On Three Count this week, the build to Legacy continues as the tensions between New Wave and Grup Anarşi continued.
We open with a recap of prior episodes, including Tarkan Aslan’s drugging of Cash Money Erkan, Georges Khoukaz trying to please Ali Aslan, and Chris Colen trying to unite GWF management.
From there, we’re backstage as Crazy Sexy Mike is writing! He reckons the match between Pascal Spalter and Lucky Kid at Legacy will be one of the strongest ones on the card, and that they should publish the whole card. Nah, that’s not the way you build shows these days. Just drip-feed matches then release the rest on the week of the show… John Klinger’s not sold on the Lucky/Spalter match, calling it boring… and of course, he’d be a better opponent for Pascal Spalter. Instead, we get Lucky Kid vs. Bad Bones for Three Count, which is something Mike agrees to… along with a three-way for Legacy as Bones got his match afterall.
Chris Colen’s outside, where he’s stopped by an angry Cash Money Erkan, who thinks that it was Colen who drugged him. Erkan threatens to tell Ahmed Chaer on him, but Colen laughs it off, as he should.
We’re BLURRY in the gym, focusing as we see Lucky Kid crunching. Crazy Sexy Mike watches him and gives the opposite of a pep talk, which just angers Lucky a little, who’s then talked into facing Bad Bones later on. Ben Aslan’s outside as Tarkan runs by to kick a can. He’s pissed off that he’s been put into a Loserweight title match, but his brother tries to tell him it’s an opportunity to prove himself.
Icarus is backstage, demanding a match with Tarkan Aslan, saying that he wants to settle a problem in the ring. Crazy Sexy Mike tells him he just lost a match (wait, did Mike pay to be all over this show here?)… but he gets the match at Legacy anyway. From there, we just to Ahmed Chaer and Benji, with Benji scared of facing “another monster”. Benji doesn’t want to wrestle… but as soon as he’s threatened by the mere presence of Vincenzo Coccotti, he suddenly gets a spine. Cue titles!
Lumberjack Match: Cem Kaplan vs. Dover
Kaplan was accompanied by the rest of Grup Anarşi as his lumberjacks, while Dover had New Wave helping him out. Eh, this one’s had a few weeks build on Three Count, but I’d have liked them to have actually signposted that it was going to lead to a lumberjack match, rather than it appear as a random opening match.
Of course, we start with confrontations on the outside, but the match begins with Dover throwing Kaplan into the New Wave lumberjacks. Grup Anarşi quickly arrive to stop any funny business, but Kaplan rolls back into the ring to take an overhead belly-to-belly suplex before Abdul Kenan dragged Dover to the outside as we had a brief mugging. New Wave try and break it up, but Dover’s rolled back in as he takes an Exploder before he lifts Kaplan onto the apron… and punches him to the floor. New Wave jump Kaplan as the ring fills up… and since this deteriorates into a Pier Six brawl really quickly, the referee waves off the match. Eh, this never even got going, but as a start of something it was okay… I’m just wondering what stipulation follows a lumberjack match.
Dave Bradshaw tries to translate Ali Aslan’s promo before Grup Anarşi left without much fanfare. Huh.
Benji vs. Tarkan Aslan
So the pre-show segments announced this as a Loserweight title match… but Benji didn’t have the belt with him, nor was it announced as one. Hell, even Dave Bradshaw feigned shock at Tarkan Aslan being his opponent, despite the pre-show segments having Ahmed Chaer gee up Benji for this. It’s like WCW all over again with these segments being held without commentary being aware of them.
Benji charges into Aslan at the bell with some uppercuts and elbows, but Tarkan clings onto the ropes before elbowing Benji right back. There’s a headbutt to the Hungarian, before Aslan – who seemed to be the heavy crowd favourite – scores with a big curb stomp. More stomps follow as Benji was left down on the mat, before Benji’s scooped up into a tombstone as the Tarkan-taker gets the win. SPLAT.
Benji gets stretchered out after the match… as the ring announcer is translated as saying “get well soon”. That seemed a little… off handed, especially as we just jump into the main event as if nothing had happened.
Matt Cross vs. Pascal Spalter
Our main event then, sees the former GWF heavyweight champion Spalter take on Matt Cross… and it’s the Lucha Underground star who starts hotly with a dropkick before Spalter tried to use his size to his advantage.
A handspring’s caught before Cross comes back with headscissors, taking Spalter into the corner… only for him to run into a big boot from the Berliner. Some boots keep Cross on the mat, as Spalter imposed himself on the match, choking Cross in the ropes. Another Irish whip takes Cross hard into the buckles, before he just sits on Cross like he were nothing.
During all of this, the crowd chant “scheiße” at Spalter, which he played up to as he tried to get the crowd to say his name. Cross eventually begins a fightback with an elbow in the corner, but he runs into another elbow from Spalter, who hauls him up for a suplex that barely gets a two-count.
Cross finally gets a breather as he low bridges Spalter to the outside, where he follows up with a pair of topes that are slightly less spectacular by the high-vis-wearing catchers either side of Spalter. Back in the ring, there’s a double stomp to a doubled-over Spalter for a near-fall, before Cross gets caught in a powerslam… which he slips out of as a wheelbarrow roll-up and a stomp puts the American back in charge.
Both men pull themselves up in the corner, but it’s Cross who sails in with a handspring back elbow, before a crossbody’s caught and turned into a running powerslam for a near-fall. An Angle slam’s attempted next, but Cross slips out and lifts him into a Fireman’s carry… Spalter’s dropped, but gets back to his feet as a rebound lariat from Cross almost gets the win.
A pair of standing ten counts ends when Cross rolled to the outside… and Spalter’s still down as Cross scales the ropes for a shooting star press. Spalter gets away from it and returns with a shotgun dropkick before another Angle Slam’s countered with a roll-up for a near-fall. Spalter’s back in with a clothesline, before putting away Cross with That’s A Wrap – the Angle Slam – for the win. This was okay, but very rough around the edges as the two seemed to have trouble meshing their styles together. **¾
The show ends with Spalter flipping off the crowd, before we end up backstage as Grup Anarşi are speaking Turkish. New Wave walk into the same locker room as they’re looking for Oliver Carter, and we’ve another confrontation as we crash to the show-ending skit, with Vincenzo Coccotti playing amateur psychiatrist to Crazy Sexy Mike, whom he manages to put to sleep and have hypnotise into doing some chores. And dancing. There’s comedy there, if only in the part where Mike vacuumed Coccotti’s crotch…
As a show, this was another episode of Three Count where the focus was placed on the stories rather than the in-ring action. A squash defeat for Benji and the New Wave/Grup Anarşi brawl were perhaps the big takeaways this week, I’d guess. I just wish they’d let the commentary team out of their box half an hour earlier so they can see the same segments we do and aren’t left looking dumb!