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Hawke’s Top 16 PWG Matches from 2016

December 22, 2016 | Posted by TJ Hawke
Tag Team Young Bucks Nick Jackson Matt Jackson - Honor Rising Image Credit: NJPW

PWG has fallen off a cliff in the last four years in terms of in-ring quality. However, they produced a decent number of good matches this year. For what it’s worth, this was written without checking out their final show. However, it won’t make tape until January so that is on them.


16. Matt Riddle vs. Kyle O’Reilly – 9/3/2016

15. Trevor Lee vs. Mark Andrews – 9/4/2016


This was a semifinal match in the 2016 BOLA.

This was a solid match and told the story of a semifinal tournament match well. Trevor was better rested and took less damage during his matches. Andrews took a ton of damage during his matches, and he was also attacked by the coward Chris Hero after their match earlier in the night.

Thus, Trevor dominated much of this match, and Andrews was left to throw out some sporadic movez to give himself a chance. He failed in the end though, and Trevor won with God’s Last Gift. (***)


14. Chuck Taylor vs. Dalton Castle – 2/12/2016

13. Chuck Taylor vs. Trevor Lee – 3/4/2016


These two have great chemistry for whatever reason. While this was not as great as their Chikarra match, it was still a fun and compact battle that functioned well as an opener. I’m not really into Trevor’s heel dealio, but it at least did not overstay its welcome here. Bring on Chuck vs. Zack, bay bay. (***)


12. Roderick Strong vs. Mark Andrews – 3/4/2016

11. Drew Galloway vs. Trent? – 3/4/2016

10. Chris Hero vs. Trent? – 2/12/2016


While this would not touch any of my favorite Hero matches from the past twelve months, it was yet another strong effort from the greatest wrestler going today.

Hero took the majority of the match. Trent fought back more and more. The crowd was into it. Hero eventually won. That is right formula for the majority of Chris Hero matches for sure.

The timing of everything here though was a little off in regards to Trent’s comebacks, and the overkill finishing sequence did not feel quite as earned as a result. With that being said, this was still plenty solid. (***1/4)


9. Chris Hero vs. Jushin Liger 9/2/2016


This was a first round match in the 2016 BOLA.

While this probably would have been better with a healthy Chris Hero, this was still neat to see and a success overall.

They got by with less here given who they were for sure. There was no substantive in-ring story, and they did not deliver anything too memorable. However, the general story of Hero being disrespectful towards the legend was good enough.

It would have been great to see Liger get a mini-run in this tournament, but Hero winning clean was probably the right call all things considered. (***)


8. Kamaitachi vs. Trevor Lee – 9/3/2016


This was a first round match in the 2016 BOLA.

This was a good one (beyond Trevor’s “I work for TNA!” heel spots). Trevor was playing the brutal heel, and Kamaitachi did some suicidal craziness to keep the match competitive for himself. That is a damn fine story for a match, and it was executed well here. When you combine that with a good pace and compact time frame, you have a recipe for a good match. Trevor won via small package driver. (***1/4)


7. Cody Rhodes vs. Sami Callihan – 9/3/2016


This was clearly the match of the weekend up until this point in the tournament. Why? They worked the #SamiSprint.

Sami is terrible at so many things that have to do with professional wrestling. However, he is very fucking good at his namesake: The #SamiSprint. It features urgency. Physicality. Great pacing. Lots of action. These are all good things.

Kudos to them for figuring out which match to work for this weekend and doing it well. That is a concept that many wrestlers fail to execute in PWG these days. Cody won via Cross Rhodes. (***1/4)


6. Chuck Taylor vs. Trent? – 7/29/2016


This was a STREAK vs. STREAK match.

This was a very fun brawl! They love each other but “Best Friends don’t need rules!” as Trent? so eloquently put it. They did a bunch of fun comedic moments early on and then progressively did stupider and stupider weapon spots. Chuck’s head bounced off a ladder. They both went into thumbtacks multiple times. It was great stuff. Big thumbs up! Chuck won with a piledriver into the thumbtacks. (***1/2)


5. Chris Hero vs. Mark Andrews – 9/4/2016


This was a quarterfinal match in the 2016 BOLA.

This was one of the better matches of the whole tournament. Hero jumped Andrews at the bell, and then just mauled him. Andrews had a handful of well-timed comeback spots that showed him desperately trying to get back into the match. In the end though, it was Hero’s overconfidence that caused him to methodically go for Rubik’s Cube only for Andrews to catch him with a victory roll for the win. This was GOOD. (***1/2)



4. Chris Hero & Tommy End vs. Fenix & Pentagon Jr. – 9/3/2016

This was a very successful match. Hero and End played the big fuckers, and Pentagon and Fenix played beautiful babyfaces who did cool shit and showed great fire. The timing of the control changes and major spots was excellent, and they did a fine job of pacing the match out so that it did not peak too soon. Good job, everyone! Fenix won with a springboard 450 on End. (***1/2)


3. The Young Bucks vs. Fenix & Pentagon Jr. – 9/4/2016


This was for the Bucks’ PWG World Tag Team Championship.

This delivered big time and was probably the best match of the weekend. The key was that they skipped the obligatory heat segment and essentially just worked a tornado tag. They timed everything well. They minimized the dancing. They progressively got crazier and crazier until the Bucks hit Fenix with a tope con hilo Meltzer Driver which was fucking nutty. Fenix survived that and helped to save Pentagon from defeat via regular Meltzer Driver. However, they then ate a billion superkicks and did not get back up. This match should serve as a guide for how to do “PWG style” well. (***3/4)


2. Jack Evans vs. Drew Galloway – 1/2/2016


This whole deal got off to an ominous start when Evans cut a sexist promo on Angelo Trinidad somehow and then threatened all of us with a dance-off. Things GREATLY improved as soon as Galloway interrupted the dancing with a sliding kick.

The match was obviously all about Galloway destroying Evans despite Evans being the rudo. It was quite fun, and it easily blew away the rest of the show. This was the exact dynamic that both men excel at, and I would be content to watch them do it every time out. Galloway won with the Future Shock. (***3/4)


1. Roderick Strong vs. Timothy Thatcher – 7/29


This was brutally great stiff contest that it needed to be. Thatcher had the advantage early. Roddy had hit him low to get the advantaged. Roddy was striking the fuck out of him. Thatcher fought back with great physicality, intensity, and urgency. It felt like either man could win in the best way possible. Roddy was just able to connect on a few leaping knees to put him away first. This would have been a low key great indie sendoff for Roddy, and it will probably be the PWG MOTY. (****)


article topics :

PWG, TJ Hawke