Lance Archer vs. Will Ospreay from NJPW 2019

This was a 2019 G1 Climax match.

Will Ospreay is a very dumb wrestler. He has had some genuinely great matches. He has also had some genuinely terrible matches. The problem is that he wrestles like he does not understand the difference between them and thus does not understand why his Actually Good matches are, in fact, Actually Good.

Lance Archer is a very bad wrestler. He does not move particularly well, even for his size. He struggles to work compelling matches on any sort of consistent basis. He’s just pretty boring and feels like a stiff that would do a 3-PPV program with The Undertaker in 2003 and then go off to Velocity/shindie hell.

Archer does know how to one match fairly well though. And Ospreay also happens to be pretty reliable (by his standards) in one kind of match as well. Thankfully, that one kind of match is one in the same: BIG MAN BEATS UP LITTLE MAN AND THEN EXCITEMENT ENSUES.

That broad structure gave these limited performers a very easy story to tell, and they were not afraid to lean on that. They did not settle for telling a mere big vs. small match though. They also took advantage of another dynamic that would feel true to them: Ospreay and Archer are both humongous dorks who do not understand that they are dorks.

Being huge dorks, Ospreay and Archer took every dumb shortcut in the world to get this match over. It may have made the match a gigantic mess, but there was a tonal consistency to everything they did (whether they realize it or not) that it all worked. The match was big and broad in a manner that ensured it would always be fun and will likely make it one of the more unique contests for the whole tournament.

That’s right everyone, the match was Actually Good. [Turbo Nerd Archer won with the Von Erich Claw.] (***1/2)

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