Style Battle 01/07/16 Review
Season 1 Episode 1
Tampa Bay, FL
Ivy Astoria Event Center
The first reimagined Style Battle took place last night as part of WWN’s double dose weekend, with FIP: Everything Burns taking place the next night. WWN Ambassador Trevin Adams and Mr. St Laurent were the commentary team for the event.
Darby Allin vs Dave Crist
The opener was a solid match from these two, albeit a bit of a short match up. Allin seems to feed off the crowd and this match did not produce the same emotion that I have seen from Allin matches in the past. This also may have been partially attributed to the arena, which was outdoors in what was reportedly 48 degree weather in Florida. Allin mounted some early offense, using his aerial ability and hit his signature Coffin drop to the outside on Crist. Crist did eventually overpower Allin for a while, save for an offensive flurry from Allin. Crist won with his spinning DDT called the Squaring Compass. It seemed that Crist was working as a face here, which was a bit odd as Allin is normally a fan favorite as an underdog.In a segment that would follow every match, Trevin Adams briefly interviewed Crist, who put over Darby Allin.
Winner: Dave Crist
Dezmond Xavier vs Sammy Guevara
Both Guevara and Xavier showed off their ability to use flips to reverse each other, but as defensive maneuvers, not offensive and it felt a bit forced at times. The end saw Guevara connect with a Spanish fly from from the top rope followed by 630 but that only managed to earn him a two count, as Xavier was able to grab the rope before the three count. Xavier hit an enziguri following with corkscrew senton off the top rope for the win..After the match Xavier put Sammy over and then pointed out that he knows Crist very well and planned to win the contest later in the night.These two are clearly very athletically gifted, but something did not seem to click during the match.
Winner: Dezmond Xavier
AR Fox vs Austin Theory
The crowd really came alive as Fox came out. Adams added to this match speaking about how Fix actually trained theory. Fox started off with immediate death-defying offensive, even hitting a reverse flipping senton off the top rope to the outside. Back inside Theory showed off his strength by reversing a springboard into a spinebuster/chokeslam. Theory followed with an Oklahoma slam before mocking Fox and going for a jumping moonsault, only to be thwarted as Fox rolled him up. Theory worked a slower, more powerful style that really complemented his cocky heel style. Fox was able to fight his former student off and almost put the match away with a diving senton off the top rope, although Theory was able to kick out. Theory then hit an Unproven bomb, a spinning sitout powerbomb, reminiscent of a Bang-A-Rang. Fox was able to kick out and after a flurry of offense, the two battled on the apron, with Theory dropping Fox with a fisherman buster type move onto the apron. Back inside, the two exchanged rights as each doubled over backwards on their knees, in faux slow motion.Fox came out the winner after hitting a Lo Mein Pain, followed by the Foxcatcher. After match Fox called WWN the house that Fox built and reminded everyone that he was the first style battle winner and he plans on winning again.
Winner: AR Fox
Anthony Henry vs. Fred Yehi
The match started with both men trying to gain a quick advantage with submissions, reversing each other adeptly. A shoulder tackle exchange saw the the two stand each other up, but Henry was able to hit an exploder, only for Yehi to start using his stomping to equalize. The match really felt as if it had different gears, as the men started to speed up and slow back down, with neither man really gaining a pronounced advantage early on. Yehi and Henry then began to exchange incredibly stiff strikes, with Yehi going for his signature stomps and Henry eventually catching on and reversing Yehi. Henry hit an impressive spinning TKO, dumping Yehi into the top rope and to the outside with the move before laying into Yehi with kicks, almost winning the match via countout. Yehi was able to beat the cunt just before the twenty count by D.A. Brewer and back inside the match turned to another gear, with both men match each other with stiff shots and suplexes. Neither man could really put the other away and as the time ticked closer to the time limit, both traded near falls with increasing urgency. As Henry locked a cobra clutch crossface, a two minute warning came over the loudspeaker. Yehi escaped and locked in the Koji clutch after a fisherman bomb, but Henry held out and did not tap, with the time limit expiring, eliminating both men.Easily the match of night. After the match Henry, despite not winning, went over to Adams and demanded to be able to appear on Style Battle in the future.
Winner: Time Limit Draw
Dezmond Xavier vs Dave Crist
The Battle of Dayton started off hot, with Xavier depositing Crist on the outside with a hurricanrana, following up with two suicide dives and a plancha over the top rope. Xavier stayed in control back on the inside until Crist connected with a 540 knee to the shoulder.Crist powerslammed Xavier onto ropes, apparently injuring Xavier’s leg. Crist was in control for most of the short match, taking advantage of Xavier’s missed corkscrew senton and hitting a snowplow for the pinfall victory. Crist got on the mic and put Xavier over, but proclaimed 2017 to be the year of Dave Crist, insisting that he would defeat Fox in the finals.
Winner: Dave Crist
13 Man Fray Match
Eliminations can come from pinfalls and submissions in the first match after the intermission.The first two combatants were Chris Henry and Trevor Aeon,followed by Rob Barnes, Jake Omen. The first elimination came when Omen pinned Henry then springboard dropkicked Aeon for the second elimination.Mitch Mitchell came in and quickly pinned Barnes. Hunter Law and Wheeler Yuta were the next two men in and Mitchell pinned Omen shortly thereafter following a neckbreaker. Matt Palmer and Dante Caballero entered before the next elimination, which saw Yuta tombstone Law while holding Law’s feet, which seemed to add more impact.recent EVOLVE contract signee Jason Kincaid came won. Palmer rolled up Caballero just before Drew Bronson and Dj Talamantez made their way to the ring. Kincaid pinned Bronson after a facebuster. Chris SIlvio came out as the final entrant.Mitchell made DJ tap, only to have Kincaid pin him right afterwards. Kincaid pinned Palmer and the bell rang, but Silvio was still in the match. He tried for a quick roll up, but Kincaid was able to kick out, eventually hitting a double stop from the ring post before making Silvio tap to a modified dragon sleeper. The match was unexpected in terms of the event and was hectic, as is to be expected from a match of this type.
Winner: Jason Kincaid
AR Fox vs. Dave Crist
All AR Fox to start this match. Slingshot leg drop from apron to Crist. Fox hits a coast to coast on Crist who then crawled onto the apron. Crist finally gets some offense in, a neckbreaker with Fox’s legs hanging on ropes followed by another, but that only earned Crist only a two count. Tree of woe by Crist, as he then went coast to coast with a dropkick. Crist slowed it down, kicking and chopping Fox in the corner, only to have Fox counter an irish whip and connect with a codebreaker. Crist hit the squaring compass finisher, but Fox kicked out. Crist climbed to the top rope, but was too slow and Fox hit him with a big boot and then a Lo Mein Pain followed by a Fox catcher for two. Crist kicked out yet again after a 450 splash. Crist then hit an insane double springboard cutter for the win.
Winner of Tournment: Dave Crist
Final Reaction: B+
This was a good first showing Styles Battle. Not all the matches clicked and as a viewer, the intermission and the fray made the event longer than previously anticipated. It’s understandable to give the crowd a chance to get a break, as well as the wrestlers, but the format did not indicate this how long the show would go.Most normally the WWN events seem to clock in at just under the three hour mark, so this was definitely longer than some of its other offerings. There is a real novelty here, especially with the amount of new talent that has been given the opportunity for a platform such as this one and it could very well be a continued success. Giving this a watch if you already have Floslam is a no-brainer. I look forward to seeing how future episodes might feature different “styles” down the line.