By Larry Goodman
Platinum Champion Wrestling’s weekly event at the Academy Theater in Avondale Estates, Ga featured one of the best matches on the Georgia scene this year, as ROH World Champion Davey Richards defeated Kyle Matthews, the man voted as the best technical wrestling in the state for the last two years.
PCW at the Academy is not your ordinary wrestling show. It is the incredibly strange version of PCW – a mixture of pro wrestling and improv theater ala Dad’s Garage with a heavy dose of audience participation and bawdy but hilarious live commentary provided by owner Steven Platinum. It’s mostly regulars in the crowd. They know the stories and characters inside and out, and they were fully engaged in every match.
For pure fun, a night of PCW is hard to beat, but last night’s show had plenty of quality wrestling to go with all the wacky stuff. Richards vs. Matthews was simply awesome, and the matches involving Kyle O’Reilly and Tony Kozina also provided high caliber wrestling.
Pro wrestling doesn’t get any more intimate than this. Seating capacity is 44. The wrestling ring is set up in back room corner of the building, so there are walls on two sides, and the seating are all on one side, theater style. The low ceiling prohibits top rope move, although wrestlers have been known to hang off the fixtures. Dives to outside would be almost certain death. With access limited to one side of the ring, the ringside area gets crowded in a hurry. Heel and babyface managers have to stand on the same side of the ring.
The overarching story in PCW is the battle for control of the company between Platinum and The Empire, which is the combined force of three evil masterminds. The war is building to the ultimate battle – a 10 vs. 10 match on 11/11/11 at the Academy.
(1) Washington Bullets (Jon & Trey Williams) defeated Joey Kidman & Michael Hirsch (with Rachel Tension & Marty Freeman & Jonathan Malik). Upon returning from his honeymoon, Freeman was upset to find the PCW banner hanging on the wall. Tension said she was in training for 11/11 and Platinum (returning for one night only as the Lethal Litigator) wouldn’t be ready for her. Bullets were just added to the PCW team for the big match on 11/11. Color commentator Shane Mackey aptly described Kidman as being unhinged. Platinum noted that Kidman had busted out the Johnny B. Badd gear. Platinum suggested that the low ceiling was cramping the Bullets’ style. Hirsch clubbed Trey from the blind side to give Empire the advantage. He’s a geeky looking guy with a shaved head. Couldn’t tell a whole about his wrestling from this. Kidman’s backpack stunner popped the crowd, as did Jon’s singlehanded double submission. There weree some timing issues down the stretch where guys had to kick out of moves in spots where there were supposed to be saves. The finish saw the Bullets hit the Marion Barry on both Empire guys and Jon pinned Hirsch.
PCW Champion “The Demigod” Mason addressed the faithful. The demigod looks more like an accountant that makes a habit of hitting the gym every morning before work. The mic went out. “He needs no mic,” Mason said. Mason’s theatrical promo style led one fan to blurt out “let us pray”. Mason addressed Vandal’s threat to injure him tonight (Vandal has two title shots coming to him and announced that he would use the first shot to injure Mason and would beat him with the second one).
(2) Konkrete Gorillaz (Nemesis & Brian Blaze & Geter with Aesha Sunshine) squashed the Warhorses (#300 & #218 & #94). Gorillaz destroyed each Warhorse with one devastating move apiece and that was it. Nemesis pinned 94 with his new Dominator style finisher.
Eat to Win (fan group that always sits in the first row) had come to the show dressed in mock Gorillaz gear for Halloween. The real Gorillaz got pissed and stole their masks.
(3) Mason (with the Witness) defeated Vandal (with Agent Kurt Kilgore) by DQ. Vandal made good on his threat. He tried to use a hammer and the ring bell. Since no damage was done, ref Duke Korey let those infractions go, but when Vandal repeatedly bashed Mason’s head into the exposed metal turnbuckle, Korey called for the bell. Vandal put Mason’s leg inside a steel chair and took full swings at the chair with a baseball bat. Fans chanted “ashy bastard” at Vandal. Mason couldn’t put any weight at all on the knee as Witness helped him to the back.
Vandal challenged Mason to an empty arena match at the Academy. Cashing in a money-in-the-bank title shot must be arranged at PCW. Jumping a champion after a match is verboten in PCW. One presumes that Platinum sanctioned the empty arena match, because he said it would be put up on internet.
(4) The Empire (Zach Daniels & Zackary Blane & Lee Roy & Master Jae with Tension & Freeman & Malik) beat Chip Day & Jay Fury & Phantom & Eric Walker. Wild match. My first exposure to Lee Roy. He tries to carry himself like a stone cold martial arts killer. It’s a stretch. The faces abused Blane. Walker took the heat for the good guys. The two tall, skinny guys (Walker and Blane) collided midring. It was all arms and legs, and Platinum said it looked like a box full of pipe cleaners exploded. De La Vega came out and was attacked by Hirsch and Kidman. The Supernatural, the mysterious masked luchador who first appeared at Sacred Ground Two, came to De La Vega’s rescue with a Sliced Bread #2 off a support beam in the aisle. That was nuts. Meanwhile, Day was in the process of caving in Daniels’ chest with stiff kicks. When Day paused to tell the Empire braintrust “this one’s for you”, Daniels caught him with Air Raid Crash. The finish worked to perfection. Empire evened things up with PCW at 1-1 for the night.
While Malik hurled insults at the crowd, the Empire wrestlers passed out autographed Mr. Eric (Empire member) stick masks to everyone in the crowd. It was goofy. A Halloween treat from the Empire evidently.
Marko Polo and Nina Monet addressed the crowd. Monet said they were the best looking wrestling couple in PCW (are there others?) and asked for a challenger. Simon Sermon came out and said he had a bone to pick with Polo. Sermon did a very long-winded promo, the point being that Polo’s ambiguously gay superhero gimmick was a fraud and this old, fat, bitchy queen was going to beat his ass. Polo responded to the tongue lashing like it was a walk in the park. The dude has a great body but doesn’t have clue one about pro wrestling. If Sermon can get a good match of Polo, he’s a miracle worker.
(5) Shane Marx beat Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly went heel. He said he would rather be watching his Cardinals in game 7 than wrestling in this dump. Marx has proven he can hang with anybody and this was no different. Neither man was able to gain much advantage during the feeling out process. O’Reilly tied Marx up in the ropes and hit a nasty dragon screw leg whip. O’Reilly worked the leg with a figure four and a heel hook. He went for one dragon screw too many, and Marx crowned him with an enzuigiri, followed by an exploder suplex. They went back and forth with Marx going for the Natural Selection and O’Reilly trying for submissions until Marx succeeded in hitting the move. A very good match, several levels above any of the previous matches.
Aesha Sunshine came to the ring. The former happiest girl in the world has sickened into a female psychopath. Beast up or get beat down. Sunshine said the feud with Pandora wasn’t worth it and adamantly said “I Quit!” Not so fast. Pandora attacked and tried to choke Sunshine out with a strap. Nemesis and Blaze ran down the ring. Pandora escaped through the curtain but was thrown back into the ring by Geter. Nice touch there. Gorillaz ripped Pandora’s tshirt off her back and Sunshine strapped the bejeezus out of her. This was wicked stuff. Red welts were rising up all over Pandora’s back. Dr. Melei ran down and grabbed the strap away from Sunshine.
(6) Tony Kozina beat Tommy Daniels. For a relatively short match, it had this nice, subtle build. Daniels just keeps getting better. At no point did he appear to be out of his league with Kozina. A simple up and over by Daniels got a reaction because it was so well done. Kozina connected with a sweet dropkick. Kozina took a bad spill on a backdrop, landing right on his hip. Kozina low-bridged Daniels to send his face into the turnbuckle - unique and perfectly executed. When Daniels applied an abdominal stretch, Platinum paid tribute to Barry Windham. Kozina slipped away from several attempts at La Magistral Cradle by Daniels. Kozina pinned Daniels with a slingshot springboard bulldog. Kozina appeared to injure himself on the finisher. They did a postmatch show of mutual respect. Good stuff.
(7) Davey Richards beat Kyle Matthews. The crowd was respectful in a manner that differed from the rest of the night. It was clear they were seeing something special. They weren’t against Richards but they were pulling for Matthews as the underdog. Richards dominated until Matthews got a bow and arrow for his first big move of the match. The counter and reversal sequences in this match were super smooth. With Matthews on the floor, Richard nailed him with a vicious running kick from the apron. It goes without saying in a Richards match that the chops and forearms were hellaciously stiff. Matthews was laying them in there, but not quite the way Richards was. Back inside, Richards applied an elevated armlock that had Matthews elbow bent a sick angle. Richard with a spinkick to the liver and the cloverleaf. Matthews back with a pair of near falls, but missed the Slurpee Kick. Matthews got the Hidaka Lock, but couldn’t get the submission. Matthews landed a pair of superkicks that knocked Richards’ mouthpiece out. Matthews tried for the Hidaka Lock again, and Richard reversed into the ankle lock. Matthews reversed that, and hit the Slurpee Kick. Richard kicked out at 2.9, and fans were on their feet screaming that it was a three count. Somewhere along the line, they got into an amazing exchange of rapid fire blows that left both men down and brought the crowd to their feet. Richards came back with a german suplex that spelled the beginning of the end for Matthews. Richards dropped Matthews on his head with a dragon suplex and finished him with a running kick to the head. Wow.
The postmatch was mass chaos. The Empire attacked Matthews and Richards. Rachel Tension ran to the announcer’s table and started scuffling with Platinum. The PCW good guys ran down and cleared out the Empire, leaving only Malik in the ring running his mouth. Richards put Malik in the ankle lock. Matthews then demolished Malik with the Slurpee Kick. Platinum applied the finishing touch with a leaping legdrop.
Platinum told the fans that if they weren’t in at the Academy on 11/11 he would come to their homes and rape their house pets. It’s all in good fun at PCW. The show ended with Team PCW parading down the aisle as the crowd chanted “rape your pets”.