PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2015 Final Stage

PWG Battle of Los Angeles Logo.jpg

Hello everyone and welcome to the final leg of our journey through PWG’s BOLA 2015. After two stellar events, we come to a finale, which may be the best show yet. The card is absolutely stacked, and I am ready to get this started. Lets not waste time, and begin the review!

As usual, our commentary team is Excalibur and whoever wishes to commentate with him. We open our show with…

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Jack Evans vs. Brian Cage – Battle of Los Angeles Second Round Match

            This match was very short, but it was pretty much perfect for what it was going for. After another seething Evans promo pre match where he insults Cage’s physique, Cage murders Evans for a while. After multiple vicious powerbombs and German suplexes, Evans makes a quick comeback and steals the win. It was pretty much the simplest story to tell done perfectly. The little douchebag heel gets his comeuppance, but then steals the win. Wrestling does not get much better than that. While it isn’t a 4*+ match, it is absolutely perfect for what it is.

Rating: ***

Post match Brian Cage attacks Evans and hits a discuss lariat and a nasty screwdriver on him. I like this. Evans is able to advance in BOLA while also getting some comeuppance. Next up is…

Biff Busick vs. Chris Hero.png

Biff Busick vs. Chris Hero – Battle of Los Angeles Second Round Match

            This was a high energy, gritty, hard hitting, and heated match. The stiff strikes began before the bell, and lasted the entire match as these two tries to end each other. Since they would have to wrestle twice more after this to win BOLA, it makes sense they would try to win as fast as possible. They hit each other with the hardest strikes and dropped each other on their heads non-stop to try to end the match as fast as possible and try to advance in the tournament. It was impressive how fast they went and how much punishment each guy took, especially since one of these guys has to wrestle again in the night. After a brutal G1 style match, the finish was very climactic, which was great. They crescendo to the finished nicely and ended in an epic fashion, which put over both the loser and the importance of the match. Overall, this match was a very good sprint, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: ****

Our next matchup is…

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Trevor Lee vs. Marty Scurll – Battle of Los Angeles Second Round Match

            Another very fun match on a card that is shaping up to be fantastic. These two went all out here with action, but also showed off some logical storytelling and technical wrestling. Early on, both guys, but especially Scurll, showed off some impressive technical skill with quick and fluid transitions on the mat. Soon, though, the match devolved into an action packed spot fest, which was glorious and exceptionally fun. They were both crisp and non-stop with the action, which was pretty much the case for the rest of the match. One thing that really puts this match over the top is the arm work, which was logical, well done, and very well sold. Scurll’s finisher hurts the arm, so he attacks the arm to not only give himself a little advantage, but also to make his finisher more effective. Trevor, to his credit, sold it through all the insane action down the stretch, which is incredibly impressive with the pace they were going at. He both sold it and kept it from getting in the way of fun action. I loved how Scurll would use the arm to gain the advantage in the action packed sequences too, as it was super logical and very well done. The finish was very nice to, and added to the match and the story. Overall, these two killed it with a fast paced, impressive, and logical match.

Rating: ****

Next up is my most anticipated match of the entire weekend…

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Pentágon Jr. vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – Battle of Los Angeles Second Round Match

            Oh man, was this match badass. I loved what I got here, but I want more! This was molten from bell to bell, with the crowd losing their shit the entire time. It really added to this match. As for the action itself, it didn’t really waste time with complex story and such. It was mostly just these two disrespecting and one-upping one another. Early on it submissions one-upmanship, which gave Sabre a little advantage, but then they went to pure action, which gave Pentágon a little advantage. All the action, whether it be submissions, strikes, or dives, were all nicely done except for one very little sloppy spot. Other than that, these two just went all out and killed it. The only real issue is it ended before it could really reach the MOTYC level. It was on the path to getting there, but it ended before it really left second gear. Even with that flaw, watch this. It is one of the most fun matches of BOLA so far.

Rating: ****

Next up is…

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Mike Bailey vs. Tommy End – Battle of Los Angeles Second Round Match

            This fucking match man. It is my style of match. This was a kicking clinic, with stiff strikes and insane reversals, and it was beautiful. The kick sequences were a thing of beauty and it was incredible to see two people so adept at kicking do what they do best. The reversals here were incredible, and some of those kick sequences were just the best. There was also a story, which makes me love this match even more. End is a big bruiser, so he forces Bailey to do what he does best, fight from underneath. Bailey’s comebacks and strikes were perfect, and he did a fantastic job getting the crowd behind him. End, to his credit, was incredible as well, with multiple sequences and strikes of his being absurd and awesome. They just built and built to the finish with a progression of kicks and a simple, perfect story. Watch this right freaking now for your own good.

Rating: ****¼

This card keeps getting better and better. Our next match is…

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Will Ospreay vs. Matt Sydal – Battle of Los Angeles Second Round Match

           This was a very solid match with a nice story. Essentially, Ospreay is younger, quicker, and better in the air, which frustrates Sydal. So Sydal plays a subtle heel and also tries to ground Ospreay, as that is the only way he has a chance. So throughout this match, Ospreay is in control when the pace picks up while Sydal is in control when there is a slower pace. This is very well done, and eventually plays into the finish. On top of that, some of the action was incredible. Sydal is one of the best highfliers of the past ten years, and is also very crisp. Ospreay is one of the most impressive, crispest guys around, and it seems like he never botches. His high flying was absurd, and really brought the match to another level. The only issue I have is that Sydal worked the leg, and Ospreay forgot about it after selling it for a while. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s a very little blemish on this match. Otherwise, this match was both incredibly fun and pretty damn smart.

Rating: ***¾

We begin our next segment with Roderick Strong in the ring with a microphone. Roddy says its time for Mount Rushmore 2.0 to beat some motherfuckers up, and also that no one has the guts to come out. Then, out of nowhere, Fenix enters and kicks Roddy in the face. He then clears out the Young Bucks before Super Dragon kills him with a lariat. Dragon does get his comeuppance, as Angélico enters and hits a knee to Super Dragon’s head. Soon enough, Angélico is taken out, but then Ricochet and Rich Swann enter and clear house. The faces all hit dives over the top to the floor and take out Mount Rushmore 2.0 This brings us to…

Fenix, Angélico, & The Inner City Machine Guns vs. Mount Rushmore 2.0 .png

Fenix, Angélico, & The Inner City Machine Guns vs. Mount Rushmore 2.0 (Roderick Strong, Super Dragon, & The Young Bucks)

            This is another incredibly fun match on the resumé of Mount Rushmore 2.0. This is exactly what you would expect from this match if you’ve seen a PWG tag team match before, which means it was awesome. They had another great spotfest with great dives, tag team wrestling, and absolutely incredible sequences. This is another match worked at a blistering pace with very little downtime. While it wasn’t as fast paced as the Guerrilla Warfare match, this was still incredible as pacing goes. Even the heat segment kept the pace up and had great, compelling action. There were no rest holds there, just great action and funny comedy. Once everyone gets into the ring, though, this gets as good as just about any PWG 6 man or 8-man tag you can find. With that being said, since matches in this style are the norm in PWG, there isn’t much new to say. It was incredible, but so were the plethora of other similar spotfests over the past few years in this company. While that doesn’t really detract from the match or make PWG bad at all, it is still worth being brought up. Also, it is a shame Dragon got injured just before the finishing stretch, as he definitely was missed to a certain extent. They did well without him, though, which was some incredible improv, especially in a match at this pace. The only other knock is that this doesn’t get as bonkers as the previous two Mount Rushmore 2.0 matches, but then again, no many matches can. This was a fantastic spotfest from a fantastic team on fantastic show in a fantastic company.

Rating: ****¼

We return to the tournament with our next match…

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Jack Evans vs. Chris Hero – Battle of Los Angeles Semi-Finals Match

            Jack Evans cuts another great seething heel putting himself over and bashing Chris Hero. He has been very entertaining this entire tournament, especially with these promos.

As for this match, it is the death of Jack Evans. He pretty much gets wrecked the entire time by Hero’s brutal strikes while barely avoiding getting KOed. While he does make some comebacks and uses the same strategy he used to beat Brian Cage, most of this match was a beat down. One interesting thing to note, though, is that Evans refused to let a two count happen for most of the match and kept kicking out at one. This was consistent with Evans’ character, since he thinks he’s better than everyone so he doesn’t even want a two count, and it made the first near fall feel huge. This match was highly enjoyable, as Evans’ has been playing such a heel that is nice to finally see his comeuppance. This match was pretty great in that capacity.

Rating: ***¾

Post match, Jack Evans berates the crowd one more time for good measure. Next up is…

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Mike Bailey vs. Will Ospreay – Battle of Los Angeles Semi-Finals Match

            This match was not what I expected it to be, and it is so much better for it. There was a slower pace here, and I was shocked that Ospreay was the one trying to keep the match on the mat. His knee injury from his match with Sydal forced a shift in strategy, since his highflying arsenal was causing him excruciating pain. Bailey, also feeling the effects of his hard-hitting match, was a tad more lethargic and slower than usual due to exhaustion. These two battered warriors collided in a match where Bailey used his kicks to get himself out of rough situations, and Ospreay flew despite the pain of his knee because of his inexperience. After wearing down Bailey slowly with great submissions, Ospreay then converted to the only way he knows how to finish someone off, his high flying offense. This insistence on using the high flying offense pays of in the short run, but ultimately costs him multiple times, especially since his climbing up the turnbuckles keeps getting slower and slower. Ospreay sold like a champ in this match, balancing when to sell it, and when to do a great move or sequence. He always sold it, whether it is before and/or after a move, which is a very commendable effort. Bailey took advantage of when Ospreay’s knee failed him, and punished him for trying this self-destructive offense. While this match sounds very psychology oriented, they did not hold back with great spots and sequences, sprinkling those in multiple times. Really, this is a match with great sequences, but uses selling and story to make the sequences even better. While this match can be appreciated for its surface level action, the story and psychology brings this up past 4*.

Rating: ****¼

Next up is…

Marty Scurll vs. Zack Sabre Jr..png

Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Marty Scurll – Battle of Los Angeles Semi-Finals Match

This was another great match and a nice change of pace from the pervious two semi-final matches. While the other two semi-final matches were pretty serious, this was a bit lighter hearted, especially in the beginning. The match started as a friendly game of one-upmanship on the mat between these two friends and rivals, and it felt like they were having fun for a bit. They mouthed off with the crowd and used a lot of comedy early on with the crisp beautiful mat work. After a while of being one upped on the mat, Scurll took to less than sportsmanlike tactics, which makes the second half of this match rather serious. They always had counters for everything and played off the familiarity, especially down the stretch. This led to multiple very nice and crisp sequences leading t some nice nearfalls. Also, Scurll put in a world-class performance, balancing great character work and great wrestling. Every bit of his offense was based in his character of “The Villain”, and he was never scared to resort to cheating. His personality and tactics shined in this match, especially since he was in the ring with someone that usually steals the show with his performances. Sabre, to his credit, was both funny when needed and fantastic on offense. He did just everything right here, never really botched, and was central to many of the best sequences of the match. This match was very crisp and fun. It started out seriously funny, which was great, and then transferred into more serious and intense wrestling, which was even better.

Rating: ****

We take a break from the tournament for…

Chuck Taylor, Trent?, Drew Galloway, Aero Star, & Drew Gulak vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Mark Andrews, Drago, Timothy Thatcher, & Andrew Everett  .png

Chuck Taylor, Trent?, Drew Galloway, Aero Star, & Drew Gulak vs. Tommaso Ciampa, Mark Andrews, Drago, Timothy Thatcher, & Andrew Everett

            This is pretty much the match I expected and the match I really needed. This was pretty much exactly like the 5 vs. 5 tag team match during the previous BOLA. This was all action and comedy, and it was wonderful. All the comedy hit, the spots were exciting, and everyone had a chance to shine. Most of this match consisted of amazing spots that I won’t spoil, and the crowd was super into it the whole time. The best parts if this was the very long slow motion sequence and the throwback to last year’s match by Ciampa & Taylor. The only issue is that I wish this match went 5 minutes more, because I feel like it finished before the peak. Other than that, this is pretty much perfect. Watch this match now, because it is a match you can only see in PWG.

Rating: ****¼

Everyone bids Chuck Taylor a farewell and there is a group hug in the center of the ring. Finally, after 3 long nights, we make it to the MAIN EVENT and our TOURNAMENT FINAL!!!!!

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Mike Bailey vs. Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr. – Elimination Match – Battle of Los Angeles Finals Match

This was a fitting final to the best tournament I have ever witnessed. I honestly don’t even know where to start with this match. First, all these guys stayed consistent with their characters and strategies up to this point in the match. Hero used his strikes in an attempt to KO his opponents and played the bruiser. Bailey fought from underneath and used kicks to comeback. Sabre was his usual cocky self and used his submissions and armwork to gain the upper hand. This was kept constant throughout the match. The structure was rather good, and gave everyone a chance to shine. Bailey fought back through adversity, Hero killed everyone and forced the other two to struggle trying to win, and Sabre sold his extreme exhaustion while using what he does best to win. Early on they all traded three way submissions and had some absolutely incredible three-way sequences. When they did get rid of one wrestler for a while, they never forgot about him and it never lasted too long. After showing tons of heart, Bailey was eliminated by Hero, who hit 3 piledrivers. Then, with extreme exhaustion setting in, Sabre worked over the arm to try to take away the elbows while Hero attempted to end Sabre with brutal offense and strikes. The way all three of these men played off previous spots and strategies in the tournament, which helps the tournament flow into this match. When the finish finally comes, it is a fitting end to both an all time great tournament and all time great show. With this match, our tournament finally ends and the winner is Zack Sabre Jr.!
Rating: ****½

Post match, Hero says Sabre deserves it and leaves. Sabre is left with the trophy in the ring to celebrate with. Roderick Strong enters and stares down Sabre, teasing the future title match. Strong says that during their title match, he will beat the shit out of Sabre. After Roddy leaves, Sabre cuts a good babyface promo to end the show and says he will win the PWG World Heavyweight Championship. The European wrestlers come out and congratulate Sabre to end the show. Close Curtain.

Overall:

            Do I really have to say how good this show is? Every single match except one is right around 4* and one is a MOTYC. This show and the wrestlers on it should be commended of one of the best shows of all time. Multiple people put in tremendous performances, but the most impressive one was Zack Sabre Jr. He had 2 MOTYC and every match of his was 4*+. Really, watch this show right now. It is pretty much a toss up between this, Stage 2, and Wrestle Kingdom for show of the year.

Overall Rating: ****½

So that was PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2015 Stage 3 and the finale of this three part review series. If you enjoyed, like, follow my blog and leave a comment. I am excited to return to Starrcade as soon as possible, and am also hyped to review the upcoming NXT special. Also expect a RMR at some point in the next month. Other than that, if you want to contact me or follow my social media, click here or at the sidebar to the left. I also write for Free Pro Wrestling if you want to check that out. It is a really great website with multiple great reviewers for you to check out. Anyhow, thank you and I hope to see you next time! 🙂

BOLA MVP: Zack Sabre Jr.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Chris Hero
  • Mike Bailey
  • Marty Scurll
  • Pentágon Jr.

Match of the Weekend: Eurotrash vs. Mount Rushmore 2.0 (Stage 1)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Chris Hero vs. Timothy Thatcher (Stage 2)
  • Mount Rushmore 2.0 vs. Biff Busick, Andrew Everett, & Trevor Lee (Stage 2)
  • Mike Bailey vs. Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (Stage 3)

-Terrance Smith

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