August 29th thru 31st PWG’s “Battle of Los Angeles 2014” at American Legion Post #308, Reseda. With a star-studded field of 24 of the world’s best wrestlers in the indies today, all three days of the tournament weekend drew capacity crowds. Todd Keneley did the ring announcing duties for Night 1, while Angelo Trinidad did the work on the remaining two nights, despite being “victimized in another Young Bucks Superkick Party” on Night 2.
NIGHT 1 (FRIDAY, 8/29/14)
FIRST QUARTER OF ROUND 1 MATCHES
1 – T.J. Perkins (subbing for an injured Brian Cage) p. Bobby Fish
Great back-and-forth ring action that ended with TJP reversing Bobby’s ankle or knee lock into a Bridging cover for the pin.
2 – Roderick Strong p. Biff Busick
Another great back-and-forth match that saw Roddy roll a Discus Elbow strike into the DBR Backbreaker for the pin.
3 – Trevor Lee p. Cedric Alexander
More great back-and-forth action from the two North Carolina natives. Trevor did a Lift-and-Catch Tiger Bomb for the pin.
4 – First of the two tag team matches. The World’s Cutest Tag Team (Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan) successfully defended their newly won tag team titles in a brutal three-way battle over Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) and The Inner City Machine Guns (Ricochet & Rich Swann).
Just some fantastic tag team action that saw all six wrestlers do their fair share of the work. Joey did a Suicide Dive onto one of the opponents, allowing Candice to hit the Reverse Headscissors DDT onto Rich Swann for the pin. The Bad Influence duo shook everyone’s hands, but not the ICMG duo when it came to the WCTT. With the quartet scheduled for tournament action on Night 2, who could blame them?
SECOND QUARTER OF ROUND 1 MATCHES
5 – Michael Elgin p. Tommaso Ciampa
These two big had to pull out all the stops to put the other one away. Elgin did that with a Spinning Backhand onto the back of Tommaso’s neck, and rolled it into a “Clothesline From Hell” for the pin.
6 – A.J. Styles made Brian Myers (f.k.a. Curt Hawkins) tapout
Great match that seemed to end a bit sour when both men lost their footing on the ropes. A.J. did a Boston Crab hold for the submission win, then gave the former WWE Superstar a pair of Styles Clashes, which may’ve been his original intention, anyway.
SM – PWG Heavyweight Champion Kyle O’Reilly made Drew Gulak tapout
Probably the most technical match of the night. The two mat wrestling specialists put up quite the clinic on it. Kyle was able to overcome getting his left knee picked apart, picking apart Drew’s left arm, then hit his finishing 4-move combo, ending it with the Cross Armbreaker submission.
M – The 6-man tag team marquee match. Chuck Taylor, Zack Sabre Jr., & Kenny Omega beat Mt. Rushmore (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks)
All 6 men, including the British star, Zack Sabre Jr., did their fair share of the work. Zack did all he could to send a statement to the previous PWG Heavyweight champ going into their tournament match the following night. Nick Jackson prevented Referee Rick Knox from completing a three-count, then used him as a shield when Zack went for a Suicide Dive. Referee Patrick Hernandez then rushed in after Kenny Omega ate the Superkick Party/Brainbuster combo, but he was pulled out….BY THE INJURED TRENT BARETTA. Patrick ate a Superkick, then Trent went to the back while the makeshift trio cleaned house. Adam Cole ate Kenny’s Avalanche German Suplex, which was then rolled into Chuckie T’s Awful Waffle. Kenny got the pin when Trent ran in, donning a referee shirt, and did the 3-count.
NIGHT 2 (SATURDAY, 8/30/14)
THIRD QUARTER OF ROUND 1 MATCHES
1 – Candice LeRae p. Rich Swann
Strong opener that ended with Candice getting her knees up to counter Rich’s 450 Splash, rolling him up in an Inside Cradle for the pin.
2 – Johnny Gargano made Chuck Taylor tapout
Great back-and-forth action that saw Gargano roll in the Garga-No Escape for the submission win.
3 – Ricochet p. Chris Sabin
More great back-and-forth action that ended with Ricochet hitting the 660 Senton for the pin.
4 – First tag team action of the night. ReDragon (PWG Heavyweight Champion Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) def. Biff Busick & Drew Gulak
Some fantastic tag team action that saw all four guys pull out all the stops. Bobby Fish ended up pinning Drew Gulak after he & Kyle hit the Kick-to-the-Head/Brainbuster combo.
FOURTH QUARTER OF ROUND 1 MATCHES
5 – Matt Sydal (f.k.a. Evan Bourne) p. Chris Hero
Matt took quite a beating from Hero, which is quite expected, but he managed to roll in a DDT while leaping from the top rope, then hit the Shooting Star Press (or “Air Bourne”) for the pn.
6 – Zack Sabre, Jr. p. Adam Cole
Boy, did these two kill it. Fantastic back-and-forth action that saw Adam go for one of Zack’s knees, while Zack went for Adam’s left elbow. Zack did some fantastic counter to get out of a Florida Keys and a Figure-4 Leglock, getting a countering Bridge cover for the pin.
SM – Kenny Omega p. ACH
These two also killed it, adding in some comedic flair. One of the fans tossed his Stone Cold Steve Austin vest into the ring, which was donned by ACH, and he acted like the WWE icon. Kenny had none of it, though, rolling one big Hadouken into the Omega Driver for the pin. This match narrowly edged out the previous match for the best Round 1 match this year.
M – The Young Bucks def. Bad Influence
The chemistry was definitely there, as all four wrestlers did all kinds of crazy stuff. Nick Jackson was able to cancel out Christopher Daniels at the very end, allowing him to add a Springboard 450 flair to the Cutler Driver on Kazarian for the pin.
NIGHT 3 (SUNDAY, 8/31/14)
1 – Johnny Gargano p. Candice LeRae
Apparently, Candice was ruled not kicking out of what looked like a Spinning Reverse STO by Gargano, according to Referee Justin Borden, and that did not go well with the fans.
2 – Ricochet p. T.J. Perkins
TJP barely kicked out of Ricochet’s 660 Senton, but got the lights knocked out of him when he ate what looked like a Modified GTS—a Fireman’s Carry hold that was followed by Ricochet posting his opponent on his feet, then KO’ing him with a Roundhouse Kick to the head for the pin.
3 – Trevor Lee p. Michael Elgin
Good mix of counter-wrestling and chain-wrestling. Trevor was able to weather those big strikes from the ROH Champion, getting what looked a Cradle Rollup for the pin.
4 – Kenny Omega p. Matt Sydal
Great match that ended with Kenny hitting what looked like a Modified Tiger Bomb for the pin.
5 – Roderick Strong with a DQ win over A.J. Styles
Good match that seemed to unravel when Referee Justin Borden took a bump. That led to Roddy getting a couple of steel chairs, then successfully sold a double-chair shot to the torso for the DQ. Obviously, that did not go well with the Pro-A.J. crowd.
6 – Kyle O’Reilly made Zack Sabre Jr. tapout
The most technical and best of the Round 2 matches. Fantastic mix of counter-wrestling and chain-wrestling where both men went for body parts to pick apart. Kyle got the Triangle Armbreaker submission win, but was ambushed by Roderick Strong, who gave him a Sick Kock, a DBR Backbreaker, then the Stronghold. Roddy would get a Semifinals bye when Kyle had to be taken to the hospital.
7 – First tag team match. Mt. Rushmore def. ACH, Brian Myers, & Chris Sabin
Great tag team action that plenty of clusters out of the ring. Mt. Rushmore scored the pin on ACH, after The Young Bucks hit the Cole-Assisted Cutler Driver.
8 – Johnny Gargano made Trevor Lee tapout
Great match that ended with Gargano putting Trevor in the 2nd Garga-No Escape for the submission win.
9 – Ricochet p. Kenny Omega
The better of the two semifinals matches, with plenty of great action. Ricochet landed the Modified GTS for the pin.
SM – 10-man tag team action. Willie Mack, Joey Ryan, Chuck Taylor, Rich Swann, & Chris Hero def. Biff Busick, Drew Gulak, Bobby Fish, Cedric Alexander, & Tommaso Ciampa
A fantastic blend of comedy & serious wrestling in what may’ve been Willie Mack’s final PWG match, with the likelihood that he’ll be on his way to the WWE Performance Center. Perhaps the best part was when Chuckie T wanted the action “to go in slow motion”. Not only did they do that, but the fans interacted in the same way. After Rich Swann scored the pin on Bobby Fish, the spotlight was on Willie Mack, who addressed the fans.
M – Tournament Final Three-Way: Johnny Gargano v. Ricochet v. Roderick Strong
Great, even match. Ricochet was able to take down Roddy, then hit the Modified GTS on Gargano for the pin. Obviously, that didn’t go well with Roddy, who hit the Sick Kick on Ricochet, then pulled a Kevin Steen by demolishing the trophy. Still…
YOUR 2014 PWG BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES WINNER: RICOCHET
It’s going to be interesting to see what storyline plays out with Ricochet & Roderick Strong gunning for Kyle O’Reilly & the PWG title, or if they’ll have to face each other if need be. If possible, I’d like to see Zack Sabre Jr. return to the states, if not PWG, to show more of his European style of wrestling to the American wrestling fans. I’d also like to see ReDragon team up for the next DDT4 tourney when it comes next year. A lot of the other guys who have returned to the indies from the mainstream leagues, plus the CZW-based wrestlers have their foot in the door again, and they could also be brought back, as well.
MOTN: Night 1—Mt. Rushmore v. Kenny Omega, Chuck Taylor, & Zack Sabre Jr.
Night 2—Kenny Omega v. ACH, & Adam Cole v. Zack Sabre Jr.
Night 3—10-man tag team match
To view more photos from the three days, visit my link here