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Daniel Bryan vs. Jeff Hardy (WWE SmackDown 05/22/18)

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#1 ShittyLittleBoots

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 10:01 PM

This was such a super fun, energetic back & forth match. Jeff looked very good w/ all of his stuff & Bryan on the offense was an absolute joy to watch. The knee psychology towards the end ruled & Bryan actually getting the win with a Heel Hook is superb. Bring on Bryan vs. Joe next week! ****



#2 SmartMark15

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 02:11 AM

Another fun Bryan TV main event where just excels at making everything look realistic and legitimate. He even made the early arm work look incredibly tense to make that stuff look interesting. Then they move into sprint mode with the missed and hit dives. Bryan takes a nice (pretty safe) shoulder bump when Hardy comes off the apron then we go into a finishing stretch with some nicely set up finishers, counters, and Bryan gets the win with his awesome new Heel Hook finisher. 

 

***1/2



#3 Matt D

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 06:52 AM

I enjoy first act Daniel Bryan acting like arm-wringer Stan Hansen, whereas Jeff tried to reverse the hold with normal sorts of babyface arm-pulling and Bryan just ate him alive and forced him to do other things to get any offense. Bryan comes off as such a methodological machine on offense now, a real force. Anyone who was worried about him just coming off like another guy due to the booking isn't actually watching the matches. It might just be me, but I'm still hyper-sensitive to every bump in a Bryan match, not even just his. Something like the way Hardy took the feet through the ropes was nasty. Then you see something like the knee-block of the Swanton and wonder just how they manage that without breaking each other. I thought the top rope teases to set up the whisper in the wind were very strong. Just good building block spot creation where everything had an air of danger, made sense, and led right into the prestige spot. I really liked the twist-of-fate stunner and think Hardy should have been using that fifteen years ago as his watered-down variation to set up the Swanton, but his lack of "stuff" after the dodged knee was pretty evident. I wasn't feeling his Ricky Morton roll-ups in the finishing stretch when it's obvious Bryan had so much more in the tank. Again, maybe it's not the best guy to do it against, but establishing a new finishing weapon, just like that, for Bryan is going to make all of his matches even MORE interesting moving forward. Every 2018 Bryan match we get is a gift and a joy. 



#4 CapitalTTruth

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 08:52 AM

Really fun stuff here.  I think Matt D hit the nail on the head with Dragon. It is somewhat on display even moreso in this run, but he puts on master classes in how to construct matches, do little things that set you apart, and work to highlight your opponents strengths. I thought this was put together really nicely. The reverses and counters to keep things more or less neck and neck where classic face v face, and they accented that with Dragon playing the dogged technical master and Matt playing Hardy-Babyface (I don't really know how else to put it). I love Dragon turning the tide with the running dropkick to the knee. The finish with the heel hook caught me off guard a bit, but I liked it a lot.  This was a really solid wrestling match that was very enjoyable. ***3/4



#5 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 08:58 AM

I was live at last night's show in Worcester, MA. Great match like you all said. How was the crowd? I was in a heavily pro-Jeff Hardy section. People actually booed Bryan, kids were chanting No! and one girl said she did not like Bryan. There were a lot of Jeff Hardy chants throughout the arena. The YES! did not feel as explosive as it did in Providence last month (Styles/Bryan vs Rusev Day). Chinks in the armor?

 

I popped huge for the finish because the prospect of Joe vs Bryan is so mouth-watering.  



#6 Matt D

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 09:08 AM

I was live at last night's show in Worcester, MA. Great match like you all said. How was the crowd? I was in a heavily pro-Jeff Hardy section. People actually booed Bryan, kids were chanting No! and one girl said she did not like Bryan. There were a lot of Jeff Hardy chants throughout the arena. The YES! did not feel as explosive as it did in Providence last month (Styles/Bryan vs Rusev Day). Chinks in the armor?

 

I popped huge for the finish because the prospect of Joe vs Bryan is so mouth-watering.  

 

I think a lot of that was his opponent. It's interesting. One of my favorite things about 2018 Bryan is how he channels the YES in the matches themselves. With the Rusev match, it was through sort of a writhing but rhythmic body sell. Here (before the kicks) it was his hands and it didn't really catch on as much as I thought it might. 



#7 nivvad

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 03:02 PM

Fun little match that I didn't expect to be as good as it was, especially for a TV match. Jeff and Bryan had very good chemistry which was surprising to see too. Love Bryan's new heel hook sumbmission too, ***3/4.







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