Big Van Walter (c) vs Fit Finlay
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship
Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
(reviewed 09/09/2018) Solid, in the way that you imagine indie renaissance Finlay taking on a pre-peak Walter would be. In some ways this is actually the perfect version of a wXw title match, in that Finlay actually knows how to apply the old school tricks that guys like Beck and Douglas try to use but can also slap the shit out of the young champion to force him to go hard. About 60% of this match is clubbing blows to the back or boots to the gut, so if you’re not already a fan of old man Finlay this match probably won’t be turning you around on him. Likewise this is a bit slower and longer than its eventual finish might require and I can see that really bothering a fan who only knows the veteran through Hornswoggle. Still, if you’re in the market for a surly old fuck giving a younger man what for and nearly getting snapped in half for his troubles, this might be a match for you.
HOW DOES THIS COMPARE TO SHAWN VS TAKER FROM WM25: I’m quite a fan of Finlay’s more famous matches from this run and sadly this is not counted among them. There are plenty of mean shots strewn throughout here that stirred a chortle deep in my throat but the ultimate inconclusiveness of the match prevent it from being so satisfying as Shawn/Taker. Sure, Shawn/Taker is more overbearing with its pandering and flimsy narrative, but it eventually wraps up with a decisive answer to whether Old Man Michaels was getting too big for his britches.
VERDICT: Worse than Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker from WrestleMania 25