The Orpheum (Ybor City, FL)
Whereas Nese and Barreta had the framework of a good match that simply went too far, there is no such framework to be found here. Fox and Richards go at it full-tilt from the opening bell and the result is high-energy 20-minute romp that fails to be more than simply a collection of moves. Stylistically, this is more comparable to the Danny Cannon vs. Reed Bentley match from Indiana earlier this month than Nese and Barreta.
At my core, I am an optimist – a glass half full kind of guy. So let me point out that that Fox and Richards are in remarkable condition as they basically go full tilt for 15+ minutes in this one. I also thought the spot where AR Fox kept defiantly sitting up rather than letting Davey bring him to his feet was an effective “fighting spirit” spot without going overboard. The rest though was a pure sprint with a lot moves and little substance.
Richards often gets chastised for that kind of stuff, like running through moves (and big moves at that) with little rhyme or reason. He does do that, but if that was his only problem that would be one thing. The problem is that he just does not have that great of offense and even if we put pacing aside, he still shows very little that sticks out as memorable. Fox can be okay, but Davey Richards is perhaps the worst kind of opponent for him – someone that will exploit his worse tendencies rather than reeling them in.
Spot Fest | Skippable | Hype
The Orpheum (Ybor City, FL)
The first five or so minutes provide a glimpse of just what Chris Hero can bring to the US Indies on his second time through. He controls the early-goings with a slow and simple build that helps set the foundation for the rest of the match. Hero shows off some interesting mat work that eats up some time without ever feeling as time-filler. Many US Indy matches currently suffer from a lack of a solid start – matches tend to jump right into the body more often than not, which means everything gets sped up. The near falls happen in the body and the ending stretch descends into overkill. Hero’s early work in this match keeps that from being an issue.
Really, the entire match is a nice glimpse into how solid of a veteran worker Chris Hero has become. Ricochet is very talented and likely the best high flier left on the Indies but he benefits from Hero’s guidance in this match. The match has a nice pace to it. Combine it with Hero and Ricochet’s athletic abilities and you are going to get at least a good match every single time.
US Indie | Watchable | Quality
The Orpheum (Ybor City, FL)
Full Impact Pro World Heavyweight Championship
“If a little is great and a lot is better, than way too is just about right.” – Mae West
Trent Barreta’s FIP Heavyweight title defense versus Tony Nese that opened EVOLVE 25 has gotten a lot of praise some circles.
The aim of the match was pretty straight forward. Nese spent a good bulk of the match on offense. It was a showcase for what he can do athletically in the ring. Barreta fought from behind and survived some sticky situations. It was – in some ways – your classic title match where the challenger gets to shine despite losing while the champion still comes out strong by virtue of a hard fought victory. All of the wrestling was smooth and the match was never boring or repetitive. The live crowd got into the near falls and both guys came out of the match looking strong. Both guys took some nasty bumps, including Trent being pulled off the top rope and smacking the back of his head right on the top turnbuckle.
The offense – on a move by move basis – was fine, too. Some of it was very good. However, there was just simply too much of it. Hence, the Mae West quote. In this case, too much was simply too much.
The match reached a point – like all matches do – where it appears to be reaching a climax. As a viewer, the alarm goes off in your head and you get ready for the finishing stretch. Only sometimes – such as in this match – that finishing stretch does not come immediately. Around or a little passed the 15 minute mark, Trent made a comeback that included a deathvalley driver on the apron and deadlift German suplex. Both moves looked killer. They upped the ante significantly from what had come prior. That is usually a surefire sign that the match is reaching its pinnacle and the finish is coming in short order.
A flurry of action was still left to come, however. This included – but was not limited to – a turnbuckle power bomb, top rope German suplex, a couple super kicks, a reverse hurricanrana with the wrestler’s head being spiked into the mat, and more. The match reached a high point somewhere around the DVD spot. A match should wrap up at the peak, not flat line and continue on for several additional minutes which is what happened here. If you spend the last several minutes of a match wondering when it will end, it went on too long.
On a macro scale, this is a formula that is largely unsustainable. There will be nights where these two don’t click like they did here. There will be nights where a jaded or simply distracted crowd will not buy into what they are doing. What will Barreta and Nese do then? Hit MORE big moves for near falls? There is a law of diminishing returns. Getting a crowd to react because so many big moves are being kicked out of is not a method that can be reasonably sustained over a long period of time.
In pro wrestling – as this match demonstrates – too much is almost always too much.
US Indie | Watchable | Hype