After one of the best first stages in recent BOLA history, we have reached the final stage of the 2023 tournament. The final 9 are as follows: Masha Slamovich, Bryan Keith, Komander, Jordynne Grace, Shun Skywalker, Konosuke Takeshita, Titus Alexander, Bandido and Speedball Mike Bailey.
Outside of Bandido, the remaining 8 entrants are all looking for their first tournament win. Komander , Bryan Keith, and Titus Alexander are looking to start their year with winning one of the most prestigious tournaments in Independent Wrestling.
Jordynne Grace and Masha Slamovich, both made BOLA history by advancing out of the first round. With either woman winning the tournament it will be the first in BOLA history a female competitor has won. I cannot think of any two more deserving women competitors than these two women.
Shun Skywalker and Konosuke Takeshita are looking to become the first Japanese wrestler to win the event. The last Japanese born wrestler to win the event was CIMA back in 2007. While Shingo Takagi was the most recent wrestler who went all the way to the finals of the 2018 BOLA tournament.
Speedball Mike Bailey, a two-time finalist of the tournament. He was the runner-up of the 2022 tournament falling short to winner and current PWG champion Daniel Garcia. Speedball is currently in 2nd place with 2 finals appearances. If he was to make it to the final this year, it would be back to back years and he would move into a tie with Roderick Strong and Chris Hero for most appearances in a BOLA final.
Bandido, the 2019 tournament winner. He will be looking to become only the second competitor to win two BOLA tournaments tying him with Ricochet in PWG history. Outside of last year’s first round exit at the hands of Speedball Mike Bailey, Bandido is one of the more successful entrants in the tournament’s history.
The matchups and Final Four.
As with all matches outside of the first round, no matches are announced. This year, with Speedball not competing in the first stage of the tournament if he wants to win the tournament, he will need to win 3 matches in one night. He is scheduled to face Bryan Keith if plans do not change as his first-round opponent.
As for the remaining 7 entrants, I spent a few hours trying to see how/who will match up with each other. The odd number will most likely include at least one triple threat match. If I was booking these matches, it would look like this. Komander vs Bandido, Konosuke Takeshita vs Shun Skywalker, and Titus Alexander vs Jordynne Grace vs Masha Slamovich. Again, after the first stage where I went 4 out 8 in picks I have no idea who will make it, however for this editorial my final four picks are Masha Slamovich, Speedball Mike Bailey, Takeshita and Bandido.
This final four is one of the best semis we can have. The matchups could be fantastic. Speedball vs Takeshita? Why not, or maybe a rematch from the 2022 first round match of Bailey vs Bandido? How hard would a matchup of Masha vs Takeshita go? Just thinking of these 4 and the matchups are getting me more excited as the event approaches. Picking 2 from these 4 were not easy as I was at my post PWG show meal with a friend and I was just so indecisive to the finalists let alone the winner. The most I thought about it, the more it made logical sense to what the finals would be and how it will become one of the most important finals in the history of the tournament.
Finals: Speedball Mike Bailey vs Bandido
Picture the scene at the Globe Theater, Bailey tying the aforementioned finals appearance of 3. Bandido looking to become only the second two-time tournament winner. A rematch of their 2022 First round match. The story writes itself. I cannot pick a winner as realistically it is anyone’s guess who wins. Personally, this is the match I hope occurs tonight. Two of PWG’s most over wrestlers meeting in the finals of the most prestigious tournament in the company’s history. Here’s to another card full of surprises, 5 star matches, unbelievable spots and hopefully only the second two-time winner in tournament history. Like last night, please feel free to follow my twitter as I would post live tweet results of the event tonight, handle is @Cuellar_cck