Source: The Steve Austin Show
Recently, on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin talked about the controversial match between Ricochet, also known as Lucha Underground's Prince Puma, and Will Ospreay for New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Several veterans, including former WCW World Heavyweight Champion Vader, were critical of the match based on a short .gif of the match that surfaced the next day.
"The athleticism, incredible. The timing [and] the precision, unbelievable! Off the charts! A 10 out of 10! How these guys pulled off some of the the stuff that they did is beyond me." Austin continued, "as an athletic endeavor, a spectacle, it was just absolutely fantastic. I give both guys a big thumbs up for their performance. And it was almost as if this match was a little bit kind of performance art more so than wrestling, so to speak. But again, some of the moves Prince Puma or Ricochet just hit off the ropes, the kid hit him with a wheel kick in mid air. Again, the timing, the precision, the athletic ability, how they pulled this off, I have no idea."
'The Texas Rattlesnake' compared this NJPW Best Of The Super Juniors bout to the fantastic 'Dynamic Kid' versus Tiger Mask match from July of 1982.
"For something to kind of compare it to, I got on YouTube and I pulled up 'Dynamite Kid' versus Tiger Mask going all the way back to 7/23/1982. 'Dynamite Kid' versus Tiger Mask. That's another one for you to watch. I'll give it to you right now because I'm talking about it. So, just to have something to compare it to, I've never seen two guys so athletic at the same time in the squared circle and the way they executed this, the timing, it was just off the charts." Austin added "but when I compare this to 'Dynamite Kid' versus Tiger Mask, it's like no one can deny just the intent or the intensity of 'Dynamite Kid'. It was just off the charts. The guy was a real bad ass and laid his stuff in and it looked so vicious. And Tiger Mask, of course, was unbelievable, so I just thought the match was tremendous."
Austin claimed that the controversial matchup could have done with some more selling by the participants, though he admitted that any criticisms he had were nitpicking.
"Some of the stuff, there [were] a couple of DDTs in here that are just spot on. Not enough selling on that end. Some of the offense, as far as some of the forms, could have been delivered with a little bit more intent to hurt, you know, laid in a little bit better. Some of that lucha stuff, you know, when you drive by each other and just kind of get off the ropes, sometimes is not my thing." Austin added, "if these guys would've put in maybe four to five minutes worth of selling mixed in with all the bad ass stuff that they did, then it could have been off the charts epic. But again, that's me nitpicking it. And if you want me to say thumbs up [or] thumbs down, I've got to say thumbs up. Hellacious effort by both guys."
Austin suggested that Ospreay should work on his facial expressions a bit, though he would happily hire both Ospreay and Ricochet if he was running a professional wrestling territory.
"The [professional wrestling] business just keeps evolving. When you see a match like this, I don't think you could see a whole entire card of action like this, first and foremost because I don't think there [are] too many other human beings on the planet that could have executed this match. I think Ricochet and Will Ospreay are two of the most talented, athletic guys in the squared circle in the world right now. If I had a [professional] wrestling promotion and I was looking to hire two individuals, these are two individuals that I would hire. Now, I might modify and ask them to sell a little bit more." Austin said, "to Will Ospreay: sometimes the facials are a bit over the top. That's just me critiquing the guy, just being very critical."
Finally, Austin gave the match his 'Broken Skull' seal of approval and he recommended that everyone watch the match.
"I can't s--t on this match at all. Bad ass, unbelievable, and I recommend it. Everybody out there watch it." Austin continued, "shout out to both guys. Props. Throw a little bit of selling in there. For what it was, it was amazing and I'll leave it at that."
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