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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
Pro Wrestling Guerilla presents: Astonishing Xmas
December 16, 2005
Hollywood, California at the Los Feliz JCC
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
(1) Scott Lost beat Alex Shelley at 16:42. Shelley took Lost to the mat with a leg wrench off the opening bell. Lost reached the ropes for a rope break. Shelley spit in the middle of the ring then dropped Lost face-first into the wet spot. Lost took a break of the ring to recover and wipe the spit off his face as the crowd got a good laugh at the heel. Back in the ring, Lost took Shelley down with a headlock. Shelley answered by grapevining Lost’s head with his legs. Shelley did a series of push-ups to a nice applause. Shelley dropped Lost with an arm wringer then sent Lost to the ropes. Shelley screamed, “F--- you” then connected with a spinning heel kick to the face. Lost dropped flat on his back and the crowd popped for the nice combo. Shelley took Lost back into the ring and cleared his nose on Lost’s body. Shelley added insult to insult by slamming Lost’s face into the mat with his waist wrapped around the back of Lost’s head. Lost ducked a spinning heel kick then snapped off a neck breaker for a one count. Lost translated his first offensive move of the night into a mat-based ground attack. Lost drop kicked Shelley to the outside then followed out. Shelley responded with a series of stiff chops to the chest. Lost answered back with a hard kick to the face and forearm blows to the head. Lost showed fire and took Shelley back into the ring for a back body drop. Lost made a cover and scored his first two count of the night.
Lost and Shelley exchanged punches and forearms then Shelley caught Lost flush in the face with a superkick. Both men recovered on the mat before Shelley answered with an enzigiuri kick to the face. Shelley connected with a double foot drop kick to the face. Lost countered a whip to the corner and hit a Superman dive, although he didn’t connect in full. Shelley countered a huricanrana into a powerbomb then hit a top rope frog splash for a nearfall. Shelley went back to the corner, but took too long. Lost recovered, crotched Shelley, and connected with a superplex. Both men recovered and Lost was first up. Lost dropped an elbow from the top and went for a pin, but Shelley immediately countered with a bridge pin for a two. Lost kicked Shelley in the head then went up top. Lost went for a Swanton bomb, but Shelley played opossum and caught Lost in the gut with two knees. Shelley scored with a kick to the gut but walked into a spear into the Sharpshooter. Shelley struggled to break free, but eventually tapped out.
Match View: Great action at times. The crowd was into every sequence and high-impact move from the opening bell. There were some spots that weren’t crisp. However, both men looked strong. For long-term storylines, it made sense for Lost to win since he needed a victory after losing to Scorpio Sky last month. Shelley looked better at match because of how believable his offense was.
(2) Quicksilver & Top Gun Talwar beat Nemesis & Ronin at 11:41. Top Gun and Ronin started things off with a series of counters. Top Gun took Ronin down with an arm bar, which Top Gun broke. Nemesis took a tag and did a series of cartwheels and dance moves, which drew a "holy s---" chant. Quicksilver, who wrestled with a Santa hat on, answered with a dance step for a quick pop. Nemesis teased locking up before performing another dance move. Nemesis grabbed a headlock then ripped off Quicksilver’s Santa hat to a strong heel reaction. Quicksilver tagged in Top Gun, who bit Nemesis and performed a hip toss with his teeth. Top Gun walked into a back breaker. Ronin entered and delivered a double foot drop kick to the face. Ronin and Nemesis exchanged tags to work on Top Gun in their corner. The action broke down with all four men brawling in and out of the ring. Quick hit a plancha on Nemesis before Nemesis returned the favor in the ring with a torture rack slam. After back and forth action, Top Gun dropped Ronin with a lift-up reverse DDT - the Chipotle Driver. Quick sealed the win with a modified Michinoku Driver on Ronin for the win.
Match View: Pure comedy match. The crowd was still hot, but not as hot as the opening match. The action was off at times with everyone trying to move too fast and do too much. Quicksilver looked strong throughout the match.
(3) Colt Cabana beat Scorpio Sky at 12:43. Cabana took the mic before the match and said he thought he was wrestling Scorpio Sky. Cabana asked what happened to Sky’s mask. Sky merely shrugged off the dig. Cabana was shocked to find out that Sky is black. Sky just smirked. Cabana and Sky locked up after Cabana extended a hesitant hand for a shake. Cabana took Sky to the corner and perched him up top. Cabana played referee and got in Sky’s head by counting to four for his own corner break. From a standing position, Sky and Cabana exchanged arm bars for several seconds in a cool spot before Cabana dropped Sky to the mat. Sky became frustrated as Cabana was one step ahead of him in the ring. Sky finally took the offensive advantage and sent Cabana to the outside. Sky followed Cabana out and chased him around the ring. Cabana played a great comedy heel before returning to the ring. Sky dropped Cabana with a drop kick after a flurry of leap frogs. Sky went for a cover but Cabana lifted his shoulder at one over and over on a series of pin attempts. Cabana countered a whip to the ropes with a running knee lift then made a cover for a nearfall. Sky rolled to the outside and Cabana took his time following out. Cabana picked up Sky and took him back into the ring. Cabana began working on Sky’s knee with kicks and chops. Cabana snapped off a series of twisting knee drops before locking in a figure four. Sky broke free and Cabana went back to work on the knee. Cabana kept attacking the knee before finally pinning Sky's shoulders down while still engaged in the twisting leglock. Afterwards, Sky had to be helped to the back. Cabana left then returned to help Sky.
Match View: Just a strange match with Sky obviously hurt halfway through. Cabana tried to work through Sky’s injury, but there wasn’t anything that could be done. The match had potential, but just fell flat. An unfortunate ending because Sky had a lot of momentum after beating Scott Lost in the main event of the last PWG show.
(4) Roderick Strong & Jack Evans beat Human Tornado & El Generico (w/Jade Chung) at 23:22. Evans ran Tornado and Generico out of the ring with his own “tornado” dance move. After regrouping with Generico, Tornado re-entered the ring and did a weak spin move compared to Evans. Evans returned with a “the human body isn’t supposed to bend that way” dance move. Tornado and Generico nearly turned in their wrestling cards. The comedic opening put the crowd into a frenzy. Tornado eventually recovered and locked up with Evans in the ring. Tornado went for his traditional drop kick to the crotch in the corner, but Evans did a somersault out of the corner to avoid the move. They stood off to strong applause. Strong and Generico took tags. Strong missed with two chops in the corner and Generico fired back with three stiff chops. Generico took Strong to his corner and tagged in Tornado. Strong instantly ripped off a flurry of stiff chops on Tornado. Evans and Strong worked on Tornado in their corner. Strong hooked Evans for a suplex then flipped him in the air for Evans to hit a 450 splash on Tornado. Amazing spot. Evans followed up with a corkscrew splash for a nearfall. Tornado ducked a clothesline and hit an enziguiri kick on Evans. Generico and Tornado exchanged tags to work on Evans. Generico missed with an ole kick in the corner then Evans flipped to his corner for a tag to Strong.
Strong ran in with a resounding kick to the back then tore Generico’s chest with an even louder chop. Strong picked up Generico and held him in the air for thirty seconds before delivering a snap suplex. Strong and Evans exchanged tags to work on Generico in their corner at 13:00. Evans hit a corkscrew splash in the corner then followed up with a springboard kick to the face from the apron. Strong took a tag and drove a knee into Generico’s back from a seated position. Generico ducked a clothesline near the ropes and went for a sunset flip, but Strong countered with a sick back breaker. Evans tagged in. Strong took Evans by the foot and flipped him backwards for a corkscrew into 450 splash on Generico. Evans went for the corner splash once too often and Generico caught him with a twisting back drop suplex. Tornado took a hot tag and dropped Evans with a kick to the face. Tornado sent Evans to the ropes and hit the Pounce to a loud pop. Strong attacked Tornado from behind and the action spilled to the outside. Tornado hit a somersault dive on Strong then Evans flew onto everyone with a 450 somersault dive. The arena went insane.
Back in the ring, Evans went for a brainbuster, but Tornado countered with an impaler out of the corner for a nearfall. Strong ripped off a back breaker on Generico. Generico countered a corner attack with a running ole kick to the face. Generico went for a cradle DDT, but Evans countered with a sick reverse huricanrana for a nearfall. The arena erupted again. All four men staggered to their feet before Generico clotheslined Strong to the outside. Generico grappled Evans from behind and Tornado delivered a kick to the face. Tornado made a cover, but Evans kicked out at two. Nearfalls ensued for both teams before Evans countered a brainbuster suplex attempt into an amazing huricanrana. Strong delivered a lift-up back breaker on Generico then made a cover for a nearfall. After more nearfalls, Strong held Generico over his knee for Evans to springboard off Generico’s stomach for a moonsault. However, Evans slipped on Generico’s stomach and fell to the mat. Strong hit a back breaker on Generico instead. Evans reached his feet and hit a standing moonsault on Tornado for the win.
Match View: The lack of highspots in the previous three matches really helped this match feel unique. Strong is a star and he provided great balance to the match. Amazing match with a dazzling display of innovative moves.
(5) Joey Ryan beat Chris Kanyon at 25:15 to retain the PWG Title. Joey was greeted by a tremendous round of boo’s and a strong “F--- you, Joey” chant. Joey taunted the crowd then asked the referee to check Kanyon for illegal objects. Kanyon took Joey to the ground and Joey quickly slid to the ropes for a time out. Kanyon worked on Joey with an arm bar. They exchanged offensive advantage as the fans cheered Kanyon and booed Joey. Joey went for a cross body block off the ropes, but Kanyon caught him in mid-air and delivered a suplex. Kanyon went for a series of pinning combinations, but couldn't muster a three count. Joey took his inhaler from the referee and took a few puffs. Kanyon waited patiently then shoved Joey to the mat. Joey fed himself to Kanyon for a back breaker and Kanyon made a cover for a nearfall. Joey caught Kanyon near the ropes and hip tossed him over the top rope to the floor. Joey followed out with a snap suplex on the floor. Joey teased a whip into the front row of fans and no one took him seriously so Joey sent Kanyon flying into the front row of fans. Joey threw Kanyon back in the ring.
Kanyon countered a suplex with a suplex of his own. Kanyon did the Diamond Cutter sign and Jay-Z came out of the crowd to claim gimmick infringement. Ok, not really. Joey came back with a kick to the face followed by a nonchalant cover for a nearfall. Joey delivered a clothesline then made another nonchalant cover for a nearfall. Joey applied a sleeper hold and Kanyon slumped to the mat. Kanyon reached his feet and took a release German suplex after missing with a clothesline. Joey put Kanyon on the top turnbuckle then called for the Moustache Ride. Joey took too long and Kanyon caught Joey with a rocker dropper from the top turnbuckle. Kanyon fired up with knock down punches and clotheslines before taking Joey to the corner for another rocker dropper. Joey caught Kanyon with a thumb to the eye then went for a powerbomb, but Kanyon countered with a modified Alabama Slam. Joey blocked a weak Diamond Cutter attempt and scored with a powerbomb for a nearfall. Kanyon caught Joey in the corner for a face front slam and made a cover for a two count. Joey and Kanyon spilled to the outside where Joey dropped Kanyon with a Tornado DDT on the floor. Joey rolled Kanyon back in the ring where he made a cover for a nearfall.
Joey warmed up for a superkick, but Kanyon predictably blocked it and dropped Joey face-first on the mat. Kanyon hit the Flatliner and made a cover for a very close nearfall. Kanyon went for another Flatliner, but Joey hit a superkick instead. Joey made a cover but scored another nearfall. Joey tried to get the crowd back into the match by spitting on the front row. Joey put Kanyon on the top turnbuckle then climbed up top. Kanyon blocked a Moustache Ride for the second time then hit a Flatliner from the top turnbuckle. Kanyon made a cover, but Joey placed his foot on the bottom rope to prevent a three count. Joey threw Kanyon to the outside then reached in his tights for a gimmick. Kanyon crawled back into the ring and walked into a gimmicked right hand. Joey made a cover, but scored another nearfall. Joey, frustrated, grabbed a chair from the outside and tossed it into the ring. Joey placed Kanyon’s head on the seat of the chair then grabbed another chair and went for a concerto, but the referee stole the chair. Kanyon dropped Joey headfirst into the chair as the referee turned his back to discard the chair. Kanyon scored another nearfall. Kanyon called for the Diamond Cutter and hit the move. Kanyon took forever to even think about a pin. Meanwhile, Mortis walked to the ring. Mortis tried to hit Joey with his scepter, but Kanyon stole the scepter, not wanting to be DQ’ed. Kanyon stole the scepter and slammed it into Mortis’s gut. Joey came up from behind and rolled up Kanyon for the win.
Match View: The first five minutes were hotly contested. The next 20 minutes weren't. Not even a flurry of nearfalls during the final ten minutes could get the crowd back into the match. This could have been a solid title match if seven-to-ten minutes was chopped off. For any cowardly heel gimmick to work such as Joey Ryan's, the babyface needs to do his 50 percent of the work and get the crowd behind him. Kanyon didn’t play to the crowd or get the crowd behind him. The match fell flat as a result.
- As people filed back in with McDonald’s from down the street, Santa “PWG Commissioner Dino Winwood” Clause came to the ring with a Wal-mart bag full of goodies. Dino tossed out candy canes and Christmas candy to the crowd at a Jewish Community Center. That’s religious harmony right there.
(6) Samoa Joe beat Davey Richards at 16:01. Davey went for a takedown after the opening bell. Joe blocked Davey’s attempt and lifted him in the air with an electric chair. Joe merely dropped Davey over the top rope to the floor. Davey walked back in the ring and took a kick to the leg. Davey and Joe exchanged quick jabs to the leg then Joe pounded Davey out of the ring to the outside. Joe shoved Davey to the mat with a shoulder block and Davey fired up. Davey charged Joe and rocked him a little bit. Davey connected with successive kicks to the chest then Joe answered with a hard clothesline. Joe ripped off kicks and chops to the back and chest then hit a knee drop across the throat. Joe delivered forearm blows to the head then Joe answered with chops to the chest. Davey tried to fire back with chops, but Joe answered with a head butt. Davey recovered on the outside then re-entered the ring. Joe locked in a reverse chin lock and Davey slipped out. Joe answered with a kick to the face followed by a seated Sentaun for a nearfall. Joe took Davey to the corner and landed alternating chops to the chest and punches to the face. Joe locked in a Boston Crab and placed massive pressure on the lower back. Davey finally gained some offensive momentum with a fall-away back breaker across both of his knees. Davey tried to knock over Joe with forearms, but Joe wouldn’t budge.
Davey fired off the ropes with a clothesline and finally took Joe off his feet. Davey caught Joe off the ropes and dropped him to the mat for an STF. Davey changed to a Crossface, but Joe escaped by reaching the ropes. Davey knocked Joe to the outside then followed out. Joe caught Davey in the air and dropped him on his back on the outside. Back in the ring, Joe connected with a running knee to the face. Joe washed Davey’s face then charged out of the opposite corner with a running kick to the face. Joe stalked his prey and Davey tried to fight back from his knees. Joe hit a powerbomb, Davey kicked out, and Joe took him into the Boston Crab in one motion. Davey tried to fight out of the hold, but Joe turned it into an STF. Davey finally reached the bottom rope with his foot to break the hold. Both men reached their feet and exchanged chops. Davey charged off the ropes and ran into a snap powerslam. Davey ducked a clothesline off the ropes and hit a German Suplex for a nearfall. Davey knocked Joe on his back with a kick to the head then went up top. Joe moved out of the way of a dive from the top and turned Davey inside out with a clothesline. Joe took Davey to the corner and dropped him with a Muscle Buster. Joe made the pin for the win.
Match View: Joe was just Joe - stiff, dominant, and powerful. It was equitable to two football teams that feature power running as their offensive attack. One team held the ball the majority of the contest while the other team couldn't sustain offensive momentum. Stiff, one-sided match.
(7) T.J. Perkins & Chris Sabin & Rocky Romero & Frankie Kazarian beat Alex Koslov & B-Boy & Petey Williams & Christopher Daniels at 23:24. Petey and Kazarian started things off with a flurry of counters. Petey dropped Kazarian with a hip toss. Rocky Romero came in and took a hip toss. Same for Perkins. Same for Sabin. Referee Marty took a hip toss. Daniels ran in and took a hip toss. B-Boy took a hip toss. Koslov stayed on the apron. Petey tried to collect himself after going off on everyone while the crowd clapped after Petey's outburst of hip toss emotion. Perkins took a tag and took the advantage momentarily until the heels worked him over in their corner. Petey, Koslov, and Daniels stood on Perkins’s crotch in the corner and sang their respective national anthems. The babyfaces came back with quick in and out tags working over Daniels. Daniels finally took the advantage against Kazarian and tagged out to Petey. The heels worked on Kazarian in their corner. After repetitive offense, the heels put life back in the crowd. Koslov tagged in and hit a drop kick then did a Russian dance. B-Boy tagged in and scored with a dropkick then danced. Petey tagged in, hit a drop kick, and did a “generic white boy” dance. Daniels tagged in, hit a drop kick, and put the crowd on its feet with an excellent rendition of the robot.
Kazarian, who was the victim of the dancing abuse, avoided two double team superplex attempts then jumped across the heels to his corner for a hot tag. Sabin came in and hit a Tornado DDT on Koslov after kicking Daniels, B-Boy, and Petey all in the same motion. Sabin and Petey battled after order was restored. Perkins took a tag as did Daniels. Daniels said it was time to go home and went for Angel’s Wings, but Perkins slipped out and hit a suplex. The action broke down again before B-Boy hit a rolling Tombstone Piledriver on Sabin for a nearfall. With six wrestlers out of the ring following somersault dives, Sabin grappled B-Boy and hit a spinning Cradle Shock for the pin.
Match View: Repetitive at times, but the wrestlers brought the crowd to life with dancing, well-choreographed multiple-person moves, and fun wrestling. It's a double-edge sword, however. Fans are taught to sit on their hands during standard wrestling sequences and only pop when something unique happens.
(8) Super Dragon beat Kevin Steen at 30:53 in a Guerrilla Warfare match. And now for the craziest wrestling match of the year. Prior to the match, ring announcer John Ian said the match was not sanctioned by PWG. John warned fans to keep personal belongings safe at all times and keep kids away from the action. The match started innocently enough with Steen walking to the ring for ring introductions. However, Dragon walked out, took two steps, and bedlam ensued. Steen and Dragon tore down the entrance set right away then began clearing out sections of seats. The brawl spilled to the merchandise and concessions tables where Steen and Dragon utilized refreshments as weapons. After more sections of seats were cleared out, people began scurrying for safety away from the brawl. Steen took Dragon to the section of seats below the hard camera and threw him across a row of eight chairs with Dragon landing against the back wall of the gym. The match spilled into the ring where the first wrestling holds of the match were used by Steen. Eventually, Steen went under the ring and pulled out a table. Steen set it up on the outside then grappled Dragon from the apron. Dragon blocked several suplex attempts then Steen hammered on Dragon's back with forearm blows. Steen hooked Dragon and suplexed him from the apron through the table down below. The table shattered across the floor as both men lay motionless on the ground.
After several moments, both men recovered then Dragon took the offensive advantage. Dragon threw Steen across the gym then went to the back. Dragon retrieved a tin popcorn container that previously contained three kinds of flavored popcorn and is usually earmarked as a Christmas present. It was anything but a gift. Dragon emptied thumbtacks from the container in the ring. Dragon took Steen back into the ring and attempted a Psycho Driver several times before finally connecting. Steen writhed in pain on the tacks then Dragon made a cover for a nearfall. The fight spilled to the outside once again with Steen taking the offensive momentum after suplexing Dragon on the floor. Steen took Dragon back into the ring and set up two chairs in the ring. Steen took Dragon to the top turnbuckle and hit a Package Piledriver through the chairs. The crowd roared then stomped its feet after Dragon kicked out of a pin attempt. Steen walked to the back and disappeared. A hush came over the crowd in anticipation of what Steen was up to. Steen emerged with a barbed wire board and threw it into the ring. Steen attempted a powerbomb, but Dragon slipped out and suplexed Steen back-first onto the barbed wire board. Steen writhed in pain as the crowd roared. Dragon went for a cover, but it wasn’t enough as Steen kicked out.
Dragon went to the outside and retrieved a second table from under the ring. Dragon set it up below the apron then returned to the ring. Dragon took Steen to the apron and placed him on his shoulders. Dragon balanced on the apron then slammed Steen through the table to the floor with a Psycho Driver. Steen's head slammed into the floor as the table shattered across the gym. Dragon rolled Steen's lifeless body back into the ring and went for a pin, but Steen kicked out. Dragon went to the back once again and pulled out a second popcorn container. Dragon pulled out handcuffs from the container then cuffed Steen's hands behind his back. Dragon picked up a chair and slammed it over Steen's head. Defenseless, Steen merely slumped to the mat. Dragon scattered thumbtacks across the barbed wire board then picked up Steen. Dragon delivered another Psycho Driver, this time on the barbed wire board and tacks. The crowd, which was already on its feet because the chairs were scattered everywhere, roared again. Dragon made a cover and scored the pin.
Afterwards, both men lay motionless in the ring. Steen's body was ravaged. Dragon was exhausted. Wrestlers ran into the ring to check on both men. Dragon was the first one up after several minutes. He was carried to the back. Officials removed the handcuffs from Steen's wrists. Steen lay in the ring for several minutes before wrestlers dragged him to the back. After the crowd dispersed, the gym was left covered in broken chairs, thumbtacks, and broken tables.
Match View: Brutal. Vicious. Barbaric. Those are just a few words to describe the final match of the year for PWG. The match was one year in the making after several normal - by comparison - matches between the two and there couldn't have been a more brutal way to end the feud. It was an effective blow-off match that drew comparisons to Rock-Foley from Royal Rumble 1999. A match like this is too hard to evaluate or put into words. It's something you just have to see.
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