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Phil Schneider

[2018-08-11-EVOLVE 110] Darby Allin vs Matt Riddle

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Allin's incredible 2018 run continues, and if this is Riddle's indy swan song, it's a killer one. Riddle was great in this as he came in as the fun loving bro and as the match continued and Allin refused to die, he morphed into the dark side of that character, he was Johnny Lawrence by the end of this match, brutally stomping Darby in the corner while cursing and taunting him, He was brutalizing Allin, and as usual Darby kept coming. Along with the beating he took, Darby took one of the craziest bumps I can remember him taking as he misses a coffin drop from the top right on the apron, ring corner right into his spine. I can't ever remember a small wrestler who is as good at making upsets seem credible, he may be even better at it then Rey Jr., no way he should be able to pin Riddle, but when he does, it makes perfect sense. I loved the finish run, even the one count kick out by Riddle, and then Darby being unfazed and still able to catch him with the Gibson leglock for the pin. Great stuff, Allin is actually doing what Meltzer claims Omega is doing.
 

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Yeah, this match rules and I agree on all points. That Coffin Drop miss onto the ring apron was nuts. Darby has had an amazing year. He's such an amazing underdog being bullied by his opponents who are usually all much bigger than him. The Last Suppler is a simple finisher, yet it matches Darby perfect and looks really good for flash pins.

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I haven't watched a Matt Riddle match since the OTT one vs. Ospreay - he has picked up some annoying indy tendencies in the last 1.5 years or so & that was a match that highlighted that, but here he was 100% THE Matt Riddle that instantly became one of my favorites in 2016. He's on his way out of the independents, but before that he wanted to make sure that Darby Allin will never forget his name - he gave Darby a vicious beating, that only got more & more brutal as Darby kept on surviving. There's nobody in wrestling who takes a beating like Darby, so Matt Riddle in his most vicious form vs. him is an instant hit. ****

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Real good match. Matt Riddle being a massive bully here, showing off his superiority, being cocky at times and very aggressive, his facial expressions in particular. Darby Allen was great here as well, absorbing everything, flopping around everywhere, fighting back; being an awesome sympathetic figure in the match. ***3/4

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Darby's bumping is so absolutely my shit, and not even just his huge bumps like the missed Coffin drop on the apron, but just falling at weird angles from the big Riddle throws in really distinct ways. Riddle maybe takes a cue from flying over the guardrail after missing an attack in a really fun way.

What really elevates this from what I already expected though is that at a certain point Riddle really decides to get angry at Allin in a way that actually gets people to cheer for Darby, which, even when he goes into ultra aggressive mode as he often does, is pretty unusual for him. It works, and this is one of the better Evolve matches of the year for it.

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