With the last two announcements made on December 24, PWG has completed the field of 16. This marks the first time since 2013, that the tournament featured a 16-person field. As we have with the previous twelve participants, let’s take a closer look at the last four entrants.
JD Drake – Currently in AEW as a part of The Wingmen with Peter Avalon, Ryan Nemeth, and Cezar Bononi, Drake is a 7+ year pro who made his name under the World Wrestling Network umbrella, in promotions like EVOLVE and FIP, predominantly working in the Mid-Atlantic independents. Drake is a former EVOLVE Tag Team Champion, with Anthony Henry, and former WWN Champion. Drake made his PWG debut in 2019, and is coming off an unsuccessful attempt by he and Henry to wrest the PWG Tag Team Championships from The Kings of the Black Throne, Malakai Black and Brody King in November. The 2022 edition marks Drake’s first appearance in the Battle of Los Angeles.
Rey Horus – After making his professional debut in Mexico in 2007, Rey Horus worked for three years as the second performer to take on the mantle of El Hijo De Rey Misterio. He worked under this mask and gimmick for three years, until the original El Hijo De Rey Misterio returned to wrestling. Horus then took on the name he currently uses, save for his time in the Lucha Underground promotion, where he worked as Dragon Azteca Jr. Horus held the Lucha Underground Trios Championships, with Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio, as well as the Lucha Underground Gift of the Gods Championship. He also held the Ring of Honor Six Man Championship, teaming with Flamita and fellow BOLA participant Bandido. This marks Horus’ second run in the tournament, losing a first round matchup to Rey Fenix in 2019.
Phillip Five Skulls – Before you head to Google to figure this one out, we’ll save you some time. Philip Five Skulls is a joke entry. A Twitter follower made up the name out of the ether in the midst of a tweet seemingly making light of fans’ Twitter requests to book this wrestler or that. In other words, the assumption is that this is a surprise entrant. There are already a variety of fan theories, from CM Punk (a nod to his real name), to Johnny Gargano (presumably a recent free agent, and former two-time BOLA entrant), to Chris Hero, as the original tweet said: “Phillip Five Skulls from Dayton,” referencing Hero’s real-life hometown. Hero would be particularly noteworthy as a former PWG World Champion and eight-time BOLA entrant, and three-time runner-up.
Buddy Matthews – The final announced entrant for the 2022 BOLA, Buddy Matthews is making waves on the independent circuit following nearly a decade in WWE, with runs as NXT Tag Team Champion with Wesley (now Westin) Blake, and WWE Cruiserweight Champion, along with a six-week run as Raw Tag Team Champions with Seth Rollins in early 2020. Since he was released by WWE in June, Matthews had one of his biggest matches to date, coming up on the short end against none other than Kazuchika Okada at New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Battle in the Valley event this past November in San Jose, California. This will be Matthews’ first BOLA tournament, but a lot of fresh matchups await.
So, the final list of BOLA participants for 2022 is as follows:
- Jonah Rock
- Alex Shelley
- Kevin Blackwood
- Lio Rush
- Black Taurus
- Daniel Garcia
- Jack Cartwheel
- Lee Moriarty
- Davey Richards
- Jonathan Gresham
- J.D. Drake
- Rey Horus
- “Phillip Five Skulls”
- Buddy Matthews
The 2022 Battle of Los Angeles will be held on January 29 and 30.
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