Jack Gallagher vs Kassius Ohno
taped 04/20/2019, aired 05/29/2019
Intu Braehead Arena, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
(reviewed 10/04/2019) What an awesome little match, truly befitting of that first adjective. Watching this was like listening to the Beach Boys, where on first blush it’s pleasant and soothing but when you dig deeper into it you start to realize the genius and skill involved in crafting something so seemingly simple and effortless. On its face this is just (“just”) a World of Sport tribute match, something charming and fun but also something you can find in any old indie fed across England today. You could argue that these two are a fair bit more talented than the average person attempting that sort of match and you’d be right, but I think what truly sets this apart is the detail with which these men approach certain ideas. It’s the way they emphasize the size disparity here without reducing Ohno to a lumbering oaf. It’s the way Gallagher repeatedly manipulates the wrist of his larger opponent to mitigate that size. It’s the way that Ohno, in spite of his size and his experience, is still only able to win through a fluke injury and a referee’s failure. Ohno kicked off this year by convincingly coming across as something other than one of the most talented wrestlers in human history and he somehow manages to do it again here with an even less fearsome opponent and in the midst of a crowd-pleasing tribute match. I’m sort of in awe of that. I doubt this fairly short TV match is going to leave you in such astonishment, dear reader, but you ought to watch it all the same.