Tyler Bate vs Dave Mastiff
Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 10/28/2017) An enjoyable enough match but one that is not exactly optimally worked, I feel. There’s a moment early on where Bate goes for a big iron man dive over the top rope and sails over Mastiff, crashing into the stairs behind him, his spine landing directly along the edge of one of the steps. He’s not altogether too hurt by it but it’s sort of a crazy thing to see and a dramatic moment until he gets up smiling. A more experienced worker, perhaps, would take advantage of that sort of spot and try to milk it for even more sympathy than you’d usually get from a 19 year old guy who’s 5’7” and 175 pounds taking on a massive man like Mastiff, but instead they progress with the match as planned, which sees them almost totally forgo the obvious size difference story here and just have a typical 50/50 kind of indie match. It’s not baaaaad, but it’s quite bland, especially since Mastiff isn’t the most thrilling big man around, being that he barely wrestles like a big man. There’s the foundation of a really interesting match here, one where this wunderkind virtuoso gets hurt early on against a far bigger opponent and has to struggle to survive while applying his superhuman strength. Imagine how awesome the German suplex Bate hits here would be if it came after 10, 11 minutes of Mastiff exploiting a back injury. Instead it just gets a polite pop from this Cockpit audience and that’s just frustrating. The finish here, though, is quite nice, something I appreciate a lot. A few minutes before the end, Bate flips through a German suplex attempt from his opponent but lands sort of wonky on his leg, slowing him down for a few seconds. Later, he’s able to get his knees up on a senton from Mastiff, but due to the sheer weight coming down on him it still severely injures his leg, to the point that he can’t recover from a move that he technically still reversed. Mastiff is able to find his way back to his feet and sees that Bate’s leg is fucked, so he rushes over and slaps on a single leg crab for the submission. Fun stuff there, exploiting an injury for a flash finish that makes total sense. Just wish that they had maybe done that sort of thing twice with the leg as well as the back.