Tuesday, February 21, 2017

#ProjectReseda: PWG's Tango and Cash Invitational Tag Team Championship Tournament, Night 1

PWG Tango & Cash Invitational Tournament for the first ever PWG Tag Team Championship

So PWG's site states this venue is in Santa Ana and I'm not sure what kind it is but it looks pretty cool. Theater seats are in the building yet it isn't full at all.

Los Luchas(Phoenix Star and Zokre) vs Chris Bosh and Quicksilver(Batman and Robin)

Bosh and Silver start us off hot by jumping their opponents from behind but LA LUCHA is strong with the luchadores tonight. This match is lucha as fuck which has come to be accepted when all four are in a match, especially with Los Luchas. Things get pretty sloppy though in spots and that comes with the risks involved with a lucha based kind of offense I feel like. Especially when it comes to young guys like these four. Bosh is totally a guy that is deceptively athletic and good in the ring. Now I can see why he was amongst the first Americans in Dragon Gate. Bosh and Silver just work like a pack of dogs on Phoenix Star to get a win  but the Phoenix is a resilient babyface that get Zokre in to take out the trash. This is a good opening round match and not much else. **

The X Foundation(Scott Lost and Joey Ryan) vs M-Dogg 20 and Babi Slymm

M-Dogg says that Jardi Frantz isn't here because while taking a munchie break at McDonald's, he hit a little girl on a pink bike. M-Dogg then says that he saw some jacked up black dude and chose him as his partner, that man is Babi Slymm! Dogg shows us his breakdancing skillz and Slymm is visibly impressed as is everyone in Santa Ana! Slymm has perhaps the coolest bandana pattern pants in wrestling history. Slymm is the biggest man so of course, Lost and Ryan have trouble putting him down until they double team. It works for a little bit, then Slymm makes them pay before M-Dogg comes in the ring. M-Dogg is quickly beaten down by Lost and Ryan because they're a WELL OILED MACHINE. M-Dogg does he usual, flippy stuff. M-Dogg does one of the shittiest top rope moves ever on Lost, landing right on his knees. Slymm isn't the best in the ring himself but I feel like a lot of that is due to him not trying all that hard. *1/2

Hardkore Kidd and Al Katraz(Castaway) vs The Havana Pitbulls(Rocky Romero and Ricky Reyes also billed in this tournament as Turner and Hooch)

Hardkore Kidd is quite annoying and his bright red dye job doesn't do him favors. SPRINGBOARD MISSLE DROPKICK BY ROMERO ON AL KATRAZ! Fuck you big, roided up fools because The Pitbulls are short but dangerous. Kidd and Katraz should be named Team Blind Barbers because both of them have awful haircuts. The Pitbulls are just all over them though with double teams and quickness as should be the case when you're badly undersized. Of course it isn't long until the bigger team takes over. Kidd botches like fucking crazy. God bless The Pitbulls for being mega workers or this would have been so awful. *

Exalibur and Jonny Storm(Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein) vs Super Dragon and Bryan Danielson(Bill and Ted's Bogus Adventure)

Ok this is fucking awesome that Excalibur and Jonny Storm tagged. Dragon continues his run of ruining fans' dreams by tearing his sign and Danielson is pretty fucking mean too. Man, this is going to be great. The crowd definitely wakes up in this one which is no surprise considering what we've seen previously. PWG godfathers Excalibur and Dragon start us off and show off some swank shit. I'm loving Danielson being influenced by Dragon and not taking ANY shit from the fans. Lovely intimidation. Danielson does everything he can to stretch the everloving shit out of Excalibur and succeeds by literally twisting him into a pretzel. Jonny Storm is really ace here also showing he was more than just flippy goodness. This is definitely a hidden gem and a match I've never heard a thing about. By no means is this like a revolutionary match or anything, just intriguing with the different styles coming together. Some will watch this and go into nit-picking mode but I'm not like that unless it is just terrible (see M-Dogg 20 vs Super Dragon from The Debut Show). One of the most ridiculous reverse rana spots live in this match and I'm still wondering how Super Dragon didn't die on that. ***1/2

The Ballard Brothers(Twins) vs Samoa Joe and Puma(Lilo and Stitch)

My God, Samoa Joe is involved so you know I'm extra intrigued. The Ballards are always dependable so we've got a good one perhaps. Puma goofs some shit up but hey, we are all humans. Joe in this era is just a whole different animal than anyone else because he would just devour people when he got on a roll. Shannon Ballard gets knocked OUT in a really scary moment and so in 2004 obviously the match ended right? Nope the ref and his tag partner drag him to the corner so he can tag out. Really crazy shit. To be fair, people tend to him really fast on the outside so I don't want it to sound like no one cared. Shane has to pull this thing out alone now but Puma and Joe are really dangerous for someone to fight alone. We see CM Punk come out as part of that brigade to check on Shannon so that's something to give him props for. Understandably, the match doesn't last long after the injury. I feel weird rating this but I also don't want to give this nothing so I'll give it *. I feel awful for all four guys because you know Puma and Joe hated that someone got hurt.

Disco Machine and Rising Son(Shanghai Knights) vs B-Boy and Homicide(Friday)

This is our first look at Rising Son who is a pretty talked about name of this era in So Cal. B-Boy and Homicide are on the same page if that page involves beating the shit out of people and doing it entertainingly. They do that in droves here. Rising Son is OK to me and that is about it. B-Boy and Cide use that ok status to basically practice their offense on. Disco is fuckin' pissed and ready on the apron wanting the hot tag. This is a means to an end really just to get us towards the second round. *1/2

Sal and Vito Thomaselli(Blues Brothers 2000) vs Sara Del Rey and Apollo Khan(48 Hours)

If you were to tell anyone in 2004 that Del Rey would be spearheading a women's wrestling change in WWE a decade later, I don't think anyone would have even been able to process that. Mainly because she is really tense as a worker because shit, she's a rookie basically here. Khan is fairly ok and the Thomasellis were pretty prevalent on the indy scene of yesteryear. Vito wrestles Sara around for us early and it is pretty good. The Thomasellis are DICKS which is great. Khan continues to look good also. Sara of course takes the heat and she takes a pretty big beating. A decent, short match. Sara takes a damn chair irish whip into a whole row of them which looks pretty cool. *1/2

Christopher Daniels and Messiah(We're No Angels) vs CM Punk and Chris Hero(City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly's Gold)

This is the epitome of a WTF match. Longtime rivals Hero and Punk tagging is just really cool to see and of course, Daniels and Messiah speaks for itself. This is actually pretty awesome aside from the novelty. Punk and Daniels go like crazy and I do believe this was around the time they were working an angle in ROH. Hero was so damn crisp even then. Hero's in his World of Sport phase here and shows off some of his findings with Messiah which is just absolutely surreal. Messiah is the weak link but not in the way some might expect he just simply isn't as good as the other three but he doesn't really fuck anything up. Hero and Punk work the arms of both opponents and I'm oddly feeling an Andersons vibe from all this limb work. This is good! Punk gets a hot tag and DELIVERS WITH THE HEAT. Messiah finally fucks up what I can only assume was a Death Valley Driver attempt but we quickly forget about that because of THE FINISH. **1/2

Adam Pearce vs Frankie Kazarian for the PWG World Title

Frankie comes from behind and takes Pearce by surprise and shit is ON. After months of build we finally get this match and bravo PWG, it's fun stuff. Kazarian creams Pyle and Pearce with a plancha to really get that babyface shine going. Kazarian for some weird reason reaches into the back pocket of Rick Knox and we see that he's packing a MAGNUM CONDOM. There was something I didn't need to know about Mr. Knox. Kazarian falls trap to the ways of the heel as many babyfaces do. I really like that these guys put it all out there and put on a real solid match. Kazarian hits a NICE piledriver giving Pearce a taste of his own medicine. Pearce pulls an indy guy move and kicks out of Kazarian's finisher because he doesn't give a fuck! Then he goes ahead and realigns Kazarian's spine with a very nasty piledriver but Kazarian will not DIE. The guys nearly die while fighting on the top turnbuckle which looks incredibly flimsy but Kazarian finds a way to make it work. The match has a really weird finish that the crowd shits on pretty hard. When you think like a booker though, it isn't a bad move to build towards a rematch and also, this weekend wasn't about them it was about the tournament. Either way, this is good stuff. ***

Overall show rating: B