PWG Battle Of Los Angeles Night One 8/28/2015
Written by: Jake St. Pierre
A lot of hooplah was made about the 2014 edition of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s biggest tournament up to that point; BOLA. It was a good tournament, but not really even that close to the best of BOLA’s past. I’d comfortably put 2008, 2012, and 2013 a decent bit ahead of it, and I wasn’t truly all that convinced on it on paper. 2015? That’s an ENTIRELY different story. I’d go as far as to say I’ve never been this excited for anything having to do with PWG, which says a lot. The arrival of the Lucha Underground crew as well as more European imports signaled to me a truly new blend of what I love in PWG. Sure, AJ Styles and co. coming in last year was exciting, but it was something I’d ultimately seen before. With Pentagon Jr, Drago, Aerostar, and Fenix debuting tonight, my mind can wander and imagine things that I couldn’t last year. How would Pentagon Jr react with the more intimate Reseda crowd? How would Reseda react to the mythical insanity of a guy like Drago? That’s the beauty of this year’s BOLA. It also helps that this is perhaps the hottest Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has ever been, getting extensive coverage in the Wrestling Observer and attendance from guys like Max Landis (who bought pizza during Night 3!) all the way up to Sofia Vergara a few months prior. It’s truly the best time to be a PWG fan, and after waiting impatiently, I’m finally able to delve into their most anticipated shows of all time.
We are TAPED from the American Legion in Reseda, CA.
Your hosts are Excalibur and a returning Chuck Taylor. The glorious Melissa Santos also makes an appearance as tonight’s ring announcer.
BOLA First Round Match: Brian Cage vs. Aerostar
As of this writing, I’m still about three months away from finishing Lucha Underground’s first season, but that is enough time for me to have seen Aerostar and his general awesomeness. He isn’t the flippiest worker in the world, but that doesn’t really matter. He’s uber-exciting and if his Best-Of series with Drago has anything to say about it, I see no reason to not be insanely excited for his debut against one of my favorite parts of Lucha Underground, Brian (They Call Him) Cage.
I don’t know if it’s me or not, but Brian Cage looks MUCH more menacing with that Taker mohawk he has. Hearing Melissa Santos say FROM THE COSMOS for Aerostar all distorted still gets me going. She even busts out “THEY CALL HIM CAGE” which makes me even happier. Cage throws Aerostar out of a tilt-a-whirl, but Aerostar quickly battles back and hits his cool little springboard into a dropkick, followed by a springboard back elbow. He hits the springboard Tope Con Hilo from the inside of the second rope, but Cage comes back with a NASTY Fucking Machine Superplex. Cage holds Aerostar up for a minute in a vertical suplex, getting a two count. He follows that with a Gorilla Press into an Oklahoma Stampede for another tentative two count. Aerostar tries to build up a head of steam with a couple springboard elbows, but Cage catches a second one and curls Aerostar into a lackadaisical Fallaway Slam. Aerostar kicks Cage to the floor and comes down with the SPRINGBOARD TRUST FALL! This guys’ outside dives are some of my favorites. He follows it up with the planking springboard splash for a two count of his own. Pumphandle Facebuster scores for Mr. GMSI, but he doesn’t sink in the cover and Aerostar powers out. Cage goes up top, but Aerostar tries to stop him. Unfortunately Aerostar slips on a springboard. Cage recovers well and manages to botch something himself but not going with an Aerostar sunset flip. So we’re 1-1. BRIAN CAGE DESTROYS AEROSTAR WITH A STEINER SCREWDRIVER! It’s academic at the 7 minute mark. **1/4 They had a good thing going but the botches took it down a fair bit. They didn’t ruin the match or anything like that, but it felt a little disjointed afterwards and thus felt rushed as they went to the finish. It was mad short too, which is nice in a way, but I’d have liked to have seen Aerostar get to show his stuff a little more. I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Cage was injured and had to probably cut things short for his own safety, which makes sense. It was a good enough opener but too sloppy to really mean much.
BOLA First Round Match: Biff Busick vs. Andrew Everett
This appears to be Biff’s last weekend in PWG, and he’s going out in the most maniacal way possible. He has to take on Andrew Everett here, which is enough to wear ya down. But the night after this is the huge Guerrilla Warfare against Mount Rushmore 2.0, and he’s actually managed to become the most over guy on that babyface team (which includes Everett, incidentally) by how badass he looked facing off against Super Dragon at Threemendous IV. But that’s not what we’re here to talk about…
Good Lord it’s like Melissa Santos gets more gorgeous every time she appears on screen. If Andrew Everett had a bowtie he’d look like a talented Rhett Titus here. Andrew and Biff have a flip contest, which the crowd seems to award to Biff against all odds. Andrew Everett handsprings over a monkey flip from Biff and he makes the mistake of celebrating it, which gets him an ass-kicking of awesome proportions. Everett doesn’t learn his lesson and keeps taunting Biff with flips, so Biff chucks him out of the ring to try and powerbomb him on something. Everett manages to roll through it with a hurricanrana, and HE COMES DOWN WITH A SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR PRESS! This guy’s gonna be dead in 5 years. Everett chucks Biff into the ring and gets a one count off of a springboard dropkick. Everett tries to moonsault out of a catapult, but Biff BEHEADS HIM WITH A LARIAT! That makes JBL look like Gillberg. Jesus. Everett knocks Biff down with a snap Dropsault, but Biff rolls through Lance Storm style with a Single Leg Crab, transitioned directly into an STF and finally a Minoru Suzuki choke. Busick sends Everett into the corner, and Andrew takes a bump that defies all logic. Everett dodges a running corner attack from Busick, and ends up knocking Busick into the corner himself with a Pele Kick. Everett flips out of a German Suplex and hits a BEAUTIFUL reverse rana on Biff for a close nearfall. Everett goes up top and looks for something, but Biff runs up on him with a European Uppercut and looks for a superplex. Everett drops him off though and misses an IMPLODING PHOENIX SPLASH! SUZUKI CHOKE! Andrew barely gets to the ropes, but runs into a stiff elbow from Busick. Busick latches it on again but Everett turns it into a neckbreaker and hits a PHOENIX SPLASH! Biff eats a slap from Everett, and he GRABS HIS FACE AND SLAPS HIM STUPID! Biff nearly sends Everett into the crowd with a jumping European Uppercut and looks for a Half and Half from the apron (think the Fucking Machine Superplex) but Everett bats him off. BIFF UPPERCUTS EVERETT MID SHOOTING STAR PRESS! HALF AND HALF! RUNNING EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! Biff finally finishes Andrew Everett off in 14 minutes. ***3/4 Biff Busick was a maniac in this match. He utterly destroyed the cocky Andrew Everett every time he got his hands on him, and it looked incredible every time. Everett bumped like a boss for the surging Busick, doing all sorts of ragdolls and flips to make Biff seem like the ultimate badass leading into that all-important Guerrilla Warfare match tomorrow night. It’s not rocket science, but these two have awesome chemistry in the ring and wrestled a fantastic match.
BOLA First Round Match: Mark Andrews vs. William Ospreay
I’ve seen Andrews in TNA as Mandrews, but I’m sure you can guess how they used him by simply reading the name he used. I haven’t heard much about him at all, but I’ve heard some glowing reviews of Will Ospreay. He’s only been in the business for around three years but the praise he’s been getting from his work in England has been so positive that he has me excited to see what he’s going to do here.
Melissa Santos completely buries Justin Borden during her ring intro, which provokes a hilarious response from Excalibur and Chuck Taylor on commentary. Justin breaks kayfabe by holding the ropes open for her, thus proving he deserved that glorious burial. Ospreay gets the upperhand in the beginning, but Andrews trips him coming off of the ropes (a move that isn’t done nearly enough) and hits a beautiful delayed tilt a whirl headscissors. Ospreay prevents Andrews from a dive by tripping him from the floor. Andrews responds with a nice dropkick and hooks him up for the surfboard. He lets go and faceplants Ospreay for a two count. Ospreay schoolboys Andrews before he can eat a moonsault, hitting him with a leg lariat and a standing shooting star for a two count. Ospreay puts on a ridiculous submission hold that has Chuck Taylor and Excalibur reminiscing about their days of being able to do wacky shit. “I was not very good at professional wrestling so people took advantage of that and beat me up a lot, and that’s why I retired” – Excalibur. Andrews hits a BEAUTIFUL Tornado DDT on Ospreay out of a moonsault. Andrews hits a Casadora bulldog, followed by a Northern Lights Suplex and a standing Cancun Tornado for a nearfall. Ospreay ducks an Enzuigiri and looks for a suplex, but ANDREWS COUNTERS INTO A STUNNER! Ospreay battles back with a powerslam and a ridiculous running Spiral Tap! Ospreay kicks Andrews in the head from the apron and COMES DOWN WITH A SPRINGBOARD CORKSCREW SENTON! Ospreay hits a fucking insane 540 Kick, but not like the Cedric Alexander type. He literally spins 540 degrees into a kick on a downed Mark Andrews. Ospreay ducks Andrews head in the turnbuckle and superkicks his head, but Andrews sandbags a reverse rana and JUMPS ONTO OSPREAY FOR ONE OF HIS OWN! WEST COAST POP FROM ANDREWS! OSPREAY KICKS OUT! Andrews misses a Shooting Star and eats a FRONT FLIP DDT FROM OSPREAY~! IMPLODING 450 FROM OSPREAY! Will Ospreay advances in a ridiculous 11 minutes. ***3/4 Tack an extra 4-5 minutes on that and we’re talking over 4 stars. This is a debut on par with that Everett vs. Lee vs. Alexander match from last year’s Mystery Vortex II. These guys came out and did things I’ve never seen before, leaving both my mouth and my eyes wide open numerous times during the closing stretch. Will Ospreay looks to be worth the heavy hype I’ve been hearing, for sure. He has such an uncanncy crispness with his moves that a guy of his experience shouldn’t really have. He’s doing some insanely advanced stuff and making it look incredibly easy. That’s the mark of an elite high flyer, like Ricochet or Neville. This guy is going to be a HUGE star in the coming years and I’m glad I got to see him kill it at BOLA. Fantastic match.
Los Gueros Del Cielo (Angelico & Jack Evans) vs. Inner City Machine Guns
After watching through most of Lucha Underground, I have concluded that Angelico is the most beautiful man in wrestling. And when you’re teaming with Ivelisse, it’s going to take a lot for me to notice that. It also helps that he’s suicidal, which makes him the perfect partner for Jack Evans. This match should be pure insanity and I can’t wait.
Melissa Santos shimmy’s to All Night Long as we fade into the match, thus making Angelico officially the second most beautiful person in the ring. What a wonderful woman. Ricochet and Rich Swann’s synchornized dancing here is too cohesive to not be rehearsed. Angelico and Ricochet start things off, and Ricochet pulls off a magnificent leapfrog, as Angelico didn’t even duck… and Angelico’s the lankiest bastard in wrestling history. Ricochet looks directly into Jack Evans’ eyes and breakdances his heart out. Jack Evans flips into the ring and yells “I DON’T GET SERVED!” And I mean, if you’re gonna breakdance, you don’t challenge Jack fuckin’ Evans. Evans completely buries Ricochet with his response, and it appears Rich Swann is going to try. Swann flips Jack off and tries to do the head slide, instead DROPPING HIMSELF ON HIS HEAD. That’s tremendous. Swann jumps off of Jack Evans and ranas Angelico, and tags in Ricochet, who throws Jack Evans into Angelico, neckbreaking the latter to DDT the former. Swann hits a flipping leg drop on Evans, and tags in Ricochet for a tope atomico and a rolling thunder frog splash from Swann himself. Ricochet hits the People’s Moonsault in the interim. Evans hits a beautiful springboard Overcastle on ICMG, and here comes Angelico! Evans dropsaults Swann and thus moonsaults onto Ricochet, and he dogpiles ICMG with a moonsault. Swann fights back at Angelico and hits that step up kick for a two count. Ricochet tags in and murders Jack with a stalling Regalplex for a two count. Jack Evans catches the Benadryller and counters it into an STF! Ricochet hits a Scissors Kick on Evans, but only gets two! Angelico trips up Ricochet and hits a step up knee on Swann, and Jack Evans hits Skipping A Generation on Swann! Ricochet throws Jack into Angelico to break Angelico’s submission on Swann. Ricochet and Angelico throw some stiff right hands, but Angelico baits Ricochet into a kick combo and a step up knee. Ricochet hits a Superman Punch and follows up with a spinning back kick, but Angelic BRAINS HIM with a switch knee! Ricochet hits Meteora on Jack! Jack and Swann throw leather at each other, and Evans pisses Swann off with a FUCK YOU and a huge haymaker. Swann just clubbers Evans into the corner. Rich reverse Ranas Jack on top of Angelico, who eats a springboard 450 for a two count. Ricochet WHIFFS A 630! Good Lord. Jack Evans tags in but eats an enzuigiri from Ricochet, who follows through with the Northern Lights into a suplex. Jack bridges Swann out to the floor, and hits the assisted 450 on Ricochet. Jack dropkicks Swann out of midair, and Angelico looks for Fall of the Angels. Swann instead counters and pushes Angelico in the corner, hitting a Lethal Injection for a two count. Angelico hits the Fall of the Angels on his second attempt and DIVES OVER THE RINGPOST ON TOP OF RICOCHET! 630 FROM JACK EVANS! Angelico and Jack Evans pick up the win in 20 minutes. **3/4 These guys tried, but they had no chemistry throughout most of this match. They didn’t click at all during a lot of the faster portions, devolving a lot of the time into a slugfest that didn’t build drama nor advance the proceedings. You could tell the crowd thought the same thing, as they were very withdrawn through a lot of the match, when on paper, they’d usually be losing their heads by the halfway mark. It wasn’t bad as such, but this wasn’t nearly as good as you’d expect giving the guys in it.
BOLA First Round Match: Trent? vs. Trevor Lee
The last time we saw Trent was the hilariously great Best Friends vs. Beaver Boys match at From Out Of Nowhere, while Trevor Lee has been having a super consistent year as one of the top stars of the company. I don’t see why this shouldn’t be great, as Trent had a great BOLA performance back in 2013 and Trevor Lee is… Trevor Lee.
Excalibur and Joey Ryan are trying to say Trent made a good decision going with Rocky Romero as a tag partner, but I think we’re all very cognizant of the fact that they’re completely full of shit. Trent drops Trevor with a shoulder block, but Trevor one-ups him with one of his own. Trent hits a bodyslam and sets up for the slingshot boot rake. Trevor punts Trent from the apron to a big ovation from the crowd, and he hilariously mocks Trent’s build up only to come in for a pinfall attempt, that doesn’t get the duke. Trevor hits a beautiful dropkick for another two count. Trent heads up the second rope for something, but Trevor sweeps his leg and smashes Trent’s neck across the top turnbuckle. Trent flips out of a German Suplex and hits a step up Tornado DDT to come back. Trent flips Trevor over with a release German, and he comes down with a double stomp off the top for a two count. Trevor fights back with the Mushroom Stomp, and he takes Trent to the apron and MURDERS HIM WITH A GERMAN ON THE APRON! Not to shortchange the ridiculous bump Trent took, but I don’t know if anyone could ever take that move like Mike Bailey did. Trent barely gets back to the ring in time, but right upon entry, Trevor takes him down with a deadlift German for a two count. Trent counters an O’Connor Roll into a cradle and he COUNTERS A DEADLIFT GERMAN INTO A REVERSE RANA! TRENT SPRINGS UP FOR A SUPER GERMAN KURT ANGLE STYLE! BACKFLIP CROSSBODY FROM TREVOR! Whew. Trent hits an enzuigiri to a staggering Trevor, who fights back with a left roundhouse. Sexy Chuckie Knee scores and he hits the Dudebuster! Trevor kicks out! Trevor hits God’s Last Gift for the win in 14 minutes. ***1/4 It started pretty slow but they turned it up in a big way down the stretch. If we’re being honest, this match was feeling a bit cold coming in as I think Trent has better chemistry with Chuck Taylor in a tag team capacity, but once he got into the groove, that kind of went away. They didn’t re-invent the wheel or provide us with anything considerably memorable, but they went out and had a really good match, which is hard to complain about.
BOLA First Round Match: Drago vs. Pentagon Jr
Drago doesn’t even let Melissa Santos start her intro, running at him with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and a huge Tope Con Hilo! Pentagon fights back with a dropkick in the ring, and he throws his elbow pad at Rick Knox. He DESTROYS Drago with an overhand chop! Dragon tries back handspringing off of the ropes but Pentagon MURDERS him by dropkicking him and folding him up. Pentagon catches a sliding Drago from the floor, DDT’ing him on the chairs outside! How can you hate Pentagon Jr? Drago is able to recover as they get into the ring, but Pentagon superkicks a running Drago and loosk for a dive of his own! TORNILLO FROM DRAGO! Pentagon takes a beer jug, chugs it and POURS IT OVER HIS HEAD. This man is a saint. Drago gives Pentagon a few rollups in the ring to no avail. Pentagon rolls through a rana and gets a two count of his own. Pentagon gives Drago a lungblower, flipping him over and getting another two count. Drago dodges a charging Pentagon and hits a CORKSCREW HEADBUTT from the second rope! A La Magistral gets a nearfall. Pentagon KILLS Drago with a powerbomb on his knee for a two count of his own. Drago HITS PANAMA SUNRISE ON PENTAGON! Pentagon is able to kick out. Pentagon chops the living SHIT out of Drago in a strike trade, sending Drago down hard! PUMPHANDLE DRIVER! Drago kicks out at two. Pentagon climbs the top rope, but Drago catches him and HITS A HUGE SUPER RANA! PENTAGON KICKS OUT! That was BEAUTIFUL. Drago heads up top and misses a splash and PENTAGON HITS THE PACKAGE PILEDRIVER! Pentagon advances in 12 minutes. ***3/4 This was about as awesome as you’d expect. Their styles are a bit different than PWG’s norm, but man, it worked and then some. Nothing here was overly death defying or crazy, but Pentagon’s insane charisma ups everything he’s involved in to a huge degree. He has presence I’m not sure anybody in wrestling can match, and he doesn’t even have to show his face to do it. He’s almost like 2003 era Homicide with a mask and a more Lucha styled offense. He’s just unabashedly badass and sinister in the most interesting way possible, and Drago is the perfect counterpoint to his more grounded way of working. He’s 40 years old and moves better than 95% of guys in their prime with an astounding sense of awareness and agility. The Super Rana in this match is just a piece of wrestling beauty. He works a bit better overall in Lucha Underground as they’re much, much more story driven, but he fit in like a glove at PWG too. This met my expectations handily.
BOLA First Round Match: Fenix vs. Matt Sydal
Oh hell YES. Fenix was one half of the incredible Grave Consequences match with Mil Muertes, a match in my top 5 for Match of the Year so far. So this oughta be dope.
It’s tentative hold trading and scientific wrestling to begin. Sydal hits a crazy Yoshi Tonic for a one count. They’re throwing out some pretty awesome technical stuff here, it must be said. Usually these beginnings are cut and dry but they’re pretty great at it. Sydal sends Fenix to the outside with a jumping back kick, but Fenix dives in with a somersault into an Ace Crusher on a running Sydal. Sydal cuts off a Fenix dive with a chop block, and he goes to work on Fenix’s knee. Quote of the night from Chris Hero on commentary here, talking about the correlation between Reborn Matt Sydal and the name Fenix: “Maybe it’s because a phoenix rises from the ashes, and Sydal does stuff with ashes?” Brilliant. Fenix telegraphs a backdrop and soccer kicks Sydal in the face, so Sydal gets pissed and dropkicks Fenix’s knee and cannonballs him in the corner. Fenix battles back with a DOUBLE SPRINGBOARD DROPKICK! Matt fires back with a running Helluva Kick, but Fenix sends him out to the apron and KNEE DROPS HIS BACK! Fenix hits a Lethal Injection into a Dragon Sleeper, transitioned right into a triangle! Fenix then transitions into some sort of arm capture crossface thing, but Sydal is able to escape and get the ropes. He instead opts for a stiff sliding superkick and a standing moonsault for two. Fenix throws the “puto” bomb at Sydal, who counters a back suplex into a crossbody for two! He tilt-a-whirls into a Final Cut for two! Fenix escapes the Here It Is Driver, but Sydal kicks him down and hits his standing moonsault for another nearfall. Fenix looks for another double springboard, but Sydal leg lariats him out of mid air! Sydal measures up for the Tope Suicida, but Fenix kicks him before he’s able to take flight, so he can get to the top rope and HIT A HUGE TORNILLO TO THE FLOOR! Fenix takes Sydal to the ring and throws a few stiff kicks. Fenix COUNTERS A BACKDROP INTO A HURRICANRANA~! SYDAL KICKS OUT! Pentagon murdering Fenix with the Backdrop Powerbomb in Aztec Warfare is what sold me on Lucha Underground, by the way. TORNADO DDT FROM SYDAL SPIKES FENIX! FENIX KICKS OUT! Sydal jumps from the mat to hit Fenix with an awesome super rana, but only for 2! HUGE SPRINGBOARD STOMP FROM FENIX TO SYDAL ON THE TOP ROPE! SPRINGBOARD SPANISH FLY FROM FENIX!~! SYDAL KICKS OUT AT 2.999!~! REVERSE RANA FROM SYDAL! SHOOTING SYDAL PRESS SCORES! Matt Sydal advances at the 18 minute mark. **** And chalk that up as another fantastic debut from a Lucha Underground member. At only 24, Fenix may very well be the best pure worker of the Lucha group brought in for BOLA. He strikes a really good balance between whacky high-flying and solid technical prowess, blending the best of his Lucha roots with the foundation of an more American indy style. Not that alone makes him outwardly better than a guy like Drago, but I’m sure you get where I’m coming from. I suppose it also helps that he got to feed off Matt Sydal – who since leaving WWE – has been one of the most consistently quality wrestlers anywhere he goes. He’s kind of in that position a guy like AJ Styles was at the tail end of his mid-2000’s ROH run. He’s not going to change the landscape of your promotion, but he’s an undeniably solid hand that contributes wonderfully to whatever he does. Put that together with one of Lucha Underground’s MVP’s, and you have the best tournament match of Night One.
Euro Trash (Zack Sabre Jr, Tommy End, & Marty Scurll) vs. Mt. Rushmore 2.0 (Roderick Strong & The Young Bucks)
The multi-man involving ZSJ and the Bucks at last year’s BOLA Night One was really the only thing that saved that show, so I have confidence in this one. Tommy End had a phenomenal debut against Chris Hero earlier this year at Don’t Sweat The Technique, while Marty Scurll is making his PWG debut. Haven’t seen much of Mr. Scurll, but he’s in good company, so I don’t think there’s going to be an issue.
Zack Sabre Jr and Roderick Strong go at it in the beginning, and Zack is maaaaad. Roddy yanks the mic from Melissa Santos, who plays it perfectly. Roddy says he’s not sure who she is, but she should know who they are. Roddy CHUCKS THE MIC AT HER as she eye-murders him, and Zack earns himself some brownie points by handing it back to her. I bet you the Bucks wouldn’t superkick her. Pentagon Jr almost broke her arm and she didn’t give a FUCK. Roddy and Zack start things off, but Roddy runs away. Tommy End tags himself in, and now and he and Matt Jackson face off. Jackson wastes no time mocking him, and he runs screaming right in a HUGE kick from Tommy. Matt wants nothing to do with him after that. Marty Scurll tags in at the same time as Nick, and he schools Nick on the technical side of things. Nick gives Marty a good SUCK IIIIIIIIIIT after a shoulderblock, but Marty isn’t flustered. Marty puts Nick in the Surfboard, rolling him across the ring with it. Mount Rushmore can’t help him, and they just trip over themselves trying to get at the triumphant Scurll. Roddy finally tags in and gets HUGE boos from the crowd, but Marty tags in Zack, who just goes directly after the arm of Roddy. These two go after snapmares faster than I can call. Marty comes back in and dives out on top of Roddy with a Tope Suicida, and Zack dives out on top of him with an Uppercut. ORIHARA MOONSAULT FROM TOMMY END! Roddy is getting his ass kicked here. Matt runs into Marty and Zack, who tie him and his brother up for a DOUBLE CAMEL CLUTCH! That’s… innovative. Roddy ducks out of the ring to get away from Zack, who in running after him gets punted by Nick. Matt takes out the opposing corner, allowing for Mt. Rushmore to take control of Zack in the ring. Zack sweeps the legs of both of The Bucks, and here comes Tommy End. Tommy kicks the living shit out of the Bucks, getting a two count on Nick. Scurll comes back in and Roderick MISSES THE BACKBREAKER ON THE APRON AND SENDS MARTY TO THE FLOOR! STEREO POWERBOMBS ON THE APRON FROM THE BUCKS! “This really fookin’ hurts” – Zack Sabre, Jr. Roddy throws a few chops at a defiant Scurll, who eats a stomp to the face because of it. Scurll catches a Nick Jackson superkick and gives Nick one to the knee, but he runs right into a superkick anyway… but he rebounds into a lariat! Nick and Marty HILARIOUSLY mimic the awesome Taker/Brock laughing sit-up thing. Scurll puts Matt on his shoulders, but EATS a superkick! Brothers of Destruction double chokeslam! IndyTaker pin gets 2! Roddy crumbles Marty with a jumping knee as the murder of Mr. Scurll continues. Marty targets Roddy’s fingers, but Roddy drags Scurll off of the top rope into a Regalplex… that Marty counters into a Reverse Suplex. Zack comes in and Nick decides to shit talk him, so Zack fucking RUINS Nick’s arm. Matt tries to intervene, which proves to be a terrible mistake. Zack hits the crazy running uppercuts on the Bucks, and catches Roddy coming in with an Octopus Hold… that the Bucks break with a superkick! Roddy drops Zack with a Doctor Bomb as Mt. Rushmore works over the rest of Eurotrash. Nick hits the springboard X Factor onto Sabre, and they hit a triple team neckbreaker/Swanton on him for three. It breaks down for a moment as Zack dodges an enzuigiri from Matt, and he tags in Tommy End, who cleans house HEAVY. Think the song Heavy by Gucci Mane, and that’s what Tommy End is doing. Tommy hits Matt with the Kitchen Sink, and moves before Nick can break it with a frog splash. Nick EATS a spinning back kick and everybody dies. Zack GETS AN ARMBAR OUT OF A CASADORA! ZACK CATCHES A NICK JACKSON 450 INTO A KIMURA! MATT BREAKS IT WITH A 450! TOMMY END BREAKS IT AND HITS A GERMAN ON NICK FOR TWO! Matt hits Tommy with some SUCK IT forearms, but EATS A JUMPING KNEE for it! Roddy tags in, but runs into a European Uppercut from Zack, who goes toe to toe with Roddy throwing leather. Zack catches a chop and stomps Roddy’s arm! Zack counters End of Heartache with a Kimura and dodges a corner attack from Roddy so he and Tommy can do stereo kicks! MICHINOKU DRIVER/MISSILE DROPKICK FROM SCURLL AND SABRE! DOUBLE STOMP FROM TOMMY END! CROSS ARMBREAKER! The Bucks save Roddy. Marty and Matt go at it outside as Zack and Roddy go at it in the ring. Roddy throws Rick into Sabre and gives him a low blow! CHAIR SHOT TO ZACK! CHAIR SHOTS TO EVERYBODY! ZACK KICKS OUT! The Bucks hit the Buckle Bomb/Enzuigiri on Zack, who eats a running knee from Roddy. RODDY SUPLEXES NICK INTO A 450 ON ZACK! MARTY BREAKS IT UP! DOUBLE MELTZER DRIVER FROM MT. RUSHMORE! Zack goes all Red Dead Redemption on Mt Rushmore, who MURDER HIM! END OF HEARTACHE ON ZACK! Mt. Rushmore picks up the victory in 24 minutes. ****1/4 A pretty damn awesome main event, if I do say so myself. The emergence of Roddy as this ultra-asshole heel has been so fun to watch. He’s gotten a lot of flack for not showing personality in the past, and now it’s arguably one of his best assets. He works just as well with The Bucks as Adam Cole did, because they’re all so good at wrestling that insane, breakneck speed that PWG prides itself on. The Sabre/Strong feud was reborn/continued here extremely well and I loved the touches they put in throughout the match of Roddy not wanting to go up against him until he absolutely had to. The only way Roddy could come out on top of him this time was using chairs en route to the victory, which sets up something else in the future while also being a good bit of heel psychology. Tommy End was a man possessed in this match while we’re at it. His kicks are so freakin’ cool and convincing that you almost anticipate the ridiculousness he’s going to come up with. Marty Scurll wasn’t as essential to the action part of this match, but he showed a damn good bit of personality as the match wore on, basically resorting to being the scrappy brawler to the striking and wrestling of End and Sabre respectively. All six in this match had such good chemistry that any exchange that was had during all 24 minutes of this match was spectacularly entertaining for one reason or another. Whether it was the Bucks getting the shit stomped out of them by Zack Sabre Jr or Tommy End throwing kicks and knees to everyone in sight, everything felt big and exciting. This is one of PWG’s best matches of the year in one of their best years ever, and you should track this down yesterday. Phenomenal way to end Night One, just like last year’s trios match.
Final Thoughts: While 2014’s Night One was largely a boring affair with a few bright spots, 2015’s BOLA opener is one of the best Night One’s in the tournament’s history. The debuts – whether they be from England or Mexico – all worked tremendously and provided a new flavor that I always welcome in PWG. Will Ospreay and Fenix had the best matches wrestling-wise, but those hoping to be entertained by Pentagon Jr will not be disappointed whatsoever. While Aerostar was somewhat of a mess in his debut, he would go on later in the weekend to have two awesome performances, rendering his short opener against Brian Cage an inoffensive off-night more than an overhyped mess. While Los Gueros/ICMG was a big letdown to me, it’s more mediocre than actively bad, and everything surrounding it is fantastic. Huge thumbs up for BOLA Stage One.