Off-Ramp contributor CJ Greenspon takes us to the minor leagues of pro wrestling, an event at an American Legion hall in Reseda put on every month by Pro Wrestling Guerrilla.
You know how baseball has farm clubs, where you can see the stars of tomorrow? Well, the Triple-A Cactus League for wrestling is Reseda's Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. PWG features the most skilled wrestlers on the indie circuit, working their way up to WWE.
At least 400 people came last week for PWG's "Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n Roll," packing the legion hall. Among them, Herbert Amaya, who's been attending PWG's shows for five years. "The wrestlers are very personable after the shows," he said, "and you can just go up and talk to them. They're normal people outside of the ring."
But inside they're 100 percent pro wrestler, since the personalities of PWG's talent are what make them so beloved by their fans.
Austin, Texas's ACH isn't afraid to show his nerdy side, quoting Super Smash Bros. and Dragon Ball Z in the ring.
ACH standing on the announce table:
But the action at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla is the real draw, like the bout between Roderick Strong and Brian Cage. PWG photographer Devin Chen gave me the play-by-play: "I love that story that they told. You got a big, huge man, like Brian Cage, and you got the little guy, Roderick Strong, trying to take him down, and in the end, Roderick Strong got the lucky kick in the head, and took Brian Cage down for the 1, 2, 3."
Brian Cage poses in a PWG ring:
PWG's roster comes from all over the country. They get on planes two or three times a week, hitting another town or country to work on their craft and make a living. But every contender that night told me there are few places they'd rather wrestle than at the American Legion Post#308 in Reseda, California.
The Kentucky Gentleman, Chuck Taylor, put it best: "This is the best place to wrestle on earth. I've wrestled in eight countries and 30 states, and this is my favorite place to wrestle. This crappy little building in Reseda, California ... there's something magical about it."
Adam Cole wrestles Kyle O'Reilly in the main event: