The Good, the Bad and the Heat Exhaustion: Night Two of Battle of Los Angeles

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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!

 

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Quick Hits: NXT Takeover Brooklyn 2017

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The past few NXT Takeovers have been less than par for the course as far as NXT specials go but things quickly changed on Saturday. With the addition of Adam Cole, Kyle O’Riley and Bobby Fish plus the Mae Young Classic set to air on the WWE Network the NXT brand has once again become the hottest wrestling promotion in the world. You know the last sentence is true when Kassius Ohno Continue reading

Five Thoughts: New Japan G1 Special Night One w/ Cameron Dougharty

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New Japan Pro Wrestling held their first ever G1 Climax shows in the United States selling out Hall B of the Long Beach, California Convention Center the past two nights. This wasn’t a glorified house show, the brand new IWGP United States Championship’s inaugural tournament was held, the IWGP Heavyweight Title was on the line and every faction Japan has to offer was featured. Look out Vince, the other big boys are here to play. Continue reading

Quick Hits: NXT Takeover Orlando 4.1.17: Spewin’ Snark Recap w/Cameron Dougharty

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Sanity v. Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno, Tye Dillinger & Ruby Riot

Sanity is great, simple enough, right? Eric Young and his crew came into Takeover needing to continue it’s dominance over the baby faces so instant rejection wouldn’t have taken place in Orlando. An argument could have been made for the likes of Dillinger and Strong, especially since this was Kassius Ohno’s Takeover debut; oh well, soon Ohno will be NXT Champion and none of this will have ever happened.

Other than the lack of Riot and Cross’ involvement in the match this was a great tone setter for the rest of the show. Dillinger proved, again, that he is a great NXT talent but if he makes the main roster he may just end up making the tag team of Tyler Breeze and Fandango a trio.

Aleister Black v. Cien Almas

Aleister Black lived up to the hype and some. Black isn’t a crazy renegade like the members of Sanity are. He isn’t here to tear down the establishment like the Wyatt’s are, he simply is a scary, gypsy who wants, not only the NXT Title, but your soul; all of them.

Black and Almas put on a wrestling clinic that could have easily headlined any of the million independent shows this weekend in Orlando. Instead, they did it on the biggest stage you can. There is more bad blood between the two after this match. Almas may have lost but he didn’t lose a step against Black. Best two out of three, anyone?

NXT Tag Team Championship: The Revival v. DIY v. Authors of Pain (c)

In a NXT Universe that demands a hard work ethic the Authors of Pain are here to tell the Indy darlings, to slow down; way down. AOP brings a certain something to the table that will make Vince McMahon droll. The rowdy Orlando fans let the big boys hear their dissaproval and to some it sounded like a cash register.

The Revival have to be main roster bound now. There is nothing left for the old school tag team to accomplish in Florida. A call up to shake up the lack luster Smackdown Live tag team roster is just what the wrestling doctor ordered. Now, give us The Revival against American Alpha, please.

NXT Women’s Championship: Asuka (c) v. Ember Moon

Asuka is the unbreakable force in the entire women’s division, despite that, a lot of people thought maybe Asuka would lose to Moon and debut on Raw tomorrow night, looks like a lot of you are wrong. The women’s division is the weak link of NXT so Asuka sticking around to bring along the other talent is just smart business.

Once the WWE’s women tournament happens this Summer and the WWE brings in more talent the path to Raw or Smackdown will become much more clear for Asuka. Until then, enjoy her beating the crap out of the roster until Candice LeRae comes knocking.

NXT Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura v. Bobby Roode (c)

If NXT is the work rate promotion for the WWE then why is Bobby Roode the top guy? Roode has all the intangibles to be a top guy and I, personally, like the idea of him being the champion of NXT but what kind of match will he have with Ohno or Strong? Roode continues to stay over with his beyond impressive entrance but he will be able to keep up with other, younger guys with strong styles?

This match did not and, arguably, could not live up to other NXT Takeover main events. The continued selling of Nakamura’s leg injury wasn’t the best story telling considering Nakamura may be headed to the main roster sooner than later. I fully expected a blood bath, instead a got a match that came straight out of 1992. Hunter, you and your guys are better than that; work on it.

Until next time, leave a comment, tell a friend, listen to the latest HTC Wrestling podcast on Podbean, follow me on Twitter @camdougharty and let’s talk wrestling!

WWE Smackdown Live 11.1.16: Spewin’ Snarky w/ Cameron Dougharty

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Ya know, Dean and AJ could just Wrestle

  1. James Ellsworth continues to appear week in and week out on Smackdown Live which might be a good thing in theory but he continues to help devalue the WWE Title week in and week out. AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose are two of the best talents the WWE has under contract but throwing in the likes of Ellsworth takes away from what could be a hot blooded back and forth feud. Instead, the WWE loves it’s WATERED DOWN, ABC FAMILY, comedy segments. Did Styles leave NJPW for wannabe SNL skits or to wrestle the best on the WWE roster? After the brand split the marquee matches for Styles to have on Smackdown were against John Cena and Dean Ambrose. Styles had three great matches with Cena and some sub par matches with Dean. Once again, the brand split has helped a very select few Superstars but has done nothing but handicap Styles’ capacity to have great matches with top tier talent. Smackdown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, should trade Styles for the entire cruiserweight division.

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Why Goldberg versus Roman Reigns Needs to Happen

 

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Goldberg made his return to the WWE this past Monday, after spending the past decade plus dabbling in movies, television and color commentary for MMA promotions World Fighting Alliance and Elite XC, to answer Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman’s challenge to a fight. Twelve years have past since the ill fated Wrestlemania 20 match between Lesnar and Goldberg. The timing couldn’t be worse for Lesnar and Goldberg going into that Wrestlemania, both were on their separate ways out of the WWE, the fans were in on it and the match was less than memorable. Now Goldberg is back so I guess, his son can watch him wrestle in person, not like money was involved or anything and returned in newly found WWE legend fashion; agreeing to be in a video game. The late, great, Ultimate Warrior started this tradition followed by Sting. Continue reading

WWE Smackdown Live 10.18.16: Spewin’ Snark Five Thoughts w/ Cameron Dougharty

 

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Sister Abigil = Luke Harper

  1. For months, hell even years, Bray Wyatt has mentioned Sister Abigail would come make her presence known. A lot of time has passed but just a few weeks ago Wyatt was saved by Abigail again just about the same time Luke Harper returned to WWE television. Can Harper also be Abigail and Stephanie McMahon’s announcement that the WWE would implement transexual characters would come true? Sister Harper, is that you? ¬†Randy Orton also had a match during all of these crazy thoughts in my mind against Harper. Bray interfered, Kane made the save, blah, blah, blah. As much as I want to hate this feud Orton and Bray have done a good job keeping this train a rolling, ya know, except for that whole Kane thing, anyone else in that spot (Apollo Crews, cough, cough) and I would have ZERO complaints.

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WWE Raw Brings You the Crusierweight Division, Sort of

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The highly anticipated return of the Cruiserweight division and title is now one month born into this new wrestling world but it hasn’t gone exactly as expected. The WWE Cruiserweight Classic was nothing short of phenomenal but the transition to the WWE Network to weekly live crowds which 80-90% of the audience isn’t very familiar with your work; good luck. Continue reading