Pro Wrestling Guerrilla: DDT4
January 31st, 2014
Back from dead, its the return of Voices of Wrestling’s Pro Wrestling Guerilla reviews! To all 12 of you that read these things — life happens. Fortunately, PWG shows have a way of being evergreen. You can just pick’em up and watch’em whenever and its not like you missed anything essential that was time sensitive.
All-Star Weekend X took place back in December, and Night 2 ended up being a late addition to the American Show of the Year Award with several matches at four star or better. The entire weekend featured five four-star matches or better from me.
For the sake of posterity and because all 12 of you want to know…go check out All-Star Weekend X, both nights…if you want to skip to the great stuff, check out the following:
- Johnny Gargano v. Davey Richards ****1/2
- Mount Rushmore v. All Night Long ****
- Dojo Bros v. AR Fox & Rich Swan ****
- Candice LeRae, Joey Ryan & Drake Younger v. Mount Rushmore ****1/4
- Adam Cole (c) v. Johnny Gargano ****
Seriously, all good stuff,check it out. Gargano vs. Richards was 2013 Match of the Year Contender quality. Ya’ll with love the insane six (wo)man tag, too.
Anyway, we’re back reviewing a tradition unlike any other, the DDT4 Tournament. This isn’t the best tag tourney in the world, but its usually a fun event.
Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Barreta) vs. RockNES Monsters: Over the last, say…six months, a wrestler that hasn’t gotten a lot of pub as an improved performer would be Trent Barreta. It has taken him a a while to get the hang of the Indie scene post-WWE, but now that he’s gotten it, he is delivering.
Anyway, we kick off DDT4 2014 with a team on the rise in PWG, the Best Friends! They face token tag team jobbers, the RockNES Monsters. The Monsters don’t really do it for me these days, but this should be a nice showcase for the Friendz. It starts slow, but eventually gets going with everyone getting their usual shit in. A nice wrinkle into the mix is Trent’s new CHUCK TAYLOR knee pad. Sexy. The Best Friends eventually unveil their SECRET WEAPON…a trench coat…which they will use to combine into VOLTRON for the largest chokeslam in Sports Entertainment history. Yup. Nice, fun opener. Good mix of WRESTLING AXSHUN and some comedy. ***
The Unbreakable F’N Machines vs. PPRay: In the retelling of one of the greatest stories ever told, David versus Goliath takes on new life in Reseda. Seriously, anything other than a complete GET YOUR SHIT IN squash by the Machines will be a disappointment…and that is what this was. The best part of this match was Chris Hero on commentary telling us how much he enjoys Fucking Machines (see fuckingmachines.com for more!). This match felt incredibly long, and as a result, boring, especially for a match that should have been under five minutes. *1/2
COLE STEEN COLE vs. Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan: Candice and Joey have been a nice run the past few months in PWG. They have been involved in some madhouse insane-o matches and the crowd gets into them. The match starts off with a great Cole-Steen mock Michaels-Diesel pose before Candice and Joey attack the heels from behind. Candince though, gets right to work taking bumps for Cole and Steen like a champ. She takes every ounce of pro wrestling sexual innuendo and harassment in nearly every PWG match…which is awesome. Here, she takes a stiff sliding bulge right to the face from Cole. Thumbs up! This goes from traditional tag match to insane-o Candice-a-thon right around mid-match and it was for the better. Cole Steen Cole wins after a powerbomb-package piledriver-superkick-superkick to Joey Ryan. Candice even eats a Steen Cannonball. Fun. ***1/2
Inner City Machine Guns v. African American Wolves (AR Fox & ACH): The most racist tag team names ever? The Martin Luther Kings of Wrestling…Malcolm DeGeneration X…so awesome.
Starting off as a nice little traditional tag. There are flashes of some bonkers shit from this group of flippy flops, but stays relatively tame…UNTIL ITS NOT. They go full racist when Ricochet confuses ACH for Swan and accidently tags him in. LOL. And then the FLIPZ start. FLIPZ ON FLIPZ on double-team-a-palooza, with BIG MEWVZ! Fuck it, if you’re reading this, you know exactly what this match will look like by just reading who is wrestling. It turns into a traditional PWG beautiful trainwreck, as expected. Ricochet even delivers a DVD off the middle rope to AR Fox to the ring apron. ACH with an Air Jordan before he eats a pin after a Ricochet 450. #Fun. ****
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Thornstowe
Thornstowe is a PWG n00b from Reno, Nevada. He introduces himself with some middle fingers. Cool? Hard hitting with a FLIP from Thornstowe open the match. Some Pit Stop spots in 2014? Not even in PWG does this get over. Ciampa eventually wins with a knee to the face. Meh. Felt way too long. Sloppy, too. Abrupt end. *1/4
COLE STEEN COLE vs. Best Friends
In what starts as a mild argument over who the real BESTEST friends are, turns into a murder. Cole and Steen destroy the SECRET WEAPON…the trench coat after a fit of rage. RIP Trench coat…we hardly knew ye! A pretty tame match, albeit fun, before Steen hits Trent with a super fisherman’s brain buster OFF THE TOP. Steen and Cole go for their c-c-c-c-combo finisher before CANDICE shows up to repay Cole for the spit in the face. Best Friends with a flash win. Short, sweet, and to the point with an ending that works. ***
The Unbreakable Fucking Machines vs. The Inner City Machine Guns: FLIPS AND BIG MEWVS COMIN. But first…a monster dueling chant for both teams. Impressed, Reseda Crowd. Rich Swan just eats shit for the first half of this match. The team that gets their shit in…gets their shit in including a Brian Cage LIONSAULT. Seriously. Ricochet also takes his turn eating shit. After a hot tag to Rich Swan, business picks up and builds to a madness-induced ending. Fun ending, but it was a bit sloppy. Match was a bit long for me, too. ***1/4
#1 Contender Four-Way – Chris Hero vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Drake Younger vs. Kyle O’Reilly: I’ll stand by something I said many reviews ago…Kyle O’Reilly is one of the most underrated wrestlers in the world. I dig most shit he’s in at this point. He’s awesome. He’s in my FAVE FIVE YA’LL! Hero has been one of the best in-ring performers in the world in the first half of 2014. Gargano is always good to great. Younger is one of the best babyface-in-peril performers on the Indie scene these days. With all of this awesomeness in the ring at once, I can’t help but think its too much. Anyway…early on, I have no idea what they are trying to do, but between random chain wrestling and four way rest holds into submission holds, and four way spots, it loses me a bit. It gets better when things break down into the usual rotating one-on-one deals. To be fair, my inner wrestling nerd probably inhibited me from enjoying the first half of this match. However, the second half has madness ensue, and if you’re a regular reader of these reviewz…you know I love madness ensuing. A bit of an abrupt ending though as Drake and O’Reilly go at it unimpeded for a good 3-4 minutes before Drake hits Drake’s Landing on KOR. This match was quite the earnest endeavor…just didn’t do it for me throughout. Didn’t like the start, dug the second half. I guess I’ll split the difference… ***
DDT4 2014 Final Round
The Inner City Machine Guns v. Best Friends: The winner of this one faces The Young Bucks for the PWG Tag Titles. An immediate sprint, its a mad dash to the finish here. It doesn’t run much longer than 10 minutes, but while it was short and sweet, I liked exactly what they did here. Certainly, no epic, all-timer. Just a good, solid, 4.5 40-yard dash. The exclamation point to DDT4 2014 ends with a Lethal Injection reversal by Chuck Taylor into a pinpint Awful Waffle to Rich Swan. This was exactly what it should have been, and in the context of this show, with two teams that already had long, hard hitting matches prior, the fast paced affair was perfect. On its own, I’m not sure it’ll hold up for those looking for the singular recommendation though. With that said, it was a nice ending to a show that was up and down for me. ***1/2
Overall, this isn’t a must see show and nothing will appear on any ‘Best Ofs’ at the end of the calendar year. However, its a solid self contained show. If you want to sit back and watch something over a RAW on a Monday Night, you could do a lot worse.
- The Buzz: A solid self-contained show.
- Match of the Night: Inner City Machine Guns vs. African American Wolves
Next Up: Drake Younger is off to Florida, but is replaced by Candice LeRae in a PWG World Title match against Adam Cole. Johnny Gargano and Kyle O’Reilly square off in a match that is certain to fire up my rocket ship. The Young Bucks return to Reseda to take on DDT4 winners THE BEST FRIENDS! That and much more at Mystery Vortex II.