Nine years have passed. There have been some truly amazing moments in PWG history and hopefully this year’s anniversary show adds to that list of memorable moments. I was there when PAC debuted in America in Reseda against AJ Styles and the next night having the breakout match of his career against El Generico. A lot of us have seen the crazy Guerrilla Warfare match between Super Dragon and Kevin Steen which may go down as the most notorious match in PWG history (if you think I’m wrong look up the Super Dragon/Kevin Steen feud video on Youtube and see how many hits it’s gotten). I was at Seven when Bryan Danielson came back and everyone threw their tie’s at him except me because I’m not throwing away a perfectly good tie. I was there when Hero finally became PWG World Champion and made that belt more prestigious with his long title reign. I saw the Young Bucks go from nobodies to world wide indy sensations. So many memories, so little time. I’ll post my top 5 PWG moments and matches at the end of the column. Let’s run down the card shall we?
Famous B vs. Joey Ryan
Word on the street is Ryan is on his way to TNA. Ryan always works with the local up and comers so even if TNA wasn’t hunting him down, this match would have still gone down anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised to see B get the win here to get the rub from Joey on his way out. But even if and when he does sign with TNA, I still think Ryan will wrestle and help run PWG like he does now. But who knows, I could be wrong. Famous B has been looking a lot better the last year and had a impressive performance against B-Boy. Ryan of course has nothing going on right now in PWG except random Candace matches and a DDT4 appearance. A win for Joey would mean nothing.
My Pick: Famous B
B-Boy vs. Drake Younger
Drake is making his PWG debut and has a history with B-Boy in CZW. Younger lost the CZW World Title to B-Boy in January of 2010. This should be stiff as hell. Younger and B-Boy like to bring it physically in the ring so this should click really well with the PWG crowd. I expectt some crazy unnecessary spots and possible head drops. I’m almost pretty sure Younger is only here for a shot so I except B-Boy to pick the victory here and possibly work his way up to bigger matches.
My Pick: B-Boy
Brian-Cage Taylor vs. Eddie Edwards
This is another measuring stick for Cage-Taylor. He had a great match against Steen at Death to All But Metal albeit a loss, he still looked like a main event player. Edwards has had some great matches in PWG and could potentially look to challenge for the PWG World Title once again if given the chance. Both men are coming off of World Title match losses so both need the win here. Edwards doesn’t come in as often and Cage-Taylor needs the high profile wins that Willie Mack has had to build him up more. Edwards can afford to take the loss as Cage-Taylor needs a big singles victory to garner the kind of attention that Willie Mack has. Edwards will try to strike down Cage to the ground while Cage will try to over power Edwards. I have a feeling these guys will mesh well and Cage-Taylor will get a big victory on his road BOLA 2012.
My Pick: Brian-Cage Taylor
TJ Perkins vs. Roderick Strong
Believe or not this is a rematch six years in the making. They had a match at the first Threemendous which was the third anniversary show. They had a good match but the crowd sucked and Roderick won. You would think that Strong is a shoe in to win here especially with BOLA around the corner and every top wrestler in PWG is vying for a spot, but Perkins has upped his game in the last six years. He’s put on a lot more muscle. ALOT. I’ve seen this guy wrestler in 2002 in front of 14 people and he was small and skinny, but talented. Now he’s got the look and maybe, just maybe this is the match to break him out. A win over a former ROH World champion would do tons for Perkins’ career. I’m pretty sure he’s never beaten Roderick Strong. Perkins needs to build some momentum if he wants to finally be a top player in PWG like Steen and Generico. Perkins has been there since the start and still has yet to gain any moment to the top. Perhaps after nine long hard years, this is his chance to breakout of the stigma of being a mid card guy. A surprise tap out win wouldn’t surprise me here followed by a potential surprise deep BOLA run.
My Pick: TJ Perkins
The Fighting Taylor Boys’ (Ryan Taylor and Chuck Taylor) vs. RockNES Monsters (Johnny Yuma and Johnny Goodtime)
This is a very interesting match. Both teams/stables I feel are at crossroads. RockNES Monsters were almost a shoe in the win DDT4 until the Super Smash Brothers stole the crowds hearts away from the RockNES Monsters. They teamed with Candice for a victory to get back on the winning track and now they either have to build themselves up for a tag title shot and rematch from last year against SSB or they go in different directions and possibly break up. They are split in NWA Hollywood and it created and interesting dynamic. Although I doubt it because RockNES click so well with the crowd. I think this match is the first in a series to build up RockNES to another title shot which they haven’t had in over year.
Chuck and Ryan have teamed in a six man once and they’ve accompanied each other in various matches. This is the first time they’re teaming together. I’ve been waiting for these two to tag together because I think they click better as a team than Ryan and Brian do. Chuck is a better tag wrestler anyway. I can see these two team in PWG and possibly challenge SSB for the belts at some point, but I think RockNES need to get their momentum back quickly or else the crowd might turn on them. I can feel it in the crowd already. I see a possible SSB/RockNES Monsters tag title match at BOLA.
My Pick: RockNES Monsters
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Sami Callihan
These are two relative new comers to PWG. Callihan debuted at DDT4 whileElginat Death to All But Metal and both are making their second PWG appearances. Both are coming of losses in their debuts so both need a win. As great of a worker as Sami has become and how much he connects with the crowd,Elginis just too hot right now to lose back to back in promotion like PWG where there are only ten shows a year. I’m almost sure both will be in BOLA butElginlooked like such a beast in his debut that he has to win here and look like a champ with the crowd. Callihan seems to be over as an underdog babyface so losing here wouldn’t look so bad for his character in PWG. Callihan is the kind of wrestler where when loses, he still gets over with his performance. Elginmade the crowd lose their shit on multiple occasions against Willie Mack in May so I would be shocked if he loses here. Plus you look at these two on paper andElginlooks like he would take Callihan apart. Perhaps I’m wrong and Callihan will dominant the match, you never know, but I’m sticking with my pick.
It’s been one year since Kevin Steen shocked us all and out of nowhere became PWG World Champion. He earned the belt by wrestling multiple times on the same show and did so not once, not twice, but FOUR times in 2011 for PWG. He wrestled three times at DDT4, twice at All-Star Weekend 8 Night 1, three times at Eight and three times at BOLA. In 2011, Steen wrestled fifteen matches when PWG only produced ten. The guy loves PWG to death and one year later he we are, Steen still reigning supreme all over the indy wrestling world. He is the first person to hold both the ROH and PWG World Titles simultaneously. But someone else loves PWG just as much as Kevin Steen does and that’s a guy who literally sat in the crowd in the earlier PWG years and trained just to be with PWG.
Willie Mack is the very definition of a “homegrown talent”. Since his debut in December 2010, Mack has won the crowd over with his heart, performance and jaw dropping athleticism. He moves so well for a big man. His performances have gotten steadily better over the last year and a half and holds big wins over guys like Chris Hero (twice), Roderick Strong, Naruki Doi and the world champ himself Kevin Steen. Is this Willie Mack’s time?
It’s his first title match. You know the crowd will be split but I think in the end the crowd will side with Mack with the storyline of being a fan at first then becoming a world title contender. It’s going to be very emotional down the stretch and this is very much a toss up. Mack winning here could solidify him as a top level indy talent that could garner him more fly ins and attention from other places as he does have that superstar look that connects with the crowd because of the kind of size he has. However some still feel he is still not ready for the belt and it’s too soon to give it to him. Steen still has a lot of mileage in terms of title contenders as he’s only had two defenses of the belt. As much as I love Willie Mack, I have to think Steen winning here is better in the long term. Mack can bounce back and win BOLA while Steen can continue his world title dominance on the indy scene and Mack can possibly challenge again at the end of the year.
I saw Generico literally tear down the roof at Steen Wolf, which I predicted to my two friends earlier in the night. I looked at them during pre-show and said, whoever wins is going to tear down the vent because they hooked the belt to the vent. After Generico won, I looked at them and they looked at me in shock like I was Jesus or something. I’m not Jesus, but I did write “The Book of Wrestling”. I wrote it one hundred years before I was born. But that’s a story for another day. After that I figured Legion Larry would never let them run another ladder match again. Nine months later here we are.
The Super Smash Brothers defeated The Young Bucks in a No-DQ tag match in May for the vacant titles. They were vacated by Appetite for Destruction (Steen and Super Dragon) because of Dragon’s injury. SSB are riding a huge wave of momentum after wining DDT4 and winning the PWG World Tag Team Titles less than a year after their debut in PWG. Nobody wants another Young Bucks title run and I bet even the Young Bucks would tell you that. We’ve seen the Bucks against everyone at this point and another title run would help no one. SSB have more potential fresh match ups as champions than the Bucks do. I’m not saying that Future Shock are not worthy of the belts as well but I feel that they’re about to break up and they will face off in a opening round match in BOLA or somewhere down the line in PWG. They split in ROH a while back and no one else books them as a tag anymore except PWG so it would make sense to split them here. I think Cole or O’ Reily will nail each other with a ladder or chair on accident and cause dissension in the ranks. SSB will come out on top of their first defense, which is a ladder match no less. This match will be bat shit crazy, and by this point I would have seen “The Dark Knight Rises” twice (already got my tickets).
My Pick: The Super Smash Brothers
And that’s the card. It’s stacked with fresh faces and new rising stars on the scene. If you noticed El Generico is not on the card and this is the first anniversary show he’s missed since the first two because Generico wasn’t even in PWG at that point. As a way to close out this article and in honor of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s nine year legacy here are my top five moments and matches.
Top 5 Moments:
5) Funk and Piper in a PWG Ring at “Kurt Russell Reunion II”
4) Kenny Omega Breaking the Ring at “BOLA 2008 Stage 2”
3) Human Tornado Ending Joey Ryan’s Evil Title Reign at “Based on a True Story”
2) Bryan Danielson’s Farewell at “Guerre Sans Frontières”
1) Generico and Steen Literally Tear Down the Roof/Super Dragon’s Return at “Steen Wolf”
BOLA 2010 Quarter Finals: Akira Tozawa vs. Chris Hero- “BOLA 2010 Night 2”
* Thanks for reading. I’ll probably be tweeting live results from the show. Here’s my plug:
Wrestling fan since 1985 but I was born in 1988. My favorite wrestler changes everyday. I love storytelling and wrestling is the perfect example of the classic three act story arc. Everything has a beginning, middle and end. Every hero hears the call. Every hero has a villain. Every hero has their darkest hour. Every hero must RISE.
Got a degree in film and television a year ago and have been doing the whole "Office Space"/"American Beauty" thing for now. Will get an industry job soon. Hopefully.
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