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Dylan Waco

Tommy End

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I really like Tommy End, but I think it's a bit soon for him to make a list like this, and I think he'll have a better shot in 10 years time when we next go through this process.

 

I've seen Tommy live numerous times in the last few years, as he wrestles a lot for Southside Wrestling, who often run 5 minutes from my house, and I've seen him have great bouts and not-so-great bouts. He's really fun to watch as a heel - his 2013 match with ZSJ based on him slowly breaking Zack down with strikes and trying to avoid getting taken to the mat was a lot of fun, and seeing him beast Rich Swann and Robbie X in competitive squashes was enjoyable. The problem is that they were almost TOO fun and resulted in him being turned quasi-face, where's he's less fun. I don't think he's a sympathetic enough seller to rally fans behind him - what was great in the ZSJ match was that he sold Sabre's comeback strikes in a way that showed they were hurting him, but he was too dominant to let his mask slip to his opponent. He's not as able to tell a story with his selling as a face, leading to matches like the Hero stinker* I sat through last August, two guys working a "I'm a great striker" gimmick against a guy totally no-selling the blows. Made me think that you can't be that good a striker if your opponent is bellowing "Come on!" in response to your elbow/kicks to the head. Hopefully these kinks can be ironed out, but for now he's not getting near my list.

 

*In the interest of fairness, I should point out the rest of the audience loved it and gave both guys a standing ovation. It WAS terrible though.

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Reminded me of his EVOLVE 43 match, when End is presented as a really dangerous striker... until ZSJ enters the ring and breaks the rythm of the match because he has to get his shit in, obviously.

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I don't know that anyone else in wrestling has done a better job of mixing strike based martial arts into wrestling than Tommy End, the problem inherit with that is overdone striking in wrestling can become an issue if you compare what happens in legitimate martial arts competitions and fights to what happens in wrestling you start to break down the ability to suspend disbelief but, much like the argument for Volk Han being the pinnacle of this style makes him deserve a place in the GWE conversation I think the same can apply to End. End does an amazing job of riding the line by working in flash knock out finishes, selling his own injuries between strikes, and having a sadistic attitude of constantly wanting to dish out more punishment.

 

From the beginning Tommy was very obviously a fantastic athlete with natural instincts for combat sports having some very good showings even early on in his career and getting his first international exposure wrestling on a PWG European vacation show in 2006 in the decade since that time he has greatly improved in-ring and out as a guy who can cut a very believable subdued professional-athlete promo or go completely off the deep end integrating satanic rituals and iconography into pre-taped vignettes.

 

Another part of his game that has been strongly fortified in the past 5 years that I feel is over looked a lot when people judge wrestlers is look and aura. Tommy End looks like a tough guy that can and will kick someone’s face in with a certain charming sleaze that makes you look at him and think “I’d like to get a pint with that guy but, I better watch my wallet”. Star presence and aura is something very hard to teach or train someone to have and Tommy End at this point has it in spades.

 

Tommy is also a very apt tag worker something that was even more on display in the past few months with his ability to work a similar role but with slight tweaks to fit his partner. Working with Michael Dante in “Sumerian Death Squad” End plays the role of the mastermind, experienced-assassin using Dante as his dumb muscle to help him even the odds or at times take an unfair advantage against other teams. Then with Chris Hero as “Heroes Eventually Die” End is the student studying under his mastering using his striking skills to set up his bigger, stronger, more experienced partner/trainer knocking out the competition with more finesse and brute strength.\

 

I find Tommy to be an amazing mix of pinpoint accuracy coming from years of training and focus on his art with wild punk inspired passion showing a controlled chaos and reckless abandon for the safety of others and himself. Tommy is without doubt my favorite current wrestlers to watch. I couldn’t imagine doing a GWE ballot and leaving him off even if he does end up in the bottom 50.

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