Monday, January 17, 2011

PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2010 N.2

Joey Ryan vs. Austin Aries - 4

Two guys who work the same gimmick. You know they're going to incorporate that into this match. I was happy to see that their characters weren't really overblown in the match and that the wrestling was what was concentrated on. Aries stopped the match halfway through to talk about how Joey couldn't knock him out, upon which Joey delivers a superkick to the face. Nice touch to change things up. Aires went for his running kick in the corner and Joey got his foot up, sending Ares spinning around his foot, which Aries sold great. Not bad, but there was a bit too much goofing off.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Roderick Strong - 5

A good match that you'd expect out of these two guys. Roderick and Claudio both made sure to lay it in to one another in this match, utilizing strong forearm strikes and putting a little extra "oomph" into every exchange. At first I was having a hard time putting my finger on what was holding this match back and I kept thinking and thinking, then it finally occurred to me: the selling. There was hardly any to mention. Now we all know that Roderick is not one to be a great seller, but Claudio always looked good in this department. Maybe he was having an off night? Good sprints and exchanges, but ya gotta sell well.

Brandon Gatson vs. Brandon Bonham - 3

Bonham brought a nice stiffness element to the match. He hit some kicks that looked like the connected and then some, but throughout this entire match there was a really awkward feel. Something wasn't clicking. Gaston would bust out his usual stuff including a Bret Hart elbow to the dazed Bonham. The finish was messed up after a botched Hammer of the Gods by Bonham leading to a very awkward finish.

Chris Hero vs. Akira Tozawa - 8

Not even joking here. Legit probably PWG MOTY thus far. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING just clicked in this match. Both guys brought a passionate fire to the match, screaming at one another during strike exchanges as well as busting out some sickening head drops. This match is how you work nearfalls. There were a few, but not too many that legit made me say aloud "WHAT!?!~" This was the best Tozawa match he's had in PWG and probably in his career. So much hate and energy that reverberated through the walls of the bar in Reseeda. Everyone should watch this match. Worth the price of the DVD alone.

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Joey Ryan - 3

Claudio impressed me with the arm psych in this match, using the ring and ropes as a means for weakening the arm of Joey Ryan. I do, however, wish he would've locked in some of the holds he put Ryan in, specifically a piss-poor Fujiwara arm-bar. Joey looked more lethargic than a rabid baby elephant after being shot with tranquilizers. I didn't buy Ryan beating Claudio for one single second.

Brandon Gatson vs. Chris Hero - 4

Hero absolutely decimated Gatson with all of his elbow strike variations. DIG IT! If anything, this match helped Gatson's career by showing his tenacity, toughness, and resiliency. He was able to hang with Hero and show his stuff, but nobody in the venue thought that Gatson would get the upset against Hero. Still Gatson got a good rub from Hero, showing his legitimacy as a main eventer against one of the top guy in the company.

Rocky Romero, Johnny Goodtime & Ricochet vs. Chuck Taylor, Brian Cage Taylor & Ryan Taylor - 7

This is a sprint match done right. Each guy got his time to shine. Normally when you see a match involving six guys that can fly, you'd expect to see a lot of phantom bumps and a lot of weak striking. Not here. Each guy really laid in the shots and executed maneuvers to a t. Goodtime broke out more unique offense, including a sweet springboard into the ring onto a sitting up Chuck Taylor. Goodtime is very underrated and is quickly becoming one of my favorites on the indy scene. Romero brought to the table some nice grappling skills mixed in with some nice striking. Ricochet busted out his insane and unorthodox offense, proving yet again that he's the craziest indy wrestler willing to do anything. The Fighting Taylor Boys weren't without their strong points either. Chuck Taylor provided that fun junior heavyweight style mixed in with comedy relief, yet not too silly. Ryan Taylor brought a heavy striking game to the match, executing high kicks with precision to his victims' skulls. Cage Taylor brings a legitimacy to the team in that he's a heavy hitting and is the power behind the time. His discus lariat is great. Just a great chemistry and energy between all men in the match and a great sprint to break up the singles action.

The Cutler Bros vs. Peligro Abejas - 5

The Cutlers had finally worked their way up the PWG food chain to become No. 1 contenders for the tag titles. The Cutlers looked as good as ever, showing a confidence and swagger that legitimized them as contenders. Their selling was point on, but not overdone to the point where it looked like they were just be pathetic and fake. London came to work ready to bump and grapple, so I was happy with that. He didn't seem too strung out. Generico was Generico in the sense that he sold like a fish out of water, flopping and stumbling around. Would've liked to have seen better nearfalls out of this match, but for what it was, it was well done. I know these guys can do better, but they obviously didn't want to overshadow the main event.

Chris Hero vs. Joey Ryan - 4

This match had no business happening in my opinion. We had the perfect opportunity to see The Kings of Wrestling face off, but instead we have to see Joey Ryan work. Hero started the match off with some great arm psych. It's hard to fathom how Joey's arm was really hurt -- Hero was just working it over brutally. Hero busted out a corkscrew tope to the floor which was quite awesome considering he usually doesn't even do a normal tope. There was a nice superkick/forearm exchange spot in the match, still there was something off about this match that really held it back.

Really don't know how to feel about this show. While there was undoubtedly some really great stuff, there was a lot of crappy stuff as well.

Match Average: 4.9

Recommendation Level: Recommended

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