Keith Lee vs Darby Allin
Pontchartrain Convention & Civic Center, Kenner, Louisiana, United States
(reviewed 11/09/2018) One of my big complaints about Darby is that he has no sense of escalation. Every match is the most dramatic match he’s ever had, the direst fight of his life. There’s certainly an appeal to someone who gives 100% in every match but with Darby’s general approach that maximum effort rides somewhere between annoying, unnecessary, and nonsensical when it appears night in and night out. That approach feels a lot more in line with this situation, where Darby’s facing off with a big name opponent in a fairly big match on a big show. Per usual his off-the-wall highflying isn’t always connecting the way it’s meant to be, but Keith does a lot to make up for that, with this being probably the best performance I’ve seen from him in 2018. Whether he’s bumping around for a guy half his weight in a sensible way or tossing that same man around like a doll, the Texan is rather transfixing in this match. Together these two round out what is quite an enjoyable bout, something that has a solid chance of making my top 100 matches of the year despite my reservations about both men.