Thursday, November 6, 2014

PWG: 2012 Battle of Los Angeles Night 1 Review

Date: September 1st, 2012

PWG World Champion: Kevin Steen (since World's Finest - March 2012)

PWG World Tag Team Champions: Super Smash Bros (since Death to All But Metal - May 2012)

Commentators: Excalibur, Kevin Steen, Davey Richards, & Joey Ryan

Joey Ryan starts the show with a promo insulting Willie Mack and vowing to be the first ever 2 time Battle of Los Angeles winner.

1) Joey Ryan vs. TJ Perkins - First Round Match
As with most TJP matches, this one was pretty technical. Joey refused to lock up with TJP early on because of how good he is in that department, but TJP still found a way to get his hands on him. Pretty solid opening match.

Match rating - ***

2) Roderick Strong vs. Drake Younger - First Round Match
I was really looking forward to this one considering how hard hitting both guys are and it certainly lived up to expectations. There were alot of strikes and they did their fair share of brawling around the ringside area. The most jaw dropping moment of the match came when Strong held Younger on his shoulders on the apron and dropped/threw him stomach first into the top turnbuckle. Great back and forth match in which the action never slowed down.

Match rating - ***3/4

3) Kyle O'Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards - First Round Match
Here we have another match that I was excited to see considering how well versed both men are in submissions and strikes. O'Reilly and Edwards started out with some technical wrestling before things got serious and turned to chops & kicks. There were some fantastic sequences during this match that left me wanting to see these guys face off again. Edwards finished off O'Reilly by locking him in a Boston Crab and stomping him in the head repeatedly which led to a referee stoppage. Really good match.

Match rating - ***1/2

4) B-Boy vs. Brian Cage - First Round Match

I didn't really know what to expect here. B-Boy and Cage are similar yet very different. They both hit hard, but have totally different physiques. None the less, the match got going and started off at a questionable pace however it soon turned into a pretty good bout. They put together a very competitive closing sequence with alot of big moves which kept this one from being the low point of the card. Solid match.

Match rating - ***1/4

5) Kevin Steen vs. Ricochet - First Round Match
OH. MY. GOD. These two absolutely tore the house down. From the opening moment where Ricochet spit in Steen's face and got one of the must brutal powerbombs I've ever seen to the rest of the match that featured awesome exchange after awesome exchange, this was a breathtaking match the whole way through. Fantastic match!

Match rating - ****1/4

6) Sami Callihan vs. Willie Mack - First Round Match
I had no idea if anyone would be able to follow Steen/Ricochet, but these guys managed to put together a match that was almost as good. We saw a glimpse of this match at DDT4 as both guys were invovled in a tag match however it was nothing compared to what we got here. Just two hardhitting guys beating the shit out of each other. Super entertaining match, loved it!

Match rating - ***3/4

7) Adam Cole vs. El Generico - First Round Match
This match marked the beginning of the heelish Adam Cole that we've become very familiar with in recent years. It was also Cole's first singles match in PWG as he had competed solely in tag team matches with Kyle O'Reilly before hand. Cole tried to rip off Generico's match several times during this match which threw him off. That combined with counters for some of Generico's signature moves led Cole to a big victory over the PWG veteran, El Generico. Great match.

Match rating - ***3/4

8) Michael Elgin vs. Davey Richards - First Round Match
These two had a classic at ROH's Showdown in The Sun event in 2012 so I guess PWG wanted to take advantage of the attention they garnered and book them in the main event of Night 1 of BOLA. I haven't seen their ROH match, but if it's anything like this, I'm sure it would live up to expectations because these two put on one hell of a match. Elgin & Richards proved that they were truly deserving of the main event slot on this show. I've seen some people give this one nearly five stars and while I disagree, this is still an outstanding match and a definite MOTY candidate. Phenomenal match.

Match rating - ****1/2

Overall thoughts: Sometimes two night tournaments only have one night that delivers, but PWG delivered the goods here on Night 1. So much so that it's gonna be hard for them to follow it on Night 2. However, if anyone can do it, its PWG. Ricochet/Steen and Elgin/Richards are the two must-see matches on this show while everything else still good in its own right and worth checking out. Definitely recommend checking this event out.

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