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#IndieWeekend: The Battle of Los Angeles

A couple of months ago, we gave you a primer on the independent wrestling promotion Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG). For this weekend's indie look, we go back to PWG to look into one of its biggest events of the year: Battle of Los Angeles!

The Battle of Los Angeles (BOLA) is a three-day live event that takes place at the end of August (specifically, on the 28th-30th of this month). The main attraction is a 24-man single elimination tournament where wrestlers compete in 3 blocks of 8-man brackets, with the three winners competing in one final triple threat match to see who will stand tall at Reseda, California.

Think of it as a super tournament featuring the very best in indie wrestling. Past BOLAs  have seen the likes of El Generico (Sami Zayn), Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens), AJ Styles, Kenny Omega and Chris Hero participating in the tournament, among many other big names. It's a collection of the best, the exciting, and the up-and-coming of indie wrestling.

As a preview for this year's tournament, here's a recap of last year's BOLA, courtesy of PWG. The video below only covers Night One, and the rest can be found on their official Youtube page:

So why is this year's tournament special? Let's take a look at the list of competitors:

  • Aero Star
  • Andrew Everett
  • Angelico
  • Biff Busick
  • Brian Cage
  • Chris Hero
  • Drago
  • Drew Galloway
  • Drew Gulak
  • Fenix
  • Jack Evans
  • Mark Andrews
  • Marty Scurll
  • Matt Sydal
  • Mike Bailey
  • Pentagon Jr.
  • Rich Swann
  • Ricochet
  • Timothy Thatcher
  • Tommy End
  • Trent?
  • Trevor Lee
  • Will Ospreay
  • Zack Sabre Jr.

Notice anything from that list?

That's right, 8 out of this year's participants are from AAA/Lucha Underground: Aero Star, Angelico, Cage, Drago, Fenix, Jack Evans, Pentagon Jr., Ricochet (as Prince Puma). A good 1/3 of this year's pool was part of one of the best wrestling shows this year, and they join indie stars such as Chris Hero, Drew Galloway and Zack Sabre Jr. in what should be an amazing tournament. If you followed Lucha Underground in its first season, and/or are fans of some of the names mentioned above, then this is something you definitely don't want to miss!

The single elimination format makes for some very interesting first-round matchups, and here are a couple that stand out:
  • Angelico vs. Jack Evans. Lucha Underground fans should be very familiar with these two faces, but what's interesting here is that this is a matchup of tag team partners. While the two really had no interaction at the Temple, they've been a regular tag team at Mexican promotion AAA. This is a contest between two of the most entertaining wrestlers out there. Angelico has made a name for himself with his crazy dives, while Evans is a master of the aerial style. Their familiarity with each other makes this a fun contest of who has more tricks up his sleeve.
  • Ricochet vs. Zack Sabre Jr.. Make no mistake, this is one of the BIGGEST matches we'll be seeing at BOLA. Ricochet needs no introduction to many of you, as you've probably seen him either in NJPW or as Prince Puma in Lucha Undergroud. We've featured Zack Sabre a little while back here at Smark Henry, but all you need to know is that this man is one of the best technical wrestlers out there right now. This is the man who snapped Daniel Bryan's 9-year streak as the Best Technical Wrestler according to Dave Meltzer and the WON, after all. It's a classic clash of styles here, as flippy shit meets submission. This is one match that should not be missed.
For those wanting more of indie wrestling, this year's BOLA is perfect for you. It's a great way to be introduced to the hottest indie wrestlers out there right now.

Got any predictions as to who will win this thing? Let us know!

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