Rex Bedford vs Chase Lundquist, All Stretched Out (88Wrestling)
88 is ready for its closeup, Mr. DeMille! At last, the company is pulling the camera in close enough to the pain and rage for me to feel the steam rising off the wrestlers' muscles. The three-fall match sees the "return" of MMA fighter Rex Bedford to the wrestling ring - he appeared in Catalogs 24-25 of Rock Hard Wrestling, the root from which 88 sprung last September - and his opponent is Chase Lundquist, who impressed me in his first three appearances at 88, but here I get a good look at him ... and I like what I see.
This is 88's most impressive output to date. Rex and Chase prove their expertise as ring performers, and the chemistry between them is intense. The most common complaints about Rock Hard were that the matches featured too few holds and weak segues between holds. In this match, 88 exorcises the family curse. The holds are strong and daring - I can't think of many underground wrestling sites that feature dropkicks: Bedford lands one against a cornered Lundquist within the video's first two minutes! And the wrestlers deliver some sweet body slams, too, before settling into the ungentle detail work of tormenting one's adversary's every joint. As for the transitions between assaults and holds, I have not a single complaint.
Rex, in particular, shines - his moves, his holds, his temper, his agony, all of it hits home, He has the makings of a first-class heel. Chase is pitch perfect as his adversary, a babyface who's ready to rock the ring and pop tendons. Though Rex gets the jump on him in Round 1, Lundquist rises to the challenge, a real survivor and a devil for comeuppance. The guys work the ropes and the turnbuckles, too, an art often ignored in underground wrestling. The professionalism on show is astounding. These two wrestlers close the deal with me as far as 88 is concerned. I'm sold!
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