Mark Haskins vs Lio Rush
American Legion Post #308, Reseda, California, United States
(reviewed 09/05/2017) Quite like both of these guys, as they’ve got a sort of presence that most of their contemporaries don’t and manage to avoid most of the pitfalls of the style du jour while still providing lots of exciting junior heavyweight action. They work hard, put a lot of effort into what they do, and are almost always great. Here, with two of those sorts of guys and the need to appease a crowd that is bloodthirsty for spots, they run into some real problems being either derivative or off their mark. Still, a good 85% of this match is real good, with Haskins’ ground game wearing away at the highflyer Rush while both try to outspeed and outmaneuver the other on one of the biggest stages of their respective careers. Even when Rush is throwing kicks that miss his opponent by a foot or even when both men are moving too fast to even let spots register, there’s enough surrounding these low points to keep this match solidly in a place where I wholeheartedly recommend it.