4/9 PWG "Winning" report: Generation Me (a/k/a The Young Bucks) win the PWG Tag Titles despite breaking up on TNA television, Low-Ki vs. Akira Tozawa, Claudio Castagnoli, Roderick Strong, Joey Ryan
Pro Wrestling Guerilla "Winning"("Card Subject to Change 3")
Reseda Calif. at the American Legion Post #308
Report by Dot Net reader Scott Turner
This was the fifth PWG event I've been to, and besides the show with Bryan Danielson's last match before signing to WWE the first time around, this was most the filled out I've seen the small yet intimate American Legion Post. The show started out with the usual introduction from ring announcer Jon Ian and the "liaison to the board of directors," Excalibur.
Excalibur explained to the crowd that due to a family emergency concerning his son, Kevin Steen would not be wrestling. I think it's worth noting that Excalibur mentioned that Steen had informed him that he was willing to make the show but that PWG officials made the call that Steen should stay with his family. Excalibur informed everyone that tonight's show would now be called "Card Subject to Change 3."
1. Johnny Yuma defeated Peter Avalon. A solid opening match with some good comedy spots that are par for the course for PWG shows. For two particularly smaller wrestlers they made up for their lack size and muscle with some crowd pleasing comedy that included Yuma using his ass as a weapon on several occasions, and some hard hitting moves. It was especially funny when the two smaller competitors engaged in a test of strength and facetiously flexed for a pose-down.
2. Candice LeRae defeated Portia Perez. The crowd was happy to see LeRae and initially were tough on Perez. It was an entertaining women's match with had athleticism that most WWE women's matches lack sorely. There was a cool spot where both women kept countering each other's pin attempts with roll ups that went around the whole that resulted in a constant trade of one counts between the two. LeRae won with an anti-climatic pin. After the match Perez was met with chants of "please come back."
3. Roderick Strong defeated Willie Mack. Wow, this match really stole the show. The crowd was into both competitors and while they were responsive and respectful to Strong, Mack was the the crowd favorite tonight. This math was full of devastating forearms and a bevy of awesome spots. I had seen Mack perform once before at an XPW reunion show over just about a year ago and was highly entertained by his comedy alone that day.
Tonight Mack and Strong started lightly with some comedy that crescendoed into high impact quality match. Highlights included the aforementioned forearms in an intense exchange, an awesome flying knee from Strong and Strong delivering a pseudo sidewalk slam onto the ring post and ropes to Mack while standing on the top rope. Strong won with a brutal foot to Mack's face. After the match the Strong and Mack shook hands. I am definitely sold on Mack. Reminds me of Samoa Joe in the sense that he is a big guy with some awe-inspiring athletic ability. PWG would be wise to put Mack and Colt Cabana in a meaningful big match or program.
4. Low Ki defeated Akira Tozawa. This was the last match before intermission. Low Ki came out wearing different gear than what he wore in WWE, sporting trunks and what looked like some sort of support bandage on one arm. After the first flurry of exchanges between the two Low Ki took the mic to let the crowd know they would "never see that kind of action in the WWE."
There was some of the cool kung fu-esque action Low Ki is known for that was only complimented by the kind of talent a Dragon Gate caliber competitor like Tozawa possesses. The match ended with Low Ki going off the top rope only to meet Tozawa's chest with a stomp. An entertaining dynamic match with a nice build and convincing action.
5. Johnny Goodtime defeated Ryan Taylor. Two wins for the RockNes Monsters tonight as Goodtime picked up a win over Taylor. Maybe it is just me, but Taylor looks like he has a gotten a bit bigger a far as muscles are concerned. Nothing unnatural or anything, but he definitely looked more legit tonight than the last time I saw him. Also his repertoire of moves seemed to place a stronger emphasis on submissions than I remember from seeing him before. This was a good match that got the crowd back into the show after intermission.
6. Claudio Castagnoli defeated Joey Ryan to retain the PWG World Heavyweight Title. Awesome match that the crowd ate up. Castagnoli kept emphasizing "sportsmanship" as he and Ryan displayed some comedic technical wrestling. It's pretty amazing watching Castagnoli do some of the moves he can do including an awesome super kick, some dizzying mat-work, and some big spots. Joey Ryan has a special place in any PWG fan's heart so it was a treat to see these two work. Ryan submitted after a sequence of moves that boiled to down to Castagnoli's Neutralizer. The guy seems ready for the big time. His timing, athleticism, and looks scream "superstar" to me.
7. Generation Me defeated El Generico and Ricochet to win the PWG World Tag Team Titles. Gen Me came out to their usual PWG theme of Hanson's "MMMbop" that always gets the crowd going in a way that no self-respecting adult smart pro wrestling should be proud of. Hey, it's a catchy song alright?! Anyways, Generico came out to chants and sing-a-longs of "Ole," while Ricochet got similar "Ochet" chants. it was insinuated that Ricochet was now tag team champions with Generico after taking Paul London's place. It was never explained why London wasn't there to defend his title with Generico.
While they were initially introduced as "The Young Bucks," the team let ring announcer Jon Ian know that from now on they are Jeremy and Max Buck of Generation Me from TNA, funny stuff. It was interesting that Gen Me referred to their TNA break up saying "not even TNA can break up the greatest tag team in the world." If Strong and Mack did not take the cake for match of the night these two teams did. This was a highly athletic fast paced match that saw all the wrestlers hit their signature individual spots as well as team spots.
Ricochet is a truly a sight to behold and his look has only improved since the last time I have seen him. He is capable of some of the action being pulled off by wrestlers like Evan Bourne and Sin Cara. Gen Me won with a tandem tag team move with Max Buck hitting a Pittsburgh Plunge followed by a top rope moonsault from Jeremy onto Ricochet. The team closed out the show proclaiming they were taking the titles with them to Orlando.
Notes: Overall it was an awesome show that featured a "diamond in the rough" type of card. Most of the matches did not scream "blockbuster" with marquee value alone, but any pro wrestling fan familiar with the talent on the show that saw the line-up had to have known they were in for some serious quality wrestling. PWG reminds me of the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy shows in that they allow for established and up-and-comers performers to let loose a bit while breaking out of their shell all while delivering a highly entertaining, and for the most part, polished show. PWG is a great alternative for West Coast wrestling fans to experience Ring of Honor like action with a strong comedic backbone. Did I mention the beer is cheap too?
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