Reviewer: Zep the Bear
PCW: Battle of the Beards
August 13, 2016
Belltime was scheduled for 7:30. The show began at…7:30. Anyone even remotely familiar with the world of independent wrestling knows what an achievement this is. I’m already happy.
“The New Age Plague” Jason Gory v. “The New Hope” Bryan Bowers.
I can’t say enough good things about Jason Gory. He is a wrestler who is constantly on the grind. He is great in the ring. His gear is always on point. He constantly modifies or updates his look. He reminds me of Chris Jericho in that way.
Bryan Bowers was greeted with cheers from a small but vocal section of the crowd.
The two exchange wristlocks before diving into the body of the match. Eventually, Gory bests Bowers via his Soul Eater submission hold.
Solid match to open the show.
Winner: “The New Age Plague” Jason Gory
"The New Age Plague" Photographer: Wayne Palmer
The Director of Operations Joe Dombrowski addresses the crowd. He points out the historical importance of Turner’s Hall to Cleveland wrestling history. He pays respect to Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling and Absolute Intense Wrestling who both ran the building before it was closed in late-2014.
Ganon Jones Jr. v. Sonny Vice
Sonny Vice starts off with several stiff kicks to his sizable opponent.
Ganon Jones retaliates by lifting and dropping Vice for a jarring front bump. It did not look like much fun for Vice.
As the two brawl outside the ring, Jones powerbombs his opponent on the apron. It’s gonna be a long night for Vice. Jones stomps him in the corner.
Vice continues to bump like crazy as Jones powers him around the ring.
Jones his a GNARLY Black Hole Slam for the pin…but he picks Vice up at two.
Vice rolls away from a Moonsault and stuns Jones with a leg lariat for a two of his own.
Vice gets crotched when Jones shakes the ropes. Jones then decapitates him with a Super Kick.
Jones hits a revolving suplex and then scores the pinfall.
After the match, Jones antagonizes the crowd. “This city is full of mistakes!”
“This city is full of mistakes!”
He lists the Browns and the Indians as examples.
He says the only good thing in Cleveland is LeBron James but if he was here he would smack him in the mouth.
Ganon Jones Jr. has size and swag to spare. He first registered on my radar a few years back as a member of the Purple Reign tag team with Cassidy Stone. He is developing nicely as a singles performer.
Winner: Ganon Jones Jr.
Jack Pollock v. Bobby Beverly
This one is hot out of the gate. The two exchange holds attempting to gain the advantage.
Jack Pollock smacks Bobby Beverly in his face. Beverly is pissed and chops Pollock around the ring. He punctuates the attack with a belly-to-back suplex.
Pollock bumps to the floor after The Bev kicks him from the apron.
JP: Irish Whip into knees.
BB: Rollup for two.
JP: Chopping Beverly in the corner.
Beverly with a running elbow in the corner followed by chops and a mean Enziguri. He does more damage with punches and a dropkick. A pin attempt is unsuccessful.
Pollock awkwardly dumps Beverly and follows with a pin attempt himself. He then stomps him.
Beverly hits a Falcon Arrow followed by a Super Kick to score the pinfall.
There are a couple names on this show who have extremely bright futures in the business. Jack Pollock is one of them. Trained by Lance Storm, Pollock is the complete package. He is a crisp, clean worker with charisma and a good look. I’m glad that PCW had the foresight to introduce him to the Cleveland market.
Winner: Bobby Beverly
Nickie Valentino v. Andrew Palace
Andrew Palace runs to the ring like a man possessed.
Nickie Valentino dominates early by toppling Palace with a leg sweep and spinning toe hold.
Each thwart the others attempt at a hip toss.
AP: Nails Valentino with a clothesline and sliding dropkick to the face.
NV: Smashes Palace violently into the barrier. He throws Palace down by his hair and gut wrench suplexes him.
Valentino announces that he is going for a “Super Valentino Splash.” Palace puts up a foot to block it. He puts Valentino in a Torture Rack followed by an F5. Valentino is out at two.
Palace goes for a pump handle slam but is low-blowed by Valentino.
Valentino attempts a suplex three times.
Palace hits a Hernia Driver and follows with a pinfall.
Winner: Andrew Palace
"Facade" Photographer: John Janezic
Triple Threat Match
Matthew Justice v. Louis Lyndon v. Facade w/ Dani
Facade locks Louis Lydon in a headlock while Matthew Justice lights him up with a thunderous chop.
Facade judiciously calls off a Jordan dive to the outside because he appeared to sense a chance for catastrophe.
Justice slams Facade. He chokes him on the bottom rope.
Lyndon stuns Justice with an elbow followed by a Hurricanrana.
Facade kicks Justice in the temple, knocking him to the floor.
LL: Hits Justice with a flip from the ropes to the floor.
Facade bounds off the top turnbuckle and obliterates both his opponents.
Facade breaks up a pin attempt by Justice. He then kills Lyndon with kicks. Lyndon retaliates with a Roaring Elbow and Choas Theory to Facade.
Justice executes a brilliant Jackhammer on Lyndon.
Facade walks the ropes to kick Justice. Soon after, he eats a Floating Mule Kick from Lyndon.
Facade does a Matrix bend to avoid Lyndon.
Facade hits a Falcon Arrow on Lyndon for the pin.
Whew! Fun match between three guys who are experienced and talented. I don’t know how they do it.
Dombrowski addresses the crowd again. He makes a point to bring attention to the new owner of Turner’s Hall and PCW promoter, Danny.
He then asks if the crowd would like to see women’s wrestling in the future.
Next, he details the history of Chikara wrestling in Cleveland. Three of their talents (Icarus, Frightmare, and Ophidian) have been booked for the next PCS event on September 18th.
Nickie Valentino runs out and grabs the microphone. He says that everyone knows that he was robbed earlier in the evening. He will be back but he’s “not coming alone.”
Tickets for the next event then went on sale.
Derek Direction v. Keith Haught
Derek Direction had his phone out at the beginning of the match. Making a Pokemon Go reference, he accused Keith Haught of trying to catch his Snorlax.
Direction chops the shit out of Haught outside the ring. He nerve pinches him. Backsplash.
DD: “High spot, baby!!”
The “high spot” turns out to be a Polish Hammer off the second rope. LOL.
Haught takes over and crushes Direction with a sitdown splash. He continues with two clotheslines and a back senton.
Direction moves to avoid a flying body press. He pulls the tights for the win.
Derek Direction is a kid I like A LOT. I was in attendance for his first professional match and have kept an eye on him ever since. He understands how to push people’s buttons to get a reaction. His matches are fun. He injects a sense of youth and modernness into his act in a manner that no one else in the area does. Pay attention to him.
Winner: Derek Direction
“Heir Apparent” Chris LeRusso v. “Mind Eraser” Remy LaVey
Chris LeRusso gets on the mic. He talks about the history of the sport in the city. He states that he will be the new King of Cleveland.
Ealy on, the two fight their way outside the ring. Remy LaVey cuts into LeRusso with chops.
LeRusso grabs his opponent by the hair and beats his head into the guardrail. He hits LaVey with a crisp suplex followed by an impressive standing leg drop.
LaVey counters with a Sling Blade and cravate into the corner.
The two are back in the crowd.
LaVey spits into LeRusso’s face.
LeRusso uses a headlock driver to secure a pinfall.
He continues to beat up LaVey. He demolishes him with a second headlock driver.
LeRusso stands on the second rope and stares at the name on the ceiling of the legendary building. He is clearly being positioned to be a key player in the company.
Winner: “Heir Apparent” Chris LeRusso
"Sons of Michigan" Photographer: John Janezic
Sons of Michigan v. System Elite
System Elite come to the ring to “Hang Tough” by New Kids on the Block. They have flannel shirts tied around their waste. I get the 90s’ influence but I’m not clear what their gimmick is.
It’s always a treat seeing N8 Mattson work. He is a true professional. He and Ben Boone make a tremendous pair.
All four mean tear it up throughout. Lots of tags and various interactions.
The Sons work over Edric Everhart building to a nice hot tag.
Eventually Ty Cross rolls up Boone for the pin.
The Sons throw a fit after the bell.
Really good match.
Winners: System Elite
Dombrowski once again addresses the crowd. He reminds fans of the next show. He says that he isn’t crazy about Chris LeRusso’s actions and books him against Ophidian in September. He also books Palace v. Icarus and Frightmare v. Gory.
Matt Cross v. “The Gift” Jason Kincaid
Matt Cross comes out looking like a million bucks. He is always in peak physical condition.
Cross gives a snapmare and headlock to Jason Kincaid.
Kincaid sits cross-legged in the ring. He appears to have gone into a trance. Cross messes with him until he snaps into action. The two stand beard to beard.
Kincaid takes off his shirt. Things get serious. Cross leaps on him with a dive through the second rope.
Cross chops and whips him into the barrier. He charges Kincaid from the ramp.
Cross is on the apron and through the second rope. Kincaid takes the ring stairs and places them next to the ring. He charges from the ramp, runs up the stairs, and hits Cross with 619.
Kincaid with a powerslam and double-stomp. He locks M-Dogg in a Figure Four headlock.
Cross with a boot to the face. He flips off the top rope, hits two clotheslines, and a springboard elbow.
The crowd is on fire.
"Cross v. Kincaid" Photographer: Wayne Palmer
Kincaid hits a stunner from outside while Cross tries to dive through the ropes. He executes a breathtaking coast-to-coast dropkick.
The two fight on the top rope. Cross crushes The Gift with a double-stomp to the back.
Kincaid hits a driver for the win.
Cross gets on the microphone and says that he has been around the world but Jason Kincaid performed a couple moves during that match that he has never seen before. They shake hands and hug.
As Cross heads to the locker room, Gory pops out and sprays mist in his face. Cross goes down. Gory hightails it as Kincaid comes to Cross’ rescue.
This was a helluva match. Both men got a well-deserved standing ovation after the bell. Jason Kincaid is a rare talent. Not many wrestlers can go move-for-move with Matt Cross, but he did. I first saw him a few years ago on a broadcast of Traditional Championship Wrestling. Even then, it was clear that had the potential to be an elite performer. Recent outings with Ring of Honor have only confirmed that.
Joe Dombrowski knows what he is doing. Playing off the history of the building, paying respect to current Cleveland kingpins AIW, and booking a mix of familiar and new faces are key to ensuring a solid launch of this project.
Starting the event on time and having a reasonable intermission are essential. Both were done.
Before fans left the building they knew when the next show was and why they should come. They could even purchase a ticket if they wished.
For longtime fans from the area, the show felt like a CAPW show…just with modern talent. Intentional or not, this completed the experience.
I’m excited to see more Jason Kincaid and Jack Pollock in Cleveland. They are two major talents who have a lot to contribute to the company.
And, oh yeah, it was a good show, too.
Tickets for the next event on September 18, 2016 can be purchased here.