Jason Collins vs. Kyle Matthews DSCW 2014
From Dylan Hales:
On August 7th and 8th the first ever (and hopefully first annual) Scenic City Invitational tournament will be held at the Empire Arena in Rossville, Georgia.
In an effort to get people excited for this tournament and Southern independent wrestling in general, in the weeks leading up to the event, this blog will be looking at matches from each individual participant in the tourney. We hope you follow along, enjoy the matches, and find some new favorites along the way.
For more information on the Scenic City Invitational check out their Facebook page.
There are more recent Jason Collins matches online for free, but what is far more important than that is that there are also plenty of Jason Collins matches available from a few years prior to this. I mention this because in the span of the last couple of years Collins has gone from a guy I dreaded seeing on shows in the East Tennessee/North Georgia area, to a guy I actively seek out. This is the match that probably best illustrates his growth as an in-ring talent.
In this match, Collins is pitted up against Kyle Matthews, who has been one of the best wrestlers in the Southeast for at least a half dozen years. If time permits, and the reader is so inclined, I would encourage them to go back and watch all of the Collins/Matthews matches available on YouTube, as they show the slow evolution of Collins from “guy having his hand held by a great worker” to “guy holding his own with a great worker.”
Having said that, I cannot call this a great match. What this is is a novel match. I believe this was the final of the DSCW Pure Wrestling tournament, which is why the top rope was removed. While this might seem like a silly idea, I actually think it made for a more interesting match up, and it pretty clearly played into the story of the match.
Earlier on there were some small things that looked like flubs, but I sort of took them as each guy trying to work around the limitations of a ring missing a rope. I also really liked the fact that Matthews seemed to struggle with the height disparity when applying holds whether that was intended or not.
As the match went on, both wrestlers seemed to get more comfortable with their surroundings. The result \was a match that was only ten minutes in length but had a real feeling of escalation (which is one of the things I think many otherwise good matches lack). I especially liked the placement and timing of Collins strikes, the impact of his throws, and the way he struggled from underneath when Matthews tried to lock on the Texas cloverleaf.
While I did not love the match, I did love the finish. The smaller Kyle could not resist going up to the ropes for high impact moves, and even though Collins was taken out by one of them, when Matthews went to the well again he missed and paid for it by being trapped in a submission that he could not escape. It was pretty much the perfect ending to both the story they were telling in the match, and a tournament with a no top rope stipulation.
This will seem odd coming from me, but the real takeaway from this match is that we should be careful about judging inexperienced guys too harshly. I’ve watched Jason Collins grow up in front of my eyes, and while this is actually not the best match he and Kyle Matthews have had, this was the first time he felt like his equal.