PWG World Championship: Zack Sabre Jr. (champion) vs. Chuck Taylor (Only Kings Understand Each Other-February 18, 2017)

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In so many ways, Chuck Taylor is the Crash Davis of professional wrestling. For those who don’t remember, Crash Davis is the mentor character in the film Bull Durham. He’s a perpetual minor leaguer chasing a record you almost don’t want, hitting the most home runs in the minor leagues of baseball. Davis had a brief run in the majors of baseball, but he’s always seen in a very specific light, that of a guy who’s good enough to fulfill a certain role but maybe not the kind of guy you want in the majors.

Chuck Taylor has never had a run in ROH or WWE. He was a part of Evolve when it was dancing with irrelevancy and is only a fringe member of that roster. In a career that has spanned over a decade, he’s been in the ring with Mike Quackenbush, Bryan Danielson, El Generico, Kenny Omega, Kevin Steen, Tyler Black and a whole rolodex of guys who have gone onto bigger and better things. Chuck Taylor will likely never be on a Wrestlemania. Hell, the only way he’s likely to get in is to buy a ticket, which is why a match like this means so much.

Maybe PWG has a plan to do a rematch, but the company truly missed out on a Crash Davis moment. For Chuck Taylor, this victory and what it represents would have meant so much to fans in that building who’ve seen Taylor wrestle for a decade in California. Zack Sabre has numerous other titles and will be a major part of New Japan moving forward. I can’t help but think this was missed chance to truly have a memorable and special independent wrestling moment. If Taylor wins the PWG world title in July at the anniversary, I will happily retract my statement and give the company credit for really building to something special down the road.

Taylor starts out quickly with roll-up and short piledriver. He’s also in super serious mode. This match is loaded with great flurries and counters. Taylor doesn’t fuck around AT ALL. This worked extremely well with the crowd actually caring about the result and not necessarily being a part of the show. Taylor hits a tope con helo to the outside. Sabre comes out of nowhere and hits a back drop driver onto the floor. Taylor hits another short piledriver on a chair. Series of DDTs in the ring. Series of moves by the champion still can’t put Taylor away.  As a match, this definitely worked. Taylor breaks out his best friend’s finisher for a two count. Powerbomb counter but Sabre reapplies the hold. Referee calls the match after Taylor passes out. Taylor hits the Awful Waffle for another long two count. A second is countered into the triangle choke. One of Taylor’s best non-street fight/non tag team matches ever and a fantastic outing from Sabre.

Winner (s)/Rating: STILL PWG World Champion-Zack Sabre Jr./****

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