Sunday, April 3, 2011

PWG Kurt Russellreunion 2011: Random DVD Review Series #27

Wrestlereunion has started a new tradition every January in Los Angeles: a ROH show on Friday and a PWG show on Saturday. This year’s Wrestlereunion featured the great ROH SoCal Showdown II and the even better Kurt Russellreunion II: The Reunioning! Last year, PWG brought in big names like RVD, Jushin Liger, and the Great Muta, but this year they instead emphasized PWG talent in the main matches. While there was obviously the legends matches, including the supposed Jake Roberts retirement match, the real reasons to buy this show are the three big time PWG showdowns: Davey Richards vs. (the returning) Low Ki, Kevin Steen vs. Chris Hero, and El Generico challenging Claudio Castagnoli for the PWG World Title. Those three matches, plus the interaction between Terry Funk and Roddy Piper carry this show to be an early front runner for Best Show of the Year.

Match Ratings

The Goodie 8 Shoes (Willie Mack, Brandon Gatson, Cedric Alexander & Candice LeRae) vs. The Jerks (Jake Manning, Caleb Konley, Peter Avalon, & ODB): **1/4… The groups were named about half way through the match by Excalibur and Colt Cabana (who were on commentary for the whole show)…a fun opener that the crowd very much enjoyed …Mack has the charisma of a dozen men…Alexander has got great athleticism, and he seemed much more at home in PWG than he has ever in ROH…Gatson also showed a lot more personality here than I have ever seen in the past…The Manscout is the most fantastic indyriffic gimmick ever

Essa Rios vs. Rey Bucanero: **1/2…Rios did the exact same flip dive spot I saw him do on Samoa Joe once on Sunday Night Heat (look it up on youtube)…Rios actually did three sommersault dives in the match…fun enough for an undercard match…the end was unintentionally hilarious: Rios did the most elaborate rope walking flipping sequence, which he botched 3-4 times, before he finally just Finlayed rolled Bucanero to the corner before he did a moonsault for the win

Joey Ryan vs. Shane Helms: **1/2…Helms’ presence caused “HBK” and “SHUT THE FUCK UP” chants to erupt from the crowd…by the end of the opening promos, the crowd was begging Joey to kick the shit out of Helms (so way to go guys!)…Helms had put on a few lbs since he got fired…match was strange in that Ryan worked heel and Helms worked face; I would have expected the opposite based on the pre-match promos…I’m guessing PWG wanted to maintain Ryan’s long term status as heel instead of thinking only in the short term by having him work face… a fun heel vs heel match though

Low Ki vs. Davey Richards: ****1/4…Expectations were high for this match…these two have officially set the standard for how to do a deliberate, yet incredibly exciting professional wrestling match…basically, these two managed to have a great match without ruining the crowd for the other wrestlers…the story of the match was simple: Davey was the new standard for independent pro wrestling, but Ki was able to stay in the match long enough and eventually prove that he is still one of the best wrestlers in the world…also, this may have been one of stiffest matches in recent memory; these two were kicking the shit out of each other

Jake Roberts vs. Kizarney: *…Jake started to cry after the ‘Thank You Jake!” chants at the beginning of the match…short, sweet and to the point…I enjoyed this…after the match, Jake shoved his snake down Kizarney’s pants (boy does that read wrong)…no speech?...real good first half of the show, and nice moment for Jake to end his in-ring career on

Roddy Piper last eliminated Terry Funk to win Legends WrestleRoyal (Royal Rumble): ***…also in the match were (the order of elimination is in brackets) Danny Davis[6], Mike Graham[1], Jimmy Hart[4], Tito Santana[2], Barry Orton[3], Barbarian[5], Rock Riddle[10], Shane Douglas[18], The Warlord[9], Chavo Guerrero Sr.[15] , Shane Helms[8], Savio Vega[12], Bob Orton[13], Mando Guerrero[11], Cruel Connection[7], Terry Funk[19], Vampiro[17], Val Venis[14], Tatanka[1]…Mene Gene Okerlund was the announcer…Harley Race, Masa Saito, Paul Orndoff and Iron Sheik were out before the match…the standard PWG DVD music played during the entrances (which was a real buzzkill but can you do?)… the action was kind of sad for a long time but it got awesome towards the end when Vampiro and the Franchise teamed up against Funk and Hot Rod…the Funker did a great turn when he lured Piper into a prayer for all their deceased brothers…the end of the match with Piper vs Funk absolutely made the match awesome….a truly special moment there at the end…it should be noted that the DVD music playing instead of the ring entrances really harmed the match

Chris Hero vs. Kevin Steen: ****1/4…Fantastic match here…Steen worked Hero over most of the way but it was never boring…Hero is such a great heel that I forget he can make an awesome babyface comeback…if you want to see how the PWG crowd can make a good match great, check out this match

RockNES Monsters (Johnny Yuma & Johnny Goodtime) vs. Young Bucks vs. Cutler Bros. vs. Fightin’ Taylor Boys (Ryan Taylor & Brian Cage-Taylor): ***3/4… Winners got the #1 slot of DDT4 2011…the Bucks did their usual stick where they announce themselves as TNA’s biggest superstars, GenerationMe…match was a crazy collection of spots and convoluted double team moves…the Taylor boys ate the pin, which makes sense since they were only team here not to get into DDT4 2011…Steen attacked the RockNES Monsters after the match, and declared himself the second entrant into DDT4 2011…he would later form a team with Akira Tozawa, named ‘The Alan4L Miracle Murder Mystery Hour Fighter Dudes with Balls’

Claudio Castagnoli© vs. El Generico (PWG Title): ****1/4…Excellent first title defense for Claudio…these two have had incredible chemistry for a long time, so it is no surprise that these guys had a great match…it was made all the more impressive because this was the main event of a 5 hour night of wrestling for the crowd, but the crowd was totally emotionally invested…after the match, Joey Ryan came out applied his new full body kimura to Claudio…Joey is getting the next title shot at WINNING, but he cut a shitty promo to set up that match…Claudio completely ran him down afterwards on the mic and made Joey seem like a joke

Overall DVD thoughts: buy this damn DVD right now; if you ever wanted to get started with PWG, this would be an excellent start…bring on DDT4 2011

This DVD can be bought here:

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