Views from the Hawke's Nest: PWG Battle of Los Angeles Night 3 2007
Posted by TJ Hawke on 08.21.2014
The 2007 BOLA ends on a fantastic note!
September 2, 2007
Commentators: Excalibur & Disco Machine
Block A Quarterfinal Match Roderick Strong vs. Joey Ryan (w/Jade Chung)
I have no idea why Joey Ryan would ever advance past the first round of a singles tournament.
They ended up on the floor, and Joey got control. Back in the ring, Roddy avoided a Mustache Ride and made a comeback. They went back and forth. Roddy avoided a superkick and hit a Sick Kick. Jade distracted the ref during that pinfall. Roddy got caught with a schoolboy, but he kicked out. Roddy then got the Strong Hold, and Joey tapped out.
Roddy vs. Chris Hero would have been better (and I do not say that lightly). Match Rating: **
Block A Quarterfinal Match Alex Shelley vs. Matt Sydal
This is tremendously nifty on paper. I would prefer for Shelley to go over, but I’m assuming Sydal does.
Sydal got control at the start, but Shelley slowed him down with a wheelbarrow German. Shelley was in control for a while. Sydal started to come back, but Shelley turned him inside out with a lariat. Sydal got a couple of tight pinning combinations for some good nearfalls. Sydal got another good nearfall with the Here It Is Driver. Sydal got *another* nearfall with a rolling super ‘rana. Shelley blocked a standing moonsault and then hit a folding powerbomb. Shelley hit a superkick, and Sydal took a moonsault bump for it. I howled. Shelley hit a frogsplash: 1…2…NO! Sydal connected on a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Sydal went for the SSP, but Shelley caught him with an Ace Crusher! Release Tiger! 2K1 Bomb: 1…2…3!
This was a lot of movez and nearfalls, but it worked for me. Shelley was in control for a while, but once Sydal saw an opening, he tried to put the match away as fast as possible. That’s a smart strategy for a tournament match. On top of that, it was quite enjoyable with a lively crowd. Thumbs up! Match Rating: ***1/2
Block B Quarterfinal Match Claudio Castagnoli vs. PAC
This matchup is just so delightful on paper.
They did a couple of cool things early on before the match settled down with Claudio in control. Claudio hit a giant swing. PAC sent Claudio to the floor with a crazy headscissors, and he followed it up with a no-hands, 450 hurricanrana dive. Holy fuck. Back in the ring, Claudio hit a German for a nearfall. PAC reversed a Ricola Bomb into a Yoshi Tonic for a good nearfall. PAC did some fancy flips and rolls, but Claudio then caught him with a bicycle kick and the Waterslide. PAC came back with a satellite DDT and British Airways: 1…2…3!
Well, this was clearly the best match of the whole weekend so far. It was one of the few matches all weekend that seemed to be trying to put something unique together instead of falling into independent wrestling clichés. Let’s hope the WWE books many matches between these two for the next decade. Match Rating: ***3/4
Block B Quarterfinal Match CIMA vs. Shingo Takagi
Yet another Dragon Gate vs. Dragon Gate match during this weekend. I do not approve!
CIMA went after Shingo’s right arm. CIMA was in control for a while due to his work on that arm. Shingo finally slowed him down with a headlock swing. Shingo hit a spinebuster variation and then got a crossface. CIMA came back with a lung blower. Shingo came back with a variety of power movez. I always loved the Alley Oop, because it was Big Show’s finisher in one of the Smackdown games instead of the chokeslam. Shingo killed him with the Pumping Bomber: 1…2…NO! I’m not sure what the point of the arm was if it wasn’t going to lead to stuff with the lariat arm. CIMA came back with Schwein: 1…2…NO! Woah! Shingo hit another deadly lariat, but CIMA managed to catch him with a nifty pinning combination: 1…2…3!
Despite one of my biggest pet peeves being done (working over a limb and not paying that story off), I really enjoyed this. CIMA clearly tried to make Takagi look quite beastly, and Takagi overpowering him and surviving one of CIMA’s finishers helped create a great dynamic down the stretch. Match Rating: ***1/2
Block C Quarterfinal Match Nigel McGuinness vs. The Necro Butcher
Necro attacked Nigel from behind and the match turned into a crowd brawl right away. Nigel got control by going after the injured knee and hitting a lariat. Nigel then went after Necro’s injured leg in the ring. Nigel caught him with a big lariat, but Necro popped up and hit one of his one. Nigel came right back with another. Necro hit two in a row and then brought in chairs. Nigel came back with a suplex onto the chairs (his knee crashed on the chairs) and then the rebound lariat: 1…2…3
Oh my gosh, do I ever miss Nigel McGuinness doing Nigel McGuinness things. Nigel smartly worked Necro over, Necro made a valiant comeback, but his injury came back into play and allowed him to be finished by Nigel. Just a super well-worked midcard match. Match Rating: ***1/2
Block C Quarterfinal Match El Generico vs. Dragon Kid
Generico quickly cut off Kid and then worked him over. Kid came back and sent Generico to the floor. Kid then hit a moonsault to the floor. Back in the ring, they started going back and forth. There was not a great sense of urgency to their movement. Generico eventually went for the turnbuckle brainbuster, but Kid reversed it into a stunner. Kid caught himself on the ropes on the way down and almost broke his body in half. Dragonrana: 1…2…NO! Generico came back with the Yakuza and the turnbuckle brainbuster: 1…2…3
This was a good little match, but you could not help but feel that these two could put on a spectacular match under different circumstances. This felt like the bare minimum of what they could do. Match Rating: ***
Block A Semifinal Match Alex Shelley vs. Roderick Strong
This feels like a waste of Alex Shelley, but maybe 2014 eyes are clouding my judgment on Roddy.
Shelley got an early advantage and hit a plancha to the floor. Shelley continued to run through Roddy for a while until Roddy hit a gutbuster form the Tower of London position. Roddy was in control until Shelley hit a reverse STO. He followed it up with a Togo senton. Roddy came back with a Sick Kick. Shelley came back with a swinging DDT and a 2K1 Bomb: 1…2…NO! Roddy actually caught him with the Border City stretch. Shelley made the ropes. Shelley got the Sliced Bread #2: 1…2…NO! Shelley got the Border City Stretch. Roddy rolled through and hit two Gibson Drivers: 1…2…3!
This match was performed from a technical standpoint, but it did not emotionally engage me much beyond just hoping Shelley would somehow move on. Match Rating: **3/4
Block B Semifinal Match CIMA vs. PAC
These two would have a spectacular Dream Gate Championship match in 2012.
PAC casually hit a standing corkscrew moonsault early on because he is PAC. PAC was in control for a bit, but CIMA came back out of nowhere with a double stomp. CIMA was in control after that. PAC came back and hit a corkscrew moonsault to the floor. Back in the ring, CIMA avoided a shooting star knee stomp and hit a lung blower. CIMA made a big comeback and got a great nearfall on a 2K1 bomb. PAC planted CIMA with a spiked DDT. CIMA came back and hit a diving Schwein: 1…2…3
Much like the last match, there was a little something missing from this one, but they managed to entertain me a tad more. CIMA can sort of feel like HHH at times in terms of how much he goes over more interesting and younger guys, but he’s pretty good about giving them a fair amount. That seemed to be what was happening here. Match Rating: ***
Block C Semifinal Match Nigel McGuinness vs. El Generico
These two had some great matches and underwhelming matches in Ring of Honor.
Nigel got control and started going after Generico’s left arm. Nigel was just generally in control for a long time. So, this was the basis of every match these guys would ever have together. Generico eventually came back with some flippy stuff. Nigel came back with a lariat and the Tower of London: 1…2…NO! Nigel went for a second mule kick, but Generico gave him a yakuza kick for his arrogance. Divorce court from Nigel. Nigel got an arm submission, but Generico survived and hit a brainbuster: 1…2…NO! Nigel got a small package, but Generico survived. Generico avoided the rebound lariat and got a schoolboy: 1…2…3!
Hey now, this was a heck of a match, but the crowd really wasn’t there to provide the best environment possible. These two were probably two of the best wrestlers of the 2000s though, so it was always a treat to watch them do their thing in the ring together. Match Rating: ***3/4
Austin Aries, Davey Richards, Jimmy Rave, Karl Anderson, Scott Lost, & Human Tornado (w/ Jade Chung) vs. Chris Hero, Kevin Steen, Tyler Black, Jack Evans, Doug Williams, & Susumu Yokosuka (w/ Candice LeRae)
The teams went back and forth forever. Jack Evans was eventually cut off after a long period of movez, shenanigans, gaga, and tomfoolery. The BAD guys got the heat on Evans for a while. Jack Evans made a hot tag and the match broke down at the same time, as Evans tagged in all five of his partners. Rave ate Jumbo No Kachi and Mugen. Cue all the movez. Karl Anderson botched a slingshot move. There were some big divez. Tornado did a feint dive to troll the crowd. Tornado then went after Candice, but that allowed Hero to catch him with a backslide: 1…2…3!
This was fun enough, but it did not effectively showcase anyone in the match nor work out greatly as a match. It’s worth watching though for the randomness of it. Match Rating: ***
2007 Battle of Los Angles Finals CIMA vs. El Generico vs. Roderick Strong
Generico hit an early fosbury flop on the other two men. Was CIMA Dream Gate champion at this time? That rings a bell. (Dammit, he was. I should have known that.) It would make his run in this tournament make a lot more sense. They avoided the “two men in, one man out” structure early on. Thumbs up! Generico gave Roddy a yakuza and a brainbuster on the apron. CIMA then gave Generico a Venus and a Schwein on the apron: 1…2…NO! CIMA hit a superkick, brainbuster, and a wrist-clutch Schwein: 1…2…3! El Generico is eliminated
Roddy should have been eliminated first. CIMA hit some movez. He hit a diving DDT and a Schwein: 1…2…NO! Cross-legged Schwein: 1…2…NO! Roddy came roaring back with a Sick Kick and a Gibson Driver: 1…2…NO! CIMA avoided a second Gibson Driver and hit two double stomps. CROSSFIRE: 1…2…3!
Why do I write ‘Cima’ as ‘CIMA’? Because he is CIMA. Bryan Danielson showed up to present CIMA with the trophy. Danielson and CIMA both made clear they wanted a match for the title. They teased doing the match now, but CIMA then made clear he had no energy for it.
This was a fitting end to the tournament. It was not the best match of the tournament, but they produced something worthy of the prestige of the tournament. Match Rating: ***1/2
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The 411: This is one of the most beloved tournaments in independent wrestling history. I’ve always been hesitant to believe that because all the reviews seemed to not have any standout matches in it. Now that I’ve seen the tournament, I definitely relate to the fond feelings for the tournament despite the lack of great matches. This was a great tournament to experience, and I completely recommend that you check out the whole thing.