Date: December 11, 2010
Location: America Legion Post #308, Reseda, California
Commentators: Excalibur, Brandon Bonham, Chris Hero, Kevin Steen, Rick Knox, Joey Ryan, Chuck Taylor
It’s back to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla with what they call “A Loving Tribute To Poison”. If there is one thing that PWG knows how to do, it is come up with some wacky names and they have done it again here. I have no idea what to expect here, which is pretty much the norm for anything from this company. Let’s get to it.
Peter Avalon vs. Willie Mack
This is Mack’s PWG debut and the fans already seem to know him. Commentary discusses weight as Mack shoulders him down hard to start. Mack flips over him and then hits one heck of a flying tackle to rock Avalon again. They head outside with Mack firing off some chops but turns to play to the fans instead.
That’s enough for Avalon to knock him into the chairs and take over for the first time. Back in and we hit the chinlock as we talk about the commentator’s theme music. Mack fights up and swings him into a sitout powerbomb for two. Avalon fights up and tries a side kick, only to get pulled into a cutter for two more.
A Miz running corner clothesline crushes Avalon and a standing moonsault press gives Mack another near fall. Avalon manages to get to the apron for a springboard crossbody and some double knees to the back give Avalon two of his own. Mack gets caught with a Backstabber in the corner but lands on Avalon to delay the cover. Another crossbody is pulled out of the air, setting up one heck of a sitout powerbomb to give Mack the pin at 8:46.
Rating: C+. Nice opener here as Mack had the fans behind him the whole way and then he backed it up with a fast paced match. Avalon got in a bit of offense before getting crushed by Mack, which is what the fans wanted to see. Mack’s charisma is more than enough to carry him and the fans were eating him up here.
Roderick Strong vs. Chuck Taylor
Feeling out process to start, with Taylor being taken into the corner and DEMANDING the five count from the referee. Strong teases the chops so Taylor bails to the floor, where a fan gives him a jacket to protect his chest. Back in and Strong knocks him outside without much effort. The chops rock Taylor, who loses the jacket and then gets suplexed for two back inside. Some shoulders to the ribs slow Strong down for a change and we hit the headscissors on the mat.
Strong breaks that up and slowly stalks Taylor like he’s a dangerous striker and Taylor is a coward. Something like a seated abdominal stretch lets Strong slap away at Taylor’s chest as the beating continues. Back up and Taylor hits a dropkick as commentary talks about Claudio Castagnoli. Taylor puts on an Indian deathlock and poses, allowing Strong to slip out and chop away again.
There’s a backbreaker (from Strong, believe it or not) and the camel clutch sleeper goes on. Commentary: “Obscure Pat Tanaka reference.” Strong is back up and kicks Taylor in the face as commentary talks about…I have no idea but it seems to be some TV show. They go to the apron to slug it out as commentary talks about the Tuskegee Airmen (if I have to hear their nonsense, so do you) until Taylor sends him down onto some chairs.
The big running flip dive takes Strong down again as we get Ice Cube references (and Taylor gets a rub on the head from the referee). Back in and Taylor grabs a half crab but Strong fights up and knees him in the face. A powerbomb gives Strong two and some knees to the chest put Taylor down again. They forearm it out until Strong grabs a belly to back into a Side Effect.
Another backbreaker gives Strong another two and the Strong Hold goes on. Taylor reverses into a rollup for two and grabs a Rock Bottom of all things for a breather. The threat of an Awful Waffle is enough to make Strong realize that an Awful Waffle is coming, allowing him to hit an Ug-Lee backbreaker for two. Taylor’s Soul Food is shrugged off and Strong hits a low superkick. The Gibson Driver gives Strong the pin at 14:30.
Rating: B-. Taylor still isn’t my thing most of the time but he was working hard here, as was Strong. Over the years, Strong has been one of the more dependable in-ring workers you’ll find and that was on display in this one. Strong kept surviving whatever Taylor threw at him before finishing with a big shot. Good match here, with another of those random pairings that lets talented people showcase themselves.
RockNES Monsters vs. Cutler Brothers
The (debuting as a team) Monsters are Johnny Goodtime and Johnny Yuma while the cutlers are Brandon and Dustin. The fans are behind Yuma, despite the Cutlers wearing Santa hats. Kevin Owens on commentary: “Where do babies come from? I have one and I don’t know how it came.” Goodtime dropkicks Dustin as commentary talks about Randy Savage Slim Jim commercials.
Yuma comes in to face Brandon, who dropkicks him down a few times without much trouble. It’s back to Goodtime to take Brandon down for a slingshot legdrop as commentary goes on a rant about pirated DVDs. Some kicks to the head and a, ahem, hip attack has Brandon in more trouble but he easily sends Goodtime into the wrong corner. Goodtime sends the Cutlers into each other in the corner though and stomps on Dustin’s back, giving us an NES Track And Field reference.
Dustin isn’t having that (must be a Sega Master System fan) and plants Yuma with a spinebuster to take over again. Some candy cane fishhooking has Yuma in more trouble (ok that was unique) and Brandon hits a good side slam for two. Yuma fights his way out of trouble and climbs onto Goodtime’s back for some running clotheslines. Goodtime crossbodies both Cutlers but a low blow takes him down just as fast.
Brandon gets caught in the corner though and Goodtime hits a top rope double stomp to the back of Brandon’s head, followed by the running flip dive to Dustin. Back in and Yuma gets caught with a Downward Spiral to send him to the floor. The big running flip dive takes both Johnny’s down, prompting Excalibur to bring up a song called “Johnny Are You Qu***?”
Back in and a Death Valley Driver hits Goodtime for two as Excalibur says that Goodtime is “on qu*** street”, an expression he then explains in detail. A wheelbarrow into a Codebreaker gets two on Goodtime with Yuma making the save. Back up and Goodtime Death Valley Drivers Yuma onto Dustin for two as we talk about Joey Ryan’s True Blood inspired Halloween costumes. Brandon gets draped over the top rope but Dustin makes the save. The yet to be named Meltzer Driver finishes Yuma at 13:39.
Rating: B-. Good action here as both teams were in the small, fast paced offense mold. That made for an exciting match that got the fans into things quickly. Both teams were better in the ring than I would have expected and I’m curious why neither of them made much of a bigger impact either in PWG or elsewhere. Granted a lot of that might have been due to the Young Bucks dominating that spot, but these guys were good in their own right.
Joey Ryan vs. Brandon Gatson
Before the match, Ryan says lights, camera, action and tells the people to take their pictures of the winner of the Battle Of Los Angeles. He’s also a former World Champion and formerly known as the technical wizard. Now Claudio Castagnoli likes to call himself one of the Kings of Wrestling, but Ryan believes he is just as good as Castagnoli. As for tonight, Ryan wouldn’t want to be in Gatson’s shoes.
Gatson slugs away to start and gets two off an STO. A Russian legsweep sets up a middle rope elbow for two but Ryan is back with a t-bone suplex. Commentary topic of the moment: the Reagan administration and how it defined the 80s and Jerry Brown’s failed Presidential bid. Back up and Gatson knocks him down, only to get pulled off the top with a flying armbar. The regular armbar goes on to keep Gatson frustrated, followed by a dropkick for two.
Another armbar keeps Gatson down but he fights up and hits a one armed Stunner for a breather. Gatson tries to go to the apron but Ryan hits a clothesline to turn him inside out….with Gatson landing on his feet outside. Ok that wasn’t bad. The beating takes Ryan around the ring but Gatson misses a dive. It’s only a bit more of a miss than the superkick that Ryan follows up with to take over, but it was still a miss.
Ryan is right back on the arm, including a Kimura with a bodyscissors back inside. The rope is grabbed for the break and they grade rollups for two each. Ryan hits a superkick for two but gets knocked into the chairs on the floor. A Cactus Jack Bang Bang Elbow (minus the Bang Bang) hits Ryan hard and they’re both down. Back in and Gatson hits a 450 for two but Ryan pulls him into the Kimura for the tap at 17:13.
Rating: B. It’s weird seeing Ryan playing something straight and having a hard hitting match at the same time. This was a back and forth match with the arm being the focal point throughout. Gatson is someone who seems like he could have gone somewhere further, though he never seemed to get out of California. Maybe that’s what he wanted, but the potential was there, as it was on display in the best match of the show so far.
Post match Ryan dubs himself the Hollywood Submission Machine. He’s coming for the World Title and he’ll make anyone tap out.
Young Bucks vs. Fightin Taylor Boys
That would be Brian Cage-Taylor and Ryan Taylor (who had a brief NXT run as Tyler Rust). The weird thing here is that Brian is looking completely human here, a minimum of 75lbs lighter than his better known look. The Bucks handle their own entrance and we pause for a quick strut on the apron. Ryan and Matt start things off with a feeling out process as commentary talks about a rude sound guy before the show.
Matt snaps off an armdrag and we get the double double biceps pose. Cage comes in and cleans house, including helping Ryan kick Nick down. Nick’s leg gets caught in the ropes, leaving Brian to hit a rather delayed suplex on Matt. A running knee hits Matt for two as commentary wonders about fans watching shows out of order, leaving them to make up inaccurate results from earlier in the show. Ok fair point: who would watch a DVD out of order?
Back up and Matt takes over on Ryan’s arm, allowing Nick to come off the top (grabbing a light on the way down) and landing on said arm. We get some strutting, giving commentary a chance to ask if anyone knows who Jackie Fargo is these days. Matt drops a middle rope elbow to the back as the fans are slit on who to cheer for here. Nick gets in a big rake to the back, setting up a gutbuster/running flip neckbreaker for two.
Commentary is talking about My Chemical Romance and the Umbrella Academy comic book series as Matt grabs a chinlock. Ryan fights up and chops both Bucks before kneeing Matt in the face. A front flip over allows the tag off to Brian so house can be cleaned in a hurry. Everything breaks down and Matt’s dive only hits chairs at ringside (OUCH). Brian puts the Bucks on his shoulders so Ryan can hit a Doomsday dive onto both of them at once.
Back in and the Bucks clean house again, including a bunch of kicks to the face. Brian isn’t having that and runs them over, setting up a flipping faceplant for two on Matt. That’s too much selling for Matt, who is back up to take both Taylors down again. A double hanging DDT drops Brian for one as he….Brians up.
Nick gets clotheslined to the floor but Brian is as well, only to have Ryan blast Matt with a running clothesline. Matt is right back up with a superkick but More Bang For Your Buck is countered with a crucifix bomb. A Go To Sleep/discus elbow combination gets two on Nick, leaving Ryan to miss a Swanton. Brian is knocked outside again and More Bang For Your Buck finishes Ryan at 14:57.
Rating: B. Another fast paced match with both teams doing a bunch of wacky stuff until the Bucks survived at the end. It was a fun match to watch, assuming you ignore the Bucks no selling just about everything and making it clear that they were fine throughout. Brian and Ryan worked well together as a team, though once Brian….uh….inflated himself, there was no way to keep him in a team, even a nice one like this.
Kevin Steen vs. Akira Tozawa
We’re joined with Tozawa hitting a suicide dive on Steen and the opening bell. They slug it out on the floor with Tozawa getting the better of things. Tozawa grabs a Christmas present to hit Steen in the head as Chuck Taylor on commentary wonders if the Japanese celebrate Christmas (they do, with Kentucky Fried Chicken for some reason). Steen hits Tozawa in the head with a present, which explodes for some reason (leaving Excalibur in stitches).
They get inside for the first time with Tozawa grabbing a chinlock to slow things down for a change. As commentary talks about the band Poison, Tozawa strikes away in the corner to keep Steen in trouble. The slam just isn’t going to happen though and even Steen gets a chuckle off that one. Steen falls on top of him for two and even manages a pushup! A missed charge sends Steen to the floor but he pulls the suicide dive out of the air for the apron bomb.
Back in and Tozawa Stunners his way out of trouble but Steen kicks him down without much trouble. Hold on though as Steen has to run outside and yell at a fan in an El Generico mask. Back in and Tozawa’s comeback doesn’t last long as Steen DDTs him into the corner, setting up the Cannonball. Steen charges into some boots in the corner and Tozawa manages to slam him, sending everyone, including the referee, down.
Back up and a running boot in the corner gives Tozawa two, followed by a running knee for the same. Steen is right back with a brainbuster onto the knee for two (and a middle finger to the El Generico fan). Another Cannonball connects but Tozawa pops up this time and kicks Steen in the face three times in a row. A backdrop driver rocks Steen again and they fight to the apron.
Tozawa pump kicks him again and a German suplex on the apron knocks Steen silly. A running knee and kick to the face give Tozawa two but Steen knocks him off the top. Steen misses the Swanton and gets dropped HARD with a German suplex. Back up and Steen is fine enough to come right back with the package piledriver for a very close two. That’s enough for Steen, who grabs a sleeper suplex and a pair of package piledrivers to finish Tozawa at 19:18.
Rating: B-. Tozawa is someone who had a lot more success outside of WWE, mainly because he was just a wrestler here instead of someone doing whatever wacky comedy stuff WWE offered him. Steen was already a big deal at this point and you could see that little something different about him that stood out. They had a good, long match here and Steen felt like a star, as always.
Post match Steen gets the mic and helps Tozawa to his feet and actually shows respect for once. Excalibur doesn’t think Tozawa knows what Steen said. The fans approve of Tozawa as well.
Peligro Abejas vs. Kings Of Wrestling
Abejas’ (El Generico/Paul London) Tag Team Titles aren’t on the line. Hold on though as Chris Hero thinks we should make this a Tag Team Title match in the name of the Christmas spirit. London agrees, with the caveat of a future World Title shot against Claudio Castagnoli if they retain. Castagnoli is in so let’s go.
Tag Team Titles: Peligro Abejas vs. Kings Of Wrestling
Abejas is defending. Hero shakes hands with Generico to start despite London starting for the team. London gets taken down by the leg and they fight over the front facelock. That goes nowhere so Hero rolls over to the corner for the tag off to Castagnoli. As we talk about London wanting to start an orphanage on Mars, Castagnoli sends London into the corner for the tag off to Generico.
With Generico being powered into the corner, it’s back to Hero to work on the wristlock again. The Kings clean house with running shots to the face, leaving Castagnoli to work on an armbar. London hurricanranas his way out of trouble though and it’s off to Generico for a dropkick. Castagnoli isn’t having that though and clotheslines him down for two. Hero grabs a stretch plumb until London breaks things up.
The Blue Thunder Bomb puts Hero down as well though and it’s a diving tag to London. There’s a flapjack for two on Hero and the dropsault gets the same. Everything breaks down and Generico Arabian moonsaults onto Castagnoli on the floor, leaving Hero to discus forearm London for two more. Castagnoli Swings London into a dropkick from Hero for another near fall but London slips through the legs and hands it back to Generico.
That doesn’t work for Castagnoli, who boots Generico off the apron as soon as the tag is made. Generico is back up with a pair of Helluva Kicks but the brainbuster is countered with an uppercut. London dives onto Hero outside, leaving Generico to reverse the Riccola Bomb into a Code Red for a very close two. Castagnoli pulls a diving Generico out of the air and hands it back to Hero for the shot to the head. Everything breaks down again and Generico rolls Hero up for the fast pin to retain at 15:21.
Rating: B. It was a fast paced match and on the level of the other tag matches on the show, making this a good main event. The talent was certainly there and it is always awesome to get to see the Kings, who were one of the better teams of their era. Generico and London more than held up their end, as Generico is still so easy to cheer. Good main event here, but not the best tag match on the show.
Post match Castagnoli holds up the World Title and looks at Generico, suggesting that he’s getting the title shot. With the Kings gone, London praises them but stops for the Danger Bees (Peligro Abejas) chant. London speaks some Spanish to Generico and talks about how much of a drug the fans’ cheers can be. Generico says it isn’t necessary and London says this place is a family. Now, they’re off for tamales.
In the back, London and Generico refer to themselves as tricks but they don’t pull rabbits out of hats. London talks about how they melded together, while referring to himself as a space orphan. Then you have Generico, who comes from everything that is fun, happy and sensational. Their team is for real as Generico says he is part Aztec and part Mayan (with the accent sleeping fast).
London: “It doesn’t matter, because if I cut him open with a stone dagger, he would bleed. And it would be blue, because it turns red when the air hits it.” Next year, they’re starting their pollination and will have so many kids they can’t keep track of them all. London: “We’re kind of going to be deadbeats.” They went into the Kings’ nostrils and carved up their brains but found nothing there! Generico is just done with all of these jokes and closes it out after cracking up for the fourth or fifth time. London is uh….something.
Chris Hero talks about how he didn’t win gold again this year, at least around here. He and Claudio Castagnoli won the Ring Of Honor Tag Team Titles and took them around the world. On the other hand, Castagnoli is the World Champion and that puts Hero in a weird place. That World Title is what matters the most to Castagnoli so you might not see the Kings team together very often. They’re best friends, but Castagnoli has something that Hero wants. Hero is coming to get the World Title back so see you later.
Joey Ryan (in a Turbo Man Jingle All The Way shirt) talks about he can make anyone, including Claudio Castagnoli tap out.
Chuck Taylor yells at the Fightin Taylor Boys for losing, though they point out that he lost too. Papa Taylor calls Chuck but hangs up instead of talking to Brian. Taylor bickering, and then a three way high five, ends the show.
Overall Rating: A-. This was the kind of PWG show where yeah, I get the hype. There was so much talent on this show, many of whom would go on to become AEW/WWE champions that it was almost impossible to not have an awesome show. There isn’t a bad match on the show and it was one fast paced match after another.
PWG would get more polished with even more top names in the future, but this was one of the better shows I’ve seen from them and I’m getting less and less surprised at the quality each time. Just please get better commentary, as Excalibur was HORRIBLE here with one unfunny/offensive reference after another. Other than that, great show.
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