Man, I think people are really selling this show short (other than Rish). One of my favorite PWG shows ever. SD/Homicide didn't do much for me, and the opening six-man was just your average cute, sloppy opener, but in between you have five great, varied matches.
- In my opinion, Cabana/Stradlin is one of the most underrated matches in PWG history. It's not epic or anything -- it's a simple little match, in which Cabana tries to school Stradlin on the mat, and Stradlin surprises him by keeping up. But that simple story is crisply, entertainingly and perfectly told, to a degree that you just don't often see from even PWG's better workers. Amazing carry job by Cabana, and a really satisfying mat-based match.
- Then you go to Tornado/B-Boy. This is Tornado's very first PWG singles match, and it's against a So-Cal legend, no less. It's basically worked like a New Japan "discipline" mach, where the veteran smacks around the young lion and the young lion proves his toughness by surviving. Both guys are so great in their roles -- Tornado as the overmatched kid, B-Boy as the hard-hitting vet -- that the one-sidedness of the match and the sloppiness of Tornado's desperation offense don't hurt it at all. You understand why Tornado's sloppy -- it's because he's getting his head kicked in. Another great little undercard match that was the exact right length.
- I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with me on this, but AXP/Pitbulls was easily my MOTN, and one of my favorite PWG matches from '05. A completely different side of the AXP, as they work a really tight, focused brawl with the Pitbulls. Some chairs got thrown around on the floor, and I remember there being a real sense of unease in the JCC that night, as these teams really convincingly seemed to hate each other. The ending was abrupt, but worked fine for me; just an incredible match. Sucks that we never got to see them lock up again.
- We then switch styles AGAIN with Danielson/Hero, which is an inspired comedy match. It's worth clarifying for people who'd think about buying the DVD for this: this is *just* a comedy match. It's not super-intense, there isn't any particularly deep psychology... it bears very little resemblance to their matches in other feds. But it's a *great* comedy match. Danielson is brilliant at in-ring shtick, and Hero keeps up with him nicely. Again, not what you might hope for out of these two, in terms of an intense epic... but on this particular night, it fit into the card perfectly.
- The awesome run concludes with Arrogance's title defense against their surprise opponents, Los Luchas. If anything, this was worked like an MNM vs. London/Kendrick match, with quick, aerial work, fun silly spots and manager interference. Zokre hit all of his big spots perfectly, and there are few things more fun in wrestling than seeing Phoenix Star DDT the shit out of Scott Lost. A really good sprint tag in the sports-entertainment-y vein, and one of my favorite Arrogance defenses.
Between those five matches, the mild appeal of SD/'Cide and some funny DVD extras, I'd recommend this as one of PWG's real slam-dunk shows.