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February 13, 2010 / Reed

Jon Moxley vs. B-Boy from CZW’s Anniversary Show 2010

Review by Reed Benson:

You likely know that Moxley is Dean Ambrose in WWE. It’s possible you don’t know that B-Boy was Bael in Lucha Underground (before that character met his untimely demise). As for the commentators, I don’t recognize either guy because my heydey of watching CZW ended sometime during the Eric Gargiulo and John House era. Ah, those were such innocent times…for me, anyway; not so much for the wrestlers.

So, B-Boy has just recently won the CZW Heavyweight Championship, making this his first defense. He gets a pretty hefty list of accomplishments in his intro, but Moxley blindsides him before his name gets announced. From there, the story seems to be one of determination. B-Boy, of course, is determined to keep his title, but Moxley seems adamant that he will not stay down if he can help it. B-Boy hits a neckbreaker; Moxley gets up. B-boy clotheslines him to the outside; Moxley lands on his feet. B-Boy splashes him through a table on the floor; Moxley is still the first one up. This continues throughout the match, and while Moxley is obviously supposed to be the heel, it’s no surprise that, with such a never-say-die attitude, he has the crowd split in his favor.

Of course, indie wrestling audiences tend to chant back and forth for everyone no matter what, but let’s just pretend that, in this instance, it’s the willpower of Moxley that’s winning people over.

Despite constantly returning to a standing position after being hit, Moxley does take time to stagger and sell his opponent’s moves. B-Boy, on the other hand…well, on the positive side, his dazed and dizzy selling of Moxley’s forearms really put over the bigger man’s strength. But mid-match, after being shoved off the top rope, the champ starts shouting in pain and stiffening his left arm. A big deal is made, as the referee removes his elbow pad and seems to pause the match to check on him. Will he be able to continue? He’s writhing on the mat, for goodness’ sake!

But then Moxley hits him with an arm breaker on his knees and applies a reverse Fujiwara armbar…and the screaming stops. Seriously, it’s almost like Moxley’s moves fixed B-Boy’s elbow. He doesn’t portray any extra agony during Moxley’s submissions (there’s a crossface chicken wing as well) than he would have if they’d been used before the three minute mark. And while he sort of continues selling after (rope-) breaking free, it only takes a couple of minutes before he’s pushing himself up, grabbing the ropes, and doing moves that involve his left arm. The commentators try to continue to sell for him, but words can only go so far.

Good thing Moxley was still there. After taking two facelift dropkicks and a shining wizard, Mox is still fighting, still trying his hardest to get back to his feet. After rolling out of a rear naked choke attempt, he hits the Hook and Ladder for two. He does another one, but B-Boy shows his fighting spirit and pulls himself up…only to get hit with a third and eat the fall, losing his title in the process.

This may be the first time I’ve seen a pre-Dean Ambrose Jon Moxley match in full, and he really did show me something. I also like his traditional wrestling gear style better than his current greaser look. While B-Boy’s lackluster sell job did hurt his side of the story, Moxley’s performance still makes me glad I watched, and I would give it a moderate recommendation just for him.

– Reed Benson

If you’re interested, I’m working on a Tumblr where I write match reviews in the form of letters to friends. It’s at wrestlingbytheletter.tumblr.com
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