David Starr vs Zack Sabre Jr
Flyers Skate Zone, Voorhees, New Jersey, United States
(reviewed 09/22/2017) Unsurprisingly, this is real fun. One of the lesser matches between these two, sadly, but that means it’s only “pretty good” instead of “real good” and that’s a fair bit higher than anything else CZW’s putting out this year. The opening grappling is quite solid and establishes that while ZSJ is a top level technician, Starr is just talented enough to make him have to work for his spots, especially in front of this not-quite-hometown crowd. This leads to Zack predictably going after his opponent’s arm, which certainly isn’t a bad strategy considering that Starr’s big moves and especially his two big finishers are arm-based maneuvers. And lo! We have our narrative. Sadly the match doesn’t go much anywhere with that narrative or progress past the level or emotion of “opening grappling”, but it’s enjoyable all the same as these two compliment each other quite nicely: Starr centers Zack and subdues his worst habits while Zack gives Starr quite a number of platforms (selling, grappling, the occasional strike exchange, etc.) on which to shine. What’s more, while this match lacks a greater sense of urgency or edge, the sort-of-flat finish with Zack brilliantly slipping free of the Product Placement and trapping the local boy in his signature European Clutch plays into Starr’s considerable losing streak and greater story about being frustrated with his ability and performances this year, so that’s well and good. I certainly wish it was better, but this is by no means a bad match and is well worth a go if you’re checking out the show.