We’re back to the first season, as we look at a pair of Who’s Next episodes, this time featuring a Viking, another Krüger and… whatever the hell is a Slinky.
If we’re German-heavy again, we may end up condensing more reviews of this series! We open up with the news that Cody Kidman scored a landslide win with 80.5% of the vote from episode three. This week, we’ve got Thoralf and Prinz Leopold!
Thoralf looks to have something like a caveman gimmick, while Leopold seems to be an old-timey army general. The jury this week is Pascal Spalter, Orlando Silver and Tom La Ruffa.
Thoralf’s out first with his Viking helmet, with a short, sweet and impactful promo. Leopold’s next, with a rather regal entrance and a rather rambling promo. At least we could make out the words though… as could the crowd, who knew to boo the blue-blood.
Thoralf vs. Prinz Leopold
The crowd cheered for Thoralf, as he butt bumped out of a waistlock as Leopold looked for an armbar instead.
You know, for a blue blood, Leopold has gear that screams “early 2000s indy guy”, fortunately without any pleather! They exchange wristlocks, before Leopold elbowed out of a hammerlock… then a slam attempt as he went up to the chops. Thoralf’s perhaps showing too much willingness to take those chops, but he hits a cross-chop in return as the Prinz went to the corner… where he sidestepped a charge from Thoralf before kicking him onto all fours before jumping off his back for an elbow drop.
Leopold switched from there into a rear chinlock, before Thoralf returned with more cross chops, bell clappers and a belly bump. Big Daddy fan, huh? Thoralf has trouble pulling Leopold out of the corner, so he kicks him in the arse a few times, but Leopold again rakes the eyes before doing something approximating a Sharpshooter. Right by the ropes. Good Lord.
Some kicks to the chest follow from Leopold, who can only get a one count after a splash off the middle rope… so he does it again, for another one count! Third time is the charm, so we think, but Thoralf is up and catches him with a swinging side slam for the win. Sharpshooter aside, that was pretty good as a throwaway match, and they got under their time too, so all in all… well above the Krüger bar!
The judges praises the guys for their gear and their crowd interaction, while La Ruffa pointed out that both guys perhaps needed to hit the gym more. Pascal Spalter mentions more about their gear, while La Ruffa gave some scandalously low scores.
Moving onto episode 5 then… Leopold won the fan vote with 60% of the polls, as this week we’re introduced to Slinky and Alex Krüger. How many of them are there?!
Your judges this time are Tom La Ruffa, Ulf Hermann, Al Snow and Doug Williams. Buckle up, this should be fun! Slinky’s wearing a wacky singlet that’s like a chequered flag… think High Energy but without the MC Hammer parachute pants. The music he has is bloody annoying, but Al’s in love with the guy, calling him a “gimmick and a half”.
Alex Krüger is out next, complete with the same orange and black mask that his brothers wore. Snow seemed less than enthused at the prospect of the match in front of him…
Slinky vs. Alex Krüger
You know how I called Slinky’s gear a singlet? It’s a bloody body suit… Good Lord! Al’s worried about who the heel and babyface are, and whether we can pick that up in their work.
Slinky starts by being tripped to the mat, so he, erm, slinks into the ropes as the “crazy guy” is suddenly able to wrestle. They exchange wristlocks as Slinky shows some technical chops, before shaking his arse as the judges openly ponder who we should be cheering. Doug reckoned it was “the black and white guy”, even though he’s crazy, because it’s “humourous crazy”.
Alex Krüger quickly shows he’s the bad guy by throwing Slinky into the ring post, before rolling up up for barely a one-count… he picks up Slink to throw him back down with a suplex, getting a two-count as Al was having a fit. Krüger sends Slinky into the ropes for a… backslide backbreaker? That looked rough. Krüger then kicks Slinky right between the arse cheeks, and picks him up for a pendulum backbreaker before going back to the arse cheeks with a toe punt. A horrific neckbreaker draws a near-fall as Slinky kicks out, and gets picked up again… this time to counter a suplex as they both struggle.
Krüger gets the suplex in the end, before a reverse DDT looked BRUTAL. It almost hung Slinky on the way down, but it’s still not the finish as Slinky kicks him in the cut and slammed him… and he’s going up top because he’s suddenly crazy again. Slinky leaps down because he saw Alex come for him, and after a kick we get a standing death valley driver out of nowhere for the win. Well… I passed this match around, and the trend in the responses was “it takes some skill to be that bad.”
As for the judges… Doug Williams liked Slinky’s character, until the bell rang, while he didn’t believe in Krüger’s character. Al had the same issue because of Slinky suddenly knowing how to wrestle, before labelling their match as dangerous. That’s one way to put it. Ulf Hermann kept up that trend, calling Krüger’s look… garbage (I believe). Five episodes deep, and I know one thing. I’d pay to see a recurring series of Al Snow critiquing and throwing shade at guys like this. Perhaps that’s something for OVW? It’s a perverse thing, but it’s the whole “you have to be cruel to be kind” train of thought.