Timothy Thatcher (c) vs Zack Sabre Jr
La Boom, New York City, New York, United States
(reviewed 12/09/2017) I already wrote a great deal about this match earlier in the year and I’m not sure what else to say about it. It’s a match that encompasses a lot of complicated feelings about the state of wrestling today and where things are headed. It’s a match that features a ton of quality grappling, meaty striking, the sorts of things I love to see. But most of all I think it’s a genuine match. No half measures here. No going through the motions. No weak attempts at overwrought drama. Just a vile champion, a valiant challenger, and a crowd roaring for a change. Incredible pro wrestling.
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO SHAWN VS TAKER FROM WM25: Thatcher/ZSJ feels momentous in a way that only a handful of matches ever do. They’re not all necessarily the best matches ever but they’re the most notable ones, the ones where a paradigm shifts, the ones where trajectories are altered. I’d have to go back to Bryan Danielson’s farewell or Steen Wolf to find a match on the American indies that felt as big as this one does. In spite of its reception and reputation, I’m gonna remember the first time I saw Thatcher/ZSJ a hell of a lot more than the first time I saw Shawn/Taker. The latter is honestly better as a match but it can’t compare as a moment.
VERDICT: Better than Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker from WrestleMania 25