We wrap up this year’s Who’s Next with the finals from Berlin – which led to a rather quick turnaround for the winner…
After 14 fell by the wayside, we’re into the finals of Who’s Next – which opens up with a video package focusing on our two finalists, Andy Steel and Onur Daglur, charting their journey from the first round and all the way through to the finals. I completely missed the wink that Onur gave the camera during his promo on a cereal bar…
So we’ve got a rematch from episode 8 as we find out who wins that GWF contract!
Onur Daglar vs. Andy Steel
Dave Bradshaw tells us on commentary that Daglar’s representing Turkey. You don’t say?! It’s not like the Turkish flag he carried, the flag on his singlet, the jacket that said “TURKIYE” or anything else tipped off the gimmick…
Not to be outdone, Steel comes out waving the Irish flag, and gets a party cannon from a fan at ringside too.
There’s a staredown before the bell, and we start with the pair locking up and heading into the corner. It’s a little scrappy, but Daglar grabs a wristlock as he tried to keep the Irishman at bay, following up with a hammerlock that ended when Steel used the ropes to get free… wrapping Daglur’s arm around it in the process.
Steel grabs a wrist next in response, but Daglur goes to the eyes before he was met with a dropkick as Steel takes him outside for a teased dive… one that Daglar cuts off. A slam’s next from Onur, who followed in with a back senton for a near-fall, before he took Steel into the ropes for a spot of choking.
After being given several warnings, Daglur found himself on the back foot as Steel hit a suplex, then a superkick and a Rocker Dropper for a near-fall. Bewp Bewp. Daglur fought back with elbows and chops in the corner, before he hesitated en route to a DDT for another near-fall. Steel’s forced to fire up as Daglar rained down punches on him… and fire up he does, as a barrage of lefts and rights dazed Onur, before an atomic drop and a spinning heel kick knocked the Turk down. The band tunes up, but a leaping knee misses as Steel instead followed in with a missile dropkick for a near-fall.
Kicks to Daglar’s quads follow, but a neckbreaker stops all that as the pair go back to trading forearms, but it’s Steel who edges ahead with a bicycle kick before he went back up top for a frog splash elbow. Daglar moves away from it though, and quickly swiped Steel into the Turkish Leg Sweep, and that’s enough for the win. An enjoyable final, with both men on offence and defence, showing way more than we ever could in those edited/tryout matches. ***¼
So, Onur Daglar wins the 12-month GWF contract, and made an instant impact that same night as he would end up joining Grup Anarși later in the night, booting out Georges Khoukaz from the group.
As a series, Who’s Next has been a quite enjoyable watch – even if the path to the finals were a bit wonky, as it showed that (at least at that level) wins and losses don’t really matter. With any luck, Onur Daglar’ll have more success than the first season’s winner, although I’d not be against that Loserweight title being a “proving ground” belt of sorts… but I’m a little sad that Andy Steel didn’t win. Hopefully that’ll end up being something he can build off of, especially with all of the openings that are meant to be opening up across Europe in 2019 (and beyond).