PWG “Battle of Los Angeles – Night 2” September 2nd, 2017 – review

Over the years PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles tournament has become arguably the biggest event in the American independent wrestling scene, and night 2 with Kenny Omega making his first PWG appearance in several years may have been the hardest ticket to get in wrestling. The fans who managed to get a ticket were rewarded with a truly fantastic show (that unbelievably was topped by night 3, but more on that later).

I wasn’t able to make it to night 1 because of other commitments (JR was there and you can read his review here), so I can’t compare the temperature between the first and second night, but some people told me night 1 was hotter. Someone actually passed out in line right about the time doors opened, and people in line did a good job of attending to him. The show started maybe 15 minutes later than the scheduled 8:00 pm bell time.

BOLA First Round Tournament Match
Donovan Dijak over Trevor Lee [11’34]

Trevor Lee did his normal heel routine playing up him being in GFW. Lee did a lot of double stomp based on offense, including a pretty cool double stomp on Dijak on the apron. Dijak looked great in this. I hadn’t seen a whole lot of him prior to BOLA, but I came away really impressed. This was a really great start to the show and really good match. Dijak won with the Feast Your Eyes.
Rating: *** 3/4

BOLA First Round Tournament Match
Sammy Guevara over Joey Janela [14’30]

These guys came out with the intention to steal the show, and they did. This was insane. Janela was a late replacement for TK Cooper who was injured. Early on Guevara did a flip from the top rope that got crazy air and I thought if nothing else we’d see some impressive offense. Then they just started going crazy and each guy took a ton of punishment. A steel chair got setup and Janela was sitting in the chair. Guevara runs at him and Janela manages to flip over Guevara while still sitting in the chair and lands the chair on its legs. One of the legs actually broke in this and the chair was pretty much sidewise but Janela still slams Guevara onto the chair. Janela later took a powerbomb through a chair himself. This was fantastic. Guevara won with a 630 senton.
Rating: **** 1/2

BOLA First Round Tournament Match
Travis Banks over Mark Haskins [16’58]

This was really good but had a bad finish that hurt it. Following the previous match did it no favors as well. Travis Banks came across as really intense and had a lot of offense that came across as really hard hitting. Haskins for me has been hit and miss in PWG, but I thought he did good here. Banks hit the Slice of Heaven and there was some confusion and I’m not sure if the ref counted the three, but he started yelling for the bell to be rang. No one seemed to know what was going on and the crowd wasn’t happy with the finish and the flat ending hurt the match.
Rating: *** 1/4

LDRS (Zack Sabre Jr. & Marty Scurll) over Ricochet & Matt Sydal [20’56]

All four wrestlers were great in this. Ricochet looks so fluid and crisp in everything he does. Every time Ricochet would get knocked out of the ring he would end up falling on Shayna Baszler and Jessamyn Duke, who were in the front row. At one point he went out of the ring of to the side and stumbled around over to their side just to fall on them. Scurll had Ricochet in a Chickenwing and Sydal broke it up with a Shooting Star Press. Sydal went to hit a top rope Huricanrana on Sabre and Sabre just rolled through it and rolled up Sydal for the pin. This was a great match.
Rating: **** 1/4

BOLA First Round Tournament Match
Jeff Cobb vs. Sami Callihan [11’41]

Callihan started off by attacking Cobb before the bell to start the match. He couldn’t keep up with Cobbs power, so Callihan tried to compensate through aggression. Something was off with the pacing in this match and it seemed like they never really 100% clicked. This would have been good on most independent shows, but when you put it on a show that is filled with 3 1/2 to 4 star plus matches it sticks out. Cobb won with the Tour of the Islands.
Rating: ***

BOLA First Round Tournament Match
Matthew Riddle over Michael Elgin [17’59]

Riddle is over so huge in PWG. He got the biggest reaction of any non-Elite guy on the show. This was a super hard hitting match. Quite a few people were saying it felt like the match came right out of the G1. I think a lot of people had Riddle as their pick to win, which was a testament to how well this match was put together that they were able to get the crowd to completely buy into the near falls. Riddle hit his cradle tombstone to get the pin. This was great.
Rating: **** 1/4

BOLA First Round Tournament Match
Keith Lee over WALTER [19’44]

Prior to the match actually starting there was a chant off with the crowd going back and forth between the two guys. Once it started this was good. These are two big guys that were beating the hell out of each other. Lots of really stiff chops. WALTER looked great in this and won over a lot of people who hadn’t seen him. Lee hit a fireman’s carry into a jackhammer for the pin. WALTER got “please come bac” chants. I’m pretty sure they broke the ring.
Rating: *** 3/4

The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) over Flamita, Rey Fenix, & Penta El Zero M [27’06]

Everyone knew this match was next, and you could really feel the excitement in the air. There was a noticeable buzz. The lucha team came out first and the place erupted when Kenny Omega’s old theme hit. The match started with Matt Jackson and Rey Fenix matching up, and after a few minutes both tagged out and then it was Nick Jackson and Flamita matched up. When Omega and Penta El Zero M were tagged in next the place went crazy. Masked Republic said that The Crash wanted to book them in a match but Omega can only work CMLL in Mexico. Right now PWG might be the only place in the world where we can see these two go at it. There was lots of really fun team offense in this. The ropes were really loose (likely due to something happening in the previous match) and that likely limited some of both teams offense. Still, there were some really cool moments in this like Omega catching Flamita in a flip and turning it into a Dragon Suplex. Flamita got so high and a flip to the outside he not only hit a light fixture, the power went out on the light and the bulb fell out. Omega hit the One Winged Angel on Flamita for the win. This was yet another excellent match.
Rating: ****

Overall this was a great show, and probably PWG’s best show since night 2 of last year’s Battle of Los Angeles (it might have even been better). The matchup possibilities for night 3 could really lead to some great stuff as well. There’s always a lot of hype going into big shows like this, and it is real easy not to deliver, but PWG has consistently exceeded expectations on the Battle of Los Angeles shows over the last few years. There was some skepticism before the shows this year with a lot of new people coming in and maybe not the star power of last years, but any skepticism has been unfounded so far. It’s definitely worth checking this show out on DVD when it gets released.

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  1. PWG “Battle of Los Angeles – Night 3” September 3rd, 2017 – review | SoCalUNCENSORED.com - 09/07/2017

    […] You can read a review of night 1 here, and night 2 here. […]