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LIVE BLOG: Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s “Kurt RussellReunion 2” (COMPLETE THOUGHTS)

by on April 5, 2011

Welcome to this week’s LIVE BLOG, as I watch PWG’s Kurt RussellReunion 2 (now available at ProWrestlingGuerrilla.com and Highspots.com). Last week, I watched Ring of Honor’s SoCal Showdown 2, which took place the night before this at the 2011 WrestleReunion in Los Angeles, so I thought this would be a nice contrast to that show. 

Like always, if you’ve seen the show or have the DVD and want to watch along, please feel free to leave comments in the comment section to create a nifty conversation between yourselves and myself. Refresh the page every 10-15 minutes for an update. 

Without any further ado, let’s go! The blog begins under the cut!

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I must commend Excalibur for using my favoritest joke of all of the jokes: “I just flew in today…and boy are my arms tired!”. He welcomed people to the show and buried some Juggalos during his opening speech. 

Eight Person Tag: CEDRIC ALEXANDER, BRANDON GATSON, CANDICE LeRAE, & WILLIE MACK vs “Pretty” PETER AVALON, CALEB KONLEY, “Manscout” JAKE MANNING, & ODB
-The screen introducing the match was either messed up, or Peter Avalon grew blonde hair and boobs.
-I think ODB started masturbating during the opening announcements. I could be mistaken.
-Interesting to see the Highspots crew trying to work in usual schtick to the usual spot-heavy PWG six-man opener.
-Willie Mack might have murdered poor Peter Avalon with a crazy, crazy shoulderblock.
-Between the kind-of Matrix spot from the ROH show the night before and a crisp turnaround enziguri on Peter Avalon, Cedric Alexander might be the world’s best Elix Skipper.
-There’s a RIDICULOUS close-up of Jake Manning’s leg fur during the heat segment. It was vomitesque.
-Willie Mack wrestles like he’s a character from WWE All-Stars. He does regular moves, only REALLY exaggerated-like.
-Brandon Gatson doing the Sasuke Special has to be the best technical gymnastic form that anyone’s ever shown doing a wrestling move.
-Awkward finish where Gatson went for some sort of wacky jiu-jitsu armbar and didn’t seem to know how to apply it correctly.
-Overall, pretty darned good opener. The wildcards (Manning, Alexander, Konley, ODB) fit in perfectly to the PWG mesh of characters. The one thing I dug is that, for some of the gruff that the SoCal undercard guys in PWG get for being spot dudes, they ended the match at the perfect time and didn’t do three thousand nearfalls. They did some stuff, moved really fast, and brought the bar up high enough to start the show. 

REY BUCANERO vs MR. AGUILA
-Aguila, for those of you who don’t know, is formerly ex-WWE Light Heavyweight Champion Essa Rios.
-I apologize in advance if I make a turd out of myself during this portion. Admittedly, I don’t watch a ton of lucha, so I’m sure there will be signature stuff that’s completely lost on me.
-They’re doing a lot of stuff in the crowd. I assume they’re not afraid of any sort of fan lawsuit nonsense since they’re at a convention with a bunch of hardcores.
-Aguila goes over with the top rope moonsault. I wish I had more to say, but honestly, they just did a ton of stuff with no rhyme or reason, it seemed like. It wasn’t particularly crisp or quick or anything that’d make it stand out above anything else on the show. 

SHANE HELMS vs JOEY RYAN
-I assume they thought Helms would get booed, since they sent Ryan out before the match to cut a promo, bring up the HBK stuff, then turn it into heat on himself. It didn’t work.
-With the ratty braids in their hair and the “PG SUX” shirt, it’s like Shane Helms is doing a pro wrestling fan gimmick.
-Now Helms is cutting a promo on the fans. This will be interesting, if anything.
-Helms looks ridiculous in his ripoff red Hurricane gear.
-They did a RIDICULOUS spot where Joey Ryan hit Helms with Sweet Chin Music and Helms no-sold it. That was as petty as it gets.
-Ryan works the arm with repeated armbars. The crowd’s not really having much of it, but I can’t fault them for not trying (at least Ryan, who’s trying SO hard to get booed).
-It’s bizarre to see Helms, not doing the superhero gimmick, repeatedly teasing for his chokeslam.
-Ryan goes over with a bodyscissors kimura. Not a bad match, but the Shawn Michaels stuff was off-putting. Helms sure endeared himself to the crowd after the match, proclaiming that he’s “made millions, and y’all ain’t made jizz”. 

LOW KI vs DAVEY RICHARDS
-Colt Cabana on commentary did an incredible job of saying very, very nicely, “Low Ki was a dork who quit a great job at WWE”.
-I always knew Davey was short, but seeing him be shorter than both TJ Perkins and Low Ki on these convention shows really points it out.
-Incredible props to Cabana and Excalibur for referencing “Puttin’ on the Ritz” after Ki blocked a Davey dive.
-I’m sure it’s completely safe, but Davey’s running kick to the chest off of the apron spot looks incredibly painful (which is the point of wrestling, so congrats Davey!)
-Davey’s got wicked cameltoe going in his silver pants.
– I really don’t have a ton of match-related comments because, quite frankly, these dudes are having the EXACT match you’d imagine Low Ki and Davey Richards would have. Like, if TNM7 simulated this match for me, it’d go step-by-step like this.
-CRAZY spot where Davey went for his time bomb kick, but Ki reversed it with a double stomp to the knee.
-Ki wins with the Warrior’s Way double stomp after blocking Davey’s shooting star press. A good match, not great. If you like these dudes, you’ll dig the match, but it wasn’t the epic some would expect. 

JAKE “The Snake” ROBERTS vs SINN BODHI
-According to the opening video deal, Sinn came out on the shoulders of a giant with an exploding tie.
-Jake was ridiculously over in what’s billed as his retirement match, so much so that he shed a tear or two.
-This crowd is reacting very much like I’d imagine a Rocky Horror screening crowd would react like: they ignore the flaws and go nuts for the highspots that they know are coming.
-Jake obviously goes over with the DDT, then puts his snake down Bodhi’s pants.
-Shockingly low-key for the final match of a  guy retiring after the career Jake had. 

LEGENDS BATTLE ROYAL
-Bill Apter gets brought to the ring before the match, as I assume he’s doing the ring announcing. They have WEIRD ring steps; they look like the steps in a swimming pool.
-Nevermind; Gene Okerlund is doing the ring announcing. Ring announcer Jon Ian marking out is the moment of the show.
-Seriously, Gene Okerlund on a PWG show is weird in the best way possible.
-Paul Orndorff is #1 in the R…nevermind, he’s just walking out to say hi. Then, out of nowhere, the Iron Sheik literally wanders to ringside from out of the crowd and gets the biggest pop of the show thus far. Harley Race is also called out to say hi to everyone. There’s an amazing moment where Sheik wanders up to Race, goes “HEY KING!”, and Harley greets him with this incredulous look like he’s about ready to get mugged. Mr. Saito comes out, looking very handsome in his suit.
-Gene tried to explain the rules to this match like they were very complicated, but then just said, “If you throw the guy over the top to the floor…not the apron, but the floor, he’s gone. That’s it!”.
-Danny Davis is #1 and I already wish they would’ve just played the PWG song for every entrance or something instead of the overdub. Mike Graham is #2 and doesn’t look a day over  120. He probably invented PWG before the show.
-I’ve seen wrestlers with vertigo who scare me less running the ropes than senior citizen Mike Graham.
-Jimmy Hart is #3, and I’m popping for him reuniting with Danny Davis. This is perfect.
-Tito Santana is #4! ARRIBA! Tito is shockingly the first guy who wrestled regularly who’s wrestling in a t-shirt.
-Barry O is next out, looking absolutely ridiculous in Chucks, a grungy old band t-shirt, and baggy slack shorts. He also looks older than Stu Hart ever has…and I think I just saw his buttcrack.
-THE BARBARIAN IS SIXTH! Barbie is out in the Powers of Pain facepaint, which I adore. The dude’s just as huge as he was at the end of his WCW run. Mike Graham is the first man eliminated. He eliminated crappy over-the-top bumps.
-Rock Riddle is next, looking like the world’s most incredible old man. Sheiky’s still at ringside, wandering around like George Steele at Wrestlemania IV. A wishbone split from Santana and Barbarian on Davis got a “HOLY SH*T” chant from this crowd. Bless their hearts. You must buy the DVD just to see Rock Riddle’s ring gear. It’s like if Jimmy Snuka threw up on Jerry Lawler.
-Shane Douglas is next. If you squint a little when he locks up with Barry O, it’s like watching Raven wrestle Shane Douglas in 1996. Barry O REALLY needs to pull up his shorts, for the love of goodness.
-Warlord is out! POWERS OF PAIN! Barry O is out of the match! Warlord might be bigger than he was in 1990. Jimmy Hart eliminated himself when he saw Warlord. Shane Douglas tossed Barbarian before we could get much Powers of Pain action. I think there are buses smaller than Warlord. I enjoy everyone who hooks up with Warlord doing the exact same first spot, where they punch him, Warlord no-sells it, then they do the over-the-top “OH MY GOODNESS” face.
-Chavo Classic is next! His robe is as classic as his reputation! It sucks that Chavo Sr. has a bad rep, since I’m sure he could be the random old-man workhorse at any major indie if he chose to.
-Shane Helms is next, working full-blown heel. It must make you feel sad to be working a legends battle royal in your mid-30’s. Shane Douglas gets a big pop for taking out Helms with a series of Mick Foley punches in the corner.
-Cowboy Bob Orton is out WEARING THE CAST! Arm breaks are a beesting to fully heal, ya know. I can see where Randy Orton gets the height; his dad looks like the Great Khali in this match.
-CRUEL CONNECTION! Cruel Connection’s in the ring and Colt Cabana gets a “Revolting Blob” reference in!
-Mando Guerrero! We need the Rock ‘n’ Roll RPM’s out here, man! Rock Riddle just kicked Shane Douglas in the dongle!
-DEEEEEESPERADOOOOO! TERRY FUNK IS IN THE RING AND YOU CAN SEE THE CROWD GOING NUTS…but can’t hear it. Weird to see ECW nostalgia (Douglas fighting Funk) in one of these legends matches. Mando Guerrero is wearing a Chippendales vest.
-Savio freakin’ VEGA! Cruel Connection is gone! Savio’s wrestling in his old leather vest. Rock Riddle looks like the old lady from that Ma’s Roadhouse show.
-RODDY PIPER! The one thing I can say about Hot Rod is that his eyes are something you can’t teach. Roddy is an old fellow, but the look in his eyes still makes him seem tougher than any man alive. Vampiro just wandered into the ring for no reason.
-Val Venis is out with some lady, wearing a “I LOVE RATS” shirt. That might be douchier than “PG SUX”. Physically, Val seems like the one guy in this match who could still work a regular schedule and not be embarrassing.
-Riddle is gone, but TATANKA IS IN! Excalibur gets in a Ben reference, in regards to the horrible Rats shirt.
-Everyone in the match has made their entrance, so no more of that awful PWG song. Savio Vega throws better karate kicks than most guys half his age.
-Vampiro’s half-Bieber cut looks ridiculous, especially with the “small town karate instructor” look he has going.
-The final four are Vampiro, Douglas, Funk and Piper. Court Bauer’s smiling somewhere.
-Wait, Tatanka’s back in. Apparently, he didn’t go over the top. It blows my mind that someone can walk around in public in 2011 with Tatanka’s haircut.
-We’re down to Piper versus Funk! Funk’s bleeding like only a man can. Funk grabs the microphone and thanks all the dead wrestlers in Heaven. I’m serious. Funk then asks the crowd and Piper to join him in prayer for their fallen brothers. TERRY FUNK HIT PIPER WITH THE MICROPHONE! TERRY FUNK TURNED HEEL DURING PRAYER! This man is the heel of heels.
-These men are brawling in the crowd and Terry Funk brands PWG “the real ECW”.
-Piper’s coming back! This has turned into a boxing match! Funk misses! These men are having the most epic over-the-top rope struggle in wrestling history! PIPER WINS!
-This is the most fun I’ve had watching a pro wrestling match in a LONG time. It wasn’t the best match ever, but for goodness’ sake, it might’ve made me the happiest a match has made me in years. So many fantastic moments. If this is Terry Funk’s most recent retirement match, I think it’ll stick since he got to go out (even leaving ringside) as a heel, where he seems most comfortable. TEN STARS. 

CHRIS HERO vs KEVIN STEEN
-Kevin Steen looks more excited for this match than Charlie Haas has looked for anything in Ring of Honor, which is a high level of excitement.
-These two are going out to the crowd early, much like the luchadores earlier, but these two don’t seem nearly as reckless as the other match.
-Kevin Steen is a madman for doing a splash off of the scaffolding in an area of the building that maybe thirty fans could see.
-I’m not saying anything that most people haven’t said before, but Kevin Steen seems to be a much more fun wrestler to watch live than on DVD.
-Hero’s Pounce-style Yakuza kick looked gorgeous.
-Hot nearfall with Steen missing the moonsault, then being stomped in the back of the head before the roaring elbow.
-They’ve really gotten the crowd in the minute following that. They’ve gone nuts throwing out big moves, ending with an overhead suplex by Steen onto Hero’s head for a two-count.
-Hero goes over with the Cyclone Kill (rolling Yakuza kick). Solid match where they didn’t quite have the crowd where they should’ve been since they were nuts for Piper and Funk before them, but the finishing sequence really brought the match to a higher level. 

THE CUTLER BROTHERS (Brandon & Dustin) vs THE FIGHTIN’ TAYLOR BOYS (Brian Cage-Taylor & Ryan Taylor) vs THE YOUNG BUCKS (Nick & Matt Jackson) vs ROCKNES MONSTERS (Johnny Goodtime & Johnny Yuma)
-The winners got entry into the DDT4 tag team tournament in March.
-The Bucks made ring announcer Jon Ian announce them as “Jeremy & Max Buck, Generation Me”.
-These guys are literal constant motion. This match started at two-hundred miles per hour and just keeps moving.
-This type of match would drive me NUTS if I were a referee. The double-teams look super-pretty and all, but they kind of dump on the referee’s authority by ignoring the five-count.
-Excalibur flat-out says on commentary, “There’s eight spots for DDT4; some of the losing teams might get in.”
-They bust out an old favorite: the “everyone puts everyone else in headscissors, then one guy turns them all over in a Boston Crab” spot.
-In terms of the crispness of his moves and motion, Johnny Goodtime might be the most improved PWG regular in the past year.
-The RockNES Monsters win with a DVD from Goodtime to Yuma off of the top, onto both Fightin’ Taylor Boys.
-If you like scrambles, this is your deal. If you hate this style, skip it. Personally, it was a little exhausting almost three hours into this show, when we’ve seen EVERYTHING under the sun, but it wasn’t a bad match. In terms of the multi-person PWG spot matches, I preferred the opener, though. Like I said above, Goodtime stands out as being much improved from this point a year ago.
-After the match, Kevin Steen cuts a promo and lays out the RockNES Monsters to set up his entry into DDT4.

PWG World Title: CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI (C) vs EL GENERICO
-I meant to say this last week, but either Generico’s put on size or his new gear makes him look thicker.
-Generico’s never been called a short man, but it’s weird to see how tall he is compared to 6’5 Claudio. There’s not too much difference in height.
-They did a satellite headscissors spot early on that I’m sure is as difficult as anything, but these two are so good that it looked as easy as picking your rear.
-GREAT spot where Claudio caught Generico on a pescado (dive over the top) and turned it into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on the apron.
-I love the approach these two are taking, where they’re slowing things down and making the audience come to them after how brutal and crazy the matches prior to it were. They’re not being lazy (in fact, there’s lots of action, just paced out), but they’re making sure the audience gets that this big, strong muscleman is trying to take out the leg of this plucky high-flier and is using his power to cut off his opponent’s legs and speed.
-Claudio Castagnoli is a BEAST. I understand that Generico jumped, but it still has to take some strength to chokeslam a dude as you come to your feet from one knee.
-Generico might have the best top rope bodypress in wrestling.
-Claudio’s deadlift German is FREAKY. He lifted Generico up like he weighed ten pounds.
-MY GOODNESS, the Pop-UP European. My goodness.
-I was worried that the crowd wasn’t coming up for the big finishing stretch, but between that European uppercut and the Code Red, they shut up my fears big-time.
-Claudio’s bump for the top rope hurricanrana reversal was incredible. It was literally like he was shot out of a cannon.
-Claudio wins via submission with a STRETCH MUFFLER GIANT SWING. For real.
-Not quite as good as either man’s matches at the ROH show the night before, but more than enough to top off a really good night of wrestling.
-Joey Ryan hit the ring after the match and put his bodyscissors Kimura on Claudio to build heat for their match (which is happening this Saturday at “Winning” in Reseda, CA). They set up Kings of Wrestling versus Joey Ryan and a partner for the DDT4 tournament.

Overall, it’s up there with the Chikara Creatures from the Tar Swamp show I reviewed on Saturday, in terms of the best shows I’ve seen since I started this feature. My only complaint is the length (the DVD comes in at just under three and a half hours), but most sane people would watch this in chunks and that wouldn’t be an issue.

Thanks for joining us again for LIVE BLOG! Come back next Tuesday night at 6:00 PM EST and let’s do it again like we did last summer!

-TOM.
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4 Comments
  1. Alan permalink

    in for some fun with Sugar Shane

  2. Alan permalink

    dude you need to put over more just how much Yuma got DESTROYED by Steen!

    I just watched it and freaked out.

  3. It was pretty nutso, but I’m used to seeing how ridiculous he used to murder guys like Kenny the Bastard with that move, so I might be too cynical.

    -TOM.

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