Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: 16 Carat Gold Final

94. WALTER v. Ilja Dragunov wXw 3/12

PAS: I have seen this show up at the top of peoples MOTY list, which seems nuts to me. I am a Wahoo fan from way back, and there is a pretty high floor for any match where a guy's chest gets sautéed like Draganov's did here, you could see little bits of flesh hanging off, it was grim. Still Dranganov who kind of looks like a downsy Ken Cosgrove, didn't have a moment of plausible offense. His big running back tope (or is it an uppercut, couldn't really tell) looked like it hardly connected, and it seemed totally nuts that he pins WALTER with it. There is another section where they are having a Kobashi v. Sasaski chop exchange and WALTER is breaking blood vessels and Draganov is barely hitting him, and they are sold as equals. This had a great WALTER performance, he is a killer, and shows really nice technique, I loved the move where he slaps down the arms to hit the powerbomb, and he did a yeoman's job selling all of Draganov's stuff, still this was basically a Colin Delaney ECW match, if Colin went over Big Daddy V clean for some reason.

ER: I thought this was a really good WALTER performance, really made Dragunov seem like a plausible competitor, and there were plenty of moments where Dragunov shouldn't have looked plausible. He's a classic 1990s looking goofball, with a 1995 haircut and probably still owner of this jacket. He looks and wrestles like a guy who should never beat WALTER, but I did love how the crowd genuinely got behind him. The crowd really started reacting to him like a huge territory babyface, and it was a good feeling. Phil has always been less into chanting groups of Germans though, for some reason. When you look back at the match though, and at the damage dished out by both guys, it's crazy that WALTER somehow got beat, while the guy he beat on for 15 minutes pulled out the decisive victory. WALTER was like prime Takayama here, and this was basically prime Takayama having to come up with a way to plausibly lose to Kotaro Suzuki. WALTER is a real bulldozer, lacerating Dragunov's chest over the duration, plowing into him with running high kicks, throwing out some nice sitout powerbombs and a surprise over shoulder piledriver, and I loved him thundering down his arms to break Dragunov's arms from the ropes to hit a massive German suplex. We also had some unnecessary violence like WALTER delivering a nasty powerbomb on the corner of the apron at a real awkward angle. The fans were really into Dragunov doing the undoable, and it did help me overlook some of his doofey qualities, but not all of them. A lot of this matched hinged on the very long chop exchange. It was kind of Ilja's chance at recovery, and it was him standing on even ground with WALTER. To give credit, WALTER appeared to be shying away from many of Ilja's chops, while he kept his chest wide open for WALTER's huge shots. Were Dragunov's chops harder than they looked (does that also mean his lousy lariats were more painful than they looked?), or is WALTER's selling better than I thought? Maybe both. I still never bought Dragunov as capable of beating WALTER, but this match is the most I've ever been impressed with WALTER, so you take the good and take the bad.


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Blogger Discotortoise said...

Went on a jag on Twitter about it but yeah, I can't even compare this to most specifically Yehi's match with WALTER (as a big vs. little). The Brits might actually be right for once-- none of them have ever brought him in from the continent.

12:56 AM  

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