April 22, 2007
Read Kevin Ford’s take here.
Buy this match here.
Post by TJ Hawke:
This was for Akuma and Icarus’ Campeonatos de Parejas.
On paper, this does not seem like the greatest collection of talent (although all four clearly have skill with Akuma being my favorite of the bunch). However, the match manages to exceed expectations almost entirely by defying expectations for what a match between these two teams “should” look like. When you think of F.I.S.T., you think of rudo shenanigans. When you think of Up in Smoke, you think of short sprints and cool spots. Thus, you can easily imagine these two teams combining those two ideas and forming a good match around them. Instead, they did something entirely different.
They worked the “slow burn” match. This is a style that I tend to not enjoy as it is overused/relied upon too much, and many wrestlers don’t know how to employ it in an entertaining manner. These guys managed to do just that though.
Up In Smoke took the first fall by outsmarting and out-scouting F.I.S.T. Right away, the challengers forced the champions and the crowd to take them seriously. Then in the second fall, Akuma kicked Cloudy so hard and so much that he caused Cloudy to repeatedly vomit. While that probably meant something went wrong, it added a ton of intrigue to the match. Would the match end early? Would Cloudy get taken to the back? What happens next???
F.I.S.T. was brutal to Cloudy after that, and it eventually led to F.I.S.T. capturing the second fall after Icarus made Cloudy tap out. The final fall eventually became about Cloudy’s ability to stay alive, and then the challengers throwing everything they had at the champs. It was not perfectly executed, but it was a fitting conclusion. Akuma eventually put Cloudy down for good though with a diving powerbomb.
This was a case of four wrestlers working really hard to produce something quite unique. It stood out especially in comparison to a lot of indie tag matches that are so bing-bang-boom that I am exhausted and just want them to end. This, I savored. It was not perfect. I would not even call it great. It was good though and worth the time. (***1/2)