Reviews US Indies

PWG Lemmy Review

PWG is back again. Lemmy is here and so far has a surprising lack of Iron Crosses for a Motorhead tribute show. No Wehrmacht insignias and a fresh slate of PWG matchups? That sounds like a win to me. This is a strong looking card on paper so let’s see how it stacks up to the hype!

**Featured image courtesy of Mikey Nolan Photography

Chris Dickinson vs. Brian Cage***3/4

Dickinson has never been someone I was a massive fan of so I was interested in how he would handle PWG. He made the most of his opportunity. Dickinson starts off by getting the best of Cage with a kick to the back of the head and then a back drop driver. Once Cage is back in the ring, Dickinson goes for a blockbuster but Cage counters and takes control of the match. The action spills outside, and Cage knocks Dickinson silly with a powerbomb into the ring post. That was only a two count, though. An annoyed Cage hits consecutive lariats and then knocks him back down with an 818. It wasn’t enough to keep the Dirty Daddy down, and he gets the pace back in his favor with a dragon suplex. Dickinson starts working on the wrist next with a chain of stomps and scores another two count with a slam. Cage gets back in it with a powerslam, but he misses his monnsault attempt and Dickinson gets him in a reverse Boston Crab. The big man makes it to the ropes, though, so this bout continues. The two go back and forth until Cage takes control again and hits a wheelbarrow German suplex for another two count. Cage tries a pumphandle facebreaker next, but all it can do is score him another two count. He hits an F5, but Dickinson gets his foot up on the rope. Dickinson gets back on offense and hits a Frankensteiner and a wheelbarrow German of his own, but it’s just not enough to stop the machine. He gets Cage up to the top rope and hits a hurricanrana, and a corkscrew kick but Cage immediately hits a discus lariat of his own to even the playing field. Dickinson hits a Burning Hammer, but it still isn’t enough. Nothing can stop Brian Cage. The Machine gets back up and hits an Alabama Slam, a buckle bomb, and a discus lariat, but it’s only good enough for a one count. Dickinson’s brief hope doesn’t last long, though. Cage hits a Steiner Screwdriver and finally scores the win. Dickinson was great, and I hope this match leads to him getting more opportunities to return to PWG.

Timothy Thatcher vs. Drew Gulak***1/2

Hardly a new match but always an entertaining one. Two of Gabe’s most accomplished grapplers are here to bring it to the grandest stage of them all, the American Legion Hall. As you can probably expect the match starts off with grappling. Thatcher started off in control and Gulak was constantly scrambling for the ropes. After a failed Kimura from Thatcher, Gulak takes control of the match. Gulak almost gets the ankle lock in, but Thatcher makes it to the ropes. Thatcher tries to deadlift Gulak with a double wristlock, but it was swiftly reversed into a German suplex. Gulak’s optimism doesn’t last long. Thatcher gets back up and repeatedly slams his shoulder first on the mat. Gulak manages to sneak him into a backslide, but Thatcher reverses that into a failed Fujiwara arm bar. As Gulak is writhing in pain from a fingerbreaking attempt, Thatcher rolls out of the wring and slams his face on the apron. Gulak ends up on the top rope, and he makes the most of it by hitting a jumping lariat. He hits three dropkicks, but it isn’t enough to keep Thatcher down for anything more than a two count. You can’t keep Thatcher down for long; you can only make him angry. Thatcher wrestles Gulak down into another Fujiwara but again he can’t get it locked in, and Gulak reverses it into a piledriver. But not even a piledriver is enough to keep Thatcher down. The two go back and forth a bit more, but Gulak’s injured arm is preventing him from being able to pin Thatcher. Thatcher hits a big headbutt out of nowhere for a two count but immediately after Gulak kicks out he gets put in a Kimura and is finally forced to tap. Another great match both on this show and from these two.

Sami Callihan vs. Trevor Lee***1/4

Trevor Lee’s mean streak continues. He and Callihan go right at each other before both participants let their hair down and slow it down a bit. Lee throws Sami into the post but Callihan gets back up and flattens him with a bicycle kick. Trevor Lee rolls out, but Callihan hits him with a tope and begins to pelt Lee with chairs. He throws a chair into the ring, but Trevor gets to it first and smacks Callihan in the face with it. He hits a big leaping double stomp right after for a two count. Heel Trevor’s antics from the last two shows continue. He slows it down again and works on Callhan’s arms before throwing him to the outside. He can’t keep him out though and Sami snakes his way back into the ring. Once he gets back in Trevor stomps him and puts him in a headlock. He gets thrown to the outside of the ring, and Lee goes for the running Apron kick again, but Callihan catches his leg and drops his face first onto the apron. The Death Machine is back in control here. He hits two running kicks into a cornered Trevor Lee’s face before Lee gets back up and hits a leaping elbow. Callihan returns to the upper hand quickly with a swinging neckbreaker though. Lee gets a deadlift German suplex for a two count next. Callihan gets a little more offense, but Trevor reverses his offense into his signature flipping powerslam. The two trade blows while trying to stand up after that one until Sami dragon screws him down and locks him into a Figure Four in the middle of the ring. Trevor escaped to the ropes, and the match continued. Callihan hit a Liger bomb for a two count but right after the kick out Lee is locked into a Stretch Muffler that he just can’t escape from. Trevor taps out right next to the ropes. A third straight great match from two of the best wrestlers on the American indies.

Jack Evans vs. Drew Galloway***1/2

Jack is back and for someone who spends most of his time mocking people he is quite beloved. He inexplicably starts calling the ring announcer a bitch and putting himself over like a golden god. He starts dancing, but that’s short lived as Galloway kicks him in the head mid breakdance. A cocky Jack keeps trying to kick Galloway down, but he can’t do it. Drew lays him out with a big clothesline. He hides under the ring to escape the onslaught, but it doesn’t stop for long. He jumps into Galloway but is caught and thrown into the post. It took a double stomp to the shoulder for Jack to finally get Galloway on the ground. His showmanship dooms him again, though. He gets thrown into the post and then slammed down for another two count. Jack spends this match getting tossed a lot. The arrogant little man just can’t keep Galloway down for very long. He lands some great dives, though. He hits a corkscrew tiger drop that knocks Drew down, but that doesn’t last long. He gets back in the ring and slaps him right in the face. Jack eventually gets him in a tree of woe and stomps out his groin. He goes for a cannonball, but Drew gets his knees up and hits a Future Shock DDT for the pin. Jack couldn’t put his money where his mouth was in the end, and Galloway comes out looking like a monster for his upcoming title shot.

Mike Bailey vs. Adam Cole****

This is the most exciting dream match on this show. Adam Cole is like a Pokémon. Or at least, a Pokémon that loves profanity. He loves yelling his name. Adam Cole’s raised four fingers aren’t quite a match for Bailey’s Karate kicks, though. Cole gets stalked around the ring and eats a roundhouse kick on each side of the apron. Cole takes the upper hand with a wheelbarrow suplex into the apron, though. Cole rolls him back into the ring and continues the action in control. Despite Bailey’s best attempts Cole stays in control and starts to wear down Speedball’s knee. Hurt knee or not Speedball manages to regain control with a big crane kick that knocks Cole right down. He hits a standing Shiranui for a two count, but Cole lives on. Cole gets stunned, and Bailey goes for the Shooting Star Knees, but it misses. It won’t miss again, though. Speedball hits the knee drop right into the midsection on the next attempt. Cole doesn’t stay down for long though, and he dodges a kick to the head and hits Bailey with a top knee neckbreaker. Cole goes for the top knee Brainbuster and fails but he manages to connect on a flying knee to the face for a two count. Adam Cole’s profanity obsession dooms him next, though. In the time it took him to yell “Suck My Dick” Bailey was able to wind up for a big kick and lay him out. The two get up and trade strikes before Bailey gets Cole into the corner and rapidly kicks him. Cole hides behind the ref to sneak out and land a low blow, but it isn’t enough to keep Speedball down. Cole has Bailey up in a fireman’s carry, but Bailey reverses it into a hurricanrana. Speedball’s favor sustains and despite a low blow on the top ropes he manages to land the knee drop on the back. He has Cole all but pinned, but Cole grabs the hand of the ref and stops the three count. That was probably illegal but alas the match rolls on. Speedball hit’s his rapid kicks and the two trade roll ups and big kicks before Cole hits a destroyer into the top knee brainbuster for the win. This was the best match of the show so far, and that says a lot about the quality of the first half of the show.

Akira Tozawa vs. Zack Sabre Jr.**1/2

A dream match in name but not really in execution. This was a styles clash in a lot of the wrong ways. I’ll admit my bias here. I love Akira Tozawa. He’s nearly always an absolute pleasure to watch and the idea of him being locked into the “ZSJ match” annoys me. And that’s what this match did. Between a crowd that just didn’t want to shut their mouths and let the match start and the lack of Tozawa’s Dragon Gate flair, I did not like this one bit. A large portion of the match was Zack stretching and contorting Tozawa while he writhed in pain. It’s very easy to see why this match was booked, and I’m sure the sheer nature of these two being in a ring at the same time is enough to make most fans overjoyed. But it just isn’t enough for me. Even looking at just the guys booked there were so many more exciting Tozawa matchups, and it feels like a waste of a rare US trip from one of the best in the world. The match picked up a bit for the finish which saw ZSJ hit a dragon suplex into a Penalty Kick, but this just left me feeling disappointed.

Roderick Strong vs. Chris Hero***1/2

Hero is here, and he isn’t happy. He immediately makes the most of his title shot by laying the champ out with a bicycle kick before Roddy can even put his belt down. Hero going for pinfalls early told a good story that is sometimes lacking in PWG. The locker room wants to get the belt back from Mount Rushmore and Hero is here to give every single thing he has in him right away to get it back. Hero stays in control for much of the start before Roddy manages to hit a back suplex on the apron and get Hero on the ground outside of the ring. Roddy gets him up and drops him back-first on the apron once again before rolling him back into the ring. That was only good enough for a two count, though. Once back in the ring Strong locks Hero in a headlock and when hero breaks out of it Roddy bites his hand and knocks him back down for another two count. The two get back up, and Roderick hits a flurry of chops but Hero powers through and hits a big kick to the face. The two trade strikes as Roddy taunts but that only makes Hero angry as he gets and levels him with an elbow as strong went for a jumping knee strike. Roddy gets hero on the top rope and goes for a superplex, but Hero knocks him right off the rope with a big elbow. Strong comes back up and punches him in the head, but it still isn’t enough. Roddy gets knocked down by another big blow to the head. Hero goes for an avalanche piledriver, but Roderick finally gets his way and lands the superplex after a kick to the back of the head finally knocks Hero loose enough. He hits Hero with a gutbuster and a Sick Kick, but that is still only enough for a two count. Roddy goes for a stronghold but it is reversed, and Hero hits two consecutive piledrivers. Somehow Roddy keeps the match going. Roddy throws the ref into hero and then hits a butterfly backbreaker, but there is no ref to count him out until Rick Knox comes out from the back. Knox arrives too late, and Hero escapes the pin at two. The two trade strikes before Hero gets the upper hand. Roddy sees this and throws the referee right into an elbow. Hero lands a tombstone piledriver but and the original ref comes in but can’t complete the count in time to give Hero the win. This is getting to be a bit much. Roderick brings the title into things and thinks he has Hero down, but he pops up before a ref can make the count. His next pin attempt is the one that does it, though. A Sick Kick lays out Hero and gives Roderick Strong the victory. This went too far with the ref bumps but was still an entertaining main event.

Lemmy was far and away the best of the three released post-BOLA shows from PWG. It wasn’t long, and all the matches felt fresh. Some of the usual faces being absent seemed to work to their advantage, and the show felt a bit refreshing after some of the last shows seemed to drag. Overall I’d strongly recommend this to any fan of PWG.

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