By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
Aired September 22, 2018 on ITV
Taped in May 2018 in Norwich, England at Epic Studios
Following a recap of what happened on last weeks show, the opening video package hyped this week’s show. They showed clips of Viper against Kay Lee Ray as well as the mystery “battle” involving the whole of the male roster… The broadcast team of Alex Shane, SoCal Val and Stu Bennett welcomed viewers to WOS Wrestling. Bennett said the people at home would have to wait a little while longer to find out the “special” stipulation for the main event of the show…
Gleed’s Take: Part of me is curious as to what this stipulation is, but a large part of me is expecting to be letdown. That says a lot about how the WOS run has gone after my initial interest in the return of the show. With that being said, I am looking forward to the Women’s Championship match.
1. Kay Lee Ray vs. Viper for the WOS Women’s Championship. Viper got a heel reaction this week while Ray was given a great reaction. Viper charged at Ray to try and gain the early advantage but the champion moved out of the way. Viper tried to come back with some power moves, but Kay Lee moved out of the way again. Ray put a nice looking submission on the challenger, but Viper powered out of the hold. Viper came off the ropes with a crossbody and slowed the match down.
Following a period of time where Viper wore down the champion, and a number of random cut-aways from the action (which is a regular gripe of mine), the champion regained the advantage with a kick to the head. With Viper on the outside Kay Lee hit a suicide dive. Viper recovered and slammed Ray on the entrance ramp. Viper slowly rolled the champion into the ring, where Kay Lee Ray surprised her with a small package for a near fall. Viper scooped up Kay Lee Ray and hit her powerbomb finisher, however Ray kicked out for a nice nearfall which was only ruined by WOS showing Ray watching the referee’s count. Viper remonstrated with the referee which allowed the champion to attempt a rollup. Ray then hit a wicked looking superkick for an amazing nearfall.
Following some back and forth, Ray went to the top rope but was caught by the challenger, who joined her on the middle rope. Kay Lee wriggled out of Vipers grasp and hit a powerbomb on the larger Viper for another great nearfall. Both ladies were down with the crowd going nuts with “this is awesome” chants. Following some back and forth with both women looking to try and regain the advantage, the champion hit the Gory Bomb for the victory…
Kay Lee Ray defeated Viper to retain the WOS Women’s Championship.
Gleed’s Take: A really good match that was by far the best women’s match in the WOS run and is in with the shout for being the best match overall in this series. The near falls down the stretch were tremendous (despite WOS attempting to ruin the magic on one) and the crowd bought into this match hook, line, and sinker. A great way to start the show.
Back from commercials, Stu Bennett introduced the next match. He stood at the ringside area with a microphone and said its now time for the inaugural WOS Buzzer Battle. He explained the rules. The match would start as a traditional tag team elimination match. Apparently, when Bennett feels like it he will push a buzzer and someone will get added to both teams. Eliminations can be made via pinfall, submission, DQ or count-out, and when there are only eight men remaining, they will flip the match into an over the top battle royal. When one man remains, he will be the no 1 contender for a match against Rampage next week….
Gleed’s Take: My head hurts. Can’t we just give the title shot to Justin Sysum, who will probably win this “match” anyways, and be done with it?
2. 16-Man WOS Buzzer Battle: Despite the fact that Stu Bennett said this would start as a Tag Team elimination match, it was Robbie X against Kip Sabian kicking things off. Alex Shane said that this match will either be ingenious or a chaotic mess……I know what my money is on. Robbie X and Kip Sabian had some great cruiserweight style back and forth to begin with. Kip Sabian however hit a horrible springboard kick to the head which showed so much light I could see the crowd between his foot and Robbie X’s head. Bennett decided to hit the buzzer.
Stevie Boy and BT Gunn were the next entrants. The announcers talked about how these two were brothers in all way except for blood and now they would be on opposite teams. The tag partners had a brief back and forth and shook hands. Bennett wasn’t happy with this so he pushed the buzzer again.
Iestyn Rees and Liam Slater were the next entrants. The announce team pointed out that Kip Sabian and Iestyn Rees were the tag team champions and were now on the same team along with BT Gunn. Stevie Boy and Gunn continued to battle in the ring as the crowd got into the action. Bennett questioned whether these two will ever be able to compete together again. Iestyn Rees tagged in and went after Stevie Boy but the Scotsman initially moved out of the way but got caught with a big boot. This followed a sustained amount of time of the tag champions tagging in and out isolating Stevie Boy from his partners. Kip Sabian and Iestyn Rees hit their finisher but instead of taking the cover they tagged in BT Gunn to make the pin who refused and tagged Kip Sabian back in.
Stevie Boy was eliminated by Kip Sabian and Iestyn Rees
Following the pinfall, BT Gunn confronted his tag partners about the position they put him and started to do battle with his team. Iestyn Rees hit a powerbomb on his own tag partner and Liam Slater snuck into the ring to make the pinfall.
BT Gunn was eliminated by Liam Slater
Gleed’s Take: My head hurts.
Kip Sabian and Liam Slater restarted the match with again some exciting fast paced action, but Bennett pushed the buzzer.
Sha Samuels and Grado were the next entrants. Grado and Sha Samuels tagged immediately into the match with Alex Shane saying that these two had had a historic feud in WOS (what?!). Grado danced around the ring but Sha Samuels went on the attack. Grado ducked and hit a number of bionic elbows. Iestyn Rees and Kip Sabian took out Robbie X and Liam Slater on the outside. With this distraction Sha Samuels hit a big flying clothesline and the heels took charge of the match. Shane and SoCal Val reminded Bennett that he had the power to push the button but Bennett proclaimed that he was enjoying himself. The heels continued to attack Grado’s partners to isolate the Impact Wrestling roster member. SoCal begged Bennett to push the button to give Grado some help, but he refused. She said she would push it.
CJ Banks and Davey Boy Smith Jr. were the next entrants. Alex Shane said in all the time he has known SoCal he has never heard the anger in the voice like he just did. In the ring, Grado eventually made the tag to Davey Boy Smith Jr., who didn’t last long against the heels who beat him down. Grado came in with a look of intensity on his face and went to beat the living tar out of the tag team champions.
Gleed’s Take: I’m being serious here when I say that look and that intensity is the best thing I’ve seen Grado do, that was a real character shift and gave the fun loving character a much needed edge.
In the ring, Davey Boy Smith Jr. recovered and picked up Kip Sabian and threw him on to Iestyn Rees and Grado. After literally three seconds of screen time (I counted) the referee counted out all four men.
Grado, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Kip Sabian and Iestyn Rees were eliminated via countout.
Gleed’s Take: It’s things like this that make WOS so weak. It was literally three seconds between Sabian being thrown out and the announcement. Unless the referee has the fastest count in the world, it’s weak. Some people might say it’s nitpicking but it’s a lot of nitpicky things that has made the WOS show nowhere near as good as it could be. Anyways, I’m guessing this leads to a tag team championship match between the four men for the finale next week with Grado and Davey Boy winning in a feel good moment.
The action continued with Robbie X taking on CJ Banks, who displayed some cartoonish facial expressions and ended up eating a springboard cutter from Robbie X. He kicked out at one for the move that put away the monster Crater last week (another nitpick). Stu Bennett pushed the buzzer. Adam Maxted started to make his way down the ramp but Nathan Cruz came out and attacked him from behind and then stood on the apron (what?) with Bennett saying he shouldn’t be in the match.
Gleed’s Take: I reckon the same writer who wrote the Kevin Owens I quit storyline was in charge of the storylines on WOS, especially the loser leaves town gimmick that lasted all of two shows.
Nathan Cruz and Adam Maxted were the next entrants. Maxted managed to get back to the apron and was tagged in and took it straight too Cruz, but the heels eventually regained the advantage. Bennett once again pushed his buzzer.
Justin Sysum and Crater were the next entrants. As Alex Shane was saying there was only two men left Bennett pushed his buzzer again. Gabriel Kidd made his entrance and stood on the heel corner, when all of a sudden Impact Wrestling’s Moose’s music played, nice surprise.
Gabriel Kidd and Moose were the final entrants. The crowd did the Moose chant and fist motion. In the ring Maxted finally regained the momentum for the babyface team and tagged in Moose who looked huge compared to the British wrestlers. He did his punch followed by Moose Fistpump. He unloaded on everyone before tagging in Robbie X and throwing him across the ring towards Nathan Cruz. The action broke down with everyone taking on each other except for Crater who just stood on the apron. Alex Shane made a Jeremy Kyle reference (which made me laugh). Six of the competitors were on the outside which allowed Liam Slater to hit a massive suicide dive. This was followed by Garbiel Kidd leaping off the top rope to the outside. In the ring Nathan Cruz eliminated Robbie X.
Robbie X was eliminated via pinfall.
Gleed’s Take: Nitpick time, but the announcers have said that Nathan Cruz isn’t legal in this match, they have completely blown off the big loser leaves town stipulation from a few weeks ago but yet they act nonplussed that Nathan Cruz pinned a wrestler to eliminate him. The logic is….well….there is no logic. No space in this “match” for Martin Kirby, Joe Hendry or Will Ospreay which is odd (or lucky for the three men depending on your perspective).
Nathan Cruz tagged in Crater and went to the outside and threw a lifeless Slater into the ring. Crater went to work on the much smaller wrestler before hitting a Splash off the ropes.
Liam Slater was eliminated via pinfall.
In the arena a siren went off which signaled the beginning of the battle royal. They went to a quick commercial break with Alex Shane calling for a stretcher for Liam Slater. After the break they showed a replay of Liam Slater leaving the arena in a stretcher and the over the top battle royal is on….
Battle Royal portion with Nathan Cruz, Adam Maxted, Crater, Moose, Gabriel Kidd, Sha Samuels, CJ Banks, Justin Sysum. As usually happens in a multi-man battle royal, the initial action was messy and too much going on. Cruz and Maxted went to the outside through the middle ropes. They then battled all around the arena which culminated with a double clothesline on the stage. Gabriel Kidd got put over the top rope by Sha Samuels.
Gabriel Kidd was eliminated by Sha Samuels.
Sha Samuels and CJ Banks held Justin Sysum in the corner for Crater to splash him, followed by them holding his hands and legs allowing Crater to hit a splash. Crater and Moose had a standoff mid-ring but Rampage’s goons took out Moose before it got physical. Maxted and Cruz battled back to the ring, but Maxted clotheslined Cruz over the top rope…
Nathan Cruz was eliminated by Adam Maxted.
Despite being eliminated in this match and storyline based doesn’t even have a job with WOS, Cruz returned to the ring and eliminated Maxted…
Adam Maxted was eliminated by Nathan Cruz
Gleed’s Take: I just had to pause the show and sat with my head in my hands for a few seconds after that one. I’ll save any rants for members’ audio tomorrow, but I will say at least this gives a hot grudge feud match for the finale next week……..even if it makes about as much logical sense as watching Twin Peaks on acid.
Security came out to take Cruz out of the arena about ten minutes after he made his way to the ring. In the ring, Moose hit a double clothesline on Sha Samuels and CJ Banks. Sha Samuels went for a move off the top rope but Moose hit a dropkick, then threw CJ Banks over the top.
Sha Samuels and CJ Banks were eliminated by Moose.
Moose and Crater faced off mid-ring with Moose getting the initial advantage but as he charged at Crater, the big monster stepped to the side and allowed Moose to go over the top with his momentum. This left Crater and a groggy looking Justin Sysum left in the match.
Moose was eliminated by Crater.
Justin Sysum got a second wind and went after the big Crater, went for a powerslam but the weight forced Justin to the mat. Crater charged at him in the corner but Justin got a boot up. Crater went for a powerslam but Sysum picked him up for a scop slam again and this time hit it. He then lifted Crater over the top rope for the victory….
Crater was eliminated by winner Justin Sysum.
The crowd popped big as Justin was announced as the winner. Rachel was at ringside and proclaimed Justin the winner against all of the WOS roster (except Ospreay, Hendry and Kirby but I digress). She asked him how it felt. He said it was touch and go but Crater is 36 stone…ok. Rachel said that he now has a match against Rampage to which Sysum said he will give the WOS fans a champion they can be proud of. Alex Shane signed off for the announcers. They showed a video package for next week including a tag match between the champions Iestyn Rees and Kip Sabian against Grado and Davey Boy Smith Jr. and also the WOS Championship match between Rampage and Justin Sysum…
Gleed’s Take: The finish of the match was booked really well with the popular babyface overcoming all the odds and the biggest man in WOS which gained massive approval from the crowd. I question whether or not it would have been better for Crater to have not lost last week and it would have looked like an even bigger achievement but there we are.
As for the match itself, it was certainly unique and if I can look past the massive gaping logic holes and the over complex stipulations then it was pretty enjoyable. There were some nice stories being told in the 40-plus minutes of television time. It’s such a shame that it was so over booked at points. The Moose surprise was well done and the live crowd enjoyed it and the eventual winner was who it should be based on the booking of the second half of the series. I still question whether there was an audible called between the first and second night of tapings as it looked like Grado was getting the mega push to dethrone Rampage and they shifted to Sysum, but we may never know.
As for the show overall, it was decent enough. I really enjoyed the women’s match to open the show and although I never want to see a “Buzzer battle” again, for sheer novelty it was interesting to watch.
Any comments? Feel free to get in touch via email firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @haydngleed
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Allysin Kay discussing Friday's NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, Melina dropping an unexpected f-bomb on NWA Powerrr, the WWE Mae Young Classic experience, her time as Sienna in Impact Wrestling, working in Japan, the Tessa Blanchard controversy, and more...