PWG kicked off 2016 with Lemmy on January 2nd, a show dedicated to Motorhead lead singer, Lemmy Kilmister who had recently passed away.
Brian Cage defeated Chris Dickinson
This was the PWG debut of Dickinson. This was a battle of two huge guys trying to outdo each other with power moves and big bombs. Parts of it were sloppy, particularly from Cage, but it was a spectacle. This started with Dickinson hitting an Enzuigiri, dropping Cage on his head with a back drop driver and diving off the top with a crossbody to the floor. Dickinson controlled a good portion of this and put in a great showing for himself, which should be enough to get him back on PWG. Both guys exchanged deadlift moves. They traded wheelbarrow suplexes. Dickinson hit an amazing hurricanrana from the top. He hit a Burning Hammer, which dropped Cage on his head, but that was only a near fall. Cage hit multiple powerbombs and a discus lariat, but Dickinson kicked out at one. The finish came when Cage landed on his head when he tried to escape a belly to back suplex on his feet. He then hit a Steiner Screwdriver to get the win. This was a good display of power and physicality, but it was slightly too long and Cage was sloppy at times. Dickinson really impressed though.
Timothy Thatcher defeated Drew Gulak
This was an incredible wrestling match. The diversity of the PWG roster was shown here, as this was the exact opposite of the previous match. Thatcher & Gulak put on a mat wrestling clinic, where every little thing they did meant something to the story of the match. Thatcher gets better all the time. When he first appeared in Evolve, he was one dimensional at times, but now he is so much fun to watch. Both guys worked over the others arm, to the point where both were almost one armed by the end of it. Thatcher tried and tried to lock in both a Kimura and Fujiwara armbar. Gulak violently picked apart the arm of Thatcher. Thatcher was winning the mat battle, so Gulak changed things up and went up top with a clothesline and a succession of dropkicks. He also dropped Thatcher with a piledriver, but it wasn’t enough. Thatcher was unable to use his arm to kick out, so he instead began using his neck to bridge out, which was a great little thing. A one armed Gulak began swinging at Thatcher, until Thatcher floored him with the headbutt that has beaten so many, but Gulak amazingly kicked out. Thatcher then transitioned into a Kimura to win a fantastic wrestling match.
Sami Callihan defeated Trevor Lee
This was an interesting match as Trevor Lee was instantly compared to Sami Callihan when he first debuted in PWG in 2014. Now with Callihan back on the indies, this was their first meeting. The theme of this was Callihan wanting to remind everyone just exactly who he is, but he found out just how good Lee is in the process. This was a scrap to begin with as Lee & Callihan grabbed handfuls of hair and had to be separated. Callihan buried Lee under some chairs. Lee tossed a chair at Callihan and took control of the match, with Callihan struggling to get back into it. Lee hit lots of kicks and a nice German suplex, as well as his flipping cross body. Callihan tried to mount an attack at times, but couldn’t hold it, until he went for the legs of Lee and trapped him in a figure four variation. Callihan hit a Liger bomb and transitioned into a Stretch Muffler, which was enough to make Lee submit. It was a decent match, but I expected better.
Drew Galloway defeated Jack Evans
This started with another long winded Evans promo, where it ended with him challenging Galloway to a dance off. Evans began dancing and Galloway almost beheaded him while he was doing a headstand. Galloway did his best to murder Evans. He flung him upside down into the turnbuckle, threw him at the ring post and hit him with one particularly sickening lariat. Evans got in very little. He hit a few kicks and a handspring corkscrew moonsault over the top. Galloway hit a German off the top and his running boot, both for near falls. Evans hit an avalanche DDT from the middle rope for a two and Galloway finished it off with the Future Shock DDT. Evans is great in this role as the guy that runs his mouth and then gets annihilated. Evans can bump like few others. Galloway looked like a monster here and he continues to be an excellent fit in PWG.
Adam Cole defeated Mike Bailey
This was a really good match as Cole had his first match back in PWG. Cole played the perfect heel here. Cole stands out from the crowd on the indie scene. He is about so much more than wrestling moves. The little things between the moves and his little heelish mannerisms are what make Cole so great. Bailey was the perfect babyface for him to play off here. Cole tried to take out the knee of Bailey, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the kicks of Speedball. Cole got a great near fall here when he distracted the ref and low blowed Bailey. Bailey mounted lots of offence and got lots of fun near falls, while Cole tried every shortcut he could. Bailey hit the shooting star knee drop, and Cole only survived when he caught the refs hand as it came down for the three count. Bailey countered the Panama Sunrise into a jackknife cover for another great near fall. Cole won when he hit a version of the Panama Sunrise and followed it up with the Brainbuster across his knee. Cole win in his PWG return and it is great to see him back as he has lots of fresh opponents that weren’t in PWG the last time he was there. This was a great match that told a really good, simple story.
Zack Sabre, Jr defeated Akira Tozawa
This was a great match. This one had big expectations going in as it was a PWG dream match to many. Tozawa is somewhat of a PWG legend. He is just bursting with charisma and his explosive offence was a good match for Sabre and his technical wizardry. This had lots of great back and forth. Tozawa was on top of the strike battle, while Sabre was able to catch Tozawa in all sorts of holds. Even turning a suicide dive into an octopus stretch on the floor. This didn’t have as much arm work as your usual Sabre match, which is a good thing. He showed here that he could have a good match without relying on that. Sabre hit a really cool Chaos Theory dragon suplex. Tozawa hit a nice snapping German suplex, which Sabre kicked out of and turned into an armbar. There was a really explosive strike exchange which Tozawa won after some bicycle kicks and a knee. Sabre got the win when he hit a snapping release dragon suplex and knocked Tozawa out with a PK. Sabre winning with that move came as a surprise, but it works, as Sabre is becoming that guy that can beat you in a million different ways whether it be various arm submission, various pinning combos or now via a knockout kick. This wasn’t a classic, but it was a great match that is absolutely worth checking out.
PWG World Championship
Roderick Strong defeated Chris Hero
This was a very good main event between two veterans. Strong played the striking game with Hero and won, with lots of forenames, chops, dropkicks and leg lariats. It took a lot for him to get Hero off his feet. Hero now wrestles like a big guy in that it is a challenge to knock him down. Hero fired back with all his usual flurries of boots and elbows. Strong pulled the ref in front of him when Hero went for an elbow. Hero hit a couple of piledrivers for good near falls and the second referee ran in as he hit a tombstone, but it wasn’t enough. The referee distractions allowed Strong to use the belt and hit a Sick Kick, but Hero kicked out at one. Strong then hit a knee and another Sick Kick to finish Hero off.
Zack Sabre Jr then appeared and pretty much said he would be taking the title from Strong.
This was another great show from PWG, with incredible variety. Every match was a little bit different and it had something for everyone. There was no bad comedy, which is always a plus with PWG.
Photos via Mikey Nolan: https://www.facebook.com/MikeyNolanPhotography/