REQUESTING FLYBY: Match of the Month and Historical Match of the Month for October

Greetings readers, and welcome to a new monthly series. I’m going to be giving you my match of the month, and my historical match for that month, each and every month! Do let me know in the comments section below what your own choices would be. I’m aware that October isn’t over yet, but I wanted to get the ball rolling! Enjoy!

Match Of The Month – Charlotte vs Becky Lynch, Super Showdown

No-one is yet sure if WWE have completely lucked into this hot as blazes feud, or whether it was their cunning plan all along. Just as with Daniel Bryan in 2013, the outcry over the perceived neglect of Lynch fed into the narrative of the feud they were having anyway, and to boot, the Irish worker embraced the character change with gusto, cutting the best promos of her career and getting live crowds to go wild with her unhinged disguise attacks on the Queen.

All of their ring work, from the triple threat at Summerslam, through Hell in a Cell and into Super Showdown, but it was the most recent bout that I enjoyed most, as the narrative of the feud had settled in, and Becky’s heel character was at its most fully formed. After the brilliance of her winning effort at Hell in a Cell, her resort to more traditional heel tactics here felt like a fantastically calculated move, from the venom of her offense, to her disdainful facial expressions, and the way she worked over Charlotte’s arm like Triple H in his 2000 Cerebral Assassin prime. I loved also the poetic justice of The Lass Kicker retaining her title through a belt shot to the face when she was trapped in the Figure 8, as she used Ric Flair’s standard underhand method of title retention while in his daughter’s submission hold. “Boo the Woo” indeed!

I am delighted for Becky Lynch. She has always been the most talented pure ring technician of the Four Horsewomen, and her character shift has allowed her to flex personality muscles we never even knew she had. I truly hope that she comes out of this feud with Charlotte as champion and that WWE allow her the opportunity to run with the belt against other challengers too; even if they do plan to put Charlotte up against Rousey at Wrestlemania in a big money match, they can always switch that title at the February pay-per-view, as they did with The Rock back in 2001.

 

Historical Match Of The Month – Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins, Hell in a Cell 2014

The hope going in was that they would redefine the cell gimmick for a new era; they didn’t quite do that, but took an approach that was just as valid, riffing on the entire seventeen year history of the structure by taking ideas from all the best cell matches and putting a modern spin on them. The idea of a match not starting for its first ten minutes has appealed to me ever since the incredible intensity of the ill fated Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart match from Montreal, which people forget was an incredibly awesome brawl around the arena before the screwjob finish made the actual action moot. The same of course goes for the beginning of the Mankind vs. Undertaker bout, which the two former indy grapplers riffed on by fighting atop the cage, though their double table bump was more inspired by the angle of fall of Shawn Michaels in the very first version of the match type in 1997. The stretchers came out then, and well done to WWE for selling both men as being done for the evening for such an extended period- it really helped the suspension of disbelief.

Back in the cell, it was all about the unique brand of deranged violence Ambrose brings to the table, and the vile chair shots he used were a nice nod to the original betrayal, and Seth’s constant attempts at escape being foiled reversed the polarity of the feud to that point, in the sense that this time he had nowhere to go and had to take his punishment like a man. However, the psychology the two men used dictated that the wolverine frenzy of the Lunatic Fringe could be used against him, so when Ambrose went to suplex his hated rival onto a giant pile of chairs, The Architect was able to block twice and hit a belly to back on his former colleague onto the steel. However the opposite was true when Rollins got the table out, as Dean blocked and then dropped a beautiful looking elbow onto Seth and through the wood! Kane’s brief intervention was a nice nod as he had been so integral to the creation of the gimmick, and his use of a fire extinguisher allowed the Rollins comeback, with the Authority hitter taking Ambrose through another table with a sick powerbomb.

From there, with the action still breathless, the kerb stomp was hit cleanly, but the Lunatic Fringe would not lay down and got the shoulder up. Incredible pacing and heat here. Rollins unleashed a series of crazed chair shots that recalled Austin on Rock at the climax of the ‘Mania XVII main event and set up for kerb stomp on the briefcase, but Ambrose sprang up, and even an enziguri couldn’t stop him as that awesome rope bounce clothesline and a  briefcase shot got the babyface a two count. Ambrose got the cinder blocks out, selling the idea of poetic justice, but just as he was setting up a stomp of his own, the lights went out and weird chanting in tongues began, sending us older fans back in time to the Ministry of Darkness days. It was so creepy that I wondered if WWE’s production had been hijacked or something. A fluorescent lantern appeared in the middle of the ring and that was when I suddenly thought of Bray Wyatt. As the light grew brighter, his form became discernible, and he attacked with that gnarly Rock Bottom/chokeslam hybrid to Ambrose. A wary Rollins rolled over to get the pin, whilst Dean Ambrose received a Sister Abigail after the match, with Bray posing to end the show. Even if the resulting Dean vs Bray feud wasn’t what everyone had hoped for, it was still an awesome way to allow Rollins to escape Ambrose’s wrath.

 

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