PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2016: Stage 2





By Big Red Machine
From September 03, 2016

PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2016: Stage 2

BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Dalton Castle (w/the Boys)- 6.5/10


Dalton has his real Boys tonight. Not last night’s bullsh*t imposters. For some reason, the referee is allowing the Boys to remain in the ring even though the match has started. A very good match. And I’m sure Ciampa’s boss is going to be pleased with him letting some indy guy kick out of the Pedigree.

BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Mark Andrews vs. Pete Dunne- 5/10


Mark Andrews is spot monkey, plain and simple. He only took about four tombstone piledrivers, including one on the floor and also a sequence where he took two in a row, but why should that matter when there are more flips to be done? This kind of mentality doesn’t just hurt the match by making you ask “shouldn’t he be selling right?” It also kills spots like Dunne putting his feet on the ropes for illegal leverage on a pin, which now comes off as just a random spot instead of as part of the story where Dunne is trying everything he can but Andrews won’t stay down because Andrews ceases to come across as a babyface who keeps kicking out because he has so much heart and determination. Instead it comes across like he is kicking out because they’re not finished doing their flips and head-drops.

There was definitely a story here with Dunne trying to put Andrews down, but the spot monkey mentality in this match severely hurt it. Also, what was the point of any of those of stupid finger-biting spots? Never mind that Ciampa did the same pointless finger-biting in the opener, but what does it actually do for the match? Nothing.

BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Sami Callihan vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Brandi Rhodes)- 4/10


Cody had PWG tights and pads specially made for this occasion, which lets us all know that he has enough money to blow that he’ll be able to work on the indies and live comfortably for quite a while even if he doesn’t ever sign with ROH or TNA or LU or New Japan.

They were having a good match until they decided to interrupt it for that stupid, pointless “comedy” spot with the masks. Sami and the cat mask… WHY?! What is funny about it in any way? PWG fans will pop for absolutely anything so long as it doesn’t make any sense. Someone could show up there one day wearing a shark fin on his back, call himself “The Icelandic Cowboy,” and every five minutes suddenly become deathly afraid of the ring ropes and they would pop for that more than they would for Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar.
So they did that, then the match ended about two minutes later.

PENTAGON JR. & FENIX vs. CHRIS HERO & TOMMY END- 8.75/10


Hero and End went into the crowd to confront a fan… and of course the fan didn’t back down, so it didn’t look good for them. Speaking of not looking good, the fan looked like what you would get if Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian conceived a child together. Also speaking of not looking good, Pentagon Jr. and Fenix were wearing identical masks that were a combination of their two mask designs. It looked very ugly. The red crest of “feathers” on top made them look like roosters.

Pentagon Jr. went right up to Chris Hero and spat in his face. At first I thought that he made this grave error in judgment because he hasn’t yet been informed that Chris Hero ain’t nothing to f*ck with, but then I realized that he probably knows but just doesn’t care because he has cero miedo.

There was one dive in here that Excalibur accurately called by simply saying “what the fuck?!” Then even more insane stuff happened, mostly of the crazy-hard striking variety, but there was other awesomeness, too. This was kind of like the PWG version of the match Hero & End had against Zack Sabre Jr. & Sami Callihan at Evolve 53 back in January (that match was better, though).

BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Kamaitachi vs. Trevor Lee- 7.75/10


The fans boo when Trevor Lee is introduced as “TNA superstar Trevor Lee,” but then they chant “DELETE!” for him. You can’t have it both ways, guys.

Chris Hero and Excalibur confirmed my suspicions that Trevor Lee and Dragon Lee are cousins (they both have the same last name and both have a great dislike for Kamaitachi. Makes sense to me). I assume Hero learned this because his good buddy CM Punk married one of their cousins. All of the Lees are related, obviously. And yes, I did make that pun intentionally.

There were lots of big moves here, but unlike the Dunne vs. Andrews match, everyone sold everything well and the moves flowed naturally form one to the next. Also, as strange as this is to say, Kamaitachi was an excellent babyface in this match.

BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Cedric Alexander vs. Mark Haskins- 8.25/10


More awesomeness. Chris Hero was right: Mark Haskins has vastly improved in the past few years.

BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES FIRST-ROUND MATCH:
Matt Riddle vs. Kyle O’Reilly- 8.5/10


I DEMAND MORE OF THIS! This is exactly the hard-hitting technical encounter you would think these guys would have, and it was every bit as awesome as I expected.

MATT SYDAL, RICOCHET, & WILL OSPREAY vs. BULLET CLUB (Adam Cole & the Young Bucks)- 8.5/10


If you thought that dive in the tag match was nuts, wait until you see the spot in this match (you’ll know the one) that Excalibur accurately describes as “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.” This was a match filled with spectacular moves and dives and a hot crowd... but that’s all it had going for it, and so it was an awesome match, but it didn’t have anywhere near enough of that to justify any higher rating.

This show started off rocky, but wound up as another awesome BOLA show from PWG.

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