Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scattered Thoughts on Money in the Bank 2016

Listen if you're a true blue, hardcore mark motherfucker you don't need this portly Arkansan to tell you that some real fine stuff happened on June 19th this year. If you ARE however in the market for portly Arkansans talking about wrestling, then you're in the right spot and we won't waste any more time...

AJ Styles vs John Cena, Money in the Bank 2016

It's all about the little things in this one. AJ comes in and he's absolute HEEL TO THE FUCKIN' MAX with the dickish taunts and facials that are out of this world. I mean, how the hell did people not realize in 2006 that this guy had charisma deep down? I guess that is the wrestling business, he's like the American Minoru Suzuki in the sense that he doesn't age, he just evolves again and again and stays relevant. Bravo to that sir. Cena is a master as the insecure babyface early here, with the story built around AJ having more tricks than Cena expected while Styles is a victim to the power advantage from time to time. The crowd is MOLTEN FUCKING HOT as well so that aids this match tremendously. In some ways this match gives me much of what I didn't feel Roman vs AJ ever gave me and that is a huge match feel. Without a championship, Cena vs Styles just feels huge and I'm sure the hype factor and never-before-seen element helps quite a bit. Also, it's obvious that Cena is worlds better as a worker compared to Roman but that's pretty unfair to even criticize at this point. The finish does tarnish this match a tad but I did enjoy how they're pushing The Club as a unit. All in all, a good start to a feud that should be (SHOULD being the keyword in WWE land) great by the end of it. Also, WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP CALLING SPOTS, JOHN? He never stops. ****3/4

Money in the Bank Ladder Match
Sami Zayn vs Alberto del Rio vs Cesaro vs Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose vs Chris Jericho

Highlights of this one include:
-Various hatred moments involving ADR dropkicking a ladder sideways into Zayn's ribs, as well as double stomping Cesaro to ribbons into a ladder.
-Del Rio subsequently doing one of the worst win teases in MITB history where he just stands there for a good three seconds until Cesaro rushes to make it look less shit.
-Kevin Owens being a vicious prick as always yet paying for it like a good heel should. Sometimes.
-Cesaro giving giant swings as an early Christmas present, most awesomely the one that ends for Chris Jericho with a nice toss into a ladder.
-Ambrose is shit on far too much because he's money and this match is good in showing that off a little bit.
-Owens takes a DIRTY Michinoku Driver onto a sideways, opened ladder and I cringed. Bravo, sir. Furthermore, all of the Zayn and Owens interaction is just the usual badass stuff from them.
-Really good finish that LEADS US ONWARD! ***

Seth Rollins vs Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Money in the Bank 2016

The reaction for Rollins just coming to the ring here is fantastic. It's like this show was in Davenport, Iowa or something. Reigns needs to just be that ASSHOLE HEEL OF ALL TIME because this wishy, washy shit isn't working at ALL and they should know by now. Either way, these two really work well together. Reigns does play the bully here early which is refreshing I've got to say, especially with Rollins' slow burning anger because of it. Rollins decides he'll just completely outclass him wrestling and does, getting us to the mat with a headlock to change gears a tad. Reigns is just mega douche though and finds himself bringing Rollins down again and again. SUICIDE DIVE TO THE FLOOR, LANDING ON HIS FEET IS ROLLINS. Roman's samoan wisdom helps when he finds a samoan drop followed by headbutts after that cool spot. The fans give no fucks though and Roman is EATING IT UP? Please just pull the trigger on him being a mega dick always. Roman is one million percent that frat guy from college that couldn't quit trying to be badass. Great heat could be had. Rollins confirms he is the new age Michaels with a beautiful end over corner bump straight onto his feet backwards into more offense. I never get sick of that silly spot. So very mid 90's Shawn though for sure. Reigns gets testy and eats awesome Japan-inducing slaps by Rollins. Anyone that looks epic while throwing open handed slaps is aces by me. Reigns commences to just ragdolling the ever-loving FUCK out of Seth on the floor and into commentary chairs over one of the random announce tables. Rollins really does all he can here to make Roman look absolutely dangerous but the crowd is hell bent on shitting on him. It doesn't help at all that most of the build towards this match had Seth playing the prick while Roman was being the confident babyface for the most part. Bizarre to say the least but not all bad. The match did lull quite a bit midway through leading into the finish but things definitely pick up enough to save it. We see Roman's ode to Konnan and various other international wrestlers of 1990's yesteryear with his nice sitout Razor's Edge. Rollins survives and does his per-usual incredibly athletic stuff. Rollins does an absolutely absurd TOPE CON HILO yet lands, again, on his FEET. This man is better than ever despite that horrid knee injury. I definitely rewound and watched that one again. Rollins sells a Superman Punch better than I've ever seen anyone do before where he simply goes completely limp and crumples to his face. Rollins' frog splash is also BEAUTY. Rollins doing his superplex into a Falcon Arrow sequence always gets me because of how slick he is with it. It's not like most of the shit indy guys that do that kind of stuff, it feels natural how he rolls into it all. Roman does his very fancy roll up into the release powerbomb spot. These guys simply go nuts in this, showing off pretty much every trick they have up their sleeves and it is quite a blast to watch. Easily to me Roman's best match so far also, just inching out those AJ vs Roman matches slightly. The ref bump is a little much I felt but I see why it happened, it was an attempt to build doubt in the final outcome. The finish is just AWESOME. ****3/4

So we have a new champion in Rollins and things are peachy keen in the world!….and then it gets better. Rollins found himself tasting his own medicine and at a higher level than he ever inflicted. Just mere moments after becoming a two time champion, with just a simple shot in the back(see the breakup of The Shield from 2 years ago) and he found himself in the gutter and we have an even NEWER WWE World Heavyweight Champions DEAN AMBROSE! After 5 years of being in wrestling limbo, he's THE guy. Sure, in WWE that changes in an instant but he can always say he was World Champion in a WWE ring. There's a ton of critics towards Dean but man, he's fantastic. I've felt for quite some time that he's that great meshing of the old school and new with how great he is at selling yet he also has unique and effective offense. Not to mention when he's allowed to go on his own, he's absolutely fantastic on the mic as well. This is hoping that WWE quits the cutesy shit and we get the unedited, brilliant Dean Ambrose that a few priveleged few back in the ECW Arena in 2009 for CZW, or those in attendance during those early Evolve days got to witness.  

#ProjectReseda: PWG is Pimpin' in High Places

PWG Pimpin' In High Places

We're back in the Jewish Center and WE HAVE COMMENTARY AGAIN THANK GOD! TARO joins them on commentary fuck yeah! Man, I seriously love the commentary because it's just completely random bullshit.

Phoenix Star vs Puma vs Zokre

LUCHA! That is about all there is to say here for a pretty good match. Puma keeps Phoenix Star on the floor while he works on Zokre. Fuckin' cut off that ring. Super cool double facebuster by Phoenix Star on his opponents. Zokre and Phoenix Star are pretty good so I see now why they were a random tag team when I first started watching PWG myself. I thought they sucked because I was YOUNG AND DUMB. Zokre does some wild shit here. This is an enjoyable sprint. **

The Havana Pitbulls(Ricky Reyes and Rocky Romero) vs Aerial Xpress(Quicksilver and Scorpio Sky)

Here we have the PWG debuts of The Pitbulls, a team that was a staple of pretty much any major indy show in the mid 2000's. I'm pumped to see baby Rocky Romero because I'm a big fan of his in 2016 and kind of forgot about his stuff from this time. Romero decides it is best to stretch Quicksilver, I couldn't agree any more. We discover on commentary that Disco Machine is indeed rich and doesn't tip worth a fuck. That has nothing to do with this match but I wanted to note it. I'm really impressed with Quicksilver and Scorpio here, they can go man! Pitbulls are pretty darn good too. Stereo topes are fuckin' SERIOUS as Excalibur would say from Scorpio and Quicksilver. Solid match. **1/2

Chris Bosh vs Excalibur, “Hair vs Hair”

I'm pretty damned happy to see this. This is a sprint early and Bosh does a fucking MAD tope con hilo from the top turnbuckle to the floor! Bosh takes him back into the ring to give him punishment. The commentary during this match is pure comedic gold by the way. Seriously though I really like this match and is better than I expected it to be as a match itself. Excalibur whoops on that ass for a while, making Bosh prove himself to these fans in the Jewish Center. We go full lucha hate when Bosh rips Excalibur's mask because he doesn't CARE about anonymity. Bosh murders Excalibur with a Steiner Screwdriver. Bosh gets DQ'd when he goes apeshit and attacks the ref and Quicksilver and Scorpio run him off YAY...except they TURN ON EXCALIBUR!? Dammit WHY? This is pretty damn awesome. ***
The Ballard Brothers vs M-Dogg 20 and Jardi Frantz

Oh christ, the worst match so far in PWG history decides to team up against the solid as shit Ballards. This is quite literally Matter vs Anti-matter for early PWG. We get a great story about Jardi fucking some older woman so that makes me like him a smidgen. This is way better than I expected I must say because I'm guessing The Ballards are just THAT good. Frantz looked pretty solid though in the early going. The Ballards do what all badass tag teams do and that is cut off the ring and fuck up their opponents one by one. Frantz does a badass plancha late in the match only to be outmatched by M-Dogg who nails a Sasuke Special. This is a very ok match. **

Samoa Joe vs BJ Whitmer

Whitmer makes his debut of course and Samoa Joe IS the man of course. How much punishment will Whitmer be able to weather to have a chance to win? This is what you'd expect from these two at this time which is hard hitting and technically based. Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge Joe mark so it'll take a lot to make me dislike a match of his. Joe's corner uranage fucking WRECKS Whitmer and so does the knee drop that follows. Joe is fuckin' angry now and that is when he is best. Whitmer was so good at this time and this match is no different. Whitmer starches Joe with a nice t-bone suplex but Joe ain't gonna die. Lovely match. ***

Super Dragon, Colt Cabana, and Adam Pearce vs CM Punk, Joey Ryan, and Frankie Kazarian

The highly anticipated main event is HERE. Super Dragon ruins a fan's night by slapping his 40 ounce out of his hand to the adulation of the rest of the crowd. DICK LEVEL IS WAY OVER 9000. I'm a mark for this match happening at all and am anxious to see how this all unfolds. Punk and Dragon start us off and I'm trying to keep it together and not make this 5 stars immediately. I'll manage, dear reader, I'll manage. Pearce comes in now instead and so does Kazarian now. I love it because no one touches yet we get like 5 tags. This is like a beer sampler pack of wrestling, much like the one TARO consumed on commentary during this show. What I mean by that is, everyone gets a little bit of time to show their wares and it makes for a fun combination. There is a fair amount of awkward moments though like CM Punk teabagging Pearce in mid air in surely a leapfrog attempt as well as Joey Ryan taking a really shit double team. Colt pulls out THE CLAW YES. Pearce takes a really nasty bump to the floor that leads to a MENTAL, TRIPLE PLANCHA TO THE FLOOR by Punk, Ryan, and Kazarian. One of the coolest spots ever happens when Dragon and Cabana go for the Doomsday Device but Punk follows through while taking the move and drops Cabana on his head with a reverse rana! These six men love danger and wrestling, so they're alright with me. Pearce through it all is always looking for a shortcut and by god he will not rest until he GETS THE W! This is just awesome. ***1/2

Our post show interviews tell us a lot about the men in the main event. Pearce claims size doesn't matter, which is such a beautiful lie. Joey Ryan is fuckin' pissed and not very good at promos yet. We also hear that Kazarian is actually a man and Punk fuckin' ROCKS it as usual on the mic. Punk says shit is personal now. Kazarian tries for a serious promo but boy, it's kinda lame.

Overall Show Rating: B+

Monday, June 13, 2016

#ProjectReseda: PWG An Inch Longer Than Average

PWG An Inch Longer Than Average

We're back in the Jewish Center for a big card! Top Gun Talwar comes out with The Ballard Brothers and I'm immediately interested. He tells us to take our pants off because he's here, good thing I'm ahead of ya buddy! Who wears pants?

Top Gun Talwar and The Ballard Brothers vs Chris Bosh, Lil Cholo, and TJ Perkins

Welp, Perkins dropped that stupid fucking Pinoy Boy name which I doubt anyone will miss. This is going to be the typical, fun PWG multi-man opener I feel like. Bosh and Shannon Ballard start us off with some good stuff. You can already see Bosh's charisma early which will only grow as we go along. In comes Perkins who does his usual crazy lucha stuff which is nice. TALWAR IS HERE THOUGH BABY. This man oozes the fluids associated with charisma, at least I hope that is what's on his tights. Either way The Ballards are still pretty solid and Cholo too. This is VERY lucha, complete with a star spot including all of them. *1/2

M-Dogg 20 vs Jardi Frantz

Little known fact, Frantz likes pot a bunch. This makes sense though because he's a Nor Cal wrestler and we all know that anyone from Northern California smokes weed constantly. In another episode of Can M-Dogg Redeem Himself, we get Frantz in on the fun. White boy lucha ensues. Frantz loves to do shitty armdrags which is evident in this match. M-Dogg is clearly better than Frantz and I'm gleeful. Jardi brings it to the FLOOR with a headscissors hold but just kinda gives up and gets out of it himself. Frantz is just not good, at all. M-Dogg is meh at best back in these days too so just imagine how this one goes. M-Dogg crushes Frantz with a twisting moonsault plancha to the floor and then does his dumb splash off the post that looks like he's holding on in a hurricane. Never really got why that's so cool to people. I can't even give this thing a star, it is just way too sloppy and the magnitude of shittiness is not saved for Frantz or M-Dogg alone.

The X Foundation(Scott Lost and Funky Billy Kim) vs Team Chismo(Disco Machine and Excalibur)

I'm pretty excited about this one because both of these teams have been pretty good so far. Disco is just ON FIRE with the dance moves and Excalibur just can not contain him! The X Foundation better be careful then. Excalibur says he forgot to assign a ref because he's just been too busy and to get a damn ref out here! Chris Bosh comes out with the zebra stripes on OMG! Excalibur is NOT happy and where did this Bosh get a ref's license? WHERE IS THE COMMISSIONER DAMMIT?! Like much of PWG, and I know you're probably annoyed with me saying it, this match is pure fun. That is honestly the appeal of these early shows because honestly aside from the TNA guys that they book, most of the local guys they have access to were not good at all so they had to manage some way to make shows good. Billy Kim is just one on the list of many guys from these early shows that just disappeared and didn't sustain a long career for some odd reason. Then Excalibur and he totally botch the shit out of something after I say that, but things HAPPEN guys. Stereo crossbody planchas by The X Foundation looks good. I get odd pleasure out of seeing Excalibur annihilate people with his Tiger Drivers. **

We get the challenge thrown out by Excalibur towards Chris Bosh for a Hair vs Hair match next show! Then Bosh gets dropped on his luscious locks with a suplex for good measure.

Joey Ryan vs Super Dragon in the first ever Guerrilla Warfare match

This match is legendary to many PWG fans that seek out this older stuff. I've seen it before but never had the context involved so this will be awesome knowing why we are getting this sickening violence in the first place. Earth People is fuckin' awesome btw. Excalibur gives us the decoy spot and Joey is suckered by Dragon from out of nowhere and this thing is ON. These guys flat bring it in this one as you'd expect and man it is crazy. We get a weird bit of wrestling in the middle of chairs being thrown around which is cool, I think. Dragon just brains the hell out of Ryan with a chair my god! Dragon eats some chairs himself of course, it is only fair. Dive through the ropes gets stunted with a chair by Ryan! That spot is ugly as hell. Double stomp into a ladder is another nasty spot. Then again, this match could be defined with that phrase nasty spot. Joey Ryan just WILL NOT DIE and Dragon is the horror movie monster of PWG forever. You can throw him in the lake full of AIDS, but he manages to sneak up behind you and drive a screwdriver into your bitch ass with a negative blood test because he is INHUMAN. Ryan continues to test that with focus on that lariat arm of Dragon's. My only downside for this match really is that it didn't happen in Reseda. I can only imagine the level of awesomeness that rabid crowd could have lent to this thing but regardless this is still solid. The finishing sequence is the definition of BRUTALITY and I'm more in love with PWG after. ****

Adam Pearce vs Colt Cabana

HOLY SHIT JUSTIN ROBERTS SIGHTING! Vader Pyle brings him out saying Jon Ian just isn't good enough to announce Adam Pearce. Man this is awesome. Roberts of course is very well known for being a huge mark so this is awesome. Pearce and Colt of course started in Chicago and Pearce helps Colt a lot in his early days so I've got some high hopes. Pearce cuts a masterful heel promo but we've come to accept that. HEEL JUSTIN ROBERTS! Why is he not managing people somewhere now? Because he has money probably but hey he's awesome. Cabana comes out and is LOVED yet I'm not going to make a joke about this being at a Jewish center. I'm above that...sorta. I'm not sure why but I definitely feel like Cabana is much improved here than he was in his last snow for PWG just a few months prior. I'm sure being in there with a familiar guy doesn't hurt but man, I liked this a lot. Pearce can't really do wrong by me at this point based on how damn awesome he is as a character. Cabana gets taken to the woodshed on the floor after Pearce took advantage of him on the top rope. This one is very strong for me. It doesn't have your typical 9393 highspots or anything but it has strong action that makes good sense. Pearce is a dick and Cabana is a plucky babyface so the dynamic is perfect. ***

Samoa Joe vs CM Punk

Paul T is back and he is THROWED people. He's got a brown bagged Budweiser like a real badass and he says that Hardkore Kidd who Joe was supposed to wrestle, couldn't get to the venue. Apparently there was a problem with his manager El Jefe involving a phone in his ass. That's so tragic. Paul T tells us instead, CM PUNK IS TAKING HIS SPOT. I legit never knew they worked together in PWG so I am STOKED people. This is the absolute pinnacle of these two guys on the indies and this was right around the time they were doing their legendary work in ROH together. Of course Joe is mega over since he's the hometown boy but Punk's got massive respect. In a really cool moment, once the bell rings the crowd goes silent like a respectful Japanese crowd which is really great. These guys do what they always do, tear the fucking HOUSE down. Punk shows some saltiness by grinding his taped wrist into the head of Joe on headlocks, little things that make big changes to the flow of a match. Joe keeps trying to kick Punk's head off but Punk's smart to it until he is FOLDED LIKE AN ACCORDION with a backdrop driver. Joe is on a roll now. This is just beautiful stuff, man. As a 14 year old punk, I absolutely adored these two and as a 27 year old man I might very well enjoy them more because I can see the little nuances that made them global superstars. The chemistry these two had is just unmatched for this generation I feel like, with a style meshing that really leads to amazing matches on such a consistent basis. What I love most about their work is that no two matches are alike, each outing brings something different to the table. Punk smartly decides that if he's going to survive Joe's kicks, he's got to fuck his legs up so he does just that. THIS is how you can bridge the gap between classic wrestling theory along with the modern workrate expectations that exist today and even of course in 2003. Some dumb fan tells Joe to “sell the injury” for the eyeroll moment of the night. This has everything you'd ever want from these two unless you're wanting an hour draw but hey, it's magic. Sure, there are fuck ups but it almost makes this better because you can tell they're putting themselves out there. They could have been like pretty much everyone else at the time and have THEIR match but they didn't do that. ****1/2 and I'm sure some will give me grief but hey, I don't care this is my project and my view ;)

Frankie Kazarian vs The American Dragon Bryan Danielson for the PWG World Title

Here we go with our PWG debut of Danielson and this is blue and white attire Danielson of course. Kazarian has been the big dog of PWG match wise so this'll be very intriguing. I love that the PWG belt at this time very clearly says RWC on it. Much like the previous match, the crowd goes silent for this one seemingly out of respect for both guys. Kazarian tries an early takedown that is of course scouted. Kazarian really puts over that Danielson is dangerous by being incredibly pensive about doing too much too fast to him. Back and forth straightjacket holds are pretty slick. I dig that this match is very grappling heavy for the early going, putting over that these two are very capable. Kazarian centers his work around a front facelock which is just so great. Things get pretty sloppy though, sadly. Kazarian hits a slingshot DDT that just looks bad and Danielson about blows his knee out on it it looks like. Danielson makes a point to work Kazarian's arm after a while which is good stuff. Danielson loses his mind at a fan after a while which is just awesome. Overall this match is really good and while it isn't the most crisp match it tells a good story. Kazarian's title run has been damn good as well. ***1/2

At the end of the match we get a mult-man ANGLE to set up our next show's main event. Pearce beats the fuck out of Kazarian because he needs the TITLE. Punk turns on his longtime mentor Adam Pearce for the good of PWG and say we're gonna have a six man tag! Joey Ryan, CM Punk, and Kazarian vs Colt Cabana, Adam Pearce, and Super Dragon BAH GOD. Also, we get more PWG promos at the end of the show. Danielson says he wanted that belt but Kazarian was only the better man tonight not forever. He's nowhere near as bad at promos here as people used to say.  

Overall Show Rating: B+. Very solid and something that a modern PWG fan might not be able to stomach as a whole show. With that said, the really good matches in this show are REALLY good and anything you can get CM Punk vs Samoa Joe riffin' in the ring back in 2003 in front of you, it is a gem. Danielson is continuing his slow build towards being quite the salty motherfucker.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

#ProjectReseda: PWG Presents Are You Adequately Prepared to Rock?

PWG Are you Adequately Prepared to Rock?

Thank GOD we got commentary back! Disco Machine is with Excalibur and I'm fucking stoked. Also, this is the first show in the Jewish Center which would be a staple for PWG for a while. Paul T comes out to christen our new venue and states The Briscoes are making their debut! Bobby Quance is announced as not being at the show due to being in Mexico. Adam Pearce is coming down to tell everyone what is up. Excalibur is nice enough to tell us that the Jews are rather sneaky. It doesn't matter because we know already that Pearce is THE GOD. Vander Pyle is so annoying that even Pearce looks sick of his shit which is great. Excalibur mispronounces my home state of Arkansas so I'm a little taken aback but I recover as best as I can.

TARO comes out and says he's gonna beat our boy Pearce. TARO is dope and all but this shit isn't gonna fly because he's speaking to GOD anyways. Pearce blindsides the living FUCK out of TARO before spiking him on his horns with a piledriver but Joey Ryan is here to save the DAY. Pearce is a genius though and slides out of the ring because he ain't being paid to embarrass anyone it wasn't a match anyways. We're told Ryan will face our hero Pearce again when TARO gives up his match with Pearce like a good babyface should.

Phoenix Star, Mr. Excitement, and TARO vs Top Gun Talwar, Zokre, and Lil Cholo

So Mr. Excitement was on the last show getting punked out in the crowd by Super Dragon. Phoenix and Zokre would end up being Los Luchas down the road so this is very interesting. Cholo proved himself to be pretty ace so this'll be fun. Spoiler: it is. This is also quite the lucha inspired little shindig as well. TARO is just so awesome and I'm sad knowing he'll be gone soon. At least we get his commentary here and there afterward. TOP GUN! Mr. Excitement is...very average at best. We find out that Top Gun is loved by men and women equally so that is very big news. We find out Phoenix Star is a voyeur as well. This is why commentary is so vital to PWG. Anyways, this is just fun and that's about it. *1/2

Team Chism(Disco Machine and Excalibur) vs Chris Bosh and Quicksilver

This is very short but pretty fun. We get stereo dives by Quicksilver and Bosh which is pretty cool. We see just a sample of what we will get much more of in the years to come with these four and it isn't a shock that they work well because they've spent so long on the So Cal indies already. Really sharp finishing move as well. **

B-Boy and Super Dragon vs The Briscoe Brothers

This is just awesome 'rasslin. Mark Briscoe is 18 here I believe so he looks like a 3 year old but he's bringing the spunk as he always does! I'm pretty into this B-Boy and Dragon tag team because it is like the amalgamation of two life destroying strikers that have underrated wrestling skills. The Briscoes are in their very rough days of course and this is their first full year as a tag team but you still can tell they're going to be awesome. This is a damn solid match. We get a pretty meh Springboard Doomsday Device but that would quickly change and eventually, they'd just murder everyone in the world with it. Speaking of murder, Mark Briscoe gets creamed by his opponents pretty good in this. B-Boy does a sickening variation of a t-bone into a fucking driver that looks ace as hell. The Cut-Throat Psycho Driver is a thing of macabre beauty but that's what 'rasslin is made for! ***

Pinoy Boy(TJ Perkins) vs Vito Thomaselli

This is our first look at Perkins who would of course become synonymous with PWG in the coming years and a very surprising look at Vito. Vito is a IWA-Mid South guy from the midwest and if I recall, he's not the worst ever. Perkins is 19 here which is just maddening simply because he'd already been working for years. We get some heavy chain wrestling to start us off and it is pretty swank. We get a nice athletic-based stalemate complete with missed spinning kicks and roll throughs. An armdrag throws everything off though because Perkins slips while landing on his feet and you can tell it fucks up whatever they wanted to do. They do well in putting the train back on track though. This is just an exhibition of what each guy can do really. Someone gets an advantage long enough to show off before the other takes over and does the same. Vito lets us know he is a Danielson mark because he applies a Cattle Mutilation. Perkins does a fantastic tope con hilo though and cements my jealous for that motherfucker. You can find Perkins on twitter these days having flame wars with NBA fans, it is rather entertaining and sad all at the same time. Either way this match is fairly solid. **1/2

The X Foundation(Scott Lost and Billy Kim) vs The Ballard Brothers

The Ballards had probably the best match of the debut show so I've got a good feeling about this. Scott Lost is pretty much always solid as far as I can tell and I've seen various times in his career by now. Holy fuck we get a piano solo by one of the Ballard Brothers and it is actually awesome. Not to be outdone, Billy Kim goes to an organ and shows that HE GOT SKIIIIILLLZ. This is my favorite match ever, fuck. I find out that Shannon Ballard is the piano god so I'm keeping a special eye on him from now until I die! The match itself is fairly basic as an early 2000's indy match. Lots of moves and counters to counters but it's not painful to watch. Action spills to the floor, and the musicians of the lot Kim and Shannon are on the stage by the piano. GIVE ME BEETHOVEN PLEASE? No they want to bump off the stage...alright then I guess. They're throwing people INTO the piano I'm liking it. Now the organ is taking some love and Shane's face is scraped over the keys and we get SOUNDS. We get some X Foundation double teamage when things get back in the ring. The Ballards respond. **

Adam Pearce vs Joey Ryan

Here we GOOOO. Our lord and savior of dickish tactics will surely show that white-meat babyface Ryan a thing or two. Things get HOT AND HEAVY EARLY with some back and forth goodness. Some hiccups don't stop this one from being enjoyable. Vander Pyle gets his face punched which is hilarious. Ryan loves his dropkicks. There is a totally disgusting reverse suplex that is really a goddamn brainbuster on the FLOOR. Joey Ryan hates himself, this is verification. Pearce takes control after that horrible incident on the floor. Pearce just toss Ryan around at one point because why not? Make the little bastard pay for being good! Vander Pyle comes in and gets knocked to the canvas. Frankensteiner on Pearce ONTO PYLE haha! The fat man gets some pain here in the Jewish Center tonight! Out comes Excalibur and Disco for the distraction while Super Dragon comes from the back to DRILL HIS BITCH ASS with a Psycho Driver! The beginnings of a war, folks. Pearce don't wanna finish him yet though, he's here to embarrass people like a good heel should. Much like their first match, I like this quite a bit and I like this one more mainly because of it building towards the Dragon/Ryan feud proper which I know will deliver. ***

Frankie Kazarian vs AJ Styles vs Christopher Daniels for the PWG World title

We get more of TNA in PWG but it's a good thing this time! It really is a shame that Daniels never got to reach full potential with this anti-religious gimmick because it could have been huge. Gotta love stupid TNA but that can be said about all three of these dudes. This is of course before we all got burnt out on their stupidity and got to just enjoy 'rasslin. Daniels and AJ immediately double team Kazarian and they say they're gonna do a double dive but AJ is a cagey bastard and turns coats on Daniels with a clothesline followed by a perfect dropkick! That Georgia boy is mean! We get a terrible botch off what looks like an over and behind into a roll up but it is ok, AJ is there to take a wild bump into the corner to get dropkicked into the chest. Like any triple threat match, the story here is how someone can keep both opponents loopy to get the win. We get countless spots that display that fact which is nice. Good god AJ just starches Kazarian with his spinning wheel kick to the dome. Nice tope by Kazarian on both opponents because HE GOT THE HEART OF A CHAMPION DAMMIT. Clothesline/bulldog combo by Kazarian. This is one that TNA wishes they had had on their weekly PPV shows because it's solid and lasts longer than 10 damn minutes. This isn't the 2003 MOTY or anything but it's good and very good in spots with a very good finish I would say. ***

Overall Show Rating: B. Very solid show and we get further building blocks of PWG goodness. We get the kickoff of the violent Super Dragon and Joey Ryan feud and Pearce continues his dickish ways. Kazarian looks solid as fuck in his first defense of the PWG title. The promos at the end of the DVD are mostly abysmal aside from Daniels who is always dependable on the mic. Frankie just looks like a damned goof and AJ looks barely coherent.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

#ProjectReseda: PWG Bad Ass Mother 3000 Night 2

PWG BAM 3000 Night 2

Frankie Kazarian comes out and we are told that his opponent was supposed to be B-Boy yet he can't make it due to personal issues. So Excalibur says he has a replacement and that replacement? California indy stalwart Lil Cholo! This is in fact my first look at Lil Cholo aside from his stuff recently in Lucha Underground and I've heard a lot of great things about his early stuff. This should be FUN.

Frankie Kazarian vs Lil Cholo

These two start off like most matches at this time, with lots of back and forth lucha-based back and forth spots until they come to a stalemate. Cholo looks pretty solid though and does a springboard twisting body press that looks good. Kazarian isn't going to be out matched though and shows off some impressive stuff as well. We have a whole new venue for this second night which has a MUCH better crowd so far so that is a plus. Kazarian is still obsessed with the katahajime but Cholo doesn't give a fuck. Cholo nearly kills himself trying a dragonrana variation when he lands square on his shoulders. He's ok though and gets back in the groove of things. We get a really odd finish but nonetheless this is a decent opener. **

NOSAWA vs Christopher Daniels

This should be pretty damn good. I failed to mention during the first show that NOSAWA has the Juggalo Championship Wrestling World title with him which is a cool WWF Winged Eagle replica with a red leather strap so I mark out to that. Daniels is the man as has been stated so this will be fun to watch. Daniels starts us off putting a hurtin' on NOSAWA but he's quickly taken over by NOSAWA's quickness and a sweet Shining Wizard. Action spills out to the floor and Daniels takes advantage with a beautiful Arabian Press moonsault. NOSAWA cuts him off with a superkick and has some sign language for all of us American scumbags. He's whipping our bald hero (who was a heel last night) as punishment for American imperialism I suppose. Can I just say sorry? I guess not because he has Daniels in a Fujiwara armbar before giving his elbow an old fashioned stomp. A STO gives us all hope for Daniels' success and the raucous crowd of maybe 50 people is on board. Blue Thunder Bomb for only two. I really dug this match and both guys did fantastic I thought. ***

Joey Ryan vs Adam Pearce

Pearce is just HEAT. This is a fun one. I marked out to him demanding Rick Knox open the ropes for him ala Ric Flair because you can't get more pompous than that I feel. Pearce wins my heart even more by fucking with a fan and then finding himself holding back his manager before cracking and laughing his balls off. Pearce claims Ryan pulled his hair, all 1/6th of a centimeter that he has on his head. Both guys trade body slams before Ryan wins the advantage and locks in an armlock on the canvas. Pearce keeps finding himself on the canvas despite using all his might to get the advantage because Ryan is a TECHNICAL WIZARD DUH. Pearce is a master worker and I'm pretty sure he can deal with anything you throw his way. Pearce totally pulls the “ow my knee hurts, gimme a break” spot but Ryan catches him in the act but can't avoid an enzugiri. Pearce is my early favorite of these first PWG shows because of how he is the old school kind of worker in a sea of indy dudes doing a million moves with little reasoning. Not that that approach is terrible, it got PWG noticed ultimately but you'll always need that anchor of a worker in my view. This is my favorite match of PWG in the early going because of the nice mesh of styles between both guys and they really don't fuck anything up. We get our first PWG reft bump and holy shit is Pearce a DICK. We get a damn smart finish that lets you know that no one loses anything in this one. ***1/2

Colt Cabana vs Super Dragon

This is what we all love about early PWG; Dragon going face to face with some asshole in the crowd before he even gets in the ring. It is one of the boys though because they exchange a couple of shots before Dragon decides he wants to go wrestle. Will Dragon give Colt a concussion? We have to stay tuned! Colt is actually the one to jump the bell and beat on Dragon in the corner. We all know this is just setting up for a masterpiece of redemption. Dragon goes to Turnbuckleville a little bit before he dropkicks Colt out to the floor. Dragon pursues and chops Colt like hell. Colt thinks he'll return the favor but only meets ringpost with his chop and Dragon takes advantage. Dragon just loves to stomp the dogshit out of people and this match isn't any different. Dragon applies a headlock and the pace slows a tad until we get into a shoulder tackle battle along with some back and forth reverses. Pretty slick stuff. Dragon finds himself in a sleeper but manages to shitcan Colt through the ropes and expound upon that with a TOPE CON HILO THROUGH THE ROPES! Dragon is a madman for sure. Colt is on a bicycle after that and we get proto Violence Party in the corner. Colt gains control though for a moment until he eats a double knee that looked to be setting up for something but Colt snatches Dragon mid air and hits a nice butterfly suplex. Dragon creams people with lariats and it makes this Arkansan fucking HAPPY. I dig that the finish of this comes out of nowhere too but it isn't too shocking that it hampers the match. ***

Hardkore Kidd comes out and bitches on the mic. No one really gives a fuck and also, he is wearing a mask with no explanation at all. He just keeps harping on how everyone there is a midget to him until Hook fuckin' Bomberry shows up and stretches his bitch ass! This is hilarious and of course Al Katraz shows up to save his boy's ass but Apollo Khan has Hook's back. Paul T comes out, who is said to be the commissioner of PWG AND NOSAWA's manager? Thanks for that backstory I guess.

Hardkore Kidd and Al Katraz vs Apollo Khan and Hook Bomberry

Khan and Katraz didn't impress me in the debut show so I'm leery of this one. I'm hoping for Hook to keep this one decent. Khan gets his ass kicked by Katraz early before getting a little hope going with armdrags. The crowd is pretty dead for this. In comes Kidd and hook and the fans noticeably find interest. It's the biblical story as always here with these two while Hook tries to figure out how to stretch Kidd like a bitch ala just five minutes ago. We get back and forth headlock work until Hook nails a nice dropkick just to fall into another headlock but finds himself straddled on the top rope. In comes Al Katraz again and he joins in on double teaming Hook. A reverse suplex adds to Hook's problems and he's gotta get Khan in the ring. I'm actually fairly happy with the tag work of Kidd and Katraz because they do well cutting off the ring on Hook. Khan gets hit off the apron, of course occupying Rick Knox long enough for double teaming to level Hook some more. Hook gets a sunset flip! But he can't get the win and eats a clothesline. This surprised me for the most part and I love the old school feel to it. With that said, Khan hits a dropsault and lands on his feet so there's that. **1/2

Frankie Kazarian vs Christopher Daniels

TNA is representin' in Cali with this one and it's a premature collision between The Addiction tag team of 2016 which is extra intriguing with this one. These two were amongst the elite of the independents in the States at this time. A test of strength gets us started and Daniels gets a sweep on Kazarian. Kazarian finds a way to gain control with a hammerlock and Daniels gets to his feet to get a headlock takedown again. Kazarian later gets a Fujiwara armbar on Daniels. I like that these guys don't start this thing with highspots which so many people do even now, they take it to the mat and work themselves to the spots they want to do. PSYCHOLOGY EH? Things amp up though and this one is good. I definitely took these two for granted back in 2003 and to be able to revisit them now is really cool. It is really funny how people totally condemned these guys for doing too much when this is really tame by 2016 standards. Daniels hits a sweet delayed vertical suplex because Davey Boy Smith needs more pimping! Things devolve into a mini brawl exchange for a bit which is nice. I forgot how glorious Daniels' Blue Thunder Bomb was until these shows came to me. These two get this crowd GOING with this one and it might very well be the match of the tournament. ****

Joey Ryan vs Super Dragon

This pairing is one of the most legendary of all PWG history and even today these two could go out and make you give a fuck. Ryan wants a handshake and Dragon wants to slap the taste out of his mouth. Fuck yeah! We get an actual wrestling match though. Ryan wants to take Dragon's arm with him but Dragon responds with some ground and pound shit. They spend quite a while on the mat or working towards getting there which is refreshing. Ryan shows some courage and actually throws some right hands on Dragon but of course, he pays for it like they all do. Dragon's DICKISH ways are just other worldly. Grounded butterfly lock has Ryan in all kinds of trouble but Dragon is lookin' for that strap BABEH. The story revolves around Dragon just absolutely beating Ryan's ass and Ryan does everything he can to survive and win. It is very solid in doing that also. Ryan is an evil man and the pumphandle suplex into the corner on Dragon shows that because it is NASTY. Speaking of nasty, Dragon double stomps Ryan on the floor because he is a DICK! Ryan finds a way to get the advantage and shows some pretty good offense in doing so. Dragon just murders Ryan with his spinning heel kick to the back of the dome! Much like the previous match, albeit not as good in my book, this one delivers big on what these two can and will end up doing. In one of the absolutely insane spots I've ever seen, Ryan takes a bullet and hits Dragon with his second rope swinging neckbreaker ON THE CONCRETE FLOOR WITH NO GODDAMN PADDING. This is wild as hell. ***1/2

M-Dogg 20, Scorpio Sky, and Disco Machine vs Scott Lost, Tony Kozina, and TARO

We get the Losers Multi-Man that would become a bit of a staple for PWG's singles tournaments. With the six involved, I feel pretty good about this one but we shall see. Scorpio says TARO is a damned CHEATER OMG! Scorpio has the Wrestling Rulebook with him also and despite it being coverless, it is quite thick so there are way more rules than I knew existed. Scorpio wants TARO's “button” move to be banned. TARO snatches the rulebook and finds a passage that says “all buttons are legal”. That's that then and we start off with TARO and Scorpio! TARO is just too damned stout for Scorpio to bring down but M-Dogg takes a shot at it. Chops are on the menu here and Kozina comes in now to give M-Dogg a little wrestling lesson. Kozina starts to do just that with a takedown and some chain work but M-Dogg finds a way back to his feet and does some lucha reversals to gain control. Long story short, this is a decent multi-man with some pretty good guys in there mixed with some so-so ones. We get a dive collage by many and Tony Kozina actually pulls out a fucking awesome dive. Disco nails TARO with a straightjacket piledriver that is FANTASTIC. Don't expect a lot of rhyme or reason in this one, it's meant to be a little highlight reel and it does well in that. **

Frankie Kazarian vs Joey Ryan in the Finals of the PWG Title Tournament

Ryan comes out looking like a wounded warrior with his ribs taped thanks to that kamikaze mission he went on to get here. Kazarian is comparably fresh as a daisy yet pro wrestling has shown that when it comes to gold, ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN FOLKS. Joey Ryan is just insane because he suplexes Kazarian from the ring out to the floor and at least he doesn't go with him or I'd say he's downright stupid. This kind of insanity makes Kazarian throw some evil out there and whip on Ryan like hell. Ryan keeps showing heart though and finding a way to keep himself in the match and throw some offense around. Kazarian again with his katahajimes, man but I'm slowly learning to love them despite somewhat poor application. Ryan drills Kazarian with a rebounded superkick that looks really good. This is not flawless but few things are yet it does what it should; finalize a pretty grueling tournament and gave PWG their first World Champ. The booking of this really set the tone for how they'd be for years to come which isn't a bad thing. I'm sure most people expected Ryan to gut it out and pull out the win for various reasons, one main one of course being he was part owner of the company yet PWG went a different direction. Not to mention at this time, Kazarian is arguably the most talked about guy on the indies around the whole WWE run not to mention his TNA stuff. ***

Overall Show Rating: B. As I stated about Night 1, the shows are getting better each time so I'm pretty psyched to continue my trek through this stuff. This is definitely the rough draft of what would become Battle of Los Angeles so it is very notable in that due to the popularity of BOLA now. Your first glimpse at what would make PWG successful, an uncanny eye for talent. As a good tournament should, this show also created more than one star.