Dick Togo returns to Reseda for the first time in almost six years, as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla presents Game Over, Man! This event was held on April 27.
Lio Rush vs Ray Fenix
Surprisingly, they started the match with a comedy spot. I always appreciate when wrestlers take a left turn. I don’t think any other luchador has adapted to the U.S. style of wrestling like Fenix has. Despite the comedic antics, it didn’t take long for this to start happening:
This match was a mixed bag. For a while, it seemed as if they went into full “get your shit in” mode and then they suddenly reverted to comedy spots. These moments really halted the momentum of this match. The match also started to drag and the longer it went, the more they relied on big spots. A disappointing, but entertaining opener. ★★½
Matt Riddle vs Adam Cole
Two of independent wrestling’s most charismatic individuals face off in what should be a very entertaining match. Matt Riddle with the bare feet, and Adam Cole with the ‘dad bod’.
They started with some mat wrestling, as you would expect. What you may not expect, however, is Adam Cole stepping out of his comfort zone and getting into Matt Riddle’s world. Cole issued a challenge for a MMA match, and his mannerisms made it more hilarious than it ought to be.
Unlike the previous match, the comedy did not overstay its welcome. Once it got a reaction, they moved on to actual wrestling and never came back. This match had a compelling heat segment with well-timed hope spots and cut-offs. Riddle has mastered the art of firing a comeback. It’s hard to believe he has only been wrestling for two years! The pacing of this match keeps it engaging and at no point did it ever feel like it dragged. A really good match. ★★★½
Keith Lee vs Jeff Cobb
These two have had some pretty big hoss battles for Limitess Wrestling and Beyond Wrestling last year. You can check out their Limitless match here
Keith Lee called for a test of strength at the start, but Jeff Cobb faked him out and cinched in a headlock. It’s not often that you get to see Keith Lee being manhandled.
This match took a while to get going. The beginning parts felt a bit disjointed and directionless. The first half really dragged. Even when things started to come together, there were still some moments that felt disconnected. Not the best encounter they have had. ★★¾
Kyle O’Reilly vs Michael Elgin
Earlier this year, Kyle O’Reilly took some time off from pro wrestling to rest and recover. He opted to wrestle on a part-time basis. This match was one of his firsts since he returned to wrestling full time. O’Reilly was brought in as a last minute replacement for Mark Haskins.
Elgin has become such a workhorse over the past year, that it’s impossible for him to have a bad match. O’Reilly didn’t hold anything back and there weren’t any signs of ring rust.
They worked the typical ‘big fight’ indy style match. The action was hard-hitting. Every blow was delivered with a deliberate force. Neither man gained control for too long. They went back and forth without ever feeling like they were just trading moves. It was well paced and there was a sense of urgency to what they did. The big spots were organic and did not feel contrived. Match of the night thus far. ★★★¾
The Young Bucks vs War Machine
I’ve never seen any of their Ring Of Honor battles, so I’m not familiar with their chemistry. Based on the Young Bucks celebratory mood at the beginning, you wouldn’t think they were fresh off the heels of losing the tag team titles.
In typical Bucks fashion, they do their comedy schtick as warm-up. The War Machies gained the upper hand in the opening minutes. Nick Jackson has to be commended for his masterpiece of a cut-off. A cut-off so brilliant, that the 50/50 crowd turned pro-Young Bucks on the dime.
Like Rush/Fenix, this match suffered a lot from oddly placed comedy. Quite frankly, the Bucks’ comedic attempts just fell flat. The match also went on much longer than it needed. The Young Bucks used their typical match structure, but the magic they are known for just wasn’t there. A plodding mess that could have benefitted from a more traditional structure. ★★½
Zack Sabre Jr vs Dick Togo
After 6 years, Dick Togo made his long-awaited return to PWG to a standing ovation. Zack’s lanky frame and natural technical wrestling ability has destined him to be a babyface. So why the hell is he so much better as a heel?
Zack’s dickish heel work was on full display here. It’s the same technical wrestling he did as a face, but his arrogance just makes you want to punch him in the face. The Reseda crowd has turned on him completely. Every time Zack grabbed a rope to break a submission, the crowd booed. Every time he did a submission, they booed even louder. Zack’s offense is just nasty.
This was a technically sound match. They spent a lot of time on the mat and the wrestling was crisp and clean. When they weren’t on the mat, they were trading strikes. Without the crowd’s reaction, some may find this match dull and lackluster. Personally, I found that the match needed a certain flare to make it stand out. While the mat wrestling was solid, it wasn’t engaging enough. At times, it felt like I was watching a 2016 Timothy Thatcher match. Still, the overall structure was fine, the pacing was good and it had a nice build. ★★★¼
Reseda Street Fight: Chuck Taylor vs Marty Scurll
Chuck Taylor had been the victim of Marty Scurll’s onslaught of attacks from the beginning of the year. This match looks to conclude their rivalry that’s been brewing for the past two shows. Chuck Taylor’s bread and butter will always be his goofy antics in the ring. Despite this, The Kentucky Gentleman seems to thrive in these hardcore environments.
The action is heated from the onset as they slug it out. It didn’t take long for weapons to get involved as Chuck Taylor introduced the trash can to Marty Scurll’s head. Under the DUSTIN moniker, Taylor’s character is more serious in EVOLVE. However, in PWG, where he’s more relaxed, he was able to inject his Sexy Chuckie T persona in this type of environment.
Unlike the previous matches where the comedy felt out of place, it fit right at home in this match. The funny moments in this match added to overlying story arc. At one point, Taylor’s tendency to goof around costed him. There was referee spot near the end that highlights Taylor’s comedic genius. Not only was it funny, it actually heightened the drama of the match.
There are some flaws to the match. The spots are a bit contrived and the punches looked pretty weak, but this match has a unique vibe to it. Chuck Taylor is by far the most versatile wrestler on the indies today. His comedic timing can’t be beaten. The way he was able to get the crowd to laugh while keeping a serious tone to the match is truly an art. ★★★½
You can get this DVD as well as other great wrestling titles at Highspots.com