Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The BOLA Field Is at 15

The Bad Boy is back at BOLA
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
I was gonna hold off on collating the next round of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles field until they got two-thirds full. However, the Twitter account last announced a competitor this past Friday, and no other name has been added either Monday or Tuesday. The most reasonable explanation for this is that Super Dragon doesn't want anything to take away from show week, and Friday is their anniversary show SIXTEEN, headlined by the Rascalz defending their PWG Tag Team Championships against EYFBO/LAX. That one should be, as the kids say, a hoot. Personally, I think it's because Super Dragon fell into a time vortex, and no one else knows the password for the Twitter account. Who knows. Anyway, if you want a tidy place to see the first eight competitors, check here. For the next seven, check below:
  • Jake Atlas - Atlas made headlines for coming out of the closet, but it's the wrestling that makes him a heroic representative of the LGBTQ+ community in the biz. He's been tearing it up, up and down the Pacific Coast, working not only for PWG but for Defy Wrestling in Seattle, All Pro Wrestling in San Francisco, and even AAA in Mexico. Atlas has even come east and competed for Game Changer Wrestling. He's gotta be considered a favorite to win the whole thing, especially since he's not signed to All Elite Wrestling like some other people who are favorites and thus he doesn't have to worry about an exclusivity deal preventing him from working PWG.
  • Tony Deppen - Another face familiar to PWG, Deppen has become one of the bedrocks of East Coast wrestling as well, namely in Chikara, where his manic energy and resemblance to Chuck Taylor have carried him to top heel heights as a member of Team FIST. No matter how far he makes it, he will be a delight to those in attendance.
  • Feníx - For my money, he's the best wrestler in the world, or if not, on a very short list of candidates. His breakneck working pace has put him in every promotion that will have both him and his brother, Pentagón, Jr. He's also a PWG regular and a former Tag Team Champion. While his AEW exclusivity will more than likely take him out of the running to win the thing, he will go deep most likely, and however far he goes, he will dazzle the crowd with his mastery of both traditional lucha libre and of the big highspots that will make you fear for his safety.
  • Lucky Kid - What's with all these kids in the tournament this year? Anyway, Lucky Kid, like A-Kid, is from Europe, but he made his bones in Westside Xtreme Wrestling in Germany. He comes highly touted from fans of that promotion, and well, you can't go wrong if you make it big there. Just look at all the wrestlers WWE poached from that company to stock its apostate tax shelter show in the United Kingdom.
  • Joey Janela - Another AEW signee, Janela will make his farewell to the Globe here with another BOLA appearance. Will he dive from the balcony? Will he let Caveman Ugg bite his bare feet? Or will he just keep it low key, enjoy some In 'N Out, and wrestle a few matches for a grateful crowd? Yeah, that last one is probably out of the question. Either way, the Bad Boy will make his last trip to PWG memorable in some way.
  • Brody King - King stands along with Atlas and probably Bandido as the heavy favorites so far. He's a PWG regular who isn't tied to AEW after BOLA is over, so you know he's gotta have a lot of juice behind him. The HOSS brawler will look to barrel through the rest of the field en route to a guaranteed shot at the PWG World Championship.
  • Barbaro Cavernario - The last announced name thus far is one of the other cavemen I was expecting (the other being Jungle Boy). Imagine if Jungle Boy gets announced and the final is him, Barbaro, and Ugg? Man, that would be quite the story for future generations of wrestling. Anyway, Barbaro comes from Mexico with the highest recommendations and also perhaps the rawest competitor in this thing. I expect whatever match he's in will get insanely rowdy.
And there you have it, 15 wrestlers down, nine more to go. How will the rest of the field shake out? I don't know. You gotta figure Jungle Boy will be involved. Other names that feel too easy are Puma King, Trey Miguel, Flamita, Laredo Kid, and of course, Pentagón. Chuck Taylor and Trent could be there too. Maybe they bring back Hechicero? I don't know. What I do know is my eyes will be peeled for the rest of the field, whenever Super Dragon gets to announcing it. The Battle of Los Angeles takes place September 19, 20, and 22, most likely at the Globe Theater in Los Angeles.