PWG: All Star Weekend 13 – Night 1 Review

October 20th, 2017

Opening Match:  Brian Cage vs. Morgan Webster
Cage gets cocky and asserts his power advantage to start.  Webster snaps off a series of armdrags and headscissors.  He connects with a running knee strike and lands an inverted senton.  Cage catches him on a dive attempt and hits a TKO onto the apron.  Cage suplexes Webster from the apron into the ring and takes control.  Webster fights back with a knee strike in the corner and adds a tornado DDT.  Cage retreats to the floor and Webster follows out with a dive.  Back in, Webster lands a swantan for a nearfall.  He connects with a headbutt and hits a reverse hurricanrana for a close two count.  Cage hits another TKO and connects with a lariat for a nearfall.  Webster counters a steiner screwdriver into a rollup for the win at 10:40.  Webster’s electricity and out-of-nowhere offense won over the crowd and made this a successful opener.  The crowd popped huge for Webster winning, as he was a last-minute replacement on this show and everyone assumed Cage would pick up the victory.  These two worked well together and the action didn’t overstay its welcome.  ***

Match #2:  Mark Haskins vs. Adam Brooks
Brooks spends the opening minutes being disrespectful toward Haskins and eats some kicks as a result.  Haskins lands a dive to the floor.  In the ring, Brooks connects with a springboard dropkick and hits a superplex.  He follows with a fireman’s carry neckbreaker and takes over.  Haskins finds an opening to synch in an armbar but Brooks reaches the bottom rope.  Haskins hits a michinoku driver and connects with a basement superkick.  Brooks answers with a corner dropkick and comes off the middle rope with a lungblower.  Brooks lands a dive of his own.  They battle on the apron and Brooks hits a destroyer.  Brooks lands a swantan for a nearfall.  He brings a chair into the ring but the referee takes it away.  Brooks low blows Haskins for a two count.  Haskins utilizes one of his unique transitions and applies a sharpshooter for the victory at 18:17.  Much of the early portion of this match was driven by their interactions with the crowd, which didn’t come across completely on DVD.  They certainly worked hard, but it felt as though they were reaching into the bag of tricks when they didn’t need to this early in the card.  Eighteen minutes felt quite long and there are better PWG showcases of Haskins’ unique offense.  **½

Match #3:  Trevor Lee vs. Joey Janela
Lee attacks before the opening bell.  Janela catches him with a german suplex into the turnbuckles and lands a dive to the floor.  Janela follows with a swantan from the top rope to the floor because he’s out of his mind.  He jumps off a chair but Lee catches him with a punt from the apron.  Lee takes control in the ring until Janela comes off the middle rope with an uppercut.  Janela hits a package powerbomb and a DDT.  He applies a figure four and they take turns reversing the hold’s pressure.  Lee dead-lifts Janela into a powerbomb and connects with a diving stomp.  Janela reverses a pin attempt into one of his own for the win at 15:06.  The action was interesting to start because both Janela and Lee are willing to do some pretty crazy things around the ring.  I think they lost a lot of steam down the stretch, with some sequences not fully going as planned.  This was a solid showcase of what they could do together, but they definitely have a better contest in them.  **¾

Match #4:  Keith Lee vs. Jonah Rock
They try a test of strength and trade control of a wristlock.  No one budges during a shoulder block battle.  Rock lands a crossbody but Lee responds with a dropkick.  Lee invites Rock to bask in his glory and that doesn’t go so well.  Rock hits a senton but falls victim to a body slam.  Lee takes control until they collide in the center of the ring during stereo crossbody attempts.  They exchange forearms and Rock hits a DDT.  He plants Lee with a dragon suplex for a nearfall.  Lee pounces Rock into the ropes in a pretty great visual.  Rock fires back with a liger bomb and another senton.  He lands a frog splash for a close two count.  Rock connects with a single-leg dropkick.  Lee catches him on a senton attempt and hits the Spirit Bomb for a nearfall.  They battle up top and Rock hits a superplex.  Both men are down.  Lee connects with a roaring elbow but eats an enzuigiri.  Rock hits a brainbuster for a nearfall.  Lee catches him coming off the middle rope and hits a jackhammer for the victory at 18:31.  This was very good.  In a world where bigger wrestlers are trying to do hurricanranas and satellite headscissors, these two kept the action fairly basic and gradually escalated things to get the crowd invested.  Rock’s superplex and Lee’s pounce garnered huge reactions and they generated many believable nearfalls down the stretch.  Lee and Rock delivered a great example of how to make a clash of their similar styles interesting and entertaining.  ***¾

Match #5:  Flamita vs. Sammy Guevara vs. Rey Horus
They trade quick pin attempts to no avail and find themselves at a stalemate.  Guevara finds an opening to connect with a few strikes, causing Flamita and Horus to team up on him.  Flamita snaps off a hurricanrana on Horus but gets caught by a dropkick from Guevara.  Horus takes down Guevara with a springboard armdrag and then back drops him over the top rope.  Geez.  Horus lands a dive to the floor onto Flamita.  Guevara takes time to celebrate on a chair at ringside, so Flamita comes off the apron with a hurricanrana.  Flamita follows with a moonsault from the top rope to the floor.  All three men are down at ringside.  Back in, Flamita hits a standing spanish fly on Guevara but he returns the favor.  They fall to the canvas after both attempting discus elbows.  Horus tries to capitalize to no avail.  He traps Guevara in an indian deathlock variant but Flamita catches Horus in a headscissors submission.  Guevara eventually reaches the bottom rope.  Horus hits a huge DDT on Flamita.  Guevara levels Horus with a superkick and lands a standing shooting star press.  Flamita hits a double underhook backcracker on Guevara but misses a phoenix splash.  Guevara lands a 630 senton onto Flamita for the win at 13:50.  The action played out as you would expect, with all three men busting out appropriately crazy offense.  I feel as though I’ve become desensitized to these kind of matches to some extent because I have seen so many of them.  The fast-paced action works for the live crowd, but given the intricacy of what they are doing, it does become hard to suspend disbelief at times.  This was a solid showcase but you’ve likely seen it before.  ***

Match #6:  Ricochet vs. WALTER
WALTER asserts his power and size advantage from the opening bell.  Ricochet springboard dropkicks him off the apron.  WALTER catches him on a dive attempt and rams him into the ringpost.  Ricochet falls victim to a powerbomb onto the apron.  WALTER takes control in the ring until Ricochet throws a ring jacket into WALTER’s face and connects with a basement dropkick.  Ricochet lands a lionsault and a standing moonsault.  He connects with a shotgun dropkick but WALTER returns the favor, sending Ricochet flying.  WALTER hits a butterfly suplex for a nearfall.  Ricochet attempts a springboard maneuver but WALTER kicks him to the floor.  WALTER misses a chop and collides with the ringpost.  Ricochet lands a dive to the floor and follows with a springboard 450 splash back in the ring.  WALTER avoids a shooting star press and he’s enraged.  WALTER connects with a boot, hits a german suplex, and adds a lariat for a nearfall.  He locks in a sleeper but Ricochet escapes.  WALTER clubs away the Benadryller and hits a powerbomb for a two count.  Ricochet low blows WALTER to loosen another sleeper hold and sneaks in a quick pin attempt for the victory at 16:15.  The best part about this match was that while WALTER’s size and strength advantages were apparent, they didn’t dominate the match like you might expect.  Ricochet more than held his own, strategically chopping down WALTER with strikes.  WALTER is an absolute joy to watch perform.  His facial expressions are tremendous and he knows the right degree of vulnerability to show at any given time.  These two had great chemistry together and they delivered a very good match.  I understand the finish, but something more decisive would have taken this contest to the next level.  ***¾

Match #7:  PWG World Tag Team Titles: The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix) © vs. The Chosen Bros (Matthew Riddle and Jeff Cobb)
Riddle and Penta trade catchphrases as the crowd plays along.  Everyone starts trading strikes and all four men are down.  Cobb military presses Fenix and throws him across the ring.  He follows with a standing moonsault.  Penta kind of catches Cobb with a backcracker out of the corner.  Riddle hits rolling gutwrench suplexes on Penta.  The champions start double teaming Riddle.  Cobb intervenes with a german suplex on Penta.  Fenix launches Penta into both challengers in the corner.  The champions apply a double surfboard on Cobb and then trap Riddle in a gory special.  Riddle and Cobb respond with stereo german suplexes.  Everyone battles up top.  Cobb and Riddle get knocked to the floor as Penta catapults Fenix onto them.  In the ring, Riddle hits a fisherman buster on Penta.  Fenix connects with a flying double stomp to Riddle and takes out Cobb with a dive.  The Lucha Brothers hit a package piledriver-double stomp combination on Riddle for a nearfall.  Cobb reenters the ring with a double back suplex.  The Chosen Bros hit a doomsday knee strike on Fenix but Penta breaks up the pin attempt.  Riddle slams Penta onto the apron with a death valley driver.  Cobb launches Fenix into the Bro 2 Sleep and the Chosen Bros become the new PWG World Tag Team Champions at 17:39.  The Lucha Brothers and the Chosen Bros threw formula out the window and what resulted was one of the most fun professional wrestling matches I’ve seen this year.  It’s not even as though everything that they tried worked perfectly, but they had a near-perfect grasp on what the crowd wanted to see and delivered.  This was controlled chaos at its best and given how good this show was, seeking out this main event should be a no-brainer.  ****

-Show Grade: A-
You Need to See: Lucha Brothers/Chosen Bros
You’d Enjoy Watching: Ricochet/Walter, Lee/Rock, Guevara/Flamita/Hours, Cage/Webster
You Should Avoid:

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