Philadelphia, PA - 4/23/10
By Brian Streleckis, PWChronicle.com
I had the pleasure of a front row seat tonight. I’m usually fine with second or third row, but this one had a good vantage point of everything and a guy up front invited me to take it. Gavin Loudspeaker made the announcement of Team Mexico not being there and said people can request a refund if they choose. All that said, the opening round of King of Trios commenced.
1. F.I.S.T. defeated The Throwbacks when Matt Classic received a pair of kicks from Gran Akuma and Chuck Taylor and a lung-blower from Icarus. Very entertaining match from the get-go, with Classic giving F.I.S.T. a run for their money with the dreaded claw hold on Icarus and an airplane spin on Taylor. There was also a moment where Akuma held onto Icarus by the arms to keep him from falling off the apron, inadvertently forming a hoop for Sugar Dunkerton to dunk his ball, as the P.A. system played “I Believe I Can Fly.” This fucking ruled. Dunkerton got worked over heavily shortly after this. We also had a series of dives to the outside, culminating with Classic, after he had done stair-reps for several minutes while the match was still going on, doing a big splash from the apron, although he had downgraded it from off the turnbuckles. (13:43)
2. Team Big Japan defeated Team Frightning when Yuji Okabayashi made Frightmare tap to a cross-armed torture rack. Big Japan’s female ref Nippon Lee came in to ref this weekend, including for this match. It started with Mike Quackenbush facing Daisuke Sekimoto, with Quack largely going after the legs and working them over in an attempt to weaken the big man. It didn’t last, and he started throwing his power about. Kankuro Hoshino, who has a bunch of noticeable scars over his body, liked to do the senton a lot. Hallowicked wasn’t in the match as often as his partners, both of whom down the line received a tandem German suplex from Sekimoto out of the corner. Team Frightning got a very close nearfall with two swanton bombs from Quack and Hallowicked and the double knees moonsault from Frightmare. Quite good, and kind of a surprising result. (11:12)
3. Claudio Castagnoli & Ares & Tursas defeated The Osirian Portal & Sara Del Rey when Ophidian was the victim of the triple-team move that I believe is called Ragnarok. Claudio & Ares survived the volcano! The Portal was drawn out of a Phillies hat by Bryce Remsburg after the previously drawn teams - Well Dunn and Strike Force - were not available. Then out came Director of Fun and BDK sympathizer Dieter VonSteigerwalt with his own hat, and he had BDK ring announcer Jakob Hammermeier draw Del Rey’s name. A very story-heavy match as you would expect, with the Portal essentially at 2 vs. 4 and Del Rey attempting to cost them the victory, including laying down for Tursas her first time in the match. Portal fought back and had a number of hope spots, despite getting beat down heavily whenever Tursas got in. They temporarily thwarted Del Rey’s involvement by hypnotizing her, then just plain traded blows with her. Ophidian had Claudio in the death grip toward the end, but Del Rey pulled his feet and kicked him low to break it up. The Ragnarok finish consisted of Claudio and Tursas holding Ophidian up in a cross position in the corner, allowing Ares to spear him and making him flip over into a massive double-team iconoclasm. Fun stuff and a lot of good heat for it.
4. Team Osaka Pro defeated The UnStable when Daisuke Harada finished off Colin Delaney with a knee to the face from a hip toss position and a German suplex. This match was kind of a blur by the end of the night, but I do remember Team Osaka Pro looking good and the UnStable still heeling it up well, even with BDK in town. Atsushi Kotoge has some good agility, and I really took notice of STIGMA’s hearty evil laugh. There looked to be some dissension between the UnStable following the match, with Vin Gerard even laughing it off or acting as if to say, “Surprise surprise, we lose again.” (9:55)
- Intermission, where Colt Cabana was kind enough to show up. Also, in addition to a lot of the wrestlers this weekend selling their wares, former PWG commissioner Dino Winwood was just chilling up in the balcony taking in the show.
5. The Colony defeated Johnny Gargano & Aeroform when Fire Ant hit the Beach Break on Flip Kendrick. This match didn’t have a lot of heat to it compared to the other matches, but the action was still fine. Louis Lyndon threw off Soldier Ant a bit with his kung fu posery, so he fired back with his salutes. Green Ant suffered the typical tag match beatdown early on, with Lyndon hitting a bunch of kicks and Gargano showing off a wide array of maneuvers. Green Ant fought back with the headbutt. One moment saw Gargano offering to do a plancha to the outside before his partners, but he he ended up eating floor, so both Flip and Louis did dives over the opposite corners onto the ants. Another saw Green Ant reverse Gargano’s finisher into a Texas Cloverleaf. Flip broke out the flips of course, including one off the top for a nearfall. The Colony ultimately kept the dream alive. (14:10)
6. Tim Donst & Lince Dorado & Pinkie “Pink Ant” Sanchez defeated The F1rst Family when Pinkie made Ryan Cruz submit to the inverted Chikara Special. Jakob sat in front of my section, with Tim Donst’s Young Lions Cup by his side and within spitting distance of me (I’m a gentleman though). Arik Cannon was beloved here. Lince has new gear of course that has probably been seen by now (with one eye bordered by red), and Pinkie has dark hair again, but also a bunch of pink streaks over his arms and face. A good lengthy match where they hit nearly every move available to them, including Cannon’s Glimmering Warlock on Lince and a doomsday bulldog by the BDK trio, with Pinkie & Lince delivering the move (with another cross position) off of Donst’s shoulders. Plenty of nearfalls, and they were going at quite a pace. The heels thwarted Cruz Control, and Cruz fell victim to Pinkie’s tree of woe butt splash (shades of Low Ki’s Ghetto Stomp) and Lince’s shooting star press before getting submitted.
7. Team Perros del Mal defeated Team Delicioso when Cuije hit El Hijo del Ice Cream with a Alebrije-assisted splash. An insanely entertaining match, even funnier than the opener. Curry Man indeed came out to his old TNA theme, complete with his puffy hat, and he made Los Ice Creams dance. Seeing Cuije in the ring with all of these guys is something else, and he was the star of the match if not the whole show. He didn’t do much aside from getting thrown around and react to things, but he was highly enjoyable. Curry Man tried to make him do a traditional indy wrestling sequence, but his size and his own intentions wouldn’t allow it. There were moments when Alebrije would do something to El Hijo when he wasn’t looking (kick him in the ass and shove him down), then turn around and see Cuije acting as if he had done it. The Ice Creams bullied Cuije quite a bit, with El Hijo imitating Rob Van Dam’s thumb-pointing, but Curry Man was more considerate of his diminutive opponent. El Oriental, who brought his own streamers to the ring, was more of your meat & potatoes luchador, having some good exchanges with a few hiccups. Alebrije, who is very large, served his purpose, and Curry Man was a pro as usual. Loved this. (13:50)
- They held the first raffle drawing of the weekend, then a guy named James asked a girl named Ashley (both fans from the crowd) to marry him in the middle of the ring. Cute, and I’ve never seen one of these in person, but there were some boo-birds as usual.
8. The Future is Now defeated The Jackson 3 when Malachi Jackson ate a 630 from Helios. Malachi, in the first time I’ve seen him, looked quite impressive; the first move he did was flying off the top with a 630 into an arm drag. I’m sure Chris Hero on ROH commentary would have found plenty odd about him, plus when he’s showing off babyface fire, he sounds like James Cagney. Nick & Matt, with “GenMe” on the back of their tights, began heeling it up over the course of the match, while still hitting their signature moves. Jimmy “Equinox” Olsen came back from a beatdown, and all of the guys commenced in a lot of crazy moves, including a few dives to the outside right in front of me (some of which dislodged the guardrail). Pure insanity with Nick Jackson ending up in someone’s lap. In the actual ring, Jigsaw was given More Bang For His Buck, and I believe Malachi followed up with some change in the form of a shooting star press, but his partners saved him. Following the pinfall, as TFIN attempted to help up Malachi and show him respect, Nick and Matt shooed them away. When Malachi was willing to offer a hand and didn’t understand why his brothers were being such dicks, they just walked out on him. A very good closer. (~19:50)
Overall: Pretty amazing night, but if there’s anything I learned from these tournaments, the following nights could only get better. The Quarter-Final matches for Saturday night were announced as Claudio’s team vs. Team Perros del Mal, The Future is Now vs. Team Big Japan, Tim Donst’s team vs. The Colony, and Team Osaka Pro vs. F.I.S.T. Plus Rey de Voladores kicks off featuring (as of now) Ophidian, Cheech Hernandez, and the debuting “M-Dogg 20″ Matt Cross, and two other matches, one of which featuring Brodie Lee.