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Break It Down: PWG Card Subject to Change III

June 6, 2011 | Posted by Ryan Rozanski
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Break It Down: PWG Card Subject to Change III  

Card Subject to Change III on April 9th, 2011

The show begins with Joey Ryan in the ring. He talks about how he made the PWG World Title an actual world title, raising the status of PWG in the process. Tonight, he will prove to everyone that he is the real champion by making Claudio Castagnoli tap out. Ryan joins commentary with Excalibur and apparently they have notes written for the matches tonight. Impressive.

Opening Match: Peter Avalon vs. Johnny Yuma
They inappropriately have a test of strength and Yuma comes out on top by not using power at all. He connects with a dropkick and snaps off a few armdrags. Yuma finds success with repeated hip checks and connects with another dropkick from the apron. Avalon responds with a moonsault from the apron and takes control. Yuma comes back with a series of shoulder blocks and a senton. He hits a corner hip attack and a gutwrench powerbomb. Avalon connects with double knees from the top and hits a tiger driver for a nearfall. He follows with a pumphandle slam but Yuma answers with the Sex Factor for the win at 12:01. Despite being sloppy at points, this match featured constant action and made for a fine opener. The RockNES Monsters were split up due to the card changes, which is a shame because I think Yuma works better in a tag team setting. **½

Match #2: Candice LeRae vs. Portia Perez
They trade armdrags and the crowd is heavily booing Perez, mainly because she is from Canada. They exchange numerous rollup attempts and connect with clotheslines at the same time. The crowd is actually chanting “PWG” right now. LeRae lands a dive to the outside and hits a double axe handle back in the ring. Perez connects with a basement dropkick. LeRae snaps off an armdrag and finds success with a crucifix for the victory at 7:09. While they were having exchanges that garnered a reaction from the crowd, I was never fully able to get into the action. Thankfully, the vocal crowd and hilarious commentary helped matters. I might be in the minority but I actually think that LeRae is much more entertaining in intergender matches. *¾

Match #3: Willie Mack vs. Roderick Strong
They trade control of a wristlock and find themselves at a stalemate. Strong begins targeting the left arm until Mack catches him with a nasty kick. Mack connects with a flying knee strike and hits a leg drop. Strong finds an opening with a gamenguiri and lays in a few chops at ringside. Mack responds with one of the loudest chops that I’ve ever heard. They exchange strikes and Strong drops Mack back-first across a chair. In the ring, Strong takes over until Mack gets excited with another loud chop. Strong just dropkicks him in the face. Mack hits an exploder and connects with a slingshot dropkick. They have another strike exchange and Mack hits an overhead suplex. They trade forearms and Strong connects with a vicious knee strike. He drops Mack back-first across the top turnbuckle and has to dead-lift him back into the ring. Mack finds life with an impressive samoan drop and lands a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Strong connects with an enzuigiri and hits a gutbuster. He applies the Stronghold but Mack reverses into a rollup for a two count. Strong connects with a superkick followed by the Sick Kick for the win at 18:57. This match worked so well because Strong treated Mack as though he was a legitimate threat. Strong was cautious early on and tried his best to simply keep Mack contained. All of the strike exchanges were effective and Mack received a chance to really impress with his unique offense. On a night where Mack was originally supposed to wrestle Brian Cage-Taylor, the card changes allowed him to put on the performance of his career. Once again, PWG handles a setback in the best way possible. ***¾

Match #4: Low Ki vs. Akira Tozawa
Tozawa grabs a side headlock and starts screaming. The crowd joins him but he tells them to shut the f**k up. Low Ki cartwheels out of a test of strength and tries a rollup to no avail. Tozawa avoids a double stomp but gets caught by a handspring crossbody. Low Ki asks for a microphone and takes a shot at the WWE. He wins a chop exchange and takes control until Tozawa eventually fights back with a spin kick. They exchange palm strikes and Tozawa hits a flapjack. He knees Low Ki to the floor and follows out with two dives. In the ring, Tozawa tries double knees but settles on a thesz press. Low Ki connects with a double stomp. They battle up top and Tozawa bicycle kicks Low Ki to the canvas. Tozawa hits a saito suplex but gets caught by a shotgun dropkick. Low Ki connects with a flying double stomp for the victory at 20:40. The match started out with some fun exchanges and I was getting excited for what was to follow. Then Low Ki took control for a significant amount of time and the finishing stretch wasn’t as rewarding as I thought it would be. There was still some worthwhile action throughout this contest, especially when they kept things back and forth. However, the epic moments that you are imagining about this match probably don’t take place. I will say that Tozawa has developed quite the connection with the PWG crowd and he’s always entertaining to watch. ***¼

Match #5: Johnny Goodtime vs. Ryan Taylor
Goodtime takes out Taylor with a dive to the floor before the opening bell. Back in, Goodtime connects with a slingshot elbow drop and hits a backbreaker. He follows with a belly to belly suplex. Taylor blocks a second dive attempt and hits a guillotine leg drop. He takes control until Goodtime cartwheels over the top rope and connects with a slingshot dropkick. They battle on the apron with the exchange ending badly for Goodtime. Taylor lands a dive to the outside and regains control back in the ring. Goodtime snaps off a hurricanrana and hits a falcon arrow. Taylor catches him with a backcracker and connects with a knockout kick. Taylor applies a crossface but Goodtime is able to put his foot on the bottom rope. Goodtime tries a rollup to no avail and Taylor goes back to the crossface. Goodtime powers out and hits a modified DDT for the win at 15:54. Unfortunately, I cannot give this match much praise. They received a generous sixteen minutes and couldn’t put together anything worthwhile in that time. The action was sloppy at points and the crowd was barely reacting to it. Hopefully Goodtime and Yuma can get back on track with some solid tag team matches. **

Match #6: PWG World Title: Claudio Castagnoli © vs. Joey Ryan
Claudio outsmarts Ryan early on and the crowd is solidly behind him. Claudio synchs in an impressive muta lock and Ryan retreats to the floor. Back in, Ryan can’t find any success and takes another breather. Claudio challenges him to a test of strength but gets poked in the eye. The action goes to the outside where Ryan sends Claudio arm-first into the ringpost. Ryan begins to work over the right arm and takes over. Claudio fights back with a powerslam and a standing dropkick. Ryan low bridges him to the floor and hits a tornado DDT on the outside. In the ring, Ryan hits a pedigree and locks in a fujiwara armbar. Claudio responds with a pop-up forearm and hits the UFO. He applies a stretch muffler but Ryan quickly reaches the bottom rope. Claudio accidentally takes out the referee with a bicycle kick. Ryan hits him with the title and Rick Knox runs out to count the nearfall. Ryan brings a chair into the ring and props it in the corner. Claudio connects with an uppercut and both men are down. They trade strikes and Claudio surprisingly connects with a superkick. Ryan escapes the Ricola Bomb and throws Claudio arm-first into the chair. Ryan synchs in a kimura but Claudio powers him up into a fallaway slam from the middle rope. Claudio springboards off the middle rope but Ryan catches him with a superkick. Claudio ducks another superkick and applies a stretch muffler to retain his title at 24:04. The match was structured in a way that played to Ryan’s strengths and this ended up being a worthwhile title defense. Ryan moved past his early frustrations and found a way to display his technical skills by working over Claudio’s right arm. Once Claudio started picking up steam, Ryan went back on his word and resorted to cheating. I’m not sure if I ever bought Ryan winning the title here, but the match told a smart story and it certainly didn’t feel like twenty-four minutes. I also appreciated how they played off the finish from their match at the 2010 Battle of Los Angeles. I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to this contest but I found myself pleasantly surprised with how the match turned out. ***½

Match #7: PWG World Tag Team Titles: El Generico and Ricochet © vs. Matt and Nick Jackson
Ricochet is filling in for Paul London. The Young Bucks earned this title shot by winning DDT4 last month. There is a lot of taunting early on and if it proves one thing, it’s that Generico is awesome. He slaps Matt and snaps off a few armdrags. Ricochet connects with a basement dropkick on Nick and lands a slingshot senton. The Young Bucks catch Generico with stereo dropkicks and isolate him. He eventually rolls through a sunset flip and makes the tag. Ricochet connects with a springboard dropkick on Matt and lands a flipping senton. Matt responds with a baseball slide and Nick attacks Ricochet on the outside. In the ring, the Young Bucks now work over Ricochet until connects with a double pele kick and makes the tag. Generico cleans house with a series of clotheslines and hits a tornado DDT on Nick. Ricochet takes out Nick with a dive over the ringpost. Generico hits a blue thunder bomb on Matt. Nick tries to reenter the ring but Ricochet catches him with a shooting star press off of Generico’s back. Generico plants Matt with a michinoku driver but gets caught by a superkick from Nick. Matt hits a wheelbarrow facebuster on Generico while Nick lands a moonsault off the apron onto Ricochet. Matt powerbombs Generico into Nick’s knees. Ricochet catches Nick with an enzuigiri and hurricanranas Matt off the top rope. Generico connects with a corner yakuza kick on Matt and hits a half nelson suplex. Ricochet follows with a reverse hurricanrana for a nearfall. Ricochet lands a phoenix splash off the middle rope onto Matt for a two count. Generico and Nick trade strikes. Nick superkicks Ricochet off the apron but accidentally knees Matt in the face. While the referee is checking on Matt, Nick low blows Generico and rolls him up for a nearfall. Generico overhead suplexes Nick into the turnbuckles and the champions follow with stereo kicks. Ricochet lands a shooting star press onto Nick. Matt avoids a plancha from Generico. The Young Bucks connect with four superkicks on Ricochet and also superkick Generico off the apron. The Young Bucks follow with More Bang for Your Buck on Ricochet to become the new PWG World Tag Team Champions at 21:13. Simply by looking at the two teams involved in this match, I’m sure a lot of people are wondering how crazy the action became down the stretch. If you were expecting incredible exchanges with red hot nearfalls, then you’ll be more than satisfied with this main event. To be honest, El Generico and Paul London weren’t setting the world on fire with their title reign (perhaps things would have been different if Ricochet was Generico’s original partner). Kevin Steen and Akira Tozawa couldn’t win the belts because Tozawa isn’t going to be around much longer. I know we’ve “been there done that” with the Young Bucks as champions, but I would struggle to find a more consistent tag team right now. Regardless of how you feel about the title switch, this is definitely a main event worth checking out. ****

The 411: Card Subject to Change III proves once again that when it comes to card reshuffling, PWG does it best. Willie Mack is on his way to becoming one of the most popular wrestlers in the promotion after a career-making performance against Roderick Strong. While Akira Tozawa and Low Ki perhaps delivered under expectations, they still deliver a match worth watching. Although the title matches weren't affected by the card changes, Joey Ryan surprised with a solid performance in a very good title defense from Claudio Castagnoli. Finally, the main event ends the show on a high note with a tremendous match as the Young Bucks begin their second reign as champions. As usual with PWG, if you buy this DVD, you will be more than happy with your purchase.
Final Score:  8.0   [ Very Good ]  legend

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