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