Twenty-four hours earlier, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla kicked off its annual
“Battle of Los Angeles” tournament that witnessed some shocking turn of events with the early eliminations of men like past winner Joey Ryan and favorite to win Willie Mack. Michael Elgin survived another encounter with Davey Richards to not only deliver another Match of the Year candidate, but also earn a spot in the tournament’s quarterfinals. Adam Cole showed his “evil” side and ended the hopes of last year’s “BOLA” winner by pinning El Generico. Ricochet showed the PWG world by pinning the PWG World champion Kevin Steen to advance. Dark horses Sami Callihan and TJ Perkins impressed early while Roderick Strong, Eddie Edwards, and Brian Cage did as expected by winning.
What man will survive the exhaustive tournament to take home the “BOLA” trophy? What will the first round losers do here? Most importantly, is Pro Wrestling Guerrilla “Battle of Los Angeles: Night 2”
Worth Your Money?
Battle of Los Angeles: Night 2
BOLA Quarterfinal match: TJ Perkins vs. Sami Callihan
In an awkward moment, Callihan kissed Perkins after TJ blew a kiss at someone during his entrance. Perkins was on fire, avoiding and kicking Sami until he locked him in an octopus stretch that Callihan countered with the Stretch Muffler. Things were getting intense as stiff tie ups and hair pulls had both men reeling. Callihan eventually dumped TJ to the floor for a tope. TJ gave Sami a taste of his own medicine seconds later when Callihan played to the crowd instead of following TJ inside. TJ had Sami on the apron, kicking him in the chest over and over.
Perkins was tying up Sami to his content before using that flying bicycle kick. Callihan stopped a superplex, super kick the back of TJ’s left leg before Perkins could get off the middle rope. Trailer Hitch by Sami didn’t make TJ submit, but did set up a slam across the top rope that slammed Perkins’ legs across the top rope. Once again, Sami spent too much time playing to the crowd, getting caught in a hanging arm bar that set up a springboard dropkick.
Both men got up, throwing forearms, uppercuts, kicks, and chops. Perkins feigned a kick, hit a flying leg sweep into the STF for a near submission. Callihan stopped the leapfrog-neck breaker combo, hitting a forehead breaker. Callihan eventually ran into the Liger Bomb that Perkins used to set up another STF attempt. Sami not only survived the submission, but also stopped the Detonation Kick to slam TJ into another stretch muffler for the submission victory.
BOLA Quarterfinal match: Adam Cole vs. Eddie Edwards
When the bell sounded, Cole decided to do some calisthenics. Cole got the beat to “We Will Rock You” started thanks to the fans before turning it into an oral sex reference/offer. Big pop from Kevin Steen at the announce table. Cole shoulder blocked Eddie off of his feet, telling everyone to, “Suck my--”
Low blow by Eddie Edwards stopped Cole’s insult. And that was topped off by a slap to the face. Cole readjusted himself, only to be kicked down so Eddie could teabag him. Following the homoerotic action, Eddie kicked Cole to the floor following a rope-assisted Achilles Lock. Beer spit by Eddie only led to a missed knife-edge chop that saw Eddie hit the steel ring post. Mocking fighting spirit, Cole boot scraped Edwards’ face. Cole was having fun motioning he was about to do a moonsault, giving Eddie the chance to not only recover, but also watch Cole enjoy himself a little too much. Cole tried to stop the tree of woe dropkick, but ended up taking both the dropkick from inside and outside of the ring with some added help from a fan’s Irish whip.
Eddie reentered the ring, missing a double stomp off the top rope. Over the knee neck breaker by Cole with an added, “Suck it!” Eddie set up a tope after luring Cole into a forearm exchange. Though Edwards didn’t hit the attack on his first try thanks to a kick, Eddie eventually hit the maneuver. Huge missile dropkick by Eddie landed, though it didn’t keep Cole down. Backpack chin breaker set up the Achilles Lock for Edwards, but Cole was able to get to the ropes in time. Eddie went after Cole on the apron, only to take a slingshot DDT on the apron that spiked Eddie on his head.
Instead of going for the pin, Cole hit the Superfly splash for another two count. Cole couldn’t believe it when Eddie kicked out before the three count following a shining wizard. Cole called for death with the Panama Sunrise, but ended up in the Achilles Lock again. Cole’s small package didn’t help him win like the night before, but did set up another failed pinning combination. They were swinging for the fences with Cole hitting two super kicks on both the front and back of Edwards’ head. Florida Key by Adam Cole allowed him to pick up the victory.
BOLA Quarterfinal match: Michael Elgin vs. Brian Cage
It’s the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object (you pick which one is which). Both men were powering each other around the ring as they claimed they’d break each other. A shoulder block exchange ended with Elgin gorilla pressing Cage. So Cage took the sky when he got up by hitting a springboard cross body, then a wheelbarrow bulldog. Delayed vertical suplex by Cage on the large Elgin didn’t last long as “Unbreakable’s” one from the night before on Richards. When Cage tried to superplex Elgin from the apron, Elgin turned the tables so he could knock Cage back for a slingshot shoulder tackle. Elgin gave Cage a taste of his own medicine by doing another minute long delayed vertical suplex. A forearm exchange broke loose until Elgin ran into an exploder suplex. An exploder suplex by Elgin as a counter started another exchange - clotheslines - that ended with Elgin using an enzuguri! Knee strikes to the face of Cage setting Chaos Theory … for a near fall!
Elgin’s suplex into the sidewalk slam somehow didn’t put Cage away. Slipping out of Elgin’s grip, Cage executed a flipping face buster to gain some breathing room. Olympic slam into the burning hammer by Cage also didn’t end Elgin’s night. Michael Elgin stopped a superplex, but not a hurricarana into the Lionsault for another two count! Elgin blocked the Weapon X and ducked a rolling elbow to hit an air raid crash for another near fall. Both men were exhausted. Cage survived the never-ending series of clotheslines as well as the cradle Michinoku driver.
Elgin arguing with the ref cost him when Cage hoisted him in position for a torture rack. During Cage’s repositioning, he knocked out the referee with Elgin’s legs. The reverse TKO didn’t help Brian Cage as Kevin Steen ran in to hit the F-Cinq on Cage. Elgin made the cover, only for Cage to kick out right before the three count. Turnbuckle bomb by Elgin only allowed Cage to explode with a clothesline … that gained another two count!
Once again, Elgin stopped Weapon X. Spinning back fist by Elgin knocked Cage into the turnbuckle bomb-Spiral Bomb combo for the three count.
After the match, Kevin Steen hit the ring to attack Cage again. To join in Cage turning the tides on Steen was The Young Bucks. Referee Rick Knox suddenly came out to put a stop to this three-on-one beating. Sadly for Knox, Cage clubbed Knox from behind. Before The Bucks could hit More Bang For Your Buck on Knox, El Generico ran them off with a chair. Referee Rick Knox challenged The Bucks and Cage to a six man tag match against his team consisting of himself, El Generico, and Kevin Steen! Steen flipped off Generico, leaving the ring instead of shaking hands to confirm tonight’s impromptu tag match.
BOLA Quarterfinal match: Roderick Strong vs. Ricochet
Neither man got a solid advantage on the mat, so a strike exchange broke out with Ricochet dropkicking Strong on the jaw after doing some flips and nip-ups. Standing moonsault following a trip by Ricochet almost ended Roderick’s night. Stopping a kicking counter by yanking Ricochet into a backbreaker, Strong turned the tides in his favor. When Ricochet went to the floor for some breathing room, Strong used the apron backbreaker to drop him again.
Strong grounded Ricochet for a short period of time until Ricochet rallied to his feet and executed an enzuguri. Kicks and forearms rocked Roderick, as well as the Meteora. Ricochet with the flashback ace crusher-standing corkscrew moonsault couldn’t put Roderick away. Stopping a reverse hurricarana, Roderick hit the Olympic slam for his own near fall. Slingshot suplex was turned into a face buster by Roderick. Ricochet used his agility to flip out of Death By Roderick before hitting a back flip kick to gather the fans’ support.
Taking too much time playing to the crowd, Ricochet found himself being put in the Stronghold following backbreaker-gut-buster combo. Thankfully for Ricochet, he was close enough to the corner to not only get to the ropes, but also turned the hold into a head scissor driver! Ricochet kicked Strong in position for the shooting star press to pick up the victory.
Team Statutory (Joey Ryan, Davey Richards, Kyle) vs. Willie Mack, B-Boy, Drake Younger
“Greatest … Team … Ever!”
Team Statutory were in full Joey Ryan attire with Richards pulling a Velvet Sky on the ropes during his entrance and O’Reilly doing a butt floss with his shirt. Ryan took it upon himself to kick this one off with B-Boy. B-Boy was perturbed by Ryan’s groin-first tie up, causing Boy to leave the ring and grab a chair. Chest hair mare by B-Boy after Ryan rubbed Boy’s clothed chest. Ryan retreated to Richards and O’Reilly, who got hip tossed by B-Boy. Team Statutory tried to make a retreat out of the back door, but found themselves locked in. A chair fight broke out between Drake Younger and Kyle O’Reilly when O’Reilly tossed two chairs into the ring. The referee let it slid as O’Reilly missed a swing, hitting the top rope so the chair popped him in the face. Chair slam by Younger on the other chair had O’Reilly rolling and flopping to the floor.
Furious, Richards kicked the now legal Mack in the face. Samoan drop-standing moonsault by Mack almost saw him pin the former PWG World champion. Team Young-B-Mack had Richards isolated, wearing him out with double teams and right hands. When O’Reilly and Ryan tried to save Davey from taking a Mack sunset flip, they were pantsed. So … much … white booty. Thankfully, Younger made us forget about the butts by hitting a moonsault off the top rope, taking all three opponents down at ringside. Mack was fighting everyone off until Richards German suplexed him. With his tights hanging well below the waistline, Richards mocked the fans by slapping his butt like he was Rikishi.
Like Richards earlier, Mack found himself isolated as the fans were forced to see Team Statutory rub their chests, tweak their nipples, do some hip swivels, and even rub their genitals before executing maneuvers. A, “This is awkward!” chant breaking out couldn’t be any more appropriate. Thankfully, Mack got some momentum, kicking his way to a tag to Younger. Falcon arrow by Younger on O’Reilly almost ended this one. Running at Younger, Davey screamed, “No one does that to my boyfriend!” before meeting Kyle’s groin face first. Ryan’s face ended up on Richards’ butt for a sequence taken from the Human Tornado’s playbook that ended with B-Boy dropkicking O’Reilly in the face.
Things got a little more serious as Team Statutory almost ended Drake’s night with not only a Regal-plex, but also Richards kicking the back of Younger’s head to send him into Ryan’s brain buster. O’Reilly and Willie were trading forearms until O’Reilly used the Heihachi combo to drop Willie. Everyone was throwing bombs, setting up another near fall for Davey on Younger following a discus clothesline. Younger rolled his way out of Richards’ Ankle Lock, sending Richards into Mack’s Chocolate Thunder Driver … for the three count!
BOLA Semifinal match: Sami Callihan vs. Adam Cole
The fans were solidly behind Callihan, and he gave them good reason by exploding with a bicycle kick so he could stomp a mudhole into Cole. Callihan shoved the referee, allowing Cole to hit a low blow for that over the knee brain buster. Cole couldn’t believe Callihan kicked out of his follow up pin. Cole whipped Sami chest first into the turnbuckles twice. Callihan stopped the third attempt, going for the rebound splash. Sadly for Sami, Cole got his knees up. Sami recovered seconds later, clotheslining Cole to the floor. Instead of keeping the momentum, Sami missed a baseball slide that allowed Cole to wheelbarrow suplex Callihan across the ring’s edge.
Cole spit in Callihan’s face, only for Sami to headbutt him. Callihan spit on Cole after cornering him to unleash three running knees and a boot scrape. Callihan started a clothesline exchange that ended with Callihan turning Cole inside out. Adam Cole feigned a super kick when he kicked out, kicking Callihan’s legs from underneath him. Adam Cole locked in the figure four leg lock, but couldn’t make Sami submit thanks to Callihan being so close to the ropes. Sami stopped the Panama Sunrise, hitting a shoulder breaker. Stretch muffler in the seated position somehow didn’t make Cole submit.
Once again, the fans were behind Sami. Callihan wanted to super Samoan drop Cole, but ended up taking a super kick to the back of his left leg. Sami was wobbling after several super kicks to the head and legs. Cole hooked Sami in the figure four leg lock, forcing Sami to tap out!
BOLA Semifinal match: Michael Elgin vs. Ricochet
It was obvious early that Ricochet would have to use his agility to stop Elgin when attempts at hurricaranas and head scissors didn’t work thanks to Elgin’s power. Explosive shoulder block had Ricochet spinning in midair. A big forearm from “Unbreakable” had the same results. Being one step quicker allowed Ricochet get a rolling start into a tornado DDT attempt, but took that sidewalk slam instead. Once again, Elgin went for that minute long delayed vertical suplex. Ricochet had to fight fire with fire when his key maneuvers were being stopped by Elgin’s power by turning the suplex into a DDT.
Enzuguri-Zig Zag-standing moonsault combo topped off by a standing shooting star press by Ricochet somehow didn’t put the big man away. Ricochet stopped the Spiral Bomb after taking an exploder Regal-plex, kicking Elgin to the floor. Somersault plancha by Ricochet saw Ricochet dive over the turnbuckles, take down Elgin in the third row, and land on his feet. Taking too much time soaking in the crowd’s adulation, Ricochet was caught in Elgin’s grip when he went for Meteora. Elgin suplexed Ricochet across the ring for a two count. When Elgin followed up with the turnbuckle bomb, Ricochet was prepared for what was about to happen. Spinning around Elgin’s shoulders, Ricochet executed a reverse hurricarana that spike Elgin on his head. Instead of going for the pin, Ricochet scaled the ropes and hit the shooting star press to a huge, standing ovation … for a near fall!
Elgin stopped the Phoenix Splash attempt, but couldn’t execute the super air raid crash thanks to a kick behind his ear. Elgin recovered on the top rope, stopping a dragonrana to hit a super Liger Bomb! One Spiral Bomb and a three count later, Elgin was heading to the finals.
The Young Bucks & Brian Cage vs. EL Generico, Rick Knox, and ???
Knox, wearing his referee shirt to seemingly make sure we remembered he’s a referee wrestling, faced off with Nick Jackson of The Bucks. The crowd was solidly behind their favorite ref when it seemed Nick didn’t know how to approach the referee. Nick feigned a test of strength, kicking Knox instead. Knox showed some toughness by exploding with a back elbow that he used to tag out. Generico was on fire, arm dragging The Bucks. Double back elbow by the referee and the masked man. Throwing a big dropkick, Knox tagged out when things were starting to get hairy against Matt Jackson. Sadly, Cage popped Generico in the mouth when he went for the split legged moonsault.
The opposition had Generico isolated and working over Generico’s left arm. Matt Jackson added insult to insult to Knox by spitting on him following a crotch chop. The Bucks were getting a little too into themselves, almost letting Generico tag out. Matt’s quickness and Cage’s power stopped Generico’s approach toward Knox. Generico had to fight off all three opponents by ducking, dodging, and suplexing his way toward Knox, only for Nick Jackson to yank Knox off the apron before Nick whipped the wrestling referee face first into the steel ring post. Generico somehow turned Cage’s suplex into the Brain Buster. Suddenly Kevin Steen came out, jumping on to the apron. Generico saw Steen, hesitating to tag him in, but eventually did it to a huge ovation.
Steen cleaned house, looking to dive on their opponents, but was stopped by Generico. Knox came between the arguing ex-partners, setting up a triple team somersault plancha that got the fans on their feet. When the action returned inside, Cage kicked Steen onto the apron to set up that superplex from the apron, back into the ring. Generico tagged in as Nick did the same. Blind tag by Matt Jackson allowed Generico to hit the blue thunder driver on Nick, but be attacked by Matt when the referee wouldn’t count the pin. Generico’s Michinoku driver on Matt didn’t hurt him too much as he and his brother was able to stereo super kick Knox. Cage used a discus lariat on Steen after Generico was super kicked by the Bucks. Violence Party by Knox! Not only did Knox super kick Matt Jackson, but also hit a double clothesline.
The Bucks were out on the feet until Steen Samoan dropped both brothers at the same time. Matt staggered to his feet, into Knox’s tornado DDT! Matt bounced off of his head, right into the Steamroller by Steen and Generico. Knox big splash Matt, pinning Matt Jackson to another huge ovation.
Following the match, Steen offered a handshake to Generico, only to flip him off. Generico gave Steen a middle finger to show that yes, they still hate each other.
BOLA Final match: Michael Elgin vs. Adam Cole
Cole rushed Elgin at the bell, only to be tossed to the floor. Cole caught Elgin running with an enzuguri, but couldn’t capitalize when the cross body block turned into a fall away slam by Elgin. Both men were on the floor, with Cole using a fan to protect him. Forearming Cole, Elgin hit a backbreaker by using the ring’s edge. Elgin was carrying Cole around the crowd, slamming him on the wooden floor. Series of knees to Cole’s face finally sent the action back into the ring. Cole caught Elgin climbing onto the apron with a slingshot DDT for a two count. Rather than stay in the ring, Cole wanted to German suplex Elgin across the apron. Instead, Cole felt an apron air raid crash … for another two count!
Tumbleweed missed for Elgin, giving Cole the chance to hit not one, but two shining wizards. Elgin actually caught Cole with an O’Connor roll, using it to German suplex Cole when he kicked out. Spinning back fist didn’t drop Cole, but a sick clothesline did. The fans were solidly behind Elgin as he rallied to his feet, hitting the turnbuckle bomb. Showing incredible strength, Cole countered the Spiral Bomb with that over the knee brain buster for the near fall. Rather than go for another high impact maneuver, Cole tried to make Elgin tap in the figure four leg lock. Thankfully for Elgin, he was close enough to the ropes to save himself. Elgin saved himself from the second submission attempt, but found himself in the Florida Key … for a two count!
Stopping the figure four with a small package, Elgin hit a spinning back fist-turnbuckle bomb-Spiral Bomb combination to gain a near fall of his own! The crowd couldn’t believe the kick out occurred, but still supported Elgin. Putting Cole on the top rope proved detrimental for Elgin as Cole turned his super bomb attempt into a sunset bomb. Elgin was furious when he kicked out of Cole’s follow up pin, hitting that suplex into the sidewalk slam … to gain another two count!
Both men pulled themselves up, with Cole finally hitting the Panama Sunrise. Elgin bounced off of his head, onto his feet for a pair of super kicks and the Florida Key … to become the 2012 BOLA winner!
Adam Cole requested the microphone to tell everyone that he’s not the future of wrestling, he’s the present. Cole said he’s coming for Kevin Steen and the PWG World title. Kevin Steen took exception to the statement, confronting Adam Cole in the ring. Steen was about to warn Cole about facing him too soon when Cole kicked him low. Steen clobbered Steen with the title belt before leaving with both the trophy and Steen’s PWG World title belt.
Is It Worth Your Money: To quickly sum this one up: Absolutely. The fact is this show didn’t have the Match of the Year candidate Night One had, Night Two did feature nine, yes nine, great matches that would make this one of the most consistently impressive shows of the year anywhere. You can pop in the DVD and pick any match and be astounded before it’s over; especially when Team Statutory shows up. Not only do you get fabulous matches, but also breakout moments for Adam Cole and Michael Elgin. Both men shined over the course of the tournament for different reasons - Elgin’s repeated fantastic performances and Cole’s attitude - so it was wonderful that it came down to two of the men not really favored to win. Cole’s win immediately put him at the top of the card in PWG, and it’ll be interesting to see what happens next. If Night One was a definitive buy, this show is a double buy (one for you and one for a friend or relative).
PWG “Battle of Los Angeles: Night Two” Is Worth Your Money.