ALL-STAR WEEKEND 13: NIGHT 2
October 21, 2017
Marty Scurll . . . shows everyone the difference between being a “Bad Boy” and being “The Villain.”
WALTER . . . chops the living daylights out of Zack Sabre Jr. like he’s collecting an overdue debt!
Chuck Taylor . . . makes his first defense of the PWG Title against someone he’s all too familiar with.
JONAH ROCK vs. ADAM BROOKS
Both of them perform much the same as they had the night before, but this comes off better than both of their previous matches. Brooks shows off some nice spots, but, there still isn’t much more to his work other than establishing how much of a jerk he is. But, when Brooks gets too cocky and tries for too much, like mocking Jonah’s senton or trying the brainbuster, Jonah makes him pay for it. For his part, Jonah does a nice job of selling and bumping for Brooks. He doesn’t overdo it and bounce like a pinball. It looks perfectly believable. Their only miscue comes when Brooks rolls too soon when Jonah tries the frog splash for the first time, but their sequence after that was spot-on. After two consecutive nights of heat mongering and little else, it’d be nice to see if Brooks can bring something else to the table, but, this is still fun to watch.
NICK JACKSON/MATT JACKSON vs. MARK HASKINS/FLASH MORGAN WEBSTER
They had a few nice moments here, but they seemed to be more concerned with comedy and playing for laughs than anything else. Sometimes the comedy worked OK, like Webster putting on the helmet to protect himself from the superkicks, but it usually went too far, like Webster’s rana to Nick that made him assist Haskins in giving Matt a Meltzer Driver. The only time the match felt like it had a genuine intensity to it was when Nick tagged in, after Haskins had taken the cheap shot at him on the apron, and went after both Haskins and Webster.
It’s somewhat surprising how strong they treat the Sharpshooter. Matt and Haskins dueling Sharpshooters is one of the better comedic ideas they have. Matt gets it again later and Nick uses the slingshot facebuster to stop Haskins from getting the rope break. Compared to Haskins’ armbar getting treated as almost a throwaway hold, with the only build at all being about ten seconds of him working over Matt’s arm. The finish, with Webster and Haskins simultaneously tapping to the Sharpshooter is also a little too cute. It would have been just as easy to pin Haskins after the Meltzer Driver or MBFYB rather than tapping him out to one of his own finishers.
MARTY SCURLL vs. JOEY JANELA
Although the story isn’t as focused as Janela’s match from the night before, the match also isn’t as lopsided, and it plays out better because of it. Marty does just about everything to remind everyone why he’s called “The Villain.” He uses some of Trevor Lee’s better ideas from the night before, like pulling the ref in between them and using the ropes. His first control segment comes from him simply sidestepping a Janela dive and letting him crash and burn on the floor. He shows more than he did last night, but Janela still doesn’t show all that much with his work. After seeing him on two consecutive nights, all I can really say about him is that he seems to like throwing himself around, with the dives to the floor and the springboard off the chair. Janela’s diving uppercut was nice, and it was funny seeing him steal Marty’s trademark spots. But, once again, Janela was clearly taking a backseat to his opponent. It’s nice that they built up to the finish a bit. The chair bump was the perfect way to stun Janela to let Marty get the chickenwing, and between the finger breaking routine, Janela’s attempt to steal the win, and his foiled attempt to use them on Marty, it didn’t come across like they were set up just to pull off that one spot. ***
ZACK SABRE Jr. vs. WALTER
Watching the way that this match plays out is simply a joy. Sabre can outwrestle pretty much anyone across the ring from him, but he finds out early on that WALTER is an exception to that rule. It’s not just due to WALTER’s size, although it comes in handy when he’s able to suplex Sabre all over the ring, but WALTER also outwrestles Sabre in little ways such as taking away Sabre’s first bridge-up by taking his leg out form underneath him. Just like the match from the night before, WALTER never makes a comeback on Sabre based on his size, it’s always by outsmarting or outwrestling him, from the first time Sabre tried to unsuccessfully take him down, right up to the finish when Sabre’s European Clutch puts him right into WALTER’s sleeper. Granted, WALTER’s size does allow for a couple of spots that Sabre probably couldn’t pull off with anyone else, like the hanging guillotine getting turned into the butterfly suplex. But, the spot itself still comes on the basis of WALTER being a better wrestler.
Both of them do a fabulous job of telling the story with WALTER’s arm and his chops. It’s funny to see Sabre go flying backwards after the first one. But, as the onslaught continues, Sabre realizes how it can work to his advantage. He takes the first opening he gets and gets a good stomp on WALTER’s arm. It winds up having a twofold effect, it will make WALTER’s favorite strike work against him as much as it can work for him, and, it puts Zack in a better position to possibly submit him. Zack more or less baits WALTER into lighting him up, and then jumps back to his feet and dares him to do it again. It doesn’t last too long, but the effects on both of them are obvious. WALTER cradles the arm in pain, and Zack is slumped down on the mat after having the wind literally beaten out of him. Zack tries to press his advantage, including striking and wrenching the arm, but between WALTER’s height and his own skills, he can’t finish him off. But, Zack is able to use it to keep himself out of trouble, like his escape of WALTER’s first attempt at the sleeper.
They have a few weak moments that keep this from reaching the highs that it could have. It’s not reasonable to expect WALTER to completely stop using his arm, but, spots like the running lariat weren’t necessary. If WALTER absolutely needed to do it, then he should have sold the arm afterwards. The one big thing that they lacked was a moment where it genuinely felt like Sabre could get the submission. The closest they came was Sabre’s Triangle choke that WALTER powered out of. With his arm banged up, it would have worked much better to see WALTER’s arm cause him to not be able to pull it off, and force him to fall back on his wrestling in order to escape. But, even with their issues, this still blows away everything that came before it, including the previous night’s matches. ****
MATT SYDAL vs. TRENT BARRETA vs. REY HORUS
Ugh, twenty minutes was simply way too long for this sort of match. Aside from a few spots, there’s virtually nothing interesting about the work. The structure is the same as most other three-way matches, and it has the usual lack of story. Sydal spikes Trent with a Kudo driver before going up for the SSP, after Trent stopped his first attempt. That would have made a great finish, except that it wasn’t the finish. Trent got his knees up and then started working over Sydal. Thanks for wasting one of the few spots that still elicits a decent reaction. The cooperation is all too obvious with spots like Trent “inadvertently” giving Horus a boost so that he can give Sydal a rana, which takes them two tries to get right. Trent eventually hits his finisher on Sydal to win, but, it’s the usual right place right time circumstances, rather than being genuinely built up.
CHUCK TAYLOR © vs. RICOCHET (PWG World Heavyweight Title)
I appreciate Taylor’s consistent selling of his knee throughout the match, but, virtually all of the meaningful work comes after the match gets restarted. Ricochet’s leg work consisted of mostly kicks and stomps. He only used one hold, and, he only teased using Bret Hart’s figure four around the post (and when he did it later on, it showed that he was better off just teasing it). When Taylor takes over, he moves a bit slower and favors the knee, even after doing something that doesn’t seem like it would put much strain on it. The Sole Food seems to hurt Taylor just as much as it does Ricochet. But, Taylor’s control segment really just consists of planting Ricochet with various spots. One could argue that he was working over the back, but there wasn’t much of anything from either of them to suggest that he was going in that direction. Until Taylor sets him up for the Awful Waffle, it’s not even apparent that Taylor is trying to finish him off. That’s when Ricochet takes of the proverbial gloves and starts playing dirty, it’s nice to see that pulling the ref in front of him doesn’t work this time, since he’d done it to WALTER the night before. But, then the ref takes a lariat and Ricochet apparently wins the title after a foul and belt shot. But, the match gets restarted and that’s when it picks up.
It starts with Ricochet escaping another Awful Waffle attempt and taking Taylor down into a Texas Cloverleaf, followed by the badly botched ringpost figure four, and then attacking it with chairs. Ricochet gets Taylor in the ring and tries to finish him, but Taylor gets up and pushes him off the top to the floor, and then gets a hammer and takes the top rope off the ring. Ricochet’s subsequent near falls from the 450 and SSP are smart in this context, with him not having the usual impact as they would if he’d hit them from the top. But, that’s where the smart work pretty much ends, except for Ricochet stopping a NOAH-style strike exchange by kicking Taylor’s bad knee. Other than that, they just take turns planting each other with bombs for near falls. They had a chance for a great finish when Taylor gets the hammer again, but decides not to use it Ricochet, and pays for it when Ricochet gives him another foul and hits the Vertigo. But, Taylor kicks out and survives a few more bombs before he stays down after the King’s Landing, to a noticeably quiet reaction for a title change. It’s nice to see them make a genuine attempt at telling a story, but, considering how often these two have worked together, they should be able to do much better than simply having a good match. ***
Conclusion: WALTER vs. Sabre is enough to warrant checking this out, but, there’s plenty of other good stuff that comes along with it.