PWG 2017 Battle of Los Angeles, Stage One

September 1, 2017

From American Legion Post #308 in Reseda, CA

Excalibur and Chuck Taylor are your hosts

BOLA 1st Round Match: Dezmond Xavier vs. Brian Cage

Cage runs over Xavier to start. Xavier uses his speed then comes back with a dropkick that sends Cage back a step or two. Cage comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors then a hurricarana after Xavier talked some trash. Cage catches Xavier and hits a pair of backbreakers and follows with some clotheslines in the corner. Xavier gets tossed across the ring as Cage hammers away. Xavier comes back but Cage catches a 619 attempt then swings Xavier into the post. Cage superplexes Xavier back inside from the apron for a nearfall then stays in control as he blocks a comeback attempt. Xavier finally does fight back and hits a cutter. Cage rolls outside after getting hit with a dropkick then Xavier takes him out with a Flying Space Tiger Drop. Back inside, Cage rolls away from a double stomp but Xavier hits him with a standing twisting moonsault for two. Xavier then hits a Cradle Shock for a nearfall as both men are down then Xavier heads up but Cage picks him up then after a brief reversal sequence hits a Death Valley Driver for a two count. F5 gets a two count. They trade kicks then Xavier avoids a corner splash and hits a few enziguiris to the back of the neck. Pele Kick gets two. Spiral Tap gets two. Cage then catches Xavier with a spinebuster then a pair of powerbombs but Cage lets him kick out. Cage then sets up for a suplex but Xavier floats over and turns it into a reverse rollup for the win (10:39) ***1/4.

Thoughts: I liked opening up this show with a surprise win. It sets the tone for the rest of the tournament that anyone can win at any given time. Xavier is athletic and had a good showing while Cage showed off his strength, like usual.

 

BOLA 1st Round Match: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Marty Scurll

This is Webster’s PWG debut. Scurll yells at the crowd and says he does what he wants then talks trash to Webster and says he was last year’s BOLA champion. He also tells Webster so save himself the embarrassment and go back home. Webster then drills Scrull with a headbutt and covers for what seems like the win but they ruled that Scurll’s foot was underneath the ropes. Scurll rolls outside where Webster flies out with a tope con hilo then he runs and take Scurll out with a crossbody as Scurll was on a chair. Back inside, Webster hits a swanton bomb to the back for a nearfall. Scurll sidesteps a pescado and powerbombs Webster on a pile of chairs. Scurll slides a few chairs inside as you can see Dave Meltzer right next to him as he tosses it at Webster’s back. Scurll hits a backbreaker as a dueling chant for Scurll breaks out. Back suplex gets two then Scurll tosses Webster into the front row at a guy who was talking shit about him. Back inside, Scurll hits some stomps and kicks but Webster avoids a charge and hits a flying clothesline. Webster follows with a step-up knee strike in the corner then takes Scurll off of the top with a hurricarana. Webster hits a facebuster then a senton but Scurll uses the ref as a shield in the corner and rakes the eyes. Webster gets tossed outside then kicked off of the apron. Scurll hits a soccer kick from the apron then takes another chair from a fan and brings it inside. Scurll tosses the chair at Webster, who then tosses it to the ref before taking Scurll down with a headbutt as that gets two. Webster hits another headbutt then uses a front chancery but Scurll breaks that with a front suplex. Scurll gets two with a kick to the face but Webster blocks a chicken wing attempt. Scurll gets a rollup and grabs the ropes but the ref stops the count. Webster comes back with a rollup then a moonsault press before getting a nearfall with a pedigree-type move. Webster climbs up top but took too long as Scurll cuts him off then hits a superplex but Webster cradles him on the landing for a two count. Scurll comes back with an Emerald Frosion for two then super kicks Webster in midair. Scurll then locks on the chicken wing after a struggle and Webster has no choice but to tap out (15:49) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Webster impressed in his PWG debut despite coming up short. The spot at the beginning would have been nuts if that was the finish but with a surprise win in the opening match so it did not need to happen here. I liked the match and thought it was very good but it would have been better with a few minutes shaved off.

 

BOLA 1st Round Match: Rey Horus vs. Rey Fenix

They trade headlocks and holds on the mat to start. After that they trade arm drags and end in a stalemate as the fans applaud. We now get a lucha sequence but it appears that Horus tweaked his knee. Fenix then hits an elaborate springboard arm drag and takes off his shirt. Fenix slides outside then catches Horus with a powerbomb into the apron. Fenix hits a spin kick then heads back inside for a slingshot senton that gets two. Horus then reverses a powerbomb into a Code Red for two as both men are down. Horus gets a nearfall with a hurricarana then heads up top and rolls through a stomp to get caught with a pop up knee smash. Fenix drills Horus with a super kick for a two count then Horus rolls outside for a breather then returns and gets kicked in the head again. Fenix heads up top but Horus gets up and shoves him outside then hits a coast-to-coast tope con hilo as a “lucha” chant breaks out. Back inside, Fenix rolls through a crossbody and catches Horus with a cutter in midair as that gets two. They trade strikes for a bit then Horus hits a floating DDT in midair that looked insane and hits a standing Spanish Fly for two as the crowd gives that a standing ovation. They both take each other out with rolling elbow smashes as the crowd is really into this match. Horus misses a charge in the corner then Fenix hits a double jump moonsault press for two as both men are back down on the mat. Horus takes Fenix off of the top then heads outside to set up some chairs then tries to superplex Fenix outside but Fenix blocks that and hits a Spanish Fly back into the ring for a two count. Omori Driver gets two. Fenix tries it again but Horus turns that into a DDT in midair and gets two. They get up and trade strikes as Fenix plants Horus with a small package DDT then locks on an armbar and wrenches that back as Horus taps out (16:04) ****.

Thoughts: Even with Horus hurting himself they were still able to have an excellent match. Fenix did a great job and Horus still did some exciting moves despite a hurt knee. Fenix showed he is a well-rounded worker in this match. The crowd was into both men and reportedly drew dollar bills in the ring after the match. I wonder if they had more planned to do if not for Horus hurting his knee.

 

Donovan Dijak & Keith Lee vs. Matt Riddle & Jeff Cobb

This is Dijak’s PWG debut. Cobb and Lee start this off as the announcers joke about naming the wrestlers after 90’s NBA players and the movie “Space Jam.” They work a fast-paced Irish whip sequence that ends in a stalemate as the fan applaud. Both men tag out a Dijak overpowers Riddle, who comes back with strikes and backs him in the corner then tags out as Cobb tosses Dijak around in an impressive feat on strength. Riddle & Cobb cut off the ring for a bit until Dijak suplexes Cobb and tags out. Lee catches Cobb with a dropkick then does some neat double-team stuff with Dijak that pops the crowd. Cobb is in trouble now as The Monstars Neutralize him in the corner. Cobb tries to fight back but as he muscles Dijak into the corner and unloads on him. Cobb follows with a teardrop suplex on both men as he is now bleeding from the mouth. Cobb crawls over to his corner but Dijak yanks Riddle off of the apron. Lee sends Cobb flying across the ring with the Pounce then Dijak runs in and covers for two. Cobb moves away from a big boot that hits Lee in the face then tosses Dijak into Lee with a capture suplex as all three men are down. Riddle reaches out for the tag then Cobb flies over for the tag as Riddle runs wild. He knocks Dijak over the top rope with the Bro to Sleep but Lee knocks Riddle down with a headbutt. Lee gathers himself and heads up for a moonsault but Cobb comes in and puts him on his shoulders then Riddle pulls himself up top for the Doomsday knee strike as that gets two. Everyone is in the ring now as they knock each other down on the mat. The fans applaud then Dijak hits Cobb with the Feast Your Eyes then teams with Lee to beat on Riddle and hit a powerbomb/chokeslam backbreaker for a nearfall as the fans thought that was three. Cobb then breaks up the pin for an elbow drop and dumps Dijak but Lee hits him with a rolling elbow. Lee heads to the middle rope but Cobb gets up for a lunging headbutt. Dijak gets back up on the apron but Riddle takes him off then Cobb holds up Lee in an inverted splash mountain as Riddle hits a jumping knee strike in a spot that looked brutal and that gets the win (18:25) ****1/2.

Thoughts: These four guys did some incredible stuff considering their size. It was awesome to watch and the crowd had a blast too. I liked the heat sequence on Cobb a lot. Lee and Riddle are stars and Dijak can be really useful for NXT and with his size and ability I’d expect the WWE to put him up to the main roster relatively soon. On commentary, they also suggested a win by the Chosen Bros would put them in line for a title shot and will happen this weekend at All-Star Weekend 13. A match everyone should check out.

 

BOLA 1st Round Match: Matt Sydal vs. Penta El Zero M

Penta taunts Sydal but gets kicked. Sydal follows with a knee strike but Penta blocks a satelitte headscissors with a kick. Penta kicks out Sydal’s leg but Sydal pays him back and calls for peace and love. Sydal kicks Penta outside then dropkicks him into the aisle. Penta comes back with a super kick then chops him against the post a few times. Penta tells a few fans to move and winds up for a chop but Sydal moves as Penta’s whacks the post hard. Sydal takes Penta down with a knee smash then heads back in but is caught in midair with a super kick. Sydal comes back with a spinning heel kick then a running knee to the chest. The crowd gets behind Penta as Sydal slows this match down. Sydal attempt a backdrop but gets kicked in the face as Penta runs wild. Penta get two after a pair of slingblades then catches him with a press slam into a gutbuster for two. Penta now works the arm but Sydal escapes and heads up top for a meteora that gets two. He then hits the Slice in a messy sequence but Penta is able to get his knees up on a standing moonsault as both men are down. Penta boot Sydal in the face from the top rope but Sydal takes him off with a hurricarana. Sydal goes for the shooting star press but Penta blocks that with an upkick then hits a cradle driver for a nearfall. Man, that kick to the face was vicious. Sydal escapes from a package piledriver attempt and drops Penta for a two count as both men are down. Sydal eats boot on a charge but is able to come back and take Penta down with a reverse hurricarana that gets two. Sydal heads up top but land on his feet trying a shooting star press then Penta comes back with a flipping piledriver out of the corner then puts Sydal away with a running package piledriver (13:14) ***1/2.

Thoughts: One of the better Sydal singles matches in PWG I’ve seen in the past couple of years. Penta is so charismatic and a star where ever he goes and Sydal played the heel here and did fine. Penta advances to the next round, which was expected.

 

BOLA 1st Round Match: Jonah Rock vs. Zack Sabre Jr. 

Not only is this Rock’s PWG debut, it his North American wrestling debut as well. Sabre leaps for a front chancery but Rock drives him into the corner then tosses him around. Rock hits a few chops then no-sells a flying European uppercuts and hits Sabre with a senton. Sabre rolls outside but Rock follows and roughs him up then they head back inside. Sabre comes back with a dropkick then kicks Rock’s knee as it was hung up in the ropes. Sabre stomps away in the corner but Rock gets up so Sabre kicks his knee out and works a few holds on the mat. Sabre continues to attack the leg then Rock gets up and is about to used a closed fist but is stopped by the ref. Sabre is then caught with a Samoan Drop and after that Rock hits a running forearm strike. Sabre escapes from a suplex but Rock kicks him down then gets a two count with a Vader Bomb. Sabre tries a kimura but Rock turns that into a back suplex for another two count. Rock toys with Sabre but misses a clothesline then Sabre locks on the octopus hold. Rock escapes then Sabre sweeps out his leg as both men are down. Rock kicks Sabre back down but Sabre fights back then catches a kick and locks on a knee bar until Rock reaches the ropes. Rock hits Sabre with a crossbody then slowly gets up but Sabre catches him with another knee bar then repositions himself to make it more painful but Rock reaches the ropes. Rock pushes off Sabre then blocks a triangle hold and hits a powerbomb as both men are down again. Rock ends up clotheslining Sabre then heads up top for a frog splash as Sabre is just able to kick out. Rock knocks Sabre down then eggs him on as Sabre fights back until getting punched down. Rock gets a nearfall with a brainbuster then heads up top for a moonsault but misses. Sabre hits a Penalty Kick but Rock shoves him off at one. Sabre comes back with a cross armbreaker then transitions to a triangle sleeper and takes Rock down while holding the arm as Rock immediately taps out (18:09) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Good big man/little man dynamic. Rock did a fine job but he did not blow me away. He’s a thickly-built power guy but moves around slower than the other big men on the show. Sabre was a good opponent for him though and the story of Sabre trying to beat Rock with his technical ability was for the best, IMO.

 

BOLA 1st Round Match: Flamita vs. Ricochet

Flamita is making his PWG debut here at just 22 years of age. They start off on the mat as Taylor jokes Flamita got his muscles from those Japanese steroids. Ricochet stretches out Flamita and maintains control of the match. They engage in some showmanship and that ends with Flamita hitting an insane twisting arm drag that stuns Ricochet and has the crowd on their feet. Ricochet comes back to work a surfboard then Flamita escapes and they end in a stalemate after a reversal sequence. We get a test-of-strength but Flamita turns that into a sunset flip for two and that triggers a reversal sequence where Flamita lands on the top rope and springboards into a hurricarana. Flamita then flies out with a tope con hilo then they head back inside where he stays in control. They work an Irish whip sequence where Ricochet dropkicks Flamita in midair then flies out with a tope and then a Fosbury Flop before taking a selfie with a fan. Back inside, Ricochet showboats and that allows Flamita to fight back. Flamita eats boot on a charge then is hit with a rolling dropkick as Ricochet kips up to his feet. Ricochet hits a running uppercut in the corner but Flamita fights back. He hits a messy 619 but comes back with a slingshot hurricarana then flies out with a quebrada. Flamita rolls Ricochet back inside and gets two with a standing shooting star press. Flamita connects with some punches but Ricochet spikes him with a cutter then hits a standing shooting star press of his own for too. They go back-and-forth until Ricochet hits a chest-stabber (no idea what to call it but was like the backstabber but to the chest instead of the back) for a two count. Flamita cuts off Ricochet on the top rope then hits him with a muscle buster onto his knees as that gets two. Flamita comes back with a reverse hurricarana then hits the standing Spanish Fly for a two count. Flamita heads up top but lands on his feet as Ricochet rolled away. They trade kicks to the face until Ricochet turns him inside out with a rolling clothesline as both men are down. Both men are on the apron where they trade chops until Ricochet hits him with a hanging neckbreaker as both men fall out on the floor. They eventually rock back inside and trade strikes until Flamita hits a double underhook into a backbreaker as that gets two. Flamita hits a 450 splash that gets two and he appears to have messed up his finger then the ref pops it back in to place. Flamita signals for the Phoenix Splash but misses then Ricochet hits a knee strike. Ricochet follows with the Vertigo for a nearfall. He then hits the Brain Spiller as Flamita kicks out of that so Ricochet lands a few kicks before putting Flamita away with a high-angle flatliner (22:11) ***1/2.

Thoughts: Don’t get me wrong, this was a really good match. However, I was expecting some more excitement here and the match went on too long, especially with this anticlimactic finish. It just felt like it was missing something. Flamita did some cool stuff but there was a lot less high-flying than you would expect out of these two.

 

Final Thoughts: Much like the past few years of BOLA, we had another excellent start to the tournament. Every match was good and the tag match was must-see stuff.  The crowd was less enthusiastic than usual but that was likely due to the extremely hot temperature in the building. The wrestlers were covered in sweat a minute into the match. Also, the originally planned Young Bucks vs. South Pacific Power Trip match did not take place due to TK Cooper’s ankle injury he suffered at the PROGRESS New York show.  Even still, these shows are really worth going out of your way to order on DVD.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with The Mulkeys

Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/5/90

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 2/24/83

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/11/90

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/12/90

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/18/90

Wednesday: PWG 2017 Battle of Los Angeles, Stage Two