PWG Taste the Radness 2/22/2004

Written By: Matt Peddycord

February 22, 2004
Santa Ana, CA
Elks Lodge

Your hosts are Disco Machine and Excalibur.

Charles Mercury vs. Puma

Wow, Puma catches Mercury off guard with a running dropkick to start. He tries to put Mercury away early with a NASTY powerbomb landing Mercury right on his neck. That gets two. Bridging German suplex gets another two count. Puma misses a flying legdrop and Mercury applies the Texas cloverleaf, which I believe he calls the DEATH BY MERCURY. Yes, it’s his finisher. Did anyone in the audience notice though? Puma makes the ropes and they head to the floor to trade some forearms. It has now become visibly clear that this was not in the least bit a sell out show. It looks like they ran this show on a Tuesday at 10am. Back in, Mercury grabs a cravate, but Puma reaches the bottom rope for the break. He snapmares Mercury over for a dropkick, which gets two. Puma stretches Mercury out in a full-nelson/figure four type hold. Puma runs into an elbow out of the corner and HERE COMES MERCURY! He hits a Running Knee Strike in the corner and nails Puma with a springboard dropkick. Cover, 1-2-NO! Flying Legdrop by Mercury gets another nearfall. Mercury decides its time for the Trinity (trifecta of Northern Lights suplexes) and delivers! Will that be enough? No! Puma gets his foot on the bottom rope at two. Mercury is stunned! They trade forearms on the apron. Puma flips out of a suplex and after a few standing switches, Puma hoists Mercury up in the Tombstone Piledriver for the win. (7:18) Nothing amazing, but it past the time away quite nicely. **

Hardkore Kidd (w/El Jefe) vs. Babi Slymm – Street Thug Beatdown Brawl

Hardkore Kidd would soon get a WWE developmental deal and become known as Carlito Cool’s rather unsuccessful bodyguard Jesus. It just so happened he fought John Cena at Armageddon 2004!! Anyways, Hardkore Kidd makes fun of the local sports teams for some REALLY cheap heat. Babi Slymm would be like Cryme Tyme’s ghetto black fat friend. He keeps it gangsta, ya’ll. They fight over a tie-up for a bit and then they play some “you can’t shoulderblock me down, buddy” games. Slymm wins that little contest and clotheslines Kidd out to the floor. That was very WWE-ish. Slymm heads out with him, but gets hit from behind by Jefe. He looks like your token biker guy who lives for Sturgis all throughout the year. Since there is no need for guardrails here, Kidd smashes Slymm’s face into a podium instead. Back in, Slymm comes back with a reverse neckbreaker. Jefe trips up Slymm for Kidd to take back control. Kidd does this move where he slingshots himself from the apron and headbutts a prone Slymm in the nuts. That gets two. Meanwhile on commentary, Excalibur tells a funny story about Joey Ryan having a shirt idea for Babi Slymm – “Toss my salad!” Why? Because Joey says that’s what black people do. Obviously he had no idea what he’s talking about. Konnan’s name gets brought up too considering he used to tell people to do that on a weekly basis in WCW. Kidd gets all heelish by choking Slymm in the ropes and then pulling the ref away so Jefe can do more of it. Kidd gives Slymm a slingshot legdrop with his neck still draped on the middle rope for 1-2-NO! Flying back elbow out of the corner gets two for Kidd. From there, Kidd applies a version of the Butterfly Stretch. Slymm punches back, but eats a big boot for two. Out of nowhere, Slymm delivers the Chokebomb, which is Kidd’s old finisher in UPW. Kidd runs into a boot in the corner and takes a flying spear for 1-2-NO! Slymm catches Kidd off a crossbody and delivers a swinging powerslam for 1-2-NO! Jefe pulls ref Rick Knox out to the floor. Slymm is like “huh?” and doesn’t see Adam Pearce coming into the ring to give him a NICE piledriver! Kidd covers as Knox gets back in the ring and counts 1-2-3. (8:52) That wasn’t so bad. Hardkore Kidd really looked like he was hoping WWE was watching him because his style was just what they are looking for. **¼

The Havana Pitbulls vs. The Thomaselli Brothers

We have Rocky Romero and (a more plump than usual) Ricky Reyes taking on Vito and Sal Thomaselli. Reyes and Vito start the match with some decent mat work. Now Romero and Sal give it a try. Romero, of course, is lethal with the kicks, but also rules Sal on the mat as well. Romero goes for the Lady of the Lake. Sal is all confused, so he tags his brother. Vito gets taken advantage of in the Lady of the Lake and rolled over into the Pitbulls corner. Thanks to the Lady of the Lake, the Pitbulls take turns cranking on Vito’s hurt arm. Reyes finally makes the mistake by missing a knee drop, which allows Vito to make the tag to Sal. He goes after the knee. Sal delivers a dragon screw leg whip and when Reyes tries to punch him away, Sal dropkicks him in the knee to cut off the tag. That works. Vito comes back in and continues to work the knee with an Indian deathlock. Sal tags and applies a half crab/headscissors type move. Excalibur calls it a “wacky submission hold.” A+ commentary on the REALS. A forearm battle leads to a double-KO spot. Mildly warm tag to Romero. He kicks the crap out of the Thomaselli brothers and hooks Vito in the Flying Cross Armbreaker. Sal breaks it up and along with his brother, they give Romero a Double Flapjack into a Double Boston Crab. Reyes stops that with a double face slam. Sal tries a double-underhook of sorts, but Reyes backs him into the corner and delivers a release fisherman’s buster for 1-2-NO! CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS to Sal gets 1-2-NO! Vito flies in with a legdrop to stop the count. That gets two. The Thomaselli brothers deliver their own version of the Cuban Missile Crisis on Reyes for 1-2-NO! Romero sneaks in and reapplies the Flying Cross Armbreaker on Vito for the tapout. (13:52) Most of the heat segment was rather dull, but I liked that the arm work done earlier paid off well for the finish. **¾

Samoa Joe vs. Shannon Ballard

This match starts with Ballard beating the crap out of Joe on the floor. They appeared to be wanting to whip the other into a guardrail, but they will find no guardrail today. In the ring, Joe starts to NO-SELL Ballard’s blows and snapmares him over for a chop and a kick. No knee drop though. Ballard was supposed to catch the kick and leg whip Joe over, so Ballard does so on the second kick. Whoa, Ballard starts choking Joe and shoves ref Rick Knox away. Once Joe gets to his feet, he blocks Ballard’s PENALTY BOX attempt and gives him one of his own. Joe puts Ballard down in the corner for the multiple boot scrapes followed by the Running Face Wash. Ballard tries to hit Joe with some forearms in the corner, but Joe has none of that and stops Ballard with the STJOE! That gets two. Now Ballard goes after Joe’s arm. Joe fires back, but Ballard grabs a hammerlock and drops his arm funny on the top rope. Ballard thinks it would be cool to give Joe some boot scrapes and the Running Face Wash, but Joe does not and cuts Ballard off with a back elbow. Joe delivers repeated knee strikes to the head and kicks Ballard over for two. He follows up with the powerbomb into an STF. Ballard actually makes the ropes and hits Joe with a back suplex. He goes for his finisher, which I believe is called the PENALTY BOX, but Joe will have none of that and blasts Ballard into the corner. Ballard fires back, but Joe is just too strong and boots Ballard into the referee. Joe tries to wake up Rick Knox while Ballard brings a chair into the ring. WHAM! Joe gets nailed from behind, but Joe NO-SELLS. Whoops. Ballard tosses Joe the chair, hits the mat, and plays dead as Rick Knox turns around and sees Joe with the chair in hand. Ballard beats Joe by DQ! (7:47) Samoa Joe has just been EDDIE GUERRERO’D! This was pretty much paint by the numbers stuff from Joe. Nothing more, nothing less. **¼

Chris Bosh, Quicksilver & Scorpio Sky vs. Disco Machine, Excalibur & Super Dragon

No reason this can’t be a good match. Scorpio Sky is on the mic! Tonight isn’t about titles, or the East Coast scene, it’s all about Scorpiooooooo Sky! Scorpio hates Disco for helping train the Aerial Express and then ditching them to hang out with his old pals, he hates Excalibur because he’s a racist jokester and a Super Dragon wannabe, and he hates Super Dragon because he’s a has-been who ran away from the Aerial Express when they came to Revolution Pro to start PWG. It is ON, people. Disco and Quicksilver kick things off. They take turns bridging off an overhead wristlock until Disco snapmares Quicksilver over for some kicks. Super Dragon tags in, so Scorpio Sky tags in on the other end. He gets in Super Dragon’s face and then tags in Bosh. Nice. Bosh does an exaggerated lucha-style escape from a wristlock. They pick things up as Bosh hits a crossbody out of the corner. Dragon delivers a nice float-over headscissors. Another headscissors puts Bosh on the floor. Bosh avoids a baseball slide and flips backwards over the top rope down onto Dragon for a nice swinging headscissors on the floor. Now Scorpio tags in and when Dragon looks to throw a forearm, he hits the mat and rolls out to safety. Scorpio takes a count until Dragon tags in Excalibur. He grounds Scorpio with a full-nelson camel clutch. Scorpio goes to the eyes and clotheslines Excalibur down for some stomps and chokes. A pier-six brawl erupts and the heels are sent to the floor with a TRIFECTA of dropkicks! This would be above stereo dropkicks, this would be 3.1 surround sound dropkicks. Disco takes out Bosh with a plancha while Dragon and Excalibur take out AXP with STEREO SUICIDE DIVES! Back in the ring, Disco catapults Quicksilver into a knee from Excalibur. With Quicksilver down across Disco’s knees, Dragon comes off the top with a Double Stomp! Awesome. They go for the same on Scorpio, but he forearms Excalibur back into Dragon to cause him to be crotched on the top rope. Excalibur gets sent out to the floor while Disco receives a double dropkick from AXP to put him on the floor as well. Now it’s the heels turn to go flying with planchas down on the SBS. Don’t ask what it means. Excalibur and Disco Machine won’t tell us. Whether they do tell us later on at a different show, I’m not sure. Back in, the AXP deliver a leg grapevine powerbomb to Disco. I guess? I don’t know how else to describe it . Bosh fist drops Disco and gets two. Fisherman’s suplex gets another two for Bosh. Disco has become our face-in-peril for a short time only. Disco fights out of the corner and hot tags Excalibur. Bosh cuts Excalibur off with a clothesline and a backdrop suplex. Arrogant cover gets two. Scorpio tags in and hits an ace crusher into a Dragon sleeper! Quicksilver comes in and tries a tornado DDT, but Excalibur shoves him off and jumps off him to make the hot tag to Super Dragon. Quicksilver cuts him off with a AA spinebuster for two. With Dragon weakened, Scorpio finally tags in to take on Super Dragon. When Dragon backs Scorpio into the corner for the Violence Party, Bosh and Quicksilver bring Dragon to the opposite corner and throws him a Violence Party of their own. Scorpio tops it off with a running dropkick to the face. That gets two. Quicksilver ducks an enziguri, but gets taken down anyway for the Curb Stomp. Hot tag to Disco Machine, he gets a few nearfalls on Scorpio with a powerslam and a Northern Lights suplex. Tag to Excalibur for a superplex/flying elbow drop combo for two. Scorpio gets a jawbreaker on Excalibur and tags Bosh in for Maximum Bosh (clothesline into a backbreaker). Disco comes in and gives Bosh a BOOGIE WOOGIE BACKBREAKER (chokebreaker). Scorpio delivers the FINAL ANSWER (spinning headlock elbow drop onto the knee) to Disco! Quicksilver nails Dragon and helps Scorpio avoid the PSYCHO DRIVER, so he receives a pair of clotheslines from Excalibur and Dragon. Scorpio gives Excalibur a Reverse Rana while Bosh whips Dragon into the ringpost on the floor. Meanwhile, Excalibur is launched into another AA spinebuster from the AXP. Will that be enough? Cover, 1-2-NO! Excalibur comes back with a desperation TIGER DRIVER ‘98 on Bosh! Disco gets a tag and powerslams Quicksilver into the corner for two. Moments later, he takes the Silver Spike (snapmare driver) from Quicksilver. Dragon gives Scorpio a Dragon Suplex for a nearfall. Double Stomp to the back of Scorpio’s head gets 1-2-NO! Everybody clears out except for Dragon and Scorpio. Super Dragon delivers the PSYCHO DRIVER for 1-2-WAIT! Ref Patrick Hernandez has been yanked out of the ring by the Pro Wrestling Gorilla. Dragon rolls out and pulls the gorilla mask off to reveal…Charles Mercury? Dragon returns to the ring after getting rid of Mercury and is met with chairshots from Bosh! Scorpio is placed on top of Dragon as Hernandez counts 1-2-NO! Tag to Excalibur, Bosh counters Excalibur’s Galactica Phantom (pumphandle suplex) into a STEINER SCREWDRIVER for the win. Finally. (25:56) This was WAY too long. You could probably cut about ten minutes off this and had a much better match. Also the finish felt anti-climatic. Still some good action, but they just tried to do too much in there. ***¼

After the match, Top Gun Talwar and Charles Mercury show up to do a five-on-three beatdown on the SBS with chairs! Top Gun Talwar explains his reason for turning on Dragon, Disco and Excalibur for not having anything for him to do at the last show, so who better to align himself with then those who have mistreated him as well. Long story short, PWG is going to die. Joey Ryan and Scott Lost even the odds for SBS and an unlikely alliance is made! At the next PWG show on March 7, they make a challenge for a 5-on-5 Survivor Series match. Lost ~ “Be there, or be a cocksucker like Super Dragon.” Great stuff.

American Dragon vs. “Shooting Star” Bobby Quance

Last I heard of Bobby Quance, he joined the US Navy with the hopes to become a SEAL. He’s a great technical wrestler, so the styles will compliment each other here well. Both spend a few minutes trying to feel each other out on the mat. Quance controls with a headlock. Danielson forearms him back and puts Quance with a shoulderblock. Quance applies a rear naked choke, but Dragon quickly makes the ropes. Back to the headlock for Quance. Danielson shoves him off into the ropes and NO-SELLS a shoulderblock, but after some stiff kicks from Quance, he takes the shoulderblock and heads out to the floor. Danielson takes a breather and heads back in, but gets rolled over into another rear naked choke. Danielson makes the ropes and gets caught in a chinlock. He elbows out, but runs into a dropkick followed by a backdrop. Danielson goes low with a headbutt to the mid-section and nails a pair of backbreakers for two. Bow-and-arrow submission doesn’t work too well though. Danielson gets PISSED when Quance tries to chop him and answers back with tons of more forearms that puts Quance on the floor. Quance reverses a suplex into one of his own on the concrete and takes Danielson back in the ring for a two-count. Quance flips out of a Canadian backbreaker and delivers a variation of a fisherman’s suplex. Pretty cool looking move. Danielson sneaks in the kitchen sink for a series of two-counts. He gives Quance the Airplane Spin followed by a Regal Roll. He comes off the top with the Swandive Headbutt! That gets two. Danielson places his knee into Quance’s back and applies a crossface. Quance makes the ropes and hits a modified ace crusher. He starts his 1984 babyface comeback with clotheslines and a dropkick. He flips out of a German suplex attempt and hits Danielson with a wheelbarrow DDT. Cover, 1-2-NO! O’Connor Roll gets two for Danielson. He applies an ab stretch, but Quance counters with a headscissors! Holy crap that was nice. Quance grabs a flying cross armbreaker and then KO’s Dragon with a roundhouse kick for two. SHOOTING STAR PRESS? No! Danielson moves, but Quance lands on his feet. Dragon ducks a clothesline and delivers a bridging Everest German Suplex for 1-2-NO! Danielson takes Quance to the mat for extra leverage and reapplies the ab stretch for the submission win. (20:20) Very good match. Proof positive that Quance was a great talent. ***½

PWG Tag Team Champions Homicide & B-Boy vs. The X Foundation (w/SoCal Val)

At last month’s show, the Strong Style Thugs (Homicide and B-Boy) won the Tango & Cash Invitational to become the first PWG tag champs by defeating Super Dragon & American Dragon, so you KNOW they’re legit. Homicide and Ryan start the match. They spend the first couple minutes trading various holds that lead to nowhere on the mat. Lost and B-Boy give it a go now. A nice series of reversals leads to B-Boy taking a dropkick to the face that puts him out on the floor. Back in, Lost gets stuck on the wrong side of town and becomes our face-in-peril. Ryan gets a blind tag and hits a flying legdrop on B-Boy after Lost connects with a jumping forearm. The X-Foundation deliver a Double Russian Legsweep on B-Boy for two. B-Boy comes back with a NASTY corkscrew neckbreaker on Ryan. Homicide tags and hits a suplex on Ryan. He sends Ryan into the corner for a series of running face washes, which is quite awesome. B-Boy completes the combo with a running dropkick. That gets two. B-Boy delivers an awesome tilt-a-whirl into a Crippler Crossface. Ryan manages to crawl to the ropes. Homicide drops some brutal knees on Joey Ryan for two. Now the Strong Style Thugs are just toiling with Ryan. In the mix of all that, B-Boy punishes Ryan with the Koji Clutch. Joey finally has enough of Homicide’s tactics and catches him with a superkick. HOT TAG TO LOST! He goes dropkick crazy on the champs. He even hits Homicide with a plancha down on the floor. Back inside the ring, Lost gives B-Boy a cutter for 1-2-NO! Homicide takes a European uppercut from Lost into a Northern Lights suplex from Ryan for 1-2-NO! The X-Foundation go for the Demolition Decapitation on B-Boy, but Homicide crotches Lost on the top rope. He nails Ryan and drills him with a swinging release fisherman’s suplex. That sets up a clothesline/back suplex from the Strong Style Thugs for two. Homicide dumps Lost out to the apron for a springboard clothesline to B-Boy. Ryan delivers a release German suplex to Homicide while Lost takes a nice brainbuster from B-Boy for 1-2-NO! Homicide dragon screw leg whips Lost into a Cross-Legged STF. B-Boy has a hold of Ryan to prevent the break, but Lost holds on just long enough to grab the bottom rope. Homicide gets dumped out to the floor, which leaves B-Boy all alone for the Demolition Decapitation. That’s the X-Foundation’s finisher, but I have no idea what the name of it is called besides what I just gave you. Ryan covers for 1-2-NO! Homicide dragon screw leg whips Lost out to the floor and hits a running cutter on Ryan. Steiner Bulldog to Ryan! B-Boy covers for 1-2-NO! Lost flips out of the COP KILLA when all of a sudden, Ryan catches B-Boy in a small package for 1-2-3 to win the titles. (22:31) Well the finish was a little weird, but overall a good tag match. They tend to have a little problem going long just for the sake of going long with little direction. That’s the only problem I have with their longer matches. Also with the big ten-man feud and the SST not a part of that feud, you had to know the X Foundation was going over here. ***½

PWG Champion Frankie Kazarian vs. Adam Pearce – Chicago Street Fight

Frankie Kazarian became the first-ever PWG champion in August of 2003 and has since then held victories over top indy wrestlers like Bryan Danielson, Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. Nowadays, Adam Pearce is currently the NWA world heavyweight champion and I believe as of writing this review, Frankie Kazarian asked for his release from TNA to possibly return to the indies or WWE. Pearce gets the upperhand to start, but misses a clothesline and takes a springboard back elbow from Kazarian. He follows Pearce out to the floor with a pescado and takes off his belt for a good ol’ fashioned whipping. Jason Allgood helps out Adam Pearce by disguising himself as a fan and then WHACKS Kazarian in the back with one of his crutches. You see, he’s an injured man. Allgood tosses Pearce the other crutch so he can join in on the fun as well. In a moment of awesomeness, Adam Pearce slams Kazarian and walks over to the concession stand for some popcorn and then steals from the tip jar. He turns around and takes a Yakuza kick to the popcorn from Kazarian. He beats Pearce back to the ring with a chair. Kazarian hooks on a rear naked choke and Pearce goes Memphis on his face by pulling out a chain from his boots and clocks Kazarian in the face with it for the break. Pearce hits a flying fist drop along with the chain down on Kazarian’s face for a two-count. Back to the floor they go where Kazarian finds a football helmet and WALLOPS Pearce in the face! In the ring, Pearce gets the helmet away from Kazarian and hits a backbreaker to give him enough time to put it on. Pearce heads up top and delivers a Swandive headbutt! Genius. That gets two. Pearce nails Kazarian with a three-point stance into a spear for another two. Kazarian comes back by grabbing the face mask. Whoops! Ref Rick Knox calls for a penalty of five yards and Kazarian challenges the call with a red flag. Hilarious. During all the ridiculousness, Pearce schoolboys Kazarian up for 1-2-NO! Kazarian goes back to the floor and kicks Allgood’s other crutch away from him and then beats him down with it for good measure. I mean, why not. Kazarian then backdrops out of a piledriver from Pearce and takes him down with a running steel chair shot! Back in, Kazarian sets up the chair and places the crutch on the chair. After an inverted atomic drop, Pearce backs up onto the crutch as Kazarian comes off the ropes and legdrops the other end of the crutch. SEESAWS ARE FUN! Kazarian dropkicks him over for 1-2-NO! WAVE OF THE FUTURE is countered into a AA spinebuster from Pearce. Out to the floor again, Pearce drags a table over to ringside and looks to give Kazarian a piledriver through the table like he did at the last show, but Kazarian counters that into the WAVE OF THE FUTURE from the apron and through the table! Back in, Hardkore Kidd runs in and breaks up the cover. He gives Kazarian the FULL NELSON FACEBUSTER SLAM. Babi Slymm makes the save and spears Hardkore Kidd through some empty chairs! Meanwhile, Pearce has spread thumbtacks all in the ring. Neither man can suplex the other onto the tacks, so Kazarian sends Pearce into the corner for the Flair Flip. Kazarian nails him running down the apron, but gets caught with a neck snap. Even so, he crotches Pearce on the top rope and looks for the SUPER WAVE OF THE FUTURE onto the tacks, but Hardkore Kidd runs by and throws a chair in Kazarian’s face. Pearce shoves Kazarian down onto the tacks and delivers a Frog Splash for 1-2-3. We’ve got a NEW PWG champion. (15:18) Tons of fun, but no blood or anything to really take it to the next level. So in that case, it’s basically a TNA brawl. ***

Final Thoughts:
The first half was kind of dull, but the second half picked up quite a bit with nothing under *** and lots of solid angle advancement with the SBS/AXP and Kazarian/Pearce feuds. Plus, two title changes! Major stuff for the time. Thumbs up for PWG’s Taste the Radness. I’m actually interested to see how this all pans out at 88 Miles Per Hour, which is the next PWG show I’ll be reviewing.

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