Monday, May 18, 2015

PWG 2014 Battle of Los Angeles: Night 2 Review

The 2014 edition of the Battle of Los Angeles continues!

PWG 2014 Battle of Los Angeles: Night 2
Reseda, California 8/30/14

1.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – PWG World Tag Team Champion Candice LeRae vs. Rich Swann: ***1/4

Candice LeRae was added to the tournament as a replacement for Trent?, who was injured. This match does have a bit of build, as these two participated in a Three-Way Match the previous night for the PWG World Tag Team Titles, which saw LeRae pin Swann to retain the titles for her team. This match was a pretty solid opener. They did play off of the finish to the match from the previous night early on, which was pretty cool. Swann worked heel for a little bit, being a dick by hitting Candice in the face a few times. In the end, Candice was able to get her knees up when Swann went for his Standing 450 Splash, and cradled him for the win. She advances to the next round.

2.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – Johnny Gargano vs. Chuck Taylor: ***1/2

It’s previous obvious that these two have A TON of history with each other, both as teammates (famously with F.I.S.T. in CHIKARA and Ronin in Dragon Gate USA & Evolve), and as rivals, specifically in Dragon Gate USA & Evolve. With that said, it should be no surprise that this was a pretty good match. There was one scary spot, where Taylor went for (I think) a belly-to-belly onto the apron, but Gargano just barely clipped the apron, and mostly hit the floor. That could have ended up a lost worst than it did. Gargano eventually scored the submission win over Taylor to advance to the next round.

3.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – Open The Freedom Gate Champion Ricochet vs. Chris Sabin: ***1/2

Sabin is another guy who had recently reemerged on the independent scene a few months prior after his TNA release. Here he takes on Ricochet, who’s also having a stellar 2014. This was another really solid match. Obviously Sabin is a guy who has become more limited in recent years after injuring both of his knees, but he’s still an extremely capable wrestler. Of course, Ricochet is always awesome, so that was no surprise. Really solid action from these two. In the end, Ricochet would get the win the 630 Splash to advance to the next round.

4.) CZW World Champion Biff Busick & Drew Gulak vs. ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon: ***1/2

I keep saying how PWG does so many unique matches, and here we have another prime example of that. With Bobby Fish being added, that means we get to see reDRagon in PWG!! Not only that, but they’re taking on a Dream Team of sorts in Biff Busick & Drew Gulak. This was a really good match, as you would expect. reDRagon are so great as a tag team, and their act transitioned to PWG pretty smoothly. Busick & Gulak worked really well as a team also, and we got to see a lot of cool tandem offense from both teams. Eventually, reDRagon would score the victory with Chasing The Dragon.

5.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – Chris Hero vs. Matt Sydal: ***1/2

Here’s a match that features two more guys who had made their return to the independent scene in the previous year after being released by WWE. These two put on a really good match. It was interesting, because Chris Hero is so much bigger than Sydal here (not just in height, but in weight), that he played more of a monster and bullied Sydal for a good portion of the match. Sydal, ever the underdog, never gave up, and eventually came back to win, advancing to the next round.

6.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – Adam Cole vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: ****1/4

Now we have another match that I was really looking forward to, and again, a match that you’ll only see in PWG. We got a taste of these two squaring off the night before, as they were on opposite sides in the Six-Man Tag Team Main Event. This was an awesome match. It was the best match of the show up to this point. Lots of great technical action from Zack Sabre Jr., and Adam Cole (Bay Bay!) was being his usual awesome self. Zack Sabre Jr. is sooooo good. Words can’t even describe it. After a great back & forth contest, Cole got caught in a flash pin (I believe it was a Prawn Hold), and Zack Sabre Jr. defeats the former PWG & ROH World Champion, advancing to the next round!

7.) 2014 Battle of Los Angeles – First Round – ACH vs. Kenny Omega: ****

I can pretty much say the same thing about this match that I said about the previous match. It’s a unique match that you will only seen in PWG. We all know these two are great wrestlers, but it’ll probably be more fondly remembered for the shenanigans during the match. There was a fan that was wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin leather vest (a really good looking one at that). At first, Omega brought it in and used as a weapon on ACH, but then, ACH put the vest on, and channeled his inner Texas Rattlesnake!! He did all of Austin’s signature moves, including the Stone Cold Stunner!! The crowd was really into this. In the end though, Omega would eventually put ACH away to score the victory, and is the final participant to advance to the next round.

8.) The Young Bucks vs. Bad Influence (“The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian): ****1/4

These two teams actually had a match a few weeks prior at an ROH TV Taping in Philadelphia. Both teams are just so good that there is no way that they could produce anything close to bad. To nobody’s surprise, this was an awesome tag team match. I’d put it right up there with Adam Cole vs. Zack Sabre Jr. for Match of the Night. Lots of great back & forth tag team action from both teams. Of course, this match will probably be remembered best for The Young Bucks winning the match with their new finishing move, The Meltzer Driver!! It’s a move that has to be seen to be believed. It’s absolutely incredible.

Overall: 8.5/10

Once again, PWG has given us a really good show that featured so many unique matches. Much like Night 1, we were treated to a number of very cool first round matches. The highlights of the show were definitely Adam Cole vs. Zack Sabre Jr., ACH vs. Kenny Omega (which was extremely entertaining), and The Young Bucks vs. Bad Influence (which featured the debut of The Meltzer Driver!!!). It was to be said that Zack Sabre Jr. is amazingly good. He NEEDS to be booked elsewhere in the United States. Comparatively speaking, I think this show was a little better than Night 1. The three aforementioned matches helped to put this show above Night 1, but the undercard was also very consistent. Another very solid night in the 2014 edition of the Battle of Los Angeles.

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