DVDs - VGames - Books DVD Review: PWG "All Star Weekend V, N2" (4-8-07), w/Low Ki-Samoa Joe, PAC-Kaz Hayashi
Nov 1, 2007 - 2:43:51 PM
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By Chris Vetter
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla held its “All Star Weekend V” in early April 2007. I recently reviewed “Night 1” and I gave it an overwhelmingly positive review – honestly, it’s perhaps the best non-ROH show of 2007 that I’ve seen.
So, PWG continued its excellent weekend of wrestling with “ASW V: Night 2” on April 8, 2007. The crowd here is perhaps 300 to 400, and they are always energetic and into the action. On commentary are wrestlers Excalibur & Disco Machine. While I’m not a big fan of their commentary, they have stepped up their game in the past year with more emphasis on calling the matches. Also, if you don’t like the PWG commentary, the DVD includes the option to turn it off!
No backstage segments on this disc. To the ring!
(1) Kevin Steen defeats Joey Ryan at 14:32 in a no-DQ match. Good, hot opener. Steen hopped in the ring and attacked Ryan. Steen hit some loud chops on the floor. The top rope broke seconds into this match. They fought on the floor, and Steen whipped Ryan into the guardrail. Ryan hit some stomps in the ring. Steen hit a low blow stomp, which was entirely legal in this match! Steen hit a dropkick to the back of the head at 3:00, then a second-rope moonsault for a nearfall. Steen removed the referee’s belt and he whipped and choked Ryan with it. Ryan took control of the match on the floor, as he crotched Steen on the guardrail at 6:00. They fought into the crowd.
Ryan nailed Steen with a trash can, then he hit a Mafia Kick. Ryan hit a backbody drop onto the guardrail that was lying flat on the floor! Ryan hit a snap suplex on the floor. Steen ran up a piece of guardrail (think when Shelton Benjamin did this at WrestleMania a few years ago), and Steen hit a splash on Ryan. Cool spot. Ryan hit a suplex onto the guardrail. Karl Anderson appeared at ringside at 10:00, and he helped Ryan tie Steen to the ringpost. However, Ronin ran out for the save, and he fought Karl Anderson to the back, leaving just Ryan vs. Steen again.
Ryan nailed a Superkick on Steen for a nearfall. Both men put chains on their wrists, and this briefly looked like a Texas Bullrope match. Steen nailed some stiff forearms. Ryan hit a low blow uppercut at 12:30. Ryan choked Steen with the chain. Steen hit a Lungblower to the chest, then his flipping guillotine legdrop onto a chair, lying on Ryan’s head. Steen then nailed a Package Piledriver onto two open chairs for the pin! Good stand-up brawl.
(2) Ronin & TJ (Puma) Perkins & Rocky Romero defeat Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson & Lil Cholo & Nosawa at 10:50. Basic six-man tag match. The bottom rope has been moved to the top, but we still only have two ropes. Excalibur on commentary said that Frankie Kazarian was a no-show on this night. Ronin made it clear that he wanted to get his hands on Anderson. Ronin and Cholo started, with Ronin hitting a shoulder tackle and some armdrags. Romero faced Nosawa, and they sped up the match with quicker reversals. Romero hit a running kick to the chest. Nosawa hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip and a Shining Wizard on Romero. Anderson tagged in and faced Perkins at 3:00.
Perkins quickly out-wrestled the bigger Anderson. Anderson hit a big shoulder tackle, and they each put the other in a leg lock; the other four wrestlers hopped in the ring and began hitting spine kicks on either Anderson or Perkins! Fun. Anderson nailed Romero with a kick to the side of the head at 6:00. The heels crotched Romero around the ring post. Cholo hit a backbreaker over his knee on Romero. Nosawa nailed a pumphandle faceplant, and he turned it into a Crippler Crossface. Anderson hit a nice tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, as the heels were in charge of the action. Cholo hit an Exploder Suplex. Romero finally hit a 619 on the heels.
Perkins made the hot tag at 10:00, and he hit some dropkicks, a clothesline a nice enziguri on Cholo, and a Tornado DDT for a nearfall. Perkins applied a Sharpshooter, but Nosawa hit another Shining Wizard to make the save. Ronin brawled with Anderson (for the first time in the match), as they traded stiff forearms. Ronin suddenly got a rollup out of nowhere for the pin. Basic match. Anderson hit a Spinebuster on Ronin after the match.
(3) Davey Richards defeats Chris Hero at 17:18. Good match. A third rope has finally been added. Excalibur talked about Hero having a tough match the night before against Eddie Kingston. The crowd taunted Richards about his height, and the fans were solidly behind Hero. Richards stalled at the bell, and he teased heading to the back. They finally tied up at 2:30 and traded armbars. Richards applied a headscissorslock, but Hero escaped, so Richards bailed and stalled some more. This is dull early. They finally sped it up with some quicker reversals and armdrags, but Richards bailed once more. Hero applied a cravate at 7:30.
Richards hit a shoulder tackle, but it had no effect. Richards hit some chops that leveled Hero, but Chris kept kipping up! Richards hit some kicks to the back as Hero was tied in the corner. Richards hit a nice dropkick and a snap suplex for a nearfall at 10:30, then a second-rope guillotine legdrop for a nearfall, and he was in charge. Hero hit a Mafia Kick. Richards hit a nice hurricanrana. Hero hit a powerslam and a senton, and they were both down at 13:00. Hero hit some chops, and he was fired up, and he hit a backbody drop and a dropkick, then a leg-capture back suplex for a nearfall. However, Hero couldn’t hit the cravate swinging neckbreaker.
Richards hit a second-rope Divorce Court armbreaker, and he turned it into a Fujiwara Armbar, then got a rollup for a nearfall. Hero finally nailed the cravate swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall at 16:30. Richards hit a low blow uppercut, a second-rope swinging DDT, and he applied the Kimera/pretzel-lock on the mat, and Hero tapped out. Good action in the second half, but the first half of the match moved really slow.
(4) Colt Cabana & Top Gun Talwar defeat Disco Machine & Kikutaro at 13:46. Basic comedy match that misfired a bit on its humor. Disco Machine still sat in on commentary (which annoys me; everyone knows the commentary is done in post production, but Disco could at least step out of the booth during his match.) Kikutaro (the chubby, masked Asian wrestler once known as Ebessan) started against Colt, and they did some goofy tie-ups, and they eventually involved the referee. Colt hit a buttbump and Kikutaro was pushed into the corner, giving the referee a (Rikishi-style) stinkface. Talwar tagged in at 2:30, and he mimicked the Ultimate Warrior as he hit clotheslines and pumped his fists in the air. Kikutaro hit some chops and did a (Flair) strut. Kikutaro and Disco Machine seemed to have some communication difficulties as they beat up on Talwar. At 6:00, all four men were in and were all tied up.
The faces of Cabana & Talwar worked over Disco Machine and this was good comedy. Colt and Talwar began to dance. Disco was out on the mat. Colt tagged in at 9:00 and he hit some punches on Kikutaro. Everyone stopped what they were doing and checked on Disco Machine. Disco got a rollup on the ref! Kikutaro hit a double clothesline, be he couldn’t get Colt up for a delayed vertical suplex. Discon & Kikutaro hit simultaneous snap suplexes at 12:00. Colt hit a DDT for a nearfall, and Kikutaro kicked the referee. Talwar and Kikutaro argued. Cabana hit the Colt 45/backbreaker over his shoulder on Disco Machine for the pin. Comedy stuff; this didn’t click as well for me as other comedy matches.
(5) Claudio Castagnoli defeats Alex Shelley at 15:11. Very good match. I actually saw this match in IWA-MS in 2004 when Castagnoli first came to the U.S. They shook hands and had an intense lockup. Shelley tied him in a pretzel on the mat, and he applied a headscissorslock, and they had a standoff at 3:00. They traded reversals, and Shelley cranked on the neck. Claudio applied a Japanese Stranglehold. Shelley hit a hurricanrana off the top rope, and he gave Claudio a monkeyflip to the floor at 6:30. Shelley shoved Castagnoli into the ring post, and Shelley hit a headscissors takedown on the floor! Shelley hit a top-rope twisting crossbody block to the floor that barely grazed Claudio, and they were both down.
In the ring, Shelley hit an inverted DDT. Claudio nailed a European Uppercut at 9:00, and he hit a top-rope enziguri, then his swing-around-the-back faceplant, and his Waterslide/modified Angle Slam. Shelley fired back with a nice Rocker Dropper! Shelley snapped Claudio’s neck across the top rope, and he hit a nice hurricanrana for a nearfall. Claudio hit a Bicycle Kick and a German Suplex for a nearfall at 11:30. Shelley hit a Flatliner and a top-rope senton, but Claudio nailed another hard European Uppercut, and they were both down again.
They traded forearms, with Claudio hitting some European Uppercuts. Claudio hit the Ricola Bomb/Pyramid Powerbomb for a believable nearfall! Shelley hit a Superkick, then a headscissors takedown that sent Claudio into the turnbuckles. Shelley hit a nice satellite headscissors takedown that he turned into the Border City Stretch on the mat! Nice! Claudio reached the ropes. Moments later, Claudio nailed a second-rope diving European Uppercut for the pin. Good match, even though the finish came a bit out of nowhere.
(6) Kaz Hayashi defeats PAC at 20:18. Excellent, excellent match. This was a first-time-ever meeting. Kaz refused to shake, and he acted heelish. They traded standing switches. Kaz worked the left arm and wrist, and he applied a Fujiwara Armbar, but PAC reached the ropes at 3:00. Kaz grapevined the leg on the mat, and he applied a Trailer Hitch/modified Figure Four. Kaz hit some kneedrops on the left arm. PAC hit a headscissors takedown. Kaz shoved PAC shoulder-first into the corner at 6:30. Kaz beat him up on the floor. In the ring, he hit a shoulderbreaker over his knee, and he was dominating the match. PAC fired back with some quick kicks to the chest. Kaz got a crossface on the mat, but PAC reached the ropes at 9:00.
PAC hit a nice enziguri and a Northern Lights suplex for a nearfall. Kaz hit a nice jawbreaker over his knee. Kaz hit a drop-toe-hold, dropping PAC on the bottom rope. Kaz hit a Lionsault on the back. Kaz again applied a crossface, but PAC reached the ropes. Kaz hit a brainbuster at 12:30 for a nearfall, and the crowd rallied for PAC. Kaz hit a clothesline in the corner. PAC fired back with a nice leg lariat and a running headscissors takedown, and Kaz bailed. PAC hit a dive to the floor and landed on his feet! Kaz hit a Superkick on the floor. PAC dropped Kaz throat-first onto the guardrail, and they were both down. PAC hit a catapult senton into the ring for a nearfall. Kaz hit a superkick and an Air Raid Crash for a nearfall at 15:30.
Kaz hit a Tajiri-style spin kick to the head, and they were both down, and the crowd was hot! They traded stiff forearms, and Kaz hit a Splash Mountain/overhead powerbomb, with a jackknife cover for a believable nearfall! PAC fired back with an enziguri and a Tiger Suplex for a believable nearfall at 17:30. Kaz shoved PAC off the top rope. Kaz went for a top-rope Splash Mountain, but Pac reversed it mid-air and turned it into a hurricanrana. (You probably saw Kid Kash & EZ Money do this spot in old ECW a few times.) PAC nailed a top-rope Shooting Star Press for a believable nearfall. PAC hit an enziguri to the ear. They traded rollups. Kaz nailed a Tombstone Piledriver, then an “Eye of the Hurricane”/swinging inverted DDT for the pin. Excellent stuff with some great nearfalls.
(7) Scott Lost & Chris Bosh (w/Jade Chung) defeat Jack Evans & Roderick Strong via DQ at 16:33. Strong and Bosh started, as Excalibur continued to talk about an upcoming tag team tournament. Bosh hit a shoulder tackle that leveled Strong, and they traded rollups and had a standoff. Lost entered at 2:30 to face Evans, and Jack paused to breakdance. Bosh shouted, “You’re not black!” Evans hit a nice cartwheel kick on Lost and some quick kicks to the chest and head. They both missed spin kicks and had a standoff. Evans hit a dropkick on Bosh, so Bosh bailed. Evans dove through the ropes on both heels at 5:00. Strong hit a LOUD chop on Bosh, then Roderick threw Evans onto Bosh. Evans hit a doublestomp on the chest and a standing Shooting Star Press on the chest!
Strong hit a slingshot suplex on Evans, dropping his teammate onto Bosh. Evans hit a basement dropkick on Bosh. Strong hit a butterfly suplex, then he gave Evans a backbody drop onto Bosh! Evans hit a running 450 Splash on Bosh for a nearfall at 8:00. Evans slipped on the ropes and he crashed awkwardly. Lost entered and hit a nice vertical suplex on Evans for a nearfall. Jade Chung tripped Evans, and the heels were now in charge. Lost hit a gutbuster over his knee, and he applied a bodyscissors lock around the waist. Bosh hit a nice Northern Lights suplex for a nearfall at 11:00, then a Dibiase fistdrop for a nearfall. Evans hit a springboard twisting kick on Lost, and they were both down.
Strong entered and hit a springboard shoulder tackle on Bosh, then a leg lariat on Lost, a nice dropkick on Bosh, and a plancha to the floor! Evans hit the Sasake Special/cartwheel-into-a-flip dive to the floor on Bosh, but he barely grazed him. In the ring, Strong hit a slingshot suplex on Bosh. Bosh hit a backbreaker on Strong. Strong flipped Evans into a doublestomp on Bosh, who was tied in the ropes in the corner, at 14:30. Lost hit a Northern Lights backbreaker on Evans, but Strong made the save. Strong hit a backbreaker on Lost. Lost hit a Superkick and a Stunner on Strong, and all four men were down. Evans hit a snap hurricanrana on Lost, then a springboard inverted DDT on Bosh. Evans went for a 630 Splash, but Bosh got his knees up to block it! Bosh hit a piledriver for a believable nearfall. However, Super Dragon hit the ring and attacked Bosh, causing a DQ!
* Super Dragon hit a Curbstomp on Lost! Davey Richards (who had been feuding with Super Dragon on the last PWG DVDs I saw) hit the ring and helped Super Dragon attack Bosh & Lost! Richards hit a team Lungblower move. Super Dragon & Richards then hit a Spike DR Driver/butterfly piledriver! Jade Chung attacked Super Dragon, but he easily tossed her to the mat, and the crowd booed! Super Dragon hit a Psycho Driver on someone! Beloved Commissioner Dino Winwood hopped in the ring, but Super Dragon slapped him, and many in the crowd chanted, “F*** you Dragon!” Richards got on the mic and said, “They boys are back in town!” Richards said that they, as a team, never lost the tag titles. Richards put on Bosh’s blue jeanjacket, and the heels left. Good segment.
(8) El Generico defeats Human Tornado (w/Candice LaRae) at 13:03 to retain the PWG World Heavyweight Title. Good match, but a bit shorter than expected for a title match. Tornado, who is a heel here now, forced Candice to wear a baggy T-shirt. Tornado shook Generico’s hand to start the match, but he then slapped him in the face, and Tornado was in control. Tornado nailed the Pounce! Generico hit a Mafia Kick and a leg lariat, and Tornado bailed. On the floor, Tornado used LaRae as a human shield, and he whipped her into Generico! Tornado hit a back suplex onto the ring apron at 3:00. Tornado hit a catapult senton into the ring and a leg lariat for a nearfall. Tornado hit a backbreaker over his knee, and he was in charge.
The announcers talked about Tornado’s “change in personality” this year. The wrestlers traded chops on the floor, and Tornado whipped Generico into the ring post; Tornado got a nearfall in the ring. Generico blocked a Tornado clotheslines, and Generico hit an Exploder Suplex into the corner at 7:00. They traded blows, and Generico hit a clothesline and a backbody drop, but he sold pain in his back. Generico hit a Mafia Kick that sent Tornado over the top rope to the floor! Generico then hit a top-rope springboard moonsault to the floor, and the fans chanted, “Ole, Ole!” Generico hit a frogsplash for a nearfall.
Candice grabbed Generico’s leg, allowing Tornado to hit a sunset flip powerbomb for a nearfall at 10:30. Tornado tossed Candice at Generico, but Generico avoided her, and he got a rollup of Tornado for a nearfall. Generico accidentally hit a Mafia Kick on Candice! Tornado hit a back suplex for a believable nearfall. They fought in the corner, and Generico nailed his half-nelson suplex! Generico then nailed a Mafia Kick and a brainbuster for the pin. Good action.
(9) Samoa Joe defeats Low Ki at 24:13. Excellent, excellent match, and the crowd was hot for this one. I love the authentic fighting stances at the bell, and Ki tried to tackle Joe. They exchanged quick kicks to the thighs. Joe hit a belly-to-belly suplex, and they exchanged intense mat reversals. Ki applied a Triangle Choke, but Joe quickly escaped. Joey hit some slaps; Ki hit some jabs to the gut. Ki applied an anklelock, but Joe reached the ropes, and they had a standoff at 3:00. They traded offense in a knucklelock. Joe applied a cross-armbreaker, but Ki reached the ropes. Ki opened it up with a loud chop. They traded slaps, and Joe hit an enziguri at 5:30. Joe hit a shoulder tackle, and Ki rolled to the floor. Ki hit a kick to the head as Joe tried to dive to the floor!
Ki hit some chops on the floor, and he whipped Joe into the guardrail. Joe hit some big chops, and he went for the Ole Kick, but Low Ki avoided it. In the ring, Ki applied a headscissorslock at 8:30, but Joe reached the ropes. Ki hit some chops and a nice dropkick to the face for a nearfall, and Joe rolled to the floor. Ki leapt off the ring apron, but Joe caught him and slammed him into the guardrail! Joe hit an Ole Kick on the floor at 10:30, and he actually broke a metal rod out of the guardrail! In the ring, Joe hit his back chop & front kick & kneedrop combo for a nearfall. Joe hit some chops in the corner, and you could see the sweat flying off Ki’s chest. Joe nailed the Facewash in the corner at 13:30, and Ki clutched his face in pain.
Ki hit a spine kick for a nearfall, but he couldn’t hit the Ki Krusher. Ki hit some overhead Mongolian chops, then some chops against the guardrail on the floor. Joe hit a headbutt, some jabs, and a forearm that leveled Ki on the floor; Joe rolled him in the ring and got a nearfall at 16:30. Joe couldn’t get Ki up for the Musclebuster. Ki applied a cross-armbreaker on the top rope, and he hit a flying forearm and his rolling Coppo Kick. Ki nailed his overhead kick to the back of Joe’s neck, then a springboard spin kick for a believable nearfall at 18:30. Ki stayed in charge by hitting some spin kicks to the chest as Joe was on his knees, then an enziguri, but he again couldn’t get Joe up for the Ki Krusher!
Joe hit an STO uranage in the corner and a standing powerbomb for a nearfall. Joe applied an STF, and he turned it into a Crippler Crossface, but Ki reached the ropes at 20:30. The fans alternated in chants for Joe and Ki. Joe hit a second-rope flying kneestrike for a nearfall and some kneelifts to the chest. Ki fired back with his running double boot, sending Joe flying into the corner! Ki hit a cartwheel-into-an-enziguri, and this time, Ki hit the Ki Krusher for a nearfall, but Joe reached the ropes at 22:30. Excalibur said if Ki had hit the move in the center of the ring, he would have won it. Ki couldn’t get the Dragon Clutch locked in. Joe hit an Island Driver for a believable nearfall, but Low Ki initially blocked the Musclebuster. However, Joe hit an enziguri, and he successfully hit the Musclebuster on Low Ki for the pin. WOW.
Final thoughts: DVD runs 2 hours, 53 minutes.
The two “All Star Weekend” shows were both really good. While I loved Ki vs. Samoa Joe (I think it was the best match of the weekend), I think night 1 was the more rounded, better show of the weekend.
Ki vs. Samoa Joe is always hard-hitting and fantastic. It’s too bad that TNA doesn’t put Senshi on the same level as Samoa Joe, because a Senshi/Low Ki vs. Samoa Joe match on a TNA PPV would draw a LOT of buzz. Each time they match up, it’s worth buying the DVD, just to see this one match.
I give second-best match to PAC vs. Kaz Hayashi. They started with some basic stuff, but they really picked it up for the final 10 minutes with some fantastic high-flying spots and reversals. PAC is a great up-and-comer, and Hayashi still looks good.
I’ll narrowly give third-best to Shelley vs. Castagnoli, just ahead of Tornado-Generico. Shelley is just an amazing mat technician, and Castagnoli was a perfect matchup for him. Tornado vs. Generico was good, but was just too short for its place on the show, and the fact that it was a title match. I am really enjoying Tornado as a heel.
Fifth best goes to Strong & Evans vs. Lost & Bosh. Again, it says a lot about the strength of this show when this very good match can only earn fifth best!
The negatives: This show had a few more misfires than “night 1”. The comedy match with Cabana & Talwar vs. Kikutaro & Disco Machine just didn’t click for me like many other comedy matches have. And the six-man tag early in the show felt like an excuse just to get a whole bunch of guys on the show. After the amazing match Romero had a night earlier against Strong, it was disappointing to see him buried and under-utilized in this six-man, which was just used to set up Ronin vs. Karl Anderson – a feud that doesn’t interest me at all.
Those two matches aside, this was a fantastic show. If you are only getting one of the PWG “All Star Weekend V” shows, get night 1. However, both of these shows earn my highest marks. Thumbs way up. Pick this up at www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com for $19 including shipping.
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