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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2016 Ongoing MOTY List: Riddle v. Cedric

23. Matt Riddle v. Cedric Alexander EVOLVE 62 6/10

PAS: I am totally divorced from current ROH, so I am not sure I had seen Cedric Alexander before. His gimmick seems to be junior college linebacker who bought Schneider Comp 7 from me in 1999. He is undeniably a good athlete, but seems to be running through 90s Puro Spots, Kobashi chops, yelling braiiinbussstah, Michinoku Drivers. Very much not what I want to watch in 2016, still he has some real explosion with everything he does, that Michinoku Driver was really fast. I am sure I would hate Alexander v. Tony Neese but Riddle can do cool things with a clich├ęd guy. For example Riddle hits one of my favorite german suplexes ever in this match, he flips over on a suplex attempt by Alexander, grabs him from behind snaps him up in the air, does a slight deadlift pause and drops him lightning quick on his neck, fast, slow, fast just gorgeous. I also loved the finish with Riddle showing a bunch of different steps to set up the twister and then just cranks it for the pin. Ended up liking this a ton, Riddle is do no wrong for me.

ER: I *have* seen a lot of ROH Alexander, and I looked up all my reviews of previous Cedric Alexander matches, and every one of them had some variation of "so Alexander is not good, but..." Almost every match of his I've watched over the last year plus I did not like, and I often did not like him in them, but he always did a thing or two in them that I really liked. And it was always a different thing. The guy has never met a piece of offense he didn't want to add to his arsenal. In kayfabe terms you can put that over by saying that his opponents never know what to expect from him, but in practice you just roll your eyes when his Kobashi chops couldn't look more out of place. I also notice a thread through my reviews of him that I only noticed because I read them all at once and in order, is that I kept complimenting him on his "crumple" sell. I first saw him use it in a match with Moose, where Moose hit a big superman punch and Alexander just folded. But then in other reviews I saw he did the same thing, for more moves, and here he crumbles off a move really early in the match and now I'm just like jesus just take a flat back bump. It's like the first time you saw KISS and Ace Frehley shot a firework out of his guitar and knocked a light fixture loose and it seemed like the building was going to collapse. And then 15 years later you saw Bruce Kulick knock the same light fixture loose. And at a KISS show that hasn't even happened yet, it's just going to be a set comprised of Vinnie Vincent just shooting fireworks at equipment for an hour. Just play the fucking riffs. But Alexander is athletic and flexible, and Riddle can do a lot with a guy who is athletic and flexible.
Cedric does his thing and flips around and works like all of those other chest out/butt out indy guys, hitting a nice dropkick to the back of Riddle's head, but I bide my time and then Riddle hits THAT suplex, reminding me of Vader vs. Inoki, just alleyooping Cedric fast, up, over, and practically through the mat. I have no idea how he is not dead. But he somehow is not and from there everything is gravy. Riddle deadlifts him and tosses him Karelin style while Cedric tries to flatten out as much as possible, boots him in the back a couple times, and Cedric is always there with a couple of his super cool fast slams. Riddle made me hop out of my chair when he took that silly powerbomb-onto-knees thing and then sprung up halfway across the ring as if he had bounced off a trampoline instead of off a man's knees. Riddle is a total whirlwind, flying around with bare feet, leaping knees-and-ankles be damned off the ropes, throwing high kicks, just an overwhelming dude. Both guys move fast, jump high, bump wild, and they put as much into the last few minutes as you'll ever see. Fun stuff.


2016 MOTY MASTER LIST

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