Pacific Coast Wrestling – The Shining: The Old And The New
Date: March 26, 2016
Location: Oak Street Gym, Torrance, California
Commentators: Todd Keneley, Christian Cole
Since I can’t stop myself, this is the second event from Pacific Coast Wrestling. I got the first, third and fourth events in various DVD boxes I bought over the last few months so let’s knock this one out just for the sake of completion. Unfortunately we’re taking a step back towards the first show, which wasn’t very good and away from the third and fourth, which were rather solid. Hopefully there is at least some middle ground. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look at the wild brawl between MVP and the Almighty Sheik from the first show. Tonight: a Syrian Death Match.
The announcers preview the show.
The ring announcer is far easier to hear this time than at the fourth event. How odd.
Ryan Taylor vs. Douglas James
Taylor looks like a cross between Pac and Finn Balor. James gets taken down early on and they hit the grappling. Back up and James knocks him in the corner but gets kicked in the arm to cut him off. A twist of the arm takes him down again as Taylor starts in using a villainous sneer. As we hear about James’ athletic background in combat sports, Taylor kicks him in the arm again before winning a slugout.
James finally hits a springboard spinning uppercut to get a breather but gets crotched on top for his efforts. Taylor gets knocked off the top though and James’ top rope elbow gets two. That doesn’t seem to matter though as Taylor small packages and brainbusters him for two each, followed by an ax kick for an even nearer fall. James grabs an O’Connor Roll but Taylor flips him forward and grabs the leg for a rollup of his own for the pin at 7:48.
Rating: C. Taylor looked rather indyish but his work was good enough to make up for the not exactly thrilling look. These two had a nice back and forth match here though with enough action and both guys hitting some good looking stuff. It’s no masterpiece or even anything memorable, but for what it was, it worked well.
The announcers explain the concept of the Syrian Death Match main event. Well ok it’s really just promising violence.
Here is Almighty Sheik’s manager MK for a chat. MK demands SILENCE before he explains the main event, though the fans let him know that they don’t know who he is. Therefore he’ll speak slowly in case people can’t understand him. That earns him an MVP chant but MK says MVP is in trouble as he has no experience in a Syrian Death Match. Apparently it’s a body bag match, and I have no idea why that needed so much of an explanation.
Joe Graves vs. Timothy Thatcher
Rematch from last time when Thatcher won. The fans are behind Thatcher to start and it’s a fight over a lockup to start before heading to the mat. Thatcher grabs the leg so Graves grabs the head, meaning it’s an early standoff. The delay lets the fans cheer for Thatcher again so a takeover into a near cross armbreaker has them rather pleased. Thatcher punches him in the ribs a few times before switching back to a failed cross armbreaker attempt.
The rocking surfboard hold goes on and Graves screams a lot, only to reverse into a Billy Goat’s Curse. We go to the grappling on the mat again with Graves getting something close to a triangle. That’s reversed into a bow and arrow hold and then a Fujiwara armbar as Thatcher keeps picking him apart. Graves powers up with a suplex for a breather but Thatcher sends him shoulder first into the buckle. Another Fujiwara attempt is countered into a rear naked choke to make Thatcher, whose nose seems broken, tap at 7:28.
Rating: C. The ending came out of nowhere but these two are capable of having a good technical match against each other with what seems to be ease so it’s not like this was bad. Thatcher is someone who should be getting a chance on a big stage, though it’s still cool to see him have a match on this stage.
Post match Graves says last time Thatcher was better but tonight it was the opposite. Graves is the best in the world though and that isn’t changing.
Keepers of the Faith vs. Classic Connection
Rematch from last time and the Connection (Levi Shapiro/Buddy Royal) still has the masked Fat Dick Johnson in their corner. He mocks the crowd a lot and brags about his sexual prowess. Hold on though as the Keepers have to chase the Connection over the barricade as the announcers talk about Ultimate Pro Wrestling, where wrestlers such as Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and John Cena got their start.
Gabriel Gallo steals the Connection’s towel and throws it around so we can get to the weapons check. We STILL can’t get to the bell though as Gallo, who seems to think he’s a dog, charges at the Connection again. The bell rings and Shapiro starts cringing at the threat of a chop from Dom Vitalli. Shapiro gets chopped so it’s off to the corner where Royal can blow on the chest a bit.
It’s off to Royal, who gets chopped in the corner as well as it’s one sided so far. Royal crawls over to Shapiro and it’s time for a three way villainous meeting on the floor. Back in and Royal is laid across the top turnbuckle for some kicks to the ribs. Gallo comes in for a double backdrop so Shapiro is back in to get chopped some more. Johnson FINALLY does something about it by low bridging Vitalli to the floor and getting in a cane shot.
The neck crank goes on with Royal leaning down to shout in his ear. This would be a great place to imitate Superstar Billy Graham and say that he’s telling Vitalli that he’s going down but commentary just keeps going instead. Shapiro drops a middle rope headbutt for two but Vitalli is able to jawbreak his way to freedom out of a sleeper.
There’s still no hot tag though as Shapiro whips him into the corner, only to set up a double clothesline. Now the hot tag can bring Gallo back in so house can be cleaned. A spinebuster plants Shapiro so Vitalli can come back in with a top rope elbow. Gallo and Royal fight to the floor so Johnson can get in a cane shot, but Gallo turns the cover over so Vitalli can get the pin at 11:55.
Rating: C. I’ve seen the Keepers of the Faith on three of the four shows so far and they’re a pretty impressive team. They look good together, they wrestle well together and while I’m not big on their name, I’m surprised that they haven’t gotten at least a shot on a bigger show. They’re not some can’t miss prospect but they’re one of the best parts of the show, if nothing else due to their consistency.
Scorpio Sky vs. Kenny King
They dance at each other to start, including a Michael Jackson move from King that knocks Sky down. An exchange of headlocks doesn’t get anyone anywhere so we’ll reset again. They both try dropkicks to another standoff so Sky runs him over with a shoulder. King is right back up with a Russian legsweep into another headlock as they stay in first gear.
Sky has to bail to the floor for a breather so King hits the slingshot corkscrew dive. Back in and an atomic drop has King in trouble so Sky can hammer away at the head. Sky’s bodyscissors keeps King down and a leg lariat gets two. King kicks him down as well though and it’s time to pull himself up in the corner.
A handstand kick to the head sets up a spinebuster for two on Sky and we hit the half crab, with a great closeup camera shot of Sky’s face reaching for the rope. The rope is reached and Sky snaps off a Side Effect for two and another double knockdown. They slug it out until Sky’s jumping knee is countered into a capture suplex for two. King misses the Blockbuster though and it’s a running knee into the Ace of Spades (TKO) for the pin at 12:43.
Rating: C+. Every time I see Sky on one of these shows, I get why he is getting the chance he is getting today. He really is smooth in the ring and can have a good match against anyone. Sky is still young enough to do a lot of good things in wrestling and it’s cool to see him in a major company today.
Earlier today, JR Kratos sat down for an interview. He’s here to face the top talent in wrestling and will always give his hardest. He has trained with some great people and wants to make them proud. The Kratos Era is beginning and he wants to be like one of his heroes: Mike Tyson, who was the scariest person in a boxing ring. For someone named after the god of war, this was a pretty tame interview.
JR Kratos vs. Jeff Cobb
They shake hands and go into the feeling out process to start without much major contact in the first minute. Kratos has a seat in the corner as Cole can’t remember the details he was told about Cobb’s Olympic career about a minute and a half ago. They go to the mat with Kratos going to the mat and managing to get a Kimura but Cobb takes him down with a waistlock.
Kratos switches into one of his own and Cobb looks rather surprised. An armdrag sends Cobb into the corner and it’s time for the big chop off. Kratos gets the better of that as well and throws Cobb into the corner again, followed by a headlock takeover. That’s enough for Cobb, who muscles him up into a pumphandle suplex. It’s not enough to keep Kratos in trouble though as he kicks Cobb in the face for two.
A piledriver gets the same and one person tries a THAT WAS THREE chant. There’s always something hilarious about that, even if it’s also kind of sad. They chop it out again until an exchange of boots to the face puts both guys down. Another suplex drops Kratos, who pops right back up with a jumping knee to the face. The Game Changer (sitout spinebuster) finishes Cobb at 10:43.
Rating: B-. I can always go for two big, athletic guys beating each other up and that’s what they did here. Cobb would grow up a lot in the coming years and that’s the kind of thing you can never get tired of seeing. Kratos has a lot of potential as well and I’m not sure why he hasn’t gone anywhere on the bigger stage. Fun hoss battle here.
We get the post match handshake.
Kevin Martenson vs. Willie Mack
Martenson is rather odd, including standing on his hands and clapping his feet together during his entrance. Mack gets quite the positive reaction, which tends to be the case everywhere he goes. The smaller Martenson slams him to start and goes up, with Mack looking at him and wondering what he’s doing. He comes back down so Mack can hit his swinging slam and a shoulder sends Martenson outside.
A delayed suplex brings him back in for two and a Codebreaker over the ropes puts Martenson on the floor again. Back in and a hard shot to the chest gets two as the announcers brag about selling the building out for their first two shows (fair enough). Martenson knocks him to the floor for a change and hits a double stomp off the apron, followed by a missile dropkick.
The fans are behind Willie as Martenson stomps away in the corner so Mack headbutts the heck out of him for a breather. Martenson is fine enough to hit a slingshot elbow for two before just hammering away with right hands. Some kicks to the leg don’t work very well though as Mack kicks him in the head, which makes the announcers talk about Moons Over My Hammy, which makes me want to go to Denny’s.
Mack hits a slingshot dropkick in the corner to set up the Cannonball for two. A Samoan drop into a standing moonsault has Martenson in more trouble. Mack’s Doomsday Saito suplex sends Martenson to the floor and that means the big flip dive. Back in and Martenson hits a bicycle kick into a brainbuster for two of his own. Mack doesn’t seem to mind as it’s a Stunner into a Chocolate Thunder Driver for the pin at 14:24.
Rating: B-. This was one of those matches where they just went out there and did a lot of stuff, which is exactly what a show like this needed to do. Sometimes you need to have something that showcases talent and gives the fans a reason to come back and for a second show ever, that makes a lot of sense. So does pushing Mack, though Martenson looked good here too.
Almighty Sheik vs. MVP
Sheik has MK with him and this is a Syrian Death Match, which means a body bag match. Hang on though as Sheik needs to pray first, but MVP’s music cuts him off, as you had to expect. MVP slugs away to start and tries a big boot but Sheik bails to the floor. That’s fine with MVP who hits a dive and the slugout starts on the outside. A clothesline puts Sheik over the barricade and that means it’s time for a chair shot and walking around through the crowd.
Now the big boot connects to put them back at ringside and MVP DDTs him onto the apron. Cole: “Outside of that post, the hardest part of that ring.” WHY DO SO FEW COMMENTATORS GET THAT??? It’s table time but MVP has to block the spike to the head. A neckbreaker drops Sheik as we hear about the current political climate against people like Sheik. Another big boot knocks the busted open Sheik off the buckle and out to the floor.
They head outside again with Sheik being put on the table but MK offers a distraction (it’s about time), allowing Sheik to get in a bell shot. Back in and Sheik drops an elbow, setting up a one armed camel clutch. The full version goes on as the announcers turn it into a discussion of building a wall. MVP breaks it up with a drop onto his back and some clotheslines, into high collar suplex….which the camera misses by not panning down.
The Ballin Elbow connects and it’s time for the body bag. Well at least it’s time to unfold it as MVP loads up a suplex off the apron through the table. MK makes the save and Sheik has to save him from a Death Valley Driver by throwing a fireball, sending MVP through the table. That’s enough to close the body bag and give Sheik the win at 12:27.
Rating: D+. I don’t know what it is about these two but it doesn’t work. Maybe it’s the Sheik being the most generic foreign heel in the world or MVP not being the most traditional face, but the whole thing just came and went. It was a brawl around the arena until we got to the finish and then it was over. What else am I supposed to get out of this?
Post match MVP is let out of the bag and beats up MK, including Ballin. MK gets bagged to end the show and send the fans home happy.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a weird hybrid between the first and third shows, which means you have some good and some bad. The problem is the matches are just coming and going, which has to be the case on a second show. They had a rematch to their big main event the first time around so at least they did something. You won’t be bored watching it but there are better things like can watch. Like their future shows.
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