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July 1, 2015 / Bill Thompson

Frankie Pickard vs. Joe Gacy from Combat Zone Wresting 2015


Post by Bill Thompson:

Who woulda thought Combat Zone Wrestling would become a grappling haven!

This match is for Joe Gacy’s Combat Zone Wrestling Wired Championship.

It can’t be stressed enough, but this is a Combat Zone Wrestling match and it’s not surprising. What’s surprising is that it’s not surprising anymore that CZW puts out very grapple heavy matches. Their Dojo Wars shows are chock full of that style of wrestling and the majority of the graduates from the CZW academy are very grapple oriented. That’s bound to happen when Drew Gulak is the main trainer, but it’s still kind of amazing to see a fed known mostly for it’s ultraviolent death matches subtly change their image through the Dojo Wars shows. Nowadays a match like Frankie Pickard versus Joe Gacy feels right at home in CZW, and that’s why CZW continues to be one of the most slept on promotions in the world.

This match is great stuff, I mean I know that’s a simple description but it fits. There is a clear plan in play and the wrestlers take to it early on and stick to it straight through the entire match. Gacy is the aggressor, in fact he’s uber aggressive. He goes after Pickard with a bull in a china shop mentality. He yells and snorts and is always the one winning initial exchanges and attempting to impose his will upon Pickard in as hard of a fashion as possible. Meanwhile Pickard is trying to go with the flow. He’s working with the openings that Gacy is leaving him and attempting to gain an advantage from the reckless bulldozer approach of Gacy. That’s the great stuff of the match because it is a clear narrative that is nicely constructed, excellently delivered, and executed nearly flawlessly.

The way that Joe Gacy goes about pro wrestling is mightily impressive. He doesn’t waste his movements, and he almost always seems to be playing to his strengths as a worker. Case in point is his tremendous ability as a seller. Sell he does in this match, but he goes about selling in a different fashion that his usual more overt route. He takes a nasty leg first bump into the corner on an Irish Whip. There’s a slight limp to his step after that, but he’s not selling the leg in a way that screams, “Oh shit, my leg is hurt!” Rather, he’s setting up Pickard to chop away at his leg while he sells the leg more and more the longer the match goes. Because of Gacy’s approach the ending of the match is a perfect fit, and a moment I was able to buy into completely.

Pickard deserves just as much credit for the high quality of this match. His go with the flow approach is aces, and he too subtly sells the damage that Gacy is inflicting with his neck heavy attack. It all starts with a Palm Thrust to the back of Pickard’s head. From there Pickard is constantly fighting to keep Gacy away from his neck. It’s a battle he continually loses, and I was convinced that the moment where Gacy hit a Brainbuster was going to be the end of the match. It was a head drop that made sense, it had been built to superbly after all through Pickard’s selling of Gacy’s neck based attack.

A simple match really, but sometimes simple is the very best thing to be done. Gacy and Pickard rely on a focused narrative and the ability of both men to bump and sell exceptionally well. And outside of a silly DDT/Kip-Up DDT combo from Pickard the match delivers in every way possible. Gacy can lay a legit claim to being one of the best wrestlers in the world, as well as one of the most overlooked wrestlers in the world. Pickard appears to be a nice young talent who is capable of great things. This is CZW in 2015 folks, what a promotion it has become!

Bill Thompson

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