Today I tried catching up on the YMotD and finished up An Inch Longer in Average.
PWG's show continued with Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce. A lot of people know that Cabana and Punk are good friends, but not many realize that Pearce (along with Dave Prazak and Ace Steel) is a part of that group. And in fact, I'd go so far as to say that Pearce and Cabana are probably closer than Cabana and Punk. Don't quote me, though. When these two mix it up you're always guaranteed a good match and this is no different. Pearce is upset he's not getting a title shot here tonight. He wins after cheating giving him some momentum as he's eventually going to square off with Kazarian.
Next up is Samoa Joe vs. The Hardcore Kidd, who couldn't make it unfortunately and is replaced with CM Punk~! Replace "unfortunately" in that last sentence. Of course the match is good and probably the best match from a technical standpoint so far. Punk works the knee and Joe sells it brilliantly. My only complaint is that the match ends anticlimactically with an out-of-nowhere STF.
Finally the main event is Frankie Kazarian vs. Bryan Danielson. Another good match to end the show. Tons of back and forth at first but then Danielson just dominates and Frankie has to fight through and be tricky to win. It's good stuff. The post-match sees Pearce jump Kazarian. Colt Cabana comes out for the save but then turns on Kazarian. Joey Ryan comes out for the save, but Super Dragon assaults him. Punk comes out to join in the beatdown but then turns on Pearce, Cabana, and Dragon to even the odds. This sets up a six-man tag match for the next show.
From YouTube I watched Cactus Jack vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley in a Falls Count Anywhere match on RAW in I believe August or September of '97. Whenever I see this match I remember a quote from an old e-mail newsletter (remember those days?). Leading up to this show, there was a lot of speculation about ECW involvement. When it didn't happen, this one writer said that ECW was definitely there in spirit due to this match. I have no opinion one way or the other regarding the profoundness or validity of his assessment, it's just what always pops into mind first. The match is great, BTW. The opening bit with Mankind talking to Dude Love and then Cactus Jack is a great, great moment. It's a worthwhile brawl to watch (one of Foley's two great RAW brawls - the other being against Funk) and the piledriver through the table is a favorite spot of mine.
Next was Bryan Danielson vs. Sheamus in a Lumberjack Match from the WM27 Dark Match. Fun match. I was there live, so that definitely adds a different flavor to it. I think with more time it could have been one of those undercard classics, but alas. They'll probably get roughly the same time next Sunday. It ends with a huge brawl that segues into a battle royal.
So of course I watched the battle royale. It was a battle royale, nothing more and nothing less.
Next I watched Akio vs. Paul London. The commentary puts this in February or January of 2005. Enjoyable, Cruiserweight fun. It's a shame that the CW division had this at one time but it was never genuinely capitalized on. Watching London work while motivated is always a treat and it seems like he was able to reign in the usually hyperactive Yang. His 450 splash was crisp as well.
Finally I watched Destroyer vs. Mil Mascaras from the 70s. It was bit slow for my tastes and the ending definitely left me displeased. It was 2/3 falls with the Destroyer taking the first fall, Mascaras taking the second, and 20+ minutes in it ends with Mascaras I guess not being able to continue? That said, the crowd reaction when The Destroyer locks on the figure four had me gobsmacked. Just insane to see people rushing the ring and everyone yelling at the top of their lungs over a submission move.
Match of the Day goes to Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Cactus Jack.
When you're as good as Chael, you can only call out people worse than you.