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[2011-11-10-WWE-Superstars] Daniel Bryan vs William Regal

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Daniel Bryan vs William Regal - WWE Superstars 11/10/11

 

To my knowledge this was Regal's last match in England of any appreciable length and one of his last handful of matches that went long (had two against Ambrose, one against Hero and then his classic retirement match against Cesaro). The crowd in Liverpool is very jacked for Regal in this match. Regal comes out to his Man's Man entrance theme which pops both him and Bryan. I thought this was a fun match. Honestly, I was expecting more. I think the beginning was just fun stuff to show off. It feels like Regal has lost step since 2009 when I last watch him. Checking out Cagematch.com, his 2010 is pretty barren besides some Christian matches in January of that year so Regal was definitely slowing down. They did some British chaining. The best part is when Bryan goes for a dropkick and Regal sidesteps. The teacher knows his student well. It is not just Regal that is a step slower, Bryan isn't hitting as hard as I would expect. When Regal makes his comeback, Bryan's kicks to the knee of Regal are pretty soft. Regal responds to the initial knee attacks with his half nelson suplex. They do have a pretty good European Uppercut exchange. Bryan goes back to the leg wrapping it around the post and then with a strong toehold. The holds looked better. Regal gets one last flurry before Bryan rocks him with a wicked kick to the skull. LeBell Lock and Regal immediately taps out. Damn straight. None of this will he or wont he bullshit. The drama should be in the struggle to apply the hold. Oddly disappointing, but also feel good that these two did get to wrestle in England as a sort of sendoff for one of the greats in the annals of pro wrestling. ***1/4

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Them playing Regal's Real Man's Man theme in the middle of his regular one during his entrance is an all-time great rib. The match itself is great as well; teacher vs. student is a tale as old as time, and when those roles happen to be played by two of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, of course its gonna rule. The early exchanges are a joy to watch & they set-up whats to come really well; I especially loved Regal just stepping back from Bryan's dropkick. Made all the sense in the world that HE would know it's coming, because it was a sequence Bryan had been using for years. Bryan eventually gets a bit more intense by not giving Regal a clean break & delivering an Uppercut to him -- loved Regal's baffled look when he got blasted with that Uppercut and him answering to that w/ repeated Uppercuts of his own. It felt like dad schooling his son after behaving badly. Bryan of course continues upping the intensity of the thing w/ some vicious kicks & one HELLUVA looking German Suplex -- I always forget how huge Regal actually was at this point, and the German looked all the more vicious due to his size. That knee from the apron was a great exclamation mark for Bryan not giving any mercy to his good ol' teacher. Regal is pretty much straight-up fighting from underneath that point on, and of course he is excellent at that role. Bryan is also unsurprisingly tremendous as the aggressor; he goes after Regal's taped up knee too, which further shows that he had that killer instinct here. Regal's selling is fantastic, and his little comeback bursts are pretty amazing; that Half Nelson Suplex where he dumps Bryan on his head was so sick, and Regal's selling during & after it was sublime. Brilliant, brilliant match. A true gem. It's awesome they got to have it in the WWE. ****

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This is the match where Regal gets ribbed by having his Real Man's Man theme played as he walking to the ring. Bryan, Regal and the smattering of fans that got the reference are all laughing their asses offat this. Proof that you don't need to shit in people's things to create a good rib.

This being on Superstars, they're given a decent amount of time to create something worthwhile. I don't need to go into detail and tell you how the technical exchanges of Daniel Bryan and William Regal are brilliant. Bryan gets pissed off as he can't gain an advantage and gives Regal a shove and they start getting more scrappy with each other. Regal gives Bryan a brutal half nelson suplex. Bryan goes after Regal's leg and there's a great bit where a grounded Regal is frantically trying to kick Bryan back, but Bryan keeps running back. This is the kind of match that made Superstars worth watching back in the day. 

★★★½

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