This was a perfect wrestling match albeit with a couple spots (that didn’t really involve the women in the match) that I took minor issue with but nothing that affected my enjoyment of the match overall. Jamie Hayter & Riho, with their differences in styles and abilities, have amazing chemistry and deliver us maybe the absolute best example of “styles creating matches”. In my reviews, I’m trying to do less recapping and more critical reviewing but there were so many great spots in this match it will be a challenge not to get into the weeds. Alright, let’s get into it…
So the story in this match is size & power vs quickness & escapability. The match opens up with Hayter getting some early strikes in on Riho, all of which can take her to the mat. Riho though does escape of out of a pin with a matrix and delivers a Hurricanerana.
Pedantic Patrick #1
Early into this match is where I had my first of two (minor) issues with this match. Riho finally turns the momentum and goes to run off the ropes for an attack when Britt Baker grabs her ankle and holds Riho there for several seconds. Rick Knox ***CLEAR AS DAY*** spots this and gives a light admonishing to Britt. The fact that Baker wasn’t ejected from ringside immediately really bothered me in the moment. Having watched it back, however, I think it may have been a blown spot over a miscommunication because Britt grabs Riho’s ankle then let’s go (which Rick didn’t see) then grabs it again which by then Rick has turned back to the action and he may have been stuck being forced to acknowledge the interference but we needed Britt out there for the remainder of the match.
Anyway, I’d quickly be brought back into this match as they’d setup the spot where Riho does a flying crossbody on Hayter onto the floor. I’ve seen them hit this spot several times and it always looks amazing and most importantly, credibly painful on Hayter. If you’ve never watched Riho wrestle before and you wonder how this diminutive sprite is supposed to compete with a hoss like Jamie Hayter, this will quickly answer your question.
Can do no wrong
There’s also a neat spot that I couldn’t tell if it was a course correction or not but Hayter grabs ahold of Riho’s waist and looks like she’s going to drive her back first into the ring post but they actually miss the post and Hayter turns Riho around and runs her into the apron. If this wasn’t planned it worked perfectly to demonstrate the dynamic between the two where Riho’s feet are quick enough to make Hayter miss on her initial idea but Jamie is just so powerful that she can power through and turn what she was going to do into something else.
After getting back in the ring Jamie Hayter hits a couple snap suplexes that will live in my mind for a good while. They’re almost like “Snap Jackhammers”. Absolutely snug with no room for Riho to exercise her escapability. We get some lush cinematography of Riho convalescing against the turnbuckle while Hayter taunts from across the ring and starts walking towards her like a horror movie monster.
Riho would get thrown between the ropes to the floor and while Jamie has Rick Knox distracted, Britt puts her boot on the neck of Riho and then taunts Riho. Riho is just the perfect babyface. So sympathetic. So easy to get behind. Riho just looks crushed at Britt’s cruelty.
Pedantic Patrick #2
This is my only other gripe with this match is the non-involvement of Toni Storm. I can buy Toni Storm not accompanying Riho to the ring. Riho is her own woman. But after last week, where Riho made the save for Toni Storm against these same very women—and Toni looked so delighted to see Riho—Why in the fuck wouldn’t Storm come down to even the odds? From the aftermath of the match, we knew Toni was nearby. Again, mostly a minor thing but I thought it was a missed opportunity to dovetail last week’s storyline into tonight’s.
From here we begin to see Riho fight back. Jamie is still able to flatten Riho with a single club to the back but Riho persists, leveraging the most weight and power that she can including cartwheeling through a clothesline and delivering a double stomp to Hayter’s midsection. Riho goes for a Feinting Tiger (619) but Hayter blocks it. Hayter tries to bring Riho back into the ring with a suplex but Riho reverses it and grabs a back waist lock. Riho goes for a German Suplex but Jamie hits her with elbows until Riho ducks one which spins Jamie right around which Riho uses that momentum to lift Jamie overhead into a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Beautiful psychology, beautiful execution.
The crowd wasn’t as hot as this match deserved but I think we need to be reminded sometimes that crowds don’t make the match. The quality of this one was undeniable. Also, sometimes when I’m really into a match, I’m so focused on what I’m watching that all my reactions are internal. I’ll give Norfolk the benefit of the doubt.
Riho then goes up top for another Cross Body Dive but this time Hayter rolls through it and picks up Riho for a Sheer Drop Brainbuster for two. Jamie is visibly frustrated at this point and Baker actually looks a bit frustrated at Hayter too. Jamie then grabs a waist lock which scans as her trying to setup the Ripcord Lariat but Riho uses an elbow to get out. So much of the offence in this match comes from countering the other. Really good stuff. Finally, Riho looks like she’s gaining some momentum when Britt grabs Riho’s boot again. Rebel had Rick Knox distracted. Hayter catches Riho as she’s going for a Meteora. Riho tries for a sunset flip but Hayter stops her then picks her up for a two-handed chokeslam but Riho reverses that into Code Red! Hayter kicks out at two.
R.I.P. Cord lariat
The end looked to be setup after Hayter would evade the Diving Stomp and hit her patented back breaker on Riho leaving her prone for the Ripcord Lariat but Riho reverses that into an awesome Snap Dragon Suplex for two. Hayter evades an attack and tries for her finisher again but Riho turns it into that same memorable roll up pin she beat Britt Baker with in the past. We can hear and see Britt screaming for Jamie to kick out which she does at two. Great detail there.
Jamie then hits a thrust kick into Riho’s face and sets up for the Ripcord Lariat and this time, does a much more snug, quick variation of it, leaving Riho no air to escape and Hayter gets the three-count. After the match, Jamie sells her neck beautifully.
These women, Jamie Hayter and Riho are both so incredible and I’m all he more awestruck watching them go head-to-head. My own pedantic complaints aside, this was, like I said in the opening, a perfect wrestling match. Even better on the second watch which, if you haven’t done yet, I recommend you do. This is the highest rating I’ve given a match to date on this blog.
Jamie Hayter wins via pinfallJamie Hayter wins via pinfall
- Pure magic
- Jamie Hayter's Snap Jackhammers
- That Code Red!
- A couple minor pedantic issues with the booking but nothing big