Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Watch Out for Flying Dudes: PWG Death to All But Metal Review

In the tried and true TWB style:

  • In a barn-burning opener, B-Boy put away Famous B with the Air Raid Crash.
  • TJ Perkins countered a Ryan Taylor superplex into a gordbuster, then followed up with a 450 splash for the victory.
  • Kevin Steen provided his own commentary, but took some major lumps against Brian Cage. He gutted out the victory by trapping Cage in a modified backslide after he attempted his own pin after a discus clothesline.
  • In a match that saw Matt Jackson superkick referee Rich Knox to break up a pin, the Super Smash Brothers performed their FATALITY (twice) en route to capturing the vacant PWG Tag Team Championships.
  • In the most sexually questionable match of the evening (equal opportunity as well), the team of hte RockNES Monsters and Candice LaRae defeated Joey Ryan, Ray Rosas, and Pretty Peter Avalon, when the Monsters did their Mushroom Stomp/ace crusher combo on Rosas.
  • Willie Mack won the HOSS FIGHT against Michael Elgin via body slam Emerald Frosion.
  • In the grudge match main event, El Generico survived everything Ricochet threw at him and was able to land the BRAINBUSTAAAAAAHHH! for the win.

General Observations:
  • SHOW TITLE REFERENCE. Unrelated, I hope the next Steel Panther-themed show is named "Asian Hooker," just because it would be wrong but subversively funny.
  • Opening match started out with some arm-wringer acrobatics by Famous B. B-Boy bowed out gracefully in return by putting his foot in the ropes with the most wonderful quizzical look on his face.
  • Very early in the match, B looked like he was going to make it his own pyrotechnic display, following up a stun gun on B-Boy on the apron with a baseball slide, but B-Boy countered it by spinning B around and hitting him with a gamengiri right to the dome. It was the kinda thing that I've come to expect to happen in the opening stages of a PWG curtain jerker, but appreciated all the same.
  • This is the first match where I was really impressed with what B could do. His offensive portion of the contest was both crisp and believable.
  • Plus, I give B all the points in the world for taking a running Death Valley driver from B-Boy INTO THE FUCKING TURNBUCKLE.
  • Watching B-Boy doing his Air Raid Crash and then seeing Sheamus doing White Noise, there's really no comparison between the moves (but then again, a real ARC wouldn't fly in WWE cuz of head/neck concerns).
  • "[Perkins] is only 25 years old, but has over 35 years of in-ring experience." -- Excalibur, spinning the most improbable yarn of them all.
  • Watching TJP do high-speed mat wrestling with Ryan Taylor made me really want to see him in a match against Fred Yehi.
  • I'm a big fan of little things done well, so I was really impressed with how Taylor spun around in applying the Trailer Hitch.
  • It's usually his tag partner who partakes in feats of strength, but Taylor showed some massive power deadlifting TJP from the mat into position for a crucifix bomb.
  • Right in the beginning of the Steen/Cage match, the Champ went up to his challenger and counted his abdominal muscles, resulting in an "Oh fuck."
  • Steen bit Cage's right biceps, and remarked "Tastes like baby oil."
  • In fact, Steen kept doing color commentary while he was wrestling the entire match. It was great.
  • Steen spent so much of the match isolating various well-defined muscles on Cage's body and then picking them apart. It was great storytelling, actually.
  • Man, if you haven't seen the ring-in suplex that Cage does while standing on the actual middle rope, then dude, seek it the fuck out. It's impressive looking.
  • Within the first like two minutes of the tag title match, the scene had broken into mass chaos. Chairs everywhere, Jacksons flying off of aprons and crashing onto them thanks to the Smash Bros. It prompted Excalibur to say "We should have put 'Watch out for flying dudes' on the tickets."
  • I've become very much immune to the proliferation of high spots and such, but eve my cold, dead heart grew three sizes watching Stupefied launch himself over the announce table onto both Young Bucks with a tope atomico.
  • Stupefied appeared to call for Uno to drop Matt onto his knee for a tandem backbreaker, but instead, Uno dropped him on the chair and took the opportunity to pose with his partner.
  • Of course the Bucks had to upstage the Smash Bros.' taunting by using steel chairs as surrogate guitars. OF COURSE THEY DID.
  • I was mad at Uno for breaking up the highlight of any Young Buck match, Matt's Space Flying Tiger Back Rake, but he redeemed himself by following up with a standard back rake of his own.
  • The Bucks are such colossal dicks that I was rooting for Rick Knox to kick their asses to help the Smash Bros. win. That makes the official "Referees Allowed to Commit In-Match Violence" list up to three: Knox, Bryce Remsburg, and Earl Hebner.
  • I hate to slag any match that takes place in Reseda (no less one that featured the RockNES Monsters, Candice LaRae, and Pretty Peter Avalon), but the trios match after the tag match was the very definition of "cool-down match."
  • I cringed a little when Avalon tried to dry hump LaRae, but somehow, it was all alright when the RockNES Monsters came in and gave Avalon an equally sexually charged receipt.
  • Mack and Elgin did the whole strongman routine as hoss fights are wont to start out with, which caused the fans to go insane with hossy excitement. It caused Excalibur to remark "These fans are fucking into shoulder tackles." My masked friend, that wasn't what they were into.
  • A guy like Willie Mack shouldn't have the mad ups needed to pull off a somersault neckbreaker to a seated opponent, but he does. That's why you need to go out of your way to check him out.
  • Elgin is so low to the ground, that everything he does, from the most germane of chops to the German suplex he used to send Mack flying into the turnbuckle, look even more forceful than it would have by a normal looking guy.
  • Mack and Elgin looked as if they were going to be engaged in a strike-off. Then Mack went into the ropes, and Elgin tailed him and hit him with the Chaos Theory (O'Connor Roll into a German suplex, made famous by Doug Williams). On most non-PWG cards, it would have been the most visually impressive thing on the show.
  • Even though I probably read the result when it happened, I was still a bit shocked to see Mack win this match, given how hot Elgin's star has become in 2012.
  • Final Verdict: Willie Mack vs. Michael Elgin at Death to All But Metal? CERTIFIED HOSS FIGHT
  • Excalibur and Joey Ryan played up Generico looking at Ricochet as a younger, better model of himself in commentary, and it bore out in the early part of the match too. Announcing and wrestling can go divergent too easily, especially on the indie level, so it needs to be pointed out when they sync up.
  • Ricochet busted out a 630 senton... from the standing position. This flippy shit arms race is out of control (and I like it).
  • Even more impressive, Ricochet hit a springboard dive into the ring from his knees. That's like, I can't even describe how that should be physically possible. He must have INSANE thigh strength.
  • Ricochet was purported to be a good guy during the match, but he's actually blossomed as a dick heel in Dragon Gate USA. The best example of him asserting his role in the match were his boot "slaps."
  • Ricochet went for his corner 619 (that he calls the 818), missed, and then ate the biggest yakuza kick from Generico, tumbling to the outside like a dolly of bricks falling off the forklift.
  • The reverse rana is always a sick looking spot, but the combo of Ricochet just going with reckless abandon and Generico selling a move the way he's wont to do made it look especially impressive. They reprised it later on the top rope, but it wasn't the same.
  • Generico missed three yakuza kicks in the corner during the match, which coupled with Ricochet being a step ahead of him for most of the match hit the story of the contest home.
  • I will never, EVER, not mark out for the BRAINBUSTAAAAAHHHHHH! I think it's replaced the tombstone piledriver as my favorite wrestling move ever.
  • After the match, they teased unsportsmanlike conduct by Ricochet refusing Generico's hand, but after a few slaps from the elbow pad, he acquiesced.

Match of the Night: Player Uno and Stupefied vs. Matt and Nick Jackson, No Disqualification Match for the PWG World Tag Team Championships - As much as I love technical contests, flippy shit spotfests, and mainstream main event-style contests, a batshit crazy brawl is almost like my wrestling kryptonite. Shhh, don't tell the hoss fight. NEVER TELL THE HOSS FIGHT OF MY OTHER LOVE. It's great when it's just two guys brawling against each other, but when you have tag teams? Oh yeah, the more crazy, the better.

The match started out in the ring, but it didn't stay there for more than a couple of seconds. The teams split up and sort of went to different corners of the building to brawl, which made it hard to keep everything in a neat little box. Then again, that's not the point; it's volatility added to its allure, if you will. Chairs were flying, Jackson brothers landed hard on aprons, chairs got wrapped around peoples' heads. It was great. The fact that Stupefied was able to make the "flip to the outside" paradigm work on an innovative level in 2012 by FLYING over the announce table was enough to make this match.

But then they got back into the ring, and if you can believe it, they amped up the crazy. Nick Jackson threw a chair right at Stupefied's head with PINPOINT accuracy across the ring... twice! There was a spike tombstone on the apron, which is insane even by PWG's lofty standards of apron spots. Even the end, which had referee trickery, worked, because I can buy Matt Jackson being cock enough to yank a ref out and kick him in the face. It helped that the Bucks had heat with Rick Knox from the past. Who says PWG doesn't do long term angles?

Overall Thoughts: This was the show that immediately followed DDT4, the show that didn't have a single average, let alone bad, match on the card. This match didn't live up to those lofty standards, but it got damn close. PWG remains probably the best opening-match company in America, as both B-Boy and Famous B brought it. Much in the same way as Willie Mack and Brian Cage broke out in the last two years, B is the latest So Cal native to make a big splash. Steen/Cage and the HOSS FIGHT were great too.

But I thought the biggest strength on the card was in the storytelling in the Tag Title match and the main event. I covered the tag match, but that main event was so good at conveying the struggle Generico was having with his own mortality in the form of the quicker, cockier Ricochet. It may have been Generico's finest match of the year that I've seen to date, but a lot of it was Ricochet holding up his end of hte bargain.