Pro Wrestling Guerrilla kicks off 2017 with Only Kings Understand Each Other held on February 18 2017. This event saw the PWG debuts of Lio Rush, Jay White and Jake and Dave Crist.
Trevor Lee vs Cody
Fast and heavy action to kick things off as Trevor Lee hits a German Suplex from the middle rope. Lee continues to work Cody until he throws him to the outside where he delivers a ferocious forearm. Back inside the ring, Lee attempts a deadlift German but to no avail as Cody blocks it. Cody is back on the offense, tossing Lee to the outside. For some strange reason the ropes were extremely loose, but Cody still somehow managed to perform his triangle springboard dropkick to the outside. The action continues back and forth for several minutes without anyone really dominating for too long.
Cody attempts the Cross Rhodes but Lee avoids by sending Cody to the corner. Cody charges towards Lee, evading Lee’s jumping stomp by sliding under him. Cody inadvertently slide tackles the referee as he slid under Trevor Lee. REF BUMP! Rhodes successfully hits the Cross Rhodes, but referee Rick Knox is unable to regain consciousness in time. The finish falls a bit flat in this one as it takes place less than a minute after all of this. The transition between the two moments needed a bit more substance. The finish feels rushed, but overall this is a solid opener that served its purpose. ★★¾
Ray Fenix vs Trent
Well, this is an odd pairing but on paper these two seem like they can pull off a sleeper hit. Trent has been killing it the past year over in NJPW in the tag team division and was, in my opinion, the MVP of the BOSJ tournament. He had that awesome match with Chris Hero in PWG as well. As for Fenix, well he’s just amazing to watch. To say that I’m intrigued by this match is an understatement.
Trent gets the upper hand during the lock-up at, pushing Fenix into the corner. Trent breaks the hold before the count of five, telling Fenix that he wants “no lucha shit”. Of course, the crowd came to see lucha shit and it did not take long for the “lucha shit” chants to get going. They then exchanged the most entertaining wristlocks you will ever see.
They eventually start trading chops. Fenix wins this exchange as Trent rolls to the outside. Fenix attempts a double stomp off the apron but Trent ducks out the way, launching a chair at Fenix’s head. THIS IS SERIOUS!
Like the previous encounter, this match is pretty back and forth. Some of the highlights include Fenix hitting his rolling ace crusher and turning it into a dragon sleeper. Fenix also delivers a double knee stomp to the outside from the top rope. The finish comes a bit out of nowhere but, unlike the previous match, doesn’t fall flat. If anything, it’s just a bit disappointing that the match had to end. It really felt like it was going to kick into another gear. Overall, a really good match. ★★★½
The Chosen Bros vs Unbreakable F’N Machines
I didn’t really have any expectations going into this match. I was unsure if the odd pairing of Riddle and Cobb would have any chemistry. The F’N Machines are most fun to watch when they’re throwing around smaller guys. Needless to say, within the first five minutes, these four great athletes made me feel like a complete fool for doubting their capabilities.
Riddle and Elgin started things off with some simple storytelling. Riddle tried to keep Elgin grounded, but Elgin’s strength wasn’t letting Riddle have any of it. Riddle held on for dear life with every hold. Jeff Cobb would then tango with Brian Cage. Cage does a hurricanrana to Cobb, setting him up for the 818. Elgin comes in off the blind tag and the Machines hit a 818 into a blue thunder bomb combo for a 2 count.
The reason this match worked so well was due its simple structure. It could have done with a better heat segment, but with the little Cobb was given he did a damn good job of selling. The hot tag could have been built better but Riddle showed a lot of fire. From there, the match goes into the typical big moves and kickouts. Despite this, it never felt like it was too much nor did it go into overkill. Lots of strikes, lots of German suplexes, lots of deadlifts, lots of mass just being thrown all over the place. The crowd was red hot for the finish and so was I. Easily the best match of the night thus far. Highly recommended. ★★★¾
Lio Rush vs Ricochet
I find it hard to believe that, with the 2016 Lio Rush had, no promotion pulled the trigger on this. Lio Rush is to 2016 what Trevor Lee was to 2014. He’s had a meteoric rise in such a short space of time and a ton of buzz. Rush has been all over the place working for various promotions, wrestling three to five times a week. Rush has made such a huge name for himself, it’s crazy to think he’s only 22 and has only been wrestling for two years!
This is exactly what you would expect given the two names in this match. They start off doing a bunch of flippy shit that simply cannot be described in words. Rush actually puts Ricochet to shame on the flippy shit causing him to retreat to the outside.
It’s not often that we get to see it but Ricochet is so damn good at playing a frustrated but cocky heel. Ricochet would go on to work Rush for a couple minutes until Rush would make a comeback, culminating in a beautiful frog splash. They went back and forth trading strikes and the action is just so quick that it’s almost hard to keep up with. The finish was extremely hot, which is a testimony to the ability of these two men seeing as they had to follow the previous match.
If I had to pick it apart, I would say that there could have been a bit more long term selling from Rush. However, when the action is this exciting you tend to get lost in it and it doesn’t really hurt the match. Highly recommended. ★★★¾
Marty Scurll vs Jay White
I’m not too familiar with Jay White,
but I’ve never really seen anything noteworthy of him to warrant a PWG booking. Still, I didn’t let that influence my opinion or expectations going into this match.
Scurll starts the match by toying with some fans at ringside, tossing a fan’s cap halfway across the room. Outraged by this, Jay White takes Scurll’s hat and puts it on the fan’s head. SHENANIGANS!
This match had a lot of comedic antics that worked, but at the same time it worked against the overall pacing of the match. They had a hard time striking a balance between the comedy and the wrestling. There just wasn’t much chemistry and they couldn’t have established a proper rhythm with the actual wrestling. While the funny moments were definitely entertaining, the transitions to and from these moments were lackluster. It just felt as if they were going through the motions rather than actually putting together a compelling story. Unlike Lio Rush, Jay White just didn’t end up looking impressive enough to warrant a further booking. The match was just okay and, if anything, it at least serviced the show. ★★
OI4K vs SuperKliq
At this point in their careers, the Crist brothers are veterans of the indie tag scene having held the tag titles in almost every major promotion. The Killer Cult has been terrorizing AAW for the past year and I don’t think there is any tag team more deserving of a PWG booking than Jake and Dave Christ. All six men are no strangers to each other. The Young Bucks had a really solid match with Jake and Dave at CZW Sixteenth Anniversary show. Sami Callihan and Adam Cole have a storied past in the Combat Zone as well as PWG. Going into this, there’s no doubt that this is going to deliver.
The Bucks introduce Cody as their special ring announcer. No wasted motion in this one as Ohio Is 4 Killers, ironically, start things off with a superkick party. All hell breaks loose, as the Crist brothers easily impress in their PWG debut with their deceptive agility and high-flying ability. This match is pretty much Rush/Ricochet on steroids. As you would come to expect with any Young Bucks match, it’s a mixture of athleticism, death-defying maneuvers and, of course, lots of DX and NWO copyright infringements. Cole lends a hand in the comedy department and really stands out in this despite not being able to do a 450 splash. He did, however, land a beautiful standing body splash- BAYBAY. Oh yeah, and this happened.
The Young Bucks are often criticized for their spotfest approach to matches. I like to think that the Jackson brothers have redefined that term. The style they have patented is the Mona Lisa of pro wrestling. When done right, a spot fest can be just as compelling as the good old days of 20 minute chin locks. This match is perfect blend of athleticism, entertainment and erotica. The way professional wrestling was meant to be. ★★★½
PWG World Championship Title Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs Chuck Taylor
It’s main event time and we have a first ever meeting between the Technical Wizard, Zack Sabre Jr. and the Kentucky Gentleman, Chuck Taylor. Taylor earned the right to become number one contender by defeating Adam Cole at Mystery Vortex IV.
The thing I like the most about Chuck Taylor matches is that you never know which side of Sexy Chuckie T you’re gonna get. I don’t think there is a more underrated talent on the indie scene. Chuck Taylor is one of the most versatile wrestlers. He can do a full-out comedy match, a straight up wrestling match and he can brawl with the meanest of stipulations. So it should be interesting to see the route he takes with ZSJ.
We get a nice Ebessen special from Taylor to start things off, but this match quickly turns serious as Zack Sabre Jr. rolls to the outside after being piledriven.
Taylor delivers some thunderous chops sending Zabre into the fans. Back in the ring, they trade forearms and elbows until Sabre gets the upperhand.
A lot of people complain about Zack’s lack of aggression in the ring. I think these people are the ones whose only exposure to ZSJ comes from the WWE Cruserweight Classic. Zabre is downright nasty when he is playing the cocky-shit heel role. The way he bends his opponents is painful just to watch.
This was a really damn good main event with lots of great action. This match proves why Chuck Taylor is severely underrated as he is able to hang with a wrestler the calibre of Zack Sabre Jr. There were lots of believable nearfalls which is a key element to a great main event. A well told FIP segment would have really took this match to another level but this was a damn fine main event to cap off an amazing night of wrestling. ★★★½
Post-match, Marty Scurll ambushes Chuck Taylor. Scurll and Sabre Jr. gang up on the Kentucky Gentleman. Trent would then save day, rescuing his Best Friends team mate, setting up for a tag match between the Leaders of the New School and the Best Friends at the next event.
You can get this DVD as well as other great wrestling titles at Highspots.com