This match opens with a Stardom-style handshake, which I differentiate from ROH’s “Code Of Honor”. Or maybe I should just say Joshi-style handshake?
Lots of pinfall attempts to open the match which Tax identifies is probably not the correct game plan for Hayter and she rightly adjusts to using her massive power advantage.
Britt Baker is on the outside during this match and as a fan, it’s hard to get used to the idea that she won’t interfere and cheat to help Jamie.
Speed vs Power continues to be the story of the match which feels so satisfyingly subverted when Riho manages to hit her Snap Dragon Suplex. One of my favourite moments in this match is Riho setting up Hayter for the Snap Dragon in a full nelson position. Hayter easily breaks free from it but that moment of shifting weight allows Riho to German Suplex Jamie. Still trilling, however, is watching Jamie do, what I call, her Snap Jackhammer and just generally throw Riho around the ring.
These are two masters in the ring. The action was so great and the style difference allows for fun spots, all executed perfectly. And yet, I couldn’t feel any drama in this match, as good as it was. There was just no chance Riho was walking out with the World Title, so I was left simply marvelling at the skill of the performance rather than getting emotionally invested.
The finishing sequence in this match did pump me up however. Jamie Hayter hits Hayterade but it was off a counter so it almost felt like it was only at 80% and Riho kicks out. Jamie just cranks back her head and screams into ceiling of the UBS Arena, not out of frustration but determination. She picks Riho back up and gives her the full-blown Hayterade for the win.
Post match, Jamie gives Riho the utmost respect, shaking her hand. Great match. I love these two women. The predictiable outcome hurt my level of investment but of course there’s so much more to wrestling than that. These types of matches push the division forward.