PWG Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock N' Roll)
By Big Red Machine
From March 18, 2017
BRIAN CAGE vs. SAMI CALLIHAN vs KEITH LEE - 8/10
We began with some good three way stuff and hand striking. Lee also got to show off his athleticism. If you thought a guy as big as Sami Callihan getting up to give Cage a hurricanrana was impressive, wait until you see Keith Lee do it. After successfully doing so Lee ordered his opponents to bask in his glory, but instead they bicycle kicked him in his face. They shared a high five... and then Cage kneed Sami in the gut and we went back to a three-way. That was a great sequence.
The whole match can be summed up as three big dudes showing of their strength and athleticism. They hit each other hard, threw each other around, jumped very high, and even flipped around a couple of times. AWESOME opener!
OI4K vs. THE CHOSEN BROS (Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb) - 6.5/10
We started off with Cobb throwing OI4K around for a while before they managed to isolate him and turn him into the babyface in peril. Good stuff.
LIO RUSH vs. TREVOR LEE - 6.75/10
An exciting, fast-paced babyface vs. heel match.
DEZMOND XAVIER vs. SHANE STRICKLAND - 7.5/10
Fans- not just in PWG, but everywhere- need to stop chanting "SWERVE!" for Shane Strickland immediately! I don't care if he's from "Swerve City." You doing your silly little chant is not worth the risk of Vince Russo seeing this, feeling validated, and using it to con some money mark promoter into letting him book again. For the good of the wrestling business, this chant MUST stop.
Anyway, the match was predictably flippy, but they actually did a good job of selling exhaustion when it was called for. That, some impressive displays of athleticism, combined with a "HOLY F*CK!" to produce a GREAT match.
BEST FRIENDS vs. THE LEADERS OF THE NEW SCHOOL (Zack Sabre Jr. & Marty Scurll) - 9/10
F*ck Best Friends and their kayfabe-breaking t-shirts. Um... okay. So I guess this is a No DQs match?
This was an excellent babyface vs. heels tag match with great psychology, some great little twists (my favorite was Chuck countering Scurll's attempt to break his fingers into Sole Food), and, perhaps most importantly, an extremely hot crowd- and not the "making a lot of noise and popping loudly" kind of hot. I mean the kind of hot where you could tell that they really wanted to see the babyfaces win not because of their cool moves or antics or whatever but because they genuinely liked these men and wanted to see them succeed. The finish, which saw Trent pin PWG World Champion Zack Sabre Jr. really felt like it was a huge moment for Trent which could push him up to the next level as a singles wrestler in PWG.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Best Friends celebrate together but Marty Scurll attacks them from behind. Marty and Zack beat them up some more with chairs, and then Marty cut a promo.
TORANADO TAG TEAM MATCH FOR THE PWG WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES:
The Young Bucks(c) vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. Penta el 0M & Rey Fenix - 4.75/10
Excalibur clearly said this was a Tornado match but one guy from each team immediately disappeared. I checked the corners of the ring and they weren't there. I eventually spotted Fenix sitting in the front row or something. Ricochet and the other Buck were nowhere to be found. Some stuff happened, then the Buck and the lucha guys decided to have a comedy match where they dressed up like each other (why were there extra masks under the ring?) while Sydal & Ricochet were nowhere to be found, but apparently they were just sitting around watching these guys be goofballs instead of trying to win the tag titles. Did they both have to go to the bathroom or something? Nope. They went to go dress up like both teams at the same time, because it's not like this is a main event title match or anything, so it's all about making the fans laugh instead of trying to win.
So I guess the funny part is over and supposed to take everything seriously now. It's kind of hard to give a sh*t about anything when you've just rubbed in my face that this is all scripted and the goal is to be funny rather than trying to win. Kind of makes the title change at the finish feel like it doesn't mean sh*t. Even winning and losing don't mean sh*t. That's why Penta & Fenix are getting this title shot despite the fact that the last time they wrestled as a team in PWG was the final night of BOLA where they... lost a tag team title match to the Young Bucks, and the only appearance either man has made since then was Fenix losing to Trent at the last show, while the Chosen Bros. beat the Bucks in a non-title match back in December but still haven't gotten a title shot despite both teams not only being on this show but also both having been on the previous show.
So you know that thing that Rip Rogers posted on Twitter burying the psychology of the stereotypical indy match? This is the tag team version of that. This never once felt like wrestlers trying win a wrestling match. It came across from start to finish like performers doing things for the sole purpose of popping the crowd. It was a spot-fest, pure and simple. A Special K match but with superkicks and some Attitude Era knock-off catchphrases. Oh, and some apron bumps to show us all how tough they are or whatever.
This was a really great show from PWG brought down by a bad main event. If you just want to do flips go be an acrobat. If you want to be a professional wrestler you need to at least try to tell a story.