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May 6, 2015 / Bill Thompson

Dan O’Hare vs. Conor Claxton from Combat Zone Wrestling 2015


Post by Bill Thompson:

This is a Two Out of Three Falls Match for Conor Claxton’s Combat Zone Wrestling Medal of Valor Championship.

It’s easy for me to forget that Dojo Wars is a concept from Combat Zone Wrestling that is meant to expose trainees to an audience. It’s a show that has produced some top level matches and is home to some truly excellent talent. But, at the end of the day it’s still a developmental project and it needs to be viewed as such.

Especially with a match like Conor Claxton versus Dan O’Hare. Claxton is further along than O’Hare, at least in terms of talent if not experience. That’s not to say that Claxton has put it all together yet, but he’s progressed at a faster clip and at this stage in his career he is capable of holding his own in a wrestling ring. O’Hare is still a visible work in progress. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the edges on O’Hare are still very rough and it places Claxton in an interesting position structure wise.

It appears to me that Claxton allows O’Hare to do his own thing for large chunks of the match. I have no issue with that in a developmental match, but there comes a time when Claxton needed to say, “Whoa, let’s slow it down a bit and worry about tightening things up.” Instead Claxton seemed more interested in working on his own stuff, which in turn helped to make O’Hare look bad in spots. What’s fascinating is that this is all a part of the developmental process. Learning when and where to take charge and change a match is an important part of maturing as a wrestler. Physically Claxton is there, but when it comes to thinking of what to do in regards to helping your opponent Claxton is a work in progress as well.

There are a few bad moments in the match, most coming courtesy of O’Hare being out of position or slow on the uptake. One such moment results in him being absolutely drilled by a Claxton Clothesline. Another moment sees him sit in position waiting, without pretense, to try and lay back to avoid a Claxton Roundhouse Kick. An obvious bit of telegraphing, but something that hopefully with more work O’Hare can move away from doing.

No one is going to confuse O’Hare versus Claxton with great or even good pro wrestling. It is, however, interesting pro wrestling. I get a kick out of watching these guys, and gals, work the gears in their head as they learn the fine art of the pro graps. In that regard I wouldn’t say that anyone need see Claxton/O’Hare specifically. But, some of the lesser Dojo Wars stuff is worth seeking out if you’re interested in how the gears are set in motion more than when they are in motion.

Bill Thompson


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