PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2016: Stage 1





By Cero2k
From September 02, 2016

PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2016: Stage 1

First Round Match
Pentagon Jr vs "The Villain" Marty Scurll - 8/10


Well, we're off with the heavy hitters it seems, this is something that I've always found kinda ballsy from PWG, but awesome at the same time, they usually find some dream matches between two potential favorites and put them in the first round, last year it was Ricochet vs Sabre, the year before was Sabre vs KOR. Match was awesome and weird at the same time, you can tell that these guys may not know each other a lot because spots were kept to a minimum and it was mostly striking, kicking, and such. Also, Scurll's heel tactics work differently with someone like Pentagon who doesn't have fear. Scurll seemed like the underdog (this will be a theme throughout the weekend) to a seemingly balanced match, underdog takes the win after an Awesome finishing sequence.

First Round Match
Jeff Cobb vs Ricochet - 8/10


This is a speed vs power match, a very strong 'speed guy' vs a very fast 'power guy', and the fans know this, so it's not unexpected to see Cobb pull of some speed moves, and same with Ricochet displaying his strength. In the theme that I was just talking about, I felt that Cobb maintained a dominance for the most part and could easily have taken then win, and the 'underdog' eventually ended up taking the win at the last moment. Cobb is so amazing, that if you watch Matanza vs Puma, it would be a completely different match from this.

First Round Match
"Reborn" Matt Sydal vs John Hennigan - 6.5/10


The last time that an ECW chant was proper was during the '06 ONS show, 10 years later, the chant was proper again. I kinda feel that this match wasn't planned as a face vs heel match, but fans just turned on Hennigan naturally and that changed the match dynamic. This was a really grounded high flying match, i don't think there was a single jump to the outside, did they even leave the ring? Match was great with both guys working each other's legs, only problem here was the low blow, I think we all agree on that, I'm perfectly ok with the 'referee's discretion' reason that PWG, Lucha, and some others use to ignore cheating, but c'mon, don't be so blatant like doing it straight up in the ref's face, hell, weapons are ok if the ref is not fast to take it away from your hands, but a low blow like this just makes the ref look bad. Fuck you Justin!

First Round Match
"The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay vs Fenix - 9/10


Copy Paste that first point I made for the opening match, it fills me with dread that neither Mexican will make it up the brackets but 2016 belongs to Scurll and Ospreay either way. Knowing this match was positioned here, it makes total sense why they grounded Ricochet against someone like Cobb, and why Sydal/Hennigan was kept inside the ring, now these guys have all freedom to take the air and not feel repetitive. This had a similarity with Scurll/Pentagon were the Mexican style of showboating during the match eventually does create many openings for the 'more focused' UK style to intercept and take advantage.

First Round Match
Zack Sabre Jr vs Tommy End - 9/10


No secret here, I'm a huge mark for Tommy End, but I don't think anyone had sold me more on End's kicking ability as this match, it's a true tragedy that Shibata vs End hasn't happened. This was Brawler vs Technician, where the technician eventually has to get dirty and lose his patience (which happens in all Sabre matches anyway). I personally loved when End stopped the kick on Sabre's head, it reminded me of anime sword fights between two people that know each other perfectly, where you're establishing a certain level of superiority, and I think this match needed this. End is not as established as Sabre who is coming in as the Champ, former BOLA winner, and just kicking ass everywhere he goes, I think everyone needed some reminding that End could still destroy Sabre given he had an opening. Sabre worked (and destroyed) End's arm while End was trying to concuss Sabre.

First Round Match
"The KO Artist" Chris Hero vs Jushin "Thunder" Liger - 7.5/10


You know, something really triggers me when heel Hero acts all cocky, and I think it works best because under any other circumstances, Hero is still himself, he isn't a cheating heel, he could have the very same match with Dunne for instance, and be the babyface. Match was all about Hero disrespecting Liger for being small, and the smaller Liger trying to shut this cocky 'young' kid's mouth. This was probably the most heated match of the night but there was no way Liger was winning.

Dalton Castle and The Boys (Boy B and Boy K) vs Mt Rushmore - 8.5/10


Boy B is not to be confused with B-Boy, I don't think there could be two more opposite gimmicks in wrestling. Match was full of comedy, between Castle and Cole interacting, seeing reDragon act like Boys, and Excalibur/Dustin on commentary, I couldn't stop laughing. This was one of those matches where we're all in on the joke and play to it, wrestling is fun. Match really was just a huge babyface in peril segment until reDragon finally unmasked and all hell broke lose. This was, in my opinion, the perfect match to end the show, it's night one of a 3 day tournament, we've seen 6 one-on-one tournament matches, we really needed that exciting crazy match to ease up the stress that following a tournament comes with and go home happy, getting ready for the rest of the weekend.

OVERALL THOUGHTS:


Awesome night one of Battle of Los Angeles, like pretty much always. It seems like they did most dream matches today, and will leave the work rate for tomorrow, yet there is no denying that tonight delivered top to bottom in the wrestling department.

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