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November 14, 2003 / Reed

Chris Hero vs. Alex Shelley from IWA Mid-South 2003

Review by Reed Benson:

If you’re familiar with Chris Hero from this period in his career (I call it his “T-shirt years”), then you know what to expect: lots of technical wrestling, lots of holds for a while, lots of cravats, and then at some point they’ll start doing moves and strikes. Personally, I’ve grown bored with that formula, so I found a lot of this match boring and bland.

Shelley’s WXW Heavyweight title is on the line. He’s kind of a bad guy here. He stalls after having his arm worked over, he chokes Hero in the ropes, and he’s more aggressive when he’s in control. He doesn’t really heel it up any more than that, though. He also stops selling his arm after the technical wrestling portion of the match ends.

Hero is fairly smooth with his holds and transitions. He does a Diamond Dust to Shelley’s arm at one point, and that’s kind of cool. But he stops attacking Shelley’s arm after they switch from doing holds to doing moves, and that doesn’t make a lot of sense. He also does a bunch of cravat stuff, as he is wont to do. Cravat leg sweep, cravat Michinoku driver thingy, stuff like that. Sometimes, it seems logical. Other times, it comes across as overly complicated.

The crowd is politely into the match, but it’s in the spot just before the main event, and there’s not a lot of intensity or desire, so they don’t have much to work with. It doesn’t seem like a title match, and that’s the real crime. Does Hero really care if he wins this belt back? Seems like he’s going through the motions, like his mind is elsewhere.

So, there’s nothing really bad, but nothing very interesting, at least to me. Shelley wins and retains the title after finally getting the Border City Stretch locked in in the right part of the ring.

– Reed Benson

My match review site is here.

I don’t often tweet about wrestling, but I have a Tumblr gimmick for it here.


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