PWG 2016 Battle of Los Angeles, Stage One

September 2, 2016

From the American Legion Post #308 in Reseda, CA

Your hosts are Excalibur and Chuck Taylor

 

 

Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match: Marty Scurll vs. Pentagon Jr.

The crowd is rabid at the start of this show. Scurll and Pentagon get face-to-face then work a reversal sequence ending with both guys in the crane kick position as the crowd goes nuts. Scurll pokes Pentagon in the eyes and lets the crowd know how smart he is as he takes control of the match. Scurll attacks the arm then tries to unmask Pentagon as the crowd boos. Scurll then ties the back of Pentagon’s mask to the ropes and kicks him in the face before bowing to the crowd. The referee unties Pentagon then Scurll fires away. Scurll taunts the crowd then tells to be quiet as he likes to wrestle in silence. Pentagon comes back with a kick to the face and follows with a pair of sling blades. Scurll rolls out after getting hit with a super kick but throws a chair at Pentagon’s face as he attempted a dive. Scurll hits a pair of super kicks from the apron then flies through the ropes with a swinging DDT. Scurll takes his time then gets kicked outside as Pentagon flies out with a tope con hilo. Pentagon hits a chop outside but Scurll ducks a second attempt as Pentagon chops the post. Scurll rolls Pentagon inside and gets two with a double underhook toss. Pentagon catches Scrull with a super kick then Scurll fakes him out to kick him in the shin. Scurll hits a rebound clothesline after getting hit with a super kick but Pentagon floats over in the corner and hits a lungblower for two as the bottom rope is very, very loose. Scurll comes back with a tornado DDT for two. He sets up for a charge but Pentagon catches him with a super kick then suplexes him in the corner. Pentagon works the arm but Scurll reverses and gets a rollup for two. They trade strikes until Scurll hits a brainbuster for two. Scurll messes around with Pentagon then gets caught with a pumphandle driver for two. Pentagon then hits a package piledriver but Scurll is able to kick out as the crowd chants “that was three” as everyone is in disbelief. Pentagon then gets his fingers broken but he pops them back in place. Pentagon then sets up for another package piledriver but Scurll counters mid-move and puts Pentagon in the chicken wing as the crowd goes mental and gets the win (13:07) ***1/4. After the match, Scurll refuses to shake hands and flips Pentagon off as he leaves. The crowd gives Pentagon a standing ovation as he bows and celebrates.

Thoughts: The first half of this match was excellent but they hit a rut in the middle and never maintained that level, although the last minute or so was really fun. Maybe the bottom rope coming loose had something to do with that but they were having issues before it happened. Regardless, Scurll’s heel work was fantastic as usual and Pentagon did great at getting the crowd behind him. Both guys are pros at getting the crowd into the match.

 

Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match: Jeff Cobb vs. Ricochet

Cobb tosses Ricochet, who takes a breather outside. Ricochet heads in and lands a few punches. He kips right up after getting knocked down then Cobb knocks him across the ring. Cobb does a handstand out of a headscissors but Ricochet sends him outside with a pair of kicks. Ricochet fakes a dive then poses as he’s been a bit heelish in this match. He gets two with a senton then hits the People’s Moonsault but Cobb rolls through and picks Ricochet up for a running powerslam in a cool spot as that gets two. Cobb tosses Ricochet with an overhead suplex for two. Ricochet comes back with a Superman elbow smash as both men are down. Ricochet gets caught after a springboard move but floats over and ends up catching Cobb and hitting him with an exploder in the corner. Cobb sells his shoulder and rolls outside as Ricochet does an insane dive while jumping off of the ring post and lands on his feet. Back inside, Ricochet gets two with a springboard 450 splash. Cobb catches Ricochet and tosses him as both men are down. Cobb catches Ricochet’s foot during a roundhouse kick and hits him with a capture suplex for two. Cobb gets another nearfall with a suplex then after an awesome reversal sequence he takes Ricochet down with a diving headbutt as both men are down. They get up and trade strikes for a while as these guys are giving it all out there. They have another reversal sequence that ends with Ricochet hitting a powerbomb. He then heads up top and almost puts Cobb away with a Phoenix Splash. He gets up Cobb and hits the Benadryller but Cobb is just able to kick out. Ricochet heads back up top after dragging Cobb closer but he misses the 630 splash as both men are down. Cobb gets up and hits a wild deadlift suplex then tries for the Tour of the Islands but Ricochet reverses that with a small package for the win (13:51) ****1/4.

Thoughts: Awesome match. Cobb’s power moves are a blast to watch and Ricochet was his usual great self. I liked the finish too as it kept Cobb looking strong. This is a must-see match as Cobb has shown rapid improvement over the past several months and has instantly got himself over with the PWG crowd.

 

Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match: Matt Sydal vs. John Hennigan

Hennigan really playing up to the crowd here, who are chanting “ECW” at two guys formerly on the WWE ECW brand.  Hennigan works the arm to start. They start kicking each other and work a double-catch as they both place their foot down. They go back to kick each other until Sydal hits a hurricarana. Hennigan comes back with a leg lariat then hits a Russian leg sweep and does some taunting. Hennigan stays in control as the crowd boos. Sydal fights back and hits a clothesline before going to work on the leg. Sydal hits a jumping knee strike but Hennigan ducks a roundhouse kick and hits one of his own in a cool spot as that gets two. He hits a running knee strike to the face then goes for the Starship Pain but Sydal cuts him off then hits the slice for two. Hennigan is able to cheap shot Sydal but runs into a spinning heel kick. Sydal gets two with a clothesline. They fight up top where Hennigan blocks a sunset bomb and hits a springboard kick. He gets two with a standing shooting star press but misses an elbow drop. Sydal heads up top and dodges a Pele Kick and comes off with the double knee smash. He lands on his feet after a shooting star press but Hennigan catches him with a standing Spanish Fly then hits the Starship Pain for the win (14:13) ***.

Thoughts: The first half of this was underwhelming and wrestled like a WWE house show match but it got better towards the end. Hennigan did great as a heel and the crowd booed him throughout and the two had a solid match. Sydal was his usual solid self as well.

 

Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match: Fenix vs. Will Ospreay

They start off going back-and-forth in an insane sequence that ends with Ospreay hitting a Flying Space Tiger Drop. Fenix then dropkicks Ospreay off of the apron and hits a crazy tornillo as the crowd goes mental. Back inside, Ospreay dropkicks Fenix in midair then hits a slingshot back suplex. Ospreay works the arm for a bit then grabs a chinlock until Fenix breaks out with a Pele Kick. Ospreay tries it again and gets hit with another kick as Fenix is in control. Fenix hits a jumping frog splash then a standing moonsault for two. Fenix eats boot on a charge but Fenix hits him with a jumping super kick to cut him off the top rope then takes him off with a double springboard hurricarana as that gets two. They trade strikes until knocking each other down with roundhouse kicks. They get up and work some crazy spot where Fenix gets backdropped but in midair manages to hit a hurricarana as Ospreay cartwheels and lands on his feet. Ospreay hits a super kick then a running shooting star press before hitting a twisting moonsault for two as he is in disbelief. Man, that was slick. Ospreay then tucks Fenix’s head underneath the buckle and hits a super kick. Fenix slips off the top and drills Ospreay with a springboard kick then tries a Spanish Fly but both men land on their feet and have a staredown as the crowd is going nuts. Fenix hits Ospreay with a springboard cutter then rolls through with a Dragon Sleeper. Ospreay gets to his feet but Fenix picks him up for a Fire Thunder Driver as that almost puts away Ospreay. Fenix heads up top and tries a double jump 450 but Ospreay gets his knees up. Ospreay hits a twisting kick then gets the win with a springboard cutter (10:27) ****1/4.

Thoughts: These two guys put on a tremendous show. The moves and athleticism were off the charts and both guys were crazy over with the crowd. This was a treat to watch and the match length was perfect as it did not burn out the crowd. Definitely check this one out, especially if you are not that familiar with either guy.

 

Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match: Tommy End vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

These two start off on the mat. They work a reverse sequence after that as End’s leg is on Sabre’s shoulder, as Sabre removes it and shakes it like a hand before placing it on the mat as End shows Sabre he could have kicked his head off. Sabre tries to ground End but is unable as they end in a stalemate. End kicks Sabre down after they traded strikes as that gets two. End kicks Sabre in the corner but Sabre takes him down and kicks End in the arm. Sabre goes back to working the arm and bends it in all sorts of directions. He sends End down with an uppercut then goes back to the arm. End escapes and fights back with a barrage of kicks before sending Sabre down with a knee strike. End heads up top but Sabre cuts him off then goes back to working the arm. Sabre follows End outside then End runs up top and hits a moonsault. End cuts Sabre off with a knee smash then rolls him inside and gets two with a double stomp. Sabre fights back but End blocks the Penalty Kick and rolls through with a single leg crab. Sabre escapes then catches End with a double underhook brainbuster. Sabre eats boot on a charge as End runs wild. End hits another double stomp then counters a LeBell lock. Sabre tries for a hanging kimura but End deadlifts him for a brainbuster as both men are down. They finally get up and knock each other down with roundhouse kicks. They trade all sorts of stuff at a rapid pace after that then both guys are down again after Sabre hit a back suplex. Sabre is up first and works on End’s arm. End fights out then catches Sabre and hangs him upside down before kicking him in the midsection. They trade strikes from the mat then get up on their feet. Sabre kicks the s--- out of End but runs into a spin kick. End tries another double stomp but Sabre rolls away and puts him in the Octopus Hold for the win (16:41) ****. After the match, the crowd chants “Thank you, Tommy” who is on his way to the WWE.

Thoughts: Another fantastic match. These guys did a lot of striking and mat work which was a nice contrast from the previous match. Sabre really looked great here and End also showcased why the WWE signed him to a deal. His unique look and striking offense should be a great fit in NXT.

 

Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match: Chris Hero vs. Jushin Thunder Liger

Liger is insanely over with this crowd. Both guys shake hands to start, although Hero disrespects Liger by petting him on the head. Liger takes Hero down and stretches him out. Hero escapes and backs Liger into the corner as he is getting frustrated. Liger sidesteps Hero and tosses him outside before teasing a dive as the crowd goes nuts. Hero heads back inside and sends Liger into the corner with a bicycle kick. Liger comes back with a palm strike and heads up top but Hero rolls away then hits a discus boot to the face. Hero is in control now as the announcers put him over as one of the favorites to win BOLA. He heads up top but Liger cuts him off and hits a superplex as both men are down. Liger hits a palm strike and a facecrusher then gets two with a splash from the middle rope. Hero hits a ripcord elbow then steps over with a snap piledriver as that gets two. The crowd boos Hero, who tells them to shut up as he taunts Liger to get up. Liger lands a few strikes but gets it with a knee smash. Hero then whips Liger, who comes back with a rolling Koppu Kick as both men are down. Liger tries for his Liger Bomb but Hero blocks that and elbows him down. Hero tries for a brainbuster but Liger blocks that and hits one of his own as both men are down. Hero knocks Liger down and heads up top but Liger cuts him off and hits a powerbomb for two. Hero comes back with an elbow and hits him hard but cannot put him away. Hero slowly gets up and sets up for the Liger Bomb and hits him but Liger kicks out at one and gets to his feet as the crowd goes insane. Liger charges but Hero hits him with an elbow. Hero then hits a ripcord elbow before putting him away with the Death Blow (15:06) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Even at 51 years of age, Liger can still go in the ring. Hero was great in this match and showed why he is currently one of the best wrestlers in the world today. This was about as good a match as you could hope for and the crowd loved it as Liger was the face and Hero the heel. Two pros doing what they do best.

 

Dalton Castle & Young Boys vs. Adam Cole & Young Bucks

Before the match, Cole & The Bucks point out how the Young Boys look different than usual. They are obviously Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly but play along. Cole and Castle start off and do some comedy. Castle sits on the top rope then the boys kneel down in front of him so he can use them like steps but Cole pokes him in the eye. The Boys fan Castle off then duck a triple super kick and use Castle’s pose before hitting them all with slams.They start off with the match as Cole hits a slam then they call for a triple shooting star press but the Boys come out and fan Nick, who sells the wind and crotches himself. They do more comedy with the fans as Castle & The Boys tease dives and do a strut. Castle ends up flying outside with a tope then grounds Cole on the mat. He tags the Boys as we get a lot more comedy, especially from O’Reilly against his enemy Cole. Fish reveals himself when his mask falls off but he puts it back on as he getting beat on in the corner. Fish’s mask falls off again then Cole puts it on and prances around the ring. Fish fights back and tries for the tag but his partners get hit with a double super kick. Fish tags out after hitting an exploder as Castle runs wild for a bit. The Bucks come back and take control as Castle is now in trouble. Castle fights back and tags out then O’Reilly surprises Cole after taking off his mask. The match breaks down as Castle almost puts Nick away with a German suplex. He tries for the Bang-a-Rang but Nick slips off and hits a super kick. Everyone is down then Castle catches Nick with another Bang-a-Rang but Matt & Cole breaks that up. The Bucks hit the Boys with double low-blow but Castle knocks them down. Cole catches Castle with a kick then hits the Panama Sunrise then hit Castle & Fish with a double Meltzer Driver (19:12) **1/4.

Thoughts: I get that this was comedy but it fell apart towards the end. The first several minutes were amusing but Fish’s mask kept falling off and the whole story of O’Reilly unmasking to beat on Cole was spoiled. The highlight was Chuck Taylor on commentary. He was absolutely hilarious and a reason to watch this match.

 

Final Thoughts: A fantastic show and even better than last year’s Night One BOLA. By my count there were three **** matches and all of the tournament matches were good and showcased a variety of styles, making it a blast to watch. Easily one of the best shows of the year and I am really looking forward to seeing Night Two, which will be recapped next Wednesday.

 

Do yourself a favor and get this show on DVD here and watch the trailer below