We’re coming towards the end of the Frontier Wrestling TV show – with more of Old vs. New School from the FWA.
The latest episode opens with footage of a backstage beatdown with Drew McDonald and Robbie Brookside attacking Doug Williams earlier in the day. Brookside’s shown modelling the FWA title belt – something that annoys McDonald, and I guess this is leading to a challenge where Brookside wants to beat Williams in 15 minutes or under.
After the titles, which still include Alex Shane and his security guards, we’re straight to the ring for our first match of the day, but first, an in-ring promo from Kappo Khan… who dresses down Castano for losing the tag titles. Khan reckons Castano’s going to come into contact with someone with divine powers, and all of a sudden “Jesus Christ: Superstar” plays – and out comes the newly rechristened “Messiah” Brandon Thomas, along with the similarly re-named Ian DaSciple (formerly Ian DaSilva).
Jorge Castano vs. Brandon Thomas
Before this repackaging, Thomas was less than “just a guy” – and he starts on the defensive immediately as Castano beats him to the mat and lands a legdrop to the back of the head.
Castano hauls Thomas up into a surfboard, but he nearly pins himself mid-move! From the confusion there, Thomas lands a superkick, then a suplex for a near-fall, as DaSciple rolls Castano back into the ring. A side Russian legsweep takes Castano down for a two-count, so Thomas follows up with some punches, before he’s back dropped to the floor where he takes down Khan. Castano follows up with a tope to DaSciple, but that just lets Thomas capitalise by throwing him into the crowd for a spot of brawling among the rows of empty seats.
Castano reverses a whip to send Thomas into the wall, but by the time they brawl back to the ring, Thomas is back on top and slams Castano for an aerial attack… but Ian DaSciple gets involved again. This time, Castano throws DaSciple to the outside, and that causes Thomas to crotch himself on the top rope, allowing Jorge to hit a back superplex for the win. Basic stuff, and it seems that the repackaging isn’t going to immediately help Brandon Thomas’ singles career. *¾
They replay a segment from six weeks earlier where Doug Williams was invited to the Old School – only to be double-crossed by the debuting Robbie Brookside. That leads us to tonight’s title match…
FWA British Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Brookside vs. Doug Williams (c)
This should be a good match – Brookside had the belt going in after the earlier attack, and he opened with a headlock as he tried to wear down Williams early on.
Williams counters the headlock into a wristlock, but that’s reversed back and forth as we go to a badly-timed break. We return to see Brookside hanging Williams across the top rope, before Doug’s thrown to the outside as they call out that five minutes has passed.
Yep, we’re sticking to the 15 minute time limit, and Williams manages to drop Brookside with a suplex on the floor, but the veteran recovered back inside as he continued to wear down Williams with a grounded wristlocks – all whilst trolling the crowd. Brookside hangs Williams in a Tree of Woe, then slides in with a dropkick before using the turnbuckles to stretch Williams upside down in the corner. Eventually Williams makes a comeback, kicking Brookside down before landing an elbow off the top rope for a two-count, then hitting a back suplex for another two-count. Brookside turns things around again with a superplex as we enter the final five minutes, with Brookside continuing to put the boots to the champion.
Williams snaps back with a whip into the corner, then a leaping knee in the corner for a two-count, but a sunset flip attempt ends up too close to the ropes as Brookside’s touching the ropes. Robbie goes for another suplex as the clock keeps ticking, but Williams headbutts free and lands the Bomb Scare knee drop to the back of the head for another two-count.
After the kickout, Williams unloads on Brookside with right hands, then gets a two-count out of a German suplex. Brookside knocks Williams off the top rope with an Iconoclasm after catching the champion up top, but Brookside can’t make a cover, and the two end up exchanging more strikes back and forth as the match enters the final sixty seconds.
Williams gets a two-count from a schoolboy, but neither man seems to be in any hurry to win this – Brookside especially – and although Doug lands his Revolution DDT, Brookside gets a shoulder up at two as the time limit expires. Compared to the rest of the matches of this era, this was pretty good, but given the pre-match stuff with Brookside, I was disappointed his character didn’t seem too bothered about taking the win, and instead was happy to just ride the clock out. ***¼
As soon as time ran out, Alex Shane’s old security hit the ring and continued the offence on Williams. Doug drops Slash and Creed with separate Revolution DDTs, before Flash Barker gets one too as the show came to an end.
Onto episode 28, and it starts with a recap of that Williams/Brookside match, before we’re taken to a backstage segment with Victoria DeMontfort and the FWA locker room. Which apparently consists of the New Breed, Nikita, Alex Shane, Chris Harvard and another guy I can’t quite picture. It’s a standard “rallying the troops” call, with some berating of Shane for his losing streak for some reason.
After the titles, Jane Childs heads to the ring… she’s apparently read something and she can’t keep quiet any longer. She recaps all of the guys who’ve turned on Alex Shane, but she’s interrupted by Justin Richards along with Dean Ayass. Dean corrects the fans who accused him and Richards of selling out, and berates the fans for the scourge of 2001 wrestling – the “What?” chant.
Ayass confronts Jane Childs for her statement that the Old School had gone too far, before cornering her with some dialogue that was interesting for a multitude of reasons. Let’s just say, this segment with Richards and Ayass harrassing Childs would be slaughtered if attempted in this way in 2017.
Eventually Nikita runs out to make the save, and I’m guessing Nikita only has one shirt since she’s wearing the same outfit as when she was trying to sign her contract a few weeks ago? She challenges Ayass to become a man, but she’s caught in a chicken wing by Justin Richards before Jonny Storm rushes out to make the save. For the obvious reasons, I wasn’t too keen on this whole thing, but, hey, 2001…
After commercial, we get a flashback with Stixx and Pliers being given a pep talk by Dino Scarlo ahead of their tag title shot.
FWA Tag Team Championship: The Boyz (Stixx & Pliers) vs. The New Breed (Ashe & Curve) (c)
The New Breed get jumped in the aisle as Ashe and Stixx worked in the ring… and Ashe grabs a cross armbreaker in the early going.
Curve tags in and works over the arm, and my word, by FWA standards this starting out like a squash for Alex Shane’s old security guys. The New Breed double-team Stixx, ending with Curve walking the ropes into an armbreaker on Stixx, before a bodyscissor pin gets him a near-fall.
Eventually Stixx comes back and drops Ashe with a spinebuster, before the other two Boyz jump Ashe on the floor. Pliers finally comes in and stands on Ashe’s back, before scoring with a backbreaker submission. He taunts Curve with the offer of a tag before a fallway slam sends Ashe into the wrong corner.
The Boyz continue with double-teams, with a clothesline on the apron taking down Ashe, before Plier catches him in a torture rack… and despite working free, Ashe is kept in the ring by some more double teaming. A gorilla press from Pliers is turned into a DDT, before Stixx eats an enziguiri, and finally Curve gets the hot tag!
Pliers takes an errant kick low, before he’s clotheslined to the outside by Curve. A ‘rana from Curve takes Stixx down, but the Rings of Saturn is broken up by Pliers, who drops Curve with a mighty spear. Ashe throws Pliers off the top rope to the floor, which leaves Stixx alone in the ring to take a Sliced Bread out of the corner… but Curve’s more interested in sending Pliers into the crowd and diving on him!
Back in the ring, Stixx tries to take over with a superplex, but Curve returns as the Breed hit their powerbomb/Blockbuster combination for the win! Despite some sloppiness, this was rather entertaining, but dampened by a swift fade-to-black **¾
Another entertaining pair of shows, with two of the three matches on them being really good for the time they were given. Sadly, the FWA’s experiment with TV would be coming to an end, as they would wrap up with the three final matches from the “Lights, Camera, Acton” card – bizarrely not ending their final show with the Alex Shane & Chris Havard tag… but with two matches that would otherwise be classified as filler.
That – and our recap at the 30 episodes of Frontier Wrestling – will have to wait for next time, as the final chapter of FWA TV is to be written.