Going somewhat under the radar this past week was the small matter of the live television broadcast of a wrestling show from the UK…

Let’s be frank here – this wasn’t a “British wrestling show”, despite it being a wrestling show held in the UK. On the poster were the likes of Joe Coffey, Kenny Williams, Zack Gibson, Kid Fite, Joe Hendry, Mark Haskins and Jimmy Havoc. Given that Havoc was still at the Working a Resthold live show in London three hours before bell time (a journey that’d take six hours or so from nearby King’s Cross… or 90 minutes via air), it was safe to say that he wasn’t going to be appearing.

Nor, would it seem, would Haskins, whose appearance on the poster seemed to be more borne out of using an old line-up than tipping off his imminent return from injury. As it turned out, the only Brits on show would be Nick Aldis (formerly TNA’s Magnus) and Drew Galloway, whilst Joe Hendry would appear on commentary. The rest of those Brits… if they were lucky, worked a dark match.

So, what did we get? Well, the show had opening titles highlighting John Morrison, Rey Mysterio, Aldis and Carlito… then it crashed into a WCPW-esque glimpse of an entrance video for John Morrison (identified as such; hi Jerry McDevitt!), who came out with the 5* Wrestling title belt. Morrison won it on last year’s 5* tour, beating AJ Styles in Newcastle on their debut show, before retaining it against Carlito and PJ Black later in the tour.

There is literally NOBODY in the aisle – they’ve laid no floor seating out next to the aisle, with the fans penned in around the other three sides of the ring. This just looks weird… In a bit of an identity crisis that’d fit TNA, Dominant Wrestling was held in a 5* Wrestling ring, with a 5* champion. Get that brand out there!

Morrison pledges to “start the night off right”, and says he’ll defend the title. What we get in response to his open challenge is a WWE-esque segment on acid, with suitably generic music and videos. First out is Rey Mysterio, to the delight of the kids who bought the masks at the merch stands, and we see one of the cameramen walking up the aisle, so we know what’s going to happen.

Interestingly, we don’t seem to have any hard camera tonight. Mystero says to be a champion, he’s got to win it in a “dominant, five-star style”. Brand confusion! Out next is Carlito, wearing a Chris Masters PCW t-shirt… and as soon as he said he didn’t want to be in Dundee, out comes Drew Galloway, whose entrance video seems to have him yelling and holding a sore head. Galloway gets a pop for reminding us he was one of the youngest guy from Scotland to get “signed to America”… now the UK is the hottest scene in the world, and everyone wants to be part of the UK scene.

Galloway calls Scotland “his damn country”, and that’s a cue for Nick Aldis to come out and ham it up by reminding the Scottish fans that they’re still part of the UK. Out comes PJ Black who grabs Aldis’ mic, since I guess they ran out of them for this segment. PJ wants the title, but Mysterio tells him to “get in line… I came out here first”. Next is Chris Masters, and this is happening so quickly that it’s lost effect.

Morrison stops the party and declares that he’s going to hold a winner-take-all tournament for his 5* title, with his opponent being the next man out: Moose!

Dominant/5* Championship Tournament Quarter Final: John Morrison vs. Moose
We’ve got Greg Lambert and Joe Hendry on commentary here, and we start with Morrison taking out Moose with a plancha! They fight outside where Moose uses Morrison as a bat, swinging him into the guard railings to a muted reaction. They enter the ring and the bell finally sounds as Morrison hits a dropkick and a running knee to a downed Moose, who doesn’t seem to stay down. A third kick is missed as Moose picks up Morrison for a chokeslam that gets him a near-fall. Morrison comes back with a springboard kick off the ropes after ducking a discus lariat, but this continues back and forth for a while longer.

Morrison hits an enziguiri off the apron as he evades Moose, but the big guy comes back with some left hand punches, before he hits he Go To Hell choke-bomb from the top rope. Moose only gets a near-fall from that, and after an errant non-replay, Morrison gets the win out of nowhere when he ducks a Rainmaker and rolls up Moose into a schoolboy with a handful of tights. Eh, it was a match – nothing too great, nothing too bad, considering Morrison’s got further matches… *¾

We get a don’t try this at home warning, then an ad-break, before we see the line-up for the quarter-finals… we’ve already had Morrison vs. Moose; the remainder of the line-up is Nick Aldis vs. Rey Mysterio; Carlito vs. PJ Black, and Chris Masters vs. Drew Galloway. Hmm, copyright infringement

Dominant/5* Championship Tournament Quarter Final: Nick Aldis vs. Rey Mysterio
The ring announcer makes sure to emphasis “ENGLAND” to make sure Aldis – who’s still wearing his old Magnus trunks and knee pads – gets booed. Aldis starts with a headlock, then a shoulder tackle before Rey’s tackle… just doesn’t work.

What does work is a stomp to the foot as Mysterio manages to take down Aldis before we get a Benny Hill chase around the ring. Rey hits the 619 to avoid Aldis diving at him, sending the Englishman to the outside, as Aldis does his best to chew up some time. He charges back in and runs into a drop toe hold as Rey goes for the 619… but again, Aldis goes to the outside. Aldis comes back with a wheelbarrow facebuster, before he rolls through a sunset flip and powerbombs Rey Rey as Greg Lambert on commentary notes that they’ve got an Italian referee. Erm… nobody in Scotland was free?!

Mysterio comes back with a cross body for a near-fall, but Aldis switches things around with a superplex attempt… but he’s shoved down as Rey comes back with a seated senton off the top rope, then a springboard crossbody for a near-fall, before we get the mounted corner punches. Mysterio takes Aldis into the corner with some headscissors, then lands a springboard legdrop for a near-fall, before another charge from Rey is turned into a Michinoku driver as the former TNA champ gets a two-count. From there, Aldis goes for a powerbomb, but Rey switches it into some headscissors for a 619, before a frog splash gets Rey his ticket in the semis. It started slow, but was pretty good at the end – almost to the point where this broke the mould re: “working multiple times in a night”. **¾

Aldis attacks Mysterio after the match, stomping on him in the corner, before he just leaves to the back. The Italian referee tries to help Rey to the back, but Rey refuses, just in time for another don’t try this at home announcement.

After seeing a replay of Mysterio struggling to walk to the back, we get a backstage promo from Rhiannon Jones (who’s had sports TV experience in the past with Fox Sports ITV and Real Madrid’s TV channel). She’s with Rey, who says the pain he’s got right now on a scale of 1-10 “is an 8”. Despite not looking to be in that much pain. The interviewer asks Rey if he expected the attack… yep, this is what happens when you try for “sports presentation” without knowing the proper nature of wrestling.

Dominant/5* Championship Tournament Quarter Final: Carlito vs. PJ Black
Joe Hendry tells us why we ought to be remembering Carlito – for spitting apples! We start with the usual headlock takedown stuff, before Carlito’s attempt at a hiptoss ends by way of a leg sweep from Black.

Black hits a double stomp to the back of a bent-over Carlito, who pops up and attacks him to knock Black out of the ring, where Carlito ends up going too as PJ follows with a baseball slide dropkick and a plancha.A diving clothesline sees Carlito stay down, before some headscissors were awkwardly turned into a reverse DDT for a near-fall. You can’t help but laugh at how they’re tip-toeing around some stuff – like “you may remember PJ Black when he wrestled elsewhere under a different name”. Yet 5*/Dominant have no qualms in using CHRIS MASTERS, CARLITO and JOHN MORRISON – all three names which are still currently trademarked by WWE.

Black goes to a modified Octopus hold on Carlito, before he rolls up Carlito for a near-fall. More ground-based stuff sees PJ go for a double armbar, before turning it into a backslide for a near-fall. Black shuffles Carlito for a Quebrada that barely connected, and yes, they show a replay of Carlito’s groin taking the blow. PJ goes up for a 450 Splash, but Carlito rolls as far away as he can before catching a springboard from Black into a Codebreaker, before he hits a Back Stabber for the win. This was fine, nothing massively impressive, but Carlito managed to get the win with minimal effort. **½

We’re given a to-camera piece of Joe Hendry and his gold coat and Greg Lambert – all whilst a security guy tries his best to avoid kids from congregating behind the two commentators.

Dominant/5* Championship Tournament Quarter Final: Chris Masters vs. Drew Galloway
They full on use the “Masterpiece” nickname here too, and its Masters who start by being taken into the corner from a tie-up. Masters switches things around as he takes Galloway into the corner and chokes him to the mat, but Galloway gets an instant reply with some punches and chops of his own.

Drew keeps up the pressure with an overhead belly-to-belly for a near-fall, but Masters yanks him off the middle rope as Drew looked to go flying. From there, Masters wears down Drew with some stomps, before he goes to a rear chinlock that almost looked like a camel clutch – a move that Galloway escapes from via a jawbreaker, only for Masters to land a Samoan drop instantly.

Masters slaps away at a kneeling Galloway, but Drew fires back into the corner with endless right hands, before a Futureshock DDT is blocked and countered into a Sky High powerbomb for a near-fall. The Masterlock is called for, but of course, Galloway avoids it and elbows free. They trade chops for a spell, before Drew’s attempt at a backslide is reversed, but Drew flips over and lands the Futureshock DDT for the win. That was a nice finish, pulling the move out of nowhere, and perhaps the best of the opening round of matches. ***

After another commercial, we’re backstage with Rhiannon Mills and Drew Galloway. Drew promises to go all the way to win the 5* title in his home country. They cut to a long shot of the crowd, and my word, it looks embarrassing how much empty space there is there.

Dominant/5* Championship Tournament Semi Final: Carlito vs. Rey Mysterio
They’re playing up how Rey Mysterio is injured after that brief attack from Nick Aldis after his quarter-final match… Rey somewhat hobbles down to the ring, and we start with Mysterio trying to keep his distance.

Carlito kicks Rey in the midsection, before he goes for a suplex – and he keeps Rey hanging up there, and of course, Mysterio uses his knees to free himself. An enziguiri takes Carlito into the ropes as the brand confusion continues, as Greg Lambert utters the line “Rey Mysterio is looking to become the king of 5* Wrestling here on Dominant Wrestling tonight”

Carlito rolls to the floor to escape a 619, before he sinks to his knees to offer a fake handshake to Rey. Mysterio takes the hand, but dropkicks Carlito immediately into the corner… only for the heel to knock him down as Rey’s up top, hanging him in a tree of woe. A kick to the knee knocks Rey down, and that’s where Carlito keeps going go, sending Rey flying backwards repeatedly as he’s only holding himself up via the top rope. Mysterio almost wins it with a small package, but Carlito kicks out and follows Rey to the outside, just so he can throw him back in. Another tree of woe ends with Carlito missing a shoulder charge into the corner, and Rey makes a comeback with forearms, before rolling out of a sunset flip as he kicks Carlito for a near-fall.

Mysterio hits a headscissors to take Carlito into the middle rope, but the 619 is aborted as Carlito avoids it, before Rey escapes a Back Stabber and lands the Code Red for the win! A decent finish, but again, Carlito barely did anything there… and in kayfabe land, not targeting the knee throughout makes him look weak. **

After the match, Carlito goes back to attack Mysterio, wrenching his knee over the bottom rope, and that continues the storyline… good to see he remembered the knee after he lost!

Dominant/5* Championship Tournament Semi Final: Drew Galloway vs. John Morrison
Morrison doesn’t come out with his belt, so I’m guessing he vacated it at the start of the show for the hell of it.

Galloway flies into Morrison with the Claymore Kick at the bell for a near-fall, before an overhead belly-to-belly seems to spark Morrison into a comeback, punching Galloway for a near-fall, before a standing shooting star press gets another two-count. They head outside where Galloway whips Morrison through the crowd barrier and into the empty area where most other shows would have fans sitting.

Morrison comes back with a superkick as the referee keeps up the count, before he throws a right hand at Morrison back inside. A superplex attempt follows, as Morrison punches Galloway down into a tree of woe, only for Drew to sit-up and throw Morrison down with an overhead belly-to-belly. Some boo/yay strikes end with a Morrison dropkick, then a running knee strike and a corkscrew flip senton for a near-fall. A powerslam gets Galloway back in it for a near-fall, but Morrison head outside and lands an enziguiri off the apron, before a tornillo back into the ring gets him a near-fall. Galloway catches Morrison up top and hits an Air Raid Crash off the middle rope as he almost wins the match with that, before a Futureshock DDT is avoided. Morrison comes back with a springboard moonsault that’s caught and turned into a tombstone to the shock of the crowd, but that too is only good for a two-count.

Another Futureshock DDT is countered back and forth as they go for pinning combinations, and from a backslide attempt, Morrison catches Galloway with the SOS for the surprise win. Easily the best thing on the show, but that’s not saying much… and that leaves us with Morrison vs. a one-legged Mysterio in the finals. ***¼

The clearly-visible clock in the arena shows that we’ve got just over quarter of an hour of TV time left as Drew Galloway joins the commentary team… and that poor security guard is left to struggle as kids surround him.

Dominant/5* Championship Tournament Final: Rey Mysterio vs. John Morrison
We get two entrances here, as the ring announcer introduces both guys on the way to the ring… then again once they’re in the ring. O-kay?! Apparently that ring announcer is Steve Lynskey, which begs the question, why is he not refereeing?!

Mysterio grounds Morrison with a leg lock early on, but JoMo comes back with a toe hold before both men square off. They go to a knuckle-lock for the next sequence, with a monkey flip leading to a pair of two-counts before Rey works into a sunset flip for a near-fall. A headscissor takedown sends Morrison to the outside, but JoMo moves away as Rey looks to go flying. Rey tentatively goes back in as he deals with a charge of Morrison, before a springboard ends badly when Morrison clips Rey’s knees as he then goes back onto Mysterio’s knees.

Morrison grabs a single-leg crab on Mysterio, who uses his good knee to kick free, before his wheelbarrow bulldog is caught and turned into a facebuster for a near-fall. JoMo uses his boot to put pressure on Rey’s ankle, before Mysterio’s whipped hard into the corner as Morrison goes for the Starship Pain – and lands on his feet as Rey moves away. Another apron enziguiri knocks Mysterio down, and Morrison tries to come back with a move off the top rope, but Mystero works free and fights into a top rope ‘rana as Morrison’s sent down for a near-fall. Mysterio goes for a quebrada, and switches it into a tornado DDT as a quick burst of music plays over the PA. Whoops!

Rey dropkicks Morrison into the ropes and gets the 619, but he misses the Frog Splash and that leaves Morrison free to hit a running knee, then the Starship Pain as he wins/retains his title! A decent final, but a little too short for it to get out of gear. **¾

Immediately, Rhiannon Jones hits the ring to interview Morrison… who gets the crowd to cheer for Rey and himself. We’re into the final minute of the on-demand feed, and Morrison puts himself over as the Dominant champion… before he announces “the biggest tournament in wrestling history”.

128 wrestlers – “anyone, any country” – with the final in Manchester later this year, and all shows on Spike… and the show cuts out in the middle of the promo. So, from what we heard, that’s clearly a statement of intent from Dominant/5*, but just like we questioned how WCPW’s going to fill a 64-man slot with guys who want a date and don’t care about risking being blacklisted by WWE (at least in the short-term), how’s 5* going to do the same with an even larger number of bodies?!

What Worked: Well, the show put over Morrison as a fighting champion, but that was about it. All storylines on the card were self-contained, and there’s absolutely nothing here to make you want to watch when the show returns for the tournament later in the year.

What Didn’t: Nothing against anyone on the card, but this felt like a cynical attempt to cash in on the boom of British wrestling, by having none of the local names that have cultivated the boom. With no buzz, the confusing branding (was the company called 5* Wrestling, Dominant Wrestling or Dominant Wrestling by 5* Wrestling… who do I search for to buy a ticket to a future show?) this was a TV equivalent of those disposable wrestling shows that promotes themselves with generic “WRESTLING in (town name)” posters.

Thumbs: Down.