For the first time since early 2008, PWG produced an All-Star Weekend event. PWG brought in some of the best wrestling talent from North America to put on a crazy pair of shows. The main theme of the two shows was that it was going to be Akira Tozawa's last pair of PWG shows on his America excursion. While Tozawa primarily competed for DGUSA, his most passionate fan base lied in PWG. Tozawa gave it his all in every single one of his matches in PWG and the fans loved him for it.
Additional reading materials related to the weekend:
My Preview of the weekend
My Interview with Johnny Yuma before the weekend
Here is a Live Report of the Event
Kevin Steen vs. Willie Mack: ***3/4...Steen got himself in much better shape at this point (compared to the end of 2010)...both guys are obviously fan favorites, so the atmosphere is quite great...the beginning of the match was a lively feeling-out process...eventually, the two settled into a energetic back-n-forth contest that greatly entertained me and the crowd...Steen hit a package piledriver but the momentum of the move sent Mack to the outside...as Steen got Mack back in, Mack rolled him up for the upset...a fantastic opener
The Fightin' Taylor Boys (Brian Cage-Taylor & Ryan Taylor with Chuck Taylor) vs. The Dynasty (Joey Ryan & Scorpio Sky): **3/4...this was Sky's first PWG appearance in about a year...this was the only match that I was not excited for when I looked at the weekend cards...Sky had been having a great run with NWA Hollywood by this point...the action was very crisp but the teams did not take the time to properly establish their characters...that being said, this match had some cool stuff and the fans seemed to be much more into it than me...the highlight of the match was clearly the doomsday suicide dive by the Taylor Boys...Ryan and Sky hit a combo of moves on a Taylor to get the win...a pretty solid match, but nothing to write home about
Chuck Taylor vs. Kenny King: **1/2...King's first appearance in PWG was 2009, and that match apparently did not go too well...this match made clear that while King has the better body and is a far better athlete, Taylor is much better at the use of his character to engage the fans...King was about to do a springboard move but Brian Cage-Taylor grabbed his foot, which caused King to fall and Taylor to get the win...a lame finish to a match that was just starting to get pretty good...Taylor needs to be booked more if possible
The Young Bucks(c) vs. The RockNES Monsters (PWG Tag Titles): ***1/2...this is the first tag title shot for the Monsters...the Bucks were still in TNA at this time...this match was booked to be an epic Wrestlemania main event but I don't think that this is what the show needed at this point...Yuma and Goodtime kicked out of every move in the book, before Goodtime finally fell victim to the double superkick...a good but not great match...having said all of that, I think the Monsters have to be the team that eventually beat the Bucks for the belts
Cutler Bros. vs. Generation Next (Roderick Strong & Austin Aries): **1/2...the Cutlers need a changeup in their act; they seem just as generic as when they started...it is too bad that Aries signed with TNA, because he could be one of the top players in PWG because of his abilities to mix high impact moves and great personality...the match started nicely but then they lost the crowd for the second half of the match until the finishing sequence...the match was just too damn long...crowd liked Gen Next though...the Bucks attacked Gen Next after the match to put some heat on their title match at the next show...ALEX FUCKING SHELLEY made the save and teased a full out Generation Next reunion...
Alex Shelley vs. Eddie Edwards: ***3/4...this is Shelley's first PWG match since early 2010, and it is Edwards' first singles PWG match ever...Shelley has been hitting the weight room...this is the first singles match between the two ever...a fan screamed boring at one point and the rest of the fans rightly put that fan in his place...Eddie eventually won after a lariat, powerbomb and 2K1 bomb...this match was great and it is a match that can only really be seen in PWG...both men should be booked by PWG as often as possible...Shelley then teased that PWG should book the Guns versus the Wolves which (i'm not ashamed to say) gave me a semi.
Nightmare Violence Connection (Kevin Steen & Akira Tozawa) vs. Peligro Abejas (El Generico & Ricochet): ****1/2...Excalibur called this a dream match and he is right...Generico and Steen immediately went at each other, and had to be broken up by their partners...Excalibur informed the audience that Steen is actually going to be receiving half pay for the evening to prevent people from volunteering in the future to work two matches...Tozawa is obviously beloved by the fans on this, his final weekend...Hilarious Spot: Steen grabbed Tozawa after a dive and used him as a weapon on their opponents...Steen/Tozawa got the heat for a while so the fans were dying for a comeback...it looked like Ricochet had the match won with a Phoenix Splash but Tozawa kicked out...they all kicked out of the big moves (even a super top rope reverse hurricarana) and the crowd was going absolutely nuts for everything...eventually Steen through Ricochet neck-first into the sturnbuckle to win the match...the best PWG match I have seen this year...fans chanted "MATCH OF THE YEAR" afterwards...Generico and Ricochet had some words after the match...fans wanted Steen and Generico to hug it out but they refused...Steen then bowed to Tozawa and gave him a hug...fans gave Tozawa a great reception
Claudio Castagnoli(c) vs. Chris Hero (PWG Title): ***1/2...they did a lot of "tests of strength" and chain-wrestling to establish that both guys are equal in strength and skill...Claudio then started working on Hero's right arm, which is Hero's Elbow smash arm...Claudio went to go for a suicide dive but the ring rope broke; Claudio then decided to rip down the entire top rope...Ctaudio then hit a no-hands tope on Hero...Claudio then proceeded to toss around Hero like he was a cruiserweight...Hero started making his comebacks after hitting a no-hands lionsault...Claudio then responded with 18 revolutions of the Giant Swing...Hero then hit a no-hands Asai Moonsault to the floor on Claudio...that was an incredible athletic move...soon after, they started kicking out of the big moves...including some big elbows, uppercuts, the UFO, and the Ricola Bomb, before Claudio finally finished him with an Uppercut...I'm pretty sure these two were going for a Japanese Heavyweight match but the fans either never got into it or they were just too burned out from the semi-main...Hero cut a promo where he says that it is bush league for a turnbuckle breaks in the main event (which it is)...a very passionate promo from Hero
Final Show Thoughts: A very good first night for what will end up being PWG's biggest weekend of the year...the highlight of the show was obviously the tag match, which I would have to consider a MOTYC
You can buy this show here: http://www.prowrestlingguerrilla.com/merch/2011/dvd0122.html