PWG BOLA 2017: Cooper is Out, Janela is In

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It’s arguably the most prestigious pro wrestling tournament on the independent circuit and one of the top 10 in the industry. California’s Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG)‘s Battle of Los Angeles, a certifiable litmus test of the gold standard of that year in the indie scene in North America. Many Superstars from the WWE earned their stripes in BOLA, not only on main roster stars such as AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, but also NXT regulars like Kassius Ohno, Roderick Strong and the newly debuted Adam Cole – not to mention ROH and NJPW giants like Kenny Omega, Joey Ryan, Christopher Daniels, Ricochet, The Young Bucks, and more. It’s a rite of passage in the indie world.

Photo: PWG

PWG revealed their full line-up a short time ago, and one of the entrants making his BOLA tournament debut was New Zealand’s TK Cooper, one half of the popular tag team – South Pacific Power Trip (with Travis Banks) – and the other half of the South Pacific Power Couple with his real life girlfriend, women’s wrestler Dahlia Black (both of whom had WWE tryouts over WrestleMania Axxess weekend in the PROGRESS showcase).

But when PROGRESS made their American debut for an official PROGRESS event (non-WWE showcase) for PROGRESS: New York City on August 12, 2017, Cooper was the unfortunate victim of injury, when an errant corkscrew moonsault during a tag match featuring the South Pacific Power Trip versus British Strong Style/Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) left Cooper with a dislocated ankle.

When the extent of his injury was determined, it became apparent that the New Zealand sensation was not going to medically cleared to participate in the prestigious BOLA. So PWG made the call on Twitter last night.

But they immediately announced his replacement.

Joey Janela has been a cult favourite for years on the indie circuit, a charismatic lunatic and daredevil – like a twisted cross of Shawn Michaels and Nick Gage. A rockstar look with a psychopath’s soul. From CZW to WSU, from HOG to AAW, Joey Janela has taken a route across the indies of North America and become one of the indie circuit’s best kept secrets the past decade. But in the past year, Janela’s star has exploded, picking up more high profiles matches and being more in demand than ever – his Spring Break party live event for Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) during WrestleMania week this year was one of the entire week’s absolute highlights.

Photo: Chris Grasso

Joey Janela will be making his PWG Battle of Los Angeles debut on Night One, Friday September 1st against WrestleCircus, Full Impact Pro and Impact Wrestling star breakout star Sammy Guevara in the opening round.

Photo: PWG