Donovan Dijak vs John Klinger
Markthalle, Hamburg, Germany
(reviewed 01/08/2017) I didn’t plan on reviewing this match at this present time, but after it appeared on my buddy Harrison’s Year-End Awards, I thought that maybe I should give it a go, and with this show delivering quite a lot so far, it’s likely that this is something special. They go right at it with big strikes at the bell, quickly brawling to the floor for moves on the stage and apron. Both men are feeling it early on in this match, and they do well to incorporate selling into their actions as things continue. As Dijak beats down the former Bad Bones, the crowd gets SUPER behind Klinger, literally standing and singing for him, giving their man the support he needs to make a brief comeback before being cut down again. Eventually Klinger is able to turn things around with his combination of speed and strength, topping things off with a missile dropkick. Dijak is able to catch the native with a thunderous chokebreaker to take control again, following it up with a moonsault off the top for two as the crowd chants. Things remain fairly back-and-forth here at the end with a few solid falsies, with great facials from Klinger and better acting from Dijak. Fired up by the packed Hamburg crowd singing for him, Klinger reverses the Feast Your Eyes into a crossface for the win. This… is a lowkey fantastic match. I don’t have any great emotional connection to either man (though I like them both quite a lot), and while exciting, the spotty action here isn’t totally compelling. But what a match this is. The aforementioned spots are thrilling and occasionally breathtaking (Dijak’s Tombstone late in the match being especially notable in that regard), and the crowd’s sheer determination in willing their local man to victory is so infectious that you can’t help but to buy into everything these two men do. This is some primo, top shelf heavyweight spotfest wrestling here, just wonderful stuff.