Arena Reports 11/18 PWG in Hollywood, Calif.: Steen vs. Joe, Sabin vs. Petey, Kazarian vs. Daniels
Nov 19, 2005 - 8:37:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
Pro Wrestling Guerilla presents: All Star Weekend 2: "Electric Boogaloo" night one
November 18, 2005
Hollywood, California at the Los Feliz JCC
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
- Ring announcer Travis kicked off the show with an announcement that A.J. Styles is not in attendance because of his participation at video game awards taping (which was about 5 miles away from the JCC), Johnny Storm will not make the trip for night or two, and Hook Bomberry and Top Gun Talwar are out because of injury.
- The show started with a ten-bell salute to Eddie Guerrero.
(1) Disco Machine & Excalibur beat Rocky Romero & T.J. Perkins via DQ at 16:19. Disco and Excalibur teased leaving the match before Disco snapped on ring announcer Travis and stomped him out of the ring. Prior to the initial lock up, Excalibur sarcastically asked Rocky about his victory at the Tokyo Dome (over Tiger Mask as Black Tiger) and if he could get Rocky's title if he won. Rocky responded with a stiff kick to the hip. Perkins tagged in and teased Disco before dropping him throat-first across the bottom rope. Perkins mocked Disco's dance steps in front of Excalibur leading to a game of chase, which Excalibur lost by tripping on Disco's back and falling face-first on the mat. Good energetic spot to get the crowd into the opening match. Disco and Excalibur stalled outside of the ring to talk strategy before the action resumed with Rocky ripping on Excalibur with stiff chops, forearm blows, and kicks. Perkins entered and took a sick German Suplex from Excalibur where Perkins's neck bent backwards on the mat.
Rocky tagged in after Perkins countered a suplex attempt with a nice brainbuster suplex. Disco saved Excalibur from an ankle lock with a kick to the stomach, but his dancing opened him up to a direct kick to the gut from Rocky. Perkins locked in a half crab on Excalibur and Excalibur tapped out, but referee Rick Knox was distracted by Disco and Rocky, who were brawling outside of the ring. Perkins set up for a top rope move on Excalibur and connected with a frog splash after shaking off Disco's attempt to shove him. Referee Knox inexplicably called for the bell before awarding the match to Disco and Excalibur because Perkins spent too much time on the top rope. Very odd without an explanation of the rule ahead of time and no evidence of Knox making a noticeable count of how long Perkins was on top. However, everything up until the finish was solid and set a good tone for the show. (**3/4)
(2) Petey Williams beat Chris Sabin at 15:31. Before the match, Petey said he feels like the Canadian Destroyer is getting stale. Petey, who was wearing new tights and no Canadian gear, said "F--- Canada," before saying he won't be doing his traditional in-ring moves such as the tree of woe and Destroyer, but rather rely on the swinging neck breaker. Good promo that began as a babyface promo against Canada before switching to a heel promo of depriving fans of the Destroyer. Sabin snapped off a flurry of high-energy reversals on Petey to begin the match before Petey forced a rope break to slow down Sabin. They stood off after another exchange and copied each other's moves like two brothers who know each other too well. Another stand-off was followed by Petey delivering a thumb to the eye to gain the momentary advantage. Sabin came back with a quick kick to the gut followed by a suplex in the corner. Petey slipped out of the corner and tried to recover outside of the ring, but Sabin quickly followed up with two drop kicks.
Sabin took Petey around the ringside area and allowed three fans to get in stiff chops to Petey's exposed chest as Sabin held Petey's arms back. Back in the ring, Petey came back with a nice huricanrana followed by his own series of chops to Sabin's chest after teasing fan interaction of his own. Petey took Sabin back into the ring and stretched Sabin's chest and back with submission holds. Petey connected with a swinging neck breaker in the middle of the ring and made a cover for a two count only. (So much for Petey's new finishing move.) Petey took Sabin to the corner for his tree of woe spot, but couldn't decide if he wanted to go against his pre-match words and sing "O Canada." The pause allowed Sabin to crunch up and drop Petey with a nice release German Suplex from the top turnbuckle. Sabin came out with a burst of energy and delivered a nice rolling suplex, a stiff enziguiri kick to the face, and a running sit down powerbomb for a nearfall. Very nice combo. Sabin took Petey up top for a superplex attempt, but Petey countered with a huricanrana and nice swinging Tornado DDT for a nearfall.
The fans called for the Canadian Destroyer, but Petey opted to methodically work on Sabin by slowing down the match. Sabin came back with a surfboard kick in the corner and twisting front slam out of an elevated parallel grip. Petey countered a tilt-a-whirl slam with a Russian Legsweep then went for a Canadian Destroyer, but again contemplated whether to go back on his pre-match word. Instead, Petey hit a swinging neck breaker and scored another nearfall after his new finisher didn't lead to victory. Sabin went for a Cradle Shock after countering a fireman's carry, but Petey slipped out and tried a quick pin with his feet on the ropes, but Sabin kicked out. Petey went for another quick roll up and this time scored the pin for the win. Good match that wasn't the typical cookie cutter X Division match seen in TNA and both men had ample opportunity to develop a story in the ring while delivering some entertaining moments. (***3/4)
(3) Frankie Kazarian beat Christopher Daniels at 17:50. After the opening bell, Kazarian mocked Jeff Jarrett's strut as Daniels leaned against the ropes unimpressed. Kazarian and Daniels played a quick game of charades imitating finishing moves and gestures. They locked up and Daniels pulled away claiming Kazarian mussed his non-existent hair. Kazarian pulled Daniels to the mat and grounded him with a front face lock and arm bar. Daniels reversed out into his own arm bar and worked Kazarian to the mat. Kazarian powered out and ducked a few clotheslines before dropping Daniels with a hip toss into a front headlock. Daniels forced the action to a standing position before sending Kazarian to the ropes. Kazarian went for a cross body block, but Daniels caught him and flipped over the top rope with Kazarian to the floor.
Daniels sent Kazarian to the corner ringpost, but Kazarian stopped short then purposefully smacked his hands on the post before dropping himself to the floor to duke Daniels. Daniels returned to the ring thinking he had a count out victory then Kazarian slid back into the ring unscathed for a quick roll up, which resulted in a nearfall. Daniels quickly came back with a hard whip to the corner turnbuckle then set up for Angel's Wings, but Kazarian escaped and hit a kick to the side of the head. Kazarian delivered a springboard DDT then made a cover for a nearfall. Daniels ducked a clothesline and dropped Kazarian with a one-arm slam before setting up for the Best Moonsault Ever. However, Kazarian tripped Daniels before he could reach the ropes.
Kazarian sent Daniels to the opposite corner and went for a top rope superplex, but Daniels shoved him off to the mat. Daniels flew off the top with a cross body block, but Kazarian rolled through on the mat and scored with a roll up for the win. Afterwards, Kazarian and Daniels shook hands before imitating Jeff Jarrett's strut. Daniels held up Kazarian's arm then they shook hands. Daniels shook off his bad luck then walked to the back as Kazarian celebrated in the ring. Daniels's babyface turn in TNA carried over to PWG for this match after working heel in PWG for the last several months. Hotly contested match featuring two dependable, solid workers. (***)
(4) Davey Richards & Super Dragon beat Ronin & B-Boy at 26:17 in a non-title match. With Top Gun and Hook Bomberry out of action for their scheduled tag title match, Excalibur came to the ring after the champs were introduced. Excalibur said Top Gun and Bomberry were suspended for the shows because of violating the PWG drug policy. Excalibur vowed to take the tag titles tomorrow night and Davey laid down his tag belt to offer a challenge right now. Excalibur said he talked to PWG Commissioner Dino Winwood to decide who should face Davey and Dragon. According to Excalibur, Dino gave Excalibur full power to decide the opponents. Excalibur announced Ronin as the first opponent to soften up the champs for Excalibur and Disco tomorrow night. After more build up, Excalibur introduced the second opponent: B-Boy.
Dragon attacked Ronin before the opening bell leading to a double-team attack by Davey and Dragon on Ronin. With B-Boy outside of the ring, Davey flew through the second and top rope with a suicide dive. Dragon chased Ronin to the outside and worked with Davey to deliver a combination of chops and kicks. Dragon picked up a chair and smashed Ronin in the back before slamming him onto the padding with a suplex. Back in the ring, Davey worked on Ronin as B-Boy waited for a tag from his corner. Dragon and Davey isolated Ronin in their corner before Ronin delivered a side slam and tagged in B-Boy, who taunted Dragon before going to work on Davey. B-Boy sat on Davey's back and teased Dragon to tag in, but Dragon refused. B-Boy and Davey exchanged stiff kicks to the back, but neither one sold to begin a battle of who was tougher and who could withstand kicks to the back. Eventually, B-Boy scored with an enziguiri kick after Davey avoided a crescent and back kick.
B-Boy and Ronin worked on Davey in the corner as Dragon awaited a tag. Davey powered out of a front face lock from Ronin and reached Dragon for a tag. Dragon delivered a double foot stomp to the chest before landing stiff chops to the chest. Dragon and Ronin exchanged blows after Dragon delivered a blatant kick to the groin that the referee didn't acknowledge. B-Boy ran into the ring and kicked Dragon in the head while Dragon had Ronin's arms held back in a leg submission hold. Dragon scored with the Curb Stomp after working on Ronin's back then teased a second Curb Stomp, but opted instead for a pin attempt that resulted in a nearfall. Dragon went for his traditional move of knocking the opponent off the apron then pretending to be the partner of the opponent and asking for a tag. Ronin read Dragon's playbook and slapped Dragon across the face when he posed as B-Boy. Ronin dropped Dragon on his neck in the ring then Dragon ate corner ringpost and fell to the outside. B-Boy finally took a hot tag and dropped Davey in the corner with a running leg whip.
Dragon reentered the ring to break up a pin attempt leading to the much-anticipated staredown between B-Boy and Dragon that had been built up towards all match. Dragon and B-Boy countered each other's moves then Dragon countered a victory roll into an STF while Davey locked in a Crippler Crossface on Ronin on the opposite side of the ring. Both holds were broken then B-Boy and Ronin hit simultaneous Death Valley Drivers leaving all four competitors motionless in the ring. The action spilled to the outside until B-Boy and Dragon did battle in the ring with Dragon hitting an overhead suplex then rolling it backwards into a Dragon Sleeper. Ronin reentered the ring and broke up the submission hold before hitting a DVD on Dragon. Ronin missed with a clothesline then B-Boy clotheslined Dragon, Davey clotheslined B-Boy, and Ronin clotheslined Davey, leaving everyone out on the mat. Dragon delivered a German Suplex for a nearfall then flew through the ropes with a suicide dive on Ronin. Back in the ring, Davey scored with a hangman's neck breaker on B-Boy before making a cover for a nearfall.
Davey and Dragon switched with Davey working on Ronin outside of the ring while Dragon set up for the Psycho Driver in the ring. B-Boy slipped out at the last second and scored with a double kick to the face. Davey reentered the ring to make the save for Dragon. B-Boy quickly dropped Davey with a rolling side suplex then Ronin made a cover for a nearfall. Davey and Dragon combined for a sick double knee stomp to Ronin's back off the top rope that had Davey hopping to the outside because of the impact on his knees. Awesome spot. Davey made a cover, but took too long and Ronin kicked out. From the top turnbuckle, Dragon hit a Psycho Driver on B-Boy, sending B-Boy's head directly into Ronin's stomach. Davey climbed up top and hit a Shooting Star Press on Ronin for the pin and the win. Afterwards, Davey returned to the ring and saluted Eddie Guerrero. Nice match. Good build up towards Dragon and B-Boy finally meeting against each other in the ring. (***)
(5) Jack Evans beat El Generico at 18:17. Evans and Generico had a dance-off after the opening bell with Evans performing a strong break dance that left Generico hanging his head in shame. Generico sulked in the ring before doing the Worm. They locked up in the center of the ring with Generico driving Evans to the corner. Evans returned the favor before Generico came back with a wrist lock. The two exchanged offensive control with a series of mat wrestling holds to set the tempo for the match. Evans flipped out of a back suplex attempt and his basketball shorts nearly fell off before Generico delivered an inside-out clothesline sending Evans reeling to the mat. Evans and Generico showed off their unheralded technical skills by continuing to work a more grounded style before setting up for the high-flying action. Generico dropped Evans with a stiff chop to the chest then warmed up for a running kick, but Evans charged out of the corner and blocked the move. Evans grappled Generico in the corner and set up for a high risk move, but Generico blocked and hit a sick springboard moonsault onto Evans outside of the ring. Evans countered by slamming Generico off the apron to the floor before hitting a cartwheel somersault dive into a huricanrana from the ring to the outside.
Back in the ring, Evans hit a 450 splash from a standing position next to Generico's fallen body before climbing up top. Evans took too long allowing Generico to meet him and set up for a brainbuster suplex, which Evans powered out of and countered into a victory roll for a nearfall. Generico sent Evans flying to the corner with a double foot kick to the gut before scoring with successive running Olé kicks in the corner. Generico slammed Evans neck-first in the center of the ring leading to a cover for a nearfall. Generico grappled Evans from behind for a suplex, but Evans countered with a spinning bottle opener, sending Generico face-first into the bottom turnbuckle. The action returned to the top turnbuckle where Generico and Evans teetered on the edge of falling to the floor before Evans hit a reverse huricanrana. Evans went up top once again and fought off a brainbuster suplex attempt before hitting a 450 dive onto a standing Generico. Evans made a cover, but only scored a nearfall. Evans went up top once more and hit a 640 splash on Generico for the pin and the win. Amazing series of spots that were part of a natural progression to an aerial attack after the opening sequence of technical wrestling. (****)
(6) Jimmy Yang beat Bryan Danielson at 21:00. Danielson and Yang locked up before Danielson drove Yang to the corner to force a clean break. Yang snapped off a quick arm drag take over before Danielson returned the hold in kind. Yang held Danielson's arms behind his head and Danielson attempted several power outs before successfully escaping and hitting a textbook drop kick, which sent Yang to the outside for a breather. Back in the ring, Yang worked on Danielson with a side head lock before hitting a drop kick to the side of head, which sent Danielson scampering to the outside for a breather. Nice even exchange through the first three minutes. Danielson stalled on the outside for several moments before returning to the ring where he extended a hand, but found a kick to the gut from Yang followed by a crescent kick out of the corner. Danielson regained the offensive advantage after Yang missed with a shoulder block in the corner and ate the ringpost. Danielson worked on Yang's left arm very casually with an arm bar before Yang countered with a quick roll up for a nearfall. Unfazed, Danielson quickly shook off the near miss and went back to work on Yang's left shoulder.
Danielson took his time complaining about the referee's count on a rope break, which allowed Yang to come back with two stiff chops to the chest. Danielson responded in kind then locked in a surfboard stretch into a reverse Dragon Sleeper with Yang's legs and back bend backwards. Danielson set up for the stretch once again, but instead stomped down on Yang's hamstrings. Danielson continued to bicker with the referee allowing Yang enough time to recover with a flurry of clotheslines and back elbow smashes before hitting a graceful springboard moonsault from the second turnbuckle. Yang went to the well once too many and Danielson crotched Yang hard on the top turnbuckle. Danielson met Yang up top and scored with a high-elevated belly-to-back side suplex. They exchanged forearm blows before Danielson scored with a discus clothesline for a nearfall. Danielson quickly went for Cattle Mutilation, but couldn't lock the move in fully because Yang fell on his stomach to keep the momentum in his favor.
Danielson called for the airplane spin and completed 30 revolutions before charging the inanimate object in the corner with a double-foot kick. After kicking the corner turnbuckle, Danielson went up top, but struggled with his balance after the many revolutions and took too long to attempt a top rope splash, allowing Yang to move out of the way in time. Yang hit another corner moonsault and scored a nearfall on a pin attempt. Danielson countered a hammerlock into a modified Kokina Clutch. Yang escaped the hold then Danielson took Yang to the corner for a top rope suplex. Danielson and Yang flew off the top turnbuckle out of control and Danielson ended up on top for a pin attempt. The referee pulled up after counting a nearfall despite Danielson and Yang being tied up in a pin for an additional second with Danielson appearing to win. Both men recovered from the awkward pin exchange with Yang delivering a scoop slam before hitting a corkscrew splash for the pin and the win. Solid technical display between two dependable wrestlers, but the awkward finish hurt and there was never a sense of the match moving into a higher gear. (**3/4)
- Prior to the six-man tag match pitting Arrogance against Aerial Express, Chris Bosh took the mic, but he was interrupted by Joey Ryan, who said he has a very special promo in mind. Joey called out referee Rick Knox for complaining about Arrogance at last month's show. Joey said that if Knox doesn't keep himself in line, he'll be in line for a Moustache Ride.
(7) Aerial Express (Quicksilver & Scorpio Sky & Dino Winwood) beat Arrogance (Chris Bosh & Scott Lost & Joey Ryan) at 21:30. During ring introductions, Bosh received a strong babyface reaction and Lost and Joey looked on with a bit of disdain. Scorpio Sky wanted to start the match against Scott Lost, but Lost stayed on the apron and allowed Joey to start the match. Scorpio and Joey exchanged momentum early on with Scorpio taking Joey down with a hard takedown before landing a flurry of forearms beneath the chin. Scorpio tagged in Quicksilver to attempt a double team set, but Joey quickly scampered to his corner and tagged in Bosh. Quicksilver and Bosh went chest to chest in a test of strength before Quicksilver climbed Bosh's body onto his shoulders for a sweet huricanrana. Lost finally tagged in and took a deep arm drag from Quicksilver into a shoulder lock. Lost powered out and went for a Sharpshooter, but Quicksilver quickly flung him away and locked in another arm bar. Lost escaped again and tagged in Bosh, who accepted a series of stiff chops to the chest. Quick and Scorpio exchanged quick tags and worked over Bosh, but Scott Lost entered the ring and delivered a Superman dive on Quicksilver in the corner. Bosh followed up with a quick jab to the crotch before Joey tagged in and pounded on Quick.
Arrogance worked over Scorpio in their corner before Scorpio tagged in and dropped Bosh with a gut buster. Scorpio turned his attention to Scott Lost, who begged off before taking a drop kick to the gut. Joey dropped Scorpio in the corner, but Scorpio reached out and made the hot tag to Dino Winwood. Dino came in and delivered Dusty Rhodes elbows before dropping Lost and Bosh with stiff right hands and forearms. Dino faced off with his nemesis Joey Ryan and shook off Joey's right hands before hitting a nice powerbomb. The action spilled to the outside leaving Dino in the ring. Dino climbed up top as Scorpio and Quick held Joey, Lost, and Bosh on the outside. Dino, who was nervous about wrestling rather than managing, flew off the top with a splash, sending everyone crashing to the floor. Back in the ring, Lost and Scorpio squared off until Joey handed Scorpio a chair then Lost dropped to the mat ala Eddie Guerrero. Referee Rick Knox didn't buy the chair shot then turned his back to the action as Scorpio cracked a chair over Lost's head. Knox turned around and didn't seem to notice the chair shot, but threw the chair out of the ring.
Scorpio and Quick set up Joey on the top turnbuckle then Dino climbed up top and struggled to balance himself before scoring with Joey's own Moustache Ride (top rope swinging neckbreaker) from the top turnbuckle for the pin and the win. Afterwards, Scorpio picked up the chair and went off on Lost with multiple chair shots to the stomach and back. Scorpio and Dino finally escorted Scorpio to the back after he got his revenge on Lost. Good blow-off match with the babyfaces getting their wins back over the heels, while also setting up Scorpio Sky-Lost for night two. (***)
(8) Kevin Steen beat Samoa Joe at 17:40 to retain the PWG Title. Joe dropped Steen on his face after the initial lock up and delivered a simple, yet effective slap to the face. Joe went to a ground-based attack with a painful bow and arrow submission, bending Steen's body into several unnatural positions. Steen powered out then exchanged shoulder blocks with Joe before faking a third bounce to the ropes and slapping Joe across the face. Joe responded with a flurry of slaps to the head before Steen ducked out to the outside. Joe followed out and delivered several booming chops to the chest before sending Steen back into the ring. Steen instantly recovered and flew through the ropes onto Joe with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Steen worked on Joe in the corner before Joe fired back with an E. Honda front slam. Joe bounced off the ropes and delivered a high-impact knee drop to the throat before kicking Steen in the chest. Steen tried to fire back with a head butt, but dropped to the mat holding his head after striking Joe's stiff head. Steen came back with a drop kick then a spinning heel kick followed by a cover for a nearfall. Steen pounded on Joe then tried to fly off the middle turnbuckle with a back elbow, but Joe casually moved out of the way without a second thought.
Joe washed Steen's face with his foot then charged for a kick to the head, but Steen moved out of the ring to the outside and caught Joe's foot to wrap his leg around the ringpost. Steen worked on Joe's right leg and knee with follow-up kicks as Joe crawled around the ring to recuperate. Joe tried to answer Steen with chops, but Steen went for the knee each time he felt Joe was making a comeback. Joe escaped a half-crab and hit a charging thrust kick before making a cover for a nearfall. Joe came back with a powerbomb into an STF after Steen kicked out of the powerbomb. Steen crawled over to the ropes and broke the hold. Steen tried to come back with another attack to the knee, but Joe caught Steen off the ropes and scored with a snap powerslam. Joe chopped Steen across the chest before Steen went back to the knee and dropped Joe with a scoop slam. Steen went up top and grazed Joe with a moonsault so he returned to the top turnbuckle for a second moonsault, this time connecting in full, but only for a nearfall.
Steen went for a suplex, but couldn't get Joe up in the air. Joe responded by setting up Steen for the Muscle Buster, but Steen slipped out just in time. Steen responded with a Package Piledriver attempt, but Joe blocked and hit a Samoan Drop into a Death Valley Driver. Both men lay on the mat as the referee applied a ten count. Joe and Steen recovered at a count of nine then exchanged forearm blows. Steen raked Joe's eyes then missed with a clothesline as Joe locked in a sleeper hold. Steen pulled the referee into the hold allowing him to deliver a mule kick. Steen grappled Joe and went for the Package Piledriver, but Joe blocked and hit a Samoan Drop. However, Steen rolled through on the Samoan Drop and cradled Joe with a crucifix pin to score the three count and retain the PWG Title. Good work by Steen focusing on Joe's knee in an impressive match up of top heavyweights. Strong match to close a strong night of wrestling. (***1/4)
Overall: Not an overwhelming show compared to previous PWG shows, but a very strong effort from top to bottom to make this worth a look for DVD purchase. With every match receiving roughly the same amount of time - give or take a few minutes for the tag matches over the singles matches - there wasn't much room for one match to stand out on its own as must-see, although Generico-Evans was close. However, what was most enjoyable was seeing wrestlers who have been appearing in TNA have an opportunity to work their style of match and entertain the crowd without having to worry about only having three minutes to fit everything into a tight window. Petey-Sabin is one example as they delivered in spades without TNA's restrictive style.
Matches Announced for Night Two on Saturday
- Kevin Steen vs. Chris Bosh for the PWG Title
- Rocky Romero vs. Jimmy Yang
- Joey Ryan vs. Jack Evans
- Davey Richards & Super Dragon vs. Disco Machine and Excalibur for the PWG Tag Titles
- Frankie Kazarian & Chris Sabin vs. Petey Williams & Aaron Aguilera
- Scorpio Sky vs. Scott Lost
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