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[2016-05-27-NJPW-Best of the Super Juniors 23] Ricochet vs Will Ospreay

Superstar Sleeze

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Am I blind? How is there not a thread for this match. I feel like this is the most famous match from 2016. 

Ricochet vs Will Ospreay - NJPW 5/27/16

Dragon Lee, Kamaitachi don't be bringing that shit in my house! This is the real, good shit. I am of the opinion is much, much harder to have a great spotfest than it is a traditional pro wrestling match. The traditional structure of shine-heat-comeback-finish is an almost bulletproof formula. When you do decide to freestyle it, man you better be fucking good. These two are really good.

In my opinion, the issue that modern wrestling faces is that the wrestlers are being torn in two directions. On one hand, they want to go out and dazzle. They want to bring the action and the workrate. On the other hand, they want to stay true to the selling and psychology. The wrestling fans themselves are pulling these wrestlers in two. It was almost a brainwashing in the 1990s that bad wrestling has two components 1. Restholds 2. Blowing off selling. For the most part when people complain about wrestling it is one of those two things. It is quite silly honestly because it is all context dependence.

Restholds make total sense when a babyface is blowing up a heel with constant action during the shine and then heel grinds the match to a halt not just lean on the babyface but to catch his own breath (Arn Anderson was a master of this and of course the famous Sleepers match is a great example). Restholds can be logical and fulfilling spots in a match. What people are actually complaining about is laziness. When a heel has nothing better to do than throw on a rear chinlock. There was no exciting shine. It is just all the heel has got. Or they bemoaning an inconsequential hold that is meaningless. Now we have swung in the opposite directions. Highspots that are inconsequential and meaningless. Just like in those rear chinlocks, I zone out during these feats of athleticism because they are presented so poorly.

In this match, these two had two things going for them. One they present their shit so much better than everyone else. You know what the HIGHspots are because they clue you in that this is going to be a big fucking deal. Then on top of that there, highspots are actually HIGHSpots. They stand out and make you say oh shit! Ospreay's Flying Space Tiger Drop and Dragonrana on the floor were fucking incredible. I loved Ricochet's twisting dive to the outside. The missed 630 was eye-popping. The martial arts kicks were phenomenal. The Flip DDT (which my brother invented on our couch in 2005 using a stuffed bear) was so cool for the family connection. Hell the flying Ace Crusher looked great. This was a breath-taking spotfest and a collection of really amazing stuff. It does not stand out as one of my all-time favorite spotfests...here's why...

While they leaned into having a spotfest...they couldnt bring themselves to go full bore because what's the second cardinal sin of pro wrestling: blowing off selling. Clearly there were no restholds in this. In order to have a great match, they need sell. They have to. Right? NO! So many problems in pro wrestling would stop if wrestlers stopped selling! Just dont do it. It is pointless if you are going to do thus style of match. You should register. 100% definitely do that. But stop acting like Ricky Steamboat or Ricky Morton. Why are there are so many glazed over eyes? Why is everyone struggling to their feet? Why is everyone gasping for breath? Just register, bro. That's actually what makes the 80s and 90s so good is that everyone registered and saved the selling for when it mattered. We got brainwashed into thinking selling is everything but there are different levels to selling. Stop selling! Just register! That's what dropped this match down was you could tell was their desire to make it "epic" through selling, but it was overselling. It undercut the match both from a tempo stand point and the offense. The match succeeds when the tempo is up once you start doing "epic selling" you lose me because that's not the match you are having. 

Breath-taking match, really entertaining, I enjoyed this a lot, but what's holding it back was they were not 100% committed to the spotfest. They wanted to have it both ways and have that traditional epic match which in their minds requires dramatic, epic selling. Brutha, all you needed was a register. ****




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