Phoenix Championship Wrestling
From: Toms River, NJ
Opening Contest: Chris Hamrick vs. The Amazing Red: Hamrick tosses Red to the mat to start the contest a couple of times. Red hip tosses Hamrick over the top to the floor. Red takes Hamrick out with a somersault dive. Red rolls Hamrick into the ring and keeps control sending Hamrick into the corner. Red goes to the top hitting a neckbreaker for a near fall. Red goes to the apron and tries for a springboard, but is met with a superkick by Hamrick. Hamrick spikes Red with a piledriver. Hamrick has Red in a modified surfboard, but lets go and switches to a Boston Crab. Hamrick pulls back on Red’s arm and swings Red before dropping Red to the mat. Hamrick works over Red in the corner with a stomp. Red kicks Hamrick and tries for a tornado DDT, but is sat on the top turnbuckle. Hamrick hits a top rope superplex leading to a near fall. Hamrick goes to the top rope and tries for a springboard, but is kicked below the belt. Red connects with a spinning kick for a two count. Red stomps on Hamrick and goes for a springboard, but slips off and falls to the floor. Hamrick sits Red on the top turnbuckle and hits a stunner out of a vertical suplex. Hamrick goes to the top and flips off the crowd leading to a near fall. Hamrick goes to the top again and misses a leg drop. Red hits a standing shooting star press and pins Hamrick for the win. (**1/2. A quick match going less than eight minutes, but it had plenty of big spots. Hamrick pulled out some good moves and I enjoyed what they put out there.)
Second Contest: Rich Myers vs. Mike Preston: Myers hammers away on Preston, but Preston dumps Myers to the floor. Myers takes Preston out with a suicide dive on the floor. Myers hammers away on Preston some more. Myers chops Preston against the ropes a few times. Myers connects with a hurricanrana for a two count. Myers chases Preston’s manager around ringside, but delivers right hands in the ring. Preston hits a side Russian leg sweep to drive Myers to the mat. Preston elbow strikes Myers followed by right hands in the corner. Myers tries to fight back, but a knee lift stops him. Preston elbows Myers coming off the ropes. Preston taunts the fans and hits a delayed vertical suplex. Preston tries for a backdrop, but decks Myers to avoid a sunset flip. Myers hammers away on Preston and hits a German suplex for the three count. However, Preston got his shoulder up and has won the match. (*. There wasn’t much structure to this one and it felt rushed for whatever reason. The finish kind of fell flat, but I guess it opens up for a rematch between them if they wanted to.)
Third Contest: SAT vs. Little Ricky & Nicky Benz: All four men are in the ring as Joel hits a hurricanrana on Benz. Jose beats on Ricky in the corner with right hands. Benz is sent to the floor as Ricky is slammed to the mat by the SAT. Joel recklessly drops Ricky on his neck on a botched double team move. Joel baseball slides Benz on the floor. Jose hits a springboard moonsault to take out both Benz and Ricky. Benz is taken down by a drop toe hold and is dropkicked by Jose coming off the ropes. Ricky is dumped to the apron by Jose. Ricky nails Jose on the apron and Benz delivers a facebuster to Jose for a two count. Benz stomps on Jose in the corner to maintain the advantage. Benz delivers a rolling neck snap and tags in Ricky. Ricky slams Jose and follows up with an elbow drop for a near fall. Jose fights back with strikes, but Ricky cuts him off. Benz tags into the match and delivers a forearm off the middle rope. Benz chokes Jose over the middle rope. Ricky tags into the match and hits a snap suplex for a near fall. Ricky boot scrapes Jose on the mat and tags Benz back into the match. Benz and Ricky hit a side slam/middle rope leg drop combo for a two count. Benz keeps a front face lock on Jose, but doesn’t get a submission. Jose makes the tag, but the referee didn’t see the tag. Jose continues to be beaten down in the corner. Ricky delivers a neckbreaker to Jose and tags Benz back into the match. Benz misses a clothesline, but avoids a tornado DDT and drops Jose to the mat face first. Benz covers Jose for a two count. Ricky headbutts Jose and hits a Michinoku Driver for a near fall.
Ricky slams Jose and Benz goes to the top rope missing a frog splash. Benz is punched by Joel in the corner and Jose makes the tag. Ricky and Joel are tagged in with Joel cleaning house with chops. Joel backdrops Benz and backdrops Ricky. Benz misses a clothesline and Joel hits a snap powerslam for a two count. Joel plants Benz with a brainbuster, but Ricky helps out with strikes. Ricky superkicks Joel coming off the ropes. Benz is sent into the corner and crotches Ricky. Jose spears Benz after a monkey flip by Joel. Jose spikes Ricky with a brainbuster and Joel hits a top rope moonsault for the win. (**. A decent match if not a little sloppy by the four men. I was surprised to not see the Spanish Fly. SAT are fun to watch and they did a fine job with Benz and Ricky.)
Donnie B is in the ring to cut a promo and thanks the 600 fans in the building. Donnie says that on January 11th he said that Eddie Guerrero would be there and he’s there. Donnie announces that Ric Blade fractured his leg and he’s the only announced guy that’s not there. Donnie promises Blade that he’s got a spot on the PCW roster. Doctor Hurts comes out as the new commissioner. Hurts announces a few matches for the next big event. He announces the winner of Daniels and Kazarian taking Amazing Red (didn’t happen). Evolution, the tag champs, will wrestle the winners of Ballard Brothers/Backseat Boys (didn’t happen). WCW wrestler The Wall will wrestle former WWF wrestler Gangrel (that did happen).
Fourth Contest: Quiet Storm vs. Chi Chi Cruz: Cruz gets wrist control on Storm in the opening moment of the match. Storm takes Cruz down with a fireman’s carry. Storm arm drags Cruz a couple of times. Cruz arm drags Storm and they have a standoff. Cruz misses a spinning heel kick and Storm clotheslines Cruz to the floor. Storm chases around the ring and hits an overhead suplex in the ring followed by a clothesline for a two count. Cruz knee strikes Storm and dropkicks Storm on the knee. Cruz focuses his attack on the injured leg. Cruz gets out of a sunset flip and works over the knee some more. Cruz splashes down onto Storm’s knee. Storm kicks Cruz over the top to the floor. Storm slingshots Cruz into the ring and hits a northern lights suplex a few times managing a two count. Cruz works over the left knee with stomps. Storm takes Cruz down to the mat and locks in an STF. Cruz plants Storm with an STO. Storm shoves Cruz off the middle rope and leaps off the top hitting a diving headbutt. Storm drives Cruz down with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Storm heads to the top missing a knee drop. Cruz drops Storm over his knee and locks in a Texas cloverleaf. Storm is forced to submit. (*1/2. They told a story even if Storm didn’t really sell the knee injury when he did the suplexs. Regardless, they tried to put something together. The match was just a little boring for my liking.)
Fifth Contest: ECWA Heavyweight Champion Christopher Daniels vs. Frankie Kazarian: They start off with a test of strength, but Daniels gets wrist control for a moment. Kazarian quickly counters with a wrist lock of his own. Daniels takes Kazarian to the mat with a headlock, but Kazarian counters with a head scissors on the mat. Daniels rolls through to get a headlock on Kazarian. Daniels shoulder blocks Kazarian and runs the ropes leading to a botched arm drag by Kazarian. Daniels arm drags Kazarian and kicks Kazarian away leading to a standoff with Daniels stumbling into the corner to regroup. Daniels fakes a handshake and eye rakes Kazarian. Kazarian backdrops Daniels followed by a dropkick. Kazarian clotheslines Daniels over the top to the floor. Kazarian hits a slingshot crossbody to the outside. They continue to trade strikes around ringside. Daniels atomic drops Kazarian followed by a swinging neckbreaker. Daniels rams Kazarian into the corner face first a couple of times. Kazarian ducks a clothesline and nails Daniels with a clothesline. Kazarian misses a springboard crossbody and crashes to the mat. Daniels tries for a cover, but Kazarian kicks out. Daniels headbutts Kazarian against the ropes and delivers a clothesline. Daniels tries for a slam, but Kazarian gets a two count with an inside cradle. Daniels regains control with a clothesline. Kazarian hammers away on Daniels, but is kicked by Daniels. Kazarian nails Daniels with a forearm smash. Daniels misses a kick as Kazarian catches the boot. Kazarian tries for a back suplex, but Daniels yanks Kazarian down to the mat from behind leading to a near fall.
Daniels plants Kazarian with a Falcon Arrow for a near fall and puts a headlock on Kazarian to keep control. Kazarian elbows free and ducks a clothesline. Kazarian his a float over swinging neckbreaker, but can’t followup. Kazarian hammers away on Daniels several times. Kazarian clotheslines Daniels a few times followed by a gut wrench facebuster. Kazarian delivers a somersault neckbreaker for a two count. Kazarian slams Daniels to the mat and hits a springboard leg drop for a near fall. Kazarian backdrops Daniels, but Daniels battles back with an STO. Daniels hits the BME for a near fall. Daniels hits a spinning sit out powerbomb, but the referee is knocked down. Daniels tries for the Angels Wings, but Kazarian counters with a reverse DDT. The Ballard Brothers come out to hit a double flatliner on Kazarian. Daniels covers Kazarian and wins the match to retain the title. (**3/4. Surprisingly this was a little sloppier than I was expecting. The action is good and there’s plenty of quality moves to not make the match boring by any means. They just seemed to mistime a few things that took me out of the bout. The finish is just setting up a tag title match down the line. Maybe a stronger finish makes this a better overall outing.)
Prior to the next match, Jumbo Joe Gunns comes out to be in Prophet corner to combat Prodigy and his manager Silvermane.
Sixth Contest: PCW Television Champion The Prodigy vs. The Prophet: Prophet gets wrist control, but Prodigy takes Prophet down to the mat to deliver an elbow drop. Prodigy continues with strikes in the corner. Prophet hip tosses and dropkicks Prodigy. Prophet delivers a sloppy springboard dropkick off the top. Prophet hits another missile dropkick leading to a near fall. Prophet continues with strikes against the ropes. Prodigy ducks an elbow and hits a suplex for a two count. Prodigy is met with a big boot, but ducks a second kick and clotheslines Prophet for a one count. Prodigy sends Prophet into the corner and delivers a running kick to send Prophet to the floor. Silvermane cheap shots Prophet on the floor. Prophet ducks a clothesline and drives Prodigy down with a sloppy neckbreaker. Prophet drives Prodigy’s knee down to the mat and locks in an Indian death lock, but doesn’t get a submission. Prodigy reaches the ropes to get out of a leg lock. Prophet plants Prodigy with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Gunns and Silvermane brawl on the floor as Prophet gets a two count with a rollup. Prodigy avoids Prophet in the corner and connects with a middle rope fallaway slam for the win. (*1/4. Prodigy looked solid in there and much better than what I remember seeing from him in ECW. Prophet was really sloppy and was working a style that he didn’t seem comfortable doing. At least it was fairly short.)
Prior to the next match, it’s announced that Trent Acid is stuck in Japan and Johnny Kashmere has a new partner for the might
Seventh Contest: Ballard Brothers (Shane & Shannon) vs. Johnny Kashmere & Matt Vandal: Ballard’s attack Kashmere before the bell, but Vandal runs in and makes the save. Vandal catches Shane, but Shannon hits a missile dropkick. Vandal powers out of a pin attempt. Vandal press slams Shane over the top onto Shannon on the floor. Kashmere hits a somersault dive to the floor. Kashmere and Vandal follow to the floor to continue brawling. Vandal sends Shannon into the ring post. Kashmere delivers a spear in the corner and a bulldog. Kashmere misses a spear and hit the post. Ballard’s deliver a double backbreaker to Kashmere. Shane stomps on Kashmere and tags in Shannon. Ballard’s hit a double team splash for a two count on Kashmere. Kashmere delivers a big boot, but Shane decks Kashmere from the apron. Vandal distracts the referee allowing the Ballard’s to keep control. Shannon chokes Kashmere with a Canadian flag. Ballard’s keeps a Boston Crab/chin lock combo on Kashmere, but they don’t get a submission. Kashmere hits a double clothesline and Vandal enters to clean house with clotheslines and dropkicks. Vandal hooks Shane with a vertical suplex for a two count. Vandal counters a double suplex by hitting a double suplex of his own. Vandal strikes the Ballard’s, but slips off the top rope. Vandal is backdropped over the top to the floor. Kashmere tries for a brainbuster, but the Ballard’s hit a double flatliner for the win. (*1/2. I was surprised that the Ballard’s won this match as the booking would make me think that the makeshift team would perhaps prevail, but the clean win for the heels is fine by me. Vandal messing up seemed to lead to a rushed finish. He may have gotten hurt. The crowd was fairly lifeless for this one, though.)
Steve Corino comes out as he will be presenting the PCW Heavyweight Championship to the winner of the next match. Corino puts over PCW as being a place that could become number one.
Eighth Contest: PCW Heavyweight Champion Harley Lewis vs. Slayer in a falls count anywhere match: Lewis whacks Slayer with a chair shot as Slayer is still in a straight jacket he wears during his entrance. Slayer rolls to the floor, but Lewis sends Slayer back into the ring. Lewis realizes it’s not Slayer it’s a random kid. Slayer comes into the ring from behind and hits Lewis with chair shots. Lewis no sells and chops Slayer. Slayer hits a springboard back elbow to knock Lewis to the floor. They brawl on the floor where Lewis sends Slayer into the ring post face first. Lewis sends Slayer into the plexiglass at the hockey rink. They continue to brawl around ringside in front of the fans. Slayer delivers several strikes against the ropes. Slayer has a trash can, but Lewis kicks Slayer and whacks Slayer with the trash can. Lewis puts the trash can over Slayer and whacks the can with several chair shots. Lewis goes for a cover, but Slayer kicks out. Father Ozzy gets on the apron to distract Lewis. Lewis and Ozzy brawl on the floor. Slayer takes them both out with a dive off the top. Slayer misses a leg drop off the top. Lewis chops Slayer in the corner and hits a side suplex for a two count. Lewis sets a door up in the corner. Slayer puts Lewis through the door in the corner for a near fall. Slayer puts the broken door on Lewis and hits a splash off the top onto Lewis for a two count. Lewis powerbombs Slayer for a near fall. Lewis gets the hood of a car and brings it into the ring. Lewis powerbombs Slayer onto the hood and pins Slayer for the win. (*1/2. Having this be essentially a street fight probably allowed this to be better than it would have been in a normal setting. Slayer didn’t do much for me, but I’d like to see Harley compete against a more seasoned competitor. The match flew by because of the weapons. Using the hood of a car was unique and I don’t remember promotions using doors instead of tables in 2002, so that was cool, too.)
Harley Lewis cuts a promo on Steve Corino calling him a POS and wants him to put the title around his waist. Lewis insults ECW and Corino is trying to keep things cool. Corino is shoved by Lewis and spat on. Corino and Lewis end up brawling in the ring. Corino promises to kick Lewis ass and take the belt on April 5th.
Main Event: Nova vs. Eddie Guerrero: Guerrero backs Nova into a corner out of a lockup, but breaks off cleanly. They counter waist locks until Guerrero gets a two count on a rollup. Guerrero gets a hammerlock on Nova and locks in a headlock, but Nova counters with a hammerlock. They have a standoff after countering each other on the mat. Nova shoulder blocks Guerrero and they have another standoff. Guerrero takes Nova down to the mat with a headlock. Nova forearms free and Guerrero shoulder blocks Nova to the mat. Guerrero keeps a wrist lock on Nova followed by elbow strikes and keeps Nova on the mat to keep control. Guerrero elbows Nova on the arm a few times. Nova and Guerrero do a test of strength with Nova gaining the advantage. Guerrero kicks Nova a few times and almost pins Nova out of a test of strength. Guerrero fails to keep Nova on the mat long enough. Nova gets a two count with an inside cradle. Guerrero head scissors Nova and they trade pin attempts leading to another standoff. Nova wants to shake hands, but Guerrero fakes out. Nova monkey flips Guerrero, but they both land on their feet. Nova hits a side Russian leg sweep to send Guerrero to the floor to regroup.
Guerrero returns to the ring and wants to shake hands promising Nova he’s being honest and proceeds to clothesline Nova. Guerrero pummels Nova with right hands in the corner. Guerrero elbows Nova over the head a few times. Guerrero drops Nova with an uppercut. Guerrero locks in a modified abdominal stretch, but switches to an STF. Nova reaches the ropes and Guerrero delivers a boot scrape to the face. Guerrero hits a fallaway slam and connects with a slingshot senton for a two count. Guerrero locks in another abdominal stretch. Guerrero clotheslines Nova after a pin attempt with a rollup. Guerrero puts a Gory Special on Nova, but doesn’t get a submission. Nova counters with a rollup for a two count. Nova gets a rollup and nearly wins the match again. Guerrero elbows Nova followed by a leaping back elbow. Guerrero goes back to a camel clutch in the middle of the ring. Guerrero splashes down onto Nova’s back and continues with an elbow drop. Guerrero knee lifts Nova followed by a right hand. Nova flapjacks Guerrero and gets a two count. Guerrero dropkicks Nova on the knee and locks in a standing figure four until Nova reaches the ropes. Guerrero shoulder rams Nova in the corner. Guerrero tries for a back suplex, but Nova counters and they collide heads in the corner.
They trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Nova backdrops and clotheslines Guerrero. Nova atomic drops Guerrero and hits a leaping forearm smash. Nova kicks Guerrero on the knee and the back of the head for a two count. Nova hooks Guerrero for a piledriver, but settles for a backslide managing a two count. Nova gets a two count with a rollup. Nova tries for the Kryptonite Krunch, but Guerrero counters with a back suplex and both men are down. Nova counters a brainbuster with a reverse DDT. Nova hits a second reverse DDT for a two count. Nova heads to the top, but Guerrero stops Nova. Nova shoves Guerrero off, but Guerrero gets back up there after a second shove. Guerrero drives Nova to the mat with a superplex off the top. Guerrero knee lifts Nova and spikes Nova with a brainbuster, but rolls through to hit a second brainbuster. Guerrero goes to the top, but is taking his time. Guerrero misses a frog splash and Nova almost wins with a rollup. Nova puts Guerrero on the top turnbuckle. Nova is shoved off and Guerrero hits the frog splash for the clean win. (***1/4. It’s a competitive match, but it felt like Nova didn’t have all that much of impactful moves and was mostly using counters or rollups for his offense. I enjoyed the action and the crowd was receptive to what they did here. It’s not some kind of indie classic, but it’s a solid match and a quality match to end the show.)
I was interested in this show for Daniels/Kazarian and seeing Guerrero on the indie against Nova during a time when Nova was getting a lot of praise. Both those matches delivered, but the rest of the show was lacking strong action aside from the opening match with Red/Hamrick. Luckily, most of the action didn’t feel like it took forever to get through nor were they given way too much time. Thus, I’ll give this a thumbs in the middle. There’s enough notable talent to not make this a regrettable viewing experience.
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.