PWG Neon Knights 2/16/2018
Zack Sabre Jr. battles Flip Gordon in singles action. Plus, PWG World Champion Chuck Taylor defends against his best friend, Trent!
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla presents Neon Knights
From: Reseda, CA
Opening Contest: Adam Brooks vs. Brody King: King gets a really nice ovation as this is his PWG debut. Brooks avoids King in the corner and grabs Brody by his beard. Brooks head scissors King face first into the corner followed by a boot from the apron. Brooks takes King down to the mat with a rollup for a near fall. Brooks kicks King’s right knee over the middle rope. Brooks delivers a sliding dropkick to King on the mat. King overhand chops Brooks out of the corner a few times. King showcases some lucha ability by arm dragging Brooks from the top rope.
King is able to block a kick on the apron and drops Brooks face first onto the apron. King takes Brooks out with a somersault dive over the top to the floor. King continues to work over Brooks with chops in the corner. King nails Brooks with a chop for a near fall as Brooks came off the ropes. King scoop slams Brooks and comes off the ropes with a senton splash for a near fall. Brooks kicks King after sliding on the mat and drives King face first into the middle turnbuckle. Brooks dropkicks King shoulder first into the turnbuckle. King rolls to the floor and Brooks tries for a suicide dive, but is caught and slammed onto the apron. Brooks gets a rollup on King for a near fall moments later. Brooks kicks King from the apron and heads to the top but misses King. King delivers a boot right on Adam’s jaw. Brooks comes back with a knee strike. Brooks takes King over with a reverse hurricanrana.
They both go to the apron and they begin to trade strikes. King has Brooks on his shoulders but Brooks breaks free to deliver a knee strike. Brooks goes to the top rope and delivers a double knee strike on the apron! King goes to the floor and Brooks takes Brody out with a twisting dive. Brooks hits a slingshot DDT back into the ring but King kicks out at two. King is dropkicked into the corner and comes back with a lariat. King spikes Brooks with a piledriver for a near fall. King clotheslines Brooks in the corner a few times. Brooks charges back with a dropkick in the corner. Brooks hits a Codebreaker off the middle rope and King staggers a bit. Brooks botches a tornado DDT attempt it looked like. King hits a springboard somersault dive and a German suplex for a near fall. King goes for a middle rope moonsault but Brooks got his knees up. Brooks plants King with a springboard Canadian Destroyer. Brooks hits a Swanton Bomb off the top and pins King. (***1/2. Well, that was a great way to star the show. It felt like the fans were heavily behind Brody and would haver preferred him to win the match. I have to agree with that. Brody was incredibly impressive in this match and looked like a capable star for PWG. I can’t really remember the last true “home grown” talent for PWG. Don’t get me wrong, Brooks was entertaining too, but Brody came out with more interest from me, even in defeat.)
Second Contest: ROH World Champion Dalton Castle vs. Joey Janela: Castle has the ROH World Championship with him. Janela backs Dalton into a corner but backs away taunting the champion. Dalton trips Janela and then blows on Joey’s belly. Janela goes on to talk about strawberries and honey to look at, which cracks up Excalibur. They focus on some amateur wrestling for a few moments. Castle has Janela hooked up for a gut wrench but Janela is able to break free and they counter a few holds. Castle gets up and does his taunt to send Joey bailing to the ring into the crowd out of fear. Janela wants to shake hands but has his fingers crossed. Castle was laughing at how Janela pointed his feet on a pose. Janela cheap shots Castle in the corner but neither man can get any offense in the corner. Janela eye pokes Castle to get momentum. Joey controls Castle on the mat with a wrist lock. Joey runs the ropes several times as Castle is sitting on the canvas and Dalton is just waiting for him humorously. Janela ends up delivering another eye poke. Janela does the You Can’t See Me taunt.
Castle works over Janela in the corner with strikes as Joey is placed on the top turnbuckle. Dalton hooks Janela but Joey fights out and attempts a sunset flip powerbomb. Castle holds onto the turnbuckle pad and punches Joey a few times to break free. Janela traps Castle upside down and delivers another eye poke. Castle goes into the crowd and tries to rub his eyes to regain his vision. Castle puts his hand in his tights and then slaps Janela! Castle works over Janela with a snap suplex. Castle dumps Janela to the apron but Joey forearms Dalton before heading to the top rope but Castle kicks Joey onto the top rope. Castle delivers a running knee strike from the apron causing Joey to fall to the floor. Castle blows on Joey’s belly again. Castle takes Joey down to the mat and delivers several forearm strikes. Janela drops Castle over the middle turnbuckle for a near fall. Janela heads to the top rope and takes Castle out with a somersault dive to the floor.
Janela tosses a chair onto Castle. Janela continues to work over Castle sending him chest first into the corner. Castle tries to boot Joey in the corner but settles for a right hand. Castle connects with a clothesline to turn Janela inside out. Castle runs into a boot in the corner but tosses Janela with an overhead suplex for a near fall after Joey came off the middle rope. Janela sends Castle into the corner followed by a German suplex and superkick for a near fall. Janela tries for a double under hook but Castle breaks free. Castle almost wins with an inside cradle as a counter to a figure four. Castle tosses Janela down to the mat a few times. Castle knee lifts Janela in the corner and goes to the middle rope. Janela with another eye poke and hits a top rope hurricanrana. Janela locks in the figure four leg lock. Castle is able to rollover but Janela rolls back over. Castle reaches the bottom rope to break the hold. Castle back elbows Janela followed by a few knee strikes in the corner to drop Joey to the mat. Dalton hits a dead lift German from the apron into the ring for a near fall. Dalton misses a running attack hitting the corner and crashes to the floor. Janela takes Dalton out with a suicide dive. Joey spikes Dalton with a package piledriver but Castle kicks out at two. Joey misses a double stomp from the top and Castle has Joey on his shoulder before spinning around and dropping Janela down to the mat for the win. (**. Well, it was mostly a comedy match and it felt like it was taking forever for it to end. There were moments where it was entertaining stuff, but if you take out the comedy aspect there wasn’t a whole lot going on here. The dive from Janela was a bright spot, but it was mostly just blowing on a belly and eye pokes as the main story to the match.)
Third Contest: David Starr vs. Travis Banks: Banks runs over Starr with a clothesline and delivers a kick from the apron as Starr bailed to the floor. Banks takes Starr out with a suicide dive, a few times. Starr is actually knocked all the way through the curtain. Starr comes back with a slam and a spinning back suplex onto the apron. Starr dives over the top to take Banks out on the floor. Banks works over Starr with a kick to the back but Starr comes back with another chop as they are now brawling around ringside. Starr misses a running somersault attack and hits a chair instead of Banks. Starr sits himself on the chair and Banks takes Starr out with a double knee strike off the apron into the crowd. Banks delivers a few elbow strikes and Starr is sent into the corner as Starr attempted a running strike. Banks delivers a cannonball senton into the corner. Starr elbows Banks but is met with a dropkick sending him into the corner. Banks hits a double stomp to David’s back for a near fall. Starr stops Banks on the middle rope managing to hit a powerbomb backbreaker and a brainbuster onto his knee for a near fall.
Starr runs the ropes to deliver a knee strike for a near fall on Banks. They begin to trade strikes from their knees. They get to their feet with Starr delivering several strikes on Banks, but Banks doesn’t go down. Banks kicks Starr’s legs and delivers a series of kicks to Starr followed by a superkick. Starr goes to the apron and DDTs Banks on the apron. Banks springboard kicks Starr, but Starr quickly comes back with a running lariat. They slap each other as they slowly get to their feet. Starr springboards off the middle rope and strikes Banks. Starr delivers a Flatliner back into the ring from the apron for a near fall. Banks drives Starr down with a slam for a near fall and locks in the Crossface. Starr counters with a backbreaker to break the hold. Starr places Banks on the top turnbuckle and hooks Banks for a superplex. Banks counters with an Avalanche Kiwi Crusher for the win. (***. A solid match between these two, though some of the spots didn’t seem to fit very well with me. There were a few times where they tried to make it come across as a more intense, hard hitting match than it actually was. In order for that to work, you’ve got to let things breath a little bit, and I didn’t get that from this match.)
Fourth Contest: Flip Gordon vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: The fans seem to be really pumped about this match, especially noticeable for Sabre’s ring introduction. Sabre backs Gordon into a corner but backs away taunting Gordon afterward. Gordon avoids a big boot and then does several handspring pop ups, which gets a good pop for the first time I’ve ever seen. Gordon head scissors Sabre to the floor and fakes a springboard to the floor. Gordon dropkicks Sabre to the floor and delivers a baseball slide dropkick. Gordon kicks Sabre from the apron and hits a moonsault off the middle rope to the floor. Gordon delivers a kick to Sabre’s midsection but Sabre gets control delivering a twisting neck vise with his feet. Sabre stomps on Gordon several times and drives Gordon’s knee down to the mat. Sabre keeps Gordon on the mat with a modified abdominal stretch on the canvas. Sabre boots Gordon into a corner but Gordon avoids Sabre in the corner. Sabre plants Gordon with a tornado DDT and has a choke hold locked in for a moment. Gordon is able to drop Sabre down to the mat back first to break the hold. Gordon chops Sabre several times but isn’t able to stagger Sabre much. Sabre puts an abdominal stretch on Gordon but isn’t able to get a submission.
Gordon kicks Sabre on the back and delivers a 619 to Sabre’s chest. Gordon has Sabre on his shoulders but Sabre switches to a sleeper and then a choke hold. Gordon gets out of the hold and manages to hit a springboard Slingblade to drop Sabre to the mat. Gordon heads to the top rope but Sabre cuts him off. Gordon gets off the top and kicks Sabre on the middle rope followed by an uppercut and dropkick to drop Sabre to the mat. Sabre gets a choke hold on Gordon, but Gordon plants Sabre with a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. They begin to trade uppercuts in the middle of the ring. Gordon misses a few kicks and Sabre locks in an STF! Sabre switches to a Rings of Saturn type of move and then switches again to a cross arm breaker but Gordon reaches the ropes. Sabre casually stomps on Gordon a few times. They begin to trade forearm strikes. Sabre kicks Gordon after a standing moonsault and has an ankle lock on Gordon briefly. Sabre gets ahold of Gordon but Gordon his Samoan Pop. Gordon tries for a standing shooting star press, but Sabre gets a triangle choke on him! Gordon sits Sabre on the top turnbuckle and delivers a kick to Sabre’s face to knock Sabre to the mat. Gordon heads to the top rope and hits a 450 splash but Sabre kicks out at two!
Sabre takes Gordon down to the mat and gets a bridging suplex pin for a near fall. Gordon superkicks Sabre, but Sabre counters a springboard stunner attempt and locks in a leg lock turned into Napalm Death for the win. (***1/4. That was a great showcase by Zack Sabre Jr. and I got a vibe from him of being a better, modern day version of Bob Backlund. The bridging suplex spot really cemented that since Backlund used that move quite a bit. If you appreciate wrestling, I think you’ll appreciate what Sabre does. I really enjoyed what he did here.)
Fifth Contest: Keith Lee vs. Matthew Riddle: Riddle jumps onto Lee early on but is easily shoved off and regroups. Riddle takes Lee down working over the arm, but Lee does get to his feet quickly to get Riddle off of him. Riddle works over Lee with strikes in the corner several times to get control. Lee blocks a leaping forearm with a running Pounce and Riddle goes flying into the air! Lee decks Riddle with a forearm and gets a two count. Lee stands on Riddle’s chest for a few moments. Lee works over Riddle with strikes in the corner. Riddle fights back with several strikes but Lee decks Riddle with a forearm. Lee tosses Riddle across the ring and delivers a big splash in the corner. Lee chops Riddle in the corner to keep control of the match. Riddle forearms Lee and fights back with strikes. Riddle knee strikes Lee and has him on his shoulders until Lee breaks free. Riddle blocks a strike and Lee blocks a strike as well. Riddle takes Lee over with a snap suplex for a near fall. Riddle kicks Lee several times in the chest but Lee is able to lift Riddle up into the air and drives him down to the mat. Riddle fights back with strikes but a forearm stops him. Riddle kicks Lee a few times but misses a knee strike. Lee tosses Riddle but Riddle comes back with a German suplex.
Lee doesn’t really sell that and the crowd explodes. Riddle strikes Lee several times but Lee delivers a spinning forearm strike. Lee chops Riddle and is met with a knee strike. Lee drops Riddle with a headbutt strike for a near fall. Riddle hits the Bro To Sleep and a German suplex but Lee kicks out at two. Riddle has Lee setup and hits a tombstone piledriver for a near fall! Riddle delivers a senton splash to Lee a few times. Riddle and Lee trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Lee clubs Riddle with a lariat for a two count. Lee goes to the middle rope and hits a moonsault for a two count. Lee plants Riddle with a sit down powerbomb for a near fall! Riddle literally bounced off the mat. Lee heads to the top rope but Riddle cuts him off. Riddle powerbombs Lee followed by a knee strike for a near fall. Riddle pummels Lee with strikes on the mat but isn’t able to get a three count. Riddle knee strikes a kneeling Lee several times. Lee plants Riddle with a modified jackhammer but Riddle kicks out at two. Lee has Riddle on his shoulders while standing on the middle rope, but Riddle shoves Lee off. Riddle hits a top rope senton splash for a two count. Riddle goes to the top rope again hitting another senton splash. Riddle goes for the cover but Lee pops up and goes on a flurry of offense. Lee powerbombs Riddle followed by a jackhammer for the win. (***1/2. This felt like a big undercard match and they both looked really good in there. A nicely done undercard match right before the main event. Riddle continues to impress me and Lee was made out to look like a beast thanks to Riddle selling of his offense.)
Main Event: PWG World Champion Chuck Taylor vs. Trent: These two are Best Friends, but not tonight as the PWG World Championship is on the line. They shake hands much to the delight of the fans. Trent comes off the ropes with a shoulder block and helps Taylor up. Trent keeps Taylor on the mat with a headlock for a moment. Trent does the move again and this time Taylor doesn’t accept being helped up. Taylor comes off the ropes to shoulder block Trent and offers to help Trent up, but decides to work on the left arm. They trade a couple of pin attempts and then have a standoff. They decide to embrace with a hug and the fans love it. Trent quickly goes for a rollup for a near fall. They shove each other and Taylor backs Trent into a corner. Taylor backdrops Trent to get control of the match. Taylor drives Trent down with a back suplex. Taylor keeps control on Trent with an abdominal stretch to a seated Trent and stomps on his elbow. Trent gets a sunset flip for a near fall but Taylor comes back with a clothesline for a two count. Trent fights back with chops on Taylor until a knee lift stops him. Trent connects with a running knee strike to stop the champion. Trent forearms and chops Taylor followed by a kick to Chuck’s head. Trent delivers an elbow strike in the corner and forearms Taylor in the ropes. Trent delivers a sliding German suplex in the corner. Trent misses a spear hitting the post shoulder first.
Taylor slams Trent face first onto the apron. Taylor slams Trent face first onto a chair in the crowd. Trent forearms Taylor but is met with a chair shot to the midsection and back. Taylor has set a few chairs up in the crowd, similar to what he did with Ricochet. Taylor tosses a chair into Trent’s face. Taylor gets on the headset and says he’s going to hurt Trent. Taylor takes Trent off the stage with a snap suplex onto the chairs!
They get back to the ringside area as they get on the apron where Trent spikes Taylor with a piledriver. Trent chops Taylor on the apron to get momentum. Trent delivers another piledriver on the apron. Taylor leg sweeps Trent off the apron and piledrives Trent onto a chair. Taylor rolls Trent into the ring to continue the match. Trent forearms Taylor a few times on the chest. Taylor comes back with a few strikes, too. They trade a series of forearms in the middle of the ring. They drop to their knees and out of exhaustion looks like they’re hugging. Taylor decks Trent with a right hand. Taylor decks Trent with another right hand. Trent overhand chops Trent but is met with a big boot. Trent is busted open under his left eye. Taylor had decked Trent a few times to cause the bleed job. Taylor delivers another boot shot to Trent’s face. They begin to trade forearm strikes again and chops. Taylor powerbombs Trent and follows up with a sit down powerbomb. Taylor sets Trent up on the top looking for the Awful Waffle but Trent counters with a reverse tombstone! Trent has the cover but Taylor kicks out at two.
Taylor spikes Trent with a quick piledriver for a near fall. Taylor hits a cradle piledriver for another two count. Taylor punches Trent a few times to keep control of the match. Taylor sends Trent into the middle turnbuckle rather viciously. Taylor sends Trent into the corner upside down. Trent nails Taylor with a clothesline and hits another reverse tombstone for a near fall. Trent has the PWG World Championship but doesn’t use it. Taylor low blows Trent and gets an inside cradle for the win. (***1/4. Well, the match was solid but the finish felt like a cheap tactic you’d see in Memphis wrestling or something. The fans didn’t seem to enjoy it at all, the finish at least. I took this as Taylor playing a heel role, and I’m totally fine with that. Chuck being a face champion doesn’t seem like it would have a long-lasting feel to it. Anyway, a fine match but the finish felt flat, for sure.)
As per usual, PWG has a solid show and continues to be one of the best independent promotions going. I look forward to more of PWG.
Thanks for reading.