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Pro Wrestling Guerrilla EIGHT 7/23/11 – Complete Results & Review of PWG’s Anniversary Show!

by on July 24, 2011

Thanks to our buddy Erik Barnes over on the F4WON Board for an excellent analysis and review of last night’s big Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show celebrating eight years of being one of the best independent pro wrestling companies in the world. Click below to see the full results!

Excalibur welcomes us and explains that Davey Richards is in the hospital with a staph infection and will not be performing tonight. This brings a chorus of boos from folks that don’t take a man’s health into consideration. He explains that the main event shall be a rematch between Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero for the PWG title. The crowd gives a polite but tepid response by PWG standards. The crowd was eager to be entertained, but were deflated and it wasn’t as hot as it usually is.

PAC vs. Kevin Steen – Match starts with some comedy with Steen reacting to Pac’s cut and buff physique. After Pac flexes, Steen runs to the back and grabs an arm band to make his bicep look bigger. More comedy spots featuring tests of strength and Steen playing off the crowd. Match starts to get serious with Pac’s high flying spots and a big spot with Steen hitting a hangman DDT. Pac attempts a shooting star press but Pac lands on Steen’s knees. Steen clamps on a small package for the pin. The match was a fun opener but disappointing for those who were expecting the two to try to top their previous battle.

Brian Cage-Taylor vs. Brandon Gatson – Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Crowd shouted a little “GET YOUR SHIT IN” chant.Both guys were trying hard, but really needed to slow the pace down and no rush through their spots… except for a double count out tease that went way too long. Cage sloppily hits his Gory Special-esque flatliner for the pin. Good effort, but really poorly executed.

Alex Shelley and Roderick Strong vs. El Generico and Ricochet – Pretty good tag match. Match starts with slow matwork and Generation Next playing the heel role. Heels get the heat with Roddy chopping the fuck out of Ricochet while Shelley stretches him while talking smack to Generico. ‘Chet hits a double Pele` kick onto his opponents for the hot tag. Ricochet counters a brainbuster attempt by Strong into a hurricanrana. Genericochet runs wild with Generico hitting big boots and hitting a brainbuster. Ricochet, much to Generico’s chagrin, attempts and misses a Phoenix splash which allows Roddy to hit a sick suplex-to-backbreaker combo on him for the pin. Fine tag action. After the match, Generico and Ricochet argue. “RING THE BELL – RING THE BELL!” chants occur. Ricochet just spits on Generico and leaves.

Peter Avalon vs. Ryan Taylor (Unofficial Booker T Appreciation Match) – The crowd cheers for Peter because he’s the smaller of the two heels. Match is a sloppy, but not as much as Cage vs. Gatson. The crowd asks for a Spinnerooni for some reason and both men oblige simultaneously. Both fail but the crowds appreciates it. The guys proceed to sprinkle Bookerisms into their match with side kicks and Taylor hitting a Bookend on Avalon. Peter gets a chair from the outside and attempts to hit Taylor, but Cage shows up and grabs it. A miscommunication occurs between Taylor and Cage which allows Avalon to hit a schoolboy from behind for the pin. The Fighting Taylor Boys argue and tease dissension. We’re two for two in the bickering partners department.

INTERMISSION

The Dynasty vs. The RockNES Monsters – The match starts and has a lot of crowd brawling. I don’t think there were any tags and it was just a tornado spotfest. The Dynasty hits their superkick/cutter combo but the Young Bucks interfere and distract the Dynasty. RockNES take the opening and hit their tag finisher for the pin. The Dynasty bicker a little bit (making it 3 for 3 in a row which made me look to see if Vince Russo was in the crowd) and Sky grabs the mic and says, “Young Bucks, we coming for you, nigga!” Thus making this entire show a weird tribute to Booker T.

Kevin Steen and CIMA vs. The Young Bucks – Match is fun with CIMA picking up Steen and bodyslamming him onto a Buck which the crowd loved. SteeMA then gave the Bucks a series of biting spots. Many hard hits and spots, including a Hangman 450 by the Bucks and a package piledriver and flying double knee combo by SteeMA. Match ends when Steen locks on a sharpshooter and CIMA hits a double knee from the top rope for the submission. The Bucks remind the crowd that the match was non-title and that they want better competition. They think about asking for their jobs back in TNA to fight tough teams like Eric Young and Sharkboy. Steen runs them off. CIMA grabs the mic, thanks the crowd, and plugs the DGUSA show that’ll be in Los Angeles for Wrestlereunion in January. The Bucks left one of the tag belts behind, so Steen holds it hostage. Best match of the night.

PWG World Title Match: Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli (c) – First things first, they run and test ropes so they don’t break like their last match. Lots of methodical, Euro-style matwork at the start for over five minutes. Claudio then cracks Hero’s wrist, then the kid gloves are off. Strike battles occur in-ring then the outside. Claudio then works Hero’s knee for several minutes with a figure four leglock, single leg crab, and the Stretch Muffler/Brock Lock. The crowd is getting tired and is going through the motions with polite applause. It feels like they are taking what is usually the first 10 minutes of a 5 star classic and trying to stretch it to 20 minutes. We go to a slow strike battle with some hard hits. The crowd appreciates the effort, but is really ready for a finish. Hero hits a sick Rolling Boot but Claudio kicks out and clamps on the Stretch Muffler/Brock Lock again for the submission. The match fell way short from their performance last month which is sad since last month’s match had a broken top rope.

Hero leaves the ring and Steen appears. Steen mentions that based on his two wins tonight, PWG has granted him a title shot and he could get it next month but since he already wrestled twice why not go for a hat trick. He wants his shot NOW. The crowd loves the idea. Claudio… declines.

Steen then thanks the crowd as Claudio leaves… but then Claudio comes back and clobbers Steen from behind. Claudio demands the bell to ring. THE MATCH IS ON.

PWG World Title: Kevin Steen vs. Claudio Castagnoli (c) – Claudio beats on Steen, but Steen counters and clamps on a sharpshooter. Claudio taps but there is still no referee. The Young Bucks show up and superkick Steen causing him to release the hold. The Dynasty shows up, beats on the Bucks, and both teams run off. Claudio pins Steen but there is still no referee. The referee runs in and it’s a two count. A quick exchange and a package piledriver later, WE HAVE A NEW PWG CHAMPION! Kevin Steen takes his title and crowd cheers for him. A giant “THANK YOU, STEEN!” then a “THANK YOU, CLAUDIO!” chant then a “KINGS OF WRESTLING!” chant as Hero comes back to help Claudio to the back. Excalibur personally thanks the Kings of Wrestling for all their effort and time in PWG (foreshadowing their possible upcoming WWE run), thanks Kevin Steen, and thanks the fans for 8 great years.

So you guys pretty much predicted the final outcome of the show and I haven’t seen such a turnaround in a crowd. If the show ended with just Claudio winning, the crowd would have ended tepid instead of hot. Overall, this show was not one of PWG’s best and aside from the Steen/CIMA vs. Bucks match, it’s pretty skippable. It was fun, but if you’re pressed for cash save your cash for both nights of ASW8 and DDT4. Bumped into fettman and Todd Martin at the show. Fine gentlemen.

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