NWL KC: Devlin vs. Ray Briggs vs. Chad Barstow (March 4, 2017)

Seeing double.

It’s a sub-10 minute match that adds fuel to Briggs’s frustration towards Devlin, but since the finish is pretty much the same that of Briggs’s last match, there’s not really anything new. I can see why it didn’t make it onto the TV show.

Still very young in his career, Briggs looks slightly awkward at points, but the crowd still seems to like him. Devlin plays his weaselly role very well, mouthing off with the crowd about how smart he thinks he is whenever he gets the better end of an exchange. And even though Barstow’s obviously included as the fall guy, he makes sure to keep his character noticeable with his goofy social media-obsessed antics.

There’s a tower of doom spot out of a tree of Joey Lawrence pretty early on. Briggs hits his trademark dropkick, but not quite as blatantly as usual. Barstow and Devlin work together a little bit and get the ref to film them with Barstow’s phone while they drop a series of elbows onto Briggs. They then of course turn on each other when they can’t agree on who should pin him.

After Barstow knocks Devlin down with a head kick, Briggs catches him from behind with a clumsy-looking Pick 6. A video of Devlin appears on screen, telling Briggs it’s time for him to lose and to watch the dropkick. In the ring, Devlin dropkicks Briggs from behind, sending him out of the ring. Devlin then pins Barstow.

Winner – Devlin

Rating – OK

I liked the characters and the story. Barstow and Devlin’s work in the ring was good, and Briggs’s was passable. I’m not a big fan of wrestlers being so easily distracted by videos or music, but that’s something that is ubiquitous across pro wrestling, so it is what it is. I also feel kind of bad for Barstow having to sell such a weak-looking move as if it were devastating enough to keep him out for as long as he was. Maybe it would’ve come across better if Devlin had hit him with another move before pinning him, but then Briggs would’ve had to oversell the dropkick, so there’s no perfect solution. In the broad scheme of things, it’s no big deal.

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