Zack Sabre Jr vs Jack Sexsmith
Super Strong Style 16 Tournament 2017 Quarter-Finals
Electric Ballroom, Camden, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 10/02/2017) After triumph comes tragedy. Sexsmith makes his entrance here with his arm all wrapped up and says that after the Gibson match the day before, he’s hyper-extended his elbow and there’s a tear in his bicep. Despite the doctors saying that he shouldn’t wrestle, he demands to have this match. He’s fiery in the opening moments of this match but knows that he’s way, way outmatched here. The victory over Gibson was a hard-fought contest against one of the best in England, but Zack’s a wrestler on the world level, one of the absolute best on the planet. Furthermore, he’s one of the people in the world best suited to targeting and exploiting an arm injury, though he’s not exactly thrilled about doing so here. From the opening moments of the match, Zack’s he’s stone-faced and professional, but there’s an added reluctance there in the place of the usual light-hearted cockiness. He’s getting put in a situation in which a very hurt, very unprepared young man is asking to get hurt more and he’s the one who has to do the hurting. Zack can’t even go for the usual sort of perfunctory grappling with lock-ups or double knuckle locks, as he’s facing an opponent with one arm. Sexsmith takes advantage of this hesitation and pokes Zack in the eye, rolling him up for a dangerously close two count before connecting with the LGBDT, a move that Zack bumps and sells for remarkably well considering my many issues with the man’s bumping and selling. Frantic to continue his Cinderella story, Sexsmith quickly scales the ropes but very nearly falls off the turnbuckle and struggles to regain his balance. Zack leisurely gets up and walks over to Sexsmith as he teeters in the corner and just throws his hands up in the air, eventually sweeping the kid’s legs out with a brutal kick to the ankles that sends Sexsmith crashing down on his hurt arm. Imploring the crowd, Zack turns and shakes his head at the people cheering Sexsmith on. When Sexsmith makes it back to his feet, he fires off a few meager forearms but buckles immediately when Zack responds with a leg kick. He shoots back up again and slaps Zack but goes right back down after another kick to the thigh. After Sexsmith again fumbles for some semblance of offense with a few more slaps, Zack cuts him off with one of his own, which is enough to send Sexsmith to the mat a third time.
But it’s not enough. Like a reluctant parent with a culpable child, Zack has to make him learn. He slaps his young opponent again and again and again, Sexsmith unable to keep himself upright anymore after this relatively slight punishment. Knowing that he has to end this before someone gets really hurt, before he does something he’ll regret, Zack grabs one of Sexsmith’s legs and turns him into a bit of a single leg crab. Sexsmith fights it, refusing to tap, so Zack ends it: he sits down hard, wrenching the leg in half, focusing all his weight on the small of Sexsmith’s back. The young man who, only 24 hours earlier, fought so hard against a great and terrible opposing force that his supporters broke out into song to cheer him on, can’t even raise his wrist off the mat as he taps out.
Half a match, really. Only four minutes long. Contains very little ‘actual wrestling’. But goddamn compelling. Goddamn memorable. Well worth a watch.