KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app)
RADICAN’S PWG “BOLA 2017: STAGE TWO” REPORT
SEPT. 2, 2017
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT HIGHSPOTS.COM
Before you read my review, take a lot at the official trailer for BOLA 2017: Stage 2:
Excalibur and PWG World Champion Chuck Taylor are on commentary.
(1) Donovan Dijak vs. Trevor Lee in a 2017 BOLA First Round match. Dijak posed on the ropes during the introductions and Lee ran up and hit a German off the turnbuckles that turned DIjak inside out. Dijak hit feast your eyes on the floor and went for a springboard, but Lee hit an up kick and rolled Dijak up for a near fall. DIjak set up for a dive, but Lee pulled the ref in front of him. Dijak lifted Lee up to the apron by the throat, but Lee fired back and hit a mushroom stomp after using the ref as a prop. The fans went nuts and then booed Lee as he stood tall in the ring. Lee got the upper hand and hit a running PK from the apron to the floor. Lee whipped Dijak hard into the corner and then flexed for the fans. The fans booed and chanted for Keith Lee. Dijak countered a beal attempt, but Dijak countered it and hit a belly to belly suplex. Dijak went on the attack and hit a sit out spinebuster variation for a 2 count. Dijak set up for feast your eyes, but Lee raked his eyes to escape it. Lee hit a combination of kicks and stomps to chop Dijak down. He then hit a deadlift German with a bridge for a near fall and the fans fired up. Dijak fired back and hit a choke breaker, which Lee had previously blocked for a 2 count. They had a crazy back and forth sequence that saw Dijak land on his feet when Lee when for a super German suplex as he was setting up for a moonsault. Lee eventually caught Dijak with a spinning power slam for a near fall. WOW! Dijak ended up pulling Lee out of the corner after Lee tried to hold onto the ropes. He got Lee on his back and hit feast your eyes for the win!
Winner: Donovan Dijak to advance to the second round of BOLA 2017
Star rating: (***¾) – This was all action from bell to bell. They had some great exchanges and the crowd really got into the match at times as they went back and forth trading big moves and counters.
(2) Sammy Guevara vs. Joey Janela in a 2017 BOLA First Round match. Janela is making his debut as a replacement for the injured T.K. Cooper. Guevara made his PWG debut at “Pushin Forward Back” in July. Both men flipped each other off to start the match. They went back and forth and Guevara sent Janela to the floor with a dropkick. Guevara hit a dive and threw Janela back into the ring, but he surprised him with a dive. Guevara went up top a short time later after getting the upper hand and hit a SSP to the floor. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!? Guevara had the upper hand and went up top, which allowed Janela to pop up and hit him with a HUGE blu-ray into the opposite corner. Both men traded kicks to the back a short time later. Guevara ended up wiping out Janela with a running kick to the back for a 2 count. Guevara came off the top with a moonsault, but Janela moved. He landed on his feet and went for a standing moonsault, but Joey moved again. Guevara once again landed on his feet and connected with a standing SSP for a 2 count. WOW! The fans chanted for both men as they struggled to get to their feet. Janela grabbed a couple of chairs. He went after Guevara, but he ended up getting sent into the seated position on the chair. Guevara then monkey flipped Janela in the chair. The leg broke, but Janela remained seated in the chair! Guevara ran at Janela a short time later only to take a DVD onto the chair for a 2 count!
The fans fired up, as Janela sold shock at Guevara’s kickout. Janela sent Guevara to the floor and hit a big crossbody to the floor and the fans lost their minds! WOW! Janela went up top and hit a HUGE double stomp for a near fall. Guevara ended up on the apron and Janela went for a flip senton onto the apron, but Guevara got out of the way. OUCH! Janela spilled to the floor. Janela managed to beat the ref’s count and Guevara hit a springboard senton for a 2 count. Guevara missed a big 450 and Janela locked in a modified deathlock. He transitioned into a crossface, but Guevara got to the ropes. They went at it again and Guevara ended a big sequence by hitting a clothesline on Janela again and both men were down on the mat. They went back and forth as the match went on. Janela set up Guevara in a chair and went for a senton, but Guevara got out of the way! Guevara then hit a burning hammer on the chair, but Joey kicked out and the building nearly imploded! WOW! The fans chanted back and forth for both men. Janela tried to fire back, but Guevara hit a poison hurricanrana and a 630 for the win. WOW! What a match.
Winner: Sammy Guevara to advance to the second round of BOLA 2017
Star rating: (****¼) – This was a war. Both guys went all out and Janela bumped like a madman. The finishing sequence was mental. This is definitely one of the best first round matches in the tournament so far.
(3) Mark Haskins vs. Travis Banks in a 2017 BOLA First Round match. Haskins got the upper hand early after hitting a HUGE kick to Banks’s leg. He hit several more kicks. Banks returned the favor with some kicks to the chest and back. He ended the sequence with a kick to the head. Haskins faked a dive and caught himself in the ropes. He then hit a big dive through the ropes after Banks moved to a different side of the ring. The fans fired up and Haskins set up Banks in a chair and hit a big running kick. He set Banks up again, but Banks got his boot up. They went back and forth battling over a chair until Banks kicked it into his face. Banks set up Haskins in a chair, but Haskins cut him off with a big kick to the head. Haskins hit a big knee drop to the head inside the ring a short time later for a 2 count. Haskins had the upper hand, but Banks fired back and caught him coming off the ropes with a big kick to the shins to wipe him out. Banks then hit a pair of dives to the outside. They ended up back in the ring and Haskins ended up hung upside down. Banks hit him with a cannonball for a 2 count. He set up Haskins on the outside and hit a cannonball. Haskins jumped over a sliding dropkick attempt and rolled right into an armbar, but Banks got to the ropes.
They went at it with an exchange off the ropes and both men hit each other with kicks at the same time and went down. Both men began exchanging blows from their knees. They got to their feet and continued to exchange. Haskins caught himself in the ropes. Banks wiped out Haskins with a big kick. Banks went for a sliding kick, but Haskins bounced into the rope and rolled through with Banks on his shoulder. He went right into a falcon arrow, but Banks kicked out! WOW! Banks went for the kiwi crusher, but Haskins caught him in the ankle lock. Banks countered it into the border city stretch. Haskins countered and flipped over Banks and got the armbar, but Banks turned it into a pinning combination. Banks hit a springboard mushroom stomp in the corner to Haskins’s back a short time later. He got a 2 count. The finish was really odd as the ref pulled up on the third count. He then yelled for the bell and said it was three. That was terrible.
Winner: Travis Banks to advance to the second round of BOLA 2017
Star rating: (***¼) – This match was getting really good down the stretch, but the botched finish was terrible and took it down a notch.
(4) LDRS (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. Ricochet & Matt Sydal. LDRS jumped Ricochet and Sydal during their entrance. Scurll finally got into the ring and flipped off the fans and the ref rang the bell. They had a crazy exchange with all four men going back and forth across the ring countering each other. Ricochet and Sydal cleared the ring and hit suicide dives at the same time on opposite sides of the ring and the fans fired up. They then hit stereo Fosbury flops on opposite sides of the ring to wipe out LDRS and the fans went nuts again. WOW! They hit a standing SSP and a standing moonsault on Sabre inside the ring at the same time, but he managed to kick out at 2. Ricochet did Scurll’s arm flapping and the chicken dance as the ref made sure he didn’t come to Sabre’s aid. Sabre took a beating for a long period of time. Sabre and Scurll worked together to mount a comeback. Scurll hit a PK kick from the apron to the floor on Sydal and did a lewd dance. Sabre then went to work on Sydal with a modified stretch. Sabre ended up mocking Sydal by patting his head. Sydal slapped him and they began exchanging slaps before Sydal tied him up in a nasty combination leg submission. Sydal took a beating for a long period of time. Sydal finally flipped out of a double suplex attempt and hit a double frankensteiner. He then made the hot tag to Ricochet, who ran wild on LDRS.
He set up Scurll slipped out of a benadriller attempt and went back and forth with Sydal. Scurll wiped him out with a big clothesline and did his chicken wing dance. Ricochet recovered and hit an enzuguri. Scurll tagged in Sabre, who ate a HUGE lariat from Ricochet and both men were down. Sydal got the hot tag and hit a meteora on Sabre for a 2 count. Sydal hit a snapmare driver a short time later, but only got a 2 count. Sydal and Ricochet hit a series of moves on Sabre capped by the here it is driver from Sydal, but Scurll made the save. The crowd appeared to be hot, but they fired up at Ricochet’s urging. Ricochet went for the benadriller, but Sabre countered it with a HUGE uppercut. Everyone hit moves and Ricochet finished the sequence by countering Scurll and hitting a John Woo dropkick. WOW! Sabre and Ricochet ended up in the ring. Sabre flipped himself all around Ricochet. He then got a double arm submission on the mat. Scurll cut off Sydal and got the chicken wing. Ricochet and Sydal both struggled, but managed to get to the ropes. Ricochet ended up in the ring by himself with Sabre and Scurll. Ricochet fended them and hit a double rolling DDT. Sydal got the tag and signaled for the double SSP off the top. LDRS popped up and cut them off. Ricochet and Sydal fought them off and set up for a double SSP. Scurll kicked the ref into the ropes to crotch Sydal. Ricochet came off the top, but Sabre caught him with a triangle. Ricochet powerbombed himself out of the hold only for Scurll to grab a chicken wing right away! Ricochet told Sydal to do it and he came off the top and hit them both with a SSP to break up the submission. Both men exchanged pinning combinations for near falls. Sydal went for a leaping hurricanrana to take Sabre off the top, but Sabre rolled through and held on for a pinning combination for the win.
Winners: Zack Sabre Jr. & Marty Scurll
Star rating: (****) – This was an excellent match and forth tag match. The crowd had a hard time getting into the match, but all four men did a good job of bringing them up at the right time. It appeared to be really hot in the building, which might explain why the fans were conserving their energy during the match.
(5) Sami Callihan vs. Jeff Cobb in a 2017 BOLA First Round match. Callihan jumped Cobb as he got into the ring. He hit a running pump kick and went to town on him with kicks in the corner. Callihan jawed with the fans and Cobb rose from the ashes and wiped Callihan out when he turned around. Callihan went up top, but Cobb nailed him with a dropkick! Cobb hit a very long stalling vertical superplex. WOW! Callihan ended up rolling to the floor. Callihan put the ring apron around Cobb’s head and flipped him to the floor. Callihan went for a dive through the ropes, but Cobb caught him. Callihan countered Cobb and hit an exploder on the floor. Callihan set Cobb up in a chair and went for a cannonball, but Cobb caught him in his seat and hit an apron bomb! WOW! The fans went nuts and chanted for Cobb. Cobb hit a gorilla press and then a standing moonsault on Callihan back inside the ring for a 2 count. They went back and forth and one sequence didn’t come off very smooth. They repeated the sequence a short time later and it turned out Callihan was trying to roll through on Cobb for a front chancery. Cobb used his legs to escape the stretch muffler and he got a 2 count with a leverage pin. Cobb then hit a tour of the islands, but didn’t connect with it flush, so he got a near fall. Cobb sent Callihan off the ropes and went for tour of the islands, but Callihan reversed it into a pinning combination. He caught Callihan coming out of the corner a short time later and hit tour of the islands flush for the win.
Winner: Jeff Cobb to advance to the second round of BOLA 2017
Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a good match. They had some good back and forth action, although some of the sequences weren’t smooth. The match seemed to go fall flat as it went to the finish.
(6) Michael Elgin vs. Matthew Riddle in a 2017 BOLA First Round match. The fans were 100% into Riddle, but split on Elgin. Both men shook hands before going at it. They went at it on the mat and Riddle lifted Elgin and slammed him down to the mat. Elgin popped right up and looked surprised. Elgin lifted up Riddle and slammed him down to the mat. Elgin then hit the Naito pose on the top rope. Riddle went for a flying triangle, but Elgin blocked it and lifted Riddle to his feet. Elgin hit a big shoulder tackle and said, “Even Ronda Rousey saw that s–t.” The announcers mentioned Elgin had made the finals in 2012 and 2013 losing to Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly respectively. Both men began trading some big chops. Riddle ended up hung up on the middle rope and Elgin caught him with a springboard flipping neckbreaker. He then springboarded into a splash on Riddle for a 2 count. The announcers mentioned Elgin flew in from Mexico City for the show on the day it took place. Riddle ducked a charge in the corner and went on the attack. He hit a pair of jumping forearms. He then hit a HUGE jumping forearm in the corner. A short time later he hit a big running senton for a 2 count. Riddle deadlifted Elgin into a gutwrench suplex. He rolled through and held on for a second and connected. The fans gasped and then applauded at Riddle showcasing his strength. The fans chanted “This is BroLA.” LOL. Finally, some originality. I like it.
Elgin fired back and wiped out Riddle with a big elbow. Riddle ducked a running lariat and hit a German, but Elgin rolled through. Riddle went for a clothesline, but Elgin ducked and hit a big release German. Elgin caught Riddle going for a lariat in the corner and slammed him. He then came off the turnbuckles with a double stomp to the back. Elgin then did the deal on Riddle for a near fall. Excalibur said, “Nobody kicks out of the falcon arrow!” Riddle slipped out of a powerbomb attempt and hit bro to sleep. He followed up with a German with a bridge for a near fall. WOW! Elgin no-sold a running PK. Riddle hit another one, but Elgin sat up again. Elgin blocked a third running PK, but Riddle hit a knee strike. They went back and forth and Riddle countered a suplex into a front chancery. They went at it up top a short time later. Elgin fired up the fans before hitting a big superplex. Riddle sat right up and fired up to his feet. He blocked a lariat and hit a big running knee strike. They went back and forth and Elgin took the Pele kick, but he ended up bouncing off the ropes and he wiped out Riddle with a HUGE lariat and both men were down. A short time later they went at it during an exchange off the ropes. Elgin finally hit a big frankensteiner that sent Riddle to the floor. Elgin countered Riddle on the apron a short time later and hit the Jerry Lynn leg drop.
The fans fired up as Elgin went up top. He cartwheeled out of the way when Riddle got up and caught him with a superkick. Elgin hit a tiger driver and went up top and hit a HUGE splash for a near fall. WOW! Elgin hit a buckle bomb, but Riddle came out of the corner and tried to hit bro sleep. Elgin blocked it and hit a one-armed powerbomb. He then hit a huge pop-up sit-out powerbomb out of the crucifix position for a near fall! The fans went nuts and chanted for both men. Elgin set up for the burning hammer, but Riddle landed on hit feet. Riddle slid behind Elgin and hit several elbows. Elgin got to his feet with Riddle on hit back. He finally went for a tombstone, but Elgin countered. They went back and forth and Riddle hit a Gotch style tombstone for the win. WOW!
Winner: Matt Riddle
Star rating: (****½) – This match was completely bonkers from start to finish. These guys pulled off some incredible exchanges and the crowd was molten hot to them go back and forth pulling off hard-hitting exchanges, fighting spirit spots, and HUGE counters. This was great.
(7) Keith Lee vs. Walter in a 2017 BOLA First Round match. The fans went nuts chanting back and forth for both men before the formal introductions. They had some exchanges on the mat early. They went to an exchange off the ropes and Lee went for a leapfrog, but Walter decked him with a lariat. Lee fired back and sent Walter flying with a shoulder tackle. Walter hit a German and Lee no-sold it. Walter ate a belly-to-belly and got right back up. Lee posed for the crowd and turned around right into a chop! They went back and forth hitting big chops. Walter got Lee in a sleeper. Walter hit a German and a butterfly suplex a short time later. Both men were slow to get up after that sequence. They went back and forth again and Lee caught Walter with a running STO out of the corner. He was slow to make the cover and only managed a 2 count. Lee went up top, but Walter cut him off. Walter ended up hitting an avalanche butterfly suplex! WOW! Both men were slow to get up after that maneuver. They went back and forth and Lee suddenly lifted Walter up and hit the spirit bomb for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? They went at it again and Walter sent Lee flying into the corner with a shotgun dropkick! WOW! Walter hit a helluva kick, a German and a HUGE Lariat for a nearfall. HOLY S–T! THe crowd fired up and many people in the front row began pounding the mat.
Walter got a sleeper a short time later and he dragged Lee down to the mat. Lee rolled on top of Walter and he had to let go to avoid being pinned. Lee blocked a lariat with a headbutt, so Walter came back with a western lariat to deck Lee. Walter favored his right arm that Lee had headbutted. Lee caught Walter coming off the ropes with a big spinebuster. Lee climbed to the second turnbuckle, but Walter cut him off. He went for a German and Lee held on, so he hit a powerbomb out of the corner for a 2 count! Both guys began tagging each other with big chops. Walter appeared to have more on his chops than Lee. They picked up the pace and began trading bombs until Walter kicked Lee’s leg out from under him. The fans booed Walter, who grabbed a sleeper once again. Lee lifted up Walter in the DVD position and turned it into a powerslam for the pin! WOW!
Winner: Keith Lee to advance to the second round of BOLA 2017
Star rating: (****½) – This was a tremendous match between two giants. They went to war trading power moves and big strikes. Lee hit the spirit bomb finish during the early part of the match and Walter barely kicked out. That set the stage for some insane fighting spirit spots as the match went on. The crowd was really into seeing Lee and Walter go at it and they delivered.
(8) The Elite (Kenny Omega & Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) vs. PWG World Tag Team Champions Rey Fenix & Penta El Zero M & Flamita in a Six Man Tag match. Matt and Flamita had a crazy exchange to kick things off and went face-to-face. The crowd chanted back and forth for both teams. Nick and Flamita then had an insane exchange off the ropes. They continued to go at it until they came to a stalemate and the fans went nuts! WOW! Nick wanted a handshake, but Flamita said no. The fans really fired up for Penta tagging into the match against Omega. WOW! OMega and Penta went face-to-face as the fans chanted holy s–t. WOW! Penta took his glove off and did the cero miedo hand gesture. Omega then quieted the crowd and slapped him across the face. Penta fired back with a huge chop of his own. He tore his shirt open and asked Omega to chop him. The fans fired up as both men traded big overhand chops. They went back and forth countering each other until Penta got the upper hand. Penta went for a package piledriver on Omega, but the Young Bucks broke it up with a double dropkick. The Elite set up for the Terminator dive, but Penta tripped Omega. Penta then came through the ropes with a dive on Omega at the same time as Fenix and Flamita hit stereo Asai moonsaults to the floor to wipe out The Young Bucks. WOW! The Elite fired back on the outside to get the upper hand and began working Fenix over inside the ring. They took turns tagging in and out to work over his arm. I will note for the record that Omega has his main event tights on. The Elite kept clearing the apron so they could continue to work on Fenix inside the ring. Omega had been snapping Fenix’s arm over the top rope from the apron. Fenix countered and gave him Nick’s arm and Kenny snapped it over the top rope several times. Kenny sold shock when Fenix waved at him from the floor. Fenix tried to mount a comeback until Omega caught him with a backbreaker and Matt came off the top with a dropkick. The Elite kept putting their feet up in the corner and Fenix would get tossed into them. They got four boots up in the corner and Fenix got tossed into them for a big pop. The crowd called for six boots, but that would be impossible unless they got help. Marty Scurll ran down to ringside to help and they got six boots up. Omega went to toss Fenix into them, but he countered and sent Omega into the pile of boots. THAT WAS GREAT!
Fenix kept countering brainbuster attempts from different members of The Elite. Penta and Flamita ran into the ring to make the save. The Elite went for a triple brainbuster, but they all countered into a triple suplex. Fenix got isolated again. He fended off the Young Bucks with an incredible double jump tandem move in the corner wiping them both out. He then wiped out Omega with an incredible springboard spin kick in the corner and the fans went NUTS! WOW! Fenix finally made a double hot tag to Penta and Flamita, who ran wild! Penta tossed Flamita into the hurricanrana off the top on Matt. Fenix then came off the top with a big splash and all three men made the cover, but Nick made the save. WOW! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! The crowd went nuts with everyone down on the mat. Nick got the tag and ran wild hitting a flurry of offense to wipe out Flamita and Fenix. Omega set up Penta for the corner powerbomb. He tried to fight out of it, but Omega landed it and the Young Bucks nailed him with kicks as he came into the corner. Omega hit snap dragon suplexes on Penta and then Flamita when he went for a springboard off the ropes and the fans went nuts. Omega and The Young Bucks started hitting each other with slaps and fake low blows for laughs. They ended up hitting a triple superkick on Penta. The Elite stacked up all of their opponents on the ropes and held them up for Nick, who came off the top with a senton to wipe them out! Omega set up for a V trigger on Penta, but Flamita caught him with a one man spanish fly. Everyone ended up on the floor except for Fenx and Penta. They both went up top and Fenix hit a super hurricanrana off the top to the floor on Penta to wipe out The Elite. WOW!
Omega took a double stomp/tombstone combination. Flamita hit him with a move off the top that the cameras missed and Omega kicked out of a double pin at the last second. Fenix had wiped out The Young Bucks with a dive to the floor. The young Bucks got stereo sharpshooters on Penta and Flamita. Fenix tried to put an end to it, but they wouldn’t let go. Fenix set up for a springboard, but Omega recovered and wiped him out with a HUGE V trigger! WOW! Omega then put Fenix in a sharpshooter. For some reason they didn’t show the hard camera angle. Eventually Fenix, Penta, and Flamita managed to get to the ropes. The Elite set up for a double Meltzer driver, but Fenix broke it up by tripping Nick and hitting a double dropkick on Matt and Omega. Everyone took turns hitting big moves as the fans fired up. The Elite got the upper hand and Omega hit a big V trigger on Flamita. At this point, only the floor cam was being used. The finish saw Flamita take a combination of moves capped by the one-winged angel for the win. WOW.
Winners: Kenny Omega & Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson
Star rating: (****¾) – This was an amazing match. There was no commentary for the match, but that didn’t matter given the atmosphere. The problem was at times it was hard to follow the action because they were down to just one floor camera for the main event. That being said, this was an incredible back and forth match. It lost a little steam down the stretch, but overall it was incredible.
Overall score: (9.5) – WOW! WOW! WOW! This was an incredible show. It felt like the crowd was going to have a hard time getting up for all of the incredible action on the show. During the first half of the show, there were some lulls from the crowd, which is understandable since it looked like it was about as hot as the center of the sun in the venue. There were five matches on this show rated at four-stars or higher, which is just an incredible night of wrestling that you rarely encounter.
The whole show is good with the only lull being the Sami Callihan vs. Jeff Cobb first round match. The show finished with three incredible matches. Michael Elgin vs. Matt Riddle and Walter vs. Keith Lee were both incredible matches that had the crowd going crazy. It’s amazing to think that the crowd could stay up for the main event, but they did. The Young Bucks vs. Flamita & Penta El Cero M & Rey Fenix was just an incredible back and forth sprint. The match was only shot with one camera with no commentary, but the action was so good that I didn’t even realize the match was only being shot with one camera until the match was about three quarters through.
I give this show the highest recommendation. It’s a strong contender for best pro wrestling show of 2017. Run to Highspots and get it now!
You can purchase this show at highspots.com. For more information about PWG, visit prowrestlingguerrilla.com.