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April 11, 2015 / Sam DiMascio

Chuck O’Neil vs. Eric Spicely from TRP 2015

Post by Sam DiMascio:

On paper this has a real HOOK with it being two MMA fighters competing. It also has the goodness of being two Biff Busick students. Two students competing out of their element? This is what I live for.

Both men look to tangle up early but not much is able to come of it. Eric Spicely gets ahold of O’Neil’s arm but O’Neil tosses Spicely off him. Spicely goes quickly for an armbar, transitions to a triangle, O’Neil brings him up but Spicely gets to his feet and puts on the headlock. O’Neil throws a couple of knees and judo throws Spicely off. Spicely punches his way out of O’Neil’s grasp, holds on and throws O’Neil overhead. O’Neil is trying to tap his foot to get the crowd involved. O’Neil finds his way to his feet and drives Spicely into the corner only to get need in the chest. Spicely drives his shoulder into O’Neil’s abdomen when floating into the BIG belly to back suplex for a two count. Spicely goes to the Fujiwara Armbar. O’Neil grabs on a headscissors and when Spicely is trying to escape, launches him with a monkey flip. O’Neil misses with a clothesline and gets hit with yet another big belly to back. Spicely goes back to the Fujiwara like he did before but has to move to a Front Chancery. Spicely moves over to hit some big knees before getting back into the Front Chancery. Spicely with the Fujiwara Armbar again. O’Neil finds an opening and hits a belly to belly suplex. O’Neil pulls down his kneepad and delivers two knees to Spicely’s chest and then a last knee to the face for the pinfall.

Really interesting stuff. Like I have said in the past, I love watching grapplers still working things out and this is a really good example of that type of match. With two MMA fighters I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. In the end they worked a pro wrestling match with some big throws and some alright mat stuff. The big throws from Spicely all looked MASSIVE and lovely. Not sure what the disconnect with matwork was but submissions lacked that oomph that gives them believability in a wrestling context. Clearly they are talented athletes but I can’t help but to think they have a terribly good shoot-y sprint in them if they so choose. I mean, even Connor Claxton and Frankie Picard put on a series of more shoot-style influenced sub-10 minute matches last year. There is a base there, and not a knock against O’Neil, especially for Spicely who already seems moderately comfortable with his offense. I’m sure O’Neil will come into his own just fine and we all shed tears of joy as he knocks a lad’s head off with a knee ala your Batbat kings of old. Should note that O’Neil was the one taking the bumps off the throws which did not look like a small task. This match really got me excited to see these two become more comfortable with themselves as pro wrestlers against each other going through the year.

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