PWG Don't Sweat The Technique 2015
I've seen ROH's recent bland as shit product, so I thought I'd watch PWG and see how indie stuff is working elsewhere.
Biff Busick vs Brian Cage
I don't believe I've seen Biff before. His name reminds me of Bully Busick, who had that incredible mustache, did the Rainmaker, AND the pedigree in 1991 WWF. Cage is made 1000% out of HGH. You can't deny it, bro. There is nothing natty left in your body. Biff gets a figure four locked in about 90 seconds in. That's a set up for a dive. I guess if you're going to go indie, go indie all the way. Biff puts Cage in a chair and does a cannonball off the apron. Cage catches him and tries an apron powerbomb, which is countered. Cage hits a pop up powerbomb in the ring. Is that a tribute or rip off of Kevin Owens? Cage looks unhealthily large. He was always a big dude but he's put on like 80 pounds of muscle in 2 years. Biff comes off the top rope. Cage catches him into a stalling jackhammer for 2. Zangief references are dropped. Cage apparently thinks it is super impressive to do a 619. I don't know why. That's not an impressive move even from dudes 1/3rd his size. But he calls it the 818, which I'm going to assume is a Brody Stevens reference. PUSH! BELIEVE! YES! ENJOY IT! 818 'TIL I DIE! I love BSB. One of my favorite comedians. Biff is not very impressive to me. Very nondescript. Seems like any other random white indie guy. Biff is able to avoid the deadlift superplex, which is NOT a Cesaro or Elgin spot, but was originally a Kanyon/Saturn spot. They were doing it on TV every week in 1998. No idea why people think Elgin/Cage/Cesaro came up with that. It was actually more impressive when Saturn/Kanyon did it since they usually did it in the middle of the rope where there was the most give instead of near the corner. Cage does the F5, which he calls Deep Sea Diviticulitus. That's indie as fuck, brah. There is a light story of Biff attacking the leg of Cage, but Cage is still doing super power moves and big boots and shit, so I'm not sure if it really counts. Biff takes a ridiculous flipping bump on a lariato that doesn't even appear to connect. Cage attempts his finsher, which is a Gory Bomb into a Flatliner. They fuck the move up, so Cage hits a double powerbomb instead. Biff kicks out. Cage completely no sells a release German suplex and wins with a discus lariat. Cage is what he is. Biff didn't stand out in any way whatsoever.
Mike Bailey vs Trevor Lee
Pretty sure I've seen Lee, but not Bailey. Lee apparently had a super huge 2014 in PWG. Bailey has a kick based offense. He came out in a gi, but took it off to reveal normal tights. Should have kept them on to give him something that stands out a bit. He does a standing knee moonsault to the balls. Rude. Lee does a pretty wonky uranagi. Baily is barefoot and Trevor takes advantage of that. Why would you ever go into a match without boots or knee pads? Or elbow pads. Seems fucking nonsense. Come on, 170 pound dudes doing Karelin Lifts? LOL at Bailey's Rockettes kicks. I'm sure that's supposed to be super impressive, but it looks hilarious. Crowd loved it, but...lol. Looked ridiculous. Many more kicks to come from Bailey. Lee reverses a crossbody with a moonsault slam and then hits an Orange Crush for 2. Wait. That slam thing didn't make any sense to me. Especially since Bailey was doing a kick. WHAT THE FUCK REVERSE RANA ON THE APRON BOTH DUDES JUST DIED. Fuck. Disgusting. Bailey landed right on his shoulder, and Lee landed right on his head. What the fuck. And about 15 seconds later, Bailey does a shooting star knee drop off the apron. Indie wrestling makes me sad. They're doing this in front of like...what, 300 people? Back in the ring, Bailey tries another SSP. It's countered with knees and then into small package driver for the Lee win. These dudes will not have a long career with matches like this.
World's Cutest Tag Team vs Beaver Boys
This is a non-title match. I feel like Joey and Candice have been in matches with each other for like 8 straight years. Excalibur tries to explain why this is non-title, which is just him trying to say no one was good enough to deserve a title shot while not burying anyone. The first spot of the match is a Beaver ejaculating in the center of the ring. Very premature. And her came on a lollipop. That lollipop ended up being put in the other Beaver's mouth. Indie wrestling is so weird. This is all about focusing on Joey as FIP. Excalibur said the Beavers picked Candice as the weak link..but they're focusing entirely on Joey. I would say Joey Ryan is the weak link, because he's really not a good wrestler at all. The hot tag is finally made and Candice proves herself to be better at...everything than Joey. Except being super furry. She also loves DDTs. Now, if she's competing against men regularly, and is in fact co-holder of the tag titles, why would her male opponent punching her be treated any differently than if she was a male competitor? A guy punching her shouldn't get a "what a dick" call out on commentary. She's wrestling men. Men punch the men. Getting punched comes with the territory. The Young Bucks are in Japan, so these four get to do the superkick party spot. Another reverse rana. Candice wins for her team with a ball superplex.
Tommy End vs Chris Hero
I do not know Tommy End. Excalibur seems to be a big fan of him and his Dutch fighting background. My body now looks not dissimilar to fattie Chris Hero, but shorter. MMA flavored opening. Also, a ton of stalling from both guys. This turns into a kicks vs chops strike battle. I have to feel like kicks to the chest do a lot more damage than chops. This is kind of weird. End sells the chops way more than Hero sells the kicks. And then Hero does a senton on the floor through some chairs. Another one in the ring. Makes sense, what with all of his extra girth. Tommy completely no sells a stomp to the head and roaring elbow. That's the whole spot. Chops fuck his world up, but getting his head blasted with a boot and an elbow does nothing to him. Stiff kicks to the leg/chest just aren't impressive anymore because everyone does it. Hero no sells a Kanyon Cutter. BANG! That's the spot. Then he punches Tommy right in the nose. This isn't really much of a match. It's been one guy throws a bunch of strikes until a move is no sold, and then the other guy does a bunch of strikes until a move is no sold. It's very slow and awkwardly paced. End did hit a dope flying knee. It's weird that every strike sounds exactly the same. After trading a bunch of strikes and no selling most of them, Hero wins with a cradle piledriver. NOHEDIDN'T. Of course not. It will probably end with some kind of wacky roll up or a very basic strike. FOUR roaring elbows in a row doesn't in the match. Even the PWG fans were iffy on that. Another roaring elbow and a tombstone later, Hero gets the win. How many rolling elbows and flying knees can you do in one match? Hero did about 9 elbows, and End did at least 4 flying knees. They're basically like normal punches or something at that point.
ACH vs Tommaso Ciampa
Oh no, ROH invades. ACH can be good. I wasn't impressed at all with Ciampa when I've seen him. This starts out with an imaginary basketball game. Invisible basketball, invisible passing, ankle breaking. And then imaginary golf. They've already lost me. Either go full comedy or not at all. Doesn't make sense to go back and forth. ACH does Steve Austin spots for more comedy. This is dumb. The comedy isn't funny and the serious parts aren't interesting. ACH wins with a stunner and 450 splash.
Monster Mafia vs Chris Sabin/Matt Sydal
I know exactly what to expect out of Sydal. Haven't seen Sabin in a while. Don't know anything about the Monster Mafia, but I do question how two guys can be a mafia. Sabin and Rick Steiner start the match. The most perfunctory indie mat wrestling opening you can think of. Ayahuasca chants? Who is that for? Did Sydal go down to the rain forest and get some of that vine of the soul to cure his weed issues? Is that why he's reborn? A WRESTLING'S REAL chant breaks out. I don't know why. Nothing was happening. I don't like the Monster Mafia at all. Just in this few minutes of seeing them. They have really stupid double team moves and seem like smarky little cunts. And for having "monster" in their name, they really aren't that big. Ethan Page moons the Four Horsewomen (minus the one anyone cares about) and Josh Barrnett, who were talking some shit at ringside. "Oh, fuck you, Dumbo!" I don't like this at all and would like this to end as soon as possible. Sabin is FIP for a long time and it is just so uninteresting. Hot tag to Sydal, who hits all of his spots in the same order he always does. What a surprise, there are more rolling elbows in this. I swear every match has had at least 2 or 3. And so many flying knees. Dudes do nothing to set them apart on the indies. Everyone seems to have the same core move set no matter how big or small or what style they use. Sabin and Sydal win with a SSP/neckbreaker combo.
Andrew Everett vs Ricochet
I believe I saw Everett on an ROH show andh e was like a scrawny, more English, slower PAC/Neville. This is about the dumbest and most exhibitiony shit I've seen in a long time. It's literally the two of them doing cartwheels and flips out of head scissors for 2 minutes straight. Just back and forth. Pretty stupid. Although Ricochet does nothing for me in Lucha Underground, PWG, or NJPW. Everyone does flips. Dudes on local armory shows are doing tons of flips. Why does sliding on the mat and then jumping up to do a one foot dropkick hurt more? Flippy dudes should figure out a way to make their flippy shit matter. There were Austin comedy spots earlier, and now Ricochet does the People's Moonsault. I believe the 4th standing moonsault of the night. Everett does a SSP to the floor. A SSP was the finisher in the previous match. Oh look, another Kanyon Cutter. And standing SSP. Standing moonsaults and SSPs look like shit no matter who is doing them. Look! Rolling elbows and superkicks! No sold German suplexes and double stomps. So generic. I would love Excalibur or Super Dragon to protect moves on their shows. Stop having every guy on the roster do the same 4-5 moves in every match. Especially when someone is supposed to use one of those as a finisher, but other guys use it 5 times on the card. It makes the move look weak for everyone. Here's a sequence: Everett counters a super reverse rana by landing on his feet, then does his own reverse rana, then a regular rana. For 2. Everett then misses a DOUBLE MOONSAULT and gets hit with an emerald flowsion type move. He kicked out. Of course. He didn't kick out of the GTS kick thing. This stuff is so dumb.
Roderick Strong vs Zack Sabre JR. PWG World Championship
Lots of submission work to start things out. The PWG crowd seems to have an anti-UK bias. Fans also seem to not like Strong at all. Is he a heel in PWG? I do know that Sabre has a lot of arm based offense. He gets an arm bar on. Roddy, instead of turning it into a powerbomb, turns it into a top rope decapitator, which I don't think think I've ever seen. Chris Hero was very impressed. I want to give Roddy a chance, but he doesn't seem to have improved at anything since 2005. He's the same dude, just in better shape. His whole thing is still "I do chops and backbreakers". Apparently, he is a heel and it is based on all of his peers getting hired by bigger promotions while he's stuck in ROH/PWG. That's always a weird gimmick to me. When your character becomes you resent having to wrestle in low-rent promotions, that doesn't help those promotions at all. I'm not sure how to feel about this match. It is slower paced and seems to have a somewhat story of Roddy focusing on the upper body and Sabre focusing on the arm, but it isn't super interesting to me. I can appreciate Sabre's singular focus on turning every move into some kind of arm based offense. I wish someone could teach indie dudes to not be so brutally obvious with slapping their leg for kicks and shit. Guys don't even try to hide it on the indies. It's brutal. The slapping of the leg is like, the most blatant part of the move. It's impossible for me, at least, to stay in the moment when guys are slapping their legs as hard as possible without trying to hide it at all. Fans are SUPER into this, as are Excalibur and Chris Hero, but I feel like I'm watching a completely different match. This isn't doing anything for me at all. Strong wins with the Liontamer. Title retained.
While I certainly didn't hate this as much as ROH stuff, and I do support PWG at least truly embracing being a low rent indie and not bothering with production values that fall apart during shows, there were still a lot of issues with this show. The biggest being that no moves are protected and so many guys do the same few moves that none of them are impressive. There were rolling elbows in every match. Superkicks in every match. SSP in four matches. Reverse ranas in three matches. Nothing can mean anything when everyone does the same shit. Protect your moves, PWG. Wrestlers need to do stuff that is unique to them and stands out.