LOS ANGELES – For many who were checking out Pro Wrestling Guerrilla for the first time on April 1st and 2nd, it was a chance to see well known indy and TNA stars like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Petey Williams and Frankie Kazarian. By the end of the first night, it became evident to those newcomers what those who have followed the scene have known all along — Southern California has the talent to match up with the best in the world.
Being so close to Mexico, a big part of the PWG shows are the colorful masked superstars that fill out the roster. Of the ten masked stars on the card, four of them kicked things off as Disco Machine, Excalibur, Zokre & Phoenix Star went full throttle in a losing effort to Top Gun Talwar, Ronnin, Hook Bomberry & Danny Richards. Things only got better with great matches between Chris Sabin and Chris Hero and England’s Jonny Storm narrowly beating Canada’s Petey Williams. One of the most anticipated matches of the night met expectations as former WWE star James (Noble) Gibson defeated American Dragon after twenty minutes of pure technical wrestling.
After intermission it became time for SoCal talent to shine again. The only word that can describe the 6-man tag that saw Frankie Kazarian team up with the Ariel Express (Scorpio Sky and Quicksilver) against arch foes Joey Ryan and tag champs Arrogance (Scott Lost and Chris Bosh) is awesome. Bosh and Lost are absolutely despised yet their promo ability is second to none, as was evident on night two when fans chanted “Let Bosh talk.” Filled with great wrestling and insane high spots it was one of the highlights of a stellar evening, Kazarian got a measure of revenge by nailing Bosh and Lost with a double “Wave of the Future” neckbreaker to score the win.
Former TNA star Alex Shelley had a chance he was never given with the organization during his time there – a shot at the X-division title, held by Christopher Daniels. Daniels, another California-based star, overcame Shelley’s offence and the drunken ramblings of an idiot fan in the front row to retain the belt.
It was then time for the most anticipated match of the night between Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. The rabid crowd sat on the edge of their seats as Styles and Joe traded moves, strikes and dives out of the ring in an absolutely breathtaking contest that has already generated a lot of well-deserved buzz. While Joe had a size and strength advantage, Styles used his quickness to fight out of a muscle-buster and roll Joe into a Styles Clash to earn the number one contendership.
There has been a lot of buzz about PWG champ Super Dragon over the past two years. Determined to justify the hype, he tore the house down in a successful title defense over Montreal’s El Generico and Kevin Steen. While the record crowd chanted his name, Dragon connected with a psycho driver on Generico and prepared to face Styles on night two.
While the crowd was smaller, the action was no less intense during the second night’s festivities. Canadian’s fared far better on night two, with Petey Williams pinning Joey Ryan with the Canadian Destroyer, El Generico teamed with Phoenix Star & Zokre to defeat Scorpio Sky, Quicksilver & Human Tornado who were amusingly dubbed “The Oreo Express” due to the fact that Sky and Tornado are both black and Quicksilver is white. Kevin Steen made up for his fellow Canadian Williams’ loss the previous night by taking out Jonny Storm with a package piledriver.
Tag champs Scott Lost and Chris Bosh narrowly squeaked out a victory over Kazarian and Chris Sabin (with Petey Williams in their corner) when Kazarian’s shoulders were pinned to the mat. After the match, the locker room emptied and bid farewell to one of California’s finest at his last indy appearance before starting with WWE.
The stage was then set for PWG Champion Super Dragon defending against AJ Styles. For twenty minutes the two superstars beat the hell out of each other. The crowd was torn, with dueling chants of “Let’s go AJ/Let’s go Dragon.” Fans rose to their feet in surprise as Styles came back after a brutal curbstomp to connect with a discus clothesline and pin Dragon to claim the strap.
There were high expectations for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s All Star Weekend, and the company blew them out of the water. Easily early candidates for best indy shows of the year, PWG truly featured something for everyone, regardless of your taste in wrestling style. If you couldn’t be there live make sure you snatch up a copy of the DVD when it is released.
Then you too can discover what fans did in that cramped gymnasium. While a lot of indy buzz is generated on the east coast, the west coast can more than match up, and if ASW is any indication, will have a tremendous legacy all its own.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla All Star Weekend
Night 1 Results
Top Gun Talwar, Ronnin, Hook Bomberry and Danny Richards beat Disco Machine, Excalibur, Zokre and Phoenix Star
Chris Hero beat Chris Sabin by submission
Jonny Storm pinned Petey Williams
Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes defeated “Dragon Soldier” Kendo Ka Shin & Puma when Romero pinned Puma
James Gibson pinned American Dragon
Kazarian and the Ariel Express beat Joey Ryan and Arrogance
TNA X-division Champion Christopher Daniels pinned Alex Shelley
AJ Styles pinned Samoa Joe in a #1 Contender Match
PWG Champion Super Dragon won a three-way dance over Kevin Steen and El Generico when he pinned Generico
Night 2 Results
Ricky Reyes won a 4-way elimination over Puma, Ronin, & Davey Richards
Excalibur and Disco Machine beat Top Gun Talwar and Hook Bomberry
Petey Williams pinned Joey Ryan
El Generico, Phoenix Star, & Zokre defeated the “Oreo Express” of Scorpio Sky, Quicksilver and Human Tornado
TNA X-Division Champion Christopher Daniels pinned Chris Hero
Kevin Steen beat Jonny Storm
PWG Tag Team Champions Arrogance (Scott Lost & Chris Bosh) defeated Chris Sabin and Frankie Kazarian
AJ Styles pinned PWG Champion Super Dragon to win the title.