Segunda Caida

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

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Wrestlemania Weekend Thursday: Matt Riddle's Bloodsport

For those that don't know this was a no-ropes show with every match being submission or KO. It lost a little shine for me when Low-Ki canceled, but this is still full of guys I dig in a style I love

KTB vs. Dominic Garinni

PAS: Really fun short intro to this style. KTB isn't going to be comfortable exchanging holds with a Ju-Jitsu champion, but I did think he showed nice explosiveness on his takedowns, and I loved the little short jab he threw. Finish was really great with KTB dropping Dom with a jab and diving on him, only to get caught in a triangle choke for the tap. Cool flash finish, very Fujiwarish, which is a style that works well for Dominic, I really like him as a guy who can tap anyone, anytime.

Eddie Kingston vs. Tracy Williams

PAS: I liked this a lot too, Kingston is great as the unpolished guy who is just going to fight his way out of submissions with grit rather then technique. Williams is tying him up with leg locks and King is just looking for faces to punch.Told a very cool little story. I have no idea why Riddle was working as Eddie's second, but he is a great second. Neat finish with Kingston able to get to get to his feet, Williams runs right into a knee and King rocks him with shots and drops him with a backfist. Neat stuff and I need to track down their AIW match.

Martin Stone vs. Masada

PAS: First real miss of this show, they really should have thrown this out and had a fist fight, but they tried to grapple and that isn't up either guys alley. This was also marred by some really weird ref shit, Bryce Remsberg reffed half the matches, but the kid that was doing this match didn't seem to know what he was doing, he had a couple of weird standups, and seemed to stop the match early. Whole thing was kind of a mess and the referee didn't help

WALTER vs. Filthy Tom Lawlor

PAS: Kind of funny that the UFC guy versus the multiple time AMBITION guy was the least shooty of the matches on the show. This was just a stiff fight, with WALTER lacing Lawlor with chops and Lawlor firing back with shots. It had bodyslams and Tenryu jabs and not much grappling or submission attempts, and one point WALTER even ripped off Lawlors soft cast. Finish was great with WALTER just trying to pound his fist through Lawlor's chest and then locked on an arm trap sleeper hold.  I enjoyed this a bunch, crowd was really into it, although I would have liked to see them try to work a really shootstyle match.

ER: Hot damn this was a bank filled with money. This was a short match, just 8 minutes, but wasn't worked as a sprint with them rushing to fit everything in, and yet still seemed like a complete and total match due to the stiffness and selling and personalities of both. Lawlor is a big guy but looks small next to WALTER, and WALTER treats him small. This was a beatdown to start, with Lawlor attempting to trade but getting met with expectedly nasty chops and a smothering ground attack. Before long he's ripping off Lawlor's soft cast and starts slamming that freaking arm into the mat in the most violent disgusting way. My god, man. Lawlor's selling was great throughout and his comebacks really amped this up, knowing he was likely outgunned but not giving a damn, unflinching at the thought of going down in a blaze. I dug the Tenryu chop/jab comeback, and I flipped out for Riddle's superman punch. WALTER went down in a heap, and because Lawlor is the man he then even does the Roman Reigns shotgun to set up his next one...except WALTER chops him out of air to his doom and then levels him with a short arm clothesline. Toast. Lawlor throws a Hail Mary and rolls through a WALTER choke to set up an armbar, but it is fleeting. WALTER powerbombs out of it, pounds on Lawlor's chest like Donkey Kong, and locks on the most disgusting choke, trapping Lawlor's arm behind his own head while applying a sleeper. This match was huge, total war that was short without actually feeling like anything was left out. A real gem.

Chris Dickinson vs. Dan Severn

PAS: This was the most shootstyle of the matches so far, and I really enjoyed it. It was the story of Severn using his strength to ground and slow down Dickinson and Dickinson having some real explosion and aggression when he was on his feet. Loved Dickinson's kicks to the body and Severn kidney shots. Awesome spot where Severn caught Dickinsons high kick and took him down. Match was marred with another terrible ref spot, where Dickison was in the mount raining down elbows and the ref restarted them on their feet. This allowed Severn to catch Dickinson with a german and choke him out. Clearly the ref thing is some sort of angle, and it is a stinky one, show didn't need Tirantes and it is only making matches worse.

Nick Gage vs. Timothy Thatcher

PAS: Gage is over huge with the crowd, Gage is a bit hit and miss with me as a wrestler, but what a cool story his return has been. This was fun but a bit messy. I loved Thatcher chicken winging Gage out of the ring to the floor, it was cool that they kept all of the other matches in the ring, so this was a bigger deal. Similar story here that they had for Williams vs. Kingston, although this had more heat and some ringside brawling. I did think Gage needed to lay it in a bit more, for a deranged ex-convict, his stuff can be a little weak some times, I needed him to really smash Thatcher to buy the stoppage.

Matt Riddle vs. Minoru Suzuki

PAS: I really enjoyed this, and it was easily the match of the show. This felt like a big deal, Suzuki was super over and this was a main event match. All the early grappling was cool, and felt UWFIish, more then anything else on the show. Loved all of the leverage spots around the apron, such a clever use of the no ropes gimmick with the guy on top having the advantage some of the time, and then the guy on the floor being able to gain the upper hand. Also loved the finish with Suzuki really sinking in the choke and Riddle considering hurling them both to the floor, before thinking better of it and slamming Suzuki hard, but not hard enough, down on the mat. I am bummed about Low-Ki no showing, because that could have been really special, but this was a great last minute replacement

ER: Phil has been watching hot topic (because it's a hot topic online right now, not a show promoted by a bunch of doofs in Bullet Club shirts or something) all day and texting me about it, while I've been glued to my desk finishing up my yearly Fixed Asset Certification Reports. Much like with professional sports trades, we're better off evaluating them long after the fact and then deciding who had the better day. This was the first WM weekend show I watched and it was probably one of the most anticipated, and I imagine this delivered pretty much what people wanted and goes as expected. The takedown defense of Suzuki is fun, and the grappling between the two of them is a gas, and you know we get some dueling kneebars that look like they would just snap my tibia. All my favorite stuff in the match happened around the apron. Since there were no ropes they were able to do some cool leverage spots with the apron, with Suzuki pulling guard for an advantage, but it quickly turning to a disadvantage when Riddle slipped off the apron and was now standing on the floor, hammering down on Suzuki's face and body. The other perfect apron spot was the end, when Suzuki had a backpack choke on Riddle and Riddle stumbled to the edge of the apron and threatened do plunge backwards off the side, instead dropping backwards into the ring before getting choked out (and turning purple in the process). Tons of fun moments here, like their lightning fast strike exchange that saw several limbs flying at once, the battle over a slow German suplex by Riddle (followed up by a big senton), Riddle calling out a fan for cheering Suzuki, pretty much all you wanted out of this match-up.


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Blogger Discotortoise said...

Dom-Kyle: hell yeah on that jab and KTB's suplexes were nice, too, real nice opener, Dom looked like a total vet

Kingston-Sauce: really good, Kingston is one of the best sellers of his generation, he always looks like he's thinking about not just this match, but the net match after, and the match after that, and when he's gotta go back home and work on Monday. The sleeper suplex was bone-chilling. Riddle was Eddie's second because of the eternal Riddle-Williams feud in EVOLVE & I imagine that the plan was to have Eddie second him for the main because he'd know Ki so well but obviously Ki was hurt, it didn't happen, and so Eddie was just there in the main but I'm not going to complain about Eddie Kingston reaction shots.

Masada-Stone: This was the first match just ruined by the commentary. The card needed a Prazak/Punk/Kingston-esque team but Drew Cordero was just fucking terrible. How could you be an indie promoter in 2018 and not know about Masada's BJJ training and usage in the ring? He's not GOOD at it, but he does it and like, he was effective, I thought that he did perfectly fine on the finish. More egregiously, whichever one said that he was "out of his element" without ropes. Yeah, it's not like no rope barbed wire matches are the signature American deathmatch or anything. Stone looked kinda terrible and just like he wasn't interested in cooperating but in a bad way, not in a "kick you in the temple with your eyes closed" way.

Lawlor-WALTER: Didn't LOVE it but liked it a lot, Lawlor is tremendous. It really was the least shoot there.

Dickinson-Severn: I enjoyed it a lot, too, though it did seem a little weird that someone as scummy as the Putrid Papa (all time great self-given nickname) was too accepting of playing Severn's game instead of just torquing him into the post over and over. But it was good.

Gage-Trashy Tim: My MOTN but I was wanting it to be that so, who's to say. Knowing Thatcher's background as a California DM guy it almost felt more like a setup to some kind of hardcore match between them in Allentown.

Riddle-Suzuki: Certainly a great match, never going to complain about Fujiwaras on the floor, though I'll probably want to rewatch just because it was pre-tainted by having to argue with unambiguous racists about how Low Ki is actually an unprofessional goon who would have used this match as his attempt to shoot on Riddle where the Anglo-Saxon ubermensch obv. would have wrecked his shit, bro. The end was good BUT the fact that Riddle wasn't even going to try to ram him into the post (which went unused all day, stupidly) made it a little weak.

Good show but a launching pad more than a self-contained classic. Really shouldn't have gone with Masada-Stone-- I personally lobbied on Twitter for a Homicide-Yehi match which would have been fucking great but I wouldn't be at SC if I didn't think that, and it could have used someone who was more familiar working in a ring without ropes on the card, like Trevor Lee who's now done at least two marathon matches in CWF without them. Put him against Jaka since he was just there as Dickinson's second anyway, that'd have a been a real fun match.

7:17 PM  

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