Meltzer’s Classics: The Young Bucks and Adam Cole vs Ricochet, Will Ospreay and Matt Sydal (3/9/16)

The hype around this six-man chaos led to many people checking out the high-octane style of PWG for the first time. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s fair to say that it’s been incredibly influential on how wrestling has gone in the last few years and matches like this helped push it to a wider audience.

Because of that, I have seen it before (and loved it), but I still came in intrigued to see how I’d react. I am burned out on this style of wrestling and recently dismissed the Lucha Bro vs Bucks matches which I suspect I would have loved just a couple of years ago. This all-action, balls to the wall and storytelling be damned thing is great, but we’ve been overwhelmed by it, and I think I need a break. Which raises the question, is this match good enough to break through that lethargy?

And you know what? The answer is yes, it is. Because unlike those Lucha Bros matches, this isn’t pretending to be some death feud. It is an exhibition of overindulgence and absurdity. Back in 2016, The Bucks were at their most ridiculous, Too Sweeting and dancing around the ring like a pair of arrogant jackasses while the fans lapped up every second of it. They were on a path that saw them get bigger and bigger, ripping up rulebooks as they went and pissing off all the right people. Those characters allowed them to go out and do the stupidest shit they could come up with, and for it to make sense. They did all this dumb stuff not because they want to win matches, but because they think it’s cool.

It helped that they were in there with one hell of a supporting cast. Adam Cole is arguably the weakest worker in the ring and, despite Chuck Taylor and Excalibur ripping into him, he’s not bad. In fact, he’s involved in one of my favourite moments, slipping underneath Sydal as he goes for a Super Frankensteiner, leaving him to fall straight down and bounce off the top rope. Then there’s Ricochet and Ospreay who are at the peak of their ‘let’s see what cool shit we can do’ phase. They’re both great, but Ricochet was something else at this point. So smooth and so incredible.

Even so, there are moments where it goes too far. Chief of which (for me) was, weirdly, Ricochet selling a simple kick to the chest with a backflip. I don’t know what it was, but that was the thing that made me scoff. While People can kick out of a million death moves, someone throwing themselves backwards from an Adam Cole kick was a step too far. Why? Fuck knows.

Anyway, there’s no point trying to capture this match in words because I’ll just be sitting here writing out spots that are a hell of a lot more interesting to watch than they are to read. Is it a five-star match? Hm, maybe. I’d probably go high fours, but who cares? It’s a shitload of fun, and if you can get yourself in that mindset, I can’t imagine not enjoying it.

If you enjoyed my ramblings, then please consider contributing to my Ko-fi, even the smallest amount is appreciated.

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