Phil Schneider’s 3-Count

Usos vs. Roman Reigns/Solo Sikoa

I am probably a bit of a low voter on the Roman Reigns “cinema” main events, I have liked a bunch of them ok, and really loved 99% of the Sami Zayn match, but I like my wrestling to be a gritty crime film, not a melodrama.

Still I have a real fondness for super over main event wrestling, and they certainly built this story for years to reach a huge climax.

I am a little tired of the same tropes in every Reigns match, they need to retire the ref bump/visual fall which happens in the last six minutes of every match, and he could certainly do less monologuing. This match did do a great job of showing off his perfect timing, he is one of the best ever at that, and this had some impeccable kick-outs and cut offs. I also love Solo in this, he is really great at portraying a cold blooded bad ass, and I really like the different flavor he adds to the act, a huge fan of a taped fist and they have done an awesome job establishing that Samoan Spike as a killer KO shot.

The Uso’s have been heels for so long, that I don’t think they have fully gotten their babyface juice back, it was a relatively muted performance from them, especially considering what a huge win it was. Very superkicky and not kicks that landed especially hard (folks need to watch Chris Adams tapes). Still a huge moment, not having Reigns eat a pin for so long made this mean so much more, and the pop this got really made Reigns going over Cody make a lot of sense.

Roderick Strong vs. Samoa Joe

As we await the rematch of an iconic Samoa Joe indy feud from the mid 2000s, we got a rematch of a slightly less iconic, but still kick ass Samoa Joe feud from the mid 2000s. Joe and Roddy faced off seven times in 2005 and 2006, twice in IWA Mid-South, twice in FIP (a Florida based ROH sister indy which Roddy was the champion of), once in ROH proper, once in Maryland Championship Wrestling and in a short TNA squash. Strong’s main issue in his career has been a lack of pizzaz, but he has always been willing to square up and throw hands and Joe is a perfect opponent for him.

The match started with Roddy using his speed advantage to dance around Joe and lace him with chops, only for Joe to land a couple of one hitter quitter forearms. Joe took over and laid in a beating, and he is still one of the great “lay in a beating” wrestlers.

Roddy got some big moments, including landing a back breaker, which had to be hell on Strong’s knees, but eventually fell to the Coquina clutch. Tightly executed violent wrestling wet my whistle for the Joe vs. Punk match next week, and kind of made me want to search out their IWA and FIP series.

Takanori Ito vs. Fujita Hayato

This was a match for the LIDET UWF title, which is a championship based around the original UWF shoot style rule set. Shootstyle was once one of the biggest styles of wrestling in Japan with promotions like UWFI and PWFG running Dome shows. It has sadly pretty much died out in Japan, with many of the stars and promotions moving into straight MMA. GLEAT has brought it back in the last couple of years, and this was a nice throwback to the old school days.

Ito is a former full contact karate champion and came into the match holding the title. Hayato is a former Greco Roman champion who came into wrestling as part of Michinoku Pro. He recently returned to wrestling after a spinal tumor and is best known for his brutal striking.

The match started with some really good back and forth grappling, which led to Hayato grabbing a jumping guillotine. Ito breaks the hold by sending them both flying over the top rope. They reset in the ring and Ito laced into Hayato with some really thumping knees to the body. Hayato responded with some fast slaps, and jumped into the guillotine again, only to get countered with a brain buster and released german suplex, for an 8 count. Ito rushed Hayato when he got up with some nasty kicks to the body, only to get dropped with high kick.  They then start exchanging kicks and open hand strikes, not in a your turn-my turn way, but like a wild MMA exchange. That leads to a scramble on the ground with Hayato able to grab his guillotine for the third time and choke out Ito for the win. They did a great job of mixing in suplexes with stuff which looked like an exciting middleweight MMA match, stiff violent and full of skill. I love well done shootstyle and I am really excited to see what Hayato will do with the title.

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