Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) started the Battle Of Los Angeles tournament in 2005 and has had some winners become main event talents in other companies like Kenny Omega and El Generico (Sami Zayn). Some of the best matches of the year come from this tournament like Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno) having incredible matches two years ago. Who will be the winner in 2017? Who wins on the announced cards? Let’s take a close look at PWG BOLA on September 1, 2 and 3.
PWG BOLA Day 1
Flamita vs Ricochet
Talk about a contest of ultimate high-flyers of this generation. Flamita, from Mexico, competed in PROGRESS Super Strong Style 16 this year in the UK and is looking to make his name worldwide. Ricochet won the tournament in 2015 and while a repeat is unlikely, it is not impossible for “the future of flight.” The action will be reminiscent of Will Ospreay vs Rey Fenix last year, fast paced until the finish. Ricochet could move on with his vast array of moves but Flamita has quite the moveset himself, like an innovative Muscle Buster into a Lungblower. Flamita could be a dark horse pick this year.
Prediction: Flamita wins.
Jonah Rock vs Zack Sabre Jr
Not only is this Jonah Rock’s PWG debut but he is facing the former PWG world champion in the opening round. Rock is 28 years old, known from his home of Australia and Japan. At 276 pounds, Rock still hits a frog splash so Sabre does not have an easy night by any means. 2 completely different styles will meet, Sabre has an experience edge but he could be overpowered trying submissions. Sabre wins but Rock impresses unless Sabre has more business left in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Sabre is also in NJPW G1 Climax until August.
Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr wins.
Rey Fenix vs Rey Horus
Two luchador that have proved themselves across the world but Rey Horus steps into a PWG ring in California for the very first time. Fenix is just as impressive on Lucha Underground as he is in PWG with his brother Penta El Zero M, the same could also be said about Rey Horus. Dragon Azteca Jr on Lucha Underground is played by Horus, the protégé of Rey Mysterio. Horus debuted in 2007 and has really taken to the lucha style but can he connect with the fans like Rey Fenix is the question. You can expect to have a breathtaking match here and half the fun of PWG is how close the fans are to the ring, they better watch out! Looks like Rey Horus makes his PWG debut a memorable one.
Prediction: Rey Horus wins.
Flash Morgan Webster vs Marty Scurll
“The Villain” Marty Scurll won PWG BOLA last year but was unsuccessful challenging Zack Sabre Jr for the PWG world title. Flash Morgan Webster is young and very popular in the UK where he mainly wrestles in PROGRESS. Webster has wrestled quite a few men in this tournament despite never appearing in PWG before until now. Both made their names in PROGRESS and will look to impress the world by winning every match this year. Scurll needs the win but he also has obligations elsewhere in Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Webster sneaks a big win here possibly.
Prediction: Flash Morgan Webster wins.
Matt Sydal vs Penta El Zero M
This may be the showstealer of the tournament if this a lengthy affair. Sydal is now a fixture of the Impact Wrestling X-Division and will look to fly and dive all over in this match. Sydal is the veteran but he has only gotten better with age, his Shooting Star Press looks as crisp as ever. Penta is a dangerous luchador that looks to break arms with high-risk moves included. Sydal has been in PWG BOLA many times but this is Penta’s first appearance and he would love to win and out-smart Penta. Penta will likely not allow that to happen and a Fear Factor package piledriver may be on it’s way.
Prediction: Penta El Zero M wins.
Brian Cage vs Dezmond Xavier
Xavier makes his debut in the tournament but Cage has been here before, yet to come out on top on Night 3. Xavier is now signed to Impact Wrestling but he makes the most out of every appearance in PWG, young and athletic, Xavier can do everything a heavyweight can’t do. That’s where Cage comes into play. “The Machine” can catch every one of Xavier’s top rope moves and pull off a Steiner Screwdriver or Weapon X finisher at any time. It’s all up to Xavier to win and impress and he really could do that in any way as well, even if it by a rollup.
Prediction: Dezmond Xavier wins.
South Pacific Power Trip vs The Young Bucks
Moving on to tag team action we have a first time ever meeting, Travis Banks and TK Cooper vs Nick and Matt Jackson, 2 of the best tag teams in the world. The South Pacific Power Trip have made the Ballroom in PROGRESS shake with crowd reactions and The Young Bucks have been at it for over 10 years. Banks and Cooper have not been able to team for months due to Cooper (and valet/girlfriend Dahlia Black) having visa issue’s in the UK. This is a dream match that will sure to ever have commentator Excalibur screaming at the commentator booth but when the dust is settled and the superkicks are thrown, don’t put it past The Young Bucks to win another big match and look for the PWG tag team championships again.
Prediction: The Young Bucks win.
Donovan Dijak and Keith Lee vs Jeff Cobb and Matt Riddle
Lee and Dijak know each other all too well from wars against each other across multiple promotions. Riddle and Cobb are known as The Chosen Bros, tearing through teams in PWG such as Ohio Is For Killers (Dave and Jake Crist.) it’s going to be a game of power but also skill, the mat game can be employed to perfection by Cobb and Riddle. The smart gameplan would be for Lee and Dijak go to big moves and strikes early like The Spirit Bomb and Feast Your Eyes. There is no question this has the potential to be the tag team match of 2017 but that remains to be seen and so does Lee and Dijak’s chances of winning. Riddle nor Dijak have defeated The Chosen Bro’s in singles action in the past.
Prediction: The Chosen Bros win.
PWG BOLA night 2
Mark Haskins vs Travis Banks
These 2 have met in Lucha Forever recently and Banks seems to have taken Haskins spot in bookings as the on-fire number 1 contender. Both have a seemingly limitless skill sets and stamina when it comes to going 100% but Banks has the current edge in 2017. Haskins opens eyes everywhere he goes but PWG he has yet to gain major success but same goes for the debuting Banks. “The Kiwi Buzzsaw” is going to look to hit the best suicide dive in pro wrestling and pin or tap out Haskins in a match of the night.
Prediction: Travis Banks wins.
Matt Riddle vs Michael Elgin
Riddle is the current WWN Live champion in EVOLVE and he just might have too much on his plate to win this tournament but don’t put it past him by any means. Elgin is currently in the midst of NJPW G1 Climax tournament himself so he won’t be as fresh as usual. Riddle has an amazing submission acumen but if he succumbs to the revolution Elgin Bomb it could be all over. Then again this could be one of Riddle’s biggest victories of his career yet.
Prediction: Matt Riddle wins.
Keith Lee vs Walter
When you really look at things, Lee started in Texas but didn’t want it to end there and same for Walter in Germany. Walter has recently broken out from wXw in Germany due to his stable Ringkampf and recently becoming the PROGRESS Atlas champion, defeating Matt Riddle. This is going to be a hoss battle if there ever was one, big lads wrestling as they call it in the UK. The fans are going to be wild as these 2 300+ pounders throw each other around. Spectacular first match because Lee could use the win being fairly new to PWG but this is Walter’s first ever PWG match. Lee has power but Walter has an almost MMA approach to matches, wearing down body parts and that is a huge advantage.
Prediction: Walter wins.
Sammy Guevara vs TK Cooper
Guevara comes from Wrestle Circus in Texas and is now signed to Impact Wrestling, he may be small but the high-flying ability of Guevera is almost on the level of Ricochet. Guevera can perform a 630 splash or wrestle his opponents match and can still be arrogant the entire match. Cooper may be one-half of South Pacific Power Trip with Banks but he is not the weak link at all, TK can do a corkscrew press to the floor with ease. If there is going to be a match to shock the crowd and draw attention to 2 athletes, this is it. Look for Guevera to try to become a mainstay heel in PWG.
Prediction: Sammy Guevara wins.
Jeff Cobb vs Sami Callihan
This may be more of a brawl than anything if Callihan has it his way. Every since Sami Callihan returned to the independents after leaving WWE NXT he has become a force in every match. Callihan is still the current AAW champion for almost one year but Cobb is going to look to out-power every move Callihan tries. A match that could be a classic in the making but for now, Cobb get the win with Tour Of The Islands. Cobb has yet to get a huge win other than becoming Lucha Underground champion as Matanza, smart money says this is Cobb’s BOLA year.
Prediction: Jeff Cobb wins.
Donovan Dijak vs Trevor Lee
Dijak has it all: speed, size, agility, look and charisma. Dijak is rumoured to be going to WWE NXT after he has announced he will be taking no more independent wrestling dates. A match with Trevor Lee is going to tear the house down. Dijak can do the flying Lee does but Lee can hit a Small Package Driver out of nowhere to Dijak too. Lee will have a big test in this one but he in never the one cheered anyways, Lee will do whatever it takes to win. Dirty tactics send a red-hot Dijak home here.
Prediction: Trevor Lee wins.
Ricochet and Matt Sydal vs Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll
Now that Sydal has left NJPW he has reformed his team with Ricochet, whom are former IWGP Jr tag team champions. Sydal and Ricochet are as exciting and innovative as tag teams get but so are their opponents only in a different way. The holds of Scurll and Sabre are a welcome addition to the headlocks of some of today’s wrestling, with new ways to tie an opponent up into submission. Scurll and Sabre have become very deviant heels since forming an alliance in PWG and they have only been stopped by PWG champion Chuck Taylor. Ricochet and Sydal are 2 of the best at any style but they may get tapped out no matter how many dives they do.
Prediction: Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll win.
Rey Fenix, Penta El Zero M and Flamita vs The Elite
Kenny Omega makes his return to his second favorite company (other than NJPW) in the world and where fans started to first take notice of him. Teaming with The Young Bucks as The Elite, the never lose a match unless it means big business. Penta taking on Omega smells money. This match would be a feature attraction anywhere in the world, the Rise Of The Terminator will be on display as well as the Lucha Brothers team’s crazy offense. The Elite are on fire right now and it only makes sense they win everywhere they go much like their opposing team. Result looks like a Meltzer Diver and One Winged Angel for 1….2…..3.
Prediction: The Elite wins.
The PWG Battle Of Los Angeles Preview Part 2 will return when we find out who goes in winners heading into Night 3…….