FIGHT! Nation Wrestling’s tenth TV show featured a tantalising main event of Zack Gibson vs. Doug Williams.
Last week, we bemoaned how Sid Scala had been MIA since the Swords of Essex wiped him out on their debut. Well, turns out I just had to wait a week! Scala opens the show this week by saying that “last match, the Swords of Essex beat the holy jeebus out of me and a lad called Lewis Howley.”
Howley’s apparently got a concussion from that beating, but that’s not putting off Scala, who’s calling the Swords out for a fight. But first… our opening titles! We return to see Joseph Conners in the ring, and there’s our impromptu opening contest!
Sid Scala vs. Joseph Conners
Scala launched into Conners before the bell with punches, before feinting a crossbody and instead landing an elbow off the middle rope. An enziguiri follows, but Conners’ clothesline takes down Scala, as does a bodyslam.
Conners chokes Scala in the ropes, before chopping him down to the mat, and then turfing him out of the ring. This was all one-sided, and squash match Joseph Conners looked the best I’ve seen him for a long time. Scala tried to catch Conners as he re-entered the ring, but another powerslam took Scala down, but Sid yet again tried to fight back with forearms from his knees.
A clothesline from Conners got blocked, as did a corner charge, before Scala’s missile dropkick finally took down the “Righteous” Joseph Conners. Scala low bridges Conners to the outside, but he doesn’t capitalise, and instead waits for Conners to return to the ring before landing a bulldog out of the corner.
Scala kept up the offense, but a wind-up punch was blocked, only for Scala to counter a slam into a hanging neckbreaker for a two-count. A second neckbreaker is avoided as Conners hits a hot-shot then a clothesline for a near-fall of his own, before a crucifix bucklebomb and a tiltawhirl slam gets another two-count.
Frustrated, Conners took another slap, but responded by picking up Scala and dumping him with the Righteous Kill DDT, and that’s all. Scala fought back a little too much for my liking, given his place on the roster, but this was a fun match. ***
For once, they don’t immediately cut away from the match after the pinfall… instead, they show Scala fighting back to his feet, before Conners offered a handshake, which instead turned into a punch, as Mark Haskins eventually rushed out to make the save, but just as soon as Conners had left the ring, James Castle ran in and took out the champion. Yep, that’s our match next week, so this made sense…
Back from break, and they recap the Sid Scala segment that we just saw. Eh? We actually go from the challenge, to Conners win, to the post-match attack and the involvement of Haskins and Castle. Do wrestling fans really have that short of an attention span that we needed to see a recap of a spot that we saw literally minutes earlier??
We have a sit-down interview with Zack Gibson, who was annoyed at how Mark Haskins had the “home advantage” in his debut… along with the referee supposedly being biased. The interview goes to Gibson professing that he’s better than Doug Williams, before leading to a promise that he’ll earn another title shot. Great stuff for a sit-down promo!
Yes! Zack Gibson grabs the microphone during the introductions and runs through his usual pre-match shtick. Except without the toilet paper…
Zack Gibson vs. Doug Williams
They start with a lock-up, with Williams being taken into the corner for a clean-ish break, before the pair work over some fairly straightforward chain wrestling, going back and forth from a wristlock.
Williams repeatedly counters out of a snapmare takedown into a wristlock, but when Gibson finally sticks a headlock takedown, he traps Doug in some headscissors, which are easily gotten out of via a headstand. Another snapmare from Gibson was followed up with some bodyscissors, but Williams leans back for a pinfall attempt, and eventually works free into a toe-hold.
Gibson gets the offence again with a snapmare takeover, then a shoulder tackle, before Williams countered a roll-up by sitting down for a near-fall. Williams takes an Irish whip into the corners, as the bottom rope wobbled so much I wondered what the heck they were actually tied to the ringposts with.
Williams suckers in Gibson with a handshake and takes him down, before going for another toehold, but Zack pushes out out, sending Doug into the corner. A clothesline gets a near-fall after Doug had been sent into the ringpost, and Zack starts targeting the veteran’s left shoulder. Doug tries to avoid the assault by hooking the bottom rope to free himself, before unloading with some forearms… but again Zack targets the left arm.
A modified cravat from Gibson keeps Williams grounded, but he fights free again and mounts the ropes, taking Zack down with a diving European uppercut. Williams launches another comeback with uppercuts, before drilling Gibson in the corner again, but Zack elbows out of a suplex, then claps out of another, before Williams sits down on a sunset flip for almost-a-repeat-of-SummerSlam-1992.
From the kickout, Gibson drills Williams with a Codebreaker for a near-fall. They trade forearms for a spell, before an Exploder suplex and an overhead belly-to-belly gets Doug a two-count. Williams tries for the Chaos Theory, but it’s reversed back and forth for a load of near-falls.
Gibson grabs hold of the ref to block a Chaos Theory, and in the process he mule kicks Williams before a roll-up snatches the win. A good, basic match, which suited the crowd that they were in front of – no point breaking your neck if the simple stuff is going work equally as well! ***½
Another solid episode of FIGHT! Nation’s Wednesday Night Wrestling is in the books. Nothing outstanding, not nothing horrible either – at worse, a perfectly acceptable show that’s just there. James Castle and Mark Haskins are in your main event slot next week, as Haskins’ British heavyweight title is on the line against the winner of the Lethal Lottery tournament. Remember that?