PWG Battle Of Los Angeles Night Two 8/29/2015
Written by: Jake St. Pierre
So I’d reckon it’s safe to say that 2015’s edition of BOLA started off with a bang. Night One was a tremendous show, consistent from top-to-bottom with minimal disappointments and a near-MOTYC as a main event. If anything, it sure as hell started off better than the snoozer that began 2014’s BOLA. Tonight is perhaps a bigger deal. People have hyped this as one of the best PWG shows of all time, and Dave Meltzer himself said that—as far as pure wrestling—he hasn’t seen a better show this year. The main event is a HUGE deal, as Super Dragon wrestles for the first time in almost four years as a part of the Mount Rushmore 2.0 stable… in a Guerrilla Warfare match. We also have several more debuts to go as it pertains to the actual tournament, and some of them are hyped up to be incredible. I’m too excited to keep rambling on about this, so let’s get going…
We are TAPED from the American Legion in Reseda, CA.
Your hosts are Excalibur and the usual rotating door of guests. Unfortunately we aren’t graced with the presence of Melissa Santos, so I’ll just blame Pentagon Jr and be done with it. Unfortunately for me, Pentagon Jr would use my skull as a bowl for his cereal so I’m just going to stay behind my keyboard like a good smark should.
BOLA First Round Match: Marty Scurll vs. Rich Swann
Marty Scurll was a part of Stage One’s phenomenal main event as a part of Eurotrash, while Rich Swann wrestled a hugely disappointing match against Los Gueros Del Cielo. This appears, however, to be the best of openers as these two both have great charisma and personality and that always equates to a good opener.
Marty Scurll interrupts Rich Swann’s dancing by whacking him with his umbrella and diving out on top of him with a tope con hilo! Scurll follows with a powerbomb for a close nearfall. The crowd is already beyond heated. Swann cartwheels over an attempted monkey flip from Scurll, and he follows up with a couple nice hurricanranas. Scurll cleverly snaps the top rope into Swann’s face, which pisses Rich off enough to earn Marty a superkick to the back of the head. Swann dives off of the apron, but nobody is home as Marty dodges him non-challantly and takes control from there. Rich gives Marty a good slap, but he runs into a backdrop that turns him inside out, splattering him face-first. Marty follows up by running at him toward the corner, but Swann dodges him and proceeds with a beautiful jumping rana on an elevated Scurll. Swann throws a trio of hard strikes to the face of Marty, who responds with a thumb to the eye and a more athletic version of the Fameasser. Swann heads up top, but Scurll gets his knees up on a forecasted frog splash. That sends Swann out of the ring, where Scurll superkicks him from the apron and hits a reverse suplex back in the ring. Scurll nearly gets the duke with a cradle, but Swann is able to get out at 2.9. Marty looks for the Chickenwing, but he runs into a superkick and a Lethal Injection from Swann. Swann Vader style. Marty hits a Tornado DDT, and transitions directly into the Crossface Chickenwing! Marty Scurll advances at the 11 minute mark. *** While they didn’t go hard on the gaga like I thought they would, they still managed to pull out a more than serviceable opener. The crowd heat most definitely helped them, but when it comes to PWG, that’s like saying the sun is bright. I like the newfound aggression Swann’s come down with, as seeing him call people “motherfuckers” and go all Stan Hansen on them is something I didn’t even know I wanted. I do like Scurll advancing too, because it gives us the opportunity to see something new down the stretch of the tournament. He isn’t the flashiest wrestler or the most refined, but he’s damn good and he wrestled a good opener with Rich Swann to prove it.
BOLA First Round Match: Angelico vs. Jack Evans
These guys completely under-delivered on Night One, as they didn’t quite seem as in-sync as they did during their match with the Young Bucks. I won’t hold it against them though, since I know what they’re capable of and everyone has an off-night. Either way, I’m in favor of putting these guys together because I feel like their personalities complement each other well.
Jack Evans cuts a promo with no mic as Angelico stands there, looking beautiful like usual. “He spent too much time with Teddy Hart, this guy has completely lost his mind.” – Chuck Taylor. Angelico looks for a jumping knee, but Evans hits him with a spinning kick in mid-air. “…write it in your report that Jack Evans carries the team!” Daaaaaaamn. Angelico takes Dave Meltzer’s notepad and writes something in it. “Jack Evans has good cardio for someone who smokes as much weed as he does” as Jack Evans keeps talking ridiculous shit as he schools Angelico with a judo throw. Angelico doesn’t stay down for long, as he ties up his partner in some sort of Indian Deathlock. Jack Evans breaks it and decides to push Rick Knox out of the way, which is probably a bigger sin than Roddy’s treatment of Melissa Santos. Jack Evans seems to have gone full Teddy Hart, and you know that no one goes full Teddy Hart and comes out of the other side clean. Angelico tries to stop this madness, and we go all Drunken Kung Fu (or the Mark Briscoe if you wanna get niche). Jack hits a corkscrew headbutt for the hell of it. This is RIDICULOUS. Jack decides to dive out on top of Angelico, but Angelico moves and Jack Evans EATS SHIT. I have no idea what is happening but I’m in love with all of it. This is like Kenny Omega vs. Bryan Danielson on a meth binge. Evans hits a standing corkscrew moonsault for a two count as a wrestling match threatens to break out. Angelico catches an Evans moonsault and hits a powerslam for a two count. Angelico pele kicks Jack to the outside, but Jack sweeps Angelico’s legs off of the apron. 450 SPLASH OFF OF THE APRON FROM EVANS! Jack hits a Frankensteiner for a close nearfall. Angelico sends Evans outside and attempts to dive over the ringpost on top of him, but Jack scales the top rope and kicks him out of mid-air! 630 eats knees, and Angelico hits Fall of The Angels. Jack manages to kick out. Jack counters another one with an O’Connor Roll, and he goes for a few insane wacky pins by smashing his head off of the mat. Angelico hits a double stomp and attempts The Fall of The Angels again, but Jack ranas out of it. Excalibur is trying his hardest not to shit on the match, of which is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen. A Crane Kick gets Jack the win in 17 minutes. ** Let’s get a few things straight here; as a wrestling match, this thing completely and unabashedly SUCKED. Jack Evans did not want to be there and he completely ruined what I figured was going to be a great match. However… this is probably the one of the most perversely entertaining PWG matches of all time. It’s like watching the Harlem Globetrotters; Jack of course is the Globetrotter whilst Angelico was only there to get shit on and forgotten like The Nationals. Except this version of the Harlem Globetrotters happened to feature a small white dude who seems to have sniffed a line of Colombian off of Chyna’s ass. Angelico seemed very frustrated here and I don’t blame him. I don’t think it’s out of line to suggest that he may not get booked again because of his clown ass partner. That’s a shame, because it seemed like Angelico wanted to be there while Jack Evans didn’t want to do anything but cut pointless promos and jaw-jack with the crowd like he’s Kevin Steen’s heroin-addicted brother. Excalibur on commentary even got a little agitated. So as a bizarre spectacle of a man losing his goddamn mind, this is match of the year. As a wrestling match, it’s bowling shoe ugly.
Jack takes the mic and shits on the crowd for reasons I’m not sure. I don’t know what Teddy Hart is lacing this guys’ blunts with, but I don’t think I want any.
BOLA First Round Match: Chris Hero vs. Timothy Thatcher
This match has gotten rave reviews, as these two’s styles measure up almost perfectly to each other’s. They apparently had a great match in EVOLVE during Wrestlemania weekend, but I don’t think I’ve watched an EVOLVE match since Callihan/Finlay I in 2011.
Thatcher just oozes badass. They come to a stalemate after an initial exchange, and Hero gots on a fan’s case hilariously for chanting for Thatcher. Thatcher takes advantage of that and goes after Hero’s knee as he re enters the ring. Hero feigns a clean break and knocks Thatcher loopy with a Bicycle Kick. Thatcher ain’t happy about that, so he goes right back after Chris’ leg. Hero gets the ropes, but upon standing upright, Thatcher CLOBBERS him with a slap to the jaw. I wouldn’t mess with this guy if you paid me. Hero somewhat seems to be playing possum, going limp as Thatcher tries to drag him away from the ropes. Hero bicycle kicks Thatcher to the outside, but he allows Timothy to climb back up to the apron. Hero gives him a couple more Bicycle Kicks but Thatcher takes them like a MAN. They meet on the floor and exchange some hard lifters through the crowd. Hero tries to boot Thatcher off of the apron again, but Thatcher catches his leg and cranks on Hero’s leg with a single leg crab, tied up in the ropes. Thatcher continues going after Hero’s knee as they finally re-enter the ring. Hero hits a SNAP PILEDRIVER OUT OF NOWHERE! Hero looks for another one, but Thatcher doesn’t let it happen. Hero transitions to a cradle, but Thatcher rolls out and latches on an ankle lock. Hero hops to the ropes before Thatcher can really lock it on. Hero boots Thatcher across the face to toy with him, and follows up with some vicious forearms. Thatcher catches an elbow and turns it into a backdrop driver! Hero jabs Thatcher in the face, and Thatcher builds up a flurry of strikes to respond… until Hero STIFFS him with an elbow! Hero follows with a discus Mafia Kick for a two count. Hero throws another elbow, but Thatcher isn’t going down. Thatcher throws a few knees to the body but runs right into a Roaring Elbow! Cyclone Kill… COUNTERED INTO A HUGE HEADBUTT FROM THATCHER! HERO KICKS OUT! Thatcher looks for a Cradle Piledriver, but Hero KILLS HIM WITH AN ELBOW! TOMBSTONE SPIKES THATCHER ON HIS HEAD! THATCHER TURNS THE PIN INTO A FUJIWARA ARMBAR! HERO’S WELCOME! That’s it at the 17 minute mark. **** For a guy like me, this is everything I wanted from a match involving these two. They threw inhumane shots at each other and did their best to make this “staged” wrestling match feel like a legitimate fight. The only thing preventing this from a higher rating was that they got a little full of themselves in the build-up, pretty much laying around and lightly wrenching each other’s legs for a good part of the middle portion. I mean, I get that they want realism, but there’s a fine line between realistic and meandering. Why not just cut off that fat (sorry Chris) and make this match a more compact, exciting package? I only really bring that to light because without that, this very well could have been in the running for best match of the weekend. It’s really not THAT bad and doesn’t even come close to harming the match in a significant way. As it is, it’s still excellent and well worth your time for the finishing sequence alone.
Aero Star & Fenix vs. Drago & Pentagon Jr
Y’all ready for some flippy shit?
Can we get Melissa Santos back? This ring announcer is terrible. Drago and Aerostar start things off, and trade some fast pin combos to begin with. Fenix and Pentagon Jr tag in, and they have a competition of who can get into the ring the coolest. They have an exchange that is literally impossible to call in real time. They throw kicks at the same time, knocking each other down simultaneously. Aerostar and Drago splash their respective opponents, and they go at it as Fenix and Pentagon recover. Aerostar armdrags Fenix to the outside, and he tilt-a-whirls Pentagon into the ropes for a Fenix enzuigiri. Back in the ring, Aerostar puts Fenix on his back for a splash/leg drop combo on Drago and Pentagon. Pentagon and Aerostar are alone in the ring, and Pentagon dares Aerostar to fuck with him. Aerostar takes him by the arm and hits his awesome multiple springboard armdrag. Aerostar springboards off of the second rope and ranas Pentagon, who kicks him out of the air mid-Trust Fall. Pentagon again tosses his glove to Rick Knox, who catches it… for THE STIFFEST OPEN HAND CHOP OF ALL TIME ON AEROSTAR’S BARE CHEST. Jesus FUCK. Pentagon goes nose to nose with Aerostar, but Fenix and Drago drag their opponents out and go at it in the ring themselves. DRAGO WITH AN INSANE TILT A WHIRL DDT! Fenix superkicks the hell out of a charging Drago, hitting a double jump dropkick off of the top rope and a charging dropkick. Aerostar springboards in with a senton, and Pentagon just punts him in the mouth to break up the pinfall. Fenix jumps off of Aerostar’s back and Sick Kicks Drago out to the apron, and AEROSTAR HITS A HUGE SPRINGBOARD PLANCHA ON TOP OF HIM! FENIX WITH A TOPE CON HILO ONTO PENTAGON! Pentagon and Drago corner Fenix, who pushes Pentagon into a crossbody from Aerostar. Pentagon eats superkicks from them both, and Drago rolls Fenix into a Backstabber from Pentagon, who kills Aerostar with a slingblade. Fenix hits Pentagon with the Lethal Injection, but runs into a Drago superkick and a FLIPPING DDT! Drago rolls Fenix into a GORY SPECIAL/PACKAGE PILEDRIVER COMBO FROM PENTAGON TO FENIX AND AEROSTAR! STEREO PINS GET NEARFALLS! Fenix kicks Pentagon off of the apron, and roundhouses Drago to the mat. He puts AEROSTAR ON HIS SHOULDERS FOR A HUGE SPLASH! HUGE SPRINGBOARD TORNILLO FROM FENIX ON TOP OF PENTAGON! DRAGO KICKS OUT OF THE PIN! Drago kicks Aerostar out of a back somersault and puts in a pinfall (the one he pinned Aerostar with in the 5th match in their LU series) but Fenix breaks it up with a dropkick. Drago puts Fenix in an Octopus Hold, and Aerostar gives Pentagon Jr a Backstabber of his own. Spinning Tombstone gives Fenix and Aerostar the win in 16 minutes. **** I’ll be honest and say that this wasn’t the smoothest match of all time. These guys aren’t the well-oiled machines that The Young Bucks are. But hey, if I wanted a well-oiled tag team, I’d watch The Bucks. This match was TREMENDOUS in spite of all that. These four went out there and did some ruthlessly insane stuff and luckily for them, it all worked. Like I said on Night One, Pentagon Jr. is a complete lunatic and has probably the most pure charisma out of anybody in the company, and even though he’s not as crazy physically as someone like Fenix, he knows how to pick his spots and maximize his window of awesomeness. That Gory Bomb/Package Piledriver was out of this world. Had he pulled out the Backdrop Powerbomb on Fenix, I might have flatlined. Fenix was the star of this match when it came to pure action however, doing some huge death-defying dives, the biggest of which being that ludicrous tornillo after that big splash from Aerostar. The best part about this match was—being that it’s lucha—they had no regard for any sort of authority in the match and completely bypassed hot tags and heat segments. They just went balls to the wall for 16 minutes and didn’t stop until the bell rang. They went just the right amount of time and did the perfect amount of stuff for me to consider this the second best match of the weekend so far. Track this down yesterday if you know what’s good for you.
Everybody raises each other’s hands after the match. Reports say that the crowd even threw money into the ring after the match to show their gratitude, which is a pretty nice touch.
BOLA First Round Match: Tommy End vs. Drew Gulak
Tommy End pulled out a tremendous performance in last night’s main event, as Drew Gulak makes his first PWG appearance in a hot minute, last being seen at DDT4 in a snoozer teaming with Biff Busick against Rich Swann and Ricochet. Luckily Tommy End is seven shades of awesome so maybe this won’t suffer the same fate.
Gulak gets the better of the opening grappling exchange but we do get a pair of GENERIC INDY STANDOFFS!~! to soothe the burn. Tommy manages to actually make something happen with a flash kick to the chest after Gulak lays on him for two minutes. The one good thing about Gulak doing his best to kill the match is that I’m finally able to make out what Tommy End’s back tattoo is. We’re 8 minutes in now and WE GET MORE HUGGING until Tommy End dares to try a pin. Gulak slaps the living shit out of Tommy, who battles back with a spinning back kick and a jump kick! Gulak battles back with a lariat for two. Gulak throws on an Ankle Lock. Tommy BRAINS Drew with a spinning back kick, but in a nice touch of psychology, his ankle buckles before he can pull anything else off. Gulak follows him with an Emerald Dream and a DISGUSTING BACK SUPLEX. Tommy drops Drew Gulak with an elbow… and that’s it? Well that sucked. Tommy End advances in 12 minutes. *1/2 If I never see another Drew Gulak match in PWG again, it’ll be too late. He was AWFUL in this match and had pretty much nothing of value to contribute in the opening 8 minutes that consisted of tentative front facelocks and hugging. It’s one of those times when I wish the Reseda crowd wasn’t so nice, because this match really needed a crowd that was willing to rip Gulak a boring new asshole and yell at him for keeping a God of a man in Tommy End down. Tommy was just begging to do something cool in this match and managed to fire off a couple cool kick combos, but Gulak completely killed the momentum this show had built with the previous few matches. The finish was the drizzling shits too, as Gulak pulled a total Eva Marie and didn’t kick out in time. Luckily it actually ended this gaggle of shit & mediocrity and advanced Tommy End to the next round, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise. The first eight minutes of this match make Hero vs. O’Reilly from ELEVEN look like Kawada vs. Misawa. The worst PWG match I’ve seen since Koslov vs. Romero last year, but at least those guys did moves for most of it.
BOLA First Round Match: Speedball Mike Bailey vs. Drew Galloway
I’ve been sitting here trying to think of something witty for this, but beyond the stereotypical “WWE is incompetent” or “Mike Bailey is going to die” it’s just not happening.
Galloway TOWERS over Speedball in the opening staredown. Galloway surprises us all with his unlikely strength advantage over the jacked Speedball. Galloway tossing Speedball around is something I can get used to. Speedball does anything he can to try and get out of Galloway’s grasp, but Galloway is defiant. Speedball backs Galloway into the ropes, stunning him with twenty or so kicks in a row. Galloway shoves him away and bitch slaps him, which pisses Speedball off even more, but Speedball EATS a boot from Drew anyway. Speedball looks to springboard moonsault to Galloway outside, but Drew CATCHES HIM and powerslams him on the apron! Galloway takes Bailey into the ring and gives him the highest and most non-challant belly-to-belly I’ve seen in a hot minute. Galloway slows things down and keeps Speedball at bay. Bailey tries to handstand on the top rope, but Galloway just whacks Speedball in the solarplexus with a kick. Galloway stomps the shit out of Speedball’s face for good measure. Galloway does the Sheamus clubs to the chest, but Drew actually makes them look like they hurt, which is nice. Speedball comes back with the flurry of stepping kicks, knocking Galloway to the apron with a step up enzuigiri. Speedball heads up top and COMES DOWN WITH A CORKSCREW PLANCHA! Galloway eats a few kicks and gives Bailey the finger as they get back into the ring. He seems to have caught a springboard kick from Speedball, but Bailey turns it into a tornado DDT! Speedball hits the standing corkscrew moonsault for 2! Speedball digs his knees into Drew’s abdomen with the moonsault knees, and a huge Buzzsaw Kick for a two count. Excalibur has been making “kick” puns at Bailey all match, and while he’s no Becky Lynch, they’re pretty great. Galloway hits a SCHWEET Rydeen Bomb for a close nearfall. Speedball climbs up the second rope, but Galloway puts Speedball on his shoulders and hits a REVERSE ALABAMA SLAM for a nearfall. Galloway is just murdering Speedball with these strikes, it’s ridiculous. Galloway puts Bailey up top and looks for a superplex, but Speedball trips him and kicks him into the Tree of Woe! GALLOWAY PULLS BACK UP WITH A SUPER BELLY TO BELLY! SICK KICK FROM GALLOWAY! SPEEDBALL BARELY KICKS OUT! That was an incredible sequence. Speedball hits two hard spinning back kicks that crumble Galloway, who carries him out of the pin and tries to powerslam him, but Bailey gets out… until Galloway HITS HIM WITH A TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! SPEEDBALL KICKS OUT AGAIN! Galloway hooks Bailey’s arm for something, but Bailey heaves him over the top and on the apron. Galloway eats a kick and stumbles back inside and SPEEDBALL KILLS HIM WITH THE SHOOTING STAR KNEES! GALLOWAY KICKS OUT~! Speedball dodges a boot but GALLOWAY HITS A LARIAT! SPEEDBALL COUNTERS INTO A CRUCIFIX… FOR TWO! HUGE BOOT FROM GALLOWAY! SPEEDBALL COUNTERS FUTURE SHOCK INTO A JACKNIFE… FOR THREE! Mike Bailey advances to Night 3 in a phenomenal 18 minutes. ****1/4 Count that as another incredible Speedball match in his PWG run. I don’t know what it is about this guy, but he’s got something that makes him one of the most exciting wrestlers in the entire world. Maybe it’s his odd, dorky charisma that keeps everybody so invested in him? I couldn’t tell you, but what I can tell you is that this guy has been the best wrestler—going by star ratings that is—in PWG’s sensational 2015 year. I started off HATING this guy and now he’s perhaps my favorite on the PWG roster! But as great as Speedball is, let’s not discredit the amazing performance from Drew Galloway here. He played the big monster heel to a tee from bell-to-bell, perhaps even eclipsing Chris Hero’s performance at Threemendous IV. Drew was great as the stalking, overly strong badass with not much interest in taking Speedball’s shit. He picked him apart and used his overwhelming size and strength to overwhelm Bailey from the get-go, but Speedball’s resilience got him the win like it did with Hero and almost did with Roderick Strong. It’s not rocket science… it’s not a big, grandiose story they’re telling. They just worked with what they had, and what they happened to have was two supremely talented guys who wrestled the best tournament match of the weekend so far.
BOLA First Round Match: Ricochet vs. Zack Sabre Jr
Oh, come ON. This isn’t even fair anymore.
Ricochet hilariously dedicates this match to Lil Sebastian from Parks & Recreation. Excalibur drops a Cappadonna reference on commentary, as Sabre Jr schools Ricochet early on. Ricochet is finally able to heave Zack over his head after Zack literally spends four minutes completely out-wrestling him. Ricochet uses that to boost his confidence as he keeps Zack at bay with a double arm handlebar lock. Ricochet having Zack’s counters scouted is a pretty cool little touch, it must be said. Zack is able to break it by resorting to an upkick, but Ricochet kips right back up, unfazed. Zack uses the guise of a test of strength to try and tie Ricochet up in something, but Ricochet rolls out before anything happens. I honestly could watch Zack Sabre Jr trade holds with guys all day. Certainly beats Drew Gulak wrestlefucking guys for 10 minutes. Ricochet backflips out of a leg sweep, and he drops Sabre with the first big strike of the match, a basement dropkick. Ricochet shows Zack what’s what with a Cerebro Lock, but Zack kicks him in the head to break it. Ricochet pulls out a pretty gnarly Spinebuster, so he can work the hard camera and hit the People’s Moonsault… that Zack catches in a triangle! Ricochet powers out and buzzsaw kicks Zack and completes the belated People’s Moonsault. Ricochet pours water on Zack, which pisses the Brit off enough to earn Ricochet a few hard lifters. Ricochet tries to back handspring off of the ropes, but Zack slyly slides into him with a dropkick, sliding out of the ring like a boss. Zack uses his momentum to go right after the arm of Ricochet, halting that for a moment to hit a nice snap Dragon Suplex for a two count. Ricochet recovers and hits a running Ace Crusher, followed by a standing Shooting Star for a two count. Ricochet throws a few nasty lifters, but Zack dives into him with one of his own and knocks Ricochet down. Penalty Kick scores for a nearfall. Ricochet kicks Sabre off of the running corner uppercuts, giving him an enzuigiri from the apron. Ricochet dives… RIGHT INTO A CROSS ARMBREAKER! Ricochet is fighting it, rolling Zack into a cradle for two. Ricochet hits the spinning enzuigiri and looks for Vertigo, but Zack COUNTERS INTO A HANGING KIMURA! That was ricockulous. Ricochet counters that into a Northern Lights, right into a Deadlift Suplex… right into a Falcon Arrow… right into a Dragon Sleeper! Zack slides out and tries to bridge back for a cradle, but Ricochet catches him in another Dragon Sleeper! Man, these sequences are out of this world. Ricochet measures up for the Benadryller, but Zack gets out… but runs right into Meteora! ZACK COUNTERS A BENADRYLLER INTO A CROSS ARMBREAKER… INTO A TRIANGLE! Ricochet tries to deadlift Zack up, powerbombing him down to break the Triangle. Ricochet hits a Fireman’s Carry into the Emerald Flowsion, but Zack kicks out again. Ricochet sets Zack down for the 630, and he hits it! ZACK KICKS OUT! Ricochet slaps Sabre, telling him to stay down, drawing boos from the crowd! He heaves Zack up for the Benadryller, but Zack counters and rolls through into the Cross Armbreaker! Zack stomps Ricochet to wrench it in, and he transitions into a triangle once more. Ricochet breaks it with some stomps of his own, but Zack is persistent. BRIDGING PRAWN HOLD! ZACK WINS! Zack advances to the next round in 24 minutes. **** The great thing about Ricochet is just how damn versatile he is. People know him for his high flying and crazy flips, but he wrestled a damn great technical match with the best technical wrestler in the world, and kept up hold-for-hold. He had Zack’s number even in the earlygoing, which was a nice touch of psychology as everyone is used to seeing Zack Sabre Jr completely kill his opponents in the opening minutes. Ricochet’s confidence also became a big storyline as the match wore on, biting Ricochet in the ass against such a resourceful and savvy opponent. Zack was able to largely negate the speed and flying of Ricochet in favor of his more grounded offense, but he was surprised learn that Ricochet is pretty damn savvy on the ground himself. Ricochet chained together moves so smoothly in this match that he almost made Zack look human. The submission transitions both guys took on were so fascinating to watch, and they all had a hand in deciding the match. Zack just happened to know that much more about the technical side of things, and it was all decided by the Prawn Hold that Zack used to beat Adam Cole last year. No, it wasn’t the craziest match in PWG history, but it was some great psychological warfare and a nice change of pace from Ricochet’s usual (but awesome) flying.
Guerrilla Warfare: Mount Rushmore 2.0 (The Young Bucks & Super Dragon) vs. Biff Busick, Andrew Everett, & Trevor Lee
If you ever saw the last Kevin Steen Show, you’ll know what this match was originally supposed to be. It was originally intended—all the way back in 2013—to pit the first Mount Rushmore of The Bucks, Steen, & Cole vs. a returning Super Dragon, Drake Younger, Candice, & Joey. Unfortunately, circumstances nipped that one in the bud… but we have this instead, and I can’t say I’m complaining. Super Dragon returned at Mystery Vortex III, turning heel and shocking the world by aligning himself with Roderick Strong and The Young Bucks to form Mount Rushmore 2.0. Super Dragon made an appearance at Threemendous IV, having awesome faceoffs with guys like Mike Bailey and Biff Busick, before cleaning house once again and reigning supreme. It’s all built to this, one of the most anticipated matches in PWG history. After four years away, how would Super Dragon measure up against this new crop of talent? Well, I guess we’re about to find out…
Biff hops to the floor and yells at Mt Rushmore to bring it on, and Super Dragon comes out and IT’S ON! Super Dragon is in the best shape he’s been in since like 2006. Super Dragon dodges a Lee and Everett dive, and he and Busick beat the shit out of each other outside. The Bucks make their ways in, but Lee and Everett clothesline them to the outside. Biff disposes of Dragon momentarily, and all three DIVE RIGHT INTO CHAIRS FROM MT. RUSHMORE! TRIOS DIVES FROM MT RUSHMORE! The Bucks completely MURDER Everett by throwing chairs at him, dogpiling the chairs on top of him! Nick takes a 2 Sweet foam hand and hits Lee in the face with it, later revealing a wrench inside it as Super Dragon backdrops Biff Busick through chairs outside. Everett escapes a Psycho Driver and ranas Dragon outside, and BIFF GIVES HIM A TOPE CON HILO TO THE OUTSIDE! EARLY ONSET ALZHEIMER’S ON ANDREW EVERETT! TRASH CAN TO THE FACE OF TREVOR LEE! Everett shitcans Matt, but Nick gives him a hard slingshot X Factor. Super Dragon gives Biff a HARD chairshot to the face, and a big chairshot to Everett’s back. MATT SUPERKICKS THE REF! RICK KNOX TRIES TO SUPERKICK SUPER DRAGON BUT MATT HITS HIM TOO! CURB STOMP TO RICK KNOX! Mt. Rushmore is in complete control, and Matt calls out Excalibur… WHO TAKES THE HEADSET OFF! TREVOR LEE JUMPS OVER EXCALIBUR ON TOP OF HIM! Biff and Everett throw a ladder onto a springboarding Matt Jackson, and EVERETT DIVES ON TOP OF MATT AND SUPER DRAGON WITH A SPRINGBOARD SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Nick elbows Biff in the ring, but Biff gives both Bucks a Half and Half. BIFF GIVES SUPER DRAGON AN ALABAMA SLAM ONTO CORNERED LADDER! Matt gives Everett and Biff superkicks as Nick chucks a chair at Trevor’s face. The Bucks set Everett in a chair and look for a Superkick Party, but Everett gets out and sends Matt onto the chair… AND TREVOR LEE MUSHROOM STOMPS HIM THROUGH IT! Everett sets up a Shooting Star, BUT SUPER DRAGON COUNTERS IT WITH A FUCKING ACE CRUSHER! Trevor and Super Dragon go at it in the center of the ring, but Biff flattens Dragon with a running uppercut. Lee and Biff HIT A LIFTER/GERMAN SUPLEX COMBO! The Bucks stop any further damage to Dragon and MT RUSHMORE HITS THE MISSLE DROPKICK/SENTON INTO A DOUBLE INDYTAKER! The Bucks bring out a table and set it up on the floor as their opponents lie dead in the ring. THE TACK SHOES MAKE THEIR RETURN! Ooooh shit. The Bucks slip them off but RICK KNOX RECOVERS AND SUPERKICKS THE BUCKS!~! LARIAT ON SUPER DRAGON!~! TOPE CON HILO ONTO THE BUCKS! ANDREW EVERETT GIVES SUPER DRAGON THE 630! THE BUCKS PULL RICK KNOX OUT AT TWO AND SUPERKICK HIM! Biff goes completely fucking insane on the Bucks, but THEY HIT HIM WITH THE SPIKED SHOES! Oh my God. Dragon puts Biff’s head in the chair seat as the Bucks put on the tack shoes. THEY KILL EVERETT WITH EARLY ONSET ALZHEIMER’S! THEY KICK LEE ONTO THE TABLE! THEY KICK BIFF! SWANTON BOMB FROM NICK THROUGH TREVOR AND THE TABLE! MATT PUTS THUMBTACKS UNDER BIFF’S FACE!~! SUPER DRAGON DOUBLE STOMPS THE BACK OF HIS HEAD! PSYCHO MELTZER DRIVER! That’s it in a simply incredible 17 minutes. ***** You know what? I’ll be that guy. If no one in the world gives this the Full Monty but me, I’ll be okay with it. This was—hands down—my favorite PWG match since the Threemendous III main event. I’ll have to sit on it a bit more, but this has a very good chance of eclipsing that. This had all the unpredictability and excitement that ladder match had, but here we got the added wrinkle of some of the best storytelling wrestling has to offer. Everything about PWG’s present and past met in the span of this match. Excalibur squaring up to Mount Rushmore, Super Dragon turning back the clock with some hellacious bumps, The Young Bucks being complete bastards, and one of my favorite Rick Knox segments of all time. This is the first time I’ve ever felt like PWG had a true problem, a true threat to its well-being. For a company that isn’t story-driven, this still felt like one of the most psychologically dense matches of the year. The unity everybody—from the referee to the commentator—shows against Mt. Rushmore 2.0 is something else. And it feels like it’s all for naught, but you just know that there’s one person out there who is going to step up and save the day. But I couldn’t tell you who it’s going to be and how they’re going to fare against a Super Dragon this motivated and focused… much less Roderick Strong in perhaps the prime of his career as well as the best tag team in the world in the Young Bucks. It’s hard to really put into words just how much I loved this match. As a long-term fan of PWG, this had, and was, everything I could have dreamed out of it. Biff Busick was made a star while Super Dragon introduced himself to a whole new generation of PWG fans with one of his truly best performances. I’m speechless, really. I’ve never been so completely flabbergasted by a match in my life. Unless something in the next two months jumps out, you can mark this down as my Match of the Year cut and dry. It’s truly that great, and it’s a match I see myself coming back to again and again.
Super Dragon goes out into the crowd to mess with people and get in their faces, because he’s fuckin’ Super Dragon. He gives Biff a forearm for good measure. He goes to back, and we cut to Excalibur with the mic. Excalibur is speechless, but he thanks the crowd for coming out. He says “This is not over…” to oooooh’s from the crowd…. “THIS IS NOT OVER BY A MOTHERFUCKING LONGSHOT.” He says he doesn’t care who or what it takes, but he wants Mount Rushmore dead. The crowd chants “One More Match” at him, which he shuts down greatly by saying Mt. Rushmore is only 4 men, and he has a locker room full of men and one woman. Excalibur says he will not rest “until they are put in the fucking ground.” Excalibur asks, “Who should be on my team guys?” The crowd immediately chants for Tozawa, and Excalibur thanks the crowd… until THE BUCKS COME OUT AND SUPERKICK HIM! PSYCHO DRIVER FROM DRAGON! Super Dragon looks directly at Chris Hero at the commentary booth shaped like a table… and here comes Hero! Mt. Rushmore bails as Hero checks on Excalibur. Some guy tells Hero that Dragon’s gonna fuck him up, and Hero ain’t happy about it. Hero heads to the guy, who gives NO FUCKS. Dragon blindsides and it’s a Pier Six Brawl! Hero eats a Superkick, BUT ELBOWS EVERYBODY ANYWAY! Another Superkick sends Hero to the floor, and they roll him into the ring. Dragon murders Hero with the Psycho Driver II as the crowd chants for anybody to come save them. Nick tells everybody to suck it, and we fade out with Mt. Rushmore 2.0 leaving complete carnage… Wow.
Final Thoughts: And there’s your show of the year right there… and my pick for best PWG show of all time. If anyone ever asks me for a list of PWG DVD’s to buy, this show is going to be at the tip-top of the list. It combines everything truly great about PWG and shoves it all into an incredible 2 and 1/2 hour show. Sure, there is a stinker in the middle of this in Gulak vs. End, but guess what? My former pick for best PWG show ever – Threemendous III – has a horrible opener and nowhere near the consistency the undercard of BOLA 2015 Stage Two has. Thatcher vs. Hero, Pentagon/Drago vs. Fenix/Aerostar, Galloway vs. Speedball, & Mt. Rushmore 2.0 vs. Busick/Everett/Lee. That’s FIVE matches that either hit the four star mark, or in two cases, exceeded it. One of those matches is the only match I’ve given five stars to since Cena vs. Punk on RAW in 2013. Galloway vs. Speedball is the best tournament match so far, a near MOTYC with tremendous psychology and workrate out the wazoo. While not quite up to the standard of Speedball’s MOTYC with Roderick Strong in June, it still has everything you could possibly want out of the big man vs. little man dynamic. And do we even have to talk about Guerrilla Warfare? It is truly a crowning jewel in an incredible PWG catalog. It combines all of the things that make this little rinky dink promotion in the San Fernando Valley so beautiful. If you’ve been following this promotion for any amount of time, you owe it to yourself to check BOLA Stage Two out. It has something for everybody and one of the best matches in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s twelve year history. Hopefully you’ll come out of it feeling the same way I do about it.