Segunda Caida

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

Friday, April 07, 2017

wXw Ambition 8 3/11/17 Review

PAS: Ambition is the yearly shootstyle tourney which WXW runs in the middle of the their 16 Carat tourney. I have enjoyed some of these I have seen in the past (Bryan Danielson ran shit in the first one) and this has a bunch of guys I like in it, matches in this tourney tend to be short, so I thought I would give it a shot

WXW Ambition 8

Bobby Gunns v. David Starr

PAS: Starr is a guy I have semi-liked before, he was a state amateur champion and a good grappler although in his indy matches he tends to get a little go-go spotfesty. Here he pretty much just showed off his big throws and fast takedowns. Didn't get much of a sense of Gunns, although I liked how he used digit manipulation to break Starr's grip and get the armbar.

Jeff Cobb v. WALTER

PAS: This was really short, two minutes or so, and was basically two big spots, Cobb giving WALTER (who is a legit 320) an overhead belly to belly suplex, and Cobb Powering out of a triangle choke with a big powerbomb. Liked both spots a lot, would have liked this going 5 minutes instead of 2.

Marius Al-Ani v. Timothy Thatcher

PAS: I enjoyed this, Al-Ani was game, and while he wasn't in Thatcher's class on this mat, he did enough interesting things to prove he belonged. Finish was pretty cool with Al-Ani hitting a high kick, but leaving himself open for a standing choke by Thatcher.

Matt Riddle v. Mike Bailey

PAS: This was the best first round match, pretty classic striker v. grappler match with Bailey using his fast feet to get an advantage standing, while Riddle beasted him on the ground. I really dug Bailey's near KO on a high kick, and the finish was great with Riddle using an ankle pick while trapped in a rear naked choke.

ER: Fun hot and quick action from two guys I really like. Bailey's kicks looked incredible here, even moreso than usual, like that early lightning fast spinkick that almost disconnected Riddle's hand from his arm. Bailey is good at keeping Riddle at bay with kicks, and I loved the near KO when Riddle tried to close the distance. Finish is cool with Bailey thinking he has his choke sunk in but Riddle pulling out the buzzer beater counter. Love these guys.

Bobby Gunns v. Matt Riddle

PAS: Gunns slaps Riddle a couple of times, and Riddle hits two nasty open hand body shots, takes him down and taps him with a modified twister in about 45 seconds. Unlike Cobb v. WALTER which felt way too short, this was about the right amount of time and made Riddle look like a beast.

ER: Only a minute long, but a really awesome minute. Gunns was immediately over his head but scrambled admirably, but you could see Riddle two steps ahead of Gunns' couple reversal attempts, but he still looked like he was supposed to be there. Riddle just floated around him on the mat and tapped him, and it all looked great.

Jeff Cobb v. Timothy Thatcher

PAS: These guys have matched up a bunch, but I haven't seen the classic they have in them (although I need to watch their EVOLVE match), they weren't trying for a classic here, but this was pretty great. This was a short grappling heavy exhibition with Cobb beasting Thatcher on the mat, he did this nasty shoot small package where he bent Thather like a collapsable sofa bed. Really liked Thatcher pulling out an armbar from the ground for the quick tap. Fun match which really delivered a great match in the style of this fed.

ER: Jeez Louise would you look at Cobb? He's like a man cosplaying as a cinder block. As Phil said, this wasn't worked with the goal of having a "great match", but it was great within the style of the tourney, and a great showcase for what these two can do. The grappling is great, with Thatcher throwing short knees to Cobb's breadbox and going for all sorts of painful crossfaces. He was really great at trying to throw Cobb off his grip by jamming a palm into his jaw, rubbing a forearm across his teeth, and it looks like it makes Cobb angry. You won't like Cobb angry. The build to Cobb finally unleashing an awesome gutwrench was the best, and he follows it with a tough German. BUT, Thatcher shifts and lands flat instead of more painfully on his shoulders, and yanks that arm off. Awesome display here.

Timothy Thatcher v. Matt Riddle

PAS: These guys had my favorite non Black Terry match of 2016, and had another killer match here. Thatcher will do Thatcher no matter what, so which keeps Riddle away from some of his more irritating Super Indy tendencies. Riddle was a monster here, just incredibly fast go-behinds and scrambles, some of the more impressive amateur grappling I have seen, I loved him maniacally flipping away to try to escape the wrist lock. Thatcher couldn't keep up with Riddle athletically, but he is great at finding an opening or two to twist and rip at an arm or foot. I really liked Riddle's aggressive knees on the ground, although the final finish knee was kind of lame. Great stuff overall though, and it really delivered on the promise of this tournament.

ER: Agreed, their August Evolve match was the only match that my heart even considered putting over Terry/Wotan. And this is also really awesome (until a fart sound ending). The scrambling in this was off the charts and I loved the frustration building up in Thatcher. Both guys struggle wildly when one of them grabs a limb, with Thatcher bending Riddle's ankle until Riddle gets leverage on Thatcher's ankle, Thatcher trying to rip an arm off and Riddle whipping around like an animal caught by the tail. Riddle won his second round match in a minute and Thatcher drew Cobb AND had minimal rest in between each fight, so I love how he was the first to really go for almost untoward strikes, landing brutal downward striking elbows to Riddle's jaw. Those things landed so violently that I thought they were going for a KO finish. I loved how Riddle barely beat the 10 count, walking himself up the turnbuckles and slumping into them to buy a couple seconds. Riddle responds with nasty knees to the side, and ends up draping Thatcher over the bottom rope. This was ramping up pretty crazily, but sadly it all falls apart right at the end. I didn't love Thatcher's face first fall leading to the 8 count, felt like a really manufactured bump in something like this, but I then immediately wished it was the finish as Riddle whiffs on a KO kick that "knocks out" Thatcher. What a bummer of a finish, and it's hard not to have the previous 10 minutes spoiled by it. I can't believe they didn't call an audible.

ER: Fun show, and the final two matches were good enough to land on our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List. No telling how high that final could have gone with a better finish. As Phil told me, 2017 so far is the year of great matches with poop finishes.

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