Matt Cage vs. JT Dunn from Beyond Wrestling 2014
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Thoughts from Bill Thompson:
I’m not too familiar with either wrestler. I believe I have seen a grand total of three matches involving them. That’s not a statement on their quality, more on my viewing habits and that I haven’t really gotten around to either wrestler in any meaningful fashion yet. All I know is that JT Dunn was/is in a tag team called the Juicy Product that were controversial for one reason or another. Meanwhile Matt Cage recently penned an open letter where he came out of the closet. I’m of the mind that someone’s sexual orientation or identity doesn’t matter, and I’ll publicly say that anyone who isn’t okay with Cage being gay can stay the heck away from me because I don’t have time for any of that nonsense.
Anyways, that’s all I know about either wrestler, so I basically went into this match cold. That’s probably a good thing as I ended up enjoying this match as a strike based sprint. Not sure if that would have been the case had I known much about either man. Still, going by what I saw I enjoyed the way they worked the match and how they went from move to move in ways that made sense. I know that may seem odd coming from me, but I’ll explain in a second. Suffice to say though, for the type of match Cage & Dunn were trying to deliver they did a fine job.
It would be easy to look at this match and say, “Man, all they did was hit each other; they never sold a thing.” I think such a mindset loses sight of what the match actually is; a strike exchange. This is more akin to a boxing match than a pro wrestling match. In that regard Cage and Dunn do a pretty good job of selling the striking. They don’t need to be dead, or wobbly legged the entire match. Rather, they sell the impact of each strike and get over how fast the strikes are coming. That’s important, it compliments the sprint based nature of the match very well.
That being said I could have done without the one minute stretch where Cage attempted to turn this into an actual wrestling match. He grabs what looked to be a Cobra Clutch, and it does not fit with the rest of the match in any way. There really was no need for such a move in a match that is built to be a non-stop sprint. More than that though it feels completely out of place next to all the striking that constitutes the rest of the match. Luckily it only lasts about a minute, probably even less, and then the striking is gotten back into very quickly.
Not a great match, maybe not even a good match, but a fun match*. I can understand if some people aren’t into the loud slapping strikes, but in the context of this match I enjoyed them just fine. Cage and Dunn worked really fast and they turned a wrestling match into a boxing, or kickboxing if you prefer, bout. This is the sort of variety that Beyond Wrestling is known for and it’s one of the reasons why good or bad I’m always willing to give their events a shot. I’m not going to tell anyone to rush out and watch this match, but clocking in at about eight minutes this is a quick watch that is plenty of fun.
*Editor’s Note: If something is “fun,” is it not “good” on some level? This is a concept that often frustrates me even if I still employ it when discussing films. As usual, I have no point.