Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Henry v. Yehi

3. Fred Yehi v. Anthony Henry Style Battle 1/7

PAS: Ambitious attempt by these two guys to put on a memorable classic. I don't think they got all the way there, but it was pretty impressive. This was a first round Style Battle match outside in 47 degree weather and they go to a physical punishing 30 minute draw. Yehi is so much fun to watch, he throws all of these off-speed pitches, running the ropes weird, stomping insteps and hands, throw down necks, he was breaking out all of his tricks here. I loved how Henry would adjust to Yehi's odd rhythms, only for Yehi to counter him in another off way. They also really laid it in with kicks, chops and forearms, everything was really hard and really quickly thrown, it was a little like watching a Batamweight MMA match between two accomplished strikers like Cub Swanson and Cowboy Cerrone. I did wish they hadn't abandoned the mat as quick as they did, both guys looked really great in their mat sections, and they could have used longer grappling so they didn't have to go overkill with suplexes and strikes.

I loved the TKO on the ropes by Henry, just a nasty move that built to a very cool countout tease, they should have done it a bit later in the match, Yehi having to fight to get back in would have worked great at minute 25 or so. I think they had to go back to the well a couple of times with exchanges and suplex trading which isn't my favorite, some of the strike stuff was super cool, Yehi always has cool ways to throw, and Henry his this spin kick which was awesome, but there was points where they felt like they went back to chop or forearm exchanges because they had time to kill. So not a perfect match, but I think this made Henry on the WWN platform and may have been Yehi's biggest career match.

ER: I agree with Phil that it was an ambitious shot, and I don't think they got there, but it was an impressive shot. While there were several parts of this that I disliked, what I ended up being most impressed by was that they were clearly aiming for "big match epic", but it never came across like they were forcing a big match epic. That's a big deal. Usually when a couple of guys are aiming for an epic, it's immediately obvious, and immediately terrible. But this never approached self-conscious epic, so even though I disliked the suplex trading and how they did a disservice to their own strikes, I'm giving them full credit for working a long draw with tons of action, without forcing a certain reception.

The venue was super weird and kind of trippy, open air mausoleum with mirrors on the walls, tall plants and heat lamps for the freezing cold weather. So that right there is fascinating and strange. And they went and worked a 30 minutes draw that I was not expecting. From the first 10 minutes it was almost worked like a dominant Yehi performance, with him beating Henry to the punch, suckering him into his trademark stomps and kicks, pretty much imposing his will. Henry would try and figure him out, and Yehi would just be a step ahead. Sadly, I thought the match structure blew it. They abandoned the mat too early, meaning they just had to stand and exchange for far too long, which in turn made their strikes seem ineffective, no matter how great they looked. They went to that Yehi KO spot way too early, and the final 10 minutes saw a lot of these shots mean absolutely nothing. There was just no sort of long term effect to anything they did, which hurt things a lot for me. Potentially weird criticism: I don't think Henry is great at facially selling things. His facial expressions are just not very expressive, which only helped to add to the feeling of there being no long term effects. But again, where the match wins is in the fact that they worked a very long match, without drag, without things getting too ridiculous, and without seeming like "we're going long because it's impressive to go long". I would have loved 10 minutes lopped off, but as is it still has its charms.

2017 MOTY MASTER LIST


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