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#IndieWeekend: Introducing the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla

Want to take a break from what mainstream promotions like WWE and Impact Wrestling dish out every week on TV (and online, for that matter)? Smark Henry's got you covered, pal, as we take a look at some independent wrestling promotions in #IndieWeekend!

For today's edition, Jhace Domantay shares his thoughts on a promotion where many WWE Superstars had once hit the ropes: the PWG or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.


Built by wrestlers for wrestlers and wrestling fans.

Pro Wrestling Guerilla is a California-based independent wrestling promotion founded in 2003.

It had been the training ground for well-known and up-and-coming wrestlers such as CM Punk, Daniel Bryan (then known as Bryan Danielson), AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens (aka Kevin Steen), Adrian Neville (aka PAC), and Sami Zayn (aka El Generico).

With technical wizards in its roster today such as Chris Hero, Kyle O'Reilly, Zack Sabre Jr., and current PWG World Heavyweight Champion Roderick Strong, PWG offers the fluidity seen in chain wrestling as well as the excitement in high-risk maneuvers. There are lots of tag team action in PWG, too!

Here's a peek at one of its previous shows, PWG Out of Nowhere:

However, PWG focuses more on booking matches, rather than building storylines. So you can see a face vs face or heel vs heel face-offs from time to time.

There are even instances when the PWG crowd—most of whom are smarks—don’t really care who the face or heel is, because they will cheer for both of them if they think the match is great and entertaining.

Pre-NXT days: (L-R) Kevin Steen, Drake Wuertz, and El Generico. Now, they're known as Kevin Owens, NXT ref Drake Younger, and (most likely) Sami Zayn.

Gimmick matches are rarely witnessed in PWG. Like in any other promotion, these are reserved for blow-off matches to settle feuds. One example is the Guerrilla Warfare, PWG's version of a No Disqualifications match.

If you want to get started with PWG, I would recommend the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles (you can get it on DVD, as well as all of its shows, thru their website). It's an annual 16-man tournament where the winner gets a shot at the PWG World Heavyweight Title.

There's an annual tournament for tag teams, too, for a shot at PWG World Tag Team Championship, and it's called the DDT4 or the "Dynamite Duumvirate Tag Team Title Tournament.

Witty name, isn't it? That's what PWG is known for, too! It had given some of its previous shows unique and funny names, such as Black Cole Sun, Free Admission (Just Kidding), Straight to DVD, and From Parts Well Known.

What makes PWG great?

My current favorite wrestlers here are Best Friends, The Young Bucks, Candice LeRae (definitely the best American female in the indies today), Trevor Lee, Johnny Gargano, Roderick Strong, and ZACK SABRE, JR. (“The Senyorito” Jake de Leon would agree with me on this).

The Man: Zack Sabre Jr.
You also have guys like Brian Cage, Michael Elgin, Matt Sydal (formerly known as Evan Bourne), Chris Sabin, Ricochet, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and "Speedball" Mike Bailey, impressing the PWG crowd in every event.

Another thing that got me hooked in this promotion is the off-limits commentary by Excalibur and a guest commentator (ranging from Chris Hero to PWG senior referee Rick Knox). Their style of commentary would include some vulgar slang, but at least the emotions are so real that I think Excalibur doesn’t have any script in hand whenever he does play-by-play.

A retired professional wrestler, Excalibur clearly knows what he is saying, from the moves of the wrestlers to their gimmicks (which is basically what I want to hear from a commentator anyways).

Get to hear that and see more PWG action in another show, Don't Sweat the Technique, below:

I would like to see PWG grow as a promotion that both smarks and casual wrestling fans would enjoy. I wish the same to every independent wrestling promotion out there.

Just to let you know: Kevin Steen was scouted by William Regal during a PWG event. That’s how Mr. Wrestling and now NXT Champion Kevin Owens got signed by the WWE.

So have a taste of PWG and let me know what you think in the comments section below.


Jhace Domantay is a part-time student and a full-time wrestling fan. He started during WWE's Ruthless Agression Era, but has since followed other promotions such as TNA and ROH. He aspires to be a mat technician himself, as he pursues his studies.


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