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Kassius Ohno vs Zack Sabre Jr (Progress Super Strong Style 16 Final - 5/7/2018)


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#1 CapitalTTruth

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:48 AM

Well, I can’t say I expected these two to be in the finals of this tournament.... NJPW contracted Sabre vs a WWE (NXT) contract Ohno in the finals of the biggest indy wrestling tournament in all of Europe, but here we are. The story of the tournament might have been Hero sort of slowly but surely getting his wheels back under him and improving in each round, looking a little more crisp and a little more ready to go.  Sabre was Sabre all weekend, defiant and in people’s faces, being a real prick about everything and beating everyone despite it.  Hero starts hard here and gets going early. Of course he is somewhat slowly broken down until Sabre can start to work the legs. Sabre actually works both legs, more chipping away at each, almost alternating which he worked on. He doesn’t go in for the kill on just one leg like you usually see. He, instead, works over both to just keep him week, especially in the thighs. I wish that was built up more in the commentary. Whenever i see someone work more than one body part I kind of like the logic of it, but it rarely gets talked up and if it gets mentioned it is almost in a questioning manner. It really came back in the pin when Sabre bridges back and Hero can’t use the power in his legs to kick out.  Both men work with a fair bit of urgency and you can see them almost hitting their 2016 stride with one another.  

 

Here is the thing and this is the thing that just kept bugging me a bit. I am very mixed on Sabre’s selective selling, those moments where he just ignores massive strikes to be cocky. In some places I think it makes sense. I reads perfectly to me with what he is trying to do. Him no selling some stuff at the end of the three day tournament on the other hand doesn’t resonate with  me. There is a place he takes a boot to the head and just gets up and attacks Hero. It isn’t really fighting spirit. It isn’t a momentary boost of adrenaline. He just stays up. That can work sometimes (against Walter in Progress and more so in PWG), but other times it feels like it lacks a clear rhyme or reason. Maybe I am just missing the point, but that is that caps this in the very very good range. This is still quality stuff built around one of the better indy feuds of the past decade. It had some low key emotion to it as well. ****1/4



#2 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:10 AM

Can't go wrong with these 2 going against each other. This one had such a different dynamic & vibe than their previous indy meetings, in particular the classic stuff from 2016-2017, but as I mentioned, you can't go wrong with Hero vs. ZSJ. They slugged it out at such a good, energetic pace. Very good tournament finals match. ***3/4



#3 nivvad

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:15 PM

After a pretty alright tournament, the final match thankfully delivered. Chris Hero vs Zack Sabre Jr is my favorite indie rivalry since Danielson vs McGuinness, and is at least in my top 5-10 all time rivalries, so I'm glad to see Hero and Zack go at it once again even if Hero's name was different this time around. I wouldn't say it was the best match between the two, but it was still an awesome battle of Ohno's strikes against Zack's skill that the former knows so well. I would've liked to have seen a more decisive win for Zack, but I'm just glad to see both men have one more match for the time being. If not, then Zack finally ends this amazing feud with a one up victory, ****1/2.






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