Charron vs. Pat Stay: What To Expect's preview of the epic "Blackout 5" title match.

It’s been a long time coming for Corey Charron.

Following the bizarre display that the most recent KOTD title match turned into, another challenger was never too far around the corner. And, following two years of calling for a shot, combined with stellar performances, Charron was always going to be the one.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: for an objective outsider to the Canadian battle scene, Charron defines KOTD. His freestyle ability, bar structure, construction of personals and general presence have gone a long way to benchmark the archetypal "scrawny white Canadian kid" style against the likes of Arsonal, DNA, B Magic, Shotgun Suge and Charlie Clips.

Far from the days of battling names like Forkfarm and Tricky P, he is now the bannerholder for KOTD in leagues like URL and UW. He has a stacked resume spanning on/off-beat written and freestyle clashes in leagues around the world, including one in England and Australia, and a battle with 2.5 million views in the Philippines.

The marked difference between this title match and the last is Daylyt competed as an excuse to play dress-up. Charron is after blood, having made no secret of his title ambitions for years. His flirtations with the street style get great reactions but are not his strong suit: his real power lies in his world-crunching rebuttals and smart punchlines. If he combines his relative hunger with these elements of his style, we could be in for a real upset.

Pat Stay is a formidable hurdle to have to surpass, mind. He has defended his title almost as many times as Tony D has the Don’t Flop mantle (this clash will draw them even should Pat come up trumps), and can careen through such a versatile range of attacks within one round that he is immune to virtually everything. He can go from vengeful spite to puerile humour within a bar, and his delivery can be both prosaic and musical simultaneously.

Granted, he should probably have a consolatory drink or two with T-Rex and Real Deal off the back of how little all of their victories over Daylyt meant last year, but he can rest easy about the remainder of his performances throughout the majority of his career. It feels like he coasts through his battles, focusing on the strength of his writing and easing up on the horrible personal stuff. The results are great and have developed his already palpable charisma.

The crucial element of this match-up, and a large part of what makes it an entertaining prospect, is their contrast in apparent effort levels. That’s not to say that Pat will slack on his writing or his performance. He always turns up. He just makes it look so easy. And Charron arguably needs to rely less on preparation, allowing room for his accomplished freestyles. He just always makes it look like he’s about to have a small hemorrhage having to look unintimidated by the likes of Arsonal, and it's also how he pulls off crazy upsets out of nowhere on the back of a few spontaneous lines. And, to be honest, it's why he finally has his long-coveted title shot. His fans love his passion and his scrappiness. Pat’s heart sometimes just doesn't seem that into it (especially outside of the ring), whereas Corey’s looks like it’s about to explode through his sternum.

And, somewhat dishearteningly for young Corey, I think this will play right into Pat’s hands. The only competitor that has given the impression they wanted the win less than Pat, and also the only competitor that seems to have gotten to him, is Daylyt. Pat soaked up the momentum and aggression from Dizaster and Arcane effortlessly, even with his own aggressive animal comparisons and real-life diatribes peppered amongst the lackadaisical moonwalks and pithy asides.

Charron simply doesn’t manage his levels as well as Pat. The unfortunate downside of his combination of the nerd aesthetic (which admittedly he has been growing out of recently) with the truckload of braggadocio and energy is that it leaves him very little margin for looking silly. In the same way that Cruger won their exceptional 2011 face-off simply by shrugging him off, Pat has the uncanny ability to expose the mockworthiest elements of his opponent’s character in sweet, succinct multis. Charron does funny well, but he does it with a surprising amount of aggression, and he needs to look like he’s having fun this time or Pat is going to hang him on the back of a door and noogie him. And that, my friends, is how chains are kept.

Unless, of course, Charron flips it all on its head. He’s one of those people held in the same regard as The Saurus, Charlie Clips, Kid Twist and Nils m/ Skils in his ability to win a battle with a well-aimed flip. He’s more warmed up than Pat too. Pat has only battled in his title defences and that one (incredible) time when Rone gave him presents. Charron has battled in every major American league in the last 12 months, and kept his freestyling up to scratch too. And remember, he wants this ... as I’m sure Pat will gaze into his eyes and whisper at some point.

I think Pat is going to control the pace of the battle, and approach it with sounder angles, but no one will come out looking stupid here. This is going to be one hell of a time.

Cover photo by Famous Effects.

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