Arena Reports 6/11 PWG in Hollywood, Calif.: Styles vs. Gibson for PWG and NWA Title, Daniels vs. Generico
Jun 12, 2005 - 7:23:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Team Contributor
Pro Wrestling Guerilla presents: "Guitarmageddon"
June 11, 2005
Hollywood, California at the Los Feliz JCC
Report by James Caldwell, Pro Wrestling Torch Team Contributor
The Big Story: The main event match of Super Dragon & Disco Machine vs. Excalibur & Kevin Steen saw Disco Machine turn on Super Dragon. In addition, A.J. Styles successfully defended his PWG and NWA Titles against Jamie Noble while Christopher Daniels successfully defended his TNA X Division Title against El Generico.
- To kick off the show, current PWG Tag Team Champions Chris Bosh and Scott Lost came to the ring. On the advertisements for the show, they were merely listed as making an appearance, but without scheduled opponents. Bosh took a bag of beef jerky from specially provided by my buddy Evan and distributed the jerky to the audience. Scott Lost, who has served as Bosh's dietary consultant, approved of the jerky as a substitution for animal crackers from previous PWG shows. Bosh took the mic in the ring and ran down the audience for representing "the sweat on my balls" and "the pubes on my scrotum." Bosh went on an adjective-laden tirade setting up the one thing that disgusts him more than anything – Mexico. Subsequently, Bosh pulled out a tiny, tiny, tiny Mexican flag and burnt it to a crisp. Scott Lost stomped on the remnants of the flag before Top Gun Talwar and Hook Bomberry put an end to the Tag Champ's shenanigans. However, before the match began, Top Gun got in a screaming match with my buddy Evan, who donned the head of a bear in opposition to Top Gun's love of Chipotle. All of this was captured on video for the viewing pleasure of those who wish to purchase the DVD of this show.
(1) Arrogance (Scott Lost & Chris Bosh) defeated Hook Bomberry & Top Gun Talwar at 11:55 to retain the PWG Tag Titles. The babyface tandem of Hook and Top Gun took the early advantage in the match with a flurry of offense on Scott Lost. Eventually, a traditional tag team match ensued with the heel champions working on Hook Bomberry for the majority of the match. When Top Gun finally took the hot tag, Hook and Top Gun sent the champions to the outside where they connected with dual top rope planchas, sending everyone crashing to the floor. However, the offensive advantage was short lived for the challengers as Bosh knocked Top Gun to the floor outside of the ring giving Scott Lost the advantage in the ring to ground Hook with power moves before applying the Sharpshooter in honor of his favorite wrestler, Bret Hart. With Chris Bosh subduing Top Gun on the outside by tea bagging him, Hook had no choice but to tap out to the Sharpshooter, giving the champs another successful title defense.
(2) Puma defeated Davey Richards and Human Tornado at 15:10 in a triple threat elimination match. Puma had negative heat from some of the fans – despite playing a babyface – because he no-showed last month's show to work a tour in Japan. The early portions of the match took on a crotch theme with Human Tornado delivering his patented three step kick to the face and swift kick to the groin on Davey Richards, while he was seated in the corner. Puma responded with a kick to the groin on Tornado then he placed him in the Tree of Woe in the corner. However, Puma took some time setting up Tornado in the corner allowing Davey to recover and kick Puma in the crotch before placing him on top of Tornado, creating a double Tree of Woe. Davey went to the opposite corner and charged in for an apparent stiff kick to the chest, but stopped short and kicked both men in the crotch with one stiff kick.
From there, the action broke down into a spot fest with all three men connecting with signature power moves and high spots before Human Tornado took the ultimate risk with an over the top rope somersault splash attempt on Davey that went awry when Tornado missed the majority of Davey on the landing and created an absolutely sick "thud" sound when his back hit the floor. The crowd gasped at the sound of Tornado's flesh striking the floor and delivered a resounding "Tornado" chant when he managed to recover to his feet. Back in the ring, the first elimination occurred when Davey and Puma went into a flurry of pinning combinations and reversals with Puma managing to score a three count on a roll up. With Davey eliminated from the match, it was down to Tornado and Puma. However, Davey was not done with the match and returned to the ringside area where he took Puma by surprise and untied Puma's mask before taking it off completely. Davey took the mask and taunted Puma from the ringside area giving Tornado an opening to find the offensive advantage upon returning to the in-ring action. After being manhandled following the distraction, Puma used Davey's misgiving deed as motivation to regain the offensive advantage, before finally finishing off Tornado with a 450 Splash to score the victory.
- After the match, Davey taunted Puma with the mask while ringside crewmembers checked on Tornado's condition following a painful match. Tornado still managed to dance for the audience after recovering to his feet before leaving.
(3) Joey Ryan defeated Alex Shelley at 21:30. This was a very intense technical style match with Alex Shelley playing the babyface and Joey Ryan playing the heel. Shelley looked genuinely excited and had a constant grin on his face working the match. Early on, Shelley dominated Joey, who played a great chickens--- heel by ducking out under the ropes for rope breaks before quickly pouncing on Shelley after frustrating him. Joey ducked out of the ring a few times early on to engage in heated discussions with the fans, equally frustrating Shelley, who wanted to wrestle. The biggest pop of the night went to Andrew, a small kid, who told off Joey in a very innocent way that got himself over with the crowd. Andrew was attending his first wrestling show with his dad, who is a PWG regular, and even received an "Andrew" chant from the crowd. Yeah, PWG crowds are unpredictable enough to pop for anything that riles up the heels.
Eventually, the mat wrestling ensued and the two went toe to toe for the first half of the match with some great combination holds and counters to the counters of counters. However, the match took a turn for the worst for Shelley when he missed with a shoulder thrust in the corner and ate ringpost before falling wrist and tailbone-first onto the ring steps below the ring. Shelley grimaced in pain and came up selling a wrist injury. He continued to sell the wrist injury the rest of the match and did a great job including that in the psychology of the second half of the match. Joey seized an opportunity to take the offensive advantage and focused his attack on Shelley's upper body to limit Shelley's ability to perform power moves. After building up heat for a babyface comeback by Shelley, most of the heat in the match was compromised when Shelley made his comeback, but missed with two spots in a three spot sequence. Shelley managed to recover like a professional and went for a pinning combination on Joey, but in classic heel fashion, Joey turned Shelley's shoulders down to the mat in mid-count and used the ropes as leverage to secure the victory.
- After the match, Joey escaped out of harms way as the crowd responded with a thunderous round of boos. On the contrary, Shelley received a standing ovation for a solid performance in the ring. Overall, the match was a solid technical display.
(4) Aerial Express (Scorpio Sky & Quicksilver w/Dino Winwood) defeated Los Luchas (Phoenix Star & Zokre) at 13:25. The match was set up as a #1 Contender's Match for Arrogance's PWG Tag Titles. Coming into the match, I expected Los Luchas to secure a victory because Arrogance gave AXP their "last and final title shot" a few shows back. However, the post-match segment involving Arrogance – which I'll detail later – set up a reasonable way for AXP to receive yet another tag title opportunity. As for the match, these two high-flying tandems put on a solid high spot match with the right balance of high spots and mat holds to keep a strong flow. The finish came when AXP teamed up for a spike piledriver on Phoenix Star with Quicksilver handling the piledriving and Scorpio Sky handling the top rope missile drop kick.
- After the match, Chris Bosh and Scott Lost came to the ringside area to complain about AXP receiving yet another tag title shot after several opportunities failed. Well, those are my words. Essentially, Bosh said AXP screwed up and don't deserve any more opportunities. To reconcile the two sides of the argument, PWG commissioner So Cal Val strode to the ring a sexy red skirt and sensuous black top. After Bosh called Val "a dirty skank," Val was in no mood to help Arrogance. Therefore, Val confirmed that AXP was indeed in line for a tag title shot based on their victory over Los Luchas. However, Bosh wanted something more from AXP to solidify the importance of giving AXP yet another title opportunity. Bosh suggested AXP put their masks on the line. With the masks being such an integral part of both Scorpio Sky and Quicksilver's outfits, this was no easy decision to make. However, Scorpio Sky was certainly up for the challenge and accepted. However, he wanted to up the ante and threw in the careers of AXP to match Bosh's mask challenge. Scorpio cut a solid, emotional promo about the livelihood of AXP depending on another tag title opportunity. Evoking very similar overtones as Batista's promo on Triple H during last Monday's Raw, Scorpio told Bosh and Lost that they would have to kill him and his partner in order to keep them from retaining the tag titles. Scorpio indicated his team was ready for the challenge and the match appeared to be set for one the two "Two Year Anniversary" shows set for July 9 and 10. Very effective promo from Scorpio Sky in conveying his emotions in facing Arrogance once again.
(5) A.J. Styles defeated James Gibson at 21:25 to retain the PWG and NWA Titles. Certainly, many fans expected this to be the main event match considering the PWG Title was on the line and this match was the headline-drawing match on advertisements. However, with James Gibson scheduled for the ROH show on the other coast Sunday morning, it was imperative for James to get his match done as soon as possible and catch a red eye back to New York. In a general discussion on the match, this amounted to the second month in a row where a select few fans tried to get themselves over at the expense of everyone's enjoyment of the match. Some people just can't pick their spots to voice their approval or disapproval with the characters in any given match.
Prior to the match beginning, Styles acknowledged the pride he feels in holding both the PWG and NWA Titles, so he decided to put his newly won NWA Title on the line along with the PWG Title. The match itself was another technically sound match along the lines of Shelley vs. Ryan. There were some innovative technical holds with both men trying to stay one step ahead of the other. One of the key spots in the match was an absolutely sick brainbuster suplex by Styles onto Gibson with the spot coming directly on the apron of the ring, with Gibson's head snapping back on impact. The fans gasped as both men laid on the floor before the action returned to the ring where Styles set up for a Spiral Tap from the top rope, but Gibson moved out of the way just in time to avoid the move. After a series of back and forth exchanges including a failed Styles Clash attempt that served as the false finish, Gibson set up for his patented Trailer Hitch finisher. Styles managed to block the Trailer Hitch and scored one of the most amazing two step spot combinations I've ever seen when he reversed the Trailer Hitch and turned it into a huricanrana, but held onto the huricanrana after following through, and stepped over Gibson for the Styles Clash. With the fans jumping to their feet, Styles rolled Gibson over and scored the three count for the victory.
- After the match, Styles took his two title belts and laid them down in the corner before taking the mic. Styles complemented Gibson on a solid match to get him over in defeat. Styles indicated that the match the fans just saw was how the South wrestles. Gibson signified his respect for Styles by placing the two title belts across Styles's chest. Overall, a solid technical match that featured two hot acts with a forum to put together some great in-ring work.
[Intermission featuring So Cal Val at the autograph table!]
- Immediately after the intermission, the "popcorn" segment consisted of Joey Ryan calling out Mr. Excitement based on last month's match where Mr. Excitement came out of retirement to team with Disco Machine to take on Arrogance while Joey Ryan was ringside. Joey criticized Mr. Excitement for taking a cheap shot on him despite Joey being a mere onlooker and not a participant in the match. Joey said he wanted to get his hands on Mr. Excitement in a match. Mr. Excitement, who was chilling at the autograph table, confronted Joey and cut a promo that started awkward then progressively became effective as he put heel heat on Joey for his brash attitude and apparent desire to get his hands all over Excitement. After finishing the promo, Excitement challenged Joey to back up his strong words with a match right then and there. Excitement took his keys and wallet out of his pants and hopped in the ring for a match. However, Joey took the expected chickens--- escape by teasing a fight then backing away and ultimately leaving to set up a showdown at one of next month's shows.
(6) Christopher Daniels defeated El Generico at 16:30 to retain the TNA X Division Title. Despite going a solid 15 minutes plus, the match left a little to be desired – similar to last month's 60 minute between Daniels and Styles – where a slower pace created fewer spots per time period, creating the illusion of a less-than-exciting match. However, with two very strong characters matching up, there was more than enough interaction between the characters to keep the intrigue high throughout the course of the match. Daniels dominated the majority of the match, as was expected. Daniels lost control of the match when he took Generico up top for a high-risk move and ended up losing the spot when Generico fought out and connected with a sweet top rope sunset flip powerbomb for a nearfall. The spot was executed very nicely and it led Generico to the offensive advantage before Daniels dropped Generico in the corner to set up for his second Best Moonsault Ever attempt. Daniels managed to connect with the BME this time around and scored the victory following the devastating top rope move. Solid match, but the deliberately slow-paced nature of the match took its toll on the audience.
(7) Kevin Steen & Excalibur defeated Disco Machine & Super Dragon at 22:35. This match was set up at last month's show when Kevin Steen was revealed as the Fake Dragon after Excalibur turned his back on Super Dragon. With Disco Machine on Super Dragon's side, Excalibur took the mic before the match and offered Disco Machine a spot alongside himself and Steen in order to generate some respect after being held back because of Super Dragon's overshadowing presence. Excalibur went so far as to call Super Dragon an "egotistical c---sucker." Kevin Steen took the mic after Excalibur got the heel heat for his team and received a thunderous ovation just for taking the mic. Steen, who entered PWG as a hated heel back in 2004, has been receiving "cool heel" pops from crowds the last few shows. Steen said he came to PWG to destroy Super Dragon and win the PWG Title. Steen said he almost succeeded in his goal when he took Dragon to the limits when he was the Champion a few months ago. Steen vehemently indicated he came to PWG to take care of his two goals and not be cheered by the fans or have people laugh at his jokes. This only incensed the crowd to cheer for Steen more! The bizarreness continued when Steen cussed out every fan in the arena because they continued to cheer him. He even targeted the more vocal supporters and the cheers only grew louder. Only in PWG can a wrestler be portrayed as a heel through babyface crowd reactions.
Immediately after Steen finished talking, Super Dragon and Disco Machine charged the ring to begin the brawl. However, Steen and Excalibur were prepared so they quickly cut off Dragon and Disco before settling into a heel beat down on Disco. The beat down on Disco lasted for seemingly an eternity before Dragon took a hot tag and went straight at Excalibur with stiff elbow and punch combinations in the corner. Dragon threw Excalibur to the outside then went for his patented suicide dive, but Steen slid down the apron and kicked Dragon in the stomach just as he was about to fly through the ropes onto Excalibur. Dragon managed to return to his corner to tag in Disco, who took another uninspiring beat down from the well-versed heel tandem. Excalibur went for the finish when he set up Disco for the Tiger Driver '98, but Disco escaped and hit a sit down chokeslam on Excalibur. With Super Dragon fresh on the apron having worked about two minutes of the 18 minutes gone by in the match, Disco decided against tagging in Dragon. Disco indicated he wanted to win the match on his own and went after Disco despite being highly winded from being in the ring for an extended period of time.
After both Disco and Excalibur found themselves sprawled in the ring from sheer exhaustion following dual knockdown moves, Disco did not appear to be interested in making a tag to Dragon. Frustrated, Dragon dragged Disco's limp body to his corner and tagged himself into the match on his own. Dragon teed off on Excalibur and connected with his Psycho Driver finishing move. Dragon made the cover for the apparent victory, but Disco Machine made his expected heel turn by breaking up the pin attempt. Disco indicated he was upset with Dragon because Disco felt like he had the match in hand on his own. After a face-to-face confrontation between Disco and Dragon, the heel beat down was on with the resolution of the match coming in the form of two sick Package Piledrivers by Steen. This led to an easy victory for Steen and Excalibur, which they celebrated with their new alliance member.
- After the match, Steen brought a steel chair into the ring and bashed Dragon over the back with the chair. Steen and Excalibur indicated they didn't need Super Dragon and they were the new "SBS," taking over for the old SBS, which consisted of Super Dragon, Disco Machine, and Excalibur. Eventually, Human Tornado and El Generico made the save for Dragon, but not before Generico nearly slipped on the wet floor on the way to the ring. Generico and Tornado checked on Dragon's condition as Excalibur took the mic and ran down Tornado and Generico, calling them highly derogatory names. This appeared to be the set up for a six-man tag match for one of next month's shows.
- Overall Thoughts. When comparing some of the more recent shows put together by PWG, this show didn't match up to that standard. There was something about the crowd, matches, and overall feel that just didn't quite click on a consistent basis over the course of the show. That said, there is no doubt that the wrestlers worked hard to put on the best show possible. However, even putting forward the best effort possible doesn't always translate to a great show. I will say the show was good and held its own, but it wasn't on par with recent offerings.
- Special Recognition to the PWG Hot Boys (Matt, Evan, Spector, Matt), who helped set up and tear down the ring. You'll be able to find them involved in the Chris Bosh and Scott Lost segments on the DVD release including a possible bonus feature of Joey Ryan, Scott Lost, and Quicksilver mixing it up in a Light Sabre battle after the show. Only in PWG.
- There were no official matches announced for either of next month's "Two Year Anniversary" shows set for July 9 and 10, but Petey Williams and Chris Sabin were announced for return bookings following All Star Weekend. Flyers being distributed after the show list A.J. Styles, Chris Bosh, Chris Sabin, Christopher Daniels, Davey Richards, Disco Machine, El Generico, Excalibur, Hook Bomberry, Human Tornado, Joey Ryan, Kevin Steen, Petey Williams, Phoenix Star, Puma, Quicksilver, Ricky Reyes, Scorpio Sky, Scott Lost, Super Dragon, Top Gun Talwar and Zokre as the confirmed talent for the anniversary weekend double shot. Matches and additional names will be announced at the PWG Website.
Feel free to drop me a line at my brand new self-created PWTorch email, email@example.com with any feedback on the show report, whether you attended or simply wish to learn more about that fanatical promotion on the West Coast.
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