With no sign of a previously-advertised main event, Wednesday Night Wrestling became something of a forced recap show.
Mark Haskins’ neck problems – which forced him to vacate the PROGRESS title at the end of October – also had a knock-on effect here as FIGHT! Nation had to make their British Heavyweight title vacant.
The show opened with this announcement, and the news that on the promotion’s November 19th show – The Future of Fight – will now feature a one-night tournament to crown a new champion. Confusingly, the description for this episode clearly states that the Future of Fight won’t be aired on the YouTube show… which I hope is just a way to sell tickets and DVDs, since it’s odd that something so big wouldn’t be a part of their regular output.
A graphic is shown for the tournament, all with silhouettes and question marks around them: although three of those outlines are clearly Doug Williams, Joseph Conners and James Castle.
Sure enough, James Castle is named, and we’re taken to a replay of James Castle’s Lethal Lottery final against Psycho Phillips. We’ll just drop in our review of the match from episode 7 here…
Winner Gets a British Heavyweight Championship Shot: James Castle vs. Psycho Phillips
From the opening tie-up, both men go into the ropes and try for reversals until they break apart. Castle yanks Phillips down to get out of a headlock, before he applies one himself. More headlocks, which Castle eventually breaks out, before taking a back elbow and a big boot. Castle ducks to avoid a punch, and when he stands back up, Phillips surprises him with a suplex for a near-fall.
Phillips lifts Castle into a Fireman’s carry, but Castle wriggles out and knocks him onto the apron, before he dives off the ropes to spear Phillips off the apron and onto the floor. To minimal reaction. Castle yells at some fans in the front row to move out of their seats… but they don’t, so he has to throw Phillips into the ringpost instead. We need more stubborn fans at indie shows.
Back inside the ring, Phillips kicks out at one as Castle fish-hooks at his mouth. Castle rakes the eyes and throws down Phillips in place for a double stomp which gets him a near-fall. A brief flurry from Phillips ends as he runs into Castle’s boots in the corner, and takes a couple of chops as Castle takes him around the corners.
Castle easily distracts Phillips by getting him to look at the crowd for something, and from there he drills Phillips with a forearm. An uppercut and a left hand from Phillips gets him a receipt, before he comes back with an Ace crusher for a near-fall. Sensing blood, Phillips lifts Castle up into a Fireman’s carry, but Castle works free and gets a brainbuster for a near-fall. Some nonchalant slaps from Castle end up with him running into a bicycle kick from Phillips, and then a pop-up powerbomb for yet another two-count.
Phillips calls for a tombstone piledriver, but after a ripcord action, Castle grabs hold of Steve Lynskey to block the move. As Phillips argues with the referee (again, for no reason), Castle pulls down a kneepad and rushes in with a diving knee to score the win. As a main event, this didn’t hold a candle to what we had last week with Mark Haskins and Zack Gibson, but at least the better guy won here. ***
After the match, they plug some upcoming dates for FIGHT! Nation shows, including that November 19th date… with Mark Haskins’ photo still included in the promo material.
They tell us that Mark Andrews is next to be added to the tournament, which leads to a replay of his match with Josh Bodom from two weeks ago (on episode 12)
Josh Bodom vs. Mark Andrews
When the match actually starts, we see Bodom muscle down Andrews with a waistlock, before he shoves the Welshman into the corner. Bodom takes Andrews into the corner and grinds his forearm into his head, before a wristlock takedown puts Andrews on the mat.
Andrews reverses it into a grounded headlock, but Bodom gets free with some headscissors that Andrews bridges up and headstands out of. Bodom rams him with a knee once more, before a series of armdrags take down Bodom. Josh rolls to the outside for a breather, and he’s joined out there by the international star, who flips back into the ring for… another armdrag takedown.
Bodom gets free by raking the eyes, then by kicking Andrews in the chest. Another kick gets Bodom a near-fall, as does a floatover suplex, before Andrews powers out of a camel clutch… only to fall into the path of a roundhouse kick. They go back to the outside where Bodom chops Andrews on the apron, before nailing a dropkick back in the ring.
Andrews reverses out of a sunset flip and dropkicks Bodom, before a back elbow and an enziguiri knocks him down. We get a wheelbarrow bulldog to take down Bodom, before Andrews’ floatover Northern Lights suplex and a standing moonsault gets him a two-count. Bodom backdrops Andrews onto the apron, then kicks him to the floor, where he follows up with a tope suicida.
Bodom runs back in for the lumbar check (powerbomb onto the knees), but that only gets him a two-count… so he goes for it again, but Andrews rolls him up for a near-fall and then runs into a superkick. Bodom tries for a suplex, but Andrews turns it into the stunner, and then follows with a reverse ‘rana and another standing shooting star press for the win. Good stuff, as they kept it basic until it mattered – no throwaway moves, with the big guns being saved until it mattered. A debut win for Mark Andrews (at least on TV), but Josh Bodom’s future remains in doubt after another loss. ***
So, Mark Andrews takes place in the silhouette that was so obviously Doug Williams at the start of the show. The Joseph Conners-shadow remains there, but the last two names will be revealed next week.
Regarding that main event that was advertised from two weeks ago, I’m guessing now that Haskins’ injury means we’re not going to see that tag team match with Haskins & Doug Williams against James Castle and Joseph Conners – which is a shame, because that had some promise to it.
As a show, this was utterly skippable. None of the matches were bad, but if you’ve seen every episode of the Wednesday Night Wrestling product, then you’d be able to wait until next week’s show to find out the four names for the tournament.