Featured image by Colette Arrand
I’ve written before about the challenges that Suzuki’s rather strict formula presents to his American opponents. It’s incredibly easy for his opponents to vanish into the formula, especially when Suzuki’s being more expressive with his taunting. So far, the two wrestlers who have made the most of that formula have been miracle workers Jonathan Gresham and Bryan Danielson. Now sharing that same rarefied is Dominic Garrini.
We’ve still got all the same standard bits that you expect from Suzuki. There’s the mat work to open, a skirmish on the outside, more striking that leads into the finishing stretch. Yet again, we’re working with the same standard formula, and the greatness comes from how Dom makes the most of being plugged into that formula.
For one, Dom might be one of Suzuki’s most credible opponents on the mat. While he might not look like he’s outwrestling Suzuki, The King does seem rather flummoxed during the only mat work in a way that he isn’t really with any of his other opponents. When it comes to the striking, Dom doesn’t quite match up to Suzuki, but he does at least make the clever decision to emphasize his selling instead. Dom sells the big crunchy Suzuki elbow better than anyone who isn’t the greatest wrestler of all time.
But the best thing about the match is that Dom refuses to be swallowed up by Suzuki. He’s the constant aggressor. He gets into Suzuki’s face at the open, he goes right for the mat work to open, and he even gets to play a bit of a heel in the closing stretch. The best moment in all of this is Dom grabbing repeated Sleepers as Suzuki tries to escape via the ropes–probably the most vulnerable that Suzuki’s looked in any of his indie matches. If you’ve seen any of the other Suzuki vacation matches, you’d know that is quite the accomplishment indeed.