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Break It Down: PWG All Star Weekend 8 – Night One

August 10, 2011 | Posted by Ryan Rozanski
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Break It Down: PWG All Star Weekend 8 – Night One  

All Star Weekend 8 – Night One on May 27th, 2011

Opening Match: Willie Mack vs. Kevin Steen
Steen compares Mack to Mark Henry before the match. In that case, it’s good that the announce table in PWG is hard to access. Mack showcases his strength early on and connects with a leg lariat. Steen fakes a leg injury and sneaks in a thumb to the eye. He hits a flipping leg drop and takes control. Mack comes back with a gamenguiri and a series of fist drops. Steen impressively hits a slingshot senton and regains the advantage. Mack finds life with an exploder but eats a superkick. Steen hits a TKO but misses a moonsault. Mack connects with a corner lariat followed by a slingshot dropkick. He hits a samoan drop and lands a standing moonsault. Steen blocks a charge and attempts a sharpshooter. Mack counters into a sharpshooter of his own but Steen is able to reach the bottom rope. Steen hits a lungblower but finds knees on a swantan attempt. Mack hits a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall. Steen crotches him on the top rope and hits a package piledriver. Mack luckily rolls out of the ring and is deadweight. Steen lifts him back into the ring. However, Mack was playing dead and sneaks in a rollup for the win at 17:52. I was surprised that this match lasted eighteen minutes, especially because Steen still has another match to wrestle tonight. There was a lot of crowd interaction early on and it didn’t fully translate onto DVD. With that said, once the action picked up down the stretch, the match reached a new level. I also really liked the finish, as the crowd was into Mack and he received a meaningful win in this solid opener. ***

Steen informs Mack that he made El Generico’s life a lot tougher tonight. Steen then goes to the merchandise table and spits on a Generico mask.

Match #2: Brian Cage-Taylor and Ryan Taylor vs. Joey Ryan and Scorpio Sky
Taylor and Sky have a nice exchange to start the match. Ryan hits a northern lights suplex on Cage, who responds with a basement flatliner. Chuck Taylor is on the apron with his team. The Fightin’ Taylor Boys isolate Ryan until he hits a chinbreaker on Cage and makes the tag. Sky snaps off a hurricanrana on Cage and adds a missile dropkick. He follows with a springboard crossbody onto Taylor. They Dynasty now work over Taylor until he fights them off and tags out. Cage suplexes Sky from the apron into the ring but falls victim to a jawbreaker. Ryan and Taylor trade forearms. Taylor connects with a knockout kick but runs into a powerslam. Sky catches Taylor with a nasty kick. Cage hits a sit-out gourdbuster on Sky. Taylor lays in another knockout kick on Ryan and hits a flipping neckbreaker. Sky snaps off a slingshot headscissors on Taylor while Ryan low bridges Cage to the floor. Sky hits a snapmare driver on Taylor. The Fightin’ Taylor Boys just slam Sky down to the canvas. Ryan hits a spear on Cage and takes down Taylor with an electric chair slam. Cage blocks a dive from Ryan and the Fightin’ Taylor Boys hit a doomsday device into the crowd. All four men are down. In the ring, Cage connects with a discus lariat on Ryan. Taylor gets sent to the apron where Ryan catches him with a DDT. Sky connects with a bicycle knee strike on Cage and Ryan adds a superkick. Sky follows with a TKO on Cage for the victory at 15:05. It’s these kind of matches that make PWG undercards so awesome. Both teams had great chemistry together and the action was kept enjoyable for the entire fifteen minutes. Sky delivered a standout performance and hopefully he’s able to make somewhat frequent appearances for PWG in the months to come. Everything worked well here and I look forward to seeing more from these two teams. ***¼

Match #3: Kenny King vs. Chuck Taylor
King snaps off a few armdrags. Ryan Taylor enters the ring to help his mentor escape an armbar. King hits a springboard leg drop. Ryan Taylor gets involved again and the referee bans him from ringside. Taylor connects with a dropkick and takes over. King catches him off-guard by stealing his grenade and connecting with a spin kick. King follows with an enzuigiri and hits a spinebuster. Taylor misses a flying crossbody but recovers with a superkick. He hits a uranagi along with Sole Food. King answers with an overhead suplex. Taylor distracts the referee while Brian Cage-Taylor interrupts King’s springboard attempt. Taylor covers while holding King’s tights for the win at 10:18. King made an underwhelming debut in PWG about two years ago and while he looked better here, I think Taylor stole the spotlight. They had a few worthwhile exchanges but the flat finish halted their momentum. At the very least it gives King an opponent on night two. I wasn’t hugely disappointed with this match or anything, but I know that these two have better in them. **½

Match #4: PWG World Tag Team Titles: Matt and Nick Jackson © vs. Johnny Goodtime and Johnny Yuma
Matt sarcastically yells “wrestling matters” and points at his Impact Wrestling shirt. Goodtime monkey flips him out of the corner and applies a visibly-painful submission. Yuma drop toe holds Nick into his brother’s crotch and the RockNES Monsters look good early on. Matt dodges a plancha from Goodtime and takes out Yuma with a baseball slide. The Young Bucks isolate Yuma until he takes advantage of some miscommunication and makes the tag. Goodtime back drops Nick to the floor and connects with a leg lariat on Matt. He follows with a slingshot dropkick on Matt and takes out Nick with a moonsault to the outside. In the ring, Goodtime connects with a missile dropkick on Matt. Yuma gets powerbombed into the corner, crotching his partner on the top rope in the process. Matt lands a dive to the floor onto Yuma. The match settles down as the Young Bucks work over Goodtime. He hits a falcon arrow on Nick and manages to tag out. Yuma plants Nick with a tornado DDT and hurricanranas him into the middle turnbuckle. The RockNES Monsters catch Matt with an enzuigiri-ace crusher combination. They trap the Young Bucks in stereo octopus holds. Nick superkicks Yuma into a tombstone from Matt. Nick dropkicks Goodtime off the apron while Matt low blows Yuma behind the referee’s back. Nick hits a slingshot facebuster on Yuma and Matt follows with a german suplex. Goodtime connects with a bicycle kick on Matt and all four men are down. Yuma spikes Matt with some kind of facebuster and Goodtime adds a frog splash. Goodtime hits a german suplex on Nick. He tries to slam Yuma onto Matt but finds knees. Nick connects with a running knee strike on Goodtime. Matt hits a rope-assisted DDT on Goodtime for a nearfall. The Young Bucks superkick Yuma off the apron and connect with stereo superkicks on Goodtime to retain their titles at 20:32. After a tremendous outing against the American Wolves at DDT4, the RockNES Monsters are quickly becoming a team to keep your eye on. Their high impact offense gelled well with the Young Bucks and the action was so frantic down the stretch that it was difficult for me to keep up with. The only thing holding this match back was that some sequences didn’t go as planned and they lost the crowd at points as a result. The Young Bucks are on fire and while it’s going to be tough for them to match the quality of their first reign with the belts, it looks like they’re going to try. ***½

Match #5: Brandon and Dustin Cutler vs. Austin Aries and Roderick Strong
Aries and Brandon begin with some chain wrestling. Aries escapes a headscissors and connects with a basement dropkick. Dustin tries a few quick pin attempts on Aries to no avail. He snaps off a headscissors on Strong and the Cutlers follow with stereo shoulder blocks. They work over Strong until the match starts to break down. Aries comes off the top rope with a double axe handle on Dustin. Generation Next isolate Dustin until he hits a double suplex and makes the tag. Brandon connects with a spin kick on Aries and blocks a dive attempt. The Cutlers regain control and focus their offense on Aries. Strong eventually enters the match and cleans house. He hits his orange crush backbreaker on Brandon. Generation Next follow with a chop-brainbuster combination. Aries locks in the Last Chancery on Brandon while Strong synchs in the Stronghold on Dustin. Brandon elbows out of the Last Chancery and the holds are broken. The Cutlers hit Six Second Abs on Strong for a nearfall. Brandon lands a dive to the floor onto Aries. Dustin hits a TKO on Strong. Aries accidentally catches Strong with a corner dropkick. The tandem tombstone is blocked and Dustin eats a corner dropkick. Strong hits a gutbuster on Dustin while Aries takes out Brandon with a dive. Strong connects with the Sick Kick on Dustin for the victory at 24:23. For whatever reason, the Cutlers seemed off their game and failed to put together any exciting exchanges with Aries and Strong. At twenty-four minutes, this match dragged on for too long and nearly deflated the crowd. Fortunately, I think we’ll be able to more accurately see what Generation Next can do as a team when they face the Young Bucks on night two. **¼

The Young Bucks attack Generation Next after the match. Alex Shelley (wearing a Generation Next shirt) runs out to make the save. Shelley makes fun of “Generation Me” and proposes a six-man tag team match somewhere down the line. Aries and Strong head to the back and Shelley calls out Eddie Edwards for their match…

Match #6: Eddie Edwards vs. Alex Shelley
They have an intense lockup and trade control of a wristlock. Edwards finds an opening to snap off a hurricanrana. Shelley avoids a lionsault and hits a bulldog. He repeatedly rams Edwards’ head into the canvas and takes control. Edwards blocks a slingshot maneuver with a gamenguiri and lands a dive to the floor. Back in, Shelley gets taken down by a missile dropkick. Edwards hits a fisherman buster but Shelley finds life after blocking a dive attempt. Shelley hits a flatliner into the middle turnbuckle and applies the Border City Stretch. Edwards turns the hold into a pin attempt for a two count. He escapes sliced bread and connects with a running baseball slide. They battle up top and Edwards connects with a flying double stomp. They exchange pin attempts to no avail and Shelley lays in a knockout kick. He follows with an air raid crash for a nearfall. Edwards comes off the middle rope with a lungblower but falls victim to a german suplex. Shelley connects with a superkick but runs into a lariat. Edwards hits a powerbomb along with a 2k1 bomb for the win at 17:22. After the previous match drained some life out of the crowd, these two brought them back with a fast-paced and highly enjoyable exhibition. In fact, you could argue that they pandered to the crowd a little too much. Still, these two had great chemistry together and worked hard to make the “first time ever” tagline of this contest mean something. The final exchange to end this match was fantastic and Edwards has some momentum heading into his match with El Generico on night two. ***½

After the match, Shelley hints at a future Motor City Machine Guns vs. American Wolves encounter. This guy sure wants a lot of matches booked.

Match #7: El Generico and Ricochet vs. Kevin Steen and Akira Tozawa
Generico goes after Steen before the opening bell. They continuously punch each other as their partners try to separate them. Tozawa swears at the crowd and they cheer him for it. Ricochet and Tozawa have a fast-paced exchange while Steen and Generico brawl at ringside. Steen launches Tozawa off the apron and onto their opponents. Steen powerbombs Generico onto Ricochet and the Nightmare Violence Connection take control. Generico finds an opening with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Tozawa. Ricochet says something rude so Steen bites his ear. Makes sense. The Nightmare Violence Connection now turn their attention to Ricochet. Steen lands a springboard moonsault at one point. Ricochet snaps off a headscissors out of nowhere and makes the tag. Generico lands a dive to the floor onto Steen and hits a blue thunder bomb on Tozawa. Ricochet pulls off a flipping senton onto Tozawa for a nearfall. Ricochet lands a shooting star press off of Generico’s back and onto Steen. Generico plants Tozawa with a michinoku driver but walks into a bicycle kick. Tozawa hits a saito suplex on Generico. Steen unmercifully throws Ricochet up into a backbreaker and applies a sharpshooter. Generico connects with a sick yakuza kick to break the hold. Tozawa catches Ricochet with a shining wizard but gets caught by a pele kick. Generico hits a half nelson suplex on Tozawa and connects with a corner yakuza kick. He takes out Steen with a plancha while Ricochet lands a phoenix splash onto Tozawa for a close nearfall. Tozawa hits a dead-lift german suplex on Ricochet. Generico takes down Steen with a half nelson suplex but runs into a lariat. All four men are down. Steen and Generico trade strikes in the center of the ring. Generico connects with a corner yakuza kick. Steen counters a brainbuster into a package piledriver somehow for a nearfall. Steen elevates Ricochet into a powerbomb and goes up top. Ricochet catches him with a reverse hurricanrana for a two count. Tozawa goes crazy on Ricochet and Generico returns the favor. Ricochet accidentally superkicks Generico and Tozawa german suplexes Generico on the apron. Steen hits the Steenalizer on Ricochet and almost kills him for the victory at 25:03. This was simply the case of four awesome yet totally different wrestlers going absolutely ballistic for twenty-five minutes. The Steen/Generico interactions were done perfectly and took this match to another level. The crowd’s appreciation for all four men, especially Tozawa, also helped matters. The match got off to a hot start with Generico attacking Steen. Even when the action settled down, the crowd was still attentive due to the entertainment value of watching Steen and Tozawa throw Ricochet around the ring. Finally, I don’t even think words can describe the finishing stretch. It’s just something that has to be seen to be believed. There are so many moments that truly make this match something special. I think it’s safe to call this contest the best offering from PWG so far this year as well as one of the best matches of the year from any promotion. Check this match out immediately. ****½

Generico is not happy with Ricochet after the match. He slowly exits the ring while staring at Steen.

Match #8: PWG World Title: Claudio Castagnoli © vs. Chris Hero
Hero dodges an early european uppercut and they wrestle to a stalemate. They battle over a test of strength and Claudio is able to impressively hold a bridge. They now trade monkey flips and have a nice exchange on the mat. Hero snaps off a lucha armdrag and Claudio quickly returns the favor. Hero teases a dive as Claudio takes some time to regroup. They dodge each other’s strikes and Hero finds success with a monkey flip. Claudio connects with a european uppercut and takes control, targeting Hero’s right arm. Claudio slips on a springboard attempt but recovers by going after the right arm. Hero just throws a stiff elbow to find an opening. Claudio uppercuts him to the floor and goes for a dive, but the top rope snaps off. The man is having problems with the ropes tonight. He dives over the middle rope and onto Hero. In the ring, Hero throws some chops and his right arm doesn’t seem to be bothering him too much. Claudio lays in a series of boots and Hero responds in kind. Hero connects with a roaring elbow and both men are down. Hero uses the middle rope to land a springboard moonsault. He adds another roaring elbow and more boots. Claudio hits a dead-lift german suplex and finds success with a giant swing. He connects with a bicycle kick and hits the Alpamare Waterslide. Hero boots him to the floor and uses the middle rope to follow out with an asai moonsault. Back in, Hero connects with his stomp-roaring elbow combination for a nearfall. He applies a stretch plum but Claudio reaches the bottom rope. They exchange chops as Hero talks some trash. Claudio gets fired up and connects with a popup european uppercut. He follows with the UFO for a nearfall. They battle on the middle rope and Hero hits a cravate neckbreaker. Claudio connects with a european uppercut but runs into a roaring elbow. Hero adds a roaring mafia kick and the Deathblow for a two count. Claudio fights off another Deathblow and lays in a european uppercut. They trade strikes and both men fall to the canvas. Claudio connects with two lariats and hits the Ricola Bomb for a nearfall. Claudio blocks a roaring elbow and connects with three european uppercuts to retain his title at 40:49. I understand that these two know each other extremely well and that it was going to take a lot to decide a winner in this match. However, I just didn’t see any intricate story being told to warrant forty minutes. In fact, the arm work that Claudio tried early on seemed to be forgotten about in the later parts of the contest. The action started out decent enough but soon became plodding, especially because this match started two-and-a-half hours into the show. In my opinion, the most interesting aspect of the match was watching these two improvise with a broken top rope. Unless I’m missing something huge, I can’t see this match being remembered as something particularly special. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should look past this contest, as there are some definite bright spots throughout the forty minutes of action. ***¼

In a backstage promo, Hero talks about how much training he underwent for his match against Claudio. He nearly blames his loss on the top rope breaking and warns Willie Mack that he’s looking to redeem himself on night two.

The 411: I always say that I'm a big fan of consistency and six out of eight matches on this show cracked three stars. That looks like a pretty good sign to me. The first two matches start the show off in a great way and the first half is highlighted by a highly entertaining match between the Young Bucks and the RockNES Monsters. Eddie Edwards and Alex Shelley also deliver a worthwhile exhibition. However, the match that really puts this show over the top is the Nightmare Violence Connection against El Generico and Ricochet. It's a match that I would put into the "must see" category and features an awesome mix of talent. The only drawback with this show is that it feels long, as exemplified by the forty-minute main event. However, the pros far outweigh the cons and this show earns a high recommendation.
411 Elite Award
Final Score:  8.5   [ Very Good ]  legend

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