Dezmond Xavier vs Shane Strickland
American Legion Post #308, Reseda, California, United States
(reviewed 09/01/2017) I disliked this match back when I first saw it a few months ago but boy do I dislike it even more now. Like I mentioned back in the Ricochet vs Lio Rush review, this is a common matchup/match type wherein a young highflyer and an older, more experienced highflyer go at it and try to one-up each other. There’s a sort of narrative here in that these two are trying to impress in their PWG debut and that sort of explains why there’s so much… effort here, but what these two have in heart they lack in execution. This match mostly flits between convoluted, poorly-done spots that don’t work or get much of a reaction and uninteresting, slow-moving control segments that don’t play to the strengths of either of these men. When they do actually connect with these aforementioned convoluted spots, they’re usually pretty exciting but don’t much work within the context of the match. They stand out in a way that screams “ok, this is where we do a cool thing because cool things is what this crowd likes” without giving any thought to the idea of where it fits within the match or how it serves a greater story or theme. It’s just spots for the sake of spots, and being ten years into wrestling (hardly even a long time, comparatively) in the late 2000’s and into the 2010’s, chances are you’re not impressing me with anything new or anything mindblowing at this point.