All photos are from previous PWO events and courtesy Steven Csollak.
This past weekend I made a forty-five minute journey east to take in my very first PWO show in Streetsboro, Ohio. They had an amazing card and put on about four hours of excellent wrestling to a crowd of roughly 120 people, including a surprising number of children (I was seated near a little boy who was about four, cheering like crazy for Jason Bane, it was adorable).
There were a total of eleven matches divided into four segments to be televised later this month.
Aaron Draven defeated Nickie Valentino (with Bobby Shields)
This was a nice opener. Valentino played up his nastyness quite and bit, and both wrestlers really kept the crowd engaged. Draven had a few stand-out moments; early on with an off the rope flip move and a little later with a gorgeous enzuigiri. Valentino shone with a big dropkick, but Aaron Draven made a pin after hitting a 450 Splash.
“The Embodiment of Evil” Krimson defeated “The World’s Most Huggable Wrestler” Bryan Castle
This was some brilliant matchmaking. These two are polar opposites of each other and just that would have made this match worth watching. What also added intrigue to this bout was the fact that Castle was looking for a bit of revenge for his tag partner, Brian Bender, who had been taken out by Krimson and his Dead Wrestler’s Society.
Krimson had control for most of this match, though Castle did have a big comeback about halfway through. It didn’t last long once Krimson took the fight out of the ring. He then targeted Castle’s arm and shoulder, eventually pulling him into a submission hold, to which Castle tapped. Castle was then helped, limping, backstage by Brian Bender.
Lumberjack Match for the PWO Championship: Jason Bane defeated Marion Fontaine
This was really great, definitely one of the best matches of the night. Twenty or so members of the roster made up the lumberjacks, and Matt Cross observed from the ramp in preparation for his match against Bane later in the evening.
Bane had control early on in the match, taking down the much smaller Fontaine with a series of huge body slams. Fontaine only got the upper hand with the help of a few of the lumberjacks and a hard-hitting high kick.
In the midst of all the insanity and lumberjacks, Bane, Fontaine and the ref all ended up on the mat when, from out of nowhere, Brodie Lee ran out and draped Fontaine over Bane long enough for the ref to regain consciousness and make the count, giving Fontaine the title.
After a few long “WTF” filled moments, Justin LaBarr walked out with the mic in hand, claiming he was just been elected the new commissioner of PWO, and restarted the match!
The ring turned into one giant brawl with all the lumberjacks going at each other. It clears out after a few minutes, with Jason Bane leaping out of the ring onto half a dozen of those ringside. Fontaine tried for a huge leap of his own, but Bane countered out with a clothesline that inverted Fontaine’s mustache, allowing Bane to make the pin and retain the title.
Fontaine and Bane are quite different in both physical size and style, and the contrast made for an awesome match.
TV Championship: Jason Gory defeated Brian Bender
In this match we had Brian Bender taking on a different member of the Dead Wrestler’s Society for the Television Championship.
This was a somewhat short but very fast-paced affair. Jason Gory was so relentless that Bender barely had time to get his bearings, let alone take control of the match. He tried a few times, busting out a hearty slam and even sinking his teeth into Gory, but to no avail, as Jason Gory retained.
After deciding that a solid win wasn’t good enough, he jumped on Bender from the top rope after the match was called. Fellow DWS member Krimson also came out carrying a chair, but before they could really start in on Bender, Matthew Justice came in and broke them up.
Dan Arkham defeated Izeah Bonds
Another relatively short but solid match with two really great competitors. Dan Arkham won with a nice slam.
PWO Tag Team Title Match: Aeroform (Louis Lyndon and Flip Kendrick) defeated Sons of Michigan (c) (N8 Mattson and Benjamin Boone) to become the New Champions
Aeroform is rapidly becoming one of my favorite tag teams. Their matches are always incredibly fast and exciting and this match was no exception. Both Louis and Flip were all over the ring, on top of it and outside of it, wowing the crowd with suicide dives and crazy flips. Not being satisfied with inanimate objects, Louis Lyndon saw fit to jump off of N8 Mattson.
Though the Sons of Michigan put up a really strong fight, they were no match for the drive and the wild aerobatics of Aeroform, who pulled out a win after Flip Kendrick hit some kind of crazy flying spinny leap off the ropes, making them PWO’s new tag team champs.
Bryan Castle and Brian Bender vs. Corey Winters and Ben Fruith went to a No Contest
Bryan Castle made his second appearance of the night, this time with his tag team partner Brian Bender. I think the best part of this match was when Castle got tagged in, got Corey Winters into a hold and then looked over at Bender in the corner with big eyes and yelled “What do I do now?” So Bender had to dictate to Castle. “Now what?” “Slam him!” “Okay, now what?” “Go for a cover! No, don’t slam him, go for a cover!”
Unfortunately the silliness didn’t last long, as Brodie Lee again ran in and bodily slammed all four members of the match in order to make way for Marion Fontaine to grab the mic and complain about everything.
Eventually he shut up, and Corey Winters was able to call out Brodie Lee for a match at some undesignated point in the future.
Matthew Justice then came out to have some mic time and address the fans. He spoke at some length about having gone to Florida to develop his talents, but came back to Ohio and PWO because he didn’t want to sell out, and because he loves the fans and the company. He then called out Krimson and the rest of the Dead Wrestling Society.
Greg Iron vs Johnny Gargano went to a No Contest
This was one of the matches I was most looking forward to, and Greg and Johnny did not disappoint. They’re both fierce competitors who bring everything they have to the ring, so this matchup was bound to be amazing from the get-go. Gargano was all about precision and roughly eighteen thousand suicide dives and Greg Iron was all speed and surprisingly huge arm drags.
Add all that to the incredible number of near falls, and the two of them had the makings of the best match of the night…
And then Krimson and Jason Gory came out to beat the fuck out of Greg, and shortly thereafter Nickie Valentino and Bobby Shields came out for Johnny, giving the match no real satisfactory end. While it leaves the door open for Johnny and Greg to continue their feud, I really would have liked a better ending. Freaking Dead Wrestlers, showing up in matches where they don’t belong and ruining things.
Brodie Lee defeated Corey Winters
Here’s the match Corey called for earlier. Winters started everything off hot with a dive and later came out with a beautiful step-up enzuigiri. Brodie Lee, who was not about to take that, tried to choke Winters with his shirt, and then cemented his evil trucker status by scaring the absolute heck out of a little girl in the front row.
Though it was obvious Corey Winters gave it all, the nail in his coffin was a ring-rattling slam from Brodie for the win.
Walking “ironic” hipster mustache Marion Fontaine then came out with a metal pole, obviously feeling a little left out, and tried to get some shots in on Corey. Before he could get too far, newly elected commissioner LaBarr ran out and put a stop to Brodie and Marion’s beat-down. When they refused to stop, he officially suspended Brodie Lee and threatened Fontaine with the same. When he realized LaBarr wasn’t kidding around, he reluctantly stopped the assault, and he and Brodie Lee very, very slowly made their way backstage.
Bobby Shields defeated Ben Fruith
This match was short but sweet. Both competitors had strong showing, Bobby Shields with a rib-crunching serious of chops, and Ben Fruith with a nice flying crossbody off the ropes a little later. Though the crowd was clearly on the side of Fruith, Shields pulled out a win and left Fruith a little pile of kindling on the mat.
PWO Title Match: Matt Cross defeated Jason Bane (c) to become the new Champion
Alright, let me first preface this whole thing by saying that I watched some of Matt Cross’ reality TV work, I was not hugely impressed by it, though I went into this match open-minded.
The Matt Cross I saw in the ring Saturday night against Jason Bane was not even remotely close to being the same person. Matt Cross is unbelievably brilliant. He was all over the place; suicide dives, this flagpole hold off the ringpost, a beautiful enziguiri, an equally beautiful and jaw-dropping moonsault. Jason Bane was barely able to get his bearings. He had a few moments, most notably when he had Cross in an armlock, and once when he knocked him over and under with a clothesline.
However, it was to no avail, as Matt Cross got the win after hitting Bane with a stunning, stunning shooting star press.
This was an amazing match, another one of the best of the night. The crowd was absolutely in love with Matt Cross, and that was saying a lot, since they were a bit subdued for most of the night.
On the whole, while it ran a bit longer than I had anticipated, it was a great show. I’m very pleased with the quality of the talent and the matches they put on. That’s the thing I’m really in love with about quality wrestling promotions; you pay $10-$15 for a ticket and you are pretty much guaranteed a great show. I look forward to atteneding my next PWO event.
All of these matches will be televised on PWO TV starting November 20th and can be seen via Youtube or PWO’s website, PWOwrestling.com. They also air Sunday nights at 10pm on SportsTime Ohio, if you live in the greater Cleveland area.
Their next show, Brawl in the Hall, is December 17th in Parma, Ohio, and is their first ever fundraiser to help families in need for the holidays.