Pro Wrestling Guerrilla “Battle of Los Angeles – Night Two” report: Vetter’s review of the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals of the annual tournament


By Chris Vetter, Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Pro Wrestling Guerrilla “Battle of Los Angeles – Night Tw0”
Available via DVD
January 8, 2023 in Los Angeles, California at Globe Theatre

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla held its two-day “Battle of Los Angeles” tournament in early January. The DVDs for the event were recently released. This is a review of night two of the tournament. If you are unfamiliar with the BOLA tournament … nearly every top wrestler who worked the indy circuit has competed in a BOLA at some point in the past 15 years. This event contains the quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals plus some bonus matches.

Additionally, Mike Bailey was NOT available for night 1. So, he has a “first-round match” against Jordynne Grace, who won a “qualifying match” on night 1.The blu-ray discs of this event were just released. While I recall hearing who won the tournament, I really tried to avoid results oother than that. Excalibur provided commentary.

1. Mike Bailey defeated Jordynne Grace in a first-round match at 15:21. They shook hands before the bell. Bailey has had good matches in the past year with other women, such as Masha Slamovich. Grace hit a shoulder tackle. Bailey hit a dropkick, then the Triangle Moonsault to the floor. She picked him up for a vertical suplex and she walked around ringside. He escaped, but he accidentally chopped the ring post at 3:30. Jordynne immediately went to work on further damaging the left hand.

In the ring, she continued to twist the left wrist and pull at his fingers. Grace hit a spinebuster for a nearfall at 6:00. Bailey fired back with a dropkick. He hit a series of kicks and his running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall. Jordynne fired back with a hard diving elbow into the corner, then a Vader Bomb for a nearfall at 8:00. She hit a Goldberg-style Jackhammer, and they were both down. They got up and traded forearm shots. Bailey hit his Speedball kicks to the thighs and ribs. Grace jumped on his back for a sleeper, but he went through the ropes, with them both crashing to the ground at 11:00.

Jordynne dove through the ropes on Bailey; Bailey returned a dive onto her. In the ring, he set up for a Flamingo Driver, but she escaped it. He missed the moonsault kneedrop. She hit a standing powerbomb for a nearfall then the Homicide-style Copkillah backslide driver for a believable nearfall at 13:30. Jordynne picked him up for a Musclebuster, but he escaped it. She applied a sleeper. Bailey nailed the Flamingo Driver/modified One-Winged Angel for the pin. Excellent match.

2. Konosuke Takeshita defeated Titus Alexander in a BOLA quarterfinal match at 9:36. Excalibur said this tournament is a ‘blind draw’ and doesn’t have announced brackets. Takeshita hit a Saito Suplex and a hard lariat for a nearfall. They went to the floor, where Takeshita hit a running boot at 2:00 while Titus was seated on a chair. In the ring, Takeshita applied a Camel Clutch. Titus hit a stiff kick to the back and took control of the offense. Takeshita hit a leg lariat at 4:30. Takeshita hit a second-rope delayed suplex for a nearfall.

They traded mid-ring forearm shots. The hit simultaneous clotheslines. Titus hit a German Suplex; Takeshita hit one, and they each hit one more. Takeshita hit a Helluva Kick; Titus hit another German Suplex; Takeshita hit a clothesline, and they were both down at 7:30. One heck of an exchange there. Titus hit a brainbuster for a nearfall. Takeshita hit a Michinoku Driver, then a jumping knee to the chest for the pin. Good match.

* Eddie Kingston joined Excalibur on commentary, so I guess this is live commentary, not done in post-production.

3. Bryan Keith defeated Masha Slamovich in a BOLA quarterfinal match at 15:08. They shook hands and had an intense lockup, and he hit a bodyslam at 2:00. Masha hit a summersault flip off the top rope onto Keith on the floor, and she hit some hard chops. Keith hit a headbutt as they continued to brawl on the floor. There is very little room to move at ringside because the fans are packed in here. In the ring, Masha applied a cross-armbreaker at 4:30. He did a slingshot on the bottom rope, with her throat striking the rope.

Keith hit a running knee to the gut and he was in control of the offense, hitting a kneedrop to the head for a nearfall. She hit a kick to the back; he fired back with a Mafia kick. Keith bodyslammed her into the corner turnbuckles at 7:30. Ouch! They got up and traded chops. He hit several headbutts; she hit her own headbutts. Keith hit a decapitating clothesline. Masha hit a Snow Plow Driver. They hit simultaneous kicks, and she hit a spinning back fist, and they were both down at 9:30.

Keith got up and he was bleeding from the mouth. She hit a jumping knee strike in the corner and a Helluva Kick, then a left-arm clothesline for a nearfall. Keith nailed a uranage; she rolled him over for a nearfall (same way she beat Alex Shelley on night 1!) at 11:30. Keith nailed an enzuigiri and he looked deranged, with his eyes bugging out and blood seeping out of his mouth. Masha got a sunset flip for a nearfall. He hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall.

Masha nailed a Tiger Driver for a believable nearfall at 14:00, then a fisherman’s brainbuster for a nearfall. This has been really good. She went for a Shining Wizard, but he caught her and hit a standing powerbomb for a nearfall. He then nailed his own Shining Wizard for the pin. That was really good stuff.

4. Komander defeated Bandido in a BOLA quarterfinals match at 14:54. Again, Bandido is a former BOLA winner and a former PWG champion. Bandido is wearing his more traditional ring gear tonight. Komander hit a headscissors takedown, then a top-rope dive to the floor. In the ring, Komander hit a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall at 1:30. Komander hit a springboard sunset flip, and he tied Bandido up on the mat. Bandido help Komander above his head and he hit a German Suplex. Komander hit a top-rope double stomp on the top of Bandido’s head for a nearfall.

Bandido hit a series of kicks in the corner at 4:30 and he was fired up, but he was clutching at his head in pain, selling that double stomp. Bandido hit several punches to the face, and there were a smattering of boos. Bandido hit a running basement forearm for a nearfall at 7:00. Komander leapt off the ropes and hit a huracanrana. Komander nailed a springboard moonsault to the floor at 8:30. In the ring, Komander hit a springboard double stomp and a diving forearm to the back of the neck for a nearfall.

Komander tied him up on the mat. They traded chops and open-hand slaps to the face. Bandido hit a pop-up faceplant at 11:00, then a jackknife cover for a nearfall. Komander got a Victory Roll for a visual pin, but the ref said Bandido got his shoulder up; I’m not so sure. They fought on the ropes in the corner; Bandido flipped him to the mat but I don’t think they did what they intended here. Komander went for a top-rope huracanrana, but Bandido caught him and hit a Styles Clash for a nearfall at 14:30. Komander walked the top rope and hit a springboard Shooting Star Press for the pin! A mild upset.

5. Mike Bailey defeated Shun Skywalker in a BOLA quarterfinal match at 15:38. It appears Bailey is developing a bruise below his right eye before this begins. They brawled to the floor early on, with fans moving away as much as they could to give them room to fight. Shun slammed a chair onto Bailey, as Mike was lying on the ground, at 3:00. They finally got back in the ring, with Shun in charge of the offense. Shun began arguing with the ref, then he hit a Helluva Kick for a nearfall at 6:00.

Bailey fired back with a shotgun dropkick, and he was firing up. He hit a series of kicks and a running corkscrew press for a nearfall. Shun hit a TKO stunner at 8:30, and he began working at the damaged left fingers (which Grace worked over in the first match), and he bit them. They traded forearm shots while on their knees at 11:30, then got to their feet and hit more. Bailey hit his mid-ring Spanish Fly for a nearfall, then his Triangle Moonsault to the floor, and they were both down on the ground.

They traded chops in the corner. Bailey missed the Ultima Weapon. However, he hit the Tornado Kick, and he set up for the Flamingo Driver, but Shun escaped. Shun hit a swinging uranage for a believable nearfall at 14:00. Bailey hit a huracanrana and a running penalty kick. Shun hit a moonsault kneedrop for a nearfall. Shun went for a top-rope moonsault, but Bailey got his knees up. Bailey hit a superkick, then his tornado kick in the corner, then the Ultima Weapon second-rope moonsault kneedrop for the pin. That was really, really good.

6. Black Taurus and Latigo defeated Aramis and Rey Horus at 10:36. Three of these guys lost first-round matches a day ago. Aramis and Horus are wearing almost identical teal gear. Aramis and Latigo started and they traded quick reversals. Horus entered at 3:00 and hit a huracanrana on Latigo. Taurus tagged in and hit some quick armdrags on Horus. Horus hit a Crucifix Takedown Driver and a deep armdrag; these two are just so completely on the same page.

Aramis entered and hit a satellite head-scissors takedown on Taurus, doing several rotations around Taurus’ body. Horus hit a springboard corkscrew moonsault to the floor at 6:00, then Aramis hit a 450 Splash for a nearfall. Taurus hit a Lungblower, and they began working over Aramis, with Taurus hitting his pop-up Samoan Drop for a nearfall. The babyfaces hit stereo dives to the floor at 9:00. This has been nearly flawless lucha action.

Horus hit a tornado DDT on Taurus. Aramis put Taurus on his back, spun him several times, and slammed him to the mat for a nearfall, but Latigo made the save. Latigo nailed a flip dive through the ropes. Horus hit a faceplant on Taurus; Taurus hit a backbreaker over his knee on Horus, then a sit-out piledriver for the pin. That was excellent.

* Excalibur is back to calling the action solo. (I truly didn’t even notice when Kingston left the booth!)

7. Konosuke Takeshita defeated Komander in a BOLA semifinal match at 5:37. Komander immediately hit a dropkick sending Takeshita to the floor. Komander walked the top rope and hit a springboard moonsault to the floor. In the ring, he hit a 450 Splash for a nearfall at 1:30. Takeshita countered with a running knee to the jaw. Takeshita hit a discus clothesline for a nearfall. Komander hit a Code Red, and he went for a satellite headscissors takedown, but Takeshita blocked it and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb, and they were both down at 4:30.

In a neat spot, Komander walked the tight rope from one corner to another, then hit a springboard Phoenix Splash. He went for a springboard Shooting Star Press, but Takeshita got his knees up. They traded rollups on the mat, and Takeshita got a backslide for the pin! Really good for being so short.

8. Mike Bailey defeated Bryan Keith in a BOLA semifinal match at 18:10. An intense lockup to begin. Excalibur noted how Bailey wrestled nine matches over Wrestlemania weekend last year, so he’s an iron man who can do well in a tournament. Bailey tied up the legs, but Keith quickly reached the ropes at 2:00. Bailey hit a spin kick; Keith fired back with a forearm that leveled Bailey. They traded forearm shots. They fought to the floor, where Bailey hit some more spin kicks to the chest. Keith hit a DDT onto an open chair as they continued to brawl on the floor.

Bailey hit a baseball slide dropkick through the ropes at 5:30. In the ring, he hit a double kneedrop to the back as Keith was lying across the top rope. Bailey hit a dragon screw leg whip and was in charge. He applied the Jamie Noble Trailer Hitch leglock at 7:30, but Keith reached the ropes. They began trading hard chops. They allowed each other to hit chops to the back, with Keith definitely getting the better of the exchange. Bailey hit a running corkscrew press at 11:00.

Keith fired back with an Exploder Suplex and he was fired up. He hit a second one, this time into the turnbuckles. They traded more hard chops, and Bailey caught him with a spin kick to the chest at 13:00 that dropped Keith. Bailey hit his speedball kicks to the thighs and ribs. He went for the tornado kick, but Keith blocked it. Bailey nailed his Corner Moonsault to the floor. They traded forearm shots on the ring apron, then spin kicks to the chest. Bailey nailed a moonsault kneedrop on the ring apron at 16:00.

They fought on the ropes in the corner, with Keith hitting a release superplex, then a running knee strike for a believable nearfall. Bailey nailed a moonsault kneedrop, then the Tornado Kick. He went for the Flamingo Driver, but Keith escaped, got a rollup for a nearfall. However, Bailey hit the Ultima Weapon moonsault kneedrop for the pin. An absolutely fantastic match. The crowd shouted “Please come back!” at Keith.

* SIDE NOTE: PWG historically has edited out all entrance music, which means we usually miss wrestlers walk to the ring here. That is (unfortunately) what happened here, as we didn’t get to hear “Judas” and the surprise reveal that the Jericho Appreciation Society are in the building and ready to fight! Fans are chanting “holy shit!” at seeing the JAS in the ring, all wearing identically shiny gold jackets and black pants. “This is certainly an unexpected development,” Excalibur shouted.

9. “Jericho Appreciation Society” Chris Jericho, Angelo Parker, Matt Menard, Sammy Guevara, and Daniel Garcia (w/Jake Hager, Anna Jay, Tay Melo) defeated Kevin Blackwood, Evil Uno, Jonathan Gresham, Michael Oku, and SB Kento at 19:11. Parker and Kento opened, but Jericho immediately tagged in, then Sammy tagged in; no one has locked up yet. Gresham and Garcia traded hard slaps at 3:00; Gresham tagged out, holding his head, and he may have legit been shaken up. Jericho entered and traded chops with Evil Uno.

Team PWG took turns hitting clothesline in the corner on Parker at 6:00. Oku went for the half-crab, but Parker fought free. The JAS began working over Oku, with Jericho hitting a back suplex at 8:30. Oku finally hit a tornado DDT on Parker, and he tagged in Gresham at 10:30. Gresham and Garcia traded more offense, and Gresham dove through the ropes onto several opponents. Kento hit a running knee on Garcia, then SB hit a dive to the floor. Evil Uno hit a Flatliner on Jericho. Anna Jay got in the ring and confronted EVIL Uno; it allowed Tay Melo to sneak in and hit a low blow on Evil Uno at 12:00.

In past years, the BOLA non-tournament multi-man match has involved a comedy spot where someone hits a “slow motion button” on a remote, and they do that here, where all of a sudden everyone is going at half-speed. It’s actually quite entertaining in a kayfabe-breaking way, with the crowd even chanting “this is awesome” at super-slow speed. Jericho broke this at 15:00 by unloading regular-speed chops on Oku and the match continued at regular speed. (That was a fun silly three minutes). Oku hit a Lionsault on Jericho for a nearfall. Jericho applied a Boston Crab on Oku; Oku countered it and applied a half-crab.

Guevara hit a Go To Sleep. SB Kento hit a DDT. Blackwood hit a Death Valley Driver. Jericho hit the Code Breaker to the jaw on Blackwood for a nearfall, and Jericho argued with the referee at 18:00, allowing Blackwood to get a rollup for a nearfall. Jericho and Blackwood traded hard chops, and Blackwood hit a Helluva Kick then a footstomp on Jericho’s chest for a nearfall, but Chris got a foot on the ropes. Garcia hit Blackwood with a baseball bat. Jericho nailed the Judas Effect roaring back elbow to pin Blackwood. That was fun.

* Jericho got on the mic and said he had told Excalibur months ago he wanted to come in and work BOLA. Jericho called PWG the “modern-day ECW,” saying it has “the same atmosphere of giving young wrestlers a chance.” A nice, classy speech from the heel. Fans chanted, “Please come back!”

10. Mike Bailey defeated Konosuke Takeshita to win the Battle of Los Angeles tournament at 27:20. The large trophy was brought into the ring. The bell sounded but Bailey was heistant to accept a handshake; Takeshita has perhaps a three- or four-inch height advantage. Takeshita immediately hit a Helluva Kick, so Bailey hit one back. They traded forearm shots. Takeshita hit his flying clothesline at 3:30, and Bailey went to the floor to regroup. Bailey hit his Triangle Moonsault to the floor.

Bailey hit his speedball kicks. Takeshita hit a sit-out powerbomb, and he began twisting the fingers and wrist on the left hand (which got damaged in Bailey’s first match to start the show.) Takeshita applied a Rings of Saturn at 6:30 and kept twisting the wrist and fingers. Bailey nailed a running kick to the chest, and they were both down. Bailey hit a series of kicks, but he missed his corkscrew senton. Takeshita set up several chairs on the floor; they brawled on the ring apron, and while tied in a leglock, they rolled off the apron and onto the open chairs at 10:30. Ouch!

Back in the ring, Bailey applied the Trailer Hitch again. Bailey went for the tornado kick, but Takeshita blocked it. Takeshita nailed a Poison Rana at 13:00, then a Meteora double knee strike to the jaw, and they were both down. Bailey hit some kicks; Konosuke hit a hard clothesline, and they were both down again. They got up and traded more forearm shots. Bailey knocked him down with a spin kick at 16:00, but Konosuke hopped up and hit a forearm that dropped Bailey. Bailey hit a moonsault kneedrop and a spin kick to the head for a nearfall.

Bailey hit the Tornado Kick and set up for Ultima Weapon, but Takeshita caught him and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 17:30. Takeshita hit a flip dive to the floor, absolutely barreling onto Bailey. Bailey hit his moonsault kneedrop on the ring apron, but he missed the Ultima Weapon. Takeshita hit a knee strike in the corner. Konosuke stomped on Bailey’s damaged fingers. They fought on the ropes in the corner, and Konosuke clotheslined him to the floor, then he hit a running kneestrike for a believable nearfall, and they were both down at 20:30.

They again fought on the ropes in the corner, and Bailey nailed a super-huracanrana, but he again missed Ultima Weapon. Bailey hit his mid-ring Spanish Fly. Takeshita got a backslide for a nearfall. Bailey hit his springboard moonsault to the floor at 23:30. They crawled back in the ring. Bailey hit a dragon screw leg whip in the ropes and repeated boots to the chest. Takeshita hit a brainbuster onto the top turnbuckle at 26:30 for a believable nearfall! Ouch!!!! Bailey hit a second-rope moonsault kneedrop to the chest, then the Flamingo Driver for the clean pin. Absolutely fantastic.

* Bailey was handed the trophy; it is nearly four feet tall. He hugged Takeshita. Takeshita rolled to the corner of the ring, and Bailey hoisted the trophy up in the air and got loudly cheered. He got on the mic and noted his first BOLA was in 2015. He said he got lucky because he got to wrestle all over the world (while banned from the US.) “Tonight, we are all extremely lucky, because the best wrestlers from all over the world have come here tonight,” he said. He said winning BOLA “was the greatest honor possible.” He handed the mic over to Takeshita, who said they had wrestled in Japan many times. Takeshita said it was like a dream, and he thanked the crowd for coming.

Final Thoughts: By my count, Bailey’s four total matches on the show clocked in at 76 minutes, 29 seconds, of bell-to-bell ring time. I think we’ll look back on this era of 2022-23 of Bailey’s run and just be in awe. Not only did he have that stellar hour-long match against Josh Alexander in Impact Wrestling, he’s had matches like the ones here seemingly every week since his return to the U.S. And, just four weeks after this event, he wrestled four matches in one day at the Game Changer Wrestling “J Cup” tournament (losing in the finale to Jordan Oliver.) He certainly delivered here, especially with that memorable main event.

I don’t mind a bit of comedy in the middle of a match, and the slow-motion spot has always been a blast to watch; you know the crowd is just waiting for it. I’m ok with comedy in an undercard match; I generally dislike it when it occurs in the main event. While I wish we could have seen the crowd’s shocked reaction to Jericho and the rest of the JAS hitting the ring, I understand PWG’s reluctance and hesitancy to having it included because of music rights.

I said this in a different review recently, but Black Taurus is the perfect wrestler to compliment high-flyers like Komander, El Hijo del Vikingo, Rey Horus, Laredo Kid, etc. He catches them flawlessly. He knows what they are attempting to hit and he makes everything they do look good. The high-flyers get the attention, but it takes someone like Taurus to really, really make them look so good.

Both nights of the 2023 BOLA are highly recommended, and can be purchased at:


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