Travel back in time to see the match that led to one of Sunday’s biggest brawls.
Typically, I like to be a forgetful friend when it comes to loaning things out. You know, all casual like “oh, I forgot you had that!” as opposed to looking at the empty space in my collection, waiting.
This is not one of those moments. I loaned my Pro Wrestling Guerrilla 2017 Battle of Los Angeles blu-rays to a friend who just happens to be my boss, and now I’m getting to the kind of impatience where I might ask that he bring them to me the second he’s in town.
Why? Because on Sunday night, we will see the return bout of probably my favorite match I’ve ever seen in person. It’s the PWG BOLA quarterfinal: Keith Lee vs Donovan Dijak (yes, his name has changed around since then, he’s that guy Mauro loves to call “heavy double D” while totally not thinking about bewbs).
But seriously. Even if you’re just going to get a months of the High Spots Wrestling streaming service just for BOLA 2017, it’s worth it. This three day stretch was a peak moment for the indie class of 2017, with everyone from Ricochet to Zack Sabre Jr, Pentagon to WALTER, and Jonah Rock (now Bronson Reed) to Chuck Taylor.
You’ll see matchups that now seem like dream matches, since most everyone’s been fractured off to different promotions. And even if you’ve liked their matches at the Full Sail Arena — you’re going to be impressed by what Lee and Dijak did during this brief moment in time before either had a WWE contract. The latter would report to the Performance Center the next day, while the Limitless former would spend about 8 months before his appearance at Axxess, that foretold his front-row moment at TakeOver: Chicago.
But back to the last great Lee vs Dijak match before they signed to WWE. Or actually, no, let’s give some love to Beyond Wrestling, who had it first:
So, let’s talk about why this match is insane. Not only do both of these large lads defy gravity — which is practically their thing — but the match works through playing on their shared history together, something that NXT built into last November’s WarGames a bit, too. That way, when we’re 21 minutes into this insanity, you’ll know it’s not just important they’re doing this for a mighty prize, which they’ll be doing again for the NXT North American championship. They’re doing this to someone they’ve been friendly with.
I won’t run through the match move by move. That’s what you finding it, and watching it, is for. Which you can do right here. It’s one of the single best wrestling matches that you might have missed, thanks to PWG’s lack of a dedicated streaming service. Rectify that now (editor’s note - doubling down on Henry’s rec here. It’s worth the seven day free trial. And who knows? You might decide to stay subscribed. There are worse ways to spend $9.99 per month).
Oh, and if Keith Lee and/or Mr. Dijakovic is reading this? Kick some ass this weekend. You’re limitless, so I know I can’t overhype your big brawl that we can’t wait to feast our eyes on.