Written by: Jim
The 2nd Anniversary Show – Night One
July 9, 2005
Davey Richards vs Shannon Ballard
Davey’s first one-on-one match in PWG. He’s got a hair cut since the last show, so he looks like the Davey we’d all know until he shaved his head and wore the long tights. Speaking of different tights, Ballard has a pair of new short tights and completely did away with the Ballards white, yellow and blue look. Since he’s wearing the knee brace, I finally know which Ballard is which. Davey’s now working as a face, but ends up doing a great job. Ballard spends most of the match focusing on Davey’s left shoulder/arm which Davey sells great. If you’re not a fan of Davey these days because you think he doesn’t sell, you should check this out. He’s selling the arm so well that he’s unable to hit certain moves. He tries to Irish Whip Ballard into the ropes, but his arm is too weak to pull him. It’s all just great stuff. The match was shaping up to be a great hidden gem, but then the Shooting Star Press spot happened. I don’t know who’s fault it was, but they had a certain spot planned out. Davey goes for the Shooting Star Press, but Ballard catches him falling down to lock in the Crossface. Someone’s timing was messed up and Ballard was on his feet before Davey had even jumped off of the top rope. Davey then tries to hit a standard Shooting Star Press when his opponent isn’t even down on the mat anymore. Ballard locks in the Crossface, but the spot is blown and the match never regains the steam it had going. Davey continues to sell the arm well before finally winning with the D R Driver. The crowd was into it, they were really getting behind Davey, Davey’s kicking and selling was good, but fuck…that one spot really hurt it. Edit the spot out and I’ll give it another 1/2 star. 3 Stars.
Top Gun Talwar and Hook Bomberry w/Luscious vs Los Luchas
I don’t believe Lucious is the former Prophecy member, rather just some former SoCal talent that used to manage the Ballard Brothers. I like the idea of this match. Both teams lost at the last show, so it’s a way to get back into title contention. Despite a decent enough start, things went downhill quickly when all four men started to get involved. Blown spots, awkwardness and just a general “This sucks” feel. Luscious interferes a little, but she doesn’t fit in with Hook and Top Gun. I know they’re technically heels, but Talwar is too fun loving to be completely into it. Either way, this match sucks. Los Luchas gets the win after Zokre sunset flips Top Gun. Lame match with an even lamer ending. Worst PWG match of the year thus far. 1 1/2 Stars.
Mr. Excitement vs Joey Ryan
Seems a bit early to be doing this match, but whatever. Joey debuts some new gear including the epic Jedi robe. The crowd promptly chants “Butt pirate” upon seeing this new look. The belt does make him look like a pirate. Excitement hasn’t worked a singles match in awhile, so it’s nothing special. Excitement teases the use of the Exploder a few times before hitting it twice. Eventually, Arrogance comes down to distract the ref. Lost super kicks Excitement and pulls Joey on him. Excitement kicks out. Joey is given one of the new PWG tag titles to hit Excitement, but Excitement once again kicks out. Finally, Joey distracts the ref so Arrogance can hit their Northern Lights suplex into a back breaker finisher. Joey gets the win. If you’ve seen the average Joey PWG title defense, this is essentially just that. It’s not horrible, but isn’t anything special and it has plenty of interference to help Joey win. It’s certainly better than the last match though. 2 Stars.
Ricky Reyes vs Petey Williams
The good thing is that Reyes almost always (Until recently due to being booked against poor talent or booking) a good match. The bad thing is that I can’t remember anything about the matches once they’re over. It’s just good mind numbing TV that doesn’t make you want to press the ‘Chapter Skip’ button. Reyes wins with his body scissors Dragon Sleeper. 2 3/4 Stars.
Super Dragon and 2 Skinny Black Guys vs Kevin Steen, Disco Machine and Excalibur – Elimination Match
Early on, it’s all about the babyfaces. Disco Machine gets his ass kicked by all of the faces, playing a perfectly fine heel-in-peril. Steen gets his balls punished with a series of kicks and stomps. It’s all great stuff. The match breaks down to a spotfest including an awesome triple dive from the faces. However, back in, Excalibur hits his weird top rope German Suplex where he remains sitting on the top rope to Super Dragon. Dragon is knocked out cold. Once they take down Generico, it’s a good old fashion black beat down to Tornado. Disco Machine finally gets his moment in the spotlight by getting the pin on Tornado following his sit down choke slam. The match comes to a halt for a couple of minutes as Generico attends to the still out cold Super Dragon. Eventually, Dragon slowly starts to come to, so Generico rushes the ring to fight all three members of the New SBS. Dragon tries to help him and seemingly looks to be okay, but is quickly sent to the outside hurt again. This time, Steen lets Excalibur get his moment in the spotlight by eliminating Generico with the Tiger Driver ’98. Despite dealing with a possible concussion (With Dragon, it may have even been legit. ) Dragon bravely tries to fight all three members all by himself. In a great moment, Steen holds Excalibur back and yells at Disco Machine that “This is your moment!” letting Disco pummel a down Dragon all by himself. Steen then lets Excalibur join in with the beat down. Steen just comes off as such an evil cult-like genius. Steen hits the package piledriver and all three men cover Dragon to eliminate him. Damn, the New SBS comes off as so dominate. As the match went on, it was all about storytelling. Steen playing to the egos of Disco and Excalibur so they can feel as if they’re finally being given the spotlight is an awesome sub angle. Dragon comes off as an epic babyface, despite injury, tried his best against large numbers. Finally, you have Dragon being able to find reliable partners, but it’s still not enough to get the best of the SBS. It’s a dark and depressing day if you’re Dragon. This feud is just so fucking awesome. 4 Stars.
Christopher Daniels (c) vs Chris Sabin – TNA X-Division Title
Although it’s highly unlikely TNA will allow their title to change hands at a non-TNA show, PWG at least is smart enough to book Daniels to defend the title against another TNA wrestler. So it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility. Early on, Sabin works over Daniels’ arm, but it’s forgotten as the match goes on. There’s a little comedy thrown in during the middle stretch, but not enough to turn it into a comedic match. Sabin kicks out of a DVD and moves out of the way from the BME. At this point, Daniels is just trying to find any way to escape with the belt. This comes by way of a roll up with a handful of tights. The ref doesn’t see it and Daniels once against retains the X-Division title in PWG. Enjoyable, but it can’t touch Sabin’s best match from July 2005 – vs Samoa Joe from TNA’s No Surrender. 3 1/4 Stars.
Arrogance (c) vs Aerial Xpress w/Dino Winwood – PWG Tag Team Titles
If Aerial Xpress fails to win the belts, they’ll be forced to remove their masks. It’s also announced that there’s no DQ’s. Before the match, Scorpio Sky and Scott Lost has a shoving match. Lost shows early on what having knowledge of your opponents can do for you. During Scorpio’s trademark drop kick spot, Lost counters it into a gut buster and then does the Scorpio pose. Awesome. Later on, they even incorporate the other major players of the feud by having Joey Ryan run out and super kicks Scorpio Sky. This brings in Dino Winwood to a big reaction. Ryan and Dino trades slaps before Dino power bombs Joey. Awesomex2. The great angle really kicks in when Quicksilver misses a dive to the outside. Chris Bosh nails him in the head with a chair while the other side of Quick’s head was “Cushioned” with the ring post. That sends Quicksilver out of the match. From there, it’s Scorpio’s biggest moment in his career. He kicks out of EVERYTHING. Scorpio gets in a couple of long two counts, but he can’t seem to get the win either. The final moments sees Scorpio hit with Arrogance’s top move, the Hart Attack into Bosh’s back breaker and Lost turning it into the Sharpshooter. The very move that forced SUPER DRAGON to tap out in Arrogance’s first title defense together. However, before Lost can turn Scorpio over, Sky counters it into a small package to get the surprise pinfall to become the NEW PWG Tag Team Champions. Post-match events really help put this match over the top. It takes awhile for everyone to convince Bosh that they lost (His back was turned). However, he eventually gives his belt to Scorpio. Instead of doing the same, Lost nails Scorpio with it. Lost goes crazy, busting Sky open and ripping at the mask. Eventually, Joey Ryan and Chris Bosh holds Scorpio while Lost removes the mask of Scorpio. The story is topped off with Arrogance and Joey leaving while Scorpio is attended to by a bunch of guys. He throws off a towel, covering his face. Looking into his mask, Scorpio weeps, knowing that that part of his career is now over. Scott Lost raped him of his identity. The crowd chants loudly for Scorpio as he leaves bloody and assisted by Mr. Excitement. Hands down, my favorite PWG tag match ever. They couldn’t have planned a better way to end Arrogance’s long title reign. Slightly better than Dragon/Disco vs Steen/Excalibur. 4 1/4 Stars.
So Cal Val flirts with AJ Styles before she announces who his mystery opponent will be. The mic sucks, so I can’t even hear what she’s saying. His opponent is revealed to be WWE Superstar, Frankie Kazarian…
AJ Styles (c) vs Frankie Kazarian – PWG World Title
In theory, this is a perfect way to end night one of the anniversary show. Frankie’s the first PWG champion and had never received a rematch after losing the belt to Super Dragon. Add in the fact that he’s not supposed to even be able to work such shows, it has the special element as well. Finally, these two met in the main event of the very first PWG show. However, it fails in a huge way. For one, it’s yet another lame duck Styles title defense. His first title defense was a dreadfully long one against Christopher Daniels while his second was in the midcard behind a TNA X-Division title match against James Gibson. Now, he’s working a long match against someone who can’t possibly win. Even worse, we’ve already seen two of the better matches of the year thus far tonight. This can’t possibly end up living up to being worthy of the main event slot. The finish is what makes it such a pointless match. After over 21 minutes of boring fighting, it’s a race back in the ring. Styles on the apron while Frankie’s on his feet with enough energy to jump in the ring with a couple seconds left before reaching 20. Instead, he decides to hit Styles with a shitty Wave of the Future to the floor so they both get counted out. It makes Kazarian look like a total moron for not trying to win. I’m guessing the one main condition for the WWE to allow Kazarian to work the show was that he didn’t lose, but why book him in a match where the opponent can’t lose either? For fucks sake, book him in a match against someone like Ricky Reyes or Petey Williams. They can lose while the PWG Title match can have a proper ending. How can PWG have such great ideas such as Dragon/Steen and Arrogance/AXP, yet fail so hard in the match that should be the most important? At this point, I’d rather have Top Gun Talwar as PWG Champion. Take the belt off of AJ! 2 Stars.
The undercard leaves a lot to be desired. With this being an anniversary show, it should be a great all around card. Having your last show be better isn’t exactly a good thing. However, once the one hour mark comes and the six man match begins, things improve drastically. At the end, you have two PWG MOTYC’s including one that is temporary the MOTY. As much as I hate to admit it, Super Dragon has been carrying these shows lately. Meanwhile, the show has my favorite tag match. As a result, it’s worth checking out, regardless of how headache inducing the main event is. If PWG ever releases the six man match on a PWG Sells Out DVD set, they’re going to have a difficult time getting anyone wanting to spend money on this show.
Worth Checking Out
Super Dragon and 2 Skinny Black Guys vs The New SBS
Arrogance vs Aerial Xpress
Top Gun Talwar and Hook Bomberry vs Los Luchas
Frankie Kazarian vs AJ Styles
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.