Updated: Sep 10
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 we were previewing Darby Allin's TNT title defense against Scorpio Sky, and I identified two main types of matches Allin has: he has a small-man style he employs against much bigger competitors like Brian Cage that is focused on dives and counters and rope-a-dope. And there's a different style that works in more throws and even some striking when he goes toe to toe with someone like Janela. But I failed to recognize that he actually has a third style that he pulls out against more technical opponents such as Cody Rhodes, and that was the Darby we saw last week:
I was right to think that he would rope a dope Sky, but I was surprised to see him focus on technical wrestling to the exclusion of all other offense this time out. Darby's amazing versatility put Scorpio on the backfoot and led to Sky failing to capture the title, and, subsequently, snapping.
How awesome does this look?
But we're not previewing that match, for the same reason we didn't preview the exploding barbed-wire deathmatch a week and a half ago: The data SMF runs on is data on standard rules one-on-one matches. So this week we'll be talking about the Prince of Pro Wrestling versus the Lord of Lucha Libre:
Cody Rhodes vs. Penta el Cero Miedo
They made this one look pretty darn cool, too:
Cody Rhodes and Pentagon are two very different wrestlers and their respective offensive styles reflects that:
The only exception is that they both are quite technical and both have rather low rates of offense both absorbed and delivered.
Penta has been focused on the tag division and his forays into singles have not been very successful. His odds against the rather dominant Cody Rhodes don't look good. How will he attempt to adjust to close the gap? Well, we have seen him in a very similar match-up recently, against Kenny Omega:
Against Kenny, Penta eschewed the technical side of his game and leaned into his daredevil aerialism. Can I see this strategy coming into play against Cody? No, and there's two big reasons for that: Cody has a vulnerability in his shoulder, and Penta's finish is the Arm Breaker. Penta will almost certainly focus on the technical side of his arsenal aiming towards exploiting Cody's vulnerability and leading up to his finisher.
Considering the difference in their respective win columns, it seems likely that Cody will find a way to survive this strategy and come out on top in the end. But if Penta hits that Arm Breaker, Cody may finally need to take a few weeks to heal up.