PRE-MATCH HYPE FROM REGAL~!
This guy needs to be on fucking television, they need him more than ever, tbh. Anyway.
In the early going, a lot of it is just showcasing the advantages both men have over one another, at least that is what it seemed like. Rollins, the more physically gifted athlete and arguably the better technician. However, Ambrose has a certain savviness and an air of confidence in and around the ring and he uses that, as well as obviously being talented. A monumental slap from Ambrose as well as the countered attempt of a suicide dive by Rollins shows that. Speaking of that suicide dive, that thanking the lord motif that Dean did afterwards was hilarious. On the subject of little things Ambrose does - I absolutely adore the way he lets his body become all limp, loose and uncoordinated after being dazed, adds another level of realism and belief in to the match. Just the way he flops around, almost as if he's legitimately been dazed, it's awesome.
Anyway, the Rollins control segment is pretty standard, with a vicious rope-assisted neckbreaker that could possibly be botched, but the camera angle changed at an awkward time so it's difficult to tell. Ambrose shows signs of life mid way through the Rollins control segment, but the signs of life (at least at that point) are squandered by a pretty somersault by Rollins. Another thing I've noticed during Seth's control segment is that he attempts a lot of pinfalls, I don't know if they did this on purpose, but the way it coincides with Regal's hyping of Ambrose, it rely puts over Dean as a legit threat, which is nice.
A handful of great near-falls build the excitement, as Rollin's control segment begins to wither, even though Ambrose doesn't exactly have a control segment of his own. It goes from an obvious Rollins control period, to a little back and forth and signs of life from Dean but Seth still has the momentum, to complete back and forth with neither man having a controlling for a sustained amount of time. The frantic back and forth towards the end is fun, really putting over the "panic" aspect of the 15 Championship stipulation. One thing, though, is that Seth sucks at any striking that isn't kicks, and it shows with his forearms. But that's just a minor gripe.
The "both men are down" spot (I don't know a fancy term for it
) is there, as you would expect from a draining 15 minute match, and as you would expect from an ironman match, it is towards the end of the contest. When I say towards the end of the contest, I mean within the last 90 seconds. As soon as they make it back to their feet, both men engage in a brutal, believable and seemingly unchoreographed melee that shows both men putting in as much energy, passion and fight in to the remaining 30 seconds, and it is is easily the best 30 seconds of the match.
Whilst I was watching the match, I was kind of disappointed with the lack of any Ambrose dominance because just by watching his ROH stuff, I think Seth works a lot better from the bottom,e specially when/if he's locked in there with a lunatic like Ambrose. But in retrospect, it makes sense - Yes, Ambrose got very little in, in the way of offence and yes Seth dominated the majority of the match, but he still didn't defeat Ambrose despite being all over him. If this was the only match in the series, or at least within this angle that they had, then I would be dissappointed, but because I know that there's more to come, it makes sense. The aftermath of the match is great as well, also adding another layer to the match and I'm sure/hoping it will make the next match that bit more personal, so we can see more of a story develop.
Overall, it was a good match, something I would take over almost everything on Raw or Smackdown nowadays. There wasn't much of a story going in, other than a Blue Chipper face vs. a psycho heel for a championship, but sometimes that is all you need. I'm not a huge fan of a lot of Seth's offence and that is why I'm not a huge advocate of the match, but the whole match was practically flawless in terms of execution.
Things to look out for
DAT REGAL SWAG
Ambrose's facial expressions and little nuances (the thank the lord motif, letting his body go after being hurt, cowering from Seth's punches)
A vicious looking, possibly botched, neckbreaker thing. Looks fucking great, not seen it before.
The finishing stretch and the aftermath