Monday, May 18, 2015

PWG 2014 Battle of Los Angeles: Night 1 Review

The 2014 edition of the Battle of Los Angeles begins!

PWG 2014 Battle of Los Angeles: Night 1
Reseda, California 8/29/14

1.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round - Bobby Fish vs. TJ Perkins: ****

Bobby Fish is replacing an injured AR Fox, while TJ Perkins is replacing the injured Brian Cage (who pulled out the day of this show). This was actually a really fun match. Great technical action throughout this match. I think these two are more than suitable replacements for their injured counterparts. TJ Perkins gets the win to advance to the next round.

2.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – CZW World Champion Biff Busick vs. Roderick Strong: ***1/2

Biff Busick is making his PWG debut, and he’s taking on Roderick Strong. A very good match between these two. Both of these guys are very hard hitting, so it’s no surprise that the action in the match reflected that. Stiff strikes going at full speed. What’s not to like? Eventually, Strong would score the victory to advance to the next round.

3.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – Cedric Alexander vs. Trevor Lee: ***1/2

These are two guys who are familiar with each other, as they both come out of the Carolinas. Another really solid match. I think the familiarity between these two really showed in the fast paced action he got during this match. There were a few mistakes here & there, but I don’t think it hurt the match that much. Trevor Lee gets the win and advances to the next round.

4.) PWG World Tag Team Titles – Three-Way Match – The World’s Cutest Tag Team (Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan) vs. Bad Influence (“The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. The Inner City Machine Guns (Ricochet & Rich Swann): ***3/4

Here we have our first non-tournament match of the night, and it’s for the PWG World Tag Team Titles. This is the first defense for Candice LeRae & Joey Ryan, who won them from The Young Bucks in an insane Guerilla Warfare Match at ELEVEN. This was a really entertaining match. Daniels & Kazarian work really well as heels, and the other two teams are both exciting to watch. The result was a match filled with a lot of fun tag team action. Everyone got the chance to showcase their stuff. In the end, LeRae would pin Swann to win the match for her team and retain the PWG World Tag Team Titles.

5.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa vs. ROH World Champion “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin: ****

These two are coming off of wrestling each other just a week earlier at Death Before Dishonor XII: Night 2 in Chicago Ridge for the ROH World Title. They basically put on a similar match to what they did in ROH. Lots of hard hitting action, stiff strikes, the works. However, I feel this type of match got over much better in front of the PWG crowd. This match was filled with carnage & destruction, while the PWG faithful ate it up. Elgin would eventually put away Ciampa with vicious lariat to score the win and advance to the next round.

6.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – Brian Myers vs. IWGP Heavyweight Champion “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles: **1/2

Brian Myers is coming off of his WWE release a few months earlier, where he was better known as Curt Hawkins. Of course, we all know about the fantastic 2014 that AJ Styles had. Unfortunately for AJ Styles, this was one of the lower points of his 2014. The action in this match was ok, but these two just did not mesh well together. The match ends with a horribly botched top rope sequence. I guess AJ may been trying to go for a Styles Clash off the top rope? I honestly don’t know. Styles converts this botch into a Boston Crab, and Myers quickly taps out. Styles advances to the next round.

To make it up to the fans, Styles hits the Styles Clash twice on Myers after the match.

7.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – PWG World Champion Kyle O’Reilly vs. Drew Gulak: ***3/4

Now this is a match that I was really looking forward to seeing, and it’s a match that could only happen in PWG. Kyle O’Reilly is the PWG World Champion, and the title is not on the line during the tournament, so one has to wonder what happens if he wins. Anyway, this was a really, really good match, to the surprise of nobody. Lots of cool technical wrestling throughout this one, with a lot of strikes and headbutts. I was wondering how Gulak would do in PWG, and I think O’Reilly was the perfect opponent for his debut. After a hard fought match, Kyle O’Reilly scores the win, and advances to the next round.

8.) Six-Man Tag – Mount Rushmore (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) vs. Friends of Low Moral Fiber (Kenny Omega, Zack Sabre Jr., & Chuck Taylor): ****

So Mount Rushmore was originally scheduled to face the Best Friends of Low Moral Fiber. However, with Trent? out with an injury, Zack Sabre Jr. takes his place, and they’re known as just Friends of Low Moral Fiber. This was a really fun Six-Man Tag Team Main Event. Mount Rushmore are so fun to watch whenever they’re in a Six-Man Tag, but the team of Omega, Taylor & Zack Sabre Jr. looked really good as a team in here as well. Lots of really good action throughout this one. I think Zack Sabre Jr. was especially impressive, as he really won over the crowd in this match. At one point, the referee got taken out, and Trent?, who was still at the show, despite the injury, took over as the referee. Omega would get the pin on Adam Cole, with Trent? counting the pin to score the win for his team.

Kenny Omega cuts a promo after the match, and he celebrates with Chuck Taylor, Zack Sabre Jr., and Trent? to close the show.

Overall: 8.25/10

I thought this was a very solid show from PWG, and a good way to kick off the Battle of Los Angeles. Aside from AJ Styles vs. Brian Myers (which features that horrible botch), all of the matches were really good to great. One of the awesome things about PWG is that not only do we see unique matches, but a variety of different styles of match. We had matches like Bobby Fish vs. TJ Perkins & Kyle O'Reilly vs. Drew Gulak, which were technical spectacles. At the same time, we also had matches like Biff Busick vs. Roderick Strong & Tommaso Ciampa vs. Michael Elgin, which were hard hitting affairs. Then there was Cedric Alexander vs. Trevor Lee, which was completely different from both of those. We also have two multi-person tag matches featured as non-tournament matches, both of which were really good to great (The Main Event in particular stood out). I'd say that the 2014 edition of the Battle of Los Angeles is off to a good start.

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