Segunda Caida

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

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

2018 Ongoing MOTY List: Samoans Named Joe, Still Fighting

1. Roman Reigns v. Samoa Joe WWE Raw 1/1

ER: Well here's a killer start to the new year, two guys who match up great, getting the chance to burn it down on the first Raw of the year. Reigns shoved a ref to get DQ'd the week before, now we run the match back only now Reigns loses the title if he's DQ'd. I love any kind of stip that allows a heel to try to bait someone into losing their title. They both start with nice strikes and throws, for some reason Joe's jabs always look best against Roman, and he throws in a back elbow. Roman misses a charge in the corner and we get Joe working over his arm, and we build to Joe knocking him to the floor and hitting a huge elbow suicida. Joe was great talking trash, picking shots at Roman, tossing a headbutt, throwing a kick, all the trash talk to piss Roman off. We get a lot of fun business around the ring steps, with Joe blocking a superman punch, then getting sent into them in rough fashion, and I loved almost using the steps but getting stopped by the ref, then sucker punched by Joe. A heel sucker punching around a referee will never not be excellent pro wrestling. Roman's superman punch off the steps looked great, and the nearfalls down the stretch were killer. Joe shoving Roman into the ref and then planting him with a uranage genuinely felt like a finish, and the fans were going crazy cheering for Roman. Roman misses a quick uppercut leading to a Kokina clutch attempt, but Roman shakes him off for the flash spear. All the sequences were done real smooth, but all the hits landed hard. They've matched up a lot of times already, but they did a good job of building off previous matches and not going through the motions. That's tough to do after several singles matches, but each match has been approached with a nice regard to their motivations at the time. Great start to the year.

PAS: This was really good stuff, it actually reminded me of Reigns v. Lesnar, with Reigns working from behind and taking a beating. Roman yelling at Joe to hit him as Joe works him over with nasty forearms is a great wrestling moment to start the year on. That elbow suicida was gorgeous and forceful and the closest I can even remember Joe getting to Misawa level. I also love how Joe works at a different pace then the rest of the roster, it was one of the things that was so cool about his ROH run, everyone else was working at one speed and Joe would slow it down. Weirdly now all of the WWE works 2000s ROH speed, so Joe's slower pace adds a different approach to the main events. These two guys work so well together, and I think this was their best match.


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