Originally Posted by Seabs
Davey Richards vs Chase Owens - NWA Smoky Mountain The Big One 04.08.2011
They bill this is as a ROH Title match so you've got the touring champ coming into the small territory to face the local babyface hero. Granted Davey aint no Naitch but he maybe his best performance ever here and Chase Owens is a fucking fantastic local babyface hero trying to pull off the upset against the national champ. He's got a natural babyface look, the locals care about him and he can work like a great babyface too with his fiery comebacks and great selling. Like I said before this is probably Davey's best singles performance ever. Some of his matches with Strong post NRC were maybe better but he wasn't this good in them. It's just further testament too that the ROH wrestling climate is fucking atrocious and it's not completely down to the wrestlers being bad workers because once again one of the main culprits of the ROH style show that in a smaller promotion they can really work. Davey still does the super focused and intense gimmick but he doesn't overdo it and he isn't doing big moves and stupid counters until the finish. He even works a fucking body part and it ties into the finish. Who the fuck saw that coming. As soon as he started working the arm I was praying he'd play it into the finish with his cross arm breaker and he actually did.
Match is so well structured too. Davey gives the local guy a ton of stuff in the opening portion and makes him look like a million bucks. Chase then makes himself look another million bucks too. They go outside and do some really good strike exchanges too. I really liked how they went outside and did them right in front of the audience rather than just doing them in the middle of the ring and they were really fucking good strike exchanges too. Chase is just as good of a striker as Davey is so it made for a great battle.
Great transition sequence too into Davey's control segment where Chase rocks him with some elbows so Davey in turns decides to cut that danger out by working the arm and DAVEY RICHARDS WORKS A GREAT CONTROL SEGMENT CONSTANTLY WORKING OVER THE ARM. Yeah. It's focused and consistent and most importantly really good. Everyone knows that Davey's one of the best wrestlers around technical wise so when he gets himself into a match that's structured as well as this one with a great little story on top you're guaranteed a great match. The match goes around 25 minutes but it never drags and they never go past their peak where the crowd get burned out and stop caring for the near falls. They have a beginning, a middle and an end, everything they do makes sense and they build to the big finish with the near falls. You can really see how much it pays off with the crowd too. Most of them didn't really care for the rest of the show but they were getting huge reactions from the crowd for this match. A lot of that's down to Chase being the local hero challenging the touring national champ but Davey plays his part in working the near falls to get a huge reaction too.
Once they get to the finish THEN they start doing the bigger moves and Davey starts kicking in the head rather than the chest. They do some near falls of big moves but they do the right amount and Chase never pops back up from all of them to get his big moves in after. Chase refusing to die and screaming at Davey for more after being blasted in the head was super and really got Chase over huge as a winning loser. Finish rounded off a superbly well structured match perfectly.
There's a few annoying Davey spots but like I said before this is for me his best performance to date. He does that knocked out cold sell about 3 or 4 times that I will never like unless it's the finish and he does that superplex into another suplex spot too. In all fairness that spot was pretty great with the near fall they did after it and the fact it was one of the last moves in the match and Chase didn't reverse it into a suplex over the top rope.
Probably the best Indy match of 2011 outside of PWG and 16 Carat. Easily better than anything ROH did last year (and there was some really good matches but nothing this great). Really similar to the Claudio/Generico title match from PWG last year.
Wow, awesome review. I'll have to check this out later on, I'll post my thoughts on it in here. So it really is mostly ROH's fault for the style Davey wrestles there?