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Superstar Sleeze

[2019-11-11-MLW-Fusion 83] Low-Ki vs Timothy Thatcher

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Low-Ki vs Timothy Thatcher - MLW Fusion Episode 83 11/11/19

WOW! Does this one live up to the hype or what?!? I was shocked by the size discrepancy even though I have seen both men live I thought they were about the same size. I guess I thought Thatcher was smaller and Ki was bigger. I looked it up and it was mentioned that Thatcher is 6' 3" I cant believe he is 3 inches taller than me. 

The match is a great throwback to the days where matches were built around body contact and limb control, not stupid running spots. Loved the collar & elbow tieups and loved how they built from the feeling out process into the meat of the match. Thatcher won a Greco-Roman Knucklelock bridging sequence (check out that knee to the head) that earned him control over Ki. Ki tried to fight from the back but Thatcher caught him and turned into a Single Leg Crab. Thatcher pretty much owned Low Ki and was transitioned at will from limb to limb with different jointlocks. He looked great doing it. Often, I think of Low-Ki as a great worker on top, dictating pace and offense. Here he was great underneath selling different body parts and also selling the emotion of being overwhelmed. He sold that he was in a desperate situation. I liked how Ki kept trying to use strike to re-assert himself in the match but to no avail because Thatcher can play that game. So it made the strike exchanges make sense and mean something. I really liked the suplex struggle. Thatcher was channeling Fujiwara with his snarling and heavy breathing. The Tidal Wave was a great desperation Hail Mary from Ki that ended having him rocked by a HUGE Thatcher European Uppercut. Ki sold like a million bucks. Anybody has watched enough Puro and this feels like an Old School UWF or NJPW match knows  more often than not "He who controls the match is he who loses the match". So I fully expected a Ki victory, but they still caught me off guard. Thatcher went for a catapult, a big mistake as Ki jumped on the middle rope and came right back down with a DOUBLE STOMP! I marked out hard for that. What a GENIUS transition! The first time Ki got real offense. I expected that to lead to the finish, but Ki got cocky and started showboating with his strikes leading to a nice throw by Thatcher to get a nearfall. Then Thatcher went for some sort of Suplex, but Ki crawled along his back and got an inverted Triangle Choke that looked gnarly as fuck for the submission. What a cool finish! 

Total Throwback to Original UWF/80s NJPW, in a way early ROH/JAPW with Ki and Danielson. Tons of body contact not a lot of movement. Incredibly compelling, hard work & struggle and tremendous escalation. The Uppercut on the Tidal Wave and the Double Stomp were two stand out spots and the finish was just perfect for their match. Check this out! ****1/4

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Solid TV match with some cool spots. Haven't seen Low Ki in ages but he looked pretty good here, while Thatcher stayed in the driver's seat for much of the match. Ki cutting out the leg to get the drop toehold was neat, and the finish was unexpected. Didn't care for the near count out and that Contra promo in the middle of the match didn't help. 

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I also was stunned at the size discrepancy between Low Ki and Timothy Thatcher. The only Thatcher match I had seen prior to his signing with WWE was the match he had vs Davey Boy Smith Jr on a later episode of MLW Fusion and obviously, DBS Jr is pretty tall but I didn't expect the gap to be that obvious between Ki and Thatcher.

I wasn't that bothered by the CONTRA promo right in the middle of the match but I can understand how it could be the case for some people, especially when we're witnessing between both guys. It's so great to see Thatcher work meticulously throughout a match and it was awesome to see Low Ki being put in a situation where he's not really the aggressor in a match and Thatcher dictating more of the pace. That finishing sequence was really dope with Thatcher being able to counter the Dragon Clutch and Low Ki improvising his way into that modified Triangle Choke.

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