Guerrilla Reviewfare: PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2012 (Night Two)
Posted by Jake St-Pierre on 11.03.2012
Davey Richards turns sleazy for one night only, Eddie Edwards teabags Adam Cole, and Michael Elgin overshadows everyone in the best Battle of Los Angeles ever.
We are TAPED at the American Legion in Reseda, CA.
Your hosts are Excalibur and whoever the fuck.
Quarterfinal Match: Sami Callihan vs. TJ Perkins
Let's see if the Death Machine can drag a good match out of TJP.
Sami actually kisses TJ before the bell. "HE PULLED A STEEN!" sez Kevin Steen on commentary. Sami bumrushes Perkins and puts on a Stretch Muffler, but TJ breaks it. Sami throws TJ out of the ring and takes him out with a Heat Seeking Missile! TJ doesn't let that faze him as he takes control in the ring. Sami looks for a Sunset powerbomb, but settles for kicking TJ's leg out from under him. He BODYSLAMS TJ ON THE ROPES! TJ puts in a cross arm breaker in the ropes and missile dropkicks Sami all the way to the apron. They head back in the middle of the ring to trade strikes, and TJ reverses a chop into an STF. SICK SHOULDERBREAKER FROM SAMI! THRUST KICK FROM PERKINS! RYDEEN BOMB FROM PERKINS! STF! DETONATION KICK...REVERSED INTO THE STRETCH MUFFLER! Sami Callihan advances in 13 minutes. ***1/2Killer little opener here, as TJ was allowed to just trade moves with his opponent instead of trying to force a poorly executed story down our throats. He's at his best when he can kick your face in and drop you in unnatural ways. Sami is pretty much the same way, so the match worked.
Quarterfinal Match: Eddie Edwards vs. Adam Cole
These two had a fantastic match at Glory By Honor XI, so I have faith here.
Cole stops circling to do some stretching, because he's awesome and he can. Eddie makes him pay by wrenching his arm a bit. Adam gets a "We Will Rock You" rhythm going on, and Cole says "Suck My Dick" in the rhythm. That was fucking hilarious. Cole BITCHSLAPS Eddie and tells him to suck his dick...and does it again, but Eddie punches him in his dick instead! HAHA. That was hysterical. Eddie decks Cole with a Shining Wizard and TEABAGS COLE! Awesome. Cole moves out of the way of a baseball slide and says that "he's smarter" but eats a chop and a beer to the face. Cole takes control in the ring and scrapes his boot across Eddie's face. Cole goes up top and takes his sweet time looking for a Moonsault (and does so in a hilarious way), but Eddie crotches him. Eddie puts Adam in the tree of woe, and a FAN WHIPS HIM INTO A BASEMENT DROPKICK. Cole's all like "fuck that" and takes back control, but Eddie throws him out of the ring...and COLE BEHEADS EDDIE WITH AN ENZUIGIRI! TOPE SUICIDA FROM EDWARDS! We head back to the ring, where Eddie takes Cole out with a missile dropkick for a 2 count. Cole heads up top and says "You're dead Eddie!", and subsequently takes an enzuigiri and a Chinchecker. Cole gets out of an Achilles Lock and KILLS EDDIE WITH A DDT ON THE APRON! Cole throws Eddie in the ring and hits a Superfly Splash! SHINING WIZARD OF MURDER! KICKOUT! Cole almost hits the Panama Sunrise, but Eddie dumps him off! ACHILLES LOCK! Cole gets out and gets a couple of CLOSE rollups. STIFF SUPERKICKS! FLORIDA KEY! Adam Cole advances in 15 minutes. ***3/4I like this match over their GBH XI match, mainly because Cole stole the show with his hilarious antics. The "Suck My Dick" oriented offense early on cracked me up and if you just watch ROH and his tags with O'Reilly in PWG, you'd have no idea that he's such a personality inside the ring. He's gotta be on WWE's radar, right? This match was a lot of fun, and a little more action could have put it at or above the four star mark. Depends on your personal tastes, I guess.
Quarterfinal Match: Brian Cage vs. Michael Elgin
This is going to fucking RULE.
As you can imagine, it's a pretty big strength test early on. Michael Elgin is the only guy who can make a Gorilla press exciting. Elgin deadlifts Cage up, but Cage REVERSES INTO A CASADORA! Holy balls. I've never seen him do that. Cage holds Elgin up for a 12 count during a vertical suplex. Elgin slingshots in on Cage with an elbow for a 2 count. ELGIN HOLDS CAGE UP FOR A MINUTE IN A SUPLEX! Christ on a crutch, he's a monster. Exploder from Cage, but ELGIN DON'T GIVE A FUCK! They trade strikes and buy some time to rest. Chaos Theory from Elgin! SITOUT HELLEVATOR! NEARFALL! Cage comes back with a Pumphandle Facebuster for 2. CANADIAN NECKBREAKER! Two count. FRANKENSTEINER FROM CAGE! LIONSAULT! Elgin counters a Discus Lariat into an Air Raid Crash! Two count. Cage puts Elgin up and takes out the ref when he spins Elgin around, and drops him with a Neckbreaker. KEVIN STEEN HITS CAGE WITH AN F-CINQ! KICKOUT! Buckle Bomb from Elgin...INTO A DISCUS LARIAT FROM BRIAN CAGE! NEARFALL! Backfist from Elgin! POWERBOMB! DEADLIFT BUCKLE BOMB! ELGIN BOMB! Elgin advances in 19 minutes. ***3/4This was an awesome big man match, as Elgin showed off his ridiculous strength against a guy much larger than Davey Richards. They really turned it up during the finishing stretch and everything after the Steen interference (which helped the angle after the match) was pure gold. Awesome stuff from Elgin once again.
Post Match: Kevin Steen attacks Brian Cage, but the Younh Bucks save! HERE COMES RICK KNOX! Cage attacks Knox in response. EL GENERICO SAVES! Knox takes the mic and challenges the Bucks and Cage to a match! Knox asks Kevin Steen to put aside his differences for one night with Generico and team up with them. Steen instead flips Generico off and walks away. The crowd chants for Willie Mack instead. That was fun.
Quarterfinal Match: Ricochet vs. Roderick Strong
Ricochet had a phenomenal upset over Kevin Steen last night, while Roddy had a good match with Drake Younger.
GENERIC INDY STANDOFF!~! starts us off. Ricochet misses a back kick but takes Roderick down with a headscissors. Ricochet gets a two count off of a standing moonsault. Strong catches a boot from Ricochet and DRAGS HIM INTO A BACKBREAKER! Two count only. Roddy slows the pace down with a bodyscissors, but Ricochet rolls through to get to the ropes. Ricochet comes back by throwing a couple of elbows and decking Roddy with an enzuigiri. Ricochet hits Meteora for a 2 count. A standing corkscrew moonsault gets 2. Roddy responds with an Olympic Slam for a 2 count. Roddy dumps Ricochet on his face with some kind of slingshot suplex variant. Roddy looks for a suplex backbreaker, but RICOCHET REVERSES INTO A RANA PIN! TWO COUNT! ARGENTINE BACKBREAKER BY STRONG! STRONGHOLD! Ricochet counters out with a hurricanrana and wins the match with a Shooting Star Press to advance in a long 13 minutes. ***They turned it up at the end, but this match dragged most of the way. It felt a hell of a lot longer than 13 minutes, which isn't a good thing. They weren't sloppy and they visibly worked their asses off, but I think a combination of not wanting to burn Ricochet out and just general lack of heat made this match disappointing.
Team Statutory (Joey Ryan, Davey Richards, and Kyle O'Reilly) vs. B-Boy, Drake Younger, and Willie Mack
I don't know if this one is going to be better than Davey's "Good Ol' DR" persona, but I may become a full fledged fan of Davey again after this. Team Statutory is the absolute best name ever.
Former bitter rivals Joey (the team captain) and B-Boy start off. B-Boy mocks Joey a bit before Joey grabs his balls, prompting Mack to yell "You a nasty motherfucker!" and B-Boy to get a chair. Joey feels B-Boy up a bit, so B-Boy TOSSES HIM BY HIS CHEST HAIR. Joey retreats and Davey tags in, and all three Team Statutory members bail, and O'Reilly leaves through the fire exit. He comes back as Davey and O'Reilly resume. O'Reilly gets two chairs to duel with Drake! Drake smashes Kyle's fingers with a chair, so Kyle wants to wrestle now. O'Reilly tries to blindside Younger with a chair, but ends up taking himself out with it and TAKING A MICHINOKU DRIVER ONTO THE CHAIRS! Davey comes in and takes the ass kicking. The face team pulls down Joey and Kyle's trunks, so they head outside. SUPER MOONSAULT FROM YOUNGER ONTO TEAM STATUTORY! Davey shows his ass too for old measure as Team Statutory takes control. God, this match is fucking hilarious. I don't even know how to call some of this stuff. Drake Younger gets the hot tag, and takes Kyle down with a Falcon Arrow and a BELLY TO BELLY INTO THE CORNER! What follows is a Human Centipede of Statutory and Mack pays homage to Human Tornado to make it look like Joey Ryan is banging Davey Richards. This is just bizarre. Everything breaks down afterwards and B-BOY FIREMAN'S CARRY BOMBS KYLE INTO THE CORNER! ALARM CLOCK BY DAVEY ON YOUNGER! DISCUS LARIAT! ANKLE LOCK! CHOCOLATE DRIVER FROM WILLIE! Mack, Younger, and B-Boy win in 15 minutes. ****I want to preface this by saying that the rating is a purely entertainment rating, as the wrestling really didn't matter here. This was just a bizarre, weird, and absolutely hysterical match. Some will be pissy about the overall theme of the humor in the match and some just may not like comedy in wrestling at all, but I really loved how Davey and Kyle stepped out of their comfort zones to entertain the crowd. Davey has always preached about how wrestling needed to represent the athleticism that the wrestlers put out, but he really stepped back and looked to actually have fun for once. That was great to see. This was awesome really, and the wrestling actually got pretty great at the end too. Probably the most purely entertaining match of the weekend so far actually, barring the phenomenal Elgin/Davey match from Night 1.
Semifinal Match: Adam Cole vs. Sami Callihan
This was actually the one non-tournament match I had predicted for Night 2 if you go back and look at my surprisingly douchey predictions for BOLA. Instead, this is a Semifinal for the tournament, which I won't complain about one bit after seeing what Cole and Callihan have done lately. These two are best friends in the wrestling biz and have a documentary out called Wrestleholics. It's alright, but it's no Wrestling Road Diaries.
Sami starts off hot and shoves down the ref in the heat of the moment, so Cole low blows Sami when the ref isn't looking. Sami hits a DVD but finds knees on a Boing Splash. Sami knocks Cole down with springboard lariat, but Cole hits a wheelbarrow suplex on the apron. They head back inside, where Sami HITS FIVE RUNNING KNEES IN THE CORNER! Cole breaks out of a Stetch Muffler and puts on a Figure Four. Sami hits an Alabama Slam in the corner and puts in the Stretch Muffler. Sami heads to the top rope and puts Cole in a Fireman's Carry, but Cole reverses and steals Sami's superkick to the knee on the second rope. Cole hits a couple of superkicks and puts the Figure Four back on. Sami taps in 10 minutes. ***They lost a lot of steam at the end after a hot start, but they kept my attention well enough. The abrupt finish was really surprising, but Cole was good enough to get it over.
Semifinal Match: Michael Elgin vs. Ricochet
This is going to be pretty great.
Ricochet starts off and almost gets caught with a powerbomb, but he takes Elgin down with a headscissors. Elgin then KILLS RICOCHET WITH A SHOULDERBLOCK! Ricochet still tries to gain some momentum, but Elgin CATCHES A MOONSAULT BACK KICK AND PLANTS HIM DOWN WITH A GUNN SLINGER! Ricochet looks for a diving DDT, but Elgin COUNTERS INTO A TILT-A-WHIRL BACKBREAKER! Man, these counters are fucking mean. Elgin holds Ricochet up in a suplex for a minute, but Ricochet COUNTERS WITH A DDT! Ricochet does an awesome job of selling the elevation afterwards, which is something I'm sure not a lot of wrestlers would do. STANDING SHOOTING STAR PRESS FROM RICOCHET! TWO COUNT! Elgin reverses an Irish Whip into a PUMPHANDLE SUPLEX! Only a two count, but that was a great counter. Ricochet sends Elgin out of the ring with an enzuigiri and he DIVES OVER THE RINGPOST WITH A 450 TOPE CON HILO~! Holy SHIT! Elgin counters Meteora into an Air Raid Crash! RICOCHET REVERSES AN ELGIN BOMB INTO A REVERSE RANA!~! SHOOTING STAR PRESS! NEARFALL!~! Elgin meets Ricochet on the top rope, but ELGIN REVERSES A SUPER RANA INTO A SUPERBOMB! ELGIN BOMB~! Michael Elgin advances to the finals in a fantastic 14 minutes. ****1/4I teetered between giving this one the extra quarter star (I know, stupid) but I think they put in enough effort and drop-dead excitement to justify the high rating. Michael Elgin is just an amazing, amazing wrestler and after seeing his matches this weekend, I'm also 100% completely sold on Ricochet. He hit every spot cleanly, which is something a lot of guys who focus on flips (not saying that's a bad thing) are unable to do. This is on par with Ricochet's match with Kevin Steen the night before, and I can't wait to see what Cole and Elgin do to each other in the finals. Tremendous match here.
The Young Bucks & Brian Cage vs. El Generico & Rick Knox
Knox and Generico are waiting on a pending Kevin Steen for a partner, but I can't imagine that they got their hopes up too much. Crazy that Rick Knox is finally wrestling the Bucks after taking years of abuse from them. Rick Knox gets the pop of the night, unsurprisingly.
Nick Jackson asks for Rick Knox to tag in, so he gets his wish. Nick puts Knox down with a shoulderblock, but Knox takes Nick down with a back elbow and a double team axe handle to the arm with Generico. Generico tags in with Matt Jackson and takes him down with the armdrag combo he does. Knox hits a dropkick on Matt, and tags Generico back in. The Bucks end up taking Generico back over and they tag Cage in for the first time. They all work on Generico's arm. Generico nearly tags out to Knox after fending the Bucks off, but they still overtake him. Generico goes out of the ring to try and get the tag, but Cage cuts him off. Before Generico finally gets the tag, Nick sweeps Knox off of the apron. BRAINBUSTER ON CAGE FROM GENERICO! HERE'S KEVIN STEEN! Steen offers his hand to Generico! Generico pauses AND TAGS KEVIN STEEN FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THREE YEARS! ELEVATED DDT BY STEEN ON NICK JACKSON! Generico stops a tope suicida from Steen, and Steen does likewise. ALL THREE DO STEREO SOMERSAULT PLANCHAS! Cage connects with a deadlift superplex on Steen! Matt Jackson tries to tear Generico's mask off, so Generico kills him with a Michinoku Driver! Rick Knox finally tags back in, but the Bucks flatten him with Early Onset Alzheimer's. Steen and Generico try to save Knox from More Bang For Your Buck, but Knox ends up getting out himself! VIOLENCE PARTY BY RICK KNOX! SUPERKICK ON NICK BY KNOX! DOUBLE LARIAT!! DOUBLE YAKUZA KICK FROM GENERICO! DOUBLE SAMOAN DROP FROM STEEN! KNOX KILLS MATT WITH A FUCKING TORNADO DDT!~! PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! BRAINBUSTER! BIG SPLASH FROM KNOX~! Steen, Generico, and Steen win a barnburner in 18 minutes. ****This was a massively entertaining match. It wasn't really anything special for the first 7 minutes or so, but after Kevin Steen entered the match, everything turned to gold. This was exciting as hell and it's insane that Rick Knox is one of the most over guys in all of PWG. Every move he pulled off got an insane response, including that inexplicable Tornado DDT that he did. You can say that they're burying the Young Bucks by having them lose to a referee, but fuck you. This is PWG, probably the most unpredictable wrestling promotion in the US. This was so much fun, and the awesome Steen/Generico interaction was made even better by the fact that they never really made up. This is--by far--the most entertaining match involving a referee in wrestling history.
After the match, Steen and Generico tease making nice, but they trade middle fingers instead. Awww.
2012 Battle of Los Angeles Finals: Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin
These two had a decent match at ROH Border Wars five months ago, but they haven't had any significant interaction since. This has been a phenomenal tournament so far and I have faith in these two to cap it off in the best way possible. 2:14
In a HILARIOUS moment, Excalibur accidentally calls Elgin "Michael Cole." Kevin Steen gets on his ass for that one and they talk about how that needs to be on Botchamania, even giving 411's (and Botchamania's!) Maffew a namedrop. Elgin starts off eating an enzuigiri, but he sends Cole out of the ring with a fallaway slam. Elgin back suplexes Cole on the apron and they head around the stage, where Kevin Steen is adamant about saving the BOLA trophy. I LOVE KEVIN STEEN. Elgin KILLS COLE WITH A BODYSLAM ON THE FLOOR! Cole hits the DDT on the apron and gets a 2 count out of it. ELGIN KILLS COLE WITH AN AIR RAID CRASH ON THE APRON! Kevin Steen lets out the longest, most obnoxious scream to that. I love Kevin Steen. Cole dodges the twisting senton and hits a Shining Wizard for a 2 count. DELAYED CHAOS THEORY! Two count only. SUPERKICK FROM COLE! LARIAT FROM ELGIN! TWO COUNT! KNEE BRAINBUSTER FROM COLE! 2 COUNT! Cole puts in a Figure Four now. FLORIDA KEY FROM COLE! NEARFALL! Elgin gets 2 off of a small package and KILLS COLE WITH A BACKFIST TO THE HEAD! BUCKLE BOMB! ELGIN BOMB! NEARFALL~! Awesome false finish, there. Elgin goes up top and looks for a super bomb but Cole takes him down with a sunset bomb! Shining Wizard! ELGIN IS UP AT ONE! SUPERKICK FROM COLE, BUT ELGIN CONNECTS WITH A HELLEVATOR! PANAMA SUNRISE! FLORIDA KEY! Adam Cole wins the Battle of Los Angeles 2012 in 14 minutes. ****With this kind of fatigue under their belts, this was the best possible match they could have in such a small window of time. It reminded me a lot of how great the DDT4 finals were this year, as even though a lot of matches were wrestled within a 3 hour time period, the finalists still managed to put on an uber-exciting match to send the crowd home happy. I loved the whole tournament, and for pure drama this is probably second-best match of the weekend. For 14 minutes, you can't get any better than this.
After the match, Cole cuts a fantastic promo about how he is denouncing the "future" label people give him, saying he's the best around. He calls Kevin Steen out and says that his PWG Title is in trouble. Steen comes into the ring and says that Adam Cole caught lightning in a bottle by winning BOLA, but before he can finish the promo, Cole kicks him in the balls and decks him with the title. Cole steals the belt and leaves with his BOLA Trophy. Awesome ending to a fantastic show.
As good as Adam Cole was during the tournament, no one matched Michael Elgin for match-to-match performance. During the course of the weekend, Elgin had one high-end MOTYC, two low-end MOTYC, and a match hovering around the four star mark. That's just insane...dare I say it, workrate from the biggest breakout star of 2012. Kudos to Adam Cole for showing me just how good he is, and kudos to Michael Elgin for showing me that he is one of the best wrestlers going today. I did say in my predictions that Willie Mack needed to win this tournament, but I will gladly eat the crow I deserve to be given for such bold predictions. This tournament was built upon twists, turns, and upsets. In hindsight, that's the best thing they could have done for quality and excitement. The rise of Adam Cole as a heel and the cementing of Michael Elgin as a wrestling machine pretty much make this year's edition of BOLA, and it's the best way they could have gone about it. This weekend is exactly why PWG is the best promotion in North America at the moment. Unpredictability, exciting wrestling, and most of all, fun. This is why we're wrestling fans when you get right down to it.
The 411: Four matches hit the four star mark, count 'em, FOUR. That's insane. This--as crazy as it sounds--topped the Show of the Year candidate that was BOLA Night 1! It's still hard to say that this is as good as Threemendous III was, but it's still a totally watchable show with insane variety when it comes to the style of matches you want to see. The tournament continued with a force and totally tops DDT4 as PWG's best tourney of the year and I would wager that BOLA 2012 was the best tournament to happen in wrestling this year, in any promotion. You can't get much better than this folks. I can't go quite to 10 (mainly because I don't think it's as strong as GBH XI & Threemendous III overall) but still, a STRONG thumbs up for the 2012 Battle of Los Angeles, with Night Two being the better show.