We’re back for another two episodes of 2001’s Frontier Wrestling from myTV, as they continued to firm up their FWA title tournament.
Episode three kicked off with a flashback to the end of last week’s show, where Scotty Rock vs. Paul Travell was ruined by the interference of the Dominator and his crew. After the titles, we’re straight into action.
Kid German is already in the ring – a name I think he only ever used in the FWA, as he was better known as “German Kid”. Which certainly makes more sense. Mark Priest gets his own name plate this week, and as we see the Dominator and his crew head to the ring, we’re taken to the FWA Commissioner Victoria Demonfort (yep, still a missing T).
Paul Travell wanders in on Victoria as she adjusts her outfit, and he’s asking what’s going to happen because his tournament match ended up with no result. Scotty Rock comes in asking for the same, and he quickly gets all shouty. Clearly from the Phil Powers School of Promos.
Demonfort tells them both that the no-contest means that they’re both eliminated from the tournament… but instead, she’s giving them a rematch. But not really, it’s going to be a six-man tag with partners of their choosing. Travell seemed awfully happy with that match, despite being out of the tournament.
Speaking of, the acting on show here was pretty bad all round. It was almost like the set-up to a really bad adult movie…
Kid German vs. The Dominator
We return from that backstage segment to see Kid laying into Dominator with some forearms, but he’s quickly flattened by a clothesline. The New Breed appear on commentary, just because, and I’m left wondering if Dominator really did mean to fashion his singlet after a shiny sticker from a football album.
Dominator squashes German with a splash in the corner, before a pumphandle powerbomb. German fires back with a spinning kick, but he sails to the outside as German lowbridges him. On the outside, Dominator’s crew double-team German, before he returns to the ring with a sunset flip, and then a dropkick that’s not sold. Dominator spikes German with a DDT, then tries for a Camel Clutch and a tree slam. Dominator hits a dropkick of his own, before a Dragon sleeper ends up getting the W for the debuting Dominator. Yeah, this wasn’t great, it has to be said. *
Throughout this match, Ross Gordon’s commentary kept bleeding into the audio track, which was quickly becoming an infuriating part of this show. Dominator was wearing mostly the same get-up as Rico would in WWE some years later – with the shiny gear and facepaint.
They show a replay of the Double Diamond Cutter from the New Breed last week, and then their subsequent murder of Kappo Khan.
After that, we’re taken backstage again to Victoria Demonfort, with the segment led by some really cheesy music. Okay, this has to be a spoof of adult movies, no? Kappo Khan’s recovered enough to run into the commissioner. I’m sorry, but the acting here was still horrific… Khan gets another tag title shot, but basically he’s going to find another tag team to get a shot against the New Breed. Did British wrestling only recently escape drama school class-level acting?
FWA British Heavyweight Championship Tournament, Quarter Final: Doug Williams vs. Jody Fleisch
As a result of the no-contest last week, whomever wins this gets a bye into the final.
Williams starts by throwing down Fleisch, before a series of leapfrogs ends with a spinning heel kick from Fleisch. Doug rolls to the outside, and into the aisleway… and wouldn’t you know it, in the perfect place for a springboard moonsault from Fleisch!
Back in the ring, Fleisch continues to outpace Williams, getting an armdrag takedown into an armbar, and Jody held that hold despite Williams’ attempts at countering it. Fleisch leaps over a back body drop attempt and goes back to the armdrag, then switches into a cross armbreaker, only for Williams to roll up and powerbomb himself free.
An overhead belly to belly suplex gets a near-fall, before Fleisch uses the top rope to backflip over an onrushing Williams. We see Fleisch use a Japanese armdrag, but his attempt to leapfrog over Williams ends up with him shoved off the top rope and well into the crowd. Doug joins him, before sidestepping a springboard off the crowd barrier as Fleisch hits the metal on the other side of the aisle.
Fleisch ends up backdropping Williams into the crowd, which gets some ECW-style FWA chants from the rabid section of the crowd. They return to the ring where Fleisch goes airborne once more, with a springboard ‘rana earning a near-fall, before Williams counters a wheelbarrow facebuster by dumping Fleisch across the top rope.
Williams nearly wins it with a back suplex after dragging Jody in off the apron, before a roll-up to counter a German suplex gets a near-fall. In the end though, Williams hit his German suplex out of the corner for a two-count. After taking a drop toe-hold into the middle turnbuckle, what looks to be a roll of kitchen towel is thrown at Williams in the ring. That’s shrugged off though as Fleisch goes aerial again with a missile dropkick, before he misses a shooting star press, giving Williams a clear path to land his Revolution DDT for the win. A pretty good main event, as Williams and Fleisch found a way to have a good match despite the American-style TV time limit that they had to work within. ***¼
They show a replay of Fleisch’s springboard moonsault to the floor, then his missed shooting star press as the annoying fancam zooms in on Fleisch as he got to his feet. Williams returns to the ring to attack Fleisch some more, dropkicking him in the ropes, before Fleisch made a comeback with an unprotected chairshot to the head as the show came to an end.
Onto the fourth episode now, which opened with Paul Travell being jumped “backstage” by three men. One of them was Scotty Rock, but the rest don’t get namechecked.
The show starts with Gary Hayward in the ring, and he’s taking on Guy Thunder in our opening contest.
Gary Hayward vs. Guy Thunder
Hayward attacks Thunder before the bell, but Thunder pops up immediately after a Rocker dropper, and just punches out Hayward. A Thesz press is caught and turned into a powerbomb, before Hayward’s suplexed onto the ropes, and then driven to the floor with the Thunder Strikes spear to the floor. For some reason, Alex Shane and his cronies come out during the match, but the contest continues as Thunder slams Hayward, before going up top with a frog splash that gets him a near-fall.
Thunder continues by picking up Hayward in a torture rack, before spinning out into a neckbreaker, and then dumps him with the Cloud Burst (Vertebreaker/Cop Killer), which looked dangerous as all hell. Thankfully, that gets the win. A total squash. *
Alex Shane hits the ring straight after the match, and pulls Gary Hayward up, just to clothesline him down. Shane’s promo is aimed at Thunder (with a helping handful of generic comments at the crowd), and it seems that Alex wants him to become his head of security. Hey, it’s a Shane and Murphy reunion! Thunder’s response pokes fun at Shane’s belly, before firmly turning down the offer.
Of course, Shane’s security beat down Thunder on the way out… and that’s the end of the segment. You know, Alex got a reputation for being a good talker, but from what I’ve seen here and in the UWA, it seems to be a case of being the best of a bad bunch.
We’re taken backstage to “Breed TV”, with Ashe and Curve promising to give us their own TV show. They’ve got a wrestling ring and a bunch of figures, and they make fun of Mo Chatra’s name change to Kappo Khan. The New Breed want to show the footage of them beating up Khan from a few weeks ago, but apparently it’s too violent, so they end up re-enacting it with action figures.
They use a mini Womble figure to play Mo, as Batman and Superman re-enact the double Coast-to-Coast dropkick. Well, this segment dragged badly, and it didn’t to much to portray the New Breed as a threat, or show anything of their characters other than they had a load of action figures and sock puppets.
After a quick commercial break, we see a flashback to last week’s badly-acted skit with Paul Travell and Scotty Rock, then this week’s opener where Travell was attacked as he entered the building. I guess our six-man tag is next!
Scotty Rock, James Tighe & Five Star vs. Paul Travell, Jack Xavier & Jody Fleisch
Given how big of a geek Jack Xavier was portrayed in the first FWA TV match, it’s hard to paint that choice as anything but negative! Thanks to the unique was this show was recorded, Travell apparently would have been in back-to-back matches here (so this was match number three of the night), whilst everyone else was on their second appearance on the card.
After antagonising the crowd early, Rock started out with Paul Travell, with the former getting “Gillberg” chants from the crowd. Travell misses a couple of clotheslines before a spinebuster takes down Rock, and leaves him prone for a missed back senton out of the corner.
During a down period of the match, our commentator adds another feather to his bow by inferring that he takes photos of the FWA commissioner in her dressing room and sells them on eBay. But only in his spare time when he’s not hunting rabbits in his car!
Back to the action, we see Paul Travell taken down by a springboard crossbody-come-knee press out of the corner from Five Star , before a wheelbarrow suplex gets Travell back on top. Scotty Rock returns to face Jody Fleisch, and it’s a lot of kicks from Fleisch that keeps the heels at bay.
A springboard moonsault press gets Fleisch a near-fall on Fleisch, before Rock flies in to knock Fleisch out of the ring. Rock hits a somersault senton to the outside, before Travell’s flying body press adds to the pile on the floor. Five Star completes the set with a springboard moonsault… and I keep reminding myself, some of these guys doing dives are meant to be heels…
Jody Fleisch throws himself back into the pile with a somersault dive off the top rope, as he, Travell and Xavier return to the ring to celebrate. Back in the ring, Tighe counters a full nelson with a takeover, and then gets a sunset flip on Xavier for a near-fall. Xavier leaps over Tighe and throws him to the outside.
Paul Travell nearly gets the win with a roll-up on Rock, before both men hit each other with clotheslines. Five Star comes in and monkey flips Fleisch, but lands on his feet and returns with a ‘rana… which sees Five Star land on his feet too. Some headscissors from Star finally take down Fleisch, but Jody hits back with a springboard spinning heel kick back into the ring.
Travell lands a T-bone suplex onto Flash, before Jody Fleisch lands a shooting star press, but despite dislocating his elbow in the process, he’s able to make the cover and get the win. The match wasn’t bad, but it really typified what was going on in the British scene at the time, where moves and dives seemed to take precedent over any form of psychology or substance. **
Apparently, the injury was so bad that Ross Gordon ended up accompanying Jody to hospital in the middle of the show… which meant that the plan to have a two-man commentary booth was thrown out of the window. Throughout the show, you could hear Gordon’s voice in the background, but it seems that both he and Mark Priest were recording as-live commentary, with the entire track being binned and replaced by Priest flying solo in post-production. Unfortunate, but it’s one of the risks of doing as-live commentary for a TV show, I guess!
From these two shows, the Doug Williams/Jody Fleisch match was the clear highlight – and it was patently obvious already who in this roster was able to work, and who was just throwing in moves for the sake of doing them. A quarter of the way through the FWA’s run, and hopefully we’ll be getting to the part where storylines become a thing!