Hawke’s: PWG Only Kings Understand Each Other Review
February 18, 2017
Reseda, California, USA
Commentators: Excalibur and pals (I think it was Chuck, Joey, and Knox this time, but I was not paying close attention to the commentary this time.)
Cody Rhodes vs. Trevor Lee
How Cody Rhodes of all fucking people gets how to work good matches in PWG when so many others spectacularly fail is a fucking mystery. We should not complain about it though because good PWG matches and good Cody matches are both so rare that it’s basically like seeing a unicorn to see them happen at the same time.
The match set a great tone from the get-go. Trevor murder Cody during the latter’s introduction with an avalanche German. From there, both guys were just going at it at a great pace and with plenty of fun action. Cody made Trevor look great throughout, and Cody probably accidentally stumbled into a good role for himself (undercard sprinter). Cody needing a ref bump to jump was weak as fuck of course, but that is the price you pay for booking Cody. (***)
Side-note: the ropes were really fucking flimsy here and looked like an actual death just waiting to happen. The fact that this is happening with any regularity on high-profile indies is a fucking disgrace. Protect your fucking wrestlers.
Rey Fenix vs. Trent
Okay. These guys randomly decided they were going to fucking shoot on each other and deliver one of the freshest PWG matches since Roderick vs. Thatcher? Why did they do this? It’s nearly impossible to say, but let me assure you of one thing. This was a motherfucking shoot with some goddamn brutal fucking moments. What in the fuck were these two thinking. It even ended with a Canadian Destroyer being reversed into something much fucking cooler. God fucking damn. Trent? is the man. (He won, too.) (****)
The Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb & Matthew Riddle) vs. The Unbreakable F’N Machines (Brian Cage & Michael Elgin)
This was not a hoss fight. This was a motherfucking hoss orgy. Hosses were just all over the place, and you couldn’t tell whose body was whose. It was not merely a sea of humanity. It was a game of twister but with the beekcakes of the indie wrestling scene. It was done so well and was a genuinely fun tag match in PWG. What the fuck is going on with this show. Why is it so good. Cage stayed down after a Bro-to-Sleep/Tour of the Islands combo. (***1/4)
Lio Rush vs. Ricochet
These two worked super hard here and produced a fairly interesting match all things considered. Whether or not it was the right match to work in this instance is another matter though.
They basically did a gatekeeper story in this one. Lio Rush was the young boy making his PWG debut. Ricochet was the seven-year PWG veteran who was going to make him earn every inch. As such, they worked a really methodical match that relied on sporadic bouts of heavy strikes and sudden exchanges. Those sequences always got Rush over, but you could feel them losing energy in the moments between those moments of excitement. It made a match that should have been an easy W into a mixed bag.
A good thing to compare it to would be the far more effective match between Ricochet and Generico in 2010. After Ricochet tore it up in that year’s BOLA for his debut, he was brought right back to work the standard bearer for high flyers in PWG. Ricochet was so fresh and over that the fans decided right then and there that they actually liked Ricochet MORE than Generico. It led to a genuinely exciting bout that solidified Ricochet’s status as a star in PWG.
They kind of went for that here, but they really forced the underdog story for Lio which came across all wrong. This should have been an exciting bout where Rush threw spot after spot at Ricochet who was clearly being tested by the new kid on the block. Instead, this match was almost designed to humble Lio and make him seem inferior to the long-time PWG star. It’s no wonder that Ricochet left the Generico match a god and Lio left this one as a midcarder. (***)
Jay White vs. Marty Scurll
This was perfectly fine. It felt like an ROH TV match where one guy (White) is working hard and the other guy (anonymous) is taking the night off. As a result, the match is perfectly watchable but nothing about it stands out or is all that exciting. The fact that they tried to really turn it on in the final minutes also really felt forced as a result. Scurll submitted White with the chickenwing to win. (**1/2)
OI4K (Dave Crist, Jake Crist & Sami Callihan) vs. The SuperKliq (Adam Cole, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)
They thankfully made this a tornado tag so that we did not have to pretend that an obligatory heat segment had any meaning. They just jumped right into the nonstop action.
A lot of the match was fun as a result. These guys certainly know how to throw a bunch of spots out there and get them over. Enough of the match was excessive in terms of what was done and for how long the whole thing went. They did just go too damn long, and the match really lost what made it work as a result.
It was not terrible though, and the Airborne got to do the things they do moderately well in their debut so that aspect was a success at least. Sami ate the pin are a billion superkicks. (**3/4)
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Chuck Taylor
This was for Zack’s PWG World Championship.
Despite not being all that spectacular, this was actually a very satisfying match to cap off one of the best PWG shows since 2012. Sexy Chucky T came ready to go here, and he set the tone for the whole match by going for the kill right away.
From there, the match had a greater sense of importance and urgency. The match probably went a little too long and never really reached impressive heights. It was successful though and definitely a nice change of pace from the typical PWG main event that goes REALLY WAY TOO LONG and REALLY DOES WAY TOO MUCH. This was nice and simple. Zack made Chuck pass out with a triangle. (***)