If this is your first SMF, please read the "Styles Make Fights" introductory post, to be sure you understand our premise, then come right back and join us!
Last time. I said that Hikaru Shida may respond to Ryo Mizunami's dominating offense either by amping up her own offensive production to squeeze her challenger out, or by slowing down, weathering the storm and waiting for her opening.
Boy was I wrong!
Instead, Shida chose a middle course, upping her production, but only slightly. Not fighting a defensive rope-a-dope, but not trying to match her explosive rival blow for blow, either. This middle course led her straight to victory in an exemplary showcase of wrestling acumen.
TNT Championship Match:
Champion Darby Allin vs.
Face of the Revolution Winner Scorpio Sky
Tomorrow night, Darby Allin will defend his title against ladder match winner Scorpio Sky. The last time Darby defended his title, it was against Joey Janela, a guy with a very similar attitude, but a very different mix of offense. In Scorpio, he faces someone with an extremely different personal style (BLAND) but a very similar fighting style.
Not that "a lot like Darby Allin, except with more strikes" is at all an unusual fighting style. In fact, two of Allin's previous singles match-ups pitted him against competitors who could be described that same way.
However, that comparison breaks down when you look at their offense when they actually fought Allin. He's a disruptive and unorthodox force with a marked tendency to scramble his opponents' strategies in disparate and unpredictable ways.
For example, when facing Guevara, Allin left the flying to Sammy and focused on totally outwrestling him: stretching the Spanish God and even throwing him around the ring. As far as technical wrestling goes, Sammy couldn't get out of the blocks!
But when Darby met the very similar Kip Sabian, it was Sabian who tried throwing his opponent around the ring, while Allin focused on aerial attacks and counters. While Sabian totally dominated offense from bell to bell, it was all a rope a dope leading to his defeat.
So, suffice it to say, Allin has options when facing a new but familiar sort of challenger in Sky. Since the holder of the "brass ring" has a bit more mass than any of the other wrestlers I've discussed, I wouldn't be surprised if he took an approach similar to against Sabian, focused on counters and leaps, and absorbing a lot of punishment before suddenly turning the tables. But Allin is unpredictable, so I wouldn't be too surprised if he were to surprise me, either.
The only thing that would really surprise me is if he were to lose his grip on the championship he believes is his proof that he is the face of the future.... unless he is just too banged up from his war against Team Taz to perform at the level we are accustomed to seeing from him.