The Workhorsemen vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (DPW World’s Strongest 11/12/23)

Match Reviews

Featured image by Chris Downey

A somewhat more ambitious sequel to their great tag bout from the month prior. As then, The Workhorsemen truly can’t help but stand out as the highlights. Anthony Henry’s ability to dissect a limb and control a worker with such malice combined with JD Drake’s incredible combination of hard-hitting offense and borderline comedic selling make them a perfect modern heel tag team. This match is never better than when they’re working as a well-oiled machine isolating James Drake in their corner for an extended heat segment. It’s not just how mechanically sound all their offense is, but also the steady build of it too. They’ve really nailed how to incorporate increasingly frustrating hope spots for James Drake as a face-in-peril and how painful it is to see those cut off, which only makes the eventual hot tag all the sweeter.

It’s outside of that control segment that this threatens to come apart at the seams though. As the match starts to break down and the pace increase, there are some more complicated sequence that don’t quite hit as flush as one would hope. James Drake never seems to entirely gel with either Henry or JD, and does feel like he’s sometimes lowering the ceiling on this match. Gibson puts in a good performance as a hot tag, but this is yet to really tap into what he can do on the mat, so one gets the impression there’s still more left on the table from him. It doesn’t help that it’s James Drake tasked with a selling a leg that’s been attacked for most of the heat segment. The finishing stretch asks a little more from him than I’d prefer. The leg selling comes in and out, but that’s not such a problem when the finish pays it off as well it does. With two guys like JD and Henry working, there’s just enough talent to hold it all together.

Rating: ***3/4

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