Matt Riddle vs Keith Lee
Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 11/04/2017) It’s funny that this is only the third-ever match between these two, as this matchup feels so familiar and crisp. These two characters work together quite well. Riddle, fiery and proud, makes the first cocky strike and is made to pay by his massive and capable opponent. Both men are talented enough to be able to cause the other great trouble but also talented enough to double down and take firm control of the match for a time. Keith’s the giant here but Riddle’s no small man either, this match akin to something like the mythic Jason doing battle with one of the six-armed Gegenees, trading massive slams, cracking might strikes over the other’s frame. The Cockpit Theatre suits a match such as this, with its intimate quarters being just what a small, appreciative crowd needs for this sort of match while also reining in some of the more ambitious habits these men tend to have in bigger buildings. They don’t go terribly long nor do they sell the farm, with Riddle picking up the victory with a small package after Keith’s awesome Spirit Bomb fails to secure the pinfall. No one upends their entire arsenal in a losing effort and the rollup finish on the weaker end of conclusive leaves a lot left to explore in this early outing of what will probably prove to be a popular matchup in coming years. Great stuff.