Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

PWG Lemmy 1/2/16 Review

1. Brian Cage vs. Chris Dickinson

ER: Fun match with some absurd overkill, and some big power guys working cruiser spots. One sentence can kind of sum up this match: "A burning hammer gets a 2 count in the first match of the show". That's kind of what you need to know. Once you know that, and get that in your brain, you can enjoy or hate the rest of this. These are two power guys, and the power spots all looked good. I liked the running story of Cage trying to go for bigger and bigger power spots, that would allow Dickinson to slip out and do damage. One time Cage went for a powerslam off the top and Dickinson slipped out and eventually hit a huge rana, and another time he slipped out, kicked Cage's leg out and hit a big back suplex. Cage is a complete psycho taking burning hammers and dragon suplexes and doing big flip dives with all of his mass. One match in the future is going to see every single muscle in his body simultaneously tear. I really liked Dickinson in this. He appears to have more actual strength than Cage which lead to some pretty wild stuff, like a deadlift powerbomb and deadlift wheelbarrow suplex, and then he'll break out a crazy accurate spin kick. I also liked his little detail moments like stomping on Cage's foot to get out of a go behind, and standing on Cage's wrist while Cage is on the mat and Dickinson is transitioning to a new position, and the inverted Boston crab looked really great. Cage is just a weird worker as he's very agile, while also being slowed down by his bulk. So he does fast indy sequences but doesn't have the flexibility of the guys who typically do these spots, so they look strange. I wish he'd dial things back a bit but also understand these show off tendencies on cards like this. Match was ridiculous and structure was kind of out the window, but as a collection of big spots it was fun.

2. Drew Gulak vs. Timothy Thatcher

ER: How weird, these two guys having a match I enjoyed! This was all built around each guy trying to rip the other's arm off, with some painful and convincing selling from both. Both break out cool arm stuff I haven't seen much, with Thatcher Irish whipping Gulak a few times but then yanking him down by the arm. Thatcher's curb stomp to the wrist is always a gross spot, and here he ups the ante by grabbing a kimura on Gulak and then lifting him up in the air by his damn arm! Gulak punishes Thatcher with annoying painful stuff like yanking on his thumb while grabbing a wrist, throwing open palm strikes to Thatcher's ear, throwing fast and low dropkicks to Thatcher's shoulder, snapping off a quick piledriver, wanting to compress Thatcher's neck in the same way Thatcher tried to do with his earlier north/south knees. I loved the ebb and flow of the arm stuff as each guy would push the other a little further, but there was an undercurrent of respect where neither wanted to go too far over the line...but then they'd keep pushing. Both guys sell the arm really nicely, doing some nice dead arms, not wanting to bend them, rubbing them out. There was one point where both were on the mat recovering, and both were independently holding their arms kind of straight off the mat, not putting weight on it. They still manage to snap off some throws and immediately regret them, with Thatcher pulling off a big gut wrench, and there's cool moments like Thatcher bridging out of a pin with his neck while keeping his arm motionless. The finish was so damn good with Gulak finally lacing in with slaps to Thatcher's ear and side and then starts with nasty elbows, and Thatcher just DROPPING him with his thrust headbutt as Gulak is whirling around with a rolling elbow. Gulak crumples better than maybe anybody, and that headbutt sent him into a nasty fold. It gets a surprise kickout but Thatcher locks on the kimura right after for the win. Awesome stuff. Not a shock.

PAS: This was a really great version of this match. They sped it up a bit for a PWG audience and I enjoyed the sprinty style of this a ton, it was almost like the Wrestlemania 3 version of Steamboat and Savage, all of the hits in less the time. That Kimura lift by Thatcher was honestly one of my spots of the year, just an unbelievably violent piece of business. Awesome performance by Gulak who maybe my 2016 Wrestler of the year, I loved his wide hip counter into this weird regal-plex where he through Thatcher by his chin, he also made Thatcher short headbutt look devestating, that is a really hit and miss spot, and Gulak sold it like he had been hit by Gennady Golovkin.

3. Sami Callihan vs. Trevor Lee

ER: This was below what I was expecting, but I'm also starting to realize that one of the first Trevor Lee matches I saw (vs. Mike Bailey) is still clearly the best match I have seen him in. And so every Lee match I watch I still think of him at that level, and that may not be fair. I need to recalibrate me Lee expectations. They don't really have much of a gameplan here so the first half of the match is pretty unfocused. The spit right in each other's face which is freaking disgusting. I mean Sami especially can muster up a LOT of spit and he just projectiles it right into Lee's beard. It's fucking gross, guys. The match picks up when Sami catches Lee's apron punt on the ground, and back in the ring starts his brutal face wash kicks, throws a couple bicycle stomps and kicks, gets Lee tied up in the ropes and kicks him some more. Once they commenced with the kicking it got good. But overall it fell short.

4. Drew Galloway vs. Jack Evans

ER: Well this was really fun! Evans comes out running everybody down with a promo and then doing some show off breakdancing, and Galloway dropkicks him while Evans is doing a handstand. And then we go on a wild run of Evans taking ridiculous bumps off of Galloway kicks, lariats, punches and more. At one point Galloway no sells two dropsaults and when Evans goes for a third he plasters him with a lariat. Later as they brawl on the floor Galloway catches a crossbody off the apron and chucks Evans into the ringpost. Good god. Evans gets a couple nearfalls on flash roll ups but this was mostly him getting tossed by Galloway, and Evans is really good at getting tossed by Galloway.

5. Adam Cole vs. Speedball Mike Bailey

ER: Really good match, and amusing in the ways it factored the shittier parts of Adam Cole (moves with ridiculous set ups, cringey taunts) into a match story. Every time Cole would take time to taunt (like the embarrassing "Suck My Dick!") Bailey would meet him with a kick. Cole sets up his stupid bunny hop rolling piledriver, and it's Bailey suckering him in with a roll up. Bailey, that barefoot psychopath, looked really great and really crafted a great little match around Cole. Not a shocker that Bailey had some great kicks here. I especially love his Karate Kid crane kicks and his multiple rotation roundhouse kicks. And to Cole's credits he leaned right into them, and took a bunch of other nasty stuff like Bailey's moonsault knee drop right to the lower abdomen. Yuck. We don't get any overkill and things end when they should, and there was a nice nearfall with Cole grabbing the ref's arm. Really good stuff overall.

6. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Akira Tozawa

ER: Well, a lot of this ate shit. I'm not a big fan of "comedy striking" or "comedy grappling", and this match had an abundance of both. A problem with Tozawa is that a lot of his normal strikes already look shitty, so when he throws purposely shitty strikes it doesn't really land as comedy, it just lands as him looking slightly worse than normal. Sabre does some cool submission stuff, but also spends way too much time looking for yuks. Locking in a sub, making a face at the crowd, breaking the hold, repeat. We get some bad strike exchange moments, then some bad "this is supposed to be bad" strike exchange moments. We get suplex tradeoffs. It ticked a lot of the "this is bad" boxes. Sabre had some nice kicks, loved him kicking Tozawa's leg out while climbing the ropes, and at least the penalty kick finished the match, but I was bored and loathing this one pretty early when it was clear what they would be doing.

7. Chris Hero vs. Roderick Strong

ER: This was a long, boring match between two guys I like. It just didn't work. We got bumped refs, we had weak title belt shots, it was poorly paced, and it was a waste of two guys stiffing each other. They had an interminable section with Hero sitting on the top rope and Strong fighting to suplex him off. Hero looked tired really early and had zero steam by the end. There were spots where he was supposed to be tired and beaten down, and other spots where he just looked flat out gassed; not kicking high enough on kicks, elbows thrown noticeably slower. Roddy pulls the ref into the path of Hero offense a couple times, and I get it, he's a heel champ. But he does stupid nonsensical things related to the ref bumps. He pulls the ref into the way of a Hero elbow, and the ref goes down like a shot and rolls out of he ring. Right after, Roddy hits a brutal tiger driver.....and then pins Hero. HE was the one that purposely got the ref KO'd! He SAW the ref roll out of the ring! WHY would he cover?? Ohhhhhhh, because a second ref was running down to count a nearfall. Roddy didn't see this second ref, but he pinned Hero, because why? Too much of that garbage in this one. Way too long, horribly laid out, majorly disappointing for these two.

ER: Overall a mixed bag of a show. It was definitely front-loaded, but the last two matches were not only the longest of the night, but easily the worst of the night, so it's hard to not end the show feeling like it was worse than it was (especially when I watched the first half several days before the second half). Still, a great match, two very good matches, and some fun stuff in between....it's hard not to like that. But man those last two matches blew.

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