I just got home from attending all three days of WrestleReunion and I am pretty much as exhausted and burnt out as possible. I mean as much as I love Professional Wrestling, even I have my breaking point. That being said, the majority of the weekend was a lot of fun and I met tons of great people. As for the shows, I think there was a lot more to like than to dislike. But at the same time, too much of a good thing can often feel like overkill.
To talk specifically about today's PWG show, it was a really excellent event. Pretty much every match delivered good to great performances and not one guy (or Candice) gave less than 100%. But from my perspective at least, it was tough to get as emotionally invested in to these matches as I would've liked. And I was trying my best believe me! The burnout factor is the obvious reason. But I also think PWG really loses some of it's energy and it's uniqueness when it is outside of Reseda. There's something about being front row in that little Legion Hall for a Pro Wrestling Guerrilla show that is special. Trust me, you put this card as a stand alone event back there and it's a potential show of the year contender. And I definitely look forward to watching it again on DVD in the near future.
Just a few quick opinions on the matches...
1) Taylors vs Kadillak/Famous B
(This was a quite spirited effort from all involved that only suffered from a little too much "G.M.S.I" mentality. These four tried cramming every highspot imaginable into the match and a fair amount of spots were sketchy at best. And poor Chris Kadillak...the guy absolutely KILLED IT on his first Shooting Star Cannonball at "Steen Wolf", yet hasn't been able to match it since. But it's understandable that a couple young guys like Kadillak & Famous B want to impress and show what they can do. And I'll take a bit of excess over half-assitude any day. **3/4)
2) Susumu vs Hulk
(At about the half-way point of this match, the show was already starting to feel a bit lethargic from a crowd standpoint. Sure there were polite applause and a few scattered attempts to get some appreciative chants going, but it just felt kinda forced. Thankfully the home stretch between Jimmy & BxB was rock solid and woke a few people up. Overall a good match here. ***1/4)
3) Davey Richards/Harry Smith vs The Young Bucks
(After gaining respect for each other following a tough bout the night before, it made solid sense to team up Davey & Harry here. And I don't think the match suffered at all without Eddie. The Young Bucks deserve a ton of praise for working their asses off on all three straight nights. In many ways they were the MVPs of the weekend. This also had a strong finish. My only gripe is I saw probably a dozen tag matches over the weekend, and I think they all had the same basic formula of having the babyface (in this case Davey) getting worked over extensively while trying to make the hot tag then the crazy finish with the ref losing control and all four guys going crazy with the big spots. Look, I get it. It's the BASIC formula. But I don't see why it can't be changed up occasionally. Anyway this was another ***+ match and Harry got well deserved props from the fans.)
4) Mack vs Doi
(I totally enjoyed this match and I think it was the first time on the show that the fans seemed motivated to really get involved throughout the duration. The chants of "Naruki DOI" were consistantly followed by a similarly fashioned "Willie MACK" retort and this truly felt like a fun hard-hitting PWG match-up. Even though Willie has been in some tough one-on-one wars with guys like Hero, Strong and Steen, I think this may have been his best singles performance to date. Or at least his most polished. Willie looked great out there and Doi is awesome. Kudos!)
5) The 8-person Tag
(This was pure insanity and a classic Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Random Multi-Person Wackjob Spectacle! We had everything from Boobplexes to Ballplexes to Midgets to Joey Ryan's thong to...(well, let's just stop there). This was a blast to watch and dare I say it somewhere in the **** range to boot. Good comedy, wild spots and probably the most perved out foursome in Wrestling history on one side of the ring. I'm all in!)
6) RockNES Monsters vs Cima/Ricochet
(I had high hopes for this since I am a huge RockNES guy. And I really thought the fans would eat it up. But it seemed like all the crowd momentum that was gaining from the previous couple matches was lost somewhere during intermission. This was probably the biggest win in Goodtime and Yuma's career and it felt sorta flat. It's hard to put my finger on. It was another good match, yet also another tag match with the same...basic...formula. I really think the crowd needed something different than Johnny Yuma struggling for 6 or 7 minutes to get the hot tag. And the finish seemed to come out of nowhere. But in all honesty, the work here was damn good and probably deserved better than it got)
7) Roddy Strong vs Mochizuki
(These two badasses just knocked the hell out of each other early and often. There's not a whole lot to say really. This match was STIFF (in the good sense)...the fans were pretty STIFF as well (in the not so good sense). Lotsa cringeworthy goodness that did earn some response down the stretch.)
The Main Event!!!
(if you're still reading this, I'm sure you know who was involved. I dig all 6 guys which made it rough trying to figure out a rooting interest. The match itself was crazy, going from an all-out brawl to back and forth submissions to highspots up the ying-yang! Steen was tremendous here doing his own running commentary throughout. Pac was hitting crazy shit left and right. Super Dragon grabbed a fans hat and chucked it for no reason whatsoever. Tozawa was back to reclaim his love affair with the fans by yelling at them to shut the fuck up. Even the fans who seemed largely ready for about a month of Pro Wrestling detox couldn't help but be impressed with this insanity. Still, with all that said, it was somehow missing a certain ingredient that would've put this over the top as an all-time classic. Maybe in Reseda it would've come together even better. Then again, it might all just go back to my own tired, burned out perspective. Speaking of which, I need sleep. This show should come across awesome on DVD. And I'm sure I'll have a new appreciation for it once I get a second viewing.