet. Andrews continually survives stuff but eats chops for his troubles. Fucking awesome diving hurricanrana from the second rope but Roddy says: “HI HERE IS MY TEXTBOOK DROPKICK IN YOUR GRILL, WELSH BITCH” and I love it. Andrews shows some glimmers of nice fire here. Roddy is in rare form here just slinging Andrews around like crazy as if he's back in 2006 Dragon Gate. Nice Rey Mysterioesque bulldog spot by Andrews. TNA missed the boat huge with this kid but who haven't they done that with? They did the same with Roddy too back in the day so shit. Andrews channels AJ Styles going for a moonsault Scorpion Deathdrop but rolls with it into a tornado DDT and it is gorgeous. We then get a strange Osaka Street Cutter looking move that is crazy (see old Smackdown video games for what I'm talking about). We get a Yoshitonic that nearly goes bad because Andrews' tights get stuck on Roddy's head and almost kills him but hey, all went well. Fucking belly to back on the APRON jesus. Roddy is just an evil motherfucker that has to break backs to live it seems. Roddy decides to snap Andrews' spin with a crazy popup gutbuster and Andrews nearly headplants. So what does Roddy do? Nail him with his End of Heartache backbreaker but doesn't take the pin win like a TRUE DICK. Instead, he taunts ZSJ we are told with a submission hold which looks like a strange tequila sunrise but Andrews nearly gets a roll up win in a flash. Knee strike but Andrews DOES NOT STAY DOWN. Andrews nails a crazy looking Shooting Star that he hits with his knees. Roddy doesn't lose with that shit though. This match is funny as hell and in my mind does a great amount of good for both guys. Roddy continues to look like the crazy good asshole bruising wrestler while Andrews flew like hell and did well. ***1/2
Kyle O'Reilly vs Marty Scurll, PWG All Star Weekend 12

Ok so this match makes me VERY excited because both guys are known for solid wrestling. O'Reilly is OVER which is no shock as a former PWG World Champion. We start as expected with reversal after reversal on the mat to the adulation of the crowd. Scurll goes for the kill early but can't get his finishing hold on. These guys run the ropes like crazy until O'Reilly gyrates his hips and goes for an armbreaker to “SLEAZY KYLE” chants. I love O'Reilly using palm strikes here like he's Bas Rutten in Pancrase. Scurll decides to finally beat the shit out of Kyle with European Uppercuts that look good. Scurll subtly begins working on Kyle's left arm to surely set up for his Crossface Chickenwing finish but Kyle just keeps fighting. Crazy flurry of strikes puts Scurll down after some arm damage is done. Really strange variation of a dragon screw in the corner with one leg out towards the apron. I really loved that. Ankle lock attempt is escaped but Scurll's attempt at a king of mountain superkick is reversed into another ankle lock until Scurll flings Kyle into some chairs. Kyle then decides he hates being healthy and runs down the apron and annihilates Scurll with a crazy double knee attack into the chairs. Butterfly suplex chain into a double armed floating DDT is a thing of beauty. Electric chair is feigned into a Crossface Chickenwing that is then transitioned into a CATTLE MUTILATION! Man, that is a cool move but Kyle rolls out of it. Scurll still fucks with Kyle's arm but also decides he needs some concussion symptoms and throws a nice strike sequence. We get an absolutely ridiculous sequence that ends in a double knockdown that throws the crowd into a frenzy. These guys can GO. Scurll sickeningly pops Kyle's fingers but Kyle manages to find a way to nail a rebound lariat. Scurll survives and hooks in that Chickenwing finish but Kyle finds a way out. Regal Plex by Kyle and it is gorgeous. Kyle makes divots in Scurll's chest with repeated stomps before locking in a nice triangle hold before being countered into a Danielson-like elbow flurry to the side of the fucking head. Scurll floats it into the Chickenwing and Kyle GETS TO THE ROPES. Man, what a fucking match. If this is the first time they've ever worked I'll be shocked because they kill it here. They channel Sasaki vs Kobashi from NOAH with a SLAP FEST and I'm in love. Leaping guillotine by Kyle! Then a sick brainbustaaahhhh but that's kicked out of so he just maneuvers himself into an ankle lock and Scurll is a god by kicking the fuck out of him to try and escape. This is a must see for anyone that loves modern wrestling. ****1/2

Adam Cole vs Zack Sabre, Jr. PWG All Star Weekend 12

Ok so just seeing this come up on my screen makes me SMIRK LIKE A DAMN IDIOT. Cole says that if the crowd boos him, since he's American, they're unpatriotic. I'm with ya BABAY. It doesn't matter though because you can't boo the grapple fuckery of ZSJ.. Sabre always has that hint of dickishness to me and I really dig that. It's like he's thinking constantly: “I'm the fucking shit and I don't care if you think so or not I'll just break your damned limbs.” Cole is such a fantastic heel and overall worker at that. His facials are some of the best in all of wrestling. It's crazy to think he's barely in his mid-20's too. Cole's cockiness gets him in trouble though because Sabre is SERIOUS tonight son. Flying knee strike into the ropes on Cole but Sabre is toe-kick enzugiri'd into the fans! That is awesome because who CARES about the fans right? It's about taking SICK BUMPS, man. Cole runs the ropes for a HUGE….headlock on the ground. Lovely stuff by the Prince of Dickishness Adam Cole. Sabre tells Cole to suck his dick before kicking his spine in with a jumping, second rope shin kick. Sabre decides Cole doesn't need leg strength and just folds the poor chap up like an accordion. We get a bow and arrow lock that is floated over into a crazy Indian Deathlock modification. Cole says fuck your knee with a nice superkick. Cole Train time BAYBAY but he eats a European Uppercut. We get some action on the apron that ends with a knee breaker ON THE APRON LIKE A TOTAL DICK. I love you, Adam Cole. Single Legged Crab like this is a Lance Storm match with charisma BAYBAY. Knee in the back while it's synched in also makes it better. Sabre manages to get a flying octopus hold with added wrist and elbow destruction that makes me cringe and giggle like a sick bastard. Oh yeah, I am. Cole says: “you're rude, dick, eat a shining knee strike you limey cunt”. Sabre shows more pretty submissions with a buterfly body lock though. Cole repays him with another mean knee. Pele arm kick by Sabre but Cole locks on a sleeper using all his weight on him. Sabre rolls through into a European Clutch roll up for TWO. Awesome shit. Cole tries to do the same roll up but Sabre doesn't have it and nails a sick knee/kick strike. We get a dazed strike sequence that is pretty solid. Another knee superkick by Cole. Straightjacket German Suplex for TWO?! Who forgot to tell Sabre that's one of Cole's finishers? Cole looks crazy desperate after that kick out. FIGURE FOUR BAYBAY but Sabre fights it to no avail. Roddy comes down to the ring and nearly ruins Sabre's night when Cole rolls him up from behind but he kicks OUT. Cole goes for the Panama Sunrise but he eats a European Uppercut for his troubles and we get a fucking SICKENING deep Strong Hold to basically tell Roddy you're my bitch tomorrow night. This match is just awesome and makes me want way more matches between these two. ****

The Young Bucks(c) vs Ricochet and Matt Sydal for the PWG World Tag Team Titles. PWG All Star Weekend 12

Ricochet and Sydal actually have the IWGP Jr. Tag belts with them which is cool. Nick Jackson takes the mic and decides to announce for his team. Fucking awesome shit. Matt then gets the mic and says he thinks Sydal is some guy named Evan Bourne and that Ricochet is “Rich Swann from NXT right?” Fucking hilarious shit. Ricochet then feigns his former tag partner's dance moves. Even without any move being executed, this match is fucking gold. A side note here: I love Hero and Excalibur on commentary. Sydal and Matt start us off with straight up brawlin'. We get a quick tag in with arm work and Ricochet is in. Headscissors/kick combo on Matt. Nick is shitcanned off the apron and this is good stuff. Another tag and Sydal comes in with a double stomp on Matt's arm. We get a Dave Metlzer spotting in the crowd and we know why he's there; to see his christened move by The Young Bucks of course. Meltzer Drivers fo lyfe. It isn't long until The Bucks start in with their double team godliness. Stereo dives to the floor on their opponents. Ricochet won't have that shit and nails a Sasuke Special with a corkscrew like a PSYCHO. Sydal is in again with Matt and goes for an avalanche hurricanrana but Matt moves and Sydal eats it on the top by his hamstrings and Matt takes over on both opponents like hell, complete with the Jericho dropkick to the apron on Ricochet who's just minding his own biznas. Man, Matt is a dick and that is fantastic. Nick is in now and the Bucks train keeps rolling with double teams with a fistdrop senton as Matt is tagged back in. I really love Sydal in this one, he takes bumps that are just nasty and sells fairly well. The Bucks don't give a fuck and just keep tagging in and out with precision. Too sweet to Rick Knox? Nope Knox ain't having that remembering the beatings he's received at the hands of The Bucks. Back rake city by The Bucks here. Nick is shitcanned to the floor and eats the apron in a nice bump. Matt gets neutralized meaning Sydal gets the big tag right? Nope Nick takes Ricochet down from the floor like a TOTAL DICK. Bucks take advantage with their awesome rope assisted senton..BUT SYDAL MOVES AND MATT IS NAILED BY NICK! Ricochet gets the hot tag but the fans boo like hell. Ricochet is a HOUSE OF FIYAHH. The Bucks totally work the miscommunication spots well and Ricochet gets the crowd back into it with a fucking crazy brainbuster. We get some tandem offense by Sydal and Ricochet. Standing Moonsault/Shooting Star combo! The Bucks get back in business with a solid bucklebomb/enzugiri combo. The Bucks are in CONTROL now. We get some absolutely breakneck sequences by all involved but Sydal looks a little awkward there. We get another crazy sequence with superkicks and enzugiris galore until all four men are laid out. PWG chant follows and motherfucker this is the best. Back rake comes into play again to neutralize Sydal. Double “suck it” taunts finds nothing when Ricochet sneaks up with nuts shots and Sydal hits a double hurricanrana. Ricochet shows no care for himself when he does a fucking senton OVER THE RING POST TO THE FLOOR on both Bucks. Sydal takes Matt and pumphandle drivers him to HELL so that Ricochet can nail a 450 but it's a near fall. We are told that a “civilian was superkicked” and hey, that's the breaks kid. ORIHARA MOONSAULT TO THE FLOOR BY SYDAL LIKE A FUCKING PIECE OF ART. Matt Jackson doesn't care about selling that dive though and tries a superplex but it is changed into a crazy top rope hurricanrana by Ricochet. Sydal goes for a Shooting Star but Matt sloppily sprays something in Sydal's eyes LIKE A DICK and Sydal..KICKS OUT. Superkick flurry on Sydal by both Bucks. Ricochet tries to save but gets a double superkick for his efforts. Everyone chants for a Meltzer Driver and Matt sets it up but Nick is CAUGHT IN MID AIR and hit with a Benadriller. DOUBLE HEADKICKS ON MATT. They look for stereo Shooting Star Presses but THE KNEES ARE UP! MELTZER DRIVERRRR. Goddamn what a match. ****1/2 After the match we get a signature Mount Rushmore beatdown on everyone and Roddy cuts a sweet heel promo saying he's going to embarrass Sabre tomorrow night. Sweet stuff.

In just the first night of this year's All Star Weekend, we get a card that in my view rivals pretty much any card so far this year with few exceptions. PWG consistently proves to be perhaps the greatest wrestling product in the world today.

Night 2 of All Star Weekend 12:

Chuck Taylor vs Marty Scurll

What did I do to deserve this treat? We get a comedic back and forth between Taylor and Excalibur who sadly has to juggle announcing and commentary tonight. That's no biggie because Excalibur is the cat's meow and such. We get the usual Scurll dickishness and Taylor holds his own grappling. Taylor isn't given enough credit for how good he is aside from his comedy stuff, which so many people shit on. Headscissors and we get a nice tease of Taylor finding a rope break. Test of strength knucklelock with a Scurll roll through and ends it all with an eye poke. VILLAIN SHIT. Shoulder tackle sequence has Scurll taken down and Taylor does some lucha armdrag shit into a single legged crab. Kinda sloppy but Taylor is good enough to redeem himself. Chickenwing tease but Taylor counters well until he takes another VICIOUS EYE POKE. Moonsault feign into a POWERSLAM by Taylor. Piscado finds nothing by Taylor. Scurll uses this opening to hits his signature superkick from the apron. Scurll teases a dive but ain't got time for that and goes to the outside and hits a European Uppercut. Taylor is back from the dead with a jawbreaker but Scurll finds the advantage quickly. Now we get Scurll working the left arm to set up for his finishing hold. We get a sweet up and over in the corner that leads into a release german suplex by Taylor. Taylor reverses Scurll coming off the ropes with a uranage, shades of The Rock who is a huge fan of Poppin' Dogs and Talkin' Hogs on Check it out. Alright it is Best Friends but the first title is the true name. Anyways, Scurll and Taylor trade strikes. Both men are down after the strike sequence. We get some fairly shitty forearms by both guys until Scurll brings the European U's but Taylor looks for a backslide! Scurll resists and takes Taylor's fingers! Taylor fights out though and hits a POPUP POWERBOMB. Hey, Kev. Scurll doesn't give a fuck though and tries for his finisher but Taylor fights out but Scurll snaps Taylor's fingers LIKE THE VILLAIN HE IS. Sole Food by Taylor! A strange Falcon Arrow like suplex into a weird looking Chickenwing that Taylor rolls out of into a prong hold for two. AWFUL WAFFLE BY TAYLOR JESUS. Fun opener by both guys here. **1/2

Evil Uno vs Mark Andrews

Very interesting match up. Andrews looks like what you'd expect a white-meat babyface to look like. Uno looks like...a weird dude. Test of strength that Uno obviously wins yet Andrews shows his scrappiness by bridging up into a headlock. Dropdown works on Uno. Shoulder tackle drops Andrews though but Uno gets tripped. We get a very botched sequence that looked to be a wheelbarrow bulldog attempt. Uno nails Andrews in the face for his troubles. Snapmare has Andrews LAND ON HIS FEET into a dropkick. Sweep on Uno and Andrews takes too much time for a standing moonsault set up. Uno finds himself on the floor and Andrews decides to try and body press him on the floor but gets nailed in the air. Alabama slam ON THE APRON by Uno. What a douche...or is he a DICK? We shall see if he can move up that ladder of heel gold. Uno tries to give Andrews a Joker smile, ripping at the cheeks which aids Uno's move up that heel totem pole. Back rake by Uno now and chops as well. Andrews chops Uno but Uno no sells him like he's Grumpy Tenryu in the 2000's and drops Andrews like a sack of bricks. Biting on the thumb of Andrews. The wrist tape is off and he is CHOKING HIM WITH IT. Ok, you're winning me over here Uno. The crowd claims that Uno is a wanker and he responds with a BITE TO THE COCK?! Wow, that is a new level of debauchery. Uno is a sick motherfucker but part of me really digs him. “That was evil” comes from the crowd and it is absolutely true. Slow back rake now because Uno doesn't want Andrews to have any relief. Cock stomp now by Uno, jesus he just HATES that Andrews has a twig and berries apparently. He continues the genital onslaught by kicking the middle rope into Andrews' crotch as he is coming into the ring. Andrews gives us hope with some forearms but Uno responds but we finally get the wheelbarrow bulldog, shades of the great Rey Mysterio. Backdrop and Andrews lands on the apron. Roll through into the ring and Andrews rolls into a pin but transitions into a double stomp. Standing corkscrew moonsault for twoooo on Uno. Springboard into a cross body and Andrews is going for broke from the top. Uno plays possum and slings Andrews rocket launcher style into the top rope DICK FIRST. Uno hits a crazy looking electric chair neckbreaker onto his knee and instead of going for a pin, he's going for injury. Reversals galore here for a bit until Uno chops the Welsh heritage out of Andrews. Bicycle Kick but Andrews isn't dead and hits that crazy Osaka Street Cutter variation and goes for a roll up to a shitty near fall thanks to a weird ref cadence. Andrews still wants to hit some top rope goodness but Uno don't play that. Springboard finds him DYING from a powerbomb that wrecks him. Uno immediately pulls him up into a very nice looking piledriver modification for two! Uno always finds a way to stunt Andrews' offense with ball based offense. Uno finally falls from the second rope and Andrews finds an opening and hits a double stomp INTO HIS OWN GENITALS! Fucking funny match here. ***1/2

Trevor Lee vs Drew Galloway

I am goddamn excited for this one. The Battle of the TNA Singles Champions here with Drew being World Champ and Trevor Lee being X-Division Champ (I think still?). Lee says: “Man fuck this shit, lets bond over working for a subpar wrestling company high five?” Drew smirks at him and Trevor even says Drew's a “tall, handsome man”. Who would DENY such?! Drew gets sick of his banter and slings him into the corner like nothing and slings him again across the ring with a belly to belly and we get a fucking BEATING here. Galloway chops and tosses Lee like a medicine ball. This is already really good. Galloway follows Lee, who is on the floor and chops his chest hair off. GOD his chops are nothing to sleep on. Galloway takes a beer break while he inflicts sick punishment. Lee makes Galloway feel a chair to the torso and face. Lee's on the stage and is caught when trying to body press Galloway and is SLUNG INTO THE WALL! Lee has a very visible scuff on his back that I'm sure is from that unforgiving wood paneling in the American Legion. Lee cuts off Galloway as he tries to get in the ring. Galloway is then swept down into the ring apron like this is a Finlay match! Galloway picks up Lee and Lee escapes to the apron and makes Galloway SUFFER with soccer kicks to the chest until Galloway collapses into the apron. Galloway milks the count and gets back in at 19. I love that. Lee continues to punish Galloway and tries to deadlift german Drew but that shit isn't happening. Lee works over Galloway and the crowd rallies for a Galloway comeback. Irish whips from corner to corner shifts the ring by Galloway's body. Lee stalks Galloway again for a deadlift german but Galloway reverses it into another belly to belly! Charging forearm into the corner on Lee. Galloway goes to the top?! Lee makes him eat a dropkick to the mush in mid air and it looks great. I dig the structure of this match a lot with the undersized heel doing all he can to keep the heat on the monster babyface. Lee goes for the standing double stomp to the chest but Galloway is smart to it and nails a sweet Jumping Yakuza Kick. Lee smacks Galloway with the bottom rope. Galloway comes off the ropes and Lee reverses with the indescribable mid air cross body thing that looks impossible but Lee isn't done. He finally hits the deadlift german suplex but Galloway ain't dead yet. Lee tells Galloway that in PWG, he's Lee's BITCH. FUCK YEAH. Galloway is a HOUSE OF FIYAHH after that one and he's bringing the chops to the part as well as tosses from the corner. Lee tries a backslide that Galloway reverses into a double armed BIG SWING but his attempt to hit the Future Shock DDT is scouted. Lee lifts up Galloway for the airplane spin, very impressive. Both guys sell dizziness by the spins and Lee tries rolling up Galloway holding the tights for two. Galloway responds with a tombstone that sadly looks shitty. Galloway gets Lee up in the Razor's Edge position and buckle bombs him for his douchey ways. Galloway tries for it again but Lee slips out. Lee from the apron shoulder blocks Galloway into the stomach but Galloway makes him eat a sick strike to the face. Gamengiri and Lee goes for a springboard but is caught by the throat, leading to the finish. Solid match. ***
JT Dunn and Chris Hero (Death by Elbow) vs Matt Sydal and Ricochet

This is the PWG debut of JT Dunn and I've seen very little of his stuff as of late. The last time I saw him was during his Juicy Product tag team with David Starr in CZW so I'm hearing he's a much better performer. Hero is a legend so there's that. Before even one move, we get an “all these guys” chant. This should be good. Dunn gets pumped by some smacks by Hero as he starts the match against Sydal. We're told that Dunn actually replaced Tommy End in this match because of injury. We get some back and forth stuff highlighted by front rolls by Sydal that Dunn jumps in to counter. Cool sequence there. Both guys are at a stalemate and feign tags to their partners. Ricochet takes the tag and Dunn builds up tagging in Hero. This is very good stuff. Ricochet goes for a Harlem Sidekick and we get a wild lucha roll around sequence with a headscissors by Ricochet and a drop kick sending Hero to the floor. Hero finds solace from a fan's hug in the front row. Dunn is now in against Ricochet. More awesome back and forth stuff by both men until Dunn is tired of this shit and nails Ricochet with an elbow from HADES and gives Sydal a taste as well. This is my first time seeing Dunn and Hero team and I'm liking what I see. Dunn brings Ricochet into his corner and in comes Hero again. Hero brings the ruckus with chops and kicks to the face. Hero decides to kick at a downed Ricochet LIKE A DICK. In comes Dunn again with nice quick tags but Ricochet shows fire with some strikes back until Dunn jumps in with a facebuster that looks ACE. Dunn and Hero just do damage with their work completely neutralizing Sydal and Ricochet respectively. Ricochet fights back looking to hot tag Sydal in and finally nails a Superman punch on Dunn and both men are down! Sydal is begging for a tag and gets it. In he comes and he nails Dunn with a nice kick. We get a nice side kick drop as well that Sydal does well. It then becomes a hurricanrana fest, the peak coming from Chris Hero who does an absolutely graceful hurricanrana! Sydal teases a standing moonsault or something but Dunn intercepts him. We get a springboard assisted double stomp by Ricochet. Dunn blocks a boot scrape which is a very cool touch. Ricochet just spine kicks him instead. Jab by Dunn like a badass. Ricochet locks Dunn into a totally crazy submission over his own back like some bizarre bow and arrow and ends it with a slam. Dunn is eating punishment now by both his opponents. Sydal locks in a strange leg lock, crevate combo but Dunn fights out with a wild flurry of strikes ending with an elbow. Sydal up kicks Dunn as he tries to tag. Really good tag work in this one by both teams I would say. Ricochet is just ridiculous. Ricochet and Hero exchange pleasantries, with highlights including: “I'm gonna kill you” by Hero and Ricochet claiming “good luck getting back in, bitch”. Of course that is followed by a Dunn tag to Hero and Hero makes Ricochet PAY for his douchey actions. Double chops by Hero on both opponents as well as an elbow on Ricochet. Dunn comes in trying to take Sydal out but Sydal kicks him through the ropes and Dunn takes a Chris Hamrick-like bump to the floor. Sydal tries a dive but Dunn makes him eat an enzugiri. Hero feigns a dive but flips to his feet on the apron while Ricochet JUMPS OVER HIM ONTO DUNN. It's Hero and Ricochet now and Hero drills him with a VICIOUS kick for a near fall. Beautiful double teaming by Hero and Dunn but Ricochet will not die! Ricochet snatches Hero in a t-bone and Dunn eats Hero's back when Ricochet slings him into Dunn in the corner! Standing moonsault/shooting star combo by Sydal and Ricochet for two! We get a strike sequence by Ricochet and Dunn with Hero coming in to nullify Ricochet. In comes Sydal but he gets piledriven to all HADES for his troubles. As Hero feels secure with his actions, Ricochet blindsides him with a knee. It's back to Dunn and Ricochet. Diving dropkick to Dunn in the corner looks great. Ricochet goes for a shooting star but rolls through and Dunn nails a reverse hurricanrana and Hero nails an elbow to the base of the skull on the rebound for a near fall! Rolling elbows back and forth by Dunn and Hero have Ricochet doubled over. Double rolling elbow is intercepted by Sydal who saves his partner! Sweet little nuance there I think. Ricochet is set up again but reverses the onslaught by give Hero a hurricanrana into Dunn's rolling elbow! Ricochet is cut off though and finally eats the double rolling elbows FOR TWO!?! Sydal saves the pin and the fans actually boo this. Sydal jumps from the canvas up to Dunn and hits a hurricanrana from the second rope. Dunn is isolated now for a huge top rope hurricanrana by Ricochet that finds paydirt. Sydal goes for the shooting star but Dunn rolls out and Sydal lands on his feet. Ricochet MAKES HIM PAY with a kick. Dunn gets kneed in the face to set up the double head kick but Hero saves the day. It's ELBOW CITY NOW but Ricochet spits on Hero and eats a jab for his troubles. Hero kicks BOTH OF THEM AT ONCE. This is sweet. Elbow on both men also and he...IS CUT OFF WITH A KNEE/HEADKICK COMBO. Dive through the ropes by Sydal on Hero WITH A DDT FINISH. Dunn comes into play and is nailed with a Blue Thunder Bomb that is rolled into a brainbuster by Ricochet. Benadriller is escaped but Sydal nails a meteora from the ropes and Ricochet finally hits his Benadriller. Really good match here and a solid debut for Dunn who I must seek out. ***

Adam Cole vs Trent?

Oh man I'm very pleased by this booking. Cole JUMPS THE GUN and superkicks Trent's face off during intros. Cole throws Trent into the post and it looks pretty weak. Fighting on the floor like it's 1998 ECW or something. Trent is rolled into the ring and Cole turns away from him to gloat but is dove on through the rope from behind. Trent warms us up with his jump in face scrape but he scrapes the COLE BEANBAG INSTEAD. More nut based offense on this show. Cole is chopped in the corner as well. Trent goes for a diving back elbow but Cole reverses into a nice lungblower backbreaker! Cole puts the HEAT on Trent, complete with shoving his crotch into Trent's face. Trent is not happy with this but Cole doesn't care and suplexes him. Crossface on Cole but Cole stacks Trent up before nailing a sweet Shining Wizard for two. Cole Train time BAYBAY but Trent isn't for it and nails a flying knee. Sweet tornado DDT by Trent for two. I seriously am loving Trent all the sudden, how have I not noticed how awesome he was until now? Who knows? Fucking jumping piledriver with a rope assist on Trent who was leaning through the ropes! Running knee is reversed into a roll up for two. Panama Sunrise tease but Trent just chops Cole to hell. Roll throughs end with a Trent SHARPSHOOTER?! Shades of The Rock's version. Very surprising. Did I mention The Rock is a huge mark for Poppin' Dogs and Talkin' Hogs? We get a battle on the apron by both men and Cole PACKAGE PILEDRIVES TRENT ON THE APRON LIKE A FUCKING MADMAN. I'm pretty sure Trent dies every single match and regenerates backstage somehow. Trent is able to break the 20 count but eats a kneeling superkick for his troubles. Cole tries the Panama Sunrise again and Trent counters with his DUDEBUSTER but Cole barely finds himself surviving a pin. Trent feigns a SUPER DUDEBUSTER?! Yet Cole reverses and nails an AVALANCHE PANAMA SUNRISE?! This leads us into the finish and this is VERY good. ***1/2

The Young Bucks vs reDragon for the PWG World Tag Team Championship

These two teams are always fun to watch, especially against one another and in this environment this should be CHOICE as all hell. Kyle and Nick Jackson starts us off with the usual headlock into the ropes, shoulder block sequence with some more goodness. Kyle walks across the spine bridge that is Nick and we get a stalemate rather quickly. Too sweet INTO THE EYES! True dickish greatness. Kick from Matt on the apron but he's nailed for his troubles by Kyle. Forearms by Kyle but he's swept to the floor. Nick goes for a dive but is swept as well by Fish on the outside. Matt and Fish are now in throwing PUNCHES. ALL FOUR ARE THROWING PUNCHES IN THE RING. The Young Bucks throw crotch chops to taunt until Bobby Fish state: “gimme that dick” before both he and Kyle double leg The Bucks to the canvas and go indeed for the dicks. We get some hip gyrating by reDragon as well for our troubles. This show is very phallic centered. The Bucks isolate Fish and we get a neck/backbreaker double team. Kyle tries to intervene but eats a superkick. Matt is setting up for the Meltzer Driver early but Fish slides out, apparently by smacking his dick. The Bucks are disgusted by this dick hatred. ReDragon takes control here for just a split second until The Bucks double team yet again. We get some back and forth until Fish dives over both Kyle and Nick in the corner to nail a senton OVER THE CORNER onto Matt on the floor. Kyle want to snap Nick's ankle with an ankle breaking leg lock before Fish is tagged in. Fish hits a very nice slingshot senton from the apron on Nick. Fish finds himself caught in the apron after a bit and Matt superkicks his head off and neutralizes Kyle as well. Matt is tagged in now and we've got some punishment for Fish by The Bucks here complete with biting his nose LIKE TOTAL DICKS. Fish just gets worked over in The Bucks' corner with some shit talking thrown in as well. Fish fights back on both opponents until he's swept from the outside to the floor. Nick jumps to the apron looking for a soccer kick but he nails the post! Fish tries to tag out but Kyle is knocked off the apron. Matt eats a samoan drop and Fish is reeling. Kyle is in and he's got a boot for Nick and he's all over Matt with strikes. Nick cuts him off but finds himself in an armbreaker! Matt tries to save him but is locked in an ankle lock until he gets to the ropes. Jumping knee from the apron on Nick on the floor. Kyle's on the top and rolls through when Matt ducks him. Fish spears Matt into the corner and we get tandem knees complete with a backbreaker/elbow drop combo. They're looking for their finish but Nick sweeps Fish out. Matt responds by dropping Kyle with a Stunner counter right into an assisted Sliced Bread #2 by Nick's assistance. A double dragon screw by Kyle and Fish is tagged in. Some miscommunication by The Bucks and Fish is just on FIYAH. Nick jumps into the ring and nails a facebuster on Fish. He goes for a dive on Kyle who's on the floor but eats an ankle lock. Fish locks one in on Matt in the ring! Nick blinds Kyle on the floor with the ever-present spray can. Fish takes the spray in the eyes as well to break the ankle lock on Matt. Superkicks on both men now and Kyle and Fish start nailing each other since they're blind! Nice touch. The Bucks manage to get Kyle to tombstone Fish! Then a superkick on the kneeling Kyle for a near fall on Fish. Nick goes to spray Fish again but Fish DUCKS AND MATT EATS THE SPRAY. ReDragon take advantage and hit awesome double teams on Nick. Matt cuts of the reDragon momentum and The Bucks are on a roll yet again. The attempt of a bucklebomb/enzugiri ends when Kyle synches in a guillotine but Nick nails a 450 ON KYLE WHILE IN THE HOLD. Near fall follows and christ this is crazy. Superkick is throw into Matt by Nick thanks to Kyle. A rebound double lariat on The Bucks! Brainbuster on Matt and it's only two. Chasing the Dragon? YES THEY NAIL IT IT IS OV-NEAR FALL. Armbreaker by Kyle and he locks in a leglock as well but Nick saves Matt by launching Fish into the submission. All four are in the ring again exchanging right hands. DOUBLE NUT SHOTS BY THE BUCKS! The ref was thrown down for all you continuity douchers btw. The Bucks bring the Superkick Party on reDragon here but they aren't gonna DIE. Fish and Kyle's mouthpieces are out and The Bucks PUT THEM IN THEIR TIGHTS AND BACK IN THEIR MOUTHS LIKE PERVERTS! The Bucks have entered Elite Dickhead Status. This leads us into the finish sequence and boy what a doozy. ***1/2


I was writing these reviews on Thursday so I decided to check out what was going on with WWE land. With the news that the brand split will be returning in July, I've had extra interest in where they go from here. You've got so many badass talents right now in the WWE umbrella and limited spots on the main roster so a brand split in my eyes is absolutely smart. Of course this puts the NXT brand in jeopardy as we know it because there'll obviously be need for more call-ups but I think that is a good thing. More fresh talent on your major TV is never bad for business. Not to mention there have been some reports that NXT house shows are outdrawing WWE house shows.

Alberto del Rio vs Zack Ryder for a spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match

Ryder pours it on ADR early in the corner. ADR changes the pace when Ryder eats a boot with a backdrop attempt. ADR is bringing the HEAT now on Ryder in the corner. Suplex on Ryder now and ADR decides to choke Ryder in the ropes. Kick to the head from the floor by ADR. Ryder hits a flapjack to give us a little hope. ADR goes to the floor and Ryder makes him pay with a diving dropkick through the ropes! He responds with a neckbreaker on the floor as well. ADR finds himself back in control after a commercial break. We see that ADR murdered Ryder with a double stomp off the damned barricade! Ryder finds some hope with a facebuster. Second rope dropkick doesn't find anything and ADR hits his kneeling superkick for just two. ADR says it is all over now and he's taking an arm home with him tonight. Ryder squirms out with a jawbreaker and shoves him into the corner. Boot scrape looks pretty solid but doesn't get the win. Ryder tries for his Rough Ryder but ADR moves and brings on the punishment. Ryder is put in the Tree of Woe and we know what that means: the evil as shit double stomp. ADR is really taunting though and he MISSES. Ryder gets out and hits the ROUGH RYDER. ADR worms out to the floor though, motherfuck. ADR suckers him in and gets his armbreaker on for the finish. This was way better than I expected. **1/2

We get a replay of the GLORIOUS return of Seth Rollins, complete with laying out that ham and egger Roman Reigns. I'm beyond excited for this title feud we have going on. With Roman being rather capable and Rollins seemingly able to put a broomstick over, Money in the Bank will be truly MONEY. Let us hope creative isn't hot garbage.

Enzo and Cass are goddamned OVER and they've not even been around long at all. Proof positive that you don't need to be a spot monkey to still get a reaction these days because these boys are just flat CHARISMA. Enzo is nowhere near a great in ring worker in the traditional sense but he sells and Cass is a damned GIANT. The Dudleys think they're gonna come out and spoil shit but Enzo immediately scolds them on the mic. “Enzo Amore, AKA Google Maps” fuck he is just great.

Rusev vs Kalisto for the United States Championship

Will this be on par with their Extreme Rules match or eclipse it? We shall find out. We start hot and heavy with Kalisto taking it to Rusev complete with a headscissors takeover. Springboard doesn't succeed though and Rusev knocks him to the canvas. Rusev continues to beat the dogshit out of Kalisto. Rusev gets lifted into a slam but Kalisto can't handle his weight and falls with Rusev on top for a pin attempt. Moments later, Kalisto finally does slam Rusev! Rusev is angry and rushes Kalisto and eats turnbuckles and Kalisto nearly gets a pin. Rusev isn't pleased and eats more leg kicks before taking a spingboard corkscrew press followed by a hurricanrana face first into the canvas. Kalisto springboards but is caught in a powerbomb position before taking Rusev over the top with a hurricanrana! Kalisto then hits a beautiful Arabian Press Moonsault to the floor! This is much better than their Extreme Rules match so far. Kalisto goes for his standing Sliced Bread #2 finish but Rusev puts him in the tree of woe before going for a headbutt but misses! Kalisto gets up on the top turnbuckle looking for some redemption. Rusev manages to send Kalisto to the mat with a press slam but Kalisto rolls through! Rusev is set up for the 450 but gets his knees up! Huge side kick now on Kalisto and that means we have the Accolade coming. We indeed get a sickening Accolade for the finish. Solid as hell match. ***1/2

Rusev decides to make Kalisto suffer more before...Titus O'Neil comes out? Oh christ, please don't tell me they are going with this angle because I don't know how I feel about it. Titus says he wants a title match NOW and Rusev is looking down for it but totally walks away like a GOOD HEEL. I'm turning the corner on Rusev and I'm loving this shit.

We get a recap of RAW where Charlotte turned on her dad. That's the best possible thing they could do and I legit got goosebumps at the blurring of reality here. I mean Flair absolutely was not around when she grew up, he was all around the world being “The Man” and she claims she's done with his shit. For once, I'm interested in where Charlotte goes from here. Out she comes and she STILL has a Flair remix theme? I kinda feel like that should change since we're doing the disowning angle here.

Natalya vs Dana Brooke happened. No way did I ever want to review it because I think Brooke is hot garbage in the ring. That and Natalya is pretty disappointing lately which is a shame. Charlotte is on commentary also so noooo thank you. It was better than I figured because it was barely a minute I believe. Still, not the kind of angle that I'd showcase for the Women's title but I'm just some fat mark in Arkansas, what do I know?

That Owens vs Styles match from RAW looked pretty awesome so I'll have to seek that out. I'm actaully digging this rift between “The Club” where Styles is the babyface wanting to prove himself while Gallows and Anderson are just trying to take over the system any way they can. Very intriguing and makes me wonder where they're going with it. Will we see Finn Balor pop his head into the fold?

Golden Truth is out now and is it weird that I like this pairing? Two willy veterans that didn't have a direction getting together to make a team, it is wrestling 101. Not to mention having Tyler Breeze and Fandango feuding with them is crazy smart. All four guys had no direction and now at least they can work each other with an angle involved. The biggest highlight of the tag match is a fan with a sign reading: “Sasha deserves better, Vince”. Amen, mark.

Cesaro vs The Miz for the WWE intercontinental Championship

I'm oddly excited for this one. They got their own hype video for the match earlier in the night and everything. Cesaro's gimmick may be confusing and random, but it never matters he is a goddamn master worker. Miz has completely reinvented himself with this delusional Hollywood douchebag gimmick and Maryse is a great added touch. Cesaro starts us off with a simple slap to the face followed by a roll up and a drop kick. Cesaro fucking DIVES FROM THE APRON WITH A ROLLING SENTON ON MIZ ON THE FLOOR. Hell yes. We come back from commercial and Miz is working on the weak shoulder of Cesaro. Very obvious edit during the exchange between Cesaro and Miz on the floor with Miz eating the apron. Probably did something fucking stupid as only Miz can do from time to time. Cesaro fights back with great European Uppercuts. Popup European Uppercut! ONLY TWO THOUGH. Miz acts like he's going to undo the turnbuckle and the ref is smart to it yet the ref has his back to Maryse who finally gets it off. Springboard European Uppercut while the ref fixes the turnbuckle so we know some fuckery is afoot here. Neutralizer is reverse and the figure four is again countered with a roll up but the ref is out of position of course. O' Connor roll by Miz but Cesaro reverses into the SHARPSHOOTER. TAP MOVIE BOY! Miz fights like hell to get to the ropes and does. Miz just does the running heel schtick well and takes his belt and he's GONE BITCHES. OH FUCK CESARO LAUNCHES INTO MIZ WITH A EUROPEAN. Crossbody and we get a near fall. Cesaro rushes Miz and hits his shoulder in the exposed turnbuckle to set up the Skull Crushing Finale finish. Hey, I may hate Miz as champion but they've booked him well. Both guys are strong here. ***

Now back to our regularly schedules PWG awesomeness.

Zack Sabre, Jr. vs Roderick Strong for the PWG World Championship, All Star Weekend 12

We start off with Sabre getting a MASS of streamers as a sign of respect from the crowd, along with a “next world champ” chant. This crowd is at a fever pitch like all get out and Roddy is SO fucking hated. This is what makes pro wrestling fun. Roddy's got the mic and the crowd says fuck you to him. Roddy soaks it all in like a good heel should. Roddy tells Rick Knox that he can't ref his matches, fuck yes. Another ref is called out but RICK KNOX SUPERKICKS HIS BITCH ASS AND WE HAVE A BELL. Feverish chain wrestling get us started here and this crowd is absolutely unglued immediately. In totally unrealted news, Hero on commentary talks about how Sabre won last year's BOLA and discusses how he's been the bridesmaid in that tournament many times. I do believe he won in 2008 but regardless, I wonder if they give him the nod after the great year he's had so far? Anyways, back to the match. Roddy is on a bicycle on the floor just biding his time again, like a good heel should. Sabre snatches the belt up and parades a little and that gets Roddy in the ring and he's PISSED. Chops, stomps and everything in between on Sabre. Some back and forth switches until Sabre finds success with a flapjack. Sabre's isolating Roddy's legs with a crazy submission with a spinning toe hold variation into a traditional leg lock with his elbow into the knee but Roddy fights out. Sabre is not going to be denied though and continues to torque the left leg of Roddy. A bridging leglock by Sabre is beautiful but Roddy smacks him away. Roddy picks up Sabre in a suplex and drapes him over the top rope on his stomach but he is really selling that leg. Sabre gets punished in the corner a little with mocking offense and the ever-present Roddy Strong Chop from SATAN'S ASSHOLE. We get a light exchange of chops and European Uppercuts until Strong leaps and calf kicks Sabre to the GROUND as Shane McMahon would say. Forearm exchange like we're trading stocks on beatings and suffering in a 'rasslin ring. We get both men on the apron and Sabre is WORKING Roddy's wrist like hell but Roddy is not having this shit and drops Sabre with a gutbuster ON THE APRON. Roddy is such an evil motherfucker. Torture Rack position now by Roddy and again, drops Sabre on the apron this time back first like a demented DICK. Roddy keeps on the beating in the ring just completely fucking up Sabre's world. Very nice belly to back suplex continues the work on Sabre's back like Roddy has PSYCHOLOGY~! Sabre is totally fucked trying to will himself up but he just can't withstand Roddy beating him again and again to the canvas. Europeans give us hope that our hero has it going on but Roddy drops him back down with a dropkick that rivals any I've ever seen perhaps. Sabre kicks out at one like he's Goldberg in 1998 and Roddy says: “that is cool, bro I'll just take you to the apron and destroy you” yet Sabre drives his shoulder down on the apron GIVING HIM A TASTE OF HIS OWN MEDICINE. Rushing European Uppercut into the corner and another for good measure. Now Sabre's back on that left art bending it like a pervert before stomping on the elbow for added DICKISH effect. Sabre keeps that arm work going and then puts Roddy in a crazy crevate sort of thing until he gets bored and puts on a strange bow and arrow/armlock combination that is just gorgeous. Sabre puts the cherry on top with yet ANOTHER arm stomp because no one needs two arms right? Roddy sure doesn't but Sabre gets a little confident and dives off the second rope and EATS RODDY's SOLES with another great dropkick. We've got a battle on the turnbuckles but Sabre escapes and kicks Roddy's leg out, a return to the leg he worked from the beginning of this match! Continuity, kids! Sabre wrenches that leg into the rope and rushes in the corner with dropkicks into the bloody tihng. Roddy's hurtin' big after that. Sabre puts on a strange ankle lock/achilles lock looking thing but Roddy finds a way to absolutely SPLATTER Sabre's spine with a nice backbreaker but Roddy's selling that damned knee man. Roddy gets caught in an armbreaker but quickly tries for his Strong Hold but Sabre's smart to it so Roddy drops his weight on Sabre's ribs. Pele kick to the weakened wrist by Sabre. Sabre gets caught while going to the top rope by Roddy and Roddy's wanting to give Sabre the business and fucking slings Sabre face first to the canvas with a very evil facebuster. Roddy has a fireman's carry but Sabre's working that bad arm and European Uppercuts his way out as well. Roddy finds a torture rack but Sabre tries to roll up out of it but Roddy sits down into a roll up of his own for a near fall and we get a GUTBUSTER BUT SABRE HOLDS ONTO RODDY! Leg lock is in and Sabre's fucking with the arm as well into a kimura but the leglock is broken and Roddy hits a gutbuster. Sabre survives and hits a goddamn NASTY half and half suplex that finds Roddy landing straight on his shoulder. Super nasty bump. Sabre doesn't give a FUCK though and kicks him while he's down. We get a forearm exchange at a kneeling position by both men. They decides to kick each other in the fucking HEAD and Sabre takes it to another level by kicking Roddy's bad arm and back until he fucks off to the apron. Sabre elbow stomps Roddy on the apron. Torture rack position is reversed again by Sabre but Roddy gets the better end by just stomping Sabre's fucking jaw. Sabre is up on the top turnbuckle and Roddy superplexes Sabre but holds on to try and turn it into a combo but Sabre counters into an octopus hold! Roddy squirms out and annihilates Sabre with a Doctor Bomb that would make Steve Williams smile. Roddy can't get the win with it though and we're back to square one. Sabre looks out of it and Roddy's loving this. Sabre tells Roddy his boots are shit even after he stomps the fish and chips out of him. Roddy takes a boot of and slings it at Sabre! Fuck man that is so awesome. Sabre responds by taking off one of HIS shoes and the crowd pops for these dudes with one shoe on. Only in Reseda. Forearm exchange follows our footwear sequence and both men are feeling the effects of this one. Half and half is reversed into a crucifix roll up for two but holds on for his super swank arm submission of DOOOM. Roddy gets the ropes though and we're still in for more goodness. Sabre kicks the shit out of Roddy's arm but EATS A SICK KICK BY RODDY. No way he can get a pin though and both men are exhausted. More back and forth strikes with Sabre throwing Europeans and Roddy keeping it consistent with CUTTING chops. Jumping knee brings Sabre down and we get the End of Heartache and ONLY TWO. Roddy is fucking gutted on that and is looking really confused. Roddy sets Sabre up for a second rope gutbuster perhaps but Sabre fights out and nails Roddy with a jumping European Uppercut. More fighting up in the high rent district before Sabre takes Roddy over and INTO AN ARMBREAKER FROM THE TOP TO THE CANVAS! Roddy is searching for solace but Sabre rolls the arms through and tucks it under his leg and snatches the other arm AND A STRETCH MUFFLER FOR ADDED EFFECT! WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! Goddamn what a masterpiece this is. Sabre immediately rushes to the crowd and is handed the belt. This is pro wrestling at its finest, folks. ****1/2 only because of an occasional lost spot or two but I can't hate. These two are absolutely AMAZING.

We also get a cool celebration with the European boys Galloway, Andrews, and Scurll who legit look touched by this. Goosebump City here for me. Sabre makes a speech on Galloway's shoulders which is a cool visual. Sabre says something about being committed to the states now and puts over Roddy as holding the title for a long time and at a high level.  

Monday, May 23, 2016

Rules that are Extreme in Nature

I warn you in advance that this was all written live as the matches were happening. As is the case with anything, I'm sure a lot of the rankings will change with time and a rewatch so for those wanting to criticize, do so with that in mind. Overall, I did think the show was solid and felt like it was a building block towards this "New Era" that WWE keeps talking about lately. Here's the meat and potatoes:

Anderson and Gallows vs The Usos, Tornado Tag Rules at WWE Extreme Rules 2016

This one starts hot and heavy with brawling on the floor. The pacing makes total sense after the weeks of bad blood between all these men. Both teams take turns throwing bombs early with highlights including Uso dives to the floor and Anderson and Gallows hitting their finish on the floor. I think Gallows looked awesome here as the biggest man in the fray when he could have easily been lost between the other three work wise. Boy are the Usos hated nowadays and the WWE continues to push them as faces for some stubborn ass reason. It's not like it used to be. As much as I love New Day, this feud feels like a proper tag championship feud but I feel like that's coming sooner than later anyways. A few lost moments here in terms of positioning and timing but otherwise this is a solid match. Great spot with the ring bell to set up the finish. **1/2

Kalisto vs Rusev, WWE United States Championship, WWE Extreme Rules 2016

I've turned around quite a lot on Rusev. Not just a few months ago I couldn't stand him and I quickly realized that was due to his booking in that abysmal League of Nations stable that he suffered through with no reasoning. Here we see Rusev showing his entertaining, devastating self against a firecracker worker. I think the same problems have plagued Kalisto though despite him being the US Champ. Since he defeated Del Rio, he's just toiled badly in the mid card having to carry the shitty Ryback for a couple of months. We get a nice start with Kalisto throwing leg kicks on Rusev while Rusev feigns power moves. Kalisto goes for broke with a corkscrew press but Rusev slaps him down impressively and puts the heat on Kalisto. Kalisto is just awesome selling, the way that he can contort his body when taking offense really aids him as a babyface. It doesn't hurt that he'll always be the underdog size wise and these guys really work that well here. Just as the first match had some issues, this one had some timing problems as well. To me it speaks to the highly choreographed nature of how WWE does matches. An argument for a different time. The crowd really lost interest in the match which didn't help them. Lana works magic on the floor here and you can see her in the background often selling the momentum one way or the other. Very odd finish but nonetheless, Rusev is back in the saddle again with the US title! **

The New Day vs The Vaudevillains, WWE Tag Team Championship WWE Extreme Rules 2016

The New Day is crazy, insane fucking over. That's pretty much all you need to know. Literally they say the dumbest shit and the crowd eats it up and doesn't even care. Interestingly enough Woods and Big E are in the match this time whereas usually it is Kofi with E. I'm happy about that though because Woods gets to show here that he's actually very good in the ring. Woods takes the heat very well and sells like a fool. The crowd buzzed like crazy when it looked like the Vaudes were going to win the belts but we get a sweet false finish. E's apron spear is awesome. We get some shenanigans with Kofi interfering behind the ref but with New Day it WORKS. Woods brings the hate with a Shining Wizard for the finish to an exceptional match. ***

Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn vs Cesaro vs The Miz, Fatal Four Way for the Intercontinental Championship WWE Extreme Rules 2016

This is so fantastic and one of the matches I had to see. I have to give WWE credit for letting these four guys go for the last month and create a situation that feels organic and important. Genius start with Zayn taking out Owens immediately with his Helluva Kick. Really changes expectations immediately and then Cesaro levels Miz to the floor. Cesaro vs Zayn is always great. We get magic between the two as is expected of course. Lots of expectations here and that's good for the IC title. Miz returns right when things heat up and falls right in line with their narrative. Zayn dives on both men and shockingly Miz catches him fine. Good, the last thing we need is a stupid injury. Miz is a master at the chicken shit heel schtick. Owens shows up to break up a tower of doom spot and neutralizes Zayn. This is awesome stuff. Hate filled spine kick by Owens to Zayn. We finally get a tower of doom spot that is fantastic. Each guys is showcased in how this match is structured because rarely are all four guys in a mass together. Too often you see a multi-man match shit the bed because of awful blocking but this match does things greatly. Suicidal double suplex spot sees Miz cradle Zayn in a fucking tazplex while Cesaro tosses them with a German Suplex. Somehow no one dies. Amazing false finish with Miz hitting his finish on Cesaro with everyone down that has the crowd die. This is an easy MOTN and a MOTY contender at the low end for me. I won't lie I despise that Miz is getting this IC run, I feel as though the title is better served with the other three guys involved. With that said, for me to be genuinely pissed off that a match ended a certain way tells you how spectacular this match was and this run for Miz has been magic. ****

Chris Jericho vs Dean Ambrose, Asylum Match WWE Extreme Rules 2016

The build for this match has been the typical drivel that you expect from WWE creative these days. We get a barbaric match that you'd think is reserved for an intense, realistic angle right? Wrong. This is all over a talk show segment. That's the reasoning for creating a whole new match apparently in WWE world. Ambrose is grossly misused and should be a serious main event player but he's done well with the silly bullshit he's been given as of late. Jericho is not what he used to be but is very useful in a way to put younger guys over. Ambrose still gets a nice pop when he comes out so he's not completely dead in the water that is good news. Jericho acts like a pussy early trying to get out but alas, Ambrose takes control since there's “no way out” despite there being no top. I very much felt like this was a farce and the commentators didn't help matters by chuckling the whole match at everything. It's a shame that a match between a former world champion and a bright new star is mixed in with this shit. Even Ambrose doing a nutty cage jump didn't get this crowd going. Tacks, that's what it took to make the crowd care and Jericho's face when they were revealed was godly. Had the tacks been part of the match early I think the match would have improved dramatically but alas, we got a very boring match with an ok ending sequence. *1/2

Noelle Foley and Frank the WWE I love life for that kind of connection.

Natalya vs Charlotte, Submission Match for the WWE Women's Title WWE Extreme Rules 2016

Natalya's latest push has been a bit of a head scratcher and not because of her talent. I think it is pretty well known that she's one of the better in-ring talents in all of women's wrestling and has been for some time but she's so rarely been featured. Charlotte has been force fed to us as the future of women's wrestling despite Sasha Banks being absolutely incomparable. Either way I felt like the matches these two have had have been decent so I feel good about this going in. Early this felt clunky with both women missing a step or two here and there. The ref counting when both were on the floor annoys me a lot and reminds me of when WCW would completely ignore stipulations. Charlotte puts on a decent looking Indian Deathlock modification at some point. Dana Brooke comes out for literally no reason at all and fucks with Natalya. Charlotte takes advantage. Not even close to their best match and I'm not thrilled about Dana Brooke's increased presence going forward. *

AJ Styles vs Roman Reigns, Extreme Rules match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title WWE Extreme Rules 2016

I felt like last month's match was really good but overbooked and here I'm expecting a lot of the same. The angle involved has been good though and there's a lot of line blurring between both guys. Early we get a good brawl. Both guys logically look solid early until they get to the floor and AJ takes control after Roman misses a chair shot to the steps that stuns him. We then get ECW crowd fighting deep in the arena. They fight over at the pre-show stage with Roman slinging AJ onto what look s like a stiff as hell plexiglass table. AJ hits a sick looking flying forearm off of it on Reigns! Hell yes. More WWE type brawling persist in this match and it is done pretty well. AJ takes a backdrop through the announce table in a nice spot. Splash Mountain Powerbomb by Roman for a near fall! AJ will not die despite his size which is a great story against the golden boy Roman. Superman Punch is countered with a beautiful chop block. AJ fucks up and goes for a hurricanrana but Roman catches him and launches him through another announce table with a powerbomb. Roman kills himself with a spear miss through part of the barricade. Ok it's obviously a spot. AJ wastes too much time though and gets picked out of the air with a Superman Punch that sends AJ down to the floor again. Spear over the steps on AJ but no cover. We get Gallows and Anderson running in to hit their finish for a near fall. Aaand of course The Usos have to show up and fuck up a good thing. They actually lay out AJ so Roman can get the cheap cover! Near fall though. First time we get a kick out of the Styles Clash. Go figure. Terrible reversal when AJ goes for it again. Quickly we get a badass enzugiri reversal of the Superman Punch into another Styles Clash but one of the dickhead Usos ruin it and ROMAN KICKS OUT AGAIN MOTHERFUCKER. Unbelievable how you shit on a move you've protected so fast. AJ decides to snap and kill everyone with a chair. Cool, except you're jobbin'. And my prophecy comes to live when AJ goes for the Springboard Forearm and gets creamed with a spear for the win. Good match but I'm concerned with where you go from here. UNTIL SETH ROLLINS SHOWS US THE WAY. I'm so pumped with this revelation after the match with Rollins fucking Roman's life up and posing with his strap. ***

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Wrestling Lunacy all over Evolve 61

Wrestling Lunacy like a mooootherfucker!

Some jacked guy interrupted a main event in a bar in New York City this weekend. He ran off a bunch of kickpad wearers and said some words about how wrestling today is ran by retards. Well, basically. So because of the crazy news surrounding this show, I decided I'd put my eager fingers to plastic and conjure up some motivation to tell YOU THE READER (hi mom) how it went.

Matt Riddle vs Lio Rush

Riddle is the epitome of what many call “grapple fuckery”. He does a lot of swank wrestling counters and takedowns but in the end, it usually doesn't amount to much. Mr. Riddle used to make a living trying to injure people in cages though so he's got some aura around him. Lio Rush is a fucking BEAST in the ring and makes me happy lately because he just kind of snuck up on me. We get Riddle showing that ever-present grapple fucking with some waistlock takedowns just to tell Young Lio that he's his bitch tonight. Lio does well showing frustration. He also worms away from Riddle with all his might. Rumor is that Rush was actually an amateur wrestler in his former life before spandex and I could buy it with how he handles Riddle's grappling prowess. Rush ends up taking Riddle's back in a nice little sequence to show he's not a novice on the mat but Riddle wisely snapmares out. Rush then proceeds to do fucking flips out of Riddle's grasp before Riddle gets annoyed and drops the boy on his NECK with a german suplex. Riddle is fun when he decides to bring it. We get the nice rolling gutwrench suplex flurry here on Rush as well. Rush actually SELLS it and I'm in. Riddle shows off his Daniel Bryan kick knowledge but they look fairly weak. Rush worms around some more before sinking in a guillotine on the UFC KID! Riddle finds a way and drops Rush on his neck again with a suplex. I'm slowly liking Riddle's philosophy of crippling people. We get a flurry of strike parrying and Riddle straight bitch smacks Rush. Riddle thinks he is gucci and hits the ropes just for Rush to reverse with a GODDAMNED SPANISH FLY. Riddle survives however when Rush misses a frog splash and Riddle sinks in an armbar for the submission. A beautiful sprint here and Riddle looks like a wrestling beast while Rush showed amazing heart as well. ***

So Riddle is running an angle where he has the Evolve title but clearly gives no fucks about it. He actually chunks the belt into the ring when he makes his entrance here. Riddle then calls out Timothy Thatcher and proceeds to proverbially wipe his twig and berries with the belt. Stokely comes out, the manager that keeps hanging around Catch Point and takes the title with a shit eating grin. We shall see if we get a nice match between these men again.

Ethan Page and Chris Dickinson vs The Bravado Brothers

I've been rather impressed with the Bravados as of late. NOAH did them wonders because when they first showed up back in ROH, they were fucking dreadful. Page is winning my interest as well and Dickinson for me is quite flat. Ethan nearly runs into the “mobile studio” as Lenny Leonard called it. Bravados cut the ring off early on Page and I'm pumped about it. The Bravados do well with the old school way of structuring a match and they show that off here. Page is trying to keep the hope alive but the Bravados are smart to it and keep tagging in and out on him. Page will get the upper hand and then gets wrecked. Finally the Bravados fuck up and Page takes control after a nice corner reversal kick into a flying cutter onto the odd man out. In comes Dickinson and he's a...lumbering kind of house of fire. He does some double offense on both Bravados but gets cut off. Harlem has him up in the Doomsday position and Dickinson hits a REVERSE RANA CHRIST. That was very 2016 of you, Chris. In comes Page again and we get some clutter when Page and Dickinson act confused. They get Lancelot up in a double torture rack position but Harlem saves. We get a sweet looking neckbreaker into knees from a sunset flip position by the Bravados. Again we get in and out tags. Page survives a double team attempt with a tilt a whirl facebuster. Dickinson picks off Harlem with a SUPER HURRICANRANA onto his brother...kinda. We get a near fall for Page after Harlem saves. We get a very poor strike sequence between Dickinson and Lancelot with their respective partners interfering and we get a back and forth with each man being showcased for a bit. Enzugiri into a fall-away slam by Dickinson and Page. Dickinson says that isn't enough and does a fucking bodypress from the top to the floor on both of his opponents. Harlem is singled out by Page and Dickinson for a weird reverse FU double team but Lancelot makes the save at two. This match felt badly disjointed and to me, Page and Dickinson just didn't click well as a team. That or Dickinson is just really poor. Bravados' finish is super cool though so that wins this match some points. **

Fred Yehi vs TJ Perkins, WWE Global Cruiserweight Classic Qualifier

So it finally happened; the mobile studio got wrecked by Yehi in his entrance. Nearly collapsed to the ground and I laughed. You'd think Gabe would be smart enough to warn the boys about the goddamn set but hey, wrestlers are also stupid sometimes. Regardless, this is a big one to see who will be part of the well-publicized WWE tournament this summer. I love this matchup actually because these guys aren't what you'd expect from the term “cruiserweight” because they're not flying like crazy as much as working the mat. Aaand that's what we get immediately with some nice sequences through armlocks and hammerlocks with Perkins breaking the pace with a dropkick. Yehi goes for the flash roll up but doesn't get it yet finds himself taking Perkins' back. Perkins fights up and reverses with a nice headscissors down to the mat and maintaining for the submission. Perkins dabs, I eye roll. Perkins masterfully works the head though and Yehi is fighting for his LIFE HERE BOYS. Yehi gets to his feet but is twirled down for a quick pin attempt that Yehi kicks out of. Perkins is smooth as silk but I don't like his “steeze” if you will. Yehi gets sick of shit and drops Perkins with some offense and stomps on the mans leg! Then he suplexes him and stretches Perkins with a bizarre submission complete with sitting on his fucking head and neck. Then he stomps on Perkins' leg more. Perkins tries alleviating swelling by undoing his shoelaces in a beautiful sell moment. Then he complete ignores his pain and puts on a makeshift Black Widow submission ala WWE Divas division 2013. We get more weird grapple fuckery that ends with a Muta Lock on Yehi. I feel like Perkins rushes far too much with his work and if he slowed down even a tad, he'd be spectacular at a high level. We get a nice Eddie Guerrero slingshot senton by Perkins. Perkins has a headlock at one point and so blatantly calls a spot into Yehi's ear before a drop down sequence that ends with Yehi stompage on Perkins' prone arm. Yehi decides he's making Perkins' sternum jealous and stomps the piss out of it as well. Yehi has such a unique style and mannerisms that make him standout above so many. He works very believably to me. Perkins feels very plastic to me. We get more obvious spot calling when Yehi sinks in a body scissors. That kind of stuff happens but not CONSTANTLY in a match, or at least it shouldn't. Seriously, Perkins needs to be on the next Botchamania for this sloppy spot calling. YOU TALK TOO MUCH, DAWG. That really is my biggest gripe about this match though and both guys really showcased some swanky 'rasslin stuff. Can we create a time machine so I can see a Fred Yehi vs Ronnie Garvin match? Everytime Yehi excites me with a sequence, Perkins cuts him off and I groan a little bit. I'm so god damned biased with Perkins match but Jesus man, for a dude that has worked like 20 years by the age of 30, he's very disjointed and loses focus a lot when it comes to little things. Yehi's Koji Clutch is a thing of beauty. Despite the previous annoyances, this match is solid. It really showed a lot of courage and guts by the young Yehi and Perkins, while I dislike him myself, is undeniably a good performer. Both guys did justice to the importance of this impending WWE Cruiserweight Tournament and made me interested to see how it unfolds. ***1/2

Tracy Williams vs Drew Gulak

TAG CHAMPIONS EXPLODE! This is very intriguing as the early angle between these two was based on Gulak not respecting the rookie Williams which has now “evolved” into both men being the Evolve World Tag Team Champions. Williams has been improving so fast and Gulak is among the highest tier of the independent guys today. Not surprisingly, the early part of this affair is a stalemate with both men countering the other's advances. Makes sense, Williams is the apprentice to Gulak's mentor so they'd know each other well. Smartly, Gulak finds himself with the upper hand most often though being the veteran. They work a test of strength into a fun bridge collapse spot with Gulak finding a way but Williams is quick to wise up to it. Williams gets Gulak on his heels on the floor and SUICIDE DIVES and the railing loosens. Very nice. Williams' risk looks to pay off as he takes advantage in the ring on Gulak by working his arm. We get more stalemating with swank moves. These guys are fantastic. Gulak brings the brutal with some ropes assisted stomps on Williams that look vicious. Gulak slows it down with some nice leg work on Williams before he's countered with a beautiful key lock proper on the mat. Gulak stacks Williams up but his reversed back down into the key lock. These two have that gritiness that Perkins for instance doesn't to me. When they have a submission on, they work it and seem like they're looking for injury. Gulak's facials are pristine here in that vain with everything he puts on Williams. Williams shows some pretty surprising athleticism with a crisp big splash for a near fall. Williams Mongolian chops Gulak's shoulder. I officially love this kid. More work on Gulak's shoulder by Williams showing that he's got the goods to beat his sensei. Gulak drops Williams with a nice top rope clothesline. Gulak looks to be possessed suddenly with shotgun dropkicks to the seated Williams. He is pretty well FROTHING angry. Gulak tosses Williams hamstrings first into the ropes like a dick. Things have escalated here and I love it. Williams reverses a superplex with a strange but awesome looking facebuster in front facelock into the turnbuckle and finds his way into a crossface. Both men work it with errant roll up teases until Gulak rope breaks. I love that while things can get somewhat spotty, it always comes back to the basics of the match's narrative here. Williams wants a head bump and nails a Shawn Michaels 1992 Back Suplex that looks schweet! Gulak has the knees up however when Williams goes for broke with a splash. Then Gulak decapitates Williams with a clothesline from HADES. Gulak fucks up and goes for the flying clothesline again but Williams hooks him with the crossface. He wrenches the bastard heavy here too but Gulak ain't gonna give it up. He squirms out of the hold but is clearly hurt. Williams goes for the kill but Gulak bursts into a back slide for a near fall but eats a boot for his troubles! Williams is throwing some damned chops on Gulak who's on his knees. Both men stand and bang with nice strikes until Williams starches Gulak with a clothesline from DANTE'S INFERNO. We get an absolutely fucking awesome leapfrog into a front roll, into a sunset flip style roll up for two. Then Gulak hooks in his flying guillotine for the win. This match is absolutely a must see for anyone that appreciates the sweet science of 'rasslin at a high level. ****

Marty Scurll vs Zack Sabre, Jr.

A battle of two besties here. It is well known that these two guys broke in together in England and in fact were a very well known tag team known as The Leaders of the New School in Europe. Marty has completely changed since then and is an erratic villain while Sabre is a fucking wrestling master. We start as expected with awesome switches from arm work down to the mat with various holds and reversals. Sabre brings the World of Sport goodness here as always while Marty brings the crazy. It's hard to really go hold by hold analyzing Sabre because he does so much and pretty quickly at that. Just know he's fantastic with his grappling. Marty is no slouch at the grapple goodness himself either. These guys are simply fun to watch and their vast experience together shows well here. Very little seams in their work here. Marty catches Sabre's leg and taunts him before driving him down to the mat and working his leg. Sabre reverses himself out of it and brings Marty down with a headlock and transitions into working Marty's leg with a nice dose of his own medicine. A bow and arrow is reversed into a pin but is quickly kicked out of and we are back to square one. This is a very good commercial for both guys about what they bring to the ring perhaps more than anything in this match. I do think the psychology is sound; if you trained with someone and tagged as well for several years, you'd think that there'd be a lot of canceling each other out and that's what we see here. Sabre is predominantly obsessed with Marty's left arm. Marty is obsessed with blowing Sabre's brains out with a short superkick from the apron with a modified king of the mountain spot. Marty then sweetly drives Sabre's spine into the apron with a suplex. Sabre tries shattering Marty's wrist and elbow by kicking the railing into Marty like a sick bastard. Marty's focus shifts to Sabre's back with a backbreaker but quickly Marty decides he wants to give Sabre some retribution for the joint manipulation of his arm and stomps Sabre's wrist like a total DOOOUCHEBAG. I approve of it. He disrespects Sabre with a slap and Sabre is PISSED. He stomps Marty's own elbow into his wrist making him a hand less gimp but Marty decides to be Goldberg for a second, no selling and throws some hate towards Sabre like it is nothing. Both men exchange straight jacket holds until Sabre works up a flurry with a float over octopus stretch! He decides to trap Marty's arms for added effect. Then he floats to the other side. What in the fuck, Sabre is nuts. Chaos Theory Dragon Suplex by Sabre is very swank. These two show why the UK scene is one of the best in the world right now. Roll-Up Mania happens here and it is absolutely crazy to see. One of the very few knocks here is a very bizarre transition moment late in the match where Marty looked to be going for a kneeling tornado DDT but it seems the spot is confused and they sloppily go into something else. Both men recover well though and this match is an absolute pleasure to watch. The finishing sequence is a work of art, especially how they work the finishing hold to the absolute end. Apparently this was for the Number One Contendership for the Evolve Championship. Cool, I'll be interested to see how this all develops with the title situation. ****

Drew Galloway vs Johnny Gargano

Here we go, the most interesting development in all of Evolve. These two guys were very recently the very first ever Evolve Tag Team Champions yet it didn't take long for Galloway to snap and beat the living hell out of Gargano and go eeeevil. Galloway is also notable for being the current TNA World Heavyweight Champion while Gargano has been in NXT. So this is kinda, sorta TNA vs WWE in front of our eyes like it's 2005 all over again when people gave any fucks. Galloway doesn't wanna fight, he wants to say he's a leader of “real” independent guys. Galloway says Gargano is a “sheep” to the machine, interesting choice of words. Definitely some foreshadowing. Johnny gets some heavy chants over this verbage from Galloway. I'm digging Galloway here as this bizarre heel character. Gargano then responds on the mic and damn, I didn't realize how over he is here. Makes sense, he's been the ace of the company for years in all actuality. Quintessential babyface schtick here by Gargano. Gargano openly admits that WWE's money bought them all the production and cosmetic improvements and it isn't a bad thing. Lets think about this; these guys didn't touch for quite some time in this thing and the crowd was invested. That says a lot about the power of the angle here as well as the talent of both guys keeping the fans' interest after a really hot night of wrestling. We also get a brawl from the start here with both guys exchanging shots. Classic little man vs giant match in many ways here. Galloway neutralizes Gargano with a sick big boot and the fans are absolutely into Gargano here. Gargano evades and finds Galloway on the floor with a heat seeking missile dive through the ropes. Some brawling on the floor reaches its peak when Galloway DESTROYS Gargano with a headbutt and you see some kid with a Bullet Club shirt SELL for that one. Gargano finds a way though and front rolls onto Galloway from the apron in a nice spot. Galloway consistently shows his power and shrugs Gargano into the corner in a sickening way. Galloway gives Sheamus a shout out with clubbing forearms into the ropes. The fans respond with jeers from hell. Fuck yes, Mean Drew Galloway is great. Galloway tosses Gargano with a belly to belly overhead like a child. Galloway may be one of the more believable guys in the ring today. He finally feels like a huge dude and a big deal as well. Galloway's reverse Alabama Slam is a thing of macabre beauty and he drills Gargano with it in this one. Future Shock is countered into a roll up twice with a superkick barrage to boot. Galloway says fuck you and eats another sole for a near fall. Really strong chemistry between these two. Some really badass wrestling happens before Galloway locks in his version of the Gargano Escape submission and Gargano fights his way to the rope break. Galloway tries some high rent offense but Gargano locks in his own Gargano Escape but Galloway counters just to be counter yet again by Gargano's hold. Strong sequence here with Galloway finding a way to end it all with a tombstone that looked masterful for a near fall. Both men do well to sell exhaustion and shock over what got them to this point in the bout. Galloway gives some good advice to Gargano to just give it up but gets spit on for his trouble. Gargano tries a back slide but is countered into the Future Shock for 2! Galloway looks dejected by this and Gargano is in bad shape. Avalanche Air Raid Crash by Galloway isn't enough either. Gargano looks absolutely fucked though and Galloway looks increasingly pissed. I'm really digging this one. Gargano finds a reserve of energy and locks in his submission but EC3 has arrives and he's dropping punches! Lenny Leonard sells like Bin Laden has risen from the grave and the fans are pissed off. Then we get the promo. I thought it was the best mic work we've seen of EC3 yet and that's probably because TNA's dogshit writing staff wasn't near it. If they were, I am gleefully shocked. ****1/2