PWG Card Subject To Change III 4/9/2011

Written by: Jim

Card Subject to Change III
April 9, 2011

Peter Avalon vs Johnny Yuma
Surprisingly, it’s Yuma who brings the inappropriate sexual undertones to the match early on. The first half wasn’t anything special, but once they turned the match into a spotfest, things picked up. I’m not really sure why PWG would give these two over ten minutes. They’re better off just having a short spotfest instead of a normal length. Not a bad way to start off the show though. Yuma wins with his nice looking Sex Factor. 2 3/4 Stars.

Portia Perez vs Candice LaRae
Portia already wins me over by making her debut and being a clear cut heel. It’s a big difficult to see her as such since she’s the size of a fourteen year old, but she tries hard. Joey Ryan and Excalibur make up a drinking game whenever one of the ladies hits an armdrag. If you want to get plastered in a matter of minutes, play the game with this match. Candice’s best matches were with the guys, but this definitely wasn’t bad. Candice wins with a surprise crucifix pin. Good debut for Portia. 2 Stars.

Roderick Strong vs Willie Mack
I found this really interesting in that it had the same goal as Hero vs Tozawa from BOLA. In both cases, a top PWG talent battles a newcomer and “Makes” a new star over the course of the match. Even though Mack did become a star from this match, I’d still say it’s a failure compared to Hero vs Tozawa. Sadly, I’d put all of the blame on Strong. He was way off of hits, struggled keeping the Strong Hold on and didn’t even sell the chops on the outside. Undoubtedly, the biggest moment of the match came when Mack was out-striking Strong outside of the ring. While Mack’s chops are louder than Strong’s and the crowd is going crazy, Strong’s facial expressions remain unchanged. Watching it, I’m lead to assume that Mack’s chops didn’t do a damn thing to hurt Strong. That doesn’t help Mack at all. The moment that disappointed me the most was Strong’s cover after giving Mack a back breaker on the ring post. It was a crazy spot and all, but when Mack kicked out, I didn’t see a single fan react. It was clear that no one in the audience bought that that was the finish. So while the reactions were good at times, it just can’t compare to Hero vs Tozawa. For Mack, this was his coming out party and I thought he was pretty great in it. However, don’t believe the hype for this. 3 1/4 Stars.

Low-Ki vs Akira Tozawa
On paper, this is my match of the decade. I couldn’t even comprehend how awesome this could be. Did it meet my expectations? Well no, but once again, my expectations were insanely high. Early on, there were just some truly awesome stuff, while the final few minutes also had plenty of great action. The problem is that things slowed down in the middle. You could probably blame it on their lack of experience together. Maybe if the match was shorter, they wouldn’t be struggling with figuring out how to fill time. However, it’d be a huge misjustice to give off the impression that this wasn’t a good match. Once again, Tozawa looked like a million bucks against a bigger star. There were a ton of stiff shots and a couple of painful double stomps from Ki. Besides El Generico, Tozawa is the one guy who can’t be hurt with losses. With any hope, once Tozawa returns in 2012, we’ll see a rematch. 3 3/4 Stars.

Ryan Taylor vs Johnny Goodtime
Portia Perez joins the commentating booth for the match, thus making history as the first woman commentator in PWG. As the match goes on, her and Excalibur becomes quite entertaining as they talk about comic books, Portia’s disgust of Kentucky and the Canadian federal elections. Meanwhile, Taylor and Goodtime wrestle a match where they rarely slow down. For Taylor, he wrestles a submission based match using a variety of holds including the LeBell Lock and an unique one where he pulls Goodtime’s legs apart as Goodtime is standing on one leg. Goodtime ends up taking a lot of punishment with the sickest moments being a lung blower while he’s sitting on the top rope and being front suplexed on the ring apron. The latter looked far more painful due to Goodtime being caught up on the top rope. So not only did he come down hard on the rope, but then he still fell at an awkward angle to the ring apron. Goodtime manages to pull off the victory with a weak looking leg hook DDT. Maybe it’s just because of the commentating, but this sixteen minute match just flew by. 3 Stars.

Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs Joey Ryan – PWG World Title
Joey used his BOLA prize to earn this match. This was your classic Technical Wizard first half complete with the World Champion Joey Ryan booking in the second half. Since Joey Ryan promised to win the title fairly by submitting Claudio, he ends up being humiliated by Claudio’s European style. Like in 2005, this builds up to the point where Ryan finally gets the advantage by taking a short cut in raking Claudio’s eyes. Things continue to get worse for Claudio as he nails his hand against the ring post. This allows Ryan to focus on that injured body part to weaken the champion. However, since this is Claudio we’re talking about, the guy is a freak of nature and doesn’t even let the injury cost him the title. He begins working a series of elbows and even nails a Joey Ryan-like super kick. The 2006 World Champion Joey comes out as he tries every short cut in the book besides calling Scott Lost and Chris Bosh to come to Resada to knock out Claudio. Still, none of that will work on Claudio. Even Joey’s bodylock kimura that put everyone away doesn’t force Claudio to submit. Finally, Claudio surprises Joey with his deadly Neutralizer to force Joey to give up. I would have preferred Joey last a few seconds more in the hold, but this was still a great storytelling match. Comparing this with their original Zombies Shouldn’t Run bout, it’s amazing how far both men have come. If only Joey’s title reign could have featured defenses this good. Easily Joey’s best singles match since 2009.4 Stars.

El Generico and Ricochet vs The Young Bucks – PWG Tag Titles
Ricochet is subbing for Paul London, who had left the company. The Young Bucks earned this title match by winning DDT4. I loved the story of this match. The Bucks are simply the best tag team in PWG. It doesn’t matter who’s the champions, they will control the match. To team for the first time while battling the Bucks is suicide. For Generico and Ricochet, it didn’t matter how great of a tag wrestler Generico is or how many amazing spots Ricochet has, Bucks are unstoppable. Alas, The Bucks also had to wrestle their usual formula which consists of 75% normal tag wrestling and then the final fourth of the match is nonstop tag free spotty wrestling. I’ll be the first to mention how fabulous all of the spots look. They’re both pretty to look at and they’re so vicious. Yet, they don’t mean a damn thing when the wrestlers taking the moves are up moments later as they prepare for the next big move. Bucks manage to pull off the win and regain the PWG Tag Titles after killing Ricochet with some super kicks and pinning him with More Bang for Your Buck. Good story and while I enjoyed the match, it’s all action without consequences. 3 1/4 Stars.

Overall
PWG‘s third show of the year is their first B-event. Yet, in 2011, a B-show has a title change, a huge PWG World Title match, a dream match and a coming out party. For the third show in a row, Claudio has managed to be a part of the match of the night. Whether he’s always responsible for it or not, he’s delivering the goods as PWG Champion. While I’m not overly excited over another Bucks title reign, you can’t deny that the Bucks did a lot for the tag titles in their first reign. They carried the company while PWG had issues with their World Champions not showing up. In addition, Bucks restored value in the tag division after so many tag reigns came to an end because one half of the team couldn’t defend the belts. The Bucks may know very little in how to work a tag match, but they mean something big to PWG. I’m curious to see what PWG does with Willie Mack. Will he use this coming out party to springboard himself to the top like Human Tornado once did or will he end up being a force that didn’t live up to his potential like the Cutlers? Only time will tell. Overall, I wouldn’t call any of the matches bad, but I’d prefer that PWG keeps the RockNES Monsters together. When it comes to singles matches, they aren’t anything too special. Thumbs up for yet another great 2011 show.

Worth Checking Out
Willie Mack vs Roderick Strong (Only for Mack’s coming out party)
Akira Tozawa vs Low-Ki
Claudio Castagnoli vs Joey Ryan

Avoid
Too high expectations

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