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  1. I've been reorganizing some stuff around the house and was going through a box of dvds. I found some PWG ones that I'd watched 5 years ago. I wasn't really keeping notes and was in a down period regarding wrestling. I just wanted to check out something different. Anyways, I thought I'd give a few things a re-watch and a proper review. Roderick Strong vs. Joey Ryan (Block A Quarterfinal) - skipped...I'm just over Joey Ryan's shtick. Alex Shelley vs. Matt Sydal (Block A Quarterfinal)- skipped, people really dig this. I'd recommend it too! but I've seen it a few times. It's kind of dry IMO. PAC vs. Claudio Castagnoli (Block B Quarterfinal) - Spectacular at times, Claudio was a fantastic base for PAC's moves. Likewise, PAC moved and bumped brilliantly for Double C. Very good match CIMA vs. SHINGO (Block B Quarterfinal) - Not as spectacular but more well developed and paced. Didn't think a ton about it originally but this was **** great match. Nigel McGuinnes vs. Necro Butcher (Block C Quarterfinal) - This was mainly Nigel being awesome in 2007. Good stuff very easy to watch. El Generico vs. Dragon Kid (Block C Quarterfinal) - Skipped wasn't interested. Having Claudio here would also have worked booking -wise Roderick Strong vs. Alex Shelley (Block A Semifinal) - First off, get the Alex Shelley ROH DVD now if you're a fan of his. Originally watched this after the 2004-05 Gen Next saga including the Embassy stuff. This match TOTALLY extends that feud to 2007 and in a PWG ring...the opening sequences and move theft make this so much deeper than just a very good match. If you know that stuff then this match is great shit! If this wasn't a tournament then they would have went on to wrestle a classic.Makes me wish we got more Alex Shelley in late 2000's ROH. He is truly an unsung great of ROH. CIMA vs. PAC (Block B Semifinal)- I have seen someone call this a classic but I disagree. It is a good spot match with some really crazy stuff. They were getting a little too cute with the moves at times (mainly PAC) but it was a worthwhile watch. El Generico vs. Nigel McGuinness (Block C Semifinal) - I would say this was a very good match but I enjoyed it way more than rating would indicate. Nigel just breaking Generico piece by piece is a thing of beauty...especially skinny 2007 Generico. Don't count the luchadore out though! Chris Hero, Kevin Steen, Tyler Black, Doug Williams, Susumu Yokosuka & Jack Evans vs. Austin Aries, Jimmy Rave, The Human Tornado, Scott Lost, Davey Richards & Karl Anderson- Its fun and there's no comedy b.s. like they would make a habit of doing. A nice match to eat lunch with. CIMA vs. Roderick Strong vs. El Generico (Finals - Triple Threat Elimination) - This was a pretty good ending to a great night of wrestling. Like many tournament finals, its more about the finals being a culmination of the tournament rather than it being an awesome fight. So this was a fun spot based match where it was all big moves with not a ton of story or selling.The right guy won it and that really helps everyone go home happy. This is a no brainer purchase if you're a fan of this era of wrestling. Its akin to an excellent 2007 ROH B-show. Very easy to watch and enjoy the heck out of!
  2. Without further ado, let's take a look at Night #2 of wXw's 2011 16 Carat Gold Tournament! Axeman vs Rico Bushido vs Tommy End vs Bad Bones - Hard hitting wXw guys doing a fun spot match. Jay Skillet vs Jon Ryan - I like Ryan from his match with Davey but, you can skip this match. It wasn't bad. It's nothing special to me though. Colt Cabana vs Marty Scurll - Another outright comedy match. Marty is much better at this than Zack just because he's more vocal and outgoing. Fun stuff Carnage vs 2-Face - This was OK. They probably didn't need to hit as hard for this kind of match. Post match stuff had storyline stuff so, this was a vehicle for that. Poor use of Carnage IMO. Mark Haskins vs Big Van Walter - A simple David vs Goliath match with Haskins showing a ton of heart. He didn't have the cleanest execution but, it looked natural when going up against the juggernaut of Walter. Good match and best thus far. Day 2 is OK thus far but we're only half way through. Let's see what part 2 has to offer...It should get better. El Generico & Emil Sitoci vs Future Shock (Cole & O'Reilly) - I was really glad they took their time in setting up heel vs face dynamics here. Sitoci made a great first impression. He reminded me of Paul London. That's interesting because London and Generico had a nice tag team in PWG in 2010. So, that dynamic was here against the cocky upstart team of Future Shock. This was an exciting match with nice offense and fake-out spots. Best match of the show thus far. Great stuff! Sami Callihan vs Yoshihito Sasaki - Man, this looks promising! Sami really looks like he's got a screw loose! He brings so much intensity and bravado to the ring that, I'm invested before the bell rings. A handshake to start the match means Sasaki and Sami are going to be rough. And good gravy, this is violent wonderful wrestling and a near classic bout. This really puts the night back on track by topping the tag match. Go Shiozaki vs Kotaro Suzuki - NOAH match in Germany! This was a very good match but, felt it was lethargic compared to the previous couple matches. Also, the fan cam on the ground wasn't in the best position. So, we could see the action OK but, we were mainly seeing their backs. They were in a different venue and the hard cam and the floor cam were coming from the same side of the ring for this match. These things don't bother me too much but, I felt that because we couldn't see the impact as well as could be expected, we were missing some of the action. The crowd also seemed tired and I could only say it was very good at best. Davey Richards vs Zack Sabre Jr. - I understand the pacing and card placement with the NOAH match now. They wanted to give the crowd a cool down for this battle. The pacing was aggressive from bell to bell and Holy crap, they just beat the slop outta each other! This has grappling, strikes, nice counters & escapes. Up & coming ZSJ vs top tier Richards provided a classic encounter without a doubt. If you're a fan of either guy, you should see this for sure. Daisuke Sekimoto vs Johnny Moss - Match for the wXw belt. This was a good ***1/2 bout to close the night out. There was no way they were going to top the previous match so, they gave the fans a nice hard hitting simple title fight. Overall, Night 2 was a great show but, really one of two parts. Part one was nothing special although the 4 Way opener and the Haskins/Walter matches were worthwhile. Your best bet is to watch those two and skip to the 2nd half where stuff really picks up with a 3 amazing matches. Davey vs ZSJ is the best bout thus far. Thankfully, the 2011 tourney is sold as a set so, if you're looking to buy this DVD or that DVD, you don't have to choose one night over another What's even better is that we've still got Night 3! Thanks for reading!
  3. I have been meaning to watch this tournament for awhile now. I bought this along with the 2010 tournament so, this has been a long time coming. The box art of the DVD set features all of the participants in this year's event. It is pretty damn stacked even compared to the previous year. We have stars from ROH, Big Japan, NOAH, Independent US talent as well as European wrestlers. This 16 Carat Gold event may be the most diverse and globally representative tournament assembled in recent memory. Enough fluff! Let's get to the wrestling! Kyle O'Reilly vs Karsten Beck vs Marty Scurll vs Axeman: This 4 man match will determine who will be an alternate for the tournament. Nice to have some incentive for the guys...they surely fought like they meant it. Axeman was a nice surprise. He and Kyle have a similar style. Fast paced fun opening match. Yoshihito Sasaki vs Carnage: Sasaki is a guy who's name I've seen here and there the past decade but, never knew how he flew under my radar. I mean, I have Fire Pro Returns and don't recall seeing him. Ha! I was wrong. He's listed under the Zero-1 promotion as a low ranking wrestler. That was 2004 in Japan and in 2011 he's made his way in the world. And I have to say, damn! I was missing out. He's got a no nonsense hard hitting style that I appreciate.His opponent Carnage does as well. I remember him from 2010's shows. Very good match here and a proper way to start the tourney. Two matches in and this feels better than 2010. Zack Sabre Jr. vs Colt Cabana: Is Colt NWA champ here!? This was funny at times but, took too long to really go anywhere. This was a popcorn match to me. You'll be OK fast forwarding to the last five minutes or skipping altogether. Much like the other World of Sport style matches (not that this was exactly but, it had that feel and style) of 2010, this feels out of place next to 2010 puro style bouts. Adam Cole vs Mark Haskins: Both dudes have come a long way from here. This was a very scatterbrained Indy wrestling match. Stuff was done with little rhyme or reason. Unlike the ZSJ/Cabana match, this was relatively short and an OK watch. Go Shiozaki vs Johnny Moss: Thank goodness they got the show back on track. Fans started out pretty much behind Moss but, Go won them over with his hard hitting never say quit attitude...kinda like how Rocky won over the Russian crowd in Rocky IV. This was a very good match and the ending portion was that stuff you want from NOAH's top dog. This was another very good pairing. Big Van Walter vs Rico Bushido: Never heard of Bushido but, he reminds me of how I imagine Ricky Reyes fought and looked like in the Rottweiler days of ROH. That's probably all wrong but, I'm cool with that assumption. He was all martial art kicks and Walter put him down after a few power moves. Short and unoffensive match. I have nothing against so-so matches but, at least make them short like this match. Davey Richards vs Jon Ryan: Ryan has no chance in hell beating Davey...just by the looks of him. But to Davey's credit he gave a lot to J.R. He got some heel moves in and was able to fight Richards and be a credible opponent. So, don't let his cheesy ring gear and physique fool you! I really thought an upset might happen. Another very good match. Sami Callihan vs Tommy End: This was an intense, fast, hate filled match. These guys were wXw regulars and this must have had some back story to it. You don't need to know it though. These dudes were aiming to maul each other. Tommy End is much improved since 2010 and Sami has gotten even better. The best bout so far! Great match with a fantastically aggressive submission finish. Yes! Kotaro Suzuki vs El Generico: This is a pretty high profile match for 2011. It's like an unofficial Best of the Super Jrs. match. It had lots of good action that kept the excitement and drama going. Who would win? Generico is a mega star in indy wrestling and Kotaro is GHC Jr. champ...every nearfall felt like the one that would do it. They both have so many tricks in the bag so, the end was always in doubt. Great match. As good or better than the previous bout for sure. A sweet way to end day one!! Wait...that wasn't the main event? Daisuke Sekimoto vs Bad Bones (wXw Hvywt. Championship match): This is like the cherry on top of a sundae. It starts of slow but, gets action packed as the match progresses. The last few minutes made a big difference as this was scratching at great match territory. Reminded me of the Hayabusa/Tanaka era FMW matches. Very good match overall...like ***3/4 territory. Then we get a very enjoyable post match with Bones and Johnny Moss comes out to challenge Daisuke. Very psyched to see Night 2! This was a heck of night of wrestling. This was much better than I remember the 2010 Night #1 being. Each match that I enjoyed delivered the excitement and entertainment that I was hoping for. Not one wrestler in those matches dogged it and in many cases they went above and beyond to have the best match they could. If they can keep it up then, this might be one helluva ride. Thank you for reading!
  4. UNREAL ovation for Bryan; very emotional seeing him walk down that ramp w/ his wrestling gear on once again. The match quality is very much boosted by the story behind his comeback - it's fairly simple in structure w/ KO & Zayn attacking Bryan before the bell rings, leaving him laying for quite a while, which means Shane had to fight alone while Bryan recovered. I thought Shane's FIP segment was really good - both KO & Zayn, especially Zayn, were really good working the heat on him & mocking him all the way while doing it. Shane's selling of his injury was pretty damn good. Maybe it's that magic of Bryan's comeback & it being WrestleMania and all, but I thought Shane's performance was ON POINT. This is the first time since his return in 2016 that he hasn't annoyed me much, because he didn't do that faux-MMA stuff of his; he felt like an untrained street fighting GM just busting out wild strikes to try & fight. And holy shit when Bryan came out to break that pin & finally Shane got to tag him to the ring - fireworks. Absolute fireworks. Him running through all of his signature moves was lovely & Zayn was absolutely wonderful bumping & selling his ass off for him. For one moment, right now, everything is right & beautiful in the world; the greatest wrestler in the world is back. And he is back with a bang. ****
  5. El Generico comes down in street clothes and we find out that he is no condition to compete because of his shoulder injury. The PWG Champion Bryan Danielson storms down to the ring and tells Generico if he doesn't wrestle tonight, he'll never get a title shot. 'Serious Wrestler' Heel Danielson was so good, gutted we never got to see it in the WWE. Anyway, match starts and Bryan works on Generico's arm and shoulder and it's brutal. Think Zack Sabre Jr. style stretching and times it by ten. Generico gets a few hope spots in after he nails a handful of Helluva kicks, but Danielson eventually puts him away with Cattle Mutilation. This was very enjoyable. It reminded me of an old school Mid South TV angle. Only thing that holds it back is that it's too back and forth for what it was hopin to achieve, but it's PWG, so it's to be expected. ★★★¼
  6. Really good stuff. Very weird seeing Zayn work as a heel after watching him become an all-time great babyface wrestler before this heel turn, but goddamn he killed it. Thought that him working the heat on AJ was super enjoyable - he showed a nice mean streak & all of his offense looked very good. AJ was obviously great bumping & selling for him - and so was Sami when it was his turn to do that; him bumping for AJ's big moves was super fun. After Zayn works over AJ for a while, AJ gets back into things w/ his awesome strike combination thing & the match becomes more 50/50 w/ very good action. These 2 have a really good chemistry with each other. Great TV match. ***3/4
  7. This starts off with both guys feeling each other out with some technically sound yet rather dry grappling. PAC is the main offender here, he's a far cry from becoming the King Of The Cruiserweights that we all love today. Luckily, he more than makes up for this with his insane athleticism. The match's finishing stretch is very back and forth and a lot of the spots still hold up today as impressive. It's cool to see how a 2006 crowd reacted to a top rope reverse frankensteiner, something that we have become desensitizes to nowadays. A great showcase of what to expect from a PWG match. ★★★★
  8. https://youtu.be/ak1LX4XE2S4 Really hot interactions between all 6-men involved, a fantastic Steen FIP segment, a terrific KENTA hot tag, great psychology w/ Generico's knee + an awesome finishing stretch. Great match. ****1/4
  9. Excellent match. Dick Togo looked like a beast on the offense + El Generico sold & bumped his ass off for him. ****
  10. Wow, this was as fantastic as it looked on paper! It was all about Low Ki grounding Generico, and then keeping him down with those sick strikes of his. Generico, as usual, played the underdog role, and he was fantastic at it - his selling & hope spots were tremendous. ****1/2
  11. Superstar Sleeze

    Sami Zayn/El Generico

    Zayn really opened my eyes to how good of a babyface he is when I watched the 2013 Two out of Three Falls match against Cesaro. El Generico always struck me as a lame gimmick and too cute for its own good on the surface. I saw a couple of his tag matches with Steen in person when I went to ROH but was never really blown away. However, in going back to watch NXT specials from last year, I think Zayn is best pure babyface in the world. Was he this good as Generico? Cesaro vs Sami Zayn - NXT Arrival 2/14 NXT is where pro wrestling lives, baby! Where has this Cesaro been on the main roster? No, it is not completely booking's fault. I am taking that bully mentality and those violent heel tendencies. Cesaro is damn great wrestler, make no mistake about it, but he has the same problem that many midcard heels on the main roster have. They do NOT do anything heelish in the context of the match. This is why "This is awesome" is so prevalent because there can't be good without evil and no one is evil in the ring. On this night, Cesaro was a total, unmitigated, unadulterated prick. Zayn is the consummate babyface. He is the lovable underdog character that you believe can win, but know it is not going to be easy. You know he is going to leave it all in that ring and you will never be disappointed by Zayn win, lose or draw. Watch the two out of three falls match first, before you watch this match. Ok, you watched it now, good. Unlike most modern WWE series of matches, this series actually builds layers on top of other matches. The only WWE series that comes close recently is Cena/Lesnar. The beginning of this match was probably my favorite beginning to any match of 2014. It was just so perfect. Zayn has proven from the previous matches that his best chance to elude Cesaro with his quickness, but now being familiar with Cesaro he is combining his natural elusiveness with actual scouting experience. Cesaro shows him up early with his power and gives him a playful slap to the back of the head that gets a rise out of everyone. Cesaro goes for the Giant Swing, but Zayn eludes it with a armdrag to the outside. Zayn goes flying out onto Cesaro and it is fastbreak offense that gets the crowd rocking. Cesaro nips in the bud by catching Zayn off the top and into a backbreaker. Cesaro is just in total bully prick mode throwing Zayn around on the outside and he looks to use the post, but Zayn yanks Cesaro into the post with his feet. Zayn looks to repeat his awesome dive through the turnbuckles, EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! HOLY SHIT! Cesaro had it scouted. Now, we get Cesaro going back to the post and wrapping around the post. Cesaro working the knee was incredible and some of his best work in the WWE. Zayn is killing it selling, but also mixing in hope spots. I loved the whiff on the enziguiri triggering the single leg crab. I love sequences like that. His next spot was for Zayn was his split legged moonsault caught by Cesaro and slams him into the ramp. Damn! That was actually credible countout finish tease and you really feel Zayn's grit and determination to return to the ring. Zayn's first big score is the Exploder into the turnbuckles. I agreed that Zayn needed to get hit some offense at this point in the match, but I thought it was a bit too easy for Zayn and felt more like it was his turn than him earning it. Cesaro goes back to the knee to cut off Zayn’s string of offense and applying a leg wrench using his neck as a fulcrum. Then you move to another interesting aspect of the characters. Cesaro starts to get a little cocky and Zayn takes advantage with roll up out of the Giant Swing. I love how Zayn fights during the Swing; it really makes for an awesome visual and puts over Zayn’s character. During a sloppy Cesaro cover Zayn slides Cesaro over for a two count. Cesaro almost more pissed at himself for letting that happened, crushes Zayn’s head with a double spot that had me popping like crazy. Zayn has another burst of offense using a hurricanarana off the top to set up his Yakuza Kick (I could not understand what Zayn’s name for it is.). Zayn won the first fall of the last match with that move. 1-2-NO! OH shit, you just gave Cesaro your best shot and that has to take a lot of wind out of your sails. Cesaro starts to obliterate with European Uppercuts and Zayn is just rocked, but won’t stay down. Zayn has one last burst of burst and the fists start flying. He throws a wicked German. Can he pull it off? I love Zayn’s selling with him holding his mouth, fighting through the pain and showing great fire looking for that Yakuza Kick, but Cesaro demolishes him with a big boot. Cesaro throw him up and European Uppercut only get one, but Cesaro will not be deterred and hits a roaring European Uppercut and Neutralizer for the win! Zayn and Cesaro just crushed it out there. If there is any NXT match as good as this, then hot damn I am going to be in for one helluva run. Cesaro showed some of his best character work here as an arrogant bully. Zayn’s story of craving that respect and proving himself by defeating the main event bully made for a great hook. He fought to the very end, but eventually succumbed to Cesaro. Then Cesaro comes back to the ring and gives him that respect in the form of a hug. This is a perfect representation of how to get someone over by losing. Everyone came out looking better from this masterpiece. ****1/2 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sami Zayn vs Tyler Breeze – NXT Takeover No. 1 Contender’s Match Let’s get this out of the way first, I love Tyler Breeze! This type of gimmick is right up my alley. Mmm Gorgeous is such a great catchphrase and he is actually pretty entertaining promo from the video package. I loved him calling a Sami loser because of the Cesaro loss. Also, I love how NXT eschewed long promos and opting the video packages. It gives more of a sports feel. Zayn has come up short against Cesaro, but it was a valiant effort. Now he has set his sights on the NXT Championship. Coming out of this match is when I realized how great Zayn is as a babyface. The hook of the entire match is Zayn’s quest to win the No. 1 contendership. He just lost to Cesaro and the Triple Threat No. 1 Contender’s match, so you really want him to get the win over Breeze to launch him up against the winner of Neville/Kidd. Standing in his way was Breeze who did an admirable job. Breeze will face an uphill battle to be taken seriously with the gimmick unfortunately even though I do love the gimmick. I was pulling for him to either be a great cheating heel or ratchet up the violence, but it was just fine, a bit pedestrian. I really liked the transition from the shine to heat with Breeze shoving Zayn off the top turnbuckle to the floor. The match suffers from inconsequential moves and Zayn not having a great obstacle to overcome. Zayn carries the match through selling and fire. The finish was really great. Zayn goes for his Yakuza Kick, but Breeze ducks and puts his hand up to protect his face and by accident hits Zayn in the balls. Breeze takes advantage with the Beauty Shot (the Close Up would be better). The finish makes the match and the Zayn character all the more interesting. Zayn looks to have it won and then bad luck takes it all away. Breeze is able to hang on and take advantage of an opportunity. Breeze needs to show more in the ring to complement his character. Good stuff, but not nothing great. A cool stop on Zayn’s road to the title and worth the watch to see Zayn. ***