Segunda Caida

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

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 Ongoing MOTY List: Gulak v. Quack

34. Drew Gulak v. Mike Quackenbush Chikara 12/3

PAS: This was Gulak's Chikara swan song, and one of the last chances we will have to watch him work a Drew Gulak style match. This is only the second match Quackenbush has wrestled since 2013 (unless he is under an ant mask or something now), and he still looked silky smooth and even takes a nasty back suplex onto the ring apron, I don't like Quackenbush as a booker, but have always dug him as a wrestler. This was a fun battle of Quack's flashy lucha matwork against Gulak's gritty stuff, I really loved a lot of the counters and the finish run was pretty cool too. Gulak has been one of my favorite guys in the last couple of years and while it is good to see him get paid, I am going to miss him bang the mat like this

ER: I love watching Quack do his thing, and I love watching Gulak do his thing, so this was going to be a thing I was almost guaranteed to love. Quack has always appealed to me, used to love his articles in The Wrestler, and he was actually the first indy wrestler I bought a tape from. I love how he moves, love how he clearly makes up moves and practices them and doesn't always care about making stuff look extra painful per se, but the execution is always so liquid that I just love it. Watching him is like watching a lava lamp, and he does all of this great exhibition-y stuff without it ever seeming like him putting on an Eliminators style exhibition. I never feel like he's placing his opponents and having them hold still while he readies himself. And it's a great style to work opposite Gulak and they each kind of bring out a trippy side to each other which leads to some fun visuals and things likely won't see with any other guys. Little things like Quack going for a sunset flip and Gulak waddle walking back to the ropes to prevent going down, or Gulak going for an Irish whip and Quack just dropping to his butt to prevent it, or all of the cool rolling headscissors with Quack adjusting for different pressure. That kind of stuff makes my eyes turn into hearts. Sure I love FUTEN as much as the next....well, as much as the next 7 or 8 internet wrestling nerds, but Quack seems like a guy who embodies Lance Storm's "work safe" mantra while actually making his stuff look interesting. We get several fun mat workouts, trippy rollthroughs, extended Blue Panther-esque rolls with that same kind of grace, and then Gulak starts edging in with some grit. Throwing elbows, stomping hamstrings, then slamming Quack into the ropes a couple times (my current favorite nasty spot) and then Quack starts fighting back in a fun way, knowing Gulak is stronger and fresher so trying to catch him off guard with slaps and kicks to pinpoint areas. The apron bump was nuts and kind of out of the blue for the match, and I think things would have maybe been better without it. Things kinda slowed down afterwards for totally understandable selling reasons, but I think a full out exhibition roll clinic would have been best. Let the other thousands of indy guys take dangerous apron bumps. The stuff around the sunset flip roll through was mind warpingly cool, and the dragon sleeper reversal out of the Quack driver is a wonderful, fitting finish. I'm gonna miss these guys doing their thing on their own stage.


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