Ben Wyatt's Low Cal Calzone Zone
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Golfing with Stephen Hawking, he lied about his handicap. Didn't need a golf cart though, I just sat in his lap.
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Re: The 2012 MOTYC thread
Finlay vs Sami Callihan III, EVOLVE 11 (4/13/12)
Excellent match, though hard to say if I preferred it to the 2011 encounter. Thought the way they worked a more even and closely contested contest was a nice change of pace and there was enough struggle and fight for every bit of control that it came off like an authentic scrap instead of a plodding encounter with no decisive advantage being displayed. Opening few minutes are insane with Finlay hitting a disgusting headbutt which floors Sami & draws blood immediately on impact, then proceeding to beat the piss out of him on the floor including a nasty apron shot and a turnbuckle bump that sounded horribly painful. Loved how a Sami headbutt which momentarily caught Finlay off guard led to his takedown and attempt to ground Sami and keep control from that position, and I liked the way Sami fought to prevent Finlay getting a hold of the leg and slowly transitioning into his forearm smash to a tied up Finlay. Finlay's immediate selling after this was really subtle but still excellent, shaking the cobwebs loose and looking flustered even though he was able to catch an unsuspecting Callihan with a forearm and regain slight control.
Thought Callihan bumped and sold really well throughout and always made himelf look helpless and in complete agony which really added to his plight and consistent flurries of little shots trying to create an opening. This was typified in the setup for his dive with him eating a few bumps before managing to catch Finlay off guard and transition to the dive which Finlay took a dangerous looking bump off of by falling directing back into the seats. The setup to the spot and resulting dive was the first bit of control Sami had managed after being largely on the defensive so it was great to see his extended selling of the prior beating play into Finlay being able to throw him to the floor as he tried to climb the turnbuckle to once again force Callihan back into working from beneath Finlay. The match really takes off here with Finlay punting a helpless Sami in the spine before focusing on the leg with his patented bodyslam into the ropes spot followed by a unique approach in rattling Sami's leg off the ring post. Finlay was his typical aggressive self in the workover, really torquing and abusing Sami to relentless degrees including another vicious headbutt with Sami prone on the top rope and it made Callihan's eventual counter into the superkick to the knee spot feel like a potential match winning blow and I loved Sami immediately attempting the stretch muffler only for Finlay to once again find a counter and kick Sami through the ropes onto the announce table.
I didn't like Sami's kickout at one after the celtic cross but truth be told I didn't mind the way they paced the next few kickouts. The two celtic crosses in succession felt like a decisive match ender and worked as a genuine nearfall, and the way Sami fought to escape the tombstone, only to eat a nasty bump off the short arm lariat felt like a classic puro sequence where you sense the end is near and Sami was just delaying the inevitable which made his kickout of the tombstone (a nice callback to the finish of the 2011 match) even more heroic and purposeful. Truth be told I thought the next sequence was the weakest of the match, as the double boot knockdown spot felt wasted in being done 3 times over, though it did play nicely into the final sequence with Finlay going for a backslide, still feeling the effects of the boot and being caught by a stretch muffler...only to kick Sami twice in the face before a beautiful payoff to the earlier legwork by kicking him in the knee and transitioning immediately into a cross armbreaker the minute Sami collapsed on the mat for the submission.
Overall a very well layed out match with a great Finlay performance in control, adding his usual subtle spots as well as vicious offence and selling very well in the few times he was called to (loved his slight hobble after throwing Sami to the floor after the previous dive bump and brief Sami legwork). Sami however might have been the better guy overall. He emoted very well and kept the cartoony facial expressions to a minimum, bumped and sold the pain and beating throughout the match and made his plight look desperate and hopeless and timed all the brief hope spots well enough to make them come off as authentic rather than breaking off any flow to the match. The Finlay legwork eventually playing into the finish after Callihan had done so well to overcome Finlay's offence that won the 2011 match also typified Finlay's resolve and ensured the kickouts progressed the story from the last match with Finlay having to find a new way to slip past Callihan. Wonderful stuff.