Originally Posted by Segunda Caida
Its strange, I actually liked Richards' selling for the most part (Elgin's collapse to the mat after two ankle locks was the best bit of incorporating selling into a spot), I mean there were a few instances where he'd get up too quick from a move/run at a quick speed and I'd be about to roll my eyes and expect him to ignore the earlier work and thus kill the story that Elgin was slowly weakening his entire body but to his credit he was always grabbing his lower back before big moves to at least reinforce his body was damaged and thus even if the move in theory wasn't something you'd attempt with a weakened back it at least came off as 'this is something I have to do no matter how much it hurts'. And as I said before, both men sold the exhaustion and wear & tear of the match surprisingly well, actually felt like they were out of energy by the end rather than moving effortlessly like the match had been going 5 minutes.
Still, the opening 2/3rds dragged horribly and the structure was off. I mean Davey's desperation at the start was nice but then his spot where he dragged Elgin round the ringside area lacked that follow up urgency and not two minutes later Elgin took over and started control. I just never felt Richards was sufficiently being beaten to within an inch of his life or that Elgin was in trouble and needed a big spot to take control: the fisherman suplex and powerbomb into the barricade was an awesome transition spot in theory...but Richards needed to have controlled more of the opening before that spot for it to serve as a game changing spot and transition into Elgin taking control.
I fully agree with you however on the superb buildup to the spinning powerbomb, felt like Elgin's offence was perfectly placed in building up to that powerbomb and it came at just the right amount time in the match to feel like a genuine match ender. Also loved the discuss lariat to set up which looked to have killed Davey, felt like one of those classic ROH match enders where someone like Joe would hit a big combo move to finally put the opponent down for the 3 count.
I agree with pretty much everything you liked. The thing is, when I first watched it, I wasn't expecting anything other than the kind of match Davey's been having for damn near a year now, and so I wasn't paying super close attention during the first half or so. I'll rewatch it soon and give my thoughts in a more detailed fashion then.
I doubt I'll change much from this, though: this was the best Richards match of his title run by several miles and shows what he's capable of doing, even if he didn't do it consistently here, and it also showed surprising range, versatility, and psychology from Elgin that he hadn't really shown off previously. It totally exceeded my initial expectations and while it was far from perfect, it gave me some hope for the future of the ROH title picture.