9/4 Pro Wrestling Guerilla "Battle of Los Angeles": First-round tournament results featuring Christopher Daniels, Austin Aries, Paul London, Rocky Romero, Chris Hero, El Generico, and more
Pro Wrestling Guerilla
Report by Dot Net reader Scott Turner
The show started off as usual with ring announcer Jon Ian going over some rules and regulations that are standard for the American Legion Post #308 hall, where the company usually holds their events. As the crowd (I'm guessing around 300 people) settled in to the small yet intimate venue Jon Ian introduced PWG's authority figure, Excalibur, as he ran through the night's card only to be interrupted by the Young Bucks.
I found it peculiar and amusing that everyone other than the Buck's themselves referred to them as the Young Buck's rather than the TNA branded Generation Me. The Bucks heeled it up for the crowd as they explained that their one on one contest against each was not to be citing that as TNA stars they had better things to do. Excalibur told to the Buck's that regardless of how they felt their match was still on and it was next.
1. Matt Jackson vs. Nick Jackson ended in double disqualification. As soon as the match started the Bucks double super kicked referee Rick Knox, which prompted another referee to come out and rule the match a double DQ. On their way out of the ring, the Bucks were stopped by the Cutler brothers which prompted the first real match of the night...
2. The Cutler Brothers defeated The Young Bucks. This was a standard car crash opening match that Indy events like these are known for, you know, a ton of flips and dives over the top rope.The Bucks play a heel team for PWG and the crowd played off that as they booed and jeered with derogatory TNA comments towards them. The Cutler Brothers picked up the win with their double piledriver finisher.
3. Brandon Gatson defeated Ryan Taylor. This was a solid match that had some good hard hitting spots. I saw Gatson perform for the first time at least years Battle of Los Angeles and it shows that he has come some way since then. He has a much better look and for a guy that doesn't come across as a high flyer, he has a pretty impressive arsenal of spectacular moves. I had never heard of Ryan Taylor before this and I'm not sure how familiar the rest of the crowd was with him as he didn't seem to draw much of a reaction, if anything he drew a few "go away heat" jeers.
4. Joey Ryan defeated Chuck Taylor. This was a fun match that was set up with a little comedy bit in the ring between the two wrestlers. Ryan accused Taylor of "talking shit" about him on Twitter which Taylor responded to by claiming he was bored of following Ryan's tweets and that he took pleasure in "unfollowing" his Twitter. Pretty funny stuff. Taylor is another wrestler I had not heard of until tonight, but unlike Ryan Taylor, Chuck Taylor received a very nice reaction from the crowd. This was a pretty standard match that saw the conclusion come about when Ryan super kicked Taylor for the win.
5. Roderick Stong defeated Paul London. Roderick came out to a very nice reaction from the crowd that included a "next world champ" chant. Paul London came out in a space suit followed by a guy in an owl's mask and a cape. London said he was here to wrestle and took off his suit to reveal a wrestling singlet that had been stuffed with a sock to make London look well endowed.
The first half of the match found it's focus on London amusingly large crotch area as when he did leg scissors or any kind of leg lock Roderick would sell big time for it. What I found most interesting was the chant the crowd came up with for the match, "Hybrid Penis!" The match kicked into second gear halfway through leaving the crowd with a very decent match that had genuinely funny moments. I think it's worth noting at one point London took a kick so hard my girlfriend yelled in terror, good stuff.
6. Claudio Castignoli defeated Ricochet. A David vs Goliath sort of match as the smaller Ricochet was defeated by big and built Catignoli.This match was the sleeper hit of the night for me. I was largely unfamiliar with Ricochet's work, but was impressed by his fluidity in the ring and his arsenal of "spotacular" moves.
A noteworthy spot was when Ricochet was trying to take Castignoli down with a sunset flip only to have Castignoli pick up Ricochet by his neck from the floor for a suplex looking toss over his shoulders. Castignoli looks like a true star. The guys has got the looks and size, not to mention his timing and the way he moves is indicative of the style he works for companies like ROH and PWG. The guy just seems like a total package to me.
7. Austin Aries defeated Rocky Romero. Huge pop for both wrestlers as they came to the ring, but Aries' cheers turned to boos when he told the crowd "If you really like me, you will shut your mouths," pretty awesome heel heat for Aries. Aries is another Indy wrestler you can tell is really coming into his own. Aries's style has evolved to include all the high flying spots we know he is capable of while including the ring psychology necessary to provide a believable and realistic representation that there is a fight going on in the ring, not a dance routine. Good match that started slow and eventually kicked into the next gear with some impressive technical wrestling and a few good high spots.
8. Brandon Bonham defeated Brian Cage. I was excited to see Bonham wrestle live for the first time and he did not disappoint. I'm not necessarily a fan of Bonham's look but man can he do some amazing stuff in the ring. I had only heard of Cage but he had an impressive look as he was a pretty big guy and had some pretty impressive moves. Cage looked a little rough around the edges in the ring, but nonetheless he was still impressive. Bonham finished Cage off with two of what looked like to be flip over pile driver akin to Petey William's Canadian Destroyer move.
9. Akira Tozawa defeated El Generico. After attending many PWG events I'm convinved that Generico is the most over guy in the company. Chants and sing-a-longs of "Ole!" ran rampant through out the match at a very high volume. Also this is the second time I have seen Generico work a Dragon Gate wrestler at a PWG event and steal the show. This match was truly awesome as it featured the hardest hitting action of the night. The match was intense enough that when Tozawa's ass was completely hanging out for a big portion of the match the normally rowdy and rude crowd didn't attack him too hard for it.
10. Chris Hero defeated Christopher Daniels. I'm not going to lie this match kind of just flew by. I enjoy Christopher Daniel's work, but for a while now I haven't felt that there is anything really spectacular about him. It was getting late and it just kind of seemed like the match was going through the motions. The crowd reaction was there as there is Indy marquee credibility for a Hero vs Daniel's match, but it just seemed flat to the point that when the match finished a few people around me, myself included, were surprised to see it end so anticlimactically.
After the match Daniel's cut a promo putting Hero over saying he was the real deal. Hero briefly got on the mic to thank everyone for coming and made his case for winning the Battle of Los Angeles tournament as the crowd made their way out of the American Legion Hall. All in all this was a very enjoyable show with a little bit of everything for wrestling fans. PWG's product reminds me of Ring of Honor when ROH was an even smaller promotion that was gaining notoriety for its impressive hard hitting style mixed in with some genuine slapstick comedy that is so prevalent in today's entertainment.
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