Sunday, January 30, 2022

PWG: Mystery Vortex 7 Review

PWG Mystery Vortex 7
August 1st, 2021
Los Angeles, California - The Globe Theater 

PWG World Champion - Bandido (since 12/19/19)
PWG World Tag Team Champions - VACANT 

Commentary: Excalibur 


1) Tony Deppen vs. Jack Cartwheel 

Deppen is introduced as “the man who is responsible for the show being delayed” and proclaims to the crowd after the bell rings that he had to shit and there was no toilet paper so that’s what took him so long. I can’t think of a better way to start PWG’s first show in almost two years. Cartwheel is over as fuck despite this being his PWG debut. He IS from the general area, though, so that’s probably why. He hates a beautiful set of dives which also was such an apt way to start this return for PWG. 

This was honestly a blast of a match. PWG is graded on such an entirely different weird scale for me so be warned if you are used to my other reviews and haven’t read any of my PWG ones. Although, since I’ve reviewed PWG regularly it’s been like 3 years so who knows.. how I rate this stuff may have changed too as I’ve become a lot less generous with the infamous snowflakes. None the less, yeah, these guys went out and killed it to start the show, busting out all kinds of flips and spots and working the exact style of match that PWG is known for. Deppen is such a good heel, but it wasn’t really about that and if anything Jack Cartwheel was the star here as he was flying all over the place. When all is said and done, Deppen wins a super fun opener in just over 10 minutes.

Match rating - **3/4

2) JD Drake vs. Brody King 

Friday, November 13, 2020


PWG: Sixteen

July 26th, 2019

PWG World Champion - Jeff Cobb

PWG World Tag Team Champions - The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz)

Commentary - Excalibur

WOW. It's been a long ass time since I've covered PWG. As with everything else review wise/wrestling wise, my coverage fell off in 2016-17 and I managed to catch back up, but I admittedly still have most of 2018 and all of 2019 left to cover. However, I'm jumping back in here with Mystery Vortex VI & Sixteen.

This is PWG's 16th Anniversary show. 

1) Trey Miguel vs. "Uptown" Andy Brown

Hell yeah. Awesome opener here. Miguel has become a consistent part of the PWG roster in 2019 and Brown is on his second? appearance, I think. Regardless, this was the perfect first match to get me back into the groove of PWG which tells me both these guys fit right in just fine. Good shit to start the show. Miguel wins with a meteora.

Match rating - ***

2) Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent?) vs. The Dark Order (Evil Uno & Stu Grayson)

The former Super Smash Bros are making their first PWG appearance in 6 long years. Shout out AEW. None the less, I am big stoked on it and they more than deliver because this was everything I'd want their first match back to be. Aside from the DQ finish, that is. Yes, PWG had a disqualification. The first one since like 2005, I think? So I can't really complain especially when these two teams had a match coming up for AEW, you knew they had to be protected. This still delivered big time though. Justin Borden disqualifies the Best Friends when he catches Trent delivering a low blow, which was in actuality just him returning the favor to Uno, but Justin didn't see that. Great match despite this.

Match rating - ***1/2

3) Darby Allin vs. MJF

"PWG shouldn't have been birthed 16 years ago, it should've been aborted." -MJF

I never thought I would like MJF in PWG, but dear fucking lord after that opening promo, I LOVE MJF in PWG. He had the crowd so riled up, even myself at home was gasping. Darby Allin is the perfect first match for him here considering he's become the newest sensation in the promotion following his insane guerrilla warfare match with Joey Janela last month. This was the perfect dynamic and they killed it. Pre-match, MJF said he would beat Darby with a headlock takeover, but turns out, after all the back & forth, DARBY beats MJF with a headlock takeover. Insane pop for it, too.

Match rating - ***1/2

4) Bandido, Flamita, & Rey Horus vs. Black Taurus, Puma King, & Laredo Kid

MAMA MIA. This was vintage PWG classic trios action with mostly new, fresh names. Bandido is the most popular guy in the promotion right now and as we know because this show is a year old -- is on his run to winning BOLA and becoming the PWG Champion, so he leads the charge here in this bonkers trios, lucha rules contest. This was everything you would want it to be and then some. Some have called it one of the greatest PWG matches of all time. I'm calling it god damn amazing. Barnburning action from 6 of the best in the world <3 

Match rating - ****1/4

Post match, they all get a standing ovation and take a photo together. Bandido responds to a Black Taurus chant by taking the mic and saying “Welcome to PWG” - real awesome moment here. 

5) Joey Janela vs. Jungle Boy (w/ Luchasaurus) 

Janela is coming off his first big PWG match/main event where last month at Mystery Vortex VI, he and Darby Allin had a guerrilla warfare match. Joey and Jungle Boy are also fresh off AEW’s set of Fyter Fest events. They have a great match here that sees Janela hit a psycho driver which I feel like is foreshadowing in the case of a potential Super Dragon return in the future. I feel like Janela would probably be one of Dragon’s top opponents if he was to have one more match. Jungle Boy fought from underneath for most of this, but definitely had his flurries. This didn’t reach awesome territory, but it was an insanely fun PWG style spot filled match. Janela wins with an elbow drop. 

Match rating - ***1/2

6) Brody King vs. David Starr 

These two are getting the co main event slot which is kinda wild when you think about it. It’s cool that they are getting this opportunity, though. Brody is the first home star that PWG has had from California in a long time and he’s already blowing up in other places so I can see why they’d be positioning him so high. And as much as I enjoy Brody, this one didn’t really do much for me. It had a small source of focus in David targeting Brody’s arm/hand which I enjoyed, but aside from that it just felt like spots with no real heat behind it. Still not the worst thing in the world, just not what you’d expect in this spot on a PWG card. 

Match rating - **1/2 

7) The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) vs. LAX (Santana & Ortiz) - Ladder Match for the PWG World Tag Team Titles 

Now, I want to preface this by saying, this is not the craziest tag title ladder match in PWG history. I say that only because I feel like things are always compared to matches like the Threemendous III classic and that’s a super unfair comparison. So, yeah. Now that that’s out of the way - THIS RULED. It immediately had that chaotic PWG energy and all four men showed out and gave us a worthy main event on the 16th anniversary show. Santana & Ortiz did some stuff I have never seen them do before or even since. Wentz & Xavier, particularly Wentz, looked amazing. Wentz got most of the big spots in this match including the final one which was a running step up ace crusher to Santana sending him flying off the ladder which allowed Xavier to grab the titles and get the win for The Rascals. Awesome main event with flying ladders, chairs, and bodies everywhere. 

Match rating - ****1/4 

And onward we march to the 2019 Battle of Los Angeles....

Make sure to follow @TheTeamPWG on Twitter for all updates on my reviews/posts on this blog <3

Friday, November 6, 2020

PWG: 2007 Battle of Los Angeles Night Two Review

2007 Battle Of Los Angeles - Night Two 
September 1st, 2007

PWG World Champion - Bryan Danielson
PWG World Tag Team Champion - Kevin Steen & El Generico

Commentary - Excalibur, Bryce Remsburg, & Dino Winwood 

So yes, this is random, but I still have a lot of old shows to catch up on and for some reason I reviewed Night One and Night Three of this tournament, but not Night Two so yeahhhhh. Time to fill that void.

1) TJ Perkins & Ronin vs. Karl Anderson & Bino Gambino 

This wasn’t anything special aside from it being cool to see good brother Karl Anderson and young TJP. Ronin has always been a semi bright spot in these PWG local matches. He is ok here and hits an AWESOME Death Valley Driver on Bino for the win. 

Match rating - *3/4

2) CIMA vs. Human Tornado (w/ Candice LeRae) 

Really and truly feel like I’ve seen this match and honestly this whole show but cannot find where I reviewed it if I did so fuck it ima keep going. Human Tornado is someone you’ve probably seen me mention in other reviews as a talent I’m so sad wasn’t able to hang around into PWG’s peak because he undoubtedly would be a star somewhere right now. So talented and so much personality. CIMA is a goat and this match is a lot of fun. CIMA accidentally sliding drop kicks Candice at ringside early on, Tornado hits an insane dive over the top rope and over the railing into the crowd on CIMA which leads to the finishing run. They trade moves, CIMA allows Candice to hit a flying drop kick on Tornado as revenge for him treating her like shit. This leads to CIMA hitting the iconoclasm and the SCHWEIN for the win. 

Match rating - ***

Tornado acts as if he’s gonna be nice to Candice after the match as he shakes her hand and hugs her only to attack her and stomp her out. Candice :((((( Tornado leaves and comes back and hits her with DND, he goes to lock her in a submission aND CHRIS HERO WITH THE SAVEEEEE FUCK. Chills on that one, not gonna lie. The Hero/Tornado feud is one of my favorite things. OH FUCK THEY START BRAWLING AG RINGSIDE GOD DAMN. Crowd is hype and I am too this fucking rules. Great pull apart that I wasn’t expecting. Hero is such an innocent baby face at this point lol. So much sympathy in his face as he checks on Candice and takes her to the back.

3) Shingo Takagi vs. Scott Lost (w/ Jade Chung)

Now this, my friends, is the match I’m most excited about on this card. Shingo is an all time favorite of mine, mostly thanks to my discovery of him in PWG, and his 2007 was filled with amazing matches. Scott Lost is another talent like Human Tornado that deserved so much more out of pro wrestling. None the less, back to this match. It wasn't quite on the level I hoped, but it was solid for what it was. First portion was whatever, but the action was good near the end, Shingo wins to advance. 

Match rating - **3/4

4) Kevin Steen vs. Necro Butcher

"Corn is his favorite food." -Bryce Remsburg

This was interesting. You’d probably expect a straight up brawl considering Steen is a brawler by nature and Necro is a death match legend however instead Steen targeted the leg/knee of Necro and tried to make it a wrestling match. Necro makes a comeback and smacks Steen up with an awesome lariat and some punches before pinning him wITH AN OCONNOR ROLL.

Match rating - **1/2

5) Nigel McGuiness vs. Davey Richards

There was a time where I enjoyed Davey Richards matches, but 2020 is not that time, even in retrospective. But I actually kinda liked this. They do some shenanigans early on with Nigel getting a kiss from his girlfriend at ringside to heal the hand Davey was working on, Davey then goes to ask for a kiss following a low blow and she obviously declined and Nigel pulled Davey’s tights down from behind his back baring his ass for all of California to see. They get back in the ring and settle into an honestly awesome final 8-9 minutes. Amazing Nigel lariats and a Tower of London. Good selling & bumping from Davey, god I love Nigel. Fuck. He wins, maybe my fav match on the show so far?

Match rating - ***

6) El Generico vs. Tony Kozina 

OLE OLE OLE OLE OLEEEE. Kozina has been showing out against all the PWG regulars in shows leading up to this match. This was another pretty fun outing for him with him clearly trying to impress. Having Generico as an opponent in PWG is as good of an opportunity as you’ll get. Some crazy little spots down the stretch and close falls for Kozina, but in the end Generico puts it away with the BRAINBUSTAAA. 

Match rating - **3/4

7) Dragon Kid vs. Susumu Yokosuka 

DRAGON GATE SHOWCASE. Exchanging of holds and mat work to start, Dragon Kid speeds things up and goes for a 818 and gets the crowd on their feet for a round of applause. He cuts Yokosuka off on his way back in the ring and starts taking it slow on him with chops and a drop kick or two. It’s not long before the first insane head bump of the match as Yokosuka hits a spring board lariat onto Dragon Kid who is on the apron and his head smacks the hardest part of the ring. Love love love this match so far. Yokosuka works over Dragon Kid with a stretch hold and starts focusing on the head and neck following that bump. This goes on for a few minutes. Nice pop for Kid finally getting separation with a back body drop followed by a head scissors sending Yokosuka to the floor and a hurricanrana on the floor to follow that hellll yeah let’s go!! They start heading towards the finishing run here. Yokosuka hits an exploder off the top rope for a near fall. They go into too much insane shit to call from here but I was straight gasping at my computer. To me, that says a lot for a match that happened 13 years ago on a lower level indie (at the time). The Dragon Gate guys were really something special in this time period and their performances in the US will always be a major nostalgia buzz for me. I’m glad I took the time to check out this show solely for this match. It’s no MOTY contender or epic, but god damn is it not so much fun. Great main event to close the show. Dragon Kid advances !! 

Match rating - ***3/4

PWG: Mystery Vortex VI Review

Mystery Vortex VI
May 10th, 2019

PWG World Champion - Jeff Cobb
PWG World Tag Team Champions - Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz (The Rascalz, Strong Hearts)

1) Trey Miguel vs. Tony Deppen

Two new faces here and they popped off a super fun opener that I think will open the door for definite future appearances. Mystery Vortex has a history of awesome opening debut matches and this continued that. Trey Miguel wins with a sick meteora.

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Chuck Taylor vs. Orange Cassidy

Orange Cassidy in PWG seems like something that should've happened a long time ago and now it has and went even more phenomenal than I expected. This definitely felt like the passing of the comedy wrestling torch in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Chuck being at the forefront of that style here for the past 10-11 years with names like Kikutaro also having successful stints would make you think there's nothing someone could do that would wow the smart PWG crowd, but Orange Cassidy did just that. This was so much fun.

Match rating - ***1/2

3) Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Jonathan Gresham - PWG World Title Match

Super early in the card for a world title match, but this ruled as you'd probably expect. A lot of people are tired of Cobb's title run already and while I don't hate Cobb, I think this being so early on the card shows why. Gresham looked really good here and I wish we could've gotten a shocker of a title change, but you can't win em all. Good back & forth pure wrestling and very worth a look despite how negative most of this review may have sounded.

Match rating - ****

4) Brody King vs. Jake Atlas vs. Trent?

A lot of people called this the showstealer and although it's not my match of the night, I can see why it is for some people. Jake Atlas is going to be the next big star in PWG and I'm calling it now. Brody is already a prized possession in the promotion's eyes so he got the w here and Trent is always a good hand and has been for the past six years. Everything here meshed perfectly and it was a pretty nutty three-way even though on paper it looks like a random ass pairing.

Match rating - ***3/4

5) Jungle Boy vs. Puma King

Jungle Boy is BIG time over. This only went 8 minutes and was fun while it lasted. I really enjoy Puma King. Nothing else to really jaw about here.

Match rating - **3/4

6) The Rascals (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) (c) vs. Flamita & Rey Horus - PWG World Tag Team Title Match

Another lovable spotfest title defense for the strong hearts duo of the Rascals. Flamita & Horus don't normally team together, but if I remember correctly some injuries/absences plagued this card and caused some shuffling to have to be done which is how we got here. You knew Flamita & Horus weren't winning, but it was still a blast to watch these four guys do their thing.

Match rating - ***1/2

7) Darby Allin vs. Joey Janela - Guerrilla Warfare Match

This is a match that had no build or heat aside from both of these young guys being known for being absolutely nuts. To me, it was a vintage PWG set up for them to make themselves stars and give the fans their respective moments to remember and they really did just that. The first every balcony spot in the new venue took place in this match and will leave you breathless among many other things. Darby Allin rules and it was so sick seeing him get a main event like this and completely crush it! To me, this match is the reason to buy this show.

Match rating - **** 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

PWG: 200 Review

PWG: 200
Los Angeles, California
March 1st, 2019

The 200th PWG show celebration.

PWG World Champion - Jeff Cobb
PWG World Tag Team Champions - The Rascals (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz)
Commentators - Excalibur & Rick Knox

As of this writing, I'm a solid year behind on reviews, but got my hands on this early so I decided to go ahead and dive into it!

1) Jake Atlas vs. Jungle Boy vs. Trey Miguel

Trey Miguel is debuting and Atlas & Jungle Boy are still cutting their teeth, but all three men rocked it here. This reminded me a lot of the highly regarded Trevor Lee/Cedric Alexander/Andrew Everett three way from Mystery Vortex II in 2014. Just three fresh guys going out to make an impression and doing so very successfully. Crazy multi-man matches are a PWG tradition so this was a great way to kick off a show like this. Jungle Boy wins with a crucifix bomb on Trey Miguel. Sad he only has a few more appearances before going full time for AEW.

Match rating - ***1/2

2) Puma King vs. Laredo Kid

Friday, May 3, 2019

PWG: Neon Knights Review

Neon Knights
February 16th, 2018
Reseda, California

PWG World Champion - Chuck Taylor

PWG World Tag Team Champions - Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle)

Commentators - Excalibur

1) Brody King vs. Adam Brooks

"Adam Brooks traveled 18 hours to get here, Brody King traveled 18 minutes." -Excalibur

Brody has a black eye heading into this match and it looks ruff. None the less, this is his debut and they rocked the house in this opener. Things got a little sloppy near the end, but not enough to ruin the fun in what was all in all, a great showing for both guys. You can't really go wrong with a PWG opener as long as you keep the formula simple.

Match rating - **3/4

2) Dalton Castle vs. Joey Janela

"I like my strawberries when they're dipped in chocolate and I got a nice hunny to look at." -Joey Janela

Castle comes to the ring with the ROH Title in tow. I started watching this a week or two ago and had to cut it off for whatever reason so I just started it from the beginning and rewatched it and this wasn't half as bad as I remembered for a 20 minute long Dalton Castle match with no backstory. They did some comedy early on and kept me pretty interested throughout and threw some cool sequences in there. This certainly shouldn't have went 20, but it wasn't a trainwreck at all. Janela is starting to get over well with the PWG crowd and I honestly wouldn't mind if Dalton Castle just stayed in ROH from now on.

Match rating - **1/2

3) David Starr vs. Travis Banks

Always dug David Starr, this is his PWG debut and I'm glad he finally made it here. Travis Banks has yet to impress in his first few showings so this was a little rocky to start, but all in all ended up being a pretty solid match. They brawled outside the ring for a while and threw some bombs in the final few minutes for some near falls that got the crowd hype. Decent showing for both guys.

Match rating - **3/4

4) Zack Sabre Jr vs. Flip Gordon

Alright so I've never been the biggest fan of Flip Gordon, but holy shit. He's insanely athletic and was in major show off mode here which was the perfect opposition for the attitude of ZSJ. And speaking of Sabre, I'm sold on him being a Top 5 PWG All-Timer at this point. He just literally can't have a bad match and on shows like this, he brings it up to that level that makes it feel like an actual PWG show even though the undercard is lacking. So, yeah, this was a great match. Sabre was Sabre and Flip was flippy and vibrant. Some expected a lot more out of this, but I was honestly pleased with what we got. Sabre gains a victory to hopefully up his momentum after losing the PWG Title a few months back and losing to Keith Lee at the last show.

Match rating - ***3/4

5) Keith Lee vs. Matthew Riddle

Sabre/Flip got the momentum going and these two knocked it completely out of the park by following it up with this show-stealing match up. Keith Lee has came in and had nothing but bangers, aside from his match with Zack last month oddly enough, and this was another one on that list. His rise to the top of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has been nuts. Just crazy match after crazy match. Bask in his fucking glory as he & Riddle destroy each other and the crowd eats up every bit of it. Awesome match here and another win for Lee.

Match rating - ****

6) Chuck Taylor (c) vs. Trent? - PWG World Title Match

"I'm gonna kill my best friend." -Chuck Taylor

Sunday, March 3, 2019

PWG: Mystery Vortex V Review - Ricochet's Farewell

January 12th, 2018
Reseda, California

PWG World Champion - Ricochet

PWG World Tag Team Champions - Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle)

Commentary - Excalibur, Chuck Taylor, & Rick Knox

First show of 2018 and the entire line up is a MYSTERY. Let's rock.

1) David Starr vs. Fred Yehi

"Welcome to Mystery Vortex V, sorry, I already shit on David Starr." -Excalibur

Two debuts here and two equally long introductions. I've known of a David Starr for a minute so it's sick seeing him finally get a shot in PWG. Neither man can get an advantage early until Yehi hits an exploder suplex on Starr on the floor that put things into motion. This went 18 minutes which normally can be bad for PWG openers, and while it wasn't PHENOMENAL, it wasn't a trainwreck either and they kept my attention for most of the match thanks to the personality of Starr, among other things. Some time definitely could've been shaved off to make it better, but this was really fine how it was. Yehi locks in a koji clutch, and Starr reverses out of it into a pinning predicament to get the win.

Match rating - ***

2) Joey Janela vs. Flash Morgan Webster

"This has bad news bears written all over it." -Chuck Taylor

I've been super iffy on a lot of the recent PWG debuts, but Flash hasn't done me wrong yet and after nearly getting killed by Janela here, I don't see that changing. Dear Lord, this was nuts. From a death valley driver on the apron to the most impactful package piledriver I've ever seen, Janela gave Flash a BEATING. Flash did get some spots in though including putting on his helmet for a dive on the floor which was funny. But in the end, a brainbuster off the top rope that will make your toes curl is what would put him away. Janela with the victory here.

Match rating - ***1/2

3) Rey Fenix vs. Sammy Guevara

These guys came out of the gate with a fever pitch and it was so SCARY. The danger of the Janela match transferred over to this nutty spotfest that saw a 630 senton only two minutes in and neither man able to stand at the five minute mark which was received by a standing ovation. These two threw literally everything out there and more. The finish was sort of weak, but you can't fault them after the craziness that ensued in the duration of this jawn. Guevara gets a huge victory over the former PWG World Tag Team Champion.

Match rating - ***3/4

4) Zack Sabre Jr vs. Keith Lee