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Monday, July 18, 2016

2015 Ongoing Match of the Year List

19. Timothy Thatcher v. Marcus Lewis PREMIER IX 6/7

ER: Well this was awesome. I had high expectations for it and it totally lived up to them. Lewis has been doing this for just a couple years, is a really nice guy and is improving really fast. One of my favorite local guys that I get to see on a regular basis. Thatcher has had an incredible last year and is now known nationally (I have to imagine his WM weekend EVOLVE matches were star making, the building was in love with him during the Hero match). I've never seen these two match up and it's been one of my little Bay Area "dream matches". The mat stuff is as good as expected, and Lewis brings more than I anticipated. At one point he does a mean scrambly boot scrape to avoid a Thatcher ankle pick, and Thatcher naturally works tons of tight cravates (one of them ripping out one of Lewis' dreadlocks, which Thatcher graciously hangs over a turnbuckle for him), and I like how aggressive Lewis is at fighting out of Thatcher's holds. My favorite little sequence was Lewis hitting a couple nice stomps, then a tight short knee to Thatcher's chin followed by a sick double knee drop to his stomach. After kicking out Thatcher dumps Lewis with a big release German and immediately pounces with a rough half nelson while scraping Lewis face with his wrist and forearm. Thatcher is always great at taking spills and he really made a lot of Lewis' strikes look great, leaning into uppercuts and kicks and doing nice Kawada falls for them. Really I like everything they do in this. Lewis hit one of the best missile dropkicks of recent memory, Thatcher does his badass floatover chickenwing into the Fujiwara (which was a nice nearfall since I've seen that sub beat tons of guys), some nasty stomps and elbows, his impressive deadlift Karelin suplex, really it's kind of crazy how much great stuff they cram into 12 minutes without ever making it seem like overkill. They just matched up incredibly well. I was even buying the upset finish, with Lewis throwing all of his weight into strikes and a big time shoulderblock, but then missing his 450 and bouncing his head off the mat. Thatcher's finish is gross as he does a headlock takeover (between he and Busick, maybe my favorite move of 2015) locks Lewis' arm and then traps Lewis' neck between his knees!! Great finish.

PAS: This was really great, totally should have been a star making performance for Lewis, feels like that this would have gotten him into the WWE CWC if it had been in EVOLVE (although HHH may have a quota). I loved his second rope missile dropkick which really had a GAEA girls level force to it, and his fireman's carry lift from the mat is a nifty feat of strength, the bump he takes on that missed 450 was gross looking. Great Thatcher show as well. I haven't really seen him work pissy veteran before, but he was really contemptuous, scraping his forearm against Lewis's face, driving his sternum into the ring apron, ripping out a dreadlock. Really felt like the kind of bullying stuff Finlay would do, but he also sells huge for all of Lewis's big moves, really does a nice job of putting over the kid's upset potential. Great stuff, and PREMIER is the best, we are going to start writing up all of their new shows.

2015 ONGOING MOTY LIST

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