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PWG News: The inside story on PWG's "Battle of Los Angeles tournament" - BOLA winner out 30 days, wrestlers injured, work hurt, travel issues throw off schedule & booking
Sep 10, 2010 - 2:36:06 PM
By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
Joey Ryan won this year's Pro Wrestling Guerrilla "Battle of Los Angeles" tournament, but one of the headline stories from the annual event were the number of booking changes made on the fly due to injuries and travel arrangements.
PWG was still booking and re-booking the 2010 Battle Of Los Angeles up to the weekend and days of the tournament, which were held last Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, Sept. 5 over Labor Day Weekend.
PWG had to deal with internal issues such as the Young Bucks tag team (Generation Me) being added last-second to the TNA No Surrender PPV on Sunday, which was across the country in Orlando. As a result, the Bucks, who were scheduled for a first round match against each other on Saturday, had to be taken out of the tournament with a double DQ finish.
The Bucks also had to go on first Saturday night - or be pulled from the tournament altogether - in order to catch a red-eye flight out of California to make Sunday's TNA PPV.
Injuries to key wrestlers
in the tournament also caused on-the-fly booking changes. Other wrestlers worked hurt through one, two, or even three matches on Sunday.
-- BOLA 2010 winner Joey Ryan reportedly suffered damaged ligaments and tendons in his shoulder during the tournament. Ryan worked three matches on Sunday, starting his first match of the night against Austin Aries with a taped shoulder.
According to Ryan, his doctor recommended he take 30 days off to heal after the shoulder damage. Ryan's scheduled first show back will be the next "NWA Championship Wrestling from Hollywood" TV taping on October 6 in California.
-- Chris Hero, who faced Joey Ryan in the finals of the tournament and also wrestled four matches in two days, said on Twitter following the tournament that his entire body was feeling the effects.
"Ankle, thigh, lower back, face. Yeah. Feels like I got hit, run over, put in reverse, and backed over again by the BOLA Bus. Spent, but proud," he said earlier this week.
Other wrestlers were nursing pre-existing injuries or suffered injuries during tournament matches, disallowing them from going far in the tournament.
-- El Generico has been dealing with a nagging knee injury. He was eliminated in the first round on Saturday, then he worked a tag match with Paul London on Sunday.
-- Roderick Strong was nursing a pre-existing biceps injury. He was booked to win his first round match, but was eliminated in his first match, against Claudio Castagnoli, on Sunday.
-- During the actual tournament, Brandon Bonham (back), Claudio Castagnoli (eye), and Akira Tozawa (KO'd) were all injured in their matches leading to some shake-ups to the line up on Sunday.
Brandon Bonham was booked to lose his first match on Sunday to eliminate him in the second round of the tournament.
According to correspondents at the PWG show on Sunday, Tozawa appeared to be "knocked loopy" during his buzz-worthy second round match against Chris Hero on Sunday. They worked a very physical match that included multiple stiff shots.
Claudio, who suffered an eye injury during the tournament, won his second round match on Sunday, going over Roderick Strong. Claudio was then booked to lose his semi-final match against Joey Ryan.
The way the tournament played out, it came down to the last men standing, Joey Ryan and Chris Hero, in the BOLA finals. Ryan went over to become this year's BOLA winner.
The Battle of Los Angeles 2010 weekend is a snapshot of the juggling act many independent promotions have to perform just to pull off a weekly, monthly, or semi-regular show. Wrestler commitments to other promotions (TNA or ROH) have to be considered. The health of the wrestlers has to be considered. Travel considerations have to be made.
Trying to pull off an annual two (or three) day tournament with 18 wrestlers only intensifies the circumstances and potential changes that have to be juggled to deliver a high-quality product to the audience.