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[2017-01-14-ECCW-Ballroom Brawl VII] Kyle O'Reilly vs El Phantasmo

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So here we have Kyle O'Reilly's first match post ROH, a surprise opponent for the ECCW champ in his hometown (and old home promotion). These guys have some history in looking through Google (and YouTube), going back 7 or so years. I thought O'Reilly looked on another level here, and admittedly he probably is. He brought the same strikes and selling that he usually does and I didn't think El P could come close to matching. First 6 minutes is O'Reilly working him over, which is then completely written off for the rest of the match as they transition outside. O'Reilly gets thrown around, the crowd is actually pretty much behind El P despite the surprise. We get two dives from El P to the outside, which looked fine (also to note, the hard cam missing some of the outside action isn't an issue, one can use their imagination - I liked the raw feel of no announcers and camera cuts).


12 minutes in now, we get a "this is awesome" chant that is immediately followed up by an El P rope walk moonsault to the outside which was really nice (now chant!). Back in El P goes up again and I guess is going for some kind of stomp but it looks as awful as the Balor/Rollins SummerSlam spot when he gets grabbed into a submission coming down. Phantasmo finally starts selling like 14 minutes into the match after O'Reilly knees him in the head. To that point, literally everything had been shrugged off, which was glaring to me at least. Really impressive van terminator from El P - clear across the center of the ring. Great spot. Another good sequence followed: Tiger bomb by El P countered into a guillotine choke (tiger bomb on a bigger guy seemed a bit excessive but it's a good reversal spot), which felt like a possible finish, eventually he powered out and countered into a vertical suplex which was really impressive. We get a bunch of strikes and kicks that build to a double KO and then into a pretty decisive finish for O'Reilly: big clothesline (one count, which the crowd didn't really do much for unfortunately), penalty kick (quick two count kickout), brainbuster (two count), into the arm bar for the submission.


I'm right around ***3/4 to **** here. Really good stuff.

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El-P SCREAMS generic indy geek to me in this match. I'm sorry, but that's just how he came across especially by doing Joe's Ole kick. Like, honestly, come on. Kyle O'Reilly is on another level, probably one of the most underrated workers today and one of my favorite guys to come out of ROH in the last five years. I thought the finishing stretch had some decent intensity to it but the first half was just kind of there. Nothing much to write home about. Depending on how much I see this year, this might squeak into a Top 50 so I'll hold off on voting in the MOTY thread for now because it's neither here nor there yet.



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