PWG Battle Of Los Angeles Night Three Review

After a short delay (there is a lot of wrestling to watch) it’s time to wrap up these BOLA reviews. This is the big one as some of the wrestlers are required to work three times in a building that all reports suggest is more like a sauna than a fun place to wrestle. Let’s dish out some stars.

Ricochet defeated Desmond Xavier

It will shock you to hear it, but this started with some beautifully smooth and fast-paced wrestling.

Quite frankly, it’s got to the point with guys like this where if they don’t amaze you in the first few minutes you’re disappointed.

This continued Ricochet’s story from the first night. He was going up against another young high flier who was influenced by him. This time, he took on the role of the bully. Slapping Xavier around and trying to put him in his place. Unfortunately for Desmond, by the end of the match, that’s precisely what he’d do.

Xavier did still come out of this with some credit, though, and he showed himself to be more than a Ricochet clone. He’s a genuine pleasure to watch and he moves around the ring with grace. With a bit more time, he could be special.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Travis Banks defeated Marty Scurll

Just like the first night, Scurll mouthed off before the match, dismissing Banks as unworthy. Banks acted like he was going to leave then snuck back in and got a two off a roll-up. Scurll kept hold of the mic through all of this and abused the crowd as he gathered himself on the floor.

It would be that arrogance which would lead to Marty’s downfall in. It was almost like he didn’t believe he could lose and because of that was happy to deal in his usual theatrics. After doing the finger breaking spot, he spent so long building up to the Chicken Wing that Banks was able to recover and score a flash roll-up to steal a big win.

This was another impressive showing from Banks. He was up against evil Scurll and took it to him by kicking his way through his shenanigans. Scurll continues to shine when making other wrestlers look good and he did that here. Nice work all around.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Keith Lee defeated Donovan Dijak

These two toured this match all over the place and yet it never got boring. In fact, it probably got better. We know now that Dijak has signed with WWE and that this would be their last encounter for the foreseeable future, and what a way to sign off this incredible feud.

And you know what, it’s not just the fact that these two hosses can flip around the ring. It’s not just that despite their size they wrestle twenty-minute matches with the intensity of men half their size. These would be great matches without all that stuff. It just works to give them that added bit of magic.

Because what these two have is perfect chemistry. It’s made to look effortless. Neither man is ever out-of-place, and you can tell that they trust each other fully. They know that the other one will be there to catch them no matter what and that if they work a little snug, no grudges will be held. It’s the kind of perfection you get so rarely in wrestling. It’s what allows them to push the boundaries and come up with stuff no one else would dare to do.

I don’t know what else I can say. This was pro-wrestling at it’s best. It was two behemoths doing things they shouldn’t be able to do and doing them with style. Whether it was Lee sitting up with Dijak in his arms after taking the moonsault or Dijak laughing in Lee’s face as he got the hell chopped out of him, there were moments in this that you’ll never forget. It was beautiful.

Verdict: Five Stars

Rey Fenix defeated Zack Sabre Jr

I’ve heard people complain that Zack Sabre Jr forces wrestlers to wrestle his match. Personally, that’s one of my favourite things about him. He makes people adapt and you can see guys like Rey Fenix go out there and grapple. Sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don’t. On this occasion, Fenix did a damn good job.

Not that it made it any less exciting when Rey finally did up the pace. The way he leaps from rope to rope is incredible and it forced Sabre to ramp up the aggression. Few people do evil prick better than Zack and I take nothing but joy from watching him torture people.

In the end, not only did Fenix wrestle ZSJ’s match, he won Zack’s match leaning back on a roll-up to get the three count. It’s a shame he slipped in the setting up of the move because it made it feel less like a flash pin. That wasn’t enough to damage a great showing from both men.

Verdict: Four Stars

Jeff Cobb defeated Sammy Guevera

The show needed this. A five-minute sprint that flushed out the air after a series of long and impressive encounters. It was something different and different is often needed.

It wasn’t a squash either with Sammy Guevera controlling most of the action. He excels at flipping off things (even if one dive completely missed its target) and he looked damn impressive in defeat.

In the end, though, Cobb’s formidable strength was too much. It didn’t matter how many things Guevera jumped off, Jeff absorbed the pain and eventually plucked him out of the air. Once that was done, it took just two moves to get the three. PWG set out to make Cobb look like a machine over this weekend and they succeeded.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Matthew Riddle defeated Penta El Zero M

At the start of this, it felt like we were going a similar way to the Sabre Fenix match. These two were gonna roll around together and see who broke first. Then Penta started chopping and suddenly we had a fight.

I want to focus on Penta for a second because these BOLA reviews have been the first time I’ve watched him and they won’t be the last. The guy is a monster and watching him swap blows with Riddle was a delight. I want to watch him chop people for the rest of my life.

These two fit together like glue. Both love to dish it out and – importantly – embrace taking it too. I know a lot of people will dislike them trading Destroyers but I thought it was hilarious. It’s wrestling, why not do it? Plus, it was all to set up the big showdown. The two of them beating the shit out of each other on the apron.

I feel like I’ve watched a lot of Riddle in the last few weeks (including seeing him live) and he never lets me down. In there with a guy as accomplished as Penta was not going to be the moment that he did.

Verdict: Four Stars

Ricochet defeated Travis Banks

We’re in the semi-finals and rather than slowing down the action is speeding up. The wrestlers want to finish these matches sooner rather than later, and Banks went as far as attacking Ricochet during his entrance.

Ricochet’s journey through this tournament has seen him take on an array of younger stars and show that he’s still the best. That didn’t change here. Banks threw a lot at Rico, literally in the case of those vicious kicks. He works that buzzsaw style to perfection and is an incredibly likeable babyface. I can only imagine PWG will be inviting him back in the future.

Sadly for him, success was not in his immediate future, and Ricochet continued to prove these young bucks ain’t got nothing on him.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Keith Lee defeated Rey Fenix

The question here was whether Fenix could do enough damage to put Keith Lee down? The size difference was noticeable and blows that would have at least caused a lesser man to flinch bounced off the man in whom’s glory we must basque.

Of course, the answer was no. However, he gave it the college try. Fenix decided that where one move might normally work he was going to have to dish out three. He literally threw himself at Keith and there were moments when he seemed to have him rocked.

Sadly that was all they were, moments. Fenix’s tournament would come to an end due to the power of Keith Lee. This was a solid match which failed to sparkle in comparison to what surrounded it.

Verdict: Three Stars

Jeff Cobb defeated Matt Riddle

The Chosen Bros explode. I’m still sad we aren’t getting these two in New Japan.

It didn’t take long for these two to go from a handshake to teeing off on each other’s chest. Then they were suplexing each other, and I was beginning to suspect that they might not actually be friends.

This was a lot of fun. These two excel when it comes to stiff strikes and throwing people across the ring and watching them do it to each other only raised the value of it. The tombstone spot was fantastic and they probably threw more chops in this one match than everyone else did all weekend. It wasn’t fancy, but it worked.

Verdict: Four Stars

Joey Janela, Flamita, Mark Haskins, Flash Morgan Webster and Chuck Taylor defeated Trevor Lee, Walter, Sami Callihan, Jonah Rock and Brian Cage

The annual ‘let’s give the finalists a break and have some fun’ match.

The injury Rey Horus got on the first night meant he had to be removed from this and Chuck Taylor decided to step in. However, he wasn’t dressed so had to head to the back first.

A lot happened here, and I won’t even bother trying to cover it all. Needless to say, it was chaos but the exact kind of chaos that you’d expect it to be. Is it chaotic if in some ways it is predictable? There were smatterings of comedy (although nothing as extreme as some of the past spots) and plenty of big men chucking people about.

One of those big men was Jonah Rock who once again shone brightly. He got a little run with Webster where he did some throwing and also showed himself to be a pretty brill base for Flash’s antics. It’s hard to stand out in this clustrfuck and he managed it.

On the flippy side of things, Flamita had one hell of a hot tag. He exploded into the ring and looked awesome while doing it. It’s one of the few things I’ve seen that can compare to the Ricochet hot tag and that’s high praise.

All of it served to build up to the return of Chuck Taylor. Well, the second return. He did arrive at one point before realising he’d forgotten his wrist tape and rushing back for it. When he finally managed to get dressed, he got involved properly and would end up getting the win over Lee after a one-legged TK Cooper got involved.

Everyone got a moment in this match, and it was a lot of fun. The chaos works as both its strength and its weakness. It’s never dull and yet it also doesn’t stick. It’s fun while it lasts but wont live long in the memory.

Verdict: Four Stars

Ricochet defeated Keith Lee and Jeff Cobb in an Elimination Match to win the 2017 Battle of Los Angeles

Even sitting at home having watched this show in several chunks I was a bit knackered coming into the main event. I can’t imagine what shape the three men who had wrestled in that sweatbox were in.

Ricochet continued the arrogance he’d been showing throughout as he refused to play along with Cobb and Lee’s games. He looked to floor them with his speed and to begin with was doing a decent job.

Then, Cobb and Lee started chucking him about the place. He took one of the biggest back body drops I have ever seen and every time he tried to enter the ring one of them would power him straight back out.

This allowed Cobb and Lee to go head-to-head and as they did all tournament, they shone. It was a hoss battle worked by two hosses who can fly through the air as well as they normally cause others to do it. By this point in BOLA, we should be desensitised to it, but I certainly wasn’t.

Ricochet wasn’t to be deterred, though, and he eventually found a second and took it. In an incredible moment, he lifted first Cobb and then seconds later Lee to show that he was equally capable of doing some chucking. While it wouldn’t last, as eventually Cobb and Lee gathered their bearings and went back to dominating, it was a hint of what was to come.

Because while the Future of Flight wasn’t capable of matching these two blow for blow, he was capable of out-smarting them. After Lee eliminated Cobb with a massive powerslam, Ricochet spotted his opening and caught Lee in an inside cradle to pick up the victory.

This was the perfect way to end Ricochet’s story. He went into this looking to prove that he was still the best even with a new influx of talent and that’s exactly what he did. Whether it was fellow high fliers or monsters like these two, he went out there and beat them all.

Verdict: Four And A Half Stars

Post-match Ricochet grabbed the mic and cut one hell of a promo. He started off pure babyface by paying tribute to his opponents but as he went on, he switched gear. The arrogance began to shine through and he’d end up calling out Chuck Taylor and running down pretty much the entire company. Most people would point to Ricochet’s talking as being his weakness, on this evidence, he can turn it on when he needs to.

Overall Show

This was fantastic. Even when the wrestlers were knackered and desperate for it to be over, they still put on incredible matches. There literally wasn’t a dud and while I don’t think the final was quite Match of the Year quality (although in other years it might have been) it was still damn impressive. This is the first time I’ve made an effort to properly watch a PWG show and it won’t be the last.

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