Fred Yehi vs Colby Corino – TWE Chattanooga (02/13/2016)

Fred Yehi (c) vs Colby Corino

IWC World Championship

02/13/2016

unknown venue, Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States

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(reviewed 01/11/2017) This got a frankly stunning amount of praise from all sorts of people, and although I’ve never really been impressed with Colby, I’m more than willing to watch a much-touted Fred Yehi match. Sadly, this Chattanooga crowd (or at least one dude in particular) is more than a little homophobic and wants you to hear about it, though Yehi thankfully fucks with ‘em for a bit to kick things off. Colby surprises the technical champion in the opening minutes, hanging with him on the mat, though Yehi is rarely ever truly overcome, using his usual mixture of airtight basics and misdirection to stay on top. The pink-clad Colby falters at times, and Yehi does well to cover for him when he does. Colby’s speed and rudimentary highflying earn him a nearfall, and he does well to see Yehi’s offense coming and avoid it after taking it earlier in the match, but some showboating goes south for him, and Yehi takes advantage of it and goes after the kid’s fingers and hand. The cameras don’t catch what exactly Yehi does to Colby’s hand and fingers (which was probably inadvertent but a nice touch all the same, as it adds intrigue as to whether or not the champ cheated in an attempt to keep his belt), but after Colby powders to the outside and wraps his fingers in tape, it’s clear that he’s in serious trouble, and even more so after he’s sent into the ring apron with a back suplex. Back in the ring, Colby tries to make a comeback, getting a pretty good chance from a pair of boots that rock Yehi, but the champ stuffs him and goes to work with his usual stuff. Yehi is great here, selling well for Colby’s comeback attempts and continuing to do so when he shuts the kid right back down, and it gets good reactions from the crowd. Continuing a theme explored earlier in the match, Colby is able to turn things around with his striking and flying, but his hand proves to be an easy target for Yehi to exploit time and again. Eventually, Yehi takes too long climbing the ropes, and Colby is able to hit a mostly sloppy (and semi-dangerous-looking) flurry of moves for a nearfall. When Colby tries to repeat one of the moves, Yehi catches him with an elbow to the back of the head to put them both down for the count. They trade strikes when they make it back to their feet, and Yehi catches the kid with the rolling elbow to win. Far from the blow-away bout I was expecting, this is still a fairly good match with lots to enjoy, but a lot of factors mitigating my enjoyment as well. Colby’s lack of experience (though Cagematch is telling me he’s been working since 2009, which either seems wrong or misleading, because I doubt he’s been working full-time all these years) is on full display here, as his numerous little problems (sloppiness in move execution, inconsistency in body language and selling, occasional lack of direction and assertiveness, bad vocal selling, etc.) add up and weigh on me. Yehi, conversely, was pretty great in this, tight and aggressive in everything he did, leading his young opponent on and taking charge when need be while also being unafraid to let Colby make or break it himself. Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me, but I was rather let down by this match that I was highly recommended because, in the end, it proved to be a fairly one-sided contest.

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