Alex Shelley vs. Lee Moriarty (AIW Built to Last 2/7/20)

Match Reviews

Featured image from Michael Porter

This is the third match between these two, a submission match to wrap up their trilogy. I really enjoyed the stuff I’ve seen from these two last year so I was quite excited to get the chance to see this and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Both men start the match with exchanges for holds, Moriarty mostly getting the upper hand by going for Shelley’s arm. At every turn, Moriarty finds a new innovation or technique to bamboozle the veteran Shelley which leads to Shelley taking more and more shortcuts to take advantage of the no disqualification aspect of the match. Moriarty proves so prodigious in the ring that Shelley has to rely on escalating the violence in this match to overwhelm his opponent. Shelley utilizes straight punches to the jaw, big chops, and even shortcuts like low blows to try and have the tides shift in his favor. In the middle of the match, Shelley even sends the action out to the floor, brawling with Moriarty into the crowd to try to get the better of him. Shelley really turns up the heel aspect of his character in this moment, gloating and taunting the fans as he makes his way back to the ring. Moriarty has more fire than Shelley expected though, absorbing Shelley’s strikes and pushing forward with a lot of tenacity to try and knock Shelley down at long last. The finishing stretch as they work their way in and around the Border City Stretch and armbar attempts got me going. Really great pace and sense of escalation there and ending at just the right time to climax the match. Fantastic showing for Lee Moriarty here. He’s not perfect quite yet, his selling isn’t quite sympathetic yet, but there’s a lot of potential being shown here and elsewhere. He’s a name to keep an eye on. As for Shelley? Well, he’s been great since the early 2000s and this latest run on the indies has been quite a joy to see unfold. More of this hopefully and less appearances on NXT.

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