Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2012 (Night One)
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 11.02.2012
Meet Michael Elgin, Wrestler of the Year.
Well, BOLA has finally come upon us, and I found out that I did not get my predictions even close to right on the tournament. Shows what I know. This is the first two-night BOLA in awhile, so hopefully being spaced out helps everything.
Your hosts are Excalibur and a few other of the regular knuckleheads.
Joey Ryan begins by cutting a promo saying that, unfortunately for Willie Mack, it's PWG presents Battle of Los Angeles not Tyler Perry presents Battle of Los Angeles. HA! How can you dislike Joey Ryan? More stuff follows, but it's irrelevant.
First Round Match: TJ Perkins vs. Joey Ryan
I bet you can guess who I'm rooting for.
A dumb fan draws Joey's ire early, and later Joey refuses to lock up. Perkins dodges a couple of takedowns, and puts in an armbar. Joey gets out, so TJ puts in some kind of rolling chinlock to pay him back. Perkins ties himself in the ropes to fake Joey out, but Joey is the only guy who seems to see how stupid it would to be fall for it. Joey kicks the ropes into Perkins' little TJ's, so he takes control from there. TJ comes back by pulling Joey's tights down, and it's a full moon in Reseda. Perkins nails a leaping Neckbreaker to buy himself some more time. Perkins looks for the Detonation Kick, but he settles for a Ligerbomb to get a 2 count. Joey retaliates with a spinebuster for a 2 count, but a springboard dropkick from Perkins takes him down. Joey spears Perkins through the second rope, so TJ decides to pretty much no sell that and hit the Detonation Kick for the win in 12 minutes. **1/4The crowd seemed to like it, but the usual lack of selling from TJ (especially during the finish) soured me. And besides that, there just wasn't much here to sink your teeth into. No real excitement or reason to care about anything. Underwhelming way to start stuff off.
First Round Match: Roderick Strong vs. Drake Younger
Drake had a MOTYC with B-Boy at Threemendous III, so he's looking to keep his momentum up here.
Roddy cheap shots Drake after a handshake, but Drake ONE UPS HIM WITH A HUGE SOMERSAULT PLANCHA! Drake resumes control on the outside, even scoop slamming Roddy on a chair for a 2 count inside the ring. Roddy cracks Drake with an enzuigiri to the temple, and we head outside again. Mean exchange of strikes ensue until Roddy slams Drake through a chair. Olympic Slam from Roddy gets a 2 count, and after Drake starts coming back, Roddy catches him in the face with a dropkick. Drake starts another comeback, hitting a Falcon Arrow for a 2 count and a mean Northern Lights Bomb! Two count only. URINAGI BACKBREAKER FROM RODDY! Only a two count. RAZOR'S EDGE INTO A CUTTER! TWO COUNT! STRONGHOLD! FIREMAN'S CARRY BOMB FROM YOUNGER! NEARFALL! Roddy and Drake go to the apron, where Roddy puts Drake in an Argentine backbreaker position and DROPS HIM BACK FIRST ONTO THE TOP ROPE!! NEARFALL! Drake almost catches Roddy with a flash pin, but the Gibson Driver gives Roderick Strong the win in a great 14 minutes. ***3/4Awesome, awesome stuff. Drake Younger kills himself to entertain people, and it pays off with some amazing wrestling. Roddy did fantastic here too. Only a few wrestlers work this hard to entertain the fans, so take this one in. It's a goodie.
First Round Match: Kyle O'Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards
Just looking at O'Reilly makes me want to punch him in his ear. It wouldn't be a good idea, but he's just such a douche. I like Eddie though, so it levels out.
A lot of roll-throughs lead to our first GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! We see that tired monkey flip/knuckelock sequence that every Indy wrestler seems to do nowadays. I hate to sound so cynical, but Jesus Christ does EVERY wrestler have to do it? It's just so cliched. We start getting good with some mean slaps and an awesome rolling submission sequence and we break for a pretty believable GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! Eddie follows an up and over with a downed Bicycle Kick to O'Reilly and they already have the crowd in palm of their hands. O'Reilly KILLS EDDIE WITH A KICK TO THE FACE! EDDIE ROLLS THROUGH A KICK INTO THE ACHILLES LOCK! BACKDROP DRIVER FROM KYLE! Things slow down a bit until KYLE REVERSES A BACKPACK INTO A HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Kyle starts toying with Eddie and that is widely accepted as a bad idea. HUGE superkick from Eddie and a DISCUS LARIAT! What a fucking fight. They almost botch a tilt-a-whirl, but in a stroke of genius, Kyle rolls through into a Victory Roll. That was great recovery. Eddie almost gets an Achilles Lock but instead STOMPS KYLE'S HEAD INTO THE FUCKING MAT! Eddie wins by stoppage in 15 minutes. ***3/4Awesome match. They didn't start off well, but they minimized the usual feeling out process crap and instead, they went at it like gangbusters for the remaining 12 minutes. It didn't look like a hokey strike battle either (like some of O'Reilly's stuff) because of the way they sold the moves to make it look like a real fight. They just wanted to one-up each other and win, which made for a crazily entertaining battle. Great stuff again.
First Round Match: Brian Cage vs. B-Boy
I have a feeling this one is going to be a bit slower than the other matches. Just a hunch.
Cage throws B-Boy off of a headlock, but it doesn't faze the Punisher. Cage then goes on to take control, but B-Boy comes back with a NASTY face eraser. Cage goes to the outside so B-Boy hits a double stomp to the neck! Cage lifts B-Boy out of a submission, but falls to a Suplex face buster. Cage hits his second rope "fucking machine" Superplex. CRUCIFIX BOMB FROM CAGE! Two count only. B-Boy puts in a triangle choke, so Cage LIFTS HIM UP AND POWERBOMBS HIM ON HIS KNEE! B-Boy counters and Up and Over with a cutter and hits a swinging DDT! B-Boy lands on his feet when Cage dodges another Face Eraser, but Cage DEADLIFT GERMANS HIM! CAGE MISSES THE DOUBLE MOONSAULT! ARM CAPTURE DRAGON SUPLEX! SHINING WIZARD FROM B-BOY! NEARFALL! They trade strikes until B-Boy is stunned from an elbow but pokes Cage in the eye and ROLLS HIM UP! NEARFALL! CAGE COUNTERS A SHINING WIZARD INTO WEAPON X! Brian Cage advances in an awesome 16 minutes. ***3/4Indeed this match was the slowest yet, but that did them a favor. They were able to build up the action, and B-Boy's desperation to win was a good story while Cage simply tried to survive against a guy he looked to underrate a bit. Another fantastic match in a fantastic tournament.
First Round Match: Kevin Steen vs. Ricochet
This should be pretty great.
As the ring announcer introduces Ricochet, Steen takes the mic and says, "You're from Kentucky? I'm so sorry." HA. Chuck Taylor would be piiiiisssed. Ricochet steps on Steen's fingers early, so Steen withdraws. Like a badass, Ricochet takes a shoulderblock and just kips right up. He does it again and SPITS in Steen's face, so Steen DESTROYS HIM WITH A POWERBOMB! You do not fuck with Kevin Steen. They head to the outside, where Ricochet avoids a powerbomb and HITS A HUGE REVERSE ROTATION PLANCHA! Holy balls. Ricochet misses a springboard corkscrew senton and STEEN DROPS ON TOP OF HIM! CANNONBALL FROM STEEN! METEORA FROM RICOCHET! STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS! SLEEPER SUPLEX FROM STEEN! TWO COUNT! This match rules. BACKSLIDE BOMB FROM RICOCHET! 2 COUNT! Steen gets a 2 count off of a Liger Bomb and goes up for a Moonsault but Ricochet drags him off and MISSES THE 630 SENTON! NEARFALL! DRAGON SUPLEX FROM RICOCHET! Here's Brian Cage! STEEN KILLS HIM WITH A PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! RICOCHET KILLS STEEN WITH A REVERSE RANA! PHOENIX SPLASH! Ricochet wins a breathtaking match in 16 minutes. ****1/4Fantastic match. You just cannot have a better match in such a small window of time. Both of these guys busted their asses and made this crowd go bonkers on numerous occasions with the stuff they pulled off during that phenomenal finishing stretch. Ricochet is an absolute beast in the ring and lets be real, everything is better with Kevin Steen. The endgame was a supposing result to say the least, but it gives Steen an out for losing and an immediate rematch with either Ricochet or Brian Cage. So overall, this was just awesome, a low-end MOTYC if I'm honest.
First Round Match: Sami Callihan vs. Willie Mack
My predicted winner is in this match...I should predict better. It is Sami Callihan's birthday, and the crowd tells him Happy Birthday to address that.
They go at it hard early with some aggressive tie-ups. Sami bitch slaps Willie, who BLASTS SAMI WITH A SHOULDER TACKLE! TOPE CON HILO! Sami spears Willie into the ringpost and HITS AN EXPLODER ONTO THE FRONT ROW CHAIRS! Mack gets back into the ring, but takes a running forearm from Sami upon entry. Sami hits a Bithycle Kick and a DVD for a 2 count. Sami goes up top, but Willie follows him up and HITS AN EXPLODER SUPERPLEX! Sami waylays on Willie with a slap, but Willie HITS A FACEBUSTER! MOONSAULT PRESS! BITHYCLE KICK FROM WILLIE! ONE FROM SAMI! Sami connects with two Running D's in the corner. POP-UP ELBOW FROM WILLIE! NEARFALL! Sami gets caught in the middle rope and takes a lungblower, but Sami kicks out his leg when Willie goes for a Moonsault. Stretch Muffler from Sami, but Willie reverses into a rollup for two. Sami drops Willie on his head with a back suplex and CLOBBERS HIM WITH A LARIAT! ONE MORE BUT WILLIE IS UP AT ONE! WILLIE MACK DON'T GIVE A FUCK! ONE MORE LARIAT DROPS WILLIE ON HIS HEAD! Sami Callihan advances in 14 minutes. ***1/2Yet another awesome tournament match. It was a good power move battle, which you don't see too often on the indie circuit. It's always fun to see guys just trade big moves back and forth, and they really made the moves mean something by how beat up they seemed by the finish. This has been a phenomenal tournament so far, and this match only adds to it.
First Round Match: Adam Cole vs. El Generico
Oh fuck yeah.
Cole heels out on Generico from the get-go, proving that he does have charisma. Generico hits his armdrag combo to retaliate, much to the chagrin of Kevin Steen on commentary. Cole comes back from that by kicking Generico in the face with a stiff enzuigiri. I love heel Adam Cole, who further advances by love for him by locking on a RUNNING CHINLOCK. Generico pushes Cole off of a roll up, so Cole knees him in the face. Generico hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for a 2 count, and hits a Michinoku Driver for another nearfall. Generico looks for his rope walk armdrag, but Cole counters WITH A SICK FUCKING GERMAN SUPLEX THAT BREAKS GENERICO'S NECK! KNEE BRAINBUSTER FROM COLE! TWO COUNT! Generico almost hits a Turnbuckle Brainbuster, but NAILS A YAKUZA KICK! ADAM COLE CRADLES GENERICO! THREE COUNT! Adam Cole advances in 11 minutes. ***1/2Short match, but they packed some awesome shit into that short period of time. Cole showed an extremely different side of himself, and they built the match around his awesome heel work. They also pulled out some really awesome moves within the 11 minute margin, and they both took some mean bumps off of those moves. This is about as awesome an 11 minute match as you'll get.
First Round Match: Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin
Oh fucking yes dude.
Elgin out strengths Davey to begin, because he's Michael Elgin. Davey uses his technical wrestling prowess to level it all out, but Elgin catches him in mid-air with a powerslam. ELGIN HOLDS RICHARDS UP FOR A VERTICAL SUPLEX FOR ALMOST A MINUTE AND A HALF! HOLY SHIT. Davey's all like "Fuck you bitch" and decks him with a kick! TOPE SUICIDA! Davey now has control, and he hits a spinning heel kick for 2. ELGIN CATCHES DAVEY MID HANDSPRING INTO A SHOCK TREATMENT! Holy crap Michael Elgin is a killer. Davey looks for an Ankle Lock, but Elgin wheelbarrow suplexes him into the corner! ROUNDHOUSE FROM DAVEY! LARIAT FROM ELGIN! Man, this match fucking rules. Elgin looks for a powerbomb, but Davey powers him down and double stomps him! Davey decks Elgin with a Misawa Missile Dropkick into an ANKLE LOCK! Elgin eats a couple of kicks to the chest, BUT HE DON'T GIVE A FUCK! KAWADA KICKS! KNEES FROM ELGIN! BACKFIST BY ELGIN! SPINNING KICK FROM DAVEY! SITOUT HELLEVATOR FROM ELGIN! Holy shit. These guys are money every time they're in the ring together. They head to the apron, where they trade punches. EXPLODER ON THE APRON FROM DAVEY! DOUBLE STOMP! NEARFALL! SOCCER KICK! ELGIN KICKS OUT AT ONE! KO COMBO! NEARFALL!~! ANKLE LOCK! REVERSE DDT DRIVER FROM ELGIN! NEARFALL! This is phenomenal. Simply phenomenal. Senton from Elgin misses! Running knee lift from Richards scores and he goes up top for something. Elgin COUNTERS INTO A SUPER AIR RAID CRASH! NEARFALL!~! SENTON FROM ELGIN! ANOTHER FUCKING NEARFALL! Davey reverses a Buckle Bomb into a sunset flip for two and CATCHES AN ENZUIGIRI INTO ANKLE LOCK! KNEE LIFT FROM ELGIN! BUCKLE BOMB! ELGIN BOMB! Elgin wins one of the best matches of the year in 25 minutes. Elgin puts Davey over as the toughest guy he ever stepped in the ring with. Fuckin' A. Davey tells Elgin to win the whole thing. Awwwww. ****3/4These two did it again. This was such a fantastic match, almost (and I mean just almost) as good as their Showdown in the Sun classic. They had a tired crowd on their feet for the last ten minutes, wrestling a ridiculous pace and incorporating some breathtaking nearfalls into the match. Michael Elgin is an absolutely special talent...just a beast of a wrestler. Some of the stuff he did in this match is unparalleled. Davey Richards--who I'm starting to become a fan of again with some of the stuff he's been churning out lately--did an immense job of making everything seem like it was over, whether he was on the giving or receiving end of things. You don't always need a definitive story to have a classic match. Michael Elgin and Davey Richards have proved that this year. Bravo to both men, and they've already topped the ladder match from Threemendous III as MOTY for PWG. I still think their first match is the definitive MOTY for all of wrestling, but this one is in close pursuit. Absolutely phenomenal wrestling match here, I can't rave enough.
The 411: I can't say that BOLA Night One was as good as Threemendous III in good conscience, but it's probably a notch behind it for Show of the Year. Barring the opener (which was just a disappointing indy-fest more than a bad match) every single match was great. All of them had redeeming qualities, and I can't rave enough about Elgin/Richards II. I legitimately think that it's almost as good as their SITS match, if not as good. Kevin Steen and Ricochet also had a phenomenal match, with the other matches falling at or a tad below the four star margin. It's an ultra-consistent show and super easy to sit through, so this one is another easy buy from PWG. Just amazing stuff top-to-bottom really.