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[2002-06-15-MLW-Genesis] Vampiro vs Christopher Daniels


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Daniels is the only guy in the tournament that wasn’t a former WCW or ECW ‘name’ (I know he was in WCW briefly, but he was essentially a guy that was making his name on the Indies). Because of being a key part of the first few months of ROH – there’s probably a fair crossover with the crowd from the early ROH Murphy Rec shows – there’s a buzz when he comes out and the crowd are behind him in this match despite him ostensibly being the heel. Vamp has lost the dreadlocks and face paint from his WCW run here, and Joey Styles on commentary is trying to put over the story of him being a more serious character and training in MMA.

In the early exchanges there is a lot of mat work, and it’s wrestled at a very deliberate pace. Perhaps surprisingly – given he was coming off a run in WCW where he was involved in lots of garbage matches and hokey supernatural storylines – Vamp looks good in the mat work and he more than holds his own with Daniels. You can tell that there’s probably a mix in the crowd between fans who had been going to the early ROH shows and were starting to get into more technical wrestling and those that had been ECW fans, as you can sense some getting restless at the beginning but it never spills over into any “boring” chants.

Daniels is so smooth in his movement and exchanges and you can already see how polished he is. The match is fairly low key until Vampiro takes it to the outside, where as more of a brawler he has the advantage. It’s clear that MLW is going down the ECW route of not really having DQs as Vamp uses a chair and then the timekeepers hammer to hit Daniels low. As I mentioned, I think Vampiro was meant to be the face here, but it’s Daniels who the crowd seems to be behind especially when he starts to bust out some of his big moves like the Best Moonsault Ever. This gets a good nearfall, before Vampiro takes the match with a belly to belly suplex off the top rope. (** ¾)

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