DVD Review: PWG “The High Cost of Doing Business” (11.11.2007)

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla — “The High Cost of Doing Business” — November 11th, 2007
DVD review by Roy Reynolds
royreynolds@insidepulse.com

+ Taped live from the Burbank Armory in Burbank, California.

– Excalibur kicks off the show inside of the ring with Dino Winwood. He tells a funny story of how both, Davey Richards and Jon Ian, could not make it to the show tonight. The PWG World Tag Team Championship match has been canceled and Dino Winwood will now serve as the ring announcer.

● Karl Anderson defeated Ronin via submission with a Boston crab – Karl Anderson still has hair? Are we in the right decade? Both guys come out hitting one another hard from the star. Chops and forearm battle between both men. Ronin ducks a lariat from Anderson and goes over the ropes. Karl Anderson manages to skin the cat, though, which gets a nice reaction. As Karl is celebrating his successful skinning of the cat, Ronin stalks him and clocks him in the head with a punch. That’s enough to send the big man to the floor. The two guys exchange more chops on the apron, but Anderson gets the better of the exchange after he kicked Ronin in the face. Back inside of the ring, Ronin drops Anderson hard on his head with a twisting suplex. Two-count. Lariat by Karl misses, but a lariat from Ronin connects. Another two-count. Huge powerbomb from Karl only gets two, as well. Death Valley Driver by Ronin! Karl Anderson gets his foot on the ropes at the last second. Spinebuster by Anderson, and he follows it up with a Boston crab. Ronin taps out almost immediately. This was actually a pretty fun match. Never been a huge fan of Ronin, but he looked real solid here. **½.

● Claudio Castagnoli defeated TJ Perkins via pinfall with a European uppercut – Lots of chain wrestling to begin the match. Claudio nearly found himself pinned by TJ, so he quickly worked Perkins into a reverse surfboard submission. TJ manages to wiggle out of it, though, and falls on top of Claudio. A quick two-count. TJ looking awfully impressive here with all of these submission moves on the mat. Castagnoli gets two two-counts and hangs on to the arm. Perkins with some incredible-looking armdrags here. Perkins sends Claudio flying out of the ring. TJ follows things up with a fake 619, which catches Claudio off his game for a second. TJ with a nice neckbreaker followed by a frog splash. Perkins hops up to the top again, but gets met with a European uppercut. TJ goes for a huge hurricarana, but Claudio reverses it into the Big Swing. That was eleven rotations, I believe. Another uppercut by Claudio. Ricola Bomb attempt by Castagnoli, but Perkins flips it into a Yoshi Tonic. Instead of going for the pin, Perkins shoots for Castagnoli’s legs, but to no avail. Modified sharpshooter applied by TJ, but Claudio gets to the ropes. Perkins delivers three hard shoot kicks to Claudio’s legs, but Claudio knocks him down hard with a bicycle kick. TJ hits the ropes for momentum, but Claudio catches him, tosses him up into the air, and clubs him with a European uppercut for the three-count. Good match with both guys looking like they were unquestionably on the top of their game. **¾.

● Joey Ryan and Scott Lost [The Dynasty] beat Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson [The Young Bucks] via pinfall when Ryan and Lost finished off Nick with the Extinction Agenda – Joey Ryan apparently wanted to say something on the microphone before the match, but due to technical difficulties, that little skit got scrapped. Crowd is ridiculously riled up for whatever reason, randomly chanting “USA”. Don’t know if I missed something, but I’m confused. The Bucks dominate the Dynasty in the early going with quick tags and a variety of armdrags. Lost dodges a double team move, but gets double dropkicked for his efforts, anyways. Scott and Joey mount a comeback on Matt Jackson. Scott rocks Matt with a superkick, but the Dynasty do not go for a cover. Matt with a dropkick, but Scott steps out of the way and knees him in the gut. Matt fights back against Joey, but Ryan knocks him back down to the mat with a short-arm lariat. Matt knocks Lost out with a wheel barrow-type maneuver. Nick makes the hot tag. Superman Spear attempt by Lost misses. Nick spikes Lost down on his head with a hurricarana. Nick takes out both members of the Dynasty with a tope. Matt then follows things up on his own with a huge suicide dive through the middle rope. Scott with a huge spinning kick to the head of Matt. Nick gets tripped up by Lost and he delivers a huge kick to the temple. Assisted Death Valley Driver by the Dynasty. Two-count. Wheelbarrow tried by Nick, but Joey drills him in the face. Trouble in Paradise by Nick to Joey. Nick takes out Scott with a springboard facebuster. Huge legdrop by Matt of the top onto Scott. Joey gets tossed out of the ring. More Bang For Your Buck attempt gets broken up by Joey. Joey launches himself onto Matt to the outside. Nick with a small package out of nowhere that gets a two-count. Extinction Agenda connects on Nick, and that’s all she wrote. Bucks were still just breaking out at this point in time, so they didn’t look nearly as good as they do these days. Still, this was a nice tag match that had a lot of cool moments. ***.

– Joey Ryan, Scott Lost, and Jade Chung are backstage for a promo. Jade explains that if Super Dragon and Davey Richards showed up for the show tonight, then PWG fans would have seen the crowning of new PWG World Tag Team Champions. Joey Ryan says that Dragon and Richards have no balls for not showing their faces. Lost writes on a white board and proceeds to make fun of Richards and Dragon some more via words and pictures. Funny stuff.

● Roderick Strong defeated El Generico with the Gibson Driver – Mat work controlled by Strong to start. Strong knocks Generico into the corner and chops the hell out of the poor luchador. Strong tosses Generico out of the ring. Roderick picks him up on the outside and slams him into the apron. More devastating chops from Roderick on the outside. Backbreaker by Strong. Strong puts Generico into a vicious crucifix hold, but Generico manages to escape. Chop by Generico. Forearm by Strong. The two briefly exchange strikes, but Roderick easily gets the better of the exchange. Generico charges up, but gets met with a forearm. Generico ducks and Strong goes over the ropes. Moonsault to the outside by Generico onto Strong. Strong drops Generico down hard with an innovated backbreaker, but only gets two. Crowd is firmly behind Roderick. Schoolboy by Generico. Sick Kick misses and Generico nails a huge Yakuza kick in the corner. Sick Kick connects this time out of nowhere. Two-count only. Huge backbreaker onto the apron by Roderick! How the hell is Generico still alive after that?! Ouch! Back inside of the ring, Roddy gets a two-count. Seconds later, Roderick puts away Generico with a Gibson Driver for the three. I was honestly expecting a lot more from these two. The match started off real slow and only picked up until the very end. ***.

– Roderick Strong is in the locker room area, commenting on his match with Generico. Strong brings up how he “destroyed” El Generico, and that was a man that PWG used to call their world champion. Soon enough, Strong says that Bryan Danielson’s PWG World Championship will be coming home to the “Messiah of the Backbreaker”.

● Scorpio Sky defeated Rocky Romero via submission with a grounded top wrist lock – Sky introduces himself as the “King of Sting” Scorpio Sky. As soon as the bell rings, Sky gets rocked with a huge flying knee from Romero. Rocky continues his offense with a series of kicks in the corner. Sky quickly fights back, though, and nails Rocky with a huge jumping enziguri to the temple. Rocky continues a flurry of striking offense, but Sky kicks out of each one of Romero’s pin attempts. I will admit that I have not seen many Rocky Romero matches, but he is looking like an absolute animal in the ring right now. Sky wipes out Romero with a huge swan dive to the outside. Sky eventually forces Romero to tap out to a grounded top wrist lock. It should also be noted that the finish sort of came out of nowhere. The crowd was definitely shocked to see that Sky forced Romero to tap out, too. In my opinion, this match had all of the potential in the world to be something at least somewhat special, but it was kept short. A tad disappointing. **½.

– The following contest was announced as Chris Hero and a mystery partner versus the Human Tornado and a mystery partner on the official website of PWG. Inside of the ring, Hero grabs a microphone and introduces his partner as being one of the toughest men in all of wrestling. Chris says he hates his partner personally, but knows that he can get the job done. It’s the “King of Diamonds” Eddie Kingston. Tornado makes the following comment, “Alright, Eddie Kingston? Big fucking deal”. Tornado makes fun of Kingston’s weight. Human Tornado’s mystery partner is none other than Eddie Kingston. What? Just as Tornado says that, Kingston clubs Hero from behind. The bell rings, and this match is under way.

● Chris Hero beat Human Tornado and Eddie Kingston via disqualification after Claudio Castagnoli interfered – Kingston and Tornado pound away at the face of Hero together. Hero tries throwing an elbow at Kingston, but Eddie knocks him back down to the mat. Tornado goes for his signature kick in the corner, but Chris tackles him down to the floor before he can do the move. Missile dropkick by Tornado misses, and he hits Kingston on accident, instead. Hero and Kingston exchange chops, headbutts, and Yakuza kicks. Bulldog by Tornado. Kingston follows it up with a huge double stomp. Candice LeRae cheers for Hero on the outside, as the crowd starts getting behind him. Kingston goes for a cover, but only gets two. Hero is really getting the beatdown right about now. After LeRae tries interfering, Kingston starts chasing her on the outside. King grabs Candice by the hair and tosses her into the ring. Kingston holds her back, so that Tornado can slap her. Instead of nailing LeRae in the face, though, he ends up hitting Kingston. LeRae low blows both, King and Tornado, but it only affects Eddie. Tornado’s got balls of steel, remember? Candice actually begins fighting in the match, really taking it to the face of Human Tornado. Hero protects LeRae at all costs from Kingston, but pays for it big time. Hero builds up some momentum, goes to the top, and comes down hard onto Kingston with a double stomp. Two-count. Backdrop suplex by King. Tornado with the Cancún Tornado for two. Hero gets up and drills both of his opponents with Yakuza kicks. Referee counts everyone down. Claudio Castagnoli comes out of nowhere and takes a step into Hero’s corner. Hero makes the tag to Claudio. Castagnoli signals for an uppercut on Tornado, but knocks Hero hard, instead. The referee calls for the bell. Watching Hero fight against all the odds was quite entertaining. However, there’s only so much you can do in a handicap match. ***.

– Following the match, Claudio gives Hero the Alpamare Waterslide. Kingston then knocks Chris back down with the BLKOUT Lariat. DND from Tornado, too. Candice LeRae tries saving Hero, but Tornado only laughs. Human Tornado then proceeds to nail her with the DND. Tornado, Claudio, and Kingston all hug and celebrate. Eddie Kingston grabs a microphone and tells everyone in the arena to “shut the fuck up”. Castagnoli and Tornado get some microphone time, as well. When the three of them are finished, they exit together. Chris Hero then leaves with a lifeless Candice LeRae in his arms.

– Chris Hero is backstage, looking awfully distraught. Hero explains that he should have known better about Eddie Kingston. What he can’t seem to understand, though, is how Claudio Castagnoli betrayed him. However, in the end, it’s not about Kingston or Castagnoli; it’s all about Human Tornado. Hero thinks that Tornado is angry at him because he’s never been able to beat him. In the end, Chris promises that he will one day finally get his hands on Human Tornado. So will Candice LeRae. When that day comes, Hero knows that Tornado will be sorry for ever messing with him.

– Looks like we’ve got a couple more backstage skits. First up is none other than the PWG World Champion, himself, the “American Dragon”. Danielson wants to prove Jack Evans that professional wrestling isn’t about flips, but about true wrestling. Tonight, he will prove why he is the best wrestler in the world. In the background during Danielson’s promo, Scott Lost was visible putting his hands down his pants and making funny gestures. Hilarious. Jack Evans compares himself to a Ferrari — he’s fast, sleek, and is always trying to push himself to the limit. Evans calls Danielson “boring” and himself, “the complete package”. Speaking of complete packages, we get another shot of Scott Lost. Lost grabs down his tights and exclaims that he needs to see a doctor. It’s this sort of stuff that makes PWG great.

● PWG World Championship: Bryan Danielson defeated Jack Evans via submission with a triangle choke to retain his title – Danielson controls Jack on the mat in the early going by working on his legs. Bryan kicks Evans’ back and he goes flying out of the ring. Evans jumps back into the ring, takes down Dragon, and breakdances in celebration. Danielson dances a bit on his own, too. Danielson tries to ground Jack, but fails to do so. Evans says that he’s familiar with Dragon’s work because he watched “tons of WCW Thunder”. Evans rocks Bryan with a Pelé Kick, which makes Dragon retreat to the outside. Inside of the ring, Bryan continues to work on Evans’ legs. Evans goes for a springboard, but Danielson kills him with a stiff elbow. Danielson is working on the arms now, as well as Jack’s left leg. The moves that Dragon is doing to Evans look absolutely brutal. Jack’s flexibility makes everything Danielson do look that much more credible. Danielson tosses Jack into the turnbuckle and charges. Evans leaps out of the way and takes Dragon out with a hurricarana. Standing corkscrew moonsault by Evans gets two. Stiff elbow by Danielson and a German get two, as well. Danielson locks in the Cattle Mutilation, but Jack gets to the ropes. Jack with a ridiculous spinning dive to the outside on Danielson. He sets up for the 630, but Dragon hangs him up. Dragon in a tree of woe position. Knees to the face! One, two, no! More kicks by Jack bring Danielson down. Jack nails the 630, but Bryan has his knees up. Dragon connects with a running kick to the temple. Danielson stomps on the face of Evans. Triangle choke locked in. Seconds later, Evans taps. Probably the best match on the show, but nothing too special. One of the main things I liked about the bout best was the story of Evans trying to prove everyone in the crowd of how boring Danielson’s style was. However, Dragon kept fighting back with innovative moves out of his own arsenal to prove Jack’s claims false. ***½.

– Dino Winwood is sitting at an empty roundtable. Winwood says that the table was once filled with life, but nearly everyone has taken off. Dino mentions a girl named Jessica, in particular, and says, “God, I would have tapped that”. Wrestlers have been stolen from the company. There’s no more food or beverages. Everything’s just a big mess. Winwood ends the DVD by saying the following, “I guess that’s just the high cost of doing business”. Funny stuff.

The bottom line is that I honestly don’t recommend picking up this DVD. Not that “The High Cost of Doing Business” is a bad show or anything, but mainly because there are plenty of better Pro Wrestling Guerrilla DVDs that are out there. In particular, check out most of the company’s inventory from events that are dated from mid-2008 and on. In my eyes, those ones are some of the best top to bottom independent wrestling shows you’ll ever see.

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