Last week, we took a look at the two pilots for IPW’s new TV show… so it’s only fair we take a look at their proper debut!

Airing on the Fight Network in the UK on Friday nights, we also got this show on YouTube for those who don’t have the channel. Or, like me, forgot to Sky+ it…

Dave Bradshaw introduces us to the show, before we get some opening credits and… a sit-down promo with the IPW Women’s champion, Sierra Loxton. Already an improvement on the pilot’s “we’re here as some blokes come to do a wrestle.” She tells us about the background of her character (“I’m a little bit odd”), and that she wants to be a fighting champion who inspires women across the world. Which bleeds into…

IPW Women’s Champion: Candy Floss vs. Sierra Loxton (c)
Commentary tells us that these two are friends, and I’m wondering if Dave getting the gig was a forgotten part of Defiant winning that interpromotional war a while back?

The pair hug to start us off, but Candy Floss wanders in and tries to roll-up Loxton for a flash finish. Sierra’s taken into the corner for a dropkick, before some knees to the arm kept Loxton down… at least until she caught Candy with a fallaway slam. Hip attacks follow in the ropes, before a cartwheel knee drop gets Loxton a near-fall, only for Candy Floss to come back with a La Mistica – which she called the Candy Cane – only to get rolled up for a near-fall.

Candy Floss keeps up on Loxton’s arm, and seemed to be having it all her own way as she stomped on Loxtons’ left elbow, all while commentary told us that Candy Floss was pretty much an IPW original. Out of nowhere, Loxton nails a release German suplex before she took Candy Floss in for a hip attack and an Exploder suplex. A second charge into the corner misses as Candy Floss comes back with some headscissors… but she can’t avoid a massive spear as Loxton took Candy into the corner for… one big hip attack, called the Butterfly Effect (I see what you did there…) for the win. A pretty good match to start the show with, with Candy Floss bringing the aggression, but in the end it wasn’t enough. ***

Commentary tells us that we’ll get a number one contender for the IPW next week – with David Starr facing Rob Sharpe for that spot.

After a break, we’re back with footage of James Castle vs. Daisuke Harada from the IPW Junior Heavyweight Championship tournament final… the venue IPW run in, Unit 9 in Milton Keynes, is pretty cavernous and not particularly great for acoustics. Mike Kilby makes national TV as James Castle’s dumped next to him in the crowd ahead of a body press from Harade into the crowd. They show a lot of this match, joined in progress, with Harada winning with a hiptoss knee and a bridging German suplex… and then it’s back to another break!

We’re back with a sit down promo with Big Grizzly. Get in there! He’s here for heavyweight gold, and this was a nice, simple and effective promo as he bemoans being “stuck, overlooked” while everyone else swans over the world. He’s in action next week…

Dave Bradshaw recaps the storyline with Jack Sexsmith – on the IPW Junior Heavyweight title tournament show, he split up the team of Sammy Smooth and Lewis Howley. They were going to pitch to that, but Sammy Smooth comes out anyway and calls out Jack. Who gets his Hot Tag theme as we’re on TV here… Sexsmith comes out with a referee and Lewis Howley for some reason, and we’re getting a handicap match.

Sammy Smooth vs. Jack Sexsmith & Lewis Howley
The crowd rides on Jack for his hairstyle, and for the fact that he’d make Howley start the match.

Smooth sends Howley into the ropes before the pair exchanged leapfrogs and standing waistlock switches before Smooth tripped Howley… and this is all very even. Intentionally even, in fact, as they break into some indy’riffic pinning attempts to troll the referee as the crowd point out “you still look like a tag team”.

Sexsmith tags himself in, annoyed at Howley not being able to get the job done. Smooth takes down Jack and unloads with some right hands. A swipe rocks Sexsmith, as does a big hiptoss from Smooth, only for Jack to hit back as he pulled Smooth off of the middle rope.

More forearms rock Smooth, who’s taken into the corner as Howley was forcibly tagged back in. Commentary tells us that Howley’s not fully on-board with Jack, who tags back in to choke Smooth in the corner. Howleys’ back in as Jack tries to direct traffic, with Lewis throwing a mild chop… so Angry Jack comes in and throws one of his own before Howley again disappointed. Smooth fires up after that, landing a few chops to Sexsmith before he felled him with a double-handed chop, then again with a clothesline.

Howley tags himself in and goes face-to-face with Smooth before accidentally charging into Jack in the corner. Sexsmith’s sent into Howley with a back body drop as Smooth looked to follow up, crashing into the pair of them on the floor with a senton. Back in the ring, Sexsmith superkicks Smooth before he berates Howley for his inaction… and when Sexsmith went for a Big Double Stomp Move to Smooth, Howley snaps… shoving Smooth away, before scoring with a big boot and a spin-out side slam!

Smooth and Howley are back together after a brief turn, before a double team fireman’s carry gutbuster – the Bad Apple – gets Smooth the win. I think in real time that turn lasted for a day, but at least what they told of the story here made sense. I just wish that it wasn’t a “day one” blow-off… **¾

Mike Bird’s got a sit-down promo next, telling us he wrestles because he enjoys it. Bird’s facing Mark Haskins in the main event, and he’s going to change something after coming up short against Haskins in the past…

IPW World Heavyweight Championship: Mike Bird vs. Mark Haskins (c)
We’ve got about ten minutes left of TV time here, but Bird looks to make short work of Haskins, landing a clothesline and a piledriver for a near-fall early on.

Haskins sandbags as he’s pulled up, but he’s able to kick away Bird before an attempt at a wheelbarrow into a Sharpshooter was blocked as Bird locked in a Stretch Plum – like a Dragon Sleeper mixed with an abdominal stretch – but Haskins gets to the ropes. Heading outside, Haskins eats a pair of topes from Bird, before he’s rolled back in for a swandive headbutt for a near-fall.

Bird’s certainly going balls to the wall here as commentary plugs some upcoming shows for IPW, including the return of PAC later this month. Chops follow from Bird, who gets another two-count from a snap suplex before Haskins got back to his feet and began to kick away at Bird… it worked, as Haskins was able to punch out Bird before the pair booted each other at the same time.

Both men just about the standing ten count, but don’t laugh at each other as they instead pelt each other with more forearms, only for Haskins to slip out of a crucifix bomb as he kicked at Bird’s arm ahead of the bridging armbar. Bird manages to get to the ropes, thankfully (for him), but they’re both outside as Haskins leapt into Bird with some topes, before they returned to the ring as Haskins… threatened to superplex Bird into the crowd?

Nah, it’s a ruse, as instead Bird threatens a piledriver to the floor, before Haskins took control with an avalanche death valley driver. A Sharpshooter’s next, but Bird rolls him up for a near-fall, before a flying double stomp off the top led to a near-fall, with the Sharpshooter getting the quick tap-out. Brief, but this was a hoot to watch as “TV Mark Haskins” seems to be finding a new groove for himself in 2019. ***½

Next week: Kip Sabian vs. Chris Ridgeway, plus Robert Sharpe vs. David Starr as we rush off the air.

Compared to the two pilot episodes, this was like night and day. We had some attempts to explain backstories, without having to go all the way back to day zero, so first-time watchers could enjoy the show and sink their teeth into some of the story without feeling out of place. As to whether this’ll be a regular watch… as long as the show keeps making its way onto YouTube, we’ll keep an eye on it, but it’ll be interesting to see whether this sparks any kind of interest boom in IPW – a promotion that’s not exactly been on people’s lips in recent years.