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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Mini Complete and Accurate Necro in PWG: Necro vs. Danielson

Necro Butcher vs. Bryan Danielson PWG 7/29/07

JR: Wrestling is presentational at its heart. When I think of wrestling, when I think of foreign objects, I think of people holding them high in the air so that they catch the light and the back row sees them. I think of the crowd shouting and reacting to the moments before something happens, the dramatic irony of knowledge as their hero still has his back turned.

I also think of how casually a man can take a CVS bag from the pocket of his jeans and put it over the head of someone else, the expression on his face barely changing.

I think I heard about that spot long before I ever saw that match, as this took place at a time when PWG was hard to come by in some ways, and I had to rely on the stories of others, and yet when I finally watched this, the image in my head was almost perfectly aligned with reality. The angle was off, as I pictured Necro Butcher stalking Bryan like a film, looming in the background. Instead it’s shot like a nature video, it’s just a thing that happens in the midst of a series of other things that happen.

It’s really sort of incredible that it doesn’t overshadow the match at all. Necro Butcher has fast hands, faster than Bryan realized at the start. Bryan is better but wary at all times, even when he’s in control. It’s structured in a way that truly plays to Necro Butcher’s strengths as a performer; The things he lands are memorable and impactful, his offense in comparison to Danielson’s creates a tremendous amount of natural dynamism.

It also allows Necro Butcher to sell, something that he doesn’t get enough credit for. He has an uncanny ability to sell for a long period of time and then take one shot and react in a way that makes you truly believe that it hurt him more, or at least in a different way. There’s a moment about three quarters of the way through where Danielson throws chairs at Necro while he’s prone, three or four times. On the last, Necro grabs at the chair and gets it stomped into his face. On this he reacts as though he’s been shot, writhing and squirming and moving in ways we have not yet seen. It’s almost the same cadence one would see from someone finally getting a heavyweight off their feet, but done in a way that projects damage and not just progress.

He manages to work in a similar pattern but escalate it for the finish. Danielson is clearly in control, running through many of the moves that he has finished matches with previously. Necro manages to kick out, escape or even reverse all of them, gouging and grabbing at eyes at every opportunity and unleashing a fury or punches, a last gasp. The brief moment of violence that interrupts Danielson’s rhythm works wonderfully as a natural way to make him realize that he must use a more violent finish.

This match doesn’t seem to get the same level of praise as the Joe match and the Low Ki matches, but in terms of laying out what Necro Butcher does better than almost all of his peers, I’m not sure there is a better series of examples.

SG: One of this guys is a big drug-fueled hillbilly and the other is a tiny pasty possible eunuch so we know that the match is going to be based around Bryan grounding Necro and making him taste the chain until he can taste no more. Danielson in this era really worked grappling fundamentals for their maximum heel effect which somehow let it go unnoticed by the "highspot technician" types how beautifully that he could work a duelling knucklelock spot that made both he and his opponent look like killers (not to mention that he knew that a good technician should know how to exploit a cut, just tremendous stuff). Necro gets his revenge with a Sabu chairshot toss cutting Danielson over the brow. Very little better defines pro wrestling than two motherfuckers literally ripping each other's faces off.

PAS: This was great stuff of course, you get two geniuses of pro-wrestling in a match together it is going to be great. I have been watching Danielson since the Super 8, and I can't remember him in this kind of compact fast moving brawl. He has had other bloody matches (hell he just had one a couple of weeks ago) but those were always more stretched out, with the blood used as a way to show fatigue. This was a 10 minute balls to the wall sprint with both guys emptying their gas tanks entirely. Loved Necro's wild punch flurries which put Danielson on his back foot and the total insanity of the CVS plastic bag. But Danielson was vicious too: the ranking of the cut, the hurling of chairs and the final grounded elbows. This was the nastiest I have ever seen those elbows, actually resembling the violence of what Gary Goodrich did to Paul Herrera. It felt like Necro brought something out of Danielson that he never really tapped into again. I would have loved to have seen these two run this back at one point. They really had great chemistry. 

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Anonymous bucky said...

damn ive never seen this. great review boys

6:21 PM  

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