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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2014 Ongoing Match of the Year List

3. Hardy Boys v. Young Bucks NEW 8/2

ER: Wow, I'm kind of in shock about this match. Like the whole time I was watching it I was in disbelief at how great it was. Not that either team isn't capable, but the whole time it was just feeling TOO good, and it kept getting better, and I kept praying it wasn't going to fall off the rails or have a lame finish. Do you ever do that? You're watching a match and you're rooting to yourself for them to keep it up, to not blow it, wanting them to reach the level of great match that they're promising as they set out. And this match totally delivers in every way possible. The timing is just incredible, all four guys work as if they're intending to have the match of their careers, the pinfall saves are great, the false finishes are great, the ebb and flow of everything is great. This is just great tag wrestling, great pro wrestling. The Young Bucks persona works so wonderfully in front of genuine indy crowds, as opposed to people who are "in on the joke". And the team's personalities collide so well in this. This is clearly the hardest and wildest Jeff Hardy has worked in ages, and Matt looks as good as he did on his WWE TV singles match run in 2009. Bucks tone things down and perfectly use their superkicks only 3 times, both in super important parts of the match, always to cut off potential threat of Hardy offense, always used as not a big move but as a reset, something to turn the tide back to the Bucks.

There were so many great moments where each team would mirror each other, sometimes one upping the other, other times leading to their downfall. Hardys hit their nice fistdrop/rolling senton combo, Bucks later do their springboard moonsault/standing moonsault combo. Jeff catches knees on a swanton, and Nick immediately holds him prone on his knees so Matt J can hit a swanton. Bucks just trying to do little things to update Hardy's signature offense to get under their skin. There were so many great sequences throughout, tons of great saves, tons of stuff where timing is imperative, but there were no moments of somebody waiting for someone to get into position, everything ran like a well oiled machine. At one point Matt J cuts off Matt H with a superkick, hits a Fuerza bump dropkick and as he's skinning the cat he gets clotheslined from the floor by Jeff, which causes him to flip back onto the floor, Jeff goes to the apron to fly but gets leveled by Nick making Jeff trust fall into everybody, and then Nick hits a flip dive on all of them. Everybody was always right on point with pulling the ref out of a count at just the right moment, knocking someone off the top to save their partner, the saves and false finishes were so expertly done that it made a 23 minute match feel like it needed every second of that time. Jeff was a total maniac in this, hitting a huge crossbody off the apron, a couple reckless dives, always doing big splashes to break up pins, I mean I literally don't remember the last Jeff Hardy match where he looked this good. Matt stalked around the ring great, trying to slow the Bucks down, threw some of his perfect right hands (with a flawless fist shake on one) and trying to set up the Bucks for Jeff. Bucks were great too, knowing exactly when to break out the flash, knowing when to let something peak and when to cut it off, and the stuff piledriver finish was nasty and a great false finish. Jeff makes the save and Matt doesn't have to go wild hitting moves after taking the piledriver. He falls off Matt Jackson's shoulders to deliver the twist of fate, and falls on him for the pin after Jeff hits a swanton. This is a flat out excellent match. Literally my favorite match of the year.

PAS: Really great stuff, an out of nowhere classic. I can't believe how good Jeff Hardy was in this, he is a guy who had his moments over his career, but I think the consensus was that he was completely shot by 2014, a casualty of drugs and bumps, but I cannot remember him ever looking this good, not only was he bumping like crazy but all of his offense looked really good. When has Jeff Hardy ever thrown good punches? He was cracking the Bucks here, spin kicks looked great, just a unbelievable performance. I really loved how the Hardy's incorporated all of the Bucks stuff into a traditional hot southern tag. Their taunts came off more like douchey heeling and less like meta wink wrestling. More John Tatum less Chuck Taylor. I was also really impressed how the Hardys were able to keep up with the Bucks fancy shit, there are some elaborate sequences in this match, and they looked great, the speed was still there, but they way it was slotted in, made it look less like a dance routine then if the Bucks ran them with Ohio is for Killers or the Addiction. Eric is going so nuts for this match so I feel like I have to throw a little water on the fire, I did think the Meltzer Driver should end a match full stop, I just don't buy Matt putting on a move 45 seconds after selling it, even if he did a nice job of selling. I also think that the Hardy's are a little short on offense, so they spammed the side effect and twist of fate a bit, I loved Matt's gutwrench suplexes, and I would have rather he used more of them or even just some bodyslams. Still those are very minor complaints on what is otherwise a remarkable match. No one could have predicted this.


2014 MOTY MASTER LIST

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1 Comments:

Blogger discotortoise said...

The Hardys' non-gimmick resume is somehow incredibly underrated. This was only a few months after they worked the complete opposite of this match with Chaos in Cameron against the Briscoes.

The Serial Thrillaz feud. The MNM matches from December to Dismember '06 and then the Rumble the month later which were outstanding. The Cade/Murdoch feud was great. Their non-gimmicks against E&C were always really well worked. I can't think of them ever not holding up their end in a six-man. They're almost victims of their own success because of the TLC stuff.

The Bucks are often too lazy to be great (they had a great list-worthy match the week before though, as total scumbag garbage brawl heels in PWG against the World's Cutest Tag Team). But the Hardys really just ended up with bad timing.

5:07 PM  

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