PWG BOLA 2017 [Wrestler Profiles]: Banks! Fenix! Xavier!
September is quickly approaching and with it comes one of indie wrestling’s most anticipated tournaments, Pro Wrestling Guerilla’s Battle of Los Angeles. The last three BOLA winners were Ricochet, Zack Sabre, Jr. and Marty Scurll who have each done well for themselves following their respective wins. It’s not a catapult to superstardom, but it is an excellent way for a wrestler to raise their stock by having fun matches and maybe impressing Dave Meltzer (or, at least, Travis Moody).
The “Kiwi Buzzsaw” has been making a name for himself in the UK and in his native New Zealand. The winner of this year’s Super Strong Style 16 tournament, he will be facing Pete Dunne for the PROGRESS Heavyweight Championship. Aside from PROGRESS, you can find him in WCPW and Revolution Pro, Thanks to WWE’s working relationship with PROGRESS, he tagged with protégé TK Cooper in a tag match against Rich Swann and Mustafa Ali at Wrestlemania Axxess. He’s charismatic and can suplex you into oblivion, but he’s not afraid to go to the top rope either. He works well in both single and tag matches. Expect some technical brilliance.
Rey Fenix is from a family of luchadors and is well-known in the US thanks to his previous stints in Chikara and LU. While at LU, the high-flier became the promotion’s first Triple Crown Champion after winning the Gift of the Gods Championship, the Lucha Underground Championship and the Trios Championship. He’s currently one-half of the PWG tag champs with his brother Pentagon el 0M (formerly Pentagon Jr. and Pentagon Dark) whom he feuded with in LU. Expect lots of aerials.
Dezmond Xavier has been getting more television exposure since joining GFW as part of the X-Division. Prior to that, he was best known for his work in CZW where he held the tag championships with Zachary Wentz as part of Scarlet and Graves and as a member of OI4K. Xavier is also a former WrestleCircus Sideshow Champion. He’s fast, he can fly, and he can wrestle a technical match. To quote Daniel Bryan, he’s a fun guy to watch. Expect some …dives.
At 22, Flamita is already one of the best high-fliers in the world, with Meltzer comparing him to a young Rey Mysterio. Lucha Underground fans may recognize the young veteran (he’s been wrestling for nearly a decade) as Night Claw from the show’s second season before a falling out with AAA led to him leaving. AAA’s loss has been Dragon Gate’s gain, with Flamita having held multiple championships in the Japanese promotion. This past May, he bested Mark Andrews in the PROGRESS Super Strong Style 16 tournament before falling to eventual winner, Travis Banks. Expect hard hits and soaring moonsaults.
“Limitless” Keith Lee
After leaving ROH last year, Keith Lee has quickly established himself as one of the best big men today. This hoss has it all, the speed and agility of a cruiserweight combined with the strength of a Big Show or a Mark Henry. We saw flashes of his greatness during the feud he and former tag partner Shane Taylor had with War Machine (agile big men in their own right), but it’s been his outings against talent like Brian Cage and fellow BOLA participant Donovan Dijak that have truly highlighted what Lee can do. His match vs. Dijak at EVOLVE 81 is widely considered one of the best from the 17,658 hours of wrestling that was ‘Mania weekend. Expect monkey flips and powerbombs.
WALTER (formerly Big Van Walter and Big Daddy Walter) may not be familiar to many in the US, but he’s been a staple of the European wrestling scene for a few years now. Trained in part by NJPW’s Tomohiro Ishii, WALTER is the head trainer for German promotion Westside Xtreme Wrestling and is your favorite wrestler’s favorite wrestler. That’s not a joke; ZSJ and others immediately tweeted their excitement at his BOLA announcement, followed by begging for a matchup between him and Keith Lee. He’s wrestled everyone from Bryan Danielson to Johnny Gargano to Matt Riddle and it’s been said that he’s the best heavyweight in Europe. Expect suplexes and forearms for days.
More to come!