Image: SoCal Uncensored. Report submitted by Brian Reznick.
PWG's first show of 2019 took place at the Globe Theatre in Los Angeles, California on Friday night.
Overall, it was a fun show. It wasn't a total blowaway like the classic PWG shows, but it was a fun night and there were a few very strong matches. I saw empty seats in the back, but it was still packed. If they never got to a true sellout, they definitely got close.
The promotion did not announce their next date, but Excalibur said that they would be back soon.
- Brody King defeated Jungle Boy
Jungle Boy was making his PWG debut and got a great reception. The match had a decent enough big guy vs. little guy dynamic. This was my second time seeing Jungle Boy live. i see the potential, but he’s still pretty green. A few of his arm drags were a little rough, and he and King had some awkward transitions. Most people are better by the time they debut in PWG, but the crowd seemed into the match.
King chopped the hell out of Jungle Boy throughout, leaving him with a very marked up chest. There were strong "please come back" chants for Jungle Boy after the loss.
- Puma King defeated DJZ
This result surprised me and made me wonder how long DJZ will be a free agent. The fan appreciation of this match is determined by how much one responds to the Puma King gimmick. I really like it, so I enjoyed the match. But I have friends who don’t like it and didn’t think much of it.
They did a bunch of cool reversals, arm drags, and pinning predicaments. It was a perfectly fine second match on a wrestling card.
- LAX (Santana & Ortiz) defeated Laredo Kid & Rey Horus
They had a great, all-action tag match. The crowd loves LAX, and rightly so. Horus looked great, but he always does. Laredo Kid received a warm welcome and had some cool spots during the match.
Horus did his insane running dive from the ring over the corner post to the outside, cheating it slightly by going a little diagonal. There was a healthy “please come back” for Laredo Kid afterwards.
- Robbie Eagles defeated Jonathan Gresham
Great response for Gresham here. It was a really strong debut for him as all of his stuff looked great and he was over with the crowd. Eagles is just a guy. The crowd liked him more than me, but not a lot more.
Gresham worked the right arm the whole match, including chopping it, rather than the chest, during striking exchanges. Eagles won with his 450 onto the leg followed by his figure four variant. He didn't even set up the leg submission throughout the match.
There was a very strong post-match "please come back" for Gresham, noticeably stronger than Jungle Boy or Laredo Kid.
- PWG Tag Team Champions The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz) defeated Best Friends (Beretta & Chuck Taylor) to retain their titles
I really enjoyed the build up during this match. It had plenty of offense, but it was less of a spot fest and had a better story than other Rascalz PWG matches (though I love the Rascalz firefight and a million high spots matches as well)
The story of the match was Best Friends working their heavyweight advantages on the smaller Rascalz. The Rascalz outran Best Friends right away, but the match turned early when Taylor told Beretta to stop acting like a junior and do heavyweight stuff. Beretta got Xavier to do the running shoulder tackle spot, and then floored him.
There was another good story moment with a fun payoff later: Xavier was demolished in a chopping exchange with Beretta. Xavier switched tactics to quicker-paced offense and gained the upper hand. But after a series of tags in and out with Wentz, Beretta made a comeback by flooring Xavier with a hard chop.
The match built to some high flying and dives to the outside by the Rascalz, but the dives felt like they meant more. The Rascalz won with the Hot Fire Flame (assisted standing Shooting Star Press), with Xavier pushing Wentz mid-Shooting Star over a bent over Taylor and onto a recently laid out Beretta. The crowd loved the match and all four guys
- Bandido defeated ACH
This was my favorite match. Bandido is great and ACH is one of the most underrated guys in the business -- he can really do everything. He worked heel here and did a great job as a cocky bastard. He worked the fans when he was in the crowd. He was smarmy and cocky, and he found moments to build chants for Bandido without making it obvious that he was doing it.
Here’s my favorite part: ACH did the chopping the outside ring post by mistake spot (after really working some vocal Bandido fans into a rage) and then sold the hand for the rest of the match. No one does that. Not even WALTER, who is good about that kind of thing. And ACH didn’t overdo it or make the entire match about his hand. He just made sure to sell that it was hard to grip when attempting a German suplex -- or he became reluctant to have another chopping exchange.
There were a bunch of other great heel touches, and Bandido was great as always. He won with his handspring German suplex.
- PWG World Champion Jeff Cobb defeated Trevor Lee to retain his title
This match had a lot of trouble getting off the ground, but eventually built to a great peak and finish. The energy was very weird early.
Lee came out and started to do his typical heel promo. Right away, he noted that Cobb wouldn’t get him like he got him last time (Cobb pinned Lee in about 10 seconds in round two of BOLA 2018 by grabbing Lee during his promo) -- only to have Cobb grab him and suplex him. But Lee escaped and got a small package for a two count. A lot of people, myself included, thought the flash pin could happen. However, after this moment, the match went flat for awhile.
The crowd did not boo Lee at all, which they normally would. I think this was because everyone knew this was Lee's last PWG match, so they didn’t want to boo. But Lee also didn’t work heel. He conveyed that he earnestly wanted the title and was working hard to win. So, the crowd didn’t really know how to react.
Lee worked his ass off, doing a tope to one side and later a tope suicida to the other. Even with the dives, the crowd would die down quickly. However, the match really took off for the final 5-10 minutes. They worked a spot where Lee accidentally punted Justin the referee (the biggest heel in PWG), and the crowd came to life for that.
Lee then worked heel by hitting a low blow, but now the crowd was mainly pulling for him. He hit a running flip dive from the ring over the corner post to the outside. He hit his big standing double stomp for a near fall. Cobb came back with deadlift gutwrench suplexes and a bridging
German for two.
Cobb hit a release airplane spin, flinging Lee high into the air for a near fall. Lee escaped a top rope superplex attempt by rolling over into a powerbomb set up, carrying Cobb a few feet from the corner, and hitting a sit-out power bomb. That was another two count.
Everyone was on their feet for the final few minutes. The finish came when Cobb hit the Tour of the Islands, but Lee kicked out at one. The crowd lost it. Cobb hit a huge German (landing Lee on his face) and then another Tour of the Islands for the three count.
After the match, Lee cut a great, heartfelt promo. He said that he never thought he would main event in PWG when he debuted in 2014, calling it a company that he had dreamed about working for. He thanked the fans for tweeting after that debut to get him booked again. He said he read every message they sent to PWG and made sure that he worked his ass off to deliver for them.
Lee said that PWG helped make it so he could quit his job “selling frozen yogurt to sh*tty kids” and wrestle full time. And he said that he never won BOLA or the PWG title as he said he would, but the fans made it so he could get hired by WWE. Lee finished by saying he’d probably just get fired by WWE and come back and win the PWG title
There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. At least not for me -- I hope he makes a billion dollars.