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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
October 30, 2007 by Winter Trabex


Editor's Note: The author of this column can be contacted via the OWW Forums, where this submission was first posted. Feedback can be posted automatically by clicking here - but remember you must sign up for the forums to post feedback on a column. Thanks you!


Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, based locally in California, is one of those promotions that, much like Ring of Honor, has redefined the indy wrestling scene as we know it. Indy wrestling has always been the federation who doesn't put out DVDs or VHS tapes and who has to hand out flyers at local bars to get people to come to their shows. Yet, PWG, who started in the summer of 2003, has very slowly become one of the top independent federations going today. And they have done it without anyone really noticing.

The first PWG show, which is now known as the debut show, featured a lot of the top indy guys from California, and they managed to get the man who, before TNA got their television deal, was working everywhere in the world, AJ Styles. He faced off against Frankie Kazarian, who would go on later to become PWG's first champion at a show called "Bad Ass Mother 3000." Kazarian would later lose the title to Adam Pearce, who is the current NWA World Champion, only to regain it. To this day, Kazarian is the only man to have held the PWG world title twice. AJ Styles, Super Dragon, El Generico and others have held it, but never more than once.

PWG's second year, 2004, was a bit more chaotic. The faction known as the X-Foundation (Joey Ryan, Scott Lost and Funky Billy Kim) broke apart with Kim leaving PWG and Ryan and Lost having a ladder match for control of the PWG titles at an event called "The Next Show." This was also the year of Adam Pearce's title reign. Pearce had started out in PWG as a member of Hardkore Inc. and, currently, no one from that original faction works at PWG anymore. 2004 also featured the rivalry of Samoa Joe and Bryan Danielson. At "The Musical" the two put on one of the best matches PWG has ever seen, which centered not only around Danielson being better than Joe, but also around the fact that Danielson claimed to be a better singer. After that show, they met again at the last event of the year, "Uncanny X-Mas" to settle their rivalry in Calfornia once and for all.

2005 featured the very first (and second) All Star Weekend events, the first of which saw AJ Styles win the PWG Title from Super Dragon. This was Styles "golden age" so to speak when he turned out good matches no matter who he was against. In TNA, he took the company by storm by winning the X-Division Title and the NWA World Title within three months. He was, at that time, living up to his nickname of "the Phenomenal One." 2005 also saw a PWG regular, Scorpio Sky, lose his mask in a tag team title match against what is called "Arrogance"- Scott Lost and Chris Bosh. It was an emotional moment for Scorpio, because after that, he could no longer hide the fact that he was black or the fact that he was a player. Once Christopher Daniels won the X-Division title, he began defending it at PWG against non-TNA wrestlers such as Chris Hero ("Zombies Shouldn't Run") and El Generico ("Guitarmaggeddon"). Daniels, hailing from California, showed everyone what he could really do, as he was also having good matches with anyone that had two legs and a muscular body. The first Battle of Los Angeles event took place then as well. BOLA, as it is called, was a tournament similar to IWA-Mid South's Ted Petty Invitational (formerly known as Sweet Science Sixteen) and featured the top stars on the independent scene, which really meant that it was basically an ROH and PWG supershow. In 2006, they added wrestlers from Dragon Gate, and in 2007, they now feature stars from all over the world such as Doug Williams and PAC.

With the exception of the European Vacation shows, 2006 started off slow for PWG. They featured the perennial wXw classic, Chris Hero vs. Claudio Castagnoli, in the opening match of "Cruisin' For a Bruisin'." Joey Ryan had the title by this time, and would continue to have it for most of the year. The title defenses he made generally just angered the fans, as he would cheat them out of a finish or lose the title and then say he was contractually obligated to wrestle someone else, so it wasn't a real title defense. Threemendous and that year's BOLA event is where things really started to pick up. PWG now had an audience in Japan, as they had sent some of their talent to that year's Wrestle Jam event in Dragon Gate. Accordingly, their product got much better while Joey Ryan's chest hair got thicker as well. At the event "Self-Titled" PWG was able to have the Motor City Machine Guns of Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin face off against El Generico and Quicksilver. The two teams, as would be expected, turned out a fantastic match. PWG ended the year with yet another All Star Weekend Event (the fourth) in which AJ Styles faced off against PAC, England's top high flyer.

Now, heading into 2007, PWG has made 13 shows (the number that they made in 2004) through only three-quarters of the year. They are a growing company, and one to watch out for, if only their Commissioner of Food and Beverages, Excalibur, will stop stealing everyone's Dasani Water.

by Winter Trabex (View/Submit your feedback here)..




© 2007, Black Pants, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

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