By Haydn Gleed, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
Aired August 25, 2018 on ITV
Taped May 2018 in Norwich, England at Epic Studios
Following highlights from last week, the broadcast team of Alex Shane, SoCal Val, and Stu Bennett welcomed us to WOS. They promoted the two semifinal matches of the tag team tournament and an over the top battle royal involving the whole of the women’s division (all five of them). Stu Bennett said his interview discussing WOS, eaving WWE, and his new movie is available on the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell, available wherever you get your podcasts.
Gleed’s Take: OK, that last bit is a lie but it was a great place to put in a plug, no?
1. Kip Sabian and Iestyn Rees vs. Stevie Boy and BT Gunn in a WOS Tag Team Tournament semifinal match. After Iestyn and Kip were introduced, Sabian complained about the way that they were introduced. He told the ring announcer he would do the introduction for him. He did an over the top introduction that got boos and the thumbs down sign. As BT Gunn and Stevie Boy were playing to the crowd in the corner while wearing their 1980’s knockoff gear, they were attacked from behind by the heels.
Rees and Sabian dominated the early part of the match by beating down Stevie Boy but the babyfaces gained the advantage once Gunn reentered the match. They cleaned house before hitting tandem suicide dives to the outside. The Scottish ’80s dayglo tribute team (my new name for them) played to the crowd before hitting some lovely double team offense on the heels.
Later in the match Rees distracted Stevie Boy which allowed Sabian to tag out. He came into the ring and used his powerful offense to dominate. He exchanged tags with Kip and they did a good job of cutting the ring in half. Boy had an opportunity to get a hot tag but Rees knocked Gunn off his corner. After another prolonged beat down, Gunn got the hot tag and went to town on Iestyn Rees. He hit a lovely spinning heel kick which knocked Rees into the corner. Sabian tagged in but eat a spear from a middle rope springboard. The heels however regained the advantage, and after Rees clotheslined Gunn over the top, they hit their powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for the victory….
Iestyn Rees and Kip Sabian defeated BT Gunn and Stevie Boy to advance to the finals of the WOS Tag Team Tournament
Gleed’s Take: WOS rely heavily on pure babyface and heel dynamics, so I’m expecting Grado and Davey Boy to win the match later in the show. I know I mocked Boy and Gunn for their ’80s look, but it’s definitely a throwback to a more innocent time of wrestling and I loved it. They also worked really well as tag team and I would like to see more of it…….just not in the florescent gear and the bad face paint. This was the best match so far in the tag team tournament, and definitely gave the heels some credibility going into the finals later on in the series.
Nathan Cruz and Adam Maxted were backstage being interviewed by Rachel. Nathan said they have the opportunity to make history and that’s what they intend to do. Maxted said, and they look good before they hugged bromance style and walked off…
Gleed’s Take: I can hear DJ Z warming up his awful “buh buh buh buh” noise machine.
Rachel was now at ringside with Gabriel Kidd and they talked about Crater taking him out a few weeks ago. He was selling his ribs with a big bandage around them. He said he’s still feeling the effects but it could be his ribs, his neck, or knee but he’ll still be here. We were told by Alex Shane that the next match would be a three-way match with Gabriel Kidd and Liam Slater taking on the thirty-six stone (about 500 pounds) Crater…
2. Gabriel Kidd vs. Liam Slater vs. Crater in a three-way match. Before the bell rang, Kidd and Slater shook hands in a sign of respect. Kidd and Slater had some back and forth offense in the ring as Crater stood on the outside just watching. Kidd gained the advantage with the crowd getting firmly behind him before he ended up at ringside and jumped back in the ring quickly. He ran the ropes and Crater grabbed his foot and pulled him to the outside. Kidd landed ribs first on the outside. Crater climbed into the ring and decimated the much smaller Liam Slater. Alex Shane pointed out that not only is Crater impressive, he hasn’t even been knocked off his feet yet in WOS.
Kidd finally climbed into the ring, and the two young men worked as a team to take down Crater. They hit double dropkicks which made the big man stumble. Instead of following up they played to the crowd, allowing Crater to hit a double chokeslam. Crater then squashed both youngsters in their respective corners. The finish of the match came when Crater hit a splash on both men who were stacked up on top of his each other…
Crater defeated Gabriel Kidd and Liam Slater via pinfall.
Gleed’s Take: I don’t know where they are going with Crater and I kind of like that, but I don’t think they can do the redemption story I thought they were going to do with Gabriel Kidd. They’ve shown him dominated by the monster when it’s one on one and when it’s two on one. Surely they are not building up Crater to be fed to Grado later on in the series?
Following a commercial break, the announce team set up the second semifinal of the tag team tournament. Stu Bennett flinched when Grado’s name was mentioned. Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz made their entrance and were described by Alex Shane as the Britain’s biggest bromance (Buh Buh Buh Buh). Grado and Davey Boy Smith Jr. made their entrance with Stu Bennett saying Smith would try to drag his team into the final with the ball and chain that is Grado…
3. Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz vs. Grado and Davey Boy Smith Jr. in a WOS Tag Team Tournament match. Shane promoted the fact that Adam Maxted was a contestant in Love Island as the match started, and said he went on Love Island to increase his popularity and notoriety on the British scene. SoCal said he’s had to try and shake the stigma of being a reality TV star. The early part of the match was your usual highlight reel from Smith including his tribute to his late father with a long vertical suplex. He eventually tagged in Grado, who got a great reaction from the live crowd. Grado was sporting a new singlet which had an American and British flag combo on it……random.
Nathan Cruz eventually hit a jawbreaker to allow the heels the first offense of the match. Maxted hit a beautiful dropkick and then spent too much time showing off, which allowed Smith to come back and ground Maxted for an extended amount of time. Stu Bennett claimed that Grado was making Smith do all the work. Grado came into the ring and channeled the spirit of Dusty Rhodes with bionic elbows to both of his opponents. Grado attempted to do a leapfrog and his knee buckled. Smith looked concerned in the corner as the competitors all sold as if it was a shoot. Bennett helpfully pointed out that the ref can either throw this match out or let it continue.
Cruz however went straight after the knee for good heel heat. He tried to tag in Adam Maxted who looked reluctant to get into the match, and hesitantly went after the knee. He quickly tagged Cruz back in. Bennett started to turn against Maxted including saying if you don’t like it go and do something else. Cruz started to bark at Maxted and told him to go after Davey Boy who he had knocked to the ringside area. Maxted didn’t look happy. In the ring, Cruz was jawing at Grado who slapped him, but he went after the knee again and applied a figure four leg lock, which Grado instantly tapped out too.
Nathan Cruz and Adam Maxted defeated Grado and Davey Boy Jr. to advance to the finals of the WOS Tag Team Tournament.
After the match, Adam Maxted checked on Grado as Cruz looked furious at ringside…
Gleed’s Take: Well color me surprised, I was really expecting Grado and Davey Boy to advance so it would be a clear babyface/heel dynamic in the final. It is a bit of an odd pairing in the final, but I think the dissension we saw between Cruz and Maxted will probably play out there, with Maxted coming out of the final looking like a huge babyface.
The announcers setup the main event which would be the over the top battle royal. The ring announcer said it was a five lady over the top match. Kay Lee Ray was introduced first followed by Bea Priestley, Ayesha, the debuting Kasey Owens and finally Viper…
4. Kay Lee Ray vs. Viper vs. Ayesha vs. Kasey Owens vs. Bea Priestly in a battle royal for the WOS Women’s Championship. Before the match, Viper tried to grab the belt, but Ray took it away from her. As the bell rang, Kasey and Viper attacked Kay Lee Ray before Ayesha and Viper teased squaring off. Kasey tried to throw Kay Lee Ray over the top, but Ray held on to the top rope. They showed a great replay of the reaction of the champion to nearly being thrown out.
Kasey had some offense on all of her opponents but Viper swotted her off like a fly. Viper then had the same spot where she went after all of her opponents, including several cannonballs, in the corner. Next up was Bea’s opportunity to do the same. Eventually, the over six foot Ayesha squared off against the bigger Viper. They bounced off the ropes several times and neither budged. Kasey and Kay lee Ray leaped off the ropes and knocked both ladies down. Ayesha recovered and eliminated Kasey Owens.
Kasey Owens eliminated by Ayesha.
On the other side of the ring, Viper eliminated Bea Priestley leaving the two monsters of the division and the champion.
Viper eliminated Bea Priestley.
Both monsters faced each other again, but Kay Lee Ray knocked both ladies down and had a sustained amount of offense on both. However, after knocking them both off their feet, they showed that Ray couldn’t lift the bigger ladies. Ayesha charged at Viper, who had recovered, but Viper pulled the top rope down. Ayesha landed on the apron, but Viper threw Kay Lee Ray into her like a cannonball as Bennett described it.
Viper eliminated Ayesha.
Kay Lee Ray managed to reverse the momentum when Viper was attempting to eliminate her but Viper went over the top and only landed on the apron. One superkick later and the champion retained her title.
Kay Lee Ray eliminated Viper to win the battle royal and retain the WOS Women’s Championship.
Alex Shane closed out the show by talking about the tag team tournament final next week. The next week video focused on the final as well as Davey Boy Smith taking on WOS Champion Rampage, and Joe Hendry taking on Martin Kirby. They described the feud as intense and said there will be no cheating as this will be a submission match…
Gleed’s Take: A very short battle royal and I’m really glad it was. All five ladies worked hard, but there was too much repeating of spots where four ladies were down in the corner and they rotated the standing fifth lady hitting their offense on them. It was decent for what it was and that’s why I’m glad it was kept short. I don’t know where you go with the women’s division from here as it looks like Kay Lee Ray has defeated her biggest obstacle in Viper. I guess it will be Ray against Kasey Owens moving forward and Viper against Ayesha in a battle of the powerhouses. If WOS is renewed for a second season, I hope they manage to bring in some more ladies for the division, as this match shone a huge spotlight on the lack of numbers.
As for the show overall, it felt very much like a maintained show. By that I mean it felt that they were finishing off things they had started rather than any major news or developments with any of the top storylines. Instead, it featured the tag team semifinals which they want to play out next week and the finale to what they’ve been doing with the women’s division. A decent show but not one of the better weeks.
Any comments? Feel free to get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @haydngleed