PWA Summer Heat
Saturday, July 30th, 2011
Century Casino Showroom, Edmonton, Alberta

PWA's new-look ring. The ropes and apron are red now.

The PWA is back in the Century Casino after last month’s detour into the NAIT Gymnasium (which I was, sadly, unable toattend). The incredibly comfortable office chairs have been replaced with ballroom chairs, which are both kind ofuncomfortable and far more numerous, which only made the place look more empty, especially since the attendance seemed visibly lower than usual. There was also only one referee present, so the beleaguered Ritchie Howard worked double the number of matches he usually does, which also meant he took double the abuse from the crowd that he normally does.

William Saint vs. Nightmare #2

Saint’s theme music (“Last Resort” by Papa Roach) makes no sense for a face. I don’t really have a greater point to build to with that, as it effects nothing in the match, I’m just sayin’. Things started off with a handshake between the two babyfaces, then a series of headlocks and reversals into other headlocks. A certain portion of the audience went nuts over this and started chanting “we want headlocks” whenever any other move was used. Most of the match was solid technical wrestling with a good pace to it. It’s also the first time I’ve gotten to see Saint actually do moves, since his last match was a six minute squash against Dylan Knight. Turns out he’s basically Dynamite Kid with a few tweaks, in terms of his moveset. One of those tweaks involved killing Nightmare with Angel’s Wings (which I have video of on my YouTube channel). Nightmare managed to kick out, which frustrated Saint, who followed up by whipping Nightmare into the corner. He followed up with a shoulder charge, but Nightmare used the top rope to hop up over Saint and take him over with a sunset flip for the pinfall. A visibly frustrated Saint rolled out of the ring, then regained his composure and encouraged the fans to applaud Nightmare’s victory.

Bobby Sharp vs. Cam!!ikaze

Bobby Sharp comes out and cuts a promo, which I don’t think I’ve heard him do before. It was okay-ish. His delivery wasn’t bad, but all he really had to say was that he wasn’t teaming with Scotley Crue anymore and that wrestling singles matches was all he needed to succeed. Which was a weird phrasing. He was announced as “The Atomic One” (what?) and ended his promo with “and that’s atomic!” Double what?  Then Cam!!ikaze (who does, in fact, have two exclamation points in his name) came out and Bobby Sharp eventually got into the ring to fight him.

Cam!!ikaze is upside down. I can't remember why. It's probably not going to go well for him.

This match was the classic style clash between the faster, more athletic Cam!!ikaze and the larger, more powerful Sharp. Things started off with chain wrestling which led to Cam going for a lucha libre transition from an arm-wringer to an arm drag (the Essa Rios move where he jumped onto the top rope, dropped down to his butt and flipped backward into the arm drag), but Sharp just kind of stood there like he thought there was more to it. Cam essentially pushed him over with a reverse gutwrench kinda thing. Awkward. Sharp gained control and kept Cam!!ikaze grounded using holds like the Sharpshooter. Cam made his comeback and hit a Michinoku Driver (his finisher), but Sharp kicked out. Cam’s jaw practically hit the mat, then he scooped up Sharp and tried to hit the driver again, but was countered into a small package for a two count. Cam hit the Michinoku Driver a second time and that’s all she wrote.

T-Bone Jack Sloan vs. Chucky Blaze

Remember when T-Bone Jack Sloan was the PWA Heavyweight Champion? Yeah… then he meandered about the card until he ended up with the Mayhem Title, then he lost that, and now here he is. The fans engaged in their customary “T-Bag” chants, eliciting the usual angry response from T-Bone, and HILARITY from the middle-aged woman sitting behind me who said, without even the slightest hint of a joke, “oh, I hear t-bags are good for the yes.” I don’t think she understood why I suddenly started laughing.

T-Bone does not like being called T-Bag. It makes him want to injure Chucky Blaze's internal organs.

This match wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was a solid example of two very good workers putting on a good midcard match. There were no slow spots, and whenever it seemed like things might start to lag they busted out something interesting to get the crowd back into it. Even the one botched spot still mostly worked, when Chucky attempted a springboard body press and missed the second rope. He luckily landed on the bottom rope and was still able to execute the move without hurting anybody.

After a bit of back-and-forth and some near falls, Chucky caught T-Bone square on the chin with a superkick, which the former PWA champ barely managed to kick out of. While Chucky stared at referee Ritchie Howard in disbelief, T-Bone tried to bail out of the ring. Chucky managed to catch T-Bone’s leg and drag him back into the middle of the ring, but T-Bone grabbed a fistful of the apron and it ended up coming with him. While Howard took a moment to shove the apron back into position, T-Bone took the opportunity to kick Chucky south of the border and roll him up with a small package to “earn” the victory.

PWA Mayhem Championship “Fast Break” Match
M © vs. Andrew Hawks

As soon as I heard the phrase “fast break match” the wheels in my brain started turning to try and churn out an idea about what the hell I was about to watch. The PWA makes up strange stipulations for matches on a semi-regular basis, and apparently that time has rolled around again. A fast break match has a 10 minute time limit (the usual for a PWA match is 20), and no holds… allowed? What? At first I thought the ring announcer flubbed his line, but no, that was right. No holds allowed. Only striking and moves (which, it could be argued, are also holds, since you can’t suplex a guy with getting a hold of him) were allowed. Naturally, Andrew Hawks immediately put M in a wristlock, causing referee Ritchie Howard to remind him that he can’t do that.

The pace of the match was pretty quick, which is unsurprising due to the rules. While it was interesting seeing a match without holds, it also highlighted how important holds are in controlling the pace of the match and making big moves really stick out. When Hawks can hit M with a sit-out powerbomb that’s spun out of a torture rack and I can forget that it happens until I look at my photos from the show, that’s a problem. The end sequence began when M missed a charge in the corner and rammed his shoulder into the post, which Hawks immediately capitalized on with a fujiwara armbar. M tapped out, but there were no hold allowed, so referee Ritchie Howard just ineffectually asked Hawks to let go. I’m not sure why he didn’t disqualify him, since there was no announcement of a “no disqualification” stipulation, but he eventually got Hawks to break the hold… to stand up and yell that he doesn’t care about the rules and is going to break M’s arm. Not sure why he had to stand up for that, but okay. WHOOPS M catches him by surprise with a crucifix for the three count to retain the Mayhem Title when Hawks tried to reapply the armbar.

Ravenous Randy Myers vs. King Dusty Adonis

King Dusty Adonis has had enough of Ravenous Randy's shenanigans. He shows his displeasure by violencing Randy's head.

Ravenous Randy started out by cutting a promo, at which point I realized I’ve never actually heard him cut a promo that was more than about four seconds long. After hearing him go for a few minutes, I was left to wonder why the hell he’s not on the mic at every possible opportunity. Dusty cut a counter-promo demanding that Randy bow to the king, at which point Randy pretended to not understand what that meant. First he extended his hand, then offered a high five, then tried to hug Dusty. Finally the King got frustrated and yelled “NO! Bow! Like this!” and lowered is head… right into a kick in the face from Randy. The first five minutes or so were an extended comedy segment in which Dusty was constantly outwitted and embarrassed, to the point that he ended up bailing to the outside with his singlet pulled down around his knees. Naturally this led to him deciding that he’d had enough and sitting next to an old woman in the crowd… without pulling his singlet back up. Awkward. Once he got back into the ring the two dropped the comedy act and got down to business.

A lot of Randy’s offence features moves I don’t know the name of, so instead of trying to awkwardly describe most of the match, I’m just going to go with “it was pretty good” and cut to the end. After a series of counters-to-counters and near falls for each guy, Ravenous Randy countered one of Dusty’s attempts at something into a bodyslam position, then hit a twisting slam move that I’ve never seen before for the victory. I had a really great angle on it so you guys could have just watched it for yourself, but an obese man walked in front of my camera just as Randy was hitting the move, so you can thank him for having to live with my crap description of it.

PWA Heavyweight Championship Match
Chris Steele © vs. Dylan Knight

I just realized that Chris Steele has held the PWA Championship for nearly a year now. A bland year in which I’m fairly certain he wasn’t even involved in a storyline over the belt, he just defended it against a string of random challengers. This time there’s a feud attached, so that’s nice. Dylan Knight couldn’t claim the belt in a steel cage at Night of Champions and, spoiler alert, he doesn’t do it tonight either.

Australia's primary export is angry wrestlers.

Steele and Knight are easily two of the bigger guys in the PWA, and as such this match had a much different feel than a typical PWA match, with a slower pace and a focus on basic moves delivered with a lot of power behind them (a suplex seems totally devastating when both guys involved are 250 pounds, for example).

Steele got the advantage, but T-Bone had quietly snuck out of the dressing room to lurk near the timekeeper’s table. Steele slammed Knight to the canvas with a gorilla press drop, which is usually the prelude to a match-ending spear, but T-Bone climbed up onto the apron to distract Steele before he could hit his finisher. He didn’t do a very good job, though, because Steele immediately cleaned his clock and turned his attention back to Knight, who had recovered. Upset at being punched in the mush, T-Bone snatched the bell away from the timekeeper and held it up in the corner as Knight attempted to whip Steele into the turnbuckles. Unfortunately for Knight, Steele reversed the Irish whip and Knight took the bell in the small of the back. Steele went for a cover, but T-Bone dove into the ring to break up the fall with a double axe-handle, ending the bout in a disqualification victory for Steele. Knight and T-Bone worked over the PWA champion until Lance Storm came out to make the save. After the fight was broken up, commissioner Kurt Sorochan came out and announced a tag team match on the next Edmonton show featuring Knight and T-Bone taking on Chris Steele and Tommy Dreamer. Yes, that Tommy Dreamer, he’s being brought in for a pair of shows in late August.

Spot of the Night: A tie between Andrew Hawks’ torture rack spun into a sit-out powerbomb and William Saint’s Angel’s Wings.
Match of the Night: Ravenous Randy vs. King Dusty Adonis.
Overall: This show was decent, but was probably my least favourite PWA show that I’ve attended this year. It seemed like a show that only existed to promote that Tommy Dreamer is going to be on some shows in August, and the rest of it was secondary as far as management was concerned.