As an American independent wrestling fan there is one name that over the last two years or so has promoted excitement like no other; one promotion that produces a constant flow of matches of the highest quality wrestling on the planet. It is the American Indy wrestling company at this moment, and one of the best in the world. Its shows should be the first DVD you purchase each and every time, as every show is unmissable. It is Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
Perhaps the most important reason for the current superiority of the Reseda based company is the vast array of talent it manages to attract. The very best of the best from the Indy circuit make the trip every six weeks to be a part of the show. Those who work for PWG are not just midcarders for other promotions, they are the top guys from the best promotions on the circuit. In recent years the company has had main eventers from Dragon Gate, Ring of Honor, CZW and many more. Stars like Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly and the Young Bucks are current regulars, and the international wrestlers brought in are of an equally high calibre. For example, one of Britain’s hottest talents Zach Sabre Jr made his debut for the company recently at Battle of Los Angeles 2014. If any other evidence is needed, even IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles returned to America for the recent show. PWG attracts stars quite unlike any other company at this moment.
The talent is used to perfection too. Each and every match is of an excellent standard, because the roster has so much depth and quality. There really is no weak link, no match is ever a toilet break. From the opener to the main event, quality matches come thick and fast. The mixture of possibly the strongest core roster of any American Indy promotion with the top quality part timers, means matches always remain fresh. There are always first time meetings between wrestlers as well as old rivalries being built on. PWG is not a narrow minded company. No one style is seen as superior. All styles are allowed and so in just one night there may be a technical masterpiece, a hard hitting brawl and a brutal Guerrilla Warfare match. Wrestlers are able to truly show off their abilities as it seems they are given freedom they do not receive in other companies.
PWG has many matches which incorporate comedy into them too. This can be difficult do to. We have all seen the disastrous results of failed attempts at comedy in a wrestling ring, and so it is greatly fortunate that PWG have some of the most genuinely talented comedic wrestlers on the planet. These are not just comedians though, as they can work great show-stealing matches as well. Guys like Trent? and Chuck Taylor excel in PWG, and others such as the aforementioned O’Reilly and Cole are given the opportunity to show off their own comedy chops. Laughter continues to be prominent in the commentary booth too. Excalibur is often joined by guys like Roderick Strong and Joey Ryan whose laid back approach to calling the match is often refreshing, enlightening and hilarious.
The often light-heartedness of the show does not take away from the epic feel of the matches taking place though. The championships are undoubtedly prestigious and thus viciously contested, and the intense, intimate crowd in the small Californian building make every showdown all the more important.
If you’ve seen PWG before you will understand my enthusiasm, and if not then I suggest you pick up any of their DVDs and catch up on what you’re missing out on.
By Matthew Singleton