Friday, May 6, 2016
PWG Bowie Review
Similar to the PWG show in January, Lemmy, Bowie is named after a recently departed legendary singer. This one being David Bowie, if that wasn’t already clear.
These are certainly two of the most colorful characters in wrestling. This was Dalton’s PWG debut. With no Boys at ringside, Castle was fanned by a member of the crowd. As expected in a match involving these two, we were treated to some pretty fun comedy spots. Taylor is the perfect guy to open PWG cards. He found himself in control of the match for the most part before Castle made a fun comeback. I love how Castle blends technical skill with his wild personality. After some cool stuff on the outside of the ring, they went inside where Taylor scored the three on a rollup. The finish was rather abrupt which I didn’t love. Still, this was led by two very entertaining personalities and sometimes, that’s all you need.
“Chris Hero ain’t nothing to fuck with” chants started this. He’s coming off of a loss to Roderick Strong at Lemmy, while Trent hasn’t been seen since the 2015 Battle of Los Angeles. Early on, they played into Hero being the bigger competitor as his shots really hurt Trent, while Trent’s didn’t have nearly the same impact. Hero picked Trent apart throughout. I’ll say it again but he is really good as the much bigger, vicious guy that he’s been playing around the indies. Trent began to rally but his dive outside just got caught by Hero, who just laid into him with a roaring elbow. There was an excellent close call after a super German and Busaiku Knee from Trent. I knew he didn’t win coming into this, but I ended up buying into it anyway. Trent survived a short piledriver from out of nowhere and a second jumping one, but couldn’t get up from a tombstone. This was better than I thought it would be and the best Trent match I can recall. He was arrogant early on but took a beating that humbled him and turned him into the resilient underdog by the end.
Jack Evans has been playing a dick heel for a while now. Sami Callihan returned to the indies after his Solomon Crowe run and has been very disappointing. Jack shit on the fans and Sami beforehand on the mic, leading Sami to say that he was going to kiss Jack on the mouth. You’ll have to see it to know how he got there. He succeeded in kissing Jack within a minute or so. There were some strange moments throughout, with Evans drinking beer and the men getting into a slap fight sitting on steel chairs in the middle of the ring. That all happened within the first five or so minutes. Following that, we were treated to a more traditional match. There was a nice exchange near the end where Jack took a bit of a beating before pulling out a crucifix and walking away as the victor. An odd match that I didn’t love but they wisely played to the crowd for some of their stuff, which seemed to work.
There is a certain charisma about Adam Cole that I like. He showed it off here, doing little things to add to the match. At one point he stopped to basically pose for pictures in the middle of his offense. Cole really seemed to be enjoying the opportunity to play the big guy in a match. Everett had a nice counter for the Destroyer, back flipping away before snapping off a rana. Everett bumped all over the place, making Cole look even better. Everett was coming off of knee surgery but looked just as quick and athletic as I recall when I saw him in the BOLA last year. He came close on several occasions, including on a shooting star press but Cole kicked out. He used Panama Sunrise and the Destroyer to end Everett. Really good stuff here as Cole was a great scumbag while Everett showed that he hadn’t lost a step.
I love Zack Sabre Jr., while Trevor Lee has grown on me and especially impressed in his 105 minute match this year. Lee runs into clear trouble from the start as he gets twisted around by Sabre and has to regroup several times outside. Lee had to be cunning to turn the tide, sending Sabre into the ropes and hurting his throat. You don’t see throat selling very often. From what I’ve seen, Lee has been showing more heel tendencies in PWG and it came out again here. He had control but got a bit too arrogant and overconfident at times. Sabre made the most of those opening, using Lee’s aggressiveness against him. The final few minutes of this saw tons of great counters and back and forth between both guys. Neither could gain a clear upper hand. A great closing sequence saw Sabre trap Lee in a sick submission that forced him to tap out. The best match I’ve seen in PWG this year so far. Lee was great as the heel and I loved that his overconfidence allowed Sabre to fight back.
I’ll admit, I haven’t seen much of Evil Uno outside of some stuff as Player Uno. Mike Bailey is very over among tons of indy fans but he has still yet to really leave a mark on me. The fans loved him and their adoration for Uno grew with his performance throughout the match. He was the star of the show, working the evil character very well. Bailey took a beating as usual and, as usual, his selling left a lot to be desired. Uno busted out a One Winged Angel onto his knee, which was pretty sick and probably my favorite spot of the match. Speedball fired up with a series of kicks, including a sick roundhouse, the shooting star knee drop and another big kick. This was solid but again, nothing spectacular. Even though I’m not a fan, the news that Mike Bailey won’t be able to work in the states for five years is pretty sad. He was gaining momentum for sure.
Here we had two guys that had really strong 2015s. Strong had great match after great match, while Galloway held the EVOLVE and Dragon Gate USA Titles simultaneously. Roddy was a dick on the mic before things got started. Once they did, it was cool to see Roddy against someone that could toss him around. And Galloway did just that, throwing him into doors and even almost up to the ceiling. This turned out to be a really solid match as it was indeed cool to see Strong have to work around his power disadvantage. They made sure to include the standard fun sequences and close near falls. Roddy wound up winning after three big knee strikes and the End of Heartache. This was good but, like the Chris Hero title match a month earlier, it lacked something, mainly from the crowd. PWG made it pretty obvious that Sabre was the endgame of Strong’s title run so they never fully bought into this.
Overall: This isn’t a standout show, it’s not spectacular and not even one that I would call great. It is really consistent though and there aren’t really any bad matches on the card. The worst one was Callihan/Evans, which was still decent enough. Everything else clocks in with at least three stars, while Sabre/Lee steal the show for the evening. Like Lemmy before it, it won’t find itself on any show of the year lists, but it’s a really easy show to sit through.