Reviews US Indies

In the Thatch of Things (Dec. 2014, Part 1)

The ongoing process of porting over all my Timothy Thatcher reviews into one place continues with Part 1 of the reviews I wrote back in December of 2014. Please keep in mind as well that at first I wasn’t sure what I wanted my Thatcher project to be so a lot of the early reviews are a shade longer than they are now.

Rival Forge Wrestling: The Coconut Grove (06-04-2010) Timothy Thatcher vs. Matt Carlos

Timothy Thatcher has a clear size advantage here, and he makes good use of it. He falls right into the bully role and overpowers Matt Carlos at will. There’s one point where he stops Carlos from running up the ropes and lets him fall so that Thatcher jacks him right in the back with a European Uppercut. It’s a pretty inventive spot, but it’s mainly an example of Thatcher understanding that he is the bigger man and needs to apply his power advantage in a vicious manner.

The best part of the match is when Thatcher is on offense as he just destroys Carlos’ left arm. He goes after it in a lot of different ways, and centers all of his offense on attacking that arm. He uses a Stump Puller to the arm, a Fujiwara Armbar, stiff kicks, and he even unleashes a standing Headbutt to the injured arm of Carlos. At one point Thatcher goes after the right arm, but as soon as Carlos attempts to protect that arm Thatcher floats over and traps Carlos’ already injured arm in the Thatcher Stretch. It’s a nifty wrestling sequence, and it’s pretty neat to see a guy employ such strategic match planning for a crowd of maybe twenty five people.

The main negative in the match is Carlos. He tries really hard, but he’s very unpolished and just not ready to be going longer than three or four minutes. He keeps going for the same move over and over, Spike Dudley’s Acid Trip. The first few times it was okay, but by about the fifth time it became all too obvious the kid didn’t know any other highspots beyond that move. Where Carlos really hurt the match was in his selling of his injured left arm. At first he sells it pretty well, but then he goes back on offense and pretty clearly gets lost in the momentum of the match and starts using his injured arm to throw punches and gut shots. His use of the Acid Trip is especially problematic because he relies on his injured arm to form the Cravate grip and he lands on his injured arm every time.

All in all a really great showing from Thatcher and a pretty decent match to boot. Carlos is learning so I’m more willing to accept the negatives he brings to the match. Still, those negatives are present and they do bring the match down. For the Thatcher project though this is another match that really showcases Thatcher’s ability to take someone far below his talent level and do his best to make them look really good.

National Wrestling Alliance Championship Wrestling from Hollywood: #76 (02-12-2012) Ricky Mandel & Timothy Thatcher vs. Hector Canales & Pinky

A nothing match, with three guys who are really awful and Timothy Thatcher who does very little in the match. Only real takeaway from this one is that Thatcher didn’t take the night off even though he could of. It would have been very easy for him to ease up on his facial expressions and just run through the motions. But he doesn’t, and watching him on the ring apron was far better than what the other guys were doing in the ring. Some truly awful wrestling, from everyone but Thatcher that is, but not even he can do anything to save this match.

Pro Wrestling Revolution: John A. O’Connell High School (02-22-2014) Timothy Thatcher vs. Blue Demon Jr.

Whenever I see a Blue Demon Jr. match from now on I’ll forever be haunted by Matt Striker saying De-moan over and over again. That’s okay though, because watching a Blue Demon Jr. match is usually a horrific experience to begin with. As far as Demon’s involvement in this match goes there’s certainly a lot of horrific wrestling taking place. He’s really slow, really lazy, out of position all the time, and constantly trying for sequences he can’t actually execute. In short, Demon is awful, and brings nada to this match.

The match itself is pretty awful as well, but that doesn’t mean Timothy Thatcher’s performance is awful. I’d actually pick this match over most of Thatcher’s match of the year candidates to highlight why he’s such a talented worker. He shows true versatility in employing a different bag of tricks to counter the awfulness of Demon. Thatcher plays the whiny and cowardly heel. He’s damn good at it too, getting the crowd riled up at will with his antics.

There are so many times during this match when the crowd is about ready to give up thanks to how bad the actual wrestling exchanges look. Now, one could argue that Thatcher needed to try something different on the mat to aid the slow Demon. Problem with that idea is that it assumes Thatcher is calling this match, and I highly doubt anyone besides Demon is calling a Demon match nowadays. Since his hands are tied with Demon himself, Thatcher resorts to playing to the crowd and in general being a complete goof. At one point he ties himself up into a pretzel so that Demon can sit on his back and flex. The idea is supposed to be that Demon did the tying, but essentially Demon stood there and put a hand on Thatcher a couple of times while Thatcher did all the pretzel work himself.

Heeling away is Thatcher’s modus operandi against Demon, and it makes a horrendously worked match from Demon somewhat watchable. Don’t get me wrong, anytime they exchange holds the match is awful. When Thatcher is messing with the crowd and being the best coward he knows how to be, awfulness turns into fun pretty quickly.

National Wrestling Alliance Championship Wrestling from Hollywood: #74 (02-12-2012) Brian Weston vs. Timothy Thatcher

A sprint squash, but a heck of a fun squash. Timothy Thatcher is absolutely vicious in attacking Brian Weston. He nails him with every move and lays in all of his European Uppercuts as stiff as can be. He goes to town on Weston’s arm, and when he does his neat Arm Wringer Stomp, I oohed with enjoyment. Only real negative in this match is the weird move where Thatcher runs into the corner and springs off the ropes and runs back across the ring at his opponent who is in the opposite corner. This is the second time I’ve seen Thatcher pull out that spot and I’m really not a fan.

Most impressive spot of the match belongs to Weston though who answers Thatcher’s stiffness with an elbow strike to the side of Thatcher’s face that lands with an absolutely sick smack. Weston plays his part in this match really well. He takes a beating and puts over the impressiveness of Thatcher in fine fashion. When he has his brief moment for a comeback he nails all his moves crisply and builds the sliver of hope in the audience that he’s not going to get crushed.

Alas, crushed is the end result for Weston. A well done sprint squash, when Thatcher is beating fools down I’m a happy camper.

National Wrestling Alliance Championship Wrestling from Hollywood: Unknown Event (Unknown Date) Timothy Thatcher & Drew Gulak vs. Revolution (Che Cabrera & Sasha Darevko)

A fun sprint. There’s not much to the match beyond quick tags and lots of double teaming, but it’s fun to watch. This is the first match where I’d say Timothy Thatcher was a non-factor. He did a few things, but overall the bulk of the work was done by Drew Gulak and Sasha Darevko. Still, for five minutes all four men move really fast, are in and out of the ring, and present an interesting mix of submission and power wrestling, and the match finishes before anyone gets too tired.

All Pro Wrestling: Super Summer Series ’10 (06-12-2010) Jody Kristofferson vs. Timothy Thatcher

This is a First Round Match in All Pro Wrestling’s Super Summer Series Tournament.

About four minutes of really great stuff and two minutes of pretty terrible stuff. Both come from Timothy Thatcher, as Jody Kristofferson is pretty much just along for the ride. Thatcher is selling a previous arm injury, and his left arm is heavily taped. For four minutes Thatcher puts on a brilliant performance. He refuses to use his left arm, holding it tightly against his side and wincing when his arm moves in the slightest or is touched. He implements a lot of neat one-arm offense, and it’s all very believable.

In the final two minutes Kristofferson fires up for his comeback and that’s when Thatcher decides to forget about his arm. He’s tossed into the ropes via his damaged arm but he doesn’t react. When Thatcher runs the ropes he keeps his arm in motion as if it’s not injured. But then when Kristofferson hits a Dropkick to the injured arm Thatcher sells it like death again. The finish involves the Thatcher Stretch, which is a big mistake on the part of Thatcher, or whoever planned the match, because it involves him using his injured arm to lock in the hold and violently pull back on the head of Kristofferson.

It’s odd to see Thatcher sell the arm brilliantly for four minutes and then spend two minutes completely forgetting about the arm. This was on pace to be a match in Thatcher’s favor, but as it stands it’s a case against him being a top one hundred guy.

National Wrestling Alliance Championship Wrestling from Hollywood: #53 (09-11-2011) Mikey O’Shea & Timothy Thatcher vs. Disco Machine & Terex

Mikey O’Shea is a big fat guy, but Terex is a bigger fat guy with a huge gut covered in an ugly tattoo. Again, there isn’t a whole lot to Timothy Thatcher’s performance in this match, and it appears that he really has problems functioning in tag matches. A lot of nondescript stuff happens, Thatcher hits a decent looking Lungblower, and then for some reason he shows fear of Terex. He avoids a tag at one point, and then when he finally does tag in he hypes himself up and then fakes a dive for Terex’s leg where he goes under the ropes and runs away. It’s a small moment but it’s pretty funny and shows a more comedic side of Thatcher that isn’t always present.

Reno Wrestle Factory: Unknown Location (Unknown Date) Timothy Thatcher vs. Will Rood

This is very early in Will Rood’s career, but he shows some nice skill for his level of experience. They keep things basic, and they work very methodically. The opening four minutes or so feature both men working through Armlocks and Arm Wringers, and they do so through some surprisingly adept transitional wrestling. I expect Timothy Thatcher to be great at that stuff, but he shows a lot here in guiding Rood through the transitions and always putting Rood in a position where he looks really good. That’s not to say that Rood doesn’t contribute, because he very much does. His positioning is really good, and he sets up his moves in a way that is highly believable. I never got the sense that Thatcher was leagues ahead of Rood skills wise and that speaks to the ability of Rood to do the basics very well and of Thatcher to work to Rood’s strengths.

The bloom comes off the rose a bit with Rood the longer the match goes. He messes up a reversal Rollup sequence, but to his credit he doesn’t freeze and instead keeps going with the flow of the match and is quick to apply the next move. His selling of Thatcher’s arm work is spotty, but for someone as inexperienced as Rood it’s well within acceptable levels. Rood’s very clearly limited in his offensive arsenal, but he compensates for that by keeping his offense simple and working in a way that puts emphasis on the few moves he does know.

I really liked this match, it’s not great or anything, but it’s pretty darn good. There’s a real sense of struggle in the opening arm work. The middle section is well laid out and plays to the strengths of Rood. For Thatcher this is the type of performance that makes him look like a top one hundred guy because he puts in great effort and makes his green opponent look very good in the process.

Fog City Wrestling: Heartbreak Ridge (Unknown Date) Timothy Thatcher vs. Malachi

Terrible finish aside, this was a really good sub-10 minute match. Something I’ve noticed about Timothy Thatcher so far is that he very much has a formula. He goes after the left arm in just about every match. I could see some not liking that he has a formulaic approach, but I enjoy it. To me it emphasizes the wrestling as sport style that is Thatcher. He also changes things up, he doesn’t always attack the arm with the same moves. He varies his arm attack moveset and it makes even his formulaic approach feel different each time out. Take this match for instance where Thatcher busts out a bridging Hammerlock as a new way of working over the left arm in setting up the Thatcher Stretch.

The majority of this match is worked slowly and methodically, and the progression of the match makes a lot of sense. Thatcher goes after the arm and Malachi does a pretty good job of selling. In turn Malachi works over Thatcher’s neck and Thatcher does a good job of selling. Every move seems like it matters, and the match is worked in such a way that Malachi’s suplexes have more importance behind them. All in all both guys work a match that works well within the limitations of Malachi as a worker.

The finishing run is actually pretty compelling, and the set-up makes sense. The problem is the actual finishing move employed by Malachi. It’s some sort of Straightjacket Piledriver, but it’s not really a feasible move. The basic idea of the move is flawed as it essentially requires the person taking the move to do all the work. In this match in particular it’s a bad choice for a finish because it requires, at least in wrestling logic, for Malachi to use his damaged arm to execute the move and that works against everything that has come before in the match.

A well-executed match that was fun to watch and worked really well up until the final move.

All Pro Wrestling: Gym Wars – Young Lions Cup ’10 (04-10-2010) Timothy Thatcher vs. Dave Dutra

Dave Dutra is the first real polished high flyer I’ve seen Timothy Thatcher go up against. That makes for an interesting first few minutes as Thatcher gets to move around the ring and show off his speed and bumping ability. He’s always in place for Dutra’s offense and he bumps really well for the high flying moves. Thatcher is usually very slow and methodical, and while he does eventually bring the match to his pace the first few minutes and the end stretch are worked at Dutra’s pace and Thatcher never looks out of place. No one is ever going to confuse Thatcher with a great flyer, but he can make for a great base, and that’s what he provides to Dutra in this match.

Thatcher does what he usually does during the middle stretch and grinds out Dutra with stiff strikes and lots of arm work. Again though Thatcher keeps things interesting by varying up his attacks. He augments his European Uppercuts by using the “throw your opponent in the air and hit them with a European Uppercut when they’re on their way down” approach that Cesaro has made so famous. He also has a nice spot where he’s on the outside and he pulls Dutra, who is face down, so that they are hanging over the edge of the ring. He then hits the defenseless Dutra with a vicious European Uppercut. At the same time Thatcher works over Dutra’s arm with Elbow Drops and straight Headbutts, not his usual fare.

I came away from this match pretty impressed with Dutra as well. He made the most of his moments, and his high flying offense carried impact. He’s no Angelico or Hiroshi Tanahashi where every move seems like he’s grazing his opponent with a feather. When Dutra hits a Moonsault he makes heavy impact with the body of his opponent. I would have liked to have seen better sustained selling of the arm, and he could have sold the struggle of being caught in the Thatcher Stretch more. Also, whatever his finisher is supposed to be, it’s not all that great and a little too complicated to execute, as evidenced by him messing up the first time he tried to apply the hold.

Another great performance from Thatcher in a pretty good match.

All Pro Wrestling: Gym Wars (08-14-2010) Timothy Thatcher vs. Matt Carlos

Much the same as their previous encounter, only this time Matt Carlos looks more at ease in the ring. Carlos gives up on the flying too easily, opting to grab a Headlock. Now, it does give the viewer an interesting back and forth segment where Timothy Thatcher and Carlos are working through that Headlock into a number of counters and pinning predicaments. It looked swell, but someone like Carlos, especially given his size, shouldn’t be engaging in a sequence like that with a fresh Thatcher. At least not of his own accord, as a way of surviving the grappling of Thatcher sure, but as a sequence he initiates, nope, not what Carlos should be doing.

The entire middle stretch is all Thatcher on offense and Carlos bumping. It’s a smart choice, because Thatcher’s offense looks great and Carlos is one heck of a bumper. He really makes Thatcher look big, powerful, and hurty with his bumping. That’s not a skill that should go unnoticed. Thatcher helps his cause by really laying into his offense. He doesn’t really go after the arm this time, instead he bombards the back of Carlos with lots of power stuff and stiff strikes. It’s a very well worked segment and a smart one because it hides how limited Carlos is on offense. Hopefully over time Carlos improved his offense, but at this stage in his career he knows maybe a handful of moves and he goes for them over and over again. Having Thatcher be on offense hid that, and it was the smart call to make.

Once Carlos makes his comeback Thatcher bumps really well for his speed based offense. Some of it is crappy, the “I grab you, we both fall to the mat and somehow you end up hurt” type of offense. But, Thatcher does his part to make it look like he should be hurt by bumping in the right measure for the offense Carlos is delivering. The finish is cheating from Thatcher, which fits his character throughout the match. All the skill in the world, but he’s essentially a bully who doesn’t know how to handle someone sticking up to him. As soon as Carlos stands up to him Thatcher has to get out of dodge as soon as possible, and the cheating ties into that nicely.

Really good match, with Thatcher showing his ability to work within the limitations of his opponent to get the best out of said opponent.

All Pro Wrestling: Super Summer Series (06-12-2010) Timothy Thatcher vs. Vinny Massaro

Short but sweet match. Vinny Massaro surprised me, I’ll readily admit I was guilty of judging a book by its cover. For a bigger guy he’s able to go really well on the mat. He counter wrestles Timothy Thatcher early on and quickly takes an advantage and for the first time Thatcher is the one having a limb worked over. Massaro really goes after Thatcher’s arm, employing some nifty arm slams and a really cool, and agile, Rolling Hammerlock. Thatcher makes his comeback, and he does a wonderful job of selling his damaged arm. All of his offense is from his uninjured arm. The finish is a bit out of nowhere, but for a short match having a KO finish that doesn’t tie into any of the previous work isn’t a real problem. Still, a short sprint with a lot of limb work that highlights the very best of Thatcher’s skills in the ring.

All Pro Wrestling: Gym Wars (02-06-2010) Adam Thornstowe vs. Timothy Thatcher

Adam Thornstowe can give as good as he can take and that added up to a pretty good match. This is the first out and out grappling match I’ve seen from Timothy Thatcher in quite some time. He always works grappling into his matches, but against Thornstowe the match becomes a question of who is the better grappler. To that end the opening moments of the match feature hold for hold grappling at a nice pace. They take their time, that’s what I liked most about this match. They really let things breathe and that makes the moments like Thornstowe’s Double Foot Stomp into a Senton mean that much more. It also helps that the finish is a natural continuation of what has come before and a near perfect capper to the match. Like much of the match it’s a simple counter wrestling sequence that is executed well. Thatcher counters a Backslide attempt from Thornstowe and then grapples Thornstowe into position for a Backslide of his own to take home the victory. Very simple wrestling, but done really well and a lot of fun to watch.

Supreme Pro Wrestling: Unknown Event (02-20-2011) Jesus Kruze vs. Timothy Thatcher

This match is for Timothy Thatcher’s Supreme Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship.

Probably the most interesting Thatcher match I’ve seen yet. It’s very much a Jesus Kruze match and not a Thatcher match in the way it is worked and laid out. However, the reason for that is due to Kruze being a very limited professional wrestler and Thatcher working to his style. There’s one tiny section in the middle where Thatcher attempts to work over the arm, but it lasts a few seconds, is quickly stopped by Kruze, and makes sense. It’s not so much that Thatcher was trying to insert his style of match but rather that Kruze was beating him by brawling and Thatcher made an attempt to take away Kruze’s method of dominance.

Watching Thatcher engage in garbage brawling is, as I alluded to earlier, interesting. He manages to work in his European Uppercuts so that they work alongside Kruze’s wild looping Punches. But mainly Thatcher bumps big for Kruze’s power offense, including a Bearhug Slam into the gym wall where Thatcher leaves an indent in said wall. Bump away is what Thatcher does and he manages for the most part to make Kruze look far better than he actually is. In the end though Kruze is very, very limited and the match goes on far too long for someone as limited as Kruze.

The ending is also troublesome. Thatcher takes a steel briefcase shot to the head, which is yet another example of the underrated diversity Thatcher often brings to his matches. This followed a Thatcher Stretch and Thatcher ends the match with another Thatcher Stretch, which may be Thatcher’s signature move but it does not fit the match in any fashion. This was a garbage brawl and it needed to end in a garbage way. It’s unfortunate too because Thatcher spent so much of the match working to what Kruze could do but then in the final moment made the match about what he could do, which hurt the match.

Cheers,
Bill Thompson

About the author

Bill Thompson

I am the almighty Bill Thompson, father of a little girl, husband to an awesome wife, a paramedic/firefighter, and a fan of the Chicago Cubs. I've been writing about wrestling for some time now. You can find me writing about great matches at Blue Thunder Driver, or matches people have suggested I watch at Random Match Generator. I write about free matches legally available to watch online at Free Pro Wrestling and am a contributor to the Cubed Circle Newsletter. I'm also the Senior Writer for the magazine/website The Tag Rope. I'm happy to be on the Wrestling with Words ship, and have I mentioned I am a fan of the Chicago Cubs? Cause I am, like huge, as in they are my #1 priority. Just making sure we're on the same page...

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