Hello everyone and welcome to my PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2015 Stage 1 Review! I got my hands on BOLA this year and thought, what the hell, might as well review it. I have heard this is a fantastic tournament with multiple 4*+ matches that I cannot wait to watch. Lets get this review underway!
Commentary, as usual, is Excalibur with a revolving door of guests. Our first match is…
Aero Star vs. Brian Cage – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
This was fun enough, and a very good way to star the tournament. Cage showed of his incredible power with multiple high impact, impressive spots, while Aerostar impressed with some nice highflying and good highspots. Cage being the big bully in this match was fun, and he threw around Aerostar like he was nothing. One glaring issue, though, was the litany of blown or botched spots. While the match overall was fun, these two were on separate pages multiple times, and the botches really did kill the flow late game. Regardless, this is a good sample of what is to come, which wets my pallet for sure.
Since this is PWG, there isn’t much post match stuff, which means stories are told via in ring and commentary. I say that just as a warning for those used to the in depth analysis on these sections from my Starrcade reviews who haven’t seen PWG. I’m not skipping anything, I swear. Anyhow, next up is…
Biff Busick vs. Andrew Everett – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
This was another fun match that wasn’t quite great. It was good, but it never really reached that next level it could have higher on the card. In the match, Everett played a good cocky heel, while Busick perfectly contrasted that with the no nonsense asskicking babyface. Early there was some good comedy that really played up the contrast between Everett and Busick. The middle was a bit slow, but once it picked up, it picked up. They went fast and furious at the end, but they seemed to loose some steam and crispness as the match progressed. Regardless, another fun match that seems to be building to more later on in the tournament.
Next up is…
Will Ospreay vs. Mark Andrews – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Man, this was pretty insane. I have to say that this is a match that a.) makes me glad I dropped the play by play after my first review and b.) is absurdly difficult to review and do justice to. Like, this match was more than just flips and shit, but it was mostly flips and shit. That gives a negative connotation, but these two put together a superbly entertaining match, and one of the better one on one spotfests this year. They started early with some nifty technical-ish, lucha-ish sequences that transitioned into a crazy submission or two. Andrews also played a nice subtle heel, which is always very nice to see. Then, the match broke down into the flips and shit, and it was glorious. There were some really crisp sequences and spots that I had not seen before, and it was beautiful. Ospreay is renown for his insane crispness and agility, and he showed it here, but Andrews did impress as well with his own assortment of crazy spots. Overall, fun is the best way to describe this. And, with that, the first great match of BOLA 2015 has occurred.
This is followed by our first non-tournament match…
The Inner City Machine Guns vs. Angélico & Jack Evans
This is a match that got better as time went on. It started with some pretty damn fun comedy, and Jack Evans played a fun heel. A dance off occurred between Evans & Swann, which impressively did not detract from the match at all. Once the action stated, there was some good, if forgettable, heat segments that pretty much served to entertain enough until the action got crazy. When the action really picked up, it never got to the usual manic PWG pace, but it opted to space out its spots with some nice delay and buildup. It creates a different type of match that is very nice, even if it is less insane. The spots for the most part were pretty great, with two little flubs from Evans being the only glaring issues. This match is not the usual, high octane, flips everywhere PWG spotfest, but rather opts to be a more methodical spotfest with spaced out spots, which is good with me!
Next up is…
Trent? vs. Trevor Lee – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
While it looked like it would be little more than fun, light-hearted filler at the beginning, this match picked up and became something very good, and worth watching. Trevor and Trent? didn’t throw everything out there right away; instead they began with light-hearted, more basic wrestling and slowly transitioned to bigger and bigger spots as the match continued. Early, the comedy and action was good, but it was nothing blow away, and the crowd response reflected that. The PWG crowd was invested enough, but they stayed fairly quiet… until the big spots came in. They had a masterful grasp of pacing, and slowly progressed to their biggest, highest impact moves. After a german suplex on the apron, it was time to throw everything at each other, and they did that fairly crisply and well. Trevor was also allowed to show a lot of personality, as he moves away from the underdog face and becomes a more complete wrestler. Overall, this match was very good, and that’s exactly what a match early in a tournament has to be.
Our next match is…
Pentágon Jr. vs. Drago – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
This match ruled. Maybe it wasn’t a great, 4* plus match, but watching these two, who I adore, in a PWG ring is awesome. There wasn’t much story other than Drago is a high flier and Pentágon kills people, but that’s all this match needed. Both wrestlers have such a great grasp on their characters that the only necessary story is watching two great characters clash. On top of that, they pretty much went all out with dives, killer strikes from Pentágon, high impact spots, and some sweet nearfalls. Almost everything was crisp and smooth, and the one spot that was a little sloppy still looked damn cool. This wasn’t really a great match, but it was definitely a great showcase. Both guys got over with the PWG crowd, and we all hope to see more great things from them in PWG in the future.
Oh man. This card is about to really pick up. Our next match is…
Matt Sydal vs. Fenix – Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
This was friggin’ sweet. It was similar to last match, just longer, crazier, and with more time to tell a story. Sydal has become one hell of a well-rounded wrestler since returning to the indies. He can play the veteran bully like he did in this match, or he can play the underdog babyface, which is incredible. Fenix was definitely no slouch, and pulled out some incredibly crisp sequences, moves, and dives. I was impressed that early on both guys played it slow and didn’t rush into the crazy spots. That allowed a great build to the inevitable insane spots, while also perfectly showcasing another side of both these guys that aren’t seen as much as I’d like. The only slight issue is that Sydal worked over the leg, yet Fenix might have not sold it enough for some people. I was content since he always used his right leg for kicks and I would not sacrifice some of those moves down the stretch for some leg selling. Otherwise, this is pretty much all you can ask out of a first round match.
Now, it is time for our MAIN EVENT!
Eurotrash (Zack Sabre Jr., Tommy End, & Marty Scurll) vs. Mount Rushmore 2.0 (The Young Bucks & Roderick Strong)
Holy shit! This was the craziest spotfest of the year, and one of the most bonkers matches I have seen from PWG. And remember, this is an incredibly insane match in a promotion known for insane matches. Everything in this match is commendable, and this could be the magnum opus of Mount Rushmore 2.0. The Bucks were the best heels, and used comedy and despicable tactics impeccably during the match. They were the heelest of heels, and it was a sight to behold. They have mastered their shtick, and can modify it to fit in any match with any opponent. Strong was a smaller part of the match, but everything he did was gold. The subplot advancing the developing feud between him and Sabre was one of the best parts of this match, and shows how layered this art form can be. Tommy End was a house of fire in the ring, and his strikes were honest to god the best I’ve ever seen from him. Finally, Scurll was the perfect guy for the Young Bucks to get the heat on, and he showed so much personality during the match it was incredible. He has a perfect grasp on who he is, and what his gimmick is all about. All this made for great sequences perfectly paced with enough time to breath between each. The breaks were never just dead air, though, as comedy was often used to break up the insane sequences and great action. The comedy all hit and was absolutely perfect. Down the stretch, the sequences escalated to utter chaos and brilliance, and some nearfalls and near-submissions were breathtaking. I could write for days, but the important thing to know is that this is a MOTYC and pretty much a bona-fied classic. Watch this immediately, as this is one of the best matches PWG has to offer.
This is a show where everything is near or over 3*, has 3 4*+ matches, and a legit MOTYC, yet I feel this is only warm-up for what’s to come. There are some superb matches lined up for the next two nights, and we may se shows with more that five 4*+ matches. This could be a show of the year in many years, and I am for sure excited to see what is to come in the next two nights!
So that was the PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2015 Night 1 review. I hope you enjoyed me branching out to a company I have loved since All Star Weekend X. I definitely will review the next two nights of the show, which I am beyond excited for. After this little excursion, I will return to the NWA and WCW for Starrcade 1990. Also, I have a ton of cool matches set up for RMR that I am excited to share. On top of all that, I want to review Hell in a Cell from last night, and I will have time later in the week to watch it. It will probably be out by this weekend if all goes right. The biggest news of all, though, is I am a writer at FreeProWrestling.com now! My first review was of a SWB vs. Bobby Lashley match, so give it a read. I think its pretty decent. It you want to contact me in any way, my contacts are here, or in the sidebar to the left. Otherwise, thank you for reading, and see you next time!