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[2018-01-13-EVOLVE 98] Darby Allin vs Zack Sabre Jr


ShittyLittleBoots
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EVOLVE has been building Darby super well coming into the match. Here the match was about him trying to hang with Zack in non-flying, pure technical wrestling style - and that certainly didn't go too well for the lad. Zack pretty much destroyed him for all the match, brutalizing him w/ his amazing offense. Darby sold that fantastically, bringing the intensity & emotion w/ his body language. I thought the ending was fantastic too, and set up a potential amazing re-match between the 2. I definitely want to see that after this fantastic 1st chapter between them. ****

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tremendous match. Modern day version of Fuchi v. Kikuchi with stellar performances from both guys. Out of this world stuff from Allin, he is a guy who made his rep for taking insane bumps, so it is pretty incredible he could pull off a main event match with basically no bumps at all. Not only did he not take some crazy spill, he basically took two flat back bumps all match. Allin comes out and tries to catch Sabre quickly with some lighting fast roll ups, but Sabre quickly takes control and starts torturing Allin. He was twisting his body in some vicious ways, manipulating elbows and wrist, I mean gross stuff. Allin is super flexible and a really charismatic seller, you totally buy the pain etched on his face, and the stubborn willingness to go farther then anyone should to get a win. I loved Sabre as a technician in this, he had awesome counters for both the coffin drop and last supper (Allin's Gibson leglock rollup), and I loved how that composure slipped as Allin refused to go down. We get a couple of really persuasive Allin near falls, and going into this match not knowing the results, I bit on the code red totally, and then the finish is gruesome with Sabre transitioning from submission hold to submission hold kicking a prone Allin in the head until the ref has to stop it. Great stuff, hell of a match for EVOLVE to start the year on.

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This was great. I like Darby a lot, but I am not too high on ZSJ as I feel a lot of his stuff comes off to exhibition-y, however that's not the case here. Darby does a great job working from underneath the majority of the match and using his aerial attack and quicker pacing to try and pull off a flash pin or submission on ZSJ who's built as the superior grappler. ZSJ does a great job at using his grappling based offense and Darby looks like a contortionist getting bent in all type of painful submissions. That's pretty much the tone of the majority of the match. ZSJ strikes usually look terrible, but here he didn't throw that many aside from some pretty neat looking slaps. Darby also punching and slapping his himself to try and fire himself up was a great visual. His fiery comeback was great too. The finishing stretch was neat as they avoided going into overkill and they kept Darby looking like a lunatic as he refused to tap out despite getting his arms all brutally twisted up and having the referee stopping the match instead. Great stuff.

***3/4

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Killer match. I'm still finding my feet with Sabre, but this was the first truly awesome performance of his that I've seen. It's the first time I've seen Allin in any shape or form, and I wasn't sure what I was expecting from him but this wasn't really it. He was pretty great here too, though. His roll-ups out the gate were really sharp and fluid and I like that he tried to take it to the mat with Sabre. He was never going to win like that, but I bought him being too stubborn to actually know it. The story of someone trying to prove himself by taking on an opponent at his own game can sometimes come off as forced, but this didn't and a lot of it was down to Allin's selling and wild reactions. Sabre just abused him for like 85% of the match. Any advantage Allin managed to take was fleeting, as Sabre would continually grab him and torture him. Some of the joint manipulation was absurd, bending an elbow here, fingers there, twisting a wrist, digging knuckles into ribs, moving onto an ankle, driving a knee hard into the mat, often doing two or three things at once. There was a point where he'd tied Allin up in some preposterous fashion and afterwards he celebrated by flexing his flimsy biceps like a big idiot and it ruled. Allin was great trying to fight out of all this, punching himself in the face like he was trying to deviate all that pain from having his limbs contorted to a spot of his choosing. He was coming out of this hurt, but it would be on his terms. The longer it went the more condescending Sabre became, kicking and slapping Allin in the face as the commentators kept noting how out of character it was. You could see him growing annoyed, but Allin wouldn't quit. Maybe it's because he's a moron, but he didn't know how to and eventually it led to openings where he almost scored that upset. The finish being the most brutal piece of misery Sabre inflicted upon him was a pretty fitting way to cap the whole thing off.

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  • 1 month later...

I thought this was fun, but not much more than that, and certainly not a MOTY calibre match. It's pretty much a squash for Sabre, and that's fine considering their respective positions in the company. it's nice that Sabre sells his neck so well when Darby hits the DDT and Crucifix bomb, but, at no point did I think for a second that Darby had a prayer of pulling this off. If Phil's comment about Darby being more of a bumper is accurate (This is only the second match of his I've seen). then it's no surprise that he and Sabre don't mesh as well as Sabre and WALTER did in PWG.

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  • GSR changed the title to [2018-01-13-EVOLVE 98] Darby Allin vs Zack Sabre Jr

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