Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Battle of Los Angeles Continues to Be International, Incredible

Thatcher finally making his PWG debut
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has announced eight more names to its annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament since the first two dropped last week. For those who don't remember, those names were Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll. While I didn't know much about those two, I do have a thing or two to say about the next eight in. Time to dive in:
  • Timothy Thatcher - The British Messiah has been in America, California even, for awhile. He made his bones in the northern part of the state, wrestling in and around Sacramento, but he's also got credentials in the south for Championship Wrestling from Hollywood. However, his most notable experience in the indies has come on the East Coast, wrestling for Combat Zone Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, and most notably, EVOLVE, where he's at the vanguard of the throwback mat wrestlers along with Drew Gulak and another guy who's been announced for this shindig.
  • Speedball Mike Bailey - The Canadian standout has impressed in his first couple of outings in PWG this year, so it should follow he'll be back for the big tournament. Hopefully, he has a bit more luck than he did at DDT4, when he and Matt Sydal bowed out in the first round.
  • Chris Hero - Everyone knows about Hero, but he'll be a welcome addition into the tournament. He's pretty much Mr. PWG right now, a sage veteran who can throw down in any style with any opponent. I'm hoping he gets Thatcher at some point on night three.
  • Biff Busick - Busick is the third of the EVOLVE World of Sport Holy Trinity. He's pretty much a PWG regular at this point, and like Hero, he's a dude who can throw down in any style with any opponent. The biggest difference is Busick always looks so angry when he does throw down.
  • Mark Andrews - Yet another member of the Indie British Invasion, Andrews will bring some aerial pyrotechnics to the tournament. Since TNA seems to be going the way of the dinosaur, it'll be great to see him work promotions in America that aren't about to go belly-up.
  • Brian Cage - Another no-brainer PWG lifetime entrant, Cage has extra cache as Lucha Underground's resident monster. I hope he makes the finals just so he can suplex like three people at the same time. I know the finals are going to be a three-way match and not a four-way, but I'm sure Rick Knox won't mind being part of a prop spot. He's gotta keep up with Bryce Remsburg, you know.
  • Ricochet - He won last year's tourney, and since that time, he also has won the Lucha Underground Championship, lost the DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate title, and saw his Best of the Super Juniors win net him an unsuccessful date against Kota Ibushi. He probably won't win back to back tourneys, but he'll go deep, and trust me, that's a good call. He's on the short list of guys who can be called the best in the world.
  • Tommy End - End debuted for PWG at Don't Sweat the Technique, and he impressed enough to get the nod back for the tourney. The Dutch native already has continental Europe and the United Kingdom on lockdown, so he'll need to take America. The best way to do it is through the Battle of Los Angeles.
Ten out of a prospective 16 or 24 wrestlers have been announced, and I don't see a clear-cut favorite to win. At this point though, I'm just waiting for Trevor Lee to be announced so he can become the odds on guy to win. He just feels like he's the next big thing there, although winning both big tourneys (he and Andrew Everett won DDT4 and the Tag Team Championships to go with it) in PWG seems like something that doesn't happen. I don't know. Either way, the field is off to a good start. Can't wait to see the rest.