Arena Reports 7/9 PWG in Hollywood, Calif.: Styles vs. WWE's Kazarian, New Tag Champs, Daniels vs. Sabin
Jul 10, 2005 - 8:09:00 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch Columnist
Pro Wrestling Guerilla presents: "Bicentennial Birthday Extravangza" Night One
July 9, 2005
Hollywood, California at the Los Feliz JCC
Report by James Caldwell, Torch Columnist
The Big Story: Frankie Kazarian returned to PWG for a "one night only" appearance to take on A.J. Styles for the PWG Title. Despite being under a WWE contract, Kazarian was granted the opportunity to wrestle in PWG, where he last appeared on Night 2 of All Star Weekend on April 2. Also, Aerial Express captured the PWG Tag Titles from Arrogance in a great match with plenty of heat.
(1) Davey Richards defeated Shannon Ballard at 13:00. PWG usually chooses tag team matches to kick off each show in order to get the crowd excited with a constant stream of action. The decision to choose a singles match to start the show was very well received because Shannon and Davey put together a great opening match. Early on, Shannon worked on Davey's left shoulder with a series of technical wear down holds. The action spilled to the outside several times with Shannon using the area outside of the ring to continue wearing down on Davey. In a sequence that really got the crowd into the match, Shannon doubled over Davey for a series of kicks to the stomach and back. However, the kicks looked weak, so Davey responded with a superman comeback where he delivered two very stiff kicks to show what a real kick looks and sounds like. That got the crowd amped as Davey showed great passion and fire. Davey set up for his trademark Shooting Star Press, but Shannon got to his feet after being laid out on the ground. Instead of changing his intended move, Davey went through with an awkward Shooting Star Press aimed for a standing Shannon Ballard. Davey delivered a glancing blow, but enough to rattle Shannon. The finish came when Davey went for a double underhook piledriver, but Shannon kicked out and went for a pinning combination, only to end up back in Davey's grasp for a double underhook piledriver resulting in a pin for the win. Great work by both competitors despite a few minor hiccups with awkward spots during the match.
(2) Los Luchas (Phoenix Star & Zokre) defeated HookGun (Hook Bomberry & Top Gun Talwar) at 12:10. Top Gun came out wearing cream-colored ring gear that was skin tight making it seem like Top Gun wasn't wearing anything. Unfortunately, the skintight outfit made Top Gun's thong very noticeable. Sloppy match that featured several awkward spots that took the crowd down from the opening bout. After Zokre took the majority of the tag team beat down from HookGun, the match broke down to a standard PWG four-man brawl with wrestlers connecting with potential finishing moves with a person from the opposite team breaking up a pinfall attempt. The finish came when Hook Bomberry was drop kicked to the outside leaving Top Gun alone in the ring where a quick roll up combined with a hook of the tights revealing Top Gun's thong resulted in the pin for the win. Los Luchas celebrated the victory and shared the sentiments of the crowd by asking why in the world Top Gun was wearing an outfit so skin-tight revealing his thong selection.
(3) Joey Ryan defeated Mr. Excitement at 10:55. Joey came to the ring wearing a dark black jacket that covered him from neck to feet in resemblance to Star Wars. Considering that Joey is a Star Wars fanatic, it's a wonder it took so long for Joey to pull out the Star Wars gear. Things only got worse as Joey removed his hooded jacket to reveal shiny black fighting pants that did nothing to help Joey gain any crowd support. Of course, working as the heel in the match, that only worked to his advantage as fans openly mocked his ring attire throughout the match. The was set up during last month's show on June 11 when Joey Ryan challenged Mr. Excitement to a match, only to take the chickens--- heel approach in waiting until next month. Well, next month came and Joey was only able to find victory with the help of outside interference from the tag champs, Chris Bosh and Scott Lost. However, Excitement would not go down without a fight as it took a super kick by Scott Lost, a tag title belt shot to the face by Chris Bosh, and a double team pancake to finally subdue Excitement.
(4) Ricky Reyes defeated Petey Williams at 13:25. The opening moments of the match consisted of dueling "Let's go Petey" and "Let's go Ricky" chants. The "Ricky" chants won out leading to the opening series of mat wrestling reversals and counters. Both men fought hard for victory, showing great intensity and fire in the ring. In total, Petey teased the Canadian Destroyer on three separate occasions, with Ricky finding a way to avoid the devastating finishing move. The final false Destroyer came from the top turnbuckle when Petey blocked a superplex attempt and set up for the Canadian Destroyer, only to have Ricky block the move and scored a swinging reverse DDT. Ricky instantly locked in a choke out submission hold in the middle of the ring leading to Petey tapping out to give Ricky the victory. After the match, Ricky and Petey raised each other's arms before Petey tossed a miniature Canadian flag out of the ring that was handed to him by a fan. Solid match.
(5) Kevin Steen & Excalibur & Disco Machine defeated Super Dragon & Human Tornado & El Generico at 32:13 in an elimination match. The match was set up by last month's events which saw Disco Machine turn on Super Dragon and align himself with Excalibur and Kevin Steen to reform the tag team known as SBS. The first 20-25 minutes of the match featured out of control action as all six men continually entered the ring with or without tags. Eventually, the much-anticipated confrontation between Human Tornado and Kevin Steen occurred to follow up on last month's poor and tasteless use of a racial slur by Steen directed at Tornado. The fans reacted knowing the situation and Tornado played up his storyline desire to get back at Steen. In classic heel fashion, Steen pretended to be ready to settle the issue before tagging out. With Tornado turning his back to Steen to do battle with the opposition, Steen conveniently re-entered the ring and hit Tornado from behind before taking a legal tag to attack Steen. Babyface order was restored when Tornado hung Steen upside down in the corner for a tree of woe. With Dragon and Generico running to the opposite corner of the ring to attack Disco and Excalibur, Tornado delivered a sick kick to the crotch. Dragon and Generico took their turns working on Steen's crotch, pressing their boots down on Steen as he hung upside down.
The action broke down in favor of SBS when Dragon found himself outside of the ring favoring a head injury. On the opposite side of the ring, Generico was laid out after taking a devastating move from Excalibur on the floor. That left Tornado in the ring where he found himself in a 3 on 1 predicament that led to a series of finishing moves capped off by a sit down Rock Bottom by Disco Machine that led to a pin, eliminating Tornado. Generico was the next victim as he took a double under hook Tiger Driver '98 from Excalibur leading to his elimination. With the match down to SBS vs. Super Dragon, the heel tandem stared down Super Dragon's fallen body as the former PWG Champion lay outside of the ring in a motionless heap. Disco Machine, sporting yet another bloody nose, told Dragon to get in the ring. Eventually, Dragon re-entered the ring after reaching a double-digit count. That wasn't a smart decision as Dragon took SBS's wrath before Steen finished off Dragon with a Package Piledriver for the pin and the win. Excellent action all throughout that surpassed last month's below average main event match pitting Dragon and Disco Machine against Steen and Excalibur.
- After the match, Steen delivered a 450 splash onto Dragon while Excalibur silenced Generico with a sick Tiger Driver '98 outside of the ring on the floor. Steen took the mic and told Dragon that he wanted him one-on-one Sunday night. Steen vowed to not only end Dragon's career, but also end his life. Dragon and Generico had to be dragged to the back after the match.
(6) Christopher Daniels defeated Chris Sabin at 15:28 to retain the TNA X Division Title. Before the match got underway, Christopher Daniels tripped on the ropes entering the ring causing to Daniels questioning everyone in the arena including Chris Sabin as to whether there was a plot against him. During and after ring introductions, the fans started dueling "Let's go Daniels" and "Let's go Sabin" chants. Daniels dominated the early portion of the match, even finding the time to do a little dance in the ring. Sabin took offense and shoved Daniels to the outside before replicating the dance. Daniels was upset and became even more upset when Sabin connected with an amazing huricanrana off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, the match broke down into a technical bout with Daniels holding the upper hand for most of the match. The finish came when Sabin locked Daniels in a front chancery only to have Daniels shove Sabin into the referee giving Daniels enough of an opening to roll up Sabin and pin him while hooking the tights for additional leverage. The referee, dazed and a bit confused, did not see the blatant hook of the tights - which revealed half of Sabin's ass - and awarded Daniels the match upon pinning Sabin. The match was an extended version of a match the two would have in TNA.
(7) Aerial Express (Quicksilver & Scorpio Sky w/Dino Winwood) defeated Arrogance (Chris Bosh & Scott Lost) at 26:05 to capture the PWG Tag Titles in a No DQ, titles vs. masks match. This match was set up at last month's show when AXP challenged Bosh and Lost to put their tag titles on the line at the July 9 show. Arrogance responded that the only way they would give AXP another tag title opportunity was if AXP put their masks on the line. AXP agreed, setting up the ultra-intense and ultra-competitive tag title match. Before the match began, Bosh and Scorpio Sky had to be separated by the referee as the intensity was boiling over between both sides. Bosh was so focused on the task that he didn't even take the mic to address the fans. The first 20 minutes was an intense tag team battle with believable nearfalls and solid fighting. During the first portion of the match, Scorpio Sky had a visual pin on Scott Lost, but the referee was distracted by action outside of the ring involving Quicksilver and Bosh. That outside action included Quicksilver taking a sick chair shot to the head from Bosh that caused Quicksilver to be taken to the back because of a head injury. Scorpio Sky fought on and even had Scott Lost locked in a Dragon Sleeper, but Joey Ryan made his second appearance of the night - this time in street clothes - to kick Scorpio Sky flush in the face to break the hold.
AXP's manager, Dino Winwood, had enough of Arrogance's stream of outside interference, so he stepped in the ring to challenge Joey face to face. A huge crowd pop in support of Dino came up from within the arena leading to Dino actually delivering a powerbomb on Joey, which caused the arena to erupt. Dino gritted his teeth and celebrated the accomplishment before turning around and finding a super kick to the head from Lost that sent him sprawling to the outside. Arrogance believed they had the match in hand with Quicksilver taken to the back and Scorpio Sky alone in the ring. Scorpio managed to escape several nearfalls that continued to display Scorpio's desire to keep going despite having the odds against him. The nearfalls also had the fans on their feet and on edge anticipating the finish. Bosh dropped Scorpio Sky with a back breaker across his knee then went to the outside to talk to fans as Lost went for a Sharpshooter in honor of Bret Hart. However, the attempted submission hold was for naught as Scorpio Sky quickly rolled up Lost and scored the improbable three count for the victory! The arena erupted as the bell sounded to give AXP the tag team title victory. Very emotional match that absolutely delivered on the storyline and action elements of the match.
- After the match, Bosh celebrated with fans ringside thinking Scorpio Sky had tapped out instead of Lost having been pinned. Bosh had his back turned during the finishing sequence, so he was unaware of the loss. Bosh took the tag titles and celebrated with Lost, who didn't have the heart to tell him that he blew the finish. Finally, Bosh put the pieces of the puzzle together and realized they lost the belts. Bosh questioned Lost as to how he could have blown the ending when he set Scorpio up with a back breaker. Bosh, gracious in defeat, handed Scorpio one of the tag title belts. Lost wasn't so gracious in defeat and laid into Scorpio with pounding right hands that drove one-half of the new tag champs to the mat. Bosh and Joey tried to pull Lost off Scorpio, but eventually gave in and helped deliver a sick beat down that led to blood flowing from Scorpio's face. Bosh and Lost ripped off Scorpio's mask, unveiling their foe. Arrogance continued to open up Scorpio with right hands as he lay motionless in the ring. Arrogance threw Scorpio's blood-stained mask onto Scorpio's fallen body before leaving when Mr. Excitement came from the back to make the save. Scorpio struggled to reach his knees as he stared at his destroyed mask. Scorpio began crying in the emotional moment as blood mixed with the tears. Eventually, Dino Winwood, Mr. Excitement, and PWG officials helped Scorpio Sky to the back as he soaked in the bittersweet moment.
- Before the main event match, A.J. Styles came to the ring with his PWG Title. Before Styles's mystery opponent came to the ring, PWG commissioner So Cal Val came to the ring to address the speculation running rampant regarding the mystery opponent. Val declared herself the mystery opponent and told Styles he could put her in any position. Styles joked that this one of those situations where a wrestler can be over 500 miles away and get away with certain things. Val, continuing to be a very spicy commissioner, played along with the suggestive dialogue before telling the audience that she wanted to deliver a solid opponent for Styles to make everyone happy. With many names floating in the air, all the questions were answered when Frankie Kazarian came to the ring.
(8) A.J. Styles and Frankie Kazarian wrestled to a double count out at 21:30 in a PWG Title match where Styles retained the title. Much to the surprise of everyone who had not seen Kazarian in the arena earlier in the day, the former PWG Champion came to the ring to a major crowd pop and "welcome back" chants. Kazarian, still under contract with WWE, was granted special permission to wrestle for PWG in light of the fact that he's been paid to sit at home since signing with WWE. Kazarian played to his natural deflective character as fans showered praises of "that was cool" and "Frankie's cool" onto Kazarian following moves that favored Kazarian. The crowd was split on their support of either wrestler, leaning more towards Kazarian for the one night only return for PWG's favorite alum. The match was strictly a back and forth affair with signature spots from both men and plenty of counters to deliver several false finishes. Kazarian even went for the Styles Clash, but Styles reversed the move just in time to avoid taking his own finisher. The finish came when Styles knocked Kazarian to the floor then connected with his patented back flip Reverse DDT, sending the back of Kazarian's head crashing into the floor. The referee applied a standard 20-count as both struggled to their feet. Styles reached the apron at 16, even appearing to reach inside the ropes to restart the count. However, Kazarian pulled Styles off the apron to the floor at a count of 19. The referee reached 20 and called for the bell declaring the match a double count out.
- After the bell sounded, the fans groaned about the cop out finish. However, after voicing initial displeasure, the fans applauded the efforts of both men in appreciation of a solid match and Kazarian's special return. Once both men returned to the ring amid applause, Styles got in Kazarian's face before shaking his hand and delivering a hug. Kazarian took a victory lap around the ring following the match as Styles received applause for representing PWG as Champion.
Matches for Night Two of PWG's Two Year Anniversary Weekend on Sunday, July 10
- PWG Title Match - A.J. Styles vs. Christopher Daniels vs. James Gibson
- Kevin Steen vs. Super Dragon
- Arrogance vs. Petey Williams & Chris Sabin
- Ricky Reyes vs. Mystery Opponent
- Pinoy Boy a.k.a. Puma a.k.a. TJ Perkins vs. Davey Richards
Overall Thoughts. PWG rebounded from last month's below-standard show with four or five outstanding matches that helped deliver a balanced card of solid action and great storytelling. Kazarian's return finally settled the ongoing rumors of who the mystery opponent was going to be, while giving PWG fans a special treat to see Kazarian back in PWG. The emotional high of the show was the conclusion to the Arrogance vs. Aerial Express tag title match as the nearfalls leading to the subsequent finishing sequence had the audience on their feet in anticipation of either the tag titles switching hands or AXP losing their masks. The storytelling in the tag title match was top-notch. The finish to the PWG Title match was disappointing because there wasn't a winner to close the night. However, Kazarian's special appearance helped smooth over the rough finish to help conclude a solid wrestling show.
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