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  1. EVOLVE has been building towards this match since Strickland returned to the company. Strickland is such a great heel in EVOLVE and Riddle is of course the fired up babyface the fans love and they play their roles perfectly. Leading to the match, Strickland had targeted Riddle's arm and he had broken Riddle mentally with his mind games and Riddle lets anger take over and that backfires throughout the match and Strickland uses this to exploit Riddle's weaknesses throughout the match. Some of the cool stuff from this match include Strickland hitting a running Swerve Stomp from the ramp on Riddle sitting in a chair in front of Riddle's family. Riddle's chops are great as always. Also, to the benefit of the match, Riddle cuts his hand which adds to the backstory of the match and Strickland exploits it. Riddle's selling is also pretty great throughout the majority of the match. There's some pretty big table bumps here like Riddle hitting a senton off the ring apron through a table and of course a big Swerve Stomp off a ladder through a table on Riddle. The finishing stretch was also good with Riddle getting one last boost of adrenaline before Strickland puts him down with a JML Driver. Loved Riddle just barely bridging out of the last nearfall before the finish as he was already worn out instead of just popping straight up with a power kickout. Some things of course didn't work, such as them going into overkill with one too many Swerve Stomps throughout the match and the downtime while Swever setup for some weapon assisted spots, but to their credit, Riddle's selling was good in between the setups. Again, not a MOTYC or a ****+ classic or any of that, but definitely another solid/entertaining match from these two and well worth watching if you dig any of their previous matches. From the matches of theirs I've seen, I'd rank them in this order: MLW world title tournament final This match The first EVOLVE match Their second EVOLVE match I would rank the MLW match ahead of this one because I was there live, so of course I have a different perspective on that one as it was great to experience that live.
  2. Not a MOTYC by any stretch, but a really entertaining indy-rific match. Having been there, I'm sure I liked this more than most peeps. Anyway, they work pretty evenly and develop this by putting over Riddle as a former UFC fighter and legit bad ass taking on an up and coming future star with Riddle getting the upper hand when involved in the rough striking exchanges and finding a way to always counter whatever it was Swerve was able to bring to the table. Both guys landed some fantastic strikes, with Riddle murdering Swerve with some brutal slaps and there's a point where he blasts Swerve with a nasty body kick that sounded like a gun shot. Swerve also brought some pretty great looking strikes, namely some cool looking face kicks while he tried pulling off the Keys to Swerve City. Pretty cool finishing stretch which turned into a bomb fest featuring some pretty nasty stuff. Loved Swerve countering the Bro 2 Sleep into a double stomp. MLW has far better production values than a lot of other U.S. indies and thus they made great work of putting over the lively split crowd at the venue and really brought out the big match feel this had. Plus Tony Schiavone and Rich Bocchini are a fun commentary team. You can put any type of spins you want on this, but the crowd left home happy for the most part and they were pretty lively for it, so it served it's purpose perfectly. Easily the best Swerve singles match I've seen, however not on par with a lot of Riddle's best stuff from WM weekend, but still well worth a watch if you dig the U.S. indy stuff.
  3. Well I certainly wasn't expecting a match of this kind & quality from AR Fox & Shane Strickland! Goddamn, what an awesome grudge battle! They told a great story, the athleticism was great as expected from the two, the brutality was off the charts & the big spots came off as legitimate "holy shit" spots. Absolutely amazing stuff. As of now I think it's my pick for the best match in Lucha Underground's young history. A hell of a war, indeed! ****1/2