Break It Down: PWG Kurt Russellreunion 2: The Reunioning
Kurt Russellreunion 2: The Reunioning on January 29th, 2011
Opening Match: Peter Avalon, Caleb Konley, Jake Manning, and ODB vs. Cedric Alexander, Brandon Gatson, Candice LeRae, and Willie Mack
On commentary, Excalibur and Colt Cabana explain that ODB was involved in a sex scandal with Mack and that’s why she’s in this match. In actuality, she’s replacing Christina Von Eerie, who couldn’t make the show. Alexander catches Manning with a dropkick while Gatson hits a russian leg sweep on Konley. Mack enters the match to much applause. He rocks Avalon with a shoulder tackle and delivers a knee strike. ODB uses her assets to knock down LeRae. Avalon eventually blind tags into the match because, well, he’s sleazy. LeRae unleashes a flurry of offense on Avalon and Alexander adds an enzuigiri. Manning clotheslines Alexander from the apron and the heels isolate him. He avoids a charge from ODB, implant jokes ensue, and he’s able to make the tag. Gatson cleans house with a series of clotheslines and lands a handspring corner charge. Mack overhead suplexes Avalon and military presses him to the floor. Alexander follows out with a dive. Gatson contributes a space flying tiger drop as well. In the ring, LeRae ballsplexes Avalon off the top rope. Mack adds a high elevation frog splash. Manning hits a backbreaker-back suplex combination on LeRae but falls victim to a pumphandle slam from Alexander. Gatson applies an arm submission on Avalon for the win at 14:22. This match was more about the mix of personalities involved than the actual wrestling. I think it’s interesting that Konley, Manning, and Alexander compete for ROH yet they showed more promise here than they have in ROH. The finish came rather abruptly, which is a shame because I thought that the match was finding its groove. Still, they successfully accomplished their goal of getting the crowd vocal and excited for the rest of the show. **½
Match #2: Mr. Aguila vs. Rey Bucanero
Aguila actually has an accent mark over the “A” for you Spanish buffs out there. I’m going to be lazy with my non-Spanish keyboard so let’s pretend that the accent marks are there. Aguila spin kicks Bucanero to the floor. Rick Knox tries to prevent a dive, but Aguila does one anyway. In the ring, Bucanero hits a backcracker out of the ropes. He sends Aguila to the outside and follows out with a plancha. Aguila is thrown into the guardrail and Bucanero clotheslines him into the front row. Not to be outdone, Aguila lands a dive over the ringpost and nearly flies over the guardrail. He now sends Bucanero into the front row. Aguila leaps over the guardrail and onto Bucanero. Back in, both men collide when they attempt a crossbody. Bucanero applies a half crab and transitions into an STF. Aguila sneaks in a rollup for a two count. Aguila slips running up the ropes but recovers with a moonsault for the victory at 7:40. I’m not particularly familiar with either wrestler, but this was about what I expected. While they pulled off some highly impressive feats of agility, the match had little structure and contained a few awkward moments. On the plus side, this contest didn’t overstay its welcome and the crowd seemed to enjoy the action, so I can’t be too critical. **
Match #3: Shane Helms vs. Joey Ryan
Ryan brings up Helms’ Twitter feud with Shawn Michaels before the match and says that he’s going to have to deal with the Hollywood Submission Machine tonight. Helms enters the ring and the crowd is all over him. It’s pretty clear that the crowd just wants to see wrestling but Helms insists on cutting a lengthy pre-match promo that accomplishes nothing. Ryan sneaks in a cheap shot in the corner. Helms busts out a Hurricane gesture and Ryan quickly retreats to the floor. Helms lands a plancha to the outside. In the ring, Ryan connects with Sweet Chin Music but Helms no sells. Cute. Helms applies a figure four but Ryan reaches the bottom rope. Ryan takes control and begins targeting the left arm. He even grabs the microphone at one point and informs the crowd that he is putting on a technical masterpiece. The action goes to the floor where they exchange chops around ringside. Back in, Ryan maintains control until Helms lands a flying crossbody. Ryan answers with his pumphandle exploder followed by a spinebuster. Helms hits an inverted DDT and a chokeslam. Ryan applies a kimura for the win at 14:07. The stalling beforehand didn’t thrill the crowd and the match left a lot to be desired as well. Helms looked uninspired in the ring and the way he incorporated his Twitter feud with Shawn Michaels into the match came off as childish. A very long, drawn-out fourteen minutes. *½
Match #4: Low Ki vs. Davey Richards
Strong dueling chants from the crowd at the bell. Low Ki kicks his way out of a wristlock and Richards quickly returns the favor. Richards slaps Low Ki, which may or may not have been a bad idea. Low Ki punches Richards in the face and then kicks him to the canvas. So yes, it was a bad idea. Richards connects with a dropkick, sending Low Ki to the floor. Low Ki blocks a dive attempt and whips Richards into the guardrail. In the ring, Low Ki connects with a nasty chop. Richards sends him back to the floor and then punts him from the apron. Back in, Richards hits a back suplex and takes control. He finds success with the Alarm Clock and locks in a boston crab but Low Ki is able to reach the bottom rope. Richards hits a backbreaker and utilizes his kicks to maintain control. Low Ki impressively blocks a charge with a kappou kick. He plasters Richards with a kick in the corner. Richards answers with a few kicks of his own but Low Ki stops his momentum with a double stomp. Richards hits a german suplex. In one of the more inventive spots that I’ve seen in quite some time, Low Ki blocks the Alarm Clock with a double stomp. Low Ki connects with a handspring kick in the corner. Richards avoids a flying double stomp and applies an ankle lock. Low Ki turns the hold into a rollup for a nearfall. Richards hits another german suplex and connects with a knockout kick for a two count. He follows with a discus lariat and both men are down. They battle up top and Richards finds himself in a tree of woe. He pulls Low Ki off the top rope but finds knees on a shooting star press attempt. Low Ki connects with a flying double stomp for the victory at 22:40. This is an incredibly difficult match to rate. Expectations were ridiculously high and I’m sure that there will be varying opinions on whether or not these two met those expectations. In fact, this match played out much differently than I expected and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. They didn’t go overboard on strike exchanges throughout the contest and there weren’t a ridiculous amount of nearfalls down the stretch. I truly felt like I was watching a unique, anticipated match. These two were able to put together some exciting exchanges and showcased amazing counters to each other’s offense. The strike exchanges and nearfalls occurred less frequently and the match felt special as a result. I can safely say that my expectations were met and I feel as though this is a match worth going out of your way to watch. ****
Match #5: Jake Roberts vs. Sinn Bodhi
This is Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ retirement match. The crowd gives Roberts a huge ovation before the opening bell. Bodhi attempts a sneak attack but gets punched to the floor. Back in, Bodhi narrowly escapes a DDT and takes time to regroup. Bodhi blocks a charge and hits a leg drop. Roberts avoids a second leg drop and connects with a short-arm clothesline. Roberts hits a DDT for the win at 5:42. An appropriate and respectful farewell.
Match #6: 20-Man Legends Battle Royale
Gene Okerlund is doing the ring introductions. Paul Orndorff, Iron Sheik, Harley Race, and Masa Saito are also at ringside. Danny Davis and Mike Graham start the match, hilariously coming out to the generic PWG theme on the DVD. Jimmy Hart enters next and starts choking Graham with his wrist tape. Tito Santana soon follows. Barry Orton tries to slingshot into the ring and barely clears the top rope. The Barbarian makes an immediate impact by eliminating Graham. Rock Riddle, Shane Douglas, and The Warlord are the next participants. Barry Orton gets eliminated and Hart appears to have eliminated himself. Douglas is able to send the Barbarian packing as well. Chavo Guerrero struts to the ring as Davis gets eliminated. Shane Helms makes his second appearance of the night to a chorus of boos. Douglas repeatedly punches Helms in the corner. Bob Orton enters next along with his cast. Cruel Connection, an interesting character, and Mando Guerrero come out next and form a loose alliance. Terry Funk makes his way to the ring and immediately starts brawling with Douglas. Helms back drops Cruel Connection over the top rope as Savio Vega enters the match. Now there’s someone from my youth. Funk and Douglas team up to eliminate Helms. The Warlord goes out as well. Roddy Piper makes his entrance as the crowd rises to their feet. Apparently, Vampiro made a surprise entrance and now Sean Morley is here. This is chaos. Piper begins poking everyone in the eye. Riddle gets eliminated as Tatanka reveals himself as the final entrant. Douglas quickly eliminates him and Mando gets out as well. Vampiro dodges a few kicks from Vega and then superkicks him over the top rope. Funk takes off Bob Orton’s cast and sends him packing. Vampiro clotheslines Morley over the top rope. Chavo Guerrero uses his hidden agility to avoid getting eliminated. However, Piper takes care of him by punching him off the top rope and to the floor. Douglas busts Funk open amidst their brawling. Tatanka, who has been apparently resting on the floor, suddenly reenters the ring and cleans house. He accidentally eliminates himself. Poor guy. Piper and Funk simultaneously eliminate Vampiro and Douglas. We’re down to our final two. Funk gets on the microphone and thanks all of the legends who have passed away. He begins a prayer but hits Piper with the microphone about halfway through. They brawl into the crowd as Funk talks trash. In the ring, they trade punches and Piper eliminates Funk for the hard-fought victory at 35:27. This was exactly what you would expect. My only complaint is that the crowd’s reaction to the legends was drowned out because PWG had to record over all of the entrance music. Regardless, the Funk/Piper confrontation to end the match was a lot of fun and the crowd ate it up as well. With the match time clocking in at thirty-five minutes, you’ll know fairly quickly whether or not this match is for you.
Match #7: Chris Hero vs. Kevin Steen
Neither man can gain control to start. Hero connects with a roaring elbow and Steen takes some time to regroup on the floor. Hero follows out but gets whipped into the guardrail. The action goes into the crowd where Steen lands a splash off a lighting rig. Back at ringside, Steen powerbombs Hero onto the apron and lands a moonsault in the ring. Steen hits his front flip leg drop and takes control. Hero comes back with a flash kick and a flipping neckbreaker. He sends Steen to the outside and connects with a baseball slide. Back in, Hero grabs a cravate in the corner and takes Steen down to the canvas. Steen responds with a DDT in the ropes and hits a corner cannonball. Hero misses a boot and falls victim to a TKO. Steen hits a powerbomb and applies a sharpshooter but Hero is able to reach the bottom rope. They battle up top. Hero lands on his feet after a moonsault attempt but walks into a lungblower. Steen misses a moonsault and Hero connects with a stomp-roaring elbow combination for a nearfall. Hero follows with the Deathblow for a two count. Steen becomes angry, eats a mafia kick, and then immediately responds with a superkick. He hits his pumphandle neckbreaker along with a sleeper suplex for a nearfall. Hero blocks a charge with a roaring elbow and connects with a roaring mafia kick for the win at 19:13. Putting these two in a match together just makes sense. They both bring high impact offenses to the table and have a similar, unrelenting attitude in PWG. They kept the action predominantly back and forth for nineteen minutes but the contest didn’t feel overly long. The match was taken to another level down the stretch and these two went above and beyond to show the crowd that this event will be strictly PWG from here on out. Hopefully Steen is booked on a consistent basis as he still has momentum after a tremendous 2010. ***¾
Match #8: Brandon and Dustin Cutler vs. Brian Cage-Taylor and Ryan Taylor vs. Johnny Goodtime and Johnny Yuma vs. Matt and Nick Jackson
The winners of this match will gain entry into this year’s DDT4 tournament. The Young Bucks attack the Cutlers before the bell. Dustin clotheslines the Young Bucks to the floor but falls victim to a slingshot leg drop from Goodtime. Cage hits a backbreaker on Yuma while Taylor knockout kicks Goodtime. Brandon lands a flying crossbody onto the Fightin’ Taylor Boys. Cage drops Brandon across Taylor’s knees. Goodtime hurricanranas Taylor and connects with a leg lariat. The RockNES Monsters land stereo sentons on Taylor. Matt spears Brandon and Nick adds a springboard splash. Nick springboard dropkicks Goodtime off the apron. Matt starts running into different corners where he gets punched by his opponents. The referee, Patrick Hernandez, even punches him at one point. A giant headscissors chain breaks out and Dustin turns it into a boston crab. Matt hits an inverted neckbreaker on Dustin and takes out Yuma with a baseball slide. The Young Bucks isolate Yuma until the Fightin’ Taylor Boys take over. Cage hits an impressive delayed vertical suplex off the middle rope. Nick accidentally knees Matt, allowing Yuma to make the tag. Goodtime connects with a slingshot dropkick on Nick and hits an olympic slam on Matt. He german suplexes Nick and lands a dive to the floor onto the Young Bucks. Brandon and Yuma follow out with dives of their own. The Cutlers hit a tandem tombstone on Cage for a nearfall. Goodtime uses Yuma as a battering ram until he eats a superkick from Matt. Matt hits a wheelbarrow facebuster on Brandon. Cage absolutely murders Matt with a discus lariat. Goodtime powerbombs Taylor onto Cage. Goodtime launches Yuma off the middle rope onto Taylor for the victory at 15:26. This was an energetic four-way tag team match and an effective preview of the upcoming DDT4 tournament. The early part of the contest had some fun interactions. I especially liked how the Young Bucks would try to cut off the Cutlers’ momentum whenever possible. While the finishing stretch might not have been as crazy as some would have liked, the RockNES Monsters were put over as a legitimate force going into the next show. Overall, this was an extremely worthwhile match that served its purpose well. ***½
Kevin Steen runs out after the match and lays out Goodtime with a package piledriver. He violently sends Yuma into the turnbuckles. Steen doesn’t care who is partner is; he’s entering himself into DDT4.
Match #9: PWG World Title: Claudio Castagnoli © vs. El Generico
Generico can’t win a shoulder block battle so he snaps off a few armdrags. He follows with a headscissors and leaps off the top rope into a hurricanrana. Claudio catches him on a plancha attempt and slams him onto the apron. Claudio takes control, working over the left leg. Generico fights back with a leg lariat but falls victim to a chokeslam. He blocks a popup european uppercut with a dropkick. Claudio gets sent to the floor but Generico’s leg is too hurt to attempt a plancha. Instead, Generico slowly climbs to the top rope and lands a dive to the outside. In the ring, Generico lands a flying crossbody and hits a tornado DDT. Claudio connects with a vicious bicycle kick and applies a half crab but Generico reaches the bottom rope. Generico misses an enzuigiri and Claudio hits a dead-lift german suplex. Claudio connects with a series of uppercuts but Generico responds with a corner yakuza kick. Claudio answers with a popup european uppercut for a nearfall. Generico reverses the Ricola Bomb into a code red for a two count. Claudio connects with a clothesline and actually goes up top. Generico catches him with a yakuza kick. They battle up top and Generico snaps off a hurricanrana. He connects with a corner yakuza kick and hits a brainbuster for a huge nearfall. Claudio hits the UFO but Generico kicks out of a pin attempt at one. Claudio hits the Ricola Bomb nearfall. He giant swings Generico by his left leg and applies a stretch muffler. Claudio lifts Generico in the air and swings him around in the stretch muffler. Generico taps and Claudio retains his title at 20:20. This was an absolutely incredible main event and a great first title defense for Claudio. These two had an excellent match in ROH four years ago and have grown so much as wrestlers since then. The leg work was done brilliantly. Not only did it come into play during the finish, but it also prohibited Generico from performing multiple moves throughout the contest. To put things into perspective, the legends battle royale ended around midnight. This show was incredibly long and the fact that the crowd was still on fire for the main event is a testament to how good this match was. In fact, I would say that these two topped expectations and ended a tremendous show in the best way possible. ****¼
Joey Ryan attacks Claudio after the match. Chris Hero runs through the crowd to make the save. Ryan gets on the microphone and claims that he will be the next PWG World Champion. Ryan says that he has friends too and you never know when he’s going to hit. Claudio calls him a liar, saying that he has no friends. He dares Ryan to reenter the ring. Claudio shows respect toward Generico and thanks Hero for helping him.
The 411: I cannot gauge how much you will enjoy the matches involving the legends. That really depends on whether or not you gain any enjoyment from the nostalgia value that those matches provide. However, I can assure you that this show contains multiple matches that are worth going out of you way to see. Low Ki and Davey Richards are able to meet the high expectations put on them and deliver a great contest. Chris Hero vs. Kevin Steen and the four-way tag team match are both worthwhile matches that serve their purpose. Finally, the main event is a tremendous match between two wrestlers that have been on a tear as of late. Based on those four matches alone, this show earns a high recommendation. PWG is off to a great start in 2011.
|Final Score: 8.5 [ Very Good ] legend|