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October 4, 2008 / TJ Hawke

Tyler Black vs. Claudio Castagnoli from AAW 2008

Post by TJ Hawke:

Claudio was challenging Tyler for the AAW Heavyweight Championship.

Tyler Black has always been an extremely talented, if flawed, wrestler. For the most part, he has excelled when he’s in the babyface role (in terms of singles performances) as he does lots of exciting offense. So, I was bit worried going into this match when it became clear that he was going to be working heel against Claudio. Claudio being a base for Tyler is just too easy. There is no reason not to do it. Luckily, Claudio started working on top shortly into this one.

Claudio dominated this match by going Tyler’s left leg/knee. While this made for sound logic (take away a high flyer’s legs), it does also take away Tyler’s strengths as a performer. Claudio also had not really fully tapped into his ruthless side yet, which made his work on top not as compelling as if this story was told in 2015. Regardless though, this ended up being pretty solid stuff and an easy watch. The finish was cool too, as Claudio went for the figure-four on the wrong leg which allowed Tyler to use his free leg (the healthy, right leg) to kick Claudio and then roll into a God’s Last Gift for the win OUTTA NOWHERE. (***1/4)

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