Preston City Wrestling celebrated their fifth anniversary with an iPPV – and a loaded card that sadly delivered short of expectations.
#TLDR: It was a case of what could have been for PCW, as a stacked card failed to deliver thanks to some questionable booking – which only added to the woes of those trying to watch the show live on iPPV.
The Full Review: Going into the show, I’d heard precious little about this event – and the £4 iPPV – but after a quick look on the PCW website, there was quite the card. The company had make the move to vacate their Cruiserweight title, with champion Adam Cole unable to get booked by the company. Instead, former champions El Ligero and Bubblegum fought for the vacated strap.
Elsewhere, the PCW title is being defended twice – at the start and the end of the show – whilst there was also a ten-man elimination tag match booked for control of the company, as Dave Rayne’s team fought Joanna Rose’s team, and the winning team would see their leader become the sole General Manager.
PCW had only just launched their own PivotShare on-demand service this week (much like PROGRESS, Rev Pro, HighSpots, and the like), so I was surprised that they went back to iPPV, but then again, this isn’t the WWN-style of iPPV, with unlimited replays forever.
As a side-note – we originally tried to watch this show live as it happened, but then the curse of internet PPV struck in the form of blocky/pixellated video, low frame-rates, and by the time the three-way tag match happened, the feed just corrupted and dropped out. Whether this was the result of production errors, or the self-confessed poor internet connection at the building, this is something that needs to be sorted out if PCW are to do future iPPVs. You can say “it was only four pounds”, but I couldn’t watch the show live, nor have I had any reply to a help request from 247.tv… so as a customer, I am now really put off from trying any of their live iPPVs ever again.
We started with a video package of the company’s history, with stars they’ve had before such as Chris Masters, John Morrison and Goldust.
James Finn vs. Philip Michael vs. Jack Baron vs. Dave Birch vs. Kenny Williams vs. Chris Ridgeway
An unannounced six-way here, with Kenny Williams probably the most well-known names here. My feed stuttered a lot, so this’ll not be the usual blow-by-blow commentary. Williams and Ridgeway started, but they quickly tagged out to Michael and Birch, with some basic stuff in slow motion. Finn hit a dropkick, then had his legs swept before Ridgeway came in and levelled him with some kicks.
Ridgeway hit a tope into the crowd, as did Baron, before Finn and Michael added to it… and Kenny Williams looked to complete the set, only to be cut off as they went to a Tower of Doom spot. Cue a parade of finishers, ending with Williams landing a see-saw lariat to Ridgeway, before Williams was backdropped out of the ring.
Finn landed a Canadian destroyer to someone who wasn’t named, before Ridgeway’s bridging German suplex got him a near-fall on Finn. Michael drops Birch with a cross-legged Fisherman’s brainbuster, before Williams ended up landing a moonsault off the nightclub podium. Williams followed up with an elbow off the top, before Birch threw him to the outside.
A small package nearly got Ridgeway the win, but a Tiger Bomb with a jack-knife roll-up got him the win. Decent match from what I saw, but the commentators really struggled to follow this… and it’d help if they knew the guys involved, as there was precious little in terms of name-checking going on here. **¾
Preston City Wrestling Championship: Sha Samuels vs. Noam Dar (c)
Sammy Smooth and the London Riots accompanied the challenger to the ring, and Samuels cuts a heel promo before the match… and then my feed froze during the introductions.
We picked up with Dar on the outside taking a European uppercut, but he came back in and kicked Samuels to send him to the outside, but Sammy Smooth tripped Dar before a dive, and that got Samuels a near-fall. James Davis choked away on Dar from the corner, before Samuels locked the Scotsman in a bearhug. Smooth accidentally tripped Samuels, and Rob Lynch came in to spear Samuels to the outside, where Dar followed up with a dive.
As the referee ejected Smooth and the Riots – something that the commentators completely missed – Dar dropped Samuels with a dropkick for a near-fall. A double clothesline sent both men to the mat, and the feed’s now become blocky rather than stuttery. I can live with wrestling mosaics…
Then the feed died. As we stared at Noam Dar’s arse. Lovely. Upon re-watching this, we see Samuels pull himself up and start a battle of forearms with the champion, before Dar kicks out the leg and rolls into the Champagne Super-Knee-Bar in the middle of the ring. Originally I couldn’t rate this, but this felt like a title match that had been squeezed onto the card to tie up some loose ends. Nothing special, and way too short. ***
Viper vs. Sweet Saraya
Saraya cuts a promo on Viper and says that with her experience, she could “f*** her up”. How very non PG. Saraya flat out says that Viper’s blown her way to the top, and that gets her a slap.
Saraya grabs the hair and they roll around the ropes. Viper misses an avalanche charge, and gets choked in the corner, before snapmaring Saraya to the mat. Viper’s taken into the corner for some shoulder tackles, before knocking Saraya to the mat with a shoulder tackle off the ropes.
After getting back to her feet, Saraya kicks Viper in the very upper thigh, before taking her into the ropes and stretching her with a surfboard. Saraya chops Viper in the ropes, and then it gets reversed… but Saraya does another low kick, and uses her t-shirt to choke away at Viper.
Viper gets her eyes poked again, but she drops Saraya and squashes her with a back senton for a two-count. Another low punch from Saraya drops Viper, as does a hotshot in the ropes, before Saraya kicks her in the (bleep). Saraya kicks Viper in the head, but literally out of nowhere Viper lifts up Saraya and lands a Viper Driver (Michonoku driver) to end this horror. The slideshow-like video didn’t help, but this was just so one-dimensional. **
Viper and Saraya continue to brawl afterwards, ending with Saraya spitting at Viper. There’s a difference between being a heel and just being unpleasant. Welcome to straddling the line with Saraya!
Preston City Wrestling Tag Team Championships: London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) vs. The UK Hooligans (Roy Knight & Zak Knight) vs. Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone) (c)
They announced this as a streetfight… and with the London Riots and the Knight brothers, you can believe this probably won’t be technical! Team Single have held the PCW tag titles since June 2013, and their entrance video looks an awful lot like a certain hot act in WWE, complete with some chickenwire fencing being shot at extra-close range. Imitation, you can teach that!
The brawl starts in the ring whilst Rampage Brown and T-Bone head down the aisle, and the Riots start by being taken into the crowd by the Knights.
Roy Knight elbow drops James Davis through a plastic chair, whilst Lynch drops a bar table onto T-Bone. This was chaotic, and pretty tough to follow, as Davis got thrown through several rows of chairs. The camera cut away from a chairshot from Zak Knight, whilst Davis took a running shoulder charge through a chair.
The camera shows Rampage going through a fire exit with Rob Lynch, and my word, the stuttering feed returns with a vengeance: slow-mo, pixellated and freezing! We pick this up-on-demand, with the brawling continuing outside the ring, but with no particular focus on any of it. One of the Knights uses a crutch from a fan to have a light sabre battle with James Davis’ cricket bat, before T-Bone gets a shot himself, as the Knights connect with a tope into the front row.
Lynch and Rampage brawl through the crowd, with a velvet rope being used to choke Lynch, whilst we see the Knights pull out a mallet from under the ring. T-Bone ducks the hammer shot as it hits the ring post, as T-Bone and the Hooligans indulge in some plastic chairshots.
T-Bone rolls into the ring and gets a bodyslam from Zak, before Roy flies in with an elbow drop to the groin. Rampage goes to the outside and brawls with Rob Lynch in the crowd again,with those plastic chairs coming into use, as the Hooligans hit a baseball slide dropkick into James Davis’ nether-regions. Zak Knight dives off the top rope with a plancha that the camera almost misses.
Back into the crowd now as Rampage apparently takes a shot with a cricket bat, before James Davis is DDT’d off the apron by Roy Knight. Davis crawled back into the ring as Rob Lynch was trapped in the ring apron by Rampage, and we miss a dropkick to Rampage. More brawling on the outside now, and Zak Knight hits a cross body into T-Bone and Rampage as they sat in the crowd.
Another chairshot from Roy Knight takes down Rob Lynch, whilst James Davis whacks the arm of Rampage with the cricket bat. A missile dropkick from one of the Knights takes down Davis, and they pull off the Doomsday Device, before Rob Lynch hits a double spear to the Knights. T-Bone runs in with a German suplex to Lynch, then a draping DDT off the top rope for the win. Thank God for that. Live, this would have been fun, but on video, this was tough to watch. There was little-to-no focus as the three teams brawled around the building, leading to spots being missed left, right and centre. Add in pointless weapon shots that often barely-sold, and you’ve got a surprisingly poor match (considering the guys involved) *¾
The Knights grab the mic and cut a promo, acknowledging that they first appeared in PCW in January 2015 for the promotion’s charity show in aid of Kris Travis. They put over Travis and Team Single, before saying that they want another shot at those PCW tag titles in a TLC match. Good luck finding ladders that won’t buckle! The crowd chant “Book It, Fludder” (in reference to the PCW promoter Steven Fludder), and T-Bone accepts the challenge.
We seemingly go to a break with commentator Greg Lambert saying “can it get any better?!”. I know what he was aiming for, but for those enduring the live stream, that had to feel like he was trolling everyone…
Actually, there was no break, and we’re straight into another match!
Jeff Cobb vs. Lionheart
Cobb may or may not know who Matanza is in Lucha Underground, and the Hawaiian is becoming one of the latest talents to bubble up on the indy circuit. He’s taking on the Scotsman known as Lionheart, and Cobb immediately takes down Lionheart, who grabs a wristlock, then a hammerlock, before Cobb gets a Fireman’s carry takedown and another armbar to force a rope break.
They tie-up again, with Cobb getting another waistlock takedown, before tossing Lionheart across the ring with ease. Lionheart offers a fist-bump, and instead cheapshots Cobb, before landing a big boot in the corner… but Cobb gets back with an overhead belly to belly suplex. A back suplex follows from Cobb, who lands a pair of standing moonsaults for a near-fall, which then sent Lionheart scurrying out of the ring.
Cobb stalks Lionheart outside the ring, but Lionheart slides in and stomps away on Cobb, before taking him into the ropes for a spot of choking. Lionheart lands a suplex for a two-count, with a dropkick getting a similar result. Cobb got some sympathetic chants from the crowd, most of whom didn’t seem to know of him before this match, and with Lionheart being a heel, this led to a pretty silent crowd for the match.
A bodyslam got Lionheart a two-count, before the pair traded forearm shots, only for Cobb to miss an avalanche charge and take a Yakuza kick. Lionheart connects with a superkick, but turns into a forearm from Cobb, who then drops Lionheart again with a German suplex. Cobb pulls himself to his feet, and the pair trade more shots, with Lionheart raking the eye of Cobb, but he still pulls off the Wrath of the Gods swinging powerslam.
Lionheart rolled to the outside to avoid being pinned, and after an accidental ref bump, Lionheart slides into the ring, low blows Cobb, and rolls him up for the pin. Shit finishes 101 right there, but I can understand the result as Lionheart is the local guy who should be getting wins over fly-ins. But a low-blow from a missed ref bump. Really?! This match wasn’t anything special, and the dead crowd did not help. **¾
Jay White vs. Dave Mastiff
White’s ditched the Young Lions’ gear and has his name and the fern of New Zealand on his trunks. Dave Mastiff is his opponent, and despite the ring announcer calling him “The Bastard” mere seconds earlier, the commentary team are afraid to swear, so Mastiff is called “The B Word”. Aw, bless.
White launches into Mastiff with a forearm and some chops in the corner, before tossing Mastiff to the outside, where he’s met with a tope in a furious start. Back in the ring, White gets a two-count over “the B word”, who then dropkicked the New Zealander out of the ring.
Mastiff dumps White into a chair, and almost gets flattened with a crossbody out of the chair by Mastiff, ruining the chair in the process. Back in the ring, White kicks out at two, before he sidesteps an avalanche charge, then takes down Mastiff with a Dragon screw for a near-fall. White ties up Mastiff’s leg in the ropes, then dropkicks the knee for another two-count. Another leg whip keeps Mastiff on the ground, and White grabs a single-leg crab.
Mastiff breaks via the ropes, then kicks away from another attempt, before elbowing an onrushing White. The New Zealander fired back with some running elbows, with Mastiff eventually staggering into the corner, before nailing an uppercut and a missile dropkick for a near-fall.
White tries for a suplex, but changes it into a ripcord forearm smash instead, and uppercuts Mastiff in the ropes from the outside. Mastiff counters another missile dropkick with a clothesline, and then launches White with a release German suplex. White hits a spinning uranage on Mastiff for a near-fall, and then waits for Mastiff to get back to his feet, but instead spoofs Mastiff’s cannonball dive into the corner.
Mastiff stands up from that, and replies with a German suplex into the turnbuckles, and the real deal cannonball for the win. A good match, with Jay White getting a lot more offence than I expected. But again, file this into “dead crowd hurts match”, since a lot of the crowd in Preston didn’t seem to know who White was. ***
I cannot believe, by the way, that the commentary team were PG-ing up this match. Throughout the show they’d used schoolyard-friendly words (like “goolies” when it came to a low blow), but when you h ave a ring announcer using a swear word, and the announcers censoring themselves… it just comes across as jarring. You’re either PG or you’re not – a mis-match such as this just makes the product look uncoordinated. That’s understandable if you’re voicing over old tapes, but not when you’re doing live commentary!
Preston City Wrestling Cruiserweight Championship: El Ligero vs. Bubblegum
This is for the title that PCW stripped Adam Cole of after being unable to book him on future shows. Seriously, Cole won the belt in late November on a co-promoted PCW/ROH show, and after that run of shows, Cole never appeared for the company again. There’s something very BritWresTroll about that. “Put one of your titles on a fly-in talent… without securing future dates first? FFS Brit Wres!”
Bubblegum and El Ligero used to be tag partners back in the day, and here in PCW, Bubblegum is a babyface. They lock-up to start, but quickly break the tie-up. Then again. A third time sees Bubblegum grab a headlock, before the pair trade shoulder tackles and we lead to another stand-off. A long stand-off.
They lock-up again and Ligero grabs a wristlock, before Bubblegum takes him down with a toe-hold. Ligero shoves away, and then gets a drop toe hold into the middle rope, before another spot of rope-running leads to a Bubblegum dropkick. Ligero rolls to the apron, but sidesteps a leaping dropkick as Bubblegum goes to the floor, where he’s met with a senton off the apron.
Ligero rushes back into the ring and lands a of back elbows into the corner, before another dropkick from Bubblegum takes down the Mexican Sensation. A low dropkick from Ligero gets Bubblegum on the mat again for just a one-count, before clapping both sides of Bubblegum’s head.
Bubblegum counters a bulldog by taking Ligero into the corner, and then lands a back kick and a German suplex for a near-fall. A clothesline follows to the back of Ligero in the corner, and Bubblegum goes up top, but he misses a double stomp and hits an overhead kick, before Bubblegum avoids a C4L. Ligero replies with a Code Red for a near-fall, and kept the upper hand, at least until Bubblegum kicked him onto the top turnbuckle.
Bubblegum went for a superplex, but Ligero freed himself, and instead the two took a forearm strike that sent them both to the floor. They beat the count-out, then shake hands in the ring before going for a series of strikes at the same time. Bubblegum wins the battle of forearm smashes, then connects with a high knee in the ropes before tripping Ligero into the ropes. A missed 619 from Bubblegum is shrugged off as he goes for a Michinoku Driver for a near-fall, before Ligero elbows out of the German suplex.
Bubblegum goes for the 619 again, but switches things up as Ligero rolled away, instead handspringing into the ropes, and into the path of an Ace crusher from Ligero for a two-count. Why? I guess so someone could get on that “RKO out of nowhere!” bandwagon that sailed ages ago. A La Magistral earned another two-count for Ligero, before Bubblegum got the knees up to block a frog splash.
Ligero went into the ropes after taking the knees, and Bubblegum used that for another attempt at the 619… and with the sloppiest version of the move all match, he finally connected and gets the win. A pretty good match from these two, but this crowd seemed to be sitting on their hands for large periods of this match. ***¾
Post-match, Bubblegum grabs a mic as one of the camera guys is visibly annoyed by something on his camera. Bubblegum calls out their tag-team past, and offers Ligero a rematch down the line.
Team Joanna Rose (Sam Stoker, Jimmy J, Martin Kirby, Joey Hayes & Iestyn Rees) vs. Team Rayne (Dave Rayne, Keith Myatt, Alex Boylin, Nordic Warrior & Danny Hope)
This is to wrap-up a storyline where Joanna Rose and Dave Rayne had been fighting it out to become General Manager of the company. We’re told that this is an elimination match, a la the Survivor Series… By the way, if you’ve watched EVOLVE or any WWN Live shows… yes, it’s the same Joanna Rose. Team Rose had two valets (three if you count Rose), and lets just say some of them looked like they’d rather be anywhere else… and that somehow led to Jennie B and Rhio (those two valets) having a pull-apart, resulting in them being sent to the back. Well, that got their wish, eh?
Dave Rayne said he’d hired some of the best of British wrestling, but the wage bill scared him. Sounds like a shoot for some promoters… He’s instead gone to the past for some of his friends from the last 13 years. Introducing: Keith Myatt (a man who’s apparently a 33-year veteran), Alex Boylin (a PCW trainee), Nordic Warrior (not the Bezerker, thankfully) and Danny Hope (who commentator Stallion gleefully pointed out was the shortest reigning champion in the promotion’s history, winning a Rumble for the belt then dropped it to Joey Hayes on the same show in March 2014. Well, I’ll give PCW credit for this, they loaded this match with local guys, rather than fly-ins as other groups may have been tempted to do.
All ten men stand off in the ring, and we start off with Danny Hope against Joey Hayes. Throwback! Hayes is wearing a low-rent version of D’Lo Brown’s old chest protector, and Hayes starts by tossing Hope into the wrong corner, and he elbows everyone off the apron. Whilst Hayes is playing to the crowd, Hope gets a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mask and puts it on to Hayes’ face, blinding him so much he’s easily sent into the turnbuckles, then the wrong corner.
Rees tags in, but demands to face the oldest man in the match, and he takes Keith Myatt into the corner. Myatt ducks away from an avalanche, then whips Rees into the other corner, and again, before sliding in with a dropkick to a seated Rees, who then popped up and caught Myatt in the Alpha Lock (Master Lock/Full Nelson) and immediately Myatt gave up.
Dave Rayne tagged in against Sammy Stoker, and dropped him with a brainbuster, which Rees broke up by pulling Rayne’s leg. Stoker then turned around into a big boot from the Nordic Warrior, who’d tagged himself in, but a low blow from Stoker and a Smooth Operator (Headlock Driver) for a pin that meant that Rayne’s team were two men down in quick succession.
Alex Boylin got taken to the wrong corner, as the youngster was beaten down and tossed into Joey Hayes’ big boot. Stoker whipped him into the bottom turnbuckle, and then tagged out to Hayes, whose brief time in consisted of a couple of strikes, then a tag out to Martin Kirby.
Kirby pulls off a stalling suplex to Boylin, before dropping him and poking Boylin in the eye, and in comes Jmmie J, who hits sidewalk slam for a near-fall. Boylin makes a comeback with a death valley driver and gets the pin… then walks straight into another Alpha Lock as Iestyn Rees forced a quick submission and restored the two-man advantage for Team Rose.
Danny Hope took Rees into the corner, but got Irish whipped into the turnbuckles before being subjected to a four-way beatdown. Kirby and Hayes team up for a camel clutch, before Hayes ran the ropes and ended up poking Hope in the eyes. Hope then avoided a double-team from Hayes and Kirby, before eliminating both of them within seconds of each other – Hayes after a clothesline, and Kirby with a schoolboy roll-up. We’re back to 2-2.
Rees returns to the ring and attacks Hope with a slam, then holds Hope in place for a knee drop from Stoker. A toe-hold from Stoker keeps Hope on the mat, before Rees returned for another slam and an elbow drop for a two-count. Hope rolls away from an elbow drop, before Rees missed an avalanche splash, and Hope finally made the hot tag to Dave Rayne.
Rayne lands a leg lariat to Stoker, then a sunset flip… but then makes a lateral press instead of keeping the flip grounded. Stoker bicycle kicks Rayne out, then Hope tags in to land a Goldust-style uppercut, and a superkick to eliminate Stoker. We’re down to Iestyn Rees against Team Rayne, and a big boot drops Hope for a near-fall.
Hope Hulks up, but Rees resists an Irish whip, then blocks a superkick and locks in the Alpha Lock for the third submission of the match. It’s now Rees vs. Rayne, and Rayne went for a tiltawhirl, but lost it and instead pushed Rees into the ropes looking for an O’Connor Roll. Rees held onto the ropes, before falling to an absurd pat on the head. Serious. This is Captain New Japan stuff here…
Joanna Rose leapt on the apron, and unlike almost every other show, that didn’t leave the referee incapable of doing his job. Even when she leant in between the ropes, as the referee dropped down and made the count… as Iestyn Rees lost to a pat on the head. What. The…? Dave Rayne becomes PCW General Manager by a head pat?! It turned out that this was a double cross from Iestyn Rees, and Rayne turned heel straight afterwards, turning on the fans for laughing at the stuff he’d gone through. Rayne messed up Joanna’s name, and it looks like Rayne and Rees are going to be some sort of evil heel authority figure/bodyguard combination. Something new at last!
As a match, this was way too short, with the whole thing concluded in less then seventeen minutes. That works out at about a pinfall every two minutes on average. So yeah, this was more storyline than match, and they really could have done the same without the rushed ten man tag. **
Post-match, the ring announcer tried to sell the shock of it all… but the crowd just seemed indifferent to everything. Were they just waiting for the ring to be torn down and the nightclub to kick in?!
Preston City Wrestling Championship: Rampage Brown vs. Noam Dar (c)
This is Dar’s second match of the night, having dispatched of Sha Samuels in a disappointingly short match earlier. This is also Rampage’s second bout, after his involvement in that bewildering tag team riot. Rampage has his elbow taped up after that match, and referee Joel Allen’s even got an ice pack handy for him.
Rampage’s arm is hanging limply by his side as the match gets underway, and Dar takes Rampage into the corner straight away. Dar goes for a waistlock, and wrings the taped up arm before grabbing a headlock, which he clings onto as Rampage tried to shoot him into the ropes.
Rampage powders to the floor after another headlock attempt, before climbing back in and almost presenting his head for another headlock. A shoulder tackle takes Dar down, but it was the bad shoulder, so Rampage sold more than Dar, and this turne dinto a punch vs. kick battle between the two for a while.
A straight right hand knocked down Dar, who replied by kicking the taped arm, before low bridging the rope as Rampage went crashing to the floor. Referee Joel Allen checked on Rampage, but was shooed away, before Dar returned to headbutt the arm and keep Rampage at bay.
The two fight into the crowd, by the sound booth, before Dar rolled Rampage into the ring and dropkicked the arm into the ringpost. Rampage again rolls to the outside to get some distance from Dar, whilst Greg Lambert stopped himself in mid-sentence from acknowledging Dar’s upcoming Cruiserweight Classic match against Hoho Lun.
Dar followed Rampage into the crowd and shoved the injured arm into the ringpost once more, and back in the ring Dar kept hold of the arm despite Rampage’s attempts to fight back. A uranage took down Dar as Rampage tried to make a comeback with his right arm, pounding away at Dar in the ropes.
Dar replied with a headlock, before sneaking under the legs of Rampage, only to be met with an uppercut for a near-fall. Rampage struggled to lift up Dar for a piledriver, and got rolled up for a near-fall before missing a shoulder dive into the corner. From the apron, Rampage took a bicycle kick to the floor, with Dar adding in a tope as he kept pushing to end this match.
On the apron, Rampage blocked a fireman’s carry, then shocked Dar with a piledriver onto the apron, with both men crashing to the floor. Both men beat the ten count back into the ring, and Rampage launched into Dar with a headbutt, but Dar kept fighting back, as this descended into a battle of forearms again.
Rampage missed a bicycle kick and got caught in the ropes, before Dar swept the leg and followed up with a double stomp the exposed knee. Rampage shoved Dar off, before taking a kick to the head, and then invited Dar into some more kicks. Instead, Dar went for an armbar, before releasing the hold to pound away on Rampage’s arm, and that forces the referee to stop the match. That wasn’t much of a match because of the injury, but that summed up the entire show. **½
Dar seemed confused as Rampage didn’t tap, but the referee stopped the match and declared it a draw. The crowd aren’t happy with that, and neither is Dar, as he protests his innocence at influencing the referee to call-off the match.
Well, this was a bit of a weird show. On paper, this seemed to be a decent going in, but what we ended up with was a mess.
The positives: Greg Lambert and Stallion on commentary were mostly a good pairing, save for two areas, both involving self-censorship. On multiple times, Lambert stopped himself from repeating a swear word that the ring announcer had used moments earlier – what was the deal with that? Not having a unified approach to the presentation of the product just comes across as strange, and hurts whomever is taking the softest approach. Secondly, what was with the acknowledging, then retracting that Noam Dar was wrestling for WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic? It’s not like it’s a live show that’s being held in the same place, or even the same time as a PCW show, so why do it?
As another positive, PCW used a lot of local/British talent, save for some guys who were already in the country (Cobb, White). Anything that gets British guys on more high-profile British shows is good news, particularly given that PCW have a reputation for flying over anyone who’s had a bit of fame, and promoting them over the locals.
The negatives: the crowd just did not seem to be up for it. For a fifth anniversary show, the 1,000-plus crowd seemed to be disinterested. Not much clicked with the crowd, and I’d have to question how many of them were there for PCW, and how much were there just to see wrestling. And indeed, how many were there just to get a better spot in the nightclub?! Judging by the names PCW have used in the past, this is a group that looks to hook casual wrestling fans from the past – with some success (else, how would they have been around for five years)?
We’ve already covered the iPPV problems, and whilst that is always an inherent risk for iPPVs, the missing customer service element has to be hard to forgive. Some of the production seemed a little weird, especially with the tag match that was all over the place and therefore hard to track. Simple answer: don’t book such a match if it’s going to be hard to follow.
And then there’s the booking… the ten man tag match was just too rushed – not all ten men needed to be involved, and they could easily have gotten away with a six-man elimination. For people who’d not followed PCW (such as myself), whilst Lambert and Stallion sold some of the story on commentary, a video package would have been helpful, especially as the iPPV was hopefully trying to attract new fans!
If you’re reading this and new to PCW, you’re probably not a part of their target casual WWE-fan audience. So, if you’re going to try this show as a part of the PCW On Demand service, the Ligero/Bubblegum match is worth watching, but the rest of the card felt way too rushed for anything to really sink in.