PWG Mystery Vortex DVD review: Adam Cole challenges Kevin Steen in Guerilla Warfare for the PWG Championship, Joey Ryan's farewell, Young Bucks vs. DojoBros, Smash Bros. vs. RockNES Monsters, El Generico vs. Rich Swann
By Zack Zimmerman
PWG Mystery Vortex DVD
Taped Dec. 1, 2012
Reseda, California at American Legion Post 308
DVD's available for purchase at Prowrestlingguerrilla.com
The Liaison to the Board of Directors, Excalibur handled the commentary for the show as usual. PWG Champion Kevin Steen joined for the first and second match.
1. The Young Bucks (Nick and Matt Jackson) vs. DojoBros (Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong). A main event quality opener. Kevin Steen pointed out that PWG is the only promotion where you can look around at the fans and see constant smiles of enjoyment for the quality of wrestling. The action in this match gave plenty to smile about. It opened up with some funny exchanges before breaking down into a hard-hitting back and forth tag team spectacle.
The Dojo Bros were in their formative stages, but were already a well oiled machine and employed some of the most innovative team offense I’ve seen in a while. The Bucks were near-flawless as usual and had the crowd completely split with dueling “Let’s go Young Bucks” – “F*ck the Young Bucks” chants. The finish came when the Dojo Bros hit a doube-stomp/Dominator combination for the pinfall on Matt. Impressive victory for the new team of Edwards and Strong against the most dominant team in PWG history...
DojoBros defeated The Young Bucks in 14:00.
2. Drake Younger vs. Sami Callihan. This was match number one in their best of three series for a shot at the PWG Championship. First time matchup in PWG, but the two have a history in CZW (so I hear). It was certainly an exciting match, but was far from a sustainable style of wrestling. I respect Drake Younger’s desire to take the fans breath away, but I’m not a fan of his style. He gets over by damaging himself more than his opponent. He throws non-worked headbutts and is willing to take some of the stiffest, riskiest, and most reckless bumps of any performer I’ve ever seen. Sami got the match to slow down and worked a submission-based offense that built anticipation and told a story.
At one point, Callihan hit rolling German Suplexes. On the Third, Steen joked that Kurt Angle was parked on a median somewhere writing an angry, drunken Tweet about it. On the seventh and final, Steen cracked “Same amount of Somas Kurt Angle just ingested.” Hilariously inappropriate comments from the most entertaining announce duo in wrestling. There aren’t many more devastating looking moves than the vertebreaker and these two vitually no-sold it in this match, ugh. The finish came when Sami hooked in the Stretch Muffler and grapevined the legs, forcing Younger to tap...
Sami Callihan defeated Drake Younger in 17:00.
Adam Cole came to the ring with a microphone and Kevin Steen’s PWG Championship, which Cole Stole at BOLA. He cut a heel promo as the ‘Panama City Playboy’ and said that his name was the one on the marquee tonight. He said that he’s the future of wrestling and the best thing going today and to anyone who questions that, “...well my answer to you is #SuckMyDick.” He offered for anyone with a problem to come out and shut him up.
Kevin Steen made his way towards the curtain from the announce table and appeared as though he had nothing to say. Cole called Steen a chickenshit, which got Steen to respond. He said that this is where he’s supposed to bury Cole after what happened at BOLA and for stealing his belt. Cole kept cocking off until Steen announced that “he has some pull around here” and their match for the PWG Championship, would be Guerilla Warfare. Cole dropped the mic and fell flat on his ass as a look of concern swept across his face for the first time. He sold shock and fear as he cradled the stolen Championship belt and headed to the back...
Senior referee Rick Knox was out on commentary with Excalibur for the next three matches.
3. PWG Tag Team Champions Super Smash Bros. (Player Uno and Stupefied) vs. RockNES Monsters (Johnny Yuma and Johnny Goodtime) for the PWG Tag Team Championships. As the ref raised the mutilated title belts, Excalibur noted that the return of the Tag Team Champions brings the return of the ugliest belts in professional wrestling. The Monsters looked to jump the SSB from behind, but they pulled a wrench and a sledgehammer out of nowhere and fended off the heels. Funny. The comic timing of all the talents involved, along with their astounding athletic abilities and teamwork made this a wildly entertaining match.
The Smash Bros. have some of the most crowd-pleasing double team spots in wrestling and the Monsters are consistently impressive as well. New tag champs were almost crowned when Goodtime trimmed his beard at ringside and blew the clippings into Dos’s face, blinding him and allowing Yuma to get the near fall on a roll-up. Outrageously innovative and funny. The finish came right after, when Uno clocked Yuma with the Falcon Punch and they hit him with Fatality...
Super Smash Bros. defeated RockNES Monsters in 15 minutes to retain the PWG Tag Team Championships.
4. Scorpio Sky vs. Joey Ryan. The match opened with Sky on the turnbuckles and the crowd attacking him with relentless “Harold!” chants, mocking his appearances in WWE’s anger management skits. Joey Ryan got the big-time streamer treatment as a sign of respect and appreciation for one of PWG’s founding fathers. This was his final PWG match, as Excalibur explained, because TNA’s TV deal prohibits contracted talents from appearing on other promotions PPVs, iPPVs, or DVDs.
This match was much better than expected. That is in no way a reflection of the talent, but was a preconceived concern that TNA would have Ryan work a safer match like he gave at Failure to Communicate. If he was given any restrictions in this one, he certainly stretched them much to the benefit of this match. It wasn’t either man’s best by any means, but the two know each other so definitely and work as well against each other as any two guys in the business.
The high spot of the match was rather scary as Joey hit the Mustache Ride from the apron into the first row of seats. Yikes. They reenacted the finish to Michaels/Flair from Wrestlemania 24 only to have the would-be Ric Flair, Joey Ryan, hit the Superkick first for a great near fall. Shortly thereafter, Sky hit a spike reverse hurricanrana followed up with a kick to the head and a TKO for the 1-2-3.
Scorpio Sky defeated Joey Ryan in 11:00.
Joey Ryan got the mic and said that he’s waited these ten years “to tell each and every one of you... that you can go f--- yourselves.” He feigned walking away before cracking a smile and picking the mic back up as the fans self deprecated with a “F--- ourselves” chant. Funny. Joey explained TNA’s TV deal before bringing the topic back to PWG. He said that when PWG needed a character, he gave them a character. When they needed a reliable champion, he delivered a 13 month title reign that he’s proud of. When they needed a tag guy, he had the Dynasty.
He said he won BOLA, main-evented with Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, wrestled comedy matches with Candice LeRae, and worked openers with the local guys. He wrapped up by saying that PWG is his family and he’ll attend every show that he’s able to even if Excalibur won’t comp him a ticket because it’s the best wrestling anywhere. “Since it’s my last night... by a show of hands, how many ladies out there are willing to give me a blowjob tonight?” He asked. Classic. He then closed with the line of the night, “Don’t worry PWG, once you turn 16, Joey Ryan will be back.” Way to end with an absolute gem.
Excalibur got in the ring and simply instructed Joey “You go to Orlando. You take all their f---ing money. And you come back.” The fans chanted “Thank you Joey” and “mustache ride” as Joey made one final lap around the ring...
5. B-Boy vs. Brian Cage vs. Willie Mack vs. TJ Perkins. Sudden death in this matchup, no eliminations. Willie Mack took out Cage with a dropkick to the outside during ring intros for a hot start to a fast-paced four-way. A lot of the match was spent in one on one exchanges with two men laying out, but TJP set up several intricate and innovative multiple man spots. He is a technical wizard, a young ring general, and truly a wonder to watch. Cage showed his beastly power when rather than catching a diving opponent in a cross body position, he caught TJP in vertical suplex position before setting him down, grabbing B-Boy with the other arm, and suplexing both men. Awesome spot.
Willie does his standing moonsault in every match, but it’s never any less impressive or sloppy. The surprising agility is only a compliment to his significant strength which allowed him to hit the Chocolate Thunder Bomb on the larger Cage for a near fall. Good finish to this match, when TJP had Cage in an STF but Willie Mack scooped up B-Boy and planted him with the Chocolate Thunder Driver for the quick pinfall...
Willie Mack defeated B-Boy, Brian Cage, and TJ Perkins in 13:00.
Joey Ryan was out to join Excalibur on commentary for the remainder of the show. Strange, considering Excalibur stated that TNA had prohibited Ryan from doing any commentary on the Failure to Communicate DVD.
6. El Generico vs. Rich Swann. Solid match. In an interesting change from the norm, Generico was the larger man in the match and worked a slightly rudo style. Excalibur pointed out that Swann had impressed in his debut with Roderick Strong and earned himself another shot in PWG. Much like in his debut, Swann was the underdog who occasionally took the momentum but maximized on the opportunities he had. Swann has shown that he is a charismatic aerial wrestler who continues to grow and improve.
Swann reversed a powerbomb attempt by Generico into a huge hurricanrana for a near fall that the crowd completely bought as the upset finish. He continued to show great heart and got another near fall late in the match on a back-handspring Ace Crusher. After Generico reversed the Five-Star Swann Splash attempt, he went to his old bag of tricks and broke out the double-pumphandle Orange Crush Bomb which proved to be enough to put away the young rising star...
El Generico defeated Rich Swann in 15:00.
7. PWG Tag Team Champions Super Smash Bros (Player Uno and Stupefied). vs. DojoBros (Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong) in a non title match. Double duty for both victorious teams on the card, impressive. Edwards and Strong took the fight to the SSB during the ring introductions and stayed in control for the majority of the match. They were relentless with stiff chops and strong strikes throughout, targeting Uno and keeping Dos on the apron and at ringside. Dos finally got the hot tag and brought the crowd to their feet with exhilarating offence, getting the SSB right back in the match.
Edwards and Strong continued to show that they are the most dangerous new tag team with vicious and seamless double teams at every turn. Around the tem minute mark, Edwards nailed each of the Smash Bros. with brutal looking diving double stomps while they were lying on the apron. With Uno out at ringside, Roderick threw Dos up and dropped him down with a huge End of Heartache backbreaker which Edwards swiftly followed with another diving double stomp for the victory.
DojoBros defeated Super Smash Bros. in 12:00.
In one night, the DojoBros defeated the Young Bucks and the Tag Team Champion Super Smash Brothers. There isn’t a better way to establish a great new team as a legitimate threat than was displayed on this show...
8. PWG Champion Kevin Steen vs. Adam Cole in a Guerrilla Warfare match for the PWG World Championship. Very much a match geared toward the style of wrestling adopted by Kevin Steen in recent years, which I’m not particularly fond of. It was an impressive spectacle nonetheless, and many fans probably will like this match more than I did. No championship intros here as the fight started once Steen entered the ring. Action was all around ringside for the first five minutes before Steen filled the ring with weapons. Steen’s offense, as it often does, consisted of spitting, kissing, and slamming his opponent into things.
The two men traded near falls after Steen hit Cole with the F-Cinq on a ladder, and when Cole hit the Panama City Destroyer on Steen. Then, Adam Cole proved that Kevin Steen isn’t the only one who stacks things on top of other things to slam people through. He constructed a pyramid with seven open chairs and two folded ones, topped off with an upside-down open chair, legs up.
They ascended the top rope, but Steen reversed and drove Cole through the mountain of chairs with a fisherman’s driver. This is the type of thing that Steen has relied on as of late, and has really turned me off of his work. Reckless spot that got the desired ‘wow factor’ at the risk of two top performers. As it turns out, that wasn’t even the finish. Cole kicked out at two. Unbelievable. Joey Ryan stated “This mach is why I’m leaving.”
Kevin Steen made his way through the crowd towards the announce table and retrieved a pitcher full of thumbtacks which he had apparently brought out with him earlier in the night. He scattered them across the mat and looked to hit the F-Cinq, but Cole escaped. He drove Steen into the tacks with a German Suplex, hit a Superkick, and finished with the Florida Key for the clean upset victory. A handful of fans cheered while many more booed with shock and disdain.
Adam Cole defeated Kevin Steen in 23:00 to win the PWG World Championship.
Cole clutched his rightfully won title and took off as the fans chanted for “Mr. Wrestling” in support of the former champ. Excalibur thanked Joey Ryan one final time on commentary and signed off...
Overall: This was a good show by any measure, but I personally enjoyed Failure to Communicate more. That’s not to take away anything from this card. It featured a long main event that many viewers will probably rave about, three great tag team contests and the emergence of a new force in the division, and an emotional and well done sendoff for Joey Ryan.
The things that detracted from this show for me, included the fact that the longest two matches both were worked in a style that isn’t entertaining to me. I thought Callihan vs. Younger featured some dangerous risky bumps and unprotected impacts. I also dislike the Kevin Steen formula of stacking things on top of other things and slamming his opponent through it, especially when his moniker is “Mr. Wrestling.”
This, as are most - if not all – PWG DVDs, was a quality release that featured high impact, fast paced, and thoroughly entertaining wrestling. Definitely gives its money’s worth. I can’t really envision someone disliking this show more than I did, and that’s certainly not a bad thing. So check out this most recent release in time for or in addition to the upcoming DDT4 DVD and catch up on the greatness that is Pro Wrestling Guerrilla!
Thanks for reading along. Please throw any comments, questions, criticisms, or corrections @zzimm22
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