NWA On Fire (4.4.2008)

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Newark, NJ – 4.4.2008

Mike Quackenbush vs. Claudio Castagnoli

Most places have this listed as an NWA Jr. Heavyweight title defense, but the announcers right off the bat say Claudio couldn’t make the weight limit and that it’s simply a grudge match. Claudio shoves Quackenbush out of a lock-up. He applies a wristlock, which Quackenbush cartwheels out of and puts on a wristlock on the mat. On his feet, Claudio shoves Quackenbush to the ropes and shoulder blocks Quackenbush. Quackenbush comes up from the mat in a headscissors. Claudio throws him face first into the second turnbuckle. He snapmares him into a headlock. Quackenbush elbows his way free. He comes off Claudio’s shoulders with an armdrag and monkey flips him out of the corner. He sends Claudio to the floor with a cartwheel armdrag. He tries a pescado. Claudio catches Quackenbush, rams him back first into the ring post, then slams him on the ring apron. In the ring he slams Quackenbush into an elbow drop for two. Claudio uses the ropes for leverage while applying an abdominal stretch. Quackenbush reverses it but Claudio backs up to the ropes to escape. He nails a clothesline. He comes off the second rope with an elbow drop but misses. Quackenbush lays in some chops. Claudio rolls through a sunset flip but Quackenbush still gets two with a schoolboy. He brings down Claudio with La Mistica for two. The commentators call it the CHIKARA Special. Welp. Claudio puts on a chinlock to ground Quackenbush. Quackenbush escapes, but Claudio hits the Match Killer for two. He successfully pulls off the second rope elbow for two. Claudio looks for a superplex. Quackenbush fights him off and hits a Dragonrana for the pin at 8:30. This felt like a really truncated version of their other matches, but with much less innovation or excitement. Perhaps since it was an “NWA crowd” they toned down the Lucha (though Quackenbush still did quite a bit) and slowed it down. It was fine, but disappointing when compared to their other fantastic matches. **½

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