Wednesday , 3 September 2014

2007 PWG Battle of Los Angeles DVD Review

(I figured with BOLA coming up next week, it might be nice to take a look back the absolute best year of the tournament, 2007. That and I've had no time to write my other C4 DVD review. Enjoy this review that was originally on my PWG blog and is reviewed in more typical fashion.)

-Taped from Burbank, California

-Your hosts are Excalibur, Disco Machine, and BRYCE! Remsburg

-PWG world champion Bryan Danielson comes out to announce he won’t be able to participate in the tournament due to an eye injury he suffered against Takeshi Morishima a couple weeks ago in the Manhattan Center for Ring of Honor.

-All 24 contestants are introduced. Many of the competitors are in swank t-shirts, or the main reason these guys fly out to California. Come on. Who doesn’t like a free shirt? The surprise entrant is Alex Shelley. Shelley was apparently never going to be allowed in PWG again after a dispute between PWG and TNA led to a pulling of talent by everyone’s favorite Florida promotion. Thankfully, Shelley has been able to come back many times, mostly with Chris Sabin as his partner. As star-studded as the 2004 Ted Petty Invitational was, I think a strong argument could be made for this tournament’s star power as well.

-Los Luchas (Phoenix Star and Zokre) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson)

We get the swankiest introductions and graphics I’ve ever seen on an indy show before each match. This is just a nice way to get the Burbank crowd into the show. Just an excuse for lots of flips and general high-flying craziness combined with a lot of gorgeous double team work. I’ve got a lot to say about this tournament, so I’m saving my words. Just know this is a really solid opener that serves its purpose. Conspicuous by their presence are guard rails that weren’t in this same building at the fourth anniversary show. Bucks debut the duel muscle pose in this match.  Bucks get More Bang for Buck on both members of Los Luchas for the three count. Nice win. First time winning with that move.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: The Young Bucks/9:00/***

-Kind of a match that doesn’t get a lot of hype because of how awesome this tournament is, but it was a fine way to open the show. Well worth checking it out.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match- A Block: Chris Hero vs. Joey Ryan (w/Jade Chung)

The basic purpose of the match is to show a neon sign saying “Chris Hero is a babyface.” This becomes important later in the weekend. Hero almost immediately gets a single leg crab. Knee in the back while continuing to hold the crab. Ryan reaches the ropes and heads outside. Kick to the midsection and a grab of the arm by Ryan. Hero flippity flops out and hits a dropkick. He springs up. Takedown by Hero. Armdrag. Ryan gets one of his own. Each man misses a dropkick. Ryan can’t kip. Hero and the crowd encourage Ryan along. Ryan finally gets to kip up, but Hero immediately takes him down by the arm. Standing senton. Another one. Chops by Hero. Ryan gets a kick and forearm after blocking an Irish whip. Hero breaks out some flips but suckers Ryan in. Elbow and more chops. Out of the corner as Hero backflips and gets another dropkick. Ryan goes outside. Hero does some more flippy stuff. Ryan takes advantage by sending Hero hard into the guard rail. Ryan rotates between stomping away on Hero and getting into it with the crowd. Hero with a chop, but Ryan gets a rake to the eye. Back in the ring. Ryan stomps away. Ryan gets into it with a rather loud female fan. Hero gets a flash roll-up for two. Ryan with more stomps. Irish whip and a dropkick by Ryan. Choke in the corner with the boot. Some of the lights go out, but everything can still be seen pretty good. Series of forearms by Ryan. Off the ropes. Hero reverses and gets a hard elbow. German suplex. More chops by Hero. Kick to the midsection, elbow, and neckbreaker gets two. Cravat into the turnbuckles. Off the ropes. Ryan gets a kick. Hero gets the cravatbuster for two. Chops  by Hero. Ryan gets a pumphandle suplex. Running kick and a superkick. 1-2-NO! Ryan sends Hero into the turnbuckle before placing him on the top rope. Time for a moustache ride apparently. Chop by Hero into the cravat again. Ryan gets a chinbreaker. Into the corner where Hero flips over on the apron. Superkick by Ryan. Ryan hits a tornado DDT on the floor. Back inside the ring. On the apron, Hero gets an elbow, a backfist, and chop. Stomach first into the buckle goes Ryan. Hero with a springboard double stomp on the apron. Headbutt to the midsection. Hero to the top. Double stomp again. 1-2-Jade Chung on the apron. Scott Lost comes to ringside to hand Ryan brass knuckles. Hero takes the knuckles and tries to use them on Lost. Hero gets Hero’s welcome for the three count. Referee sees the knuckles and reverses the decision. Well, that a horrendous ending to start the tournament.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Joey Ryan/16:44/**3/4

-Hero actually nails Ryan with the knuckles. Then he places them down Ryan’s pants and stomps on them. Chris Hero is a huge babyface. Remember that everyone. Match was actually going pretty well until the ending. Should also be noted that these two are soooo much better now. See Threemendous II for an example as they had a ****1/4 on that show.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-  A Block: Austin Aries vs. Roderick Strong

These two wrestled each other an awful lot in 2007 as they had a major rivalry in Ring of Honor. Feeling out process as each man works the arm. Big elbow by Aries into a Rings of Saturn. Outside they go. Aries chops Strong right in the back. Head first goes Strong into the side of the ring. Back rake. Aries sends Strong into the buckle again. He shoots in with a reverse elbow. Another elbow to the head. Strong reverses a whip to the corner and nails Aries right in the head with a clothesline. Jesus. Slingshot suplex attempt. Aries guillotines the neck, hits a springboard splash, and gets the pendulum elbow. Again with the elbows. Aries goes for a vertical suplex. Strong sends Aries stomach first into the ropes. Aries is sent into the guard rails. Aries is sent midsection first into the side of the ring and on the guardrail. Strong stretches Aries in a bow and arrow before hitting a tornado slam. Headbutts to the midsection. Charge misses. Aries gets a sunset flip for two. Reverse elbow by Strong. Slingshot into the bottom rope. Fallaway slam. Simple waistlock by Strong. Dropkick to the face. Strike exchange. Strong resorts to stomps to win. Aries gets a reverse elbow. Aries does the stroke to mock Jeff Jarrett. Not funny. Punches. Irish whip. Aries low bridges Strong. Uh oh. Heat-seeking missile. Aries hits a corkscrew splash. Lionsault gets two. Strong tosses Aries, gets a boot, and eventually hits a northern lights bomb for two. Didn’t look like he got all of it. Strikes by Strong. Aries fights out of a fireman’s carry, hits a reverse elbow, and nails a DDT. Aries goes to the top. Strong goes up and nearly gets a superplex. Aries runs into knees with a frog splash try. Half nelson backbreaker. Strong places Aries up top. He gets another fireman’s carry. Aries gets a superbomb. Rings of Saturn but Strong reaches the ropes. Fight for a vertical suplex. O’Connor roll. Aries somehow gets a tombstone for a long two count. Aries calls for the 450. Sweep of the legs and a chop. Now it’s time for a superplex. 1-2-NO! Too much time. Aries gets an O’Connor roll into a gutbuster attempt. Kick to the chest. Kick to the head. Strong somehow rolls him up and gets three.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Roderick Strong/14:29/***1/4

-Solid match for these two. Didn’t completely dig Aries lack of selling, but it didn’t kill the match. They know each other so well that they can deliver a solid match at any time, even when it’s just a tournament match and the grudge doesn’t play into it. And this ending was about a million times better, even if it was a fluke roll-up.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-  A Block: Jimmy Rave vs. Matt Sydal

Two guys on the way out. Jimmy Rave was recently fired by Ring of Honor and would be in TNA very shortly after this match. Matt Sydal was on a farewell tour of his own as he was on his way to WWE at this point. Feeling out process. Sydal works the left leg. Rave takes Sydal down with a waistlock. Sydal then uses his quickness to regain the advantage. Dropkick to the face and a springboard dropkick in the corner. Knee in the back. Snapmare and a knee to the face. Couple of strikes before getting a knee in the midsection. Rave stomp. Headbutts to the midsection. Whip in the corner for one more headbutt. Northern lights suplex gets two. Figure four on the waist and a rake of the eye by Rave. Sydal bridges with a bow and arrow. Rave gutbuster and a gordbuster. He stretches Sydal out. Rave sends Sydal in the corner and goes into the post shoulder first. Clothesline by Sydal. Double knees to the chest. Knee by Rave. Headscissors by Sydal.  Back drop. Sydal sort of hits a here it is driver. Rave fell way too early. Clothesline and a spear by Rave. Pedigree attempt. Sweep of the legs and a standing moonsault are met with knees. Shining wizard. Sydal small package for two. Enziguri. To the top. Rave forearm. Sydal comes down while rave tries fighting him off. Sydal gets a rana. Rave rolls through and goes for the heel hook. Sydal gets a roll-up for two. Rave for a pedigree. Sydal sits down on his head. Up to the top for a shooting star press. A three count is inevitable for the soon-to-be Evan Bourne.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Matt Sydal/9:32/*1/2

-Sloppy match. Rave definitely looked like he phoned it in here, and I think it dragged Sydal down with him. Lots of uninspired mat wrestling and a series of botched moves.  We’re pretty okay from here on though.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-  A Block: Tyler Black vs. Alex Shelley

Pack a lunch everyone because we’re going to be here a long time for this match. Shelley and Black take turns working the arm and wrist. Black with a series of roll-ups for two. Shelley responds with one of his own and shows that he was that close to winning the match a minute in. Kick and boot by Black. Shelley hits a headscissors and bulldog. Shelley turns Black into preverbal pretzel before turning it into a roll-up. Bodyslam. Over the top rope with an elbowdrop. Knee to the head. Kick of the ropes into the throat. Irish whip and a back elbow. Straightjacket applied. Knee drop. Strike exchange. Shelley stomps him down quickly. Black hits a dropkick and a running stunner. Black applies an armbar. Shelley bites away. Kick by Black and a chop. Black gets all fired up and hits a running splash. Northern lights suplex for two. Bow and arrow into a front face lock.  Bodyslam and a diving knee. Sitting dropkick gets two. Clubbering shots by Black. He signals for the finish, but he settles for a reverse elbow. Shelley tosses Black over. Boot to the face by Shelley. Then another big punt as Black lays across the second rope. Third kick, this time to the chest. Shelley to the top rope. Diving knee drop. Fisherman’s suplex gets two. Shelley ties the leg up and nails Black with a chop. Ties his entire body up. Black hits an elbow. Chop by Black. Kick to the leg by Shelley. He rips the arm along the top rope. Whip into the corner and a reverse elbow. Leaping enziguri. Black catches Shelley off the top rope with a dropkick. Both men down. Each man misses a forearm. Manhattan drop and jawbreaker by Shelley. Forearms hit by both men. Pele by Black. Springboard clothesline. Black to the top. Moonsault but he ends up on his feet. Black with a sleeper. Shelley drops him face first. Enziguri by Shelley. Swinging DDT right into the motor city stretch. Black to the ropes. Kick to the face in the corner. Shelley places Black on the top rope. They battle. Black bucklebomb. Shelley blocks the boot on the first try but gets it on the second one. Standing shooting star press for two.  Border city stretch again. Black reverses into one of his own. Peroxism attempt. Shelley out of it. Boot to the back. Sliced bread number two turns to Black ramming Shelley head first into the buckle. Peroxism for two. Boots in the corner. Black places Shelley on the top rope. Shelley slams him as Black tries a vertical suplex. Black in the fireman’s carry. ACECRUSHER FROM THE TOP! 1-2-NO! Black climbs for a phoenix splash. Misses. Rolls through. Shelley Michinoku driver. Black kicks out again. Superkick. 1-2-NO! Another superkick. 1-2-NO! Sliced bread #2. 1-2-3. Great match.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Alex Shelley/20:07/***1/2

-Shelley apologizes for the way he and Sabin left PWG. He calls PWG his favorite place to wrestle and basically cuts a thank you promo since this could very well have been his last weekend with the company. Thankfully, it would not.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-  B Block: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Doug Williams

This match is very European. Almost too easy to make that comment. Back and forth with a series of holds. Very solid technical wrestling as you might expect. Williams does a beautiful head stand and gets a roll-up for two. Then they rotate giving each other straightjacket submission holds. Series of attempted pins, but the best they can do is two. Williams gets a vice grip on Claudio’s midsection. Claudio escapes and twists the legs. Waistlock but he just sits down in a cover for two. To the arm goes Claudio. Williams flips over and grabs the arm. Stretch of the upperbody. Claudio works out of it. Big swing after a sweep of the legs. Diving European uppercut to the spine. Williams doesn’t think much of it. European uppercut exchange. Williams gets a backslide for two. Another uppercut exchange. Claudio goes for a backslide. Claudio goes over. Another uppercut exchange. They hook arms. Claudio gets another uppercut. Off the ropes and Williams throws a leaping uppercut. Williams hits a dive, but Claudio catches the man with a… you guessed it, a European uppercut. It’s an uppercut party outside the ring too. Claudio tosses Williams over the guard rail to break the party up. Williams uses an eye poke. Uppercuts continue. Back in the ring. Claudio comes in the ring with an uppercut. Battle over a vertical suplex. The uppercut exchange continues as Claudio starts using his left arm. Finally, an elbow from each men sends them down to the canvas. Claudio sent in the corner. Jumping knee. Off the second rope with a jumping knee. Williams off the top with a knee drop. Claudio kicks out at two. Cravat and knees by Williams. Bicycle kick by Claudio. Williams reverses a ricola bomb. Series of pinfalls by both men. Claudio finally hits a ricola bomb and gets a three count.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Doug Williams/14:34/***1/4

-Very different match than anything on the card up to this point which is a positive. I enjoyed the European uppercut battle as each man seemingly tried to top the other. The only thing I question is flying Williams all the way from England only to participate in this one tournament match and then a multi-man match on night three. Personally, I would have at least booked him against Rave to win so Sydal could lose Claudio. Then, PWG at least would have gotten two singles matches out of a guy who’s flight from England likely wasn’t cheap.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-  B Block: Jack Evans vs. Pac

Think there will be high spots in this match? Evans carries on a conversation with the crowd as the bell rings. Both of these men have competed in Dragon Gate before. Pac is even a semi-regular as of late 2010. Feeling out process that will likely mean absolutely nothing in a few minutes. Things pick up as Evans hits a flipping front kick right in the face. Off the ropes with a dropkick in the chest. Reverse bodyslam leads to Evans stretching his opponent out. Standing double stomp into a moonsault press. Into the corner. Evans misses a charge but comes back with a spin kick. Another charge and a front flip legdrop on a prone Pac. Evans doesn’t get a dive, but Pac sweeps the legs so Evans lands right on his back. OUCH! Bodyslam into a high legdrop. Front chancery suplex and a corkscrew splash. Flurry of kicks by Evans. Dropkick by Pac sends Evans end over end. Pac misses a dive. Spinning heel kick by Evans. Tiger drop hits. Evans to the top. Pac knocks him off and goes for a tiger suplex. Evans misses a flying knee but works out of the tiger suplex again. Flying knee gets a long two. Evans misses a cartwheel elbow. Pac with an elbow and German suplex. Pac to the top. Evans sweeps the legs. Pac in the tree of woe. Evans drops knees in the chest. 630 but Pac gets the knees up. Pac misses a phoenix splash. These guys have only gone ten minutes, but it looks like a damn car wreck. Evans takes one of his boots off. Forearm exchange. Evans with a pele kick. Evans gets feet in the face. Pac with a twisting pele. Evans immediately gets a sock into the jaw area. To the top but Pac sweeps the legs. SLINGSHOT NECKBREAKER! TIGER SUPLEX! 1-2-NO! Pac hits a twisting shooting star press for three.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Pac/10:36/***1/2

-Lots of cringeworthy spots throughout this short match. They at least wrestled to their strengths and provided an entertaining match. A nice way to the the first round for night one. But hold on, we’ve got one more match to go.

-PWG World Tag Team Championship: Kevin Steen and El Generico (champions) vs. Dragon Kid and Susumu Yokosuka

All four men are in BOLA, but they’re not wrestling until night two. And since Yokosuka and Kid are wrestling in the main event the next night, it makes sense to get an extra match out of them on night one. With Generico and Steen having each gone on Dragon Gate tours, it also makes sense for them to defend their belts against an all-star Dragon Gate duo. Should also be mentioned they’re both in the Typhoon faction. Take that Brad Garoon. I guarantee I’ll lose the ability to do play-by-play by the end.  Kevin Steen is wearing El Generico’s cape during the entrances. Steen carries Generico over the top rope because he wants to start. Awww, like a baby. Steen controls with basic matwork. Roll-up gets two. He does a mocking bow. Steen with a cross armbreaker. Yokosuka over with a side headlock. The two men stand-off. Generico and Kid come in and lock up. Into the corner and we have a clean break. OLE! Off the ropes. Kid gets an armdrag. Again off the ropes with a headscissors. Kid’s 818 goes nowhere with no Generico in position. Clubbing shots and chops by Yokosuka. Headlock and a pull of the tassle. Kid with an elbow off the top. Axehandle of the arm. Nice double teams by Typhoon. Neckbreaker by Yokosuka. Butterfly submission but Generico reaches the rope. Kid chops away. Generico fires back. Kid dares him to bring it on. Generico with a nasty back suplex. Yokosuka knocks Steen off the apron. Kid with a chop and dropkick in the corner. Steen tags in and goes to work. Huge chop on Kid. Poor little guy. Steen with another chop in the corner. He asks the crowd if they want to see more and shushes them. Crowd goes quiet… and Steen pokes him in the eye. Irish whip and reverse elbow. He then knocks Yokosuka off the apron. Tag to Generico. Backbreaker followed by an elbow to the back of the head. Forearm. Steen takes a cheap shot. Tag. Drop toehold into a flipping legdrop by Steen. Yokosuka breaks a two count. Steen punishes him with clubbering blows. Vertical suplex by Steen which he holds for a few seconds. Bodyslam by Generico. He goes for the cover for some reason. Drop of the elbow. Forearm and Steen is back for another chop. Whip to the corner. Kid ducks and charges himself. Steen takes him over. Kid works his way into a headscissors. Hot tag to Yokosuka. He’s like a typhoon… get it? Knee buster and a dropkick to the knees of Generico. 818 to the shoulders and a dive to the floor by Kid. Yokosuka and Steen trade chops. Yokosuka hits a series of clotheslines. Steen no sells and gets an enziguri. Blue thunder powerbomb for two. Package piledriver attempt. Forearms. Lariat by Yokosuka. Exploder. Yokosuka drops Generico on his partner and covers Steen for two. Kid with a springboard dropkick. Crossbody try by Kid. Generico hits a backbreaker instead. Kid tumbles over the top and hits a flipping acecrusher. Roll through into the cresto submission. Yokosuka pulls Steen out of the ring. Generico in the ropes. Yokosuka smacks Generico on the ass while trying for a powerbomb. Back drop by Generico. Both Yokosuka and Generico go up top. They battle. Yokosuka is elbowed off. Arabian moonsault gets double knees. Generico with a yakuza kick. Set-up for the brainbuster. Kid stops that. Steen charges, but Kid low bridges him. Kid WITH A SUPER HURANCANRANA OFF HIS PARTNER’S SHOULDERS! Yokosuka hits an exploder from the top! 1-2-NO! Kid with the dragonrana. Steen pushes Yokosuka into the pin. Crowd applauds the incredible action going on. Generico hooks the arms in a front chancery. Drops him in a powerbomb. 1-2-NO! Steen tags and misses the swanton. Kid boots Generico in the corner. Steen superkicks Kid into the half nelson suplex. 1-2-NO! Steen goes to the top again. Yokosuka stops him. Generico tosses Yokosuka. Kid kicks him. Generico tosses Steen. DRAGONRANA ON STEEN FROM THE TOP! 1-2-NO! Another dragonrana attempt is caught. Steen hits an air raid crash for two. Kid reverses a package piledriver. Steen finally gets it after a series of reversals. Right into the BRAINBUSTAH! 1-2-3!!!!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL PWG World Tag Team Champions- Kevin Steen and El Generico/18:55/****

-A perfect way to end the show.  As much as the Briscoes dominated most of the year-end awards for tag team of the year, I think Steen and Generico were unbelievable for both Ring of Honor and Pro Wrestling Guerilla. Just some amazing matches the last two months, both in their championship victory and their first title defense. I loved so many spots, particularly when Kid was in the ring. He took a tremendous beating, and you almost take for granted just how awesome he can be most of the time. Very much like Dragon Gate match with a slow build to a hot chaotic ending.

Final Thoughts: I firmly believe in the idea of either buying an entire tournament or skipping it altogether. If you’re not a believer in that, you can still feel pretty safe in purchasing night one of the 2007 Battle of Los Angeles. There’s a great variety on this disk. A lot of good matches are combined with a hot main event to create a great all-around card. And to think, there are two other nights to review.

Necro uses wrestling. Cima powerbombs a  girl (sort of). Dragon Gate stars battle. All this plus no one likes Bino Gambino.

-Taped from Burbank, California

-Your hosts are Excalibur, BRYCE! Remsburg, and Dino Winwood

-Karl Anderson and Bino Gambino vs. TJ Perkins and Ronin

Just like last night, I’m only going to give some brief thoughts on this opening non-tournament match. I like two of these four wrestlers. Not a good percentage. Can we just replay the Bucks/Los Luchas match instead? Especially considering Gambino and Ronin start. Ugh. After nearly boring me to death, Anderson and Perkins wake me up just by having a decent chain wrestling sequence. Gambino and Perkins continue their seemingly never-ending feud with their mini-battles. Anderson uses a huge lariat to get the advantage for his team. Heat segment on Perkins. Ronin gets to crazy on the heels before it breaks down in Tulsa… or perhaps Burbank.  Death valley driver gets the win

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Ronin and TJ Perkins/12:58/*3/4

-Pretty shocked by the amount of time this match received. Anderson did a fine job in this match. To a certain extent, Perkins looked decent too. Ronin and Bino… well, they can’t all be winners.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-   B Block: Cima vs. Human Tornado (w/Candice LaRae)

I think what happened after this match is more well-known/infamous than the actual match. Tornado offers Cima Ms. LaRae for a night. Cima twirls Bryce Remsburg around. Tornado shoves LaRae down as the bell rings. Cima takes advantage immediately. Dropkick to the butt in the corner. Stomp. Tornado hits an elbow and goes outside. Cima sends Tornado into the side of the ring apron back first. Back in for a HUGE lungblower. Tornado pulls LaRae in front of him. Cima accidentally dropkicks her in the face. Back suplex into the side of the ring by Tornado. Series of right hands and other short-handed tactics before heading back in the ring. Leg drop. Bodyslam and a flipping senton. Moonsault press for two.  Chinlock. Dropkick to the leg and a leaping leg drop over the top rope. No idea how Tornado conceived of that move. Double sledge in the ring gets two. Dragon sleeper on Cima and another sledge. Choke in the corner as Tornado simply stands on Cima’s neck. Figure four on the head. Cima reaches the ropes. Tornado jives and kicks. Of course, the low blow climaxes the attack. Takedown by Cima. Chops to the chest. Yakuza kick and baseball slide by Tornado. Suicide dive over the guard rail. Sleeper on the floor. Doesn’t last long as Tornado brings the action back in the ring. LaRae is called to be on the apron. Tornado tries to superplex her. Cima simply powerbombs Tornado while LaRae just happens to be suplexed. Tornado gets the knees up on a frog splash attempt. Tornado goes for a Regalplex. Cima with a northern lights bomb for two. Tornado can’t get the spinebuster. Tornado gets a DDT. TND. 1-2-NO! Splash off the top gets two again. Tornado slowly climbs up to the top. He calls for LaRae, but she pulls him down. Palm strike. Iconoclasm. Cima has LaRae hit a dropkick. Superkick. Schwein gets three.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Cima/10:52/***

-Better match than I remembered. Good work from both men and a solid start to the tournament portion of night two.

-Tornado teases shaking hands with LaRae despite what happened. She shakes his hand. Tornado holds her hand up, but of course we know what happens next. Punch to the side of the face. Series of kicks.TND hit. Tornado begins walking down the entranceway. He runs back for another TND. Then in one of the most appalling things I’ve ever seen, Tornado decides to apply the crippler crossface not all that long after everything with Chris Benoit went down. Chris Hero immediately comes out to toss Tornado over the top because he can’t stand the abuse of LaRae anymore. Tornado makes the crossface symbol once more.

-There are a lot of legitimate ways to get heat in the professional wrestling business.  Coming two months after what happened with Chris Benoit and his family, this is the most offensive thing PWG has ever done. Ever. None of what happened after the match should have happened. The man/woman violence stuff is borderline low rent anyway, but it was taken too far. Hero and Tornado would go on to have one of the best feuds in the history of the company, but not for one second do I approve of how it started. I will never talk about this incident or give my opinions anywhere else on this website or on Pro Wrestling Ponderings. To do so would dignify it. And considering how great these three shows are, I don’t want any conversation of this incident to mar my thoughts on the wrestling matches.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-  B Block: Scott Lost (w/Jade Chung) vs. Shingo

Should be interesting to see how these guys mesh. Shingo overpowers Lost quickly and doesn’t break clean but instead chops Lost. In and out of the ring goes Lost. Double chop and a sleeper slam as Lost comes off the ropes. Fist drop. Foot across the throat. Jade Chung grabs Shingo’s boot. Lost gets elbowed anyway. Shingo with a sledge. Snapmare and a knee drop. Modified chinlock. Fist exchange. Shingo accidentally becomes the victim of a low blow on Lost’s foot. Vertical suplex. Shingo quickly kicks out, so Lost applies a waistlock with his legs. Chung chokes Shingo against the ropes. Snapmare, stomp, and a running clothesline. Quick roll-up for two. Camel clutch doesn’t make Shingo humble. Elbows by Shingo. Lost hits a beautiful dropkick. Choke in the corner. Lost can’t get Shingo out of the corner. Shingo reverses a whip but eats boot and elbow. Off the top, and Shingo catches him. Vertical suplex. Punch exchange. Lost winds up, but Shingo gets a flurry with a Mongolian chop to end it. Irish whip. Shingo gets a gutbuster into a DDT into a standing senton. Very smooth but only gets two. Shingo breaks a  waistlock by taking Lost in the corner. Hard lariat in the corner. Off the ropes and a spinebuster. Shingo goes for a powerbomb. Pair of kicks get a two count for Lost. Lost hits a cutter. 1-2-NO! Lost goes up and hits an elbow drop. 1-2-NO! Lost goes for his suplex to the outside. Turns into an Irish whip. Gutwrench powerbomb. LARIAT! 1-2-NO! Shingo goes for last falconery. Lost gets a flash roll-up for two. Shingo catches Lost and drops him on his neck. That’ll shorten someone’s career. Shingo’s attempt to come off the top goes awry. Lost hits a superplex and goes right into the suplex that carries both over the top. Wow. Chung brings water for her man.  Back in the ring for two count. Superman spear in the corner. Spin kick ducked. Shingo hits made in Japan. 1-2-3!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Shingo/11:52/***

-Nice match from these two. I think if they had a rematch, it would have been ever better because Shingo himself has improved a lot. Still a good match. Their styles surprisingly messed well.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-   C Block: Necro Butcher vs. Kevin Steen

Steen is coming off a tremendous main event performance on night one. Necro Butcher had a crazy affair with Super Dragon the previous year. Just beyond description. I really hope these two can restrain themselves from doing half the crazy stuff that happened in the main event of night two of the 2006 Battle of Los Angeles. Steen wonder if this is a “Block C” match or a “Boxing” match. Fair question.  Necro starts with right hands immediately. Steen tries to wrestle but gets blitzed with an elbow shot.  Necro with shots to the ribs. Steen applies a hammerlock. Headlock. Shoulder tackles but Necro won’t go down. Steen tries a simple takedown. Steen tosses Necro’s leg to Rick Knox. Kick to the leg and Steen goes to work. He bites the foot. That may be the most disgusting thing I’ve seen in years. Steen points at his head to show smart he is. Just wait. Chop in the corner. Running clothesline in the corner. Necro gets his leg on a third charge. Kick to the leg by Steen. Ram of the leg against the corner of the post. Steen stands on Necro’s leg and punches it. Knee DDT. Steen stretches the leg. Forearms. Necro responds. Turns into a forearm exchange. Necro delivers shots to the midsection. Steen hits a step-up enziguri. Back of the head used by Necro. Series of punches as Steen covers up. Shot to the leg and a superkick gives Steen the advantage. Swanton bomb. 1-2-NO! Back and forth. Steen hits the leg. Necro with a huge left-armed lariat. Tiger driver attempt. Steen goes for the figure four leglock. Necro punches away. O’Connor roll gets three! Out of nowhere! Crowd is genuinely surprised by what just happened.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Kevin Steen/8:15/**1/2

-Decent match. Can’t really give it a higher rating because of the length and what they did, but I’ve certainly seen worse. Steen bragging about being a great wrestler and then losing to a simple roll-up was a nice touch. This was back when Necro using wrestling moves was cool and different as opposed to the cliché it became later in Ring of Honor.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-   C Block: Nigel McGuinness vs. Davey Richards

Crowd really doesn’t like Richards. Because of that, they love McGuinness. Even if this is his PWG debut.  I believe this is the first time they ever had a singles match (Correct me if I’m wrong wrestling fans). Makes sense that they’d have a feeling out process. McGuinness holds on to a wristlock pretty fervently. Out of the hold. Richards gets a nice headscissors, teases a dive to the outside, but simply bounces off the ropes back into the center of the ring. McGuinness takes a powder. Headlock to the cravat by McGuinness. McGuinness frustrates Richards with European uppercuts and consistent blocking of Richards’ kicks. Off the ropes after a headlock. McGuinness nearly hits the jawbreaker lariat. Richards sends McGuinness outside the ring. Stomp on the hand. McGuinness nurses his fingers and has his lovely girlfriend come and kiss his finger. Richards knocks him back to the floor. He also seems annoyed at McGuinness being nursed by a girl. McGuinness goes for another kiss. Awwwwww. McGuinness crotches Richards on the middle rope. Everyone should know where this is going. Richards unlaces his tights and wants McGuinness’ girlfriend to kiss him in his sore area. The young lady shows off a tattoo which says “Nigel.” McGuinness depants Richards, European uppercuts him, and sends him back in the ring. Into the corner. McGuinness hits a headbutt in the midsection. Richards with a divorce court. Armbar with a bridge. We’re seeing more of Davey Richards than I would have hoped for. Mercifully he pulls his pants up. Crowd cheers. Back down come the pants. Thankfully, he lifts them up for real before working over McGuinness’ arm. Chop. Across the corner goes McGuinness. Kick to the back and an elbow in the chest. European uppercut block. Lariat not so much.  Peppering of strikes. Richards with some strikes of his own. Running forearm and kick to the midsection. Dropkick to the back of the arm. Back to the floor goes McGuinness. Big stupid dive by Richards. More kicks blocked in the corner. Snapmare by McGuinness. Pair of kicks by Richards. Shot to the back. Rana by Richards. Another kick to the chest gets two. Richards goes to the top. McGuinness knocks him down. Tower of London attempt. Richards out of that. Cross chops by McGuinness. Richards gets a powerbomb off the top. Kimura on the arm that Richards has been working on. Richards goes for the DR driver. Lariat by McGuinness. Cross chops and a European uppercut. Full head of steam with an uppercut. Exploding lariat for two. Strike exchange. Off the ropes. Richards hits a flip kick. McGuinness with the jawbreaker… no. O’Connor only gets two for Richards. DDT and Richards is getting fired up. Shooting star press attempt misses completely. Tower of London. 1-2-foot under the bottom rope. McGuinness places Richards on the top rope. Another lariat.  1-2-NO! Jawbreaker sends Richards end over end  and also ends Richards’ hopes of repeating as BOLA champion.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Nigel McGuinness/15:30/***1/4

-Bit of an upset since Richards is a PWG mainstay and just won the 2006 version of this tournament. Heck of a way to debut McGuinness even though he wouldn’t ever become a PWG regular. I was very surprised comedy was ever injected into the match, but I think it was unique and they moved on to have a great match after the comedy was completed.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-   C Block: El Generico vs. Tony Kozina

Tony Kozina in the semi-main event? He should be honored. Generico with a simple takedown and a toehold. Kozina into one of his own. Side headlock. Kozina cranks down. Off the ropes and shoulder tackle by Generico. Horrific looking monkey flip. Generico gets a sloppy leg lariat and a backbreaker. Forearm. 10 punches in the corner. Another forearm. Off the ropes. Kozina with a boot and front forward suplex stomach first into the top rope. Snapmare. Dropkick in the back of the head. Crossface forearms. Series of strikes in the corner. Vertical suplex for two. Generico with a number of chops. Whip in the buckle and a yakuza attempt. Boot by Kozina. He goes to the top. Generico joins him and tries for a half nelson. Cracking elbows put Generico in the tree of woe. Kozina with a running 818 from the entranceway back into the ring. Another chop by Generico. Boot by Kozina. Big clothesline by Generico. Boot by Kozina and a knee. Generico clothesline takes Kozina out of the ring. Asai moonsault. Crossbody from the top gets two. Blue thunder powerbomb. Set-up for the brainbuster. Kozina goes for a back suplex. Off the ropes and Kozina nearly gets the win with a small package. If that had happened, Munchkinland would have thrown a party like you wouldn’t believe. Kozina with a flip over. Armdrag by Generico. Places Kozina on the top rope. They battle back and forth. Kozina ranas Generico on the top rope and on the floor. Sweet Jebus. Kozina with a springboard bulldog. Charge in the corner with a knee. Generico charges with a yakuza kick and misses. Kozina gets a roll-up for 1-2-NO! Kozina off the ropes. Generico catches him in the BRAINBUSTAH and it’s ovuh.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: EL Generico/12:08/**3/4

-I was really digging the match by the end. It built slowly to a solid conclusion. They did a great job making you think Kozina actually had a shot of winning by the end. I especially liked the ending because Generico going for and immediately hitting that brainbuster felt like a desperation move.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles First Round Match-   C Block: Susumu Yokosuka vs. Dragon Kid

Yokosuka and Kid are coming off a tag team title loss on night one. Now they fight. Crowd seems ready for this contest. Basic to start. Test of strength but Yokosuka stomps on the hand. Off the ropes with a headscissors. He hits another one and shows off the 818 even though Yokosuka is nowhere to be found. Yokosuka takes a powder. Kid with stomps. Snapmare into a knee drop. Chinlock. Dropkick in the corner. Kid gets the crowd into things before hitting another dropkick in the corner. Whip into the buckles. Yokosuka ducks. Kid on the apron. Yokosuka clotheslines him and tries a cover despite Kid clearly being outside. Bakcbreaker. Stretches Kid out almost in a sitting abdominal stretch. Just as Kid goes for the ropes, Yokosuka goes for roll-up and gets two. Vertical suplex as Yokosuka holds Kid up to each side of the building. Yokosuka wears Kid down by holding on to his legs. STF. Yokosuka has clearly been watching his John Cena tapes. Kid reaches the ropes. Strike exchange. Yokosuka goes for a vertical suplex. Off the ropes and a tilt a whirl backbreaker by Yokosuka. Yokosuka tries the powerbomb that failed the previous night. Kid with a back drop ever so slowly. Series of charges by Yokosuka are met with boots. Déjà vu takes Yokosuka all the way outside. Kid with a leaping rana on the floor. Kid hits a springboard dropkick in the chest. Whip and leg lariat. Off the ropes. Kid applies a cresto. Yokosuka out of the hold and tries another suplex. Kid comes down with an acecrusher. Dragonrana attempt misses. Guillotine choke. Yokosuka drops him down. Charging clothesline. Yokosuka puts Kid on the top rope. Forearm exchange. Vicious clotheslines by Yokosuka. Exploder suplex. 1-2- NO! Off the ropes. Kid blocks a clothesline and gets a crucifix for 2.99. Kid tries the dragonrana, but Yokosuka hits a death valley driver.  Yokosuka goes for a last ride powerbomb. Kid gets a sunset flip for two. JUMBO NO COCHI! Modified omega driver for two. Flip through as Yokosuka ends up getting two. Incredible counter there. Yokosuka places Kid on the top rope.  He goes for the edge. Rana by Kid. DDT gets two. Enough is enough. Dragonrana gets three.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Dragon Kid/16:36/***1/2

-The only real flaw of the match was it didn’t have that epic climatic feel a main event should have. Still, this was an enjoyable match between two guys who have obviously been in the ring together many times. Kid plays the Rey Mysterio role quite well, and Yokosuka is a guy who I’ve come to appreciate in recent months.

Final Thoughts: Night two was not as outstanding as night one by any means, but it’s a very easy to watch couple of hours of wrestling. I think it fits in well with the other two nights, but it doesn’t stand as well on its own. I’d go with a minor thumbs up overall.

The stars of PWG battle it out in the heat one more time!

-Taped from Burbank, California

-Your hosts are Excalibur and Disco Machine

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Quarterfinal Round Match-   A Block: Roderick Strong vs. Joey Ryan (w/Jade Chung)

Aries got a reverse decision in his first round match with Chris Hero. Strong small-packaged Austin Aries to get to this point. Ryan starts quickly with forearms. Bodyslam and right into a knee drop. More forearms. Headbutts to the midsection in the corner. Irish whip. Strong leapfrog and a leg lariat. Chop and Ryan’s chest is about to be turned into hamburger meat. More chops. Whip in the corner. Ryan gets an elbow up. Strong responds with a clothesline. Slam and an elbow drop by Strong. Clubbering blow and another chop. Another whip. Ryan lifts him over. Strong tries to suplex Ryan, but Jade Chung interferes. Ryan guillotines Strong and sends him back first into the side of the ring. Choke on the guard rail. More choking against the ropes. Chung joins in on the fun herself. Boot against the throat. Snapmare and a knee to the back. Chinlock. Strong chop. Ryan hits a dropkick and gets a two count. He wants the referee to count faster as he tries more covers. No dice. Ryan asks the crowd who wants a moustache ride. Shots by Strong. Ryan into the buckle. Lariat, elbow drop, and a high dropkick. Quite the little comeback there. Tiger Driver try. Ryan with a kick. Strong rolls through and lifts him in the fireman’s carry position. Drops him down face first. Off the ropes. Ryan hits a powerbomb for two. Strong gets a leaping enziguri. Gutbuster but Ryan turns it into a pumphandle slam. Big boot. Strong hits a sick kick. 1-2-Jade Chung on the apron. Ryan with a roll-up and the tights. Strong immediately gets up. Tiger Driver. Stronghold. Ryan has no choice but to tap.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Roderick Strong/7:28/**1/4

-An okay match. Strong got everything he could out of the mediocre Ryan I think.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Quarterfinal Round Match-   A Block: Alex Shelley vs. Matt Sydal

Sydal won a sloppy match against Rave. Shelley won the longest match of the tournament to this point against Tyler Black. Similar tights worn by both men. Each man works the arm. Shelley goes for a bow and arrow. Quick roll-up by Sydal. Another roll-up for two. Sydal ties the legs of Shelley and gets a bow and arrow of his own. Shelley bites the hand. Better than when Steen bit the foot of Necro. Sydal side slam and an elbow drop. Kicks in the corner. Whip in the corner and a reverse elbow. Running clothesline. He smiles at the crowd and covers for two. Another whip but Shelley flips out of it and gets a German suplex. Out of the wheelbarrow position. Both men winded already. Announcers frequently make mention of the heat throughout the night. Big clothesline and a twisting elbow for two. Chinlock by Shelley. Sydal gets some chops in the corners. Shelley turns it around gets some of his own. He shakes out his hand. Into the tree of woe. Dropkick in the corner. Another and he is pumped. Cover for two. He steps underneath the chin in a pretty nasty bit of business. Shelley with a bodyslam. Sitting full nelson. Sydal elbows. Off the ropes and Sydal is kicked in the gut. Jawbreaker against the knee by Shelley. Looked very similar to the codebreaker. Sydal out of a German suplex. Pair of enziguris. Shelley hits a lariat, and Sydal goes end over end. Chop exchange. Shelley with a series of forearms. Off the ropes. Sydal misses an enziguri. Shelley blows snot. Sydal trips him and gets a cradle for 2.99. Quesadora by Sydal gets two. Whip in the corner. Shelley takes Sydal over. Headbutt by Sydal. To the top and he runs into a knee. Shelley can’t get sliced bread. Kick and a here it is driver as Sydal comes off the top. Crowd chants for Shelley. Sydal goes in again. Flatliner into the middle buckle. Shelley to the top. Sydal gets a leaping rana. 1-2-NO! Sydal puts Shelley on the top rope to try the overhead moonsault. Shelley knocks him down. Crossbody. Sydal rolls through. Standing moonsault is met with knees. Powerbomb by Shelley. Superkick sends Sydal inside out. Amazing. Shelley comes off the top with a frog splash. 1-2-NO! Back and forth with waistlocks. Sydal sits down out of the powerbomb position.Kicks and the  standing moonsault. 1-2-NO!  Sydal climbs to the top and goes for the shooting star press. SHELLEY CATCHES HIM! TIGER SUPLEX! NORTHERN LIGHTS BOMB! 1-2-3!!!!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Alex Shelley/12:42/***3/4

-Crowd applauds for the departing Matt Sydal. Maybe not a PWG icon, but he certainly went out on a tremendous note. Best match of the tournament so far. And it’s interesting that Sydal would get caught in an RKO on an episode of Raw years later. I don’t recall a single person pointing out what Shelley did to Sydal three years earlier on this night. Guess that’s why these reviews are needed.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Quarterfinal Round Match-   B Block: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Pac

Claudio defeated fellow European Doug Williams only to meet another European in Pac. Pac beat fellow high flyer Jack Evans only to meet someone who is the complete opposite. Claudio against smaller dudes is generally a formula success. This isn’t even their first meeting as they met at CHIKARA’s International Invaders show just weeks earlier, so there should already be some chemistry.  Considering how skilled Pac is, I expect no different. Feeling out process as Claudio asserts his power and Pac asserts his quickness. Pac goes to work on Claudio’s leg. Claudio takes him down for a pin, but Pac regains position. Claudio then grabs the leg, so Pac grabs the rope. They shake hands. Some of the crowd actually boos. Claudio with a headlock. Shoulder tackle. HEY! Pac with a leapfrog. He tries a hip toss but has to come off the ropes to achieve success. Dropkick. Charge but Claudio comes out with an elbow. Pac flips out of the way and sweeps the leg. Back over and a standing sky twister press gets two. Pac tries a bodyslam. Doesn’t work. Claudio gets it instead. Claudio picks Pac up and drops him ass first on the mat. Claudio with an armbar. Forearm. Lock of the arms. Pac with sledges. Off the ropes. Claudio tosses Pac HIGH in the air and down face first. Big swing. He gets about 25 revolutions. His dizziness prevents an immediate cover. Snap suplex with a bridge for two. More forearms in the corner. Pac gets a boot up. Victory roll by Pac for two. Claudio hits an elbow. Roll-up gets two. Bodyslam right into the leg drop. Chinlock into an armbar. Forearms by Pac. Pac does a twist in the air and gets a headscissors. Amazing. Dive into a rana on the floor! Back in the ring. Pac hits a moonsault off the middle rope. Kicks to the legs. Enziguri misses. Deadlift German suplex for two. Pac out of the water slide. Huge European uppercut. 1-2-NO! Claudio goes for ricola bomb. Pac with a sunset flip. 1-2-NO! Shots by Pac. Claudio lifts him. Pac off the shoulder. Big boot by Claudio. Water slide. 1-2-NO! Whip in the corner. Elbow by Pac. Off the ropes with a swinging DDT. Pac to the top. Sky twister shooting star press. 1-2-3!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Pac/12:09/***1/2

-Formula holds true as these two did indeed have a great match. Was it similar to their CHIKARA match? I’d say so, but I think the audiences are different enough for it to be justified. Certainly won’t ever hear me complain about getting to see Pac wrestle.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Quarterfinal Round Match-   B Block: Cima vs. Shingo

A battle of Dragon Gate stars representing two different factions. Shingo is in New Hazard and defeated Scott Lost on night two. Cima is in Typhoon and defeated Human Tornado. Little back and forth before a test of strength. Shingo dominates because he’s a former bodybuilder. Using my common sense there. Off the ropes. Series of shoulder tackles. Cima finally knocks the big down. Number of kicks. Bodyslam. Foot stomps. Shingo bolts. Cima works the arm and uses the guard rail for help. After rolling into prevent a count-out, Cima rams Shingo’s arm against the side of the ring. Cima sends the arm into a chair. Bryce Remsburg kicks away the chair, and the fan thankfully gets his seat back. Cima uses the rope to help continue the arm work. Arm submission using his left leg. Leg drop on the arm. Almost a kimura. Ram of the arm against Cima’s shoulder. Swinging headlock by Shingo. He nurses his arm and even takes the pad off. Headbutts in the corner. Chop. Bodyslam and a fist drop. Drop of the knee. Chinlock. Elbow to the top of the head. Strike exchange. Cima seems to come out ahead. Shingo ducks a shot. Punches and a Mongolian chop. Spinebuster. STF as called by Excalibur. Looks more like a crossface. The irony is not lost on me. Double chops in the corner. Whip in the corner. Cima gets his boots up. Chop to the back. Lungblower out of the corner. Eek. Shingo gets a big back drop. Off the ropes. Cima goes for a cradle, but Shingo gets a deadlift vertical suplex. Shingo charges but eats boot. Clothesline. Shingo drops Cima on the front of his head out of the powerbomb position. Bandage on Shingo comes off. Cima with a schoolboy for two. Duck of the lariat. Gutwrench powerbomb and a huge LARIAT! 1-2-NO! Fireman’s carry. Cima nearly gets a sunset flip. He gets a roll-up instead. Schwein! 1-2-NO! Off the ropes. Shingo clothesline. Off the ropes. Superkick by Cima. Series of roll-ups. Cima on top. 1-2-3!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Cima/12:05/***

-Realistically, this was the highest rating I could give since the limb work went nowhere, and they really didn’t have time to build to the kind of epic ending we’ve become spoiled with courtesy of the DG USA Pay-Per-Views.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Quarterfinal Round Match-   C Block: Nigel McGuinness vs. Necro Butcher

Necro hits McGuinness in back with a clothesline along the entranceway. Necro beats McGuinness throughout the entire building. European uppercut by McGuinness gets him back in the match. He uses a chair on the already injured leg of Necro. Wow. That’s psychology carried over from the previous night. Well done. McGuinness snapmares Necro into the guard rail. Knee is rammed hard into the medal. Necro comes back with headbutts and right. As he sends McGuinness back in the ring, McGuinness hits his first lariat of the contest. Back in the ring. I never heard a bell, but I’ll just assume it rang as soon as Necro nailed McGuinness in the back. McGuinness works over the knee and ankle some more with a series of holds. Figure four leglock, but Necro refuses to give. Series of shots. Necro comes back with a big right hand. McGuinness hits another lariat. Necro doesn’t sell. He gets angry. Lariat of his own. McGuinness stand right up. European uppercut blocked. Lariat again. Crowd starts booing. Necro up once more. Lariat. McGuinness up and tries for the jawbreaker lariat. Necro hits a lariat instead. He sets up two chairs back-to-back.   Try for the side slam. McGuinness suplex him on the chairs. The knee hits the chair. JAWBREAKER LARIAT!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Nigel McGuinness/8:23/**1/2

-Not a very long, but it served its purpose. I give the match points for going back to the previous injured knee of Necro. I also liked the lariat duel since each man was trying to prove his toughness. I also liked the match because McGuinness exhibited more of a heel edge. It would become more obvious later why this was a great move on his part.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Quarterfinal Round Match-   C Block: El Generico (PWG Tag Team Champion) vs. Dragon Kid

Generico defeated Tony Kozina on night two, yet somehow he’s wrestling someone even shorter. Kid defeated Susumu Yokosuka in the main event of night two. These two also met in a tag match just two nights earlier in a PWG world tag team title match. Immediate clothesline by Kid. Sledge to the back. Irish whip. They struggle for a bit. Kid eventually gets arm drag. Miss of the 818. Clothesline to the back by Generico. Guess there won’t be a feeling out process. Elbow drop by Generico. Chop. Bodyslam and a two count. Kid with punches and kicks. Generico hits a back suplex. Backbreaker. Stomps in the corner. Generico tries to take Kid out of the corner, but gets hit with a rana. Off the ropes and a leg lariat gives the offensive advantage right back to Generico. Forearms. Whip in the corner. Kid sends Generico in face first into the buckle. Déjà vu headscissors. Moonsault off the second rope to the floor. Springboard dropkick. Leg lariat in the corner. Kid with the cresto. Spins around and puts the same move out of a different position. That was cool. Generico hits a vicious backbreaker. Generico locks his arm with Kid. He tries a powerbomb, but Kid with a roll-up for two. Dragonrana attempt fails. Yakuza fails once. Doesn’t fail twice. Tiger suplex. 1-2-NO! Kid in the corner. Generico charges but eats boot. Crucifix bomb into the pin for two. Kid to the top. Uh oh. Generico chases him and nearly gets the brainbuster. KID HITS AN ACECRUSHER. DRAGONRANA! 1-2-NO! Kid to the top. Yakuza kick. Generico hits the top rope BRAINBUSTAH!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: El Generico/8:09/***

-They stuffed a lot to eight minutes. Great counters and reversals all around. Kid had himself a fine weekend despite losing twice.  Makes sense that Generico would advance considering his PWG pedigree.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Semifinal Round Match-   A Block: Roderick Strong vs. Alex Shelley

Generation Next EXPLODES! Feeling out process leads to both guys going for their finishers and other trademark moves. Shelley gets the border city stretch, but Strong gets to the ropes. Out of breath after just watching that sequence. Shelley works the arm. Rebound heel kick. Shelley sends Strong into the top turnbuckle. Dropkick off the apron. Big splash to Strong on the floor. Shelley works the chest outside and again back inside the ring. Unique front facelock. Strong in the tree of woe. Shelley hits a running dropkick. Strong tries to get out of the way of a second one, but Shelley hits him with a neckbreaker. Back to the front facelock. Into the turnbuckle. Whip into the corner. Misses the enziguri. Strong with a forearm and chop while Shelley is on the top rope. Gutbuster by Strong. Headbutts to the midsection. Chop and out of the corner. Cover for two. Overhead slam.  Strong applies a camel clutch. Shelley bites the hand as he did in the quarterfinals. Strong throws him down by the hair. Another chop in the corner. Backbreaker as Strong stretches Shelley out even more. Knees by Shelley. Chop and off the ropes. Hard clothesline. Strong comes back with one of his own. Double clothesline. Roaring elbow by Shelley. Flatliner. Shelley climbs upstairs. Senton. 1-2-NO! Kick to the midsection. Strong with a charging forearm. Fireman’s carry facebuster. Sick kick. Running forearm. Clothesline. Brainbuster for two. Strong to the top. Shelley hits a chop. Jawbreaker off the top. Shelley with a swinging DDT. Northern lights bomb. 1-2-NO! Roll through. Shelley kicks Strong in the face. Stronghold by Shelley. Strong gets a roll-up for two. Strong with border city stretch. Shelley pushes Strong away. Series of superkicks get two as Strong reaches the ropes on a two count. Shelley up top again. Strong stops him and tries a Gibson driver. They battle on the ropes. Shelley hits an atomic drop. Sliced bread #2 for 1-2-NO! Border city stretch. Strong rolls out of it into a series of roll-ups. Tiger driver. Rolls through and hits another for three.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Roderick Strong/15:30/***1/2

-Brilliant match between these two. They showed how well they knew each other throughout the match with various counters and twists on previous moves. These two definitely looked gassed by the end because of the fast pace and wrestling a match earlier in the evening.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Semifinal Round Match-   B Block: Cima vs. Pac

Think this will also be fast-paced? Code of honor followed. Both men actually keep things on the ground for the first part of the match. They start bouncing off the ropes. Exchange of armdrags. Both men try dropkicks. Stand-off. Kick, chop, and an Irish whip by Cima. Pac turns it into a modified armdrag and standing moonsault. Chinlock. Cima turns it into a cover. Headlock now by Pac. He maintains it before just breaking it. Series of knee drops. Whip in the corner. Running elbow and a snapmare by Pac. Standing legdrop. Chops in the ropes. Sunset by Pac. Cima hits a double foot stomp. Kick in the corner. Cima sets Pac up in the corner and kicks him in the ass. Cima applies a neck submission that he no doubt learned in Mexico. Seems very luchaish. Announcers point this out as well. Fireman’s carry slam. Another stretch as Cima stretches his opponent out. Cima back suplex. Whip in the corner. Pac flips out and gets an enziguri. Dropkick. Off the rope with a rana. Cima outside the ring. Pac with a corkscrew sky twister to the floor. Pac takes Cima’s water away from him. Ouch. Cima rammed chest first in the buckle. Pac misses a shooting star knee drop. Cima NAILS Pac with a lungblower. Good lord. Pac is sent over running in the corner. Cima crotches Pac on the middle rope. Double foot stomp on the back of the head. Dropkick to the side of the head. Crossfire slams only get two. Schwien attempt. Pac goes for a backslide. Cima blocks it. Pac with a vicious DDT for two. Tiger suplex. 1-2-NO! Leaping enziguri. Pac hits a headscissors. Cima lands awkwardly on his neck. Pac climbs up top. Cima stomps him. Palm strike knocks him down. Cima on the top. Pac chops him. Leap in the air. Oh shit. CIMA HITS A SCHWIEN FROM THE TOP ROPE!

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Cima/14:12/***1/2

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Semifinal Round Match-   C Block: Nigel McGuinness vs. El Generico (PWG Tag Team Champion)

With Generico being the big crowd favorite in PWG, McGuinness goes all the way heel for this match. Code of honor is followed. McGuinness works the arm while mocking Generico. Series of holds and stretches. McGuinness even does the “OLE!” That’s just mean. Generico with a series of armdrags out of various positions. Tease of a dive but McGuinness walks away. A fan politely fans McGuinness. Drop toehold and a leg lariat by Generico. Series of strikes. McGuinness turns an Irish whip attempt into a divorce court. Back to the work on the entire arm. European uppercut in the corner. Headbutt to the shoulder. Generico comes back with strikes. Nigel ducks and hits a wicked lariat. Another arm submission but Generico gets to the ropes. Sweep of the leg as Generico is sent back on his arm. Meager shots by Generico before a big slap. Nigel slaps him. Generico with more chops. He favors his right arm but whips him in the corner. Yakuza kick misses. Knee to the back followed by the elbow to the chest. Nigel is being stiff as hell in this match. European uppercut in the corner. Generico with a whip in the corner. McGuinness uses the headstand to mule kick Generico. Strikes in the corner. Off the corner and into a chop. Generico hits the spinning DDT. McGuinness goes outside. Generico hits a dive while still selling his shoulder. Back in the ring. Generico climbs to the top. McGuinness hits a lariat. Tower of London as a quick follow-up. 1-2-NO! McGuinness goes for a clothesline. Generico kicks him. Off the ropes with an attempted jawbreaker, but Generico kicks him again. Headstand but Generico with another yakuza kick. 1-2-NO! Generico tries the brainbuster, but his shoulder is too injured. McGuinness slams him down on the arm. Another arm submission. Generico teases tapping. Crowd is begging him not to. Finally, Generico reaches the ropes. Short lariat. Generico goes inside out. Roll through. Brainbustah by Generico. 1-2-NO! Another brainbuster attempted. McGuinness with a quick roll-up. Jawbreaker attempt leads to another quick roll-up. 1-2-3! Generico stole one there.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: El Generico/12:45/***1/4

-The awesomeness of night three continues as we get our third straight quality semifinal match. McGuinness did a great job heeling it up and nearly beating the bajesus out of Generico. Generico did his usual stellar job working babyface while also being booked to just barely squeak by with the victory. Great debut weekend for McGuinness. No play-by-play because of the chaotic nature of the contest.

-Tyler Black, Jack Evans, Chris Hero, Kevin Steen (PWG Tag Team Champion), Doug Williams, Susumu Yokosuka (Candice LaRae) vs. Karl Anderson, Austin Aries, Human Tornado, Scott Lost, Jimmy Rave, and Davey Richards (w/Jade Chung)

Every year, PWG puts on a multi-man match as a way of giving the three finalists a chance to rest before wrestling a third time. These sometimes end up being the most fun matches of the entire weekend although they’re ultimately inconsequential. You might wonder why Tony Kozina isn’t in the match, and Karl Anderson is. Due to an injury, Kozina was unable to compete. Guess you could say this match will have some added heat to it because of what happened with Human Tornado, LaRae, and Hero the previous night. Check out my night two for the gory details. Of course Bryce Remsburg is the referee for this mess. Jimmy Rave draws more heat than every other man in the match combined. Tornado refuses to get in the ring with Hero throughout the match but still maintains his role as general shit disturber. Everyone gets to do their stuff. Match is worked at a ridiculously fast pace. Nothing more than a fun way to kill 20 minutes before the finals. Humorous segment involving Davey Richards going into the ringpost awkwardly. Heels work over Jack Evans for the heat segment. Evans makes a hot to everyone. All 12 men end up in the ring as things of course break into a mini battle royale. Everyone takes turns back in the ring delivering finishers and nearly getting three counts. Davey hits a shooting star presto just about everyone outside the ring. Finally, Tornado teases a dive of his own but doesn’t deliver. Tornado goes after LaRae once again.  Hero sneaks up out of nowhere for three count off a backslide.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: 22:52/***1/2

-Immediately after rolling out of the ring, Hero smiles and gives Tornado the finger. Fantastic moment right there. Served as payback for what happened over the weekend and also set up what would be one of the biggest feuds in the history of PWG.

-2007 Battle of Los Angeles Semifinal Round Match-   Roderick Strong (Block A winner) vs. Cima (Block B winner) vs. El Generico (PWG Tag Team Champion) (Block C winner)

After an incredible series of matches and moments in this tournament , it all comes down to this. One of the most star-studded tournaments ever, and it’s down to these three men. Strong starts out quickly rolling up his two opponents for nearfalls. Generico and Cima double team Strong briefly. Cima ends the partnership quickly by rolling Generico up for two. Headlock on Generico. Shoulder tackle. By Cima. Chop exchange. Cima brings Generico down and double stomps the midsection. Strong pulls Cima out on a dive attempt. Chop war between them. Generico dives on both men. Backbreaker by Generico on Strong. Split-legged moonsault attempt. Strong with a backbreaker of his own. Cima sledges Strong and hits a series of boots. Dropkick to the face. Octopus by Cima on Strong. Roll-up for two. Punches to the midsection. Irish whip. Drop toehold by Cima. Wraps the legs and hits a vertical suplex on Generico. Generico misses a suplex. Cima with a lungblower. Charge in the corner. Generico drops Cima facefirst. Series of huge kicks by all three men, and they’re all down. Forearm in the corner on Cima by Generico.Reversal of the Irish whip. Cima hits a dropkick on Strong. Generico with a yakuza kick followed by a half nelson suplex. 1-2-NO!  Generico goes for a top rope brainbuster. Cima headbutts him down. Strong hits a yakuza kick in the corner. Gutbuster by Strong. Cima off with a frog splash. 1-2-NO! All three men down again. Strong back suplexes Cima on the ring apron. Generico with a yakuza kick on the apron followed by a brainbuster. Ouch. Strong and Cima are down. Palm strike by Cima. Schwein on the ring apron. Cima covers. 1-2-NO! Cima tries a modified package piledriver. Generico with a roll-up for two. Pair of thrust kicks. Cima hits a brainbuster of his own. Generico no sells. Another schwein. Generico is eliminated in 8:57.

Strong seems to be behind Strong. Running forearm, chop, and a backbreaker. 1-2-NO! Cima out of the gutbuster. Running double knees. To the top. Palm strike. Iconoclasm. Cima to the top. Runs into knees. Strong hits the gutbuster. 1-2-NO! Forearm in the corner. Strong places Cima on the top rope. Superplex attempt. Cima slaps away. Swinging DDT off the top. Looked pretty nasty. Schwein. 1-2-NO! Cima lifts him up again and drops him with the cross-legged schwein. 1-2-NOOO! Strong reverses another schwein into a sunset flip for two. Sick kick. Tiger driver. 1-2-NO! Strong tries to lift him again. Stomps to the chest. Off the ropes with another stomp to the chest. Cima hits a package powerbomb to win the match and the tournament. He looks absolutely gassed after the match.

-Winner (s)/Time/Rating: 2007 Battle of Los Angeles winner- Cima/12:15/***3/4

-Not the longest match of the tournament but the best. Incredible drama throughout. Strong serves as the bridesmaid in this tournament as he usually seems to do in every company except FIP. The right individual might not have won (especially since he didn’t return to the company for two years) but it was a tremendous ending to a great tournament.

-PWG world champion Bryan Danielson (w/eye patch) shakes Cima’s hand and hands him the 20

07 PWG Battle of Los Angeles trophy. They tease a world title match but ultimately shake his hand.

-Cima cuts a promo in broken English, but it’s not as funny as the ones he’s cut in Dragon Gate USA.

Final Thoughts: This is one of the best tournaments in the history of independent wrestling. Even without a four star match in the tournament, there are a number of great matches included on all three nights. There is a little something for everyone with a number of spotfests tempered by a couple interesting brawls. This is a who’s who of independent stars, and I could not recommend this tournament more. I’ve seen every Battle of Los Angeles, and I can safely say with a lot of conviction that this is the best.

For more information on PWG and their upcoming shows, check out PWG’s website. To buy this and many other PWG DVDs, check out Highspots.com. In doing so, you will not only be supporting them but PWP as well!  Below is a list of contact information for both the website and me.

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About Jerome Cusson

Jerome Cusson has been a professional wrestling fan since late 1994. Having started out as a fan of WWF, he eventually expanded his horizons into WCW and ECW. After the unfortunate deaths of these two companies, Jerome's interest in wrestling nearly came to an end before he discovered independent wrestling. Let the love/hate relationship with wrestling continue.

One comment

  1. I have Strong/Shelley at four and a quarter, but whatever. I’ve always thought it was a shame Danielson/McGuinness never happened in PWG. I’m interested in what the PWG crowd would’ve made of it.

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