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The Review Stands Alone: Kyle O’Reilly vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (PWG BOLA 2014)

PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles is the yearly tournament known for dream matches coming to reality. Night 3 of the 2014 event was certainly an example of this: the PWG World Champion Kyle O’Reilly vs. Zack Sabre Jr in the quarter-finals. O’Reilly beat Drew Gulak, and Sabre Jr. beat Adam Cole to get to this point. When you have two of the best technical wrestlers in the business facing off, you’re bound to see something incredible.

“A lot of goddamn armbars are comin’.” -Chuck Taylor





Kyle O'Reilly vs. Zack Sabre Jr.****3/4
Only a few minutes prior to this match, the crowd was treated to AJ Styles vs. Roderick Strong (great match with a not so great finish), so they are already red hot as the ring introductions are made. The start of this sees these two men’s fingers be interlocked for a good 5 minutes as they both attempt to get the upperhand with some good ol’ grapplin’. What else would you expect? A “World of Sport” chant breaks out during their insane sequences. Armlocks, takedowns, each trying to pick a limb to start destroying but being countered by the other, evenly matched. The flow never seems to slow, as they start a ridiculous pinning sequence, Sabre Jr. getting the advantage and getting a two count while countering each of O’Reilly’s attempts. Kicks are thrown that are dodged, leg sweeps jumped over, kicks blocked, it’s like watching a fight scene in a movie. An absolute stalemate between the two. O’Reilly gets the first real advantage after exchanging straight kicks to the face, O’Reilly flooring Sabre Jr. with a flurry of stiff strikes. The holds in this match are just brutal, at one point Sabre traps O’Reilly’s arm with just his feet, bending it back before kicking them out to nearly break O’Reilly’s arm. Sabre Jr. slaps on as many submissions as he can to break down O’Reilly and it hurts to watch.

“He just did twelve different submissions in four seconds!”

Sabre spends time trying to break the arm of O’Reilly but he fires back using his kicks and knees to try and level Sabre, who floors him with an uppercut, O’Reilly rebounding off the ropes for the Nigel lariat, getting caught into a small package by Sabre Jr., rolled through into Kyle countering with a quick brainbuster! Unbelievable. It’s like these two were born to wrestle each other, the sequences are as close to perfect as you could get. A sequence of sharp kicks by Sabre Jr., O’Reilly catching the leg and drilling him with a capture suplex. The crowd chants “Both These Guys!” throughout the match because I mean, how could you take a side with both these guys trying to kill each other? Sabre catches O’Reilly with a flying armbar, O’Reilly rolling through into a waistlock, countered by Sabre into an O’Connor Roll that’s countered with an armbar by O’Reilly that Sabre escapes! Insanity. The two just start kicking each other in the gut, over and over again until they both collapse. Kicks by O’Reilly blocked, Sabre catching him with a high kick and O’Reilly fights through and delivers a rolling elbow, both men staggering and then slapping each other so hard that they both fall onto their backs.

Sabre drills O’Reilly with the repeated corner uppercuts, into a dragon suplex, O’Reilly staggering into the ropes trying to hit a desperate Nigel lariat but Sabre catches him into another flying armbar, O’Reilly quickly getting to his feet and stomping in his face to break the hold. Sabre comes flying right back with a PK. It’s just a tale of endless sequences, neither guy giving up despite the brutal damage done. Sabre continues the relentless assault on O’Reilly’s arm, getting him into a goddamn avalanche cross armbreaker off the top rope, that looked to be the deathknell for O’Reilly but he desperately rolled into the ropes. Sabre works over the left arm while O’Reilly throws desperate elbows with the right. O’Reilly ducks a high kick and captures Sabre into a pumphandle driver that dropped Sabre on his head. Chuck Taylor screamed and so did I. Sabre somehow kicks out of the pin combination, O’Reilly following it with a brainbuster and Sabre kicks out at 1! O’Reilly grabs Sabre’s arms and stomps the everloving shit out of his chest before locking in a triangle choke that finally puts Sabre out.

A match that could left you with no words to say, only an exclamation of “holy shit.” There was no slowdown in this match, no period of time where there was nothing going on, just 20+ straight minutes of brutality, desperation and straight up unbelievable sequences. Two of the best in the business having one of the most unbelievable matches you could hope to see. With these two, you expect greatness, but then they somehow manage to exceed your high expectations.

About the author

Dan Notarile

Hello everyone, I'm Dan. Writing has always been a passion of mine, and I'm always looking to write about new things. Combine that with the massive and varied world of wrestling, and you have me stoked about being on board with Wrestling With Words. From WWE to joshi puroresu, the writing will flow endlessly.


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