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Saturday, June 08, 2019

2019 Ongoing MOTY LIst: Darby vs. Teddy

14. Darby Allin vs. Teddy Hart Limitless Wrestling 3/9

PAS: This was a match between two of my favorites, I had no idea I wanted to see. Teddy works this like a powerhouse grounding a flyer which is trippy considering where he came from. There are some really great moments in this, Allin goes for his springboard armdrag, but Teddy counters it with a rip down Fujiwara which looks like it might have dislocated Darby's shoulder. I also loved Darby's low topes, and spinning sprinboard which Teddy sold like a left hook to the jaw. Classic Darby Allin finish, with him coming very close to pulling off a big upset only to get absolutely murdered on the finish with a top rope Teddy Destroyer, choice stuff.

ER: A lot of this was like the best kind of Eliminators tag, with Teddy Hart just practicing cool new moves on Allin like Allin was Hart's own personal Wrestling Buddy. Hart is so overpowering and hits so hard that Allin never really felt like he was in this, but I never really cared because these two matched up so well. Hart has the best punches of any active wrestler, and he throws so real tooth looseners here, and then throws in a delayed European uppercut that looked like some hard hitting time bending shit from The Matrix. If Teddy Hart isn't in Bloodsport next year it means that somebody fucked up. I think current Teddy Hart is the best Teddy Hart we've ever had, he's really turned into one of the names that jumps off the card. Not many guys have been able to pull off "aloof asskicker" before, and current Teddy Hart plays like a babyface version of 1988 heel Terry Taylor. He drops Allin with combos, throws him up in the air to drop him into his pointed knees, drops a moonsault seemingly intentionally doing a kneedrop across the back of Allin's head (he even smacks his knee a few times afterwards to rub it in!), and comes literal millimeters away from breaking Allin's neck a couple times, first with a disgusting double underhook piledriver and later with a wrenched arm DDT that you can't even see a pin of light through the top of Allin's head and the mat. Hart is either a master at working dangerous optical illusions, or he can just consistently barely drop opponents on their heads. And what's crazy (and again, makes him an absolute necessity for Bloodsport) is that his ground game is so convincing that he could be just as awesome removing any other element of his offense. I loved the way he violently took Allin down with a Fujiwara, really making it look like Darby was not along for the ride. Even on something like his trap arm DDT, he doesn't just trap the arm, he catches it and really sadistically yanks that elbow farther up Allin's back than it needs to be.

Allin is a great crash test dummy, as always, the guy is the most brilliant Spike Dudley of the decade. The Coffin Drop is one of my favorite moves in wrestling, and he hits a couple all timers here. They work a few different moments where a big Allin flying move sends Hart smooshing into front row fans, and Maine wrestling fans are cooler than I ever knew, as nobody budges at all for any of it. I go screaming out of the way on dives, shoving women out of my way like George Costanza. Allin does a awesome fast tope and falls really far off the top with a perfect Coffin Drop, and even when he lands a little sloppy (like his bottom rope tornillo), it works within the match psychology as him landing on Hart's head feels like a good equalizer. Hart's victory lap finishes are something that shouldn't work for a babyface, as he shortens Allin's career with a top rope Destroyer, throws him up into the air for a brutal backcracker powerbomb...but then refuses a cover, just so he can pump a few more slugs into the dead body. How does Teddy Hart work as a babyface? He's a truly unique character and performer, a guy who was kind of a joke for a long time (even when still being a good performer), and he's really feels like he's at the zenith of his career right now. And I think it's reassuring to my ego seeing a guy who is older than me is still hitting his personal peak. This match felt like a modern head drop indy match version of Bret Hart vs. 123 Kid, and I mean that in the very best way possible.


2019 MOTY MASTER LIST

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