PWG EIGHT DVD Review By Jerome Cusson

Posted: September 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

Thanks to Jerome Cusson of  http://pwpponderings.com for supplying this DVD review

-Taped from Reseda, California

-Your hosts are Excalibur and a bunch of vanilla midgets

Kevin Steen vs. PAC

Match in Five Words or Less: One

Match Summary/Analysis: Kevin Steen is perplexed at the size of PAC and just how bigger he’s gotten.  “Wellness” chant from the Reseda crowd. Steen believes Pac’s armband is the reason for his massive size. To the back Steen goes for one of his own. First contact is made nearly three minutes after the bell rings. Steen pinches PAC’s cheek and points out how cute he is. PAC wins a shoving match. Steen offers a test of strength. Boot into a headlock by Steen. Shoulderblock stalemate. Rand and standing shooting star press by PAC. Steen powders. Steen encourages the crowd to chant for the test of strength with some foul language. Steen flips him over and stomps his head down hard. PUSH-UPS! Steen is tired, but not tired enough to boot him in the face. Strike exchange.  Pac hits a springboard dropkick and immediately kips up. Steen goes outside. PAC misses a dive but lands on his feet. RYDIAN BOMB ON THE APRON! Elbow drop off the apron. Steen maintains control back in the ring while also posing for the pictures. He’s on a different level right now from anyone else on the indy scene. Hero and Excalibur mock Colt Cabana’s podcast.  Steen pulls on PAC’s hair. Another strike exchange. Boot by Steen. PAC covers up his chest, so Steen pokes him in the eye. More pulling of the hair and a headbutt. PAC knees Steen and leaps over for an acecrusher on the apron. Well that’s dangerous. Twisting asai body press to the floor.  Frog crossbody for two. Forearms. Out of a fireman’s carry and a savat kick. Up and over. Pac is caught. F-5 by Steen. 1-2-NO! Chops by Steen. Pac comes back with a step-up eniziguri. Snap German  suplex by PAC for two. Boot out of the corner by Steen. Battle on the top turnbuckle. Steen shoves him off. Pac hits a step-up boot. Finlay roll off the top rope. 1-2-NO! Steen is incredulous. Moonsault. 1-2-NO! Second rope moonsault doesn’t work out so well. Sharpshooter! PAC grabs the bottom rope. Another battle on the top rope. Pac elbows Steen off. Reverse 450 splash. 1-2-NOOOO! SWEET JEBUS! PAC tries coming off again. Steen crotches him. Draping DDT. Pac bounces. Steen covers. 1-2-NO! Package piledriver but PAC works his way out of it. REVERSE RANA. 1-2-NO! Shooting star press met with knees. Small package and Steen gets the quick win by using his smarts and guile. An incredible way to start the show. Gonna be hard for anyone to try and follow this match. This started out with a slow build but turned into something very special by the end. Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Kevin Steen/23:08/****

-Brian Cage-Taylor vs. Brandon Gatson

Match in Five Words or Less: New Tights

Match Summary/Analysis: Good luck following the previous match guys. Gatson and Cage-Taylor each have new gear for this special anniversary show. Feeling out process. Backbreaker into a cutter by Cage-Taylor. Boot to Gatson’s head sends him out. Gatson punches Cage-Taylor in the face. Standing tarantula in the ropes. Sunset flip for two. Anklebreaker into a fisherman’s suplex for two by Gatson. Cage-Taylor catches Gatson coming in on an acecrusher attempt and hits a German suplex. Chinlock. Chinbreaker by Gatson. Cage-Taylor counters into an abdominal stretch. Elbows. Cage-Taylor drives his opponent down in some sort of Omega driver variation. Bodyslam into a small package by Gatson. Chops in the corner. Handspring into a twisting clothesline. Cage-Taylor does an inverted angle slam. Into the buckle goes Gatson. Strikes in the corner by Cage-Taylor.  Awkward landing. Cage-Taylor hits a clothesline and Gatson lands his head on the apron. Gatson misses an elbow off the second rope. Boot and leaping leg lariat by Gatson. Neckbreakers by Gatson leads to a northern lights suplex by Cage-Taylor. Spear by Gatson. Moonsault misses but a DDT works for Gatson. Back kick by Gatson. Cage-Taylor hits a shot to the midsection. Quick cover for two. Gatson punches Cage-Taylor off the top rope. Kick by Gatson. Sasuke special misses but he lands on his feet. Superkick sends both men down. Series of counters. Gatson hits a second superkick on the floor. Referee begins counting both men. Excalibur and Chris Hero say horrible things on commentary. Gatson with a bodyslam. Cage-Taylor delivers a side kick and neckbreaker. Flatliner out of the Gory bomb special gets Cage-Taylor a surprising victory. I’m a little shocked by that one, but good to see Cage-Taylor pick up some momentum in PWG. His performances have all ranged in the okay to good range, so hopefully this leads somewhere. Match itself was just okay and fell kind of flat until the end. Winner (s)/Time/Rating: /14:17/**1/2

El Generico and Ricochet vs. Roderick Strong and Alex Shelley

Match in Five Words or Less: Insanity

Match Summary/Analysis: It’s a bit odd to see one half of Steenerico and one half of The Spiked Mohicans split off into two different tag team matches. Cima of course teams with Steen later on in the evening.  This is an indy fan’s wet dream right just for the record. Generico and Shelly feel each other out. Three armdrags from Generico. Ricochet tags in and delivers a dropkick. Shelley bites Ricochet and nails him in the face. Headbutt to the gut by Ricochet. Double chop to the throat by Shelley. Strong in and almost chops his partner. Shoulder tackle on Ricochet. Off the ropes they go. Armdrag and dropkick by Ricochet. Toehold on Shelley as he heads back in the ring. Reverse Boston crab by Shelley into a pendulum swing. Generico and Ricochet isolate Shelley. Generico even breaks out some underhanded tactics. Shelley with a back suplex on Ricochet. He knocks Generico off the apron. Strong in with strikes. All four men battle. Generico hits a tope con helo on Shelley. Leg lariat by Ricochet on Strong. Strong the  catches and tosses him to the outside. Strong drops Ricochet head first on the apron. Gen Next takes control on the outside of the ring. Heat segment on Ricochet. Great chop and superkick combination gets two. Generico is full of piss and vinegar tonight as he keeps interfering. Ricochet sends Strong into Shelley. Enziguri on Strong. Leaping neckbreaker on Shelley. Hot tag…NO! Strong removes Generico from the apron. Double suplex attempt goes nowhere. Bit awkward as something got messed up or someone forgot a spot. Leaping kicks by Ricochet finally leads to a hot tag. Clothesline for everyone! Back drop on Strong. Backbreaker on Shelley. Strong takes him in the corner and hits a hard chop. Strong tries knocking Ricochet off the  apron, BUT RICOCHET DIVES OVER AND HITS SHELLEY!  Blue thunder  bomb on Strong for two. Forearms by Strong. Generico goes for the half nelson suplex. He settles for the Michinoku driver. Ricochet is knocked off the by his own partner. Boot IN THE FACE of Generico. Shelley goes back work on Ricochet. Charge misses. Boot to Strong’s face. Shelley sends Ricochet into the second buckle head first. Superkick into an angle slam. 1-2-NO! Ricochet goes for a jackknife pin and gets two. Neckbreaker. Ricochet reverses the orange crush backbreaker into a rana for two.  Double enziguris. Gutbuster by Strong. Shelley hits a hard foot stomp. 1-2-GENERICO BREAKS THE COUNT! Shelley hits a hard kick. Ouch. Ricochet sucks and hits a flying kick. Generico hits a swinging DDT on Shelley. Yakuza in the corner on Strong. Yakuza/619 combo on Shelley. Half nelson on Strong. Another yakuza. BRAINBUSTER! Generico is not the legal man since Ricochet tagged in blindly. Phoenix splash misses. Strong hits a  ridiculous orange crush backbreaker on Ricochet to get the win. An excellent tag team match that really made me want to see a singles contest between Ricochet and Strong. I guess PWG is the only company that can make this happen since ROH and DG USA don’t like each other. At least that’s the rumor going around. This was a bit toned down from some of the other tag team matches I’ve seen this year from PWG, but I think it benefitted the quality of the match. With so much still to come on the card, it makes sense not blow everything out of water at this point.  Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Roderick Strong and Alex Shelley/22:06/***3/4

-Peter Avalon vs. Ryan Taylor

Match in Five Words or Less: Who’s What?

Match Summary/Analysis: Avalon got a haircut and now looks like a  cross between Marion Fontaine and Pinkie Sanchez. Not sure who the babyface is supposed to be since both guys are heels.  Crowd is behind Avalon big time. I’m pretty surprised considering the way he’s wrestled since coming to PWG. Avalon certainly looks a lot more serious.  Basic to start. Back and forth with armdrags. Series of counters. Victory roll gets two for Avalon. Backslide by Taylor for two. Shoulder tackle by Taylor. Avalon drops down. Taylor’s balls land on Avalon’s knee. Ouch. Leg lariat. Avalon teases a spinaroonie but gets kick in the back of his head. Scissors kick by Taylor…sucka! Kick by Avalon. They argue. Dual spinaroonies. Taylor’s was slightly less awful. Running kick to Avalon’s chest. Back suplex. Taylor works Avalon’s arm. Forearms by Avalon. More counters. Taylore ends up on the apron. Enziguri sends him on the floor. Tope suicida. Avalon works a chinlock. Back elbow off the ropes for two. Butterfly suplex for two. Chops by Taylor. Again with a series of counters. Taylor finally hits a flying clothesline. Slaps and kicks by Taylor. Big boot to the head. Avalon shoves him in the corner. Forearm sends Avalon down. Running knee. Uranagi for two. Running kick. Boot and roaring elbow from Taylor. 1-2-NO! quick roll-up by Avalon. Small package. No dice Taylor takes Avalon into the corner. Double knees drop Taylor face  first. Back in the ring for a two count. Avalon introduces a chair. Cage-Taylor intervenes. His brother is sent into the chair. Avalon with the quick roll-up for three. Not sure who benefitted from this ending. This was a “slip on a banana peel” type ending if I’ve ever seen one. I really wish PWG would start doing something with their local guys because their matches are starting to feel like warm-up acts for the real main events. This match and the one involving Brandon Gatson definitely had that feeling, and the way the crowd reacted definitely gave it that vibe. Nothing wrong with the match but nothing I need to run out and watch again. Winner (s)/Time/Rating:  Peter Avalon/12:06/**

-RockNES Monsters (Johnny Goodtime & Johnny Yuma) vs. The Dynasty (Joey Ryan & Scorpio Sky)

Match in Five Words or Less: Planet Express Teeshirts

Match Summary/Analysis: Ryan starts even before the bell rings with a dropkick, then double dives. Dynasty maintain the advantage on the outside. Yuma fights back to no avail as he gets rammed into the post.  Monsters are wearing Planet Express shirts. Yuma hits Ryan in the head with a water bottle. No sold quickly. Yuma shoves Ryan as the brawl continues. Goodtime joins his partner. Sky dive on Goodtime. Dynasty double team Yuma now. Bell finally rings. Yuma fires back on Ryan. Boots in the corner. Headscissors by Sky. Goodtime with a waistlock. Sky sends off and Ryan hits a spinebuster. Yuma eats more double team work. Goodtime sends Sky over the apron. Ryan dropkicks him. Goodtime sweeps Ryan down and hits a que brada. Quick springboard dropkick. Headscissors back outside. Yuma crossbody for two. RockNES Monsters work over Ryan. Sky saves his partner. Goodtime hangs on a vertical suplex. Suicide suplex takes both men outside. Right hand exchange between Yuma and Ryan. Facebuster with his feet for two. Whip in the corner followed by a lariat. Ryan hits a superkick. Goodtime hits a dropkick off the top rope. All four men are down. Sky brings Goodtime in the corner. Spear on Yuma. RockNES works over both Dynasty members. Goodtime hits  a German suplex. Ryan knocks Yuma off the apron. Strikes by Goodtime in the corner. Ryan pumphandles Goodtime into the corner. Boot by Yuma. Ryan sent outside. Shoulder blocks to Sky. Yuma goes for a rana off the top rope. Ryan brings him down. Tombstone piledriver by Ryan into the frog splash by Sky. Goodtime powerbombs Sky into Ryan. Modified DDT for two. Excalibur brings back the bicycle reference. All four men down again. Goodtime brings Sky in the corner. He goes for a Mushroom Driver. Pair of kicks into the leaping acecrusher by Sky. Young Bucks make a nuisance of themselves, so the referee can’t count Ryan’s pinfall. Yuma plays possum as Ryan lifts his partner up. Enziguri/acecrusher combo. Double team DVD gets RockNES Monsters the victory. A very fun action-packed little contest. I didn’t love the ending, but it’s good to see PWG has some interest in building up Yuma and Goodtime for another possible title match. Dynasty still have the number one contendership based on their win over All-Star Weekend. Winner (s)/Time/Rating: The Dynasty/10:05/***1/4

Non-title Match: The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) (PWG World Tag Team Champions) vs. Cima & Kevin Steen

Match in Five Words or Less: Two

Match Summary/Analysis: Bucks attack their opponents before the match because… that’s kinda what they do.  Complete chaos to start. Bucks work over Steen back in the ring. Cima makes the save. Double neckbreaker and a double double stomp. Steen sentons both Bucks. Cima does a push-ups as a recall to the opener. Nick Jackson thinks he can do better. Steen and Cima stomp him. More double teaming on both Bucks.  Cima takes a while before slamming Steen. HE EVEN SELLS IT! Steen tries slamming Patrick Hernandez, but the Bucks put an end to this chicanery. Assisted powerbomb onto the apron. Steen’s landing was quite ugly. Bucks work over Steen. Steen keeps it interesting by biting Nick Jackson and grabbing Matt Jackson’s junk. And there’s spitting too!  Steen superkicks both Bucks and gets innotative by superkicking Matt’s head into his brother’s. Cima hot tag. Dropkick on Matt. Double stomp… eventually… on Nick. Suplex/Indian deathlock combination. Bucks work over Cima. Steen pulls Nick out. Cima hits a backpack lungblower. Schwein avoided. Rana rolled through by Cima. Kick to the face followed by a springboard splash. Steen breaks the count. Nick dropkicks Steen off the apron and dives on him. Matt slaps at a prone Cima. Wheelbarrow but Matt collides with his brother. Combination from Cima ending with a running senton. Tag but Steen isn’t anywhere close to his corner. Chops from Steen. Matt  knocks Cima off the apron as Nick hits a superkick. 450 splash by Nick gets two. Steen tosses Matt in the corner. Package piledriver on Nick. METEROA! 1-2-NO! Cima gets tossed outside. Matt pulls his brother to the corner for a tag. Matt spits on Steen but can’t apply the Scorpion deathlock. Steen powerbomb before locking in the sharpshooter. Cima hits a schwein on Nick. METEORA OVER CIMA! Matt Jackson immediately tap out. Fantastic finish to a very good match. Everyone is immediately disappointed by the non-title stipulation, but I think this builds well to a future title match involving Steen and either Cima or Akira Tozawa. Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Kevin Steen & Cima/15:07/***3/4

-After the match, the Bucks get on the mic and beg for their TNA jobs back. They’re pretty awesome as heels. But the feedback from the microphone is the opposite. Matt Jackson tells Steen to go get fake fired from another promotion. See, that’s just mean. Steen and Cima chase the champions out of the building. Cima announces DG USA coming to Los Angeles… and Steen will apparently team with Tozawa in a title match. Steen grabs one of the tag belts and says to come get it. Well, it’s a bit more vile than that, but this is a family show.

-PWG World Championship: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero

Match in Five Words or Less:  The Last Dance

Match Summary/Analysis: At least we’ve got all three ropes for this match. Kings of Wrestling observe the code of honor before the match. They take turns testing out the ring in a nice callback to their most recent contest. Kevin Steen is on commentary for this main event. Is there anything he doesn’t do? I fully expect him to serve pitches of beer too.  Some mat wrestling. Steen and Excalibur completely ignore what’s going on in the ring to talk about such hot topics as putting dicks in Dixie Carter. Hero works a full nelson. Claudio breaks it. Hero should seek advice from Chris Masters about proper application of that hold. Hero shifts to a cravat. Crucifix pin for two. Steen chews on ice right into the microphone. Claudio headlock. Hero counters into a headscissors. Claudio stands on his head and eventually comes back to the headlock. Into the corner and a clean break. Claudio turns his attention to Hero’s arm. Things get testy. Claudio grabs… a headlock. Boot by Hero sends the champion over. He teases a dive but settles for a sliding dropkick through the middle rope. Strikes on the floor. Claudio chops the post. Running kick by Hero. Back in the ring. Senton by Hero. Cravat and knee strike. Chop exchange. Roll through and standing senton from Hero. Dragon screw leg whip by Claudio into the middle rope. Claudio continues work on the leg. Claudio breaks out something completely different, a Boston crab around the ring post. Strikes from Hero. He lands on one foot. Sunset flip. Claudio comes form behind with a diving European uppercut. Enziguri attempt but Claudio tosses him over. Figure four leglock.  Claudio slams Hero on a chair. He tosses a second chair at his head. Claudio is showing more hatred and anger than he ever has before. He drives his knee into Hero’s leg again. Half crab. Snapmare into the bottom rope. Kneebreaker and another dragon screw leg whip.  Camel clutch. Hero lifts Claudio on his back, but he falls BECAUSE HIS KNEE IS INJURED! Single leg crab but Hero grabs the bottom rope again. Claudio slams Hero so his leg nails the middle rope. Giant boot from Hero. Series of chops. Headbutt to Hero’s thigh. Hero avoids the kneebreaker and hits a cravatbuster. Hero removes the kneepad from his right leg and shifts it to his injured left leg. Back to delivering chops. Now to the elbows. Rolling neckbreaker. Springboard crossbody gets two. Single leg kick. Hero applies the cravat after climbing to the second rope. Claudio nails the knee. Dragon screw leg whip into a single leg crab yet again. Hero grabs the bottom rope. Hero shoves Claudio off. Claudio tries a springboard. Hero nails an elbow strike. La Maestral for two. Boots from Hero. Block of the elbow. Hero kicks him in the face and hits another elbow strike.  Referee counts as Hero nurses his left knee. Claudio comes back in and eats an elbow. 1-2-NO! Hero goes for a ricola bomb. Claudio rolls through AND SWINGS HIM AROUND BY HIS LEG! SINGLE LEG CRAB! STRETCH MUFFLER!  Hero has to grasp for the bottom rope. Claudio places Hero on the top rope. Hero hooks on a cravat and gets a neckbreaker. 1-2-NO!  Hero goes for a discus kick but his leg goes out. Elbow strike. Hero gets a mini version of the discus kick. Cyclone kill reversed into a European uppercut. Stretch muffler finally gets the victory for Claudio. Just a fantastic contest. Here’s the thing. Even though this match was long, the length served a purpose. Claudio spent most of the match working Hero’s leg. The leg work then paid off in the end with a submission victory. So the first 30 minutes didn’t feel like a complete waste of time. Hero sold the leg (for the most part) and even did some subtle gestures (switching kneepads and resting while Claudio was on the outside) to put over the viciousness of what Claudio was doing. I liked the match at All-Star Weekend. I LOVED this match. A fine last couple of matches before they move on to bigger and better things in WWE. Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL PWG World Champion-Claudio Castagnoli/36:54/****1/2

– Steen makes his way to the ring after an epic contest. Steen gives his props to Claudio for a great match. He has a request. Uh oh. Steen says his recent victories have earned him a PWG world title match. He wants it no…NOW! Steen has one more match in him. Knox appears to wave it off. Claudio moves him out of the way ever so politely. Claudio has two letters for Steen, N-O! Steen says the title will be on the line at some point. Claudio comes from behind and nails a huge kick. Now it’s time to ring the bell.

-PWG World Championship: Claudio Castagnoli (champion) vs. Kevin Steen

Match in Five Words or Less: Three

Match Summary/Analysis: Claudio goes for a ricola bomb. Steen counters into a sharpshooter. The Young Bucks come in and deliver a double superkick. Claudio covers but there’s no referee. 1-2-NO! Jacksons are incredulous. Joey Ryan and Scorpio Sky engage in a brawl with the Bucks. They head to the back. Claudio hits a lariat. RIcola… SUNSET FLIP! 1-2-NO! Superkick! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! 1-2-NEEWWWWWWWWWWWWW CHAMPION! Crowd completely loses it over this shocking title change. Excalibur practically lets out a primal scream when Patrick Hernandez counts three. I don’t think it’s fair at all to give this a rating since it wasn’t much of a match. But it was most definitely a five star moment in company history. An incredible way to cap off another strong PWG show. Winner (s)/Time/Rating: NEW PWG World Champion- Kevin Steen/1:38/N/R

I find it simply amazing that PWG has been able to take advantage of Kevin Steen’s popularity in a way that other companies haven’t been able to. I’m not convinced there are draws in indy wrestling at this point, but Kevin Steen has to be the hottest talent on the independent scene right now. Words cannot even describe how great his performance was on this night. In a company where storylines don’t exist, Kevin Steen has come to be Mr. PWG.

Line of the Night: Excalibur as usual. “The Bucks put the dicks in Dixie Carter.” Bada bing.

Finish of the Night: The ending to the semi-main event was incredibly satisfying and looked great in execution.

MVP: Kevin Steen had three matches. Two of them were amazing, and he became the freaking world champion in the third. Isn’t this the most obvious choice ever?

The Verdict: It’s a PWG show. This is the part where I give a thumbs up, right? I think whereas many PWG shows feature a lot of insane finishes and wacky stuff happening up and down the card, this felt a little bit more toned down. The matches were generally shorter, and the “main event” told an amazing story. It would be easy to write this off as “The Kevin Steen Show,” but he really did have a lot of help in making this an excellent anniversary show. Should you buy this DVD? Hell yes. Should you buy this right now? Probably.

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