Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Thursday, March 24, 2016

PWG From Out Of Nowhere 2/27/15 Partial Review

ER: Phil wrote up a couple of these matches 9 months ago, and usually if a card has two matches that look really good I'll go ahead and watch the rest of the card. So I started doing that, but once I got through the last match I really wanted to see (Hero/Gulak), I didn't really feel like watching three more 20+ minute PWG epics. So blame that on me for willingly watching a Chuck Taylor match. A bad choice to be sure, but not the worst choice I've ever made. For we are men. We are all just men. We are all just canceled fall CBS replacement sitcoms.

1. Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Biff Busick

PAS: Really fun spotfest intro match for Bailey. Felt kind of like the first Rey Jr. v. Psicosis matches in ECW, where you had a crazy impressive athletic guy show off his stuff with an opponent he is really familiar with. Bailey has a lot of Tae Kwon Doe training and throws these awesome looking spin kicks which he mixes in well with fast high spots, he did 10 crazy things in this match, and my favorite was a loony looking springboard headlock takeover. This was Busick as a power highspot guy, not a mat wrestler, and he really throws Bailey around. Fast food kind of match, but unlike a lot of PWG spotfests it hit the spot for me.

ER: Man this match was awesome! This might have actually been my favorite Bailey/Busick match and we've been collective fans of all of them. Bailey does neat little twists on a bunch of spots you're used to (the handspring headlock takeover was a wonderful momentum shifter, and Busick was great at looking like he was bracing for an elbow and then getting caught in the headlock) and throws these cool misdirection kicks where you think they're going to land one way and then loop under and hit you in the chin. Busick's power offense is sick and these two were practically made to work each other. Busick tossed Bailey in all sorts of great ways, battered him with mean uppercuts and shoulderblocks, and latched on with the best headlocks in the business. I could watch most of a match made up of Busick finding ways to get a guy in a headlock. Then he starts throwing his nice palm strikes while locking in the headlock?? His low bulldog, his accurate blockbuster?? Forget it, Busick just hits all the right notes. Finish probably went on a bit too long (this is PWG, after all) as they started kicking out of some pretty devastating moves (brutal lariat from Busick, shooting star kneedrop from Bailey, massive sleeper suplex from the floor to the ring by Busick) but I love these guys doing moves to each other so can't complain too much. I still love Busick's rear naked choke being treated like death, and this match was the best highlight reel match so far for me this year. Awesome stuff.

2. Cedric Alexander vs. Tommaso Ciampa

ER: Hey we're 2 for 2 on this show! Cedric Alexander (previously listed by us as one of the obvious better Lucha Underground black wrestler choices instead of Shane Strickland) has fun offense and so does Ciampa, and they string them together here in a satisfying way. Cedric throws a nice dropkick, can take a big bump and knows how to belly flop in an impressive way (seems like a lot of Ciampa's moves see his opponent falling at kind of a dangerous angle, and Cedric manages to take all of it in a painful way, but while protecting himself). Ciampa has some nice throws and I dug his cannonball off the apron. They worked around some really fun reversal-of-reversal spots and everything built into a nice little spotfest. I hadn't seen both men in awhile and they've both improved since my last viewing. That's always a nice thing.

3. Beaver Boys (John Silver & Alex Reynolds) vs. Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent?)

ER: Well, we all knew what this would be. There are obviously many people who adore Taylor's shtick. The crowd was alive and way into this the entire time. They responded to every single thing he did in the match. He knows how to perfectly work in front of this audience. It just does nothing whatsoever for me. It is possible that I am a joyless shit sack, and in this instance I'd be okay with that. We get the grenade gag, some slow motion moves sold as high impact, some pause for photo gags, some Ace Ventura mannerisms, the whole shebang. My mouth was in a straight horizontal line the whole time. Trent is a guy who I think is an okay wrestler, who because of the shtick does very not okay things. Whereas Taylor is a guy who is a poor wrestler kind of saved by his shtick. I think Trent is capable of straight wrestling, whereas Taylor just looks bad no matter the circumstances. Trent has good timing, nice follow through on stuff like back elbows and running forearms, and knows how to take offense way better than Taylor. I had not seen the Beaver Boys before. I ended up liking Silver who is one of those short spark plug types. Reynolds was horrendous, like the worst possible version of Taylor. He had one long embarrassing comedy bit where he mimed jerking off on Trent, before "finishing" and throwing invisible jizz in Taylor's face, leading to Taylor desperately wiping it off with a rag. And you know that rag comes back multiple times the rest of the match. If you giggled at all while reading those last two sentences, that may be some insight into how much you would personally enjoy the match. Maybe it works better live. Maybe it works better while drunk. Maybe it works better if you're a teenage boy. I don't know. I don't think I have a very high brow sense of humor. But whatever brow level this is, it isn't for me. I think this could have been an actual good match, as once we got past the opening 12+ minutes of yuks there was plenty of the actual wrestling that I enjoyed. Beaver Boys in particular had an awesome run of timing based double teams, the kind where one guy does a move, immediately followed by the next guy, and so on. Silver had some cool deadlift suplexes and good energy (like to see more of this guy) but overall this match was close to 20 minutes of stuff that isn't meant for me. C'est la vie.

4. ACH vs. AR Fox

ER: Another one to file under "just not for me". Both guys do some things I like (although I would like ACH more if he cut down on the yuks, but there's me being a joyless shit sack again since obviously what he was doing worked fine for this audience), but both do stuff I don't like. ACH's comedy doesn't really blend with his actual wrestling, so we're left with starting off the match getting all his comedy spots in, and then eventually we transition to the "actual" match. This of course results in a neverending 22 minute match, and jesus why are PWG matches all so damn long? It really feels like they're long because each guy has shit and routines that they have to get in. "The fans are expecting the grenade bit, gotta fit it in" "The fans are expecting my Stone Cold routine, gotta fit it in". We bring back the jizz rag from the previous match, and really if you're working a jizz to the face spot you might as well work with a professional like AR Fox. We get a lot of intricate reversal sequences, and good timing is intrinsic in these things or else the curtain lifts a bit and you realize you're watching too much dance off, not enough wrestling. Stuff like ACH rushing, ducking a Fox kick, catching the kick around the back of his neck, then using that leverage to suplex Fox. But there are always little wrinkles like ACH not catching the kick flush, so having to place it there while Fox waits to be suplexed. There were things I liked about this, Fox had an awesome weird springboard cannonball to the floor, where he was facing the ring and sprung backward while tucking forward. It looked killer. Also really loved a giant swing that ACH did, where he grabbed Fox in a Texas Cloverleaf, did the swing while holding the Cloverleaf, and then set him down and locked in the sub. It looked great. We had a cool Fox dive over the turnbuckles, some of the worst 10 count punches you've ever seen (from both!), and overall this just didn't click for me.

5. Chris Hero vs. Drew Gulak
PAS: Really happy to see Hero mixing it up with the next generation of Indy mat guys, one of the cooler things in wrestling this year. This was the first of these match ups with EVOLVE running them in March. I really liked the beginning of this, with Gulak showing himself a step ahead, catching and dumping Hero with some fast german suplexes. Hero turned the tables with a killer elbow KO and landed some nasty kicks to the head and elbows. Finish run had Gulak going after the leg and even ripping off Hero's boot, it got a little discombobulated at the finish although I loved the jumping piledriver by Hero. Looking forward to checking out all of these.

ER: Classic great 16 minute PWG match, that goes 22 minutes. As they go, things keep building, and peaking, and building....and then still peaking....then more building....then an ending. These guys beat the holy hell out of each other but it's crazy how PWG matches so often overshoot that peak excitement and then kind of drift into mindless slog territory. The guys still look great, the work is still high end, you just want the match to end every single move past the point you mentally think it should have ended. I love how these two work around each other though. You can tell Hero is kinda like Kraneo, as he's put on a bunch of weight but still prides himself on agility and shutting up the naysayers by working as hard as ever. I loved his rolling ankle picks on Gulak and loved how the evolved during the match, how Gulak would get wiser to them and Hero would switch them up and go for fakeouts. And then Gulak would bait him and try and work his own ankle lock. But before long these two are railing into each other with kicks and elbows to the face. So, so many kicks and elbows to the face. Probably too many elbows and kicks to the face. But they aren't your standard issue your turn my turn growl strikes, because each guy is always looking for an opening, each guy is always waiting to catch a limb. And there are some damn cool sequences and reversals and some fun silly spots. I loved Gulak grabbing the ankle lock and Hero slipping out of his boot, kicking Gulak a bunch and but then getting leveled by Gulak swinging his own boot at him. Is it silly that a loose boot does more damage than a boot with a foot in it propelled by the force of a leg? Most definitely, but this is wrestling physics.

***Bailey/Busick and Hero/Gulak were both clearly awesome and easily made our 2015 MOTY List. So really I can't talk poorly about a show that had two great matches on it. Maybe it had more! The final three could be real killers, for all I know. I heartily encourage you to watch them and fill in the rest of the review in the comments section. All I know is if you add up my time spent watching this show, it was spent watching more good wrestling than bad wrestling. Believe in yourself.***

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should watch Gulak vs. Timothy Thatcher from PWG LĂ«mmy on January 2nd 2016.

10:37 PM  
Blogger EricR said...

That show has a bunch of good stuff on it. I imagine it's a lock to get watched and written up at some point this year, as several of those matches sound at minimum intriguing, if not list-worthy on paper.

2:36 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home