PWG 2017 Battle of Los Angeles, Final Stage

Check out my recaps of Stage One and Stage Two

September 3, 2017

From the American Legion Post #308 in Reseda, CA

Your hosts are Excalibur and Chuck Taylor

 

BOLA 2nd Round Match: Dezmond Xavier vs. Ricochet

We are reminded that Ricochet could become the first person to win BOLA twice. Xavier takes Ricochet down to start then they work a fast-paced sequence where Ricochet gets dropkicked outside. Ricochet comes back in to cut off a dive but Xavier takes him down with a hurricarana. Xavier snaps off another hurricarana to block a rolling move from Ricochet and that gets two. Ricochet fights back and starts toying with Xavier but that fails as the announcers talk about how Xavier wrestled for CRASH last night. Ricochet hits a back suplex then taunts “Dez” to get up and steps on his throat but Xavier fights back as Ricochet bails. Xavier uses the Flying Space Tiger Drop and it looked like Ricochet was supposed to catch him for something but he couldnt and both men dumped hard to the floor. Back inside, Xavier kicks Ricochet in the back of the head then uses a 619 on the pole and hits a double backflip kick for a nearfall. We get dueling chants from the crowd then Ricochet hits a corkscrew brainbuster and follows with a standing shooting star press for two. Xavier uses a victory roll drop for two but runs into a bicycle knee smash then Ricochet hits the Benadryller for two. Ricochet rolls through a shooting star press then Xavier blocks the Benadryller and they have a reversal sequence where Ricochet pancakes Xavier then puts him away with the Flatliner (10:49) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Ricochet was a lot cockier than usual and even heelish here towards his less experience opponent. I did like the story of Ricochet taking Xavier lightly but Xavier being able to fight back while managing to look solid in defeat. Good match.

 

BOLA 2nd Round Match: Marty Scurll vs. Travis Banks

Before the match, Scurll yells at Banks and wants him to leave so he can save himself the embarrassment of losing to the reigning BOLA Champion. Scurll gives Banks to the count of three to leave so Banks slowly gets out on the apron then runs in to roll him up for two. Scurll heads outside and still has the mic as he moves away to prevent a dive then yells at the crowd. They both head back in and take it to the mat. Banks trips up Scurll then uses a La Magistral for a two count. Scurll yanks Banks down by the shoulder then sets up for an apron kick but Banks rolls inside. Scurll then uses an armbreaker and heads back in to kick Banks in the face. He dumps Banks outside and continues to target the arm. Back inside, Scurll taunts the crowd then goes back to the arm. Banks floats over for a sunset flip then sends Scurll into the corner with a shotgun dropkick. Banks then hits a pair of running uppercuts and trips Scurll into the corner. Banks hits a cannonball then a thrust kick gets him two after Scurll blocked the Kiwi Krusher. Scurll lands a small package for two and this kicks off a pinfall reversal sequence. Scurll cuts off Banks with an uppercut then gets a nearfall with a Yakuza kick. Scurll hits a few uppercuts then fakes Banks out with a low super kick. Scurll sidesteps a springboard kick and tries for the chicken wing then tries to break the fingers as Banks was reaching out for the ropes but Banks fights back. Banks hits the Kiwi Krusher for two then locks on the Gargano Escape but Scurll escapes by breaking the fingers. Scurll then starts dancing around and tries for the chicken wing but Banks drops down and uses a victory roll for the surprise win (11:19) ***1/2. The crowd goes nuts as the shocked look on Scurll’s face is priceless.

Thoughts: I liked the surprise ending a lot and it was over big with the crowd. Scurll acting like a complete dick because he won this tournament last year made for a good story. The way he sold defeat was tremendous. Banks goes to face Ricochet in the semifinals.

 

BOLA 2nd Round Match: Donovan Dijak vs. Keith Lee

These two stole the show WrestleMania weekend for EVOLVE. They fight over a lockup to start then Dijak backs Lee into the corner. They now stare each other down where Lee runs him over. Dijak kips up then shows off his athleticism until Lee flips him over. They have a reversal sequence where you can hear the ropes break. Dijak fights off a pwoerbomb and uses a monkey flip but Lee lands on his feet as the crowd applauds. Lee asks Dijak to bask in his glory but gets booted in the face as Dijak stomps away. Lee comes back and clotheslines Dijak outside where he lands on some fans, who are luckily fine as Lee checks on them. They fight on the apron where Dijak chokeslams Lee on the apron then hits a discus boot to the face after a struggle. Dijak rolls inside then flies out with a Fosbury Flop but Lee caught him as Dijak gets torpedoed into the post. Lee then heads inside and flies out with a tope con hilo as the fans go nuts. The action heads back inside where Dijak flips out of a powerbomb attempt but runs into a discus elbow as both men are down. They slowly trade strikes until Lee takes control. He sends Dijak halfway across of the ring with a Pounce then catches his leg and completely flips him over and covers for two. They are now up top where Lee gets dumped onto the apron but heads back up only to have Dijak put him across his shoulders and drop him with a spinebuster of sorts for a nearfall. Both men are down on the mat then Dijak flies out with a springboard tornado dive as the crowd chants “please don’t die.” Back inside, Lee flips out of a chokeslam attempt and hits the Spirit Bomb but Dijak flips right up and kicks Lee in the face. Dijak gets two with a moonsault but Lee kicks out and rolls through to hit the Jackhammer. Dijak is just able to kick out as the crowd thought it was a three count. Lee comes off of the top with a moonsault but Dijak kicks out at one as the fans go mental. Dijak is hurting in the corner as Lee is in disbelief. Lee hits an avalanche then grabs Dijak by the throat and yells at him to sit down and hits some chops but Dijak starts laughing. Dijak ducks underneath Lee and flattens him with a super kick before hitting the Feast Your Eyes but Lee kicks out at one and tosses Dijak outside during the kickout. Dijak heads up top now for a senton but Lee catches him and turns that into the Spirit Bomb but Dijak is once again just able to kick out as both men are on the mat. Lee drags Dijak into the middle of the ring but Dijak was able to get their Monstars jerseys from underneath the ring. Lee takes his shirt then they put them on but Dijak super-kicked Lee and hits another Feast Your Eyes but Lee just goes nuts and hits the Jackhammer for the win (21:41) ****1/4.

Thoughts: This was another excellent match between these two men. However, I did not think it was a ***** match like Dave Meltzer did and was just slightly better than their match in EVOLVE from earlier this year. The story was both men, who teamed as the Monstars in the first night, kept giving each other everything they had and kicked out of all sorts of crazy moves

 

BOLA 2nd Round Match: Rey Fenix vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

They trade standing holds to start with Sabre gaining the advantage. Sabre yells at the fans then uses the AT Lock, made famous by Milano Collection AT. Sabre stays in control with all sorts of crazy holds as Fenix tries to escape. Sabre yells at the crowd then takes Fenix down and wrenches back on his ankle. Fenix tries to take down Sabre and shows aggression as Sabre gets pissed then goes back to working the ankle. Fenix escapes and remains resilient, which is frustrating Sabre. Fenix gets thumbed in the eye then Sabre toys with him and acts like an arrogant prick. Sabre hits a running uppercut in the corner but Fenix manages to escape and kick Sabre on the apron. Fenix hits Sabre with a double stomp to the back of the neck then comes back in for a moonsault press that gets two. Sabre is on the top rope and lifts Fenix up with a choke then takes him down with an armbar and switches to the triangle hold. Fenix eventually stands up and breaks that up with a powerbomb as both men are down. Sabre is able to come back with a running uppercut and a Penalty Kick as both men are back down on the mat. Fenix fights back with kicks but Sabre catches a rolling Ace Crusher and turns that into a cross armbreaker. Sabre now completely stretches out Fenix in some sort of modified stump puller. Sabre kicks Fenix from the mat but Fenix cuts him off with a kick. They go back-and-forth until Fenix hits Sabre with a rolling Ace Crusher. Sabre counters an Omori Driver with a Dragon Sleeper then counters another attempt with the Octopus hold on the mat. Sabre takes him up with the hold now but Fenix gets out then tries for the European Clutch but Fenix reverses that in a sloppy spot and gets the surprise win (14:30) ****.

Thoughts: The finish was rough but the rest of this match was tremendous. Sabre is probably the best technical wrestler on the planet while Fenix might just be the most underrated in-ring talent as he showed the ability to wrestle a completely different style of match than usual. I liked the story of Sabre being arrogant due to his technical skills but became increasingly aggressive when unable to put Fenix away and it ultimately cost him the match.

 

BOLA 2nd Round Match: Sammy Guevara vs. Jeff Cobb

A “Cobb is Gonna Kill You” chant breaks out. Cobb runs over Guevara, who kips up, then decks him with a right hand to the face. Guevara jumps up onto Cobb’s shoulders then turns that into a hurricarana. Guevara overshoots a Fosbury Flop as Taylor calls him a “dipshit” then Cobb hammers away. They are in front of the announcers table where Guevara blocks a powerbomb then heads up on the stage and jumps off with a corkscrew plancha. Back inside, Guevara gets two with a shooting star press then taunts the crowd. Guevara squats Cobb then hits a Samoan Drop but Cobb got up while Guevara was taunting the crowd and runs him over. Guevara fights back and heads up top after a curb stomp where he tries a shooting star press but Cobb caught him and hit an overhead suplex then put him away with the Tour of the Islands (5:12) **.

Thoughts: An easy win for Cobb over the younger talent in Guevara, who gave it his all but came up short. The match itself served its purpose.

 

BOLA 2nd Round Match: Matt Riddle vs. Penta El Zero M

They both exchange taunts as the crowd is engaged. Penta takes Riddle down by the ankle then stretches him out before issuing another taunt but before that can happen, Riddle takes him down with a flying cross armbreaker. Riddle now grapevines the leg then kicks Penta in the back of the head before giving him a taunt. Penta offers a handshake but instead hits a chop and they starting trading chops and strikes until Penta hits a sling blade for a two count. Penta then gets two with a lungblower but Riddle comes back with a few knee strikes. Riddle follows an exploder with a senton that gets two. He hits rolling gutwrenches as Taylor talks about Mexican wrestlers feeling much heavier than their listed weight. Penta takes Riddle down then works the arm for a bit. He heads up top but Riddle cuts him off. Riddle is knocked down then Penta hits the Canadian Destroyer. Riddle ducks a sling blade and hits a Destroyer of his own and they trade them again as both men are out on the mat. They get up and trade hard chops on the apron until Riddle hits a fisherman’s buster. Penta takes a seat then Riddle poses in the ring and sets up for a tope but Penta cuts him off then hits a package piledriver on the apron. Penta rolls Riddle back inside and takes a portable fan with him from the crowd and comes off of the top but is drilled with a knee smash. Riddle follows with the Bro to Sleep then gets a nearfall with a bridging German suplex. He catches Penta when he came off of the ropes then blocked a tilt-a-whirl with a Gotch tombstone and switched to the Bromission for the win (14:15) ***1/2.

Thoughts: The match started off as fun then became increasingly aggressive when both men realized what was at stake. I felt that the Canadian Destroyer spots were too cute but the rest of the match was pretty good.

 

BOLA Semifinals Match: Travis Banks vs. Ricochet

Banks takes out Ricochet before the match begins. He runs back inside and hits another one before the match heads back inside. Ricochet dropkicks Banks in midair after an Irish whip sequence then flies out with a tope. Ricochet hits a springboard uppercut then lands a few kicks. They start trading strikes from the mat then Ricochet hits Banks with a stun-gun and follows with a neckbreaker. Ricochet becomes more arrogant and pie-faces Banks before hitting a spinebuster. Ricochet then sets up for the People’s Moonsault but Banks rolls away. Banks sends Ricochet into the corner with a flying knee smash then kicks a charging Ricochet into the corner. Ricochet tries to fight back but Banks blocks a rolling Ace Crusher with a clothesline. Banks sends Ricochet into the corner with a shotgun dropkick then follows with a double stomp that gets two. Ricochet kicks Banks out of the corner then hits a dropkick. Standing shooting star press gets two for Ricochet as both men are down. Ricochet yells at the crowd for a dueling chant as he wants to hear more of his name then takes Banks down from the ropes with a lungblower for two after a reversal sequence. Ricochet hits a few kicks but Banks escapes from the Benadryller then hits the Kiwi Crusher for a nearfall. Banks uses the Gargano Escape as he is bleeding from the mouth but Ricochet crawls over to the ropes. They start trading forearm smashes until Ricochet hits the Brain Spiller for two. Both men are down again then Ricochet eats boot on a charge but is able to cut Banks off of the top rope then he leaps up and hits a moonsault belly-to-belly suplex for two as Ricochet uses a cocky cover. Ricochet lands some kicks to the face but Banks nearly puts him away with a prong hold but Ricochet comes back with the flatliner for the win (12:14) ****.

Thoughts: Ricochet really amped up the arrogance here. The match itself was excellent though with Banks getting some believable nearfalls but Ricochet advances and the story of him possibly becoming the first-ever repeat BOLA winner continues.

 

BOLA Semifinals Match: Rey Fenix vs. Keith Lee

Lee shoves down Fenix to start. Fenix gets up and uses his speed to his advantage while landing some kicks. Lee blocks a rolling Ace Crusher then turns Fenix inside-out with a lariat. He tosses Fenix back into the ring from the apron and covers for two. Fenix lands some chops but Lee sends him down. Lee starts beating the crap out of Fenix in the corner then gets fanned off by a few fans in the front row. Lee hits some more double chops that sends Fenix back down. Fenix avoids a charge and hits a roundhouse kick. He follows with a pair of dropkicks then hits a pair of topes but pressed his luck with a tope con hilo as Lee caught him with a powerbomb into the post. Back inside, Lee gets on the top rope but Fenix cuts him down with a chop. Fenix then tries a hurricarana but Lee blocks that and hits a Spirit Bomb before putting him away with a Jackhammer (6:38) **3/4.

Thoughts: Fun small man vs. big man match. Lee is being pushed as the monster of the tournament and advancing to the finals makes a lot of sense as Fenix’s impressive run comes to an end.

 

BOLA Semifinals Match: Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Riddle

They shake hands to start then Riddle strikes first and they trade chops for a while. Both men pop right back up after German suplexes then go back to chopping each other. Riddle takes control then hits an exploder and follows with a senton for two. Riddle tries for a gutwrench but Cobb reverses and hits one of his own. Cobb lands a chop in the corner then hits a fallaway slam. Cobb hits a pumphandle suplex then hits a diving uppercut but tries it again and is caught with a rear choke. Cobb gets up and is able to hit Riddle with a tombstone then hangs on but Riddle reverses and hits one of his own as both men are down. They get up and trade chops until Riddle hits an upkick. Riddle lands on his feet after Cobb tried a German suplex then hits a fisherman’s buster for a two count. Riddle lands some kicks to the chest as Cobb eggs him on then hits a senton for a two count. Cobb comes back with a headbutt then a German suplex and after that hits the Tour of the Islands for the win (9:03) ***.

Thoughts: I’d call this another surprise finish, even though Cobb has been built up all year long by PWG. The match was good but far from the best these two have had together.

 

We now get to the 10 man tag team match, Team Janela vs. Team Trevor Lee. Rey Horus was originally supposed to be part of Team Janela but injured himself during Stage One of the tournament so its going to be 5 vs. 4. And the 4-person team is at a distinct size disadvantage. Before the match, Lee tells everyone he got off the crowd with Jeff Jarrett and when his team wins they will all receive Impact Wrestling contracts. Lee then trash talks Taylor, who leaves the booth and joins Team Janela but then leaves to get dressed into his gear.

 

Jonah Rock & WALTER & Brian Cage & Sami Callihan & Trevor Lee vs. Mark Haskins & Flamita & “Bad Boy” Joey Janela & Flash Morgan Webster & Chuck Taylor

Team Lee sneak attacks Team Janela before the bell. Everyone brawls outside as Team Lee stays in control. Things begin to head into the ring where Webster tries to fight off Rock then takes him over with an arm drag. Rock charges and is sent into the corner with a drop toehold. Webster hits a swinging DDT then headbutts Sami and Lee but tries the same to Rock and drops down because Rock has a hard head due to being from the South Pacific. WALTER & Rock sandwich Webster as Team Lee take turns beating him down. Webster is able to elude Sami and tags out as Janela runs wild. Janela flies out with a tope to take out Lee then heads inside and hits Sami with a DDT. WALTER comes in and boots Janela in the face then hits a Bonzai drop. Team Lee now beats on Janela with everyone taking turns getting on WALTER’s back to fall on top of Janela. Lee & Sami get on WALTER’s back but Janela rolls out of the way and makes the tag. Haskins runs wild on Cage until he gets caught with an exploder. Haskins rolls away from a standing moonsault and uses the Star Armbar but Cage gets up and hits an Air Raid Crash. Team Lee now beats on Haskins as Lee talks trash then Janela tells him to “Fuck Jeff & Karen Jarrett. A “Fuck Jeff Jarrett” chant breaks out as WALTER is chopping Haskins, who fights back. WALTER boots Haskins in the face then blocks a sunset flip but misses the Bonzai Drop. Haskins fights off Sami & Cage as Taylor has made it back to forgot to tape his first and went backstage as fans start a “safety first” chant. WALTER holds up Haskins for a delayed vertical suplex then passes him off to Cage, who passes it off to Rock. They pass it off to Lee, who struggles, then Sami takes Haskins but that gets reversed into a DDT. The crowd chants for Flamita to tag in and he does as he runs wild until WALTER turns him inside out with a clothesline. Webster leaps off of the top but is caught so Haskins makes the save and ends up taking WALTER down with a crucifix. Haskins assists Webster with a reverse hurricarana on Rock. Cage picks up Haskins for a slam then at the same time catches Webster for a powerbomb/slam combo. Everyone trades moves and ends up on the mat then Taylor comes out and gets tagged as he runs wild on Team Lee. He flies out with a tope con hilo then accidentally spinebusters Janela, thinking it was Lee. Team Janela now take turns hitting Lee with running attacks in the corner. Haskins & Taylor attempt dives but are dragged out so Flamita flies out with a tornillo. Webster dives out after putting on his helmet then WALTER launches Janela outside onto his teammates with a running powerbomb. Rock and WALTER start fighting each other and take that outside then Lee runs out and grabs TK Cooper’s crutch and swings it around but TK hobbles up to the apron and grabs it then Taylor hits a pop-up powerbomb then the Awful Waffle gets the win (23:18) ***1/4.

Thoughts: Unlike the past two years, they did not have the comedy segments. And it was for the best. The formula o the match was simple and predictable but still fun. Lee is a dick in PWG and it was nice to see him get his comeuppance and the crowd loved seeing Taylor leave the booth and get the win.

 

PWG BOLA Finals Match: Jeff Cobb vs. Ricochet vs. Keith Lee

The match is under elimination rules. Cobb and Lee shake hands then Ricochet gives Lee a flimsy high five and seems bothered. Ricochet steps back as he does not want part of a three-way test of strength so he hits both men with chops. The crowd chants “you fucked up” then we get a sequence where Ricochet fights off both men until he is knocked outside with a double pounce. Cobb and Lee stare each other down then trade strikes until Lee snaps off a hurricarana. Ricochet runs in and gets skied with a backdrop then goes back to fighting with Cobb. Ricochet comes in and kicks both men then uses knee smashes until Cobb chops him in the corner. Cobb then tosses Ricochet out of the corner and in front of Lee, who tosses him back to the delight of the crowd. They toss him back-and-forth again but Ricochet avoids a charge as Lee avalanches Cobb, who is then hit with a reverse hurricarana by Ricochet as all three men are down. Ricochet then catches Cobb in the corner and tosses him with an exploder then manages to pick up Lee for a fallaway slam as the crowd goes nuts. Ricochet flies out to hit Cobb with a coast-to-coast tope con hilo then hits a springboard 450 for a nearfall. Ricochet now hits Lee with a coast-to-coast top con hilo and hits a 450 splash for a two count as Lee tosses Ricochet outside during his kickout attempt. Ricochet then hits Lee with a shooting star press but Lee grabs his throat and stands up until Cobb uses a headbutt. Ricochet hits Cobb with a Northern lights suplex then rolls through for a suplex but Lee runs him over as everyone is down. Lee and Cobb are up first and slug it out then Ricochet gets up only for Cobb to drop him with an elbow strike. Cobb drops Ricochet again then hits Lee with a German suplex for a two count. Ricochet fights back until Cobb catches a roundhouse kick attempt and turns that into a capture suplex that gets two. Lee then hits Cobb with the Spirit Bomb but that only gets two. Ricochet and Lee are now fighting up top as Ricochet takes him off with a reverse hurricarana. Ricochet then hits Cobb with the 630 then picks up Lee for the Benadryller. Ricochet heads back up to hit Lee with a 630 but Lee kicks out as Ricochet is pissed. Ricochet brings Cobb to his feet and tries the Benadryller but Cobb blocks that and hits an exploder. Cobb hits a few more suplexes but Ricochet is able to stay alive. Lee drags Ricochet outside then heads in but is hit with a lariat but Lee comes back and hits the Jackhammer to eliminate Cobb (18:43). Ricochet springboards in but Lee catches him and tries for the Jackhammer but Ricochet reverses it to a small package and gets the surprise win to become the first two-time BOLA winner (18:58) ****1/4.

Thoughts: Excellent match and possibly the best BOLA finals match. Well, at least the best finals match since the tournament was expanded to 24 men. Ricochet had a great performance and showed off some impressive strength. He also acted like a total asshole during the match and it continued afterwards.

 

After the match, Ricochet thanks the referee then declares himself the “King of Reseda.” He talks about being the only two-time BOLA winner as the crowd chants. He then talks about how special this is with “Uncle Meltzer” in attendance then goes rags on everyone else who could not win this twice and gets some boos. Ricochet then says his next accomplishment is to get the PWG Title off of Taylor’s “skinny-fat” waist. Ricochet continues to act above everyone then confronts Taylor. He thanks Taylor for teaching him but that he will take the belt from him and check that off his list before he moves on to bigger and better things. Ricochet leaves while holding up the BOLA trophy then Taylor heads into the ring. Taylor tells Ricochet he can get a title match whenever he wants before putting over Lee and Cobb. Lee then says he has had enough of Ricochet’s bullshit on the mic because the fact of the matter is tonight’s about BOLA and the fans. Lee said everyone stepped up and put it on the line and jokes about how Cobb’s nose bled every match and if Taylor is skinny-fat then what the hell are they? He leaves then Cobb picks up the mic to say “what that guy said” and leaves as the show ends.

 

Final Thoughts: A tremendous show. This year’s BOLA was a great success and probably the best booked tournament in PWG history with surprise finishes that gave you the feeling anyone could win and the story of Ricochet become more arrogant the closer he got to the finals, leading to his heel turn. They also set up for a student vs. teacher match for the title between Taylor and Ricochet, which took place last week at All-Star Weekend 13. Overall, I felt it surpassed the 2016 show as the final night of the tournament did not have a drop in quality like the past two years have endured. By all means seek out this tournament.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Matt Borne

Friday: WWF 1990 SummerSlam

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/10/83

Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/1/90

Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/2/90

Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/8/90

Wednesday: wXw World Tag Team League 2017, Night One