Ricochet vs. Louis Lyndon from AAW 2014
Post by Ru Gunn:
There’s a vibe to the early part of this match that will be very pleasing to fans of highly choreographed, smooth sequences that flow like a dance, but perhaps less so for those who feel that every moment in the ring ought to be a fight for to the death. Playfulness underpins a feisty first three minutes of flips and dodges. The story is that Ricochet, flush with the year’s accomplishments and burgeoning international success, is perhaps underestimating Louis Lyndon: and it transpires that he can match his prowess almost move for move.
After Ricochet’s ascertained this power dynamic, there’s a fresh feeling out process, and things get a little more serious. However, it still suffers with convoluted setups that involve unrealistically long periods frozen stationary in selling. Lyndon’s got skill and style, dropping an immensely impressive leaping neckbreaker through the middle rope– but for the pregnant pause five seconds prior, Ricochet was self-consciously bent double, side-eyeing the spot.
All in all, the match can’t decide what kind of mood it has, and Ricochet taking half-hearted time to pander to the crowd, dancing and posing, breaks up the flow of everything; the atmosphere isn’t isn’t as intensely crowd-synchronised as PWG. It just leaves Lyndon with nothing to do, politely waiting for the next part of the match, lacking the star power to posit a charisma-off.
Although not affecting the in-ring competition, it would be remiss not to mention the egregious, obsessive snide jabs from Dave Prazak on commentary regarding the then-recent situation with Ricochet’s WWE tryout. He won’t let it go: repeating over and over “we don’t have a quota of high-fliers here!” and “Can you believe that some places passed him up?” until it gets tired and distracting. It comes across as petty and fourth-wall breaking. I don’t want discussions of industry ins and outs during match commentary. I want to understanding why this match is important or interesting: and why the wrestlers are doing what they do.
A double-flyer match requires a massive amount of chemistry and synchronicity to look convincing and to flow properly. This is lampshaded as Ricochet invokes several spots here– like reversing a top-rope hurricanrana into a backflip and landing on his feet– that he did against Kota Ibushi in NJPW at Dominion two months prior (a match which Meltzer gave 4.75 stars), but here are far less tidy and natural-feeling. This matchup falls short of that high bar, and is a 15 minute fight that feels like it ought to have been 5.
Regardless, the AAW crowd drop a brief but spirited “this is awesome” chant near the close of this match. Lyndon gets an upset KO victory with the Dragon Sleeper- a finish that bore little relation to the events prior.