Written by: Bob Colling
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla presents Battle of Los Angeles Stage One
From: Burbank, CA
Every match on this show is a first round match for the BOLA tournament.
Opening Contest: Chuck Taylor vs. TJ Perkins: They are avoiding each other as neither man is able to hit anything early on. This frustrates Perkins and he bails to the floor. Perkins works over Taylor with a thumb to the eye and an uppercut. Taylor comes off the ropes to take TJ over with a few arm drags and locks in a head scissors. TJ gets out of the hold and taunts Chuck, who just puts Perkins back into the hold a couple of times. Taylor tosses a grenade before dropping an elbow and tosses Perkins overhead with a suplex for a near fall. TJ drops Chuck on his knees and dropkicks the left knee to maintain the advantage. Perkins is trying to get a submission out of Taylor, but isn’t getting anywhere. TJ hits a senton splash from the apron for a near fall. Taylor puts his foot on TJ’s jaw and drops backwards. Taylor nails Perkins with a big boot but TJ powers out before three. Perkins superkicks Chuck in the corner. Taylor blocks a brass knuckles shot from TJ and hits a dropkick. Taylor sends Perkins to the floor while still having the brass knuckles on his had. Taylor has the brass knuckles but TJ avoids a shot with them. Taylor knocks Perkins out with the brass knuckles to win the match. Wait, the referee just noticed the brass knuckles and calls the bell to disqualify Taylor and gives Perkins the win. (**1/4. I thought it was rather boring start and the finish was kind of lame to me. Plus, now I have to see more of TJ Perkins, whom I do not like all that much.)
Second Contest: Brandon Bonham vs. Kenny Omega: This is Omega’s debut in PWG. Omega refuses a handshake and moves his hips like Rick Rude. Bonham does the same after backing Omega into a corner. Kenny continues to do various taunts early on. It’s a rather slow start to the match. Bonham surfs on top of Omega’s back after tripping Kenny. Omega is sent to the floor by Bonham who misses a baseball slide. Kenny chops the ring post on accident, twice. They attempt humor by having Bonham force Omega to slap the fans hand, the same hand that hit the ring post. Omega leapfrogs over Bonham from behind to hit a bulldog for a two count. Bonham soon hits Omega with a kick after rolling through a sunset flip. Omega yanks Bonham by the hair to deliver a backbreaker and a dropkick for a near fall. Kenny comes off the top to his a missile dropkick for a two count. Bonham sends Kenny to the floor to hit a somersault dive on the floor! Bonham nails Omega with a Diamond Dust from the apron into the ring for a two count. Omega blocks a Swanton Bomb by getting his knees up and Omega hits the Hadouken! Bonham gets off of Kenny’s shoulders and hits a flipping piledriver to win the match. (**. A rather boring match here as well. The last couple of spots were entertaining but leading into that, it was a long, boring match.)
Third Contest: Austin Aries vs. Nigel McGuiness: Aries takes Nigel down early on as they start off slowly. Austin goes to the floor after he is driven head first into the canvas when he tried to get out of a head scissors. Austin returns to deliver a series of arm drags. Aries kicks Nigel in the chest and follows up with an STO and an elbow drop for a two count. Nigel does a handstand in the corner while Aries waits in the other corner sitting on the top rope. Aries rolls Nigel up but locks in a front choke and delivers a few knee strikes before Nigel bails to the floor. Aries dropkicks Nigel to the floor and goes for a suicide dive but Nigel cuts him off with an uppercut. Nigel works over Aries with a few strikes in the corner. Aries misses a splash in the corner and is kicked in the back by Nigel. Nigel delivers a running uppercut in the corner to maintain control of the contest. They are on the floor where McGuiness continues to beat Aries with uppercuts. Aries dropkicks Nigel as he was doing a handstand and that sends McGuiness to the floor. Austin takes Nigel out with a suicide dive! Holy shit,, Nigel drops Aries on the apron with the Tower of London! McGuiness wraps Aries arm around the ring post but only gets a near fall on the cover. Aries avoids the lariat and locks in the Last Chancery but lets go rather quickly. Aries clotheslines McGuiness but only gets a two and goes back to the Last Chancery! Nigel absorbs several knee shots while in a front facelock. Aries goes back to the Last Chancery but Nigel gets out and has an arm lock on Aries and wins by submission. (***1/4. They went with telling a story and they did a good job at it. You’re aren’t going to get high spots here or anything. It’s still a good bout.)
Fourth Contest: Low Ki vs. Roderick Strong: Early on, neither man can get lasting offense as they trade chops in the corner but nothing happens. They are doing some mat wrestling but once again neither man can manage to get momentum. Ki delivers a nice dropkick and a hurricanrana to get some offense going. Strong quickly comes back to slam Ki down with a gut buster. They are on the floor where they exchange more chops. Strong is focusing his attack on Ki’s lower back after sending him back first into the apron. Roderick hits a fall away slam for a near fall. Strong ties Ki up in the ropes to stretch out Ki’s lower back. They go back to trading chops. Ki knocks Roderick silly with a running clothesline attack in the corner. Ki gets the dragon sleeper on Roderick in the ropes and has to let go. Ki comes off the top to hit a leaping clothesline for a near fall. Ki works over Strong with several kicks until Roderick hits a sit out slam for a near fall. Ki double stomps Roderick after a backdrop. Strong tosses Ki into the corner and hits a backbreaker but Ki kicks out at two. Ki blocks a gut buster by double stomping Strong’s knees! Ki dropkicks Strong into a corner. Strong hits the gut buster on the second attempt but Ki kicks out at two. Ki nearly rolls Roderick up to get out of a submission. Ki quickly locks in the dragon sleeper to win the match. (***1/4. It was a solid bout but considering these guys like to chop it gets kind of dull. Nonetheless, they put together a fine first round match.)
Fifth Contest: Joey Ryan vs. Scott Lost: Ryan nearly wins with a roll up on Lost as soon as the bell sounds. Ryan gets a Northern lights suplex for a two count as well. Lost drops Ryan with a right hand and dropkicks a seated Ryan. Remember, they are tag team partners. Ryan staggers up but is knocked back down with a running clothesline. Lost gets another two count following a back suplex. Lost continues his offense with a spinning heel kick. Ryan dropkicks Lost as he looked to go for a springboard from the apron. Ryan nails Lost with a running high knee and drives Scott down with a spinebuster. He just did Triple H’s move set. Scott gets out of the pedigree but Ryan hits an arm trapped suplex. Lost suplexs Ryan over the top rope and they both crash to the floor. Lost hits a Flatliner and a roundhouse kick back in the ring for a two count. Ryan stops Lost with a backbreaker but Lost plants Ryan with an ace crusher for a close two count. Ryan avoids a kick and hits the pedigree! Ryan slowly covers and that allows Lost to kick out. Lost lands on his feet on a German suplex attempt. Lost is sent to the floor and Ryan hits a suicide dive! Lost stops Ryan on the top to hit a superplex for a two count! Ryan nearly wins with a roll up after avoiding a superkick. Lost locks in the Sharpshooter but Ryan reaches the bottom rope. Ryan spears Lost in the corner and gets a near fall with a powerbomb! Lost blocks a superkick and kicks Ryan in the head to win the match. (***. Some decent action throughout the match, but they didn’t really capture the crowd and the match felt rather flat as a result. It may have had something to do with the fact they are both heels, too.)
Sixth Contest: Bryan Danielson vs. Davey Richards: No surprise that they start the match with mat wrestling oriented at the beginning. Richards slaps Danielson in the face to show he doesn’t have respect for the former champ. Danielson returns the slap and Richards flips out on the floor by kicking a trash can. Bryan stomps on Richards knees as Davey got to the ropes to avoid a surfboard. They trade Northern light suplexs while having their hands locked together. Bryan dropkicks Davey to the floor and fakes Richards out to hit a diving knee off the apron and Richards nearly takes a fan out! Davey dropkicks Bryan in midair as Danielson jumped off the top rope. Bryan gets out of a body scissors to get an arm bar on Davey, who reaches the ropes quickly. Danielson locks in an arm trapped dragon sleeper but Richards gets out and pulls Danielson’s arms back before getting a two count. Bryan tries for a German suplex on the apron but Davey avoids it and slams Danielson shoulder first into the apron. Richards works over Danielson on the floor with a kick and a few arm wrenches. Richards is focusing on Bryan’s left arm. Richards drops Bryan following a running spin kick to the midsection and just waits in the corner for Danielson to get up. Bryan nails Richards with a leaping clothesline to get some momentum going for himself. Danielson hits a double knee in the corner and hits a missile dropkick from the top! Bryan hits a running kick to Davey’s chest but can’t keep him down. Davey clotheslines Danielson over the top and flips through the middle rope to take Bryan out on the floor! Richards hits a missile dropkick off the top onto Danielson’s arm. They trade a few pin attempts but neither man can get a three count. Danielson hits a butterfly suplex and has a cross arm breaker on Richards, but Davey gets out and has a Texas Cloverleaf on Danielson! Bryan nearly wins with an inside cradle. Danielson blocks a kick and hits a heel hook German suplex for a near win! Richards hits a sick arm breaker off the top rope and has an arm lock on Bryan, but Danielson doesn’t give up. Bryan traps Richards and hits a series of elbow strikes. Richards gets a Kimura on Bryan and Danielson is close to tapping but reaches the ropes instead. Davey kicks Bryan a few times in the chest but Bryan hits a rolling elbow and a Tiger suplex for a two count. Danielson locks in the Cattle Mutilation and wins the match. (***1/2. A good match that started off rather slow, but they picked it up and they worked well together. So far, the best first round match out of the bunch.)
Seventh Contest: El Generico vs. PWG World Tag Team Champion Nick Jackson vs. Masato Yoshino: They do a triple threat test of strength which sees Yoshino turn the tables and get control of the hold. Well, they are doing the obvious three way moves at the start with each man trying to get the upper hand but no one does. Nick dropkicks Yoshino to the floor after Generico lifted up in the air. Nick arm drags Generico to the floor but is yanked to the floor by Yoshino. That allows Generico to take both men out with a somersault dive over the top on the floor. Nick is controlling Generico in the ring until Yoshino enters and drops Nick with a forearm smash. Generico and Yoshino work together to do a baseball slide/dropkick combo on Jackson. Generico turns on Masato rather quickly by sending him to the floor. Yoshino tosses Generico to the floor once he gets back into the ring. Yoshino dropkicks Jackson’s left knee in the corner. Jackson sends Yoshino and Generico into each other before sending them to the floor with an arm drag. Nick takes them out on the floor following a springboard somersault dive! Nick plants Generico with a tornado DDT but Generico kicks out before three. Jackson misses a Swanton bomb and Generico hits a sit down scoop slam for a near fall. Yoshino hits a lightning spiral but Generico kicks out at two. Jackson superkicks Yoshino and is met by Generico with a running kick in the corner. Jackson blocks a moonsault by getting his knees up. Yoshino has the jungle lock on Generico and gets a two count on the pin attempt. Jackson hits Yoshino with a hurricanrana but Yoshino has a leg choke hold on in the corner. Generico kicks Yoshino from the floor and suplexs Jackson with a Tiger suplex. Generico goes for the top rope brainbuster, but Jackson battles back. Jackson hits the 450 splash but Yoshino pulls Jackson out and nearly steals a pin! Generico goes for a top rope brainbuster on Yoshino, but fails at the attempt. Yoshino nails Generico with a lightning spiral from the middle rope for a near fall as Jackson broke it up. Generico hits a brainbuster on Jackson but can’t put him away as Yoshino broke up the cover. Yoshino hits a reverse DDT on Generico and missile dropkicks Jackson while hitting a senton splash on Generico! Yoshino has the Sunset locked in and gets the submission victory. (***. Another enjoyable first round match, but it felt like it was kind of repetitive using the same moves that were seen in earlier matches. I haven’t watched Yoshino prior to this, but he looks like a fine addition to the tournament since CIMA was too hurt to compete. Anyway, a fine match though the crowd is actually rather quiet for most of the show, it seems.)
Main Event: PWG World Heavyweight Champion Chris Hero vs. Necro Butcher in a No Disqualification Match:The fans chant “this is awesome” during the ring introductions, so they must have high expectations for this one. It seems like the trend of these hardcore matches it to start off with actual mat wrestling and avoid weapons early on. They get to the outside after several minutes inside doing the basic wrestling and Necro tosses the champ into some chairs. Butcher rams a chair into Hero’s groin before hitting a chair assisted scoop slam on the floor. They are back in the ring where Necro gets a two count after a running headbutt. Butcher hits an ugly looking dropkick off the middle rope. Hero rolls to the floor where Necro is far more comfortable being anyway. Butcher tosses a trash can at Hero as they are in the crowd now. Butcher sends Hero face first into the wall. Hero is sent midsection first into several chairs. Necro decides to toss several chairs onto the champ over and over again. Butcher gets a near fall in the crowd. Butcher hits Hero with a tripod and chokes Hero with a camera bag. Hero battles back with a big boot for a near fall. Necro puts a plastic bag over the champs face but Hero breaks free and hits a roaring elbow, but Butcher doesn’t fall down. Hero rams a table into Butcher’s midsection. Hero tries to slam Butcher through a table but Necro reverses but the champ escapes as well. Hero jumps onto an object that covered but he jumps off and hits a flipping neckbreaker off of it and crashes through the table with Butcher for a two count. Hero rolls Butcher up for a near fall again in the crowd. Hero tosses a trash can into the ring. Hero knocks Butcher out with a rolling elbow and uses the trash can lid to hit a rolling senton. Hero covers but only gets a near fall. Hero hits a second rolling elbow but Butcher pops his shoulder up before three. Necro hits a Tiger Driver but can’t put the champ away. Hero rolls through a top rope crossbody from Necro for a two count. Butcher hammers away on Hero with a series of closed fists in the corner. Hero continues to deliver rolling elbows and hits a diving elbow. Hero gets the submission win with the Hangman’s Clutch. (**. Well, that was far from “awesome” or anything like that. They brawled around, and towards the end they were stiff, but this featured one notable spot involving a table and nothing more than that. I’d consider it a weak main event.)
Five out of the eight matches had some kind of entertainment attached to them. So, that makes this a solid night one of the tournament. The only complaint about the show was the crowd. I’ve only seen a few shows and several clips of PWG, but I’ve never seen a crowd so quiet for the promotion. It’s as if they all were on a sugar withdrawal since Halloween was the previous day and they had no energy to give. Anyway, the show gets a thumbs up from me.
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.