Tommaso Ciampa vs Ethan Page
Orlando Downtown Recreation Complex, Orlando, Florida, United States
(reviewed 06/01/2016) I love Ciampa no matter what he’s doing. I like Page as a character (outside of EVOLVE) and as a performer but often find his singles matches to be lackluster. Let’s see how this goes. They start with their usual stuff, with some strikes and muggin’ from Ciampa and some outsmarting by Page until Ciampa takes control with his sheer intensity. Ciampa’s charisma really shines here, and he works the crowd into a frenzy with just a pair of running kneelifts. Dude’s such a talent. Ciampa keeps control for a while with his natural hostility, and when Page makes his comeback, because he’s just making a plain old comeback with no chicanery or anything, his offense just feels kind of weak in comparison (aside from a great cutter and powerbomb combo he does later on). It’s not a big issue, though, as they trade moves back and forth for most of the match regardless. What’s more, I like how these guys bump and sell, so if they’re just doing a bunch of moves and they’re doing them well, I don’t hate it. Page kicks out of a second-rope Schwein, though, and I kind of hate that, as it feels real unnecessary in a midcard, storyline-less singles match. The finishing stretch of this match is pretty hot, though, as they’re just throwing their bombs at each other, and Page nearly falls out of the ring after hitting a boot, which I really love. Ciampa wins with a big running knee. Not a great match by any means, and it’d benefit from being shorter and having some sort of story or narrative, but it’s just an alright match all in all. Nothing to sneer at.