PWG Mystery Vortex VI (10/5/19) Review

Added by Daniel DeMarco

Mystery Vortex VI had the distinction of possibly being the most genuine Mystery Vortex in PWG history. The first Mystery Vortex to take place at the Globe Theater after the previous five took place at the famous Reseda legion hall, fans were truly (mostly) left with complete mystery. Because unlike Reseda, fans are not sharing the same parking lot where the wrestlers park their vehicles and enter the building.

Excitement was at a noticeable high among all fans because of this. Perhaps also due to 2019 being a slower PWG year compared to the last couple. But even more so, fans were hoping for a return to glory. The first three Mystery Vortex events are among the best in PWG history. Whereas the fourth was a low point overall, and the fifth was a quality show, but still not in league with the first three.

Even in today’s climate, with so much talent signed to this company or that, could PWG pull it off? Excalibur sure thought so, adding extra emphasis on his already exuberant introduction monologue that the show ahead of us was going to be a show to remember.

Well, his words were not left unfulfilled.

Trey Miguel vs. Tony Deppen

Deppen’s debut got a big reaction. Bigger than I would have expected. In fact, I was among those who was neutral on his debut. There was nothing wrong with Deppen, but I had never seen anything which cultivated desire to see him more.

He changed my mind by the end of this match. There are two tried-and-true PWG opening matches. You either start it with the multi-man spotfest, or you get two work horses in there who can go. Miguel and Deppen had their working shoes on and had a hell of a sprint. Nearly 10 minutes of fast-paced action, and easily the best Deppen match I’ve seen.

Both traded spot for spot as neither could get any momentum over each other that lasted long enough to build on. But in the end, it was Miguel who found the opening he needed for checkmate, landing a double-knee stomp from the top rope for the pinfall.

Deppen’s usual shtick is he’s a bad sportsman after matches. Usually handshake attempts are spit on and so forth. But here, Deppen shook Miguel’s hand and even hugged him after the match. Tricked us, though, because just as we thought all was going to be well, he superkicked Miguel before exiting.

***3/4

Chuck Taylor vs. Orange Cassidy

Cassidy’s popularity as of late is growing fast. Many have been asking for a Cassidy debut in PWG for months now. But it was difficult to judge if PWG would, given his comedy-heavy gimmick. But when he came out, the reaction was huge. Easily one of the biggest reactions for a debut in years.

If you’ve ever seen an Orange Cassidy match, you know exactly what this looked like. All the usual spots were there, and the crowd ate it up like they were watching a classic in the making. Sometimes Cassidy matches never leave the comedy, but he was working with Taylor. And even Taylor’s comedy matches become hard-hitting and exciting by the end.

The comedy took up about the first three-quarters of the match. Effective in every way it is meant to be. And the last quarter it was all business. Equally as good and effective as the comedy had been. But once Taylor landed the Awful Waffle, it was over with the pin.

Cassidy’s debut was a huge success, but his gimmick being what it is, hopefully PWG only brings him in once or twice a year, perhaps also leaving room for him in the BOLA 10-man tag match, so that he does not become stale.

While difficult to judge a match like this, based on crowd reaction alone it deserves credit:

****

Jeff Cobb (c) vs. Jonathan Gresham — PWG Championship Match

Realistically this match was billed here because both men had flights to catch. However, even if that was not the case, it was very Mystery Vortex to have a “main event” in the third slot.

Pre-match, I was certain this was going to be a classic grapple-heavy bout given how schooled both men are on the mat. Instead, this was pretty much a slugfest from the get-go. Cobb appeared to break a thumb at the beginning of the match, which hurt the match some, but could have been much worse if Cobb was not as tough and persevering as he is.

I don’t think anyone in the room really thought Gresham had a chance of winning, even aside from the alarming physical disparity. Which is a testament to this match, because by the end, fans were on the edge of their seats at every near fall. Including a series of near falls by Gresham where it actually looked like he was going to win as Cobb kicked out at 2.9 seconds about three times in a row. But during Gresham’s onslaught, Cobb caught him and landed the Tour of the Islands for the pinfall.

****1/4

Brody King vs. Trent? vs. Jake Atlas

RThis match had no business being as good as it was. Many called it the best match of the night. These three worked their asses off, and at no point could you tell who was going to win this one.

Trent has been great for years now, but the strides Brody and Atlas have made since their PWG debuts only just over a year ago are nothing short of impressive. There is no doubt anymore these two belong.

This was a PWG three-way in all the right ways. The action never ceased. The pace was tremendous. All three worked equally hard and no one ever felt left out or awkward in the mix. Just three wrestlers in there fighting against the odds like their lives depended on it.

With such an eclectic ensemble of styles, it is difficult to describe the action the way it deserves to be. But somehow it was a perfect melding of all three together. About 15 minutes of this ended when Brody landed his Gonzo Bomb on Atlas for the pinfall.

****1/4

Jungle Boy vs. Puma King

On paper this sounds like it would be a great match featuring a lot of fun character play. But this one fell a bit flat in execution. Puma was working a heel gimmick, dressed fully in black like a black cat. So a lot of his usual character work was missing and replaced with more generic heel work.

You could not call it a bad match, but the match never really got a flow going and felt somewhat clunky. That, and it seemed like Puma gassed out earlier than you would expect. And then the match just suddenly finished after Jungle Boy landed a combination of kicks.

Hard to tell if it was just an off night, or if these two just didn’t have synergy. Again, it was nothing resembling a bad match. But on a card like this, it stuck out like a sore thumb.

**3/4

The Rascalz (c) vs. Rey Horus & Flamita — PWG Tag Team Championship Match

Seeing as how Horus and Flamita have no established tag team (at least that I’m aware of), there is a chance this match was originally supposed to feature LAX, which would have made more sense. But Santana got injured a couple days ago. It’s also Mystery Vortex, so it might have been better to save that match for a traditional card down the road.

This was every Rascalz PWG tag match — especially with them facing a luchador team. In that, it was an awesome match, but you can pretty easily imagine what it looked like. The action was fast and tight. The aerial moves were plentiful. And the fans often had to spread for safety.

Imagine 10 minutes of that, but there was no doubt who was winning this one. And so, the Rascalz landed their signature assisted moonsault for the pinfall.

****

Darby Allin vs. Joey Janela — Guerrilla Warfare Match

All fans knew was there was going to be a Guerrilla Warfare match. Most thought it would be Rascalz vs. LAX. But once that option was impossible, most expected Janela against someone. So once Darby came out, the Joey chants began. After all, PWG fans had been deprived of the Bad Boy since BOLA. They were eager to see him back.

Darby came out with a tin bucket he set to the side. Janela came out with a steel chair. And as soon as the bell rang, he went sprinting at Darby with the chair. And a very violent, painful match is what followed.

It was like watching a car crash over the course of 20 minutes, where your emotions shift between horrified, sympathetic, and shocked. Various weapons seen in the match include a steel ladder, thumb tacks, tables, duct tape, a taser, cinder blocks, and Darby’s skateboard with dozens of thumb tacks stuck to the bottom.

Despite several issues they ran into during the match, like the thumb tacks getting dumped accidently in the corner and the duct tape being uncooperative to the task, Janela and Darby still accomplished what they set out to do. Due to the nature of the match and the slow pace at times in setup, some were not the biggest fan of the match, while others loved it.

Darby took one of the nastiest chair shots to the back I’ve ever seen. Janela took a powerbomb from the top rope through a fort of chairs covered in thumb tacks. Darby took a backdrop from the ring to the outside, through a ladder. Janela took a release German suplex onto cinder blocks, which just so happened to be in the thumb tacks as well. And both men fell from the opera box through two tables on the floor. Those, among many other painful things they put each other through.

After 20 minutes of that violence, Darby caught Janela in his signature leglock, cradling pin for the victory.

Post-match, Janela did a promo telling everyone the abridged version of how he made his PWG debut at BOLA 2017, and how here he was main eventing a PWG show. That he was not exactly sure what the future had in store for him. And as long as he did not die in the process, this summer is going to be a wild one of fun.

****