Hello everyone and welcome to Random Match Roundup #10! This is the series where I review 5 random matches for your viewing pleasure. Without further ado, lets dive in!
Seth Rollins vs. John Cena – WWE Summerslam 2015
If WWE didn’t ruin any chance of me ever getting invested in their company ever again, this would be a MOTYC. Pretty much everything in this match was phenomenal, from the action, to the story, to the performances, to the way they played off previous World Champions, to even the interference. They went all out with both story and action, and everything went from good to brilliant. First, the action was fast and furious, and the pace was high pretty much from bell to bell. They did high impact and very impressive spots throughout. The best part of that is that they crescendoed to the biggest spots, so the peak of the match wasn’t too early. The story, though, was layered and put this match over the top. Rollins knew he had to beat Cena quick, so he went all out, as fast as he could during the start, hitting everything he could in the shortest amount of time possible. Once Cena finally started to come back, it was Rollins outdoing one of WWE’s best in big moves, one upping him multiple times. While that story was very good, some symbolism, yes symbolism, is one of the best parts. Rollins uses a frog splash, which is just a normal move in his arsenal, but the announcers put it over as him paying homage to Eddie Guerrero. This helps build Rollin’s character, as he wants to be the greatest WWE Champion of all time so bad that he uses the other great champions moves. But the best part of the match was Cena’s figure 4, which he did to show that he wanted to win his 16th world title and be along side Flair atop the mountain. Cena wants to tie Flair’s accomplishment, and to do that he used Flair’s move. At the end, the interference worked, mostly because the crowd was so invested and molten that they popped huge. My only issue is that WWE has punished me for getting invested in their product, so I find it hard to care about any of their matches. This kept me from getting into this match until the finishing stretch, which sucks because the work was phenomenal. Rollins was on an entirely different level before the injury he sustained recently, and I begrudgingly say Cena has had a phenomenal in ring year. I just wish WWE’s idiotic booking team didn’t ruin my investment in matches like this.
Gregory Edwards vs. Jack Maverick vs. Danny Miles – BTW 03/23/13
This match means nothing to anyone but me, since I went to this event live. I wonder if you can guess who I am in the audience? As for the match, it was what it was. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t much. It was only about 7 minutes, but they packed some nice action into it. They rarely fell into the tropes of three ways, like the revolving door one on one match, and had a few interesting spots involving all three competitors. The finish was a bit contrived, and made one of the guys look really stupid, but it doesn’t hurt the match too much. Since it’s so short, I recommend watching it, but it is far from great.
Ricky Marvin vs. KENTA – NOAH Autumn Navigation 2009 Night 1
This is BAR NONE the best sub 2-minute match ever. There is literally no contest. There is story, fast paced action, and hard-hitting spots. The story, quite frankly, is brilliant. Marvin, losing a match with KENTA earlier that year (which was 4*+), knew he couldn’t beat Kenta in a long match. Therefore, he goes all out before the bell even rings, trying to beat KENTA with high impact moves. Once KENTA catches him, Marvin constantly tries for rollups with some tremendous near falls and smooth reversals. The finish, without spoiling anything, is brutal, which fits because it would take brutality to take down a wrestler of each of their quality in under five minutes. Honestly, there is literally no reason to not watch this. Its 2 minutes very well spent.
Mikaze vs. AJ Cruise – CTWE Madness In March IV
This match is the embodiment of the word meh. Nothing in this match stood out, and it was kind of a mess throughout. There was never any structure or psychology; it was merely a string of moves and sequences leading to a pinfall. In a match with such an emphasis on the spots, it must be crisp and innovative to stand out. It was crisp in certain spots, but there were too many sloppy moments for this to be really good. On top of that, everything felt like it was at half speed, and neither guy was really able to pick it up. I had never seen AJ before, but Mikaze had a great match with Taka Suzuki the very next month. Either both guys had an off night. Suzuki carried Mikaze in their match, or AJ isn’t very good, because this match was painfully average.
Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen – ROH Glory by Honor XI
The balancing act in this match of storyline, the match’s story, the action itself, and the characters is something to behold. Everyone involved in this match should be commended, as it did all of the jobs it needed to; it got Elgin more over on his journey to the main event, it established Steen’s hatred of everything and his rejection of authority, it entertained the crowd with mind boggling action, and insane nearfalls, and furthered both ROH vs. Steen and Roderick Strong’s break from the House of Truth. Nothing ever out-shined anything else, and all aspects of this match had a chance to shine. Early, we saw Elgin’s power and fire shine during the brawling. Then, Steen’s immense charisma and entertaining character carried the heat segment. Afterwards, Elgin was allowed to show more fire in the comeback, while Steen showed his veteran instincts and intelligent mind by being just one step ahead of Elgin’s bull in a china shop mentality. I could keep going with the masterful structure of the match, but know that it is able to balance all these aspects perfectly, and never feels overwhelming. It is also brilliant because everything is not used in the finish, which would make the finish feel convoluted and bloated. Instead, Strong is dealt with midway through, Steen’s rejection of authority is highlighted just before the finish, etc. Finally, the most impressive part of this match was Steen & Elgin’s perfect grasp on building a match to the finish. They start slow, yet compelling, and, with every change in offense, they progressed slightly closer to ending the match. Nothing ever feels rushed, and the long build blows off in an epic finishing stretch that encapsulates the whole match with exciting offense and nearfalls. The only issue I could find is that the finishing stretch may be a little bloated, and probably could have been cut down. The middle lost the crowd a tad, and could have been shortened to keep the finish molten throughout. That is a minor gripe, though, as the rest of this match is 5* material. This was a masterful balancing, and if there isn’t something here that you appreciate then this hobby may not be for you.
Well, that was Random Match Roundup #10! Thank you for reading, whether it be your first review of mine you have read or the tenth. I plan to return to PWG’s BOLA 2015 for the final stage when time allows, as I have already began watching it, and then, finally, I shall return to Starrcade. Expect both those out by mid-December. Also, I just posted an article for Free Pro Wrestling, which was a review of Yuji Okabayashi vs. Suguru Miyatake. I really enjoy writing for such a great site, and hope you check it out as well. To contact me, my contacts and social media are here or in the sidebar to the right. Otherwise, thanks for reading and I will see you next time!
Best Match of the Roundup: Kevin Steen vs. Michael Elgin
Worst Match of the Roundup: Mikaze vs. AJ Cruise