June 11, 2010

Johnny Goodtime . . . almost looks as though he’d be right at home inside of a CMLL ring.

Brandon Gatson . . . takes a lot of abuse from the former PWG World Champion, but manages to hold his own.

¡Peligro Abejas!. . . prove that their DDT4 and tag title win was no fluke, by defeating their respective usual tag team partners.


This easily the best Johnny Goodtime match that I’ve ever seen. Johnny and Zokre work almost all of the good sequences and exchanges, and it’s impressive to see how well Johnny is able to keep up with both members of Los Luchas. Robinson and Phoenix aren’t bad, but they don’t stand out nearly as much as their partners, Robinson doesn’t add much more than an insane hurricanrana and a dive to the floor, and, Phoenix doesn’t do anything of note other than assist in some double teams, and lay down for the finish. A single good performance is hardly enough to make any concrete conclusions, but, based off what was shown here, it certainly looks like Yuma is the reason that the Rock-Nes Monsters usually suck. ***


Aside from a nice finish, although I wish Brandon had gone for a pin after the initial counter into the piledriver, there isn’t much to see here. They spend far too much time pasting each other with slaps, chops, and kicks, rather than telling any kind of story or trying to take the match somewhere. The one nice touch early on was Taylor’s half crab, and the legsweep soon after, which was a unique spot and also made sense to keep targeting the leg, but, that was the end of the leg work. They finally start showing some stuff as the match winds down, but, it’s far too late to matter. Again, they have a nice finish, with Brandon countering the Alabama slam into his flipping piledriver, but, it’d have been nice to see him go for a pin first, before going right to a second one.


If they had picked a theme and stuck with it, then this might have been good, but, instead it’s just fun. They do comedy and it works just fine, and they also try to tell a story with Lost working Tozawa’s ribs, and that’s fine, but, the two of them don’t mesh together very well. The biggest example being Tozawa’s attempts to do his dropping headbutt and missing, and Lost finally getting up the knees, but, it doesn’t seem to have any impact on Tozawa, even though he’d been in a body scissors (and doing some great selling) and had taken the Superman spear not long before. The finish sees Tozawa get a near fall from a bridging German suplex, and then does his arm-captured version for the pin, but Lost just kicks out, rather than having Tozawa lose the bridge because of his hurt ribs.


This is fun for what it is, but, it’s more due to the story with Malachai than it is the work. Matt and Nick treat their little bro like a young boy, making him take the bulk of the punishment, and, when he finally got a little momentum going, Matt blind tagged himself in so that he and Nick could work the control segment. But, when he was on his own against Ryan and the Cutlers, he managed to hold his own and stay ahead. The work was fine, but, there wasn’t anything especially surprising or impressive, aside from the ramped up version of MBFYB. Malachai was more flash than substance, with things like the 450 armdrag, but he was there to get bumped and drop the fall, so, it’s probably too much to expect him to show as much polish as his two older brothers.


Although this match has its fun moments, like the comedy with the lucky guy in the front row, the women never come close to getting out of first gear, and making it seem like the match was going somewhere. There wasn’t any intensity from either of them, and, there didn’t seem to be any focus to the work, to give the idea that either of them was working toward something. If the goal of the match was eat up eleven minutes of time, then they succeeded, but I expected a lot more from this pairing.


They go twice as long as the women, and have a match that’s ten times more engrossing! Hero was (at that point) the longest reigning PWG World Champion, so, he doesn’t think he needs to take Gatson seriously. Hero shows Gatson just how little he thinks of him by pelting him with overly stiff shots, not to wear him down or anything, just to hurt him. Gatson isn’t able to give the impression that he could pull off the upset on Hero, but, he’s able to take him by surprise a few times, and parlay that opening into a nice run of offense to show what he can do. After the initial surprise from Hero, he turns that into anger and tries to amp up the stiffness and brutality even more. They have a nice finishing stretch with several good counters and blocks, leading to Hero finally hitting his elbow (his first, instead of hitting his sixteenth) to keep the upstart down for good. ***


It’s clear that this is good, but, with another ten minutes or so to work with, it probably could have been significantly better. There are a lot of good ideas and smart moments shown here, but, nothing that gets the proper amount of time to fully develop. The hatred between Steen and Generico is fully on display when Steen attacks him to start things off, and, Generico gets some revenge toward the end, but, they’re mostly kept apart for the bulk of things. The idea of Kendrick not following Steen’s lead by brawling with London, but, being more than willing to shark on London’s knee with wresting moves is another nice touch, but, aside from Steen’s sharpshooter tease, it never feels like London is in danger of losing. London’s sell job while in the holds is excellent, but, he doesn’t do much of anything afterwards to put the leg over, he even pulls off a diving footstomp with no issues at all.

The spots to show how well they know each other are also great ideas, but, they don’t really lead to anything meaningful. Generico getting up the knees to block Steen’s senton allows him to tag in London, but, it wasn’t like Generico was in dire trouble, and London was still recovering from Steen and Kendrick working him over. London’s blocks to the Sliced Bread #2, and Steen giving the assist to allow Kendrick to hit it is one of the better moments of the match, and, Steen not being in position to cover is a nice explanation for London still kicking out. They go to the finish right afterwards, with Generico killing Steen with a Heluva kick, and putting him through the ringer to finish him off. Generico’s brainbuster is the perfect lead-in to London’s SSP. This is still the best match of the night, but, it’s impossible to shake the feeling that they could do something a lot better with more time. ***1/4

Conclusion: The usual fun outing from PWG. I was mostly interested in the main event, and while it wasn’t what I was hoping for, it was still good. Aside from the women’s match, everything else was solid at worst.