There’s been a lot of controversy over the mega-viral match between Ricochet and Will Ospreay. While a lot of people have praised the athleticism and precision of the match, others have criticized it for looking like a choreographed attraction more than a wrestling match.
Stone Cold Steve Austin, known for hard-hitting offense and violent matches, had a reaction on his podcast that might surprise the traditionalists:
It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The athleticism, incredible. The timing, the precision, unbelievable. How these guys pulled off some of the stuff they did is beyond me. For something to kind of compare it to, I went on YouTube and pulled up Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask…I’ve never seen two guys so athletic at the same time in the squared circle. I thoroughly enjoyed it. That being said…there’s a couple of DDTs in here that are just spot on, not enough selling on that end. Some of the offense, some of the forms could have been delivered with more an intent to hurt. Some of that Lucha stuff where you drive by each other on the ropes, that’s not my thing.
But as an athletic endeavor or a spectacle, it was absolutely fantastic. I give both guys a big thumbs up for their performance. This match might have been a little bit more performance art more so than wrestling so to speak….I thought the match was tremendous.
So Austin had some of the same criticisms I (and many of you) have. Some of the offense was a bit weak and there was zero selling throughout. But I can’t deny the athleticism and flawless execution. Austin went on to say that he would pick these guys up immediately if he wanted to launch a promotion, but he’d want them to lay in their offense a bit more. Fair and valid take there from Austin. Refreshing.
Wrestling, at its heart, is about entertaining and I’m not sure who wouldn’t be entertained by that match. It’s amazing how people can trash this match, but chant “This Is Awesome” when a wrestler kayfabe hypnotizes someone in the middle of the ring or does a slow motion match for comedy. I’m not sure if the Ricochet/Ospreay match was any less realistic than Roman Reigns getting his with 10 chair shots then popping up and spearing AJ Styles two seconds later. I guarantee that Ospreay and Ricochet’s next match will be just as watched and viral the second time around no matter how much people complained about this one.