Written by: TJ Hawke
March 22, 2013
Commentators: Excalibur, Sami Callihan, Rick Knox, Chuck Taylor, & Kevin Steen
Paul London vs. Kevin Steen
Assuming my calculations are correct, London is making his first appearance in PWG since December 2010.
There were some shenanigans involving shoulder tackles early on. London went to the back and brought out gloves. He put them on just to take them off. The gloves are off. London nearly killed himself with a dropkick. London then hit an Asai Moonsault. Steen managed to get control of the match shortly after that. London eventually fought back with various strikes and a double stomp to Steen’s back. London went for a slingshot move, but Steen caught him and hit the F-Cinq: 1…2…NO! London managed to hit a DVD! That got a nearfall. Steen came back with a cannonball splash and a sleeper suplex. Steen tried to go for a super F-Cinq, but London reversed it into a sunset flip powerbomb. London then hit a shooting star press onto Steen’s back: 1…2…3!
This was a rock solid opener, and it was great to finally see these two have a singles match. The Reseda crowd loves them some Paul London, and he clearly worked to impress.
Also, am I the only one who notices how much Paul London sweats? So much perspiration!
Match Rating: ***
The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) vs. Friends In Similar Tights (Johnny Gargano & Chuck Taylor)
This is Gargano’s PWG debut.
The Bucks managed to isolate Gargano early on, and they worked him over for a while. Gargano was obviously eventually able to tag out to Sexy Chucky T. Chuck hit a tope con hello on both Bucks. Gargano hit a tope suicida on Matt, while Chuck got a nearfall on Nick with a Lionsault. FIST hit Matt with the Eating Steak & Getting Pussy: 1…2…NO! The teams went back and forth for a while. Gargano ate a bunch of movez from the Bucks, but he managed to survive. Matt murdered Chuck with a Silverking DDT on the apron. Gargano speared Matt through the ropes and to the floor. Taylor ate a double superkick. Gargano went for the Gotcha Spear, but he, too, ate a double superkick. Awesome. Taylor got kicked in the balls. Gargano ate a double superkick, a Buckle Bomb/enzuigiri combo, and the More Bang For Your Buck: 1…2…3!
I believe this was the second time that these two teams have squared off, and they clearly complement each other perfectly. The match somewhat awkwardly slowed down right before the end, but this was the second straight thumbs up of the night.
Match Rating: ***1/2
Eddie “Eddie Edwards” Edwards vs. Jay Lethal
Eddie was the first to get control in the match. Lethal then took over for a while. Lethal was doing the Black Machismo stuff, by the way. Thankfully, it did not overwhelm anything. Eddie hit a tope suicida. Lethal came back with a superkick, a Silverking dropkick, and a tope suicida. After a few awkward minutes, Eddie hit the Funplex. Eddie got a nearfall with a 2K1 Bomb. Lethal came back with the Lethal Combination and a Hail to the King for a nearfall. Lethal transitioned into the Koji Cluth, but EEEE reversed it into the single leg crab. Jay survived and hit a Dragon Suplex. Lethal went for the Lethal Injection, but Eddie met the handspring with the thrust kick. Eddie then hit a ghetto stomp, but Jay came back with a Lethal Injection: 1…2…NO! EEEE hit a super hurricanrana, a lariat, a powerbomb, and then locked in the single leg crab again. Jay immediately tapped out.
This was kind of a weird match that I did not enjoy as much as I expected. The first few minutes were nifty and interesting. Then they just did a bunch of stuff, and very little of it was interesting to me. I don’t know. Most people seemed to enjoy it much more than me. I can’t really explain why it didn’t tickle my wrestling bone. The fans responded well to it though.
Match Rating: ***
AR Fox & Samuray Del Sol vs. Inner City Machine Guns (Ricochet & Rich Swann)
This was the PWG debut for Fox and Del Sol.
Fox hit Swann with a Twister, and Ricochet then hit him with a springboard Meteora. Ricochet and Del Sol then did the greatest sequence in the history of pro wrestling. Ricochet and Swann managed to work Del Sol over for a while. Fox tagged in and did three dives in a row. Del Sol got a nearfall on Swann with a standing sliced bread. Del Sol then hit an Air Jordan. Fox then ate a bunch of movez. Ricochet then took a bunch of movez. Ricochet hit a tope con hello over a turnbuckle. Fox then hit a Lo Mein Rain onto everyone. “He’s too stupid to feel pain,” Chuck Taylor. Fox squished Swann with a 450: 1…2…NO! Ricochet and Swann then made a fantastic comeback. Fox ate a tope con hello, and Del Sol ate a 650: 1…2…3
This match was fantastic. It’s one of those tag matches where they do lots of stuff, and they manage to peak at the right moments. Amazingly, I feel like they sort of reeled it in for this match, because they easily could have done way more stuff. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if there is a better match than this on the show.
Match Rating: ****
Roderick Strong vs. Trent?
Trent? started heeling it up after the crowd started trolling him. Roddy took control of the match and worked him over for a while. Trent? came back and got control of the match. Roddy came right back with a belly-to-belly suplex. This is a flat match. Trent? managed to hit a Whisper of the Wind. Excalibur should have called it Twist of Fate as homage to Jim Ross. Roddy avoided the Dudebuster. Trent? got a nearfall with a diving crossbody. This match is as flat as a cup of soda that’s been left out for a week. Sorry, Jerry Lawler hacked this review. Roddy came back with a Drunk Slam and a gutbuster: 1…2…NO! Trent? came back with an Asai Twisty Thingy (full credit to Steen for that one). They traded some pinning combinations after that. Trent? hit the Jig ‘N’ Tonic: 1…2…no. Roddy came back with an Orange Crush Backbreaker: 1…2…3.
I never really got into this. They never really settled into a good dynamic, and by the time they got going, the crowd seemed to lose interest in whatever story they were looking to tell.
Match Rating: **1/2
The Unbreakable Fucking Machines (Michael Elgin & Brian Cage) vs. Future Shock (Kyle O’Reilly & Adam Cole)
The crowd was very clearly behind the Machines. The Machines completely dominated the match for minutes on end until Cole used a steel chair behind the referee’s back. Elgin was worked over after that for a bit. Elgin eventually escaped, and the teams went back and forth. Cage hit Future Shock with a double suplex. That was great. STEREO FUCKING MACHINE SUPLEXES!!! Future Shock managed to survive and come back. Cole managed to hit Elgin with the Panama City Destroyer: 1…2…NO! Cage sent Cole to the floor. The Machines destroyed O’Reilly until Elgin gave him an Elgin Bomb: 1…2…3.
This match was not as good as the Bucks/FIST or Fox/Ricochet/Swann/Del Sol match, but it was definitely very entertaining. I kind of feel that the Machines tag team is a bit of a waste of Michael Elgin, as there are so many big Elgin singles matches that have not happened in PWG yet.
Match Rating: ***1/4
Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan [Guerrilla Warfare]
The winner gets a shot at Adam Cole’s PWG World Title on Night 2.
I did not like their first two PWG matches. The crowd really loves Drake, which should make for a good environment. There were so many streamers, and it took a long time for Rick Knox to get rid of them all. Their last match was practically a Chairs Match; this match started in a similar fashion. Drake hit a senton and then started using a trash can. Sami came back with a powerbomb onto the bottom of a trash can. Ouch. Sami had control of the match after that. Drake was bleeding quite a bit already. Drake fought back. Sami hit a superplex through chairs, which got a one count. Sami then gave Drake a Razor’s Edge through some chairs on the floor. That was one of the more insane spots I have ever seen. The back of Drake’s head was disgusting. Sami then used a staple gun on his head. Sami then stapled a dollar bill to his cheek. “I gotta say, I don’t like this, “ – Kevin Steen. Kevin, I agree. Sami did it again. Drake came back with a piledriver. Drake pulled out a pitcher of thumbtacks. Sami threw some thumbtacks into his face and then gave him a saito suplex into the thumbtacks. In the best thing ever, a streamer was thumbtacked to the top of Drake’s head. Sami then literally poured a carton of SALT into the wound. That was genuinely funny. Drake came back and sent Sami into the thumbtacks. Gibson Driver from Drake got a nearfall. Sami got the advantage back and hit a brogue kick with thumbtacks on his boot. Drake came back with a Drake’s Landing on a chair: 1…2…3.
Drake got “Go to the hospital!” chants. Adam Cole attacked Drake after the match.
Despite them working what was pretty much a deathmatch (which is not my thing at all), I enjoyed this far more than their previous PWG matches. It was crazy and stupid, but for whatever reason, I was never bored here like I expected to be. Quite the compliment, I know.
Match Rating: ***
This is clearly a “Thumbs Up” show, but it’s hard for me to be enthusiastic about my recommendation of it. Given the level of talent booked for this show, it’s almost impossible not to be disappointed by what they ended up booking. Nothing was actively bad, but the show just was not booked to my tastes.