It’s a one-match show from FIGHT! Nation this week, and it’s for the promotion’s heavyweight title!
Finally concluding the Lethal Lottery tournament, Mark Haskins vs. James Castle is today’s main and only event… the s how starts with a sit-down promo from both the champion and the challenger. Haskins pretty much shrugs off Castle almost as if he were “just another guy”.
After the title sequence, we’re straight to ringside – this is going to be a long match then!
FIGHT! Nation British Heavyweight Championship: James Castle vs. Mark Haskins (c)
Basic stuff early on as Haskins takes down Castle then grapples him into the ropes, before a second takedown from the champion ends up with a headlock as Castle wriggles over to those ridiculously-loose bottom ropes.
Castle elbows Haskins as he’d forced the champion into the ropes, and that sparks a period of offence, mostly with stomps and forearms. Castle leaps over a low kick from Haskins, then goes to a side headlock, before Haskins blocks an armdrag and rolls up Castle for a near-fall in the ropes.
Haskins gets back on top with a snapmare and a running dropkick. There’s a really odd cut in commentary (unless Ricky Slatter has found a way to change tone and change his words mid-sentence!), as Haskins works over Castle with a grounded wristlock. Castle tries to charge at Haskins, but the champion leaps over as the challenger flies outside… but recovers and spears Haskins off the apron as the champion aborted a dive.
Back from commercial, we see a replay of that spear (along with another “blink and you’ll miss” edit snafu), as Castle then stalks the downed Haskins on the outside. Haskins gets thrown into the crowd barrier, then back into the ring for a spot of playing to the crowd. Castle stomps on Haskins in the corner, before Castle chokes him on the middle rope.
Castle whips Haskins hard into the corner, before pounding away on the champion with crossface punches. After some knees, Haskins is grounded with some bodyscissors as the tempo was slowed to a crawl, before chopping away at Haskins some more. Those chops fire up Haskins, who gets the better of a forearm exchange, before a knee to the midsection allows Castle to regain an advantage.
A dropkick gets Haskins another chance at getting back into it, before we rudely crash to an unannounced commercial break. When we return, we see that Haskins dropkick again, before he flies into Haskins with a forearm and a second dropkick. Haskins gets a near-fall out of a short clothesline, before rolling through into a Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Castle makes the ropes, and scurries to the outside.
Haskins plays cat and mouse with Castle, and runs into a knee and a Whiplash (rolling suplex) off the middle rope for a near-fall. More knees from Castle are replied to with a back elbow, only to catch a superkick and dump Haskins in the turnbuckles with a double underhook suplex. Castle misses another knee, and falls into a backslide for a near-fall, before Haskins counters an avoided sunset flip into a double knee press.
After spitting at Haskins, Castle dumps the champion with a Michinoku driver, but Haskins kicks out at two. They take a while to drag themselves back to their feet, before Castle tries – and misses – another knee strike, instead taking a German suplex, then a knee strike from Haskins. That sends Castle to the outside, as he quickly takes a tope, before Haskins rolls up Castle from the ground into a Fireman’s carry facebuster and a superkick in an explosive burst.
Castle kicks out at two after all that, but he’s immediately caught in the bridging armbar, and is forced to submit. A pretty good match – with Mark Haskins again showing his worth in a long match against a performer in James Castle who has his fair share of detractors. ***¾
As soon as Haskins received his title belt back, he was attacked from behind by Joseph Conners. Castle and Conners out the boots to the champion, who was saved by Doug Williams, before issuing a challenge to his two attackers… a challenge, that went unanswered.
For a one-match show, this was pretty good. There was some noticeable editing issues in this episodes, including the commentary track being edited mid-sentence, but otherwise, another good episode of Wednesday Night Wrestling. However, in the bigger picture, we still have the question marks about what else is happening with this promotion, with the TV show seemingly unable to focus on more than one storyline at a time…