DVD Review: "Astonishing X-Mas," 121605

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Discussion

DVD Review: "Astonishing X-Mas," 121605

Postby ChrisV » Sat May 27, 2006 11:27 am

DVD Review: Pro Wrestling Guerrilla 121605 results & thoughts

By Chris Vetter

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla returned to the Sweatbox in Los Angeles, Calif., on Dec. 16, 2005, for "Astonishing X-Mas." This venue is similar to an elementary school gym. The crowd here is between 300 and 400, and they are always hot for PWG action!

Lighting is mediocre. The ringside fan cam looks much better than the hard cam. Announcing is handled by a pair of wrestlers, Disco Machine and TARO. No Excalibur on this release.

* Commissioner Dino Winwood, dressed as Santa, entered the ring and gave away cheap gag gifts. Fun stuff.

(1) Scott Lost defeats Alex Shelley at 16:39. Very good opener. Lost wore a black singlet. Shelley opened with some quick mat holds and good mat reversals. He sneezed on the mat; moments later, Lost rolled onto that spot, and he was disgusted. Funny. Shelley applied a headscissorslock and did some pushups at 3:30. Shelley was in control, applying a Japanese Stranglehold, then a spin kick to the head, and the crowd popped. Shelley placed Lost's head between his knees at 7:30, and Shelley rammed Lost's face into the mat repeatedly.

Lost came back with a standing neckbreaker, a basement dropkick, and a sleeper. They traded chops on the floor, and Lost hit a dropkick. In the ring, Lost hit a back suplex for a nearfall at 11:30. Shelley hit a superkick, and they were both down. Shelley hit an enziguri, then a basement dropkick to the head. Lost hit a spear, and he went for a hurricanrana, but Shelley turned it into a powerbomb. Shelley hit a brainbuster and a frogsplash for a believable nearfall at 14:00.

Lost came back with a top-rope superplex, and the crowd was hot! Lost hit a top-rope elbow drop for a nearfall. He went for a Swanton Bomb, but Shelley got his knees up to block it. Lost applied a Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring, and got his knee in Shelley's lower back. Shelley scrambled toward the ropes, but Lost pulled him back to the center of the ring, and Shelley tapped out. Good match. ***1/4

(2) Quicksilver & Top Gun Talwar defeat Nemesis & Ronin at 11:38. Good tag match. Nemesis wore a mask and a black & white outfit. Talwar wore a red singlet, with a thong over the singlet, and he's goofy. Ronin and Talwar traded chops and quick moves, and Talwar applied a Fujiwara Armbar. The announcers say that Nemesis debuted just one month ago; it's my first time seeing him. Quicksilver faced off against Nemesis.

Nemesis ripped the Santa hat off Quicksilver, and the crowd booed him! There was lots of silliness here early, and the crowd was enjoying it. Talwar hit a shoulder tackle on Nemesis. Nemesis came back with a backbreaker on Talwar at 5:00. The heels briefly worked over Talwar. Talwar came back with a Sky High slam on Nemesis, and Talwar made the hot tag to Quicksilver. Quicksilver hit a nice hurricanrana on Ronin for a nearfall at 7:30.

Nemesis hit a swinging neckbreaker on Quicksilver. Talwar hit a Tornado DDT on Nemesis. Quicksilver and Ronin traded stiff forearms, and Quicksilver hit an enziguri. Quicksilver then dove to the floor, barely clearing the top rope. Ronin hit a neckbreaker on Talwar, then a standing powerbomb on Quicksilver. Nemesis hit the Shock Treatment/sit-down Torture Rack on Quicksilver at 11:00. All four brawled in the ring. Quicksilver hit a Michinoku Driver on Ronin for the pin. **1/2

(3) Colt Cabana defeats Scorpio Sky at 12:38. A strange match; it was just 'off.' This is face-face, and Cabana appears to be a bit bigger than Scorpio. Sky worked on the left arm, and they traded standing switches; some good comedy here. Cabana hit a hard shoulder tackle that sent Sky to the floor at 4:00. Sky hit a nice dropkick in the ring.

Cabana hit a bodyslam and some chops, and he was in charge. Sky got tossed to the mat, and he clutched his knee, and I think he hurt it legit. Cabana kicked and twisted the leg for a minute, then he applied a Figure Four Leglock. He pushed Scorpio's shoulders to the mat and got a surprising pin. Disappointing, and I'm a fan of these two. *3/4

(4) Roderick Strong & Jack Evans defeat El Generico & Human Tornado (w/Jade Chung) at 23:18. Excellent, excellent tag match. Evans and Tornado did a 'dance-off' to open the match, and the crowd enjoyed this. Tornado hit a shoulder tackle and a dropkick. Strong tagged in at 5:00, and Generico hit him with some chops and armdrags. Strong chopped Tornado. Strong flipped Evans in the air, and Evans did a 450 splash down onto Tornado. Nice. Evans hit a spin kick on Tornado. Strong hit a back suplex and a butterfly suplex. Evans hit a standing corkscrew moonsault!

Tornado hit an enziguri on Evans for a nearfall at 8:30. Generico tagged in, and he worked over Evans. Tornado hit a neckbreaker over his knee, then a reverse suplex, dropping Evans on his stomach. Strong tagged in and he hit a Mafia Kick to Generico's back. Strong hit a backbreaker over his knee on Generico for a nearfall at 12:00. Strong unloaded more chops, then a delayed vertical suplex, as the crowd counted to 30! Strong tossed Evans onto Generico for a nearfall. Evans hit a handspring-back-elbow, then a springboard spin kick for a nearfall. Generico went for a springboard move, but Strong blocked it and he nailed a backbreaker at 15:30.

Human Tornado made the hot tag, and he hit a Pounce on Evans! Tornado nailed a hurricanrana on Strong over the top rope to the floor. Tornado then dove over the top rope, deep into the crowd, on Strong, at 17:30. Evans hit a 450 Splash to the floor on all three! Back in the ring, Human Tornado hit a neckbreaker on Evans as Evans was tied in the Tree of Woe, for a nearfall. Strong hit a pumphandle backbreaker. Generico nailed a Mafia Kick in the corner on Strong! Evans hit a Reverse Rana on Generico at 20:00!

Generico came back with a half-nelson suplex on Evans for a nearfall. Strong nailed another backbreaker! Evans hit a hurricanrana on Generico. Strong hit his Gorilla Press Gutbuster on Generico. Strong flipped Evans in the corner, and Evans landed feet-first on Tornado. OUCH. Evans went for a doublestomp off Generico, as Strong held Generico across his shoulders, but Evans slipped. Evans tried to cover for it, and he hit a standing corkscrew moonsault on Human Tornado, for the pin. Despite the botched finish, this was still very, very good, and the crowd was hot. ***3/4

(5) Joey Ryan defeats Chris Kanyon at 25:13 to retain the PWG heavyweight title. Really disappointing. I was a huge fan of WCW-era Kanyon, but here, he seemed out of shape, sluggish, and his in-ring stuff was slow and plodding. Ryan is a solid heel and the crowd is usually all over him, but there was little Ryan could do here. Ryan grabbed the mic before the match and said, "Tonight, the Joey Ryan era begins!" He asked the crowd who wanted a "mustache ride."

The crowd was all over Ryan early as they traded basic standing switches and armholds. The announcers joked about how they don't call much action in the matches. Kanyon got a backslide for a nearfall at 4:30. Ryan took a timeout to use his inhaler, and the crowd booed him. Kanyon hit a backbreaker for a nearfall. Ryan hit a suplex on the floor at 8:00. Ryan whipped Kanyon into a fan at ringside. In the ring, Ryan choked Kanyon in the ropes. Kanyon came back with a delayed vertical suplex. Ryan blocked a Kanyon Cutter and he hit an enziguri for a nearfall at 10:30.

Ryan applied a sleeper, then he hit a German Release Suplex. Kanyon hit a second-rope Famouser at 13:30, and they were both down. Kanyon hit a Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall, then a powerbomb that had zero force behind it. Ugh. Ryan hit a standing powerbomb for a believable nearfall, then a second-rope spinning Pedigree for a nearfall at 17:30. Ryan hit a Tornado DDT to the floor. Kanyon hit a Flatliner for a nearfall in the ring. Ryan hit a Superkick for a believable nearfall.

Kanyon hit a second-rope Flatliner for a nearfall, but Ryan reached the ropes. Ryan pulled out some brass knuckles, hit Kanyon in the face, and got a believable nearfall at 22:30. Kanyon hit a drop-toe-hold onto an open chair for a nearfall. Kanyon hit the Kanyon Cutter (Diamond Cutter), but he was slow to make the cover. Out of the back came... Mortis! Mortis hopped int he ring, and Kanyon attacked him. Ryan got a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin. Wow, that was bad, and just way too long. *1/2
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Postby ChrisV » Sat May 27, 2006 11:28 am

(6) Samoa Joe defeats Davey Richards at 15:58. Very good match. Joe wore his black & brown shorts. Richards wore black trunks. They traded quick mat reversals and the crowd chanted, "Joe's gonna kill you!" Joe hit a kick to the thigh; Richards returned kicks to the thigh. This is stiff. Joe stomped on Richards' legs. Richards tried a shoulder tackle, but Joe didn't budge. Richards hit four stiff roundhouse kicks to the chest. Joe countered with a hard Mafia Kick then right & left kicks. Joe hit the back chop & front kick & knee drop combo at 4:00, then he hit some chops.

Richards came back with his own chops. Joe hit a senton, then his chop & punch combo in the corner. Richards hit a Lungblower at 7:30, and they were both down. Richards hit a flying forearm and a clothesline for a enarfall, then he applied and STF; he then turned the STF into a Crippler Crossface. Fluid mat wrestling. Joe reached the ropes. The action spilled to the floor, where Joe caught one of Richards' legs, and he whipped Richards into the chairs at ringside.

Richards was bleeding from the nose. Joe hit a spine kick on the floor. In the ring, Joe hit a running knee to the face in the corner, then a Facewash at 11:30. Joe hit a standing powerbomb, and he turned it into a Boston Crab, then an STF, then a Crippler Crossface, but Richards reached the ropes. They traded chops, and Joey hit a powerslam, then some spine kicks, and the crowd was hot.

Richards hit a German Suplex for a nearfall, then an enziguri. Joe hit a hard clothesline for a nearfall, then he hit the Musclebuster to score the pin. Good, believable stiff action, and they could have easily gone longer. ***1/4

(7) Chris Sabin & Frankie Kazarian & T.J. "Puma" Perkins & Rocky Romero defeat Christopher Daniels & Petey Williams & B-Boy & Alex Koslov at 23:22. Entertaining match. Koslov is new to me; he's doing the Nicholi Volkov gimmick, wearing red shorts with "Russia" written on the back, and he has short black hair. Petey and Kazarian opened with some armdrags, and in a fun spot, Petey hit each of his four opponents with hiptosses... then he hiptossed the referee... then he hiptossed each of his partners! Funny.

B-Boy tagged in, and he hit a basement dropkick on Kazarian. B-Boy and Sabin traded stiff forearms. Daniels entered at 4:30, and he hit a leg lariat on Sabin. Sabin hit a hurricanrana on Daniels, then a cool snap headscissors takedown. Alex Koslov entered, and he wore a black Russian hat. He hit some hard European Uppercuts. Perkins hit a dropkick to the back and he chopped Alex. The heels beat up Perkins on the floor, and they took turns working him over. Petey did the 'Oh Canada' groin stomp on Perkins, so Shelley did it, then Alex, then Daniels. Fun.

Romero tagged in at 10:30, entering for the first time in the match, and he hit a Mafia Kick on Daniels, then some spin kicks and chops. Kazarian hit a catapult basement dropkick on Daniels, and the announcers joked that Kazarian's offense was 'too high risk.' Kazarian hit a spinning neckbreaker for a nearfall on Daniels. The heels began to work over Kazarian. Alex hit a nice dropkick to the face at 15:00. Alex then did a traditional Russian dance. B-Boy entered... and he hit a dropkick, then danced! Petey did the dropkick & dance, and Daniels finished it off, by also hitting a dropkick and dancing. The crowd loved the silliness.

Kazarian climbed over the four heels to reach the face corner, and Sabin made the hot tag at 18:30. Sabin hit a Tornado DDT, taking down all four heels. Sabin hit a missile dropkick on Alex, then he hit the Cradleshock for a nearfall on Alex. Petey entered, and he tried to hit a Canadian Destroyer, but Sabin blocked it; Petey instead hit a spinning neckbreaker. Puma hit a butterfly suplex for a nearfall on Petey.

Romero put Daniels in a cross-armbreaker at 21:00. B-Boy hit a fisherman's buster on Romero, then a sit-down powerbomb on Sabin. Romero hit a flip senton to the floor. Petey hit a hurricanrana to the floor. Perkins then dove to the floor on several people. Suddenly, it's only Sabin vs. B-Boy in the ring, and Sabin hit the Cradleshock for the pin. Good match, but some guys (like Romero) were barely in the ring. ***

(8) Super Dragon defeats Kevin Steen at 30:02 in a "Guerrilla Warfare" match. This is a violent hardcore match, and the announcers stressed how rare this style is done in PWG. They immediately brawled on the floor, and fought through the chairs at ringside, and the fans scrambled to steer clear of this fight.

Super Dragon entered the ring at 3:30, only to dive back to the floor on Steen. Steen slammed Super Dragon against a wall, then he hit the flip guillotine legdrop on the floor. They traded chops to the FACE, then headbutts. They brawled toward the entrance, and Super Dragon topped the entrance curtain on Steen at 6:00. Super Dragon hit a snap suplex on the floor. In the ring, Steen put on a Super Dragon mask, and he hit a Curbstomp on Super Dragon! Super Dragon promptly hit two Curbstomps!

The fans stomped on the mat, as Super Dragon prepared to dive to the floor, but Steen rolled off a table at ringside to avoid the dive, and the crowd booed him. Steen hit a suplex off the apron, through a table on the floor at 12:00, and the crowd chanted, "Holy Sh--!" Steen hit a Swanton bomb in the ring for a nearfall. Super Dragon hit a top-rope senton splash for a believable nearfall, a chairshot to the groin, and a Curbstomp on a folded chair!!! Super Dragon hit a doublestomp on the head, on an open chair, for a believable nearfall at 17:00.

Super Dragon got a can filled with thumbacks and he poured them on the mat! Steen hit a standing powerbomb on Dragon, onto the tacks! Steen piled four chairs on the mat, and he hit a Package Piledriver on the chairs for a believable nearfall. Steen headed toward the back at 22:00, and he got a barbed-wire covered board! Super Dragon fired back with a clothesline, and both men were down, and the crowd was hot! Super Dragon hit a top-rope butterfly suplex on the barbed-wire board for a believable nearfall at 25:00!!

Super Dragon then hit a Psycho Driver off the apron through a table on the floor! Super Dragon rolled Steen in the ring, went for a cover, but he pulled Steen up at the two-count! Super Dragon got another canister, and inside this one was a pair of handcuffs. He locked Steen's arms behind his back. Steen hit some chops, kneelifts, and a chairshot the head, but he again pulled Steen up rather than pinning him. Super Dragon then hit a Psycho Driver, on his head, on the tacks, for the pin. Wow. Violent. ***3/4

Final thoughts: DVD runs 2 hours, 58 minutes. This has some really good matches, but some disappointing matches too. The main event brawl was hard hitting and the culmination of a feud that ran for most of the year. Because PWG rarely has big 'hardcore death matches," this one was made even more special & unique.

I personally loved Strong & Evans vs. Tornado & Generico, so I'm going to give that co-match of the night, tied with the main event. Evans & Strong work so well together, and Generico takes a great beating. This was really fun back-and forth action. Samoa Joe vs. Richards was what I expected -- a stiff exchange of blows, and that got third best. The opening match of Lost vs. Shelley was really entertaining, and that got fourth-best, just ahead of the fun 8-man tag.

As good as all those matches were, there were some disappointments here. I had high hopes for Cabana vs. Scorpio Sky, and to me, the match just fell flat. They just didn't mesh well in the ring. Who decided that Chris Kanyon should go 25 minutes? It was obvious he tried to pace himself for a long match, and instead, it came across as lifeless and flat. I don't say that to be mean... as I noted, I was a big Kanyon fan years ago. But his performance here shows why TNA, ROH, JAPW and other top indy promotions aren't beating down his door. This match would have been much better if they tried to have a tighter 14-minute match.

My other complaints about PWG haven
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Postby Suicidal Youth » Sat May 27, 2006 8:20 pm

Nice review, dude.

I know full entrances would be cool, but it's in PWG's best interest not to have them.
Suicidal Youth
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Postby ChrisV » Sun May 28, 2006 4:14 pm

...and I mentioned that just in passing. I've made my case on that... and I don't want to belabor the point.

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