PWG World’s Finest 3/17/2012

Written by: TJ Hawke

March 17, 2012
Reseda, CA

Commentators: Excalibur, Kevin Steen, Joey Ryan, & Rick Knox

Kevin Steen starts the show with a promo. He explains that the PWG Tag Titles can’t be defended (because Super Dragon is injured), but he still wants to fuck someone up. Some technical problems happen and Steen asks to face one of the sound guys. But wait!?!? PETER AVALON IS HERE!

Kevin Steen vs. Peter Avalon
Avalon jumped Steen from behind. Steen fucked him up with some chops. Avalon took him down a leg lariat and then teased a Spineroonie. Avalon flipped off the crowd, and that allowed Steen to squash him with senton. And then….a STEENAROONIE! Steen proceeded to slowly murder Avalon and sap all the life out of him…mostly with chopping and biting. Avalon failed with two running cross-body attempts, but he finally took Steen down with a springboard version. Steen cut him off with a Cradle Robber. Avalon came back with a running STO. Steen then killed him with his brutal neckbreaker. Avalon avoided a the cannoball splash and kicked Steen in the balls behind the referee’s back. Avalon then hit a running knee press: 1…2…NO! Avalon started to argue with the referee. That allowed Steen to hit the F-Cinq and a package piledriver: 1…2…3

This was a fun opener that made Avalon look tough for taking a beating. Avalon doesn’t have a WWE look, but he has an undeniable connection with the PWG crowd. I want to see him on more PWG DVDs this year.
Match Rating: **1/2

Steen put Avalon over after the match, and then said he was coming at Generico for his rematch, sooner rather than later.

Brian Cage-Taylor vs. Ray Rosas
Cage looks jacked here (even more than usual). Rosas’s fanny pack was quite over with the crowd. Rosas would gyrate his hips as the fans chanted “Fanny Pack!” Rosas is the face by default here.

Rosas sent to the floor and hit a dropkick through the ropes. They ended up on the apron, and Cage then backdropped Rosas on the apron to cut Rosas off. Rosas briefly came back and went to the top rope, but Cage gave him a huge superplex. Cage went back to getting the heat after that. Rosas went for a crucifix pin, but Cage reversed it into a release fallaway slam. Cage got “Yes!” chants for that. Cage followed that up with a pair of backbreakers. Cage went for another one, but Rosas reversed the attempt into a swinging DDT. Rosas then hit a series of lariats and a springboard back elbow that sent Cage to the floor. Rosas then hit a double jump senton onto Cage to the floor. Back in the ring, Rosas hit a diving headbutt: 1…2…NO! Cage came back with a back body drop. Cage set up for Weapon X, but Rosas countered it with a Code Red: 1…2…NO! That was cool. Rosas tripped running up the ropes and tried for a hurricanrana, but Cage countered that with a powerbomb backbreaker. Excalibur, “That was disgusting.” Agreed. Rosas came back with a swinging DDT and a snap brainbuster: 1…2…NO! Cage then killed him with a discus lariat to the back of the head: 1…2…3

This match was solid. Only in PWG could two guys have been heels coming into a show, just act like babyfaces for the whole match. Depending on your point of view, that probably is a reason to love PWG or a reason to hate it. Brian Cage got over because of his very impressive strength, and Rosas got over because he was smaller and he did some cool moves. I would like to see these guys more in tag matches, but Cage is actually getting the next PWG World Title match. That is coming out of nowhere, but hopefully the match gets him really over.
Match Rating: **1/2

Joey Ryan is out to cut an Andy Kauffman inspired promo. Candace LeRae came out and the match got underway.

Joey Ryan vs. Candice LeRae
LeRae hit a suicide dive. Ryan ran away, but LeRae actually caught him again, this time with a suicide DDT dive. Joey cut her off with a backbreaker on the ring apron. Ryan then started molesting LeRae in the ring. Ryan started to berate the referee, and LeRae gave him a ballplex and a nifty hurricanrana. LeRae went for a moonsault, but Ryan stopped it and met her up there. LeRae then hit a super reverse hurricanrana! Ryan almost broke his neck and LeRae almost broke her leg. LeRae went for a moonsault, but Ryan avoided it. SUPERKICK FROM RYAN! Ryan took about a dozen victory laps after that. Best part of the match happened when Kevin Steen referenced the “Yes” chants, and Excalibur had no idea what their origin was. Ryan put Candace in the corner and slapped her hard. LeRae came back with a powerbomb: 1…2…NO! Ryan grabbed her by the hair and set up for the boobplex, but LeRae reversed it into a rollup: 1…2…3!

I really got sick of these two being on opposite teams a while ago, and I in no way needed to see them have this singles match. At the very least though, I did expect this to be the end of it, but now they are going right back to being on opposite teams for a six-man tag at PWG’s May Show. I hope Ryan and Sky go back to their fun tag team they had going throughout the middle part of 2012, and that they leave the misogynistic heel characters behind for good. As for the match, it was exactly what you would expect. I guess it got over with the crowd, but when promotions like Chikara book Sara Del Rey so well, PWG’s booking of Candice LeRae really looks low-rent.
Match Rating: **

TJ Perkins vs. Scorpio Sky
This is the Rock/Cena feud of PWG because it was only built up on Twitter (Kidding). Basically, these two argue about boxing a lot on Twitter. I’m pretty sure this is why this match was booked.

They did a great holds-trading sequence to start the match. TJP locked in a STF and Sky locked in a kimura, but they both managed to escape those attempts. Sky used a some stiff-sounding kicks, but TJP came back with a pendulum submission and then tried to transition into a STF. Sky made the ropes. Sky went for the 10 punches in the corner, but TJP crotched him. Sky came back with a German suplex into the corner. Sky locked in a bow-and-arrow, but TJP refused to tap, so Sky broke the hold. Sky got a cool Triangle Choke in the ropes. TJP hung himself in the ropes and baited Sky to the outside. TJP set up for a suicide dive, but Sky ran back in and hit a leg lariat. Sky then hit his amazing somersault plancha. It looked like TJP didn’t catch him at all. Joey Ryan ran in to check on Sky. TJP went to the top rope, and Sky jumped up and gave him a hurricanrana in one motion. Sky avoided a Brogue Kick and gave Sky a super kick. Sky came back with a jumping kick and both men were down. TJP hit a neckbreaker, a running knees into the corner, and finally hit a powerbomb: 1…2…NO! Sky avoided a springboard move, but TJP locked in a STF for the third time in the match. Sky hit a big knee and both men were down again. TJP went for a STF, but Sky small packaged him: 1…2…NO! Sky with an ace crusher! TRANSITIONED INTO A DRAGON SLEEPER! TJP taps? Yes, he tapped. The finish wasn’t clear for whatever reason

This was a good match for the first half of the show. However, this show really needed a kick in the butt at this point, and I don’t think this match quite did that. I actually think these two would make for an awesome tag team (TJP takes a great beating and Sky makes for a great hot tag), and I would hope that PWG realizes that soon.
Match Rating: **3/4

The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) vs. The Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno & Player Dos) vs. The RockNES Monsters (Johnny Yuma & Johnny Goodtime)
The Bucks jumped both teams before the bell rang. The Monsters and SSB recovered and had fun destroying the Bucks for a while. The Bucks being destroyed is always great fun. The Bucks losed the numbers game to isolate Yuma. Nick wiped out the SSB with a suicide dive and they then started to work over Yuma. Yuma caused Nick to accidentally headbutt Matt. Goodtine then made a hot tag and ran through the Bucks. Stupefied tagged in and went for a springboard move, but Matt tripped him up in the ropes. The Bucks started to work over Stupefied. Stupefied eventually gave them both a hurricanrana and then made a hot tag to the Player Uno. Uno ran through the Bucks. SSB used some offense on the Bucks that I can’t even describe. I need a glossary of their double team moves. The Monsters tripped up Stupefied before a suicide dive. The Monsters then wiped out the Bucks with suicide dives. Stupefied took out everybody with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring, the Monsters halted SSB’s momentum. The Bucks recovered and joined the clusterfuck. The Bucks killed Yuma and Uno with superkicks, Stupefied took out the Bucks with a double Pele kick, and Goodtime hit Stupefied with a big boot. All six men were down. Goodtime DVDed Yuma onto Stupefied, but Uno saved his partner. The Bucks killed Stupefied. The Monsters killed Matt Jackson. Goodtime went to super DVD Yuma onto Matt, but Matt got his knees up. The Bucks gave Uno double superkicks, but he blocked More Bang for Your Buck. SSB then gave Matt Jackson the Gory Special/Diving Blockbuster: 1…2…3!

This match was as fun and crazy as everyone expected. I don’t know what the original plan for this match if Appetite for Destruction were involved, but I’m glad that Super Smash Bros. got the decisive win. The Super Smash Bros. are woefully underexposed at the moment, and PWG is looking really smart for bringing them in consistently. I’m hoping that the Super Smash Bros. are the next PWG Tag Champions.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Alex Koslov
This match was supposed to be O’Reilly vs. his trainer, Davey Richards. New Japan came calling though, so Davey had to ditch this. It’s annoying, but it’s generally accepted in independent wrestling that guys have to take a Japan tour if it comes along. Koslov recently was released from WWE’s developmental system, and this was one of his higher profile return matches.

Koslov jumped O’Reilly with a dropkick. O’Reilly came back with some kicks. They traded a bunch of strikes. Koslov got a big “RUSSIA” chant going at one point, so O’Reilly did a pair of atomic drops and a hurricanrana. O’Reilly went for a suicide dive, but Koslov blocked him with an elbow. Koslov gave O’Reilly a draping DDT to a chair in the stands. Ouch. Koslov grabbed a beer, and O’Reilly kicked him in the gut and then kicked the beer into the crowd. O’Reilly then grabbed a beer and killed it. Enter stereotypical Irish joke. Koslov slammed O’Reilly onto the ring apron. That allowed Koslov to get the heat, and he started working over O’Reilly. Koslov put on his cliché Russian hat and did the kicks thing. They traded a couple of pinfalls until O’Reilly connected with some strikes. O’Reilly hit a Dragon Suplex: 1…2…NO! Koslov managed to send O’Reilly to the floor and then hit a top rope plancha to the floor. “Sputnik” cheers. Reseda is pretty fucking awesome. Back in the ring, Koslov hit a frog splash: 1…2…NO! O’Reilly came back with some knee strikes and a super back suplex: 1…2…NO! CROSS-ARMBREAKER FROM O’REILLY! Koslov managed to pin O;Reilly from that position, so O’Reilly broke the hold. Both men got to their feet and started trading strikes. Koslov killed him with a superkick: 1…2…NO! O’Reily got a Guillotine out of nowhere, but Koslov reversed it into a bridging Northern Lights Suplex: 1…2…NO! GUILLOTINE FROM O’REILLY! GUILLOTINE DDT! GUILLOTINE! KOSLOV TAPS!

The crowd just never got into this match seemingly until the end. Koslov was somewhat of a random replacement for Davey Richards, and I wonder if he would be brought back. The end with the guillotine sequence was really great though.
Match Rating: ***

Willie Mack vs. Roderick Strong
Mack’s breakout match in PWG came against Roderick Strong a little under a year before this. Mack lost that match, but he has since defeated Kevin Steen, Ryan Taylor, Naruki Doi and Chris Hero (twice) in singles matches. In the ideal world, Mack would go through all the people he lost to (Roddy, Generico, Ricochet, and Davey) and then get a PWG Title shot. PWG doesn’t really do that though that much in the way of storytelling.

Roddy used his mat skills to get the advantage early, but Mack took him down with a running shoulder block and a Stinger splash. Roddy went after Willie’s left knee to slow down the Chocolate Juggalo. They ended up on the floor trading strikes. Mack sent Roddy face first into the ring apron. The pace has been much slower than one would expect. Roddy started avoided Mack. Mack chased (they were both walking) Roddy, and then Roddy shoved him into the ring apron. Roddy started to get the heat after that. Mack came back with some chops and shoulder blocks in the corner. Roddy came back with a high kick, which got a nearfall. Mack came back with a suplex. Roddy got another kick to cut off Mack again. Mack came back with a kick to the shoulder and a spinning heel kick. Mack then hit the Samoan Drop/Standing Moonsault combo for a nearfall. The crowd is not loving this match, but they popped for that. Roddy then walked into an exploder suplex, and Willie followed that with the MDX/slingshot dropkick in the corner: 1…2…NO! Roddy tried to slow him down, but Mack hit an Ace Crusher: 1…2…NO! Roddy came back with a pair of kicks to the head and a Drunk Slam: 1…2…NO! Roddy locked in the Strong Hold, but Willie was close to the ropes and grabbed them quickly. They went on the ring apron, and Roddy tried for the Gibson Driver. Mack fought out of it, but Roddy hit an apron backbreaker: 1…2…NO! They both got to their feet and started trading some brutal forearms. Roddy hit a jumping knee. Roddy went for another, but Willie caught him and hit a side slam: 1…2…NO! Mack went to the top rope, but Roddy hit an enzugiri, a superplex, a gutbuster, and a SICK KICK: 1…2…NO! The crowd is now alive. Roddy went for the suplex babckbreaker, but Mack escaped. Mack hit a back heel kick and a powerslam driver: 1…2…3. Willie got “Next World Champ” chants.

This match was missing a spark for sure, as I would have to consider this to be Mack’s weakest match in PWG with a top level independent talent. They went longer than Mack matches typically do, and they definitely lost the crowd a few times throughout (but they got the crowd back for the last minute or two). Mack seems to be being set up as a big challenger for the PWG World Champion, and I think many expect/want him to be the next World Champ. I don’t think this performance helped that cause, but hopefully his next big PWG singles match (against Michael Elgin) will go better. Mack has got a ton of charisma and in-ring talent, and I think he can have a huge year in 2012.
Match Rating: ***

El Generico© vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Kevin Steen [PWG World Title]
Kevin Steen inserted himself into the match, which was originally supposed to be a 1v1 match with Generico and Edwards. Steen mocked Generico from the apron, so Generico gave him a Yakuza kick. Eddie gave Generico a superkick, and then wiped out Steen with a suicide dive. He then took out Generico with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Eddie and Generico started striking it out. Steen got back in and ate a dropkick from Generico. Steen gave Eddie a lungblower, and he then gave both of them a cannonball splash. Eddie fell to the floor, and Steen started to attack Generico a lot. Eddie came back and gave Steen a backpack chinbreaker: 1…2…NO! Steen gave Eddie a superkick. Generico went for a slingshot move, but Steen caught him with an Ace Crusher. Steen bit a chunk out of Generico’s face. Generico flipped off Steen, so Steen bit his finger. Generico then bit his head. Generico low-bridged Steen and Eddie to the floor. Generico wiped them out with the tope con Hello. Back in the ring, Generico hit Steen with a diving cross-body for a nearfall. Generico gave Eddie a Blue Thunder Bomb for another nearfall. Generico for a Yakuza, but Eddie gave him a hard chopped. Eddie then gave Steen a big back suplex. Steen gave Eddie a pop-up powerbomb. He tried for the Sharp Shooter, but Generico blocked it. Steen backpacked sentoned Generico onto Eddie: 1…2…NO! Eddie gave Steen a diving Codebreaker, but he then walked into an exploder into the corner from Generico. Eddie caught Generico on a Yakuza Kick, and then Steen German suplexed both of them. All three men got to their feet. Steen gave both of them a Samoan Drop at the same time. Generico escaped a package piledriver and gave Steen a half-nelson suplex. Steen fell to the corner, where he ate a Yakuza from Generico and an enzugiri from Eddie at the same time. Another half-nelson to Steen. Eddie killed Generico with a Ghetto Stomp and then locked in the single leg crab! Generico made the ropes. Both men went to the top rope. Generico gave Eddie a top rope Brainbuster! Steen pulled Generico out and gave him an apron powerbomb and Steen stole the pin on Eddie: 1…2…3!!! NEW CHAMP!

This was a very fun main event with a somewhat shocking ending since Generico just defeated Steen to win the title. I wouldn’t put this match up there with some of the “Must-See” main events that PWG produced on the last three shows, but I never stopped enjoying the action of this one. Kevin Steen and El Generico facing off always produces fun results, and Eddie Edwards added an “x-factor” to the match. I presume this finish means we are getting one more Kevin Steen vs. El Generico match for the World Title in 2012, but I guess it’s possible that Steen drops the belt again before that happens.
Match Rating: ***3/4

Final Thoughts: World’s Finest was probably the weakest PWG DVD since DIO! 2010, and thus ends PWG’s 16 show streak of easy recommendations. I really liked the two triple threat matches on this show, and the World Title change is obviously significant. However, losing Davey Richards for his match with Kyle O’Reilly and having an underwhelming semi-main event really harmed a show that started off as insignificantly as it did. So the question is, will you get your money’s worth if you buy this show? Frankly, I don’t know. I had fun (as always with PWG) watching this show, but the show is a significant step below 90% of PWG shows. If Steen winning the title is a big deal to you, then by all means, buy the show. If you are looking for the typical great PWG DVD, then you may want to wait until the reportedly excellent DDT4 (or just go back and buy their last 16 shows).

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