Sunday, July 10, 2011

PWG Card Subject to Change III 2011 (4/9/11)

PWG Card Subject to Change III 2011
April 9th, 2011
American Legion Post #308, Reseda, California
Attendance: Unknown

We're one month removed from the excellent DDT4 tag team tournament in the land of PWG, and tonight we've got several big matches booked. Claudio Castagnoli defends the PWG World title against Joey Ryan, Low Ki faces Akira Tozawa in a dream match of sorts, while the Young Bucks get a shot at the tag team titles against El Generico and Ricochet (replacing Paul London). Looks like another winner from PWG, so let's get to it.

We start out with Joey Ryan in the ring cutting a promo. He explains how he was a real World champion for PWG by defending the PWG title all over the globe, Ryan promises to win the title again tonight from Claudio Castagnoli and then joins Excalibur at the commentary table as we start the show.

Your hosts are Excalibur, Joey Ryan, and an assorted host of other color commentators though out the evening.

Johnny Yuma vs. Peter Avalon

Kevin Steen apparently couldn't make the show tonight, so there have been several change-ups in the card, this being one of them. This is an interesting match-up of two guys with two of the most grimy and perverted looks in pro wrestling today. Mostly fun comedy match stuff here with both men having a faux test of strength to start off before Yuma literally shoves Avalon's face into his ass several times with big blows. A sloppy superkick sends Avalon to the floor where Yuma meets him with a leg lariat and tosses him back inside. Avalon sends Yuma to the floor next and fakes a pescado beffore taking out Yuma with a moonsault off the apron. A double-underhook suplex back in the ring gets Avalon a two count. Doctor Bomb from Yuma gets him the same. Avalon hits a pair of shotgun knees on Yuma while he's hung up on the second rope and delivers a Tiger Driver, but again Yuma kicks out. Avalon counters into a sweet pumphandle suplex, but Yuma hits him off the ropes with the Sex Factor for the pin at 12:01. Very solid opener here from two relative newcomers to PWG. Avalon in particular really looked impressive in the closing stretch and Yuma's win seemed to come out of nowhere, but this was still fairly solid stuff. **¾

Candice LeRae vs. Portia Perez

Interesting women's match up here as LeRae faces off again a member of the same sex in singles action for once. Both women trade several arm-drags early on. Portia really plays up the Canadian heel role, jawing with the fans in-between beating down LeRae. Both women trade some very nice pin cradle attempts before wiping each other out with simultaneous clotheslines. Perez gets sent to the floor and LeRae meets her with a big tope suicida! Double axe-handle off the top back in the ring nets LeRae another two count. Another armdrag from LeRae and she rolls through into a back-slide cradle for the 3 count at 7:09. This was a quick, energetic, and really fun little women's match here between two very talented ladies. I wish they could have gotten a bit more time to build a better match, but this just flew by. **½

Roderick Strong vs. Willie Mack

This has got to be the biggest match of Mack's career to this point, and it says alot about how quickly he's impressed PWG officials in his short time with the company. Originally he was meant to face Brian Cage-Taylor, but plans fell through. Strong works a basic wristlock in the opening stages but it doesn't get him very far. Mack gets in some offense with a running spin kick and a Stinger splash in the corner. A dropkick sends Strong to the floor and Mack follows him out only to be shoved into the steel ring post. Strong jaws with some of the fans and this allows Mack to get in some big right hands while Strong fires away with his signature chops. Mack gets a backbreaker onto some chairs and Strong returns to the ring. Mack stumbles back in and manages to counter a suplex attempt into a huge snap suiplex of his own. Strong responds with more chops and a dropkick. Mack stuns Strong with a big exploder suplex and follows up with a slingshot dropkick in the corner for a two count. Both men trade forearms and Mack hits a creative northern lights suplex variation for another near fall. Both men trade forearms again and then Strong delivers a sickeningly stiff knee strike into Mack's face that nearly put him away. Strong brings Mack to the top rope and then delivers a crazy backbreaker onto the top turnbuckle, sending Mack crashing to the floor like yesterday's trash. Somehow Mack kicks out when Strong manages to drag him back in the ring. Mack escapes a Gibson driver attempt with a big Samoan drop and a crazy standing moonsault, but Strong kicks out. Roddy delivers a gutbuster and then transitions right into the Strong Hold, but Mack counters with a roll-up near fall. Finally a superkick and the Sick Kick put Mack away at 18:57. This was an excellent little match and a possible break-through performance by the young Willie Mack. He stood toe-to-toe with a former ROH World champ and 3-time PWG tag champ and didn't look out of place for a moment. One hell of a stiff and fun match. ***½

Low Ki vs. Akira Tozawa

So this is a hell of an intriguing match up on paper and I'm so glad Ki has become a PWG regular again since leaving the WWE. Tozawa's incredible US excursion should come to an end sometime soon by the time this review gets published, but this is another hell of a test in front of him here with the former PWG and ROH World champ Low Ki. Ki tries a legscissors to start but Tozawa quickly throws on a side headlock and goes into a fun back-and-forth with the crowd. Ki and Tozawa are evenly matched early on with each man able to scout and counter out of each other's signature moves. Low Ki asks for a microphone and says "You know damn well you ain't going to see that on WWE TV" to a round of applause and a PWG chant breaks out. Back to the match as Low Ki hands out some trademark chops and a twisting elbow drop. Ki keeps dishing out the ultra-stiff punishment with kicks and chops and Tozawa takes it all with a straight face, seemingly starting to earn Ki's respect. Tozawa sends Ki to the floor with a forearm and tries for a tope, but Ki cuts him off with a stiff kick to the side of his head. Ki goes back to the grinding mat-work but the crowd continues to rally behind Tozawa. Ki lays in more chops but Tozawa fights back with spirited elbows and forearms. Ki gets knocked out of the ring and Tozawa wipes him out with a big tope suicida before rolling him back into the ring for a near fall. Ki flips out of a German suplex attempt and double-stomps Tozawa, but Akira kicks out! Tozawa tries for a superplex but settles for a German suplex, which Ki yet again kicks out of. Ki misses a handspring back elbow but nails Tozawa with a dropkick, but instead of pinning him he gives him the huge double stomp off the top rope and then pins Tozawa at 20:40. Maybe not quite the MOTYC you might have hoped for, but still an excellent little match with all kinds of great counters, near falls, intensity and fluidity. Hot finish too. ***¾

Johnny Goodtime vs. Ryan Taylor

Goodtime starts things off dangerously with a huge somersault plancha out of the ring as Taylor makes his entrance to the ring. Portia Perez has joined commentary much to my delight. Back in the ring Goodtme sends Taylor to the floor again with a suplex, but gets cut off in a tope attempt with a scissors kick by Ryan. Taylor locks on a Muta lock and tosses his shirt off. Goodtime responds with a slingshot dropkick and attempts to German suplex Taylor off the ring apron to no avail. Taylor hits him with a tope suicida and flexes for the camera as Excalibur and Portia discuss comics on commentary. Back inside both men trade leg kicks. An enziguri and a falcon arrow get Goodtime a two count. Taylor counters with a lung-blower and saito suplex, but Goodtime kicks out at two this time. Taylor tries a crossface, but Goodtime escapes and plants him with a leg-hook DDT for the win at 15:54. This was about five minutes too long for these two guys honestly. This wasn't bad by any means, it just wasn't very interesting or engaging either though. **

PWG World Title Match
Claudio Castagnoli
© vs. Joey Ryan

Yes, Joey Ryan is getting his twelve billionth title shot here, but this time it's deserved considering Ryan defeated Claudio in last year's Battle of Los Angeles tournament. Roderick Strong chats with Excalibur on commentary about medical marijuana while Claudio quickly overpowers Ryan in the opening stages of the match. Ryan tries some technical stuff but Claudio counters everything he hands out easily in the early going, stretching Ryan out in a modified surfboard that sends him out of the ring to catch his breath. Ryan goes back on his earlier promise to wrestle a clean match fairly quickly, poking Claudio in the eye and resorting to his usual cheap heel tactics after being initially frustrated by his inability to get anywhere with a technical, hold-based offensive approach. Ryan goes to work on Claudio's arm, slamming it into the ring apron but Claudio responds with a half Boston crab that sends Ryan into the fetal position wrapped around the bottom rope. Claudio tumbles to the floor from a low-bridge and Joey meets him with a tornado DDT off the ring apron onto the hardwood floor. Ryan counters a suplex attempt with a pedigree and then tries working a Fujiwara armbar on the big man briefly. Pop-up European uppercut from Claudio followed by the UFO and a stretch muffler submission attempt as Claudio really pours it on, but Ryan gets to the ropes again. Claudio goes for a bicycle kick, but Ryan moves out of the way and Claudio wipes out the referee instead. Ryan hits Claudio with the PWG title belt as another ref heads to the ring, but Claudio kicks out at two! Ryan sets a chair up in the corner and tries to send Claudio into it, but Castagnoli counters with another uppercut. Claudio hits a superkick and tries for the Ricola Bomb, but Ryan sends him shoulder-first into the chair in the corner and tries to lock on the Kimura submission Ryan has been using to submit people in recent months. Claudio won't go down though and he manages to power himself up to the top rope and then send Ryan flying across the ring with a top-rope fallaway slam! Claudio tries for another Ricola Bomb attempt, but Ryan counters and meets a springboarding Claudio with a stiff superkick for another near fall. Claudio ducks another superkick attempt and rolls through, locking on the stretch muffler submission yet again on Ryan, and this time he taps immediately at 24:04. Joey Ryan is a hit-or-miss kind of wrestler and most people realize this, but tonight was most definitely a hit for him as this was probably his best singles match in PWG in atleast a year's time. He quickly resorted to his trademark heel tactics and he and Claudio worked a very fun face/heel dynamic while still working hard and delivering a fun, up-tempo title match. ***¼

PWG World Tag Team Title Match
El Generico/Ricochet
© vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson/Nick Jackson)

Generico and Paul London are actually the champs, but London couldn't make the show for some reason and Ricochet is replacing him (Excalibur tells us that London is off doing "space business"). Good enough for me, Ricochet is amazing. The Bucks keep being introduced as the Bucks before correcting the ring announcer and proclaiming themselves "TNA's hottest tag team, Generation Me". The Bucks earned this title shot by winning the DDT4 tag team tournament last month (their second DDT4 trophy). Generico and Matt start off and Matt quickly is sent to the floor to re-group with his brother. Back in the ring Generico tosses him around with armdrags like a ragdoll and tags Ricochet in. Nick tags in as well and becomes the quick victim of some double-teaming by Generico and Ricochet. The Bucks respond with some double team tactics of their own, isolating Generico in their corner. Ricochet gets the hot tag and cleans house with hurricanranas and a cannonball senton. Ricochet's arm nearly gets taken off with a double-stomp off the top and he manages to kick out of everything Nick and Matt give to him. Back handspring back-rake from Matt nets the ultra-hip ironic "Holy shit!" chant from the fans in attendance. Ricochet plays babyface in peril for a good hot while until fighting off the Bucks with a pele kick and getting the hot tag to Generico. A lariat and a swinging DDT from Generico sends the Bucks to the floor and he fakes out a dive on them only for Ricochet to leap out from behind him with a crazy somersault plancha over the top rope and to the floor! Back in the ring Generico nearly wins it with a Michinoku Driver on Matt. Matt blocks a Yakuza kick allowing Nick to nail Generico with a superkick and take out Ricochet on the floor with a moonsault while Matt gets a close near fall on Generico. Generico gets power-bombed onto Nick's knees but the Bucks miss the Risky Business double-team in their follow up attempt and Ricochet tags back in. He takes out both Bucks with kicks but gets tossed to the floor. Generico tries for the top-rope brainbuster but gets dropped as well and Ricochet finally takes Matt down with a top rope frankensteiner. A Yakuza kick and a reverse hurricanrana on Matt from Ricochet and Generico followed by a 450 splash and a pin attempt that Nick is somehow able to break up. Nick low blows Generico behind the ref's back and nearly steals the titles, but Generico kicks out.Ricochet hits a huge shooting star press on Nick, but Matt places his brother's leg on the bottom rope and avoids a pescado from Generico. We hit the usual superkick overdrive PWG spot with the Bucks and they finish Ricochet off with More Bang For Your Buck to win the tag titles for the second time at 21:13. This was typically excellent tag team action from PWG, a company that prides itself on it's ability to throw together matches like these on the fly that always wind up delivering great action. Nearly as good as anything from last month's DDT4 tournament. ***¾

Bottom Line: This was probably the weakest PWG show I've seen on DVD in quite some time, and still there were several excellent contests to be found on this disc and nothing here was actively bad at all. There's nothing on this DVD that I think you need to go out of your way to check out, but at the same time I can't see anyone being upset with their purchase if they picked this DVD up anyways. Another Thumbs Up.

Score: 7/10

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