RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S PWG DVD REVIEW SERIES: "BOLA 2013: Night 1" 8/30 - Elgin-Swann, O'Reilly-Trent MOTYC, Young Bucks & Cole-Hooligans & TJP main event
Oct 20, 2013 - 11:06:26 AM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S PWG DVD REVIEW SERIES
“BOLA 2013: NIGHT 1”
AUGUST 30, 2013
(1) Kevin Steen beat Chuck Taylor in a 2013 BOLA First Round match. Steen made fun of Taylor’s haircut early, which drew a “Supercuts” chant from the fans. Taylor grabbed a San Francisco Giants hat from a fan, but Steen took it off his head and hit an elbow drop on the hat. The fans popped huge and the hilarity continued with Taylor getting the hat back and nailing it with a standing moonsault. Steen finally ended the exchange by getting the hat and nailing it with a package piledriver. Steen then kicked the hat back to the fan. The crowd chanted “Match of the Year,” so Steen headed to the back and Taylor went to the commentary booth teasing that the match was over. They eventually came back to the ring and started the match. They did a lot of comedy based around both men giving each other eye pokes. Taylor eventually hit a flip dive over the top to the outside and went up to the commentary booth. Steen eventually joined him in the commentary booth and they began arguing about which one of them was the better commentator. Steen asked Excalibur to decide who the better commentator was, so he poked them both in the eyes. Steen and Taylor ended up back in the ring. They went back and forth until Steen caught Taylor with a power bomb followed by a package piledriver for the win. (**3/4)
(2) Brian Cage beat Tomasso Ciampa in a 2013 BOLA First Round match. Ciampa nailed Cage with a running dropkick over the ref to start the match. Things got scary after Ciampa hit a powerbomb on that appeared to knock Cage silly. If they had stopped the match right there and awarded it to Ciampa, I would have been fine with that, as Cage appeared to take a long time to regain his bearings. The action eventually picked up and they did some big fighting spirit spots that fired the crowd up with the highlight being both men powering up out of taking a German suplex. Cage finally ended that sequence by hitting two Germans on Ciampa for a near fall. Cage ended up taking the win after a powerbomb, a powerbomb on his knee, and a discus lariat. (**3/4)
(3) Johnny Gargano beat Willie Mack in a 2013 BOLA First Round match. Gargano put on Mack’s shirt and it was very big on him. Mack then took Gargano’s shirt and struggled to get it on, but he managed to get into it. Mack took off Gargano’s shirt and put it on top of his head before slapping him across the face. Gargano fired back and went for a dive through the ropes, but Mack cut him off with an elbow. Gargano fired back a short time later and caught Mack with a slingshot spear through the ropes. Gargano tried to work Mack’s fingers over while grabbing a submission, but Mack rolled over and nailed Gargano with a kick to the head. They went to a big exchange off the ropes with Gargano trying to hit Mack with a clothesline, but Mack eventually speared him out of the ring. Mack then nailed Gargano with a flip dive over the top and the fans went nuts. Holy crap! Gargano mounted a comeback and nailed Mack with a rolling kick from his back. They went to a big exchange exchanging strikes and kicks off the ropes. Mack finally ended the exchange with a running kick to the head that left both men down on the mat and the fans went nuts again. Mack slammed Gargano several times, but Gargano surprised him with a rollup for a 2 count. Gargano then applied the Gargano escape, but Mack managed to get his foot on the ropes. Gargano went for another slingshot spear, but Mack caught him and hit a back breaker followed by a flatliner for a 2 count. The action was hot down the stretch, but Gargano managed to hit a sick lawn dart for a 2 count. He then hit a superkick to Mack’s head for another 2 count. Gargano immediately applied the Gargano escape and Mack tapped. This was a really good match. (***1/2)
(4) A.R. Fox beat Roderick Strong in a BOLA 2013 First Round match. Fox dominated the action early. He ended up sitting on the top rope and Strong shoved him to the outside. Fox went for an arm drag a short time later, but Strong hit an awesome counter into a back breaker and the fans popped. Fox finally mounted a comeback and climbed the ropes while holding Strong’s hand. He eventually sprang off the ropes and it appeared Strong had countered a DDT, but Fox turned it into a bulldog. Fox dominated the action for a long period of time. The fans chanted for both men and Fox eventually connected with a twisting brainbuster for a 2 count. Both guys took turns holding the advantage. Fox eventually set up Strong for Lo Mein pain, but Strong countered it and nailed Fox with a crazy combination of kicks followed by a sick kick, but Fox kicked out at the last second and the fans gasped. They went to another big exchange. Fox took Strong down and hit a 450, but Strong kicked out at the last second. The fans chanted for both men. Strong bailed to the outside and they went to an awkward exchange where Fox jumped over Strong and slipped before Strong launched him into the apron. They went to another big exchange with Fox getting a 2 count with a back slide. Strong got right up and hit a knee strike followed by a pop-up back breaker for the win. Fantastic action. (***1/2)
(5) Drake Younger beat Joey Ryan in a BOLA 2013 First Round match. Match started off fairy ordinary. Ryan grabbed a head submission on Younger at one point and dragged him to the hard camera side of the ring. Ryan told the crowd he's a TV guy, which got a "TV guy" chant. The match became awesome when Younger went under the ring and got a bag. When he emptied the contents, Jolly Ranchers came out instead of thumb tacks. Ryan and Younger traded counters around the candy like they were wrestling around thumb tacks. Ryan finally powerbombed Younger into the candy for a 2 count and the fans exploded. Ryan went backstage and got a bag. It turned out he had Legos in the bag. The fans went nuts when they saw the Legos. Ryan tried to superkick Younger into the Legos, but Younger countered him and hit a shell shock onto the Legos. Younger then hit Drake's landing onto the Legos for the win and the fans went nuts. Younger is LOVED by the PWG fans. This was ridiculously fun. (***1/2)
(6) ACH beat Anthony Nese in a BOLA 2013 First Round match. ACH tried to outdo Nese when it came to athleticism during the early going. He ended up setting up for a dive, but he flipped off the ropes and did a couple of handsprings when he saw Nese get out of the way. Nese sent ACH out of the ring and set up for a dive and did a similar fake out of his own. ACH sold surprise and challenged Nese to a dance contest, but Nese ended up decapitating him with a clothesline as he was dancing. They went to a fantastic sequence where Nese had ACH in a submission. They then began exchanging pinning combinations until they came to a stalemate and the crowd went nuts. ACH wanted a dance contest with Nese again, so Nese teased dancing and ACH went to attack him, but Nese surprised him with a clothesline.
They went to a crazy sequence where ACH avoided a charge against the apron by moonsaulting to the floor. Nese them nailed him with a crazy handspring dive to the outside and the fans went nuts. ACH took control and Nese was clearly hurt. They went to a big exchange of strikes and Nese finally connected with a dropkick off the ropes and both men were down. The action picked up after and
Nese did a heck of a job considering the condition of his knee. Nese hit a one arm buckle bomb, but ACH cut him off with an insane flip kick. ACH eventually finished Nese off with the package DDT for the win. This was very good and bordering on excellent at times. ACH won over the crowd instantly, but Nese eventually won them over as well with a gutsy effort. (***1/2)
(7) Kyle O'Reilly beat Trent in a BOLA 2013 First Round match. They had some great exchanges on the mat early and the crowd was very much on O'Reilly's side. O'Reilly took control for a long period of time and worked over Trent's arm. O'Reilly ended up going up top, but Trent tripped him and the back of his head connected with the top turnbuckle. Trent worked over O'Reilly for a long period of time while taunting the fans. O'Reilly eventually ducked a flying knee in the corner and Trent flew over the ropes to the floor. O'Reilly got a running start on the apron and nailed Trent with a running dropkick and the fans popped huge. They went to a big exchange of strikes that O'Reilly won with a barrage of kicks capped by a leg sweep. O'Reilly continued to dominated until Trent drove him into the mat with a double foot stomp out of the corner.
Trent dominated the action and they had some really good exchanges that fired up the crowd. O'Reilly ended a big sequence with a pendulum lariat that left both men down on the mat and the fans went nuts. O'Reilly ended up grabbing a guillotine, but Trent walked over the ropes and both men flew to the outside. O'Reilly eventually grabbed a guillotine again, but Trent turned it into an inverted DDT on the floor and the fans went nuts. Trent went for a cradle piledriver a short time later, but O'Reilly countered it into a triangle. O'Reilly let it go and lit up Trent with a barrage of strikes and a huge brainbuster, but he kicked out. O'Reilly then applied the cross arm breaker for the win. Excellent match that had me standing and applauding when it was over. (****1/2)
(8) Michael Elgin beat Rich Swann in a BOLA 2013 First Round match. This was the Scott Hall tribute match for the evening. Swann started the match doing a survey asking the fans if they came to see Michael Elgin or Rich Swann. Swann then threw a toothpick in Elgin’s face. Swann wanted a test of strength during the early stages of the match, but he kept switching arms on Elgin and he began dancing as the fans chanted “All Night Long.” Elgin then shocked everybody by doing the worm before thrusting his crotch at Swann. The fans chanted “You got served at Swann.” The story of the match was Swann countering Elgin’s high-impact moves and using his speed to his advantage. At one point Elgin caught Swann going for a dive. He then climbed the ropes and hit Hall’s roll of the dice. Later in the match, Elgin went for the Razor’s edge off the top, but Swann countered it into a hurricanrana. Elgin finally caught Swann with a vicious clothesline to the back after he went for a handspring off the ropes. Elgin then hit a buckle bomb and the Elgin bomb for the win.
(9) PWG Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) & PWG Champion Adam Cole beat Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) & TJP. When Cole was introduced the Young Bucks got on their backs and did DX chops while he swung the PWG Title between his legs. I hope this is an available option in WWE2K14 for my created character in Six Man tags. Koslov and Cole had a fast paced exchange until Koslov held up his hand and told Cole to stop. The fans booed as some fans chanted Russia. Cole then started a suck my d--- chant. The fans chanted along, but Koslov ended up tripping Matt into Cole’s crotch. TJP tagged in and tied up Matt in a leg submission. He managed to take out Cole and then suplex Nick while holding Matt in the submission. The Hooligans did their usual spot where Romero kept hitting clotheslines in the corner and wouldn’t stop. The Hooligans and TJP teased fighting each other, but ended up hugging and the fans booed. Cole made a blind tag and he and Nick nailed Romero with a combination of strikes before wiping out TJP and Koslov on the apron. The Young Bucks & Cole took turns working over Romero while keeping his partners out of the ring. TJP tried to run it at one point, but Matt caught him with a head scissors on the apron. Cole and Nick then nailed him with a double dropkick on the apron. Romero finally took out Cole with a kick and made the hot tag to Koslov, who ran wild on the Young Bucks. Koslov then got his hat and did his dancing kicks on Matt. This seemed to get a mixed reaction from the fans.
The action broke down and TJP managed to take out all three of his opponents. The Hooligans and TJP caught all of their opponents in submission holds, but Nick managed to escape and break up the cloverleaf submission on Matt, who I believe was the legal man. The action really picked up at this point with both teams going back and forth at a rapid pace in the ring. The Young Bucks dished out a bevy of superkicks. Cole caught Perkins on the outside with a wheelbarrow German onto the apron. Koslov then wiped out everyone on the outside with a flip dive over the top rope. Steen went nuts on commentary. Matt got Koslov’s hat after nailing him with a dropkick after he went for a springboard. He put the hat on and started doing a poor rendition of Koslov’s dancing kicks. Matt then played the guitar, but Koslov wiped him out. The action resumed at a breakneck pace. Matt ended a big exchange with a superkick on TJP. TJP got his knees up to block more bang for your buck. The Hooligans did a doomsday device knee on Matt. TJP followed up with a lung blower on Matt, but the pin was broken up. The Young Bucks and Cole had TJP finished after a triple superkick, but the pin got broken up. The Young Bucks and Cole finally managed to take out the Hooligans. The Young Bucks then hit a double superkick into the Florida Keys German from Cole on TJP for the win. Awesome match with six guys who are just a blast to watch, especially with the charisma of the Young Bucks, Hooligans, and Cole. (***3/4)
Overall thoughts: (8.5) – This was a strong show from start to finish. The action up and down the card was very good. BOLA is my favorite singles tournament to watch on the independents each year and night 1 delivered in a big way.
PWG did a good job of incorporating a lot of comedy into the matches on this card. Steen-Taylor had a memorable exchange of moves on a San Francisco Giants hat that had the fans chanting “Match of the Year.” The Younger-Ryan first round encounter is a must-see match because of their battle around Jolly Ranchers and Legos where they treated them like they were thumb tacks. Swann and Elgin not only had a good match, but they managed to pay tribute to Scott Hall and have a dance contest. When Elgin did the worm, my jaw dropped to the floor.
There were some scary moments during the show. I thought Cage-Ciampa should have been stopped after Cage landed on his head taking a powerbomb on the floor from Ciampa. He was clearly out of it for several minutes before regaining his bearings. Later on during the show, ACH-Nese had a really good match, but Nese appeared to injure his knee badly after hitting a dive midway through the match. Nese deserves a ton of credit for gutting out the injury and continuing the match with ACH.
Kyle O’Reilly is gaining a lot of steam in PWG. Next to Younger, he got one of the biggest responses of the night from the fans in Reseda. O’Reilly’s match with Trent is a sure-fire MOTYC and they put on an incredible back and forth match with O’Reilly working over Trent’s arm throughout the match leading into a finish that had me standing and applauding in my living room. O’Reilly’s drastic improvement in 2013 can’t be denied. I’ve always felt he had talent, but he’s really come a long way this year and this match is a testament to that. Trent was really good in the match as well and he does a good job of playing the heel role and getting the fans riled up.
The main event Six Man tag was a blast. The Young Bucks are just so much fun to watch and they are a perfect match with Cole’s cocky heel character. The action down the stretch in this match was insane and there’s nothing more fun to watch than a superkick party. I loved the finish of the match with a double superkick from the Young Bucks into the Florida Keys German from Cole.
There’s not much more I can say than go buy this show right now. You should probably pick up BOLA 2013: Night 2 as well, which is drawing rave reviews from those that have seen it.
You can purchase “PWG BOLA 2013: Night 1” by clicking HERE or by visiting Highspots.com
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