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Break It Down: PWG 2010 Battle of Los Angeles – Night One

October 31, 2010 | Posted by Ryan Rozanski
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Break It Down: PWG 2010 Battle of Los Angeles – Night One  

Night One of the 2010 Battle of Los Angeles on September 4th, 2010.

Excalibur begins the show by running down the first round matches. The Young Bucks interrupt, claiming that they are sick of waiting and have “bigger and better things to do”. They are TNA superstars and can do what they want. Matt demands that Rick Knox count both of them out. Excalibur explains that there must be a winner and the match is starting…RIGHT NOW!

Opening Match: First Round: Matt Jackson vs. Nick Jackson
They contemplate their situation and decide to lay out Rick Knox with stereo superkicks. Excalibur on commentary: “they found a loophole”. Patrick Hernandez rules the match a double disqualification. The Cutler Brothers enter the ring and the bell is rung, leading to…

Match #2: Matt and Nick Jackson vs. Brandon and Dustin Cutler
Dustin plants Matt with a slingshot spinebuster. Brandon gets incredible height on a dive to the floor. In the ring, Dustin elevates Matt into a back suplex and follows with a top rope hurricanrana. Brandon adds a flying elbow drop. Nick blocks a plancha from Brandon by superkicking him. Matt hits Dustin with a chair and Nick baseball slides him to the outside. The Young Bucks isolate Brandon until he escapes a back suplex and makes the tag. Dustin pops Nick up into a low blow and catches Matt with a facebuster. He shakes off stereo dropkicks and connects with a double clothesline. Dustin powerbombs Nick across Matt’s back. Nick hits an assisted sliced bread on Dustin. Brandon accidentally catches Dustin with a guillotine leg drop. This allows Nick to land a dive to the floor. Back in, Dustin drops Nick across Brandon’s knees and the Cutlers follow with Six Second Abs. Matt hits a facebuster on Dustin and holds Brandon across the ropes while Nick lands a 450 splash. A series of counters ensue until the Cutlers hit a spike tombstone on Matt for the win at 12:27. For the amount of times that these two teams have faced each other, it’s incredible that they can continue to deliver new and inventive matches. The Cutlers showed some awesome agility and should win the PWG World Tag Team Titles sooner rather than later. While I prefer their match at this year’s DDT4, this was a terrific opener aside from a few moments of uncharacteristic sloppiness. ***¼

Match #3: First Round: Brandon Gatson vs. Ryan Taylor
These two had a very good match earlier this year at Titannica. A slap from Taylor quickly raises the intensity level. Gatson hits a slingshot ace crusher but gets caught with a barrage of kicks. He recovers with an STO and applies an armbar but Taylor is able to reach the ropes. Taylor stops a charge by connecting with a dropkick and takes control. Gatson avoids a scissors kick and responds with a spin kick. Taylor knocks him off the apron with a viscous clothesline and lands a dive to the floor. In the ring, Gatson hits a DDT and clotheslines Taylor to the outside. He shows off his agility with a space flying tiger drop. They battle on the apron where Taylor connects with a knee strike. Back in, Gatson lands a flying crossbody and hits two neckbreakers. Taylor blocks a third one and hits a slingshot senton followed by a backbreaker. Gatson reverses a crossbody in midair for a nearfall. Taylor opportunely applies an armbar but Gatson makes the ropes. Taylor hits a go 2 sleep and connects with a knockout kick for a two count. Gatson lands his corner splash and hits an emerald frosion for the victory at 13:56. While both men put in a solid effort, they couldn’t top their previous match in PWG. The action was moving along nicely until the last few minutes after the dives. What should have been a hot finishing stretch came off as a string of moves without much crowd response. However, Gatson winning was the right call and I’m interested in seeing what he can do in his next match. **¾

Match #4: First Round: Joey Ryan vs. Chuck Taylor
They talk trash about each other’s Twitter account to start. Ryan clotheslines Taylor to the floor and follows out with a dive. Back in, Taylor avoids a flying clothesline and connects with a series of kicks. He hits a butterfly suplex and locks in a headscissors. Ryan escapes but falls victim to a senton. Ryan blocks Sole Food and hits a spear. He follows with a powerslam but Taylor responds with a jumping DDT. Taylor applies a crossface chicken wing but Ryan reaches the ropes. Taylor hits a powerbomb and connects with a dropkick, sending Ryan to the floor. He follows with a dive to the outside. In the ring, Ryan hits a spinebuster along with a stunner. Taylor answers with Sole Food but walks into a superkick. Taylor comes back with a mafia kick. Ryan finally responds with two superkicks for the win at 11:50. For whatever reason, these two did not have solid chemistry together. The majority of the match seemed sluggish and there wasn’t much flow to the action. The action seemed to be picking up with a well-executed kick exchange but the match ended immediately after. This was technically fine but it didn’t seem like either competitor was trying to win a prestigious tournament. **¼

Match #5: First Round: Paul London vs. Roderick Strong
London brings a “space owl” with him to the ring and has controversially stuffed his trunks. The man is ready for war. London synchs in a headscissors and Strong desperately tries to escape. Strong is extremely apprehensive to continue mat wrestling. They try a test of strength and Strong continues to show his apprehension. It’s been about six minutes and not much has happened. London takes control on the mat where a series of nearfalls occur. He snaps off a headscissors but Strong chops him to the outside. Strong accidentally chops the space owl, causing London to become angry. In the ring, London connects with a springboard dropkick and a leg lariat. He takes over until Strong blocks a charge and connects with an enzuigiri. London answers with a rope-assisted DDT. Strong dazes him up top and hits an ace crusher. London escapes a gutbuster and applies the Stronghold. Strong reverses it into a small package for a nearfall. Strong locks in the Stronghold but London makes the ropes. Strong connects with a gamenguiri, hits a gutbuster, and connects with a yakuza kick for the victory at 21:43. Any notion I had of London becoming more tolerable was wiped away after this match. This contest did not need twenty-one minutes and the match moved along at a painstaking pace as a result. They were shooting for an atmosphere similar to Bryan Danielson vs. Kenny Omega from One Hundred, but the comedy here simply wasn’t funny. Even when the match became more serious, it was nothing to write home about. I’m glad that the live crowd had fun during this contest but it was a chore to sit through on DVD. *½

Match #6: First Round: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Ricochet
Claudio uses power while Ricochet uses agility to trade submissions. Ricochet is able to sneak in a quick rollup and sends Claudio to the floor with a headscissors. Claudio catches Ricochet off a plancha attempt and slams him onto the apron. In the ring, Ricochet tries to utilize his agility but Claudio says “no” with a thunderous slam. Claudio takes control until something crazy happens and I need to start a new sentence. Ricochet jumps onto Claudio’s shoulders, leaps onto the top rope, and then jumps backwards into a hurricanrana. He follows with double knees from the top. Claudio catches him with the UFO and adds a giant swing. Claudio sends Ricochet flying with an uppercut and applies a stretch muffler. Ricochet quickly reaches the bottom rope. Claudio gets caught with a springboard dropkick but responds with a clothesline. Ricochet reverses a powerbomb into a code red. Claudio connects with a popup european uppercut for a nearfall. Claudio locks in another stretch muffler for the win at 12:03. If you want to introduce Ricochet to an unfamiliar crowd, Claudio is the perfect opponent for him. Ricochet was able to showcase his agility and Claudio looked like a monster by tossing around his much smaller opponent. Everything came off cleanly for the most part and the crowd was extremely vocal throughout. I’m really looking forward to Ricochet’s possible future appearances in PWG. ***½

Match #7: First Round: Austin Aries vs. Rocky Romero
Aries is extremely cocky early on. Romero tries for a quick cross armbreaker but Aries doesn’t allow it. They both try the “lady of the lake” strategy, with Romero besting Aries. Romero wins a strike exchange with his kicks. He snaps off a hurricanrana and tries to transition into a cross armbreaker to no avail. Aries asks for a dance-off with music, clearly not familiar with Highspots’ music usage terms. He starts dancing anyway and catches Romero off guard with a punch. Aries takes control, working over the left leg. Romero comes back with a flapjack and multiple kicks. He lures Aries to the floor and connects with a diving knee strike from the apron. Back in, Romero blocks the IED and the heat seeking missile. He catches Aries with a nice springboard DDT. Aries avoids a hurricanrana from the middle rope and connects with a missile dropkick. He connects with the IED for a nearfall. Romero escapes the Last Chancery and goes on the offensive with more strikes. Aries dodges a knee strike and hits a back suplex. He follows with another IED. Romero finds an opportunity to apply another cross armbreaker. Aries counters into the Last Chancery but Romero reverses it into a triangle choke. Aries powers out and hits a brainbuster for the victory at 20:04. Maybe these two don’t mesh well together and maybe they didn’t light the world on fire with this match. However, they were able to fill their twenty minutes with smart wrestling that kept a consistent story in mind. Romero continually attempted the cross armbreaker while Aries did his best to avoid it and find some way to gain the advantage. The last few minutes featured some engaging back and forth action as well. This is what London/Strong should have been – light comedy transitioning into a smartly-worked match that didn’t feel like a waste of twenty minutes. ***

Match #8: First Round: Brandon Bonham vs. Brian Cage
Cage attacks before the bell. He hits a basement flatliner and connects with a dropkick through the ropes. Bonham answers with a stiff kick to the face and hits a backbreaker. Cage stops his momentum with a series of kicks and a spinning side slam. Cage uses his power to take over until Bonham hits a springboard chinbreaker. Cage stands on the middle rope to suplex Bonham back into the ring from the apron. He regains control, locking in a reverse boston crab. Bonham somewhat hits a tornado DDT followed by some stiff kicks. He overhead suplexes Cage but walks into a discus lariat. Cage hits a pumphandle gourdbuster and lands an impressive moonsault. Bonham kicks him in the face and hits the Hammer of the Gods for a nearfall. Bonham hits another Hammer of the Gods for the win at 14:30. Unfortunately, this match was a step down from their previous encounter at Seven. More so than any other contest thus far, the majority of this match just felt like a continuous slew of moves without any flow. I know that these two can do better because I’ve seen them do better. Hopefully Bonham and Gatson can have a quality match on night two to fairly represent the PWG homegrown talent in the tournament. **¼

Match #9: First Round: El Generico vs. Akira Tozawa
Neither man can find success with a flying hip attack. Generico snaps off a few armdrags and connects with corner punches. Tozawa wins a strike exchange and lands a dive to the floor. Back in, Tozawa takes control until Generico clotheslines him to the outside. Generico lands a dive of his own to the floor. In the ring, Generico hits a blue thunder bomb followed by a michinoku driver. Tozawa responds with a saito suplex and his signature springboard headbutt. Generico comes off the middle rope but finds knees. Tozawa connects with a bicycle kick but Generico immediately answers with a yakuza kick. Tozawa comes back with a shining wizard and both men are down. Generico hits an overhead suplex into the turnbuckles along with a half nelson suplex. After an awkward spot, Tozawa german suplexes Generico from the middle rope for a two count. Tozawa escapes a brainbuster and hits another german suplex for a close nearfall. It seemed as though Generico didn’t get his shoulder up in time and the crowd boos violently. Tozawa hits one more german suplex for the victory at 17:58. Something was seriously not right here. The match seemed to be moving at half speed and there were multiple spots where it looked like both men were completely lost. They developed some rhythm down the stretch but the botched nearfall took away any excitement from the finish. It’s frustrating because all of the matches on the card are receiving a sufficient amount of time but some are not meeting expectations. **¼

Match #10: First Round: Christopher Daniels vs. Chris Hero
I think we can safely assume that this match will deliver. The crowd chants “Chris is awesome” with the idea being that both men are named Chris. Hero utilizes the cravate early on, ultimately sending Daniels to the floor. Daniels refuses a handshake and instead responds with a slap. Hero becomes too aggressive, running into a boot. Daniels gains control and showcases some impressive offense. Hero knocks him off the top rope and connects with a flash kick. He adds a mafia kick and a hangman’s suplex. Hero lifts Daniels into a cravate and then drops him down to the canvas. Daniels answers with an iconoclasm and an STO. He hits a uranagi but doesn’t follow with the Best Moonsault Ever to the chagrin of the crowd. Hero hits a liger bomb but falls victim to Angel’s Wings for a nearfall. Daniels gets caught with a flash roaring elbow. Hero counters Last Rites into the Hero’s Welcome and applies a dragon sleeper for the win at 18:17. Let’s be honest – when dealing with Chris Hero and Christopher Daniels, you’re going to get a good match. However, I can’t help but feel as though these two could do better. The beginning mat work was effective and Daniels showcased some impressive offense when he was in control. Just when I thought the match was about to kick into a higher gear, it ended. They delivered two-thirds of a fantastic contest. In fact, I would say that they could have tacked on an extra five minutes worth of quality exchanges to produce a memorable main event. Instead, this was simply a decent way to end the show. ***¼

The 411: Night One of the 2010 Battle of Los Angeles features some worthwhile matches but doesn't reach its full potential. A few matches came off as sluggish and there were uncharacteristic moments of sloppiness throughout the show. As a result, each match couldn't deliver despite everything receiving a healthy amount of time. Let's not even mention the monstrosity that was Paul London vs. Roderick Strong. The good news is that the show started off with a hot opener and ended with an enjoyable main event. Ricochet made a successful debut in the match of the night against Claudio and Aries put on a smartly-worked match with Romero. This release has enough quality matches to earn a slight recommendation. However, be warned that the show is rather lengthy and some matches require a decent time investment without coming through. To be honest, I expected a little bit more out of the Battle of Los Angeles.
 
Final Score:  7.0   [ Good ]  legend

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