Sami Callihan vs “Speedball” Mike Bailey
Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, New Jersey, United States
(reviewed 01/08/2017) I remember being fucking stoked for this match when it was booked, but strangely, I don’t remember much about it. A bit of quick chaining and reversing all around illustrates that things are fairly even between these two men, but Speedball’s kicks and flying take the Buckeye off guard, and Callihan is only able to take control when the young Canadian celebrates after a dive. Speedball does what he can to hang with Callihan on the floor, matching him in speed and striking, but attempts at his signatures back in the ring end with him folded in half from a half nelson suplex. Callihan takes his control segment a little too slowly, allowing Speedball to make a comeback with some misdirection and flying, with an Orihara moonsault taking a lot out of both men. Back in the ring, they trade shots back and forth, and Speedball hits his moonsault knee drop after a failed O’Connor roll. Callihan taunts his opponent from below, reversing one of his kicks into a bicycle kick of his own, topping it off with a wild dragon screw neck whip. A powerbomb kickout is transitioned into a stretch muffler, but Speedball is able to reverse the leverage into a pin attempt of his own. Both men are put down for the count a moment later with tandem bicycle kicks. Speedball hits a Spanish fly reversal when Callihan comes charging at him afterward, following it up with the running corkscrew SSP, but he misses the SSP knee drop off the top. Sensing his opportunity, Callihan goes after the young man’s knee now, stripping off his knee pad and attacking it directly. Speedball’s usual flurry of kicks turns things around, but it and the SSP knee drop hurt him enough that it can’t get the immediate victory. Callihan avoids another flurry of kicks, dropping the kid with a reverse gin-n-tonic that Speedball kicks out of at one, and Callihan stuffs him with the falling forearm for the win. Solid match, all in all. There are a few goofy moments coming from heavy-handed attempts at crowd-pleasing, but they’re far less severe and far less numerous here than the usual barrage of them in places like PWG. I wish this match was a little more heated or a little tighter, because these two certainly have a fantastic 12 minute match in them, and stretching it out to 17 makes it a little less enjoyable. Still, there’s lots to like here, even if there’s not a lot to love.