By Haydn Gleed, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
Aired September 1, 2018 on ITV
Taped in May 2018 in Norwich, England at Epic Studios
After a video showing highlights of last weeks action, the broadcast team of Alex Shane, SoCal Val and Stu Bennett welcomed us to the show. They introduced the first match of the night for the WOS Championship…
1. Rampage (w/Sha Samuels, CJ Banks) vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. for the WOS World Championship. The crowd booed Rampage strongly during his entrance as well as showering him with “Who are ya?” football chants. Bennett compared this contest to Mike Tyson against Frank Bruno. Both men locked up and spent the first part of the match jockeying for position with Davey getting the early advantage. Alex Shane suggested that Davey’s father is looking down with pride. SoCal gave props to Rampage for being a fighting champion as he gained the advantage.
Following some more back and forth, Davey held Rampage in a vertical suplex, which was very impressive given the muscle mass of the champion. He tried to follow up with a squash in the corner but Rampage moved and Davey came out of the corner selling a knee injury. Rampage went straight to work on the left knee of Davey. He then distracted the ref to allow his companions to get a few shots in on the knee.
Rampage charged at the challenger who countered with a back body drop which WOS replayed from six different angles. He went for a northern lights suplex but his knee gave out. Alex compared this match to a mix of Shakespeare and a Premier League final, which I don’t even know where to begin to point out how incredibly inaccurate that statement is. The end of the match came when Davey appeared to be going for a superplex from the top rope but got distracted by Rampage’s goons. He went for a running powerslam but Rampage countered and hit his finisher for the victory.
Rampage defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr. to retain the WOS Championship.
Gleed’s Take: This match was okay, nothing more and nothing less. I was watching the match fully expecting involvement from the guys on the outside, which is a lazy pattern WOS have fallen into and was pleasantly surprised that there was minimal interference. The focusing on the knee was a bit confusing as it didn’t really factor into the finish or anything of consequence. However, it was a relatively clean victory despite a distraction kinda leading to the finish so it built up Rampage’s credibility somewhat.
After the match, Rampage, CJ Banks and Sha Samuels had Davey cornered in the ring, but Justin Sysum ran out to help his fellow babyface. Bennett stood up from his commentary position with a microphone in hand. He said that he noticed that Justin likes to stick his nose in other people’s business and because WOS is his business he doesn’t appreciate it. However he said he is a fair man so he will authorise a match for the main event where it will be two on one with Justin Sysum against Sha Samuels and CJ Banks. If he manages to win the match then maybe he will give Justin another crack at Rampage…
Gleed’s Take: Ugh! My biggest niggle about wrestling is when the match for the main event is booked during the show. At the end of the day, if Justin hadn’t come out for the save, does that mean there wouldn’t have been a main event? However, Stu went to great lengths to point out that Justin had won over the hearts and minds of the crowd during the six shows, and he has been the biggest stand out.
Following a commercial, Alex Shane setup the submission grudge match between Joe Hendry and Martin Kirby. Joe Hendry came out to a wonderful reaction with the crowd swaying back and forth. Alex Shane questioned why Hendry would want a submission match. Nobody pointed out to him that his finisher was the Hendry Lock but hey ho. Kirby was introduced and he came out with his arm in a sling. In all fairness to Alex, this time he questioned why Martin would come out with his arm in a sling but still have his wrestling trunks on.
Once in the ring Kirby handed the ring announcer a note. It said that as much as he would like to face and embarrass Joe Hendry, last night he injured his arm styling his hair (he’s bald, very funny) and tore his hamstring muscle. Also he has a bad case of the sniffles which is in danger of breaking out into man flu. The note was signed off by Martin Kirby’s mum as Alex and SoCal were essentially calling bullshit. Kirby left the ring as Stu Bennett said that he sends his best wishes to Martin. However Joe Hendry grabbed Martin by the leg and pulled him back in the ring and the bell rang…
2. Joe Hendry vs. Martin Kirby in a submission match. Martin quickly gained the advantage and obviously showed he was faking the injuries. Joe however quickly made the comeback and threw Kirby to the outside. Joe chased him around the ring but got hit with a kick to the stomach. SoCal called Martin Kirby Martin Crybaby.
The match settled down and Martin went to work on Joe Hendry’s left knee. Martin shouted at the crowd, and they showed a great shot of a young girl looking shocked at what he shouted at the crowd before booing him. Martin continued his attack of the knee. Hendry had a few brief hope spots but Kirby quickly regained the advantage on several occasions. The crowd chanted “Kirby sucks” with the commentators doing a great job of recapping the history in WOS between these two.
The end of the match came when Joe finally made his comeback by powering out of a sleeper hold. He hit a suplex on Kirby before hitting several clotheslines and elbows. He went for a fall away slam before attempting to apply the Hendry Lock. Kirby escaped and went for the Hendry Lock himself but Joe reversed it. Kirby was near the ropes but Hendry pulled him back to the middle of the ring where Kirby tapped…
Joe Hendry defeated Martin Kirby via submission.
The commentary team shifted focus immediately to the tag team final tournament as Joe Hendry was still celebrating in the ring…
Gleed’s Take: The segment and match epitomized the type of storylines WOS is going for along with the target audience. The “injury” angle at the start was clearly for a more kiddie audience and the match was your basic paint by numbers match where the heel dominated but against all odds the babyface came out on top. Saying that, I did get a few chuckles out of it, but I can imagine a more adult audience just ripping this to pieces. It’s a shame they transitioned so quickly to the next segment as this storyline has been going on since week one and the babyface finally came out on top, but again they are going for the total nonstop action feel.
Back from the break, the announcers setup for the tag team tournament final…
3. Iestyn Rees and Kip Sabian vs. Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz in the final of the WOS Tag Team Championship Tournament. Both teams were booed heavily during their introductions while they showed highlights of the falling out between Cruz and Maxted last week. Alex acknowledged in his own way that it was a heel against heel match.
Gleed’s Take: I’m still not sold on these two heel teams being in the final, but I’m expecting a big babyface turn to hopefully make sense of this.
Iestyn and Adam Maxted locked up, but Kip Sabian tagged himself in but immediately Maxted dropped him with a leg drop. Cruz and Maxted tagged in an out to get the early advantage. Nathan Cruz encouraged the crowd to clap and they obliged. Strange. Iestyn distracted the referee which allowed the “heels” to gain the advantage. Maxted crawled to his corner but Sabian knocked Cruz off the apron and they quickly regained the advantage.
Following a prolonged period of Rees and Sabian in control, Maxted made the hot tag to Nathan Cruz. Nathan ran in and took out both men with ease and again encouraged the crowd to get behind him. He hit the show stolen on Sabian for a very near fall. Maxted tagged back into the match and hit a springboard neckbreaker for another near fall. Sabian and Cruz battled on the outside, before Kip threw Cruz into the ring barrier. Back in the ring Rees had gained the advantage over Adam, lofted him onto his shoulders and Kip came off the top rope with a clothesline and we have our first WOS Tag Team Champions.
Iestyn Rees and Kip Sabian defeated Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz to become the WOS Tag Team Champions.
In the ring, Nathan Cruz and Adam Maxted hugged and held each other’s arms up. As Maxted turned his back, Nathan Cruz hit him from behind. He hit a long blower from the top rope and left his former partner lying in the middle of the ring…
Gleed’s Take: Oh, I didn’t see that coming. Okay, smart arse comments aside, I really enjoyed the tag match. It wasn’t a classic by any means but a fitting end to the competition. From the first week it was quite obvious that Sabian and Rees were going to win as they were the only team to get any kind of mic time, so it was a case of seeing how they got there. Cruz working as a babyface after last week taking advantage of Grado’s knee injury was strange and wasn’t helped by the commentators just accepting it. If they had said that Cruz had seen the kindness from Maxted and decided he wanted to follow his “British Bromance” partner down that path it would have made so much more sense. The turn was clearly going to happen after they hugged and the announce team hadn’t already transitioned to something else, and it was a brutal (in a WOS context) turn on his partner so it sets up a nice little feud for the remaining weeks.
Following the final commercial break, the announce team recapped the heel turn before setting up the main event…
4. Justin Sysum vs. Sha Samuels and CJ Banks in a handicap match. Justin got a great reaction from the crowd, while Sha Samuels and CJ Banks got a good heel reaction. Samuels called Justin a mug as they had the babyface cornered by the turnbuckles. Samuels was the first in the ring with Sysum but CJ Banks immediately distracted Sysum to allow Samuels to attack from behind. Stu reminded us that this was all legal and challenged Justin to prove how much he wants it. Sysum made a comeback but Samuels rolled to the outside to allow himself and Banks to regroup.
The heels dominated the match as should be the case, but Sysum made a comeback down the stretch. He hit a crossbody on both of his opponents and setup for his finisher but Rampage’s music hit and he came out on the stage. Justin approached Rampage but quickly turned around and ran to the ring and hit his spear through the middle ropes (from a jump on the floor) on Samuels. Sysum hit his 450 splash for the three count…
Justin Sysum defeated CJ Banks and Sha Samuels in a handicap match.
Clips aired for next week. They promoted a loser leaves WOS ladder match between Adam Maxted and Nathan Cruz, as well as the return of Grado, who apparently has “something to hide”…
Gleed’s Take: Again the leap through the middle ropes is impressive in itself but to hit a spear that looks impactful is even more impressive. I’m not down on the babyface defeating the two heels in a handicap match simply because it was the champions lackeys that he beat. The heels dominated the match and it was only because of a quick shift of momentum that Justin won the match.
Overall this was another relatively paint by numbers show, but again this was great for it’s target audience. I imagine kids who are being exposed to wrestling for the first time really getting a kick out of a lot on this show. From the Martin Kirby silliness to the heroes managing to overcome the villains, this show more then any of the others was what WOS is trying to be in a nutshell.
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