Watch this match here.
I’m the typical ‘new viewer’ here; lured in entirely by the buzz this match has generated. I very rarely watch CWF. I have seen quite a bit of Trevor Lee, but don’t follow PWG or Impact regularly any more. I have never seen a Chip Day match prior to this.
With that said, this was about as much of a home-run as you could ask for, if this is the match people want to use to sell CWF to new fans. Every time I watch this promotion, it feels like it’s set in a parallel universe where the clock has been set back to zero – and I mean that in the best possible way. In an era where wrestlers are doing more and more STUFF, and they’re doing it faster and faster, CWF is unapologetically slower and more focused, and better yet, the fans in the Sportatorium are extremely receptive to it. This was paced like a classic world title epic, hovering around a 30 minute run time and with an extensive feeling out process to open – but at no point did it drag. Day’s strikes are tremendous, and we were several minutes in before he broke one out – opting instead to tangle with Lee on the mat in the opening stretch.
There was a gradual process where this match went from grappling, to stiff striking, to an absolutely bonkers closing stretch where Lee fired up with an amazing intensity, hit Day with everything he could throw at him, Day kicked out at one (illiciting a genuine standing ovation from the crowd) before eventually being put down by a Lee head kick. The emotion in this final few minutes was intense, really feeling like the culmination of a physical contest between two damn-near equals at the top of their game.
Along the way there were so many little touches that made it feel like a deliberate, intense, sporting affair – a welcome contrast to what a lot of top level indies offer today. Lee is excellent as an arrogant heel elsewhere, so I was surprised at how endearing he was as the wholesome babyface champion in this match. Likewise, Day came off well as the ‘every bit as good… just not good enough today’ challenger.
Day sold the loss like it was the worst day of his life, which is unfortunately a rarity in wrestling these days. These two are almost certainly going to clash again in the near future, and I’ll make it my business to watch it. This was one of the best matches of the year that I’ve seen, and it achieved that by doing its own thing and not anyone else’s. CWF’s weekly show is free, so find a half hour in your day for this, and click the link above to check it out.