Thursday 6 December 2012

PWG: Mystery Vortex Review By Jose Haze

Last weekend Pro Wrestling Guerilla returned to the American Legion Hall in Reseda, Ca. for a show that had no name and which 95% of the card was unknown till the day of the show. In any other fed this type of non-promotion would have led to a dismal turn out. The result here? The biggest crowd since Threemendous III earlier in the year.

The show as it turned out was given the name "Mystery Vortex". Which given the facts mentioned earlier and what would transpire the rest of the night,turned out to be a perfect fit.

This show was truly magical for a number of reasons which included the return of The Super Smash Brothers, who would be defending their PWG tag titles for the first time in six months. The return of Adam Cole, who had not wrestled in PWG since his shocking and impressive performance at BOLA 2012 where he slayed some of the Indies greatest talents to capture the BOLA title. Also making his return for the first time since BOLA was one of the newer PWG fan favorites, Drake Younger. This also would be the night PWG original Joey Ryan would wrestle his final match in PWG, which would lead to many emotions from the fans.

The show took a while to get started due to PWG staff adding seating for the show, but once it did we in attendance were treated to what many fans in attendance would call the show of the year in PWG.

Kicking things off was a match that was originally scheduled for "Failure to Communicate" in October, The Young Bucks vs Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong. In my preview for "Failure to Communicate" at before the card was changed, I sort of insinuated that Edwards and Strong's time had passed in PWG. I could not have been more wrong!

This match was fast, explosive and at times bordered on perfection. Both teams were truly in sync. Edwards and Strong particularly seemed like a team that had been working together exclusively for 20 years, working in a massive number of chops, chest stomps and back breakers all while flying around the ring in unison like men half their size. The Young Bucks with their assortment of flips, back rakes and super kicks were acrobatic, sinister and 100% entertaining. In any other promotion, the guys opening the show would be hand cuffed from really going beyond more than getting the crowd going for the rest of the show. Here these two teams put on what would be classified as a main event match anywhere else. Edwards and Strong were eventually rewarded for their exceptional team work, going over the Bucks in a truly remarkable opener. This would not be the last we heard from Edwards and Strong.

The second match consisted of two men who know each other well from time in CZW. Drake Younger made his big return after spening a couple months in Japan and Germany. He would face the "Death Machine" Sami Callahan in a brutal contest of strength, will and blood.... a lot of blood. Both men received huge ovations when they were introduced. As soon as the bell rang, the shit hit the fan. With crazy bumps, head turning head butts and brutal stretches, Younger and Callahan brought a flavor that is very unique to most matches seen in PWG. There were several intense spots, including one where Sami suplexed Drake like 8 or 9 straight times. Not to be outdone Drake nailed Callahan with a couple "cop killers". Eventually after a couple attempts where Drake broke free, Callahan finally was able to submit Drake, via "stretch muffler". After receiving a well deserved ovation, both men shook hands in a great show of sportsmanship.

Following that "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" of a match The Super Smash Brothers, making their long awaited return, battled The RockNES Monsters for the PWG tag titles.The RockNES Monsters have had alot of success in PWG as of late, which led to this title shot(they must have naked pictures of Super Dragon and Excalibur, because I personally don't understand their push... anyway). The match was wild and zany as you would expect, with the SSB working from seemingly one brain. They are so cohesive, and their timing always seems impeccable. Meanwhile the RockNES monsters, were heeling it up big time. At one point one half of the monsters, Johnny Goodtime, got some scissors and cut off pieces of his beard to throw in the eyes of the SSB, which was kind of funny. The SSB eventually got the "fatality" for the win.

After the match Excalibur came into the ring to congratulate the SSB on their victory, and to let them know since their flights are so expensive and haven't wrestled in a long time, they would have to make up for it by wrestling again later in the night. More on this later.

The fourth match right before intermission was the farewell match from PWG for Joey Ryan. His opponent would be none other than his former tag partner, Scorpio Sky. Ryan was one of the founders of PWG, and was a major part of the Indy fed's success. The fans chanted his name and a few were actually shedding tears. The two men looked into each others eyes and took a deep sigh then hugged, like they had done many times before in comedy pieces in PWG.

The match itself was a very good match. There were a few spots that were homages to former PWG alumni like Scott Lost and Chris Bosh. Joey Ryan did few things I had not seen him do in a while, like a tope suicida through the ropes and he gave Sky a "mustache ride" (I know, it sounds nasty) off the apron onto the floor. My favorite moment of the match was when Sky stood in the corner waiting for a fallen Ryan to get up so he could super kick him, and right before he mouthed "I'm sorry" ala Shawn Michaels vs Ric Flair from Wrestlemania 24. Funny shit. Scorpio eventually got the pin over Ryan to win the match.

After Joey Ryan address the crowd, starting out by saying "I'v waited 10 years for this moment...10 years to tell you all..... to go fuck yourselves!!!!". Which immediately was followed by a "Fuck ourselves" chant.... ah PWG. Then Ryan got deep, talking about his many moments and the many hats he wore in the company and how he did everything PWG ever needed of him. Touching speech, that was met with the approval of the fans. He also asked all the women if one of them wanted to volunteer and give him a blow job. Anyway... Then Excalibur went into the ring to tell Joey "you go to Orlando, make as much money as you can and never come back" which was followed by a hug. A truly awesome heart felt moment. I too wish Joey Ryan the best. I hope he goes on to make millions of dollars because the guy paid his dues, and truly deserves it.

The first match after the intermission was a 4 way 1st to a pinfall between T.J. Perkins, B-Boy, Brian Cage AKA Mr.Get My Shit In AKA The Fuckin Machine (I just love saying both of those nicknames) and Willie Mack. I'm guessing this match was originally set to be an elimination match and due to the time constraints was changed to 1st pin fall. None the less it was an incredible and entertaining match. There was so much going on inside and outside the ring that you had to stand the whole time to try and catch everything. T.J. Perkins was really on his game tonight, putting on an offensive explosion. The match also included a moonsault over the top rope onto an opponent on the floor from Brian Cage. It is truly incredible to see him do stuff like this, because the guy is freaking huge, and you would not expect someone like him to do some of the things he does. There were alot of multiple submissions, double suplexes and so many other things that make a 4 way unique. Usually controversial finishes suck. Usually they leave a bad taste in your mouth after the match and you feel ripped off as a fan. Here theres was a controversial finish that I thought was absolutely perfect. I liked it so much, I'm not gonna tell you about it(You probably know already anyway). Buy the DVD.

Next was another match that was originally scheduled for "Failure to Communicate" between Rich Swann and El Generico. In his debut at said show vs Roderick Strong, Swann got over in 5 seconds. he also received the "please come back" chant, which essentially is the key to the front doors of American Legion, allowing a wrestler a spot in future shows. Swann came in for his introduction recording the crowd on his phone as he ran around the ring, even stopping mid intro to take pictures with fans on said cell phone. Awesome. Generico not to be left behind, got a pop from the crowd that was bigger even than his usual receptions, As the crowd sang "Ole" in unison at a deafening volume. This match was wrestled at the speed of light, with Swann and Generico going back and forth trading mind boggling offensive maneuvers and counters. Swann truly is a special talent. he is so funny and is so skilled in the art of high flying, that you almost want to pinch yourself, In my opinion he is that good and is only going to get better. Generico meanwhile put in his usual world class effort, even showing some heeliness, kicking at Swann's head with his foot while Swann was down, which I thought was great. Another layer to his body of work. Generico eventually got the victory, with a crazy vetical suplex powerbomb that I will call the "vete a la chingada"(look it up). After the match Generico got the crowd to chant for Swann and the two shook hands, which call me corny, I am always a mark for.

The next match was another great tag team match. This was the community service fine match SSB were forced to wrestle due to their flights and not wrestling in a long time. their opponents were none other than Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong. the match would be non-title but it wouldn't be non-awesome! From the get go both teams pulled out their heavy artillery and went balls out against the other. Again Strong and Edwards were 1st rate in their team work. Aside from that, I noticed they were wrestling as heels in this match where earlier they wrestled as the faces. The difference was subtle, but I noticed it and I tip my hat to these two men for it.The Smash Brothers pretty much took the brunt of pain early on, with Player Dos getting the worst of it as Strong and Edwards worked their best heel tag stuff, not allowing Dos to get to his corner while pummeling him at the same time. Eventually the SSB made a gutsy comeback, but on this night Edwards and Strong were too tough. They eventually got the pin after some chest stomps from Edwards and a crazy brutal combo in the finish for the win. Again the match was non-title, but the ref forgot and tried to give the belts to Edwards and Strong, which led to a "You fucked up" chant that no doubt will make Botchamania some day. Again get the DVD.

And now to the main event. Earlier in the night Adam Cole came out and did a promo that was interrupted by Kevin Steen, where he informed Cole and the fans that since he had some pull around the PWG office, he got the main event to become a Guerilla Warfare match!(insert crowd pop) Which in PWG is the ultimate way for a nasty feud to get evened out. Being that Adam Cole stole Steen's PWG belt at BOLA and there was no love lost between the two combatants, this was a perfect way to settle things. Ring announcer Angelo Trinidad even warned the crowd to "Move the fuck out of the way" if they saw wrestlers coming their way. From the opening bell Steen beat the living shit out of Cole. At one point taking him to all four corners of the ring and giving him a pole ride, nuts first on each pole. The match included chairs shots, ladders, trash cans and it was brutal, with Steen doing most of the ass kicking, then Cole began to make a comeback and handed out his own brutality towards Steen. It was utter madness. Steen at one point made his way to the announce table and got a beer pitcher.... that was full of the longest tacks I had ever seen in my life, and threw them in the ring. At one point he event put the tacks in his mouth and spit them in Cole's face..... yes he spit tacks (insert "you sick fuck" chants here). The crown jewel of the match was after Steen and Cole made sort of a pyramid of chairs with the top chair having the back support part pointing up, Steen suplexed Cole right on top as both men came crashing down through the chairs, leaving Cole with a huge deep gash in his back. Eventually after fighting around the tacks, like two guys trying not to fall overboard off a boat, Adam Cole was able to counter a number of attempts by Steen and Germaned Steen into the tacks and got the clean pin.

This match was almost like a gang initiation. Cole got his ass kicked for a long time before getting the win and the PWG title, and he passed the initiation with flying colors. The fact PWG would allow Cole the clean win in a Guerilla Warfare match, making Cole look as strong as possible vs the toughest opponent possible says everything you need to know about the confidence they have in him. I think it also says something about Kevin Steen. The guy is a true professional, and hats off to him for passing the torch. Adam Cole, whether he is in ROH as the wholesome face or heeling it up as the super talented sinister heel champion, he is a shining light in the world of professional wrestling, and no doubt will be a star on that 3 hour show on Monday nights someday.

Also I want to highlight the performances of Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong again. As I said before watching them work together was truly impressive. In one show the amount of things they did over the course of two matches was remarkable. The fact they worked one match as faces and the next as heels, and how they changed up their game was another thing that impressed me, all the while maintaining a world class level throughout the show. hats off to them, I hope they team up at DDT4, because they are a joy to watch as a tag team.

Mystery Vortex was everything you hope for when you go to a PWG show. It is a must purchase show for your DVD collection. Pre- order it today!

Follow me on twitter @Jose_LL_00

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