1/29 Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Kurt RussellReunion 3 – Detailed live report of Kevin Steen, Super Dragon and Akira Tozawa vs. El Generico, PAC and Masato Yoshino plus other great matches
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla presents Kurt RussellReunion 3
Los Angeles, California
Report by Dot Net staffer Will Pruett
There were about 450-550 people in the ballroom for the PWG show. This surprised me a little bit considering it was a matinee show on the day of the Royal Rumble. The normally vocal PWG crowd was a little subdued for the entire show. This could be because it was the third wrestling show in as many days or because the WrestleReunion setup creates a little more distance from the crowd that PWG fans are accustomed to. Another reason for the silence, a large portion of the crowd was hung over.
The show began with Sal, one of the convention officials, introducing the show and thanking PWG for their consistent presence at WrestleReunion. He said that PWG is the main reason that they come out to the West Coast.
Excalibur, the PWG authority figure and lead commentator was out next. He discussed the lack of recycling at the LAX Westin, and also mentioned that the hotel has banned streamer tossing as well.
Pruett’s Pause: Odd as it may sound, the show suffered from a lack of streamer tossing. It is a level of crowd interaction that PWG tends to bring that was missing here.
Excalibur also announced that Eddie Edwards was out due to travel complications. He was replaced by Harry Smith.
Pruett’s Pause: The general consensus at the convention was that at the Saturday night show, which I was unable to attend, Davey Richards and Harry Smith stole the show. Thus why he was elected as a suitable replacement and why the crowd was into it.
1. Brian Cage Taylor and Ryan Taylor defeated Famous B and Chris Kadilak. This was a suitable opener, but not much more. It broke down the way tag matches on the independent scene often do with a lot of outside dives and major risks. The fans were more into the Taylors (who were working more like heels) than Famous B and Kadilak. The match ended with the Taylors hitting a two man Canadian Destroyer type maneuver on Famous B.
2. Jimmy Susumu defeated BxB Hulk. This match really suffered early on from the crowd’s silence. They went for a few back and forth exchanges and no one bought in. Things picked up as the match went on with some past paced action from both men. Down the stretch, this match was really good and the last few minutes should not be missed. Jimmy Susumu won the match with the Double-arm face-buster (Kharma’s finishing maneuver) in about 15 minutes.
3. The Young Bucks defeated Davey Richards and Harry Smith (a/k/a David Hart Smith). Davey Richards cut a promo before the match introducing Harry Smith and stating that he was inspired by the British Bulldogs. Smith entered to Bret Hart’s theme music, but was called “Bulldog” by Richards.
This match was really fun with Davey playing the babyface in peril leading up to big tags to Smith. Smith did not do much in the match, but had some notable moments including a 37 second delayed vertical suplex that was pretty neat. In the end the Bucks were able to get Smith out of the ring, hit More Bang for Your Buck on Richards and get the win in about 20 minutes. This was a good match that shows how good Smith is when used well.
4. Willie Mack defeated Naruki Doi. This was an interesting clash of styles. Willie Mack tends to be a high flying big man, but he had to play more of a power base (which is more fitting to his body type) against the smaller Naruki Doi. Doi was playing heel to the crowd, but it did not really lead to him getting more heat.
This was a fairly fast match with the occasional restful moment. Mack won the match with an impressive sit-out powerbomb out of a slam position.
5. Candace LaRae, B Boy, Cedric Alexander, and Mascarita Dorada defeated Joey Ryan, Peter Avalon, Ray Rosas, and DEMUS 316. This match had a lot of good and a lot of bad. First of all, I hate the man on woman matches that Candace LaRae is often involved in. Her feud with Joey Ryan focuses on borderline rape in the ring and the fans glorification of it is embarrassing for wrestling and humanity in general.
The good in this match came from Mascarita Dorada. He is a mini Luchador and is absolutely phenomenal. From his super hero look to his fast-paced and spectacular moveset, the crowd loved him. He provided a sense of electricity to the match that was quite exciting.
6. RockNES Monsters (Johnny Goodtime and Johnny Yuma) defeated Blood Warriors (CIMA and Ricochet). CIMA and Ricochet are surprisingly funny in a snarky way. This match was a nice mix of comedy and serious wrestling. It was much better than the opening tag match. There were quite a few highspots from both teams and they worked to bring the fans back from intermission with a strong performance.
This match did break down into a series of spots and double teams, but it was entertaining so there is nothing to complain about on that front.
7. Masaaki Mochizuki beat Roderick Strong. I’m fairly sure that the wrestler playing babyface in this match was Roderick Strong. He was beat down for most of the match with Mochizuki working on his knee. This match did not exactly cut the pace of other matches on the show, but it did tell a pretty good story with Strong’s knee being hurt and him attempting to overcome. The finish came after Mochizuki hit a major series of kicks (better than most Davey Richards kick segments) that Strong could not overcome.
It was announced that the next PWG show will take place on March 17 at the American Legion Hall.
8. El Generico, PAC, and Masato Yoshino defeated Kevin Steen, Super Dragon, and Akira Tozawa in the six-man main event. Kevin Steen took advantage of the fans being relatively quiet by commentating on his own match from the corner (not officially) and cracking up the crowd.
There was something odd about this match, however. Both Kevin Steen and El Generico are babyfaces, but they absolutely hate each other. This meant that both teams were wrestling babyface and the fans were fairly confused about whom to cheer for. They seemed to like Kevin Steen more, but I don’t see Generico working heel in the future either. This is just an interesting conundrum that PWG will have to conquer this year.
This match was chaos from the beginning with Super Dragon wanting to get his hands on El Generico early and often. It eventually broke down into a major brawl at ringside that saw all six men pair off and go to different portions of the ringside area. This was some fun chaos. Tozawa continued his relationship with PWG fans and impressed in this one as well.
Not enough can be said about Yoshino’s speed. The man can run the ropes faster than I have ever seen and executes his moves with crispness and agility. He worked well with Dragon and Steen creating movement for the larger wrestlers.
The finish in this match came when El Generico hit a top turnbuckle brain-buster on Akira Tozawa followed by PAC hitting what looked to be a 720 splash then following up with a pin. This was a very good match that continued the trend of greatness that PWG has been on.
After the match, Super Dragon attempted to shake hands with El Generico, but Generico refused. He shook hands with PAC and Yoshino, but Generico still refused to shake his hand. Dragon then left the ring in a rather dismayed fashion. Steen and Tozawa followed him and PAC, Generico and Yoshino celebrated their victory.
Pruett’s Pause: This show was really solid and really enjoyable. My one complaint is that I don’t feel like it moved many stories forward, nor did it deliver a hook for people to drive to Reseda on March 17. They can easily book matches to get fans in the building, but they missed an opportunity to really move their stories forward.
Aside from the lack of storyline advancement, this was a fantastic show that will be worth seeing for the wrestling quality alone. I highly recommend it. Overall, I would grade the show a solid B with some very fun action. It was a great afternoon of wrestling.
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