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The controlled chaos that was Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet at BOSJ

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We live in a chaotic world. There are entire theories devoted to the way that this world will muck one’s perspective. Entire genres of music, films and theater have fallen to the chaos that is improvisation. When once one could wonder what the weather would do, climate change has left us sprinting from January to June and all the way ‘round again. This is why Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay was both thrilling and comforting.

It’s possible that many a fan of those sepia-toned Halcyon days of southern pro-wrestling would tell you that their match contained today’s Indy crutches of flip kicks and kickpads. In fact, the southern wrestling tradition, and to a degree Vince McMahon’s Harlem Globetrotters-cum-fascistic, corporate circus, have made wrestling an art of rest holds, lighting and place cues, and order. There are few visuals that can capture our frantic times, like the 17 minute flurry of even-handed offense from Ricochet and Ospreay.

So chaotic, and in control; it is a balance of which many dream, but few can achieve. One can use terms like “get over” and “look good” that many a wrestling writer would like to use, but what stands out most about this match is how the acrobatics of both wrestlers complimented all that preceded. Special credit should be given to Will Ospreay for playing the heel role tonight, without cutting Ricochet off at the knees. Many a heel will play against crowd expectation, cutting off a flip, maybe no-selling an opponent’s acrobatics, but Ospreay instead relied on his smug English-ness to present a three-dimensional character delivering springboard flips and spin kicks simply because he can.

Where Ospreay flew and flipped because he could, Ricochet’s aerial magic felt done out of necessity. When one has built up the reputation of the performer who does a 630-degree senton, where most are comfortable doing a 450-degree splash, Ricochet has a lot to prove. He proved himself and then some.

When viewing the match in real time, a draw feels like the only likely conclusion. So evenly matched are the performers, that upon reaching a 19-count from the referee, the final, inevitable 20-count looms. Viewers raise their glass, and prepare their standing ovations, only to be floored when the two men seeming leap under the bottom rope, breaking the count. Possibilities fly through the viewers head. A time limit draw? Double-DQ? Do they just shake hands and call it? How must this match end? Ricochet kicks out of an Essex Destroyer. Ospreay hits every move in his book, and Ricochet matches him. Finally, Ospreay dodges the only 630 Senton of the night and then hits a flurry of offense that concludes with a Springboard Cutter and a successful three count.

Looking back at the match, Ospreay had Ricochet’s scouted from the bell. He met “The Future of Flight” flip for flip and kick for kick. I will not hold one missed Jumping Corkscrew Roundhouse Kick against “The Aerial Assassin” as he came off as the smarter, better wrestler and a smug, British bastard. If you like pro-wrestling, Sports Entertainment or acrobatics in general, seek this match out. Take comfort in the fact that there can be such control behind what appears to be such chaos.

Ross W Berman IV is a folk-singer and co host of the RAW Rebellion on WrestleZone.com.@RossWBermanIV rossberman.bandcamp.com

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