Segunda Caida

Phil Schneider, Eric Ritz, Matt D and occasional guests write about pro wrestling. Follow us @segundacaida

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 122

Episode 122

1. Roy Wilkins vs. Montana Black

ER: Yeah baby Montana Black is Back! He's a guy we saw seemingly ages ago that I've been wanting to see again, no reason why I should be deprived of this dude. This is worked simply, with Wilkins moving all around Black as he stands tall as an unchoppable tree. Wilkins fights him like a heel Westley fighting a babyface Fezzik jumping on him and trying to take out those legs. Black doesn't have thick legs, so Wilkins' shoulderblocks to the inner knee seem extra tough. I loved him jumping in for an abdominal stretch and how badly everything went when he tried jumping on Black. Black hits a mammoth face buster, picking up Wilkins in a full nelson and just planting him face first. His power looked legit and Wilkins took the bump like Wile E. Coyote falling face first off a cliff. I was disappointed when no dust cloud ploofed up. Black gets distracted and Wilkins blasts him behind the ear with his golden ticket plaque. I really love these 6 minute CWF matches. They always feel like they accomplish so much for the allotted time. I want more Montana Black!

PAS: Montana Black is two for two with me in singles matches. He is legit huge and seems to understand how to use his size, he actually works a lot like Andre the Giant, all open hand thudding chops and immobility. Wilkins is great at working as a cerebral wrestler, and I loved him try to solve the puzzle, before just giving up and smashing Black in the head with brass knuckles. I actually think Black would be a great addition to the All-Stars as a sort of a monster equalizer.

2. Slade Porter vs. Cam Carter

ER: This wasn't a bad 5 minutes, though some parts felt a little too rehearsed, it still had cool stuff. I was admittedly distracted by Cain Justice on commentary, as he wasn't really working in character, instead he came off like a more southern fried Snagglepuss. "That was a nice floatover, a nice drop down, even." We've seen Porter a few times now and this is probably the best he's looked, specifically thought a couple of his more complicated moves looked painful (like that nice leaping back elbow), and I liked Carter's low German suplex. This still felt like more of a touring match, but if you got 5 minutes to make an impression I can see using your touring match.

PAS: This didn't do it for me, I think Porter is one of the worst guys who shows up semi-regularly, and serious Porter was just as try hard and fun loving Porter. There was a section where Porter was throwing punches that were getting blocked which was comically bad looking. Carter has some potential and nice athletic ability, but wasn't going to be able to save this.

3. John Skyler vs. Jason Kincaid

ER: Skyler comes out wearing the one armed, studded leather jacket like Finlay or a Mad Max villain. It's a look I don't think I can pull off. But maybe it's one of those "confidence is key" things, where if you just act like you're someone who can pull off a one armed, studded leather jacket with one armor-like shoulder pad, then you can pull it off. I remember when vests became popular again among men, and I tried one on and just felt like I couldn't make it work. I felt like too much of a phony. So I might *think* that I wouldn't be able to pull off a Mad Max vest, but I don't know for certain. But I liked this match, even though I thought it could have been trimmed a bit. I was surprised how much Skyler was in control. I thought several of Kincaid's comebacks came off unnatural, just because Skyler was doing nothing but hitting him with big moves. Early on he used a lot of speed to stay one step ahead, or logically set up offense off of Skyler's misses, like that sunset flip powerbomb sending Skyler into the bottom buckle. But at a certain point this just felt like Kincaid barely kicking out of something, then just going back on offense. And sometimes the offense he set up felt a little longwinded, like the 619 from the entrance ramp, or the finishing cutter off the top that required Skyler to lift him into position to do the move. I don't like that kind of stuff. But for a longer match I thought they mostly filled the time well, and there were plenty of big (and little) killer moments, like Kincaid's crazy stomp to the face off a ringpost, and Skyler doing a deep back rake to sink in a powerbomb.

PAS: I liked this more then Eric did. I am a fan of Kincaid's fancy offense, it fits well with his character and spots like the double stomp off of the ringpost are legitimately awesome. I also really like Skyler, he is an ex CW Anderson and Preston Quinn tag partner and he has that same methodical yet forceful style. I did think it might have gone a bit too long and I thought the 619 from the ring entrance was kind of dumb, but I thought the finish was great. Stuttsy had been talking all match about Skylers top rope Finlay roll being his killer move and Kincaid reversing it in mid air into a stunner was crazy athletic and cool.

ER: I liked the stuff with Snooty and CL in Chapel Hill, with Snooty showing her his favorite 24 hour restaurant. Not only did I like Snooty (and CL) more after this, it made me want mac and cheese and a chicken biscuit. After all these scary beyond belief fires out here in CA this past week+, what kind of place do you think I can afford in Chapel Hill or Gibsonville? Somebody sell me on NC!

4. CW Anderson & The Dawsons vs. Chet Sterling & The Sandwich Squad

ER: I would have liked 5 more minutes from this, and 5 less from the prior match. I mean before the bell this match already had a woman in the crowd throw her nachos for a total bullseye on Zane Dawson, and then the Squad picked up a couple of the nachos and ate them. The parts of this match where CW and the Dawsons were picking apart Sterling were the best, I could have easily taken more of a heat segment. CW was vicious with everyone. His staredowns are maybe my favorite in wrestling, he never skimps on stomach kicks, and he never tries to get cheers. He is a bad man through and through. I like Sterling more every week, and I think he's especially good as the sympathetic babyface in matches like this. He fights to comeback nicely, sells well (which might be easier to do when Zane is smacking you in the ribs, or Dave is twisting you in a cravate, and CW is throwing big right hands to your face), but I like him getting dropped with a backdrop, coming up holding his shoulder and still wanting to fight, loved CW working that shoulder over his own while digging an elbow into Sterling's neck. I love how CW kept on Sterling, even when things started to break down and everybody got involved, he still lazered in on Sterling until he stuck that spinebuster. I thought the finish was real great as Biggs hits a mammoth Thesz press, but CW breaks up the pin with a killer low superkick; Biggs struggles back to his feet and shoots CW a look, but CW nails another one, Zane hits a lariat, and Dave dumps him with an awesome Saito suplex.  The Converse/Anderson standoff at the end of the episode hyped me even more for WarGames.

PAS: The beginning of this match with the face team all holding their trophies and the heels holding their belts, plus the faces taunting the lady into tossing her nachos was classic wrestling horseshit. Great CW performance, he was the conductor of the whole match, masterminding the beat down on Sterling. Coming in and hitting brutal cheap shots, right hands and his nasty spinebuster. I always enjoy watch the Sandwhich Squad do their thing, and Mecha hits an especial big time lariat. Finish was really great the Thez press by Biggs is world swallowing, and that short superkick by CW looked like it broke Biggs jaw.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Hechicero v. Valiente

42. Hechicero v. Valiente CMLL 10/6

ER: Really cool lightning match, and really Hechicero should be a guy who should just work a lightning match challenge gimmick. He's got a deep tool bag and is probably the best-equipped guy in CMLL to work weekly 10 minute singles matches (Negro Casas would also obviously be great at this). Hechicero tools Valiente on the mat, working some nice headscissors spots, really making it look like Valiente couldn't move if he wanted to. He ties him up, wrenches a nasty armbar with headscissors, does a sick rolling drop down allowing him to snag Valiente's ankle, all nice stuff. It's capped off by a cool German suplex variation where he lifts Valiente vertically and then just kinda drops him. He gets cocky and goes up top, leading to a rough spill to the apron that sees his knee getting hung on the top. Valiente hits a gorgeous rolling armbar that splats Hechicero to the floor, then we get a high speed Valiente tope and his still fantastic Valiente Special moonsault to the floor. We get Hechicero coming back and removing the straps (!) and breaking out tiny things I've never seen from him (like his leaping side kick under Valiente's chin). The ankle comes back into play as Hechicero locks in a rolling ankle lock, and actual effective rolling move as each roll looked like it was adding more pressure.

PAS: Total blast of a shortish TV match. These two had a great match in Monterey about a decade ago which was pretty much everyones first intro to Hechicero, and both guys seemed to have not aged a bit. Glad to see Hechicero get a chance to shine even in a truncated format. Really liked all of the aggressive early matwork, especially all of Hechicero's takedowns. Also it was nice to see the return of bump freak Hechicero as he really takes a nasty fall to the floor off of Valiente's armdrag, which leads to a great tope and gorgeous Valiente special, which is still one of the best highspots in wrestling. Loved the finishing rolling ankle lock as well, about as good a 8 minutes of lucha as your are going to get, would really love to see these two get another long showcase match.


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Monday, October 16, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 121

Episode 121

1. Jason Kincaid vs. Chip Day

ER: I really like Kincaid, glad they brought him in and I hope we see him more. He's possibly the most athletic guy to also own multiple Blind Melon CDs. He's probably the most athletic guy out of all guys called "dirt weed" by their friends. I kind of need to see a team of Kincaid and Aric Andrews, two lanky scuzzy dudes, Team Black Crowes Guitar Tech! Kincaid flops around nicely for offense, leans into kicks (and I really like Day's spin kicks to the chin, and his kicks to take out Kincaid at the shins). Day is a guy with a lot of offense, and much of it he pulls off effortlessly, a guy who has a moveset that actually feels like his moveset, in spite of it being large. And I like how his moveset can also be complicated enough to make him vulnerable. This was plenty of fun, and yeah I hope we get more Kincaid.

PAS; This was good stuff, felt like a touring indy match, with both guys getting to show off their cool spots and a sensible well worked finish. Kincaid has a bunch of really innovative stuff that all makes sense and doesn't look contrived. Most guys who work an innovator style end up throwing in a bunch of superfluous junk, Kincaid is flashy but it all connects. I especially love his top of the ringpost double stomp, he missed it here but it always looks dangerous. Day was landing his kicks good, and I really liked his ankle pick submission attempt. I am not sure what Day's persona is though. I think he should just lean into his new Wikileaks gimmick , have him dox his opponents before the match, he can leak emails of tag partners talking shit about each other, Day could be the guy who got LaRoux Smith Garrett's medical records. Maybe you could have Gabe sending in EVOLVE guys to take Day out, Day v. Fred Yehi or Keith Lee could be really great.

2. Cain Justice vs. Dirty Daddy

ER: I love Justice coming out quick following the previous match, and immediately getting into Day's face. I already want to see Justice against just about anybody, but he has a way of adding to potential future match ups, always setting up little reasons for other people to want to fight him other than "we were booked against each other off camera". It's little, but it adds a lot. And this match rules as Cain goes after Daddy's left arm in some sick ways, including snapping it back over the top rope. And Daddy is so good as a fighting babyface, always firing back at Justice with hard shots. I loved how Cain smacked him a couple times and then was shocked to find Dirty hits harder. Dirty is also super mindful of his injured wing, selling appropriately at all times. Loved Cain blasting him with a lariat and the look on Cain's face when Dirty doesn't budge. Daddy's offense looked killer here, I especially liked him purposely over-rolling Cain on a backslide, sending Cain flipping over right into a vicious knee to the face. I loved the spot, as at first I thought he had just come in too hot on a backslide, then I realized it positioned Cain perfectly and naturally to take the knee. Very clever. Cain matches always seem to go just the right amount of time, and there's always a lot of high end action packed into them. There are usually a couple little match stories going on and we usually get satisfying results to those stories. This couldn't have been more than 8 minutes but had so much neat stuff going on, with a nice satisfying ending, I'd really love to see these two continue to match up.

PAS: I thought this was really great. Watching these two guys match up is like seeing early Flair v. Steamboat or the first Low-Ki v. Danielson matches, just a pair of prodigies at the start of what should be an all time great rivalry. Dirty comes in throwing bombs, clearly fired up trying to drop Justice early, his ripcord elbow is really sharp and violent looking. Cain of course goes after the arm, and is really sadistic, very early he tries for a crossarmbreaker and when he gets counters, he immediately switches to the other arm. There is a great spot early where he rubber bands the top rope into Dirties eyes, and later in the match when he tries it again Dirty just stomps a mudhole into him. I loved the end with Cain knocking Daddy silly with some brutal forearms to the back of the head, when the ref pulls him up, Daddy spits in Cain's face, it was a great "fuck you" before dying, and leads right into Cain superkicking him and slapping on the twist ending. I want to see every single match up these two ever have.

3. Arik Royal vs. Beau Crockett vs. Mike Mars vs. Mecha Mercenary vs. Aaron Biggs vs. Snooty Fox

ER: This was a bit of a rushed mess, but with a "winner gets title shot" stip like this you either work a long match and then have the winner gassed for his title shot, or you work a short inconsequential match that's just a lead in for the main. I guess I'd rather have the latter, as the main event singles has potential to be the better match. But this is one of those short multimans where guys are selling way too much way too early, and it's a shame because I like how a lot of these guys match up. Still, even in the short time we still get Royal taking a beefy clothesline to the floor (hitting his knees in rough fashion on the apron on his way down), Mecha throwing meaty chops, clotheslining Mars in the face, a big Snooty spear, a huge Biggs samoan drop on Royal, obviously some fun stuff. When you put some of these guys in a match and let them do things, those things are going to be fun. Crockett and Mars seem to just be in there for the same reason Misawa has Satoru Asako on his trios team or Stan Hansen has Lacrosse as a tag partner, or how Eric has the hottest wrestling analogies from 1997. But one of those guys were clearly in there to eat a pin, and it doesn't make a lot of sense that they'd even be this close to title contention. This was a "2nd chance" 6 man, when did Crockett or Mars ever get a 1st chance? I'm fine with the end result, as I love the Squad and would love to see them in more singles, but at this rate they may as well have just given Mecha an offscreen title shot.

PAS:  This was a fun idea, I like putting all the big dudes in one ring and let them pound on each other, but the execution was wanting a bit. Mars I understand because he is large, but Beau Crockett isn't 300 pounds so he is an odd man out and an obvious candidate to get pinned. Some of the work here was fine, but I would have rather had this go a big longer and have some drama.

4. Mecha Mercenary vs. Trevor Lee

ER: Yes yes yes! This is the first time I've seen Lee against a monster fat dude, and the first time I've seen Mecha in a singles match (let alone a long main event), and it all couldn't have gone much better. Outside of one moment where it looked like Mecha let Lee out of a tight pin, this was a fully plausible monster vs. scrappy brave defender with some awesome twists and constantly killers spots. These two blast each other with strikes the whole match, huge lariats from both (Mecha turns Lee inside out a few times with his great lariats, and one of the best moments of the match is Lee hulking up and practically dislocating his shoulder to crush Mecha with a standing clothesline), and some really cool learned behavior. Lee made up the size difference by being nasty and persistent. Mecha may chop harder, but Lee can chop you right in the eye, motherfucker! I loved all the play around Lee's apron kick, with Mecha catching the first attempt and grabbing him in a fireman's carry, other attempts see Mecha swinging at Lee's legs with Lee jumping over, and finally Lee hits one and adds another for good measure. They were really good at showing Lee's normal attacks might not affect the big man as much, or might work differently: I loved when Lee went for the STF and couldn't really roll him over, so Mecha ended up on top in a very close pinfall. Mecha goes into the match seeing the trail of bodies Lee's title reign has left in its wake, and clearly ramps things up, sometimes to his disadvantage: He goes to the middle rope two different times and never looks comfortable up there, but knowing how effective his awesome elbow drops are from the mat, think of the damage he could do from the middle? Lee is crafty and makes Mecha pay for it, and the build for this was really good. Part of me was rooting for Mecha to win the belt, part of me was rooting for Lee to figure out a way to take down this giant and put another notch in the belt. The finish was coconuts and well played, with Lee flying off the ropes and getting caught in what surely would have been a crushing powerslam, but coming in so fast and rotating so quick that he flips through and lands on top of the powerslam. The move looked awesome, and the pin was handled perfect with Lee getting barely enough for the 3, the reversal surprising Mecha just long enough to keep him down, kicking out right at 3 but a split second too late. Money.

PAS: Really good stuff. I love how diverse Lee's title matches are, especially lately and it was fun to watch him work basically a modern day One Man Gang. Mecha is really great at projecting his size, sometimes guys that big will want to show off their athleticism, but Mecha is great at being a mountain to climb. Even a simple cradle is super impressive when it is a refrigerator sitting on your chest. I loved how they set up Lee's german suplex, even great big men like Vader would jump a little too much when they got thrown, Mecha obviously had to assist on the german, no way a human could throw a guy that big with out help, but he didn't leap, Trevor muscled him over and it looked like an enormous feat of strength. I also loved the second rope moves backfiring, Mecha isn't showing off his moonsault, he doesn't belong up there and paid for his hubris. Also that finish didn't even look humanly possible, again somehow Mecha made a move that requires cooperation look like a one man miracle.  I watched it three times and have no idea how either guy pulled it off. I also love the multi match story they are telling about Lee's arrogance, calling Mecha a bitch and telling him to hit him harder, is exactly the kind of thing which will cost Lee his belt, whenever he loses it, and they are doing a great job of sowing seeds for his fatal hubris.

ER: These shows have been flying high lately, I can't believe how many we've already reviewed. And, as is becoming a trend, we've added another match to our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List. Mecha vs. Lee was another in an awesomely booked main event program.

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

AIW Absolution 7/21/17

Dominic Garrini v. The Duke

PAS: This was kind of an odd match. Duke is a heel manager who looks like a Illinois High School Defensive Line coach. You would think Garrinni would just squash him, but it was a really competitive match with Duke kicking out of a piledriver, throwing back suplexes, escaping submissions ect. Duke is a big dude, but it is weird to have a manager take 60% of a match with suplexes and not eye pokes. If you were watching the match in a vacuum the work was pretty good, and Garrinni is always worth checking out, still the booking was goofus.

Frankie Flynn v. PB Smooth

PAS: I had seen both of these guys in CWF before but they both looked better here, working with people you are familiar with can be really helpful. Smooth is listed at 7 feet tall and is probably legit 6'9 or so. He had really nice power moves including some nice bodyslams and a great chokeslam. Flynn works over the knee and does a nice job working it over, and Smooth does a nice consistent job selling it. Finish has the ref distracted while Flynn's crew attacks Smooth, while everyone is confused Flynn clips Smooth's knee with the rookie trophy and puts his feet on the ropes for the win. I enjoyed this, basic match, but well done and I would enjoy seeing either guy against Cain Justice in CWF-MA for the RGL belt.

Britt Baker v. Swoggle

PAS: This was a comedy fans bring the weapons match between a midget and a woman with a lot of mishigas, lots of run ins including Dick Justice doing a flip flop and fly and Space Monkey doing a Orihara moonsault. Swoggle took some semi-nasty garbage bumps including going but first into carpet tacks and getting barbed wire up his nose. I was semi amused by Swoggle taking a bump into Lucky Charms like they were thumbtacks. The finish had Adam Cole run in under a mask and clean out the heels so Baker could get the win. I am not a Cole guy, but he seems like a pretty big star to book for a surprise run in on a comedy match.

Eddie Kingston v. Tom Lawlor

PAS: I am always very happy to see a big time Eddie Kingston singles match. Kingston isn't going to grapple with you, so this had less jujitsu rolling then the other Lawlor matches I have watched, but they replaced with grappling with Kingston chops and backfist to the face. This was these guys doing an All Japan main event and Kingston's selling put it at a higher level then most matches of this style.  Every shot was impactful and every suplex was compressing. Lawlor has really good looking suplexes and is willing to take an asskicking. Lawlor does his neck snap move and Kingston sells it like it gave him nerve damage. Even the suplex no sell section had Kingston fighting through adrenaline and both guys collapse on their face. Finish was pretty great with Lawlor turning a Tazmission into a nasty ground and pound into a guillotine. Loved Kingston fighting from the ground until he ate one too many elbows and slumped unconscious.

ER: These two matched up great, and I think they used the right percentage of each man's strength. Kingston is a furious striker who often gets into fights with better strikers, and still brings it even as you can see his life meter draining the whole match. Lawlor comes out looking like Chuck Liddell and messes around by immediately flopping to his back. Kingston is game and I loved this front to back. Kingston tries his luck with some go behinds, lands some shots, and the longer the match goes - as Phil says - Kingston makes this mean so much more with his elite selling. Watching him go for a strike and become aware of numbness in his arm, or watching him take a strap down only to stumble down to a knee, things like that are part of what I love about pro wrestling. Suplex trading is almost always an instant fart noise in a match for me these days, but I love how these two handled it. Lawlor's first two Germans were absolute beasts. I don't know if he was planning this but I love that he played to the camera side with them, showing us the full side angle of the suplex. It really allowed us to see every step of it. Kingston is not a small guy and seeing the lift and the the throw and the landing was awesome.  Both guys throw full strength and I thought it was a big moment once Kingston got up and threw Lawlor. None of this felt like fighting spirit, it felt like typical Kingston not knowing when to quit. Kingston is a guy who quits when his body quits. He's still able to fire off some backfists, and that fist is always his ace in the hole, but you can't hit that backfist when you're on your back getting elbowed in the face. Lawlor locks in a tight standing guillotine and you can see Kingston fighting forward, trying to back Lawlor up, but smartly tapping. Awesome performance from both, killer style clash.

Ethan Page v. Shawn Schultz

PAS: This was a bullrope match, and a pretty well done one. Shultz is a southern guy who I remember enjoying in SAW. He has really nice downward punches, and for a guy billed as the master of the eye rake, he has a great eye rake. This could have used some blood, there were multiple times I assumed Page was about to blade, but he didn't, still Shultz had some really nasty choking with the rope. I also really enjoyed the crowd brawling, mostly fighting through the crowd rather then hair pulling and walking. Finish was slightly anti-climactic as Page just hit three uranages and dragged Shultz around to the corner, although overall the match exceeded expectations.

Chase Oliver/Garrison King/Joshua Bishop/Tre Lamar/AJ Gray  vs. Jollyville Fuck-Its (Russ Myers & T-Money)/Matt Justice/Young Studs (Bobby Beverly & Eric Ryan)

PAS: Man did I love this match. The concept is a group of AIW students challenged team of old school AIW guys. The first section of this match has the Old AIW laying a 75% Kurisu level beating on the rookies. Matt Justice nearly beheads Tre Lamar with a leg lariat, the Jollyville Fuck Its (who are a team I love and I need to seek out more of) have this great spot where T-Money puts Lamar in an airplane spin and Russ just punches him in the face on every spin. Garrison King has light up shoes an awesome secondary nickname (Garry "The King" Baller) and takes an absolute shellacking. After a really long one sided beating the rookies get a bit of an advantage with AJ Gray (who is sort of a ringer) and that leads into this awesome dive train, with Chase Oliver doing a Taka moonsault to the floor, Lamar hitting an insane looking Fosbury flop, Gray hitting a skytwister off the top and Justice Davey Boy Smith style powerslamming King off the top rope into a crowd on the floor. Finish run is pretty bonkers with everyone hitting big moves until the rookies get the big upset win. Batshit spotfest, with the old school team beatdown leading to a real structure that most of these kind of matches lack.

ER: This was the best. I had seen only a few of the guys in this match before, and a couple only because of one-off CWF appearances. The match is like a wrestling school horror story mixed with a prison drama, where 5 guys pay off the guards to look the other way while they lay a beating on the fresh fish. King draws the short straw and gets wasted by all of Old AIW. It never feels as unprofessional as Kurisu shoot KOing a rookie, but we get all sorts of slams and chops, the kind of slams that you know left some tingling fingers, and the kind of chops where they were being held prone and unable to defend. Matt Justice is a guy I'd never seen and came off as badass as Drew Galloway, just a big dude who can move as fast as anyone in the ring, and probably hit harder. His shotgun kick really was decapitating, and his chops to the chest and back played as the best chops in a match filled with sick chops, and his knee drop ranks among the best in wrestling. JFI are a killer team and their tag ins and doubles teams always brought the violence. T-Money came off like Sweet Brown Sugar in some of those violent 80s squashes, using impressive agility and stiff work. I can't believe the top rope didn't snap when he leapt over Myers and crashed full weight onto his opponent, and I loved him catching a Chase Oliver rana and powerbombing him into the buckles. Myers threw a bunch of nice punches, and that airplane spin with Myers throwing a punch to the ear every rotation was a riot! And for good measure he went and punched the rest of the New AIW in the head on the apron. Old AIW was clearly filled with glee at the beating they were delivering.

But the strength of the match was how genuinely and appropriately they sold New AIW's offense. This wasn't some Japanese match where the veterans puff out their chests and no sell every shot from the rookies, not even close. When Bobby Beverly got hit with a huge pop up double stomp to the chest it felt like a huge moment. And as Beverly lay on the mat we got a great shot of the beaten and tired New AIW standing on the apron, rooting him on, with King pulling himself up from the floor and slowly up each rope to root on his team. The dives really were a spectacular bunch of dives, with Lamar's super high leap Fosbury Flop being a standout, but that powerslam winning on craziness. Each dive was reckless and felt big, like New AIW had just taken their beating like men, and here we are STILL doing crazy shit. The spots in this were great, but there was real meat on these bones, the story an old and simple one, but one that almost always delivers. Every bit of this ruled.

Mia Yim vs. Shayna Baszler

PAS: These ladies had a very good match in the Mae Young Classic, that was more of a sprint, this was more a slow building title match, I am a bit torn to which I liked more. Shayna was great here, taking apart Yim's leg, low kicks to the thigh, nasty ankle joint manipulations, methodical and nasty, like if Ole studied ju-jitsu. Loved how the legwork came into play in the finish with Yim unable to fully lift Shayna for the package piledriver (which had beaten Shayna in their previous AIW matchup) she only got a close two count. When she goes for a second piledriver, Baszler slinks out hits an awesome gutwrench, and transitions into a brutal looking ankle lock for the tap. I am not sold on Yim's offense, but she did a great job selling and this was a really nifty match.

ER: I like how these two match up so it wasn't much of a shock that I enjoyed this. I loved Baszler going after Yim's leg the whole match, and thought Yim sold it nicely. After Yim misses an axe kick Baszler takes her down by grabbing her plant leg and we don't really look back. Baszler starts twisting at Yim's leg, kneeling on the inside of her knee, standing on her knee, stomping at her ankle, and I loved Yim trying to butt scoot away. Things peak when Yim attempts a cannonball in the corner, and Baszler leaps out of the corner with a knee. The knee looked flat out devastating, timed perfectly. It looked so damn good it was almost a shame that they had more match in them. But we still got cool moments the rest of the way, and I dug the shifting momentum gutwrench, thought Yim had a nice high knee of her own, always like that short clutch piledriver, super fun match.

Alex Daniels v. Joey Janela

PAS: Pretty fun Absolute title defense. Shortish spotfest sprint which is what Daniels does best. I haven't been following this fed, but out of context Gregory Iron as a heel is really weird. It just doesn't feel right to be cheering Janela beating the shit out of a guy with Cerebral Palsy. Iron takes a whooping too, big bumps and some nasty kicks to the face. I don't get why Daniels uses that brutal looking brainbuster throw into the corner as a set up move, but at least it lead right into a second slam and a two count here. Liked the finish, earlier in the match Iron rang the bell when Janela had Daniels in the crossface, here Janela puts the crossface on both of them until Daniels passes out. Nifty match which didn't wear out it's welcome.

Crazy Pain (Gringo Loko/Steve Pain) v. DJ Z/Laredo Kid v. NES (Facade/Flip Kendrick) vs. To Infinity and  Beyond (Cheech/Colin Delaney)

PAS: This reminded me of one of those IWRG school v. school ciberneticos, bunch of nuts just trying every insane move they can dream up. Delany does a baseball slide to the floor while german suplexing the guy in the ring, Facade does a rope walk Canadian destroyer, Flip hits a Code red into the turnbuckles, and on and on. Love Steve Pain, he is one of the best rudo bases in the world and he just flies with every rana and armdrag. Match really falls apart unfortunately as Flip does a 630 to the floor and cracks his skull either on the ringapron or floor. Everyone understandably freezes and they never really get their rhythm back. Finish has Loko faking another heart attack, and it is tough to do a worked injury angle moments after a real injury. This was apparently a rematch of an earlier match, and it did really make me want to check that one out.

Josh Prohibition v. Louis Lyndon v. Tim Donst v. Tracy Williams

PAS: I really enjoyed the opening sections of this match, which were mostly spirited crowd brawling. Lyndon was nuts, armdragging Williams into a row of chairs and hitting a rana off the merch table. I also enjoyed the Prohibition v. Donst brawling with Prohibition dumping an entire garbage can full of wet garbage on Donst's head, there was a moment where the moist garbage water cascades down his legs that was a disturbing as any death match bump. The match unfortunately really falls apart when everyone gets back into the ring Donst brings in a bunch of plunder and just kind of stands around for a bit until he is attack. Prohibition handcuffs him and they do this bad section where everyone is about to hit him but gets cut off (this included Williams preparing to chair shot Donst and then for some reason placing the chair against his own cheek to get dropkicked, painfully bad looking). There is then a long set up of chairs and fight on the top rope between Prohibition and Donst while I assume Lyndon and Williams went and got dinner or something. Just a mess. Post match Nick Gage comes out as a surprise to challenge Donst, and Nick Gage is always an awesome surprise.

PAS: Overall this was a really great show, three matches that make our MOTY list, two really high, and only the main event was actively bad. I wish AIW was a little easier to get, but I think I will be sending some more dough to SMV.

ER: Any time a show lands 3 matches on our Ongoing MOTY List, you know it's quality. I came away really impressed by some people I had never watched before, and that's always quality wrestle watching.

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Owens v. McMahon

78. Shane McMahon v. Kevin Owens WWE Hell in a Cell 10/8

ER: I am unashamed to admit that I completely loved this match. Shane jumps Owens and starts throwing those McMahon brand potato punches (I could totally see a poorly designed WWE shirt with cartoon potatoes that says McMahon Brand Potatoes and then the back says something stupid like "Want Fries With That!?") where 60% of them miss completely and the other 40% all land on the most annoying places possible. Shane is the blind squirrel accidentally finding Owens' ear and nose bridge. I am now over the moon as Shane sweeps the leg and then does a cartwheel kick!! Holy lord this rules. Shane dropkicks the cage door into Owens and Owens boots him off the apron, with Shane taking a big no look bump backwards into the cage. Match still rules. Shane eats a senton and cannoball, then Owens swantons right into Shane's knees. Shane sells the knee convincingly afterwards, then punches Owens in the ear a few times. Shane's face keeps getting redder, and then he misses a shooting star press! And then Owens hits a full force frog splash! OMG Shame MMAcMahon grabs a triangle off a pop up powerbomb, then grabs it again from the apron leading to him getting powerbombed onto the steps. People are shitting on this match but it feels like a total miracle match to me. Owens misses a cannonball off the apron through a table with aplomb. This still rules. Shane gets DDT'd hard on the entrance ramp, and it was the least flashy spot so far but looked great. You knew they were going up to the top of the cage, because McMahon wants to make his father proud or something? And the Russian leg sweep on top probably won't get talked about after the show, but you know they both smacked the back of their heads on the support beam part of the cage. They're doing a lot of stuff up on the cage, and I keep waiting for a giant hole to get torn through as they both die on their way down. I likely would have rolled an ankle taking my first step onto the top of the cage. I dug all the teasing around getting thrown off the cage, and Shane's kicks to the ribs while climbing down were sharp. Owens takes a big bump off the cage and yeah, you know Shane's gonna do something stupid now. And my god that was crazy. And Zayn saved Owens!! Holy cow the timing of that was amazing, with Zayn grabbing Owens' hand as Shane came violently crashing - HARD - through that table. That did not look like a classic Shane crash pad landing. That looked like a Parkour Fail video. And weirdly this doesn't totally feel like Zayn turning heel, it feels like Zayn pushing slightly towards heel and Owens getting pulled slightly towards face. This match FAR exceeded any kind of expectation I had for it. I'm kind of stunned how much I loved it. Really.

PAS: I didn't like this as much as Eric obviously, although I will admit it had it's moments. I always hated the McMahon nonsense in the WWE, but  now that the country is basically ruled by the McMahon family it is even harder to watch. Shane as large adult son desperate to prove his manhood to his abusive lunatic of a father isn't funny anymore, Shane falls off a cage, Don Jr. retweets Nazi's it's all the same toxic soup. The spots in this were undoubtedly nuts and I can imagine watching it live would be even better, because there was no guarantee that someone wouldn't die, not only did it look like the roof of the cage might fall in, or one of the stunts might go wrong, but Shane looked like he might stroke out at any point. Owens was pretty good as a psychopath, he has been mired in crap for so long I had forgotten he could be semi effective. Shane's kids smirking through the match kind of hurt the whole "die for his family" shtick. Finish was great, the dive was truly lunatic, and I liked how they filmed the save.


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Friday, October 13, 2017

El Brazo v. Brazo De Plata v. Brazo De Oro CMLL Cabellera contra Cabellera contra Cabellera

El Brazo v. Brazo De Plata v. Brazo De Oro CMLL Cabellera contra Cabellera contra Cabellera 3/31/95

This weekend I am going to a lucha show headlined by a La Mascara v. Psycho Clown v. Maximo three way, so I though I would check out an older Alavardo family three way. This was a fun idea which may have under delivered a bit. Super Porky gets two relatively quick pins over his brothers, including absolutely smushing El Brazo with a top rope splash that felt like Wiley Coyote getting a piano dropped on him. The final hair match is El Brazo v. Brazo de Oro and they have a fun brawl which never hits the level of epic hair matches. We do get some grizzly blood from Oro which is even nastier since it his brother chewing on his head. Kind of cheap finish with El Brazo putting his feet on the ropes with a powerbomb. Fun but not the mind blower I was hoping for.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: New Day v. Usos in a CELL

30. The New Day vs. The Usos WWE Hell in a Cell 10/8

ER: These guys start with absolute lunatic bumps and crazy bumps are gonna make me get into a violent cagematch. Big E is a nutso bumper for a guy his size, and in one minute we get to see him splat onto the floor at high speed, then hit his spear to the floor (that I can't believe he still does!), an Uso takes a running leap into the cage, and things are crazy. Woods gets a chair thrown at his head and bumps to the floor and we get a good nearfall off a superkick. I get less interested in kendo stick use, but full credit to Usos for clever usage when they trap Woods in the corner to set up the hip attack. E gets caught on a spear and Jimmy punches him right in the freaking ear, then E runs him into the ringpost. They set up some crazy spot where E gives Jimmy a uranage off the apron to the floor, onto the sliding knees of Woods. It doesn't go flawless, but it's something that looks more violent the more messy it was. You basically had Uso getting thrown violently off the floor and landing off kilter on a pointed knee. It could have injured several men at once. Now Jey gets locked into a cell corner by 4 strategically placed kendo sticks, with Woods throwing shots to the ribs while Jey can't move (So.....New Day are the babyfaces...right?). They keep coming up with more dangerous spots, now with the Usos setting up a doomsday device on the floor with Big E up on the shoulders, and an Uso flying through the ropes with a crossbody. Knees and elbows and bodies are flying everywhere. Usos do a couple great big splashes, and then the handcuffs come out. Usos hang Woods over the ringpost by his cuffed wrists and beat his prone body with kendo sticks. Good lord. But they spend so much time on Woods that by the time they get to E he is ready to do damage (did he break the cuffs and I missed it? Or the cameras missed it?), and proceeds to do some spectacular damage, throwing them with suplexes and running them violently into the cell. But the Usos keep going back to Woods' ribs, more kendo attacks, huge double splash, this whole thing was nuts. New Day had a great comeback and Woods valiantly tried to keep going despite the beatdown. These guys went all out, came up with some clever uses of tired gimmicks, really amped up the violence.

PAS: I enjoyed this a lot, the Uso's have been building up a hell of a resume as tag wrestlers over the last decade, I probably would have enjoyed a more standard tag between these teams, then a stunt show, but this was a great stunt show. I liked how the brutality built with the New Day using comedy weapons like trombones and cymbals (although those trombone shots looked nasty) till then end where Xavier was getting beaten like something out of Passion of the Christ. This was a tremendous Xavier babyface performance, took a huge beating and I loved his die on his sword spirit. I do wish we had gotten to see Jey break out of the kendo stick jail and Big E break out of the handcuffs, those were two big escape spots the cameras missed. I also thought this went a bit long, you could have sliced it a bit and not lost any of the impact. Still this was full of crazy violence and great performances by all four guys.


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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Ki/Sydal/Fantasma

29. Low-Ki v. Matt Sydal v. El Hijo Del Fantasma GFW Impact Wrestling 7/4 (Aired 7/20/17)

ER: Yes, keep putting Ki on my TV!! I hate triple threat matches, but Ki at this point seems like modern Lawler, in that he can take any dumb stip and work a compelling match around that stip. We already got what I think is easily the best Ultimate X match, now I want to see Ki working a "blindfold match" or a "hand tied behind the back match". I have no doubt that regardless of opponent, it would make the MOTY list. He's creative and violent and lifts others up with him. Sydal is a super impressive athlete who can be turned to the dark side depending on his opponent. But all three work some compelling spots within a tired formula, and Ki/Sydal have the body control to make typically contrived spots look fresh. Fantasma getting Sydal in a sufboard only to have Ki do a wild stomp into Sydal's guys seems like something that would be tried in dozens of other indy 3 ways, and never look this good. They were able to craft a 3 way without making it seem like one of them was just hanging around out of the way, waiting to get his spots in without ruining the rhythm. That's the thing that plagues most 3 ways, and I never felt that. It felt like all 3 were right in each other's face the whole time, and it was awesome. We still get great spots like Ki plastering Sydal through the barricade with his gorgeous baseball slide dropkick, and Ki gets plastered by Fantasma's killer tope. The opportunistic "alliances" moved seamlessly, guys simultaneously working together while trying to each win, so we get stuff like Fantasma hitting a rana on Ki, then Sydal hitting a moonsault on Ki, with none of the three looking like they're waiting for the right time to get into the fray. Finish is bonkers as Ki hits a massive double stomp on Fantasma, covers, and Sydal flops onto BOTH of them with a shooting star. Awesome. It felt like they could have kept this pace up indefinitely, great showing.

PAS: This reminded me a lot of the three way which main evented the first ROH show. Neither Sydal or Fantasma are 2001 Bryan Danielson, but I think both are comfortably better then 2001 Christopher Daniels so it all comes out in the wash. Ki is a marvel in this, he seems to have increased his athletic explosiveness in his late 30s, which is pretty remarkable, I mean Vince Carter can still get up for a big dunk, but he isn't dunking harder then he did in the late 90s. Sydal is also a really impressive athlete and one advantage of a 3-way is we don't get a bunch of 2.9 count fighting spirit stuff, they just have a third guy break it up. Fantasma was fun, he got landed on in hurty ways, and broke out his great tope (although the physics of the 6-sided ring cuts off some of his speed) Both the surfboard double stomp combo and the the Sydal shooting star pin break up were crazy impressive spots, but the great thing about Ki, is that his elbows and chops are just as impressive.



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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 120

Episode 120

1. Smith Garrett vs. Logan Easton Laroux

ER: I had no idea where the Garrett KO angle was going, and I actually thought this was a pretty good payoff for it. Laroux obtaining Garrett's medical records that show a fractured C6, therefore getting him on a medical suspension, is a pretty great rich guy dickhead play. Using your wealth to obtain blackmail instead of to buy off opponents is an interesting twist to the rich jerk gimmick. Some of the logic doesn't totally add up ("Garrett has been beating opponents in 10 seconds because he can't wrestle for more than 10 seconds!" Wait, so Garrett could just choose to win quickly whenever he wanted to and wasn't!?), and I didn't love the use of shoot name, but I thought the realism was handled well. Garrett tearing up was legit and I bought wanting to compete, saying he'd sign any waiver, and I love the care showed for him by the staff, saying they don't want him paralyzed in this ring, "It's just not worth it", and Garrett getting into Laroux's face and telling him he's coming after him the second he's healthy. I thought this was all effective as hell, and much better than a guy announcing he'd be leaving due to an injury, or the fed just announcing he was injured. But this made me far more interested in an eventual Garrett/Laroux showdown. This angle could have been done terribly, and I thought they knocked it out of the park.

PAS: I will give credit to them for execution, I thought Laroux was a really smarmy prick, he totally came off like a right wing twitter troll who just posted the perfect gas chamber gif.  Garrett looked appropriately distraught, and I thought William Cross was great in the role of promoter who cares too much, but has to do what is right, it had a very Eddie Marlin feel to it and that is a huge compliment. Still the underlying logic of the angle is straight Vince Russo worked shoot orangoutang shit . The idea of Garrett being too hurt to wrestle longer then 10 seconds implies that either "the office" booked the matches to only go 10 seconds, or Garrett decided to "shoot" on his first two opponents because he couldn't go longer, either way BOOOOOO!!!. CWF is really great at keeping its internal logic straight, which makes stuff like this (or dumb Chikara shit like the Mime) stand out even more.

2. Ethan Alexander Sharpe vs. Chet Sterling

ER: I was rooting for EAS as I'm a fan of his more serious persona, bought into all of Stutts' bracket buster hype, but assumed with no shenanigans that Sterling was probably going to be advancing (and probably deserved to be the one advancing). Sharpe got crossed up a couple times during this one, but I still liked both guys. Sterling snapped my eyes open with an early back elbow, and I'm a big fan of nice back elbows. This one really looked jaw dislocatingly hard. I'm surprised Sharpe didn't make a bigger deal out of trying to hit the uppercut, which was his killshot in his prior two matches, but I don't think he went for it once, which is odd. Still I really like his over the shoulder jawbreaker, and thought he leaned into Sterling's stuff nicely. Sterling hit a nice dive into the crowd, took a mean ring post shot, and effectively worked boots and elbows into the match, unloaded a flurry of strikes on Sharpe that I liked, did the little things like get a high cradle on the finish roll-up. A satisfying match.

PAS: This was a perfectly entertaining bit of television wrestling, which is more then I would have guessed from this matchup on paper. There were a couple of weak spots (Sterling really has some hit or miss punches) but most of this was pretty solid. Really liked Sharpe countering the dive with his jawbreaker, and I loved the roll-up finish.

3. Aric Andrews vs. Isaiah Santero

ER: We saw Santero briefly before in that messy Hardy Boyz tag scramble episode many months ago, and I really didn't like how much of the match he took here. Andrews just went toe to toe with Trevor Lee, now he barely edges out this clown with a bunch of Lee Valiant interference? Santero is okay, though I prefer more stiffness from my exoticos (phrasing?) or big bumps. He doesn't seem to have either, getting up awkwardly for moves and not really landing anything with a thud. My favorite parts were Andrews' stomps to the head, but I think this needed a lot more Andrews control.

PAS: I liked Innocent Isaiah in NOVA pro, but this was mostly shtick, and the actually wrestling in it wasn't great.  This did feel a little like Andrews prison girlfriend showing up to his favorite bar after they both get released. "Why didn't you call me Aric we were supposed to be together"

4. Lee Valiant vs. Rob McBride

ER: Oh my gosh I forgot about McBride! I love McBride! No bumps, meaty strikes with no wind up, minimal body selling but great sympathetic facial selling. He's gotta be a tough opponent to work, and also an easy opponent to work. You're not going to get any of your stuff in, you're going to take a full weight elbow drop, but you know the match won't go too long and the crowd will be into it. McBride would be a fun #500 candidate if Phil and I had enough free time to do an SC500. Valiant is good eating heavy chops and flying into McBride (even leaping off the top to essentially powerbomb himself), McBride splats him with a great elbow and finishes with a big one off the middle rope, and McBride is the kind of guy who feels like he's featured just the right amount of time. There are some guys I want to see more, some I want to see less, but I always like McBride showing up every 3 months.

PAS: Yeah this was totally fun. The commentary went over both guys history and I really want to see Lee Valiant as fake Jimmy Valiant relative. Lee Valiant as a beloved babyface totally doesn't compute. McBride has some really great open hand chops and for a guy who doesn't take bumps (Boogie Woogie taught him well) it is pretty crazy for him to do a second rope elbow, that is a lot of weight landing on a well seasoned hip bone.

5. Logan Easton Laroux vs. Chet Sterling

ER: I really disliked their prior match, but I enjoyed this whole presentation. I thought the match itself was good, disliked the DQ as it happened...but the old school angle that unfolded sucked me in and got me even more hyped for the restart. Both guys were bringing it, Laroux especially just blasted Sterling with a few elbows right to the chin, real nasty shots. I also loved Sterling shoving some kid out of the way so he could stand on his chair and pose. I noticed Laroux telling the ref that he was using an elbow and not a closed fist, and I assumed it was just heel behavior. When the finish happened I kind of eye rolled, but quickly noticed how Cecil and Stutts were reacting. They were just as upset, annoyed and incredulous as I was. The two of them are great vessels for the viewer, not telling us how we should be reacting, but reacting with us. Once I began hearing that they thought the decision was bullshit, I got excited for what was unfolding. A referee ringer? "But if I didn't hire him, and YOU didn't hire him..." I loved how the restart unfolded, Michael McCallister taking out and beating the phony ref, and loved Sterling chasing Laroux down and stiffing him up in the lobby of the Sportatorium. I loved the little twist they threw in once Sterling had dragged him back to the ring, with Laroux immediately hitting his cutter. I really wanted that to be it, just because it would have been a crushing sudden end to the rollercoaster. Once Sterling kicked out of the cutter at one you kinda knew he was taking this all the way, and sure enough Laroux is finished in short order. I thought the overall package of this was a really fun 15 minutes, with little storyline twists that CWF is very successful at. I don't really trust any other modern feds with these kind of angles, but CWF understands the intricacies of them. They easily could have just had these two work a 10 minute match ending with Sterling getting the title shot. But they added extra character, extra motivation, shifting consequences, things that make someone like me care far more about this result than I otherwise would have. Although, my 1999 wrestling brain can't be completely turned off, as Trevor Lee was being so friendly with Sterling during the congratulations that I kept waiting for a cheapshot. But, something tells me they knew someone like me would be thinking that.

PAS: Yeah this was a really fun bit of pro-wrestling shtick. I loved how they didn't have the ref work Tirantes heel stuff, just call it straight right up until the DQ, that is the way Tim Donaghy would do it. I also loved the cutter near fall after Sterling dragged him back, that would have been an amazing way for Laroux to steal a win. Work itself was solid stuff, I liked their first match more then Eric did, and both guys clearly have worked each other a ton and have their timing down pat. I do think the whole angle made the promotion look a little bush league, they don't know a guy has a broken neck, and they have ref's just showing up and reffing matches? They need an office manager.

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Monday, October 09, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Bone Collector v. Filthy Tom

18. Tom Lawlor v. Dominic Garrini AIW 9/15

PAS: The new trend of UFC guys (and gals)  deciding to do indie wrestling has really led to some great stuff, and this might be my favorite. Filthy Tom Lawlor actually had some pro-wrestling experience before UFC (he is listed as Hack Myers trained by Cagematch) and was a DVDVR poster back in the day. Garrini isn't an ex-UFC guy but is a Brazilian Jujitsu champion and fits in perfectly in this style. Lawlor comes out in a gimp mask and predator wig, and I am not sure what gimmick he is working. Opening matwork was great, both guys rolling around grabbing arms and legs. I imagine this was ju-jitsu sparring and you could tell that the skill level was really high. After the matwork there was a section I didn't like where they did a very 2017 slap exchange into an elbow exchange into a a pair of semi no-sold German suplexes. After that there was a very cool double KO with Garinni throwing a knee and eating a superman punch at the same time. Finish run was awesome with Lawlor hitting a great uranage into an Olympic hell (man someone needs to bring over Tamon Honda and have him work both of these guys and Riddle). Actually finish was dope, Lawlor goes for a top rope headbutt and gets caught in a triangle, Lawlor fights his way out of it and counters it into a Styles clash for the pin. Just a hell of fight, and one of my favorite matches of the year.

ER: According to Lawlor he was also trained by Alex Porteau and AJ Gallant. And when you watch Lawlor wrestle you're clearly thinking "That there is a cross between The Pug, The Shah and...AJ Gallant." But this right here was a kick ass battle. We expect the rolling and grappling to be good, and it was. I loved Lawlor laughing off Garrini's first single leg attempt before getting pulled to the mat, loved them fighting over legs, and my favorite moment was Garrini slipping on a guillotine, almost dropping in from the side. It's not a position you typically see a guillotine applied from. I really disliked that middle 90 seconds. Didn't mind the slaps, but both guys have pretty bad looking chops, the German trading and phone booth fighting is something I don't need to see again, and the double KO spot came off somewhat confusing. I had to rewind to see what actually happened, but the crowd didn't get that benefit. Their other stuff is so damn good that these 90 seconds (especially the "2017" parts Phil mentioned) felt really out of place. But I got over it quick once Lawlor tossed a couple nice suplexes, a deadlift uranage (into a great anaconda choke) and Garrini hits him with a nasty running kick to the face. Lawlor drops him off the top with a German with a nice struggle, then comes off the top with an elbow right into a Garrini triangle. We already saw Lawlor come up with a fun finish based around Riddle catching him in a triangle, and here we get another. Lawlor powerbombs him out of it, gets caught again, then maneuvers into a nasty Styles Clash for the win. Tons of killer stuff here.


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