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Saturday, March 18, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 96

Episode 96

1. Otto Schwanz vs. PB Smooth

PAS: This was a fine big guy battle, Smooth is tall which will get you pretty far, it is unclear whether he has much else at this point. I really like Schwanz as a big boy veteran, although this had less stretching then the last time I saw him, really want to see Schwanz versus either Justice or Garrini, at some point I will review a WarGames with PB Smooth in it for WarGames Wednesday morning, hope it is better then this.

ER: This was what it was, which was basically Schwanz muscling around a limited guy his own size and setting up some decent spots for him. I really like Schwanz, he has a really timeless style and I think his look is even better now than when he was an actual mainstream guy. He's a little too nice to Smooth here though, as you get the sense before the match that he's going to make an example of this other tall dude coming into his turf. I don't really understand the point of billing Smooth at 7 feet tall. Schwanz is a really big guy, probably 6'3" to 6'5", and we can all see with our eyes that Smooth has maybe an inch on him. It's weird to be billing one guy as 7', while not in the same breath billing the other guy as 6'11". Is Redd Jones now the 6 feet tall referee? Is Statmark the 6'6" camera man? We all have eyeballs, and 6'6" is huge! No shame in calling a man 6 1/2 feet tall. So, I don't see the point, but I liked Schwanz, and Smooth at least cuts low on lariats and falls properly on slams. That might seem like low praise, but it's a good start for him.

2. Dominic Garrini vs. Cain Justice

PAS: Holy hell, what is this match? I have loved Justice before, but this felt like him taking the next leap, and fuck is Garrini fun to watch. For two rookies, this was off the charts, it felt like watching Minoru Suzuki and Masakatsu Funaki in their first UWF and Pro-Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi matches. Justice has Judo training and Garrini is a ranked Brazilian Ju-Jitsu competitor and they do an awesome job of showcasing those skills in a prowrestling context. The early mat rolling was really cool, I loved the kneebar countering and how smoothly Garrinin shifted from a rear naked choke into a twister. This was still a prowrestling match, and they both did cool things where they would be rolling for submissions, and one guy would catch his opponent in a cradle for quick pin attempt, getting small packaged isn't something Garrini has to worry about in Abu Dhabi grappling tourneys, and I liked how Justice threw in some pro-wrestling flavors. Justice nearly gets finished by a bunch of submissions and decides to get a little dirty, by banging Garini's arm off the ring post, and then we get a thrilling end run with Justice baring down on the arm while Dominic tries to catch him in chokes.

ER: During Garrini's hype vid last week I was getting really excited for this match, and I wasn't sure what to expect, but I wasn't expecting this. This was awesome. I was excited for the match, but didn't want to hype it up in my head too much, but it delivered far more than I could have expected. Both men try to roll the other's ankle, plant knees in calf muscles, hyperextend knees, a bunch of nice looking rolling that looked like it would be far too easy to end in an accidental achilles injury. Both guys twist in and out of danger, and we get some surprises. I loved Garrini pushing Cain off him with both feet and grabbing him in an armbar on the way down. But I really loved Cain being the one to start integrating pro wrestling elements into things, turning the probably more skilled Garrini into a fish out of water. Cain swinging Garrini's arm into the post was a great turning point, and we still got some great arm work from both guys after, with both forcing the other's arm behind their back. Everything looked extremely painful here, and outside of a sorta hinky running corner charge by Garrini, this was some unexpectedly high end stuff. These guys need to form a stable and call it UWF Mid-Atlantic.

3. Alex Daniels vs. Chip Day

PAS: Really fun workrate sprint match. Both guy unloaded with big shots from the start, Chip Day damn near split Daniels nipple with a chop and Daniels hit a great spin kick. Daniels is working a Ben Affleck gimmick where he yells out Affleck film names when he does moves, it is a little try hard, but I enjoyed his work. He hits some insane looking brainbuster into the turnbuckles which landed Day right on the top of his head, match falls apart a bit there, because there is no way that shouldn't be a finish, and Daniels had to take an inordinately long time setting up a top rope follow up just to get rolled up for this pin, it was similar the one problem in the Dirty Daddy/Cain Justice match at Battlecade, especially in a fed like CWF Mid-Atlantic huge head drops like that should be finishes, if you aren't getting the finish, leave it at home. Still I really dug most of this, reminded me of a fun first round Cruiserweight Classic match.

ER: I'm not sure I understand the Ben Affleck gimmick, as Daniels doesn't really look like Affleck other than being a white male. But it probably gets him more laughs than working a "young David Morse" gimmick. Just as Chip Day shouldn't start working as a vinyl shorts Chris Eigeman gimmick. But this was good, until the ending which Phil already covered. And I think it was good because this is typically a style we see worked in 14 minute matches, and it turns into boring overkill, and here we got it for a hot 6 minutes. The 6 minute length worked, and we got some cool stuff that didn't have time to wear itself out. Chip Day gets a little bit hand clappy during certain strikes, but he throws a nice double knees and his strikes at least look good, and I REALLY like Daniels' spin kicks. That headdrop move into the turnbuckle was ridiculous (Stutts says it's one of the craziest moves he's ever seen in a ring, and he's right...which only highlights how stupid it is to not be the finish), and they ably work some fast sequences. Quality match.

4. Arik Andrews v. Cool J

ER: They do a fun "fan draws Andrews opponent out of a fishbowl" gimmick before the match, and I love CL Party announcing "Cool J" to silence and groans, with one man audibly groaning and eyerolling out a "what the christ". Cool J is super tiny and I believe this is his debut. Announce crew does a great job of putting over just how tough it is to even get to a CWF debut, going over actual numbers of just how many people drop out of the dojo, how many people quit the grueling school because it's too hard, and how there are far more people who quit than people who make it to their debut. It's a way more interesting and honest way of putting over someone's debut than saying rote things like "He brings a lot of skills to this and is very talented" while he's getting massacred. This is an Andrews squash though, as it should be, and Cool J takes a nasty slam on his shoulders.

PAS: Cool J takes some big bumps which is what you want out of a rookie getting squashed, and I did really like the commentary, but this was a 3 minutes one sided squash, not much to say about it

5. Xsiris vs. Smith Garrett

PAS: Short heated brawl which nicely moves along this feud. They kept it intense, and I liked how Garrett used Xsiris's aggression against him to get the roll up. I think I may have liked some of the pull aparts better, but I am sure this is leading to a big blow off, which I am excited for.

ER: This was so awesome, Xsiris is one of my favorite current guys and his aggression is off the charts. All his simple stuff looks great and super painful, and I've really enjoyed everything these two have done so far (except Garrett's weird lip licking thing. That really needs to stop), and this was more good stuff. I know it's going to lead to a killer blowoff. Xsiris has been messing with Garrett, jumping him and beating the hell out of him, and then turning around and leaving, and when Garrett got the roll up win here I instantly thought "Xsiris is going to go nuts eventually". CWF has several of these larger bruising bully puncher types, with Attitude and Schwanz and CW Anderson as well as Xsiris, and it's one of my absolute favorite styles, and one of the reasons this fed is so appealing. Great stuff all around.

ER: Well, Cain Justice vs. Dominic Garrini pretty much blew both of us away, easily earning a spot on our 2017 Match of the Year List. And, after talking it over, Phil and I both decided that it's our current #1. People should be on the lookout for these two.

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