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Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG Don’t Sweat The Technique

June 26, 2015 | Posted by Jake St-Pierre
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Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG Don’t Sweat The Technique  

Last time I reviewed PWG, I had just gotten back into the groove of reviewing and hailed From Out of Nowhere as a solid, good show with nothing much in the way of blowaway efforts. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it fell quite below the standard PWG had set for me in 2012-2013. I’ve heard this show–Don’t Sweat The Technique–returned to that standard of goodness, helped by the returns of the previously injured Andrew Everett, and the visiting Zack Sabre Jr, who made a rousing impression on fans at BOLA. I think it’s safe to say that this was one of my most anticipated PWG shows in a while.

We are TAPED at the American Legion in Reseda, CA.

Your hosts are Excalibur and the usual culprits. Much to the chagrin of this writer, Chuck Taylor is not present in any form tonight, which does put a slight damper on the otherwise positive vibes.

Biff Busick vs. Brian Cage
It’s a little odd to see Cage so low on the card after his high profile on Lucha Underground, which has opened more eyes to the F’n Machine than ever before. I don’t watch the show consistently (I know, I need to) so I can’t attest to his quality there, but he’s started really adjusting to his muscle mass in PWG and thus becoming a highly valuable member to the PWG roster, and probably their best homegrown guy ever. Biff is a guy who needs a big match to break out, and given Cage’s experience in awesome heavyweight fights, this might be the match he has been looking for.

Hilariously, referee Justin Borden gets huge boos because he’s pretty much a shit referee. Credit to him, he takes it in stride and laughs it off. Biff starts off with hard chops to Cage, but Brian don’t play that shit, as he muscles Biff in the corner and throws some chops of his own. Cage drops Biff with a shoulderblock, but Biff isn’t too fazed by it. Busick locks in a figure four early, but again Cage muscles over and breaks it by getting to the ropes. Biff kicks Cage out of the ring and TAKES FLIGHT with a Tope Con Hilo. I know he uses that move regularly, but I like how he’s adjusting to playing the smaller underdog here, using his speed and flying to combat Cage’s freakish strength. Biff tries to dive off of the apron with a knee, BUT CAGE CATCHES HIM! Biff somehow manages to get out of that insanity, and drops a stiff knee to Cage’s back off of the apron. Biff stays on him upon entering the ring, but on a third corner clothesline, Cage MURDERS him with a pop-up powerbomb. Cage drags Biff’s dead ass up for some short-arm clotheslines for a lackadaisacal two count. Cage prevents Biff from coming back with a disgusting Fireman’s Carry drop. Biff nearly takes a tumble outside, but manages to hotshot Cage on the top rope to buy him some time. Biff tries for a Blockbuster, BUT CAGE CATCHES HIM IN A SUPLEX! JACKHAMMER! That was ridiculous. I thought that shit was mental when I saw Michael Elgin do that to TJ Perkins in 2011. Biff Busick is about 2 and half TJ’s! Biff comes back and locks in a single leg crab, but Cage manages to kick him off. Cage follows up with an Alabama Slam and a standing moonsault for a close nearfall. Cage lifts Busick up on his shoulders on the top rope, but Busick wiggles out and superkicks Cage’s legs out from under him on the second rope, dropping Cage hard to the mat. Busick finally hits the Blockbuster, but Cage stumbles up Brock Lesnar-style, so Biff has to hit another one to keep Cage down. Biff goes for a Superplex up top, but Cage sandbags him and crotches him on the top rope instead. This gives Cage the opportunity to try for the Fucking Machine Superplex, but Biff cuts him off and get a lazy nearfall. Biff now goes after Cage’s knee by ramming it on the ringpost. Cage crotches Biff on the top rope again, looking for a Superplex. Biff counters and hits a Sunset Flip Powerbomb for a close nearfall. Single Leg Crab finally locks in for Biff, but Cage gets the rope after a few seconds. Cage comes back with a nifty F-5, but it only gets two. Cage DECKS Biff with a boot to the mouth, but Biff manages to come back… that is until CAGE TAKES BIFF’S HEAD OFF with a lariat. Biff nearly gets the win with a backslide, and falls on his face during what I can only describe as a Gory Bomb that wasn’t supposed to be a Gory Bomb. Double powerbomb scores as well for Cage, but for another nearfall. Cage POPS UP after a German Suplex, picking up the win in 14 minutes with a discus lariat. *** This meandered and went on a tad too long for my liking, and it again kind of stifled Biff Busick, but I think they got the crowd into it the entire way and it ended up really good in the end. I did have a few nitpicks however. For one, Busick hardly got a move in edgewise during the entire match, and I don’t think he’s the guy you can really build up for a heat segment like that. I think this match would have been a lot better had they just gone out there and traded bombs. That being said though, they worked a good story here with Cage being the jacked monster who didn’t feel the pain a normal man does, which allowed for him to recover faster than your average wrestler. It wasn’t to the lengths of Brock Lesnar, but the intent was similar. It also allowed for Busick to work outside of his comfort zone and in an entirely different style than what we are used to seeing. So on the psychology front, they came through. The execution of said psychology wasn’t always there, but you can’t fault what they were going for. What it lacked in pure excitement (it had some, but not as much as it could have), it made up for in story, so I can’t slag it. Good stuff.

Mike Bailey vs. Trevor Lee
You may recall me not being a fan of young Mr. Bailey last time, as even though he was a comptetent wrestler, he wasn’t anything special and looks like a 17 year old geek with his little kickpads, Gi, and wrestling barefoot. On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of Trevor Lee, who had a great outing with Roderick Strong in February, but lost, so now he’s back down on the card to work his way back up.

Much to my delight, Trevor drops Speedball with a dropkick before the bell rings. Mike Bailey being 2 pounds soaking wet, this allows Trevor to throw him around proper. Bailey delivers kicks to Lee in the corner, and tries to stay on Lee to not allow him to gain the upperhand. Moonsault knee drop scores for a two count. Bailey looks for some sort of back handspring move, but Trevor catches him and murders him with a Side Slam. Lee throws Bailey into the corner as hard as he can for a two count. Bailey fights out of a chinlock, but Lee does a good job of telegraphing those kicks and tossing Mike Bailey around. Bailey superkicks a running Lee, hitting him with an enzuigiri immediately after. Bailey lands on his feet after missing a Shooting Star Kneedrop, but FOLLOWS THROUGH WITH LIGHTNING FAST KICKS! The crowd loses its mind, of course. Standing Tornillo from Bailey gets a close nearfall. More kicks from Bailey, and that earns him a Sam Losc—err—CAVEMAN STOMP for a two count. Bailey with more kicks, and more kicks, but Lee HITS THE RUNNING FLIPPING CROSSBODY THING! ORANGE CRUSH! BAILEY KICKS OUT! They manage to find their way out to the apron, WHERE SPEEDBALL GIVES TREVOR LEE A REVERSE HURRICANRANA ON THE FUCKING APRON! Oh man what a delightfully stupid spot. SHOOTING STAR KNEEDROP OUT TO DOWNED LEE! Jeeeesus. Lee gets the knees up on Shooting Star and HITS GOD’S LAST GIFT for the three count in 12 minutes. ***3/4 As much as I dislike him, I have to hand it to Mike Bailey here. He really stepped up and put it out there, taking some insane risks to get over and make his presence known. However, in the spirit of being a little more negative than need be (what I call the TJ Hawke Syndrome), I did get a little sick of the CONSTANT kicking he did. I honestly doubt he did more than 2 or 3 actual offensive maneuvers that didn’t involve shooting stars, knees, or kicks during the entire match. I think he needs a tag partner for now, until he actually develops a style that will work during a regular singles match, because this kicking stuff is overkill. It’s hard to do anything of substance when you have no real offensive identity. Give yourself a reason to do these moves or else you’ll find that you fall victim to the cliches that the “movez” smarks like to latch onto. But again, he pulled it out here and had an excellent match with Trevor Lee, who was a madman during this match like usual. I feel a little gross for complimenting that reverse rana spot, because it really is an idiotic thing to do, but in a vacuum, that spot was incredible and really turned this match into something worth watching. So if you like a lot of kicking, a lot of shooting stars, and Southern guys getting dropped on their heads, you’re gonna love this. Awesome match.

The World’s Cutest Tag Team vs. The Beaver Boys
I don’t know why this is a non-title match, but alas. The Beaver Boys had a tremendous debut against Best Friends last time that was my favorite performance of the night, and they were brought back against a team I know they’ll have tremendous chemistry with in Candice and Joey. I’m looking forward to this more than I really care to admit.

I find it absolutely hilarious that John Silver stands eye-to-eye with Candice LeRae, but I’ve got a feeling that will come into play sometime during this match. Excalibur justifies the non-title thing in a pretty logical way, so there’s that. Joey Ryan and Candice point out Josh Barnett in the crowd, but The Beaver Boys jump them. Alex Reynolds wastes no time… relieving himself on Joey Ryan’s lollipop, and Silver tries to shove the tainted lollipop in Candice’s mouth. Candice manages to avoid it, allowing Joey to put it in Silver’s mouth during a Gorilla Press! “Taste of their own medicine” has never sounded so disgusting. Reynolds shitcans Joey and drags Candice in, who counters him and tries to dive out onto Silver…who CATCHES her and THEY HIT A SUPLEX/CROSSBODY ON THE OUTSIDE! That was a fantastic double team. John Silver puts the heat on John Silver, and the Beaver Boys hit a double rolling leg lock when Reynolds tags in. Silver blind tags Reynolds and powerbombs Joey on Reynolds’ knees. “The Beaver Boys really honing their craft in CZW, as oxymoronic as that sounds” says Excalibur. Line of the night happened the third match in, guys. The Beaver Boys have really given Joey an ass-kicking here. Joey comes back with a pumphandle suplex, buying himself some time so he can tag Candice! She hits Reynolds with the diving rana, and locks in an Octopus Stretch on him! Candice flips around Alex to prevent Silver from getting to her, running Reynolds into Silver to send them out of the ring! Joey assists her into a rope walk hurricanrana to Silver, onto Reynolds on the outside! Joey throws Candice into a Tornado DDT onto Reynolds for a nearfall. Joey whirly birds Candice into the Beaver Boys ladder-style, and Joey DVD’s her onto Silver! Candice dives out onto Silver with the Tornado DDT! Reynolds manages to get the upperhand on Joey, which allows Silver to hit an Argentine Blue Thunder Bomb on Joey for a two count! Candice tags back in and hits Silver with the Violence Party! BALLSPLEX ON ALEX REYNOLDS~! Silver CLOBBERS Candice with a right hand, but eats a superkick from Joey! Alex superkicks Joey! Joey and Silver trade right hands in the center of the ring, and Silver gets the upperhand, waylaying Joey with a European Uppercut! Cutthroat Back Stabber hits for a two count. They smash Candice with a lariat for another close nearfall. Beaver Boys look for a double team, but CANDICE REVERSE RANAS OUT OF IT! JOEY DIVES OUT ONTO REYNOLDS! AVALANCHE BALLSPLEX ON SILVER! Candice and Joey win after 14 minutes. ***3/4 Chalk that up as another awesome Beaver Boys performance. They shined all throughout this match, be it through their comedy skills or their excellent chemistry as a tag team. They were in sync and knew each other’s movements, which really helped the slower heat segments. They could also ramp it up PWG-style during the spotfest portion, which helps their cause even more. John Silver shined here big time, whereas Alex Reynolds was the one who highly impressed me last month, so I’m glad to be able to confirm that both men really have something to offer and I’m happy about it. I’d love to see them against the Bucks sooner rather than later. Not to mention Candice and Joey, who are a tremendous team obviously and don’t really need explaining. The in-ring chemistry between Joey and Candice as partners is a million lightyears better than I thought it would be when you think about their tired chemistry as opponents, and they continue to exceed the initial skepticism I had when it was announced they were going to team up in the first place. I hope they continue this great run because they’ve both found their exact niche in PWG, and they’re thriving. Awesome stuff all around here, and I await more Beaver Boys shenanigans at DDT4.

Chris Hero vs. Tommy End
This is one of those deals where I’ve heard the name of Tommy End, but I’ve never seen him wrestle. I’ve heard good things about his work in EVOLVE, so hopefully working in front of a crowd of more than 30 people will translate even better.

Tommy looks a mohawked, tattooed version of Opie from Sons of Anarchy, which earns him a good grade already. He’s also apparently been around for years in Europe, but just started really breaking out in the states. Excalibur gives a fantastic background on him, which helps me out a lot. He’s a pretty accomplished kickboxer, it seems. That’s why Excalibur is the best commentator in the game now that JR has essentially all but retired. Hero actually looks like he’s starting to get in better shape too (he’s still pudgy but he has noticeably improved from the last few shows) which is great news. The psychology Excalibur lays out here is absolutely tremendous, noting Hero’s elbow expertise against Tommy’s kickboxing acumen. End looks for a cross armbreaker immediately, but Hero doesn’t let him lock it in. End does a good job staying on top of Hero, who has to lift Tommy and put him on the top rope to break the vice. Hero hilariously but cleverly escapes a side headlock, kipping up to put the exclamation point on it. Hero catches a kick and chops Tommy hard, and he doesn’t let up on the chops either. Tommy combats those with kicks to the chest, which make Mike Bailey look like a child. The action spills outside, where Hero drops Tommy with a Bicycle Kick. Chris puts Tommy through a chair with a Senton! Hero takes Tommy back into the ring and continues the onslaught. Hero hits Tommy with a stomp and a lariat, but Tommy gives ZERO fucks in the most badass way possible. A kitchen sink sends Hero to his ass, and the crowd comes alive. Tommy smacks Hero with a few more stiff kicks on the outside, and slides back into the ring to buy himself some time. Hero no-sells an Ace Crusher and gives Tommy a taste of his own medicine, and CRACKS HIM casually with an elbow. Hero sends Tommy down in the corner with more elbows, and keeps the onslaught going. Tommy tries to throw a kick to come back, but it’s too weak to matter. Still better than Mike Bailey’s. Tommy MUSHROOM STOMPS Hero to pick up at least a little momentum. Hero looks for Hero’s Welcome, but End reverses before he can make the turn. Tommy KILLS HERO WITH A SWITCH KNEE JOSE ALDO STYLE! DEADLIFT GERMAN! Hero kicks out! That knee was beautiful. Tommy stiffs Hero with a spinning back kick, but Hero fights back with a leap up boot! DISCUS MAFIA KICK! End kicks out. This is starting to get goood. Hero smacks End with a right hand, but Tommy fights back with kicks, and another Switch knee crumbles Hero! Two count! DOUBLE STOMP OFF THE TOP FROM TOMMY! SMALL PACKAGE FROM HERO! TOMMY KICKS OUT! SPINNING BACK KICK FROM TOMMY! Hero is staggered, but gets up for a knee! End sandbags a piledriver, hoping to keep Hero from finishing him off. JUMPING CRADLE PILEDRIVER SCORES FROM HERO! TOMMY KICKS OUT!~! Jeeeesus. Can you say Match of the Night? Hero looks for the Cyclone Kill, but nearly gets caught with a Backslide! SWITCH KNEE FROM TOMMY! ROARING ELBOW FROM HERO! ANOTHER ONE! ANOTHER ONE! TOMMY KICKS OUT AGAIN! Hero finally gets the win with a Jumping Tombstone in a fantastic 20 minutes. **** That match was absolutely tremendous. Tommy End surprised me in a big way with this outing, pulling off a performance even the best of PWG newcomers are rarely able to pull out. He was able to harness his kicks and strikes in a psychological way, making them count and not using them as his only source of offense like my good buddy Mike Bailey. Instead of being a guy who just kicks and flips, he was a solid wrestler who also happened to be very proficient in the art of kickboxing and Muay Thai. Plus, his strikes looked credible and devastating when they really hit and that’s even better. His jumping knee puts Roderick Strong to shame. Chris Hero looked like his old self again, pulling out my personal favorite performance of his since he got back from NXT. He worked slowly at first without meandering, and he turned it up in a big way when it counted, something he’s failed to do a lot of the time since his return. Here, he played the veteran extremely well, and his strike exchanges with Tommy End looked awesome. Not a lot of well-established guys would put Tommy over this hard, but Chris Hero did and the match turned out tremendous because of it. This is PWG’s best match of 2015 for my money, eclipsing both Bucks/Mafia and Lee/Strong from last month. Fantastic effort from both men and all of a sudden, I’m interested in Chris Hero again and ready to see what Tommy End does now that he’s passed the newcomer test.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. ACH
Tommaso Ciampa has recently left ROH, after failing to come to a contract agreement. On one hand, it sucks because ROH had no idea what to do with a guy of his caliber (he had some AWESOME matches in 2013) and used him horribly after his incredible Final Battle 2013 performance. On another hand, I think he’ll be able to find his niche somewhere than knows what they have and hopefully he will be able to really turn it up in PWG. Only time will tell.

Tommaso Ciampa REJECTS ACH’s taunt layup, which is too great for words. In return, ACH swerves Tommaso on a hug. They play a nice game of air one-on-one, and Tommaso gets his ANKLES BROKEN on a crossover! ACH follows that up with a dropkick! Tommaso stiffs ACH with an elbow on the rebound, but ACH is able to do some flippy shit in spite of it… that is until Ciampa knocks him flipping on a lariat. The basketball psychology in this match is top notch. Tommaso slows the pace down a little bit, working ACH over methodically. Tommaso knees ACH out of the ring, and dives out on top of him with a cannonball! Stone Cold ACH makes a return, stomping a mudhole in Ciampa in the corner. LOU THESZ PRESS WITH THE MIDDLE FINGERS!~! Ciampa manages to survive that onslaught. ACH punts Ciampa’s face off with a Davey Richards-esque kick on the apron, but Ciampa stops Air Jordan. Ciampa looks for an Avalanche Air Raid Crash, but ACH knocks him off and hits a double stomp to the back of the head! ACH looks for a German, but Tommaso fights out of it and hits a rope-hung Complete Shot for a nearfall. ACH smacks Tommaso with a couple superkicks, and hits a German for a nearfall. Tommaso dodges 450, but ACH eats Project Ciampa! ACH gets out of a second one, and hits the Stunner! 450 Splash! That’s it in 13 minutes. *** This was perfectly acceptable, lighthearted wrestling that provided a needed comedown from the great match that came before it. These two are obviously capable of more, but I think they did just the right amount of wrestling and comedy to really make it all blend together well. It’s not something I’ll want to watch a month from now, but it did its job well.

Monster Mafia vs. Chris Sabin & Matt Sydal
Josh Alexander and Ethan Page made their debut at From Out of Nowhere in a tremendous effort against the Young Bucks, and here they face the last team to beat the Young Bucks in PWG competition, “Love Gun”, who are apparently PWG’s newest makeshift tag team ala Best Friends, who obviously turned out beautifully. This has the ingredients to be amazing by the way, so I can’t complain.

The two teams take a million years to decide who starts for them, but things eventually start with Alexander and Sabin. They kind of half-ass a GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! to begin. The crowd demands a test of strength, but Josh doesn’t really feel it, drawing boos from the hot Reseda crowd. Sabin gets the upperhand during a faster sequence, starting to tentatively target the arm. Sydal tags in and helps him out with the arm, with a nice little double team. Ethan Page makes fun of Sydal for not being able to armdrag him, so Sydal shuts him up with some nice Judo tosses. Page says something to a few girls in the crowd, but it’s inaudible on camera underneath the backbreaker he gives Sydal. Alexander tags in and he uses Page to springboard Sydal’s legs into a Rising Sun DDT. Alexander stomps a mudhole into Sydal in the corner, but Sydal is persistent in his quest to get to the top rope. That ends in Sydal flipping around Alexander until he drops him with a headscissor takedown. This allows Sydal to tag in Sabin for some rapid fire double teams, later shitcanning both members of The Mafia. Alexander and Page CATCH a Sabin pescado, but Sydal beautifully manages to avoid his partner as he comes down with a knee on top of the Mafia. Alexander and Sabin go at it in the ring, until Page comes in and helps Page HIT A BLUE THUNDER BOMB, running immediately after to plow Sydal with a tope suicida. The Mafia has nestled themselves as the top heel tag team in PWG already (I don’t count The Bucks as heels at this point) because Ethan Page especially is getting HUGE boos and heckling. He MOONS THE GIRLS HE YELLED AT as he works over Chris Sabin. Faaantastic. The Mafia gets the heat on Sabin between all these shenanigans. Sabin eventually comes back with a nifty victory roll, but Alexander keeps on him after the hope spot. The crowd absolutely WRECKS Ethan Page with a “Your shit’s weak!” chant. This guy is a tremendous heel. Sabin tries fighting off both of the Mafia but can’t quiiiite get the tag even after a hopeful jump toward Sydal. The Mafia looks for a double superplex, but Sabin drops them off and hits a double crossbody! Sydal tags in and cleans house much to the happiness of the fans, in fact, probably one of the biggest pops for a hot tag I’ve heard in a long time. Sydal eat a Bicycle Kick however, but COUNTERS A BLUE THUNDER BOMB INTO A RANA! That only earns him a nearfall. Sabin and Sydal go for a Shooting Star Neckbreaker double team, but Alexander gets out of it and buys himself some time with some offense. The Mafia hit a Casadora Cutter into a German Suplex for a close two count! The Mafia looks for the Loch Ness Lowdown, but Sabin counters and kicks Alexander en route to a Tornado DDT on Page! Another Tornado DDT on Alexander! That only gets two. Page shoves Sabin off the second rope into a Rolling Elbow from Alexander, and THEY HIT THE LOCH NESS LOWDOWN ON SABIN! SYDAL LEAPS OVER RICK KNOX TO BREAK THE PIN! The Mafia looks for a double cradle piledriver, but Sydal spin kicks out of it until Sabin comes in and throws a few superkicks to help him out. A Powerbomb/Meteora destroys Cedric’s neck! Sabin and Sydal pick up the win with the Shooting Star/Neckbreaker in 17 minutes. ***1/2 This match suffers from Live Crowd Syndrome. I think I would have gotten a much better analysis of Monster Mafia as heels had I been in the crowd (and I would have enjoyed their heat segment a lot more), because a lot of their antics were lost on me because I couldn’t hear what they were doing. That’s not their fault by any means so it’s not a knock on the match, but it made the heat segment a little dull at times and my mind tends to wander during boring parts of matches. Luckily, they managed to pick up the action after a great hot tag sequence. It helps that the heat for Monster Mafia was off the charts down the stretch as well. But like I said, I couldn’t quite tell what Ethan Page was doing to rile up the crowd so badly. It’s not a notch on the Bucks/Mafia match, but it certainly did its job well even if some of the charm was lost on a DVD viewer like me.

Andrew Everett vs. Ricochet
Andrew Everett is making his PWG return after a bad knee injury took him out for a year. He had an incredible debut at Mystery Vortex II with Cedric Alexander and Trevor Lee that saw him pull out some ridiculous high flying moves en route to winning the match. He also shined in Ring of Honor, where he had been gaining some real momentum before the aforementioned injury sidelined him. Now, he looks to get back to form against the best high flyer in the world, Ricochet. This is a mini dream match for me so to say I was excited would be a bit of an understatement.

“You ready to see some flippy shit?” Excalibur asks guest commentator Chris Hero. It’s your usual scientific wrestling stuff to begin. Nothing real special, even though Everett is really good at making the tired feeling-out process stuff somewhat fresh with his athleticism. Everett stops Ricochet from showing off too much AND THEY GO APESHIT WITH CARTHWEEL COUNTERS. Not quite as purely awesome as the Rich Swann/Samurary Del Sol sequence from ASW 9, Night 1, but still some awesome overkill that would only work in PWG. Things slow down pretty soon after though as Everett takes control. Ricochet comes back with a slick missile dropkick, and HE DIVES OVER THE RINGPOST ON TOP OF EVERETT TO THE OUTSIDE! That spot never gets old. Ricochet hits the “Fucking Unnecessary” Kick to the back, and he drops Everett with a spinebuster soon after. Ricochet turns into ROCKochet, and he hits THE PEOPLE’S MOONSAULT! Everett shows he’s not afraid to do some crazy shit, as he avoids a running corner splash in spectacular fashion. SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR PRESS TO THE OUTSIDE! Falcon Arrow scores for Everett, but it doesn’t do the deal, much to Excalibur and Chris Hero’s chagrin. That’s also a gag that never gets old. Once someone actually pins a guy with a Falcon Arrow, shit is going to get real. Ricochet fires off a ridiculous combo of a running cutter, a standing shooting star, and an awesome RegalPlex for a close nearfall. Everett fights a superkick with an enzuigiri, but takes a really nasty double stomp from Ricochet. They trade strikes from their knees after that tiring sequence, but they eventually rise to their feet after the initial exchange presents no winners. Ricochet hits a Northern Lights Suplex, directly into a Vertical Suplex, then directly into a Blue Thunder Bomb. Ricochet is killing it with these move combos tonight, holy hell. Everett dodges a Phoenix Splash and stiffs Ricochet with a Pele Kick, following it up with a nice bridging German Suplex for two. Ricochet kicks Everett directly in the ass as Everett climbs the top rope, goes up top, but EVERETT LANDS ON HIS FEET TO COUNTER A SUPER REVERSE RANA! REVERSE RANA FROM EVERETT! SPIKE HURRICANRANA IMMEDIATELY AFTER! That miraculously only gets a two count. Incredible sequence there. Everett goes up top AND HE MISSES A FUCKING DOUBLE MOONSAULT!~! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER FROM RICOCHET~! EVERETT KICKS OUT!~! Alrighty then. SPIN KICKS FROM RICOCHET! BENADRYLLER! Ricochet picks up the win in a fantastic 16 minutes. **** Welcome back Andrew Everett, holy hell. That missed double moonsault was absolutely mental and I have no idea how one man can even come close to pulling that off. Even if the entire match was garbage, it wouldn’t have mattered because—even if it didn’t hit—there was still a damn double moonsault. That earns half a star by itself. Not to mention, the match itself was fast paced and awesome throughout its duration, picking up steam in a big way during the finishing sequence. Andrew Everett does more with a major knee surgery than most guys could DREAM of with a perfect bill of health. He might want to slow down for his career’s sake in the coming years, but that doesn’t change my belief that Everett is something truly special. I can’t wait to see him mix it up with the different styles that guys like Chris Hero, Tommy End, and Roderick Strong bring to PWG. I also thought this was one of the better Ricochet performances I’ve seen in a long time. He showed good personality during the slower portions, and strung together some awesome offensive sequences when things picked up. But make no mistake about it, this was the Andrew Everett show and an incredible way to introduce him once more to the PWG audience.

PWG World Title Match: Roderick Strong © vs. Zack Sabre, Jr.
Zack Sabre Jr pulled out three awe-inspiring at BOLA ’14 and thus had PWG fans begging to know when he was going to return. Well, they got their answer here, as he flies in from England to challenge for the PWG World Title in one of the most anticipated PWG matches in years. You may recall my initial apprehension to Roderick Strong as PWG Champion, but I’ve warmed up to the idea. He’s a longtime veteran with reliably good in-ring skills, and he’s always up for a great match when the time arises. And what better way to ensure that than to wrestle ZACK SABRE, JR? I’m stoked.

Roderick Strong gets more heat than Justin Borden or Monster Mafia, so you know he’s a REAL dick. Sabre hilariously shoves Roddy’s shirt in his tights before the match starts. Very tentative British wrestling stuff to start, and even with the basic Johnny Saint counters, Zack just looks like a wizard. Zack works over Roddy’s shitty little boot for a while, and later puts on a nifty Bow & Arrow to which Roddy responds by dipping for a minute or so to gain his composure. Roddy and Zack trade straight jacket holds, but Zack overmatches Roddy with his technical prowess, doing things to counter that Roddy has no idea how to deal with. Roddy is able to counter once more, but Zack again one-ups him with a little shuffle down the mat to break the hold, booting Roddy out of the ring to put an exclamation point on it. Roddy is pissed now, so he throws a knee to the gut for good measure. Again though, Zack just schools him with technical counters and cradles, wowing the crowd and frustrating Roddy in the process. Roddy wins a shoving match with a leg lariat, allowing him to take control in his own way. Zack again makes his technical presence felt, but Roddy MURDERS him with a guillotine in the ropes, and he nearly kills him again with a disgusting baseball slide. That gives him the first real advantage of the match so far. Roddy lights Zack up with a few stiff chops, which piss Zack off, so the Brit backs him into another corner with a few uppercuts. Roddy however gets the upperhand with a gutbuster. Zack counters a backbreaker with an awesome cradled double wristlock, and Roddy takes advantage of Zack’s eagerness by falling and bashing Zack’s head into the second turnbuckle. Roddy has taken control to the point where he is able to shut down Zack’s hope spots. Zack sees a weakness and double stomps Roddy’s arm from the second rope, but before Zack can really go after the injured limb, Roddy stops him in his tracks with a backbreaker. Zack dodges a running elbow in the corner and goes back to the arm with an enzuigiri, and he hits a swinging DDT directly into a Kimura! Roddy shuffles to the ropes as fast as possible though. Zack tries to take advantage on the apron, STOMPING his bridged arm on the apron, making Roddy nope out of that situation immediately. Zack follows him into the ring though, hitting a barrage of running European uppercuts into the corner Roddy is trying to rest in. He follows up with a beautiful Dragon Suplex that only manages to get two. Roddy is able to get Zack off him with an enzugiri, and he hits the running elbow in the corner… but ZACK PUTS IN THE ARMBAAARRRRR! Roddy finds the ropes. Roddy dips outside, so Zack follows him, but that proves to be a mistake as he took too much time pandering to the crowd, so he eats a nasty side slam on the apron. Roddy starts really picking up steam in the corner, putting Zack up top for a superplex… but Zack counters again by wrenching the arm. Roddy withstands the punishment however, and takes Zack down with a Superplex! Roddy hits a sudden flurry of a backbreaker, Doctor Bomb, and THE STRONGHOLD! ZACK COUNTERS INTO A CRADLE… FOR TWO. He counters a Gibson Driver into a Rana, and HE PUNTS RODDY IN THE FACE WITH A PENALTY KICK! That’s again another close nearfall, and they’re both down for a double count. PENALTY KICK TO THE ARM by Zack, who eats a boot and A DISGUSTING SICK KICK FOR HIS TROUBLES! NEARFALL! DEATH BY RODERICK! ARGENTINE BACKBREAKER COUNTERED INTO A TIGHT O’CONNOR CRADLE! RODDY BARELY KICKS OUT! JUMPING KNEE BY RODDY! THEY’RE BOTH DOWN AGAIN! Roddy looks for the End of Heartache, but Zack counters with a Pele Kick! European Uppercut duel follows, and ZACK ROLLS THROUGH INTO A CROSS ARMBREAKER! ZACK ROLLS OUT FROM THE ROPES! RODDY COUNTERS BY DROPPING HIM ON HIS HEAD AND STOMPING HIM! STRONGHOLD! ZACK TAPS! That’s it in an incredible 24 minute match. Wow. ****1/2 What an awesome, awesome match this was. I was excited going into it but for some reason, I wasn’t thinking they were going to pull an incredible MOTYC out of their hats. This had everything you could ever want in a wrestling match. Do you want solid, cohesive, logical storytelling in a prolonged manner? Well you had several different threads of psychology to pick from in this match. Whether it’s Zack Sabre, Jr making Roderick Strong look silly with crazy counters and maneuvers in the early going, or Roddy getting pissed off beyond belief and taking the low road to take control. Couple that with the tremendous arm psychology that followed a good pattern and had much attention devoted to it, and you have one of the best pure, technical wrestling matches in a long, long time. I’m not one of those guys who needs crazy limbwork or psychology to enjoy a match, but when it happens, you better believe I’m one of the first guys praising it. These guys pulled out such a tremendous, different-from-the-norm effort that I am having trouble thinking of a PWG match that was this mat-based and psychological. It’s one of the best PWG Title matches in years, it’s better than any match PWG had last year, and it’s already in my top 5 MOTY list of 2015. THAT’S how good this match is. It’s worth every single inchling of hype poured onto it. Zack Sabre, Jr is one of the most special, unique, and purely talented wrestlers in the entire world and I curse the fact that he’s not readily available for everyone to book all the time. He was just off the charts in this match, especially with his work of Roderick Strong’s arm. He didn’t just stay to submission holds and abandon the arm down the finishing stretch. His attacks in that finishing stretch centered on that arm, as his armbar was the main tool with which to finish the match. But the little things he did with the arm were even better. If he wasn’t in position to slap on a cross armbreaker, he’d simply soccer kick the arm as hard as possible instead of take the time and effort to put a contrived submission hold in. That’s the sign of a smart, psychology-based technical wrestler and I cannot heap enough praise upon Mr. Sabre, Jr for it. But let’s not pretend that Roderick Strong wasn’t just as good in this match either. This—for my money—is Roderick Strong’s best singles match performance since his jaw-droppingly amazing ROH series with Bryan Danielson in 2005-2006. He was a boss here, playing a perfect heel for the situation. His tendencies in the ring were heelish, but he was much too focused with the task at hand to actively grate on the fans. Instead, he undercut Sabre, Jr constantly to gain the upperhand in the early stages. That veteran style allowed Roddy to dominate the majority of the opening minutes, until Sabre started working on that arm. It didn’t faze Roddy at first, but as Zack kept working at that arm, the champ started weakening until Zack knew he had a real opportunity to win. However, Roddy showed he had the veteran-fueled wherewithal and hunger to keep himself in the match, eventually getting Zack to give up despite his arm hurting. Roddy’s selling of the arm in this match was immense too, it must be said. He didn’t forget about down the stretch, and every move he did with it, you could tell it was just adrenaline or a last burst of strength moreso than a convenient bout of forgetfulness. I could go on even longer about how amazing this match is, but I’d like you to see it for yourself, because it truly is a special occurrence and I yearn for the day Zack returns, because this was on another planet of awesomeness. A million thumbs up.

9
The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Don't look now, but PWG--for one show only at least--has returned to the quality its glory days are acclaimed for. The consistency, the variety, and the excitement this show brings is next level. It has something for everybody. Do you want crazy flip-fests with relentless insantiy? Andrew Everett and Ricochet have something for you. Do you like two big dudes beating the shit out of each other? Check out Tommy End and Chris Hero's encounter. Are you pining for a technical masterpiece? Zack Sabre Jr and Roderick Strong will blow you away. I may not be the most articulate of reviewers, but I'm very sure when I say that this is one of the best wrestling shows I've seen in quite some time and most definitely the best PWG show since BOLA '13. A million thumbs up for PWG Don't Sweat The Technique.
legend
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