Written by: Jim
2005 Battle of Los Angeles
September 4, 2005
Dino Winwood opens the show by bringing out the returning Scorpio Sky. Scorpio talks about how much his mask meant to him and how he went by home to Africa to find himself. He’s back for one reason and that’s to start a war with Scott Lost. Scorpio officially returns to the ring on October 1st at the next show.
The New SBS and Ronin vs Chris Sabin, Hook Bomberry and TJ Perkins
Excalibur and Disco Machine have an issue with Sabin due to Sabin failing to help them win the previous night. Thus the second six man tag with a couple of partners Sabin could find. I have no idea why Perkins is in this when he was supposed to be too injured to be a part of BOLA. The early going is sloppy with Bomberry failing to clothesline Excalibur over the top rope in the early moments of the match. Things really never improve. After a few minutes, everyone comes in to hit a couple of spots before the finish that saw Sabin pin Excalibur after the Cradle Shock. Far too short of a match. It felt as if it had just began by time the finish came. The inclusion of Perkins is even more questionable as he never had a chance to do anything noteworthy. For those keeping track, the New SBS has lost three out of their last four tag matches. It’s sad to see the faction already a joke minus Steen in singles matches. 1 1/2 Stars.
Rocky Romero vs Quicksilver – Second Round
The crowd entertains themselves with a “Lets go Cuba!” and “Let’s go San Diego!” dueling chant. Even Romero and Quickie isn’t sure what to make out of it. Quicksilver makes the mistake of trying to hit numerous slaps like Rocky does. Romero pays him back with some vicious slaps. Romero mostly controls the match while working over the ankle and knee. However, Rocky’s tendency to be overly fancy resulted in Quicksilver countering Romero’s twisting pin that he beat Kazarian with to get the surprise pinfall. It’s not a bad match, but I definitely believe they’re capable of far better. 2 3/4 Stars.
James Gibson vs Chris Bosh – Second Round
After calling Gibson gay for wearing another man’s name on his tights (Since Gibson is still Jamie Noble to Bosh), Bosh gets his ass kicked by Gibson to start the match. A suicide dive to the outside causes Gibson more pain than Bosh due to landing head first on the ground. From then on, it’s a fight from beneath for Gibson. Near the end, he seems to have the match won with a Dragon Sleeper and later his guillotine choke. Bosh manages to avoid being choked out by countering it with a Northern Lights Suplex. These few extra moments to rest to gives Bosh enough time to hang in there until Joey Ryan and Scott Lost runs out to the ring. Gibson easily takes both guys down, but Bosh rolls him up for the cheap victory. While it’s not nearly as good as the average Gibson ROH match, it is a pretty good match with Gibson leaving PWG on a higher note than had he left following BOLA Night 1. With more experience together, I imagine Bosh and Gibson could have eventually produced a hell of a match. 3 Stars.
Christopher Daniels announces that he had thought about giving Bryan Danielson a TNA X-Division title shot, being the huge star that he is. However, since AmDrag has spent the last few months out of America wrestling British nobodies, Daniels changes his mind.
Bryan Danielson vs Christopher Daniels – Second Round
For the most part, this is nothing more than a comedy match. Danielson convinces Daniels to shake his hand at the start of the match, but Danielson pulls the hand down to stomp on it. The early going is all about Danielson just trying to have some fun while in easy control of the champ. That carefree attitude comes back to bite Danielson when Daniels surprises him with a twisting arm snap (Wrist lock when you pull the arm down hard to the mat). The next few minutes are the best of the match with AmDrag just selling the arm as only the best can. However, Danielson inexplicably stops selling the arm to redirect the match back to a lighthearted affair. Danielson eventually wins with the crossface chicken wing. It’s a good match, but the selling issues from an unlikely victim kept it from being as good as it could have been. On the plus side, the 19 minutes just flew by. 3 1/4 Stars.
After the match, Danielson gets on the mic to request a X-Division title shot the next time they’re at a PWG event. Daniels eventually agrees and it’s set. This ends up being a pointless segment since Daniels would lose the X-Division Title before the next PWG show. Ironically, the next time they’d both wrestle on a PWG show would be All Star Weekend 2 Night 1. They wouldn’t wrestle each other, but the next night they flew to Philly for ROH’s Night of Tribute. The two battled in a title match, but for Bryan Danielson’s ROH World Title.
Kevin Steen vs AJ Styles – Second Round
Before the match, Steen asks Styles to avoid his neck and his knee due to the pain he’s in from his Super Dragon match. Of course, Styles goes right after those two body parts at the sound of the bell. For the amount of time this match received, it’s a nearly flawless match. The story is simple. Steen is in such bad shape that all Styles has to do is work on the knee and neck long enough and he’ll win. However, since Steen is such an evil bastard, he’ll cheat to gain the advantage. Since he’s also the champion, Steen gets a couple of chances to prove that he can outsmart Styles. Steen’s talent and sneaky cheating ways can only take him so far before Styles beats him. If there’s one issue, it’s that Styles beat Steen with the Spiral Tap instead of the Styles Clash. The Clash seems to be a little more directed at forcing Steen to land with his knees crashing on the mat and the head taking the punishment. It’s not a huge issue though. Styles finally looks really good in PWG whereas Steen only further proves why he’s the PWG MVP of 2005. 3 1/4 Stars.
Samoa Joe and NOSAWA vs Top Gun Talwar and Kikutaro
It’s time for Joe to kill some bitches. The match is mostly just two matches compressed into one. The first is just all comedy with Top Gun being bullied by Joe and Kikutaro and NOSAWA having a comedic stalemate. The second part is showcasing what a good team Joe and NOSAWA could have been with plenty of double team moves on Top Gun. My one complaint is that Joe and Kikutaro barely even touched. Considering Kikutaro (As Cactus Jack) vs Samoa Joe from ROH’s 3rd Anniversary weekend is one of my favorite comedy matches, it only disappointment me more. Fun match though and a good change of pace from the singles matches of this weekend. 2 1/2 Stars.
So Cal Val (Looking incredibly hot in her Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders like dress clothes) and Dino Winwood are out. Scott Lost and Joey Ryan are barred from the ring for Quicksilver vs Chris Bosh. If they come out, they will be fired. Lost and Ryan comes out to argue, but Winwood forces Lost back. After a long stare down at the entrance curtain, Lost points to the ring. *BAM* Ryan super kicks So Cal’s head off in a great moment. Dino’s distraught and a bunch of guys comes out to carry an unconscious So Cal Val to the back.
Chris Bosh vs Quicksilver – Semi Finals
Despite Quicksilver being the least big star that Bosh has to wrestle during BOLA 2005, there’s at least a past. Quickie and Bosh were former PWG tag champions for a short time in 2004 before becoming bitter enemies in the AXP/Arrogance feud. Early on, Quicksilver tries to smash Bosh’s head with a chair while his head is against the ring post. Bosh ducks, but it’s a nice little reminder of what Bosh did to Quicksilver at the 2nd Anniversary. Towards the end, they take turns hitting big spots on the outside. This results in several long counts. While it puts over how much they hate each other and works perfectly fine in the context of the AXP/Arrogance feud, it doesn’t create a great one off match. Bosh nearly gets counted out when he only gets to his feet at the 19 count. The ref purposely holds off counting to 20 for a few seconds so that Bosh can get into the ring. The crowd HATES this and chants “Bullshit”. I’d kind of have to agree. Bosh quickly puts Quicksilver away with the Steiner Screwdriver. This would have been fine as an opening round match, but it fails as a semi-finals. 2 3/4 stars.
AJ Styles vs Bryan Danielson – Semi Finals
This tends to be hailed as one of the better matches in PWG history by some. Personally, I don’t see it. They end up throwing away two possible stories. The first comes from Styles getting upset at Danielson’s “Just here to have fun” attitude. The second comes from Styles selling the knee (How he injured it, I have no idea), but Danielson not even touching it. I’m not sure whether Styles decided to tell a story without cluing in AmDrag or if Danielson decided he didn’t want to do it. Either way, it makes for a bizarre match. That being said, they do end up producing a fun match full of mat wrestling, similar spots and near falls. Like with Bosh’s win, Styles winning made it looked like he went through a war. Unlike with Bosh, the war was pretty entertaining for Styles. One of the better matches that I have a lot of gripes with. 3 1/2 Stars.
Super Dragon, Jack Evans, El Generico and Frankie Kazarian vs Scott Lost, Joey Ryan, Ricky Reyes and Davey Richards
Everyone who lost in the first round is back again in an eight man tag. There’s a lot of smack being talked before the bell. You’d think that this was a big faction vs faction match with how much everyone hates everyone. In particular, Davey Richards seems to have selected Super Dragon to pick a fight with. Even in the midst of the Steen feud, that’s still a very stupid thing to do. Dragon makes him pay for it with a series of brutal hits, however; Davey keeps coming back. There’s a definite young lion challenging the Alpha Male for his spot. To bring it back to the Steen feud, it seems like this is the sort of thing Dragon needed. Some young bad ass who’s willing to take everything he can deliver and still want more. None of this mind games BS that Dragon has been forced to deal with for nine months. After the midway point, the match breaks down into a giant spot fest. However, it’s a spotfest that you can’t help, but get into. By time the finish occurs, you feel as if you’ve been taken through a long story which isn’t always the case for spotfests. Dragon picks up the win for his team by hitting the Psycho Driver 2 on Davey Richards. Dragon, Davey, Joey (And his huge heel heat) and Jack Evans (SPOTZ~!) all made this match really fun. I ended up enjoying this a lot more than I did originally. Best match of BOLA 2005. 4 Stars.
Chris Bosh vs AJ Styles – Finals
Styles defeated one of the top high flyers in the world in Jack Evans, the current PWG champion in Kevin Steen and the future ROH Champion in Bryan Danielson to get to this match. Bosh had wins over one half of the current PWG tag champions in El Generico, the next ROH World Champion in James Gibson and his former partner/last PWG tag champion in Quicksilver. Star power wise, I’d give it to Styles, but Bosh’s wins were big too. Styles is selling his knee during the entire match, but Bosh doesn’t touch it once. I’m now convinced that Styles created this knee injury storyline without telling anyone. Styles regains control, but he misses a Spiral Tap. Bosh nails the Steiner Screwdriver, but Styles kicks out. Bosh hits it again and wins the match and the first ever BOLA. What an uneventful finale. It was just mindless fighting that didn’t make sense in terms of the story Styles tried to tell. The worst thing is that out of the entire tournament, this is the worst match. Lesson learned: If you’re going to try and create a story, fill in your opponents. 1 3/4 Stars.
After the match, Bosh repeats the legendary Austin 3:16 King of the Ring 1996 speech. Styles stops him, pissed that Bosh would dare to poke fun at his religion. The crowd boos Styles. When Bosh tells Styles to lick his balls, Styles throws another tantrum by throwing his water bottle at Bosh. God, Styles looks like such a loser in this. Bosh throws down his trophy, stating that he only cares about taking the PWG Title from Kevin Steen.
Well, there you have it. The first ever BOLA event. Regardless of the tournament, I feel it’s important to have three things to have a successful tourney. 1) You have to have enough good matches. BOLA 2005 accomplishes that thanks to Bryan Danielson and Kevin Steen. The matches doesn’t have to be great, but just good enough that there’s more than one reason to watch the show. 2) The best match has to be a tournament event. That’s one of the biggest problems of the KOTR. Minus 1993, the best matches are always from the non-tournament matches. Sadly, BOLA 2005 fails at this as well. As good as Reyes vs Danielson from Night 1 was, it didn’t end up being the best match of the night. To be fair, the losers tag is one of the better matches of the year, so it has that going for it. 3) The final match has to be worthy of closing out the entire weekend. To put it bluntly, Bosh vs Styles FAILED miserably.
The booking of the tournament can be questionable as well. As much as I love Chris Bosh, what’s the point of having him win if they weren’t going to eventually put the PWG Title on him? In theory, it would have made more sense to have Joey Ryan win the title. Then there’s Quicksilver making it to the semi-finals. Once again, love the guy, but he didn’t have any business making it to the semi-finals. Just making it to Night 2 is questionable as well. Steen, Gibson or Daniels would have all been a better choice. Even though I was disappointed in Bryan Danielson on Night 2, he should have been in Styles’ spot as the babyface who carries the tournament. Out of the first three rounds, Danielson did have the best match each time. I’m sure he could have had a much better match against Chris Bosh (Or Joey Ryan had he won). Overall, for the first BOLA, it’s good enough to warrant a second one, but it’s still a weak BOLA. Thanks to the losers tag and Danielson vs Daniels being included on the two PWG Sells Out DVD sets, I wouldn’t say it’s worth the twenty dollar price tag at Highspots. By skipping the show, you’d be missing out on a really good American Dragon match, but it’s Bryan Danielson. The guy has a million classics better than the one against Reyes.
Worth Checking Out
Kevin Steen vs AJ Styles (For Steen’s awesome performance)
Bryan Danielson vs AJ Styles
Losers Tag Match
New SBS and Ronin vs Chris Sabin, Hook Bomberry and TJ Perkins
AJ Styles vs Chris Bosh