(Here we have Drake Younger - Photo credit DGUSA.TV)
At Pro Wrestling Guerilla's "Threemendous III" back in July Willie Mack and PWG Champ Kevin Steen engaged in a brutal back and forth contest that will go down as one of the all time great matches in the history of the promotion. After the match, the show went into intermission. I told my friend Dan sort of in passing "I'd hate to be the guys that have to follow that up."
When the show finally came back the two men who were given the difficult task of following Steen/Mack were none other than SoCal Indy legend B-Boy and making his PWG debut, a man who had been part of many wars himself, and had enough scars on his body to tell the story of every single one of them, Drake Younger.
"That was a tough spot. Going on after a world title match, followed by the intermission" said Younger when I caught up with him recently.
A tough spot indeed. A spot where a different wrestler might have thought to himself "There is nothing I can do here" and mailed in the match, picked up his payoff and looked forward to a better spot. By that same token, I'm sure the fans at the American Legion Hall would have understood as well.
Instead the PWG fans were given more than that. They witnessed a match that not only equaled the previous contest, some say it might have surpassed it.
"Being my PWG debut, I went in there looking to earn a job. It was sink or swim as we say in the business, I knew I had to take this, and make something of it." said Younger.
The match started out as somewhat methodical, with a few stiff kicks mixed in to spice things up. Then following a spine buster by Drake, came a ridiculously loud chop from Drake. Both men engaged each other with a series of slaps to the face and chops to the chest with a hard head butt from Drake for good measure. Make no mistake about it, Younger and B-Boy weren't out there to kill some time till the next main event match, they were there to become the main event!
As the crowd began to realize what was happening in the ring, the wrestlers began took notice of the crowd. " The fans started to come alive. So I felt that, and I'm sure B-Boy felt it too, so we just went for it man".
The two men began to mix it up, incorporating multiple styles of wrestling. Then something happened that in my opinion shot the match into another dimension. Drake sent B-Boy into the crowd, and threw a flip off the ring apron. At the last minute B-Boy moved, leaving Drake to land on the hard floor, back first, leaving the crowd in a state of shock.
Eventually the two men made their way back into the ring. exchanging chops, painful kicks all over each others bodies, and elbows to the face. A few minutes later after a michonoku driver on the apron, Drake moonsaulted off the top rope, destroying B-Boy in the process, to the fans delight. At one point B-Boy delivered a brutal power slam onto the floor, openng up the top of Drake's head in the process.
"I've built up a high threshold of pain over the years, even going back to my backyard days" said Younger.
This was evident to everyone in attendance, because where the average human being would probably stop wrestling at this point, Drake seemed to relish the opportunity, wiping the blood from his head, and going at B-Boy harder than ever. At one point driving him into the ground off the top rope. The men continued to go at each other, slamming each other on their heads, with each man kicking out after each one. The match finally ended after a series of inverted reverse pile drivers, with B-Boy getting in the last one.
The crowd roared after the match, pounding on the canvas, while yelling in unison "Please come back" and thanking the two warriors of the mat for the price they had paid to entertain them.
"CZW will always be my home, but PWG is a place like no other. They always put together great matches. They bring in great wrestlers. All the wrestlers and people associated with PWG are cool and the fans are so incredible and respectful"
Obviously this show stealing performance allowed Younger to earn a job with PWG, as he was invited back for "The Battle of Los Angeles".
At BOLA, Drake continued to take the notion that he is only a death match wrestler, and threw it out the window. Displaying a wide array of styles over the course of the two day event. Everything from technical wrestling, Japanese style, some high flying and even a little comedy. the man truly has evolved and can do it all.
When I spoke with him Drake mentioned he will be representing his home, CZW, in Japan and Germany beginning at the end of this month. I expect him to leave those
fans as thoroughly entertained as he did us SoCal wrestling fans at both "Threemendous III" and "BOLA 2012".
To get to where he has arrived, and gain the reputation of being one of the toughest men in the business, Drake had to follow in the foot steps of his greatest influence, Sabu. He also had to pay a very physical price. so I asked him how much longer he was going to do this?
"Look I love wrestling. I've seen the world because of wrestling".
"I'm gonna go till I stop having fun".
Judging from what I saw at Threemendous III and BOLA 2012, he's still having alot of fun.
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