Rex Bedford vs Ethan Andrews, Tic Tac Toe Submission (88Wrestling)
Here's the match Rex Bedford talked about on Sunday. It is an unexpectedly fiery match between two of the best fighters at 88Wrestling. The tic-tac-toe angle is a little corny (my opinion), but Ethan and Rex make it work (also my opinion) with a hard-as-nails determination (fact) which soon wears the cute clean off the concept (we're in eyes-of-the-beholder territory on this part).
The angle actually contributes significantly to the intensity of the 35-minute video's final 14 minutes, since to block a clean sweep of a row, the wrestler must defeat his opponent with a specific finisher. The tic-tac-toe grid consists of nine spaces, each space identifying a different winning hold:
- standing ab stretch
- camel clutch
- pin count
- figure four leg lock
- banana split
- pec claw
- sleeper knockout
- single leg Boston crab
- full leg nelson
Cunning and luck both - on top of the necessary grappling skills - play a huge part in who wins and who loses. The angle also lets 88 kayfabe the shit out of the match, but Rex and Ethan sell it 100 percent.
The wrestlers possess a thorough knowledge of the art of hurting people, which is key to winning, as Rex forthrightly pointed out in his recent interview. Although I can't (or won't) accept the 88 site's characterization of the ubiquitous Andrews as a "sinister street punk," Ethan is a fair and even match for Rex in fight, stamina, and experience. But sorry, Ethan, I'm on Team Bedford for this one.
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