Stage Two of the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles took place on September 3rd and it was a spectacular show of the year contender from PWG. It saw the second six first round matches and two dream tag matches.
Dalton Castle defeated Tommaso Ciampa
Ciampa has having absolutely none of Castles messing around. He took out The Boys early on and beat the hell out of Castle with all sorts of strikes. Ciampa played the heel as he looked hell bent on making an impact in one of his last PWG matches. Castle hit an incredible deadlift German suplex from the apron and got some great near falls. Ciampa, of course hit a Pedigree, which seems to be an annoying trend from people on the indies that are in any way associated with NXT. Ciampa couldn’t keep Castle down after a series of strikes and Castle was able to squeeze out the victory when he hit Bangarang. After the match Ciampa got a standing ovation from the crowd.
Mark Andrews defeated Pete Dunne
Pete Dunne is a man that I have had the pleasure of witnessing wrestle many times up close for the past two years and I have gotten to see him grow into one of the finest wrestlers in Europe. This was his PWG debut and he made a major splash. Andrews was the perfect opponent. They are close friends and have wrestled many times, so there was no way this wasn’t going to be great. This was a hell of a match. Dunne was a machine here as he aggressively worked over the fingers and limbs of Andrews. Andrews used some of his Lucha inspired offence at times, but Dunne was mostly in control. Andrews caught him with a DDT in the floor, but when he tried the move a second time, Dunne caught him and Tombstoned him on the floor. Dunne would later hit a double Tombstone in the ring. The story late in the match was that if Andrews countering Dunne’s finish, Drop Dead over and over again. When he finally hit it the near fall was so close that the bell rang. The finish saw Andrews hit a reverse rana from the top and follow up with a Shooting Star Press. Andrews went out of his way here to make sure Dunne looked good and it will be a shock if he isn’t brought back after this performance. This was excellent.
Cody Rhodes defeated Sami Callihan
This whole match was such a feel good moment for Cody. He had his wife Brandi introduce him and the crowd went nuts when he was introduced as “the grandson of a plumber” and “the star that left them in the dust”. He seemed moved by the reaction. This was a great hard hitting match, with Callihan able to bring a physicality out in Cody. Cody hit a cross body to the floor and did a nice enzuigiri as he used the apron. Callihan is so intense and it always adds a lot of energy to his matches. The moment of the match saw Callihan go under the ring and take out his cat mask. Cody then end under the ring and found his Undashing mask, which got a huge pop. Cody got the win when he pinned Callihan with Cross Rhodes to advance in the tournament. This was a really impressive debut for Cody.
Fenix & Pentagon Jr defeated Tommy End & Chris Hero
What an incredible, crazy match this was. Straight away we had Hero turn into Rey Mysterio and partake in a full on Lucha sequence with Pentagon Jr. It was crazy and received a standing ovation. There is nothing that Hero cannot do. This was a battle of Lucha vs striking. Fenix & Pentagon wore matching gear and had elements of each other’s masks in their own. The two are brothers. End was outstanding here. His strike combos were mesmerising. There were some crazy dives, including Fenix moonsaulting off Pentagon’s shoulders to the floor. We had some crazy submissions, with all four guys tangled in each other’s holds at one stage. This was just top notch from beginning to end, full of innovative and unique action that you rarely see. The finish saw Fenix hit a crazy top rope rana and a springboard 450 to pin Tommy End.
Trevor Lee defeated Kamaitachi
These guys just went for broke with this one. It was messy at times, but they get an A for effort. Their were crazy moves on the apron. We had Kamaitachi land on his back when he missed a dropkick to the floor. Lee hit a great German suplex and all his usual trademark moves. Kamaitachi hit a couple of Meteora’s. the finish saw Lee get the pin when he hit the small package driver. This one didn’t really land, but it was pretty fun for what it was.
Mark Haskins defeated Cedric Alexander
This was another superb match. This saw the PWG debut of Haskins, a guy that has become known for being the most underrated guy in the world. He has reinvented himself over the last few years since his spell in TNA and made an incredible impression here. Both he and Alexander are two of the quickest and most explosive wrestlers on the scene today. This had some amazing bursts of offence and some thrilling exchanges. Alexander’s striking is so slick and Haskins transitions into submissions are second to none. They both have pin point technique, as evident by the picture perfect Brainbuster that Alexander hit. The finish here was a major upset as Haskins made Alexander submit to his rolling Fujiwara armbar and advance to the second round.
Kyle O’Reilly defeated Matt Riddle
This was excellent. Matt Riddle is a wrestling prodigy. With only a couple of years experience and only around a year on major shows, Riddle is at a level that some guys with a decade of experience never reach. He was able to keep up with O’Reilly here in a submission and striking games something that O’Reilly is a master of. O’Reilly targeted the leg and Riddle was portrayed as the underdog, trying to show he was as good as the veteran. Riddle caused damage to the shoulder. There was a great sequence of German suplexes with both popping right back up. Kyle hit a lethal lariat that caught Riddle right in the face, but Riddle kicked out at one. Kyle hit a Brainbuster and transitioned into an armbar, but Riddle blocked and applied the Bromission. O’Reilly was able to roll it over and pin Riddle. This was a hell of a match and a fantastic PWG debut for Riddle, who has a huge future in pro wrestling.
Ricochet, Will Ospreay & Matt Sydal defeated Adam Cole & The Young Bucks
This is one of the best six man tag matches I have ever seen. This was just unbelievable. The innovation and timing on some of these amazing sequences was something else. I can’t even begin to describe half this stuff. Unlike many other matches like this, this wasn’t just a blur of high spots. The match was given time, so everything was spaced out and ended up meaning more. This was just absolutely spectacular. At one point Ospreay caught Nick Jackson in mid air as he went for a Meltzer Driver. Ricochet did a dive over the ring post as Adam Cole was stuck on the top rope. It was insanity. The finish saw Sydal and Ricochet hit a shooting star Meltzer Driver before they hit a triple shooting star press to finish the match. Unbelievable stuff here. Make sure you see this match.
Buy the DVD. This show was incredible.
Photos via Mikey Nolan Photography