PWG’s tenth All-Star Weekend rolls on with a second night of action headlined by Adam Cole defending his world title against indie ace Johnny Gargano and the final appearances by Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards for the foreseeable future. Plus: Ricochet, Chris Hero, ACH, Tommaso Ciampa, Roderick Strong, Kevin Steen, the Young Bucks, AR Fox and more!
Buy the show here.
As I’ve been stood up by four â€“ yes, four â€“ different people tonight you guys are getting the second part of my inaugural PWG DVD review, All-Star Weekend X Night 2! On a Saturday night. Did I mention I got stood up four times? Hold me.
PPRay vs. RockNES Monsters vs. The Realest N-Words in Wrestling
Recap: Excalibur hesitates to announce B-Boy and Willie Mack’s team but after some fan encouragement relents for the first massive pop of the night. Despite strong showings from the relatively new teams, the experienced combo of the Johnnys got the win following a double stomp/ace crusher combo after Yuma low-blowed Rosas and threw him out of the ring onto Mack and B-Boy, leaving Avalon all alone. They who shall not be named murdered the two smaller teams early on, combining their ridiculously stiff offence into some nice tandems, before PPRay and RockNES took turns cheating their way back into it. Johnny Goodtime outdid AR Fox and jumped over the post to the outside… backwards. UN-BEEE-LIIIEVABLE.
Review: Your classic PWG crazy multi-team opening tag match. Everybody got a chance to shine, there were dives, a tower of doom spot and the always entertaining everybody-do-a-whole-bunch-of-moves-in-a-row-and-then-play-dead game. Your standard enjoyable car crash match, that was over surprisingly quickly. I still do not like Ray Rosas, and can’t put my finger on why. Props to him though, he took an utterly unnecessary face-first bump from the top rope onto the apron and survived. He and Avalon also had some unique combinations, so perhaps I’ll turn the corner on them. RockNES were the rightful victors here as the veteran team should beat the upstarts.
Excalibur’s Quote of the Match: â€œB-Boy… Willie Mack… the Realest N…..â€
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Anthony Nese
Recap: Ciampa defeated Nese in an extremely hard-hitting match with Project Ciampa. Tommaso dominated most of the match, with Nese finding a window via a jumping frankensteiner that saw Ciampa land on his neck and live to tell the tale. It didn’t last long though, as Ciampa followed a German suplex into the corner with three running knees and an avalanche air raid crash. Nese escaped the first Project Ciampa attempt but missed on a 450 Splash, ate a colossal lariat and fell to the Sicilian Psychopath’s unstoppable finisher.
Review: Nese hit a suicide dive on Ciampa before introductions could even be given, which sums up the tone of the whole match: MAYHEM. They beat the piss out of each other, throwing kicks and knee strikes and the crowd adored them for it. Nese has gotten so much better in the last year and Ciampa continues to be the man ROH should be considering building around in the future. Tommaso is one of the few wrestlers who know how to make fighting on the outside work. It was the same match both men have been having on PWG shows, so if you dug the previous ones, you’ll dig this. Otherwise…
Kevin Steen’s Quote of the Match: â€œI petitioned for him to be in PWG for a long time. The Powers That Be fought back, and kept saying ‘No, I don’t want Tomato Camper.’
The Best Friends vs. The Unbreakable F’n Machines
Recap: How do you overcome the seemingly insurmountable strength advantage of Elgin and Cage? The power of friendship! Not only did the Best Friends pin Brian Cage, they did it after a Double Chokeslam for their second victory in as many nights. Chuck Taylor and the former Brian Cage-Taylor ended up hitting a double team on Trent? and hugging, with the crowd apparently failing to understand the joke. Cage and Elgin tossed the smaller team around the ring for almost the whole match, passing Trent? back and forth during a delayed vertical suplex, but the Best Friends’ cunning tactics eventually allowed them to overcome the considerable size disadvantage. They friendship literally saved them at one point, holding hands to avoid tandem German suplexes. In the end Trent? stunned Elgin by catching him off guard with the Fade to Black, and the Best Friends descended on Cage rapidly enough to pin him before his partner could recover.
Review: The Best Friends are amazeballs. Trent? isn’t as popular as Kenny Omega, but he’s a better wrestler and lives in the US, so PWG have themselves a more viable Men of Low Moral Fibre. Their antics are of the utmost hilariousness, from Chucky complaining when Trent? rescued him from a double slam with a missile dropkick to his own partner’s back, to them cutting short a criss-cross spot to hug, they’re going to be the most over team in the company very soon, if they aren’t already. As for the match, it was highly entertaining, essentially a tag team version of the big man/little man formula, with Elgin and Cage getting their usual chance to pop the crowd with their otherworldly feats of strength, while the Best Friends found funny and believable ways to fight back and taking advantage. Would recommend.
Excalibur’s Quote of the Match: â€œThe crowd in Reseda have short term memories, they don’t even remember the Fightin’ Taylor Boys.â€
Kevin Steen’s Quote of the Match: â€œI love Davey Richards’ way of watching the matches, just by sticking his whole face out through the curtain.â€
ACH vs. Chris Hero
Recap: Hero made good on his promise to reprove himself as the best in the world, starting off by making ACH tap out to his Stretch Plum/Hangman’s Clutch. ACH managed to hold his own in a technical exchange for a time, but could not compensate for Hero’s all-angles hybrid style. His speed allowed for a brief comeback, but he took just a few too many elbows and kicks to stay in it, and there was no surviving that submission.
Review: Hero elected to get… weird with a Norman Smiley tribute, probably in retaliation to the fan’s heckle from Night One. I’ll again state Hero needs to cut back on the death strikes, because ACH absorbed one of the stiffest rolling elbows ever, two insane yakuza kicks, a brutal powerbomb, and a Cyclone Kill, kicking out of all of them. It’s just too much. A good little match regardless, but more of an exhibition for Hero, with ACH only hitting a handful of moves. I wouldn’t mind a more balanced rematch in a few months.
Kevin Steen’s Quote of the Match: â€œOh come on, it’s a fucking front facelock. Front chancery? This isn’t World of Warcraft.â€
AR Fox & Rich Swan vs. The Dojo Bros.
Recap: The Dojo Bros. finish their PWG run the way they started it: annihilating a smaller team, getting the win with an Orange Crush Backbreaker followed by a double stomp. It took over five minutes for Swann or Fox to hit a single move, and even with Fox hitting three colossal dives in fifteen seconds, the advantage didn’t stick. They came close with a Low Mein Pain/Firebird/450 Splash combo, but Roddy broke up the surefire pin. The Dojo Bros seemed to win the match after their Dominator/Double Stomp move, with confusion as to whether the ref counted three or not. Strong demanded the match continue, but his team won moments later anyway.
Review: Oh my word are the Dojo Bros good at looking like they’re really hurting people. That they must die so the Wolves can live in TNA is a tragedy. They should sign Roddy too and turn it into a three-man unit. Anyway! You can throw basically any two wrestlers you want into the ring with Eddie and Roddy and it’s probably going to be my match of the night, and Swann being so small and Fox so bendy made them the ultimate crash test dummies. Just brutal. Edwards and Strong owe the flippy boys a beer, because they beat them senseless.
Excalibur’s Quote of the Match: â€œYou could say that Roderick is the Goldberg of PWG.â€
Eddie gives his farewell speech, calling PWG the best wrestling company in the world and putting over his Dojo Brother from Another Mother, Roderick Strong, who returns the favour by having the crowd sing happy birthday to Eddie nine days early. Eddie is offered a fan’s hat and a pitcher of beer. He’ll take ’em both, he’s hardcore!
Davey Richards vs. Ricochet
Recap: Davey Richards says goodbye for now to PWG with a loss to Ricochet, eating a massive 630, from which there is no kicking out. It was a fairly even contest, with both men showing their ground game, striking skill and aerial ability. Alliteration, bitch. Things got serious when Ricochet flipped out of a German Superplex, landing on his feet, leading to a flurry of offence and a few near falls, but missed a Shooting Star Press and had to weather quite a storm, including a Tombstone and a juggernaut of a double stomp. Davey tried an Avalanche Tombstone but Ricochet slipped out and hit a Frankensteiner, stunning Davey long enough for him to hit the 630 and that was very much it.
Review: I have watched this match four times now. I love it. Davey finished his time on the indies by facing the two best wrestlers on them, and Ricochet rose to the occasion as always. He can do just about anything he feels like. Why on earth is he not signed? I’m not aware of a previous meeting between these two, but they’re a phenomenal pairing, and while I hope Mr. Richards remains gainfully employed for a long time to come, I’d like to see them wrestle many, many more times.
Chuck Taylor’s Quote of the Match 1: â€œOkay here’s the deal: If I get signed by a bigger company and I’m still doing indie dates, I’m not gonna do shit.â€
Davey Richards put people over! Hilariously, he seems to not know Trent?’s name. He says PWG taught him it’s okay to stand up for what you believe in. Not sure how that could be, but it’s his speech, not mine. He gives an F-you to corporate wrestling days before signing with a corporate wrestling company and thanks us not as Davey, but as Wesley Richards.
Mount Rushmore vs. Candice LeRae, Joey Ryan & Drake Younger
Recap: Mount Rushmore were dealt their first major loss since forming, with Drake Younger rolling up Steen to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The heels isolated Joey for a time, but the babyface trio started dropping bombs, evading a lot of the Bucks’ signature stuff and taking turns to fly out of the ring. In the heat of battle Candice found herself alone with Steen and got absolutely wrecked, eating a sleeper suplex, double superkick and More Bang for Your Fuck (that certifiably insane triple team tombstone they won with last night). Drake made the save but it seemed the numbers disadvantage would be too much, until Younger managed to sneak up on Steen moments after he hit a Package Piledriver for yet another flash pin.
Review: That was bananas. I don’t think it was good as the six man from night one, but the crowd’s connection to Candice and Drake and the out of this world spots elevated it. You could make a case for Candice being the best high spot wrestler in PWG history. She put in some of her best work early on, but then followed it with one of her most hilarious botches to date, failing to fully commit on a super Ballplex, and then falling down on top of Matt Jackson after he threw himself over her head like a maniac. She has my undying support for what she absorbed at the end though. Fun match with everybody on top form.
Legion Larry’s Quote of the Match: (To Steen) â€œI’m gonna fuck you up!â€
PWG World Championship Match
Adam Cole Â© vs. Johnny Gargano
Recap: Gargano warns Cole he’s going to break his arm before the bell rings, and Cole looks utterly mortified. Priceless. Gargano dominated for several minutes before Cole slowed the pace for a while. It opened up after that and they traded a few big impact moves, submissions and kicks. Gargano fended off more Mount Rushmore interference and locked in the same STF GargaNo Escape he used to beat Davey, with some of the babyfaces in the back preventing Rushmore from breaking it up. Cole managed to escape and hit a low blow and the Panama Sunrise, but Gargano just stared right into his eyes and got up, holding his neck. Cole hits a Superkick and the Florida Key but Gargano kicks out. Cole doesn’t let go though, and simply rolls over and hits another one for the win.
Review: They would never get away with two screwey main event finishes in two nights, and they were wise not to. A good little story early in this match, with Gargano going all out from the word go to try and stop Cole from slowing the match down, learning from the mistakes of others. The champ of course did eventually succeed and put on the usual How to be a Heel 101 masterclass. Actually I guess if it’s 101 it’s entry level. Semantics. From there they gave us the standard PWG manic main event with all the good stuff before heading into a reaaaally good finishing sequence. Gargano somewhat no-selling the Panama Sunrise was a lot more natural than it could ever seem from reading about it; it was a priceless moment. I loved Gargano kicking out of one Florida Key only to fall immediately to a second, it was a good bit of false hope. Perfect. See, Cole can win (sort of) clean. Cole targeting the knee didn’t pay off, but it was still a good way for him to keep regaining the advantage. A lot of subtle stuff from both men, demonstrating why they’ve earned the spots they have. Great match.
Chuck Taylor’s Quote of the Match: â€œAdam Cole, man! Good looking kid, shitty facial hair. I don’t know what he’s going for. I told him yesterday that everything he does is an attempt to not get laid.â€
Is AR Fox dead yet? No, despite a doomsday suicide dive on the outside, a springboard cannonball, a sick lungblower, a sicker lariat, missing ANOTHER diving leg drop onto the apron, and a gargantuan diving double stomp from the top rope to the FLOOR.
Did anybody kick out of the Falcon Arrow? No, nobody kicks out of the Falcon Arrow.
Why You Should Buy This DVD: Even if this show didn’t feature potentially the last ever PWG matches for Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, it would still be an easy recommendation. The main event was clever, the six man was dumb in the best possible way, there was a crazy opener and Ricochet and Davey put on a clinic. Better than Night One, but why wouldn’t you get both?