Written By: Jim
December 18, 2004
Human Tornado and Ronin vs Excalibur and Top Gun Talwar
For some odd reason, PWG’s site lists Disco Machine as Excalibur’s partner on the DVD page. I’m guessing it’s one of those “It’s not PWG unless there’s a last minute change”, but not fixing the DVD page? That’s just lazy. This is the best showcase of Ronin. Tornado works 90% of the match, leaving Ronin only to get in a handful of moves. Plenty of comedy between Tornado and Talwar. Such highlights include Top Gun biting Tornado, Tornado tempting Top Gun with some Chipotle and Tornado Irish Whipping Top Gun outside and Talwar ending up missing. For an opening match with a severe lack of talent, this was as enjoyable as it was going to be. Tornado gets the win with DND. 2 1/2 Stars.
Christopher Daniels vs Tony Stradlin
Since I skipped the Perkins match, this is the first real chance to see if Stradlin can tear the house down with another talented worker. PWG head…uh…that one Asian dude lets Stradlin know that since he’s 0-3, if he loses again, he’s out of PWG. Why couldn’t this have happened to Ronin? Funny moment early on when the crowd chants for referee Patrick Hernandez. Daniels focuses his entire attack on the back and stomach of Stradlin. Simple, yet effective story with the babyface Stradlin cheating due to the high stakes of the match. Since he can’t pull the hair of Daniels, he settles on pulling at the ears. I applaud. Stradlin manages to get in all of his trademark spots, which are still impressive for a big man. Despite in pain, Stradlin surprises Daniels with a Kofi Kingston-like SOS for the victory. The finish sucks with how out of nowhere it was, but the match was pretty solid. Stradlin definitely had some real potential, shame it went to waste. A better match structure and this would have been a hidden gem. 3 1/2 Stars.
Austin Aries vs Chris Hero
Aries is six days away from the biggest win of his life. This is Hero’s second (?) PWG match. He lost against Super Dragon, which is pretty much the one loss that can never hurt you in PWG. Aries gets instant heat for saying he doesn’t like Christmas. Just another reason for me to love old school Aries. Good match with both men working their ass off. However, this is Hero in 2004, so it’s not as good as you’d imagine when you know he’s working hard. They managed to tell a story with Hero working over the knee of Aries for most of the match. Aries sold the knee even though it didn’t prevent him from hitting his usual spots. It did last a little longer I would have preferred. 3 1/2 Stars.
Aerial Xpress vs Kevin Steen and El Generico
The match that was supposed to happen at Free Admission (Just Kidding). Despite this only being Steen and Generico’s second PWG match, they both have clearly defined characters. Generico is the fun loving babyface whereas Steen is the asshole heel. Steen ends up being the clear star of the match. He’s constantly yelling at Generico when he’s not on the offense and refuses to work in double team moves. There’s one point when he shoves Generico out of the way and pummels both members of AXP on his own. The match breaks down into your usual spotty all four men action, but they add in a little story with Steen/Generico having communication problems. AXP picks up the win with Scorpio Sky pinning Steen with a backslide. Even though AXP was PWG’s top babyface tag team at the time, the booking didn’t do them any favors. Sure, they won, but anyone watching could tell that Steen was above and beyond the best wrestler (Kayfabe) in the match. A little luck just gave AXP the win. After the match, Dino Winwood as Santa gives Generico a flannel shirt for Christmas. Through some pleading by Generico, Winwood gives Steen one of his own. To show his appreciation, Steen attacks Generico, laying him out with the package piledriver. God damn Steen is AWESOME. The post-match events alone bumps this up a quarter of a star. 3 3/4 Stars.
Super Dragon (c) vs Jonny Storm – PWG World Title
Dragon’s first PWG Title defense. Ironically, it’s right in the middle of the card when it seemed as if Dragon getting the title would finally allow the title to be defended in the main event. I’ve accepted the fact that Dragon has to take some beatings. If you’re going to have an hour long match against Joey Ryan, you need to sell some of the time, otherwise, it’s the world’s longest squash match. Dragon selling for Samoa Joe? Also just fine. Samoa Joe’s a pretty big dude, it makes perfect sense. But for Jonny Storm? For fucks sake, Dragon’s character is so inconsistent. The first third of the match sucks due to Storm flipping and flopping around for every move. When the guy is hitting his spots, they’re mostly sloppy and he botches half of them. The second third picks up and entertains me by sheer force. Tons of mat wrestling with both men getting in the advantage. However, it goes downhill with Storm, the puny 5 foot 7, barely over 170 pounds, hits Dragon’s own Curb Stomp and Dragon just lets him. Holy shit, beat the fuck out of him! Make him pay for it. Don’t act like it’s just some run of the mill move. Dragon wins a little later on with a middle rope Blue Thunder Bomb that looked like shit. Luckily, I really loved the middle third of the match with all of the mat wrestling. It saved the match. Still, at nearly thirty minutes, it’s way too long of a match that should have been under ten minutes. 3 Stars.
After the match, everyone’s minds are blown as Super Dragon runs out and attacks…Super Dragon? The red Super Dragon nails the Psycho Driver on the PWG World Champion green Super Dragon and leaves while giving the finger to everyone. The fans seem convinced that red Super Dragon is Joey Ryan. Pretty logical guess since the last we saw of Ryan, he had been injured by Dragon in the Iron Man Match. This red Super Dragon is a million times better than the green Super Dragon. I suppose you could say red Super Dragon is AWESOME.
Colt Cabana vs Spanky w/Knuckles
I haven’t a clue as to who Knuckles is. Just by standing on the outside, he looks like a pretty big fucker though. Cabana reads off a list of his Chanukah presents. Such gifts include a ticket to this event, the complete Woody Allen DVD collection, a Barry Horowitz action figure and an audio recording of what went down in Mr. McMahon’s office the day Spanky was fired. As a result, Spanky’s the automatic heel in the match. This is during Spanky’s first year away from the WWE when he spent most of it in Japan, but came back to America to have random one time matches in TNA, ROH and PWG. Most of the match is alright, but nothing special. Things go downhill quickly after Rick Knox is punched out accidentally by Cabana. This allows Knuckles to come in and accidentally nail Spanky. Some comedy follows with both Knuckles and Cabana trying to resuscitate Spanky. Knuckles ends up sucking beyond belief. As a result, I’m completely taken out of the match. They stumble til the finish with Cabana winning with a block of a roll up. On paper, this looked like it’d be really good and funny, but it just bombed. I don’t know who Knuckles is, but the guy was fucking horrible. 1 3/4 Stars.
Arrogance (c) vs Havana Pitbulls – PWG Tag Team Titles
Now that Kazarian isn’t PWG champion and Babi Slymm, Brad Bradley and Vander Pyle are all gone from the company, does that mean that the First Family is already done? Not that it matters, they were doomed from the start. The commentators claim that the Havana Pitbulls demanded a title shot after their win against Hook Bomberry and Apollo Kahn at the last show. Hardly a meaningful win, however; Pittbulls have already defeated Aerial Xpress, The Iron Saints in addition to a few other tag and Reyes’ singles wins. So they deserve a title shot. Fun match early on with Bosh being dominated by the Pitbulls before Arrogance finally takes over. This works up to an amazingly lack of heat tag to Reyes. With Scott Lost ready to hit a Pitbull with a title, Aerial Xpress runs out and attacks Arrogance, drawing the DQ. This leads into the babyface vs babyface brawl between Pitbulls and AXP. This last several minutes. The finish is TERRIBLE. It didn’t even feel like the end before Lost was ready to use the belt. As a result, AXP cost Reyes/Romero the belts when it wasn’t already a lost cause. The storyline was good, but the execution was heavily flawed. The post-match events does make me want to see the Havana Pitbulls vs AXP though. Due to the finish, it kills any chance of this match being worth checking out. 2 3/4 Stars.
Samoa Joe vs Bryan Danielson
The conclusion to the minor feud that was overshadowed by nearly every feud. Back at Kee_ The _ee Out Of Our _ool!, Joe and Danielson lost to the Ballard Brothers due to personal problems. This lead to Joe attacking Danielson. The two would have a GREAT match at The Musical at the next show, but it would end in a thirty minute draw. At the end, Ricky Reyes came out to stop the brawling, but Reyes turned on Danielson. This would lead to a tag match with Joe and Reyes vs Danielson and Christopher Daniels at the anniversary show, Reason for the Season. The Daniels would get the win, but only by Danielson beating Reyes. The question of who was better between Danielson and Joe was still an unanswered question. Nice long match at over twenty minutes. Danielson struggled to get Joe up for a surfboard, so he’s forced to try different strategies. Great point near the end when Joe tries to win by count-out, just as he did against Super Dragon. PSYCHOLOGY~! Danielson looks to have the match won following an airplane spin, but he’s equilibrium is so messed up that it takes him too long to get to the top rope for the missile dropkick. This allows Joe to pull Danielson down from the top rope right into a Muscle Buster to get the win. It’s your typical Danielson/Joe greatness, but it’s not as good as The Musical. Still, it’s a worthy way to end the year for PWG, culminating the feud of an underrated feud. 3 3/4 Stars.
This was shaping up to be a show even better than ROH’s Final Battle 2004. However, things begin to fall apart with the PWG title match. They still manage to end the show on a high note, but poor booking kept this show from being one of the better ones in history. With 2004 ending, things are looking up from the start of 2004. The tag team division is full of teams that are actually full time teams instead of the short term teams such as Quicksilver/Chris Bosh. The highlight of the show (Even more so than anyone could have known in December 2004) was Kevin Steen. The guy has only been around for two shows, but he’s the highlight of the company for me at this point. There’s a few matches worth checking out, but you might as well skip half as well.
Worth Checking Out
Tony Stradlin vs Christopher Daniels (Especially if you’ve never seen Stradlin wrestle before)
Kevin Steen and El Generico vs Aerial Express
Debut of red Super Dragon
Bryan Danielson vs Samoa Joe
Spanky vs Colt Cabana