Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fave Five 8/29/16-9/4/16

1) Kevin Owens: There was literally no other choice. After Finn Balor was forced to vacate the WWE Universal Championship due to injury, a lot of people, myself included, expected it to go back to the status quo of Roman Reigns or Seth Rollins. Instead, we got treated to a pretty intriguing ending to Raw. Triple H returned and Pedigreed Reigns, helping Rollins eliminate him. Then, Triple H turned on Rollins and helped Kevin Owens win the title. This was a huge deal as Owens, a guy that doesn't have the prototypical look, got the "you deserve it" chants and made it to the top of the flagship show. A lot of people thought it wouldn't and couldn't happen, but it did and I loved every second of it. I've been a fan of Owens since 2007 and it was an incredible crowning achievement for one of the best currently going.

2) Marty Scurll: PWG held their annual Battle of Los Angeles tournament during this week of pro wrestling. Three nights, a shit ton of matches and a bunch of the top independent wrestling talent from around the globe. This year, the "Villain" Marty Scurll won the entire thing. He defeated Pentagon Jr., Cody Rhodes and Mark Haskins before besting rival Will Ospreay and Trevor Lee in an elimination finals. Scurll has been pretty damn anywhere he goes all year long, but this was possibly his biggest accomplishment. He is now in line for a shot at the PWG Championship, currently held by Zack Sabre Jr. I'm not a huge fan of their matches together, but Scurll might be riding a streak hot enough to dethrone Sabre.

3) Kota Ibushi: Though I'm sure the Battle of Los Angeles featured some top notch matches, we won't see them for a while. So, the best match of the week for me was the Cruiserweight Classic battle between Kota Ibushi and The Brian Kendrick. Kendrick has been playing the veteran trying to get his career back on track role, while Ibushi is a heavy favorite to win it all. Their styles meshed perfectly and they put on one hell of a match that might have been the second best of the entire tournament. Ibushi survived a burning hammer and Kendrick's bully choke before winning to advance to the final four. It was another standout performance by the Japanese sensation, who should probably agree to a deal soon because he can be a major player.

4) Cody Rhodes: Sure, he didn't win the Battle of Los Angeles, but Cody Rhodes still deserves this spot. Cody was a WWE product his entire career, but he's made his way to the indies and is doing his best to adapt there. After starting in Evolve, he made his way to PWG this weekend for the Battle of Los Angeles. Cody was all over the news and being talked about for his appearance. He defeated another former WWE guy in Sami Callihan in the first round in a match that featured the return of his "undashing" face mask. He did lose in the second round, but at least it was to the eventual winner, Marty Scurll. Cody promised the Reseda fans that he would be back next year. He also made some headlines with the news that he's apparently going to work some ROH, TNA and even NJPW in the coming months.

5) The Brian Kendrick: Lost a hard fought battle with Kota Ibushi, followed by an emotional moment with Daniel Bryan.