Don’t Sweat the Technique
April 3, 2015
Biff Busick vs. Brian Cage: I’m really enjoying Brian Cage lately. His run in Lucha Underground seems to have been the key to really unlocking a lot of his hidden charisma. He’s finding a groove where his character is matching his appearance and in-ring style and its all coming together. Biff, once again, with a strong performance. I’ve come around on Biff in a big way in the past year or so. Anyway…what a great opener. You’d expect Biff and Cage to have themselves a good little match, but it wouldn’t make much sense or anything and it’d be sloppy…but not here. These two dudes told a good little story in the ring with the big, cocky, show off, Cage fighting the aggressive guile of Biff Busick. Cage tries to get all of his shit in and doesn’t quite fool Biff the whole way through and eats consistent legwork and sells it just fine. Eventually, the power of Cage is too much to overcome and Biff eats a discuss lariet that spins him 360-degrees. A little botchy botchy near the end doesn’t stop this from being a really good, well structured opener. ***1/2
“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Trevor Lee: Trevor Lee starts back at the bottom of the card, and this is something I’m quite happy about. I want to see Lee really show how strong of a contender he is. He’s better than the banana peel contender. Speedball is the perfect fit for him at this juncture. Lee can sell a bit for Bailey while also getting his own shit over and winning convincingly. Speedball is a good salesman in his own right and can eat Lee’s offense which he does immediately and consistently throughout the entire match. This is a nice maturation match for Lee. He’s no longer the underdog working from underneath. The Carolina Caveman was aggressive and dictated the pace. Bailey has his moments here too, but all of the comebacks are quickly thwarted. And then…everyone dies. A super botched reverse hurricanrana on the apron – that looks as ugly as it sounds – makes the entire Reseda crowd shit themselves at that car wreck. I guess you aren’t really accepted in Reseda unless you nearly kill someone. Welcome, Speedball! Bailey puts Lee back into the ring, tries to hit a flippy do off the top only to get rolled up into a small package driver for the win. This was a good match until the two-car accident on the outside. Was perfect in re-establishing Lee while getting Speedball a little shine, too. ***3/4
PWG Tag Team Championship – World’s Cutest Tag Team (C) vs. The Beaver Boys: Welp, you knew it was going to happen…Alex Reynolds faux ejaculates on Joey Ryan’s lollipop only for John Silver to eat it. Once that was out of the way, these two teams show some great chemistry together immediately and have a heckuva match. The Beavs play a great little pure heel team in PWG. I’m pretty sure Silver is the 5’2″ man that every normal person hates at the gym. He plays his complex off very well in the ring. Reynolds is a total dickface and it shows throughout the match. Joey and Candice get re-established here after an absence, eventually winning with the avalanche balls plex to John Silver. The real story here, and later on, is how well these new tag teams in PWG are acclimating themselves. Even in losses, the Beaver Boys are getting their shit in and the Reseda crowd is reacting in kind with immediacy. These two new teams (The Beavs and Monster Mafia – more on them later) are really introducing themselves well with their bevy of double team moves that are popping the crowd. As mentioned, this match was very strong with the high impact moves and crisp work being the highlights. ***3/4
Tommy End vs. Chris Hero: Excalibur hasn’t put over a match like this and a wrestler as well as he did Tommy End in a long time. You can tell how much of a fan he is of his friend (End) and how much he appreciates his unique style in wrestling. This was a great touch to this match. While I could go the rest of my life without seeing Hero and Gulak wrestlefuck again and be very much ok with that. On the flipside, I’m not sure I could get enough of Hero and End beating the living shit out of each other with strikes. They had a good match for EVOLVE during WrestleMania Weekend and they didn’t disappoint here as they exceeded that bout by a few lengths. There is a level of violence that just comes through when these two hit each other. You can see the bruises slowly show themselves throughout the match and thats pretty awesome. This is a straight forward strikefuckfest. The strikes escalate throughout the match in their violence. The go home stretch here is pretty great despite the false finishes that probably over do it. But, who cares? Chris Hero needed to kill Tommy End dead…absolutely fucking dead to finish him off. Awesome introduction of End to the Reseda crowd who gives him a standing ovation. I really really liked this match a lot. Hero…more of this please. A potential Match of the Year Contender. ****1/2
ACH vs. Tommaso Ciampa: Stone Cold ACH is an act that I am not sure I will ever not laugh at. I pop every time. The only thing I may pop more for is Hollywood Blonde Stunning ACH doing the camera gimmick. This match goes by pretty quickly, but its very nondescript. Its your typical, run-of-the-mill midcard match. Both guys with a pretty average performance. WHAM, BOOM, STUNNER, 450 splash off the top gives ACH the win. ACH with a few pedestrian matches in PWG so far in 2015. Step up, bruh. **1/4
LOVE GUN (Chris Sabin & Matt Sydal) vs. Monster Mafia: Sabin and Sydal are coming off a big win in a great match against the Young Bucks at the end of 2014. They carry over their momentum against a new-ish team in PWG that made their debut in a losing effort against the Bucks at From Out Of Nowhere, to expected results. Love Gun and Monster Mafia had themselves a really solid match. A bit long, but it did showcase each team’s array of double team moves and what makes each special. Sabin ate a ton of offense mid-match. The hot tag to Sydal really kicked things into high gear. Eventually, GUN wins after a power bomb-meteora thingy and the neckbreaker-Shooting Sydal Press thingy to get the pin on Josh Alexander. The series of real match stealing moments were the heckling spots between Ethan Page and the chicks in the section right behind their corner (some of which where the jobbers from the Four Horsewomen and whatever broads Josh Barnett took with him to see the show). Overall, a good match, but tag team affairs have such a high ceiling due to the madness that usually ensues, anything less than insanity gets docked for not having it. ***3/4
Andrew Everett vs. Ricochet: Hey Bros…think you’re gonna see some FLIPZ here? SPOILER ALERT: You do! Not only that, you get some silky smooth exchanges and high speed action. They threw in some fun strike exchanges for free, too. There are some spots here that blew my mind. A spring board shooting star press to the outside by Everett where his feet nearly touch the lighting. A reverse ‘rana by Ricochet off the damn top rop while both men are standing tall only for Everett to finish the spot ON HIS FEET and hit a snap reverse ‘rana and another ‘rana in succession. If you like your wrestling to make sense, you won’t like this much, I’m sure. But if you dig huge aerial spots by two of the best, you should be all about it. Everett misses a DOUBLE MOONSAULT setting up Ric to kick his face in a few times before hitting the flying Benadryller for the win. I enjoy SPOTZ. So I liked this. ***1/2
PWG World Championship – Roderick Strong (C) vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: As VOW’s resident PWG reviewer, I’ve notoriously not casted a vote for a PWG match as one of my Top 10 Matches of the Year on the annual VoW ballot in quite a few years. You’d have to go all of the way back to 2012 when I last had a PWG match in my annual Top 10 when I was the guy doing the ‘Best Of’ Compilations. There you’d find the Threemendous III main event of the Super Smash Brothers versus Future Shock versus The Young Bucks. FWIW that I rated that the fourth best match of 2012. Before that, it was the Steen Wolf Classic between Kevin Steen and El Generico. With that said…Let the record show, Roderick Strong versus Zack Sabre Jr. is going to be one of my Top 10 Matches of 2015. Is it as good as those classics mentioned before it? Not quite. However, Roddy and Sabre Jr. didn’t have the props in the ring to play with either. These two had a straight wrestling match and it was fantastic. The silky smooth technique of ZSJr versus the freaky Roderick stregth and his Roddy’s manic flurries was the theme throughout the match. Sabre Jr. worked over Roddy’s arm all match. Stalling most Strong offensives often. The chain wrestling and counters just popped off the screen. The near falls off the pinning combinations had Reseda on their feet the entire time. At times the crowd almost seemed mesmerized at the transitions in the ring. The only knock I can give this match is the finish was a smidge flat, but that is me nitpicking. Roddy retains the PWG World Title after he stomps the ever loving shit out of Zack Sabre Jr.’s face and flips him over into the Stronghold for the tap out. This was really great. You must go out of your way to see this. ****3/4
Final Thoughts: What a fucking show. I was on the edge of my seat throughout most of the entire card. From the opening match to the finale, this was a real treat for American Indy Wrestling fans. You had a little bit of everything. Some top notch singles performances ranging from mat classics to spot fests to MEWVZ to STRIKEfucking. You also had two standout tag matches. This is a show you should be buying ASAP.
- The Buzz: Show Of The Year Contender
- Match Of The Night: Roderick Strong (C) vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
- Also See: Tommy End vs. Chris Hero…
Next Up! Its DDT4. It features a bevvy of your favorite PWG Tag Teams not named The Young Bucks! World’s Cutest Tag Team, The Best Friends, The Beaver Boys, Monster Mafia, The Inner City Machine Guns, LOVE GUN, as well as the debuting Team Tremendous as well as the combined forces of Biff Busick and Trevor Lee as well as Andrew Everett and Trevor Lee! It should be a fun show and I’m really intrigued to see who goes over and gets the spotlight put on them. I’m wagering on LOVE GUN, but I’d love to see one of the new teams like the Beavs or the Mafia rise up here and get showcased. Also, Roddy defends the PWG World Title against The Man They Call CAGE and Kassius Ohno in a three way match!