Thursday, August 7, 2014

PWG Announces Its BOLA Contingency

Candice LeRae WILL be kicking fools in tournament action at this year's Battle of Los Angeles
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla took to social media to drop the news on replacements for the injured competitors in this year's Battle of Los Angeles tournament. As a refresher, AR Fox broke his wrist and will be out until September, and Trent? blew out his knee a few weeks ago. Brian Cage was also injured, but he'll be ready for the tournament, it seems. The other two will be replaced by Bobby Fish and Candice LeRae, respectively.

Fox, funnily enough, was originally scheduled to take on Cage in the first round on night one. Fish, who is making his PWG debut, will slide into that spot. LeRae will take Trent?'s spot on night two against Rich Swann. Additionally, Trent? was scheduled for a six-man tag on night one with the Men of Low Moral Fiber (Chuck Taylor and Kenny Omega) against the remaining members of Mount Rushmore, the Young Bucks and Adam Cole. Zack Sabre, Jr. will replace him in that match.

Firstly, LeRae getting into the tournament gets my top marks. She has become one of the biggest deals in independent wrestling overall, and her run in PWG was the catalyst for all this. The Candice and Joey Show as a tag team has been huge and should continue to be a large part of the company's narrative, but no tag team division is big enough to hold her back. She's a star, baby.

Second, Fish getting the call to come out west is good news, even if just a bit predictable. His reDRagon partner Kyle O'Reilly is currently PWG World Champion. However, I can forgive predictable since he was presumably a last minute fill-in. He has been a standout performer in the ring wherever he's gone, and his time in ROH has actually helped him develop personality. I think he's a perfect fit for PWG.

Finally, Sabre getting to work the trios match on night one is a no-brainer. You've got him for the weekend; you might as well give him as many reps as possible. The only time I've ever seen him was in a big multiperson match where he was a standout performer, so I have high hopes for him making a great first impression in front of the Reseda crowd. Hopefully, BOLA weekend will be the start of something bigger for him in America.

Overall, PWG has turned its lemons into some theoretically kick-ass lemonade. The company didn't have to go too far to get the best replacement entrant possible, and I'm glad they went the LeRae route instead of getting another guest star to come in. BOLA sounded like it was going to be a blast before. Now? It sounds like it could be the premiere event of the entire year.