DVD Review: PWG “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” (1.10.2009)

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla — “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” — January 10th, 2009
DVD review by Roy Reynolds

+ Taped live from the American Legion Post in Reseda, California.

– Excalibur is in the ring to start the show to make a quick announcement. The 2008 Battle of Los Angeles winner, Low Ki, signed a WWE contract and is now in Florida Championship Wrestling.

● Phoenix Star and Zokre [Los Luchas] beat Brandon Cutler and Dustin Cutler [The Cutler Brothers] (11:29) via pinfall when Star nailed Dustin with a knee-assisted olympic slam – Right off the bat, Zokre nails a huge crossbody. Phoenix Star follows it up with an elevated dropkick. The Cutlers take control for a few minutes, as Dustin illegally chokes Star in the corner. Yoshi Tonic from Phoenix Star! Two-count. Zokre makes the hot tag. Los Luchas take down the Cutlers and nail stereo moonsaults, but they only get two. Hurricaranas by Los Luchas on the Cutlers. Zokre and Phoenix Star launch themselves to the outside, taking out both Cutlers. Crowd is on fire right now. Assisted backbreaker only gets two for Luchas. Big spinebuster by Phoenix Star. Six Second Abs by the Cutlers, but Zokre breaks the count up at the last second! Phoenix Star with a beautiful springboard cutter, but Brandon gets his foot on the ropes at the last second. Assisted spear by Los Luchas! Zokre locks in the Romero Special, but tosses Dustin up into an olympic slam right into Phoenix’s knees. They both cover Dustin and pick up the three-count. Decent match that had a lot of positives and negatives. Wouldn’t mind seeing these two collide in the future, as the Cutlers definitely seemed a bit nervous. Can’t blame them, as this was their PWG debut match. Los Luchas, on the other hand, looked the best I’ve ever seen them. Why hasn’t CHIKARA booked these dudes yet? **¾.

● Austin Aries defeated TJ Perkins (12:43) via submission with the Last Chancery – Austin Aries takes the microphone from Jon Ian and compliments Perkins’ entrance outfit. Excalibur calls Perkins the “youngest old-timer in the business” on commentary, which is undeniably true. TJ is in his twenties and has about ten years of wrestling experience already. Aries controls Perkins on the ground in the early going. Spinning elbow drop from Aries misses, as TJ darts out of the way. Jumping elbow drop connects, but Perkins kicks out at two. Multiple overhand chops by Aries in the corner. Bulldog by Aries connects for two. Austin attempts some knees to the head, but TJ gets out of the ring. TJ and Austin exchange dropkicks. Aries tosses Perkins down to the mat, springboards for a senton, but TJ gets his knees up at the last second. Stiff kicks to the chest of Aries. Aries with a vicious shot to the back of TJ. Austin goes for a dropkick in the corner, but TJ escapes. Knees to the face of TJ. Aries locks in the Lost Chancery, but Perkins quickly gets to the ropes. Elbow drop from the top by Perkins for two. Superkick by TJ. Frog splash by Perkins for two. Aries rolls through, though, and delivers some knees! TJ reverses the brainbuster into an O’Connor roll. Two-count. Back suplex by Perkins gets two, as well. Flying cross armbar by TJ, but Aries reverses it into some knee strikes! Last Chancery in the middle of the ring! More knees by Aries! Perkins has no other choice but to eventually tap. What a match! If there’s one wrestler everyone should have their eyes out on right now, it’s got to be TJ. Hands down, the kid is quickly becoming one of my favorite athletes to watch in the squared circle. Believe it or not, Perkins and Aries were definitely evenly matched. ***¼.

● Joey Ryan defeated Bobby Quance (17:52) via pinfall with the Pedigree – The “Shooting Star” Bobby Quance quit professional wrestling about four years ago to join the Navy. He is currently a Navy Seal. Apparently, Quance recently had some time off from serving in the military and wanted to jump back into the ring. I’ve actually never seen a match of Quance’s before, but I’ve only heard good things. Quance locks a vicious kneebar in on Ryan early on, but Joey manages to scramble to the ropes. Hurricaranas and dropkicks from Quance. Ryan guillotines Quance over the top rope. Ryan and Quance exchange strikes on the outside of the ring. Dropkick by Joey Ryan gets two. Northern Lights suplex by Quance! He follows it up with a total of two Polish Hammers to the head of Joey Ryan! Crowd is split for both competitors. Spinning roundhouse kick to the head by Quance! Two-count. Big spear by Joey. Quance takes a few pages out of Kurt Angle’s book by giving him an Angle Slam, as well as the Ankle Lock. Joey with an elbow suicida on the outside! Sweet Chin Music by Quance misses, but Joey nails him with a superkick of his own. Another two-count. Joey nails a stunner for two, but Bobby doesn’t sell it well at all. Rock Bottom by Bobby Quance for two. Crazy headscissor by Bobby on the outside. Shooting star press by Quance misses! Ryan capitalizes on the failed shooting star press by drilling Quance down with a Pedigree for two. After missing a 540 kick, Ryan plants Quance down with yet another Pedigree for the win. Just about as fun of a wrestling match as you could ever get. Joey and Bobby had a sprint of WWE finishers that was quite amusing. Also, Quance looked amazing for a guy that hasn’t been in the ring for four years. Definitely a match that I will most likely rewatch somewhere down the line. ***.

– Following the bout, Joey Ryan puts over Bobby Quance on the microphone. He tells the crowd that Quance left PWG in 2004 to dedicate his life to the armed forces. Ryan mentions that Quance gave up a bright future to defend our country. Joey shakes Quance’s hand before exiting the ring, as the crowd chants Bobby’s name. Real cool moment.

● Bryan Danielson defeated Scott Lost (16:41) via submission with the Cattle Mutilation – Lost attacks Danielson during his entrance with some hard shots to the temple. Running knee to the head of Danielson in the corner. Danielson fights back off the mat, but Scott kicks him in the teeth out of nowhere. Bryan Danielson gets tossed into a bunch of chairs in the front row. Lost with a huge Superman Spear over the chairs on the outside! Almost strange to see how much offense Lost is getting in right now against someone like Danielson. Big running lariat from Danielson. Kick to the spine of Lost. Tope suicida by Danielson onto Scott! “Best in the world” chant breaks out. Bryan sends Scott on a ride through some chairs on the outside. Scott escapes the MMA Elbows and drills Danielson a 540 kick! Two-count. Big Fat Kill reversed into a bridging O’Connor roll for two. Sharpshooter locked in on Danielson, but Bryan manages to make it to the ropes. Superman Spear blocked by a knee. More elbows by Dragon. Lost taps out to the Cattle Mutilation. Excellent match. Not only was there was some great brawling in the beginning of the match, but Scott and Bryan also managed to successfully transition back into the ring. Worth going out of your way to see. ***½.

● El Generico defeated Chuck Taylor (15:18) via pinfall with a brainbuster – Generico is all over Chuck Taylor from the start, so Chuck takes it to the outside for a breather. Generico rocks him with a leg lariat for two. Taylor and Generico shake hands, but only so that Taylor can lay in a cheap kick. Generico catches Chuck’s leg, though, and nails him with a sick dropkick to the head. Generico attempts to dive onto Chuck on the outside, but Taylor quickly grabs a kid in front of him to prevent the assault. As Generico goes to check on the child, Chuck kicks Generico low! Inside cradle by Chuck only gets two. Chuck locks in a tight hold on El Generico’s neck, but Generico manages to get his foot on the ropes to break up. Chuck tosses Generico hard into the ring apron! He does it again even harder this time! Generico allows a child to chop Chuck across the chest on the outside. Sole Food reversed into a Michinoku driver for two. Big powerbomb from Chuck gets two, as well. Huge Yakuza kick into the corner by Chuck. Generico immediately fires up and follows up quickly with a nasty suplex! Both guys exchange strikes on the apron. Chuck leaps out of the ring, but eats a boot. Brainbuster on the apron by Generico! One, two, three. Super fun match that had several cool-looking spots. ***.

● PWG World Tag Team Championships: Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson [The Young Bucks] beat Roderick Strong and Davey Richards (19:23) via pinfall when Nick caught Davey with a small package – The tandem of Strong and Richards are notorious in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla for being the shortest-reigning PWG World Tag Team Champions in the company’s history. Excalibur made note of this multiple times on commentary throughout the course of the show when referencing the main event match. Matt and Nick are really taking it to Roderick Strong early, doing whatever they can to prevent Davey Richards from making a tag. Big legdrop from Matt gets two. Davey makes the tag and runs through Matt with a stiff kick to the chest. Strong takes out Nick on the apron. Davey locks in a Sharpshooter, but Matt gets to the ropes. Nick makes the tag and runs against the ropes. Davey lays in a spin kick. Damage Reflex for two! Big backbreaker from Strong. Matt with a spinning neckbreaker. Nick drives a knee into Davey’s face. Headscissors and powerbomb combination by the Bucks get two. Backbreaker by Strong to Matt. Assisted Alarm Clock! Nick kicks out at the last second! Matt Jackson escapes a cloverleaf from Richards. Matt goes for a 450 splash, but Richards gets his knees up! Richards goes for a roll-up, but Nick reverses the hold into a small package for the three-count. Richards chases Rick Knox afterwards for his alleged fast count. Knox escapes Richards’ fury by jumping into the crowd! Arguably the best match of the night. All four guys were moving at what seemed like one hundred miles per hour. Even Rick Knox had trouble controlling the match at times. Pretty much tag team wrestling at its finest. ****.

– What in the world is this now? Could this be some sort of post-show promo? Excalibur is in the locker room area giving El Generico a massage. Suddenly, a man wearing Converse sneakers is seen paying off Excalibur with some cash. The Converse man takes control of the massage by digging his knuckles into Generico’s back. Generico yelps in pain. The mystery man chucks a bag at Generico’s back. As the camera shifts up, the mystery man is revealed to be none other than Chuck Taylor. Taylor screams at Generico that “this ain’t over yet, buddy”. As the DVD comes to a close, Generico looks on in absolute horror. Good lord.

Overall, a solid top to bottom event that I would definitely recommend picking up if you have some money to throw down. The main event is bound to turn some heads, as is Danielson versus Lost. There are also several fun matches, such as Quance versus Ryan and Generico versus Taylor that will definitely be watched more than once by me in the future. Why not give “The Gentle Art of Making Enemies” a shot?

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