Written by: Jim
Kurt Russellreunion 2: The Reunioning
January 29, 2011
Peter Avalon, Caleb Konley, Jake Manning and ODB vs Cedric Alexander, Brandon Gatson, Candice LeRae and Willie Mack
First time seeing Konley and Alexander. Alexander is so amazingly quick. I really want to see more of him, but from this small impression, he looks like he may be at home in PWG. As for Konley, he didn’t really do anything to allow me to have any sort of opinion. There was only so much time to showcase everyone, so Konley got the short end of the stick. I wouldn’t be against PWG bringing him in for one more match, preferably a singles match so I can get a real gauge on him. Candice was her typical awesome self in these sort of matches. Her busting out Super Dragon’s Violence Party caused Excalibur to mark out. ODB is just too much gimmick for me, every move she did was built around her gimmick or her boobs. Everyone else performed how I expected. Manning sucked outside of his finisher, Gatson somehow botched half of his few moves, Mack continues to be far better than he looks and Avalon is perfect at being a punching bag. The match went on a little longer than it needed to, but a solid way to start the show just as last year’s eight person match. 2 3/4 Stars.
Mr. Águila vs Rey Bucanero
I’ve only seen Bucanero in a couple of matches during TNA’s last World X Cup back in 2008. It’s been several years since I’ve seen the former Essa Rios though. The crowd seemed to really dig this. I’m not sure why since there wasn’t any selling or story. Some of the spots were fun, I guess. It was something different and it was kept short. Águila had an over complicated Lucha twisting stuff that he botched badly and the end result was a body slam. Moments later, he nails a beautiful moonsault to win the match. The botch really hurt the ending. I can’t say I’d really care if either guy comes back next year. It did have sort of a Tajiri/Super Crazy early 1999 ECW feel to it only I cared about it a lot less. 2 Stars.
Joey Ryan vs Shane Helms w/Amber O’Neal
I’m not sure why O’Neal is even out there. She doesn’t do a damn thing. Helms really plays up the douchebag persona, which is made especially easy since the crowd hates him due to the HBK comments. Helms further gets on the crowd’s good side by calling Joey Ryan a nobody while he’s a star who’s worked Starrcade and Wrestlemania (Despite never having an actual match on the WM PPV itself). The problem is that Joey, despite being a heel, is a major PWG guy. so by insulting his star status, you’re putting down PWG. The match itself feels disjointed due to Helms not cheating. I guess he’s the babyface of the match, but he’s just someone the crowd legitimately hates. Helms is probably in the worst shape of his career and the braided Matt Hardy look doesn’t do him any favors. There was some decent arm work though. To his credit, Helms did a good job in not using the left arm once Ryan started working on it. Helms also had a good looking corner bump. This plays into the ending with Joey forcing Helms to tap with his Bodylock Kimura. Maybe in time Helms will be good again, but this was not Helms of 2006. 2 1/2 Stars.
Low-Ki vs Davey Richards
Davey is in full on 2007 PWG heel mode. Which is great since it creates a story instead of just going with the expected dream match type booking where it’s just about hitting big moves only. The story is that Davey doesn’t take Ki seriously since he hasn’t been the top dog in a couple of years. Davey’s the new top guy while Ki is the old veteran who’s best days are behind him. Richards is so good in that role that I really wanted to see Ki beat the fuck out of him. To beat respect into Richards. My favorite spot of the match is when Richards launches Ki up for the Alarm Clock, but Ki somehow leaps even higher in the air and double stomps on Davey’s knee as it’s fully extended out into the air. All of the playing to the crowd comes back to bite Richards in the ass as Ki gets the knees up during a Shooting Star Press attempt. Ki finishes Richards off with the double stomp from the top rope. I loved this. I really enjoy when a big match goes more for storyline instead of just the big match feel. I was expecting Michaels vs Taker from WM 25, just big moves after big moves. Instead, I got Michaels vs Taker from WM 26 where it wasn’t as polished, but the story made it more real. Welcome back to the indies, Ki. 4 1/4 Stars.
Jake Roberts vs Sinn Bodhi
The crowd gives Jake a great ovation, which moves Roberts to tears. Roberts can still deliver some great jabs. Jake sells for a little bit before making his comeback. Short arm closeline and it’s DDT time. Jake picks up the win. Post-match sees Jake pulling Damien out and laying him on Sinn and even allowing the head of the snake to go in Sinn’s tights. To even try and give this a star rating would be missing the point of this match. Jake did what he could still do and the crowd ate everything up. It’s a nice little farewell that spotlighted everything that you remember about Roberts.
Legends Wrestleroyal Battle Royale
A Royal Rumble only with thirty seconds in between each man. However, the final few guys comes in all together for some unknown reason. From a workrate perspective, this is one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen. However, the crowd loves it, the PWG wrestlers were loving it (Based on Excalibur and Colt Cabana mentioning how most of the wrestlers had come out from the back just to watch the match) and I found it fun from a nostalgia point of view. If there’s one big issue, it’s that it doesn’t hold up as well on DVD as it would being there live. Since PWG doesn’t air entrance themes, the show is muted every thirty seconds with the PWG main menu music playing instead of the entrance music. With a new entry every thirty seconds, it gets annoying. The final two guys of Roddy Piper and Terry Funk is where things go from just being fun to an all time classic PWG moment. Terry Funk stops the match so he can get on the mic. He cuts an all time babyface promo, thanking the fans and the wrestlers who are no longer living. Funk asks the crowd and Piper to bow their heads so they could pray together. Terry asks God to watch over him so he can get back home safely and then turn heels by asking God to help him win the match. *BAM* Terry nails Piper with the mic and the two brawls all over ringside. Piper makes the big comeback before finally eliminating Terry. Funk, being the legend that he is, refuses to break his heel character. The crowd is chanting his name and Funk’s response is to just yell “I hate all of you!” Click here to enlarge Funk is the man. Hands down, one of the best moments in PWG history. 5 Billion Stars.
Chris Hero vs Kevin Steen
Amazingly, this is a first time ever match in PWG. Perhaps even more surprising is that I can only find results for two other singles matches between these two. One in CZW (Best of the Best 2005 – Steen won) and one in ROH (The Omega Effect in 2009 – Steen won). It baffles me that various indy bookers didn’t put them in more singles matches together. Then again, the indies never gave us Steenerico vs Kings of Wrestling either. Both guys are pretty reliable to have a great match when booked against another quality guy and this is no exception. I dug the little story of Steen being unable to hit his neck breaker on the knee. It made when he was successful mean more than usual. They probably shouldn’t have had so many potential match ending moves with kick outs. It gets to the point where there isn’t a story, just two guys hitting big moves without much selling. Still, it felt like a big match (Although not as big as Ki/Richards) with both men kicking some serious ass. Hero winning with the Cyclone Kill was much needed if he is ever going to challenge for the PWG title soon. 3 3/4 Stars.
Young Bucks vs RockNES Monsters vs Cutlers vs Fighting Taylor Boys – DDT4 Qualifying Match
While I dig the idea of DDT4 qualifying matches, are we really supposed to believe that the Young Bucks have to qualify? It’s not as if this match matters since three out of the four teams were involved in DDT4 anyhow. Then again, Excalibur jokingly admits that most of these teams will probably get in. Click here to enlarge A complete spotfest that anyone would have expected. Brian Cage-Taylor continues to impress the hell out of me. I don’t know what happened to Cage that resulted in losing his developmental deal with the WWE, but it’s only a matter of time before someone signs him. Everyone got a chance to get in their moves to leave an impression. RockNES Monsters winning with Goodtime FU’ing Yuma from the middle rope on Ryan Taylor was a great way to give RockNES the rub. I imagine they could be a major team for PWG by late 2011. 3 1/2 Stars.
Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs El Generico – PWG World Title
Out of the three big singles matches, I could not fathom any chance of this being better than Ki/Richards or Hero/Steen. I was wrong. The two has a story centric match with Claudio being the bully and Generico showing he has enough heart to stay in the fight. Even though Generico was forced to no sell his knee injury a few times to hit some moves, he did an amazing job most of the time selling the knee. There’s times when he’s unable to hit a move due to the bum knee. Near the end, he even delivers a brainbuster while standing on only his right leg. The crowd slowly builds up once they start realizing that they’re watching a classic. Claudio does a fine job at looking absolutely shocked that Generico is able to kick out of everything. Even the commentators sell the story well by pointing out that Generico only has one big move left (Top rope brainbuster) that he hasn’t tried yet. After showing so much heart, Generico is caught in the Neutralizer (Brock Lock) with all of the focus on Generico’s bum knee. Generico nearly gets to the ropes, but Claudio picks him up, spins him around and kneels back down on the mat right in the middle of the ring. Generico is forced to give up, ending an amazing match. The only thing that stops this from being an indy classic is that there wasn’t some long backstory. However, I have never seen a better Claudio singles match and this was Generico’s best PWG match. I’m not sure if others will enjoy this as much as I did, but this will surely be a MOTYC. 4 1/2 Stars.
After the match, Joey Ryan attacks Claudio, locking him in his Bodylock Kimura. Chris Hero makes the save for his good friend. On the mic, Joey teases finding a partner for DDT4 so he can force either member of the Kings of Wrestling to submit. Claudio officially announces KOW will be the third team for DDT4. Even though Joey didn’t end up competing in the DDT4 tournament, it is some nice build for his feud with Claudio.
I was really disappointed by the first Kurt Russellreunion. The best match wasn’t anything too great and all of the special guest wrestlers failed to deliver the goods. Despite having a card worthy of being an one night All Star Weekend, it was about as good as a June skippable show. Kurt RussellReunion II fixes those mistakes greatly. For one, the special guest wrestlers were actual legends instead of just mild superstars such as Super Crazy. Second, you have a few matches that are of such great quality that is worthy of being on an A show. Thanks to the likes of Terry Funk and Jake Roberts, you have memorable moments with the legends as well. Perhaps the best part is that they showcased the Joey Ryan/KOW feud, potentially started a feud with Steen/Claudio, and set up a few things for DDT4. The biggest problem with PWG in 2010 was the lack of storylines. With only one show down, they’ve already accomplished more in that department than in all of 2010. Who knows, this may be a coming out party for RockNES Monsters and Cedric Alexander, depending on if PWG wants to push them as 2011 goes on. Hands down, a great way to start of 2011.
Worth Checking Out
Davey Richards vs Low-Ki
Jake Roberts vs Sinn Bodhi (If you’re a Roberts fan)
Terry Funk/Roddy Piper portion of Wrestle Royale
Chris Hero vs Kevin Steen
RockNess Monsters vs Young Bucks vs Cutlers vs Taylor Boys
El Generico vs Claudio Castagnoli
‘Supernatural’ Shane Helms
Looking like Barry O when you’re 50