Arena Reports 4/1 PWG in Hollywood, Calif.: PWG Title Match, Styles vs. Joe, Daniels vs. Shelley, Dragon vs. Gibson
Apr 2, 2005 - 5:50:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor
Pro Wrestling Guerilla Presents: "All Star Weekend" Night One
April 1, 2005
Hollywood, California at the Los Feliz JCC
Report by James Caldwell, Pro Wrestling Torch Team Contributor
The Big Story: Super Dragon retained his PWG Title over El Generico and Kevin Steen while Christopher Daniels retained his TNA X Division Title over Alex Shelley. Plus, A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe wrestled a classic match to determine the #1 Contender to the PWG Title.
- To begin the show, So Cal Val – a former valet – was announced as the new PWG Commissioner, replacing Disco Machine. Val looked stunning and kicked the show off with an opening eight-man tag match.
(1) Top Gun Talwar & Ronnin & Hook Bomberry & Danny Richards defeated Disco Machine & Excalibur & Zokre & Phoenix Star at 11:05. Before the match began, Disco Machine brought out a disco ball and placed it over the head of his teammates causing them to dance uncontrollably. The match featured plenty of amazing high spots and several nearfalls after high impact finishing-caliber moves that energized the crowd into a frenzy. Halfway through the match, Disco's nose was busted open leaving blood all over the floor ringside. Like a trooper and former authority figure, Disco fought through the pain and continued to wrestle. The finish came when Excalibur appeared to have the match won with a German Suplex on Top Gun. However, Danny Richards seized the opportunity to score an amazing Shooting Star Press onto Excalibur's exposed stomach to score the pin and the win.
(2) Chris Hero defeated Chris Sabin at 14:55. As if the crowd wasn't hyped enough from the opening bout, this match delivered an even more amazing one-on-one encounter. The match amounted to a highly technical, highly psychological match where Chris Sabin spent the entire match working over Hero's neck and head to set up for a possible Cradle Shock, while Hero worked over Sabin's left shoulder and arm. One of the key moves in the match was a tequila sunrise from Hero that wrenched Sabin's arm into an awkward position. To add more intense pain to the maneuver, Hero placed his knee into Sabin's elbow, pushing the arm in two different directions. Sabin escaped, but no longer had the full service of his left arm. After Sabin attempted a Cradle Shock with only one good arm available, Hero slipped out and slapped on a twisting arm bar into a shoulder wrench submission. Sabin did not tap out immediately, so Hero hooked his arm around Sabin's chin, wrenching Sabin's head back. With his arm going in one direction and his head going in another direction, Sabin tapped out as the fans applauded the work of both men. This was a technical masterpiece with great spots reminding the fans of each wrestlers' strategy in the match.
(3) Jonny Storm defeated Petey Williams at 15:30. Petey came with his usual Team Canada jacket, effectively presenting himself as a heel for the match. Petey "popped his jersey" for the camera and the audience, garnering some heel boos prior to the match. Of course, the majority of fans were cheering him because of his name recognition and TNA exposure. The beginning of the match saw several high spots outside of the ring that cleared out a few rows of chairs. At one point, Petey placed Storm face first on the ropes as if to set up for outside interference by Coach Scott D'Amore. Petey even walked away to distract the referee, then realized D'Amore wasn't ringside and this wasn't TNA! Good comedy spot from Petey. In the latter stages of the match, the fans were begging for a Canadian Destroyer and Petey appeared to set up for the Canadian Destroyer, only to turn it into a sunset flip for a two count. Petey appeared to have the match won when he applied a Sharpshooter in the center of the ring. However, Storm managed to reach the ropes to break the hold. The finish came when Petey and Storm were on the top turnbuckle with Petey in position to attempt what could have been a sick Canadian Destroyer. However, Storm blocked the Destroyer and reversed the top rope move into a sunset flip, which resulted in a quick roll up for the three count and victory.
- After the match, Storm and Petey shook hands as Petey acknowledged the victory. The fans were begging for a Canadian Destroyer on Storm, but Petey declined and opted to celebrate the great in-ring performance with Storm. Despite the void of Canadian Destroyers in the match or post-match happenings, there was a bit of foreshadowing and planning in place for what was to come later on in the show.
(4) Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes defeated "Dragon Soldier" Kendo Ka Shin & Puma at 16:25. Kendo and Puma did not appear to meet eye to eye prior to the match beginning as to what their strategy was or – for that matter – who was going to start the match. Kendo decided to start things off, only to quickly tag in Puma immediately after the bell sounded. Puma shook of Kendo's strangeness and began the match with Rocky. One thing that the crowd continued to point out during the match was the evidence of possibly the worst belt ever worn by a wrestler in a wrestling match around the waist of Kendo. It looked like something straight out of the Sunset Strip with a certain Hollywood feel to it. However, it was just too "out of place" for a wrestling match, and seemed more fitting for one of the several night clubs down the street. Oh ya, the match. Both teams worked a heel style with all four wrestlers utilizing distractions of the referee to enact double team work on the opponent. Rocky and Ricky were cheered for most heavily because of their name recognition, providing the only distinction between the two heel tag teams. One of the great spots in the match occurred when all four men were in the ring. Kendo and Puma each had the legs of Rocky and Ricky, respectively, in a position for the "make a wish" leg split. Instead of just completing one leg split on each opponent, Kendo and Puma decided to perform several leg splits, creating a "boat paddling" motion. It looked as though Kendo and Puma were taking a canoe down a river, while having a great time doing so. The finish came when Kendo and Puma could not meet eye-to-eye on their match strategy allowing Rocky the opportunity to roll up Puma for a leverage pin using a bridge to secure the pin. Afterwards, Kendo and Puma argued with each other about the result of the match.
(5) James Gibson defeated "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson at 20:50. During Danielson's ring introduction, I acknowledged his thick beard and he stroked it as if pondering matters of world events. Gibson came out with a huge grin on his face as if he was over-joyed to be wrestling in front of a hot Indy audience rather than being misused in WWE. The match was a technical masterpiece with a great deal of submission holds utilized by both wrestlers. The match was not spent entirely on the mat, as there were several high spots. Danielson and Noble found themselves exchanging right hands atop the top turnbuckle, with Danielson scoring a back drop suplex, sending Gibson crashing to the mat. Gibson recovered and applied a back-wrenching Texas Cloverleaf in the center of the ring. Danielson tried to escape three times, but each time, Gibson used Danielson's momentum to swing him inside out back into the submission hold. Danielson eventually escaped on the fourth try and rolled up Gibson for a quick two count. Danielson hopped up to his feet and indicated he was going for an insane amount of airplane spins. Danielson hoisted Gibson onto his shoulders in fireman's carry position, then spun around the ring 40 – count 'em – 40 times, before dropping Gibson to the mat. The crowd counted along and eventually stood to applaud at the 30th revolution. When Danielson dropped to the mat, not a person was sitting and the entire audience provided a thunderous ovation.
Having spun around the ring 40 times, Danielson was woozy and in no condition to tell heads from tails as he picked himself up off the mat. Danielson eyed the corner turnbuckle then ran in and delivered a drop kick, thinking Gibson was standing there. The crowd ate it up as Danielson laid flat on his back in the corner. Gibson made it to his feet – somehow – and decided that Danielson was now the referee. Gibson rolled up the referee in a small package and scored a quick five count. Gibson eventually released the pin and celebrated as if he won the match. Danielson quickly reminded him that the match was still going on with a quick pin attempt of his own. Gibson reserved the pin attempt leading to nearfall fest with each man reversing the other's pin attempt. Gibson appeared to be setting up for the Trailer Hitch, but Danielson blocked it and began another series of quick roll ups. Eventually, Gibson scored the victory when his reversal pin attempt hooked Danielson to the mat long enough to score a three count. Absolutely fantastic match that was enjoyed by the fans as well as WWE's Molly Holly and Daivari, who were watching from the entranceway.
[Intermission featuring Chris Hero at the merchandise table.]
- Prior to the big six man tag match pitting Chris Bosh, Scott Lost, and Joey Ryan against Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, and Quicksilver, Team Bosh took their time running down the fans ringside. However, before Bosh took the mic, he indulged in several animal crackers provided by my buddy, Evan. Bosh left a huge mess on the floor, and was scolded by Scott Lost, who just recently managed to get Bosh in the weight room. After snacking, Bosh took the mic and said he was tired of being racist and didn't want to make race jokes anymore. At this point, Kazarian, Scorpio Sky, Quicksilver, and their manager, Dino Winwood, had pulled up four chairs in the ring and were enjoying a fine game of cards. From experience, Team Kazarian came into the match knowing Bosh and Lost would take forever on the mic before beginning the match, so they made good on plans to bide their time. Bosh told us a story that he had a car accident earlier in the week with a Mexican who did not have his papers. The fans ringside groaned as Bosh explained that he talked with the guy and came to a mutual agreement on the appeal of Mexican women. Bosh indicated that a good time was had by both men. After telling the story, Bosh threw out a derogatory racial comment and said, "April Fools," indicating he was still going to be racist on the mic. Bosh went outside of the ring and confronted "'Tard Boy," as he calls him, who is a guy who attends PWG shows regularly. Bosh got in his face and made several derogatory comments before saying "Bosh vs. 'Tard Boy" would be a major hit in the ring. Bosh finally ended his dialogue and allowed Scott Lost to take the mic and run down the audience some more. Team Kazarian finished their game of cards then asked for Team Bosh to prepare for the match.
(6) Kazarian & Aerial Express (Quicksilver & Scorpio Sky) (w/Dino Winwood) defeated Arrogance (Scott Lost & Chris Bosh) & Joey Ryan at 18:15. The match began with a lot of in and out tag team work providing ample opportunity for everyone in the match to get some in-ring time. Eventually, Kazarian took the brunt of the heel tag team work, not being allowed to make the hot tag to a babyface partner. Once Kazarian made the hot tag, the action broke down with all six wrestlers becoming involved in the match. The action not only broke down, but also created one of the most amazing high spots ever seen in a wrestling ring where all six men found themselves near the corner turnbuckle. With two men perched atop the top turnbuckle and four men down below in suplex position, a giant six-man pyramid was formed with a double suplex from the bottom and powerbomb from the top executed all at the same time. All six men laid on the mat from sheer exhaustion as the fans soaked in the moment and applauded heavily for the spot.
Once everyone – including the wrestlers – recovered, some action spilled to the outside while some other action stayed in the ring. Joey Ryan attempted a Tornado DDT on Quicksilver, but messed up the move by not tucking Quicksilver's head underneath his arm and proceeded to drop Quicksilver head first into the mat. Quicksilver came up holding his head as Ryan looked visibly upset with himself. Eventually, Ryan, Quicksilver, Scorpio Sky, and Chris Bosh found themselves exchanging right hands amongst each other outside of the ring while Kazarian and Lost were inside the ring exchanging right hands. Kazarian and Lost took their battle to the top turnbuckle, as the other four men looked upward from outside the ring. Kazarian took Lost all the way to the top then threw him off the top with an overhead suplex, sending Lost crashing into all four men down below. The crowd again rose to their feet in unison to applaud the amazing high spot. As all six men laid on the floor motionless, the crowd wondered who would arise first. Kazarian popped up to his feet triumphantly, and received applause for his efforts.
Back in the ring, the finish came when Kazarian, Bosh, and Lost were in the ring in a two-on-one heel situation. Lost held Kazarian's arms back giving Bosh ample room to clothesline Kazarian, but the Future ducked and Bosh clotheslined Lost to the mat. Kazarian grasped both Bosh and Lost by their necks and delivered a double "Wave of the Future" swinging neckbreaker. Kazarian made the cover for the win as the crowd popped in amazement.
- After the match, Kazarian celebrated the victory for his team, only to be kicked in the head by Joey Ryan, who turned his back on Kazarian at last month's PWG show. Bosh, Lost, and Ryan teamed up on Kazarian to beat him down. Bosh even threw the referee off the apron leading to the bell sounding repeatedly asking for assistance from the back. Assistance came in the form of Chris Sabin and Petey Williams, who stormed the ring to even the odds as the crowd popped for their return. Sabin was still selling the injured left arm from his match with Chris Hero earlier in the show. Eventually, Sabin and Petey cleared the ring except for Scott Lost, who found himself the target of Petey's scorn. The crowd, already in a frenzy from the Sabin and Petey save, sensed a possible Canadian Destroyer, to make up for Petey not using it in his match earlier in the show. Sabin asked the crowd if they wanted to see it, then Petey put Lost into position and delivered the most crowd-pleasing Canadian Destroyer ever. Petey and Sabin celebrated with Kazarian as the entire crowd went bananas. Sabin discovered a replica NWA World Heavyweight Title belt in the audience near me, and brought it into the ring. Sabin placed it around Kazarian's waist and Kazarian celebrated as if he was the NWA Champion. Kazarian did a two-finger salute in each direction to clear the path for him to perform a Jeff Jarrett strut in center ring. The crowd ate up Kazarian's tribute to Jarrett then celebrated with Petey and Sabin. Great post-match segment that put the entire arena into a frenzy.
(7) Christopher Daniels defeated Alex Shelley at 14:25 to retain the TNA X Division Title. Daniels openly displayed his X Division Title and put it in Shelley's face as if to say, "You'll never wear the belt." The match was greatly hindered by one drunk fan ringside who screamed at Daniels and Shelley throughout the match, citing his opinion that, "This is L.A. and we don't want to see an East Coast style match." Daniels and Shelley worked through the distraction to put together a nice technical match that resembled a different style of X Division match. Daniels actually played the babyface in the match, and came across rather strong in doing so because of his natural charisma. Shelley verbally taunted the crowd throughout the match, playing to a heel role for the match. When Shelley held the advantage late in the match, Daniels countered a possible high impact move with his trademark spinning sit down powerbomb – the Blue Thunder Driver. However, Shelley kicked out at two, causing Daniels to be frustrated with not scoring the victory. Daniels's frustration was short lived as he rolled up Shelley with a leverage pin to score the victory.
- After the match, Daniels took the mic and called the fan ringside who was being a major disturbance, "either drunk or stupid." The fan was finally escorted out of the building after helping take away from a solid match. Daniels openly talked about his roots in Southern California, having trained with Jesse Hernandez, and having worked for years and years working cities across So Cal to earn $75 a night. Daniels thanked the fans for their support over the years then indicated he finally had the X Division Title around his shoulder after struggling through three years of crap in TNA. Daniels said he just defended the X Division Title against Alex Shelley in a great match that showcased the best of the X Division. Daniels said he wanted to do So Cal one more favor in defending the X Division Title on Saturday's show against any challenger willing to step up to the plate. Chris Hero walked through the stands to the ring and took the mic. Hero said he looked up to Daniels ever since he started wrestling and had probably watched every single Christopher Daniels match on tape. Hero said he wanted to take the opportunity to challenge a true great professional wrestler on Saturday's show and take the X Division Title from Daniels's shoulder. Daniels accepted the match offer from Hero, but objected to Hero's confident claim because he would not relinquish the title so easily. Daniels said, "That is the Gospel truth according to the Fallen Angel."
(8) A.J. Styles defeated Samoa Joe at 18:00 in a #1 Contender's Match. This was a psychological technical thriller with lots of great in-ring spots that kept the fans on their toes trying to keep up with the adjustments made by each wrestler. Styles connected with his patented back flip drop kick early on the match then struggled to body slam and suplex Samoa Joe, who had a considerable size advantage over Styles. Styles set up for another sequence using the back flip drop kick, but Joe saw it coming and avoided the move. Styles laid on the mat appearing to be in pain, suckering Joe in for a quick toss sending him to the outside. Joe stood up and knew a plancha attempt was coming, so he stepped aside as Styles went into the air. Styles adjusted his flight path and leapt onto the apron. Joe capitalized on a momentary delay to kick Styles's feet out from under him, sending Styles face first into the ring apron. Joe took Styles back into the ring and delivered a devastating knee drop to Styles's stomach, drawing sympathy pain from the fans. At this point, Styles's nose was busted wide open, so Joe naturally capitalized with a patented running knee in the corner, sending Styles's head flying backwards.
Joe paint brushed Styles in the corner with rapid-fire punches and slaps followed by a series of stiff kicks to the body. Styles drove Styles stomach-first onto the mat then stomped on his back in a painful maneuver. Joe attempted a roll up pin, but decided to turn it into a choke submission. Styles fought out by reaching the ropes. Joe picked up Styles and sent him to the corner. Styles used the running head start to leap up to the top turnbuckle then catch a running Samoa Joe with his patented back flip Reverse DDT. The crowd clapped it up for the amazing counter from Styles. Styles went for a running fist smash in the corner, but Joe caught Styles in mid-air and powerslammed him to the mat. Great counter by Joe. Styles was thrown to the outside by Joe, then Joe connected with a "how did he do that?" suicide dive onto Styles, taking out several rows of chairs. Back in the ring, Styles reversed a power move from Joe and appeared to have the Styles Clash set up, but Joe slipped out and delivered a devastating clothesline from hell. Joe picked up Styles and delivered a sick powerbomb, which he naturally turned into an STF. Styles appeared to be near a tap out, but managed to find the ropes to break up the hold. With both men on their feet, Styles ducked a clothesline and lifted up Joe in a torture rack. After holding the move for several amazing seconds, Styles slammed Joe to the mat with a sick Blue Thunder Driver. Styles made a pin, but scored a two count only.
Joe fought back with rapid-fire punches and slaps out of nowhere, taking Styles from surprise, and not allowing him to become defensive. Styles ducked a clothesline and scored a Pele soccer kick to the head, knocking Joe down to the mat. Styles climbed up top, but Joe caught Styles and placed him in a cradle fireman's carry position. Styles slipped out and rolled up Joe with a quick pin attempt. Joe kicked out, but Styles held on and lifted up Joe in the air before stepping over Joe's arms and delivering the Styles Clash out of nowhere! Styles made the cover for the win as the crowd roared in excitement. Afterwards, Styles and Joe hugged recognizing a tremendous effort in the ring.
(9) Super Dragon defeated El Generico and "Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen to retain the PWG Title. Steen played to his heel role by chastising the fans, including myself, ringside prior to the match. El Generico, the generic white luchador, shook hands with fans ringside. Super Dragon entered the ring and confronted a fan ringside, even going nose to nose with the person. Eventually, Dragon and Steen stood off in the ring, having an epic showdown. Feeling left out, Generico walked up to both men and indicated he was also in the match. Steen and Dragon shoved him away then stared each other down once again. Generico again reminded his two other opponents of his presence, causing Steen and Dragon to throw Generico to the outside. The match broke down into a typical three way dance where one wrestler is on the outside for stretches of time while the other two wrestle a singles style match. Having the unenviable task of following an amazing match, the three wrestlers had a hard time keeping the fans alive until Dragon came to life mid-way through the match with his patented curb stomp to Generico's back. After asking the fans if they wanted to see it one more time, Dragon delivered a second curb stomp prompting a round of applause.
Generico came to life after the embarrassing curb stomps and scored an innovate brainbuster suplex from the top turnbuckle into the top turnbuckle, sending Dragon's head crashing into the top turnbuckle padding. At first, it appeared to have been a botched move that could have killed Dragon, but further review indicated Generico had that in mind all along. Absolutely sick move. At this point, Steen recovered from being outside the ring and planted Generico in the corner. Steen went up top and connected with a sweet moonsault resulting in a two count on Generico. Steen sent Generico to the opposite corner and ran in with a foot to the face, snapping Generico's head back. Steen set up for a second kick to the head, but Generico moved out of the way and delivered a running kick to the head of his own. Generico, feeling a quick adrenaline rush, bum rushed Steen with a hard suplex followed by a sick German Suplex that planted Steen's head deep into the mat. Generico appeared to be the next PWG Champ, but Dragon broke up the pin attempt and threw Steen to the outside. Dragon proceeded to fly through the ropes with a suicide dive taking Steen crashing into several rows of chairs. Dragon went back into the ring and delivered a sick Psycho Driver on Generico for the pin and the win to retain the PWG Title.
- After the match, A.J. Styles entered the ring and stood above Super Dragon's exasperated body. With the crowd deathly silent, Styles picked up the PWG Title and said it would be his tomorrow night. Styles threw the belt down at Dragon's head then left the ring to close the show.
Matches announced for Saturday's "Night Two" Show.
- Super Dragon vs. A.J. Styles for the PWG Title
- Christopher Daniels vs. Chris Hero for the TNA X Division Title
- Joey Ryan vs. Chris Sabin
Closing Thought. There's nothing like seeing quality wrestlers putting together quality wrestling in the ring. Absolutely great performances from everyone on the show from the opening bout to the main event. When the DVD of this show comes out, I highly recommend every single wrestling fan picks up a copy, because it showcased tremendous wrestling at a very high level.
Feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com with any feedback on the show if you attended or didn't go and want to talk about what went down. I'll be back with a review of Night Two Saturday night or Sunday morning.
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