It wasn’t the hottest ticket of the wrestle weekend (WWE Royal Rumble), or the talk of Southern California (the Super Bowl-bound L.A. Rams, and a bunch of other things — indie wrestling is great, but there’s a lot to do in SoCal).
But Pro Wrestling Guerrilla’s Battle of Los Angeles tournament is always a big deal to us. And the 2022 version produced some news, along with the usual really good wrestling. I assume, anyway. PWG’s been successful for years with their in-person-only live experience, so most of us won’t get to see it until its streaming/DVD release in a month or so.
The news started before the two-night show even began. Jonathan Gresham and Davey Richards were pulled from the card late last week after the Ring of Honor champion revealed he’d contracted COVID. Their first round match was replaced by Blake Christian vs. Wheeler Yuta.
Round One results from Sat., Jan. 29:
- Aramis def. Rey Horus
- Wheeler Yuta def. Blake Christian
- Buddy Matthews def. JONAH
- Daniel Garcia def. Kevin Blackwood
- Lio Rush def. Jack Cartwheel
- Blake Taurus def. JD Drake
- Alex Shelley def. Lee Moriarty
- Speedball Mike Bailey def. Bandido
An injury scare occurred early on night two. Lio Rush’s second round match with Buddy Matthews ended in a rare-for-PWG disqualification finish. Matthews hit Rush with a curb stomp, then was DQ-ed for continuing to attack while the referee checked on him. Lio was taken to the emergency room, and there’s speculation the injury occurred due to beverages that were thrown into the ring during Buddy’s pre-match heel promo:
C'mon y'all #wrestling Fans, dont ever do this to any wrestler, especially to @SNM_Buddy.@OfficialPWG #buddymatthew #PWG #BOLA2022 #luchalibre #BOLA #wwe #AEW #indywrestling #prowrestling #PWGBola #njpwSTRONG #allelitewrestling pic.twitter.com/B3ap66FktU— Jovanni Salgado ♂️♓ (@Jovi96salgado) January 31, 2022
Whatever happened, Rush updated fans with a tweet vowing to return despite currently being “not good”:
Just being honest with you guys here. I’m not good. But i will be good. And when I’m back, I’ll be dangerous. #ManOfTheHour.— Lio Rush (@IamLioRush) January 31, 2022
Matthews replaced Rush in his semi-final match, where he was quickly defeated by Impact’s Bailey. Speedball would go on to reach the finals (like the DQ, another unusual twist to the 2022 tournament — the finals were one-on-one for the first time since 2013. The last six have been Triple Threats). But he couldn’t finish BOLA with a win. The tournament was won by AEW’s Daniel Garcia. This was the first time 2point0’s “son” entered PWG’s signature event, and he walked out with the trophy.
Results from Sun., Jan. 30, a show that included this insane cutter spot from Blake Christian & Jack Cartwheel in the eight-man tag that took place between the BOLA semis and finals...
- Black Taurus def. Aramis in a second round match
- Daniel Garcia def. Alex Shelley in a second round match
- Lio Rush def. Buddy Matthews by DQ in a second round match
- Speedball Mike Bailey def. Wheeler Yuta in a second round match.
- Daniel Garcia def. Black Taurus via submission in a semifinal match
- Speedball Mike Bailey def. Buddy Matthews in a semifinal match
- JONAH, Kevin Blackwood, Rey Horus & Blake Christian def. Bandido, JD Drake, Jack Cartwheel & Lee Moriarty
- Daniel Garcia def. Speedball Mike Bailey to win the 2022 Battle of Los Angeles
UPDATE: Rush has tweeted he suffered a dislocated shoulder, and calling out fans for more than just the drink-throwing...