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March 16, 2013 / Bill Thompson

TJ Perkins vs. Timothy Thatcher from Pro Wrestling Bushido 2013

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Thoughts from Bill Thompson:

I haven’t been privy to a lot of TJ Perkins’ work, but I have seen some. He’s always come across to me as mainly a high flyer, albeit a very talented one. Knowing that I went into this match expecting it to be the high flying Perkins providing an opportunity for Timothy Thatcher to bump big. There’s a little of that here, but only a little. Perkins does fly, but for the most part he exchanges holds with with Thatcher and the ensuing match is really great.

Strength versus speed, that’s the story of this match. Perkins is fast, much faster than Thatcher. Conversely Thatcher is much much stronger than Perkins. The two workers take that dynamic and run with it. Early on Thatcher is grinding Perkins down via his patented arm work. It’s a varied, and interesting, attack that is made even more interesting by the countering attempts from Perkins. He shows a surprising mat prowess, while at the same time tying in his prowess with his speed. He’s not so much out-grappling Thatcher as he is out-quicking Thatcher. The technical execution of escaping a Thatcher Hammerlock into one of his own is present, but what really impresses is the way Perkins uses his speed to grapple with Thatcher.

For his part Thatcher remains steadfast in his approach of grinding down Perkins. He doesn’t try to match speed with Perkins, rather he amps up the power aspect of his game. Technical know how is supplemented by raw power, and that makes Thatcher seem all the more impressive. At one point he twice does the power out of a Figure Four Armlock into a standing position spot. It looks grand both times, but doing the move twice really furthers home the idea that Thatcher is dogmatic in his adherence to using his power combined with technique. Thatcher is so confident in his technical ability, and his strength, that he will repeat that move and he doesn’t believe Perkins can stop him.

The match takes on a blended feel, it’s not really a speed match or a power match, but a combination of the two with a technically sound veneer holding everything together. Perkins is really great at mixing in his speed based spots. He doesn’t just throw a Dropkick, it springs forth organically from the sequence taking place. It seemed like very time they would work through a series of exchanges and transitions Perkins always managed to work his speed into the sequence somehow. The same holds true for Thatcher and the way he used his strength advantage. He didn’t just get into position for a European Uppercut to a trapped arm, rather he powered into position and put all of his weight behind the Short Arm European Uppercut.

The finish run is perhaps the only real blemish on the match (there’s also a moment where Perkins over-rotates on getting into position for an Octopus, but it’s a very small moment.) Technically the finishing run is strong, and well worked. Perkins sells his hurt arm admirably and Thatcher is great at being in the right place at the wrong time for all of Perkins high flying offense. Both guys have a great handle on positioning and using their place in the ring for maximum effect. The finish itself comes out of left field. The 450 Splash from Perkins looks great, and it certainly is a good enough move to put Thatcher away. However it didn’t really tie into the story as Perkins kind of just hit it instead of setting it up vis′-a-vis the speed versus power story.

A great match that falls just short of reaching match of the year level. Perkins and Thatcher pull of a nice sprint with an interesting story. Their execution was spot on and really made for a compelling watch. I already knew what Thatcher could do in terms of great wrestling, but if this is what Perkins can do then I want to see more of his work. Some flying, grappling, and a well told story, that’s wrestling folks.

Bill Thompson

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