Pro Wrestling Guerrilla 2014
Battle of Los Angeles – Night One
August 29, 2014
Photos: Devin Chen Photography – https://www.facebook.com/DevinChenPhotography
Right on time, as promised, I’d have a review of BOLA14 up before November. Better now than never, business before pleasure, bros.
Lets get right to the review.
But first, an open letter…
Dear Incredibly Hot Piece of Ace Sitting to the Right of Brad Maddox,
Bobby Fish vs. TJ Perkins: This was my kind of shit, was totally into it from bell to bell. It reminded me of one of those random WCW C-show mid-card workhorse matches from the early 90’s. Really got into the intensity, the blend of wrestling and grappling, and the story told inside the ring. The call backs to Manik-isms added a fun layer to the match. This was easily the best singles match I’ve seen from Bobby Fish, who is really coming into his own. Give me more of him in Reseda, please. TJP sneaks away with the win after having his leg deconstructed by Fish all match. ****1/4+
Biff Busick vs. Roderick Strong: Fuckin’ Roddy. His descent to being a total prick in this match because Biff keeps fucking around with some annoying grappling is fun. Smug Roddy is a great Roddy. Biff blending his graps with some intense stiff flurries keeps him fresh in this match. He is hit or miss for me, usually, but is a hit here. Roddy being the constant and controlling the pace and controlling the bursts of energy by Busick keep it together. Roddy eventually gets really pissed after a flash pin attempt by Busick and destroys him with a knee, roaring elbow, and Strong Breaker. ***3/4
Cedric Alexander vs. Trevor Lee: Trevor Lee is currently in the running for my Most Improved vote. His work in PWG has been nothing short of endearing. Lee’s willingness to eat offense is awesome for a 20-year-old dude. Once he finds himself a little more of a defined character, he is going to be really fun to watch. As is, watching him just get destroyed is great. For most of this match, that is what you get, I just don’t think Alexander was the right guy for this match. That extra gear was missing for me. Lee gets the win when he reverses a suplex into a powerbomb. I liked it. ***1/2
World’s Cutest Tag Team vs. The Addiction vs. The Inner City Machine Guns: Clearly, the Guerrilla Warfare match at Eleven did what it intended to do for PWG and Candice LeRae — get her over even more. She gets a big pop from the jump. Most of the wrestling world should take notes on how Candice portrays herself in these intergender matches. She doesn’t present herself as some gender equal competitor, quite the opposite, actually, but the way she presents herself as this cunning, speedy, ballsy wrestler that can’t match up with dudes but wins by taking advantage of her opponents underestimating her. Imagine if the WWE booked Rey Mysterio this way instead of having him lose every week before sneaking away with bananas peel wins at PPVs in 2006. Anyway, this is just a slow-ish devolution into the madness inducing ending of a PWG three-way tag match that doesn’t quite hit that insane-o finale. It was good, it was just a few deviations off from those ridiculous standard PWG funhouse specials. ***1/2+
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Michael Elgin: I’ve wanted to see a quality, bomb-throwing slugfest where Tommaso Ciampa and some other willing degenerate just beat the fuck out of each other for so long now. This wasn’t perfect, but I got what I was looking for. These fuckin guys nearly broke the damn ring. I’m a sucker for a thwarted FIGHTING SPIRIT / ACT OF DEFIANCE spot. They even had a deviation from Elgin’s goofy overdone delayed suplex gimmick. I was all-in on the false finishes. Marked out when Elgin kicks out of a Project Ciampa and they proceed to knee, elbow, and slap the shit out of each other before Elgin goes HAM to advance in the tournament. Hoss Fight Special. ****1/4+
Brian Myers vs. AJ Styles: The groan inducing anti-buzz for this match after the event was more than justified. Ugly. *
Drew Gulak vs. Kyle O’Reilly: On paper, I was really looking forward to seeing this. In the right setting, I’ve gotten into and appreciate The Legal Eagle and at this point ya’ll know I absolutely love Kyle O’Reilly. Unfortunately, in practice, I couldn’t get into most of the match. They’d start to win me back once they started slapping the shit out of each other and using their heads as weapons, but then they’d go back to slower pace, building to spots that didn’t really pay off. With that said, I got into it more when O’Reilly was on the offensive. It was not poor by any means, just uneven. ***
Mount Rushmore vs. Friends of Low Moral Fiber: If the WWE Network featured The Young Bucks with MONEY TIGHTS and their INDIVIDUAL NAMES ON THEIR VESTS weekly, they’d have two million subscribers right now. All of the buys for those fuckin tights. Every.single.last.one. Then you’ve got the absolutel ridiculousness of Kenny Omega. Dude, I’ve missed you in PWG. The crowd really took to Zach Sabre Jr. quickly here and he comes off like a star early on before getting a bit lost in the madness later on. Speaking of madness, it devolves into it pretty quickly into the match. There are attempts to get it back on track, but it keeps going back to usual Young Bucks type of PWG-fare…which is a good thing because they are the glue that keeps these types of things together and the result is always a winner. Reseda explodes when Omega hits the EX Hadouken’s Adam Cole and hits a Croyt’s Wrath. His hot runs in the match make him the star of the whole thing. Trent?’s run-ins are not out of place. Despite the ridiculous finish, the whole thing worked for me. ****1/4+
Overall, while it wasn’t quite the SHOW OF THE YEAR CONTENDER it was hyped to be coming out of the event, it was definitely good. Three matches over four stars and all but one three stars or better make this a show you just gotta watch. Nothing will appear on my Match of the Year list, but go out of your way to check this show out.
- The Buzz – Not even the very worst from Curt Hawkins could kill this show.
- Match of the Night – Tommaso Ciampa vs. Michael Elgin
- Also Check Out – TJ Perkins vs. Bobby Fish; Mt. Rushmore vs. Friends of Low Moral Fiber.
Next Up: Night 2. See you tomorrow, gents. Cheers,