Sometimes a match comes out of nowhere and just surprises you. I’ve watched a few tags with Anthony Henry and JD Drake together and I’ve never seen Ben Carter before so for them to put on something with zero background context that had me despising the heel and rooting for the babyface says a lot about what they put on here.

Henry comes out early as just the swaggering, cocky heel bully that can back up his arrogance with a dose of malice. He makes a target early on Carter’s body, attacking the leg quite viciously. Carter tries to fight back with his high flying but that just leads to a skirmish on the outside that allows Henry to lay in more damage to the bad leg. There’s a particularly gruesome knee breaker spot on the apron that sees Carter’s ankle twist in a pretty gross way.

Carter was an absolute revelation here as he pulled off the wounded babyface role to perfection. Not only does he sell the leg consistently until the end of the match but he’s able to summon up just enough fire to get us rooting for him and believing in a potential victory as well. Even down on the mat, he’s throwing shots at Henry when he can. This builds into a big chop exchange that sees Carter really take it to Henry in the best possible way to get the heart pumping. It’s an awesome babyface comeback mixed with very well executed leg selling.

There’s not much else to say about a match with such a clear narrative thought and two guys that completely fit into their roles here. It’s just something that you feel once you see it even when you expected literally nothing from them. The post-match angle that plays off your standard indie respect moment into something that further crystallizes their dynamic is the cherry on top of a great match. A wonderful match that came out of nowhere with a strong, clear voice.

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