Thanks to Devin Chen for the Photography. Nice black blouse, man! Help Devin replace his camera that broke DURING the main event of this very show: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/replace-camera-broken-in-guerrilla-warfare
We’re only a few days away from the biggest Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Battle of Los Angeles (BOLA) EVER! By Friday, eyes will be on Reseda, California to see what goes down. For those of you not going to check out the big event, live and in person don’t worry — Voices of Wrestling has you covered — in like a month, or whenever I get around to reviewing nine hours of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. So, maybe after football season. (Editor’s Note: We will have a correspondent @MikeVsPhilly providing us a live report)
In the meantime, if you haven’t heard, we’re giving out free shit. Sign up today for the Voices of Wrestling Battle of Los Angeles 2014 Bracket Pool Challenge thing. I created this concept when I was really drunk one night and put all of the work on Rich to create the bracket, distribute it and organize this shit. So, thanks to Rich for taking my really awesome idea, doing all of the work, and letting me get credit for it. Clap it up for Rich, everybody. At least I’m footing the bill on prizes, I guess.
Speaking of prizes, I have no idea what exactly the prizes will be for the winner but it’ll probably be PWG merch, I think. Does it really matter? It’ll be free and you’ll win it, so after you watch hours of Super Dragon or something, you can put it on your fridge next to your kid’s school work. Make Lil’ Jimmy proud — show’em anything is possible.
Or, if you really want to get weird, I’ll foot the bill for a half hour for you to SKYPE WITH SUNNY. Just make sure you screen cap it and shit, because that would be totally funny to post on the internet afterward.
Anyway before BOLA14, we’ve got the 11th anniversary show, appropriately titled ELEVEN. No more pomp and circumstance, here is the review.
Wait, but, seriously, recording your FREE SKYPE SESH WITH SUNNY would be a whole lot more awesome than PWG DVDs, just sayin’.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla: ELEVEN
July 26th, 2014
Rocky Romero v. Tommaso Ciampa: What starts off as a pretty disjointed and slow affair, turns into a solid, hard hitting bout. Rocky gets his usual string of spots that don’t come off corny and are put together well in the context of this match. The Sicilian Psychopath is his usual smash mouth self but with one helluva ridiculous sun burn. Damn, he’s lobster red. Overall, not a bad match. The crowd though, was a little off and when you’ve got a string of openers like PWG has had in recent events where the action is hot and the crowd is hotter, when you get something like this, that is respectably decent but nondescript, you notice. Ciampa hits a discus lariat for the win. Second half of the match was strong. **1/2
ACH v. Cedric Alexander: Alexander has been gaining some momentum in PWG since that awesome three-way bout against Trevor Lee and Andrew Everett back at Mystery Vortex II. He’s really stepping up and embracing the PWG experience. Crowd is really starting to dig him, too. ACH is being his usual obnoxiously hammy self and the Reseda crowd always eats him up. A gentleman’s handshake kicks things off and we get some back and forth early on. A pretty slow moving, crowd pandering first half of the match is highlighted by Big Ced taking out some chick with a tope suicida while walking back to her seat. I lol’d.
This match gets into “when is this shit going to end?” territory for a while there. This isn’t your usual ACH match. It is pretty damn methodical and prodding for most of the match. It picks up during the go-home stretch, which saves it from putting me into a coma. These two have a better match in’em somewhere, but its not of the long form variety. ACH with a flurry late, hits the 450 to wake me up and win this one. **1/2
The Best Friends v. The Unbreakable F’N Shebangs: Easily the worst tag team name in the history of pro wrestling is this Gargano/Elgin creation. Brutal. Anyway, Gargano subs for Brian Cage who is out with an injury at this point. The Best Friends are still over. Once the pace picks up, this match becomes really fun. A ton of fun spots that mix some of Gargano’s best with Elgin’s while still getting in the token Best Friends spots. Johnny Gargano ends up dead…absolutely fucking dead when Trent gives him that cradled back to belly piledriver thingy he does. It finishes Gargano. Might have even set off a terrorist attack on Southern Los Angeles, too. ***1/2
Trevor Lee v. Kevin Steen: Kevin Steen stands in the middle of the ring getting showers of streamers. Justifiably so. He’s been a PWG stalwart for years. This will be his final match in the company before he travels south to Parts Unknown, Mexico where he’ll join up with his former tag partner, El Generico to help orphaned Mexican babies become productice American citizens. Thanks, Canada. Steen ends up doing Streamer Angels and rolling around in it until he looks like a big ball of WCW’s Yeti.
Great stuff. Ole Chants are sung in the streets, merrily. This one is intense early. Fuck 16 Belly-To-Back Suplexes, Trevor Lee eats a million apron powerbombs. Seriously, Trevor Lee was a great opponent for Steen here. He eats EVERYTHING. He doesn’t just take it, he takes it hard. Its awesome. The climax of this match sees Trevor Lee kicking out of the Package Piledriver and eventually beats Kevin Steen by reversing a rollup and with that the crowd totally deflates before they show Steen all the love. All of it. Speech Speech Speech. Ole Ole Ole. Mexican Orphans. ***1/2
Frankie Kazarian v. Brian Kendrick: Welcome back, Frankie. A completely old school edition of PWG begins and it ends up being a solid back and forth bout. Frankie ends up winning this match with a nasty nasty nasty looking Flux Capacitor. It was alright. Would have been better if it had been a bit hotter. **1/2
Adam Cole v. Roderick Strong: This is a number one contenders match. Roddy has been pretty hot coming into this match and the crowd has been really taken to his grizzled, always the bridesmaid, never the bride veteran gimmick of late. His work has really been on point in Reseda as well. Adam Cole BAYBAY is coming back down from a long, successful run at PWG champ. This match flows very well. The final third of the match really has some great, smooth transitions that I really dug. Roddy pulls off the upset here with a Sick Kick and Death By Roddy combo. I enjoyed the match, but the Reseda crowd sitting on their hands for most of the match really took away from how good it could have been. I thought going in that this match would be a potential table setter for BOLA. Watch out for Roddy. ***1/2
Kyle O’Reilly (c) v. Chris Hero: Chris Hero is fat. Now that I’ve acknowledged the pink elephant, don’t get me wrong…Larry loves him some fat wrestlers, I really do. I’m not sure if correlation equals causation here, but ever since Hero has voluntarily or involuntarily picked up the spare tire, I’ve felt his work has gone down hill. No, it hasn’t hit rock bottom or anything, his work has been fine, I guess. But, we’re talking about a guy, that, for the first half of 2014 was in the mix for Wrestler of the Year. Now? Well…not so much. Maybe he is hurt or something. *shrugs* As a result, and in the context of this match, going in…I felt we were going to see one of two things. One, a nice striking affair that Riles leads the way on OR, two, some piece of striking “artwork” that got completely lost on me. The latter is what happened here (throw in some mindless submission attempts), and it didn’t help that the crowd couldn’t find a way to entertain themselves (and by proxy, me) in a match that features a lot of rolling around and half-hearted strikes for most of it. Listen, I usually love these types of matches, but this one did nothing for me. O-O-O’Reilly puts me out of my misery after tapping Hero out at the 36 hour mark. *3/4
After, Roddy comes down to give Riles the ol pat on the back…but when O’Reilly’s back is turned, HEEL TURN HEEL TURN HEEL TURN.
The Young Bucks (c) v. The World’s Cutest Tag Team – GUERRILLA WARFARE MATCH: I came here for the Super Kick Party but stayed for Candice LeRae in a Super Dragon mask. I’ve got the most amazing boner right now. This match was going to be bananas. No tag team does Guerrilla Warfare madness like The Bucks. Throw in Candice who is willing to do anything for my entertainment — I don’t get hype, I stay hype for this shit (Editor’s Note: Larry, you’re fired for using Mojo Rawley catchphrases in a PWG review). TOO SWEETS FOR EVERYONE. Seriously though, Candice is awesome. By the end of this beautiful fucking car crash, her face looks like her menstrual cycle blew up on her face (Editor’s Note: Now you’re really fired).
The Bucks get all of their shit in. ALL OF IT. The crowd goes from an ambien overdose to a full on coke binge here when The Bucks give Candice their double spike piledriver gimmick move on the outside of the ring. Then, The Bucks make Joey Ryan EAT THUMBTACKS only to Super Kick his face in. Shoes COVERED IN TACKS used to Super Kick Candice’s face into McCovey Cove. I popped. Stars should be raining from the ceiling of this American Legion joint. The go home to this match is Candice putting tacks down Nick’s tights, grabbing his balls, and ballplexing him into more tacks. I lost it. This was awesome. ****1/2
Post match, Kevin Steen comes to the ring to meet up with the rest of Mount Rushmore. Too Sweets and Hugs turn into Triple Superkicks.
Good luck in Guadalajara, Kevin.
Overall, this show was substandard PWG fare until the main event. At an over three hour run time, ELEVEN felt like it was walking on a treadmill. The usually hot Reseda crowd didn’t seem into anything outside of saying ‘Goodbye’ to Kevin Steen. The matches seemed long and disjointed, albeit, not bad, per se. But then that main event — it’s just so ridiculous, you have to mark out, bro.
The Buzz: Ambien overdose to coke binge…it just takes three hours to get there.
Match of the Night: The Young Bucks (c) v. The World’s Cutest Tag Team – Guerrilla Warfare
Next Up: Its fucking BOLA, bros!