The Final Stage of the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles took place on September 4th and saw the Quarter Final, Semi Final and Final matches in the tournament.
Quarter Final Match
Trevor Lee defeated Dalton Castle
This was a good start to the second round. Lee bragged about being a “TNA Superstar”. Castle proclaimed that he was a “PWG Superstar”. Both these guys are known for their German suplexes, particularly their deadlift variations, so there were a lot of them here. One participant impressive one saw Lee backflip over Castle and then deadlift him. This wasn’t a blow away match, but it was solid and fun for what it was. Lee hit a running Canadian Destroyer to pin Castle.
Quarter Final Match
Ricochet defeated John Hennigan
Hennigan wasn’t particularly impressive in his opening round match with Matt Sydal, but he was obviously saving himself for this, because he put on a fantastic display here. This started with a crazy sequence like something from a ninja movie. Hennigan showed off his amazing athleticism. He hit a double springboard kick, by bouncing on the top rope, jumping over the turnbuckle and onto the other top rope. Hennigan played the heel. He low blowed Ricochet and hit the Moonlight Drive for a good near fall. Ricochet got the win in the end when he hit the Benydriller followed by the 630 Splash. This was really good. Their familiarity with each other from Lucha Underground probably helped.
Quarter Final Match
Marty Scurll defeated Cody Rhodes
This was great. Scurll was in full villain mode in this one. He attacked Cody with his umbrella before the bell and got into it with Brandi Rhodes, who was there ROH ring announced for Cody. Scurll did his best impressions of Stardust and Goldust, even using Shattered Dreams on Cody. Scurll took one of Cody’s boots, leaving Cody to wrestle half barefoot. He hit a springboard cross body to the floor and a really nice looking springboard missile dropkick. Scurll ended up kissing Brandi and ate a slap from her. Scurll kicked out of Cross Rhodes. The spot of the match saw Scurll block Cody’s attempt at a Goldust punch and turned it into a finger snap. A ref distraction allowed Scurll to hit a low blow and school boy to advance to the semi finals.
After the match Cody received a huge standing ovation and “please come back” chants. Cody said he would be back and left his boot with “BOLA” wrote on it with a fan, saying he’ll pick it up next year. Cody’s run in BOLA was so much fun and both his matches gave us plenty of feel good moments. Great stuff from him.
Quarter Final Match
Mark Andrews defeated Chris Hero
This was the upset of the tournament. From the bell Hero destroyed Andrews, nailing him with a boot, Liger Bomb and elbow in quick succession. Hero dominated the match. He hit Andrews with all sorts of heavy blows and reddened his chest with chops. Hero countered a hurricanrana into a Piledriver for a near fall. The finis came out of nowhere when Andrews surprised Hero with a victory roll. Just like that the favourite was eliminated. Hero was pissed, so he elbowed Andrews, shoved the referee and dropped Andrews with an avalanche Piledriver from the second rope. Obviously the crowd turned on Hero after this, setting up Andrews as the underdog going into is next match.
Quarter Final Match
Mark Haskins defeated Kyle O’Reilly
We had an upset in the last match and this was an even bigger one. A BOLA debutant and a virtual unknown to the American audience eliminated one of PWG’s top names and a favourite to win. This match was outstanding. The chain wrestling, the limb work, the transitions into submissions and the striking. It was all so good. This was such a hard fought war and it really felt like both guys were in a battle that they wanted to win so badly. Kyle’s strikes looked incredible. He almost beheaded Haskins with a lariat late in the match. The finish came as a huge shock when Haskins made O’Reilly submit to a sharpshooter, a sharpshooter where he leaned back to apply extra pressure. The scenes of shock from the fans around ringside when O’Reilly tapped out were fantastic. Go out of your way to see this.
Quarter Final Match
Will Ospreay defeated Zack Sabre Jr
Yet another upset here as the PWG champion and last years winner was knocked out of the tournament. Sabre & Ospreay have met several times this year in Progress, Evolve & WXW and have had some of the most innovative matches I have ever seen. This was no different, and they always somehow manage to put a new spin on things they have done previously. This started with a burst of flying from Ospreay, but he was soon grounded and stretched in a million directions. The match built into some jaw dropping countered and reversals, playing off things they’ve done in the past. The finish saw Ospreay catch Sabre in a pinning combination, beating Sabre at his own game. This was superb. Go out of your way to see this one.
PWG World Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks defeated Fenix & Pentagon Jr
This was absolutely crazy. The mix of styles in this made it a spectacle. The Bucks tore it up here. There was an insane amount of crazy dives, superkicks from both teams and brutal looking moves such as Pentagon hitting Nick with a Package Piledriver on the apron. The finish to this was incredible. The Bucks did one of the craziest moves you’ll ever see. They hit a Meltzer Driver to the floor with Nick running and doing a somersault over the top rope, a Tope Con Meltzer Driver as Excalibur called it. Pentagon ate a Meltzer Driver in the ring, but a dying Fenix pulled the ref out of the ring. The Bucks finished them off with repeated superkicks until they were out. This was spectacular. What a weekend for both these teams in PWG.
Trevor Lee defeated Mark Andrews
Andrews came into this with the injury Chris Hero inflicted on him earlier in the show, so he was the underdog here. Lee controlled the match with Andrews showing his resiliency by battling back and surviving anything Lee hit him with. Andrews made a brief comeback, but his Shooting Star Press was blocked and Lee turned it into a Small Package Driver to advance to the final.
Marty Scurll defeated Mark Haskins
This was excellent. At this stage in the tournament and the heat in the building, fatigue was starting to set in, so this was a gritty battle at times. Scurll & Haskins are no strangers, as they’ve spent a lot of the year battling over the Progress Wrestling championship. This started with Scurll jumping Haskins with an umbrella shot before the bell. Scurll went after the knee when Haskins got caught up in the ropes. Haskins sold it really well for the remainder of the match. Haskins went after an arm of Scurll to set up his rolling armbar. There was lots of great submission counters from the chickenwing to the armbar and into various other holds from Haskins. Scurll tied Haskins up in some great pinning combinations. Scurll did so many little villainous things, and continued the incredible weekend he’s been having. The finish saw some awesome counters before Scurll got the submission via chickenwing. Haskins had a huge breakout weekend here, really making a name for himself in PWG.
Will Ospreay defeated Ricochet
This was another spectacular display of athleticism from these two men. There were all sorts of crazy sequences. They both landed on their feet from ridiculous situations and there was so much unbelievable agility on display. This wasn’t the ground breaking insanity that we got in Korakuen Hall a few months ago, but this was a shorter match with both guys in their second match of the night, so it was bound to be different. They evolve some of the spots from their previous match and saw Ricochet do things like add a second northern lights suplex to his usual northern lights into a deadlift suplex. The finish saw Ospreay counter a Benydriller into a cutter and hit and OsCutter to ensure his spot in the final. The crowd loved every second of this.
Jushin Thunder Liger, Cedric Alexander, Jeff Cobb, Tommy End & Chuck Taylor defeated Pete Dunne, Sami Callihan, Tommaso Ciampa, Brian Kendrick & Matt Riddle
It has become a tradition in PWG for anyone eliminated from the tournament to take part in a whacky ten man tag on the final night. Brian Kendrick showed up to take part, because why the hell not. If you are a wrestling purist you will hate this with a passion, but this was just fun. Team Callihan painted whiskers on their face. We had Liger flip a train of men with his ass cheeks. He took out a remote control and turned that match into slow mo, so he could hit everyone with a slow mo Shotei. Ciampa took to the top rope and the crowd encouraged him by singing “I believe I can fly”. It was completely ridiculous. The finish saw Liger pin Dunne after a Brainbuster.
Marty Scurll defeated Trevor Lee & Will Ospreay
It was back to serious business for the final of the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles. The first section of this saw some fantastic three way sequences with Ospreay on his own. Lee & Scurll tried to team up, but fell out quickly. Ospreay was flying all over the place and looking amazing until Scurll & Lee had enough and decided to team up once and for all to eliminate style aerial assassin. He didn’t go easily though. He fought back from everything until he was locked in a chickenwing as Lee stomped him. This was enough to make Ospreay submit.
Then it was down to Lee vs Scurll. At this point both guys were exhausted, and that added to the drama of this conclusion. The ref got knocked down and Scurll destroyed Lee with an umbrella. But Lee kicked out. Lee battled out of repeated Danielson elbows and a chickenwing, before Scurll finally locked his hands forcing Lee to eventually tap out in dramatic fashion. You could see the emotion on the face of Scurll when the bell rung. After the match he made a passionate speech about what it meant to him to be there and to get to this point, it’s a speech you really need to hear.
This was a huge breakout weekend for Scurll. He has been tearing it up all over the world now for over a year, but to win BOLA really cemented him as a top guy. Scurll is by far one of the most complete wrestlers on the indie scene at the minute, so this was a very well deserved win for him. His performances over the course of the weekend were exceptional. Particularly on the final night where he had three excellent, but very different matches. If Scurll isn’t signed to a major company within the next year, someone is losing out in a big way.