Robbie Eagles vs Will Ospreay
Maxx Watt’s, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
(reviewed 08/24/2018) Gave this a watch after hearing a friend rave about it and while I was frustrated with it in a lot of the usual ways, it ended up being one of the better Ospreay matches I’ve seen this year. To give this a bit of context, at this show last year Ospreay beat Eagles to win the PWA Heavyweight belt in a match that brought a lot of eyes to the Australian scene. Eagles won the belt back (not from Ospreay) in the subsequent months but had been on a losing streak since February coming into this show. Being larger, arguably faster, and just straight up better in a lot of ways, Ospreay spent the first half of this match pretty well dominating Eagles, putting the Aussie in a situation where he’d need a big string of moves to get back to even footing. At one point Ospreay tweaks his knee going for an Atlantida and while it’s not a major thing right away, it bothers him throughout most of the match before becoming a full blown problem after a springboard dive. The Brit refuses to call off the match, though, and gives a desperate Eagles a huge target that he immediately keys in on in a big way. While it’s far from perfect it’s the best selling performance I remember from the young man in quite a long time, something that is surprisingly restrained, especially in how it builds. Along with that there’s plenty of requisite junior heavyweight action, which ranges from mean Liger Bombs (great!) to 619s to the knee (looks better than it sounds!) to avalanche tiger suplexes (incredibly silly!). Sticklers like me will find themselves rolling their eyes a lot by the end but if you just want some dumb, cool moves this ain’t a bad place for it and it’s got some decent leg work to boot.