Threemendous V marked Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s 15th anniversary. A promotion founded by six wrestlers to serve as a safe haven for fellow indy wrestlers during a time when promoters were not always known for their fair, honest business dealings. Fifteen years later, PWG stands as one of the top indy promotions in the world where breakout indy stars are made, and world-class talent are regulars.
The show was PWG’s return to The Globe Theater in downtown Los Angeles as the future is still unclear about PWG’s famed venue, American Legion Post No. 308 in Reseda, CA.
Southern California weather has been atrocious in recent weeks with oppressive heat, but the heatwave subsided just in time for wrestling fans who waited in line on the sidewalk all day. And after the disaster that was Time is a Flat Circle with regard to The Globe’s staff getting the line situated and filing fans inside, the staff was far more prepared this time around. In fact, in a wild turn of events, with PWG’s doors opening time typically coming around 7:00 PM, if fans were lucky, front row fans started entering the building a quarter after six, which led to the show easily starting on-time (another rarity for PWG) at 8:00 PM.
Excalibur came out to greet the fans, introduce the show, give his famous monologue, and so began the night’s seven matches.
David Starr vs. Dalton Castle
The only place this match could have occurred was as the opener. Starr, despite being a well-known name on the indy scene, has yet to truly wow the PWG audience in his several previous outings. And Castle, certainly a popular wrestler, but not one who is known for blow-away matches, was coming here with a plethora of injuries.
In short, the match was nothing special. Castle’s injuries have put such strong limitations on his matches in recent months that, unless it’s a multi-man match, the most you can expect is a basic wrestling match. And in a promotion like PWG where fans expect top-notch, basic is going to come off much less than.
Starr and Castle did what they could for the first 80 percent of the match as the crowd was largely uninterested and restless. As expected, the match was built around Castle’s injuries and Starr exploiting them to gain the upper hand. But after Starr took a nasty bump to the floor with a missed tope into chairs and concrete, they managed to get the crowd invested for the last several minutes of the match.
The story told was Castle was on his way to victory afterwards except his injuries held him back, allowing for Starr to make the quick comeback and lock Castle into a submission to force the tap.
Rey Horus vs. Penta El Zero M
The dynamic of the Lucha Bros is one well known among wrestling fans. As a team, they are great. Fenix by himself has tremendous matches with anyone. And Penta by himself has good matches, but they rarely seem to break that barrier into being “great.” Here, however, the mold was broken. This match was easily among the best singles Penta matches your author has ever seen. Which should actually go to show how talented Horus is.
Horus has become a PWG regular since the 2017 Battle of Los Angeles, but Penta is easily the more popular wrestler – and the crowd support showed it. The two put on a lucha libre clinic in a thrilling back-and-forth battle. Dives, apron spots, top-rope maneuvers – you name it.
It was an excellent match to make the audience promptly forget about the opener, capped off with the upset victory as Horus got the clean pinfall over Penta. Fans showered the ring in dollar bills afterwards.
Jeff Cobb vs. Joey Janela
The roles of both men were played perfectly here. Cobb, the inhumanly strong powerhouse wrestler. And Janela, the cheeky bad boy with little concern for his own well-being.
The match began with Janela exuding his brashness and trying to take on Cobb at his own game. A decision that turned south for Janela not long after as Cobb easily gained the upper hand.
Janela switched it up by trying to pick Cobb apart and break him down using his crash style of wrestling to regain the momentum. Janela, setting up for the kill, brought two chairs in the ring and set them up, but it would be his downfall.
Cobb knocked Janela silly and he fell sitting on a chair. Cobb then lifted Janela while he was still sitting in the chair and performed what I could best describe as a Saito suplex directly into the other upright chair, for an absolutely brutal bump. And Cobb followed up with his finisher, the Tour of the Islands, for the pinfall.
Some fans considered this the second-best match of the night.
The Rascalz vs. The Young Bucks (PWG Tag Team Championship Match)
Most fans expected this match to close the show, but it would all make sense later.
The Bucks did a promo before the match talking about how they were changed wrestlers and fans would not see what they typically have come to expect from a Bucks match. Playing off their YouTube series, Being the Elite, they brought out the book featured in last week’s episode, “How Psychology Works.”
The first quarter of the match was played off that storyline as the Bucks stuck to a mat-based style and resisted temptation of going after high spots – all done in a comedic fashion.
It was Nick Jackson who broke the code, standing on the top rope as Matt pleaded with him, handing him the book, before Nick tossed the book to the mat and then all hell broke loose.
The match was phenomenal, filled with incredible action and half-a-dozen great near-falls. Both teams performed exceptionally well together and fans were on the edge of their seats, if not leaping up in excitement, for the majority of the match.
Back-and-forth they went until the Bucks set up for More Bang for Your Buck, only to get countered as Matt was rolled-up for the pinfall.
The Bucks continue to be gods of tag team wrestling, and Dezmond Xavier and Zachary Wentz continue to impress big since they started teaming in PWG earlier this year.
Unanimous match of the night.
Rey Fenix vs. Trevor Lee
This match kicked off after intermission.
PWG fans know Lee is a perpetual heel and no matter what match he is in, it is almost guaranteed his opponent is getting all the crowd support. This was no different here as Lee played the heel role as great as he always does.
Rules were bent, liberties were taken, and Fenix’s mask became a focal point for Lee as Fenix struggled to maintain any momentum.
Many fans heading in expected the match to be in contention for Match of the Night as Fenix and Lee are both excellent wrestlers. However, rather than a straight-up action match, the two opted for more of a story match based off that clear babyface-heel dynamic with spurts of that great action splashed in there.
The match was still very good, but had trouble following the three matches before it.
As noted before, Fenix is considered the far superior worker between the two Lucha Bros, marking this night as a rare occasion where Penta had the better singles match than Fenix.
Matt Riddle vs. Marty Scurll
The match was undoubtedly good, but in the co-main event position, it somewhat underdelivered. There is nothing about the match you could point to as being “wrong.” Both Riddle and Scurll are great wrestlers who excel at their craft. But there was also nothing about the match that stood out in spectacular fashion.
When you pit Scurll against a Will Ospreay or a Zack Sabre Jr., you get matches that are off the charts. But in most other cases, a lot of Scurll matches closely resemble each other. This was essentially that.
Scurll took the majority of the match, breaking Riddle down with limb work to his hands and feet. Riddle got little bursts of offense in before Scurll would gain control again throughout the match.
After several attempts at securing the Chicken Wing, once Scurll appeared to finally have it locked it, Riddle was able to reverse and land a Tombstone before locking Scurll in the “Bro-mission” (Twister).
Scurll tapped, leaving Riddle on a high note before this year’s Battle of Los Angeles where Riddle stands as the overwhelming favorite among fans to win.
Walter vs. Brody King (PWG Heavyweight Championship Match)
This match was originally scheduled as a non-title affair, which is why many fans were expecting the tag match to conclude the show. But before the match, Kind cut a promo challenging Walter to prove his worth as champion by putting the title on the line anyway. A challenge that Walter accepted without any problem whatsoever.
These two had already shared the ring together when Ringkampf took on Violence Unlimited at All Star Weekend 14, setting up a story for this match that worked in spades. Walter, the veteran, was underestimating King, and King was more prepared for what Walter’s strategy this time.
King tried to show his worth early on, so when he first trapped Walter in the corner and got ready to chop him, he intentionally held back to strike through psychological warfare instead.
An infuriated Walter went after King, but King was able to dodge a lot of Walter’s patented chops in order to deliver his own. And so the first half of the match went as King hung in.
As time went on, Walter started breaking through and slowly tearing King apart. The story then became how tough King was in withstanding Walter’s constant assault, kicking out of several pinfalls that would have been it for most wrestlers. King had one last hurrah as the two engaged in one final exchange of chops before Walter put him down for good with a huge lariat and the three-count.
There was nothing flashy about this match, just a straight slobberknocker in the best of ways – an excellent match.