Will Ospreay (c) vs Josh Bodom
RPW British Cruiserweight Championship
York Hall, Bethnal Green, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 10/30/2017) This match reads like something I’d hate but actually turns out pretty alright in the end. With Ospreay being busy in Japan for the first few months of the year, Bodom won a series of matches to be declared interim British Cruiserweight Champion and spent the months leading up to this berating the absent “real” champ. He batters Ospreay pretty well in the opening portion of this match, with his mini Lesnar (Brockito?) routine being a welcome change from Ospreay’s usual flippy opponents. At one point Bodom sweeps out Ospreay’s legs as the flyer is stood on the top rope, with the champion taking a big tumble that nearly sends him limping to the back before Bodom forcefully and violently reintroduces himself with a corner dive. I’m still no fan of Ospreay’s selling and general comeback strategies, but it’s something he’s gotten better at over the years and this is hardly his worst outing, especially since it’s vague back pain as opposed to focused leg work that he’s selling. What’s more, the fact that he came into this match with his back taped up and sporting cupping marks only helps here. But really, Bodom’s the real star in this one with slightly better selling for Ospreay’s uncharacteristic leg work and his fun offense ranging from standing shooting star presses and moonsaults, muscleman slams, and an enzuigiri directed at Ospreay’s back. There will probably be 20 or 30 junior heavyweight matches better than this by the time I finish my 2017 viewing, but even with all its flaws I think this one’s pretty fun and features a particularly good performance from one of the UK’s best juniors.