Having checked out BOLA last year, I’ve decided to stay on the PWG train. That does mean I’ll be reviewing shows several months after the fact because I live in Scotland (which is a bit of a walk from Reseda) and the DVD model doesn’t exactly lend itself to a quick turnaround. I’m sure you can all live with that, though. Let’s dish out some stars.
Flash Morgan Webster defeated Brian Cage
At the start of this match, Flash Morgan Webster looked like the cocky teenager whose smart mouth had gotten him in trouble with the jacked adult. He was still brash enough to square up for the fight, but a big part of him knew he’d made a mistake.
From there, there was only one story they could tell, and it was a classic. Webster’s speed vs Cage’s power. They did a cracking job of it too. Webster’s offence is always fun, and he flopped around the ring for the big man. However, Cage continues to impress me with these match-ups. He has no qualms bumping for smaller men and clearly enjoys throwing them around. Those Release Germans were particularly brutal, and his big man moves never slide into dull.
In the end, the brutality of Cage’s offence would not be enough. In a moment similar to the opening match of BOLA – where Cage lost to Desmond Xavier – Webster was able to roll through and steal a win. It feels like there is a story being built here. In the here and now, this was a fun opener.
Verdict: Three Stars
Mark Haskins defeated Adam Brooks
Adam Brooks is the latest exciting wrestler to make their way out of Australia. This is his PWG debut and – as far as I can remember – the first time I’ve seen him.
PWG dealt him a favourable hand too, by giving him that debut against Mark Haskins, a guy who doesn’t have many bad matches. However, that shouldn’t take away from his performance. Haskins gave Brooks a lot, and it allowed his obnoxious character to shine through. Combine that with some sneaky and innovative offence, and the new boy looked good.
Unfortunately for him, the story here was that while Brooks hit dealt out a beating (including a Destroyer on the apron and a Rainmaker style low blow), Mark wasn’t willing to lose this fight. When the moment presented itself he locked in a vicious looking Scorpion Deathlock for the win. It put to end a damn good match and an excellent introduction to Adam Brooks.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Joey Janela defeated Trevor Lee
The battle of PWG’s hairy wild men. Trevor Lee is one of the wrestling’s underrated talents while Janela was 2017’s surprise success story.
This was a bit different from PWG’s usual high-octane fair. Trevor Lee was here to heel it up. First off he attacked before the bell and from there on out he was grounding and grinding on Joey; dishing out the pain in all manner of sneaky ways.
For a long time, it seemed like that tactic was going to work too. Every time The Bad Boy started to string some moves together, Lee cut him off. A handful of hair or a low blow doing the job.
Janela would have the final laugh, however, as Lee’s tactics came back to bite him on the arse. Going for a roll-up with a handful of tights he pulled too hard (exposing Janela’s arse to the front row) and Janela was able to shift his weight get the win. This was a nice change of pace for PWG and a smartly wrestled match. People accuse these shows of a lack of storytelling, but Lee and Janela proved otherwise.
Verdict: Three Stars
Keith Lee defeated Jonah Rock
There is no other sport or entertainment industry in which you can see men the size of Keith Lee and Jonah Rock fly through the air. These two behemoths threw themselves at each other time after time and kept getting back up. Every move looked and sounded like it should be the end and yet they kept going.
This has to go down as Jonah Rock’s coming out party in America. He did well at BOLA, but in there with one of the best big men in the game, he proved he belongs on this level. The moment when he hoisted Lee up for a Liger bomb was incredible. The brainbuster was out of this world.
This is one of those matches that you just need to see. Keith Lee is proving himself a master at building a match. Every minute sees them ramp it up a little bit more and while the elbows at the start looked ferocious, by the end, they might as well have been a tickle compared to what had followed them. This was fantastic hoss wrestling and one you need to see.
Verdict: Four And A Half Stars
Sammy Guevera defeated Rey Horus and Flamita
Fly my pretties. Fly through the air for my entertainment.
This was precisely what it looks like. An all-action spotfest with enough incredible feats of athleticism to make Jim Cornette’s puny brain explode. From start to finish it was wrestled at a million miles an hour, and every move was incredible.
You don’t have to like this kind of wrestling. However, if you can’t watch the way these men glide around the ring using the ropes to do incredible things and appreciate their talent, then that’s your loss. The rest of us will enjoy the flips.
Verdict: Four Stars
Ricochet defeated Walter
You can’t resent Ricochet’s decision to sign for WWE. He is one of the best wrestlers in the world, and he has the right to bet on himself. It is still a goddamn travesty for the indies. That we won’t be seeing matches like this anymore makes me sad.
Because it summed up everything that was great about Ricochet. This was a total style clash. Walter’s brutish offence against Rico’s aerial attack. The caveat was that Ricochet was working heel and there was every chance that would prove to be the spanner in the works. However, Ricochet is never a spanner. He’s just too good.
Which isn’t to dismiss Walter’s work. He was fantastic. There is nothing fancy about him, and yet he comes across as one of the most legitimate men in wrestling. He doesn’t need to do anything incredible. His chops look like bombs and an actual powerbomb from him is a nuclear explosion.
And for most of the match, it seemed like Walter’s power would be too much. He was able to bully Ricochet and cut him off whenever he got on a roll. However, there’s a reason that the Future of Flight is now very much its present. He knows how to beat a big man. It just took one wriggle of his body, and he was able to steal the pin.
With a title match against Chuck Taylor set for night two, Ricochet needed to pick up the victory here. This did a lot for Walter too (at least for an American audience, I think most Europeans know how good he is). His match at BOLA was met with a solid but unremarkable reaction. This was proof that he is as good as we all say he is.
Verdict: Four Stars
The Chosen Bros (Matt Riddle and Jeff Cobb) defeated The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero M and Rey Fenix) to win the PWG Tag Titles
This was a very PWG-style match. Every sequence brought a succession of increasingly spectacular moves. In other words, it was fantastic fun.
It also happened to have a bit of everything that I liked. Rey Fenix bounced about the place (at one point Penta launched him into the air, and I was momentarily worried he wasn’t going to come back down), Lovely Big Jeff and Riddle suplexed people, and Penta chopped fuck out of everyone in his way. I mean, what more do you need to know?
I’m not going to bother telling you anything else about it. You’ll know whether you’re going to like it or not. In fact, if you’re watching this show and you’ve made it to the main event then it’s pretty much a guarantee that it’s for you. There wasn’t much in the way of storytelling, but damn was it cool.
Verdict: Four Stars
I understand every single complaint people have about PWG. Yet, I don’t give a flying fuck. I couldn’t watch it every day because it would be exhausting, but with the way their model works, it always seems to come along at the exact right time. I love watching all these incredibly talented bastards do extraordinary things.