Monday, August 31, 2015

Zack Sabre Jr is the 2015 Battle of Los Angeles champion!

After three nights and four matches, Zack Sabre Jr. is Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's 2015 winner of the Battle of Los Angeles.

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(Check out his merch there!)
I had an inkling that the British technical wrestling impresario might come out on top in PWG, a promotion he's visited on multiple trips stateside. He had an interesting route there though as the second round featured a shuffling of opponents to keep things even more interesting as the tournament progressed.

After what has been described as a great opening round contest against another regular international star Ricochet, the NOAH and Progress wrestler moved on to a second round match-up against Pentagon Jr. And while Pentagon almost certainly sought to break Sabre's arm, not even Cero Miedo could get him past the eventual BOLA winner.

In a match I expected as a semi-final, Sabre moved on to take on Marty Scurll, maybe the man he's most familiar with anywhere. Scurll and Sabre have been both opponents and tag partners over the years, They dominated the IPW: UK tag division for years, with two reigns that total over three years.

He moved on to the final with his long time NOAH running buddy Chris Hero and the relative newcomer "Speedball" Mike Bailey. Hero eliminated Bailey first before he and Sabre went into a technical wrestling challenge that ended with Hero tapping out.

Zack Sabre Jr. continues to be a rising name on the indies and his runs in Japan have brought him to a lot more American attention which helps in his bookings for promotions like PWG and EVOLVE. A BOLA win will cement him as a more regular force in California I suspect. Since he's been regularly making EVOLVE appearances in the last couple months, a longer American run might be in the cards for Sabre.

And while Sabre is a great wrestler, his style isn't exactly WWE friendly, which probably makes him a better pick than some to main event cards for independent promotions like PWG. Of course, if the rumored EVOLVE / WWE deal comes to fruition, he could still end up inside an NXT ring in the future. But the likelihood of any long period of time off the British indies seems unlikely for Sabre.

I'll leave you with my favorite Zack Sabre match against a cosplaying joker named Prince Devitt. The future demon was just a few weeks away from becoming Finn Balor here, and Sabre took him to the limits in a great PROGRESS match (which I believe also served as Devitt's farewell with that company.)

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