You are here
Column Featured 

Breaking Down the Field: Previewing the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles



Breaking Down the Field: Previewing the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles

On August 30th and 31st, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla will present its 9th Annual Battle of Los Angeles Tournament. Affectionately known as “BOLA”, Reseda will once again play host to perhaps the most prestigious independent wrestling tournament in the United States. 16 lucky competitors will fill out the tournament this year. We breakdown the entrants below…

****Entrants are in no particular order****

Entrant #1 ACH- 1st BOLA Appearance: Making his PWG debut on August 30th will be a competitor who has recently established himself on the indies as a top flight (no pun intended) superstar with appearances in companies such as ROH & AAW. Although he is starting to veer towards more tag team action with partner TaDarius Thomas in ROH, he has proven time and again that he can hang with any of the top independent wrestlers in the U.S. today. It would be a surprise for him to win it, but with his talents, expect the unexpected.

Entrant #2 Trent?-1st BOLA Appearance: Making his second PWG appearance on August 30th is a very motivated athlete who was unceremoniously dumped from the WWE’s roster. The Battle of Los Angeles will be Trent’s chance to prove that the WWE’s loss is PWG’s gain as he will have the opportunity to make an even bigger name for himself by winning PWG’s 9th such tournament. Trent has all the talent and unique wrestling experience to make it through the field of 16 and has already proved his worth with a recent FIP World Title victory over Jon Davis on August 9th.

Entrant #3 Anthony Nese-1st BOLA Appearance: Making his second appearance after a loss vs. Brian Cage at PWG is a wrestler who has been tearing it up on the East Coast for quite some time now. With recent appearances for DGUSA (including wins over Uhaa Nation & Akira Tozawa), NYWC, HOH, and FWE, Nese has proven his worth as an entrant in this tournament. BOLA weekend will be his golden opportunity to take one more step to establishing himself as one of the top wrestlers in North America. A former #3 in the Indy Power Rankings, Nese looks to shatter the glass ceiling with a win that would send him to the top of everyone’s radar.

Entrant #4 Michael Elgin-2nd BOLA Appearance: If Elgin is truly “Unbreakable” he’ll have to prove it at BOLA this year. After making it to the finals in his first ever BOLA appearance, he comes back looking to take the next step. He is currently embroiled in the ROH World Title Tournament along with interests all over the U.S., so the question now becomes, can Elgin focus all of his energies on THIS tournament? He is a man that Sean Radican called the top independent wrestler right now and he is the #1 in the Indy Power Rankings for the week of August 12th, 2013. He has the chance to prove that he is absolutely the best, beyond a shadow of a doubt, by conquering the Battle of Los Angeles.

Entrant #5 Johnny Gargano-1st BOLA Appearance: The current DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate Champion has not experienced a lot of success in PWG as of yet. While he has made a handful of appearances in tag team competition with Chuck Taylor, he has yet to enjoy the consistent winning edge that he has been known for. After finally picking up a win at TEN vs. Paul London & Brian Kendrick, he has gotten back on the right track. Perhaps the Battle of Los Angeles will be the thing that revitalizes the former 5 time #1 in the Indy Power Rankings. Could Gargano be the man to add to his trophy case with a victory at BOLA?

Entrant #6 Tommaso Ciampa-1st BOLA Appearance: After suffering a torn ACL last year, it looked as though “The Sicilian Psychopath” might not get the opportunity to reach his full potential. After months of rehab, he has returned to wrestling with a vengeance. Now he gets his chance on one of the biggest stages available to him. After mowing through much of his competition since his return, can he prove that he truly belongs in the cream of the crop with a win in the Battle of Los Angeles? This will be his biggest test to date.

Entrant #7 Kyle O’Reilly-2nd BOLA Appearance: The former ROH World Tag Team Champion has been garnering a lot of underground support from PWG fans as a dark horse to win this year’s tournament. Recent appearances in PWG have seen him defeating well known stars such as Davey Richards, TJ Perkins, and Sami Callihan. Could this new found hot streak be the thing that pushes him through to the Finals of this tournament? One thing is for sure. O’Reilly will be ready to compete on August 30th.

Entrant #8 Brian Cage-3rd BOLA Appearance: The F’N Machine. Mr. GMSI. While Cage is an absolute BEAST with two great nicknames, what he needs now is a win in the Battle of Los Angeles. With this being his third appearance, could the third time be a charm? He was destroying wrestlers all over the West Coast before he experienced a setback and went down with a torn triceps muscle. With 15 other competitors standing in his way, can Cage use every bit of power & strength he has in order to cash in all of his endless potential? As with many of us, he was disappointed to lose the TNA Gut Check Challenge, but he’ll have his chance to shove it down TNA’s throat with a BOLA tournament win.

Entrant #9 AR Fox-1st BOLA Appearance: “The Whole Foxin Show” makes his BOLA debut after several fantastic performances for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. While he has yet to have his defining victory in PWG, the current EVOLVE & CZW Wired TV Champion can fix that with a win at BOLA. He may be the most supremely talented athlete in this tournament field. Fox has done almost everything on the independent scene over the last 2 years, including being a former #1 in the Indy Power Rankings, but he has not competed in or won this all important tournament yet. He is a former EVOLVE Styles Battle Tournament winner, he won the EVOLVE title tournament, and he has won the Jeff Peterson Cup, but this particular tournament is a different animal all together. Will he go 1 for 1 in and add to his mantle of accomplishments? He's going to have his work cut out for him.

Entrant #10 Chuck Taylor-3rd BOLA Appearance: People forget that the “Kentucky Gentleman” is a serious wrestler when he turns on that switch. A former IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Champion, CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas, and IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion, he has surprised people time and time again with upset victories all over the U.S. He has defeated some of the top independent stars in every promotion he has competed in. He may be the biggest underdog in the entire tournament, but not to those who have seen Chuckie T at his very best. Can Chuck Taylor use the Awful Waffle to its full impact and smash the opposition this year? Don’t count him out.

Entrant #11 Joey Ryan-6th BOLA Appearance: The 2010 Battle of Los Angeles winner has something to prove after being released by TNA. This will be his second appearance with PWG since his release. Despite being the second longest reigning PWG World Champion of all time, he seems to get no respect, despite everything that he has done for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He could certainly use this 2013 tournament to silence all the critics, but the question looms as to whether or not his mind is on other things since his release.

Entrant #12 Drake Younger-2nd BOLA Appearance: “The Ultraviolent Golden Boy” is certainly the golden boy among PWG fans right now. After coming up short in two attempts to dethrone PWG Champion Adam Cole, Younger is seeking a third opportunity for the PWG World Title. Could this be Drake’s last chance now that he has been defeated in two separate matches? The PWG crowd will be solidly behind Drake Younger’s bid to become the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles winner. Can Drake finally take that next step and ride his wave of popularity to a BOLA win and eventual Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World Title run? He has shown no fear in putting his body through hell to get victory. With potentially 4 matches in 2 days, Drake will find out just how much his body can possibly take to achieve his biggest goals.

Entrant #13 Roderick Strong-8th BOLA Appearance: Very few wrestlers have epitomized Pro Wrestling Guerrilla like “The Messiah of the Backbreaker”. Strong has been in and out of PWG for years, but he has yet to win the Battle of Los Angeles and he has not won the PWG World Title yet. In fact, those are two of the very few things he has not done on the independent wrestling scene. Could this finally be his year? After a recent tour of NOAH and a stint with Eddie Edwards as a tag team, can Strong refocus his efforts on the PWG World Title? BOLA comes first.

Entrant #14 Rich Swann-1st BOLA Appearance: This entertaining high-flyer has taken the PWG audience by storm with his mix of charisma and death defying moves. Unfortunately, his win-loss record has not been quite as impressive as his connection to the fans. Can Rich Swann score a HUGE upset and win this tournament? Very few fans or experts are picking him to win it, but with all of his Dragon Gate & East Coast experience, are people underselling the young star? He could be putting on exciting performances for two nights…”All Night Long.”

Entrant #15 Kevin Steen-7th BOLA Appearance: With El Generico gone, the other face of PWG for so many years remains. Kevin Steen is a former multiple time PWG World Champion and Tag Team Champion. With so many accolades, the only unfinished accomplishment he’s still chasing is the Battle of Los Angeles. Even after so much success in the tournament and in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in general, Steen has still yet to win this prestigious tournament. Could this finally be his year? This could be it for Mr. Wrestling and the PWG World Title. If he wants another shot to reclaim the gold vs. Adam Cole, he NEEDS to win this tournament. Expect a serious sense of urgency from Kevin Steen this year.

Entrant #16 Willie Mack-3rd BOLA Appearance: After an amazing hot streak in PWG, Willie Mack has slightly cooled off. He was in the title hunt for several months before a string of losses pushed him out of the title picture. If he wins the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles, nothing can push him out of the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla title hunt. The question is, can he do it? As impressive as he’s been and with all of his big victories, he has yet to win the big one in any way, shape, or form in PWG. It appeared that he was on the right path last year, but expectations proved to be too much for the popular Willie Mack. Could he shock the world and survive the field this year?

Already announced for the first day of the tournament-

The First Round of the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles is scheduled to include:

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Michael Elgin (2nd Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Rich Swann (1st Battle of Los Angeles)

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Kevin Steen (7th Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Chuck Taylor (3rd Battle of Los Angeles)

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Johnny Gargano (1st Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Willie Mack (3rd Battle of Los Angeles)

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Kyle O'Reilly (2nd Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Trent? (1st Battle of Los Angeles)

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Joey Ryan (2010 Battle of Los Angeles Winner) vs. Drake Younger (2nd Battle of Los Angeles)

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
ACH (1st Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Anthony Nese (1st Battle of Los Angeles)

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
Brian Cage (3rd Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Tommaso Ciampa (1st Battle of Los Angeles)

2013 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match
AR Fox (1st Battle of Los Angeles) vs. Roderick Strong (8th Battle of Los Angeles)

Non-Tournament 6-Man Tag Team Match
Adam Cole & The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. TJ Perkins & Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov)

My pick to win the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles: Kyle O'Reilly-I'm going with the underground following and one of my personal favorites. With a strong winning streak in PWG right now, he seems like the perfect fit to win this tournament. A win over Drake Younger at some point in the tournament (perhaps via screw job by Adam Cole) could set up an amazing World Title contest between Cole & O'Reilly in a battle of former partners. If O'Reilly takes the gold, it could also set up some fantastic title defenses vs. Kevin Steen, Drake Younger, Roderick Strong, etc…

Want to discuss this article? Tweet me @PhenomenalTLD or email me at
Follow the Indy Power Rankings on Twitter @IndyPowerRankin
New Indy Power Rankings come out every Tuesday morning!
You can “like” the Indy Power Rankings on Facebook at
For those of you who don't feel like reading the IPR week after week, subscribe to “indy pr” on Youtube and get a video version of the Indy Power Rankings each week! We also do a quick rundown of the Indy Power Rankings on “The Real Side of Wrestling” at each and every week!

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of August 12, 2013:
1. Michael Elgin
2. The Young Bucks
3. Biff Busick/Frank O'Rourke
4. Benjamin Kimera
5. Drew Gulak
6. Luke Hawx
7. Davey Richards
8. Adam Cole
9. Hype Gotti
10. Jack Thriller


Related posts

One thought on “Breaking Down the Field: Previewing the 2013 Battle of Los Angeles

  1. wrsisyphus2

    Actually, it’s Joey Ryan’s 7th appearance. He’s only missed ’06 and ’11. Steen’s won everything in PWG except the two tournaments, weirdly enough. I can see the case for O’Reilly, but it seems to me they have to put the belt on Younger before his heat goes away, and winning BOLA is the only way he can get another shot now.

Comments are closed.