Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Zombies Shouldn’t Run
Date: August 6, 2005
Location: Hollywood Los Feliz JCC, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Disco Machine, Excalibur
It’s back to PWG as I continue my efforts to go through my pile of downloaded shows. This is a show from a rather long time ago but you are probably going to know a lot of the people on this show. That can make these shows that much more fun as I have no idea what to expect here. Let’s get to it.
Keep in mind that I know very little about the promotion so I’m sorry for missing any plot or character details.
Note that the DVD release has commentary but this is a digital download and unless I’m missing something really obvious, the commentary track is not available here.
We open with Hardkore Kidd (better known as Carlito’s enforcer Jesus in 2004) and his manager El Jefe in the ring for a chat. Kidd is glad to be back after a year away and welcomes us to Pro Wrestling Orangutan. Kidd reminds us that he is his hero, which it even says on his business card. He wants to face anyone tonight, even a tag team. Jefe tries to count it down in Spanish but can’t quite make that work. We’re clipped to someone answering his challenge and the match starting, possibly because of a music issue.
TJ Perkins vs. Hardkore Kidd
El Jefe is here with Kidd and Perkins hits a missile dropkick to start fast as we get the opening bell. A hurricanrana gets Perkins out of a powerbomb and he lays in the ropes, as is his custom. There’s the big suicide dive to the floor as Perkins already has a bloody nose. Back in and Perkins hits a top rope hurricanrana but gets caught with a gutbuster to put him in trouble. A Jeff Hardy double legdrop gives Kidd two and a top rope headbutt low blow has Perkins hurt in a different way.
The fans inquire about their pizza as this is suddenly an FBI match in ECW. Perkins is back up to put him in the Tree of Woe for a running basement dropkick. Kidd pounds him right back into the ropes, where Jefe gets in some choking like a good boss. There’s a side slam for two on Perkins but he kicks Jefe down and hits an inverted Swanton for two of his own. A rather complicated leglock has Kidd in trouble, only to have him reverse into a double arm crank.
With that let go, Kidd hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker as he seems to focus on the back more than anything else. Perkins gets out and sends him to the floor for a baseball slide into the chairs but Kidd is right back up. A Jefe cheap shot gives Kidd two back inside and it’s time to slap/chop it out. Kidd misses a charge into the corner and Perkins hits a heck of a springboard tornado DDT. A top rope hurricanrana is countered into a sitout powerbomb to give Kidd two but another slingshot headbutt it cut off by Perkins’ raised boots. Perkins adds a 450 for the pin at 10:46.
Rating: C. This was a rather indy match as it felt like one guy can do a move and then the other would shrug it off and do one of his own. That doesn’t make for the best match but they did get somewhere with Kidd working over the back most of the time. Perkins would get a lot better, though you could still feel a lot of the inexperience and indy style on him here.
Rocky Romero vs. Davey Richards
We get Big Match Intros and Romero is incorrectly identified as Ricky Reyes (another wrestler). You know that gets a YOU F***** UP chant, followed by a RICKY chant. Neither can hit a big kick to the head to start so they trade arm control instead. Romero gets the better of it but gets reversed into a cravate, which feels rather appropriate for a show like this.
We hit the test of strength, with Richards taking him down and the fans shouting MERCY. The grappling continues with Richards getting the better of things off of some headbutts. That doesn’t do much to Romero, who is right back with an anklescissors to slow Richards down a bit. Richards breaks that up and ties their legs together, setting up a rip at the face. Back up and they get a bit more serious (yes in a Davey Richards match), with Romero taking him down and kicking him between the shoulders.
The surfboard goes on for a bit, only to have Richards come back with a snap suplex. Richards grabs the chinlock but since that’s a bit boring, it’s another kick for another two. Another chinlock, this time with a knee in Romero’s back, doesn’t last long either as Romero is up and kicking away again. They do the big serious strike off with Romero getting the better of things but collapsing as well.
Romero hits running double knees off the apron to drop him again, setting up the slap off back inside. Something like an Octopus hold has Richards in trouble but he grabs the rope without much effort. That earns him a running kick to the chest and they’re both down again. Richards’ cross armbreaker sends Romero over to the ropes and it’s another double breather. A quick rollup gives Romero two and a hurricanrana is good for the same.
Richards is back with a tiger suplex for two more and, say it with me, they’re down again. Romero gets snapped down into a Fujiwara armbar but rolls his way to freedom. That’s fine with Richards so he’s right back with the Fujiwara, sending Romero straight back to the ropes. Back up and Romero grabs a guillotine choke, which is countered with kind of a suplex. The guillotine goes on again and Richards is count at 18:39.
Rating: B. It was definitely a match with the two of them working each other over until one of them was done, though they took their time getting there. At the same time, it felt like they were draining each others’ energy bars, which tends to be the case in a match like this. The good thing is that they did pull me into the struggle and that is the point of something like this. Hard hitting match, but very much the indy style if that makes sense.
Here are Excalibur, Ronin and Disco Machine for a chat. They are here because they are starts and want Kevin Steen to win the PWG World Title tonight. Steen is so focused on his match that it is time to bring in some extra help, which is apparently Ronin (or Hello Kitty according to the fans). On top of that, their scheduled opponents, Los Luchas, aren’t here tonight so cue So Cal Val to introduce their new opponents.
Ronin/Excalibur/Disco Machine vs. Gunning For Exciting Hookers
That would be Gunning For Hookers (Top Gun Talwar/Hook Bomberry) and Mr. Excitement. Before the match, Talwar takes off his thong (over his singlet) and throws it to the crowd. Talwar beats Hook in a game of Rock Paper Scissors to earn the right to start and seems to make various sexual gestures. For some reason Hook starts with Ronin instead, showing that Rock Paper Scissors is worthless around here (bunch of crazy people).
Hook takes Ronin into the corner and then takes him down as this is one sided so far. Back up and Ronin drives him into the corner for a heck of a chop, only to charge into some raised boots. That’s enough for Ronin to bail to the corner and it’s off to Talwar vs. Disco. The test of strength is teased but Disco seems worried about the Dangah Zone (as it says on Talwar’s singlet). The test doesn’t last long as Disco’s head winds up on Talwar’s chest, which shoves him away.
An exchange of headlocks doesn’t go anywhere so Disco takes him down into a rollup for two. Excalibur and Excitement come in for the third singles section of the match and they start with the forearm off. A spear down sets up some right hands to keep Excitement down so Talwar dives in for the save. Excalibur is sent outside and into a wall but is sine enough to send Excitement into it as well.
Something like a World’s Strongest Slam on the floor plants Excitement as Ronin beats up Talwar inside. Disco comes in for his gyrations (like a guy named Disco isn’t going to gyrate) before it’s back to Ronin for two off a snap suplex. We hit the reverse chinlock for a bit before Disco can come in for a kneeling cover. Ronin (draped in the HELLO KITTY chants) elbow Talwar but Hook comes in (sans tag) with a missile dropkick to put Ronin down.
The hot tag brings in Hook, who comes in with Excitement to start cleaning house. Everything breaks down until Hook starts hammering on Disco. Excalibur comes back in to German suplex Hook so it’s Excitement coming in to throw some (exciting) suplexes of his own. Excitement and Ronin slug it out with the latter getting the better of things, meaning Talwar has to make another save. Talwar powerbombs Ronin (prompting an exchange of swears) for two more before Disco chokebreakers Talwar for the pin at 16:41.
Rating: C. This was more long than it was good and that is not the best way to go. You can only get so much out of six people doing pretty basic stuff to each other until the ending and that was the case here. There were a few good enough moments, but I never got into it as Excalibur and Ronin (along with Hook) are just people with names and nothing but their clothes to make them stand out.
Post match Excalibur says Ronin proved himself and might be able to join the team. Excalibur is so impressed that he will NEVER call him Hello Kitty again.
Claudio Castagnoli vs. Joey Ryan
Ryan looks rather young and is billed as the Technical Wizard. On the other hand, Castagnoli is still a rich guy with hair and sideburns. Castagnoli takes him down without much trouble and grabs a headlock but Ryan switches into a wristlock. They fight over control of said wristlock before trading cravates with Castagnoli getting the better of things. Some rolling arm cranking has Ryan in trouble and Castagnoli spins around to work on the arm even more.
A rather delayed suplex (the fans eventually stop counting) drops Ryan again as this is one sided so far. Ryan finally gets in a shot of his own and chokes on the rope, setting up a suplex for two. More choking on the rope ensues and Ryan hits a neckbreaker onto the knee. A dropkick mostly connects to give Ryan two but a tornado DDT is countered into a pop up uppercut. The slugout goes to Castagnoli and he sends Ryan outside, setting up a running uppercut.
Back in and a top rope uppercut gives Castagnoli two but the Riccola Bomb is countered into a crossface chickenwing. Some rolling German suplexes into a fisherman’s suplex gives Ryan two and he’s a bit stunned at the kickout. Castagnoli is back with something like a reverse TKO but gets caught on top, with Ryan hitting a super swinging neckbreaker for two. Back up and some big uppercuts put Ryan on the floor, with Castagnoli shoving the referee away like a schnook. Ryan throws the powder in his eyes and it’s the crossface chickenwing for the tag at 14:16.
Rating: C+. The match was ok, but at the end of the day, Ryan just isn’t very good in the ring. I know the technical wizard thing seemed to be more of an evil joke but this was just another Ryan match: he can do the basics well enough, but there is nothing to him that makes me want to see anything he does. Castagnoli is very good as usual, though he didn’t have much to work with here.
Christopher Daniels vs. Chris Hero
Daniels is TNA X-Division Champion but this is non-title. Before the match, Daniels says he has just about had it with this company, because they are taking him for granted. Why isn’t HE getting a Heavyweight Title shot? Every month he comes into this oven that pretends to be an arena and face people like El Generico. Who is next? Davey Richards? Hook Bomberry? Daniels even remembers beating Hero before, so why are we doing this again?
Actually, what has anyone done to deserve a title shot? The free shots end right now, meaning this title isn’t on the line until someone shows they are worthy of his title. Hero grabs the mic and says excuse me Mr. Overpronounciation. He’s fine with proving himself here in a non-title match, as long as he gets a title shot once he wins here. Hero brags about his 93 minute match and promises to win here before winning the title next time.
We finally get to the bell and the fans seem rather split to start. Daniels hits the stall button and goes to stretch in the corner, as the fans aren’t as pleased with him as they just were. Daniels: “ARE YOU AGAINST STRETCHING??? Do you want me to pull a hamstring???” Hero stretches and the referee asks him if he’s ready. Hero: “What would you do if I said no?” An early (as in two minutes in) armdrag takes Daniels down, with a fan telling Hero to watch the hair.
More armdrags have Daniels frustrated and it’s time for another standoff. Three more armdrags send Daniels bailing out to the floor as they’re doing a nice job of building so far. Back in and Hero cravates him down into a wristlock, sending Daniels over to the ropes. A hair pull gets Daniels out of another wristlock so Hero tops it with a top wristlock instead. Again that means a shout of a hair pull from Daniels, which actually has the referee admonishing Hero.
This time it’s Daniels trying an armdrag but getting countered into a cravate instead. Some cradles give Hero two each and we’re right back to the armbar. Hero tosses him over the top and out to the floor in a big crash, setting up a slightly bigger dive. Back in and Hero changes things up a bit with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, only to get neckbreakered across the top to put Daniels in control for the first time.
A basement dropkick gives Daniels two and an elbow to the face gets one, making me wonder how absorbing punishment works around here. Back up and Hero hits a quick dropkick, only to get taken down by a neckbreaker. Frustration is starting to set in so Daniels grabs a chinlock to blow some off. With that not working, Daniels grabs a Crossface, again sending hero over to the ropes.
Speaking of the ropes, Daniels puts him on top, only to get shoved down. Hero nails the top rope dropkick and they’re both down for a needed breather. The comeback is on with Hero striking away and snapping off a powerslam for two. Daniels is right back up with a Death Valley Driver but Hero gets his foot on the rope….which Daniels shoves away so the referee counts the pin at 18:56.
Rating: B. I wasn’t wild on the ending, but it does open up the door for a rematch while keeping Hero looking strong. This took its time and was telling a story of Daniels trying to break Hero down but not being able to finish him while Hero took his time and kept amping up his offense throughout. I dug this one and you can see what people liked about Hero so much here.
Super Dragon vs. Quicksilver
Dragon takes him down and starts working on the leg, which is broken up rather quickly. That’s fine with Dragon, who takes it to the mat to pull on the neck and leg at the same time. They go to the exchange of front facelocks until Dragon gets back to the leg. Quicksilver’s arm crank is countered into Dragon kicking him in the head as this is pretty one sided so far. A headlock takeover drops Quicksilver again, giving them a not exactly well earned round of applause.
Quicksilver gets a headscissors as this is a rather slow technical off to start. Back up and Dragon is sent to the floor for a huge dive, leaving fans wondering if the two of them would like Cheetos. They get back inside (Dragon and Quicksilver, not the fans) with Quicksilver knocking Dragon down for two and then seeming to slowly kick dirt on him.
Something like a Phenomenal Forearm is slapped out of the air and Dragon strikes away in the corner. Quicksilver is sent outside for a beating from Dragon, including a rather hard posting. Back in and a figure four necklock keeps Quicksilver in trouble but he manages to lose a slugout. Dragon starts cranking on the leg before switching to a full nelson with the legs. After cranking away, Dragon sends him outside again, only to follow him with a headlock instead of a dive.
Back in and Dragon stands on Quicksilver’s crotch in the Tree of Woe, followed by a not so great Figure Four. A grab of the rope breaks that up and Quicksilver gets in a shot of his own for the double knockdown (they like those around here), setting up a falling forward cutter for two on Dragon. The springboard clothesline gets the same as the comeback is at full speed. Quicksilver puts Dragon on top but gets shoved down, setting up a heck of a top rope backsplash for two.
A tiger suplex gets the same and it’s another double knockdown. This time it’s Quicksilver sending him into the middle buckle and a headscissors driver out of the corner (that looked nasty) for a rather near fall as this keeps going. With nothing else working, Quicksilver takes him to the apron for a top rope sunset bomb out to the floor, leaving them both down again.
Dragon is out so Quicksilver slaps him a few times and takes it back inside…for two. They fight up top with Quicksilver grabbing a Black Widow up there, which is reversed into a heck of a super backbreaker for another near fall as this is getting a good bit ridiculous. A Razor’s Edge flipped down into a piledriver is finally enough to finish Quicksilver at 24:41.
Rating: B-. I really, really could have gone for the commentary here as it felt like a match with a big story behind it. This felt like two people who hated each other getting their chance to beat the fire out of each other. It only worked to a certain degree as the match went too long and the kickouts were pretty ridiculous by the end. I got the emotion, but the details (which were probably recorded on a track I can’t get) would have helped it a lot.
Here is So Cal Val, apparently the commissioner, who says we need a co-commissioner around here to deal with Joey Ryan. This brings out Dino Winwood (a large man in a white coat whose name I had to find elsewhere as his entrance, and name, are cut off), but here is Ryan to lay him out. The piledriver is broken up though and Winwood hits a Death Valley Driver. Winwood promises to not be your normal commissioner and poses with Val.
Tag Team Titles: Arrogance vs. Two Skinny Black Guys
That would be Chris Bosh/Scott Lost vs. El Generico/Human Tornado and the titles are vacant coming in. Before the match, Arrogance seems to hold a raffle for some boots, won by a rather large fan. With that out of the way, Bosh explains that Lost lost the Tag Team Titles last month because a certain woman wore him out. Tornado and Generico are given the chance to walk away now but then get jumped to start fast.
Stereo dropkicks put Arrogance on the floor, allowing Generico to tease a dive before landing back inside. We officially start with Generico armdragging Lost a few times, with the third going into an armbar. Tornado comes in for a hurricanrana into the corner and an enziguri connects for two. It’s already back to Generico, who gets to chop Bosh for a change. The diez punches in the corner look to set up the Helluva Kick but Bosh gets a fist up for a well placed low blow.
A dancing fist drop lets Lost come back in and grab a chinlock, followed by Bosh grabbing one of his own. Generico punches back up but Lost trips him from the floor before that can get anywhere. In case that wasn’t enough, Bosh whips Generico through the chairs and rams his head into the wall over and over. Then he breaks the count and does it again for a bonus. Back in and Lost misses a heck of a charge into the post, allowing Bosh to miss a charge so Tornado can get the hot tag.
A bigger than expected Pounce drops Lost and Generico adds a moonsault as Lost is caught in the ropes. There’s the big dive to take Bosh down again and Tornado adds a heck of a dive of his own. Back up and Generico gets posted, leaving Tornado to hit a reverse DDT onto the knee to drop Bosh. Tornado dives into a backbreaker though and Lost comes off the top…with an umbrella for an elbow drop.
Lost grabs a double Sharpshooter of all things, which is kicked away due to reasons of that can’t last long. Generico and Bosh go up, with Generico backflipping out of a superbomb and hitting the Helluva Kick. Lost blocks the tornado DDT though and it’s a northern lights suplex into a backbreaker for two more, with Tornado making the save this time. One heck of an implant DDT drops Lost but Bosh makes another save. Generico suplexes Bosh into a sitout powerbomb and everyone is down again. Back up and Tornado suplexes Lost, setting up the brainbuster to give Generico the pin and the titles at 16:47.
Rating: B. This did a better job of building things up, though the ending could have been better. What mattered here was having Generico and Tornado hang in there against the more established team and come away with the titles anyway, which told a nice story. It’s no classic, but Generico and Tornado should make for some fun champions.
PWG World Title: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Steen
Styles is defending and Steen is better known as Kevin Owens. Steen wastes no time in hammering away to start and the trash talk is on in a hurry. Some slow kicks take too long though and Styles knocks him to the floor for the big dive. Styles forearms away on the floor, setting up the drop down into the dropkick back inside. Steen has to fight out of a chinlock, meaning Styles reverses it into a headlock for a change.
A Muta Lock makes it even worse for Steen before it’s off to a regular leglock. Back up and Steen cuts him off in the corner, setting up a quick choke on the ropes. Steen hammers on the back in a variety of ways before getting back to the choking. A neckbreaker gets two but Styles nips up into a hurricanrana. That just means a drop toehold from Steen, setting up the running flip legdrop.
The fans get into a MR. WRESTLING (Steen’s nickname)/IS OVERRATED dueling chant as Steen chokes in the corner again. Styles manages a springboard moonsault into the reverse DDT and it’s time to chop it out on the floor. Back in and a belly to back suplex gets two on Steen, who is right back with something like a Samoan drop.
This time it’s Styles grabbing a neckbreaker for two more before going up top, but Steen pulls the referee onto him to bock a 450. Steen is back with a fireman’s carry gutbuster into a moonsault for two but Styles Peles him on top. The Styles Clash is loaded up, only to have Steen reverse into a cradle with a grab of the rope for the pin and the title at 19:00.
Rating: B. Another good one here, though the ending felt a bit rushed this time. The good thing is Styles could get a solid match out of anyone, with Steen being more than capable of doing the same. The title change felt big, as Steen cheating to get the title is the right way to go for him. Styles is on to bigger and better things in TNA so letting Steen get the nice rub here is as good of a way as you can go. Nice main event, though I don’t know if it was bigger than the rest of the card, which isn’t a good feeling.
The show ends less than ten seconds after the bell.
Overall Rating: B+. This took some time to get going but the solid action in the bigger matches was more than enough to carry things. You can tell that the promotion is still at the point where it is getting hot and there are already things going on to make it feel important. It’s definitely giving off more of a fun vibe and while commentary would have helped, I got enough of the idea to have some fun here. Good show, and I’m glad I have a large stack of the DVDs/downloads to go through.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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