ADAM COLE vs. BRIAN CAGE- 5.75/10
Believe it or not, Cage appears to have slimmed down some. Either that or it’s been a long time since I’ve seen him anywhere but Lucha Undergound, and it’s true that the camera adds ten pounds (in Cage’s case, all of which were muscle). Cole tried to get into Cage’s head by having himself as “the strongest man the ring right now,” which was great.
RODERICK STRONG vs. TIMOTHY THATCHER- 6.5/10
JEFF COBB vs. TREVOR LEE- 6.25/10
I don’t like Cobb that much. I love him in… other environments… but when he’s just “Jeff Cobb” he is really missing something and comes across like just a guy doing suplexes and amateur moves.
CHUCK TAYLOR vs. TRENT?- 7/10
The fans are chanting “HUG IT OUT!” for the pre-match handshake but that makes no sense because there hasn’t been any animosity yet, and thus there is no “it” to hug out.
I guess weapons are legal, now? I think it’d be best for PWG to just stop pretending they have rules like DQ’s and count-outs and start to employ a kind of “informal agreement” system where technically it’s No DQ’s, but if, say, Kyle O’Reilly and Timothy Thatcher don’t want to use plunder in their matches, they just don’t do so.
I really liked the direction they seemed to be going here with Best Friends breaking up. They needed a shake-up, and a winning streak is exactly the sort of thing that could come between these two. When we got to the part where Trent? got the thumbtacks and Excalibur and Joey were pointing out how Trent? must have planted them there before the match, I thought there was no possible way these two could get back together… and they really shouldn’t have. Chairs and a ladder would have been hard enough, but when one guy comes prepared with THUMBTACKS for what isn’t even supposed to be a weapons match… that’s clear and obvious malicious intent right there, and that’s the sort of thing that should be trust-breaking. When they hugged after the match I was hoping that Trent? would attack Chuck, and I found the fact that he didn’t to be very disappointing. It was one of those moments that, to me as a fan, says “this is our stale booking and it will never change.”
MARTY SCURLL vs. SAMI CALIHAN- 3.5/10
Good strategy by Sami to exploit Marty’s hitherto unknown (to us) phobia of cats. If they had stayed with that the whole way through this would have been pretty good, but instead they tried to jump back and forth between comedy and serious wrestling, and it just didn’t work. It felt like every time they switched, everything was reset, and as a result the match felt like it dragged on forever.
PWG WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
The Young Bucks(c) vs. Death By Elbow- 7.75/10
This would have been an 8/10 if not for a few spots where they got WAY too cutesy and it just screamed “this is all choreographed!”
PWG WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Zack Sabre Jr.(c) vs. Kyle O’Reilly- 8.5/10
An awesome technical wrestling match. What a pleasant way to end the show.
DAMN THAT RODERICK STRONG!
Roddy comes out and assaults both guys. He says he wants his rematch right now, so we get another…
PWG WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Zack Sabre Jr.(c) vs. Roderick Strong-
I don’t want to rate this as a match because it would be a little unfair, so I am going to call this a very disappointing segment.
First and foremost, I was disappointed by the very short length of the match. It’s PWG, the land of do whatever you want. They couldn’t have given Roddy time to have one last real match in PWG? Secondly, I didn’t like the interference, and for more than just the obvious reason that interference shouldn’t be allowed in wrestling matches and should have resulted in a DQ. The way this was booked was obviously meant to mirror Roddy’s PWG World Title victory back at Black Cole Sun. At that show, Kyle O’Reilly had just finished defending the title when Roderick Strong came out and attacked him and challenged him to a match. Kyle accepted and Roddy won. Here we have Zack Sabre Jr., who recently won the belt from Roddy, successfully defending against Kyle, and then Roddy comes out and wants the title match. The one missing element here is the fact that the match between Roddy and Kyle was actually No DQ’s, so making this No DQ’s match would have not only perfectly played into the symmetry they were going for, but also would have allowed for the interference… but for some reason they just didn’t do it.
Thirdly, and in some ways most importantly, we didn’t get any sort of payoff between Roderick Strong and Adam Cole. That’s been the big thing they’ve been building to since Cole returned, and now we’re never going to get it. If that wasn’t part of the plan for this match, why even have the interference at all?
I also didn’t like the aftermath with Cole and the Bucks teasing us with some sort of payoff that they were going to superkick Roddy but Sabre Jr. stepping in to defend Roddy after Roddy just tried to take advantage of him and cheat him out of the title. It came across as Roddy being forgiven WAY too quickly. Same thing with Roddy’s hug with Kyle.
RODERICK STRONG FAREWELL - great, as you would expect. If we could have gotten this moment and this crowd taking place after Roddy’s farewell match in EVOLVE, but with all of the hype and importance built up for it in Ring of Honor, Roddy would have gotten the goodbye he deserved from all three… although of the three, PWG were the ones who got the actual goodbye moment right, so props to them for that.
A mostly disappointing show from PWG, especially as relates to the booking. Whenever they seemed to be on the edge of something interesting, they dropped it. Still, the Kyle vs. Sabre Jr. match, the Best Friends match and the tag title match were all great, and Roddy’s moment was definitely something any Roderick Strong fan should see, so I’ll say it is worth buying.