By Big Red Machine
From January 02, 2016
PWG Lemmy (1/2/2016)- Reseda, CA
BRIAN CAGE vs. CHRIS DICKINSON- 4/10
They started off with three minutes of an unbearable spotfest before Dickinson finally got some heat by working over Cage’s arm for a few minutes, but once Cage started to make his comeback, that was completely forgotten and he did all of his usual power stuff. Then, possibly because he hates me personally, Cage kicked out of a Burning Hammer. IN THE F*CKING OPENER. It’s good enough to put down Jun Akiyama for the GHC Heavyweight Title in the main event of one of the biggest shows in the history of NOAH, but not good enough to put down Brian Cage in the opening match of a PWG show!
The Special K crew were spot-monkeys. Brian Cage is pretty much just a spot-gorilla, whose sh*tty psychology seems almost contagious. It took Ciampa almost a year to shake off the disease he contracted from his match with Cage at the 2013 BOLA (which Excalibur appropriately referenced during the spottiest portion of this match), and now I’m worried that it will do the same to Dickinson (who kicked out of a big move at one here in the opener) just after the poor guy seems to have started to pick up some steam in EVOLVE.
Also during this match, Excalibur noted that Kevin Steen is currently working with the poor orphans at Los Angelitos de El Generico. As Excalibur himself noted, Steen never seemed to have even a single generous bone in his body, so I am highly suspicious of his motives in this. The only plausible explanation I can come up with is that this is part of some long-term plan for revenge, wherein Steen is secretly teaching the orphans to hate El Generico and one day the orphans will turn on Generico, leaving Steen in charge of the orphanage where he can train the orphans in the ways of dickishness and irreverent douchebaggery (and you’re welcome, Excalibur, for this genius angle that you can use at Threemendous 10)
DREW GULAK vs. TIMOTHY THATCHER- 7/10
Yeah… compare that last match to this one, where Thatcher worked over Gulak’s hand and wrist, so Gulak pretty much couldn’t use that hand for the entire rest of the match.
TREVOR LEE vs. SAMI CALLIHAN- 6.5/10
This was a match that didn’t know what it wanted to be. They started off exchanging sharp words and spitting on each other and it looked like it would be a really intense brawl… but then they just started trading headlocks and stuff. Then they seemed to be heading for that “one-upsmanship” story, but then they started using chairs for a spot or two, then Lee started heeling on the crowd but then that stopped and they just started doing some stuff and then Sami worked on Lee’s leg for a bit on the submission. The action was fine, but as a story this match was a mess.
JACK EVANS vs. DREW GALLOWAY- 6.25/10
Jacks cuts a long grandstanding heel promo which leads to him demanding a dance off. Jack starts to dance and walk on his hands but Drew just kicks him in the face to start the match. Heel grandstanding Jack Evans is so fun to watch and even more fun to watch get beaten up.
ADAM COLE vs. “SPEEDBALL” MIKE BAILEY- 6.75/10
They did some good stuff and all, but Bailey’s “underdog” gimmick just didn’t work for me so well here. I think he got way too much offense in.
ZACK SABRE JR. vs. AKIRA TOZAWA- 7.75/10
Holy crap. Even Sabre Jr. looks like a giant when he’s in there with Tozawa. After they wasted three and a half minutes doing absolutely nothing, they got around to having a really great wrestling match.
PWG WORLD TITLE MATCH: Roderick Strong(c) vs. Chris Hero- 8.25/10
Oh dear G-d Hero gets bigger every time. At this point he’s approaching Tomohiro Ishii territory.
To get heat, Roddy declares that Rick Knox will no longer be allowed to referee his matches. They did some good stuff with ref bumps (Roddy pulled not one but two different referees into the way of Chris Hero elbows) and also told the standard “Chris Hero is going to knock someone out with an elbow” story. The match was awesome, but I was really hoping for something more epic from these two, as I thought their current styles would match up extremely well and they could have quite the classic. Hero got to kick out of a false finish at one, which would have been a much bigger deal and seemed a lot cooler if I hadn’t seen Dickinson do it in the opener.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Adam Cole comes out and Roddy tells the fans he hates them. Zack Sabre Jr. comes out and says some very obscene things to Roddy, which Cole laughed at. Zack also said he would take Roddy’s title.
COLE & RODDY BACKSTAGE- great!
Roddy is upset with Zack Sabre Jr. for disrespecting him and upset with Cole for laughing at Sabre’s insults. Cole gave Roddy a signed picture of himself, so Roddy reciprocates and gives Cole his shirt. We then got two quick scenes: one of Roddy ripping up the picture Cole gave him and the other of Cole spitting on the t-shirt he received from Roderick. It will be quite interesting to see which of these guys goes babyface when the turn finally comes (my money is on Cole).
A very disappointing show from PWG. Perhaps the issue was that I went with expectations for the main event that were too high, but pretty much everything on this show aside from Gulak vs. Thatcher felt lie it under-delivered. This card had a lot of potential and really didn’t live up to any of it. I can't objectively say that this wasn't a perfectly fine show, but it really felt like it could have been so much more.