In the same weekend as Penny Arcade Expo West in Seattle, Los Angeles still managed to have the “it” place to be. If you like watching sweaty men toss each other around like ragdolls and sometimes have to avoid one being hurled into your lap then Reseda was indeed Valhalla as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla presented their 2017 Battle of Los Angeles. It’s three epic nights of the best wrestlers you’ve never heard of competing in the BOLA tournament with Friday and Saturday night capped off by a special main event. Saturday proved to be the most Elite of the weekend.
Cramming in more people than any American Legion Hall was figuratively meant to hold, the building nearly came down as guys like the big ham sized Keith Lee and Walter viciously death valley drivered and power slammed each other into the canvas. Probably not helping ring sturdiness was the thick snickers sized Mike Elgin superplexing the king of the bros, Matt Riddle from the middle rope.
The event even had its share of international flavor from the UK’s greatest export BOLA 2016 winner, “The Villain” Marty Scurll and his tag partner mainstream fans might remember from the Cruiserweight Classic on WWE Network, Zack Sabre Jr. This pair garnered the best heel heat of the night with their pre-match attack on Ricochet (who Lucha Underground fans know as Prince Puma) and his partner the reborn Matt Sydal.
Headlining Saturday night, the most enigmatic luchadors wrestling today ReyFenix, Flamita, and Penta El Zero against currently the most popular wrestlers in the world, The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega known by anyone who’s stepped into a Hot Topic the past few months as Bullet Club’s “The Elite”. Yep, all those Bullet Club T-shirts you see at every kind of convention these days, that’s three of them. In probably one of the most fan satisfying matches of the year, these six men mixed the athleticism of wrestling with hilarious entertainment spots. One minute someone is getting Frankensteinered out of the ring onto a pile of wrestlers then the next minute we’re all having a big laugh at Kenny Omega arm busting his own partner outside the ring due to a devious back turned switch. A match in an event like this can get away with a lot more entertainment since it isn’t about establishing contenders or for titles. It was the company’s best guys against the most in demand guys.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has been around since 2003 and has seen some of the biggest names in wrestling today come through its rented halls, guys like Sami Zayn (Generico), Kevin Owens (Kevin Steen), Adam Cole, and Seth Rollins (Tyler Black) just to name a few. It’s always one of the hardest tickets in town to get, so much so that the promotion has even turned away celebrities who try and come to watch the show without a ticket. Saturday night saw former UFC Champion Rhonda Rousey hanging out and catching all the action.
Tonight, will be the finals of the Battle of LA tournament with guys like Marty Scurll, Ricochet, and Penta still in the mix (as of writing this); it’s hard to predict who will take 2017’s trophy but one thing is for sure, anyone who gets to watch it live is the real winner. Between all the chants, landings in the crowd, and utter disregard for one’s well being in the name of giving people their money’s worth; this isn’t just a wrestling show it’s a wrestling experience.
Check out more from Pro Wrestling Guerrilla on their website and follow them on social media to know when their next event goes on sale. If you’re a die hard fan of professional wrestling then you owe it to yourself to check out PWG and while you’re at it support your favorite independent wrestlers direct by checking out their merch at ProWrestlingTees.com.
I did manage to squeeze in some PAX West before I rocketed home to LA for BOLA and next weekend we’ll talk about some of the awesome stuff we got to try out at the biggest consumer gaming show in the country.