1. 1st Round
: Joey Ryan vs. TJ Perkins
Your typical Joey Ryan opener with a promo and a decent wrestling. No complaints here. The right guy went over.
2. 1st Round
: Roderick Strong vs. Drake Younger
This was very cool. Roddy working like a tough monster again (TJP on TIII), hopefully Dragon keeps him booking that way. He’s great in dishing out some brutal punishment, and Drake is an ideal guy to take a BEATING. Damn, this was so fucking sweet. Nice to see Drake being over with the Reseda fans.
3. 1st Round
: Eddie Edwards vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Good match. I can see why some hated this, but the constant back-and-forth schtick was done well here, and the TKO finish rocked.
4. 1st Round
: Brian Cage vs. B-Boy
This was mostly really average, but the strong finishing stretch helped a lot. Good stuff overall.
5. 1st Round
: Kevin Steen vs. Ricochet
Now we’re talking! I loved the story about Ricochet being Dicochet, a cockier version of El Generico, so Steen has to be very careful. There was a lot of psychology from Ricochet at the beginning – every time Steen tries something, he just jumps and blocks it quickly like a cat. It worked until Steen caught him off guard and fucking KILLED him with the Powerbomb. That was sick… And he did it again later in the match! The story was about Steen being mad and trying to punish Ricochet and his cocky ass, I loved it. There was your obligatory Brian Cage interference, of course, it was done well, and there was your first shocking outcome of the evening. Great match and the MOTN. I’m sure it will be more appreciated when people look back at this show down the road.
6. 1st Round
: Willie Mack vs. Sami Callihan
Two guys knocking the shit out of each other and trying to move to the next round. Very simple and effective. Sami’s psycho character work was very strong as usual, and Willie was in his usual Reseda Hero mode. It all worked. I really dug the Puro finish where Sami just kept throwing lariats at Willie until he dropped dead.
7. 1st Round
: El Generico vs. Adam Cole
Fuck yeah! Right from the start Cole is showing everyone he’s not the pretty guy from Future Shock this time. No, no, no – he’s one evil, cunning motherfucker now! Which means Steen automatically loves him, especially against Generico. I’ve actually watched this match two times, because after the first watch, I realized the match is filled with small and powerful things that make it really great. Cole’s character work was immense, and the match finish seriously rocked. God, this was awesome… Right behind Steen/Ricochet at the MOTN scale.
8. 1st Round
: Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin
The worst match of the night. Yes, worse than the opener, because at least you had Ryan’s antics and psychology there, combined with TJP’s ninja skills. This? This was solid, I admit, but it was an abomination of a main event, and I don’t know why Dragon booked this as the last match, especially with the 2011 winner Generico on the card. Anyway, this was your typical Davey Richards jerkfest. Elgin was trying, he showed some emotions, but Davey managed to nix it every damn time. Davey is fucking horrible nowadays, and he can’t structure a compelling match to save his life. He’s just a dull, boring, repetitive, going-through-motions, cocksucking, emotionless worm drinking his own kool aid. If he plans to stay in this painful and terrible face mode, I wish he retires right now. Fuck him! He managed to suck out any possible emotion out of the match, it was so boring and… totally meh. Sure, there was a lot of cool moves, but we all need something deeper to be entertained. I’m not denying the match’s success, because the crowd was having a really good time (although I noticed a lot of them sitting on their hands, I felt their pain), but this was just not good. The worst PWG match in 2012.
This was a good show, but would be great with a stronger main event. I know we’re all used to PWG’s mega high standards, but this was pretty strong too. Two ****
matches on a card is always damn nice. There was a lot of good, consistent wrestling, up until the painfully average main event. Shame. Steen/Ricochet and Generico/Cole rocked, a lot of fun there. Roddy/Drake and Willie/Sami were both very good matches, and so on… Nothing really bad, but again – the main event almost destroyed everything for this viewer, but I’m not letting fucking Davey Richards ruin what was the enjoyable show for me. Overall, thumbs up for this show. Btw, I saw few guys complaining about “the lack of depth” in matches, and how everyone was just “trading moves”, and while I understand those complaitnts (I don’t agree, though), I’d also like to point at something else – this is a simple tornament storytelling where you have guys fighting each other to reach a next round. Nothing wrong with that, IMO. Also, this is not AJPW, this is not Tana/Shinskay/Nagata, this is not Laughter7/Inoue, because these guys almost have no history together, there’s no backstories in matches, they can’t make callbacks, they can’t remind us on their past together. It is what it is, what can you do… Now, if Dragon had booked, let’s say, Steen/Mack, Cole/O’Reilly, Roddy/Eddie, Drake/Sami or Steen/Cage, I’m sure some things would’ve played out differently, but whatever…