By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
WOS Wrestling (Episode 2)
Filmed in May 2018 in Norwich, England at the Epic Studios
Aired August 4, 2018 on ITV
Highlights of last week was shown with a random narrator talking about the events of that show. These included Rampage winning the title and Martin Kirby turning on Joe Hendry. He then shifted to the events of tonight including the women’s match main eventing this show..
Gleed’s Take: A nice little touch opening the show with a recap of last week. It not only sets the stage for this weeks show but also shows people what they missed if they didn’t tune in last week.
SoCal Val, Alex Shane, and Stu Barrett were at the commentary table as they set the stage for this week. Bennett stood up and said last week saw the crowning of a new champion as the crowd did the thumbs down sign. Stu said we can all agree that it was the perfect way to start the new era. He said that he got the taste for title matches so in the main event tonight will be a ladies match for the WOS Women’s Championship. He said before all that we are going to have a championship celebration.
With that out came Sha Samuels, CJ Banks and WOS Champion Rampage. The crowd again did the thumbs down sign. It’s amazing how they are all doing that as if they are being produced/asked to do that. Sha Samuels grabbed the microphone and said finally we have a proper champion. A champion we can be proud of and you know what? Everyone backstage is gutless.
Joe Hendry’s WOS music played and out he came with the crowd swaying back and for to the music. Hendry had a mic in hand and said he hates to interrupt but if you listened to the beautiful music he’s on a title quest and that is to become the WOS champion, so Rampage are you going to do what the people want and grant Joe Hendry a title shot tonight? Bennett looked angry at the ringside area, but said “ring the bell”. Alex speculated that there was a strange look between Rampage and Bennett at that proclamation.
Gleed’s Take: I could talk about Joe Hendry all day and how over he is with every British crowd he’s in front of, but I kinda did that last week. Sha Samuels being a mouthpiece for Rampage is smart because what Sha lacks in main event wrestling ability he makes up for with his heel mic work, and Rampage is the polar opposite to that which is why they are a good combination.
1. Rampage vs. Joe Hendry for the WOS Championship. Hendry gained the initial advantage but they eventually starting exchanging holds and counter holds. The action settled down when Rampage rolled to the outside to regroup. He spoke with his entourage at ringside who distracted Hendry and allowed Rampage to attack from behind. WOS production team decided that a bog standard suplex was fodder for a reply.
Rampage distracted the referee several times to allow his goons to get shots in at Hendry. Alex screamed at Bennett how can you condone that? Bennett said “behind the glitz and the glamour, wrestling is a tough guy’s sport”. Alex and SoCal smartly came back with yeah, one tough guy against one tough guy not one against three. Hendry came back and applied some amateur wrestling holds for several two counts, but Rampage quickly regained the advantage.
The finish of the match came when Henry was making his comeback and gained some more near falls. He hit a fallaway slam on Rampage and went to apply the Hendry Lock (ankle lock), but Rampage got to the ropes. Alex Shane said he learnt that from the Olympic gold medallist without mentioning Angle by name. Hendry applied the Hendry Lock again, but CJ Banks jumped up on the apron to distract him. This allowed Rampage to hit his big DDT for the pinfall victory. Sha Samuels and CJ Banks climbed in the ring and jawed at Hendry as Rampage celebrated.
Rampage beat Joe Hendry to retain the WOS Championship.
Gleed’s Take: I am slightly surprised that Martin Kirby didn’t interfere in that match since they focused so heavily on Kirby’s actions last week, but at least they kept Hendry somewhat strong with the distraction finish. I hope they follow up with Kirby/Hendry tonight. By the way, Hendry is a legitimate Amateur wrestler who competed for Scotland in the recent Commonwealth Games in Australia.
Back from a commercial, Hendry was the guy tasked with telling people not to try this at home. Alex Shane said if you thought it was hot in the WOS arena, it’s about to get hotter. Bennett said they would now have a ladder match with the objective being to get the briefcase hanging above the ring for a “big opportunity”…
2. Liam Slater vs. Robbie X vs. Gabriel Kidd vs. Lionheart in a ladder match. Lionheart went immediately on the attack but was knocked out of the ring by Robbie X. Gabriel and Robbie did some fast paced action that wowed the crowd. Robbie X got the early advantage but eat a dropkick from the largest man in the match Lionheart. The Scotsman, who was the biggest man in the match, beat everyone at ringside before bringing the ladder into the ring. Each of his three opponents climbed in the ring to stop him but were knocked back down by Lionheart. Gabriel sling shotted Lionheart into the corner and it looked like he was about to pull up short of the ladder so they cut to a crowd shot and then showed Lionheart selling. Clever editing.
Liam Slater climbed in the ring and the speed of the match picked up. Slater gained advantage and went to set up the ladder but Lionheart held him back. Robbie X climbed to the top rope but Slater caught him and hit a superplex from the top rope. That was not replayed but Rampage’s standard suplex earlier was, weird. Slater continued the advantage and was left alone in the ring. He setup the ladder under the briefcase but Kidd climbed into the ring and stopped him. Kidd played to the crowd before trying to climb the ladder himself. Slater tried to stop him but was knocked to the mat.
Like a dope, even though no one was stopping him grabbing the suitcase, he hit an elbow drop off the ladder onto Slater which took both guys out of the match for now. Robbie X and Lionheart faced off in the ring which X got the advantage of. He set up the ladder in the corner and hit a moonsault, which they replayed several times. He hit a springboard facecrusher on Gabriel before setting up the ladder under the briefcase but the ladder was pushed over by Lionheart. Robbie landed over the top ropes onto the floor.
They showed a shot of Slater bringing the other ladder into the ring but Lionheart cut him off. Lionheart climbed his ladder while Slater climbed his. About halfway up Lionheart turned to hit a rock bottom off the ladder, which Alex Shane described as a move made famous by Hollywood’s top paid actor. Lionheart started to climb the ladder again as Gabriel rolled back in the ring. Lionheart tried to cut him off as both men reached for the suitcase. Gabriel knocked Lionheart off his ladder and reached up to grab the briefcase.
Gabriel Kidd won the ladder match to win a “huge opportunity”.
After the match, Gabriel opened the briefcase and pulled out what appeared to be a contract. At ringside he was interviewed by Rachel who called the match “epic, epic, epic”. Gabriel gave props to his opponents. He said he’s ready to show everyone what he’s made of. Rachel said that he’s won the contract, with Stu saying on commentary that when he says it’s a big opportunity it’s a big opportunity next week.
Gleed’s Take: I’m not joking, Gabriel was announced as the winner of a huge opportunity, ugh. As for the ladder match itself, it fits very much into the same category as Ospreay against Davey Boy Smith last week. If you had seen a ladder match before you would be underwhelmed, but was good enough to impress the audience that this show is going for. The spots were fun without being dangerous. In case you didn’t know, Lionheart is the wrestler who broke his neck several years ago taking a Styles Clash from AJ Styles. He’s been back wrestling for years after taking a year out but the commentary team did make mention of his injury. They seem to be making a lot of WWE references without actually mentioning the people they are talking about. As for the other guys, although Gabriel was the winner, Robbie X was the standout. I’m guessing the “big opportunity next week” that Bennett mentioned is a match against Crater given the fact that he emphasized big about a zillion times.
Back from another commercial, they setup for the next match which would be a first round match for the tag team tournament. Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz made their entrance first.
Gleed’s Take: Fun fact, Nathan Cruz was the first ever Progress Wrestling Champion. He was in a faction with Dave Mastiff, El Ligero and Zach Gibson called the Origin. Mastiff, Ligero and Gibson are now with NXT UK and Cruz in a tag team on WOS.
Their opponents were Doug Williams and HT Drake….
3. Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz vs. Doug Williams and HT Drake. Cruz and Williams locked up to start with Stu Bennett talking about his first match being with Doug Williams. Cruz played up his arrogant heel persona by blowing a kiss at Doug Williams who responded by putting him in a submission hold. One minute into the match Cruz applied a chin lock which looked so comfortable Williams could have got a pillow between the arm and chin and gone to sleep.
After some back and forth between the teams, Cruz and Maxted distracted the referee and attacked both men at ringside. Cruz sat in on another chinlock before Drake made the hot tag to Doug Williams who came in like a house on fire. After a number of near falls he tagged in Drake who got another near fall which Maxted broke up. Drake rolled up Cruz for another nearfall but when he stood up Maxted hit a swinging neckbreaker from the top rope in full view of the referee which allowed Cruz to then pin Drake for the three count…
Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz defeated Doug Williams and HT Drake to advance to the next round of the tournament.
Gleed’s Take: Ok, first of all, I know I ragged on Nathan Cruz a lot but it’s because he frustrates me so much. He has the look, he has the heel chops and mannerisms and he’s a very good wrestler, but he never seems to put it all together. I find his matches boring. This match itself was ok, but the only thing I’ll remember coming out of it was the swinging neckbreaker which Maxted hit by coming off the top rope and grabbing his opponent mid-air, damn impressive. One last thing, are the referees all stupid in WOS? They’ve already overused the “one man who shouldn’t be in the match distracts the referee while the heel attacks the babyface” in just two weeks, and now they are allowing tag partners illegally into the match to hit their finisher. Weak.
Following the final commercial break they setup for the women’s main event. The three women were introduced and they were Viper, Kay Lee Ray and Bea Priestley. Alex Shane choose Kay Lee Ray as his favorite to win the match. Stu Bennett however called Viper his favorite female wrestler in the world.
Gleed’s Take: Kay Lee Ray and Viper were in last years Mae Young Classic and Bea Priestley is the real life partner of Will Ospreay. All three women are in the top level of Women’s wrestlers currently working in the UK so this should be good and a great advert for British Women’s Wrestling.
4. Kay Lee Ray vs. Bea Priestly vs. Viper in a three-way to become the first WOS Women’s Champion. Bea Priestley shock hands with Kay Lee Ray before the bell rang but Viper pushed the Kay Lee hand away. Viper dominated early on by throwing both of her opponents around clearly playing the heel role in WOS. She picked up Ray and slammed her onto Priestly before hitting a double crossbody off the ropes on her opponents. She stacked up her opponents in the corner and charged, but they both moved. Bea and Kay Lee initially teamed together to try and get the advantage against Viper, but Viper continued on the offence.
Viper climbed to the middle rope and hit a splash on Bea, with WOS deciding to miss the spot with a stupid above ring camera shot. Viper continued on the offence until Bea and Kay Lee again teamed together to knock Viper down with superkicks before Priestley turned on Kay Lee Ray with a superkick.
Gleed’s Take: Seriously this editing is doing my head in. They missed the big Viper splash from the middle ropes and then missed the double superkick from Kay Lee Ray and Bea on Viper to knock her to the mat for the first time. They then missed the shot of Bea hitting a superkick on Kay Lee Ray as they were showing a “fans eye view” of the action. Seriously? I’m starting to wonder whether or not ITV does not want the show woman on woman violence at 5pm on a Saturday.
SoCal talked about how great the progress has been to the point that the three women in the match have so much respect all around the world that they are in the main event. Hear hear. Bea hit a beautiful stomp from the middle rope on Kay Lee Ray in the corner for a nearfall. Kay Lee came back but her pin was broken up by Viper who landed on both women. Kay Lee managed to knock Viper off her feet and got a nearfall. Kay Lee climbed to the top rope but got knocked off the top by Bea who then hit Will Ospreay’s cheeky Nando’s/Fernando’s on her which the announcers didn’t call.
Viper knocked both ladies into the corner and hit a cannonball. Viper hit her finisher on Kay Lee but Bea broke it up. Bea hit her finisher on Viper but Kay Lee Ray broke that up. With Viper on the outside, Kay Lee went for a suicide dive, but Viper cut her off. Bea went for a huracanrana from the apron but Viper caught her into a spinning powerbomb. Bennett continued to sing the praises of Viper, but Kay Lee Ray finally hit her suicide dive on her fellow Glaswegion. Kay Lee Ray once again hit a superkick to the face of Bea Priestley which WOS showed from as far away as possible before hitting her finisher impressively on the big Viper for the victory and become the first WOS Women’s Champion….
Kay Lee Ray beat Viper and Bea Priestley to become the first WOS Women’s Champion.
Kay Lee Ray celebrated in the ring as the referee checked on Bea at ringside and Viper sold mid-ring. She climbed onto the turnbuckles and took in the standing ovation from the WOS Arena crowd. They showed clips from next week which will include Joe Hendry against Martin Kirby in a revenge match, then spoke about Gabriel Kidd and his huge opportunity. They pretty much showed it was Crater and then showed a young fan in the crowd looking concerned while a paramedic brought a stretcher out. The narrator questioned whether anyone could stop the “reign of terror” of Rampage’s championship run.
Gleed’s Take: Damn that was a good match despite the lame camera angles they were showing. It seemed that they would allow most spots but anything involving a superkick to the head they were doing their best to hide from. Anyways, it was a really good match and a great advert for women’s wrestling for a more casual audience. The crowd loved it as shown by their reaction afterwards and this was as good as I thought it was going to be. The clips from next week have me intrigued and I am looking forward to next week’s show.
Overall another good episode of WOS. Again, though, it is definitely catering to the more casual viewer. As I explained last week, casual viewers are their target audience so I can’t really complain. The heel authority figure Stu Bennett was much less the central character this week so it didn’t feel as overwhelming as it has in other promotions. What I’m enjoying more than anything is the story arcs they are developing from week to week. Although they didn’t follow up on Joe Hendry vs. Martin Kirby this week, they are telling the next chapter of that story next week. We have the intrigue of what will happen to Gabriel Kidd after his win this week and they are setting up Rampage as the unstoppable champion to allow a big babyface to take the title from him. An enjoyable hour of wrestling if not anything innovative.
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