Worth Your Money? Pro Wrestling Guerilla "Eight" Featuring Claudio Castagnoli vs. Chris Hero For The PWG Title, Kevin Steen Pulls Triple Duty, Generation Next Reunites, And More
By James Bullock
Nov 5, 2011 - 8:26 AM
("Honor Nation" Note: For all you ClubWWI members, check out the latest "Honor Nation" where I discuss the worst moments in Ring of Honor history. Is you least favorite moment there? Listen and find out.)
Pro Wrestling Guerilla is a California based independent promotion that has groomed and produced some of the greatest wrestlers to grace the Indy scene in the past five years. Names like El Generico, Kevin Steen, Davey Richards, and Joey Ryan practically made their names stealing the show at PWG events. After surviving the test of time, the men of PWG return to Reseda for their eighth anniversary show. But all is not well in Guerilla Island.
With Low Ki's inability to make the show, and Davey Richards suffering from a staph infection, PWG champion Claudio Castagnoli will have to take on fellow King of Wrestling Chris Hero in a rematch from their "All Star Extravaganza: Night One" battle that saw Claudio defeat Hero. Plus, Kevin Steen has to the opportunity to not only get revenge against The Young Bucks for ruining Steen's Nightmare Violence Connection partner Akira Tozawa's going away two months ago, as well as defeating Steen and Tozawa in the "DDT 4" final, but also can avenge his 2007 loss to the returning PAC. That's right, Steen's pulling double duty ... or is he?
Can Chris Hero take advantage of this impromptu opportunity and achieve PWG champion status once again, or can Claudio shut down his fellow King once again? Will Kevin Steen make it two for two in two totally different matches, or will the pressure be too much for "Mr. Wrestling" to handle? But the biggest question has to be is PWG "Eight" Worth Your Money?
Excalibur is joined with tonight's PWG title challenger, Chris Hero, at the announce table.
Kevin Steen vs. PAC
Steen immediately noticed PAC's muscle mass gain since the last time he saw PAC. And he's not kidding; PAC is jacked now. The initial collar & elbow tie up ended with Steen pushing the muscled PAC across the ring. When PAC paid him back, Steen shoved him. PAC shoved back, knocking Steen off his feet. Steen stopped his initiated test of strength, leading to shoulder block exchange that saw neither man go off their feet. PAC ducked one of Steen's shoulder block attempts; head scissoring Steen in position for a standing shooting star press! Steen hastily bailed to the floor, into the crowd to avoid being pinned.
Once again, Steen set up the test of strength, only to break the hold by using a reverse curb stomp. Ten celebratory pushups by Steen allowed PAC to recover and flip his way around the ring before springboard dropkicking "Mr. Wrestling" to the floor. PAC was looking for the flying tiger special, but Steen moved. Showing how nimble he is, PAC landed on his feet instead of splatting on the floor. PAC rushed Steen, only to be power bombed across the apron. In honor of Cactus Jack, Steen ran off the apron with the big elbow. Upon rising, Steen asked, "How did he do that?" I think Mick's body asks him that every day.
Kevin Steen took control of the match, using the ropes to choke PAC to the cheers of some of the fans. Big senton splash by Steen only gave him a two count. PAC was trying to fire himself up, but ended up having a hair stomped. Seriously, Steen stomped PAC's hair after using the Kelly Kelly hair pull. Kevin decided he wanted to suplex PAC to the floor. PAC blocked the attack, using a slingshot ace crusher that slammed Steen's face against the ring's edge. PAC jumped to the top rope, hitting a corkscrew asai moonsault!
When the action returned inside, PAC almost gained a pinned off a frog cross body block. PAC was looking for another slingshot ace crusher, only to throw himself into the F5 ... for a near fall!
After insulting someone's possible undercover gay father, PAC stopped a running Steen with an enzuguri that set up a huge German suplex that almost gave PAC the victory. The fans were behind PAC as PAC set up a frakensteiner. The attack didn't work for PAC, but the step up kick to Steen's face did. PAC ran up the ropes one more time, only for Steen to catch and slam PAC with the Finlay roll off the top rope. Hero and Excalibur dub the attack the "Steen-roller". Not only did PAC kick out following the Steen-roller, but also a moonsault that saw Steen land on PAC's legs. When that attack didn't end PAC's night, Steen moonsaulted on PAC's lower limbs once again to set up the sharpshooter. Somehow, PAC made it to the ropes to save himself. Stopping Steen's belly to back superplex, PAC knocked Steen to the mat for an inward 450 splash!
Somehow, some way, Steen kicked out right before the three count, and stopped PAC's Phoenix Splash to hit the hangman's DDT ... for another two count!
The fans rightly chanted, "This is awesome!" Blocking the Package Piledriver, PAC was able to reverse hurricarana Steen in position for the shooting star press set up. As PAC descended, Steen threw his knees up. With PAC landing across Steen's knees, PAC was wide open for a small package that Steen used to hold PAC down for the three count. Amazing encounter.
Brian Cage-Taylor vs. Brandon Gatson
I'll write right now that I feel for these guys for having to follow the opener. Taylor is a part of the "Fighting Taylor Boys" group that includes Ryan Taylor and Chucky Taylor. Gatson quickly shoved and pushed Brian across the ring. Cage fought back, but ended up taking a few forearms before hitting a reverse DDT-stunner combination. Big boot knocked Gatson to the floor. Before Cage could fly through the ropes, Gatson caught him with a forearm that put Cage in position for his variation of the tarantula. The action went in and out of the ring, with Gatson almost hitting a slingshot cutter when Cage-Taylor German suplexed him.
Cage-Taylor slowed the pace down by tying Gatson up. When everyone thought Brian was looking for a submission, he hoisted Brandon up to execute a pump handle face buster. Cage took too much time playing to the fans, allowing Gatson to recover. Gatson rallied to his feet, hitting a handspring avalanche splash. Cage-Taylor fought through Brandon's next attack, using an inverted Olympic slam to gain a near fall. Gatson was dumped onto the apron so Cage could clothesline Gatson inside out across the apron. Gatson somehow survived the attack, throwing a spin kick that dropped both men. A combination of neck breakers from Gatson ended with Cage northern lights suplexing Gatson for a two count. Gatson kicked out, spearing Cage to gain another near fall.
Gatson missed the moonsault, but not the DDT.
Cage knocked the wind out of Gatson by countering a leap with a liver shot that actually knocked the wind out of Gatson. Brandon recovered, side kicking Cage out of the ring. Gatson missed the Sasaki special, but not the super kick. Cage and Gatson were fighting over who was going to reenter the ring first. Gatson ended the struggle over a swinging super kick. Somehow, both men reentered the ring in time to continue this match. Cage-Taylor stopped whatever Gatson had in mind, hitting a Gory bomb into the flatliner he calls "Weapon X" to finally put Gatson away.
El Generico & Ricochet vs. Alex Shelley & Roderick Strong
Generation Next reunites! Oh wait, wrong company. El Generico and Ricochet are uneasy partners after losing their past two matches together. Plus, the only reason they're teaming is because Paul London couldn't be there to continue the Hybrid Dolphins with the masked man. Generico and Shelley kicked this one off. Generico got a little confused if Shelley wanted to lock up or ... um, lock up back to front. This is awkward. Thankfully they lock hands and not other things. Shelley used Generico's dry mask to keep Generico grounded in the side headlock. It wasn't until Shelley played into Generico's game to pick up the pace did Generico start arm dragging Alex like crazy. A blind tag between Ricochet and Generico allowed Generico to roll out of the ring as Ricochet ran in to dropkick Shelley. Alex literally bit his way out of Ricochet's side headlock, chopping Ricochet in the throat. Strong tagged himself in, trying to go move for move with Ricochet until Ricochet dropkicked Strong off his feet. Strong tagged out, allowing Shelley to trip Ricochet in position for the pendulum swing in Generico's direction. Disrespectful head and hand stomp by Shelley on Ricochet caused some complaints from Generico.
The masked man tagged in after Ricochet pushed his way to the corner, allowing Generico to ground him with the side headlock like Shelley did earlier. Ricochet reentered as the legal man, twisting and tying Shelley's arms. Generico helped his partner from losing the hold, but it just angered the former Gen Next members. Generico cross body blocked Shelley to the floor before diving on top of Alex. Strong caught a flipping Ricochet, tossing him over the top rope on top of Generico. Strong followed up by slamming Ricochet chest first against the ring's edge.
When the action returned inside, Shelley skull fornicated Ricochet - angering Generico enough for the masked man to throw his cape at Shelley. Shelley wiped himself with the cape before tagging out. Sick knife-edge chops from Strong awed the crowd. Shelley and Strong were working incredibly well together, cornering Ricochet while keeping Generico at bay; such as Strong knocking Generico off the mat when Generico stopped Shelley's Texas cloverleaf. Strong ran in, chopping Ricochet in position for the kneeling super kick. The only thing that saved Ricochet from being pinned was Ricochet landing close enough to Generico. Uranage backbreaker by Strong didn't get Roderick the pin. Ricochet fought both men off thanks to Shelley accidentally swinging Ricochet's boot into Strong's face. Leaping side Russian leg sweep by Ricochet allowed him to go for the tag. Strong stopped the tag from happening by yanking Generico off the mat before tossing Generico cape on Ricochet's head.
Ricochet landed face first on the belly to back double team suplex, but flipped again seconds later to double pele kick Strong and Shelley before tagging out. Generico was on fire, back dropping and tilt-a-whirl slamming Strong and Shelley respectively. With Shelley on the floor, in the crowd, Ricochet ran across the ring, sailing over the corner Generico stood in to take down Shelley as Alex regrouped in the second row. Generico grabbed an incoming Roderick Strong, hitting the blue thunder bomb for a two count. Strong stopped the first attempt of Generico's Michinoku driver, but not the second try. Ricochet tagged back in, scaling the ropes as Generico grabbed Strong's legs. Roderick kicked Generico into the ropes, crotching Ricochet. Shelley used the super kick to knock Ricochet into Roderick's Olympic slam ... for a two count!
Flying knee strike from Roderick was the set up for Death By Roderick when Ricochet turned the attack into a hurricarana for another near fall. Ricochet ran across the ring, only to get a double team enzuguri for his trouble. Strong used the double knee gut buster to set up Shelley's double stomp off the top rope ... for the two count thanks to Generico! Before Generico could capitalize, Shelley super kicked him out of the ring. Generico recovered in time to tag in after Ricochet used an enzuguri on Roderick that put him in position for Generico's running yakuza kick. Yakuza kick-818 Enzuguri double team on Shelley put him out of commission. Generico was on his way to victory after the Brain Buster on Strong when Ricochet tagged himself in. Missing the Phoenix Splash, Ricochet was wide open for Death By Roderick thanks to Shelley dragging a furious Generico to the floor. Roderick made the cover, gaining the three count for his team.
After the match, Generico asked why Ricochet tagged himself in. Things got heated between the Generico and Ricochet, causing Ricochet to think about punching Generico from behind. Generico turned around to see the prepared punch, shoving Ricochet. The fans wanted a fight right here, right now. Instead, Ricochet spit in Generico's masked face. Generico rushed Ricochet, only for Ricochet to bail to the floor.
Referee Rick Knox decided he'd join Excalibur at the announce table after Excalibur finished covering the in-ring introductions.
Ryan Taylor vs. Peter Avalon
Taylor is looking for revenge here after Avalon eliminated him in the "Joey Ryan Invitational Gauntlet" at "DDT4." Quickly, Taylor grappled Avalon off his feet thanks to working over Avalon's arms. "Pretty" Peter worked his way off the mat, but ended up being arm whipped to the mat. The grappling battle turned into an exchange of pinning combinations. A nasty Manhattan drop stunned Taylor long enough for Avalon to unleash the Booker T.-esque side kick. Avalon actually wanted to do a spinaroonie, but Taylor stopped the attack with a kick of his own that set up the scissor kick. No spinaroonie from Taylor either thanks to a kick from Avalon. Mutual stereo spinaroonies from the opponents brought boos from the crowd. I pity the fool who steals Booker T.'s moves and taunts.
Taylor quickly turned the serious meter up by snapping Avalon into a running kick to the chest. Using the waist lock against him, Avalon sent Taylor to the floor before kicking him in position for a tope that sent both men into the third row. Rolling Taylor back in, Avalon was able only to get a two count. Avalon maintained control of the match until Taylor lured him into a crisscrossing of the ropes that ended with a double clothesline. Both men rallied to their feet, with Taylor unleashing a slew of strikes that was meant to set up a big boot. Taylor missed the boot, but not the rolling elbow. Uranage by Taylor didn't get Avalon the pin. Big kick-rolling elbow combo also gave Taylor a two count. Avalon recovered, hitting a pair of knees against the back of Taylor's neck.
Avalon grabbed a chair, but Brian Cage-Taylor - Ryan's half-brother - stopped the illegal assault by taking the weapon. When Taylor hooked Avalon from behind, Peter switched the stance before shoving Taylor into the chair, knocking both Taylors down. With Ryan stunned, Avalon rolled him up to get the three count.
The Dynasty (Joey Ryan & Scorpio Sky) vs. The RockNES Monsters (Johnny Goodtime & Johnny Yuma)
We couldn't even get introductions thanks to Sky and Ryan attacking before their opponents - who were rocking "Planet Express" t-shirts - could even enter the ring. Sky and Ryan used stereo dives to down the already reeling Team Johnny. Powering Yuma off the floor, Ryan rammed Yuma back first against the steel ring post. Yuma recovered, clubbing Ryan with some fan's water bottle. On the other side of the ring was Sky beating Goodtime down in front of some fat guy wearing a Super Dragon mask. Goodtime found his way to his partner, helping him beat down Ryan in the crowd. Sky saved his partner from a two on one attack by diving onto Goodtime. Yuma was all alone as the match officially started.
After using a head scissors, Scorpio shoved Goodtime into Ryan's spine buster for a two count thanks to Yuma's interference. Scorpio made Yuma pay by using a big boot to slam and stomp Johnny Yuma. Beautiful dropkick from Ryan halted Goodtime after back dropping Scorpio to the floor. Goodtime fired back by knocking Ryan backwards before executing an asai moonsault on Scorpio. Not hurt by his attack, Goodtime leapt to the top rope, dropkicking Ryan. As Scorpio rose, Goodtime slid through the ropes, head scissoring Sky. This all happened in a matter of ten seconds.
Cross body block by Goodtime didn't get him the victory, but had the fans on their feet. Yuma tagged in, tornado DDT'ing Ryan for a two count. Sky ran in, decking both men with right hands. Goodtime turned a suplex against Sky, sending both men over the top rope, to the floor!
Stunned by his partner's action, Yuma turned around to get slapped by Ryan. Yuma fought back, using a codebreaker-X-Factor variation. Yuma got too excited, getting super kicked before he could dive off the top rope. Goodtime caught the turning Ryan with a missile dropkick. Ryan recovered, spearing Yuma as Sky fought Goodtime. Big German suplex by Goodtime on Sky after Yuma unleashed his version of the Flying Apple. A little violence party from Goodtime on Ryan didn't hurt Joey enough for Ryan not to hit that pump handle suplex against the turnbuckles on Johnny Goodtime.
Yuma and Sky were in the ring, struggling on the top rope when Ryan stopped Yuma by tombstone piledriving him. Sky dove off the top with the frog splash on Yuma. Before Sky could go for the pin, Goodtime doctor bombed Sky into Ryan in the corner. Bicycle kick from Goodtime turned Sky inside out. Goodtime grabbed Joey, hitting the Death DDT ... for a near fall thanks to Sky!
Goodtime wanted to execute the mushroom stomp, but Ryan stopped him by slamming Johnny off the top rope. Goodtime rolled through the slam, only to take a running knee strike from Sky. Out on his feet, Goodtime stumbled into Joey's super kick that was topped off by Scorpio hitting the TKO. Before Joey could get the pin, The Young Bucks ran out, distracting the referee. When Yuma saw what was going on, he fell to the mat to play a little possum. This worked perfectly as Goodtime stunned Ryan with a jawbreaker that allowed Yuma to hook Ryan for the Monsters' Explosive Amnesia (Goodtime enzuguri kicking Joey into Yuma's ace crusher). Hoisting his partner up, Goodtime slammed Yuma across Joey's prone body to hit Weapons Grade Bolognium so Goodtime could pin Ryan.
PWG Tag Team champions The Young Bucks vs. Kevin Steen & CIMA
Originally, this was supposed to be The Dynasty going after the champs for the gold, but CIMA's last minute addition turned the card upside down. Similar to the previous match, The Bucks attacked their opponents from behind before the match could begin. Unlike the last match, the action entered the ring almost immediately thanks to CIMA yanking The Bucks in position for a double stomp that left them lying so Steen could senton splash them. Tempers somewhat cooled when Nick Jackson took it upon himself to get into a pose off with CIMA after CIMA displayed his pushup abilities. Luring Nick into a pushup battle ended with Steen and CIMA stomping Nick. Steen slammed CIMA onto Nick before CIMA slammed Matt Jackson so he could do a solid for Steen and slam Steen on Matt. CIMA almost broke his back to execute the maneuver. Steen body slammed Matt, telling the referee to partake in the festivities. Before Steen could slam the referee on his brother, Nick clipped Steen's knees. Steen rolled to the floor, only for The Bucks to power bomb Steen across the ring's edge!
Matt Jackson was in the ring with Steen, insultingly kicking him until Steen started fighting back. Nick tried to choke "Mr. Wrestling", but got bit for his trouble. Saving his brother, Matt stood on Steen's throat. Steen stopped the illegal attack with one of his own by testicular clawing Matt. CIMA ran in to help his partner, but ended up being tossed outside. Standing dropkick by Matt put Steen in position for Nick's hilo. Once again, CIMA intervened, biting Matt's hip after Steen freed himself from the front face lock. The Bucks found a nice point of interest on Steen's knee. The fans were all over The Bucks as Matt set Steen up for the sharpshooter. Steen stopped the submission, super kicking both Bucks. Before tagging out, Steen super kicked Matt and Nick again when their heads neared each other.
CIMA, fired up, ran in to dropkick Matt and double stomp Nick's face by countering a sunset flip. Hooking Nick in an Indian deathlock and grabbing Matt, CIMA suplexed Matt while wrenching Nick's legs. Before CIMA could follow up with a double stomp on Matt, Nick spin kicked CIMA on the back of his head. Matt super kicking CIMA into Nick's springboard splash didn't end the match thanks to Kevin Steen. Using his legs to scissor Steen's head, Matt held Kevin so Nick could dropkick Steen to the floor for a plancha. When Nick tried to help his brother double team CIMA, CIMA sent Mat shoulder first into his brother to knock Nick off the apron.
CIMA stomped Matt in position for a rolling senton before tagging out. Series of strikes from Steen only left him open for another super kick from Nick. Holding Steen across the ropes, Matt allowed Nick to hit a 450 splash on Steen as he dangled from the ropes in Matt's clutches ... for a near fall!
More Bang For Your Buck failed thanks to Steen getting off of Matt's shoulders before Package Piledriving Nick in position for CIMA's Meteora. Matt saved his brother from the pinning predicament, tagging in seconds later. To stop Matt's sharpshooter attempt, Steen spit in his face. Matt released the hold, running into a power bomb for his trouble from Steen. As Steen held Matt in the sharpshooter, CIMA used the Air Raid Crash on Nick. With Matt still stuck in the sharpshooter, CIMA dove off the top rope, hitting Meteora on the prone Matt. After taking the attack, and still stuck in the sharpshooter, Matt had no choice but to tap.
As the crowd chanted, "New champs!" The Young Bucks ran into the crowd to remind everyone that this was a non-title match. Matt took the microphone to ask Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter for another chance at TNA employment because, "This place sucks!" Matt challenged Steen to leave and get "...fake fired from another promotion." Furious, Steen chased The Bucks out of the building. CIMA decided to grab the microphone to thank everyone and promised to take the Tag Team title next time he comes to PWG.
PWG title: Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs. Chris Hero
This match was originally scheduled to be Claudio defending against Davey Richards, but a staph infection put Richards on the shelf. Hero was booked against Low Ki, but you know how Ki is. Kevin Steen joined Excalibur at the announce table to not only grace us with some of his commentary skills, but also to inform us that he has a future PWG title shot coming his way thanks to his recent wins.
Claudio and Hero hit the ropes due to their previous PWG encounter saw the top rope break. As the commentary compared Claudio's physique to a horse, Hero and the champ had a hard time gaining an advantage against each other on the mat. Every time Claudio locked Hero in something, the challenger would turn it into a pinning predicament. Moments later, the positions switched with Hero looking for holds while Claudio wanted to pin his way to a victory. Cravat by Hero kept Castagnoli off his game as Steen and Excalibur talked deceased wrestlers. Showing great technique, Hero shimmied and nipped his way out of a side headlock. Big shoulder block by Claudio dropped the rallying Hero, headlocking him again. Countering Hero's reversal of the headlock with a head scissors, Claudio did a handstand that freed himself from the scissor before head locking Hero again. Castagnoli went from the headlock attack to wrist locking Hero over and over again.
Things started getting heated when Claudio yanked Hero to the mat by his wrist, causing a sick cracking sound. Hero shook off the pain, big booting Claudio to the floor. The challenger's fake dive turned into a sliding side kick that dropped Claudio like a ton of bricks on the floor. Castagnoli recovered, but put himself at a disadvantage almost instantly by missing a knife edge chop that saw Claudio's hand wrap around the steel ring post. The action returned inside with the champion stuck against the ropes. A knife edge chop battle ensued until Hero snapped Claudio in position for a huge senton splash. Hero was looking for an attack on the apron when Claudio grabbed Hero's legs, using a rope assisted dragon screw leg whip.
Hanging Hero in the ropes, Claudio unleashed a dropkick on Hero's kneecap. Stomping by Claudio saw Hero's left knee bounce off the mat. Hero was desperate to keep himself as close to the ropes as possible, but Claudio's immense strength allowed the champ to yank Hero across the ring before putting him in a deathlock. When Hero made it to his feet after using the ropes to save himself, he connected with one of those patented elbows. Sadly for Hero, he tried to find haven in the corner closest to him, leaving himself wide open for ring post assisted attacks from the champ.
Claudio had complete control until Hero turned the pop up European uppercut into a sunset flip. Castagnoli kicking out stunned Hero long enough for the champ to uppercut Hero in the back. Castagnoli stalked the challenger, setting him up for holds like the figure four leg lock. Rather than legally work his way out of the hold, Hero clawed Castagonli's face to free himself. Both men rolled to the floor, only for Claudio to slam Hero across the front row. Claudio tossing a chair at Hero made Chris look at his opponent like, "Dude, WTF?"
Claudio followed Hero inside the ring, stomping on Hero's leg when Hero's limbs gave out on him. Half Boston crab by Claudio had Hero in great agony, but Hero was close enough to the ropes to save himself. With some impressive maneuvering, Claudio snap marred Hero leg first against the ropes. Another dragon screw from Castagnoli almost gained him the victory. Following Hero into the corner, Claudio took a big boot and several knife edge chops to his jaw. Castagnoli kept his cool, going for a shin breaker. Hero countered with the cravat neck breaker. Taking his knee pad off his right knee, Hero double padded his left leg before unleashing a slew of strikes that set up a float over neck breaker.
They were nearing the halfway point in the sixty minute time limit when Hero almost gained a three count thanks to a cross body block. Flash kick by Hero didn't get him the victory, but stunned Claudio enough that Hero could go for the super cravat neck breaker. Claudio stopped the possible attack by dragon screw leg whipping Hero into the half crab. Thanks to Hero's long limbs, the challenger was able to save himself via the ropes. Hero rallied to his feet, catching Claudio in midair with one of those elbows ... for a near fall!
Claudio rolled onto the apron, only for Hero to kick him in the head not once, but four times. Blocking the Rolling Elbow, Claudio could stop the KTFO combo; laying Castagnoli out on the floor. Hero knew Claudio would make it into the ring before the count out, and made him pay for reentering with a Rolling Elbow that dropped the big man from Switzerland. Hero made the cover, but only gained a two count.
To add insult to injury, Hero went for the Ricola Bomb on Claudio. Castagnoli stopped his own finisher from happening to him, using a one leg big swing on Hero's hurt appendage. Turning the swing into another half crab, Claudio had Hero begging the referee not to stop the match. Claudio almost made Hero renege on that proclamation by putting him in the Neutralizer (the stretch muffler). Claudio called for the end by placing Hero on the top rope. Hero stopped whatever Castagnoli had in mind by hitting a super cravat neck breaker ... for a two count!
The fans were behind Hero, but Chris' legs gave out on him when he went for the Cyclone Kill. Castagnoli tried to take advantage of the injury, but Hero connected the rolling boot on the second attempt ... but couldn't get the pin! Stopping Hero's Deathblow and the Rolling Elbow, Claudio tripped Hero into an elevated Neutralizer. Feeling the pain instantly, Hero hastily tapped out.
Kevin Steen decided to make his presence known once again after leaving the announce table to congratulate Claudio on the hard fought victory. Why? Because Kevin Steen felt the need to use his upcoming PWG title shot tonight rather than wait for the next event. Claudio opted ... not to; leaving the ring. Boooooo!
As Kevin continued talking, Claudio snuck out, bicycle kicking Steen! Motioning for someone to ring the bell, Claudio Castagnoli was up for another title defense. This is on!
PWG title: Claudio Castagnoli (c) vs. Kevin Steen
As Claudio bent over to pin Steen, the challenger tripped him into the sharpshooter. The fans were going crazy as Claudio seemed to be on the verge of tapping out. Castagnoli had no choice but to submit, but there was no referee to call the fall. Suddenly, The Young Bucks hit the ring, double super kicking Kevin Steen as he continued to punish Claudio in the sharpshooter. The crowd's angst was apparent as Claudio made the cover as a referee slid into the ring. Somehow, Steen kicked out right before the three count, bringing the fans to their feet again. The Dynasty ran out, beating The Bucks to the back. In the ring, Claudio hit a huge lariat. The champ went for the Ricola Bomb, but Steen rolled through the attack, hitting a code red ... for a near fall! When Claudio jumped to his feet, Steen super kicked him. With Castagnoli out on his feet, Steen set up and executed the Package Piledriver. Falling on top of Claudio Castagnoli, Kevin listened to the referee and the fans count down the fall. Seeing the referee's hand hit the mat for the third time, the crowd exploded as Steen defeated Claudio to become the new PWG champion!
"Mr. Wrestling" chants rang out as the official announcement was made that Kevin Steen was indeed the new PWG champion of the world. Rather than celebrate, Steen left the ring to give Claudio his moment alongside a reentering the ring Chris Hero. That moment included Hero helping Claudio to the back as the fans chanted, "PWG!"
Is It Worth Your Money: I'll be the first to admit I didn't know what to expect as many fans called this the weakest show of the year thus far from PWG. If that's the case, then color me excited for the rest of PWG 2011 because this show was a blast.
The opener was easily one of the best I've seen anywhere in quiet some time. The wonderful story of power vs. athleticism and speed had the crowd jumping, and me with my mouth open. Kevin Steen participated in not one, but two excellent matches.
Actually, all the tag matches were really good, and attempted to be different than the one prior to it. Thinking back to Hero and Claudio's feud during 2007 in ROH, I wondered why they couldn't have a proper great they seemed capable of. After many years of growth and enough time to tell their story, The Kings of Wrestling produced that definitive classic. It was nearly forty minutes of some of the best mat wrestling and masterful storytelling I've seen all year. This is a must see main event for any wrestling fan. And don't get me started on the final "match". The perfect way to cap off such a monumental event (I guess I did get started).
Outside of crowd not caring about Taylor vs. Gatson and Avalon vs. Taylor, and those matches going way too long, there's nothing else skippable about this event.
PWG "Eight" Is Worth Your Money. To buy this DVD, and other PWG events, go to highspots.com.
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