While it took PWG several weeks to actually create and deliver the Bluray for All Star Weekend 12, it was well worth the wait. PWG is a promotion in the style of a ninja assassin. While other promotions are consistently making noise, PWG sits quietly until it is time to unleash one of their shows. Then, almost without fail, they strike the fatal blow by delivering amazing wrestling from the very best in the world at it. All Star Weekend 12 was no different. Here is my review of both days.
Trevor Lee Vs. Chuck Taylor
Overall: Great match. Trevor Lee really takes to his heel character. Chuck is always a pleasure to watch and it’s nice to see him stepping out of the comedy wrestler bit. I also like the “streak” gimmick PWG is using with Chuck. The back and forth was really evenly matched with some great wrestling on both sides. Much better than the usual opening match. Great excitement with the multiple near falls
Winner: Chuck Taylor
Best Spots: Chuck slamming Trevor into the wall. Trevor Lee’s huge double foot stomp. Chuck’s Liger Bomb.
Chris Hero Vs. Evil Uno
Overall: A killer match. Evil Uno is a weird one to put against Hero but it worked perfectly. It was the first time Hero’s size didn’t dominate the match. Uno held his own blow for blow and power move for power move. Uno spitting the green mist into Hero’s eyes was a nice touch as was the crowd chanting “Staring Contest” when the two were sitting in front of each other in the ring. Towards the end, after all the abuse, when the two were trading kicking out at “1”, that was exciting. The crowd was really into this match, especially as it continued on.
Winner: Chris Hero
Best Spots: Hero elbow knocking Uno out of the ring. Uno kicking the middle rope into Hero’s nuts. Uno’s Gotch Style Piledriver. Hero’s Death Elbow for the win.
Galloway Vs. Trent
Overall: An okay match. Both men performed solid wrestling, but I don’t care about Galloway or Trent. Even Chuck Taylor, who was on commentary, joked about how this was a Smackdown rematch from 2009. Essentially Galloway dominated most of the match using his size to beat the shit out of Trent. While never a boring match, it wasn’t anything I’d put into the class of “Can’t Miss”.
Best Spots: Galloway’s backdrop on Trent (the height was insane). Galloway’s belly to belly on Trent on the concrete. Galloway’s reverse Alabama Slam. Trent’s Dude Driver to win the match.
Roderick Strong Vs. Mark Andrews
Overall: Another good match. Nothing Earth shattering but still well executed. Roderick Strong is always a pleasure to watch and he’s such a good asshole. Mark Andrews did well here, establishing himself as a force to be reckoned with even though he lost. Andrew takes a lot of punishment and keeps coming back. His high flying is great but was kind of overshadowed by how much punishment he took. The match got a little spot heavy for me but at the end of the day I was entertained.
Winner: Roderick Strong
Best Spots: Strong catching Andrews outside the ring during a botched Hurricanrana and then slamming him hard against the ring. Andrew’s big bulldog move and then dropkick from the top rope. Roddy deflecting one of Andrew’s moves causing Andrew to land on his face.
Mary Scurll Vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Overall: Holy shit what a match. Outstanding. A match of the year contender. Scurll is so good at playing up the showmanship of his character that you forget just how good a wrestler he is. Kyle is always a top-notch wrestler to watch. These two went back and forth. Hit big moves. Exchanged holds. Punches were thrown. Elbows. They went above and beyond through the entire match. The false falls built up so much excitement. I would put it down as match of the night without question. This made me a bigger fan of both men, which I didn’t think was possible.
Winner: Kyle O’Reilly
Best Spots: Outside of a couple of cool out of the ring moments, this was more a match of actual wrestling. O’Reilly capitalizing on his insane striking ability and Scurll playing both the excellent villain and showing his strong style wrestling ability.
Adam Cole Vs. Zack Sabre JR.
Overall: Another killer match. Not the same level as Scurll/O’Reilly but Cole and Sabre JR left it all in the ring. It was surprising to see Sabre compete at this level with his title match only 24 hours away. Cole was so good here. A king heel, as he always is. Cole is allowed to wrestling in PWG on a level he doesn’t in ROH. He’s such good worker. Never the same match twice. Always quick with great moves in the moment, Cole stayed right in line with Sabre JR who is considered one of the most innovative wrestlers in the world today. This was a match showcasing two of the absolute best wrestlers around and all they can do in the squared circle.
Winner: Zack Sabre JR
Best Spots: Not too many “spots” here per say. The match was more a constant and exciting back and forth with Cole using his moves and Sabre his submissions. It didn’t need any big spots.
Matt Sydal/Ricochet vs. Youngbucks (PWG Title Match)
Overall: Solid match. Four of the top performers in the world and they went at it hard. I think it suffered coming after two back to back matches that were incredible, but this was still a great showing. Sydal and Ricochet are probably the best high flyers in the business right now and when you pit that against Youngbuck’s level of innovation and natural ability, you can’t help but be entertained. Great back and forth, lots of cool spots, and the Bucks are always so much fun to watch.
Best Spots: Ricochet’s double flip over the top rope onto the Bucks. Matt Jackson’s tribute to Kevin Steen Cannonball. Sydal/Ricochet double standing Risky Business on the Bucks. Matt powerbomb Sydal into the corner followed by an Insuguri from Nick. Nick Jackson accidentally super kicking a fan. Ricochet leaping OVER the corner turnbuckle to land on the Bucks. Youngbuck’s huge Meltzer Driver.
Chuck Taylor Vs. Marty Scurll
Overall: Good match. A more standard opening match as it was a lot of fun but nothing super exciting. Scurll and Taylor are both great at the showmanship part of wrestling and they really played that up. Solid back and forth with Taylor focusing on straight wrestling moves, while Scurll was more about holds. Nicely done and the crowd was really into it.
Winner: Chuck Taylor (The Streak Is Still Alive)
Best Spots: Not many spots. Just straight wrestling
Mark Andrews Vs. Evil Uno
Overall: To be honest I didn’t follow this match at all because I just don’t care. Evil Uno was fun against Hero and Andrews did a solid job wrestling Strong but seeing them fight each other held zero interest for me. The match was exactly what you’d expect. Andrews tried huge highflying moves and got crushed by Uno. Every time Andrews seemed beat he’d kick out. It felt incredibly long for such a short match.
Winner: Mark Andrews
Best Spots: Only one good one. Mark Andrews won by jumping from the top of the turnbuckle and stomping on Uno’s nuts.
Drew Galloway Vs. Trevor Lee
Overall: Solid match. Lee continues to impress both as a heel and as a wrestler. Galloway is making strides to come back as an actual threat after the whole Three Man Band thing. What I found most impressive was how Lee and Galloway sold the big/small man match in a competitive fashion. Instead of small guy tries and big guy crushes, they actually went back and forth. Both sold for the other man and made the match much more exciting than it looks on paper. Galloway didn’t just use power, he used a lot of great wrestling and Lee’s move was totally believable in chopping down the bigger Galloway. This was a great example of how to sell a powerhouse vs. a small guy match.
Winner: Trevor Lee
Best Spots: Galloway getting members of the crowd to hold Trevor Lee while he chopped him. Galloway tossing Lee against the wall. Trevor Lee’s dropkick on Galloway as he was jumping off the top rope. Galloway’s crucifix power bomb into the corner.
JT Dunn/Chris Hero vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet
Overall: There are no words to describe how great this match is. Easily this is a match of the year contender with outstanding efforts from both sides. Two completely different styles of wrestling and neither wanted to take a back seat. Dunn & Hero with the strong style striking offense and Sydal/Ricochet masters of the highflying spots. From the opening bell both teams worked to make the match exciting on a level few can reach in wrestling today. At no point did it seem an easy guess who would win. Both teams sold. Multiple kickouts. It is seriously edge-of-the-seat wrestling that should be seen and studied by everyone in the business. Staggeringly good.
Winner: Ricochet & Matt Sydal
Best Spots: No way to count them all. Just watch the goddamn match and be in love.
Adam Cole Vs. Trent
Overall: Great match. I have to say by the end of this match I cared more for Trent’s solo ability than I ever had before. I’m a longtime fan of Roppongi Vice and Best Friends, but yawned at watching Trent on his own. This match showed me just how good he can be. Cole is always great, especially in PWG where he’s allowed to be a wrestler and not just a chicken shit heel. Cole starts the match with a cheap shot superkick, which gave the whole thing some weight. Instead of two guys thrown together, Cole made it seem like there was real heat. Good back and forth work, both men sold for the other and kept the excitement high. Really impressed.
Best Spots: Cole’s cheap shot opening superkick. Cole’s Shining Wizard. Trent’s use of the Sexy Chucky Knee. Cole’s package piledriver on the apron. Cole’s Avalanche Panama Sunrise.
RedDragon vs. Youngbucks
Overall: This was a weird one. This was a tremendous match pretty much ruined by a stupid ending. Part of it is my personal pet peeve that the Youngbucks remain the Tag champions even though they rarely put the belts up and recently haven’t been on PWG very often. The match was a perfect mix of RedDragon’s striking and hold ability and the Youngbucks over-the-top spots. At no point did one team seem like they were surpassing the other, which kept the excitement level really high. Then, suddenly, the Youngbucks just won for no reason. They also added a spot where the Youngbucks stuffed RedDragon’s mouthpieces down their pants and then forced them into their mouths. I know I’m in the minority here, but I grow weary of the Youngbucks Keystone Cops routine.
Best Spots: With these four men in the ring it is impossible to count the amount of good spots. It’s a real shame how bad the ending fucked it all up
Zack Sabre JR vs. Roderick Strong (PWG Heavyweight Championship Title)
Overall: Again, there are no words. I have to applaud PWG for adding a level of seriousness and weight to this match. I could write a hundred pages and still not communicate to what level Strong & Sabre brought their game. Astounding work on both sides as well as a perfectly paced and executed match. Roderick played the cheating heel but never the coward. Sabre might have been the face but he did some ill work here that showed he would do anything to win. The two men played the peaks and valleys of a match flawlessly. They would raise the excitement, throw in a false fall and then bring things down a bit. Sabre was so innovative with his holds. Across the board another match of the year contender from two men who are absolutely the best at what they do.
Winner: AND NEW PWG CHAMPION ZACK SABRE JR
Best Spots: Again, not really a spot match. This is wrestling, as it should be done. Not a bad moment in the entire match.
All Star Weekend is one of the best events that PWG has put together in a while. They may be doing fewer shows this year, but with the strength of these shows they don’t need to.
FINAL OPINION: BUY BOTH DAYS ASAP!!