PWG Announces Second Batch of Battle of Los Angeles Participants

PWG has announced several more participants for the 2022 Battle of Los Angeles Tournament. The previous seven participants, which we here at BodySlam revealed last week, were announced on the PWG Twitter page as:

  • Jonah Rock
  • Alex Shelley
  • Kevin Blackwood
  • Lio Rush
  • Black Taurus
  • Daniel Garcia
  • Jack Cartwheel

Since that time, four more names have been announced for this prestigious tournament.

Bandido – Bandido was set to defend the Ring of Honor World Championship against Jonathan Gresham at Final Battle, before a positive COVID test knocked him out of the main event slot. Bandido steps into the tournament as a favorite, by virtue of being the reigning PWG World Champion. The 2022 edition will be Bandido’s third BOLA tournament, with trips to the finals in his previous two. In 2018, he defeated T-Hawk, tag team partner Flamita and Joey Janela to advance to the finals, where he eliminated Shingo Takagi before falling to Jeff Cobb. In 2019, he won it all, with wins over Puma King, Brody King and Dragon Lee, before outlasting David Starr and Jonathan Gresham in the finals. Not only will Bandido be attempting to become just the second performer in company history to win two BOLA tournaments, he will be looking to be the first to repeat.

Lee Moriarty – Another hot name in the indies, Moriarty recently signged with AEW and has been getting spotlight opportunities in a variety of promotions. In AEW against CM Punk, MLW against Calvin Tankman, in PWG against Jonathan Gresham, GCW against AJ Gray and a number of others, Moriarty is carving a path for himself as a future star. Could his first BOLA tournament be his launching pad?

Davey Richards – Davey Richards returned to professional wrestling in June of this year following a four-year hiatus. In the past six months, he’s averaged close to one match every four days, and racked up an impressive list of opponents in the process, such as Minoru Suzuki, TJP, Jonathan Gresham, Josh Alexander, Matt Cross, Jake Crist and Brian Cage. Among the promotions he’s worked worked with are MLW, GCW, Limitless, Beyond, AAW and 2CW. This year marks Richards’ sixth BOLA tournament, but outside of one year, he hasn’t had any success to speak of in the previous five, featuring one tournament victory but four first round exits.

  • 2005 – Lost a first-round match to Quicksilver.
  • 2006 – Won tournament, defeating Ronin, Austin Aries and Roderick Strong, before defeating CIMA to win it all.
  • 2007 – Lost a first-round match to Nigel McGuinness.
  • 2008 – Lost a first-round match to Bryan Danielson.
  • 2012 – Lost a first-round match to Michael Elgin.

In the six months since he returned to wrestling full time, Richards has also met at least four other 2022 BOLA participants in Bandido, Lio Rush, Alex Shelley and Daniel Garcia (twice). However, in those matches Richards is 0-5.

Aramis – A luchador working predominantly in AAA, but also working with MLW and other US independents, Aramis is the current Warrior Wrestling Lucha Champion, but also boasts wins over Demonic Flamita and fellow BOLA participant Jack Cartwheel in the last month. Despite his young age, this also marks Aramis’s second BOLA tournament, with his first run in 2019 ending with a first-round defeat to Rey Fenix. He may be a dark horse, but in a single elimination tournament, anything is possible.

Jonathan Gresham – The man who may go down as the last ROH World Champion will be looking to win his first Battle of Los Angeles, after advancing to the finals in his debut tournament in 2019. Gresham notched wins over Artemis Spencer, A-Kid and Joey Janela. He also eliminated David Starr in the finals before ultimately falling to tournament champion Bandido. Gresham was also the chief beneficiary of the resurrection of the ROH Pure Division, winning the tournament in 2020 to crown a new Pure Champion and defending the title for nearly a year before he was finally defeated by Josh Woods at Death Before Dishonor in September of 2021. In addition to continuing to defend the ROH World Title (under Pure rules, naturally) in multiple promotions, Gresham is also currently assembling his TERMINUS promotion, which will launch a few weeks before this tournament kicks off. Gresham has undeniable talent, but one can’t help but wonder where his head will be, and if it might affect his performance. We’ll see in late January.

We will continue to post more news updates as more entrants come in.

Follow Kyle Sparks on Twitter at @kyleksparks.

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