Really, really good show.
Opener's basically what you'd think it would be, although I will say that I found Supa Badd to be one of the more enjoyable comedy guys they used in matches like this.
Stradlin/Cabana is, IMO, one of the most underrated matches in PWG history. It doesn't seem like the kind of match that should be compelling, as Stradlin was in the midst of a pretty bland babyface run and Cabana had no direction in the company. But this match was real damn good, with a smart and consistently followed story: Cabana tries to humiliate Tony on the mat with his fancy British stylings, but Tony's more comfortable on the mat than Colt expects and beats him at his own game. It's a fairly simple story, but so many matches don't have any story whatsoever, and begin a story and then discard it for big moves. This match lets you know what's at stake, makes you care about what's at stake and then gives you a satisfying resolution to that emotional investment. A great match, that's primarily a testament to the abilities of Colt Cabana.
I loved B-Boy/Tornado live. Doesn't hold up quite as well on tape, as it's pretty one-sided, but it's still a pretty cool match, as Tornado presents himself as a legitimate worker for the first time, and B-Boy does a great job of playing the established name who's measuring him up.
AXP/Pitbulls was my MOTN, and I put it on the now-deceased '05 list over at Happy Wrestling Land. An intense, credible, almost scary brawl. No fancy moves from either side -- just strategic violence designed to get them the win. The finish is a little out of nowhere but worked for me, as the AXP aren't used to this intense of an environment and so skip out early. One of my favorite AXP matches ever, as it shows them excelling at a style they don't normally use.
Scrub has AmDrag/Hero pegged exactly right -- it's a stellar comedy match. In some ways that's a disappointment, but if you accept that going in, it's really entertaining, and adds a nice different vibe to the card.
Tag title match is maybe my favorite Arrogance defense. I love Arrogance, but they'd often have these long, matworky openings to their matches that just didn't fit in with their characters. It was nice matwork, but why would the AXP and Arrogance do matwork with each other? They hate each other, so they should just run at each other right away. This match captures that vibe, as Zokre & Phoenix Star very aggressively try to beat Arrogance right off the bat -- there's no out-of-place "feeling out" segment. Just a fast-paced, heated contest bell to bell. This match is like a really, really good, well-executed RAW main event, and I mean that as a genuine compliment.
SD/Homicide isn't a disaster or anything -- they hit big moves, they don't blow anything -- but it might actually be the second-worst match of the night, behind the opener. The reason is that there wasn't any real match story. The previous five matches had stories:
Stradlin/Cabana - Cabana shows off on the mat, but Tony counters
B-Boy/Tornado - Tornado's outgunned but wants to be taken seriously
AXP/Pitbulls - these teams fucking hate each other
Danielson/Hero - these guys like fucking around
Arrogance/Los Luchas - Los Luchas are spunky, but Arrogance CHEATS 2 WIN
In contrast, SD/Homicide doesn't have any real story. They trade their signature moves, pace them well enough, sell fine, but there's no particular dynamic to get excited about. SD kicks out of Homicide offense, Homicide kicks out of SD offense -- so what? They don't give you a reason to root for or against either guy. Sure, you may prefer one or the other going in, but I think a great wrestling match doesn't require that -- it gets you involved no matter what you think or know about the competitors.
Joey/Kanyon died not because they blew stuff or weren't working hard, but because there was nothing in their wrestling that would make you care about the outcome. Kanyon wasn't charming or sympathetic, Joey wasn't deceitful or an asshole. This match is a lot better than that, because SD and Homicide are better workers than Joey and Kanyon. But it disappoints for similar reasons.
It's a shame, too, because Super Dragon and Homicide could have an awesome story match together. They're two of the evilest motherfuckers on the indies, and it'd be awesome to see them try to out-evil each other. Just slapping, punching, choking, cheating... that'd be a great match dynamic. And if it means that they shelve the tope suicida con hilo and the springboard leg lariat, if it means that they don't cleverly reverse one guy's signature move into the other guy's signature move, if it means they spend three minutes fighting over a fork, it'd be worth it. Because it'd be a story. And stories make you care.
"CSTC" is a weird show, as you don't often see shows where the first and last matches are the most skippable. But even those two matches aren't bad here, and the middle five consitute an awesome run of wrestling. I prefer "All Nude Revue" from the next month, as this show doesn't have anything as good as SD/Joe II, but this is a great friggin' show, and a must-see for any PWG fan.[/i]