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ShittyLittleBoots

[2002-06-22-ROH-Road to the Title] American Dragon vs Doug Williams

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Very matwork & submission heavy, which was to be expected from this pairing. It's some very good stuff -- the dynamic of young American Dragon having to fight from underneath against the veteran Doug Williams & his many tricks was pretty charming. Good sense of competition, fun dynamic, great work by both men involved, a very good match! ***1/2

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This is a really good match, with fantastic grappling and matwork between the two. As SLB has pointed out, there's a really nice little story line and dynamic running throughout with Dragon, who at this point in his ROH run had been able to dominate guys in his matches when it came to technical wrestling, coming up against someone in Williams that has more experience and that has the British/WOS counters that Dragon struggles to be able to counter. Williams dominates a lot of the match, which really gets him over with the crowd with lots of impressed reactions to the traditional British style of wrestling that a lot may not have been familiar with. Interestingly Dragon would go on to pick up a lot of that style and add it to his repertoire when he would do extended tours of the UK in the coming years. In this one he plays a great fiery babyface. again as SLB notes, fighting from underneath. At the time it seemed like an upset when Williams went over, but it established him well as someone towards the top of the crowd in the first couple of years of ROH and someone that seemed like a big deal when he came over. Really enjoyed this one, with great exchanges between the two. (*** 3/4)    

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The ROH commentators claim this is going to be a mat classic, so of course they work more of a hard-hitting, high impact match. It's still pretty cool, and Williams is now on my radar as a guy worth watching. 

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