Airing days before the “Future of Fight” finale, FIGHT! Nation’s latest Wednesday Night Wrestling show was… another recap.
In the last few weeks, the promotion got their wires crossed big-time, as they revealed their title tournament contenders out of order, as Chris Ridgeway was announced on the TV show, whilst Adam Maxted took the “final” spot via a Twitter announcement. Unfortunately, an injury to Ridgeway meant that he would have to drop out, with Joseph Conners taking his place… which meant that FIGHT! Nation could use one of their original silhouettes!
This show opened with the news of Ridgeway’s withdrawal, along with the news of a match booked for November 19th’s Future of Fight show, as Psycho Phillips faces Lord Gideon Grey. In a match that hasn’t as much as had seeds sewn for it on this show. That leads us to more recaps. By which, I mean “old matches”, firstly, back from episode 3:
Liquid Dreams (Jakey & Brucey) vs. James Castle & Psycho Phillips
For some reason Liquid Dreams start the match on the apron… until they’re yanked in by Phillips as the heels start off being pounded on in the corners. Phillips and Castle shove each other, before they step back and allow Liquid Dreams to run into each other.
A back rake takes Jakey into the corner, before Phillips and Castle exchange unwilling blind tags as they play the “unwanted partners” story here. Phillips tags himself in as Castle was shoulder charging Jakey in the corner, and Jakey ends cartwheeling out of the corner and dropkicks Phillips. Brucey finally gets tagged in, and he drops an elbow for just a one-count, and we’re back to the heels isolating a babyface like we had in the first match. Back from commercial, Jakey’s stomping away on Phillips, as the double-teaming continues. Apparently getting the crowd to boo the heels hurts the babyfaces as “the crowd can’t cheer them” (I get the logic, but not how it translates to the babyfaces… and are Phillips and Castle actually babyfaces?!)
Psycho counters a suplex and drops Brucey with a vertical suplex, but Jakey runs in knock Castle off the apron to prevent a tag. A back elbow from Jakey gets a near-fall, before Brucey comes in and lands a standing moonsault. Jakey tags back in and hits a moonsault off the back of Brucey for another two-count. Jakey punches away in the corner on Phillips, but Psycho rebounds out of the turnbuckles with a clothesline, and finally makes the tag out to Castle!
Castle dropkicks Jakey into the corner, before scoring an avalanche clothesline and a boot to the head. Phillips blind tags himself back in and punches Jakey down as he was in a hanging vertical suplex, only for Brucey to make the save. Liquid Dreams toss out Castle and drop Phillips with an Eat Defeat, then a double superkick, before Jakey gets an electric chair splash for a near-fall as Castle breaks it up.
Liquid Dreams tease the double-team low blow again, and of course it goes wrong, as they kick each other for some reason, for a double low blow. Castle clotheslines Jakey to the outside, leaving Brucey in the ring for a chokeslam as Psycho Phillips scores the win. Well, that was something… it seemed a shade below what we saw to begin with, perhaps because a lot of the same template was used in the two matches? Isolating Psycho Phillips didn’t work quite as well as when they did it to Sid Scala… particularly as Phillips is bigger in height and weight! **¾
They announce that Joseph Conners has been added to the title tournament in Ridgeway’s place. Which gives them a chance to drop in a Conners match, this time from episode 10:
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. ***
After the match, they announce Mr. Anderson for the November 19 show. That’s three days notice between the announcement and the live show, for those counting…They then announce what they revealed on Twitter last week, that Adam Maxted’s taken the final spot in the tournament.
Guess what? Another old match! This time from episode 6…
FIGHT! Nation British Heavyweight Championship: Zack Gibson vs. Mark Haskins (c)
Gibson gets ring announcer Chris Hatch to do his promo for him… then he gives up and runs through his usual promo instead. Zack gets drowned out, but it’s nowhere near Electric Ballroom levels. But hey, at least this crowd isn’t as sweary, as they chant “shut the hell up”…
Haskins starts by targeting Gibson’s arm, but Zack reverses it as he seemingly tries for the Shankly Gates early on. A takedown sees Haskins go for an early armbar, but Gibson quickly went to the ropes for a break, before Haskins avoids another attempt at the Shankly Gates. A low dropkick to Gibson seemingly has him worried that he’s broken his nose, as he rolls to the outside and checks it. Finally after they get inside the ring, Gibson kicks Haskins in the midsection, before a forearm takes the champion down, but Haskins fires back with chops briefly, before another dropkick forces Gibson to the outside. Haskins fakes out a dive by doing a 619-like swing in the ropes, before rebounding and landing a tope to take out the Scouser.
Gibson sneaks back in and flies back out himself… wash, rinse and repeat as Haskins nails a second tope. Haskins misses a dropkick off the top, but counters by rolling Gibson into a Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring, before Zack easily grabs the ropes to force a break. Gibson goes to the outside once more for a breather, and breaks the count as he tries to get into Haskins’ head.
Mark follows him to the outside, kicking away at Gibson’s chest, but Zack counters by dropping Haskins chest-first into the crowd barriers. Referee Steve Lynskey checks on Haskins on the outside, as he’s able to open a bottle of water and have a drink, so I’d guess he’s okay to continue.
Haskins rolls back in but gets stomped on some more as Gibson retains the advantage, before he finally fires back after a series of forearms from the Scouser. They trade forearms, but Haskins is quickly thrown into the turnbuckle for an uppercut, before he fires out with a dropkick to take Gibson down.
From his knees, Gibson takes a series of kicks to the chest, but Zack ducks one and rolls through to attempt a Shankly Gates, but Haskins rolls out and ends up landing a double knee strike for a near-fall. The champion follows up with a tornado DDT attempt, but he gets shoved off as Gibson attempts a Ticket To Ride, but that too is blocked as Haskins grabs an ankle lock, then a Stretch Muffler.
Gibson grabs the ropes to force the break, before he clings onto the strands to avoid an O’Connor roll. Haskins succeeds in freeing him, but an attempted half-nelson driver is elbowed out of, as Gibson hits the Divorce Court for a near-fall. Haskins collapses to the mat as Gibson tried to lift him up, with the challenger’s Tiger Driver attempt turned into a triangle choke upon landing… but Gibson’s effort to break the triangle ended with him being caught in a bridging armbar.
Gibson broke that armbar after getting his feet on the ropes, and after they both worked back to their feet, they again traded forearm strikes. Haskins rolls out of a waistlock, and sends Gibson into the ropes where he’s prone for an inside-out slingshot dropkick, before the champion goes up top for a double stomp. That misses, and after side-stepping a charge in the corner, Gibson tries for a roll-up, but the referee stops the count after noticing Gibson had put his feet on the ropes.
Referee Steve Lynskey shoves Gibson after an argument, which leads to a near-fall, and after Gibson gets sent to the outside, Haskins tries for another tope, but he again fakes out… only for Gibson to catch his swinging legs and grab the champion before dumping him into the barriers once more. Gibson posts Haskins, before he rolls him back inside for a running lungblower and then a cross-legged brainbuster.
Haskins kicks out at two after that flurry, but he’s left laying in the middle of the ring and vulnerable to the Shankly Gates. Gibson grabs the hold, before shoving Haskins down just as he was about to free himself. A second attempt is avoided, and Haskins comes back with some tiltawhirl headscissors, before he floats into an armbar as Gibson frantically taps. A sudden finish to a pretty amazing match that needs to be seen by more eyeballs! ****
The show ended with Mark Haskins celebrating with his title, before one last reminder of the November 19 show, where a new champion will be crowned. Hopefully next week we get some new content, because these preview shows have been an utter waste of time. Instead of building up interest, these clip shows seem to have killed any buzz around this product, which is a shame when you have featured matches like Haskins vs. Gibson!