Battle of Los Angeles Night II report with one of the best matches of the year



PWG Battle of LA Night Two report

By Bryan Alvarez

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Excalibur opened up the show basically telling the fans they sucked the night before and needed to pump up the energy level here.

Joey Ryan beat Austin Aries with two superkicks in a very good opener. Aries in particular was awesome as he normally is. The fans did, in fact, amp up the energy for this bout. Also, it was the opener. The story was that Ryan had an injured shoulder and Austin worked it over for most of the match.

Claudio Castagnoli beat Roderick Strong. Another very good match. They did very hard and fast chain wrestling at the beginning like they were doing a shoot pro-wrestling match. It was great. Claudio is a heel but the fans were into him a lot, probably due in good part to his match the night before. They did a bunch of nearfalls and reversals and then Claudio hit him with the sky high European uppercut for the pin.

Brandon Gatson beat Brandon Bonham. Weakest match of both nights so far. They didn't have an extended heat section, they just took turns doing spots for ten minutes or so. There was what I think was supposed to be a bridging out of a pinfall spot near the finish but Bonham only bridged about an inch off the mat and the fans chanted "YOU FUCKED UP!" at either them or the ref. Gatson then picked him up and hit his finish for the pin.

Chris Hero beat Akira Tozawa in one of the best matches I have seen all year. Just awesome and the last two minutes were out of this world. It was a big man vs. little man match but less of a squash than the Claudio match the night before in the sense that Tozawa was super fiery and they kept it believably competitive. Hero won after an elbow of death and top rope moonsault. You fucking must see this match. They did a billion highspots and kicked out of everything, but unlike any other match in this tournament like that the people actually got more into the match with each passing one, so it never felt like it hit a peak and kept going. Just outstanding.

Joey Ryan beat Claudio Castagnoli with a superkick. I figured the finals would be Hero vs. Claudio so this was a shocker. They worked it almost WWE-style early, with Claudio meticulously working over the injured shoulder. Tons of nearfalls at the finish, then Joey pinned him with about his third superkick. The fans weren't excepting that at all and initially booed. Then there was a loud "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" chant. Then after about 15 seconds it became a dueling "THIS IS BULLSHIT!" "JOEY RYAN!" dueling chant. Claudio held up his arm afterwards. So Ryan went to the finals.

Chris Hero beat Brandon Gatson. This was the best Gatson looked all weekend. Good match that ended when Hero hit a series of forearms and then a crossface submission. Best part was some dude behind me who exactly started screaming "HE TAPPED! HE TAPPED!" at the finish like I was cageside for UFC.

Chuck Taylor & Brian Cage & Ryan Taylor vs. Johnny Goodtime & Rocky Romero & Ricochet. Very fun six-man. Everyone looked good and the crowd in particular loved Taylor and Ricochet. A crazy display of highspots and athleticism ending when Chuck pinned Ricochet with an Omega driver, a ridiculously outlandish and terrifying tombstone piledriver. Ricochet was over huge after his match the night before.

Generico & Paul London beat Cutler Brothers to retain the PWG Tag Team Titles. Went way too long for this crowd and they kicked out of way too much, especially since this was the buffer before the main event. There were moments near the finish where the crowd was really quiet. They did go nuts for the finish, Generico hitting the top rope brainbuster for the pin to retain the titles.

Joey Ryan beat Chris Hero to win BOLA 2010. So much for the polite crowd. There was an amazing amount of heckling during this match, which was interesting because prior to this match I was thinking this was the most polite indy crowd I'd seen in years. But it was funny because the fans went from hating Joey to chanting his name to booing the shit out of him to chanting his name again at the drop of a dime. The finish was built around them exchanging about a dozen superkicks and tornado forearms, then Ryan pinned him with a small package. People popped big for the finish, then booed, then chanting "THIS IS BULLSHIT!", then chanted "JOEY RYAN!" Ryan cut a heel promo afterwards and was booed unmercifully and heckled, but then he concluded with "I am proud to represent Southern California!" and they went nuts.

Night two blew away night one and was in the range of the 2006 and 2007 shows. If you're one of those people who hates modern day wrestling and can't handle Raw and TNA, this is a DVD you should probably check out. I had more fun at this show than any wrestling show in a long time. A more detailed report will be in this coming week's Figure Four.

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