Monday, December 30, 2019

PCW Ultra MUTINY #23 Review

Matches:
1.Young Guns Scramble: CLAS vs Chhun vs Dom vs Vandagriff vs Ty vs Damian ***1/2
2.Hammerstone vs Schaff ***1/4

Thoughts:
I consider Mutiny to be a solid show with solid core roster members but there are a few issues. I was asked what I'd suggest changing personally, so I figured I'd go the extra mile and do, well...this!

Now, I had originally skipped this one completely largely for time reasons. I've checked out a lot from this series since it premiered but not every week and rarely a full episode. This is partially because of the way I watch and review wrestling these days, with AEW, Dragon Gate's Cutting Edge Battle, and WRESTLE-1 TV being the only wrestling programs I tend to watch fully on the regular. Mutiny is, as I said, solid but it rarely has hooked me enough to invest enough time to make it part of that limited group.

I like the short backstage promo the episode began with, but I think the last time I remember mention of Hammerstone's issues with Schaff coming up was over ten episodes ago. I could be wrong, of course and correct me if I am.

The intro package remains one of my favorites of what's out there right now. I like the style, which reminds me of my own, the tune is well selected, and it sets a nice tone.

The card announcement and rundown was done well enough and I can already tell this one is better done than some of the previous installments.

Including the complete introductions and entrances can be a two sided blade. Sure, the commentary went over a bit about everyone during their walk ins, but it can be a turn off for some. Here, we started with talking (Hammerstone), got more talking (episode intro rundown), and now are getting six entrances with additional talking. This was a spotfest, scramble opener and I think cutting straight to or near the bell would've better served things here because it took nine minutes to get there here. Americans in particular want their action quick and force fed to them. NWA Powerrr has a lot of issues, but their entire approach is based off it this to an extreme.

The good news is the match was very good for what it was and used the talent used the layout well without overstaying their welcomes.

The after-match angle was a bit wonky but largely inoffensive and I'm sure some would enjoy it and doubt many would completely hate it.

The commercial for PCW Ultra's sub service was well done and well placed.

We then get a clip from a recent attack which reminds me of an issue I had with the show. When it began, we started in the middle of a Tessa reign which I applauded. She is well respected and felt like a major part of Mutiny. Then they ended the run on episode 11, which I wish had been drawn out a bit more, before later showing more Tessa-as-champ content on later episodes throwing off the fluidity. At times it feels like the show bounces around a bit which is weird because it seems like there's more than enough content that a touch more forward thinking could easily fix the flow. That's one example, but there are several other times I felt that way watching. The clip here coupled with the promo from Ruby at least was a decent way to promote their match at the big, upcoming show.

I will give credit to this episode for promoting the Anniversary gig decently, by the way.

Oh, and I get wanting to take advantage of digging matches from the vaults that feature names that are now signed with WWE or AEW, but I think it hurts Mutiny a bit by doing so. Impact doing that during a two hour show was one thing, and even then I didn't care much for the idea (for mostly different reasons). PCW Ultra doing it, especially on the last episode of the year as promoted here for episode 24 seems like a minor misstep. With the Anniversary show coming, just focus on content featuring the talents working the show, progressing stories, and/or at least showcasing current roster members that might not have made the cut for the Anniversary show, at the very least.

Schaff got in his two cents before the main event. Again, not bad and I really liked the montage highlighting the feud that followed. The match itself started hot, which was smart. You see companies like WWE build these feuds and then start matches with tie ups sometimes as if the proper response to someone trying to destroy your home life is to have a throwaway TV wrestling match. Here, they used the past heat and focused on the brawl style. The layout enabled Hammerstone to have his babyface comeback which came off well enough, and eventually get the victory and the right to call himself #1 contender. The whole thing was fairly good and largely enjoyable. Strong enough to end the action of the installment on a high note and I actually think some will be a tad higher on this one than I was.

PCW Ultra has a nice, core roster mixed with solid booking and a crowd that is treated well enough that they tend to give a shit. In all, I think it's one of the more underrated feds in the game and I love that they did what many refuse to in seeing the benefit of putting out a weekly series. I've had many conversations trying to get a company to start this with me being part of the project and most promoters whiff at the idea. Some of the excuses have been a fear that it'll cannibalize their current affairs, or that they lack the time to bother, or even that they don't want to expand because they fear that'll hurt them as a company. Yea, I rarely get good excuses. Props to Beyond for, a few years later, changing their tune. Now it's one of the more popular shows (like I told them it would be).

Because of the lack of cohesion at times, along with a few other reasons I mostly mentioned above, Mutiny does have the issue of keeping my attention and I feel that might be something resonating with others, too. Without the serialized feeling, I'm largely left just looking for a match that catches my eye and watching just that. Some of that is the way I've moved my watch/review style this year, but not all of it. I know some fans praise it completely but looking for those who give/gave it a shot but aren't watching fully each week is what needs addressed.

PCW Ultra has all the pieces they need and a nice tone and, with a touch more organization and planning, Mutiny could be one of the best hours of wrestling in 2020 each week.

As for this episode, it was far more good than bad and I give it a recommendation!

Overall Rating: 75/100%

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