Date: March 21, 2008
Location: American Legion Post #308, Reseda, California
Commentators: Excalibur, Rick Knox, Taro
It’s another PWG show and I think I would have to turn in my nerd card if I didn’t look at a show with this name. As usual, I’m really not sure what to expect here as I’m doing these shows at random, meaning continuity isn’t a factor. The action tends to be quite good though and if that is the case again here, we should be in for a heck of a show. Let’s get to it.
Nemesis vs. Brandon Bonham
Nemesis is a masked guy and appears to be popular while Bonham is making his PWG debut. Bonham goes for him and gets posed at for his early efforts. They fight over arm control to start as they’re going basic early on. A quick rollup gets two on Bonham as commentary talks about new referee Tony Roma (jokes about ribs abound). Nemesis runs him over but gets enziguried for his efforts as commentary manages to get a bit more serious for a change (it won’t last).
Bonham knocks him outside and hits the big flipping dive, earning a NEW GUY chant. Back in and the fans don’t seem too thrilled with Nemesis, though his flipping neckbreaker does earn some polite applause. Some strikes in the corner have Bonham in more trouble but he manages to get out to the apron. A slingshot cutter drops Nemesis and a high angle Swanton gives Bonham the upset pin at 6:23.
Rating: C+. This wasn’t exactly the opener you might have been expecting but points for giving the new guy a win and establishing him a bit. Bonham doesn’t have the most impressive look but he did well enough to make a bit of an impression. Nemesis felt more like a crowd favorite, at least at times, so Bonham’s win does seem to have a bit of status to it. Completely fine opener.
Candice LeRae vs. LuFisto
This is LuFisto’s PWG debut but the fans certainly know who she is. The referee isn’t interested in checking LuFisto’s trunks (she hiked the skirt up to make it easier) so we can get going. LeRae, who looks incredibly young here (at 22), gets shoved down to start but comes back with forearms. Some armdrags and a dropkick have LuFisto staggered a bit as we hear about her wanting to teach LeRae to fight like a woman.
LuFisto isn’t having this basic stuff and kicks LeRae down, setting up a fisherman’s suplex into a headscissors. An armbar at the same time makes it even worse but LuFisto switches it into a camel clutch. Some headbutts and shots to the back have LeRae in more trouble as the beating is on hard here. A small package gives LeRae two and she manages to send LuFisto outside.
With that not working, it’s a butterfly suplex to give LuFisto two back inside. LuFisto misses a charge though and gets rolled up a few times for two each. They strike it out until LeRae slams her down and gets two off a neckbreaker. LuFisto isn’t having that and kicks her down before going up top. The high crossbody connects but LeRae rolls through it for the pin at 8:09.
Rating: C. It wasn’t bad, but this felt like LuFisto having to keep everything going as LeRae wasn’t quite as polished. LuFisto was the much bigger star at this point and it makes sense to have her carrying things. The good thing is they had a completely watchable match, even if the ending felt like quite the slip on a banana peel. You don’t hear too much about women’s wrestling in PWG but this was perfectly good enough to keep it going.
Post match Claudio Castagnoli and Human Tornado (who seem to have a less than positive history with LeRae) come to the back but here is Chris Hero for the save. And an impromptu match!
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero
Everyone else leaves and it’s hero chopping away on the floor to start. They get inside with Hero elbowing him in the face until Castagnoli tosses him over the top for a big crash. Castagnoli gets creative by choking with the ring skirt and it’s time to send Hero crashing through the fans.
We hit the camel clutch back inside, with Castagnoli pulling the hair instead of the face (Is that still a clutch?). Some uppercuts and kicks to the face just have Hero looking annoyed so he comes back with a running neckbreaker. Hero forearms him off the apron this time and a suicide armdrag of all things sends Castagnoli down. Back in and a middle rope Blockbuster gives Hero two but Castagnoli is back with a heck of a running uppercut. The Riccola Bomb doesn’t work so Castagnoli grabs his kind of Angle Slam for two more. The giant swing is loaded up but Hero reverses into a cradle for the pin at 9:56.
Rating: B-. These two working well together is a grand total of not surprising whatsoever and they had another good match here. There’s a long history between them and they have chemistry in the ring so this worked well. Castagnoli showing off with the power until Hero caught him with a cradle was a good story and the cradle made it look like Castagnoli got caught rather than defeated.
Post match Human Tornado runs back in for the save, drawing out Candice LeRae. LuFisto runs out to cancel out LeRae but Hero gets up to clear the ring. Hero seems a bit upset that he got physical by throwing LuFisto back inside, as he has a thing about violence against women.
Here is The Dynasty (Scott Lost/Joey Ryan, with Jade Chung), the reigning Tag Team Champions. Ryan has been looking for an opponent is defending. He insists that Chris Bosh (who the fans seem to favor) didn’t care about the fans and that’s why he left. Ryan tried to get in touch with Dino Winwood but couldn’t get hold of him. Then he send a text to Excalibur, who had his own problems: doing commentary with an intoxicated Taro.
With nothing else to do, Ryan sent out a mass email to the PWG roster for an open challenge for the Tag Team Titles. The first person to answer was this man, so here is El Generico. The problem is that Generico’s reply was in Spanish so Ryan doesn’t know who his partner is going to be. After a few points to the entrance, Kevin Steen (Owens) runs in from behind and we’re ready to go.
Tag Team Titles: Kevin Steen/El Generico vs. The Dynasty
The Dynasty is defending and Steen pulls Ryan over the top to start fast. The chops in the corner have Ryan in trouble and Generico sends him into some buckles to make it worse. Ten right hands in the corner set up some armdrags as Ryan can’t get anything going here. The fans seem to appreciate Steen as he chops Ryan down again but a shot to the eye allows the tag off to Lost.
That’s fine with Steen, who chops away as commentary is curious about how Ryan sent off an email last night but Steen managed to get here from Montreal so fast. Lost manages some knees to the ribs to take over but it’s right back to Generico for a backbreaker. As commentary discusses the Dynasty’s ownership stake in the company, Steen hits a flipping legdrop to the back of Lost’s neck.
Lost manages to kick Generico in the ribs though and Ryan comes in to start on the arm. Chung finally remembers she’s here too and adds some choking on the ropes. A wheelbarrow slam/gutbuster combination plants Generico and Lost’s leg lariat takes him down again. Lost grabs a bodyscissors but Steen comes in to blow his nose on him (not break up the hold or anything mind you). Generico backbreakers his way to freedom and Steen comes back in to clean house.
The rope is kicked low into Ryan and the powerslam gets two on Lost. Steen kicks the rope into Ryan again (seems fun) and hits a DDT to plant Lost again. The pop up powerbomb gets two on Lost but Ryan is there to break up the Swanton. Generico hits the big dive onto Ryan though and the Swanton connects for two. Ryan comes back in and blocks the Helluva Kick, setting up his own powerbomb for his own two on Generico.
A backbreaker/top rope elbow combination gets two WITH Steen making the save. (Excalibur: “It might be Bastille Day! IT’S NOT BASTILLE DAY BECAUSE KEVIN STEEN HAS FREED THE PRISONERS!!!”). The parade of suplexes sets up the Helluva Kick to Lost, who counters the brainbuster into a suplex over the top. Cue Super Dragon to Psycho Driver Jade Chung as everything stops for a few moments. Lost takes Chung to the back and it’s a Helluva Kick into Steen’s package piledriver into the brainbuster to finish Ryan for the titles at 16:20.
Rating: B. Steen and Generico being a heck of a team is no surprise whatsoever as they worked well together even back here. Lost and Ryan were one of those teams who feel like they’re from a different era of PWG. While they were good in the early days, they were surpassed by a team like Steen and Generico as the company was evolving. Good match here, even if the defending champs felt a bit overwhelmed at times.
Post match the celebration is on. Steen says it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or says, because this is PWG and it feels good to be home.
Here is Excalibur, who says Commissioner Dino Winwood is not here because he is celebrating the Jewish holiday of Purim. Therefore, the fans here are the worst Jews he has ever seen. As for tonight, Excalibur has full authority tonight and talks about how Necro Butcher isn’t here tonight. Butch is filming a movie with Mickey Rourke called The Wrestler, so we’ll have to make another match. That’s why tonight it’s Human Tornado/LuFisto vs. Chris Hero/Candice LeRae in a street fight.
DDT4 Qualifying Match: Scorpio Sky/Ronin vs. Young Bucks vs. Hook Bomberry/TJ Perkins vs. Los Luchas
Elimination rules and DDT4 is PWG’s big tag team tournament. Los Luchas are Phoenix Star and Zokre, who have been around since the early 2000s. It’s a big brawl to start with the Bucks getting the better of things, including a pop up dropkick to Sky. Zokre springboard crossbodies both Bucks down and the Luchas springboard armdrag Sky and Ronin down. Sky hits a slingshot elbow for two on Bomberry and we settle down, with everyone actually getting on the apron for a change.
The Bucks’ hanging neckbreaker into a slingshot hilo hits Perkins as the Bucks (who actually look young here) take over. Nick hammers away as commentary kind of explains how complicated the tournament setup has been without actually saying how we got here. Perkins gets in a shot to Nick’s knee and it’s off to Bomberry for a clothesline as commentary discusses Bomberry’s sexually transmitted diseases.
Bomberry’s half crab sends Nick over to the rope as commentary points out that the other two teams are just kind of here too. Nick dropkicks his way out of trouble and it’s Matt coming in to pick up the pace. Everything breaks down and Nick mostly misses a dive, followed by Star missing an even bigger dive even worse. Matt, Ronin and Zokre slug it out inside and Ronin powerbombs Zokre for two (with the referee’s hand hitting the mat three times to make it a bit confusing).
An assisted neckbreaker drops Ronin but Nick’s bad knee won’t let him follow up. Sky cutters Matt but Perkins grabs a rollup (with an assist from Bomberry) to pin Sky at 9:48. Perkins neckbreakers Zokre but Sky shoves him off the top. Bomberry hits Perkins by mistake and Los Luchas hit a double powerbomb into stereo springboard Swantons (Maximum Risky) for the pin at 11:27.
So we’re down to the Bucks vs. the Luchas, with the Bucks hitting a slingshot X Factor into a wheelbarrow suplex for two on Zokre. Nick’s frog splash (What knee injury?) gets two on Star, who is right back with a spinebuster. A neckbreaker/spinebuster combination gets two on Nick with Matt having to make the save. Commentary even points out that Nick’s knee is suddenly better as More Bang For Your Buck misses. Matt gets super Angle Slammed onto Star’s knees (dang) to give the Luchas a double pin at 14:00.
Rating: B. It was a fast paced match and as usual, elimination rules made it that much better. Commentary calling out Nick’s lack of a knee injury was a nice touch and they didn’t bother dragging this out too far. Good, action packed match here and Los Luchas continue to be a rather nice team who never got a ton of recognition. As a bonus, apparently this was the finals of a round robin tournament (not mentioned here) to get a spot in another tournament, which Sky and Ronin wound up competing in as well.
Candice LeRae/Chris Hero vs. LuFisto/Human Tornado
Street fight. LuFisto unloads on LeRae in the corner as Excalibur goes on a rant about how bad the production crew is around here. Hero throws Tornado into some chairs as LeRae chops LuFisto against the apron. Taro says that this match is unsanctioned, sending Excalibur into a mini rant about how HE MADE THE MATCH SO OF COURSE IT’S SANCTIONED! Ok point for a funny line.
Some weapons are thrown inside as the women trade forearms on the floor. LuFisto gets in a chair shot but LeRae blasts her in the head with a trashcan lid. Back in and Hero puts on a Boston crab, while also putting the chair over Tornado. The basement dropkick in the corner hits LuFisto as Hero neckbreakers Tornado for two. Tornado is fine enough to hit him with a chair shot to the throat, followed by some shots to the knee. The men head outside, leaving LuFisto to drop LeRae on her head back inside.
Back in and Tornado hits a delayed corner dropkick on LeRae, setting up LuFisto’s running boot. With LeRae down, LuFisto holds Hero in place so Tornado can get in some chair shots to the knee. LuFisto hits Hero with a chair before going back inside to rip at LeRae’s facial area. Hero comes back in and fights back up, only to get dropped by Tornado again. Another comeback is cut off by a forearm to the head and a hanging legdrop as LeRae is knocked off the apron again.
Hero manages a double knockdown but his knee is shot, allowing Tornado to knock him outside again. LeRae is back in with a forearm to knock LuFisto outside but all four get back inside. A rollup to Tornado gets two but he kicks Hero into a chair in the corner to knock him silly. LeRae grabs a reverse Koji Clutch on Tornado until LuFisto breaks it up. The teams pair off again and the referee gets poked in the eye, which doesn’t seem to change anything. Hero sends Tornado into LuFisto and LeRae throws her outside for a dive.
Some chairs are thrown at Tornado, which the fans help Hero pile up (what nice/evil people, depending on your affiliation). Tornado backdrops him onto the pile though and the guys are down again. Back in and LeRae gets in a DDT for two on LuFisto, setting up a camel clutch in the ropes. Hero steals Taro’s water (er, “water” more than likely) and Swantons off the announcers’ area onto Tornado onto some chairs for the big crash. Back in and LuFisto hits a spinning backfist into an Emerald Flosion to plant LeRae again.
Tornado misses a bit spinning kick to LeRae, allowing Hero to BLAST HIM with a forearm for two as LuFisto makes the save. Back up and Hero gets creative with a toss atomic drop to send Tornado into an open chair (that’s a new one/OUCH), setting up the big boot to the face. Tornado catches him on top but Hero knocks him down into the open chair. LeRae pelts another chair at LuFisto’s head for a delayed two, only to have Tornado kick LeRae in the back of the head.
Tornado puts the chair in front of LeRae’s face in the Tree of Woe, allowing LuFisto to hit the Tommy Dreamer dropkick. LuFisto gets a little more violent by biting her head and then Tornado gets evil by punching LeRae in the head. LeRae is busted open (and missing some extensions) but Hero comes back in to piledrive LuFisto. Hero grabs a cravate style Stunner to pin Tornado at 26:59.
Rating: B. This took some time to get going but once it hit its top gear, it was a violent match between four people who felt like they wanted to hurt each other. The violence was strong with this one and if you cut off the first ten minutes or so, it gets that much better. Hero vs. Tornado feels like an almost literal blood feud and you can imagine one heck of a showdown coming for them soon.
Post match Claudio Castagnoli runs in to take Hero out and then duct tapes him to the ropes. The referee gets decked as well and a table is set up in the corner. A belt shot knocks LeRae silly and LuFisto spears her through the table. There’s another belt shot to Hero and Tornado plants LeRae again. Commentary walks off in disgust and LeRae is carried out. Tornado throws her back inside though until Excalibur finally comes in to make the save.
That leaves Tornado to beat up Taro as Excalibur tries to get Hero out. Hero finally gets free and throws a bunch of stuff as referees and medics check on LeRae. Hero puts LeRae over for her effort and says they’ll both be back at the next show, because now this is personal. He swears to get his hands on Tornado and Castagnoli somehow, whether it be at the next show or in the parking lot tonight. LeRae is helped to the back to end the show. This was a red hot angle and I want to see Hero destroy Tornado. Really good stuff here and maybe the best angle I’ve ever seen from PWG.
We get some post show footage, including Hero checking on LeRae in the trainer’s room. He recaps the feud with Tornado, as LeRae is Tornado’s former manager and helped him get the World Title. Tornado kept abusing her though and it broke Hero, who wants to see Tornado get what is coming to him. Yeah Tornado is the champion and walks to the ring like a pimp, but he’s just a little boy. Hero is going to do whatever it takes but he’s getting his hands on Tornado and he’ll never be the same again. Heck of a promo here.
Overall Rating: B+. The ending helped this a lot but otherwise, it wasn’t quite a blow away show. There was enough good to make it work rather well, though the only thing to stand out is the big angle and most of the main event. What matters most though is I want to see more of the story (and some other stuff), so they are doing well. Just get the first hour or so of the show up a bit and it’s that much better. Or do another story that makes me want to see a villain get destroyed in about fourteen different ways. Either works.
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