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Member Since 30 Nov 2013
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The Elite vs Matt Sydal, ACH and Kushida (ROH 14th Anniversary Show 02/26/16)

05 February 2018 - 12:45 AM

I guess this is The Elite's touring match? Basically, this is them doing their shtick and the crowd eating it up. What's funny to me is that with all the comedy and wink-wink, nudge-nudge shit going on, they just have to get in all the crazy shit they do, and it's the other team that has to take the bumps for the most part. It went from crotch chops, Too Sweet's and ACH's Austin tribute spot (which was the funniest part of the match), right into Matt Sydal taking an avalanche German on the ramp after that headscissor/superkick combo. 


Anyway, this is what is and I don't think it really warrants any deeper thought than that. This is big fun for their fans, but if you ain't into The Elite, ain't nothin' here that's gonna change your mind.




Ole Anderson vs Magnum TA 12/28/85 WCW

19 January 2018 - 06:00 PM

This isn't the best Ole Anderson match, but it may be the definitive one. If it isn't, it certainly displays all of his strengths as a singles worker. 


While the match doesn't have much of the classic Anderson "pick a limb and ruin it" strategy, it has Ole's selling, his mean-ass heel tactics, and simple, punishing offense. He brings Magnum down to Mother Earth with a hair pull to win a top wristlock, he's got a sick knee lift to a kneeling TA, eye rakes, slaps, body slams, and some basic armwork. All of it looks good and looks like it hurts. 


I really dig the atmosphere of the match. Ole and Magnum are within punching and kicking distance the whole time, and coupled with the confines of the Techwood studio, this match really has the feel of a close-quarters slugfest. Ole even busts out a couple corner bear hugs, which damn near gives it an MMA cage clinch feel, 15 years ahead of time. 


While this isn't a carry job, Ole makes this match. He's not out there throwing bombs or doing a bunch of stuff to fill time, but he's got a lot more variety to his offense than Magnum does. He completely established the structure of the match. His selling is off the charts, too. One particular instance that illustrates the difference in work between he and Magnum is after Magnum does some arm work, Ole shakes it off and holds his arm a little when he transitions to offense. It's nothing huge, just a little touch that Magnum missed after Ole's armwork. 


Ole also sells the exhaustion and punishment of the match incredibly, too. It's subtle, but take a look at his face any time he's on the receiving end of Magnum's flurries of punches. He's not wincing or hamming it up like Arn would. Rather, it's a look of "I'm a tough motherfucker, but this SUCKS and it hurts and he's wearing me out." 


To Magnum's credit, he also sells the exhaustion of the match really well. Where he falters is that 80% of his offense is punching. He punches for face shine, he punches to transition, and then he keeps on punching. He doesn't bust out a drop kick or a slam until well after the first commercial break. A little more variety here would have been nice, especially in the transition department. Were it not for Ole, this match would not have been anywhere near as entertaining. He punches his ass off, too, but he carries the action with his offense. 


I don't want to spoil how it ends for those who haven't seen it, but I thought it was a good way to tie in the burgeoning Four Horsemen versus, well, damn near everyone feud. It was also a good way to keep them both looking strong in a champion vs champion match where one guy definitely ain't losing. 


This is a really, really good TV match, and a fine example of what Ole is capable of. I'm gonna have to go back through the 4 Horsemen set just to find more Ole singles matches.