GCW’s Atlantic City shows last month opened a lot of people’s eyes to new names – one of those who stepped up was Lee Moriarty, who also shone in his Beyond debut that same weekend. In asking around, we were pointed towards a series of matches he had with Alex Shelley in AIW… so let’s take a look at the first.
Alex Shelley submitted Lee Moriarty in 16:10 (****¼)
Lee Moriarty vs. Alex Shelley
Moriarty’s sporting a yellow mask which backs up his “Taiga Style” gimmick… just don’t go thinking of Yellow Dog.
We get going with a lock-up as Shelley quickly spun into a hammerlock on Moriarty… but it’s escaped as the pair spin to the mat, swapping moves for fun. Moriarty manages to work the arm, but Shelley backs into the corner for a break… with a cheeky elbow for good measure. Shelley’s whipped into the corner, but he floats over Moriarty as they race through some World of Sport-style stuff en route to a roll-up from Shelley… who then adds a spinning heel kick a la RVD that took Moriarty to the mat. A clubbing shot to Moriarty’s back takes him into the corner, before Shelley introduces him to the turnbuckles, as the veteran dominated proceedings.
Moriarty hits the ropes for a springboard armdrag, but he whiffs on a dropkick moments later as Shelley rolled away. A second dropkick lands, sending the Motor City Machine Gun to the outside for a low-pe, before Moriarty went back to work on Shelley’s arm in the ring, snapping back on it with an Indian Deathlock-style move. Shelley manages to evade in the corner, but gets caught with an uppercut as he climbed the turnbuckles, which allowed Moriarty to join him for a superplex attempt, but Shelley torques the wrist and brings him down with an atomic drop off the top rope. I felt that. Back on the mat, Shelley dumps Moriarty with a swinging Fisherman neckbreaker, which took Moriarty outside for some respite.
Shelley hangs back in the ring and seems happy to take the count-out, before he instead pulled himself outside as we got a view of the unique Egyptian-themed venue AIW ran in. Chops and uppercuts sting Moriarty as he gets bounced around the guard rails, before a Flatliner took Moriarty ugly into the rails. Back inside, Moriarty’s met with a crossbody off the top for a near-fall, before a cravat dragged Moriarty back to the mat as Shelley targeted the jaw that hit the guard railings moments earlier. Moriarty clubs his way free though, but a chop takes him back as Shelley tried to fire back with shots. A right hand from Moriarty begins a fresh comeback as a Van Daminator kick has Shelley down… as did an arm snapper before an O’Connor roll was blocked.
Not to worry, Moriarty hits a 619 into the midsection before a springboard crossbody took Shelley outside for a breather. A PK on the apron waited for Shelley as they head back in for a stomp that misses… Moriarty keeps moving as he hit a spin-out butterfly suplex for a near-fall. After some missed shots in the corner, the pair trade tornado DDTs for a near-fall, before Moriarty moved into a Joint Custody (Fujiwara armbar) that ended in the ropes.
Moriarty goes back to the arm, but Shelley flips out looking for a Shiranui… an enziguiri in the corner stops him as Moriarty hits a stomp to the arm, before a La Mistica looked to take him back into Joint Custody, only for Shelley to roll out. A second Mistica takes us back into Joint Custody for a third attempt… it’s turned into a Rings of Saturn, but Shelley gets to the ropes to force the break. Stomps from Moriarty keep wearing down Shelley, who fights out as his arm gets wrung before a big boot from Moriarty caught him unawares. A rolling big boot followed, before another pump kick set up Shelley for an Implant DDT that almost got the win as Shelley got a foot on the rope at the final moment!
Shelley needs to use the ropes to drag himself back up, as Moriarty targeted him with kicks… he then takes Shelley up top… but a superplex is countered as Shelley rakes the eyes before he landed an avalanche Shiranui for a near-fall! From there, an Air Raid Crash followed, but it’s still not enough to put Moriarty away, before a superkick and Shellshock looked to win it… but Shelley pulls up Moriarty and rolls him into a Border City Stretch for the submission. This was a breathless sprint and I loved every second of it – going just over sixteen minutes long, this didn’t drag at all and told the perfect story of the veteran almost underestimating the relative newcomer, all the way through to him hitting his big two moves at the end to make damn sure of the win. ****¼
AIW rematched these two pretty quickly – the following month, in fact, at their post-Christmas show entitled “Baby It’s 2 Cold Outside”… and you bet your bottom dollar we’re jumping on that one!