The Good, the Bad and the Heat Exhaustion: Night Two of Battle of Los Angeles
The Battle of Los Angeles is a yearly tournament put on by, arguably, the biggest independent wrestling promotion in America, Pro Wrestling Guerilla. The tournament matches were set, the marquee special attraction matches were booked and there was only one thing left; for all of us to die in the heat. The WWE couldn’t run their average, at best, house shows in venues without proper air conditioning and seating for fans that paid top dollar to be there but PWG can. The business model PWG follows rubs people the wrong way but this is America and until fans refuse to pay rising prices American Legion Hall 308 will continue to sell out each and every time.
Every match that was booked for night two could headline any indy show across the world, for the fans in Reseda, California it was just another dream match night.
Donovan Dijak v. Trevor Lee 3.5 Stars
Dijak is on his way to NXT, Lee is a staple of PWG and GWF and these two did not disappoint. These two put on one hell of an opening match where Dijak was the winner and would move on to the quarterfinals. For me, this was the start of a 110 degree four hour ride.
Joey Janela v. Sammy Guevera 5 Stars
These two guys may not be household names yet but, especially, Joey it’s just a matter of time until he’s your friend’s favorite wrestler. Joey and Lio Rush were big news after their encounter at CZW’s show a few weeks back. On Saturday night Joey wanted to out do that performance and they sure as hell did. I rated this match five stars simply because in the 20 minutes these two battled they told stories, switched face and heel roles and Janela took two of the nastiest bumps I’ve ever seen and lived to tell the tale outside the Hall to me shortly after their match.
Travis Banks v. Mark Haskins 3.5 Stars
Two of the top United Kingdom wrestlers on the planet graced the Reseda crowd with a match that I personally expected more from. The two men had a great match overall just a few miss timed spots and a weird count finish left me feeling short changed from two guys that are on the WWE radar. Spoilers: From what I’ve read from night three Banks made up for it with his other match.
LDRS (Marty Scrull & Zack Sabre Jr) v. Matt Sydal & Ricochet 3.5 Stars
A tag team match from four guys that headline venues from California to Japan was the match before intermission. Sabre Jr the heel that Reseda loves to boo and Scrull interrupted Sydal’s and Ricochet’s entrance. This is where my experience kind of took a down hill spill. After spending time in line for water, again it had to be at least 110 degrees in the venue, I had lost my comfy standing spot and was left to stand behind a guy who was at least 6’3 the rest of the night. The first match with several, great near falls was on track for a four star rating until all four guys hit similar spots at shows I’ve been to before. Usually something like that doesn’t bother me, especially since I watch the WWE weekly but something just rubbed me the wrong way, probably the heat, but I was just taken out of the moment after Sabre Jr used his head turn submission several times.
Sami Callahan v. Jeff Cobb 2.5 Stars
The first post intermission match featured the highly over rated Callahan and Jeff Cobb, who outside of his strength, doesn’t offer much inside a squared circle. Although this match could headline the indy show in your local town it feel short of a PWG style match and I just couldn’t wait for it to end.
Matt Riddle v. Michael Elgin 4 Stars
By this time in the night Ronda Rousey’s presence was known in the hall but if you didn’t know she was there just look toward the stage where the UFC star was chanting ‘Bro’ with everyone else. Elgin is a guy to me that if you put him in the ring with the right guy you can get a four star match and this was just it. Riddle is a guy that will be WWE bound before we know it so enjoy the bootless bro for as long as you can because before you know it a $25 ‘Bro’ shirt will be all the rage at Full Sail.
Walter v. Keith Lee 4.5 Stars
If the WWE wants to continue to restock their big guy roster then these two are the golden tickets. Keith Lee is becoming a top star in the indy scene and it’s just a matter of time until the star of Vienna is on the radar of the E. Spoilers: William Regal was said to be outside talking with Walter prior to his match. Both of these men are larger than life and when the two killed and slammed each other all over the ring I knew this was something special. The crowd chanted ‘big match wrestling’ during their match and the hype lived up to just that; big match wrestling.
The Elite (Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks) v. Flamita, Rey Fenix & Penta El OM 4.5 Stars
The main event of the evening saw Kenny Omega return to PWG for the first time since 2014. We all stood in aw as Penta and Kenny stood nose to nose in the ring then beat the hell out of each other. This match had it all, comedy, crazy spots and hard hitting action. The real MVP of the night may have been Fenix. If the WWE wants another Rey Mysterio this guy is as close as they are going to get.
If you were ever thinking of coming to Reseda, please do. If not, buy the BOLA dvd, it will not disappoint.
Until next time, leave a comment, tell a friend, listen to the latest HTC Wrestling Podcast here or on itunes, follow me on Twitter @camdougharty and let’s talk wrasslin!