Arena Reports 4/2 PWG in Hollywood, Calif.: New PWG Champion, Daniels vs. Hero, Kazarian's Final Send-Off
Apr 3, 2005 - 4:13:00 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor
Pro Wrestling Guerilla Presents: "All Star Weekend" Night Two
April 2, 2005
Hollywood, California at the Los Feliz JCC
Report by James Caldwell, Pro Wrestling Torch Team Contributor
The Big Story: A.J. Styles defeated Super Dragon to capture the PWG Title after Christopher Daniels successfully retained the TNA X Division Title over Chris Hero. In addition, Kazarian received the traditional Indy send-off roast in his last Indy show before heading to the WWE.
(1) Ricky Reyes defeated Ronin, Danny Richards, and Puma at 8:10 in an Elimination Match. In what amounted to the first non-tag team match I had seen Ronin wrestle in the last few So Cal shows, he was quickly eliminated early on in the match. Ronin's elimination came when Ricky Reyes delivered a devastating clothesline, sending Ronin crashing into the mat. Ricky quickly seized the opportunity to pin the lifeless Ronin, scoring the first elimination. Puma, sporting Nike's instead of being true to himself in wearing Puma's, made Danny Richards tap out for the second elimination when applied a modified Sharpshooter/figure four submission. With the match down to Puma and Ricky Reyes, the action became an intensified one-on-one shoot out with Ricky scoring the eventual victory with an excellently executed brainbuster suplex. Solid opening bout to get the crowd going.
(2) Excalibur & Disco Machine defeated Hook Bomberry & Top Gun Talwar at 12:10. Disco Machine managed to do his traditional dancing prior to the match, despite sporting a nose bandage stemming from having his nose busted open at last night's show. Once the match started, Hook and Top Gun didn't waste any time targeting Disco's nose, busting it open once again. However, Disco responded by pulling out a Baja Fresh (awesome So Cal Mexican restaurant) to-go bag in order to choke Top Gun for a few moments. (Hey, there's a hazard warning on the bag about choking for a reason!) After escaping the clutches of the dreaded Baja Fresh bag, Top Gun pulled out a standard brown paper bag and choked Disco's throat in the corner. Very fun set of comedic spots. After the first seven minutes consisted of standard in and out tag team wrestling, the action broke down into a Texas Tornado style tag match with several nearfalls being interrupted by the team member whose partner was being pinned. The finish came when Disco Machine took Top Gun to the outside to deliver some stiff right hands leading to Excalibur connecting with a double underhook piledriver for the victory.
(3) Petey Williams defeated Joey Ryan (w/Chris Bosh & Scott Lost) at 13:00. Prior to the match, my buddies ringside handed Bosh a complete basket of apple related products including, but not limited to apple juice, apples, and an apple energy bar. We came up with the concept stemming from Bosh's request for a healthier alternative to the animal crackers we had given him the previous two PWG shows. Scott Lost was also grateful because Bosh was actually going to eat something healthy for a change. Early on in the match, Bosh and Lost interfered on Joey Ryan's behalf, leading to referee Rick Knox calling for their dismissal. Bosh and Lost vehemently opposed the decision until PWG Commissioner So Cal Val interrupted and forced Bosh and Lost to the back, or else they would be stripped of their PWG Tag Titles. After saying something sexist to Val, Bosh left the ringside area with Lost holding him back from becoming physical with Val.
With the match down to a one-on-one battle, Joey began his attack on Petey's left arm and shoulder, using a variety of high impact and submission moves to subdue Petey. The match turned into a technical battle with Joey continuing to work over the left arm while Petey tried to work on Joey's head to set up for the Canadian Destroyer. Towards the end of the match, Petey went for the Canadian Destroyer, but it merely amounted to a false finish with Joey escaping and slapping on a very nicely executed arm bar submission hold. After a few more false finishes, Petey reversed a power move by Joey into the Canadian Destroyer for the pin and the win.
(4) El Generico & Phoenix Star & Zokre defeated Human Tornado & Aerial Express (Quicksilver & Scorpio Sky) (w/Dino Winwood) at 19:05. Prior to Tornado & Aerial Express entering the ring, Generico placed his flowing cape on ring announcer Jon Ian, leading to him flying around the ring as if he was the generic luchador. Since this match was an entire babyface vs. babyface match, the match didn't start immediately because everyone wanted to dance to Tornado's entrance music. Once the match actually started, it was Tornado and Generico in the ring. However, the wrestling didn't begin because each wrestler silenced the crowd then began the "escalating clap" chant leading to a break dance contest. After Tornado blew Generico into a neutral corner with his dance skills, the two locked up and Tornado sent Generico to the ropes. After roughly seven monkey flips or step-overs off the ropes, Tornado slowed down and stopped, having been exasperated from running without doing anything. The two met in center ring and held each other's shoulders, huffing and puffing from running so much. Finally, Tornado knocked Generico down leading to the wrestling action actually beginning.
The action was fast and furious with referee Patrick Hernandez struggling to maintain any semblance of order. There were several high spots throughout the match, with the most notable one being Human Torando flying over the top rope with a somersault splash onto nearly everyone outside of the ring. However, Tornado barely grazed all of the other wrestlers because he flew nearly seven rows deep – on the fly – almost crashing into the wall behind the rows of seats. Tornado showed off his absolutely amazing leaping ability to cover that much distance. After somehow recovering after crashing into an entire row of chairs, Tornado went to work on Zokre and Phoenix Star. However, with only Generico and Quicksilver in the ring, Tornado was unable to assist his teammate as Generico connected with his trademark Brainbustah suplex for the pin on Quicksilver for the win.
- After the match, officials checked on Quicksilver in light of him taking the devastating Brainbustah. Nice way to sell the damaging effects of Generico's finisher. With all six babyfaces in the ring together, Dino Winwood took the mic and announced that today was Scorpio Sky's birthday. The arena erupted from the announcement and Dino brought out balloons and a party hat for Scorpio to celebrate with. The party hat accentuated Scorpio's mask perfectly and he proceeded to hand out balloons to a few ladies ringside. The crowd chanted, "Happy Birthday" to Scorpio as everyone shook hands and congratulated him on his birthday. Dino led the singing of "Happy Birthday" which completed a fun post-match segment involving everyone.
(5) Christopher Daniels defeated Chris Hero at 19:05 to retain the TNA X Division Title. After Daniels accepted a challenge from Hero on last night's show for an X Division Title Match, the match began with a "mutual respect" handshake. This was an absolute technical masterpiece with solid wrestling from both men. The key strategy for Daniels was to work over Chris Hero's knee, while the key strategy for Hero was to work over Daniels's neck and the back of his head. Both men succeeded in their body part attacks, consistently causing the other to miss or fail to execute moves they normally would have been able to implement if they had full strength in the targeted regions. Midway through the match, Daniels was in full attack mode and delivered a Best Moonsault Ever directly onto Hero's knee. Daniels didn't stop there, as he connected with the BME and locked in a knee wrench submission to work over the knee some more. Towards the end of the match, Hero gained the offensive advantage and shook off the effects of Daniels's knee work to deliver an awesome flip over inverted neck breaker from the top turnbuckle onto Daniels. Hero quickly made a cover, but only scored a two count on Daniels, who was visibly selling the effects of Hero's neck and head work.
At 15:30, Daniels set up for the Last Rites, but Hero blocked it and went back to work on the neck. At 17:15, Hero connected with a lift up Powerbomb into an STF with a devastating neck wrench. Having absorbed a great deal of punishment to the neck, Daniels struggled to reach the ropes as his neck screamed out in pain. Daniels finally reached the ropes breaking the submission hold. The finish of the match came when Hero placed Daniels in the corner, and then went up top. Hero attempted a double foot stomp, but Daniels moved out of the way. In effect, Hero came up gimpy having placed added pressure and damage on his knee. Daniels seized the opportunity to deliver Angel's Wings and scored the pin for the win to retain the X Division Title.
- After the match, officials checked on Hero, who was selling the knee injury as if his knee had been ripped apart. Daniels stood over Hero then helped him to his feet. Hero balanced on the ropes as Daniels said Hero earned his respect in the ring tonight by pushing him to the limit. Daniels said Hero did not hesitate last night when he threw out an open challenge for the X Division Title, and backed up his promise to deliver a competitive match. Daniels shook Hero's hand as the crowd applauded an amazing in-ring performance by both men.
[Intermission featuring Christopher Daniels at the merchandise table and So Cal Val taking pictures with fans.]
(6) Kevin Steen defeated Jonny Storm at 15:55. Steen mocked the crowd prior to the match, playing to his heel gimmick. Storm was even the target of some abrasive comments, causing Steen to be slapped hard across the face by Storm. The match turned into a back and forth exchange with each wrestler outdoing the other when one felt like he had the advantage in the match. Near the end of the match, Storm knocked Steen to the outside with a punch off the apron. Storm leapt up to the top turnbuckle and flew down onto Steen with a swinging Tornado DDT, sending Steen head first into the floor roughly two feet away from where I was standing. A few rows of chairs were taken out in the process of the sick move! Storm hopped back into the ring and played to the fans, who were more than appreciative. Back in the ring, Storm perched Steen backwards on the top turnbuckle, with Steen facing the wall at the back of the arena. Storm climbed up top behind Steen and instead of going for a standard back drop belly to belly suplex, Storm went for something even more incredible – a reverse huricanrana, sending Steen crashing stomach-first into the mat. Absolutely phenomenal move that put the crowd into a frenzy. The finish came when Storm went up top for a high-risk move, only to be crotched on the top turnbuckle when Steen shoved the referee into the ropes. Storm fell to the mat and Steen picked up Storm to deliver his trademark Package Piledriver for the pin and the win.
- After the match, Steen feigned sincerity asking the crowd if we wanted a handshake to recognize the collective efforts from both men. When Storm was unable to rise to his feet after suffering the Package Piledriver, Steen delivered a middle finger and left the ring hastily. Storm recovered to his feet and drew a rousing applause from the fans.
(7) Arrogance (Scott Lost & Chris Bosh) (w/Joey Ryan) defeated Kazarian & Chris Sabin (w/Petey Williams) at 10:20 to retain the PWG Tag Team Titles. During the ring introductions, the fans chanted, "Let Bosh Talk," reflecting our desire to hear Bosh's amazing mic skills. Bosh finally took the mic and played to his racist gimmick by calling out a Black fan ringside. Bosh verbally chastised him, calling the fan "Black dude." After laughing his way through the entire tirade, the fan became serious and got right in Bosh's face. PWG officials separated the two. Out of nowhere, Chris Sabin and Kazarian flew over the top rope and connected with a somersault splash on Bosh and Lost, drawing the approval of the fans.
Once the in-ring portion of the match began, Petey Williams, dressed in street clothes, hopped up on the apron and took a tag from Kazarian. Petey connected with the most amazing...arm twist...then tagged out leaving Bosh hung over at the mid-section waiting for someone to finish the move. Very nice comedy spot from Petey. Roughly seven minutes into the match, the babyfaces scored a hot tag leading to a four man brawl in the ring. Kazarian found himself on the apron facing Bosh and Lost inside the ring. Kazarian sprung off the top rope and connected with a double DDT on the tag champs. Scott Lost rolled to the outside as Kazarian went to the apron. Kazarian flew off the apron with an amazing huricanrana, sending Lost crashing into the row of chairs a few away from me. Kazarian hit his head on the floor and came up lame from the death-defying move. A loud "Holy Sh*t" chant sprung up to recognize the sick move. While the referee was outside of the ring checking on Lost and Kazarian, Petey entered the ring to neutralize Joey Ryan, who had entered the ring. Chris Sabin was working over Chris Bosh at the same time leading to a simultaneous Cradle Shock by Sabin on Bosh and a Canadian Destroyer by Petey on Joey. Amazing spot that appeared to set up Kazarian and Sabin for the victory, but somehow, the match ended with Scott Lost rolling up Kazarian in the corner out of nowhere for a three count.
- After the match, Kazarian sat in stunned silence in the corner of the ring as Petey and Sabin tried to figure out how they managed to lose the match. At this point, the entire locker room emptied out as the fans chanted, "Please don't go, please don't go." To a standing applause, Chris Sabin took the mic (for the first ever possibly?!) and recognized Kazarian for always being a class act and sticking with him all across the country working Indy shows. Sabin pointed out that this was Kazarian's final match on the Indy scene and would never be forgotten for his contributions. Joey Ryan took the mic while selling a back injury after taking the Canadian Destroyer, and told Kazarian that they had not seen eye-to-eye recently, but he always has a special place for Kazarian in his heart. Joey talked about when he first broke into the wrestling business and Kazarian was right there taking bumps he didn't need to take in order to show Joey how to become a professional wrestler. Kazarian, still playing to his "coolest" gimmick, soaked it all and recognized the "you're so cool" cheers from the audience.
Christopher Daniels took the mic and said, "If anyone should be talking about Kazarian, it should be me." Daniels recapped the history between himself and Kazarian, and thanked him for always being a class act and, of course, "the coolest." Ring announcer Jon Ian took the mic to discuss Kazarian's "class act" status, and thanked him for always looking out for him and being supportive of him over the years. Excalibur took the mic and described Kazarian's newest stage in his wrestling career of going to the WWE. Excalibur said he expects big things from Kazarian and looks forward to seeing him succeed now that he's off the Indy circuit. A fan screamed out, "Kazarian headlining at next year's WrestleMania!" Kazarian acknowledged the statement and said that would be cool. Excalibur thanked Kazarian for helping make the So Cal Indy scene what it is today by being the first...and third...PWG Champion. Excalibur said Kazarian would always have a permanent spot on the PWG roster. The locker room left as the crowd delivered a rousing applause for Kazarian.
Standing alone in the ring, Kazarian took the mic and said, "Man, I'm not familiar to using one of these," acknowledging his poor treatment in TNA. Kazarian described his six year Indy career, beginning in Southern California and working his way to the top. Kazarian said there's a pretty awesome Indy group over in Philadelphia, but PWG is even better. Kazarian encouraged the fans to make PWG the best federation in all of California and thanked the fans for their long-standing support the last several years. Kazarian by saying he will be moving on to bigger and better things. The crowd applauded Kazarian as he took a victory lap around the ring, soaking in the praise from the fans.
Caldwell's Note: This was a very special tribute in Kazarian's final Indy show before beginning with WWE full-time. I was there for his final send-off from Ultimate Pro Wrestling back in February, but this one felt more special because it was indeed his final Indy match. Kazarian looked genuinely excited to be joining WWE, but with TNA's treatment in the back of his mind, he is a little pensive about how WWE will use him. Kazarian remained a class act all the way through his final PWG match, and was very gracious in accepting congratulations from fans after the show. Very nice person who delivered quality wrestling and performances as the ambassador for So Cal wrestling.
(8) A.J. Styles defeated Super Dragon at 19:30 to capture the PWG Title. Prior to the match, dueling chants of "Let's go A.J." and "Super Dragon" filled the arena, creating tension that you could cut with a knife. Shortly into the match, the majority of fans rallied behind Super Dragon, citing the desire to have the PWG Title represented by a So Cal wrestler only. Both men worked stiff in the opening minutes of the match, with Styles rallying for a knock down flying fist. Styles screamed out, showing a great deal of passion and fire against the doubters in the audience. Styles set up for his patented back flip drop kick, but Dragon had it scouted and held the ropes. Dragon took one false step, however, and Styles delivered his back flip drop kick out of nowhere. Very nice spot. Styles slapped on an STF with a neck wrench, driving Dragon's neck backwards into a painful position. Styles waited for the right moment, then turned it into a bow and arrow submission, drawing a respectful applause from the crowd.
Dragon fought back and knocked Styles to the outside. Dragon picked up a running head start then went flying through the ropes with a somersault suicide dive, crashing into Styles and several rows of chairs. Dragon appeared to seriously injure his head crashing into Styles and the floor, very much affecting the ending of the match later on. Back in the ring, Dragon slapped on an STF then leaned back turned his body to deliver a Curb Stomp on Styles, of which the fans enjoyed immensely. Dragon picked up Styles and delivered a Tornado DDT, but didn't stop there, as he locked in a neck wrench submission hold, driving Styles's head into his stomach. Styles broke the hold and laid on the mat in pain. Dragon sent Styles to the ropes and Styles leapt up to the top turnbuckle to set up for his patented back flip Reverse DDT, but Dragon countered it with a face buster. Very nice counter after the execution of the back flip was seamlessly done. Dragon set up for his Psycho Driver finisher, but Styles slipped out and scored a high-impact drop kick.
Dragon fought back and scored a German Suplex, followed by an amazing Tiger Suplex with a bridge, resulting in a two count only. Dragon questioned why he didn't receive a three count, losing valuable time when he could have worked on Styles some more. The finish came virtually out of nowhere when Styles regained the offensive momentum. Styles delivered a very high-impact clothesline, similar to a Clothesline from Hell, and made the cover on Dragon for the three count to capture the PWG Title. The victory took nearly everyone in the arena by surprise as no one expected Dragon to be pinned by a clothesline.
- After the match ended, many fans shook their heads in disbelief that So Cal's wrestling champion had been defeated. One water bottle was thrown into the ring in disgust for the match outcome. The majority of fans stood and celebrated Styles's victory, recognizing him as the new PWG Champion. Disco Machine ran into the ring to check on Super Dragon as Dragon held up two fingers arguing that he kicked out at two. Styles celebrated some more and recognized Dragon for being a great former champion.
- After the show concluded, many of the wrestlers stuck around interacting with fans. Kazarian, Sabin, and Petey took pictures with my group of six buddies, while talking about TNA and Kazarian's future in WWE. (Still no word on whether Kazarian will be on Smackdown or Raw). Scott Lost gave us a grocery list of items to bring to next month's PWG show on Friday, May 13 including grapes and other fruit. Kevin Steen talked about how his gimmick is to trash-talk throughout each of his matches to engage the fans, because that's who he is. As we left, Christopher Daniels got into his min-van with a few other wrestlers. I called Daniels "a soccer mom" and my buddy Evan said, "Carpooling is cool." We walked down the alley leading to the streets where we parked, and were nearly run over by Daniels and his mini-van. Daniels was haphazardly joking around in trying to get a one-up on our "mini-van jokes."
Closing Thought. The Saturday show was unable to re-create the magic that was found at Friday's show, but that's not taking anything away from Day Two. The wrestling was just as intense and just as excellent as last night's, just without that electric "magical" feel to it. A.J. Styles's victory was a complete shocker, especially the way in which he won the belt because it seemed like a basic pin attempt with a sure-fire kick out from Dragon expected. All I know is that I'm excited about Styles winning the belt because it means ever more appearances by Styles in PWG. I'm also looking forward to a possible re-match with Super Dragon, or a new program for Dragon following his loss of the PWG Title. The two nights of wrestling combined to form the most special eight hours of wrestling I've ever experienced.
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. Be sure to check out the PWG All-Star DVD set when it comes out in a few months.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**