I cannot wait to get this started. PWG is one of my favourite promotions in all of wrestling and the Battle of Los Angeles tournament is my favourite weekend. The tournament is absolutely stacked with talent and I'm expecting some fantastic matches so lets get to it.
Round 1 - Brian Cage vs Dezmond Xavier
A sensible way to kick off the show. Xavier outpaces Cage in the early stages and tells him that he will have to try something new. Cage responds with a pair of flying headscissors. Cage catches a 619 attempt from Xavier and swings him into the post. Deadlift out to in suplex, Brian Cage is a fucking machine.
Xavier fights back with series of strikes and a low cutter, followed up by a Sasuke Special. Cage fights back and hits an F5 for a near fall. Cage hits a nasty superkick and Xavier hits a brutal looking spiral tap which pisses off Cage. Cage hits 3 consecutive powerbombs and goes for the screwdriver, but Xavier reverses into the Yoshitonic for the shock win.
This was a fun way to open the show. Matches will definitely get better than this but it was good. ***1/2
Round 1 - Marty Scurll vs Flash Morgan Webster
Marty starts by taking the mic and telling Webster to get out of his ring. Webster responds by headbutting him to death. He gets the flash 3 count but Rick Knox notices that Scurll's leg was under the rope. What a fucking start that was.
The action spills outside and Webster hits a crossbody into the crowd. They fight around ringside and Scurll manages to hit a powerbomb into the empty chairs. They head back inside and the match levels out somewhat, that is until a fan heckles Marty so he throws Webster at him. Classic Villain.
A fan offers a 2 Sweet to Marty but Marty swerves him and gives him the finger. They work a back and forth finishing stretch with both men getting some great near falls. The crowd starts to get on to the side of Webster but he doesn't quite have enough and Marty puts him away with the Chickenwing to advance to Round 2 for the third straight year.
That was a blast. They worked a really fun back and forth encounter and Webster pushed Scurll to the limit in his debut match, making him look good from the off. It's nice to see Webster on a wider stage. Great match. ****
Round 1 - Rey Fenix vs Rey Horus
Well, this one should be flippy as fuck. Strangely, this is only their second ever singles match. The match starts a bit off but it picks up when Fenix does something that is going to be hard to explain. He goes for a springboard but gets chopped by Horus, causing Fenix to land back first on the top rope. Somehow Fenix bounces off the rope, lands back on his feet on the top rope and hits an arm drag. Not human.
They trade big moves, a Yoshitonic and hurricanrana, before Fenix hits an evil superkick on a kneeling Horus. Fenix heads up top but Horus pushes him into the crowd and hits a dive over the corner to the floor. Horus also hits the best DDT I have ever seen in my life.
Fenix heads up top again but Horus takes out his legs, causing Fenix to land seated on the top rope. Fenix is made of flubber though and bounces straight back up and hits a moonsault for a near fall. Horus hits a top rope prawn hold for a good near fall.
They jostle for position on the top and Fenix hits a Spanish fly for a 2 count. He hits a fire thunder driver but Horus kicks out again. He goes for another but Horus reverses it into a DDT. In the end Fenix manages to roll through into a modified Kimura to pick up the win.
That was nuts. It was by no means perfect but it featured some shit that I have never seen before in my life. I'm convinced that Rey Fenix has no bones. ****
Non Tournament Match - Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle) vs Monstars (Keith Lee & Donovan Dijak)
Fuck yes! This is gonna be good. Chuck Taylor on commentary starts off by explaining how stupid the NBA team that the aliens pick in Space Jam is. No shooting on the team. The match starts with Cobb and Lee showing that they are stupidly athletic for some massive dudes. Dijak tags in and chucks Riddle around, which pisses Riddle off. Riddle kicks his face off.
They switch to strength moves and these boys have got plenty of those. Lee hits his sick Mongolian chops on Cobb and Dijak wants in on it. His chop is weak and it annoys Cobb who proceeds to beat the piss out of Dijak with chop/lariat combinations. Cobb then throws around two very large men like they are small children.
Stiff strikes all round. Dijak accidentally hits his partner with a big boot, allowing the Chosen Bros to get a brief advantage. Riddle, Cobb and Dijak all hit their finishers but their respective pin attempts are broken up. This is some good shit.
The Monstars hit a powerbomb/chokebreaker combination on Riddle but he kicks out at the last possible second. The big boys head up top with Lee hitting a moonsault and Dijak hitting a corkscrew moonsault. Jeff Cobb just about makes the save. Fuck yes.
Keith Lee heads up top but Cobb cuts him off. The Chosen Bros hit a splash mountain Bro 2 Sleep, that looked brutal, to pick up the win. That was fucking top notch. That's the good stuff that I like. Big bastards kicking fuck out of each other. Dijak is already signed to NXT and they really should think about picking up the rest of them. ****3/4
Round 1 - Penta El Zero M vs Matt Sydal
The match starts with Sydal trying to knee a hole in Penta's chest. They spill to the outside and Penta rests Sydal against the post and goes for a chop. Sydal moves and Penta chops the post, which makes an unexpectedly loud noise.
Back in the ring, neither man is able to get a prolonged advantage. Penta hits a gorilla press gutbuster for 2 and Sydal gets a similar result from a meteora. Sydal hits the slice and goes for the standing moonsault but Penta gets the knees up.
Penta heads up top but Sydal hits a leaping rana to bring him back to the mat. Sydal heads up top and goes for the shooting star press but Penta gets both feet up and kicks him in the face on the way down. It looked rough as fuck on Sydal. Rough enough that on commentary Excalibur just said 'Oh fuck'. Penta hits the cradle driver but Sydal kicks out at 2.
Penta goes for the package piledriver but Sydal reverses into a pumphandle driver for 2. Sydal hits a nasty looking reverserana and heads up top again. He misses the shooting star press, allowing Penta to hit the destroyer followed by a running package piledriver for the win.
That was really good. Better than I expected going in. Both men worked their asses off and it paid off. Sydal is someone who I don't actively look for on shows but pretty much never has a bad match. ***3/4
Round 1 - Jonah Rock vs Zack Sabre Jr
Now this is something new to me, I have never seen a single match from Jonah Rock so I'm interested to see how good he is. Zack tries to rush Jonah but the sheer mass is too much and Jonah crushes him to death. They spill to the outside and Jonah continues to use his size to beat Sabre down.
Back in the ring, Sabre uses his superior wrestling skills to outmanoeuvre the big man, but not being able to get into a winning position. For a large portion of the match they follow the formula of Zack trying to ground Jonah and Jonah just using his power to avoid it.
As the match progresses it slows down as Jonah takes full control. He hits a Vader bomb and a sweet looking frog splash but it's not enough. A great looking brainbuster can't get the job done either. Zack manages to escape the clutches of Jonah and hit the PK but it only gets a one count. Jonah rushes in and gets caught in a deep armbar and is forced to tap.
I have no problem with the finish coming out of nowhere, it made Jonah seem like a real threat, but the match lacked any real sense of drama. It was still a good match, due to Zack's prowess, but the lack of drama stopped it from being more than that. The PWG crowd was about as docile as I've heard them in a while though. ***1/2
Round 1 - Flamita vs Ricochet
Well, I doubt this match will slow down much. The start off with some chain wrestling to prove me wrong. Ricochet does some crazy flips. Flamita isn't one to be outdone though and throws in some of his own, including a sweet looking whirlybird armdrag.
Flamita speeds up to ludicrous speed but Ricochet has the balance of a mountain goat and will not go down. Ricochet takes a spill to the floor and Flamita lands a big dive. In the ring Flamita tries to leap over Ricochet but gets caught with a mega dropkick. Ricochet hits a suicide dive, where I think he was briefly flying, and a Frosbury flop. He finds a phone so he takes a selfie with a fan.
They trade moves back and forth, with Ricochet hitting a shotgun dropkick where he lands on his back and immediately bounces back to his feet. The man is incredible. Flamita hits a sloppy 619 but makes up for it with a a picture perfect slingshot rana and springboard moonsault to the floor.
Ricochet hits the spikiest cutter I've ever seen and follows up with a lung blower in the corner. Flamita turns the tables and hits a muscle buster into a lung blower of his own for a near fall. Ricochet tries to hit the Benadryller but Flamita reverses it into a reverserana and follows up with a standing Spanish fly for another near fall.
They exchange kicks before Flamita hits the prawn hold for a 2 count. Ricochet then hits a Konnan special, the roly poly clothesline. They end up on the apron and Ricochet hits a neckbreaker but falls straight to the floor.
Back in and Flamita hits a double underhook backbreaker for 2. He heads up top and hits a 450 but dislocates his finger on the landing, and Rick Knox puts it back in. In the end Ricochet hits a suplex combination, a brainspiller, and a high angle flatliner for the win.
That was a super fun way to finish the show. It was wrestled at a great pace and while there was a couple of minor mishaps, they didn't take away from the match at all. ****1/4
Overall Grade - A+
Seven matches and I had four of them at **** or higher. Every year this tournament continues to astound me with the consistent standard of the matches. The tag match is superb and at no point does this show even come close to dragging, which is helped even more by the 130 minute run time. The commentary team of Excalibur and Chuck Taylor are likeable and funny throughout too, as usual. Highly recommended.