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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 Ongoing MOTY List: Reigns v. Jordan 2

15. Roman Reigns v. Jason Jordan WWE Raw 12/4

ER: I really  loved their first match a few months ago, but  this was straight fire. Roman went into their first match cocky and then got surprised by the fight Jordan brought, dropping his guard before confidently finishing him off. Here Roman doesn't mess around for a second, throwing strikes with an immediacy he doesn't always have, really high energy, and Jordan gets whipped around by all of them. Jordan isn't backing down but it does look like it's going to be a mauling, and then we get an awesome callback to their first match: Jordan is throwing everything at Reigns, managing to pick him up and run him back and forth into the corners, picking him up and running with him Matt Hughes style. Jordan goes for his vertebrae squishing spear in the corner, Reigns dodges like last time, but Jordan doesn't fully commit and when Reigns goes for his own spear Jordan moves and Reigns crashes violently into the post and hard down to the floor. Jordan starts taking apart the shoulder and Reigns is good at selling it, even feeling the pain while he's punching with his good arm, wincing bad while trying an Irish whip. But Jordan is fading and Reigns throws several awesome standing lariats in the corner. Standing corner lariats can look awful, but Jordan was making these look world class, really getting his whole body rocked by them. And from there the match kept ramping up and surprising me. Reigns comes after him on the floor, Jordan catches him and just like earlier, picks him up and drives him hard into the steps. We get some huge nearfalls and the fans are going ape, clearly thinking it's over when Reigns hits a Superman punch but Jordan kicks out. The crowd reaction was infectious. I love when you can see people jumping up and down with their hands on their head, flipping out over what they're seeing. This is one of the biggest babyface reactions Roman has gotten in ages, but Jordan has the fans too as Roman goes for a spear and Jordan times a perfect counter with a kneelift. Without thinking he uses his bad wheel, but Jordan still hits his gorgeous rolling northern lights and bridges on one leg, not able to put weight on his bum knee. Reigns manages to kick out and awesomely capitalizes on Jordan's injury, knocking him halfway across the ring with a Superman punch (great sell by Jordan) and finishing him with the spear. All of this was so damn good, with a note perfect build and all the execution delivering in spades. They had the crowd buying everything they were selling. The segment and this match was easily the best 40 minutes of Raw all year.

PAS: Really fun match, which showcased the strengths of both guys. Jordan is a really fun counter wrestler, I loved how he kept avoiding the superman punch, stopping it with a dropkick one time and turning it into a side suplex a second time. Jordan catch the diving superman punch on the floor was awesome too, it showed great strength and timing. That kneelift counter to the spear was great too, I really wish the commentary would focus on how good Jordan is an anticipation. Reigns meanwhile is just getting better and better, how about his smooth as fuck headlock takeover counter, when did Reigns starts breaking out Dean Malenko style counter wrestling? Jordan had the big showy bit of body part selling with the one legged northern lights suplex, but Reigns did a lot of really subtle stuff in the match, including stretching out and rotating the shoulder and wincing on punches, little things to show that the shoulder wasn't 100%.  Loved the finish too, the WWE has cut down on finisher spamming lately and this kind of finish works so much better for me.


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