From Out of Nowhere
February 27, 2015
Photos: Devin Chen Photography
Its been a long time…I shouldn’t have left you…without a dope PWG review to step to…step to…step to…st-st-step to.
Surely, no one is reading this, it’s like buying milk with a sell by date of two weeks ago…so lets get straight to the review…just for posterity’s sake and all…
Biff Busick vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey: Mike Bailey is a fun wrestler who should fit right in with the PWG crowd. He’s a GEEK (TM @JoeMLanza), don’t get me wrong, but he’s got a hybrid style that should give the Reseda crowd a lot of fresh matchups and style clashes. Speaking of style clashes, enter Biff Busick for Speedball’s debut. Bailey’s Taekwondo and flippy-do mix versus the manic technique of Biff left the door open for something different and enjoyable and to a point, they succeeded, despite it being a disjointed affair. The highlights came from the Speedball counters and his flippy knee drops that popped the crowd, as well as sleeper suplex by Biff over the ropes. Ultimately, Busick catches Bailey in a rear naked choke. Not a bad opener, and a nice introduction to Mike Bailey, but I can’t quite get past how muddled it all seemed. **3/4
Cedric Alexander vs. Tommaso Ciampa: These two guys are starting to settle into very nice post-hype hands on the indy scene. I always tend to like what these guys do, but they don’t often venture into the love category. This match falls right into that line of thinking. It’s a very well done match, that gets elevated a bit because of the really strong finish. While the match started off hot by quickly going outside, the real nuts of this match inside the ring where Ced and Ciampa got a little stiff. While nothing would be described as crisp and it certainly wasn’t worked right, things chugged along until a creative ending where Ciampa gets caught in the ropes in an awkward position and Alexander just goes off on his face with three consecutive running kicks, followed by the Lumbar Check finisher. ***1/4
Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds & John Silver) vs. Best Friends: Trent? returns here after a long road recovering from a leg injury. As an aside, Trent looked fantastic since returning, not only here (more on that in a minute), but now in Japan and around the indy scene. It is safe to say, that stink that comes with adjusting to future endeavored life in indy wrestling is completely washed off. Back to the match…a bit long, but it was really built toward a hot finish. It was a Best Friends match, so you had those cut-ins throughout the match with some comedy, but outside of that was a really intense tag match. The Beaver Boys showed out here as well and will surely be back. Lots of big spots from them and the Boys were up to the task of matching the facey comedy of the Friends with some very heelish goofy stuff including a FACIAL spot that popped me (lulz). Best Friends win with the double chokeslam in a breezy cool near-20 minute match. ***1/2
ACH vs. AR Fox: ACH and AR Fox open with chain wrestling and mat work. Yeah, you read that correctly. It develops into a non-flippy affair with big moves, but lacks for FLIPZ, which isn’t exactly what I look for when I watch an ACH-AR Fox match. As is, it’s ok, but very tame and *gasp* boring for a match with these two usually very entertaining wrestlers. At the sake of full disclosure, I took a nap right after this match. Take that for whatever it’s worth. WHAM, BOOM, STUNNER and a snap German Suplex give ACH the win. It was alright, I guess. **1/4
Drew Gulak vs. Chris Hero: Hero and Gulak in another 25 minute nu-wave catch-wrestling-fuckfest that devolves into a Hero-striking-fuckfest. Talk about deja vu. I’ve got no love for these types of matches, to be fair here. I’ve seen this shit seemingly dozens of times, and I’m just kind of over it. If you’re a #TimothyThatcherType, you’re pickle will be tickled. Unfortunately outside of few good exchanges…meh. I did like the finish with two jumping piledrivers (one traditional, one tombstone) to finally put Gulak away, but I kept checking my watch during this one. **
Ricochet vs. Matt Sydal: Let me tell you something, brothers. I have a rekindled love with REBORN Matt Sydal. He’s quietly encroached on my FAVE FIVE on the indy scene in recent months. I’m loving his ROH stuff (including his A+ theme), his PWG shit has popped me, and he’s got some sneaky good matches on lower level indys you can check out on YouTube. He’s gotten rid of that WWE stink and recapturing his goodness. The first half of 2014 saw Ricochet rise to ELITE levels, and while he’s not quite killing on that level this year, he’s having a sneaky great year.
tl;dr: I should fuckin love this match.
SPOILER ALERT: I do.
This match is full of silky smooth work, big moves, and some FLIPZ. It’s also done in a way where they tell a good logical match based story. They go about 20 minutes and I’m on the edge of my seat the entire time before King Ric hits the Benedryller and Vertigo for the win. ****1/4
Monster Mafia (Josh Alexander & Ethan Page) vs. The Young Bucks: The story here…Dave Meltzer was in attendance, so you know The Young Bucks would show out as they are Big Dave’s favorite tag team. A side note, Monster Mafia is going to fit right in with the Reseda Crowd, no doubt. These two are already stars regionally, but they are about to take the next step on the indy brands with more exposure. Unfortunately, this wasn’t their show to go over but they may have stolen the show. Despite a slow-ish start, with lots of the goofy Bucks tropes, the Mafia really shines with their fun, innovative double-team moves. The Bucks are the Bucks…great as always. In the only possible way this match could end, Nick and Matt blow kisses in the wind to a smiling Big Dave as they hit the sexiest Meltzer Driver you’ll ever see on Ethan Page for the win. Really dug it. ****
PWG World Championship – Roderick Strong (C) vs. Trevor Lee: Trevor Lee was one of the most improved wrestlers in the world in 2014. At only 20 years old, he’s really advanced. He’s gotten over in PWG in a big way after a string of very surprising upsets. Unfortunately, I would have preferred to see Lee get some good strong wins instead of all of the banana peels wins he has over the top PWG guys, as it would have made this matchup much more intereting. Roddy is putting together the best heel work in his career in PWG. Because this was a MAIN EVENT match for a title, I am sure there was an obvious need for this match to go nearly 30 minutes, but I’m not sure there was enough of a story to tell to go that distance. Try as they might though, there was some good things here. I think if anything, it showed that Lee is just on the cusp of this type of push being real and that he is potentially a legitimate top guy. Roddy is a real pro here, leading the way as the savvy veteran thwarting the young upstart at nearly every turn. End of Heartache wins it for Roddy in a good, workman like match between these two. It was just a bit flat for me. ***1/2
Final Thoughts: Overall, this is a nice debut show for some new tag teams. However, it’s King Ricochet and Matt Sydal stealing the show. Some will like this show top to bottom a lot more, but I at times found it a bit of a chore to get through (I mean, look at how late this review is!). You should check out the highlighted matches though, they are really good.
- The Buzz: Twas aight.
- Match of the Night: Ricochet vs. Matt Sydal
- Also See: Monster Mafia vs. The Young Bucks
Next Up: Don’t Sweat The Technique…it’s one of the best shows of the year…so stay tuned! (It’ll posted tomorrow, ya bums)