Thursday, August 28, 2014

PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2014 Predictions

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles tournament begins tomorrow so I figured it was time to post my predictions. I published an in-depth preview of the tournament a few weeks ago, so be sure to check that out if you haven't. It can be found here.

First off, I'd like to say that it took awhile for me to decide on my pick to win the tournament. There were several names that came to mind. Those being Ricochet, Roderick Strong, Michael Elgin, Trevor Lee, and PWG World Champion Kyle O'Reilly. In my opinion, those are the frontrunners to win, but who will?

I'm going to make a bold prediction and say that Trevor Lee will win the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles tournament. After tearing the house down for three straight shows and scoring an upset victory over Kevin Steen last

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

TNA Impact Wrestling Review - August 27th, 2014

TNA Impact Wrestling Review - August 27th, 2014 - The Wolves vs. The Hardys vs. Team 3D

The show kicks off with Kurt Angle who is soon interrupted by MVP, Kenny King, and Bobby Lashley. MVP cuts a good promo here as usual, but he is interrupted by Tommy Dreamer. A match ends up getting set up between Dreamer and Lashley. Solid opening segment.

1) Bobby Lashley vs. Tommy Dreamer - NYC Street Fight
This was a fun little brawl to start the show. Some highlights include Lashley hitting a belly to belly suplex on Dreamer onto the entrance ramp and Dreamer nailing Lashley with a trashcan

Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of August 25th, 2014

Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of August 25th, 2014 
1.       reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly @ROHOReilly & Bobby Fish @TheBobbyFish)-Despite the fact that they were the first team eliminated in the big 8 Man Elimination Match on 8/23 at ROH, they still get in because (as they would probably agree and say themselves) “a win is a win.” In the record books, much like a DQ or a countout, reDRagon will be credited with a win from that match and at the end of the day that just helped pad their 8 out of 9 match win stat. It wasn’t their strongest showing in a weekend, but no one else really did enough to push them away from the top spot considering they were ranked #2 last week and they hold perhaps the most prestigious tag team titles (the ROH World Tag Team Titles) on all the indies. They have some big rematches looming in the near future so with this being their 2nd #1 ranking this year, it will be a fun ride to see if they can score a few more before the end of the year.

2.       Juicy Product (JT Dunn @TheJuiceee & David Starr @TheProductDS)-The former 7 time #1’s in the Tag Team Top 5 jumped back into the mix of things this week after a successful NYWC Tag Team Title defense vs. Milk Chocolate on 8/22. They’ve slowed down a bit after securing the CZW, FIP,

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of August 25th, 2014

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of August 25th, 2014 
1.       Michael Elgin (@ROHMichaelElgin)-It was a long time coming as he was steadily climbing his way up, but with this #1 ranking, Michael Elgin has now overtaken Ricochet for the current #1 spot in the 2014 IPR 100. If he can hang on for a few months, he’ll be #1 for the 2nd straight year. In the meantime, give credit to him for 2 big victories over the weekend as he retained his ROH World Title vs. Silas Young on 8/22 and Tommaso Ciampa on 8/23. You can call him “Unbreakable” or call him “Canadian Crazy Horse”, but at the end of the day, you better call him champion…and also #1. This is his 5th #1 ranking in 2014 and his 2nd straight week at #1. #8 in the online poll.
2.       AJ Styles (@AJStylesOrg)-It’s a “phenomenal” return to the Top 10 for the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Over the weekend at ROH, he came back to claim a very high spot in the Top 10 after being absent for several weeks. This time he gave the official voters no choice but to vote for him as he defeated Kyle O’Reilly on 8/22 and then Cedric

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 25th, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 25th, 2014

Last night's episode of Raw was one of the worst in a long time. It was visibly thrown together, there was no clear direction, and it wasn't entertaining at all. It was totally different from last week as we saw storylines change randomly right before our eyes.

Last week, Rusev was seemingly going into a feud with Mark Henry while Jack Swagger was looking towards a feud with Bo Dallas. This week, Rusev and Swagger are back as rivals while Mark Henry is back teaming with Big Show. They did continue the Swagger/Dallas feud a bit however, but regardless, that whole set of storylines is just a mess.

Last week, Roman Reigns is still in a heated rivalry with Randy Orton, this week, Orton isn't even on the show and Reigns is seemingly beginning a feud with

Sunday, August 24, 2014

ROH TV Review - August 24th, 2014

ROH TV Review - August 24th, 2014

1) Tommaso Ciampa vs. Rocky Romero

Unfortunately, I missed this first part of this match, but I caught the majority of it. A lot of good, hard hitting action here as expected from a match involving Ciampa. Both guys worked hard and produced a very good match that was much better than I thought it would be. Ciampa gets DQ'd after refusing to break the Sicilian Stretch submission hold after Romero got the ropes. Great start to the show and I hope to see these two face off again in the future.

2) Jay Lethal vs. ACH - ROH World TV Title Match

Just like any of Lethal's opponents in recent months, ACH had the odds stacked against him as Lethal's entourage were at ringside. They caused a lot of disruption early on, but were soon thrown out. Martini was the last to go as he pulled ACH's leg from under the ropes which led to his ejection. I like how the ref didn't disqualify Lethal and just threw Martini out. After Martini was gone from ringside, this match took off. I had high expectations for this bout and it lived up to them and more! Lethal and ACH battled to a 30 minute

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

PWG Sold Our Soul For Rock N' Roll Review

PWG Sold Our Soul For Rock N Roll DVD Review

Since this is one of PWG's most recent shows, I decided to post my review of it here instead of on my DVD reviews blog. However, I will be posting it there eventually. None the less, let's get into PWG's Sold Our Soul for Rock N Roll event which was held on May 23rd, 2014 in Reseda, CA!

1) Brian Cage vs. Roderick Strong
The show got off to a hot start with this hard hitting match up. Cage is a fucking machine and Roddy is just naturally stiff so this was bound to be great. The action never slowed down and it had many jaw dropping moments including Brian Cage hitting a 619! I had to replay that multiple times until I believed what I had just seen. Fantastic

Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of August 18th, 2014

Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of August 18th, 2014 
1.       The Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter @BeardedBullys)-Whether it’s in Mexico or in the States, these Hooligans don’t slow down for anything. The PGP, Zero 1 USA, and High Risk Tag Team Champions took their fat guy flips to Mexico over the weekend and emerged undefeated after a very successful weekend South of the Border. They’ve had an amazing 2014 and this only helps solidify their #1 spot in the Tag Team Top 50 for this year. There are just a few months left in 2014 and with teams like Juicy Product and Team IOU nipping at their heels, can these bearded bullies hang on to the #1 ranking for the year? One thing is for sure, they’ll be doing the Hooligan Hustle in an attempt to get their names out there even further. Wins over teams like The Young Bucks are just the type of thing these competitors crave. Congrats again to this fantastic tag team on yet another #1 ranking. #4 in the online poll.

2.       reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly @ROHOReilly & Bobby Fish @TheBobbyFish)-While they just barely missed out on their 2nd #1 ranking this year, this dominant tag team scored arguably the biggest win of the weekend when they once again turned away the challenge of Bad Influence at ROH’s

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of August 18th, 2014

Indy Power Rankings for the Week of August 18th, 2014
1.       Michael Elgin (@ROHMichaelElgin)-While it’s arguable that he was the clear cut #1 this week (it was anything but a sweep among the official voters) it is pretty obvious that Elgin scored the biggest victory of the weekend when he retained the ROH World Title vs. 3 of the best wrestlers in the world in Adam Cole, AJ Styles (the IWGP Champ by the way) and Jay Briscoe. Elgin’s dominance has been well documented over the last 2 years and this ROH World Title reign is only serving to hammer that point home. He keeps inching his way closer to Ricochet’s #1 spot in the IPR 100. It’s going to be a battle until the end of 2014 without question! #7 in the online poll.
2.       Chase Owens (@nwachaseowens)-What more can be said about this talent? Every week for the last couple of months he’s been on our list and not just on the list, but HIGHLY ranked on the list. Whether it’s #1 or #2, Owens proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with as he

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 18th, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 18th, 2014

The show opens with Stephanie McMahon coming out to Daniel Bryan's music which really got under my skin. Just goes to show how well Stephanie plays her role. She introduces Nikki Bella and they basically just talk trash about Brie until she comes out. Nikki slaps the Brie and yells "I'll never forgive you!" Wow, Nikki is surprisingly a very good heel. Her turn was a big success too as the arena erupted with "You sold out" chants. Good segment.

1) Luke Harper & Erick Rowan vs. The Big Show & Mark Henry
This is a rematch from Smackdown last week even though the commentators failed to mention it. Their previous encounter was decent, but I wasn't that interested in it because it was so randomly put together. Since there's more of a backstory this time, I was a bit more interested and I'm glad I was because this was a very good match. Show & Henry work surprisingly well

Sunday, August 17, 2014

My Reaction to Brock Lesnar's Championship Victory + Who Should Dethrone Him?

At SummerSlam, Brock Lesnar changed the face of WWE by absolutely destroying John Cena and defeating him to become the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Many people were shocked that WWE allowed Cena to take a beating like that including myself. I knew that Lesnar winning the title was the right move, but wasn't sure whether or not WWE would go through with it. Thankfully, they did.

While Lesnar winning the title was a fantastic move by WWE, the real answer to the question of whether or not WWE will continue booking things correctly lies with who Lesnar drops the title to. I don't want to rain on everyone's parade because I'm stoked about Lesnar being the champion, but this could all be flushed down the toilet if he puts over the wrong guy. The Streak being broken, Cena being assaulted like never before - all of it will be ruined if WWE doesn't handle Lesnar's reign the correct

ROH TV Review - August 16th, 2014

ROH TV Review - August 16th, 2014 - Kevin Steen's Farewell Night
The show opens with a promo from Kevin Steen hyping tonight's main event which is his final match in Ring of Honor before going to WWE. Good work from Steen as usual. He let Corino know that he wasn't going to go easy on him.

1) ACH vs. Tadarius Thomas
Here we have two former tag team partners facing off in a contest that I was excited to see. The bout starts off with a very impressive exchange. They are both outstanding athletes and they showcased that in the first few minutes of this match as we saw a variety of reversals & impressive

Saturday, August 16, 2014

WWE SummerSlam 2014 Predictions & Analysis

WWE SummerSlam 2014 Predictions
It's hard to believe that a whole year has passed since last year's epic SummerSlam event. Last year's edition of SummerSlam will go down as one of my all time favorites. The hype surrounding it was tremendous and it's a show I can go back and watch time and time again.

Unfortunately, that same hype surrounding last year's show isn't really there this year. The card is promising, the hype is the only thing really missing.  I'm not going to harp on that fact however, I'm just going to hope WWE proves me wrong and delivers a better show than I'm expecting.

Pre-Show Match: Rob Van Dam vs. Cesaro

Last year at SummerSlam, Rob Van Dam was on the pre-show facing off against Dean Ambrose in a pretty good match that unfortunately ended in a DQ finish. This year Van Dam faces off against another rising star, Cesaro. I'm expecting this to be a good match as these two have faced off in the past and they were all solid encounters. I expect Cesaro to come out on top here.

Who I think will win - Cesaro

1) The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler - Intercontinental Championship Match
Ironically, next to the main event, this is the match I'm most looking forward to on Sunday. The match these two had on Raw a few weeks ago was fantastic and

Friday, August 15, 2014

WWE Friday Night Smackdown Review - August 15th, 2014

WWE Smackdown Review - August 15th, 2014

Miz TV with Roman Reigns
The show opened with The Miz having Roman Reigns as his guest on Miz TV. Miz tells Reigns he's open for advice if he needs it. Miz keeps cutting Reigns off before he can say anything so Reigns punches Miz square in the face. That looked awesome! This was a fun segment as Miz did most of the talking and Reigns kept it short. This segment leads to Kane making a match between Miz and Reigns for later in the evening.

1) Dean Ambrose vs. Cesaro
These two had an outstanding No DQ match a few weeks ago on Smackdown so I was really excited to see them lock up again. Ambrose & Cesaro have an undeniable chemistry together and that was showcased once again here. For the second time in the past month, these two produced a high quality match that garnered "This is Awesome" chants from the WWE Universe. Great match!

2) Dolph Ziggler vs. Titus O'Neil
This was bound to be super entertaining and it was exactly that. You've got the best seller in WWE, Dolph Ziggler and the hilarious duo of Slater Gator

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of August 11th, 2014

Tag Team Top 5 for the Week of August 11th, 2014 
1.       Time Splitters (Alex Shelley @fakekinkade & KUSHIDA @Kushida_Canada)-The IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions get their first #1 ranking after defeating the ROH World Tag Team Champions on 8/10. It was a HUGE victory for the champs as they scored arguably the biggest win of the weekend over the top (again, arguably) the team with the biggest tag team titles in the U.S. Very few teams could claim the quality of opponents (reDRagon) as solid as Shelley & KUSHIDA. It was almost a full sweep by the official voters as Time Splitters were not any lower than #2 on anyone’s ballot. Time will tell if they can continue this hot streak! #5 in the online poll.

2.       Hot and Spicy (Axel Dieter Jr. & Da Mack)-The wXw Germany Tag Team Champions grab their first ranking after defeating

Monday, August 11, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 11th, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 11th, 2014 - The Final Show Before SummerSlam

The show opens with Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman. The two deliver an awesome segment as usual with Heyman once again selling me on the upcoming PPV. Heyman closes his promo with a rap aimed at Cena which was awesome. Great opening segment.

1) Roman Reigns vs. Ryback & Curtis Axel
I'm not normally a fan of handicap matches, but Rybaxel are so entertaining that I didn't mind it here. Nice little bout to start the show. Rybaxel dominated early on and had some funny moments before getting disqualified. Reigns then cleans house on Ryback & Axel with all of his moves. Good showcase for Reigns and enjoyable for the most part.

2) Rob Van Dam vs. Seth Rollins
I was excited that we were going to get to see this match since it was supposed to happen last week, but got changed. This was the fun match you would expect

Sunday, August 10, 2014

ROH TV Review - August 9th, 2014

1) Adam Cole vs. Rocky Romero
This is Adam Cole's first match since losing the ROH World Title to Michael Elgin at Best in the World back in June. Cole may have lost the title, but he certainly hasn't lost his outstanding wrestling ability. This was a solid match that was dominated mainly by Romero. Cole had his moments, but didn't really take control until near the end when he picked up the victory. Good opening match.

Match rating - 6/10

2) Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Page (w/ Roderick Strong)
It's been so long since we've seen Adam Page compete on ROH TV. The last time he did compete, he tore the house down with Cedric Alexander so I was pretty excited for this match. It

Thursday, August 7, 2014

TNA Impact Wrestling Review - August 7th, 2014

TNA Impact Review - August 7th, 2014 - Dixie Carter Goes Through A Table

Based off last week's amazing show, the momentum from then carried over to tonight as the crowd was just as hot as previous weeks. A Monster's Ball Match between Abyss and Bram opened the show!

1) Abyss vs. Bram - Monster's Ball Match
Great way to start the show with a hardcore bout between a new star and a veteran. Chairs and trashcans were used, but the big spots involved in thumbtacks and a barbwire board. Bram got chokeslammed into thumbtacks and

PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2014 Preview - An Inside Look at The Most Prestigious Tournament In Wrestling

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) is a wrestling promotion based out of Southern California. Alot of great talent has competed there over the years including Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Rob Van Dam, Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, and many more.

They have around 10-12 shows a year, but the arguably the most important one of them all is the Battle of Los Angeles tournament.

The first ever Battle of Los Angeles tournament took place in 2005 and it's been a staple in PWG ever since. The winner of BOLA not only recieves the honor of being known as a winner of one of the most prestigious tournaments in wrestling, they also normally recieve a shot at the PWG World Title which has been held by the likes of Daniel Bryan, Kevin Steen, & Sami Zayn.

The BOLA tournament also has a rep for being a launching pad for the careers of many young stars. One name that comes to mind is Davey Richards. In 2007, Richards outlasted 24 other competitors to win the 3rd Annual Battle Of Los Angeles Tournament. Soon after Richards would became a star in Ring Of Honor which led to him being signed by TNA where he wrestles now. Another success story came in 2008 when Low Ki won BOLA and signed with WWE soon after. That's just one example of what the Battle of Los Angeles tournament can do for a talent. Young or old - it's a huge accomplishment.

That leads us to the upcoming 2014 Battle of Los Angeles tournament. It could quite possibly the biggest one ever. For the first time in seven years, it will be expanding from the normal two day tournament to three days. That means there will be 24 competitors and what a line up PWG has this year. AJ Styles, Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne),
& Chris Sabin are all returning to PWG for the tournament along with Christopher Daniels & Kazarian who will be competing in a non-tournament dream match against the Young Bucks on Night 2.

On top of all the big names coming back, international talent Zack Sabre Jr is making a rare appearance in America for the tournament in what will be his PWG debut. Plus Kenny Omega is returning to PWG from Japan on this night as well. Those guys combined with the already ultra talented PWG roster that includes Chris Hero, Kyle O'Reilly, Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Ricochet and many others, will make for one awesome tournament.

Before I get into the tournament matches, I'd like to go through some of the non-tournament matches scheduled to take place.

On Night 1, Mount Rushmore (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) will be clashing with the newly reunited Chuck Taylor & Kenny Omega and Zack Sabre Jr. Trent? was originally scheduled to be teaming with Taylor & Omega, but is injured and will be unable to compete so Sabre Jr will be replacing him in the match up.

Night 1 will also feature an epic triple threat tag team match in which Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae will be facing Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian and Ricochet & Rich Swann!

Night 2's non-tournament matches are just as epic as Night 1's. On Night 2, we will see the Unbreakable F'N Machines (Michael Elgin & Brian Cage) face the team of the debuting Biff Busick and Drew Gulak. Also as mentioned above, The Young Bucks will face the team of Christopher Daniels & Kazarian.

Now that the non-tournament bouts have been discussed, let's get to the main focus of this article - the tournament itself. In this article I will take you through each competitor in the tournament this year and discuss their past accomplishments in PWG as well as their experience in BOLA. I will also discuss what impact I think each competitor will have in the tournament along with my predictions.

Also, before I get started I'd like to thank @BrianDaBrain on Twitter for allowing me to use his awesome graphics for this article. Be sure to give him a follow on Twitter as well as myself @StylesClashx!

So, without further a due, let's take an inside look at the competitors in the 2014 Battle of Los Angeles!

Entrant #1 - Matt Sydal

The first entrant announced for the tournament was Matt Sydal. Most of you may know him as Evan Bourne from his time in WWE. Just a short few days after being released from WWE, Sydal began getting booked for many Indy shows and luckily he got booked for a return to PWG at this year's BOLA tournament!

Sydal is no stranger to PWG as he competed there several times before being signed by WWE. In fact, Sydal competed in both the 2006 and 2007 Battle of Los Angeles tournaments. In 2006, he lost to Kevin Steen in a hard fought 15 minute contest in the first round. In 2007, Sydal made it on step further in the tournament by defeating Jimmy Rave in the first round only to fall to Alex Shelley in the quarterfinals.

This year, Sydal's first round opponent is Chris Hero. It will be an interesting match up as Sydal is known for his highflying while Hero is more of a striker / technical wrestler. Sydal is no slouch in the technical department himself so I'm expecting that side of him to show in this match.

In Sydal's past two BOLA entries, he improved each year. As mentioned above, he was eliminated in the first round in 2006, but made it to the quarter finals in 2007. Can Sydal make it one step further by advancing to the semifinals or even to the finals? It would be one hell of a way to return to PWG, that's for sure.

Entrant #2 - Drew Gulak

As you will notice as this list goes on, the reoccuring trend of this year's Battle of Los Angeles tournament is returns and debuts. It started with a return in the form of Matt Sydal and now we shift to a debut with the second entrant - Drew Gulak.

Gulak has been making waves across the Indy scene over the past few months and that has led to him debuting in PWG. Gulak is an outstanding technical artist who has been creating alot of buzz in 2014 across the Indy Scene competing in promotions such as CZW and Beyond Wrestling.

With Gulak being fluent in submissions as well as being a great technician, what better opponent for him than the PWG World Champion, Kyle O'Reilly. It's going to be a tall order for the debuting Drew Gulak. Not only he does he have to face the World Champion of PWG and one of the best wrestlers in the world, he also has to do so while selling himself to the ruckus PWG audience.

Despite this being a tough task for the young star, it's also a great opportunity. If Gulak puts in a good performance against O'Reilly, he could solidify himself as one of the best in the world today. If he manages to defeat O'Reilly, he would clearly be in line for a PWG World Title shot and what a debut that would be! Gulak vs. O'Reilly is going to be awesome!

Entrant #3 - Trevor Lee

Trevor Lee is one of the newest faces in PWG. Debuting at Mystery Vortex 2 in March, Lee rocked Reseda with his amazing three way match against Cedric Alexander and Andrew Everett. Going into the match, the crowd chanted "Who are you?", but mid-way through the match those chants turned into "TREVOR LEE! TREVOR LEE!"

Since that event, Lee has become one of the hottest young stars in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. Not only that, he's become a fan favorite as well. His crazy antics and outstanding abilities have went over very well with the PWG audience. Plus he picked up a big win over Kevin Steen at the last PWG show so he has alot of momentum coming into this tournament.

With that being said, he will likely be a favorite to win this tournament because of the way the crowd has taken to him in recent months. Regardless of how far he gets, the fact that we may get to see him face someone the likes of Matt Sydal or Ricochet is enough to excite me.

In the first round, Lee will be facing one of the men he wrestled in his debut PWG match, Cedric Alexander. If that match is anywhere near as good as the triple threat they had a few months earlier, we're in for a treat!

This could be a career making weekend for Trevor Lee. He's already a favorite in the eyes of PWG faithful, but there are going to be ALOT of eyes on Reseda during BOLA and I'm sure Lee will be setting out to impress.

Entrant #4 - Chris Sabin

At #4 we have another man making his return to PWG, former TNA World Champion, Chris Sabin! Sabin has competed for PWG on several occasions including the 2006 Battle of Los Angeles tournament where he defeated Colt Cabana in the first round, but fell to El Generico in the second round.

Sabin is another face I'm excited to see back in PWG. He's had many great matches in the company in the past. His dream tag match with Alex Shelley against The Young Bucks is the first that comes to mind, but on this night, he's going it alone.

What better opponent for Sabin then one of the men who has rose to prominence in PWG while Sabin has been away - Ricochet. This will be a dream match for fans of highflyers like myself and it will be awesome to see this newcomer vs veteran match up.

During Sabin's time away, the Battle of Los Angeles tournament has gained alot of prestige and I believe that will serve as a big motivator for returning veterans like himself to prove that they can still hang with the PWG stars of today. Sabin is a great talent and it will be fun to watch him compete against the new stars of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.

Entrant #5 - Johnny Gargano

Over the past year, Johnny Gargano has made a name for himself in PWG by competing in quality matches against the likes of Davey Richards, Adam Cole, & Kyle O'Reilly. Gargano debuted in PWG just over a year ago in March 2013 at All Star Weekend 9. Since that time, he's become one of the brightest stars in the company.

Before Gargano debuted in PWG, he'd been dominating in DGUSA & Evolve so becoming a part of PWG was inevitable for a talent the caliber of Gargano. Last year, Gargano competed in his first ever Battle of Los Angeles tournament and made it to the semi final round before being eliminated by Michael Elgin in an outstanding match.

Last year, Gargano put in a shocking and impressive performance at BOLA, can he build off of that and take it one step further by making it to the finals? The first step to doing that is in his first round match where he faces off with former tag team partner Chuck Taylor. Gargano made his debut in PWG alongside Taylor, but now they are going to opponents and it will be interesting to see how they fare against each other.

With Gargano's impressive performance last year in his first ever BOLA appearance, he is one of my top picks to win this year. The field this year is deeper than it's ever been, but Gargano has proved that he has what it takes to make it to the top. Will he make it to the finals like he came so close to doing last year? Only time will tell.

Entrant #6 - Brian Myers

Here we have another debutee, Brian Myers. Some of you may best remember him from his time in WWE as Curt Hawkins. Myers got released in late June, but began taking Indy bookings immediately and got booked by PWG.

I'm very intrigued to see what Myers will bring to the table now that he doesn't have to limit his moveset. I have a feeling that just like Trent? blew up when he left WWE and came to the Indies - the same will happen with Meyers.

Regardless of my opinon, we will all find out what Myers is made of when he faces off against AJ Styles in his first round match up. Styles is the perfect opponent for Myers because he's someone who can work well with just about anybody. It will be interesting to see how Myers fares against a returning AJ Styles and how the crowd reacts to him.

As I mentioned before, this is a big weekend for PWG and there we be alot of eyes on this tournament so for a newly released free agent like Brian Myers, this is a great opportunity to show what he can do.

Entrant #7 - Michael Elgin

2014 has been a big year so far for Michael Elgin. In June, He finally won the ROH World Championship after working towards it for nearly two years. With that being said, Long-term goals seem to be a trend in his wrestling career as of late and if that's the case, it's all but guaranteed that he'll win BOLA this year.

Elgin has made it to the finals of BOLA for the past two years only to be defeated. He certainly knows what it takes to make it to the finals and how it is to be in such a high profile match so 2014 could finally be the year he puts everything together and becomes the Battle of Los Angeles champion.

Elgin's first round opponent this year is Tommasso Ciampa. This is a match I've been wanting to see for awhile as both guys are stiff in the ring. It will be epic to see Elgin clash with someone like Ciampa and he will certainly be a challenge for Elgin, but it's nothing Elgin hasn't faced before. Elgin is one of my top picks to win the tournament this year based off his past performances.

Entrant #8 - Biff Busick

The next entrant is yet another man making his PWG debut, the current CZW World Champion Biff Busick. After making an impact across the Indy scene recently with his great matches against the likes of Timothy Thatcher and Drew Gulak, Busick is going to be making his first appearance in Reseda.

I haven't seen much of Busick's work aside from one match, but I was impressed with what I saw. He's a hardhitting competitor and so is his first opponent, Roderick Strong. This pairing will make for an epic first round match up!

Busick has the perfect first opponent in Roddy because Strong can have a good match with anyone. With this match, Busick has a big opportunity to make a good first impression to PWG fans and staff.

I'm looking forward to Busick's debut in PWG because of all the buzz he's been creating across the scene in recent months. PWG is one of the hottest companies going right now and I think Busick is a perfect fit. I can't wait to see his match with Roddy as well as the tag match he will be involved in against Michael Elgin & Brian Cage on Night 2.

Entrant #9 - Kyle O'Reilly

The 9th entrant in the 2014 BOLA tournament is last year's winner and the current PWG World champion, Kyle O'Reilly. His story is the perfect example of how the tournament can propel someone's career. Last year at BOLA he was a rising star and ended up winning the tournament. Fast forward a year later and he's now the PWG World Champion.

O'Reilly walked into the BOLA tournament last year with a good bit of momentum coming off impressive performances at the last two shows against Sami Callihan and Davey Richards respectively. I'd venture to say that he's coming into this year's tournament with that same momentum. He won the PWG Title in May and the roof exploded when he did so and recently he had his first successful title defense against PWG veteran, Chris Hero. That's a damn good run.

Kyle's first round opponent this year is a newcomer, Drew Gulak. For fans of technical and submission wrestling, this is somewhat of a dream match. I've got a feeling these guys will tear the house down and O'Reilly will give Gulak one vicious welcome to PWG.

Based off his past success at BOLA and the momentum he has coming into the tournament yet again, I expect O'Reilly to make it to the finals once again and be a vital part of this tournament. Could the champion take home the trophy for the second year in a row? In my opinion, it's a high possibility!

Entrant #10 - Brian Cage

Here we have a PWG homegrown talent making his third BOLA appearance, Mr GMSI - Brian Cage! Cage's first appearance in the Battle of Los Angeles came in 2010 when he was eliminated in the first round by Brandon Bonham despite putting in a good performance. In 2012, Cage entered the BOLA tournament once again and improved on his previous tournament run by making it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated by partner, Michael Elgin. Cage made it to the quarterfinals last year as well where he was defeated by Drake Younger via a rollup.

Cage has put in good performances in every BOLA tournament that he's competed in, but he has yet to make it past the quarterfinal round. He has an advantage over most in the power department, so maybe this year that will lead him to the semi final or final rounds.

Can Cage's dominant offensive style bring him the BOLA trophy? Regardless, I'm sure he will play his part in producing some quality matches regardless of what round he makes it to. Plus his tag match with Elgin vs Busick & Gulak will be awesome as well. Mr GSMI will definitely be getting his shit in during this spectacular weekend of PWG!

Entrant #11 - ACH

Last year, ACH made his PWG debut at the Battle of Los Angeles tournament and proved himself to be a future top star in the company by making it to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, he competed in a Match Of The Year Candidate bout against Kyle O'Reilly, but came up short.

This year, I'm sure ACH is looking to take that next step as a competitor by advancing to the semifinal round or possibly even the finals. ACH's speed and agility are what he is known for, but as was showcased last year at BOLA, he is no slouch on the mat either.

ACH's first round opponent is Kenny Omega. The two will face off on the Second Night of BOLA in what will be a barnburner of a match. Omega will be making his return so the crowd will be hot for him plus ACH is a fan favorite already so this is expected to be a balls to the wall match as both guys have similar styles.

Having someone like Kenny Omega as your first round opponent is a tough task, so if ACH makes it to the quarter final round it will be well deserved. But even if he loses, nobody will be able to take anything away from him because he always puts 100% in his matches and I'm sure he will do the same here. Having this big of a match in the first round just shows how big this tournament is. Will ACH's attitude, charisma, and heart lead him to the BOLA trophy? If he can make it past Kenny Omega, I think it's a very big possibility!

Entrant #12 - Zack Sabre Jr.

Out of all the debuting wrestlers, this one caught me by surprise more than any of them. Zack Sabre Jr is wrestler out of England that his been making alot of buzz over the past few years. He's a former NWA UK Junior Heavyweight Champion and has an innovative offense that showcases his technical skills as well as his striking abilities that are influenced by purerosu.

Some may consider Sabre an underdog coming into this tournament, but in all honesty he has a key advantage over most of the competitors in that none of the other wrestlers are familiar with him. This unpredictability could lead Sabre Jr to the final round of the BOLA tournament.

But make no mistake about it - it won't be an easy road to even make it past the first round as he will be facing off against former PWG & ROH World Champion Adam Cole.

Sabre Jr making a rare appearance in America specifically for the Battle of Los Angeles just goes to show prestigious this tournament has become. I'm sure Sabre will make his presence felt in PWG and his name will continue to spread throughout the USA as one of the top young talents in the world.

Entrant #13 - Rich Swann

Rich Swann is another young PWG upstart that has really been on fire during the past year. Last year he competed in his first BOLA tournament, but was eliminated in the first round by Michael Elgin.

Elgin was a tough first round opponent for Swann since he's nearly twice his size so it's no surprise Elgin came out on top. This year, Swann will be facing Candice LeRae in his first round match up. LeRae is an equally tough opponent, but Swann's jawdropping athletic ability could lead him to victory.

Swann has been tearing it up on the Indies for several years now and this tournament is his prime opportunity to take that next step in his career. I expect him to do well this year and definitely play a big part in the shows.

Beyond competing in the tournament, he and partner Ricochet will be facing off against Christopher Daniels & Kazarian and Joey Ryan & Candice LeRae. So whether he makes it far in the tournament or not - Swann will be in some big matches on this particular weekend.

Entrant #14 - Candice LeRae (replacing Trent?)
Originally Trent? was the 14th entrant and scheduled to face Rich Swann in the first round of BOLA, but an injury has made him unable to compete. Enter Candice LeRae.

LeRae just came off what was possibly the biggest match of her career as she & Joey Ryan defeated The Young Bucks in a bloody battle to become the PWG World Tag Team Champions.

In that match, she showed the world what the PWG faithful already knew - she's the best women's wrestler in the world and can more than hang with the boys! With that being said, I firmly believe Candice will make it past the first round. Rich Swann is no easy opponent, but he doesn't have the momentum that Candice has going into this match.

With the way she's been competing as of late, I wouldn't be surprised if she ends up making it to the finals or semi finals of the tournament. Either way, it's gonna be awesome seeing her compete against Rich Swann as well as in the big triple threat tag team match on Night 1.

Entrant #15 - Cedric Alexander

After a few years away from PWG, Cedric Alexander made his return this past March in fantastic fashion. Despite being in PWG before, this will be his first time entering the Battle of Los Angeles tournament.

In the past year, Alexander has broke out across the Independent Scene by competing in a dream match series in which he had highly acclaimed encounters with the likes of AJ Styles, Kyle O'Reilly, and Johnny Gargano. He's also earned several victories over PWG veteran, Roderick Strong in ROH.

With Alexander having many breakout performances in the past year, this could very well be another one of those outings for him. His first round match is against Trevor Lee, which is who Alexander competed with in his return to PWG in March. The winner of that match could very well go on to the finals of the tournament. Whether Alexander advances or not, I'm sure he will give the fans a match to remember.

Entrant #16 - AJ Styles

Here we have quite possibly the biggest return of them all in the form of former TNA World Champion and current IWGP Champion, AJ Styles! Styles is a former PWG World Champion in his own right and was actually in the main event of the first ever PWG event in 2003.

As far as the Battle of Los Angeles goes, Styles has competed in the tournament only once, but he made it to the finals in that particular year (2005). That may lead you to think that he might be guaranteed to make it that far this time too, but PWG is very different from what it was back then. The talent roster has much more depth and the company has also found its niche with the amazing atmosphere in the legion hall in Reseda.

That's something Styles has yet to experience, but then again Styles has competed in front of huge crowds for TNA so this will be an interesting return to see. I expect Styles to have a great performance and possibly even make it to the semi final/final rounds of the tournament.

Entrant #17 - Bobby Fish (replacing AR Fox)

The original 17th entrant was the crazy aerialist AR Fox, but an injury has made him unable to compete. With his injury, PWG decided to bring in Bobby Fish. Fish is one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions with PWG World Champion Kyle O'Reilly and will be making his debut in PWG this year at BOLA.

Fish's partner O'Reilly has had great success in PWG the past few years as he is currently the World Champion. You can only speculate whether or not O'Reilly has shared his secret to winning the Battle of Los Angeles with his tag team partner, but on this particular weekend, that would be giving advice to the enemy so who knows?!

Despite being the lesser known member of his tag team, Fish is definitely no slouch in the ring and can without a doubt hold his own. I can't wait to see what Fish brings to the table in PWG!

Entrant #18 - Chris Hero

One of the most experienced competitors in this tournament is the 18th entrant, Chris Hero.

Not only is Hero a veteran of wrestling general, he's also a PWG veteran. Hero has competed in 5 Battle of Los Angeles tournaments (2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, & 2011). In those five performances, he's made it to the finals on two occassions (2008 & 2010). Unfortunately he came up short in both instances losing to Low Ki in 2008 and to Joey Ryan in 2010.

Despite not being a former BOLA winner, Hero's experience in the finals and the tournament in general give him an edge over many of the other entrants. Since returning to PWG last December, Hero has yet to win any big matches which means this is a great opportunity for Hero to turn around his latest PWG run.

Entrant #19 - Chuck Taylor

Chuck Taylor made his first appearance in PWG's BOLA tournament in 2008, but was eliminated in the first round by TJ Perkins. Since then Taylor has competed in the Battle of Los Angeles on two more occassions, but has yet to make it past the first round.

Don't let that first paragraph fool you though. Taylor is more than capable of playing a big part in this year's tournament. He is easily one of the most entertaining guys on the PWG roster.

Chuck's first round opponent this year is none other than his former tag team partner, Johnny Gargano. Since these two have teamed together in the past, I expect this to be very good considering they know each other so well.

Beyond competing in the tournament, Chucky T will be reuniting with his old tag team partner, Kenny Omega and international superstar Zack Sabre Jr on Night 1 to take on Mount Rushmore in an epic six man tag showdown.

Entrant #20 - Roderick Strong

Out of all the competitors, Roderick Strong has the most BOLA experience under his belt. Strong has competed in every single Battle of Los Angeles aside from the first ever tournament. That's a total of eight entries into the Battle of Los Angeles!

During those eight appearances in BOLA, Strong has made it to the finals twice defeating the likes of Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, and Joey Ryan to get there. In 2007, Strong was defeated by CIMA and El Generico in the finals while he was defeated by Kenny Omega in the finals of the 2009 Battle of Los Angeles.

Strong has an impressive record in the Battle of Los Angeles, but he has yet to win the tournament. Could this be his year? It definitely would be a perfect time since Strong defeated Adam Cole at the last PWG show to become the #1 Contender to the PWG World Title. Strong then took it upon himself to attack the champion Kyle O'Reilly after his match. That intensity and drive to succeed could very well lead Strong to the BOLA trophy that has alluded him for so long.

It won't be an easy task by any means as he will be facing off the with the hardhitting Biff Busick in the first round. Regardless of how far Strong goes in the tournament, I'm sure he'll put in one awesome performance like he always does. He'll without a doubt give Busick a tough welcome to PWG!

Entrant #21 - Tommasso Ciampa

Tommaso Ciampa is a hardhitting striker that has been making a name for himself across the Independent Scene over the past year or two. Ciampa is a former ROH TV Champion and he made his PWG debut at last year's Battle of Los Angeles tournament.

His debut was a memorable one as he nearly destroyed Brian Cage with a brutal powerbomb through some steel chairs. Ciampa definitely made his mark!

Since that time, it's been a rocky road for Ciampa in PWG. He's competed against a wide variety of talent, but has yet to have that breakout performance in the company. Don't get me wrong - Ciampa's matches with Drake Younger and Chris Hero were damn good, but I still feel that the best is yet to come for the Sicilian Psychopath.

Ciampa certainly has the opportunity to have this breakout performance I'm speaking of, as he is facing off against ROH World Champion Michael Elgin in the first round of the tournament. I think we will see the start of a rise to the top for Tommaso Ciampa at the Battle of Los Angeles. He certainly has the ability to do so and I have a feeling he's going to be taking things to a whole nother level soon.

Entrant #22 - Adam Cole

Adam Cole may have only competed in ONE Battle of Los Angeles tournament, but he was victorious in that one showing so he's a big favorite here. Considering the fact that he just recently lost his coveted PWG World Tilte after a record breaking title reign, I'm sure Cole is looking to redeem himself and BOLA is the perfect opportunity.

In 2012, Adam Cole began his rise to the top in PWG. Cole defeated El Generico, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callihan, AND Michael Elgin all in the span of two days. That's as impressive as it gets. If you look down into the details of it, Cole defeated two current WWE superstars, a current TNA superstar, and the ROH World Champion all in one weekend. Yeah, pretty amazing right?

Since that time, Cole transformed into the biggest heel in the company so he won't have the fan support he had back in 2012, but he sure still has his outstanding abilities that led him through that epic weekend. Can history repeat itself? Will Cole sweep through the Battle of Los Angeles tournament this year like he did in 2012? That's a question that will only be answered in time, but I have a feeling we will see Cole in the finals this year. Whether it's his talent or his Mount Rushmore buddies that get him there, I think Adam Cole will make it very far in this year's tourney.

Entrant #23 - Ricochet

At #23 is my personal favorite pick to win the tournament this year, Ricochet. Since 2010, Ricochet has been tearing it up in PWG. From his classic series of bouts with El Generico to his outstanding tag team bouts over the past year. Ricochet is without a doubt one of the best performers in the world, much less in PWG.

Ricochet's first appearance in the Battle of Los Angeles tournament came in 2010 where he faced off with Claudio Castagnoli (CESARO). Ricochet wasn't victorious, but he put in a memorable performance and created what was arguably the best match of the whole tournament that year.

In 2012, Ricochet made his second BOLA entry and shocked everyone in the process by defeating Kevin Steen in the first round. Ricochet went on to defeat Roderick Strong and advance to the semi finals only to be defeated Michael Elgin.

Ricochet didn't compete in BOLA last year, so I'm expecting a big performance out of him this year. If you notice he's improved with each showing. 2010 - first round, 2011 - didn't compete, 2012 - semifinals, 2013 - didn't compete, 2014 - Fill In The Blank. If the trend continues, Ricochet is set to be in the finals this year and possibly even the winner of the whole tournament.

On top of Ricochet's record in BOLA, he recently won New Japan's Best of the Super Juniors tournament which is a huge accomplishment. Will Ricochet's jaw dropping abilities and recent tournament success lead him to becoming the 2014 BOLA winner? I think so.

With that being said, my pick to win the tournament this year is Ricochet!

Entrant #24 - Kenny Omega

The final entrant that was announced for BOLA was a pleasant surprise. After several years away from PWG, Kenny Omega will be making his return! Omega has been honing his craft in Japan over the past few years and has been quite successful as he is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion among other notable achievements.

Omega competed in PWG regularly from 2008-2010 and during that time he won the 2009 Battle of Los Angeles which is the only tournament in history in which the PWG World Championship title was on the line. With that being said, he is definitely a favorite to win this year's tournament in his return.

His experience in big match situations in Reseda and past success at BOLA makes him a top contender to take the honors this year.

Whether Omega wins the tournament or not, it's going to be awesome to see him back in Reseda. The crowd loves him and as a fan who keeps up with PWG via DVD at home - I love watching the guy compete as well.

Competitors beware - The Man of Low Moral Fiber is back in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla!

Final thoughts:

Well ladies and gentleman, if this article doesn't peak your interest in PWG, I'm afraid there's something wrong. This is without a doubt the most prestigious tournament in wrestling and it continues to gain more prestige as the years go on. With this being the 10th anniversary of the tournament, PWG went all out and as always, us fans are going to get three days of the best wrestling on the planet.

How can you watch? Unfortunately PWG doesn't have iPPV's so unless you're going to the event (which is already sold out), you'll have to wait for the DVD's to come out. I've been keeping up with PWG via DVD's for the past year and I'd definitely recommend it. So if your interest was peaked by reading this article, keep your eyes on and as these events should be up for pre-order several days after they take place. And if you can't wait that long, go ahead and surf both sites and look through a massive selection of PWG shows to choose from.

Thanks for reading and feel free to tweet me your thoughts in this article @EthanPWT on Twitter!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman DVD Review

Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman DVD Review

Yesterday, I picked up WWE's newest DVD release. A documentary on the career of arguably the greatest manager of all time, Paul Heyman. The DVD is aptly titled "Ladies and Gentlemen, My Name is Paul Heyman."

As a big fan of Heyman, I had been anticipating the release of this DVD for quite some time. With that being said, there were obviously high expectations for it. So right off the bat, I'll say that my expectations were exceeded as this documentary was fantastic.

The DVD starts off discussing Paul's parents and how his mother surviving the holocaust drove him to achieve his dreams. His dreams of a career in the professional wrestling industry. Paul discovered wrestling and knew it was his future career when he saw Vince McMahon interviewing

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 4th, 2014

WWE Monday Night Raw Review - August 4th, 2014

The Authority opened the show, but it wasn't just Triple H & Stephanie like it normally is, the whole stable came out together. Triple H & Stephanie out front with Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, and Kane behind them. As a big fan of stables, this was pretty cool to see. This segment was your basic opening segment from The Authority with several match announcements being made, but this one was just weird. Triple H plugged the network throughout in a heelish way while running down the SummerSlam card by saying "For only $9.99" after every match was named. WWE is pretty desperate for people to subscribe to the Network so they decide to have one of the biggest bad guys in the company promote the Network in a heelish way? That makes no sense. Despite the ignorance of that part of this segment, Roman Reigns eventually came out to set up the first match of the evening.

1) Roman Reigns vs. Kane - Last Man Standing Match
Neither of these guys interest me, but the stipulation garnered my attention. It's not often we see stipulation matches on TV so I was interested. This was a decent match, but I really wasn't into it. It was mainly Kane dominating the early part of the bout only for

ROH TV Review - August 2nd, 2014 - Golden Gauntlet

ROH Gauntlet for the Gold 2014 Review

On this week's episode of ROH TV, they held a 6 man gauntlet in which the winner would recieve a shot at Michael Elgin's ROH World Title. The competitors involved include BJ Whitmer, Cedric Alexander, Jay Lethal, Matt Taven, Romantic Touch, and Caprice Coleman. They're giving it the whole hour so this should be good.

1) BJ Whitmer vs. Caprice Coleman
Whitmer and Coleman started the gauntlet off with a nice exchange. They went at it for nearly 15 minutes and managed to put together a pretty entertaining