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PWG BOLA 2016 Review: Stage Three



Two nights ago, 24 of the best professional wrestlers in the world showed up in Reseda to prove they were the very best. Tonight, we’re down 12. Dalton Castle, Trevor Lee, John Hennigan, Ricochet, Cody R, Marty Scurll, Mark Andrews, Chris Hero, Mark Haskins, Kyle O’Reilly, Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr. are all looking to walk away with it tonight. Let’s jump right in it.

Second Round Match: Dalton Caste vs. Trevor Lee

A little toned down from what we’ve seen so far this weekend, but that’s to be expected seeing half of these guys will be wrestling twice tonight, and three will wrestle once more on top of that. Still a good match. Silly start with Lee mocking Castle, he was once again really playing up the “TNA Superstar” stchick really pissing off most of the crowd. This match had a lot of German suplexes; the only thing missing was Lesnar himself. Really cool backflip into a deadlift German suplex by Lee. Castle wouldn’t be outshined though with a bridge deadlift German of his own. Loved the ending with Castle yelling “FUCK TNA” at Lee, who in return hits a Canadian Destroyer followed by package pin for the win.

Winner and advancing to the Semi-Finals: Trevor Lee

Second Round Match: John Hennigan vs. Ricochet

They sure picked up the pace in this one that’s for sure. Some nice Arial displays by both men here as you’d expect and this was a much better performance from Hennigan than his Night one match with Sydal. Crowd still hated on Hennigan pretty hard. Really painful looking spot when Hennigan hit a guillotine neck breaker onto the apron. Hennigan was unsuccessful every time he went for Starship Pain, which eventually led to Ricochet hitting the 630 splash to advance in the Tournament. Another solid match.

Winner and advancing to the Semi-Finals: Ricochet

Second Round Match: Cody R. vs. Marty Scurll

Cody gets another great intro from his wife Brandi Rhodes. As Brandi is exiting the ring Scurll grabs his umbrella and hits Cody with it in the back before the ref can call for the bell to ring, quickly Scurll gets the ref to ring the bell, and tries to get an early victory by hitting a brain buster but Cody kicks out at 2.

I thought this was a great match, Scurll has been doing excellent heel work this weekend, and Cody has been going all out to impress Reseda. Really funny part where Scurll sets up Cody up with Goldust’s patented Shattered Dreams and the crowd chants “She Wants Kids”. Gotta love Reseda. Scurll was taunting Brandi all match, and at one point was able to steal a kiss from Cody’s bride. Scurll is just plain awesome, I really recommend checking out his work from Progress. Scurll is able to punch his ticket to the second round by hitting a dastardly low blow that the ref didn’t notice. The crowd sent Cody off with a “Please Come Back” chant in which Cody replied by saying “Oh I’ll be back!” and as an insurance policy, gave his BOLA boot to a fan saying he’ll be back next year to pick it up. Great stuff.

Winner and advancing to the Semi-Finals: Marty Scurll

Second Round Match: Mark Andrews vs. Chris Hero

Poor Mandrews. First Pete Dunne, now Chris Hero? What a great set of wins this would be for him if he can pull this one off. Right after Mandrews intro, Hero hits a boot to the face before the bell rings. And thus begins Hero laying the boots to Mandrews in this one. Mandrews is sure one tough dude that’s for sure. Hero unleashes kicks, chops, elbows, and pile drivers on Mark. Mark is quickly able to hit a reverse frankensteiner on Hero but can’t put away the much bigger man. Hero lays into Mandrews again but out of nowhere Mandrews pulls off a victory roll pin for the shocking upset win. The crowd is stunned and so is Hero, who soon takes his frustrations out on Mark with a big rolling elbow. As if that wasn’t enough, Hero sets up Andrews for a pile driver that has to be seen.

Winner and advancing (maybe) to the Semi-Finals: Mark Andrews

Second Round Match: Mark Haskins vs. Kyle O’Reilly

This was one is for all the technical fans out there, really methodical match between Kyle and Mark. Lots of back and forth mat action, blended in nicely with striking and submissions throughout. The match really picks up in the end and we see yet another huge upset in BOLA with another beautiful body scissors transition into a sharpshooter by Haskins which picks him up the submission victory. Not only an upset, but to have KOR tap out is HUGE. The Brits are really making their mark yet again in the BOLA.

Winner and advancing to the Semi-Finals: Mark Haskins

Second Round Match: Will Ospreay vs. 2015 BOLA Winner & Reigning PWG World Champion Zack Sabre Jr.

Final match of the second round, and man is it a good one. You’ve got one of the best high fliers in the world taking on one of the best pure grapplers. Ospreay comes out like a bat out of hell right off the bell, trying to quickly put away the Champ. Isn’t long before ZSJ puts an end to Ospreay’s Arial assault, and the match heads to the ground where ZSJ works in some nasty submissions on Will. A lot of counters and reversals in this one and yet again we see another huge upset in this year’s BOLA as Will Ospreay is able to put away the PWG Champ with a bridge pin. Ospreay is off to the Semi’s and one would think, he has a future PWG Title shot waiting for him.

Winner via Pinfall and advancing to the Semi-Finals: Will Ospreay

PWG World Tag Team Championship Title Match: Fenix & Pentagon Jr. vs. The Young Bucks (C)

Crowd was pumped when it was announced this would be for the Titles. Once again we have got a match that is just out of this world! This is a must a see, and I think it even topped the previous nights 6 man tag main event. This match alone is worth the price of all 3 DVD’s, it was so good the Reseda crowd threw money into the ring post-match for Pentagon and Fenix. Which the Young Buck’s would steal after Pentagon and Fenix addressed and thanked the PWG crowd. The Young Bucks, Pentagon Jr., and Fenix have been the MVP’s of this weekend. The Bucks are without a doubt the best Tag Team going in wrestling today. All four of these men deserve to be on National TV, especially Pentagon Jr. After a wild contest where it seemed like anyone could pick up the win, The Young Bucks retained after a good 12+ super kicks to Pentagon and Fenix.

Winners: The Young Bucks retain their PWG tag team titles

Semi-Final Match: Mark Andrews vs. Trevor Lee

Battle of the X-Division coming right up and it appears Andrews is well enough to compete. Mandrews is holding on to his neck selling the match with Hero, and Lee looks to get out of this one with an early victory. Mandrews nearly steals another one in the first minute with a near pin fall on Lee. Quickly Lee takes control, taking Mark to the outside and doing 4 consecutive back drops onto the apron on each side of the ring. Mark has just taken a beating all week. Trevor continues to dominate most of the match. Mandrews is able to counter a suplex by Lee into a stunner which looked really cool. Some more near quick pins by Mandrews but it isn’t enough to sneak one past Trevor before he hits a Package driver and becomes the first finalist in this year’s BOLA. Mandrews really impressed me this tournament, glad he got his time to shine this year even if it came at the expense of some brutal beatings.

Winner and advancing to the 2016 BOLA Finals: Trevor Lee

Semi-Final Match: Mark Haskins vs. Marty Scurll

Yet again Scurll is able to get off another attack before the bell rings by using his umbrella on Haskins’ back and a super kick from the apron. Scurll gets the ref to ring the bell setting up Mark for a brain buster, but Haskins rolls up Marty with the smack package nearly getting the pin for a quick victory. Haskins left leg appears to be bothering him from his previous bout and Scurll takes full advantage of that for the beginning of this match. Haskins continues with the nice transitions, this time a suplex into a single leg Boston Crab. The match evens out with a good exchange of strikes between both men when Marty hits a falcon arrow and quickly applies the Cross Face Chicken Wing. That looked really nice.

Near the end, Haskins is able to catch Marty in an inverted armbar submission but Scurll gets his foot on the ropes not even a second before he starts tapping and Mark thinks he’s got it won. The finish comes after Scurll reversed an Okada roll pin attempt into a Chicken Wing for the submission victory. The match started off a bit slow with Marty brilliant heel work, but really picked up and had a great finish.

Winner and advancing to the 2016 BOLA Finals: Marty Scurll

Semi-Final Match: Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay

One spot left in the final, and the two best high fliers in the world are about to fight for it. This isn’t the best Ricochet/Ospreay match there is, but it sure is damn good. This match is pretty much what you’d expect from these two but one of the better moments came when Ricochet reversed Will’s finisher into a reverse-rana, which Will no sells and hits a reverse-rana of his own. These two make this stuff look way too easy. Another great match tonight with Ospreay heading to the finals after hitting an OsCutter on Ricochet for the win.

Winner and advancing to the 2016 BOLA Finals: Will Ospreay

Non-Tournament Ten –Person Tag Team Match: Team Liger (Jushin Liger, Cedric Alexander, Jeff Cobb, Tommy End, & Chuck Taylor) vs. The BRO-CAT Psycho Kittens (Tommaso Ciampa, Sami Callihan, Pete Dunne, Brain Kendrick & Matthew Riddle)

Prepare yourselves for one of the most ridiculous pro-wrestling matches you’ll ever see in your life. This type of match you can only find in PWG. You’ll see the wrestlers and crowd take part in a super slow motion sequence that has to be seen to be believed, a Congo line that involves each other’s thumbs up their behinds, and an R. Kelly cover by Ciampa himself. I don’t think I really need to say much more. This is what I love about PWG; they don’t take things too serious. Where else can you see world class workers be this silly and it be this awesome? It was also really fun to see Liger having what looked like the time of his life! Great change of pace before the BOLA Finals.

Winners: Team Liger

2016 Battle of Los Angeles Finals – Elimination Rules: Trevor Lee vs. Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll

And then there were three. No matter the outcome, all of these men have put on a great weekend of wrestling and any one of them is deserving of this trophy. In the introductions it looks like Ospreay has taken the worst damage of them all, he looks like was just in a boxing match. All 3 soak it all in after the opening bell, and then Ospreay is off to a quick start. Looks like Will wants to end this as quickly as he can, and that might be his best strategy.

Fatigue is setting in quick on all these guys, for their third match inside a hot legion building you can’t blame them. Isn’t long before Lee and Scurll start to work together by teaming up on Ospreay, but Lee gets a little too friendly when he tries to do Scurll’s finger dislocation and gets smacked in the face by Marty who proceeds to do it himself. Makes me cringe every single time. Marty and Lee pull off a nice sequence of moves when Scurll hits Will’s own Essex Destroyer (flip DDT) followed by a bridging German suplex pin by Lee but Will just kicks out. Scurll tries to put Will away with the Chicken Wing but Will isn’t giving up. But eventually Scurll gets a tighter grip and Lee assists him with some stomping to Will’s face forcing Will to tap out with the shocking elimination. Will had to be the favourite this year, I was completely stunned. Most of the crowd is not pleased, a lot of boos.

Will Ospreay is Eliminated

Doesn’t take long for the crowd to take sides and the final two begin to exchange slaps to the face. A lot of good back and forth goes on between Scurll and Lee, neither seeming to gain the upper hand just yet. Marty hits a huge running lariat that sends turns Lee inside out. Scurll tries to seal the deal going for the Chicken Wing; Lee is able to stop him by kicking out Marty’s knees and hits a backflip German suplex. This is getting good.

Lee honours the Hardy Brothers yet again by hitting a Twist of Fate and a Swanton Dive but only gets a 2 count. After Trevor lands some heavy strikes on Scurll he goes for a running elbow, but Scurll moves the ref into Lee’s way knocking him out cold. Marty immediately goes for his trusty umbrella and delivers one of the nastiest shots to the head I’ve seen since Adam Cole vs. Jay Briscoe in Ladder Wars. Marty continues to unleash hell with this umbrella on Trevor, really nasty looking stuff. Scurll goes for the pin after waking up Rick Knox, but Trevor kicks out just in time. Marty continues his dirty ways and goes to snap Lee’s fingers, but Trevor stops Scurll and gives Marty a taste of his own medicine. It’s going to be hard for Marty to lock in the Chicken Wing now. Trevor tries to put this match away with another Twist of Fate but is reversed and winds up in the Cross Face Chicken Wing and it’s only a matter of time before Marty secures his grip and Trevor has no choice but to tap.

Winner and the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles Winner: Marty Scurll

And there you have it folks, a fantastic triple threat elimination match to finish off this year’s Battle of Los Angeles. Marty was the ultimate villain this entire tournament and was refreshing winner after a few years of baby faces coming out on top. The umbrella shots to the face was really brutal and a fitting way to lead up to Marty’s eventual victory.

Marty gives a really good victory speech that starts out with him saying, “I fucking deserve this!” The crowd seemed to agree. After calling out Zack Sabre Jr. for a future title shot, Marty left us with “Love Live the Villain!” and the year of the villain it sure looks to be, expect to see a lot more of Marty Scurll in North America. Sabre ends up coming out to confront Marty but nothing happens except the exchanging of a few words and handshake. Nice moment.
This is one of the best BOLA’s I’ve seen and will be a very hard one to top in the future, but something tells me PWG is up to the challenge. I want to thank you for joining me as I reviewed the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles and hope you pick up these DVD’s real soon.

Buy? You know it!

Match of the Night: Fenix & Pentagon Jr. vs. The Young Bucks