PWG Then or Now?

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PWG Then or Now?

Postby JustJay » Fri May 19, 2006 8:42 am

I've been watching a lot of older PWG lately, and while I'm of the opinion that PWG is one of the rare indies whose shows still hold up from day 1 of the promotion to the present, there has been a marked difference in the company as time goes by.

PWG's first year still remains incredibly interesting to me...unlike a lot of indy promotions the roster is still very much the same, with most of the core group in 2006 present at the beginning, albeit under different gimmicks/personas. What struck me the most though, is how tightly booked these shows were. Multiple storylines were advanced every show and remained compelling. The PWG Owners vs. RevPro/next gen feud grew out of a throwaway Excalibur/Bosh match on the DEBUT SHOW and turned into something incredibly heated and "real," with some classic promos frmo both sides. Adam Pearce vs. Frankie Kazarian came out of the BAM3K tournament and was a great old-school, slow build angle. Joey Ryan vs. Super Dragon was always simmering in the background.

There's no doubt however, that from All Star Weekend 1 on, PWG has grown quite a bit and on a tremendous roll. The talent level is at an all-time high, as the fed really gets the best of all worlds now- top talent from TNA, ROH, CZW, and locally. I think few would also argue that with the roster depth, the match quality is also way higher than PWG's early days.

However, PWG booking has really been terribly unfocused the past year. Angles are started and dropped for no reason (Frankie Kazarian at Hollywood Globetrotters, Chris Bosh's beef with Super Dragon) hot properties are ludicrously jobbed out (Chris Bosh), #1 contender matches no longer seem to mean anything, and PWG can't seem to handle more more than 3 angles at a time (the tag title situation, "who will beat Joey?" and whatever Scorpio Sky is involved in).

So basically...do you prefer the PWG of today (Fresh and exciting "indy dream matches" and the possibility of seeing ****+ matches every single show) or the early years (a more homegrown-focused show with quality booking)?
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Postby ozmania » Fri May 19, 2006 9:15 am

I don't really see it the way you do. I still see Frankie's intentions of winning the title belt that he started at Hollywood Globetrotters. I still see Bosh's beef with Super Dragon, I mean they are wrestling this Saturday. And I don't see the #1 contender matches as meaningless. I think they are doing a good job building to Joey/B-Boy with B-Boy getting screwed out of his title shots and Joey avoiding him. I mean it makes perfect sense why Frankie was made number 1 contender after pinning Joey. That rule is constant in pro wrestling.
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Postby ozmania » Fri May 19, 2006 9:21 am

Also, I see PWG as a much bigger picture than they were in 03/04. Like many more challengers competing for the belt. Instead of just Frankie vs. Pearce, you have B-Boy, Frankie, Sabin, Steen, Bosh all gunning for the belt. It makes it more valuable to me. And it makes sense too, because Joey is the kind of champion that escapes defeat rather than wins matches, so obviously more people would be gunning after a champion that they feel they can beat.
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Postby SoCalAndy » Fri May 19, 2006 1:11 pm

Everything is way too early to tell to compare now to the past. PWG's been focused, it's just that people don't really focus on the longrun anymore. Everyone wants things done quickly storyline wise and don't want to see how things play out. Everything seems to be more spread out now, instead of just having two people as the main focus. The tag title scene has been built up amazingly within the past year, and it helps out more people now. As a whole, PWG is doing a better job at focusing on a lot of people at once. There's always something fresh at each show, thus making for more excitment.
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Postby onlxn » Fri May 19, 2006 5:51 pm

I think Jay has it about right -- matches are a bit better on average these days, but the booking is a little more haphazard and unsatisfying. Some of it's understandable, as it's a lot harder to book fly-ins consistently than it used to be... some of it just seems like sloppiness. Not surprisingly, the quality of the booking has gone down since PWG started running two shows every month... anyway, there certainly hasn't been any storytelling as satisfying as Axp/Arrogance or Frankie/Pearce lately.

As for this point:

SoCalAndy wrote:Everything is way too early to tell to compare now to the past. PWG's been focused, it's just that people don't really focus on the longrun anymore. Everyone wants things done quickly storyline wise and don't want to see how things play out.

There's something to this, but this can really be used a catch-all excuse, too. Stretching out the Joey/B-Boy feud is good long-term storytelling, but denying fans an advertised title match *wasn't*. That was just sloppy, bad booking. Same thing with Bosh -- making him struggle to win the belt could be good storytelling, but there's no justification, short-term or long-term, for jobbing him out and sending him back into the tag division, as a heel, no less. That's not telling a story over time; that's changing stories in midstream.

I think Dino is a good barometer of how well the booking is working. He's a charming babyface commissioner, and guys like that should say things that the fans want to hear. At 5/6, he made bizarre pronouncements that frustrated and confused the crowd and actually got Dino some boos. That would never happen with proper booking. (If they're turning Dino heel, that's another story, but I definitely don't get the sense that they are.)

Some things are working. The Joey/B-Boy feud has people interested, despite last show's miscue, and as Andy points out, the tag scene is easily the best it's ever been. Lots of guys are over, which is good. But it gets old to see shows where a bunch of over guys have random matches and goof around. Even though the wrestling's better now, I'd take the early '04 shows over the early '06 shows, because at least back then you understood why guys were doing what they were doing.
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Postby los_reyes65 » Fri May 19, 2006 9:56 pm

onlxn wrote:There's something to this, but this can really be used a catch-all excuse, too. Stretching out the Joey/B-Boy feud is good long-term storytelling, but denying fans an advertised title match *wasn't*. That was just sloppy, bad booking. Same thing with Bosh -- making him struggle to win the belt could be good storytelling, but there's no justification, short-term or long-term, for jobbing him out and sending him back into the tag division, as a heel, no less. That's not telling a story over time; that's changing stories in midstream.


I didn't agree with anything you said here, with the exception of "Stretching out the Joey/B-Boy feud is good long-term storytelling" part. So they did deny the fans the advertised match, but it wasn't sloppy or bad booking. With this Joey got out of having to put his title on the line, now he is ducking B-Boy, IMO it's great booking. I wasn't all that excited about B-Boy/Ryan when B-Boy became the number one contender, but now I am actually excited to see where they go from here.

As far as Chris Bosh, I think that what they were doing with him was great, he was over and everything. You gotta think though, PWG Tag Title scene right now is hot. Richards/Dragon are unstoppable and they have beaten/destroyed every opponents. So with PWG running low on tag teams to challenge Richards and Dragon. Plus I don't see how Arrogance being the current number one contenders to the tag titles being a negative.

But like Andy said, I think this is too soon to discuss, PWG isn't even five years old. Sure it has evolved, but still too early for this discussion.
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Postby TheWholeDamShow » Fri May 19, 2006 10:50 pm

I didn't agree with anything you said here, with the exception of "Stretching out the Joey/B-Boy feud is good long-term storytelling" part. So they did deny the fans the advertised match, but it wasn't sloppy or bad booking. With this Joey got out of having to put his title on the line, now he is ducking B-Boy, IMO it's great booking. I wasn't all that excited about B-Boy/Ryan when B-Boy became the number one contender, but now I am actually excited to see where they go from here.


I agree with this. I'll admit, I really wasn't that excited either about the Joey/B-Boy announced for that match. For me, it just felt like another random title match, with the expected results of Joey retaining the title. But now, with the storyline that Joey is avoiding B-Boy, it make the match mean a lot more than it would have before, due to all of the build-up it should receive for how ever long this storyline goes on for. Who knows, maybe now we'll actually see a title change.
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Postby onlxn » Sat May 20, 2006 9:27 am

The thing is, they were already building to the B-Boy/Joey title match. B-Boy had already been #1 Contender and denied a shot, and he won the mini-tourney that was really the culmination of all the #1 Contender matches they've run throughout '06. It *wasn't* just another title defense, and a lot of people -- myself included -- were excited to see it. If you advertise a match that people want to see, it's shitty RAW booking to just not deliver it. There are much better and more effective ways of hyping a match than by just bait-and-switching it. Storylines these days are being told sloppily; B-Boy beating Joey down the line won't magically make screwing fans of a title match a good idea.

And I don't really get the idea that we can't judge PWG storylines because the fed is "only" five years old. When are we allowed to decide whether we're being satisfied by what we're watching? If somebody contends, as several of us are, that the current booking is below PWG's usual standards, how does the fed being only five years old have anything to do with that?
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Postby los_reyes65 » Sat May 20, 2006 5:56 pm

I didn't say anything about the judging of storylines. I said, this fed is less then five years old. I just feel it's too soon to do a look back and decide which era of PWG was better. I'm just speaking for myself, but the B-Boy/Joey Ryan storyline is heating up. And you got a tag team match out of it that was expected. Sorry if you feel cheated, personally I think it was a cool move. It not only furthered the B-Boy/Joey Ryan fued. It added to the Scorpio Sky/Kazarian feud AND there is now something there between B-Boy and Kazarian. I think it was great booking.
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Postby los_reyes65 » Sat May 20, 2006 8:37 pm

The only reason the match was bad was because Chris Bosh was out on his feet. I haven't seen the match, but with Bosh knocked out their match got shot to hell. As for Super Dragon being in the main event alot. Two reasons: One Super Dragon is an awesome wrestler and two he is one of the most over wrestlers. He's becoming an even bigger name in wrestling too. Former CZW champ and one of the main enemies against ROH. I'm not the biggest Super Dragon fan like some, but I think he is great and he is probably the biggest name that wrestles on every show. Not just the occasional show. However I feel Davey Richards name will be big pretty soon, but he probably won't be on every PWG show anymore, unfortunitely.
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