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American Dragon v Paul London


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American Dragon v Paul London - ROH All Star Extravaganza 11/09/02

 

Now *this* is how you do a nice little match and hold back without giving away too much, since Dragon would be wrestling again later in the evening in a longer, bigger match. He's the total star of this match, showing his skill in some really smooth matwork. Most of the early stages of this match are worked in fairly basic fashion, but Danielson is so good at what he does that it doesn't feel that way, because he puts so much energy into even the small moves - a side headlock almost comes across as a shift in momentum instead of just a time killer or as part of some feeling out process. His butterfly suplex also looks great, but his chops need some major help. Perhaps it's just the production quality and that I'm used to hearing loud chops on the big stage of WWE, but they seem to be lacking the same umph. The best spot of the match sees Dragon dropkick London mid-air when he's attempting a corner moonsault.

 

There's little of consequence here, which is the major problem this match has. When Danielson is in control, London is still fighting back strong, which makes his comeback down the final stretch seem a little anti-climatic. He probably should have been in far more peril considering that this was his second consecutive match and Dragon is a strong opponent. I like that they're able to engage the crowd through the work in the ring, as they put aside the clapping for a moment to start chanting London's name in a show of support. AD doesn't get the desired result when he tries a backdrop driver from the top rope, but London manages to get protected in losing, kicking out of a superplex that everyone, self included, was sure was the end of the match. A cattle mutilation after a dragon suplex finishes things, but the real story is that the fans seemed to want more, as this seemed more like a hint of things to come than a real war. That was definitely the desired reaction, so in that sense, they were a success.

 

***

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