Saturday, April 16th, 2011
Century Casino Showroom, Edmonton, AB
While CHIKARA’s King of Trios tournament rocked the indy wrestling world from Philadelphia last weekend, Edmonton was treated to the PWA’s April offering, Hysteria. Let’s get right to the action!
King Dusty Adonis vs. Chucky Blaze
King Dusty’s usual entrance theme “God Save The King” is inexplicably absent tonight, replaced with a grandiose classical piece that faded into a pop song I don’t recognize and which was entirely inappropriate from a character standpoint. The action starts off with some solid but unspectacular chain wrestling which leads to Chucky hitting a big missile dropkick off the second turnbuckle. Dusty begs off in the corner, Ric Flair style, and sucker punches Chucky after he agrees to a handshake. The King then took over, although Chucky botched taking a few of Dusty’s key moves (he landed an Irish Curse on his stomach instead of his back and somehow botched taking a knee lift). Blaze eventually made a comeback after catching the King with a brutal superkick that sounded like a gunshot. Chucky followed up with a leaping knee strike in the corner with similarly devastating results. Dusty staggered about in a daze, but managed to duck a springboard cross body attempt, then motioned for Chucky to get up so he could finish him off. He went for his signature ace crusher, but Chucky threw the King off and hit him with a springboard moonsault for the victory at around the 8 minute mark. This one had the makings of a very good opener, but the botches in the middle held it back.
Stryfe w/ Dr. Kyoto vs. M
Stryfe comes out with his manager, Mr. Kyoto. Unfortunately, Mr. Kyoto doesn’t cut one of his hilarious Japanese-ish promos. M gets a big pop, then takes off his entrance gear, which I suspect outweighs him considerably. Things start off with fast-paced technical wrestling. Whenever M started to get an advantage, Stryfe grounded him with a hold. My friend Dan and I spent most of the match heckling Stryfe and getting dirty looks from the girl sitting in front of us, who we later found out was his girlfriend. Awkward. I still stand by dubbing his attempt at a middle turnbuckle leg drop the Muffin-Top Drop, though.
Mr. Kyoto got involved after M found himself draped over the second rope, strangling the veteran with his scarf so vigorously that M ended up falling out of the ring. Referee Vijay Shankhar didn’t seem to put two and two together when he saw Mr. Kyoto hurrying away from a prone M and trying to put his scarf back on as non-chalantly possible. Then, in an almost mind-bogglingly anti-climactic finish, M climbed back in the ring and hit Stryfe with a bridging German suplex to pick up the three count after 5 and a half minutes of action.
Following the bout, ring announcer What About Ivan announced that M would be one of the three new inductees to the PWA Hall of Fame at Night of Champions in June. M has been a PWA regular since the first show back in 2001, and got a big ovation for his longevity.
Brady Roberts & Brody Malibu vs. Nightmare #2 & Scotty Putty
After some early offence from Scotty Putty, the O.C. dream team (who aren’t, as far as I know, actually called that) took over on Nightmare #2. Nightmare didn’t get in much offence, but unfortunately none of Brady and Brody’s offence was particularly interesting. Brady Roberts frequently provoked Scotty Putty into taking a swing at him while Brody Malibu put the boots to Nightmare behind the referee’s back. After several almost-tags, Nightmare finally seemed like he was going to make the exchange, but a knee to the back sent him hard into Putty, knocking “The Body” off the apron and onto the floor. Scotty was visibly upset by this, and showed his frustration by booting Nightmare in the head next time he reached for a tag. Brady and Brody took advantage to finish off Nightmare #2 at about 7 and a half minutes, then Scotty joined them in a gang beating after the match. Brady Roberts then tied a bandana identical to the one he wears around his neck around the bicep of Scotty Putty, signifying “The Body” joining forces with whatever Roberts and Malibu are calling themselves.
PWA Cruiserweight Championship Match
Cam-ikaze © vs. Andrew Hawks
This one is a rematch from one of the best matches on last month’s 10th Anniversary Show, but with a few added wrinkles: the Century Casino showroom’s low ceiling and Hawks having turned heel due to his loss in the 10th Anniversary Show match. On the plus side, this forced the two to wrestle a completely different match, since they couldn’t utilize the top rope nearly as much as they did in their previous encounter.
The bulk of the match was comprised of fast-paced technical wrestling, very reminiscent of the hybrid style of cruiserweight wrestling common to WCW in the ‘90s. Hawks took over after the initial exchange, with the highlight of his offence being a spinning Gory Special. When he stopped spinning, he charged backwards across the ring and splattered Cam-ikaze’s torso into the top turnbuckle. Cam made a brief comeback, nearly scoring the victory with a hurricanrana, but Hawks regained the advantage and nailed a back suplex onto the top turnbuckle. Hawks maintained his momentum with a torture rack spun into a sitout powerbomb and a double arm backbreaker before calling for the end. He set Cam on the top turnbuckle, looking like he was going for a superplex, but Cam had the presence of mind to knock him off the ropes. The champion tried to blast Hawks with a dropkick off the middle rope, but the dastardly Newfie used referee Richie Howard as a shield, then landed a leaping kick to a shocked Cam-ikaze. Hawks woke up the referee, but instead of counting three, Howard called for the bell shortly after the 10 minute mark. In the most competent bit of wrestling refereeing I’ve seen in a while, Howard was aware that it was Hawks who pulled him in front of Cam’s dropkick and disqualified the challenger. Upset, Hawks loudly informed the fans that he’d been screwed, then spit in Howard’s face before storming off. Cam-ikaze proceeded to celebrate like accidentally kicking the referee in the face was a truly worthwhile victory. Kurt Sorochan informed ring announcer What About Ivan to tell the crowd that Hawks had been fined his night’s pay for spitting on an official, then it was intermission time.
Coming back from the intermission, PWA veteran Tex Gaines entered the ring as the second member of the PWA Hall of
Fame class of 2011. He cut a promo thanking the fans, the staff, and the boys in the back, then got to interesting part. Tex said that he’s getting older and his body’s just not the same as it used to be, so he’s going to be retiring. That said, he’s has one last fight left in him. He talked about having faced nearly everyone who’s come through the PWA over the years, and issued a challenge for anyone he’s never wrestled before to take him on in at Night of Champions in June. Chucky Blaze came out and thanked Tex for all he’s done for both the PWA and him personally, then said that Tex has never faced anyone as crazy as Chucky. That held significantly less weight with me after the botches in the opening match. The two shook hands, then Tex grinned and added that the match would be no holds barred.
PWA Canadian Tag Team Championship Match
Evan Adams & Eclipse © vs. Scotley Crue & Bobby Sharp w/ Dr. Kyoto
I still have no idea why the Tag Team Titles are the only ones with “Canadian” in front of them, but that’s a question that I don’t anticipate an answer to anytime soon, so let’s get to the match. Adams and Eclipse won the tag titles at the 10th Anniversary Show in a very exciting match which had almost no build-up, so this bout needed to go a long way to establishing them as a legitimate team. In my estimation, it confirmed several things that have been demonstrated before: Crue and Sharp can be counted on to consistently put on solid tag team matches, Evan Adams’ offence is a thousand percent excitement, and Eclipse is a terrible luchador.
The match started off with a brawl between all four men… and sort of Dr. Kyoto. As Evan Adams charged across the ring, Kyoto ended up in the way, resulting in hilarity as it looked like Adams was choosing to gently nudge Kyoto toward the ropes while Eclipse got beat up by two guys. Eclipse hit an Eddie Guerrero-style headbutt over the top rope from the apron to the ring, which was pretty much the extent of his significant offence until much later in the bout.
I’ve talked about this before, but Eclipse is a terrible luchador. He wears a mask and lucha-style tights, which create the expectation that he’ll wrestle the Mexican style. The problem is that the lucha style is predicated on quickness and constant motion, whereas Eclipse is sluggish and looks like a bootleg tape from Mexico is being watched in slow motion. This becomes even more problematic now that he’s teaming up with Evan Adams, who could very well be the top flyer in the PWA. Adams moves like he’s got jet fuel instead of blood and can twist and flip so many times in the middle of a move that it looks like he’s telling gravity to go to hell.
My rant about Eclipse being terrible at his gimmick aside, he spent most of the match getting beaten up by Crue and Sharp, who worked a fairly simple heel routine of grinding down their isolated opponent and making quick tags. There wasn’t any particularly impressive offence on display, but they had several near-falls before Eclipse finally managed to tag in Adams. After wiping out both of the challengers by himself, Crue and Sharp briefly regained their composure until Crue missed Adams and nailed Sharp with a forearm smash. Evans spiked Crue with a brainbuster to retain the titles at around the 10 minute mark while Eclipse held off Bobby Sharp.
Valkyrie vs. Jordyn Brooks
This match confused me a little bit early on, because I had no idea who was supposed to be the face and who was the heel until a few minutes into the bout. Jordyn Brooks is a good example of notable issue in the PWA, and indy wrestling in general, which is that faces often have no discernable personality. I spent the first half of the match convinced that Valkyrie was supposed to be the face because she had an interesting costume (think of a hot blonde version of the Barbarian’s old gear and you’re on the right track) and an over-the-top personality. And really, it’s hard to tell whether sultry posing is meant to elicit cheers or boos.
The match itself was a big step up from the women’s singles matches of shows past. The tag team bout at the 10th Anniversary was a huge step up, and this match followed that model of quality instead of the previous standard of “try to keep the number of really noticeable botches countable on one hand.” It became clear halfway through the match that Valkyrie was the heel when she started using classic woman-heel moves like the hair throw. Jordyn hopped on the comeback train but was seemingly derailed when Valkyrie caught her attempt at a flying cross-body. Valkyrie tried to swing Jordyn into a uranage, but Jordyn kept up her momentum to swing around behind Valkyrie and taker down with a crucifix for the three count at the 6 minute mark.
Following the women’s match, promoter Kurt Sorochan entered the ring and was revealed as the third member of the PWA Hall of Fame class of 2011. Which was… well it was a little anti-climactic, since he’s, y’know, the owner of the promotion.
PWA Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Steele © vs. Alex Plexis
So apparently it’s Alex Plexis’ turn to be added to the trail of bodies left in Chris Steele’s wake. Steele has held the PWA Heavyweight Championship since October and hasn’t been involved in any sort of feud since besting his nemesis and
former champion T-Bone Jack Sloan in a chain match at Fright Night 2010 slightly later in October. His title defences have essentially been a steady stream of victims fed to him in main events that lack any sort of build-up or meaning. So that’s pretty much where we’re at here.
The match started with Chris Steele throwing the MUCH smaller Alex Plexis around like a lawn dart (assuming lawn darts have amazing abs). After a few minutes Plexis managed to counter a Steele charge with a brutal dropkick to the knee, then spent several minutes working over Steele’s bad wheel. Plexis wrapped the knee around the ring post, shoulder blocked it, stomped on it, and locked in an Indian Deathlock. Naturally, when Steele made his comeback all of his moves were based on charging around the ring with reckless abandon, only selling the leg injury half time. After a hard whip into the corner that almost saw Plexis wipe out on the ring post when he went over the top rope, Plexis managed to back Steele off long enough to attempt a cross body block off the top. He ate a spear and found himself staring at the ceiling for the three count just shy of the 10 minute mark.
Spot of the Night: This one’s a tie between Andrew Hawks’ Gory Special turnbuckle smash on Cam-ikaze and Evan Adams’ brainbuster on Scotley Crue.
Match of the Night: Andrew Hawks vs. Cam-ikaze. Hopefully there’s another rematch coming down the road, because I love the work these guys are doing together.
Overall: There was no way this one to live up to the 10th Anniversary Show from last month, but it was an above-average outing. There were no bad matches and two very good matches (the Cruiserweight title match and the Tag Team title match).