Segunda Caida

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

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ravin' on Jimmy; Or, Jimmying on Rave: A Glance at Jimmy Rave

Jimmy Rave vs. Chris Crunk (AWE 9/20/15)

Rave hasn't worked regularly for a major indie (ROH, TNA) since 2009, but since then he has carved out a nice niche working tons of Georgia and other southern indies. He used to looked like Michael Pitt, now he looks like a soft body McPoyle brother. Or perhaps a disgraced low end Culkin sibling. But body matters not to me. And Rave is easily finding a lot of favor with me right now because he is an absolute beast in the ring. This match was already enjoyable during the opening mat game, and then with no warning we hit a brutal 8 minute salvo of Rave attacking Crunk's face with some profane elbows and punches and slaps and some of the hardest clotheslines you've seen since the last Ikeda match you dug up. Rave throws a gorgeous, honest lariat. There's no flubbing the details, no requiring a flip bump, it's just a arm slamming into a chest, somehow not dislodging a shoulder. It's an honest, workmanlike clothesline. He's got long arms and uses all of the arm. And then the strikes. Good heavens the strikes. I don't ever recall "Jimmy Rave: Vicious Striker" being a thing even a few years ago. But he's certainly that now. And he doesn't just steamroll Crunk. He establishes himself as King, allows Crunk to nicely pepper in comebacks, and then goes back to believably demolishing him. We don't devolve into hit me, hit you strike exchange tedium, we have one guy just clearly tougher than the other, and with the finish not really ever in doubt Rave is still able to make Crunk an interesting opponent. Rave has always been an underrated wrestler. Now he's clearly just a really great wrestler.

Jimmy Rave vs. Drew Adler (AWN 1/16/15)

This almost had the feel of a long Flair touring match, where he would go into a town, have a long Flair match with a hunky babyface, and give all the kids and girls plenty of opportunities to root for their local hunky face. Just like those Flair matches you watch them and think they could have shaved several minutes for what they ended up accomplishing, but it's nice having some of those extra minutes and really this didn't feel like a 30 minute match, which is important. Rave is just so damn good that you don't mind seeing 30 minutes of him working his spots in, and finding ways for a face to work in his. Watch his body language when he hits his apron STO, rolls into the ring and immediately signals the ref to start the count while he just takes a breather. Then watch his face when the fans erupt as Adler beats the count, and Rave checks over his shoulder and reacts with a "oh COME on" that the fans eat up. Rave sets up signature stuff so nicely, never making his opponent look like a doof for attempting a move that he normally wouldn't have tried, just so Rave can get his shit in. No he's smarter than that. I loved how they set up the apron STO, with Rave luring Adler out there and blasting him with a chop, then spitting on him to get Adler to throw a right hand which would leave him open to taking the STO. Rave's execution on everything is really great, loved that slick school boy he did out of the corner, knowing exactly how far away from the ropes he was so he could easily stretch a leg back. I'm more and more convinced that Rave has the best current clothesline in wrestling, just a big stiff straight arm with no give. He definitely has the best short arm clothesline. Adler for his part does what he should, feeds into all the comeback spots, hits his pump kicks, has some really fun stuff rolling through pinfalls, ably takes some quite complicated armdrags (man I love Raves armdrags) and gets the well earned win. This was a solidly built long match, really wouldn't have taken tons more for me to think it MOTY listworthy. Touring heel Jimmy Rave is a guy I'd seek out live any chance I got.

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