Re: Official Indy DVD Thread
Erick Stevens vs. Roderick Strong, FIP (2/16/08)
For the most part a great match built on some brilliant storytelling and development of a mid match angle and Strong heel turn. I'll get the minor quibble out of the way first. Sterling's point about the matwork being a bit too co-operative and lacking in any real struggle mirrors my thoughts with the surfboard trading sticking out as the most glaringly obvious transition that felt lazy. Still, it progressed the 50/50 story with both men lacking any real control so whilst it wasn't high end matwork it was serviceable in setting us up for the transition to strikes after both men seemingly agree they've reached a stalemate, which I had no problem with. Best part here is that the strikes are ferocious yet frantic and short so that the pace doesn't drag and it feels like two violent strikers trying to land the telling blow to seize the initiative: Strong's full force chop directly into the face of Stevens was tremendously timed as the decisive strike after back and forth shots and it sets up a brief control segment which builds to the big spot of the match were Strong 'inadvertantly' blasts Stevens in the face with the belt and leads to a tremendous bladejob from Stevens. It didn't come off as 'unplanned' as they tried to put over, but I appreciate the difficulty in doing a spot with the aim of opening a significant cut on Stevens and making it look unstaged and Strong really sold the initial fear of a DQ tremendously whilst showing sincere concern for a lifeless Stevens who was bleeding like a pig.
Final stage of the match is really great with Strong checking on Stevens before unleashing an onslaught to capture the title and Stevens sells the desire to hang in long enough to make a comeback in spite of his predicament remarkably well. Dug the brunt of his final desperation comeback although I felt a couple parts of his offence felt a bit too 'grand' for a supposedly limited wrestler suffering from severe blood loss. Strong pulling the referee into the lariat before taking advantage and blasting Stevens with a chair on the outside and reviving the ref long enough to secure a countout and win the belt due to FIP's differing rules vis a vis winning a title on countout was a great dastardly finish, though its strange the commentators didn't sell it as passionately as one would expect from a screwjob title change.