Re-invigorated by a terrific Shine Wrestling 42, Huracanrana and I found ourselves revisiting our proud and always growing collection of independent wrestling DVD/BluRays. That monthly PayPal statement; ouch!
To us, there’s arguably no live experience more invigorating than indy wrestling, mainly closeness to action and symbiosis between performer and observer. There’s something truly intoxicating in knowing both are literally required for magic to happen. Let alone the merch table as dual ‘thank yous’ after it all goes down! Huracanrana admits to a full hour of wind down, post event, before she can call it a night. Even at 7 months pregnant. (I’m convinced she’s giving birth to the future Ring Of Honor TV Champ.)
In revisiting our collection of said DVDs, I can’t help but be drawn to Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG)’s terrific ‘Battle of Los Angeles’ tournaments. Being shameless aficionados of Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Lucha Underground, this series is everything we love in a beautiful, tightknit package.
Perhaps it a bold statement, but there’s arguably no better indy wrestling product than this series for several reasons:
- Commentators – Unscripted fun, off the cuff funny and offensive (in a great way). Whether literally diving into the action or squealing with delight, commentary is top-notch.
- Candice LeRae – she’s there, she kicks ass, and gender is a non-issue. Ditto for the great Kimber Lee. No wonder so many women are the crowd.
- Language be damned – Mexican or Japanese stars are both embraced by fans who know their work. There’s no phony multiculturalism, regionalism, or over-acting to compensate.
- To hell with body types – PWG goes out of its way to avoid a stream of big versus big…or goofy extreme contrasts. Instead, you get a terrific menagerie of unpredictable matchups and outcomes. Sure, some dude emerge, but they’re rare.
- The over intimate venue – it’s small, makes for terrible camera shots, but athletes and talent must interact with fans based on proximity to the ring. And we’re better for it.
- DVD production – I simply love the pre-match hype intros. Great music, cool editing, and it genuinely gets me pumped. If only other promotions edited their matches in similar fashion.
- Best booking in the biz – Everyone in PWG deserves to be there…whether you realize it or not. By the end of every match it becomes glaringly obvious why a seeming nobody is part of this great event.
- Distribution – Old school Buy it on DVD or odds are you can’t see it. Even better is seeing almost no one sells/bootlegs the events on eBay.
- Match length – Other than Wrestle Kingdom, perhaps no other promotion tells a better story – in a perfect amount of time – than PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles. Storytelling is pitch perfect to in ring temp.
- Reputation – While there’s no spectacle like WrestleMania, there’s also no better yearly tournament than Battle of Los Angeles. You know exactly what you’re getting, and the athletes and talent are thrilled to give it to you.
Congrats to reigning champ Marty Scurll, and can’t wait for the next one!