Segunda Caida

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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

CWF Mid-Atlantic Worldwide Episode 130

Episode 130

1. Mace Li vs. Snooty Foxx

PAS: I thought this was a really good 5 minute match, by the far the best Li has looked. It was the story of Fox's superior strength versus Li's guile. The spot early on where Fox spinebusters Li into the corner and then cannonballs him was awesome. Li takes over with a DDknee and then works over Fox's knee. Fox did an awesome job selling it, trying to do all of his same moves but a little tentative and awkward, great vulnerable babyface performance, and another quill in Fox's rookie year performance, he has been overshadowed a bit by how legendary Cain Justice's rookie year has been, but Fox has been a strong #2.

ER: What a fun little short story match, super impressive performance from Foxx. Phil makes a good point about how Cain's rookie year has overshadowed Snooty's, it's totally true. Foxx has this assured confidence of someone who has been there longer than he really has, and it makes me forget he is even a rookie at times. Mace Li doesn't do tons for me yet, but I liked half his strikes here. He tried a bunch of different strikes from different angles, and I think that's a pretty smart plan with iffy strikes. You have bad corner punches? Weak punches from mount? No worries, through in some body shots and downward elbows to the traps, doing that makes it all look like part of an aggressive attack where individual strikes don't really matter as much. Snooty's knee selling was great. Before that we get that awesome corner spinebuster with the huge rolling hip attack, so Li wisely works to flatten Snooty's tires. Snooty climbing the buckles with a weakening knee actually had me inch forward in my seat, dude's selling was so good it was making me picture a horrific Sid scenario. The more I think about this match the more I like it.

ER: Can't believe Phil didn't mention the Aric Andrews shaved face comedy politician vignette. I'll say, on its face, I don't like it. I liked the Lee/Andrews dynamic that we had. Andrews suddenly being Bob Backlund stumping for a title shot seems like a big step back. Add to that, he had an awesome look with that beard. Now suddenly he shows up with no beard, and goes from looking like a pill dealing Black Crowes roadie to looking like Tim Robbins in High Fidelity. Jesse Adler coming back has just gone and messed everything up.

2. Michael McAllister vs. Nick Richards

PAS: I loved this match. It was an old fashioned potato fest, reminded me of some of the great Ian Rotten matches from IWA-MS, just a pair of guys laying in meaty chops and forearms, no leg slapping here all of the sound was thudding impact. Every shot felt like it was a little deeper and nastier then you would expect. I really dug the story of Richards constantly going for the cutter and getting cut off in nasty ways, at one point McAllister pegs him in the back of the head. I also really liked all of the work around the Cobra Clutch.  Richards also takes a couple of crazy bumps to the floor because he is nuts. This is the first chance I have had to see McAllister since we started watching CWF, and he was great, he does a good job of seeming nuts without overdoing the facial expressions.

ER: Man what a great fight. McAllister hasn't done a lot for me in the year we've spent watching, but it also feels like even though we've seen in him in several matches, we haven't really seen him. He was in a goofus gimmick in a tag team where his partner SIS outshone him, he's been in pull aparts and rumbles and multimans, this is I think the only actual singles match we've seen. And what a way to debut! Both guys are rocking a good pudge, McAllister has a grumpy mug like scowling Patton Oswalt, and Richards keeps trying to escape with a cutter. Every time he goes for that damn cutter McAllister makes him PAY and that's the whole match, and that's all the match you need. These two both land with some thump here, and I loved how we started with both a little tentative, both making fists but knowing that once it starts, it's on...and once we're on we never look back. Richards takes a nice backdrop, and McAllister starts landing heavy elbows and palm strikes to Richards' head and nose. They brawl all over without it ever seeming like a brawl, if that makes sense. It felt like Richards was always trying to veer this to the finish of a wrestling match, but McAllister kept immediately derailing him. The stuff on the floor was great, with Richards missing a dive (and I know I point this out a lot, but the guys here are such pros that they keep the family vibe during crazy matches without taking away from the match: Richards takes this huge missed dive bump while not making any of the regulars need to scramble out of the way) and McAllister splats him with a splash off the apron. Every time one of them turned their back on the other they paid for it, with McAllister running into boots and knees or Richards getting caught with elbows, a nice sliding lariat, and a nasty cobra clutch. This whole thing had meanness running throughout, and I love that they never hammered any kind of redemption story for McAllister, just let the action speak.

PAS: Ethan Sharpe gives a pretty great promo about losing the iron man rumble record, and how that was his big achievement. Serious Ethan Sharpe is pretty great.

3. Arik Royal vs. Chet Sterling

PAS: Really great match, easily the best Sterling match (at least tied with the Logan Easton Laroux match I saw live) I have seen. Sterling comes into the match with tape on his neck from being jumped by Brad Attitude at the Rumble, and Royal even calls him out on it at the beginning of the match. With Mark Henry basically retired, Royal is the best in ring shit talker in wrestling, and he is at peak form here as he takes apart Sterling's neck. I loved him just shoving Sterling awkwardly into the rope to take control, and the big ring apron powerbomb was a great huge move, and I loved the Coach and Jerry Carey raising his hands victoriously in the ring. Same with Royals low tackle which sent Sterling flying into the camera man. Couple of minor quibbles, I really liked how Sterling's blown dive worked in the context of the match, but they really should have audibled and delayed his comeback a bit, here he violently crashes on a blown dive, but still moves right into the planned comeback. I also really am lukewarm on Sterling's offense, he is a great seller and underdog babyface, but then he comes back with these lame half nelson suplexes where he barely lifts Royal at all. I also thought it maybe went one kick out too much, that powerbomb near the end was super brutal and probably should have ended it. Still a great Royal performance and some great Sterling selling and a really nifty main event.

ER: WOW this was a blowaway great match. I just got back from seeing a great noisy violent show (the screaming high energy of METZ with killer band Moaning opening for them in Portland) and I came back from the cold and threw this match on and was treated to a different kind of violence. Before the match Royal points out Sterling's bright red kinesio tape and yells out "You just gave me a target!" We've all seen guys work over a knowingly injured body part, but rarely do we get a heel calling his shot right before the match. And man does that neck get targeted in some nasty ways. Royal does something that more wrestlers should do, but you somehow don't see enough: use the ropes. Finlay was someone who was really great at using the ring as a weapon, but it's not something you see outside of apron spots thrown often awkwardly into matches. You don't even see anyone using a hotshot anymore. But early on Royal violently throws Sterling backwards into the bottom and middle ropes, and from there I knew I was going to love this. Royal used the ropes to cross Sterling up with rope running, throwing him through the ropes and to the floor (which later gets used against him), and then doing an actual apron spot that added to the match, brutally powerbombing him into the apron (with his neck hitting the bottom rope). Sterling couldn't be kept down but his comebacks always felt smart and fit nicely within the match. I actually liked his half nelson suplexes, as he really shouldn't be able to lift Royal that much, and they weren't treated like killshots but more like hard takedowns. I also liked how Royal didn't take them on his neck. No need to. Royal keeps working in shots to the neck, even Gemini sneaks in a shot on the floor. Sterling gave a great gritty performance, stumbling around, bringing fight, hitting a nice senton off the apron after Royal misses his Thesz press. But Royal is one nasty MF and he absolutely wrecks Sterling with a sick powerbomb. That powerbomb really should have been the finish, and watching it back you can really see Sterling's head whip. Gross spot. But Royal has tons of great offense and looked like a mega star here, and Sterling's performance really kept me into this beyond just being a great Royal singles. This match was just what I wanted and then some, the kind of stuff that makes me recommend CWF to everybody.

ER: On paper I didn't think too much of this show. It didn't look bad but wasn't something I was rushing home from work to watch. And it might be the under the radar best hour of wrestling TV of the year. The opener was a hot 5 minutes with a great powerful-but-vulnerable babyface, we got a killer slugfest in McAllister/Richards, a great promo after that match from Cain Justice and Ethan Sharpe, and then a 20 minute main event that stands up to some of the best main events of any fed this year. This episode slayed, McAllister/Richards and Royal/Sterling are easy additions to our 2017 Ongoing MOTY List, and I can't say enough nice things about these guys. I gotta get my butt to the Sportatorium in 2018.

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