Written by: Jim
March 4, 2011
The Young Bucks vs Willie Mack and Brandon Gatson
Early on, Gatson and Mack worked pretty well together. I was ready to finally praise Gatson’s work and suggest that he just teams with Mack from now on. However, Gatson somehow botches a hot tag by moving too quickly to Mack so Willie has to “Miss the tag” while a Buck frantically tries to get over there in time to drag Gatson away. The match goes downhill from there with a few more botches and sloppy moments. They did an effective enough job in teasing the giant upset, but the right guys won with The Bucks giving a loud superkick to Mack. Dear PWG, please stop booking Gatson. 2 1/2 Stars.
The American Wolves vs RockNES Monsters
RockNES are wearing tights with Reptar on the back. I believe that automatically makes them the best tights in the history of pro wrestling. The story of the match can be summed up in three words “Wolves murder Monsters”. Davey is perfect in this role of being an asshole who just loves to hurt people. Eddie more or less takes the role of Roderick Strong in being the chopper to Davey’s kicker. Yuma ends up playing the face-in to those sick bastards for most of the match. I have to hand it to Excalibur for creating the secondary story of Davey accidentally injuring Goodtime’s ankle when he jumped on him to break up the cover. It played in nicely with Davey’s ankle lock (Which was only done once and for a short amount of time) and forcing Goodtime to take a few extra seconds before he makes a cover. Finally, you have Davey and Edwards using two of the main moves of Super Dragon/Davey Richards, to echo back to a previous period when Davey and his partner were beating the shit out of their opponents and loving every moment. Goodtime is forced to tap after a power bomb/lung blower combo followed by Edwards locking in the half Boston Crab. Honestly, just a fantastic match with Davey working smart instead of his high spots and “No selling” moments that some people of the IWC are sick of. 4 1/4 Stars.
The Cutlers vs Kings of Wrestling
The Kings are wearing red tights. The Cutlers are officially just spinning their wheels in PWG. This is now their third DDT4 appearance and their third time losing in the first round. They’re in this same position since the start of 2010. Oh sure, they look good in defeat thanks to Dustin kicking out of the King Swing and Claudio being the current PWG World Champion and Hero being the longest reigning PWG Champion. However, it’s still just losing against a bigger team similarly to their battles with the Young Bucks, Danger Bees and The Briscoes from 2009. Despite a slow start, I was starting to dig the match near the end. There are some pretty sloppy moments, so if this is your first Cutlers match, you won’t be impressed. Claudio’s manhandling of Dustin Cutler was damn impressive though. For the Cutlers, the quality is perfectly fine, but you may expect more from the Kings of Wrestling. 3 1/4 Stars.
Nightmare Violence Connection vs The Briscoes
I love the NVC name for Akira Tozawa and Kevin Steen. Tozawa has officially come full circle in PWG. He debuted at DDT4 2010 in a losing effort against the Briscoes. This time around, he’s possibly the most over wrestler in the company and delivers the shinning wizard (Doomsday Device-style) that directly led to Steen pinning Jay Briscoe. Tozawa is so incredibly entertaining. There’s the moment when he’s yelling with the crowd yelling back (Similarly to what they did at BOLA 2010 Night 2 against Hero), but Tozawa yells “Shut da fuck up!” in the first and possible only time he uses English in the company. Later on, Tozawa and Mark exchanges kung-fu chops while yelling before their partners have to separate them and talk some sense into them. To sum up the match would simple to state how awesome Tozawa is. Due to the short time length, it’s not the best match of the first round, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t the most fun. 3 1/2 Stars.
The Young Bucks vs The American Wolves
Thanks to the Bucks being such major heels in PWG, the Wolves are able to be clearer babyfaces than when they faced RockNES. Pretty simple story with the Bucks showboating and cheating a lot. The Wolves never let them get away with their shenanigans for too long before they chop or kick the hell out of them. Wolves take everything The Bucks dish out, but the Bucks are incapable of hitting More Bang for Your Buck. Wolves look to have the match won with the SDDR power bomb/lung blower combo followed by the half Boston Crab, but Matt Jackson surprises Edwards with a small package to steal the victory. Despite the Wolves being booked better, they just couldn’t get the win over such expert cheaters. Not quite as good as the Wolves/RockNES match, but it’s another heavy storyline match from Davey. 3 3/4 Stars.
After the match, Davey Richards gets on the mic to put over Edwards. In addition to all of the nods to SDDR moves, Davey mentions how he’s trying to help be Edwards mentor, just as Dragon was his. The fans chant “Please come back” at Edwards.
Nightmare Violence Connection vs Kings of Wrestling
This time, the Kings are wearing the yellow tights. Hero and Tozawa are immediately in each others faces. There isn’t any real story here other than Claudio is a freak of nature, Tozawa just won’t stay down and Steen bringing the lulz. Steen: (Referring to Chris Hero) “Tozawa! He’s your Godzilla! Kill that fucker!” The interaction between Hero and Tozawa was just as awesome as their BOLA 2010 match with Tozawa even hitting his big hope spot from the match again. Hero KILLS Tozawa with an elbow, but Tozawa kicks out at one! Proving that he’s learned something from their previous battle, Tozawa counters a Hero roaring kick with a roll-up to get the victory. Tozawa once again leaves the biggest impression. 4 1/4 Stars.
Joey Ryan Invitational Gauntlet Match
Last one standing gets to wrestle Joey. Ryan also made it official that he’s challenging for the title at the next show. Ryan Taylor and Brian Cage Taylor starts off the series. Since both guys are heels, they appear to be lost in what to do. So instead of creating a story, they just put on an exhibition of moves. It’s not bad or anything, but it lacks any real purpose. Ryan Taylor gets the win with a Moonlight Drive-like neckbreaker. Peter Avalon is out next and things pick up with Ryan busting out several mean looking arm wringers that send Avalon (shoulder first) crashing down hard on the mat. Taylor can’t get the win with the LeBell Lock, so he goes for the Moonlight Drive. Avalon counters it into a pin to move on to the last leg. Candice LaRae comes out, but Joey Ryan superkicks Avalon to allow Candice to pick up the win. All of this was just an excuse to find room for the Fighting Taylor Boys, Peter Avalon and set-up Candice vs Joey. Meh. A heatless battle is a heatless match. 2 Stars.
Joey Ryan vs Candice LaRae – Number 1 Contender’s Match
Joey puts his PWG Title shot on the line to further put over how confident he is. If you’ve seen one Candice LaRae vs male match, you’ve seen them all. That’s not to say it’s not great because they’re some of the most fun women matches in America these days. Ryan underestimation of LaRae nearly costs him at the start of the match when Candice gets a cradle for a two count. Joey takes charge for the next few minutes before Candice begins hitting all of her big spots. Such spots include a suicide dive to the outside that leads into a tornado DDT, a Terry Funk-esque moonsault and even busting out Human Tornado’s house party kicks. Joey hits a boobplex, but Candice returns the favor with a ballsplex. After Candice misses her Terry Funk moonsault, Joey kicks her head off with a superkick. Just to be a bigger dick, Joey locks in the bodylock kimura to get the submission victory. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with Candice vs asshole heel. Unlike the gauntlet match, the crowd was loud and chanting all during the match. Nice way to kill some time to give the DDT4 finalists some time to relax. 2 3/4 Stars.
Nightmare Violence Connection vs The Young Bucks
Steen and Tozawa lives up to their name by making the match a living nightmare for the Bucks early on with a lot of brawling on the outside. Steen gives each Buck two power bombs on the ring apron. Once the Bucks make their comeback, they DDT Tozawa to the floor, forcing officials to carry him to the back. Meanwhile, the former PWG tag champions concentrate on the knee that has bothered Steen for years. Steen eventually gets busted up, but is still able to hang in there. Right as the Bucks are readying for More Bang for Your Buck, Tozawa runs out to help out Steen. Despite Steen being the star of the match, Tozawa manages to get in a few exciting moments including going berserk on both members of the Bucks with stray slaps. Once Nick dives on Tozawa on the outside, The Bucks hit ten superkicks to Steen. Even if you hate the spot, it’s all about storytelling since that’s the series of moves that the Bucks used to beat Steen back at BOLA 2009 Night 2. This time around, Steen kicks out to the shock of the Bucks. Tozawa tries one last run in, but eats a double superkick. More Bang for Your Buck to Tozawa with Tozawa being laid on top of Steen gives the Bucks their second DDT4 victory. As someone who’s tired of the Bucks’ style, this was actually really good. Similarly to the Wolves/Bucks match, there was some storytelling added instead of just being a match with fifty kick outs. Steen stole the match though. 4 Stars.
After the match, The Bucks cut a babyface promo crediting PWG for giving them the exposure to be signed with TNA. They’re ready to take the belts back from Paul London and El Generico. Finally, they dedicate their DDT4 win to Dixie Carter. Ha. That’s one way to keep your heel heat.
After being disappointed with last year’s DDT4, 2011 was a huge improvement. The only disappointing match in the tournament was Bucks vs Willie Mack and Brandon Gatson. By this point, I know to expect pure crap from Gatson though. PWG put in a lot of effort to build things up for future shows as well. Already on tap for WINNING is Joey Ryan challenging for the PWG Title against Claudio and the Bucks challenging for the PWG tag titles. Meanwhile, Kevin Steen regains some momentum to possibly challenge for Claudio’s title by defeating the Kings of Wrestling. If PWG wanted to, they could add some heat to Claudio/Hero by pointing out that Hero was pinned at Cyanide to give Generico a PWG title shot and now he was pinned by Steen to potentially give Steen a future title shot. Claudio’s teaming with Hero is becoming a determent to his PWG Title reign. Eddie Edwards’ PWG debut was a huge success with the Reseda crowd instantly wanting more of him. It certainly didn’t hurt that Davey was attempting to create a SDDR-like experience. With Edwards now booked for All Star Weekend 8, I imagine he could easily become a regular on the west coast. I can’t say I’d object. The MVP of the night has to be Akira Tozawa though. The guy is just a megastar and will be missed once he goes back to Japan. With only two shows into 2011, PWG has already produced five matches at 4 stars or higher. I’d rate this as being the best one night DDT4 tournament event.
Worth Checking Out
American Wolves vs RockNES Monsters
Nightmare Violence Connection vs Briscoes
American Wolves vs Young Bucks
Nightmare Violence Connection vs Kings of Wrestling
Nightmare Violence Connection vs Young Bucks
Brian Cage-Taylor vs Ryan Taylor vs Peter Avalon vs Candice LaRae