Re: The 2012 MOTYC thread
So I re-watched Punk/Bryan, and it was even better the second time. Holy shit what a smart, fun match. Punk's leg work was great and I loved how Bryan gained control by outsmarting Punk. The rib work was awesome by Bryan and Punk's selling was so good, he was holding his ribs for pretty much the whole match during moves and everything. Bryan's leg selling was also great but Punk didn't work the leg hard enough for it to stop Bryan, even though he was always reaching to hold it and it was always the cut off point for Punk. One of the best things about the match was the way it showed Bryan to be Punk's toughest opponent ever. Punk is the best in the world at selling desperation and the effects of a match throughout, and this was probably his best performance in the company in that regard. The way he was getting more and more frustrated he couldn't put Bryan away, even using Nigel Mcguinness's signature move, Bryan's toughest opponent ever. Theres no way that wasn't Punk and Bryan paying tribute to Mcguinness. They beat the tar out of each other too, it seemed like they really wanted to punish the other guy, especially those sick forearms that Bryan threw early on, and then Punk doing the same thing later in the match. Bryan's offense looks so sick, those knees are brutal looking and he really knows how to make it seem realistic. Both guys just going straight for certain body parts was awesome and the transitions between work overs were great and flowed perfectly. I love how they are really putting Bryan over as the smartest and most brutal wrestler in the company, I'm sure that's how everyone wanted him to be booked and right now WWE are doing an amazing job getting Bryan over based purely on his ring work, and holy shit is he over or what? He was getting more cheers than Punk from the crowd. Talking of the crowd, they were awesome. The loud dueling CM Punk/Daniel Bryan chants, the YES chants and the this is awesome chants. This was pretty surreal to see in a WWE ring, it wasn't a WWE style match at all, but the crowd absolutely loved it, and it wasn't as if it was a known smark heavy crowd either. The finishing stretch was great with both guys becoming more and more desperate to win and the finish itself was slightly anti climatic considering the rest of the match, but it was really good in setting up the rematch(s) which I think everyone wants to see so it worked fine, and came off even better on a re watch since I knew what the finish was. A sick, sick match with awesome storytelling, psychology, selling and perfectly executed. But when you have the two best workers in the company (or in the US), you're going to get something great. Give these guys a little longer with a proper, hotter finishing stretch and they will create a masterpiece. ****1/2
I said earlier I didn't think anything would top Naito/Okada, but this came damn close to doing it, and I would rank it just behind that match in second place.