Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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RADICAN’S PWG “GAME OVER, MAN!” REPORT
APRIL 21, 2017
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT HIGHSPOTS.COM
(1) PWG Tag Team Champion Rey Fenix vs. Lio Rush. Both men shook hands and Rush hit a kick to the gut and acted like he felt guilty about it. Fenix then returned the favor and apologized. They had a great exchange off the ropes before Rush got a rollup for a 2 count. Excalibur compared Rush’s hair to Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics. Both men shook hands and teased walking away cleanly, but they ended up hitting a double clothesline twice before both of them rolled to the floor. Rush went for a German to the floor and then a sunset bomb, but Fenix countered and hit a big leg drop on the apron. WOW! Rush fooled Fenix with some misdirection off the ropes once the action spilled back into the ring and he ended up nailing him with a big dropkick. Both guys went back and forth at a quick pace. Fenix hit a rolling frog splash for a near fall at one point. They exchanged counters near the ropes until Rush finally hit Fenix with a sliding kick through the ropes. He then nailed him with a big dive to the outside and the fans fired up. Rush set up for a pedrigree, but Fenix hit a backdrop. They went back and forth and Fenix hit a big pair of head kicks. Rush fired right back with a spinning kick to the head. They went back and forth and Fenix hit a 818. He went up top, but Rush caught him with a kick to the gut and a stunner and the fans went nuts! Fenix hit an ace crusher and Rush fired back with one of his own before hitting Orton’s pose. They went back and forth in the corner and Rush hit a poison hurricanrana. Both men got back up and teased going at it, but they ended up collapsing and the fans fired up again. Fenix ended up hitting a step up double stomp off the top that absolutely crushed him. Fenix was slow to make the cover and Rush kicked out at the very last second. WOW! They continued to go back and forth and Fenix set up Rush on the top rope. Rush was bleeding from the mouth. Fenix went for a double springboard Spanish fly, but Rush held on. Rush then hit Rush hour, but Fenix kicked out at the last second! Fenix caught Rush coming off the top and hit a knee lift to his head right into a piledriver for a near fall. Fenix went for a double stomp off the top to the apron, but Rush blocked it and caught him with Rush hour on the apron! Rush then hit a big frog splash for the win!
Winner: Lio Rush
Star rating: (****) – This was an amazing opening to the show. They went at it full speed from start to finish. They had some great counter sequences building up to an incredible finish. My jaw was on the floor by the end of this match. This set an incredibly high bar for the rest of the show.
(2) Adam Cole vs Matt Riddle. Cole was trying to toy around with Riddle and he flipped him the bird, so Riddle jumped right into a cross arm breaker during the early going. Cole stomped on Riddle’s foot and sent him flying into Dave Meltzer from the apron to the floor. Cole went on the attack and went after Riddle’s eyes. They went back and forth and Riddle hit a fisherman buster. He went for a big senton, but Cole got his knees up. He then hit a shining wizard for a 2 count. Riddle hit a pair of rolling gut wrench suplexes right into a doctor bomb at one point for a 2 count and the fans fired up. Cole blocked bro to sleep a short time later and hit a neck breaker over his knee out of the DVD position for a 2 count. Cole hit a series of kicks capped by a running knee to the head for a 2 count. Cole hit another running knee to Riddle’s head, but he kicked out. Riddle fired back with the bromission and Cole tapped out.
Winner: Matt Riddle
Star rating: (***) – This was a good match, but it seemed like just a lot of back and forth action with not much of a story to invest in. Cole’s heel act was fun to watch during the match, but they didn’t build the action up too much leading into the finish.
(3) Keith Lee vs. Jeff Cobb. Cobb lifted Lee with a pump-handle, did a squad, and then tossed him over his head across the ring and the fans lost their minds. Holy s—t! End the match now! The pace picked up and Lee took Cobb down with a step up head scissor takedown. Cobb hit some big head butt’s on Lee, but he wouldn’t go down. Lee finally fired back and hit a splash in the corner. Lee went on the attack and hit a huge clothesline to the back of Cobb’s head. Cobb mounted a comeback and hit a big belly to belly suplex, but Lee got right up and hit one of his own. Cobb no-sold it and Lee was posing for the crowd. Lee took a big German, but got right back to his feet. Lee turned Cobb inside out with a German. Cobb got up and they began trading forearms. Lee hit a pop up headbutt to the chest and Cobb bounced off the ropes and hit a running headbutt that left both men down. They went back and forth and Lee tossed Cobb into the ropes and hit a huge pounce that nearly sent Cobb flying to the floor. They ended up going at it on the apron and Cobb hit a German. They rolled back into the ring, but Cobb wasn’t able to get much on the cover and Lee kicked out at 2.
Lee hit a powerbomb and began climbing the ropes slowly. Cobb cut him off and grabbed him off the second turnbuckle and hit a German. Lee got back to his feet and Cobb hit another German. Cobb went for yet another German, but Lee fought out of it. Lee had Cobb up, but Cobb countered and hit a German suplex right into tour of the islands for the win!
Winner: Jeff Cobb
Star rating: (***3/4) – This was an awesome display of power from both men. The pacing was a little slow in spots and I would like to see both men to be more aggressive to take the action to the next level. That being said, there were some great fighting spirit spots from both men and the finish with Cobb hitting a German right into tour of the islands was nuts.
(4) Michael Elgin vs. Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly was subbing for Mark Haskins, who couldn’t make the show due to injury. Both guys tagged each other with some big strikes during the early going. O’Reilly went after Elgin’s arm during the early going. They eventually went to a big exchange of blows in the middle of the ring. They continued to go at it and O’Reilly tried to boot Elgin to the mat, but he wouldn’t go down. O’Reilly finally took Elgin down with his signature combination of strikes capped by a leg sweep. They went to a fast-paced exchange off the ropes. Elgin sold one arm and eventually caught O’Reilly with a one arm German. He held on and went for another, but O’Reilly managed to free himself. Elgin then hit a dead lift falcon arrow, but O’Reilly kicked out at the very last second. Excalibur said nobody kicks out of the falcon arrow after the near fall, which was funny. Elgin took control, despite O’Reilly’s work on his arm and hit some really big clotheslines as the match went on. At one point Elgin hit a huge clothesline off the ropes for a near fall. O’Reilly surprised Elgin with a triangle, but Elgin lifted him up. O’Reilly transitioned to a front chancery. O’Reilly let go of the hold and hit axe and smash. He then hit a brainbuster, but Elgin kicked out. O’Reilly went right to a cross-arm breaker, but Elgin managed to get to the ropes.
They ended up going at it on the apron. They went back and forth until Elgin hit a DVD on the apron! Elgin went for the deadlift suplex from the apron, but he ended up turning it into a falcon arrow for a near fall and the fans fired up! O’Reilly low bridged Elgin a short time later before kicking him to the floor. O’Reilly then dove off the apron with a knee strike into Elgin’s shoulder. O’Reilly went up top, but Elgin caught him with a powerbomb, a buckle bomb, and a liger bomb for the win. WOW!
Winner: Michael Elgin
Star rating: (****) – This was a great hard-hitting match with Elgin having to fight through the work O’Reilly did on his arm the entire match. These two had some great hard-hitting exchanges leading to a decisive win for Elgin in the end. This was a fantastic battle between these two.
(5) War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson). The Young Bucks did their heelish comedic stalling during the early going. War Machine took control and Rowe slammed Hanson onto Nick. The Young Bucks bailed and teased heading to the back. Nick then looked for a timeout, which was not granted. The Young Bucks fired back and used their speed to outfox War Machine and they wiped out Hanson and Rowe as the fans applauded. The Young Bucks set up for The Terminator dive, but War Machine caught them and tossed them into each other! The fans then chanted for War Machine. War Machine set up and went for a dive, but The Young Bucks caught them with stereo superkicks after sliding into the ring. Matt began attacking Hanson’s beard as the fans gasped. Nick then came off the top with a double sledge on the beard as Matt held it and the fans gasped again. This is tremendous! Nick then twisted Hanson’s bear around and held it so Matt could come off the top with a double stomp on it. Hanson finally made the tag to Rowe, who ran wild on The YB.
Matt mounted a comeback and hit a moonsault stunner on Rowe. He crawled towards Nick to make the tag, but Rowe cut him off. Matt wiped out Hanson again and then Rowe before finally making the hot tag to Nick, who ran wild with kicks. The fans fired up as Nick hit a lariat/bulldog combination on War Machine. Nick was incredible here just seamlessly hitting a series of moves on Hanson and Rowe. Hanson and Rowe caught The Young Bucks coming off the top again. The Young Bucks managed to slip away this time and The Young Bucks took control and hit a series of moves on War Machine to wipe them out. WOW! Matt and Nick went up top, but War Machine got out of the way. Hanson ended up going back and forth across the ring hitting Matt and Nick with clotheslines with Rowe down on the mat. The fans fired up as Hanson continued to hit clotheslines after clothesline on The Young Bucks before finally hitting the too sweet hand gesture in the middle of the ring. Rowe picked up Hanson and tossed him into Nick in the corner a short time later and the fans fired up once again. All four men went at it at a rapid pace. Rowe hit a back breaker or Matt and then a gut buster as the match continued at a fast pace. Nick hit a swanton on Hanson, but wait…Hanson caught him! Hanson tossed Nick to Rowe and War Machine hit a springboard lariat/German suplex for a near fall. Holy s—t! The Young Bucks went for a double superkick on Hanson, but he blocked it and hit a double powerbomb! Hanson went up top for a moonsault, but The YB got out of the way. The YB ran wild and hit risky business on Hanson for a near fall. The YB set up for the Meltzer driver on Hanson, but Rowe caught Matt. War machine then ran wild on the YB. WOW! Hanson went up top and hit a big splash on The YB. He made a double pin, but they kicked out! War Machine went for a double team move, but Nick managed to roll up Rowe for the win.
Winners: Matt & Nick Jackson
Star rating: (****1/2) – This was an amazing match that just got better and better as it went on. Both teams pulled off some unbelievable sequences that had my jaw on the floor. War Machine made once heck of an impression for their PWG debut.
(6) PWG World Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Dick Togo in a Non-Title match. Togo is 47 years old and has been wrestling since 1991. They went at it on the mat during the early going with neither man getting a clear advantage. Togo got the upper hand and got his legs around Sabre’s neck, but he managed to get to the bottom rope. Togo wrapped his legs around Sabre’s head, but Sabre escaped and wrenched his ankle around before grabbing a single leg crab. Sabre tried to tie up Togo’s legs, but Togo managed to get to the bottom rope. Sabre went to work on Togo’s legs on the mat tying his legs up in a variety of ways as the match wore on. Togo mounted a comeback and sent Sabre to the floor with a dropkick as he came off the ropes. Togo set up and hit an insane flip dive through the ropes to the floor to wipe Sabre out. Togo set up on the top rope and hit a swinging pedigree for a 2 count. WOW! Sabre fired back and hit a leg sweep from his back to ground Togo. Togo managed to fire right back and hit a huge clothesline. He made the cover for a two count and then made a pair of deeper covers and got a near fall with the third attempt, which saw him grab a really deep cover. Sabre ducked a superkick and went back after Togo’s legs. He tied him up in a modified ankle lock. They exchanged blows and seemed to have some miscommunications with some of the exchanges. Togo finally ducked rolling elbow strike and he hit a release German that left both men down.
Sabre caught Togo with a pair of penalty kicks once they got back to their feet, but he was very slow to capitalize. They went back and forth and Togo got a rollup and transitioned right into a crossface, but Sabre managed to get his foot on the bottom rope. They went back and forth and Togo hit an ace crusher for a 2 count. Togo hit a pedigree and went up top. He went for a senton, but Sabre got his knees up. Sabre hit a PK that looked light. Togo waved him off and Sabre went for another PK, but Togo caught his leg and applied the crossface. Sabre managed to roll out of it and he got a crucifix pin for a near fall. They went back and forth and Sabre got a bridging pin as he flipped the double bird for the win.
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a good match at times, but they had an awkward exchange in the middle of the match that took me out of the match. Sabre dominated a lot of the match and did extensive work on Togo’s leg. Togo mounted some good comebacks, but he never really seemed to get on track during the match. The crowd wasn’t super into this match and although it had some flaws in spots, it was a good match.
Marty Scurll cut a promo before the main event and the fans booed. He told the fans to show him some respect and the fans booed. The fans then began chanting for Taylor. Scurll said Taylor wishes he could go across the world to wrestle and win BOLA, but the truth is he’s nothing more than a glorified jobber. The fans booed and Scurll said he’s an opening match guy at best. The fans continued to boo and then they chanted shut the f— up. He said he would beat Taylor and the fans would get to their feet and chant Marty, Marty.
(7) Marty Scurll vs. Chuck Taylor in a Reseda Street Fight. This match comes out of the aftermath of the previous show. It’s great that PWG has done a serious storyline pushing Taylor against strong heels like Sabre and Scurll. They went back and forth. Taylor tossed a chair at Scurll on the apron, but he tossed it right back and hit a superkick into the chair on Taylor, who was on the floor. Taylor put a garbage can over Scurll and hit him with his own umbrella several times. Taylor went for a moonsault onto Scurll, who still had the trashcan over him, but Scurll got out of the way and then nailed Taylor with the trash can. Scurll hit a piledriver on Taylor, but he popped right up. They went back and forth and Scurll caught Taylor with his fake out superkick to the leg. Scurll bounced off the ropes, but Taylor nailed him with the garbage can. He then whipped Scurll into a chair propped between the ropes in the corner and the fans fired up. They went back to the floor and Taylor set up a chair structure near the stage. He took Scurll up to the stage and set up for a powerbomb, but Scurll fought out of it. Taylor got on commentary with Excalibur and said he was about to kill Scurll for real. Scurll then hit a low blow and tossed Taylor off the commentary table through the chair structure on the floor! WOW! Scurll hit a Gotch piledriver, but inside the ring, but Taylor kicked out.
Taylor mounted a comeback and got a ladder from under the ring. Scurll got the upper hand and tossed a chair at Taylor inside the ring. Scurll set up another chair structure in one of the corners. The ladder was propped up in another corner. Scurll ended up hitting his finger snap spot on Taylor, who writhed in pain in the corner. Scurll taped Taylor’s hand to the top rope. Scurll posed for the fans before nailing Taylor with his umbrella. He grabbed another umbrella and hit Taylor with it. Scurll got yet another umbrella and hit Taylor with it. He went after Taylor with a chair, but Taylor nailed him with a knee strike to send the chair into his head. Taylor freed himself, but Scurll rolled him up right away for a two count. Taylor kicked out only to take a backdrop into the ladder. Scurll then powerbombed Taylor into the chair structure for a near fall. The fans chanted for Taylor as Scurll went for another umbrella. Scurll went for the chicken wing with the umbrella and got it. Taylor managed to grab another umbrella and he began hitting Scurll with it. He finally freed himself. Scurll tried to toss the trash can at Taylor a short time later, but he ducked and Scurll ended up hitting the ref. Taylor then hit a piledriver for a visual pin.
Taylor went under the ring and got a bucket. Taylor had a birthday present from Greg (Trent). The fans chanted Best Friends. Taylor turned over the birthday gift bag and a ton of tacks rained onto the mat. They went back and forth and Scurll hit a low blow. Scurll went into the bucket and got some powder, but Taylor kicked it into his face. Another ref came down and Scurll grabbed his fingers and snapped them apart multiple times. Taylor then hit a huge DVD on Scurll into the tacks, but the ref couldn’t count because his fingers were broken! This is tremendous! Taylor went for the chicken wing, but Scurll drove him into the ladder. Scurll got Taylor on his back and sent him into the tacks. Taylor then popped up out of the tacks and grabbed the chicken wing! The fans chanted for Scurll to tape and he did! WOW!
Taylor got on the mic after the match. The fans chanted next world champ. Taylor said in 22 minutes he will be 31. The fans popped huge for his announcement and chanted happy birthday. He said he couldn’t think of a better way to spend his birthday than pulling thumbtacks out of his ass in front of all of them to close the show.
Winner: Chuck Taylor
Star rating: (****) – The match started with some standard garbage match elements, but it got really good as it progressed and the fans got into Taylor more and more against Scurll. Taylor grabbing the bucket and having a birthday gift bag full of tacks from Trent was tremendous. The ref being unable to count a pinfall for Taylor was great as well after Scurll was blinded and snapped his fingers apart on both hands.
Overall score: (9.0) – This was just an epic night of action from PWG. Rush vs. Fenix set an incredibly high bar to open the show, but the matches were so diverse up and down the card that things ended up flowing together extremely well.
Elgin vs. O’Reilly was tremendous and hard-hitting with O’Reilly working over Elgin’s arm only for Elgin to overpower him in the end to get the win. The Young Bucks vs. War Machine match was an insane all-out back and forth match perfectly showcasing the strengths of both teams, as The Young Bucks high octane offense took a back seat to War Machine’s insane power. The Young Bucks managed to escape with a rollup pin in the end after a marathon back and forth match that clicked on every level.
The show closed with a fantastic street fight between Scurll and Taylor. They did a nice job of building up to big spots without making the action seem too cliché after the match got off to a bit of a slow spot. The finish sequence was tremendous and the ref bumps added a ton to the match leading to Taylor getting the submission victory with the ref being unable to count a pinfall after Scurll broke fingers on both of his hands. Taylor has been on a roll in PWG and his reaction gets bigger and bigger by the month thanks to the long-term storyline he’s had with LDRS (Sabre & Scurll).
Overall, this was the best PWG show of 2017 so far and one of the best events overall that I’ve seen from the indies in 2017. I give this release a high recommendation.
You can purchase PWG “Game Over, Man!” on DVD/Blu-Ray by clicking HERE or by visiting Highspots.com. For more information on PWG visit ProWrestlingGuerrilla.com.
Also be sure to visit highspotswrestlingnetwork.com. You can watch a ton of great content for one low monthly price including the WrestleCon 2017 event from WrestleMania weekend. You can also watch Highspots titles including the new But I Digress DVD series hosted by Kevin Gill with his first guess John Morrison. Also available to watch now are Hitting The Highspots Darby Allin and Wrestling’s Last Rebel: Bruiser Brody. You can also watch The Kevin Steen Show, Best Friends, CZW, PWG, and more on the HighspotsWrestlingNetwork.com subscription service, which is now available on Roku.
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