Conor Claxton & Frankie Pickard vs. Catch Point (Tracy Williams & Gulak) from Combat Zone Wrestling 2015
Post by Bill Thompson
A very simple set up in that you have (the veteran) Gulak with his protege Tracy Williams against (the grapple heavy youngster in) Frankie Pickard and (the just about to burst into the big time variety wrestler in) Conor Claxton. It’s not that the match is built around disparate styles, but it’s built around disparate places within the promotion of Combat Zone Wrestling. This is evident in how much of the match is dominated by Gulak’s side, and in how it is Pickard who takes the majority of the damage for his squad.
The one lament I have with this match is that Claxton doesn’t do a whole lot. I get why that is. I understand the story that is being told in the ring. Still, I would have liked to have seen Claxton get some more time in the ring because he brought a different dynamic than everyone else in the match. He’s not as grapple heavy as the other three men in the match, and that helped to make his time in the ring stick out even more. Hey, maybe I’m wrong, and Claxton got just the right amount of time. Because the more he’s in the match, the less his time in the match would stand out.
Pickard takes a beating in this match. Gulak and Williams work him over for about seventy-five percent of the match. They come at him from a variety of angles, use double teams, and really showcase their grappling superiority in taking the match to him the way they do. It’s a smart move seeing as Pickard is the grappler of his team. By isolating him and systematically beating Pickard down, Gulak and Williams show great strategy and allow for Pickard to shine when he makes his comebacks.
What’s most notable about this match is the silky smooth nature of the grappling. The grappling in this match is stiff, but it’s not as rugged as is often the case with the #GrappleFuck movement. Instead it’s about Williams and Gulak always being in position to keep Pickard down, or to quickly demoralize Claxton. In turn this causes Pickard’s grappling to feel different as it’s more about pop and power. Yes, he’s smooth as well, but he feels more like the amateur wrestler to Gulak & Williams’ submission grapplers.
A simple match that builds upon its easily laid foundation. I think everyone who reads me knows by now that I can watch a well laid out match in the grappling style all day long. This match is no exception, as it is put together to get the best out of its participants. And the more I think about it, the more I think that Claxton was even used in the best possible way. 2015 has been a banner year for the CZW imprint, Dojo Wars. This match keeps the good times rolling, and the grappling remains oh so pretty.