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Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG ELEVEN

October 1, 2015 | Posted by Jake St-Pierre
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Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG ELEVEN  

So here we are. After a year of resistance and telling myself this and that, my annoying brain has finally gotten fed up with the fact that I never finished off PWG’s 2014 shows. I’ve reviewed every single PWG show since 2012—as well as many Ring of Honor shows—and I’ve slipped on that hardcore in the past year. Which isn’t a HUGE deal, but seeing as though I have a child due any day now (and will probably be here by the time these reviews see the light of day), I won’t have the time to catch up on these for the time being. And since I have only three shows to catch up on, I might as well get that out of the way before real life hits me in the face like a ton of bricks. So without further ado…

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

Your hosts are Excalibur and the gang, including the last PWG commentary performance of one Kevin Steen.

Tommaso Ciampa vs. Rocky Romero
So in hindsight, probably not the most ideal way to open your show. I’ve never been a fan of Rocky Romero’s singles matches (his match with Alex Koslov at the show before this was just terrible) and Tommaso is very hit and miss when it comes to his PWG output. Just remember Jake… three shows.

Ciampa charges at Rocky to start and they throw heavy leather in the earlygoings. That is, until Rocky pokes Ciampa in the eye to get an upperhand. Ciampa falls for the rope-trick that TJ Perkins and Rocky do, and takes a disgusting bump as Rocky moves. You’d think if you use that spot in every single match, your opponents would eventually clue into it, right? Ciampa won’t let Rocky rana him as they get back into the ring, and Ciampa cleverly counters a Sliced Bread #2 into a backbreaker. Eva Marie shits on you, Rocky Romero! They trade backrakes and clubbing blows, and Tommaso throws some falling headbutts for good measure. Ciampa goes up top, but that proves a mistake as Rocky crotches him and superplexes Ciampa directly on his sunburn! They trade some more strikes as Ciampa recovers, but Rocky quickly sends Tommaso outside with a hurricanrana, followed by a nice Tope Suicida! Ciampa one-ups Romero however, dropkicking Rocky out of mid-air for a two count. Tommaso cleverly schoolboy’s Rocky hard into the turnbuckle, followed by the running knees. Ciampa brings Rocky up top for an Avalanche Air Raid Crash, but Romero counters into a powerbomb! Ciampa telegraphs the rope-trick and knees Rocky in the stomach, followed by an Air Raid Crash on the knee! Rocky kicks out! Ciampa toys with a groggy Romero, who fights back with some disgustingly sick kicks to the body. Ciampa dodges another Sliced Bread, but Rocky ropes him into a Tornado DDT for a two count! Ciampa knocks Romero stupid with a chop, but Rocky doesn’t go down, dropkicking an elevated Ciampa, and eventually hitting a super rana! Forever Lariats from Rocky! Jumping Knee! Discus Lariat from Ciampa picks up the win in a surprisingly great 12 minutes. ***1/4 My memory has proven to be quite unreliable, as I remembered this match being a slog to get through, and I ended up with anything but. Ciampa and Romero pulled off two lively, accelerated performances that I didn’t see coming. It’s not like they re-invented the wheel or anything, but they did a great job of building the match and ending at their peak, all while timing some very good high impact nearfalls before it. In PWG, that’s all I can really ask of two guys in an opening match.

ACH vs. Cedric Alexander
Cedric had debuted (well, not technically but no one remembers the RussellReunion stuff he did) two shows before this in that phenomenal three way between Andrew Everett, Trevor Lee and himself, following up the month later where he, Lee and Johnny Gargano had an equally fantastic trios match with Kevin Steen and the Young Bucks. It’s safe to say he was riding high in Reseda, and it helps that ACH is always good for some easy-to-watch entertainment.

Cedric asks ACH to shake his hand, and after some slight resistance, here we go. These guys had a hilarious No Loud Noises match in PCW last year, but being this is Reseda, we’re literally getting the opposite. ACH flips out of wristlock like only he knows how. ACH hilariously calls out Shelton Benjamin for being uncharismatic as a fan heckles him for their “resemblance”. ACH has problems moving the “linebacker”-like Cedric Alexander, and the fans ask for a Test of Strength to really see who’s best. ACH plays too much and that allows Cedric to grab a headlock, followed by a pair of hard chops. ACH turns the tide by dropkicking Cedric, in between some pretty shoddy Nature Boy struts if I do say so myself. Cedric pays him back with a hard slap and a weird spinning facebuster for a two count. ACH battles back with something resembling a Pele Kick, which sends Cedric to the outside. That proves a mistake for Cedric, as he runs directly into a nasty kick. ACH adds insult to injury and crowd-surfs, and when he comes back, he’s still in control of Cedric. ACH keeps control as they head back into the ring, and he slides out of the ring on an Irish Whip. That doesn’t save him from a Tope Suicida! That allows Cedric to gain control as they head back to the ring, giving ACH a backbreaker for a close nearfall. ACH comes back with an incredible German Suplex bridge for a two count. He and Neville should have a German Suplex-off one of these days. Detonation Kick from Cedric only gets a two count. ACH enzuigiris Cedric from the apron, and slingshots in with an Ace Crusher for a very close 2 count. Cedric rolls out of the way of a top rope move from ACH, and the two find themselves out on the apron, where ACH MURDERS Cedric with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head, coming down with a double stomp to the back of a rope-hung Cedric’s head! ACH only gets two, but misses a 450! CEDRIC ROLLS ACH UP! ACH KICKS OUT! ACH misses a pump kick in the corner, and Cedric dropkicks him while he’s hung up, and COUNTERS A SLINGSHOT FLATLINER INTO A MICHINOKU DRIVER! ACH KICKS OUT! They head to the apron where Cedric looks for something, but ACH stuns him over the top rope, adding an Enzuigiri for good measure! TORPEDO TO THE OUTSIDE! CEDRIC HITS AN ENZUIGIRI IN THE RING! PUMP KICK FROM ACH! 450 FROM ACH! That’s it in 24 (!) minutes. ***3/4 They were in somewhat serious danger of losing me during a tedious middle portion, but they built beautifully to a surprisingly great closing stretch. I have no idea why these two decided to go for 24 minutes when they’re the second match on the card, but they generally made use of their time and did a great job paying things off. Of course, it wouldn’t have hurt them to cut five minutes or so off of this to really make a statement, but I’m picking nits at this point anyway. I really liked how they slowly built to a fever pitch in the last minutes, saving the dives and insanity for the closing minute and ending at their peak, which is a lost art for a lot of otherwise great indy wrestlers. A truly great build for a finishing stretch like this can make classics, but they took their time really getting to the point, which means I have to put a ceiling on the rating of an otherwise fantastic, athletic match.

Best Friends vs. Michael Elgin & Johnny Gargano
This was the result of a card-reshuffling, as (I believe) Brian Cage was supposed to team with Elgin here, but a torn hamstring took him out of the equation, and thus, here we are. My take? As long as Chuck Taylor is involved, I won’t complain.

Elgin and Gargano try to do Best Friend’s pose and get roundly booed for it. Trent doesn’t fare well in a strength battle with Elgin, as Gargano tells Chuckie how much stronger his partner is than Chuck’s. Elgin sweeps Trent’s legs and comes in with a nifty slingshot splash for a two count. He tags in Johnny, who tags in Sexy Chuckie T for the first time to an enormous pop. They try to hug, but Gargano sneakily transitions into a headlock. A shrieking Chuck Taylor is not very happy about this. Johnny dodges Sole Food and dropkicks Chuckie in the back of the head for his troubles. Trent and Johnny go at it all speedy-like, and Chuck asks for Trent to pull off a standing moonsault, which he pulls off expertly for a two count. Trent looks for a slingshot Cocky Pin but CHUCK TAYLOR BREAKS UP A SUBMISSION WITH THE SLOW MO TOPE ATOMICO! Then Chuckie hilariously demands for the AC to be turned on, which Excalibur seems to passive aggressively agree with on commentary. Gargano tags in Elgin, who destroys Trent with a rebound German Suplex and a discus elbow to a rope-sat Trent, finishing him off with another German for a two count. Elgin and Johnny pull off a nice powerslam/DDT combo for a two count. Things slow down as Johnny works over Trent, but Chuck suddenly feels offended and yells, “I’VE ALWAYS HATED YOU JOHNNY!” This makes Gargano angry, and starts stomping away at Trent as Chuck angrily tells Johnny to “stop hurting his friend”. Johnny tells Chuckie he hates him, which silences the Kentucky Gentleman for the time being. The Unbreakable F’n Shebangs take control as Elgin puts Trent in a stalling suplex! Elgin hands Trent off to Gargano, who promptly gets countered, as Trent uses that for an opportunity to get at Chuck. It’s not to be, however, as Gargano faceplants Chuck on the apron as Trent looks for the hot tag. Trent again makes headway, and here comes Sexy Chuckie T! Chuckie hits a nice dropkick to a kneeling Gargano, but Elgin recovers in time… only to get shitcanned! Chuckie catches a slingshot spear from Gargano and tosses him onto Elgin outside! Trent stops a dive and hugs his partner, right before they HIT DOUBLE DOGS! Or stereo tope con hilos to you people not familiar with the Best Friends Highspots shoots. Stereo DDT’s from the Best Friends get stereo nearfalls. Gargano takes Chuck out of the ring, skinning the cat back in, but Trent stops a dive. Gargano goes under him and ranas Chuckie on the floor, as Elgin pump kicks Trent off of the ropes! DEADLIFT SUPER FALCON ARROW! HE DID THE DEAL! TRENT KICKS OUT! Trent flips out of an Elgin suplex attempt, and is run into a Gargano enzuigiri! SLINGSHOT DDT! Chuckie breaks up the pinfall. DOUBLE STOMP/ROPE HUNG DDT BY BEST FRIENDS! JOHNNY KICKS OUT! The Best Friends look for the Chokeslam on Gargano, but Elgin breaks it up! Elgin breaks free of it himself and he and Gargano HIT A BACKFIST/SUPERKICK COMBO! Chuckie hits Sole Food on Gargano, as Trent tries a super rana on Elgin, who catches him mid-stride! JOHNNY LAWN DARTS CHUCK INTO TRENT! TRENT COUNTERS A SUPER ELGIN BOMB INTO A HUGE SUPER RANA! SUPERKICK FROM TRENT! SUPERKICK FROM GARGANO! ENZUIGIRI ON GARGANO! ELGIN HITS TRENT WITH A LARIAT! ALL FOUR BOOT EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME! WOW. GARGA-NO ESCAPE/CROSSFACE FROM ELGIN AND GARGANO! ROLL UPS GET NEARFALLS! Double Ace Crusher hits for Gargano and Elgin, and they try a double superplex on Trent, who PACKS UP GARGANO FOR A FUCKING AVALANCHE DUDEBUSTER! It’s academic at the 25 minute mark! **** This match was absolutely sensational, and again a hell of a lot better than I remember it being. I actually dig the Elgin/Gargano team a lot and I wish PWG had taken advantage of the dynamic before Elgin got pulled off the shows, but you can’t win them all. The chemistry between the two as partners was shockingly good, as Johnny is great at playing the annoying little shit while Elgin can conversely play the straight-faced muscle that wrecks anybody in his path. They worked that so well in the earlygoings of this match, and they kept up tenfold when it broke down to the insanity that was the finishing stretch. I find the Best Friends to be one of the most underrated teams of the last couple years due to matches like this. They can entertain you endlessly with shenanigans during the opening portion, but come up with some ridiculous stuff later on when everything breaks down. This is why it annoys me that Chuck Taylor is retiring, because he’s the most entertaining guy on the indies, and he can pull out incredible efforts like this here to boot! This was a fantastic tag team match that felt half as long as it really was, and suddenly this show is turning out to be much better than my apparently shitty memory recalled!

Trevor Lee vs. Kevin Steen
This is the last match of Kevin Steen’s illustrious PWG career, moving onto a fantastic career at WWE that I personally never thought he’d get. It goes to show what hard work and having immense talent can do for you. This match is also known for kick-starting the Trevor Lee mega-push that PWG embarked on throughout 2014 and into 2015, so it’ll be nice to look back on its origins in hindsight, even though the real story here is Steen’s departure.

Mr. Wrestling gets a huge streamer shower upon entry, definitely one of the biggest I’ve ever seen in PWG. Steen does snow angels and rolls in them, getting more than he bargained for in the process. The whole introduction here just brings a huge smile to my face. Trevor asks for a handshake, and Steen takes that as insult, decking Lee immediately and taking him around the ring for his troubles. Steen takes him back into the ring and chops his chest into oblivion. Trevor hits a beautiful springboard hurricanrana for a flash two count, and HE DIVES OVER THE RINGPOST ON TOP OF STEEN! Mr. Wrestling doesn’t stay down for long, as he powerbombs Lee on the apron a few times. I’m not complaining about this, but I really do like how NXT made the Apron Powerbomb a huge deal, really streamlining Steen’s usual repertoire into something bigger and more meaningful. If Sami Zayn took this many apron bumps, his career would be over in kayfabe. Just goes to show the difference between the indies and WWE. I love Steen on the indies, but sometimes less really is more in certain situations. However, the four powerbombs done here really make a case for Steen’s new self imposed Mr. Powerbomb nickname. Kevin Steen and Chris Hero have a hilariously casual conversation across the American Legion, but Trevor stops it… that is until Steen throws him facefirst into the turnbuckle and blames Chris for his momentary misfortune. Trevor hits the SPINNING CROSSBODY OUT OF NOWHERE! JUMPING MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE! That is a lot to process. Steen kicks out of a diving crossbody, but Trevor starts building momentum, but he’s stopped directly in his tracks but a pumphandle neckbreaker for a two count. Trevor counters an F-Cinq into a DDT for another close nearfall! Trevor finally nails the German Suplex for a two count after a sick barrage of kicks! Trevor puts Steen up on the top rope, but we know how that ends… except Trevor gets out and Pele Kicks him! STEEN CATCHES A RUNNING LEE INTO THE GREEN BAY PLUNGE! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! TREVOR KICKS OUT! Steen goes for a Steenalyzer, but Lee kicks out and hits an Enzuigiri and a Roundhouse and a MUSHROOM STOMP! ORANGE CRUSH… COUNTERED INTO A SMALL PACKAGE BY STEEN! TREVOR COUNTERS INTO ONE OF HIS OWN! THAT GETS 3! Trevor pulls off the insane upset in 18 minutes. ***3/4 As a match, this was pretty par for the course when it comes to Kevin Steen. He is one of the best at making heat segments insanely entertaining with witty banter and commentary most wrestlers can’t pull off. It was just fun to go back down memory lane and see my favorite wrestler in the environment I saw him grow in. Now don’t take that as me bashing his WWE run, or his character. I LOVE him in WWE, and I’m massively relieved they let him keep the edge and character he won so many people’s hearts with. It makes me happy that my favorite wrestler got to the big leagues and is doing better than anybody ever thought he would. In 2012 when he was killing it as ROH Champ, if you asked me if he would have prospered in WWE, I’d have laughed in your face. Three years later, here we are. He beat John Cena clean in his first main roster match, and he’s having fantastic matches week in and week out like we know he can. It’s just great to know a guy that made me love indy wrestling so much is continuously bringing me back to an otherwise stale WWE scene. As for this match? It’s great from bell-to-bell, but the finish puts it over the top for me. The surprise factor of Trevor winning the match was fantastic, and garnered a reaction we’re not used to seeing from a PWG crowd. They were so emotionally invested in Steen’s last match that they hadn’t accepted a thought other than him winning yet, and when it was forced upon them, you couldn’t quite nail down a reaction until it set in. That’s great stuff and really put this match into ‘great’ territory for me. It’s a fitting end to one of the best PWG careers of all time, reminding everyone why they loved Kevin Steen in the first place. It just so happened to be a great headstrong look into PWG’s future as well.

After the match, Steen fakes just leaving, but instead grabs the mic. He puts over Lee as not being a fluke artist, instead being the “future”. Steen says he’s going to be honest and tell everyone the truth. He reveals that he’s El Generico, but kids and gives us an update on the real one. He tells everyone that the orphans had gotten out of control, and that Generico is getting punched in the balls by a kid named Felipe. Generico apparently asked Kevin for help, and Steen says it’s only fair that he packs up all his animals and goes to Mexico to help his former partner. The house mic sucks so it’s hard to understand everything he says, but he does taunt Excalibur for losing a match to his then-6 month old son. He also puts over the PWG crowd, of course. He says very kind words to Super Dragon and his girlfriend for being “like a brother and sister” to him. His last words to the PWG crowd are “PWG, you are beautiful. Thank you so much.” It makes this speech all so sweeter than he went on to do incredible things in NXT/WWE months later.

Frankie Kazarian vs. Brian Kendrick
This is Frankie Kazarian’s first match back to PWG, eleven years to the day he debuted along with the promotion itself. I never found him all that as a singles wrestler, but it’s only right that he gets a spot here. He had just recently been released from TNA along with partner Christopher Daniels, as it seems TNA felt it better to keep groundbreaking talents like Brodus Clay over their best tag team not named The Wolves. Brian Kendrick hasn’t done much for me since being released from WWE, as I’ve never quite been that high on him as a singles wrestler, as his highest points after his WWE release always seemed to be with Paul London. But again, he’s a veteran and it’s always nice to see him back.

Kendrick blows a kiss at Kazarian, who clotheslines him out of the ring and follows up with a baseball slide. They trade some stiff chops as they get back into the ring. Kazarian then lariats Kendrick directly out of his shoes, looking for a Flux Capacitor, but Kendrick manages to counter it weirdly, dropkicking an entering Kazarian for a two count. Kendrick puts in the Steiner Recliner, a move that insults my intelligence more than the Worm. Kevin Steen tells his hilarious Brian Kendrick story that needs to be heard to be believed, as Kazarian hits a trifecta of German Suplexes. Kazarian slingshots in with a DDT for a close two count. Kendrick boots the hell out of Kazarian, who fights back with some sort of cool facebuster for another nearfall. Kendrick looks for Sliced Bread #2, but Kazarian gets the ropes. After seeing Eva Marie nearly Misawa herself doing that move, it’s nice to see it done right so much on this show. Kendrick comes down with a swinging DDT, but Kazarian battles back and hits him with a nasty Dudebuster-esque piledriver for two! They crossbody each other at the same time, and it’s time for a double-down spot. Kazarian hits the same Piledriver again for another close nearfall. Kendrick shoves referee Justin Borden into the ropes to crotch Kazarian, using that opportunity to hit a super Sliced Bread for 2! FLUX CAPACITOR FROM KAZARIAN! Kazarian wins in 14 minutes. *** There were a lot of really good nearfalls in this match, but they went about a lot of things here way too slowly to make it all truly count. Now I’m not saying these guys have to go a million miles an hour for the sake of going a million miles an hour, but some urgency would have been nice. As it stands, it’s still Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling (with a pretty awesome finish) and not a bad way to ease me back into the show after what came before it.

Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong
Oh man, how I miss Adam Cole in today’s PWG. I don’t keep up much with Ring of Honor anymore so I don’t get my Cole fix like I used to, so that’s going to be a great bonus going down these missed shows. The guy is a superstar through-and-through.

Adam Cole threatens to punch Angelo Trinidad if he doesn’t announce the supposed injustice of Cole not being the champion anymore. I never thought I’d be so happy to hear the words “Suck my dick”, but here we are. Roddy hits his beautiful dropkick on Cole to start off. Cole dropkicks Roddy off of the second rope as Kevin Steen makes his last commentary appearances count, with some pretty fantastic Roderick Strong impersonations. Adam Cole misses an ADAM COLE BAYBAY elbow drop, walking into some stiff chops from the future champ. Roddy throws Cole out of the ring and drops down on top of him with a pescado. The elbow barrage into the Olympic Slam gives Roddy a close nearfall. Cole catches a leapfrog into the Fireman’s Carry neckbreaker on his knee for a close two count of his own. Roddy catches Cole with a suave upkick, but Cole counters a butterfly backbreaker with a backdrop! Roddy counters a running knee into a Stronghold, but Cole flips Roddy out of it and hits the running knee after a second try! Roddy interrupts a taunting Cole with a jumping knee, hitting a shoulder capture backbreaker for a two count! Cole ranas out of a Gibson Driver, hitting a pair of superkicks, followed by a Knee Brainbuster for two! Figure Four! Roddy gets the ropes after a struggle. Cole superkicks Roddy in the knee and looks for Panama Sunrise, but Roddy counters into Death By Roderick! END OF HEARTACHE COUNTERED! SICK KICK FROM RODDY! END OF HEARTACHE SCORES! Roderick Strong picks up the win in a great 15 minutes. ***1/2 They were missing something to truly throw this one over the top, but that’s hardly a complaint as they provided a spirited, fun performance that didn’t disappoint me. Adam Cole really is the total package and a huge, huge star for any promotion he wrestles in. As much as PWG is flourishing in 2015, I still feel like it misses his charisma and overall presence, because even fairly standard matches like this can simply be elevated by his personality. It also helps that this was during the beginning of Roderick Strong’s crazy run towards the PWG Title, so both guys were healthily motivated and gave off a fantastic midcard performance. Great stuff.

PWG World Title Match: Kyle O’Reilly © vs. Chris Hero
Oh, this fucking match. Look, this show is a lot better than I remembered so I’m trying to go into this enthusiastically, but sitting through this match again is one of the reasons I put this off for so long. But I’m a man, damn it, and I can do this.

This is pretty much the debut of Chris Hero’s gut as I think a back injury prevented him from working out correctly. It never really hurt him in the ring that much so it never bothered me as much as it did others. I will say an in-shape Chris Hero is one of the most complete packages in wrestling, though. His 2009-2011 run on the indies is some of the best wrestling you’ll ever see. It’s a slooooow start to begin with. Hero kicks Kyle out of mid Leapfrog after a while, getting a pretty good upperhand, but Kyle comes at him with the running slap that earns him a DISGUSTING Mafia Kick from Hero. Hero absorbs a few stiff counter kicks from Kyle and gives him a hard Dragon Screw for his troubles. Hero uses a great strategy for cutting off Kyle’s comebacks; stomping him in the face. Kyle goads Hero into a Triangle Choke, but Hero gets out and Cloverleafs Kyle’s legs around the ringpost. O’Reilly breaks a Cravate from an elevated Hero, bringing the challenger down to the mat with a shoulderbreaker, following up with the Disarmer. Hero lays Kyle in between the turnbuckle, pulling back with a mean Single Leg Crab. O’Reilly eventually battles back and sweeps Hero’s leg, getting his first real advantage of the match so far, following up with multiple Germans. Kyle rolls through a Guillotine and tries for a Cross Armbreaker, but Hero gets the ropes. They drop each other with simultaneous elbows after a stiff strike exchange. Hero comes through with his falling suplex, that’s basically a falling brainbuster for a two count. Hero telegraphs the Rebound Lariat and elbows Kyle out of the ropes and nearly to a terrible landing outside. Hero tries his hardest to boot Kyle off of the apron, but the champ is defiant with a nice loogie and a middle finger. Hero hangs Kyle’s leg into the ropes and at least gets him off of his feet, pushing him down to the floor afterwards. Hero puts in a weird Cravat/Cloverleaf sort of deal, transitioning into an Indian Deathlock. Kyle hits a Saito Suplex, but runs into a boot from Hero. Another one stuns Hero, and a Shoulder Capture Suplex gets the champ a nearfall. Hero counters a Rebound Lariat into a supposed Cyclone Kill, but Kyle rolls out and puts in a cross armbreaker! Hero gets to the ropes. They trade strikes in the middle of the ring, until Kyle catches Hero with a brainbuster… that Hero kicks out of at 1. Hero fights out of some hard Kawada kicks, but runs right into a lariat and another brainbuster for a nearfall. The Cross Armbreaker puts this match away for the champ at 35 minutes. **3/4 This wasn’t the abomination that I thought it was when I first watched it, but it was sooooooo long and meandering at points that it still had a good bit of trouble keeping my attention. I love Chris Hero and I love Kyle O’Reilly. I definitely think they’re both elite level workers with two unique, easy to watch styles. Sometimes—and Chris Hero is especially guilty of this at different points of his career—they go off on very long, tedious matches that honestly come off as self-indulgent UWFi ripoffs more so than something they crafted as a special wrestling match. While a lot of this match (especially in the earlygoing) had great segments and ideas, the execution of those ideas later on left too much to be desired. The most significant wrestling sin these two committed was that they barely even left first gear. The first fifteen minutes of this seemed like a fantastic build to a crazy finishing stretch, but they just kept going and going and not kicking it up. Had they knocked this down 10 minutes, and made a concerted effort to build to a great crescendo, we’d be talking another Chris Hero classic. Instead, I’m talking about a match I’m hoping I never have to sit through again, because this fell to so many “indy-bro” wrestling cliches that it’s hard to really pull out what was so good about the rest of it. They went after limbs and followed up on that work so flimsily that it essentially equated the match to a Michael Scott quote I feel perfectly describes this situation: “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence, and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” That’s how this match felt to me; Hero and O’Reilly had a good foundation, a suspenseful start to their sentence. But they lost all meaning to any narrative they may have had and instead of finishing that sentence with a satisfying payoff, they left me with a long, boring strikefest with no real coherent story. And that’s highly disappointing coming from two guys who are usually two of the most psychologically sound wrestlers in the world. You can’t win ‘em all, I suppose.

New Number 1 Contender Roderick Strong comes out to help Kyle up and shake his hand, but it’s HEEL TURN CITY as Roddy hits Kyle with the Sick Kick and the End of Heartache to begin his quest toward the title. Roderick says goodbye to Kevin Steen as he gives Kyle another one for good measure.

Guerrila Warfare for the PWG World Tag Team Titles: The Young Bucks © vs. The World’s Cutest Tag Team
Oh yes. THIS is the good shit…

We start immediately with Candice and Joey trying to dive out on top of the Bucks, but they’re met unceremoniously with chairs to the head instead. Joey powerbombs Nick onto Matt however as things enter the ring, and they go right back out of the ring as Joey hits a tope suicida onto Matt. Candice puts on a pink Super Dragon mask and gives Nick Jackson a Violence Party to end all Violence Parties. Nick whiffs a superkick on her, and Candice uses that dodge to dive out on top of Matt with a Tope DDT! TOPE CON HILO FROM JOEY TO THE BUCKS! Candice puts on the Black Widow on Matt, and spins out on him as Nick tries to whack her with a garbage can lid, eventually using a headscissor takedown to send Matt to the outside. Now it’s BONZO GONZO on the outside. Nick brings Candice up to the stage, running her face off of a table. Joey saves the day and throws Candice into a DDT on both of the Bucks. Matt sandbags a Candice rana and Buckle Bombs her into a Nick Jackson enzuigiri. Joey eats a trash can to the face, followed up by a springboard DDT on the apron! The Bucks take advantage of their advantage on Candice, destroying her with a variety of double team moves. Joey superkicks Matt on the outside, but he runs into a kick from the apron by Nick, who DDT’s Candice and moonsaults off of the apron onto Joey! Nick brings out a bag, supposedly of tacks, but Candice stops him for a bit until she eats a back elbow to the temple for her troubles. Joey Ryan gets in just in time to replace the bag Nick brought in, and Joey’s bag contains Gummy Bears! Joey spears Nick into the gummy bears, but Matt drops him down with a wheelbarrow facebuster into them! The Bucks take Candice again and try to Buckle Bomb her into a chairshot, but Candice ranas Matt into the chair instead. NICK KILLS CANDICE BY THROWING THE CHAIR AT HER FACE! Jesus Christ. Nick sets up for chairs 2×2 and sets Candice on top of them, but Joey saves… that is until he eats an enzugiri and finds himself on the chairs as well. Joey recovers before dying, but can’t quite get the upperhand on Nick. Candice tries to Ballsplex Nick through the chairs, but Matt saves his brother from his certain death. The Bucks try to double superplex Joey, but CANDICE COMES IN AND HITS A TOWER OF DOOM BALLSPLEX! Candice goes up to the top rope and moonsaults on top of the Bucks outside! Joey tries to throw Nick to the outside, but gets him on the apron. As they try for the Joey assisted DDT, Matt superkicks Joey and hangs up Candice! The Bucks set the garbage can on top of Joey—after braining him with it—and NICK HITS A 450 ON TOP OF IT! JOEY KICKS OUT! The Bucks look for the Tandem Tombstone, but Candice saves and she and Joey do one of their own on Matt on a chair! Nick throws a chair at Joey and superkicks the shit out of Candice as well. The Bucks look for More Bang for Your Buck on Candice, but Candice instead hits a Reverse Rana on Matt! She tries to dive out on top of Matt outside, but Matt catches her AND THE BUCKS DESTROY HER WITH A TANDEM TOMBSTONE TO THE FLOOR! Jesus Christ. The Bucks finally unload the other bag, which does have tacks in it, and Joey Ryan eats Early Onset Alzheimer’s in the ring. The Bucks put tacks in Joey’s mouth AND THEY FUCKING SUPERKICK HIM WITH TACKS IN HIS MOUTH! That is just unnecessary and I LOVE it. The Bucks pull out a show with THUMBTACKS GLUED TO IT! BECAUSE WHY NOT. Candice comes back in, a bloody mess, and sacrfices herself for Joey! THEY MURDER CANDICE WITH A SUPERKICK FROM THE TACK SHOES! CANDICE POWERS OUT! Joey moves from a tack superkick that ends up hitting Nick, and Joey catches Matt and takes the shoe off! SPEAR OUTSIDE ON NICK THROUGH A TABLE! CANDICE IS UP! BALLSPLEX INTO THE CORNER! SHE DUMPS TACKS DOWN MATT’S PANTS! BALLSPLEX INTO THE TACKS! THAT GETS THE WIN! 20 minutes later and we’ve got new tag team champs in Candice and Joey! ****1/2 Well, as if you needed reassurance, there’s your PWG Match of the Year for 2014. This is one of the most grotesque, hard hitting and fast paced matches of its type, and when you think about the company they’re keeping when it comes to Guerrilla Warfare matches, you know how crazy of an accolade that is. It combined everything that is over about this match-up, and amplified it to a million. Oh the Bucks are known for superkicking? Well how about they come up with a shoe with thumbtacks GLUED TO THE SOLE. Candice is a huge, sympathetic babyface? Let’s murder her and make her bleed a pint of blood and make her look like the ultimate badass, getting her over even MORE than she is in the process. Sure, there have been better spotfests in PWG history. The Threemendous III ladder match comes to mind. But nothing we’ve seen encapsulated everything that’s so good about PWG. The Bucks—the best tag team in PWG history—finally getting their comeuppance in the most epic, violent and grandiose way possible courtesy of one of the most beloved and most unlikely team in PWG history. It’s an easy, but ultimately gratifying story that many would not have seen coming two years ago. If you check out anything from PWG during the year of 2014, make it this match. It’s a stark and eye-opening reminder of why I love professional wrestling.

Kevin Steen jumps from the commentary booth shaped like a table and goes to check on the befallen Bucks as the new champs leave. Adam Cole is out too as we have the last stand of the original Mount Rushmore, who all lost tonight. Kevin offers a 2 SWEET and we have a four way embrace, a Curtain Call if you will. The crowd thanks Kevin Steen one more time for old time’s sake as Adam Cole takes the mic and tells Kevin “We’re sorry… We love you.” Steen knows what’s gonna happen and turns around directly into a triple superkick from Cole and The Bucks. They leave Steen down in the ring as PWG ELEVEN fades out with PWG’s biggest star in the ring for one last time…. Thanks Kevin.

We have a bonus promo at the end from Roderick Strong denouncing his status as a gatekeeper, instead opting to finally be the man and take the title by force. I still find it crazy that Roddy is only 32. He’s been a top indy star since 2004! Either way, this was a good promo to send us off into BOLA…

8.5
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
So I'm happy to say I was much, much more satisfied with ELEVEN this time around. It still has its hang-ups, but the good far outweighs the bad. The first half of this show is a PWG special; consistent, fast-paced and above all, premium quality. The Elgin/Gargano vs. Best Friends match is something I'd advise anybody to seek out, and the ACH/Alexander match is a fantastic entry in an already extensive athletic catalogue for the two. The Kevin Steen farewell is emotional, exciting, and features one of the most surprising finishes in PWG that went a long way to help set up the future for a company that is soon losing its most vital components. While the show falters a bit after the Steen match, the main event is absolutely phenomenal and in my opinion, seminal viewing for someone looking to delve into PWG. It's a very outward MOTYC for 2014, in my opinion and if you're a fan of hardcore wrestling mixed with a great story, you could do a lot worse than seek it out. However, as great as this show is, it's also very LONG. Nearly annoyingly so. I'd have a bigger hang-up about it had the longer matches been bad, but aside from the disappointing and self-indulgent World Title match, every match here uses its time fairly wisely and pays off well in the end. You're getting a good amount of wrestling for your money, but it might be hard to watch in one sitting. Nonetheless, this is another fantastic show from PWG leading into their biggest tournament ever.
legend
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