We’re still in Harrow as the Old School’s war with the FWA rolls on!
Episode 23 opens with Dino Scarlo telling us that “for good to be good, evil has to be evil”, and that he “won’t miss with (Jody)”. They’re wrestling tonight, and this may be a bit of a clash of Styles.
The show opens with Mr Blonde catching Jack Xavier grappling with Cami (a new valet whose name’s never shown on screen until later in the run) outside a technology classroom, and that apparently sets up a match.
Mr Blonde vs. Jack Xavier
Cami’s completely changed her look in the time between that “earlier today” and this match. Blonde dominates Xavier from the start with knees in the corner before obliterating the youngster with a shoulder tackle.
Xavier gets a comeback with a hiptoss and some clotheslines, sending Blonde to the outside, before suplexing him back in for a two-count. A slam follows as Xavier looks to end this early with a back senton, but he misses from the middle rope as Blonde picks up the pieces with a jawbreaker before taking Xavier into the corner for some chops.
A back body drop takes Xavier out of the corner, and Blonde stays on top of things with a clothesline and a back elbow before Flash Barker (as he’s called I think for the first time here) ends up taking a tornado DDT for a near-fall from Xavier. Jack hits some more shoulder tackles, then a right hand, but Blonde just picks up Xavier and throws him outside for the rest of the security team to have a go at him.
Blonde drops Xavier and distracts the referee so he can punch Xavier low. An avalanche from Blonde keeps Xavier on the back foot, but Jack hits back with an enziguiri before distracting the referee himself so Cami can hit a grounded Blonde with a baseball slide dropkick to the groin. A full nelson bomb from Xavier gets a near-fall, but he misses an avalanche and ends up taking a clothesline off the ropes, before a Michinoku driver gets Blonde a near-fall.
After that two-count, Blonde comes back with a move that’d better be known later as the Cross Rhodes, before picking up Xavier at the count of two… and Jack shocks the security guard with a sit-down spinebuster off the ropes. Unfortunately, Xavier’s latest comeback ends when a rolling shoulder tackle gets nothing but the ring post, and Blonde gets the win with a straight right hand. Perfectly acceptable wrestling, albeit a little overbooked with the two interference spots… **½
Dino Scarlo vs. Jody Fleisch
Seeing Dino wrestling in what could well pass as a snooker player’s attire is very weird… he started by trapping both of Jody’s arms, but the youngster avoids some headbutts, only to get taken down with a wristlock.
A set of headscissors sees Scarlo taken to the outside, but Scarlo recovers and tries for more wristlocks… but again Fleisch reverses before the pair trade cartwheel reversals as Fleisch whips Scarlo to the mat.
More hammerlocks from Fleisch get reversed, before he bounces off the ropes with a hiptoss and takes down Scarlo with an armdrag… only for Dino to land a pop-up cutter and turf Fleisch to the outside. Fleisch tries to climb back in, but he’s knocked back to the apron, and when he comes back again, he’s dragged in by a legdrop from Scarlo from the turnbuckles.
A neckbreaker follows, as does a dropkick to take Fleisch out yet again. When he returns, Scarlo catches him in an armbar, before a ripcord clothesline takes Jody down again. A Rainmaker before it was even a thing! Just as Mark Priest tells us that Jody was down and out, he’s up and appealing to the crowd, before whipping Scarlo into the corner.
Dino recovers by backdropping Fleisch onto the apron, but Jody comes in with a springboard crossbody that Scarlo avoids by dropping back out of his trajectory. Fleisch is again on the outside, and he’s taking his time coming back in. When he does, he’s just kicked back out, before finally returning to land a backflip off the top rope, then finally take Scarlo out to the floor with a dropkick.
Jody tries to go airborne with a dive, but he ties himself up in the ropes as he steps up for a springboard, and Dino Scarlo takes advantage of the accident by throwing a chair at the exposed knee of Fleisch. Drew McDonald comes out… and uses the chair too, and finally this is thrown out as a DQ. Well, that was a bit of a waste – it had the makings of a decent match, but the long downtime (in a short bout) and the seemingly-thrown-together finish took this down for me. *¾
The show ends with Jody finally having been freed, and that’s episode 23 in the books! Episode 24 starts with a topless Drew McDonald cutting a promo on Alex Shane in front of some queuing fans.
We get a video package on the Old School, highlighting Steve Corino, Drew McDonald and Dino Scarlo… oh, and the debuting pair of Dean Ayass and Robbie Brookside as well. This video package/montage of the Old School leads up to our only match of the week:
Drew McDonald vs. Alex Shane
During the entrances, Jane Childs drops in on commentary and hints that she’s looking for the MIA commissioner Victoria DeMontfort. They hint that Drew and Dino seem to have been behind her disappearance.
We finally get going after a staredown when Drew spits at Shane, and he comes back with some clotheslines, with the latter sending McDonald to the outside. Shane does a forward roll to chase McDonald away, before a somersault plancha takes out both of the Double D’s.
Back inside, Scarlo hits a Stunner to take down Shane, and it was the veteran’s turn to work over the “Showstealer” getting a near-fall from an elbow drop. A body splash misses though, only for Shane to get caught with a low kick as McDonald blocked a choke bomb… then comes back with a sit-down splash for another two-count.
We’re taken to the break courtesy of that Shane-sation over-the-top-rope kick, and we return to see Shane taking McDonald through the merchandise tables and up towards the stage. McDonald’s slammed onto the stage, before his attempt at throwing Shane off is blocked… so he dumps the Showstealer with a back suplex instead.
A load of camera cuts cover Shane and McDonald brawling back towards the ring, but they keep going and end up at the back of the building, where Drew misses a chair shot… and takes one with one of those plastic school chairs. Shane dumps McDonald with a tombstone as Dino Scarlo comes out with a cricket bat, but Shane chases him up a climbing frame and onto a balcony.
Shane and Scarlo fight on the balcony, and if you know your wrestling, you know what’s going to happen next… Shane takes a fall off the stage, landing feet first into a pile of people who failed if their job was to catch him. Meanwhile, Scarlo climbs down that frame as Shane and McDonald return to the ring… but despite taking that fall, Alex Shane gets back to his feet and tries to superplex McDonald, only for Robbie Brookside to come out and waffle him with the cricket bat.
Mr Blonde/Flash Barker makes the save with a chair… but he too turns as he hits Shane with a chairshot to the head, and he’s joined the Old Side. As have the rest of Shane’s security detail! Justin Richards comes out, but he joins the mass turn (although we’re reliant on Mark Priest’s commentary to say that since he doesn’t actually do anything on camera), and all of a sudden, this no-DQ match is thrown out.
Yeah, it was a decent enough brawl, but to have a no-DQ match called out for anything less than a severe injury is a bit rotten. *½
This was typical of the TV show – they had a good story to tell, but by editing or other means, they crammed in so much that unless you took notes, all you’re left with is “some guys turned on Alex Shane”. Mr Blonde, suitably barks out a promo over the microphone before Drew McDonald gets a petrol can and empties it over Shane… McDonald has some matches, but before he can set the Showstealer on fire, the rest of the locker room come out to make the save, as a mass brawl closes the show.
That was a shame… they spent more time on the post-match brawl than the angle itself. Save for the storyline, this was one of the weaker pairs of shows I’ve looked at – and yeah, rotten finishes will mark down a match in my book.