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[1990-06-30-CWA] Dave Finlay vs Steve Wright

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Steven Wright continues to be near the top of my list of guys from whom I wish there was more footage. I don't always love Finlay from this period, but his rugged, brawling performance offered a perfect contrast to Wright's mat-based athleticism. Good stuff.

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It took me a while to get into this, but it was really good. Wright does some awesome athletic mat stuff, and Finlay threw some insane uppercuts. I wish the momentum shifts felt more consequential, but I think that's part of the style to which I have never gotten fully accustomed. There's not enough selling for my tastes.

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I really like Finlay against ultratechnical guys like Wright and Saint, because it almost comes off as a NJPW vs. UWF match not in terms of holds and moves but in terms of two philosophically different ideas of what wrestling should be, colliding. More of the same here though Wright works a lot more in terms of payback spots and giving Finlay his own medicine than some of the other Brits do. Wright was pretty great working underneath, actually--most of his matches, even the good ones, tend to come off like athletic exhibitions. This is one where he came off as fighting to survive. Excellent match overall. The only thing that bugged me was the referee inordinately getting on Wright's case throughout--you have to build heat for the heel but unless this some heel ref angle we don't know about, the heat is supposed to be on him, not the referee. It did, to its credit, pay off really well with a great spot that's sort of a mirror of the Nick Patrick Spot from earlier.

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Perplexing match for me because I liked it but again couldn't really get invested in it. Wright had a lot of neat athletic reversals and some of the brawling and slamming of each others head in the mat was pretty vicious. This is probably a match I need to rewatch but the first time through, while good I felt it was kind of uninspired overall.

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I thought Wright's carny mat work was really cool, especially in contrast to Finley's rough house tactics. This was a good match, though some of the rules confuse me.

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Oh that crazy multiple kip up which is used to reverse arm hold. Steven Wright has some funky reversals which I like. Ah, they are doing rounds. The outsider ring announcer does a lot of talking. Similar to the previous matches from yearbooks where it’s interesting at first but the round system hinders things for me with them breaking up the action. There also seems to be excessive throwing the other guy out of the ring. I guess they are trying to get the countout win but I'm not sure.

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This is the first European rules match I've seen, and I like the rugged flavor. This match wouldn't feel out of place in most Southern promotions.

 

The round system takes a bit of getting used to, and there are times when the ends of the rounds come at inopportune points and hamper storytelling. It's almost like the competitors forget themselves and are just going along doing their thing when the end of the round comes right in the middle. I can imagine that it takes a while to adjust if you've been wrestling in North America or Japan.

 

I can see why so many people like Finlay; he looks and acts like a true tough guy. So does Wright, for that matter. I was expecting a mat wrestling clinic. so the (mostly) spirited brawl we got instead was a pleasant surprise.

 

The refs seem to be sticklers for enforcement here more than most other places; I'm wondering if the round system forces them to keep much closer control for reasons of timing. The ref in this bout didn't seem like he was going heel, but he was up in the guys' faces a bit more than usual.

 

Looking forward to more European matches!

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First things first, the replays with the droning crowd noise, horn blasts, and pitch-shifted voices are so out of place and dark sounding. Purely German. I'm not super familiar with the European style, but I've seen several matches and the thing that always strikes me is the combination of fluidity and grit. The brawling is always rough looking, but clean, and in control. And contrast that with an opponent who's a smooth mat worker, and it makes for very interesting watching.

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I also got the heel ref vibe here. Seemed like he was on Finlay's side most of the time. Regardless, very fun clash of styles match with Wright adapting to Finlay's style by the end.

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