It’s the comeback story of the decade, if not the past 20 years. A former 3x WWF World Tag Team Champion, one half of the almost laughable Quebecers tag team of the New Generation Era, has become the absolute buzz of the wrestling industry, following a whirlwind comeback run that began at this year’s Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 over WrestleMania weekend. Pierre Carl Ouellet, now going by simply PCO, has been announced as the first entrant in the 2018 PWG Battle of Los Angeles.
PCO is the first entrant in the 2018 Battle of Los Angeles!
— PWG (@OfficialPWG) June 19, 2018
For those who only follow the WWE, this probably feels like a “so what?” moment. But for those who follow indie wrestling, there is no tournament in North America that has become a proving ground for the indie’s best of the best, from US, Canadian and Mexican talent to UK, Japan, and Germany. Battle of Los Angeles (or BOLA) has been an indie staple since its inception in 2005, two years after Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) was founded. It’s winners are a who’s who of amazing talent who has succeeded on the highest levels, from WWE to NJPW, such as current IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega, NXT North American Champion Adam Cole, NXT Superstar Ricochet (the only man to win it twice), WWE Superstar Sami Zayn (as El Generico), Bullet Club’s Marty Scurll, UK sensation Zack Sabre Jr., and on. It’s entrants have included the best of the best, including the likes of WWE Champion AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Joey Ryan, Impact X-Division Champion Matt Sydal, Impact World Champion Austin Aries, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Brian Cage, Sami Callihan, Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, and more. You get the picture.
But in almost every instance, competitors have been indie stars on the rise. Wrestlers who are on the bubble to exploding on a national (or international) scale, or indie veterans who are on the verge of signing elsewhere. Only once before has a BOLA featured an established veteran older than 35 and that was in 2016 with NJPW’s Jushin Thunder Liger at the age of 51. This year, PCO enters his first BOLA at the age of 50.
PCO seemingly retired in 2010 (although he would correct me on Twitter after our last article, that he didn’t retired he just went on hiatus), but in 2016 began to work the indies with more frequency. After leaving the mainstream ranks of WWE and WCW in 2000, he would head primarily back to the Canadian (primarily Quebec) indies for another decade, including stints with wXw in Germany. He gained a few raised eyebrows when Black Label Pro in Indiana brought him in to face “All Ego” Ethan Page for their January event, We’re Not The Mounties, earlier this year.
He became a regular with Xtreme Zone Wrestling (XZW) in Quebec. As Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2 came on the horizon, a bizarre video was posted by Janela that showed a retro video game reveal for the next match for the event. It was international megastar WALTER vs. Pierre Carl Ouellet? To many people, they were astounded. Not because it was a dream match, but because it seemed ridiculous. Most people still remembered PCO as the Quebecer in WWF or his short lived pirate gimmick. But after that match, people weren’t talking about WALTER – they were excited for PCO.
UNLOCK THE MATCH ANNOUNCEMENT!
Friday. April 6 2018. 1155pm.
Live from New Orleans.@GCWrestling_ presents: Joey Janela’s Spring Break II #JJSB2https://t.co/hdclxJ1ZHD pic.twitter.com/uve9zfB7z9
— Bad Boy Joey Janela (@JANELABABY) February 20, 2018
Since then, he’s been booked to higher profile fights, against Eddie Kingston in AIW, “Dirty” Chris Dickinson (of Doom Patrol/Catch Point in EVOLVE) in Black Label Pro, Joey Janela himself with Game Changer Wrestling (GCW), defeated GCW and AIW Champion Nick Gage in the opening round of the NOVA Commonwealth Cup in Virginia earlier this month. He was recently booked to face Matt Riddle in a dream match with Impact Championship Wrestling (ICW New York) until circumstances lead to the event’s cancellation and is lined up for a Major League Wrestling (MLW) event in July. He even had a rematch with WALTER in Quebec.
The 11th wrestler participant in the #BattleRiot on July 19th in NYC is… @PCOQuebecer!
See PCO LIVE!
— Major League Wrestling (@MLW) June 19, 2018
And now PCO is heading to a tournament that is normally to determine who the future of pro wrestling is. But who knows? PCO is currently getting more over in his losses than many other stars do with their wins. Maybe at 50 years old, PCO is the future of pro wrestling. We’ll find out this year at the 2018 edition of PWG BOLA.
— Jude Kilgour (@judekilgour) April 7, 2018