Chris Hero vs. Zack Sabre Jr. from Evolve 2017

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This was Chris Hero’s final independent wrestling match (though we’ve said that before).

Saying goodbye to Chris Hero on the independent scene is not something you can do all that easily over the course of a year let alone during a single weekend. Evolve gave the ol’ College Try though and made a pretty decent go of it.

The first match against Keith Lee was marred by the ring breaking of course. However, that’s scarily appropriate for Chris Hero, seemed somewhat poetic for the end of anyone’s independent wrestling career, and actually improved the quality of their work together based on the available evidence.

The actual final match of Hero’s final indie weekend though here against Zack was spared from the mixed bag nature of the night before. Instead, it was just universally swell and captured everything that made Hero reach his artistic peak in 2016.

This match contained so many elements of great professional wrestling. Both guys were working as if they were trying to win all the time. (Yes, Zack finally working with some urgency again.)

There was a clear desire to actually BEAT each other. They did not mind hurting the opponent in order to win.

They also did not waste any time. They went 20+, but you would have no idea with out time flew.

Beyond that, they told the classic story that made so many of Hero’s 2016 singles matches instant classics: Hero is a big hoss bully who is going to dominate almost everyone across from him in the ring. They timed all of Zack’s comebacks perfectly to properly maximize the drama and excitement. (If you’re claiming you knew who was going to win this one based simply on how they worked the match, you’re absolutely lying.)

When you combine ALL of that with the nostalgia and pathos that came from knowing this might actually be Hero’s final independent wrestling matches, you have yourself one of the most satisfying wrestling matches in recent memory. Goodbye, Chris Hero. The independent wrestling scene will desperately miss you. Zack won via death submission. (****1/2)

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