Trash Talking Teen
Sasha Savvin vs Tanner Hill, Tanner Time (88Wrestling)
This may be the best 88Wrestling match to date. At the moment I can't think of one to beat it. It has the pain and cruelty that put any ring match over with me, two fine looking wrestlers (I swear 88 holds a patent on that tan everyone has), and an ending I did not see coming. Although not breaking any records in underground wrestling, this match also has more holds, strong punishing holds, than I've seen in the company's previous matches. Tanner has a size and weight advantage and the greater experience. Sasha has youth, of course, and a mouth that's probably going to get him into a lot of trouble.
Sasha (in the baby blue trunks) was probably born looking for trouble. But Tanner (in brown and gold) takes too much for granted when he questions Sasha's right to share the ring with him. Seemingly unshakable, Sasha counters, promising to show Tanner "who's boss around here." The Ukrainian fitness model is not inexperienced in fighting bigger opponents. His first, Dash Decker, outweighed him by 55 pounds. Tanner is closer to him in weight than either of his previous opponents. The 18-year-old may not have vanquished either of his former foes, but he put up a valiant fight.
Tanner is fleshed out a bit more than Sasha, a difference that puts me squarely on his side in this contest. Back in his Rock Hard Wrestling days, I criticized Tanner for lacking a streak of sadism. Though in this match Sasha dishes out the meaner punishments, Tanner shows he has a cold enough heart that a future as an all-out heel may be in the making. The three-rounder goes beyond give and take to offer a tip-for-tap narrative, with the wrestlers deliberately echoing each other's assaults, slightly cranking up the attack at each turn.
88 should earn some new fans from this one. The price is right, compared to most of its competitors. The camera still puts too much distance between itself and the drama. Sasha's fine rope work, as seen in the second and fourth shots above, would benefit from a better angle and tighter framing of the action. Presumably these moves are planned in advance, so it shouldn't be hard to get the camera where it needs to be to catch the grimaces, crunch, grunts, and minor dislocations that set a ring match on fire. (That last shot is more like it!)
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