Dalton Castle vs Zack Gibson
York Hall, Bethnal Green, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 11/05/2017) You hang around with people of a certain age long enough and you might hear them talk about the appealing qualities of older formats of media. You’ll hear talk of the grain of shooting on film, the warmth of vinyl records, maybe even the smell of a musty old book. They might decry the cold, inhuman, disconnected qualities of modern film, music, literature, but more so they’ll yearn for the feel of the old ways. That’s what this match is like, I think. It’s certainly not the most exciting or emotional match I’ve seen this year, something that probably won’t scratch my top 100 matches of 2017. But it leaves a certain nostalgic impression. It feels different from other matches you see these days. There’s something in the basic, colorful, larger-than-life characters, something in the bare bones punch + kick offense, something in the way Gibson argues with a child at ringside. You might not see it if you’re not looking for it, but if you keep your eyes peeled it may just fill you up the way a nice cup of coffee will or an old tune you haven’t heard in a decade will seep into your pores. There’s something warm in it, something vital, something that makes this process of watching hundreds of dull and uneventful matches worth it. I doubt this match would hit anyone quite the way it’s hit me, but I think it’s well worth a shot.