Top Independent Stars Shine In Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles

Ken DrabekCorrespondent IISeptember 1, 2010

This weekend Pro Wrestling Guerrilla will present their sixth annual "Battle of Los Angeles" tournament.

The tournament has become one of the most anticipated events of the year for the popular California independent promotion and it always features some of the biggest and best names on the indy wrestling scene.

Looking back at the brackets of previous years of this tourney reveals a who's who of names like AJ Styles, Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness (Desmond Wolfe), Matt Sydal (Evan Bourne), Doug Williams, Kazarian, Tyler Black, and Chris Sabin. These guys are currently some of the hottest young stars in WWE and TNA.

Past winners of the "Battle of Los Angeles" tournament include Davey Richards, CIMA and Low Ki, who is now known as Kaval. He was just named the WWE's "next breakout star" by winning the second season of NXT.

Winning the "Battle of Los Angeles" can provide a great boost for independent wrestlers looking to make a name for themselves.

This year, the field of 18 boasts talent from Ring of Honor, EVOLVE, CHIKARA and Dragon Gate USA amongst a handful of home-grown PWG competitors.

Match-ups for round one, taking place this Saturday, have been posted on the PWG web site. They are:

Claudio Castagnoli vs. Ricochet

Brandon Bonham vs. Brian Cage

Austin Aries vs. Rocky "Azúcar" Romero

Joey Ryan vs. Chuck Taylor

"Intrepid Traveler" Paul London vs. Roderick Strong

Brandon Gatson vs. Ryan Taylor

"Mr. Instant Replay" Matt Jackson vs. "Slick" Nick Jackson

El Generico vs. Akira Tozawa

"The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels vs. Chris Hero

There are some very intriguing bouts scheduled for round one, especially the final one on the list.

Daniels and Hero have both been incredibly hot in ROH as of late. Hero is one-half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions and remains a constant threat in the singles division. Daniels has reinvigorated his career while working his way up the ranks of ROH.

These two should put on quite a show during their first round match on Saturday.

Hero's tag team partner, Claudio Castagnoli faces the high-flying Ricochet in another interesting match-up. Will the daredevil, who has spent much of his career competing in CHIKARA, be able to take down the much bigger and stronger Castagnoli?

"The Generic Luchador" El Generico takes on Akira Tozawa from Dragon Gate in what should be a hard-hitting battle. Tozawa is one of DGUSA's top young stars and has spent time in PWG rings as of late.

Generico is currently one half of the PWG World Tag Team Champions with Paul London, and is embroiled in an intensely bitter feud with Kevin Steen in ROH.

Speaking of Paul London, the former WWE superstar goes up against a red-hot Roderick Strong in the first round.

Strong, who has perhaps the biggest match of his career in a few weeks at ROH's next iPPV, will undoubtedly provide a difficult challenge for London in this one.

"Magnum" Joey Ryan, the sleazy one himself, is up against Chuck Taylor is round one. Ryan is one of the top stars of PWG and Taylor continues to win over fans in just about every single major independent promotion.

"Chucky T" is arguably the hottest up-and-comer on the indy scene today and could be considered a dark horse to win the 2010 tournament.

No match in the first round looks to be more interesting than the battle of the Jacksons. Nick and Matt Jackson, known collectively amongst fans as The Young Bucks (and to TNA fans as Generation Me), have become one of the most dynamic tag teams in recent memory.

If either of the Bucks wants to win this tournament, they are going to have to go through each other to do so. If anything, this one will be fast-paced and full of flashy offense and it could very well be the show-stealing match on Saturday night.

The rest of round one promises to be entertaining.

Austin Aries takes on Rocky Romero, who has made his mark in ROH as well as in Japan and Mexico. PWG stars Ryan Taylor and Brandon Gatson collide in a battle between two youngsters looking to reach the next level.

Brandon Bonham, PWG's "Breakout Star of 2008," goes up against Brian Cage, who was at one time signed to a WWE developmental deal.

Since there are 18 men in the tournament, the round two brackets will feature matches that include three and perhaps even four competitors. PWG will not reveal how the second round will be laid out until it begins on Sunday night.

The 2010 "Battle of Los Angeles" looks to be a weekend of high-quality wrestling action. Who will come out on top and perhaps become the next independent star to break into the big time?

For the latest on the tournament or to find out more about Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, check out the official PWG web site.