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[2017-10-07-OTT-Third Year Anniversary] Mike Bailey vs Matt Riddle


Rah
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I'll admit it was Mike that piqued my interest when this was proposed to me by Grimmas, as we share names, but Riddle by-far astounded me with his performance here. Was Regal watching backstage that he put his working boots on?

 

Look, I think he can come off as comical and doesn't put much weight behind his offence but, my god, did he decimate Mike here. I lost count of how many times I grabbed my head in wincing shock at the blows Riddle was landing on Mike. The running elbows were nasty, the knees to the jaw were killer and he damn near crippled the Canadian with his suplexes. Hell, at one point Riddle dumps Bailey on his noggin and, as both men lie motionless, the commentator responds "this is what these men live and breathe for...competition!" - mate, I really don't think Mike's gonna keep breathing if he takes any more of those.

 

I enjoyed the growth in narrative, from Mike hanging with (or, even, out-kicking) Matt to him being the plucky babyface working from underneath. It added a layer to the match that this definitely needed to give the spots context and meaning (a context I don't think the early Canadian Destroyers et al had). Not to sing praises just for one camp, I do believe Mike has some great kicks of his own - even if his standing repeated kicks look more like high knees out of a Beach Body exercise programme. Riddle would let Bailey have just enough of a hope section before cutting him off, again, with something beautiful. Moreover, he enhanced Bailey's come-backs with some great personality. I'm a sucker for cocksure trash-talking in my wrestling, so I smirked at the Callihan middle-finger spot that lead to Riddle eating a huuuuge kick.

 

However, I don't think this match was without some glaring flaws. As alluded to earlier, I found the traded (!!) Canadian Destroyers a bit comically induced rather than serious efforts to put their opponent away. It felt like an idea spawned from the belief of "what spot will pop the crowd?" rather than "how can we pop the crowd and engage them?" if that difference is at all clear. Equally, I thought Riddle's selling was almost non-existent at points, and that's sadly a thing he has against him. He pops up far too eagerly after big moves for me, and he is too overtly obvious in setting up his opponent's moves. It's quite backyarder, at points and it takes me out of the match. Which is a pity as this had some truly great ideas and presentations. The 450-Triangle Choke false-finish was great and logically set-up. They lost me, however, with Mike's Frankensteiner and double-stomp following simply because Riddle made it appear far too choreographed. Though I'm probably the old man yelling at clouds as this spawned a "fight forever~!" chant.

 

All in all, a really fun match between someone I really hope gets to WWE (as he has the tools to be great with the right mentoring) and a wrestler with my namesake. I'm really glad I made time for this and I appreciate Grimmas recommending it to me!

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  • GSR changed the title to [2017-10-07-OTT-Third Year Anniversary] Mike Bailey vs Matt Riddle

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