PWG BOLA 2015 Final Stage 8/30/15
Brian Cage vs Jack Evans BOLA Second Round
The story of the weekend is that Jack Evans has turned into full blown insane Teddy Hart, and that Brian Cage had the worst match of night one and two. Also that Brain Cage is probably going to have a heart attack before he's 35. Just like night one, this show begins with chants of "GET YOUR SHIT IN", which Cage endorses and encourages. Oh, I didn't even notice that GMSI is actually on his gear. For some reason, Cage does AJ Styles' taunt. Before the match, Jack Evans gets on the mic and shits on the low production values and professionalism of PWG. Then he shits on the fans for not picking him in the betting circles. The spirit of Teddy Hart has inhabited the body of Jack Evans this weekend and it has been wonderful. One thing you never do is make fun of body builders. Because they will throw you all the fuck around. Especially when you are 100 pounds smaller. Jack has zero offense for like 5 minutes. Just reckless chucking around the ring by Cage. Including a series of German suplexes with absolutely no regard for Jack's well being. I don't want Jack to lose here, because the idea of not hearing him shit talk anymore would be terrible. And he wins with a backslide OUTTA NOWHERE. Cage then murders him with the Steiner Screwdriver after the match, partly because of roid rage, and partly because he has to get his shit in. Jack advances!
Biff Busick vs Chris Hero BOLA Second Round
Hero starts the match with immediate bicycle kicks and elbows. On night 2, Hero defeated Tim Thatcher, while Biff was in a Guerrilla Warfare match with Mount Rushmore 2.0. Neither are in great shape, and both are trying to win as fast as possible. Both going for the KO shot. Hero starts decking Biff. Biff then repeatedly spits in Hero's face. And then Hero opens his mouth and lets Biff spit in his mouth. What the fuck? That's fucking gross, dude. HOSS Hero is legit and I hope he returns to NXT with the NXT/Evolve relationship. Hero mostly controls this, with disgusting elbows, punches, and stomps. In night 2, some fan was annoying him, so he went out into the crowd and edged his belly closer and closer to the guy's face, while not even looking at him. It was lol. After 6 consecutive elbows, Hero hits an avalanche piledriver (shout out to Kanyon and Kidman) for the win.
Trevor Lee vs Marty Scurll BOLA Second Round
Party Marty ain't shit. You can print that. Of all the Euro guys, he's been the least impressive by far. Trevor Lee hasn't impressed me either. On night one, Marty "The Villain" was a face. For nights 2 and 3, he's a heel. I'm really getting tired of all these dudes with beards and black tights. Austin in basic black trunks and boots was unique in an era of wrestling clowns and champs wearing bright colors. Now it seems that 80% of guys on the indies wear basic black trunks and boots. And have beards. "FUCK YOUR MAN BUN." I don't want to say anything, but I agree. Marty's whole thing is basically "ARRRRG I'M A HEEL, MATE" because he might be a pirate, too. Instead of being a heel, he puts on the act of what he thinks a heel should be. Not unlike Seth Rollins. He's an obnoxious heel in the bad way. The way where it is just annoying and impossible to suspend your disbelief for even a second. He has this spot where he fakes a superkick (that is of course blocked) and then yells "JUST KIDDING" before kicking them in the leg. He also has a few other times per match where he yells out something similar. Nothing of note really happens in this. There was a slight story of Marty working on Trevor's arm, but it really didn't play much into the match. I mean, Marty eventually won with the crossface chicken wing, but the arm work didn't prevent Trevor from doing anything he'd normally do in the match.
Pentagon Jr. vs Zack Sabre Jr. BOLA Second Round
Crowd is hyped as fuck for this. Both guys are known for fucking up arms, and both have some serious attitude with each other even before the match. Both guys do wacky ass submissions and then let each other go, playing a dangerous, yet respectful game of one upmanship. Pentagon has excellent usage of the middle finger. After some stiff as fuck chops, Sabre gets pissed and starts his arm work. It doesn't last long before he's getting chopped again and smashed with dives. And then ZSJ locks on a kimura and Pentagon immediately taps out. What the fuck? Why was this so short? The most hyped match of the weekend was like 10 minutes. And had an OUTTA NOWHERE finish like the opener.
Mike Bailey vs Tommy End BOLA Second Round
At Night 2, Bailey had an upset win over Drew Galloway (which had about 4 too many false finishes for it to matter). Here again, he's completely out matched and outsized. This is a battle of Dutch MUEY TIE (End) and karate (Bailey). Another "try to get the win immediately" opener. Mike Bailey kind of looks like he could be Lanny Poffo's son. If there is one thing Tommy End does well, it is his flying knees. Which he uses more than than the Young Bucks use superkicks. Bailey will also throw about 900 kicks to the chest in any given match. Usually about a hundred in a row. Mike Bailey is also the king of ridiculous kick outs after being murdered. Sometimes strings of them. That seems to be his gimmick. "Heart." AKA: Kick out of pretty much everything even though you're 5'5" and 160 pounds. Bailey wins with a shooting star knee drop to the back and then a KO kick.
William Ospreay vs Matt Sydal BOLA Second Round
Ospreay is good at doing wacky arm drags. Ospreay is a big Sydal and PWG fan, so he has Sydal scouted. The makes Matt have to try new shit. Mostly leg work and submissions, but also some Nigel McGuinness spots. The leg work doesn't stop Ospreay from doing a dive and landing on his feet. I don't care that he sold it afterwards. That he did it at all after most of the match being leg work is fucking dumb. It also doesn't stop him from doing a bunch of flippy twisty shit in the ring. Or landing on his feet from a phoenix splash. And landing on his feet countering a super reverse rana. Fuck Will Ospreay. He wins with an imploding 450. Terrible psychology from that dude.
Mount Rushmore 2.0 vs Angelico/Fenix/Rich Swan/Ricochet
The night before, Mount Rushmore 2.0 were involved in Guerrilla Warfare match, where they beat up res and even Excalibur. Excalibur claimed this shit was going to end and something would be done to end the reign of 2.0. So tonight, 2.0 called out anyone and Team Lucha Underground hit the ring. Looks like we got us a tag team match, playas. I will say this about 2.0: Despite having Roderick Strong instead of AJ Styles, it is way better than the Bullet Club. I will also say the idea of Super Dragon still trying to be this ultra bad ass when he's clearly a fat guy in pajamas trying to be hard but not hard enough that it prevents him from frequently adjusting his gear to make sure it isn't hugging his love handles and gut too much is completely laughable. Probably didn't help that in the GWF match, he spent 70% of it sucking wind and letting his partners do all the work. Swan is stuck as FIP for quite a while. Here is the deal with the YB this weekend. Night one they were having a legit pretty good match, with actual heel tactics and psychology. Then they started doing Brock/Taker comedy spots from Summerslam. And their opponents got into it. In what was, seconds before, a heated battle. And that's really the Young Bucks in a nutshell; they just can't avoid 4th wall breaking comedy spots for cheap pops. In the GWF match, they had refs doing dives and superkicks. There are quite a few spots where everyone hits a big move and all the strikes have the same sound. I know that superkicks and punches to the gut don't have the same sound, brehs. Super Dragon at some point quietly goes to the back. Probably to take a nap and get some oxygen. Lots of dives. Lots of missed splashes in the ring. Lots of standing around waiting for your spots. Lots of pin break ups. Pretty much what you'd expect from a PWG 8 man tag. 2.0 wins when Roderick hits the End of Heartache on Swan. Super Dragon never returned to the match.
Jack Evans vs Chris Hero BOLA Semifinals
Lol, Jack now has his entire torso and head wrapped up. YES. More shit talk from Jack! "Do you realize when you boo me, you are booing The Rock's favorite wrestler?!" "Chris, it's been a long time, and frankly, you look horrible." Now he's talking about Einstein and maths. Jack Evans' evolution from the HEIGHT of scrawny insane flippy shit in 2005-2006 to all jacked up height of insane flippy shit with the spirit of Teddy Hart is something else. Hero dominates this match. Talk shit, get hit, basically. Despite getting the shit knocked out of him, Jack will not stay down for even a two count. He did say that Hero didn't have any offense to put him down for 2, let alone 3. He's proving to be right, so far. After what seemed like 100 elbows, Chris Hero knocks out Jack Evans to advance to the finals. Jack Evans talks more shit after the match. "PEACE, BITCHES!"
Mike Bailey vs William Ospreay BOLA Semifinals
I already know I'm going to hate this match. Oh, NOW Ospreay ways to sell his leg. Fuck off, mate. Just fuck right off. This fuck head. He starts the match selling his leg like he can't even walk without using the ropes for balance. And then he starts doing leap frogs and backflips off the second rope with no problem. LOL, "Oh I can't run so I have to roll to the other side of the ring *immediately hits a 19 rotation standing twisting moonsault". And then he's doing springboard apron moves. Then he can't walk again. Fuck off. And Fosbury Flops LANDING ON HIS FUCKING FEET. Jesus Christ this guy is garbage. Bailey wins and advances to the finals. Fuck both of these dudes.
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Marty Scurll BOLA Semifinals
Fuck Party Marty. Hopefully ZSJ breaks his arm immediately. This is a very Euro wrasslin match. Wacky submissions, wacky escapes. A very cutesy British wrestling exhibition. Excalibur can't hide his disappointment at the lack of intensity from both men. ZSJ wins and advances to the finals. Why this was a half hour and ZSJ vs Pentagon was 12 minutes, I'll never know. But fuck Party Marty. He ain't shit.
Team Tommaso Ciampa vs Team Chuck Taylor
A 10 man tag, featuring Chuck Taylor, Trent?, Aero Star, Drew Gulak, Drew Galloway, Tomasso Ciampa, Andrew Everett, Drago, Timothy Thatcher, and Mark Andrews. This is a 10 man PWG tag. With Chuck Taylor. You know what this is. Lots of comedy. Some 50s grappling. Some lucha fuckery. A dude trying to violate other guys by jamming his thumb up their bum. And a series where everyone hits each other in the dick. Even best friends. And slow motion. With the entire audience also in slow motion. A LOT of slow motion. Like...5 straight minutes. That went from lol to holy shit this is dumb to lol to this is so dumb to I'm amazed the fans have gone with this the entire time and didn't have some asshole trying to kill the spot. Team Chucky T gets the win. This is, perhaps, CHuck Taylor's last PWG appearance.
Mike Bailey vs Chris Hero vs Zack Sabre Jr. BOLA 2015 Finals
Let's get Bailey out of here and just let Sabre/Hero have a match. This has some legit three way chain wrestling. And of course...random comedy spots of trying to pin the ref. In this very serious and prestigious tournament final. Mike Bailey gets a boner at some point. Like he got hit hard and then had a full on boner in the middle of the ring. It's...a triple threat. On a show that without entrances has been 3 1/2 hours, in a building that is 100 degrees in the ring, with a crowd that has seen about 10 hours of wrestling for the weekend, with the same group of guys, three nights in a row. Bailey is the first to be eliminated, thankfully. Not as thankful that it was after a significant amount of time had passed. I can appreciate Hero bringing back the piledriver as a legit move, but I wish he would have eliminated Bailey about 15 minutes sooner. Zack almost gets the win with what Bayley won the Iron Man match with. Who would have guessed there was a Zack Sabre Jr. shout out in the first ever female main event of a WWE special event? The second time he tries it, he gets the win. Zack Sabre Jr. is the BOLA 2015 champion. The show ends with all the UK celebrating together. OI!
If you're into indie wrestling and PWG in particular, the whole weekend will be great for you. I have my issues with both, and while it is an exhausting amount of wrestling watch on DVD in the comfort of your own home, it definitely had some highlights and really introduced me to some new guys that I'm interested in.
Of the UK group, Zack Sabre Jr. is fucking legit. That dude is great. Next big indie star for sure. He's like 2004-2006 Bryan Danielson, but bigger, faster, and not looking like he's always going to laugh. I liked Timothy Thatcher, who has a real throwback style and is just mean, with great attention to selling. Tommy End, while Dutch, is a part of that group and is pretty good. His strikes are excellent, although he spams the same 2-3 so much that I can see his matches getting old in a hurry. Those guys in NXT with some personality training could be amazing. Fuck Scurll and Ospreay. Both have terrible psychology and selling. Scurll at no point feels like he's a real heel or even taking anything seriously, instead being a caricature of what he thought an 80s heel was probably like. Ospreay is just indie flippy bullshit who goes from OH MY GOD I CAN'T EVEN WALK to doing dives to the floor and landing on his feet, then springboarding back into the ring to do more flips. Fuck him. Mark Andrews left such an impression on me that I had to go back and look him up to remember who he was.
For the lucha dudes, Pentagon is the only guy that stands out for me. Drago looks cool as shit, but he's really sloppy and awkward, which goes double for Fenix and triple for Aerostar. It was brutal that ZSJ/Pentagon was so short. It had the biggest reaction of anything on all three shows and might have been the shortest or second shortest of them all. Just as it was starting to pick up, it ended.
For the US indie guys, the real star of the weekend was Jack Evans, who was fucking hilarious talking shit in every match he was in. HOSS Hero continues to be pretty rad. I liked Biff Busick, although he really needs a personality in the ring. He has the talent and a solid look, but he needs some help bringing out the personality. Luckily, most of the guys I really enjoyed over the weekend regularly work in EVOLVE, which means there is a good chance of seeing them at least get a bit of time in NXT to see if they can bring out some personality.
And here is a collection of gifs of my big homie @FallingEdge. Follow him on Twitter.