DVDs - VGames - Books DVD Review: PWG, "European Vacation," Night 1, Feb. 18, 2006, with Styles-Storm, Bosh-Steen
Jun 1, 2006 - 2:31:00 PM
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By Chris Vetter, Torch Contributor
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla headed to Europe in February for a pair of shows! The California-based promotion brought most of its roster on the trip, and they performed before a hot German crowd on Feb. 18, 2006, in Essen, Germany for "European Vacation, Night 1."
This venue appears to be a small nightclub, with disco lights, and it has a professional look. The hard camera is set up at an unusual angle, above one corner, looking down at the ring. Definitely a different viewpoint to watch a wrestling show! From this view, the ring looks so small! This building is PACKED, and the fans are pushed all the way up to the ring apron! I can’t say I’ve ever seen fans this close to the ring before. Definitely a cool experience.
As with all PWG DVDs, there is an option to turn on commentary. Winwood joined a multi-person commentary booth here. While I’m not a big fan of PWG commentary, I thought they seemed more focused on the action here today.
* PWG commissioner Dino Winwood came to the ring and he mocked Samoa Joe for missing the trip. The fans booed Joe. Dino then made fun of Joe’s dance that he did on a TNA PPV last year.
(1) Top Gun Talwar & Tengkwa & Tommy End defeat Disco Machine & Ronin & Excalibur at 15:12. End has long black hair and black basketball shorts. Tengkwa wore a black & white skull mask and he has a decent physique, and he was sharp in the ring. Disco and End started the match, and the crowd was HOT and split between them. Tengkwa entered at 4:00, and he tied up Ronin. Ronin fired back with some hard chops. Tengkwa did some quick flips and reversals. Talwar and Excalibur entered at 6:00, and Talwar applied a sleeper. Excalibur yanked down Talwar’s singlet, revealing another singlet underneath, and there’s some pubic humor here.
Excalibur was upside down, and Tengkwa hit a basement dropkick to the chest. The heels began to work over Tengkwa, with Ronin hitting a flying forearm for a nearfall at 10:30. Tengkwa came back with a missile dropkick on Ronin, then he made the hot tag to both faces. Excalibur hit a German Suplex on End. Talwar hit a DDT on Excalibur for a believable nearfall. Disco hit a chokeslam into a backbreaker. Ronin and Tengkwa traded stiff forearms. Tengkwa hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall at 14:30. End, then Tengkwa, hit dives over the ropes into the crowd. Meanwhile, in the ring, Talwar hit his second-rope inverted DDT on Ronin for the pin.
(2) Baron Von Hagen defeats Ricky Reyes at 9:55. Von Hagen has red hair and pasty white skin. He wore a red & black singlet, he’s chubby, and much taller than Reyes. They traded armbars on the mat, and the crowd was behind Von Hagen. Reyes hit some hard kicks to the thighs, and he grapevined the left leg, then he hit a spine kick. Von Hagen came back with a belly-to-belly suplex, and they fought on the floor at 3:00.
In the ring, Reyes applied an STF, but Von Hagen reached the ropes. Von Hagen hit a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall at 5:30, then a backbreaker over his knee, a bodyslam, and he was in control. Reyes fought back with a hard series of stiff kicks to the chest and thighs, then a back suplex, dropping Von Hagen on his head, for a believable nearfall at 8:30. Reyes hit more stiff forearms. Von Hagen hit a clothesline to score the pin. Von Hagen did not impress; subpar match.
(3) Scott Lost defeats Frankie Kazarian and Jody Fleisch and Steve Allison in a four-way elimination match at 15:20. Good match, but I wish it had been longer, considering there were three pins here! Allison has long black hair. The announcers point out that Fleisch has bulked up a bit in the past couple of years. The announcers also note the anti-TNA chants in the crowd.
Jody started against Allison, and they had a quick opening sequence, trading armdrags and finished in a standoff. Lost and Kazarian entered at 2:30, and they immediately hit double crossbody blocks. They did a four-way armhold spot. Jody missed a standing Shooting Star Press, and there was a four-way dropkick spot, and the crowd was hot for this action. Allison hit a back suplex on Lost at 5:30. Allison applied a Fujiwara armbar on Jody, which turned into yet another four-way submission spot. Jody got a rollup on Allison to pin him at 7:57.
Kazarian hit a catapult basement dropkick on Fleisch, then a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall, and the crowd chanted, “This is awesome!” Lost hit a Diamond Cutter on Fleisch. Jody nailed a jump-up hurricanrana on Kazarian out of the corner for a nearfall at 10:30. However, Kazarian hit the Wave of the Future/spinning faceplant, to pin Fleisch at 11:07. Kazarian hit a spin kick to the chin and a Reverse Tombstone Piledriver on Lost. Lost applied a Sharpshooter, and Kazarian tapped out.
(4) Scorpio Sky defeats Steve Douglas (w/ a female manager) at 13:53. Good match. Douglas has blonde, long stringy hair and he wore red pants. They started with an intense lockup and good reversals. Douglas yelled at the crowd. They traded rollups, and Douglas ‘piefaced’ Scorpio. Scorpio came back with a nice dropkick at 4:00. The female manager tripped Sky, and Douglas immediately hit an enziguri. Douglas took control of the match, with chokes and stomps, then a spinning neckbreaker at 7:00. The valet also choked Scorpio in the ropes.
Douglas nailed a Curbstomp, and the crowd chanted, “Super Dragon!” Sky hit a floatover DDT, and they were both down. Sky hit a leg lariat and a nice mid-ring hurricanrana for a nearfall. Douglas butterflied Scorpio’s arms, held him upside down, then dropped Scorpio stomach-first to the mat. Scorpio came back with a nice backbreaker over his knee, a hard missile dropkick to the back, and a dive over the top rope to the floor at 11:30.
In the ring, Scorpio hit a frogsplash for a believable nearfall. Steve Douglas hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a believable nearfall at 13:00. Sky did a Victory Roll for a nearfall, then a jump-up hurricanrana for the pin. Douglas was very impressive, and these two definitely clicked in the ring.
(5) A.J. Styles defeats Jonny Storm at 13:51. Good match. Storm is about 5’4”, and Styles has a rare height advantage. The crowd popped for Styles’ introduction, but they were behind Storm. They traded quick armholds and armdrags to start the match, and Styles hit his standing dropkick to the face. Styles hit a plancha to the floor at 2:30, then a backbreaker over his knee once they got back in the ring. They traded chops, and Styles hit a Kip Up Rana.
The fans began to shout anti-TNA chants, and Styles got annoyed and turned heel on them; one time, he even tried to kick at a fan! Storm hit a corkscrew plancha into a DDT on the floor at 5:30. Nice. In the ring, Storm hit a second-rope hurricanrana and an enziguri for a nearfall. They traded a series of rollups and Styles hit the Pele Kick, and they were both down. Styles hit a pumphandle back suplex, then a pumphandle gutbuster for a nearfall at 9:00.
Storm avoided a Styles Clash. Styles hit a brainbuster for a nearfall. Storm crotched Styles on the top rope. Storm then nailed a Reverse Rana off the ropes for a believable nearfall at 13:00, and the crowd chanted, “PWG!” Styles eventually hit the Styles Clash for the pin. The crowd sang “Jonny Storm” over and over, and they chanted, “Please come back!” A typical, crisp Styles match.
(6) Kevin Steen defeats Chris Bosh at 16:07. Very good match. They both did some pre-match mic work, then Steen attacked Bosh from behind before the bell. Bosh hit a hurricanrana and a forward roll dive off the top rope to the floor! Steen hit some chops. Bosh hit a Flair Toss off the top rope, and Steen begged off, then hit an eyepoke, then he did a Flair strut. Fun stuff. Bosh bit Steen in the groin! Steen hit a high back suplex and a summersault guillotine legdrop for a nearfall at 5:00. They simultaneously choked each other, and Steen hit a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall.
Steen hit a tumbleweed in the corner. The crowd was hot and split. Steen applied a sleeper. He set Bosh up for a Gory Special, but he turned it into a backbreaker over his knee at 8:00. Bosh came back with a stunner, and they were both down. They traded punches, and Bosh hit a low blow punch. Bosh hit a back suplex, dropping Steen on his head! Steen came back with a pumphandle neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. Steen went for a Swanton Bomb, but Bosh got his knees up to block it.
Bosh hit a backbreaker over his knee for a nearfall at 11:30, then a Tornado DDT onto the ring apron! The action spilled to the floor. In an awesome spot, Steen hit a Samoan Drop, tossing Bosh into a pillar at ringside! Wow! The crowd went nuts, chanting, “PWG!” In the ring, Bosh got a sunset flip powerbomb for a believable nearfall at 14:30. Steen hit a gutbuster over his knee and a 450 splash for a nearfall; the crowd popped when Bosh kicked out. Steen then hit a Package Piledriver for the pin.
(7) Joey Ryan defeats Emil Sitoci to retain the PWG World Heavyweight title at 15:00. Yes, with this title defense, PWG can officially claim to be a world heavyweight belt! I’ve seen Sitoci wrestle in MN, Iowa and Indiana in the past couple of years, and he’s a solid mid-carder, and he’s in great shape. (His nickname is the ‘Ab Master’ because of his stomach definition.) Ryan grabbed the mic before the match and he talked about German history, then he declared that Germany is inferior to America. The match started, and Ryan stalled as the crowd got all over him.
Sitoci did some nice standing switches, good reversals and armdrags, and he was in control early. He tied up Ryan’s legs, hit a dropkick at 4:30, then a doublestomp on Ryan’s stomach. Ryan came back with a Divorce Court Armbreaker, and he hit a bodyslam while Sitoci’s arm was tucked under his back. Ryan stayed focused on the arm. Sitoci went for a move in the corner, and he slipped off the ropes; on commentary, the announcers came up with a funny ridiculous story about why Sitoci messed up.
Ryan hit a Northern Lights Suplex. Sitoci came back with a moonsault into a DDT, and they were both down at 9:00. Sitoci hit a mid-ring hurricanrana, and he hiptossed Ryan into the crowd. Sitoci then dove to the floor on Ryan. In the ring, Sitoci hit a Russian Legsweep and a split-legged moonsault for a nearfall at 11:00. Ryan came back with a superkick for a nearfall.
Sitoci hit a powerbomb, a stunner, and a Mafia Kick for a nearfall. They each hit low blows on each other. Sitoci hit a Snapmare Driver for a pin at 13:45! However, the ref ruled the match would continue because of the low blows! The ref got bumped, so Ryan hit another low blow, then he got a schoolboy rollup for the pin. This match had great crowd heat.
(8) Super Dragon & Davey Richards defeat El Generico & Quicksilver at 25:29 to retain the PWG tag titles. Very good match. The crowd threw streamers and cheered for Super Dragon. Richards and Quicksilver started with some quick mat wrestling and a standoff. Richards hit some stiff kicks, and they traded hard forearm shots. Richards hit a belly-to-belly release suplex. Super Dragon entered at 3:00, and he chopped Quicksilver. Super Dragon went for a Curbstomp, but Quicksilver avoided it, and somehow turned it into a drop-toe-hold.
Generico tagged in, and he hit a Kidman Dropkick and some quick armdrags. Super Dragon countered with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Generico. Richards hit a snap suplex, and he applied a headscissorslock on Generico at 5:30, then he applied a Boston Crab, and the champs took turns working him over. Quicksilver made the hot tag at 8:30, and he hit a spinning back kick on Super Dragon, then a nice hurricanrana. Richards hit some stiff kicks to Quicksilver’s chest. Quicksilver put Richards in a mid-ring Octopus, but Super Dragon broke it up with a doublestomp on Quicksilver’s head! Ouch!
Quicksilver was tied in the Tree of Woe, and Richards hit a dropkick on him, then Richards hit a backbreaker over his knee. Super Dragon hit a doublestomp on Quicksilver’s head as Quicksilver was lying across the top rope at 11:00. Super Dragon hit a nice back suplex for a nearfall, then a Curbstomp. Quicksilver hit a spinebuster on Super Dragon, and they were both down. Generico made the hot tag at 15:00, and he hit a backbody drop on Richards. Generico set up Richards for a Mafia Kick, but Super Dragon cut off Generico before he could hit it.
Generico nailed a forward roll dive to the floor on Super Dragon! Meanwhile, Quicksilver hit a backbreaker over his knee on Richards. Generico hit a split-legged moonsault for a nearfall on Richards, then a Tornado DDT for a believable nearfall at 18:00. Super Dragon came back with a senton splash on Generico and a Ligerbomb, tossing Generico into the turnbuckles! Super Dragon applied an STF, but Generico reached the ropes. Generico hit a half-nelson suplex on Super Dragon, and they were both down at 20:00, and the crowd was HOT!
Richards hit a butterfly suplex on Quicksilver, then a lungblower for a nearfall on Generico. He hit a hard clothesline on Generico for a nearfall at 23:00, and the crowd chanted, “PWG!” Quicksilver came back with an enziguri on Super Dragon, then a reverse headscissors takedown for a nearfall. Generico and Super Dragon fought on the top rope, and Super Dragon nailed a top-rope Tiger Driver/butterfly powerbomb for the pin!
* Davey Richards spoke on the mic and praised the fans for being so into the show. He called themselves the best tagteam today, but he praised his opponents. The crowd chanted, “Please come back.”
Final thoughts: DVD runs 2 hours, 30 minutes. This was a really fun show. The nightclub atmosphere, with the crowd pushed up against the ring, was a totally fresh experience. The crowd was hot and surprisingly quite knowledgeable, as they knew the right phrases to taunt the heels, and they knew the big spots by all the wrestlers.
I’ll give best match to the main event, just barely ahead of Steen-Bosh. That really says something positive about the PWG roster – the best matches are coming from the regulars. Scorpio-Douglas was good, and I’ll give that the slight edge for third-best, just ahead of Styles-Storm. I thought Styles vs. Storm was good, but I had even higher expectations, largely because I am such a huge Styles fan.
The lone disappointment on this show was Reyes-Von Hagen. While the crowd seemed to get behind Von Hagen, he was the only person of the European contingent that didn’t impress.
I was impressed with Davey Richards mic work, as he showed more poise than I expected, and it’s another reason he is a top up-and-comer in this business.
As noted earlier, the commentary seemed to be a bit more focused on the action tonight, as the announcers did discuss the matches in the ring. That said, it’s inexcusable for them to know nothing about Sitoci beforehand. If you haven’t seen any of his matches in the U.S. (and again, he’s toured extensively in America), they should have done some pre-match homework to find out more about him. For instance, how long has he been wrestling? Where? Opponents?
This show has a fun vibe, the fans are hot, the building is unique, and the action is great. This show earns a thumbs up, and it can be purchased at www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com for $15.
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